Friday, February 17, 2012

I was invited to a bloggers event at the Southern Women’s Show- Savannah!

This weekend I get to meet several great local bloggers at the Southern Women’s Show in Savannah.    Really exciting!

Jamie Kennedy ~ The Social Media Director of O2 Media, Inc.  the Producers of The Balancing Act and Designing Spaces has put together a great behind the scenes tour for us at the show. 

Balancing Act  Logo Plain

I can’t wait to meet Ginger, Cherry, Summer, Debbie, and  Adriana.  These are all local bloggers and part of my little community.  I’m sure there will be lots and lots to chat about.  We’ll all have our camera’s, so look out for picture overload and fun details after the show!

trade center

Have a wonderful weekend!

Monday, February 13, 2012

My Bessie: She was kind, smart, and important


Okay, I know I am probably the last person on earth to have read “The Help” or to have seen the movie. 
I just saw the movie over Christmas and then read the book after that.  Backwards, I know!  I have not read anything recently that has made such an impact on me.  I have carried the characters and conversations in my head for weeks…  I’m actually glad to have watched the movie first.  It gave me faces to put with the characters that I was reading about in the book. Oh, don’t get me wrong, this book was descriptive enough on its own to produce the faces of the characters.  But I found it comforting to already know who I was reading about.  Anyway, I am not writing this post as a book review.  There are many of those already written by much more talented writers than myself.

I want to write about “The Help”, because it brought back such wonderful feelings and memories of the “help” in my own life.  I have lived in South Georgia all of my life.  And in the early 70’s, when I was born, people still hired maids to help with housework and babysitting.  It wasn’t a luxury afforded only to the rich.  My parents were far from rich!  They were a couple in their early 20’s with two little kids to raise.  Both of my parents worked outside the home, and Bessie came in to stay with us kids and keep house.  According to my mother and grandmother, Bessie was my grandmother’s maid first, and she came to work for my parents after I was born.  She seemed to still work for my grandparents at times, so I am not sure if she worked for both families at the same time or not.  I know she was a hard worker, so she may have held down both jobs! 

I was six years old the last time I saw Bessie, so all of my memories are made up of stories told by my family members and a few memories of my own- from a child’s perspective.

What I remember most about Bessie was sitting on her lap.  She was a plump woman who always wore those thick support stockings.  I believe they were white or nude, which is so funny to me.  Can you imagine an African American woman wearing white or tan thick stockings these days?  Anyway, I remember sitting comfortably on Bessie’s lap while she sang or talked to me.  And I can still see those chubby legs where the support stockings had rolled down below her knees and exposed the rolls.  I never saw her as “fat” or “black” for that matter.  I just remember feeling loved and secure.  You know what’s amazing about that?  From what my family has told me, Bessie had 16 children of her own.  YES!  Sixteen!  And her older children and her husband were very abusive toward her.  They wouldn’t let her eat at the table with them or  let her wash her clothes with theirs.  I don’t know what the family dynamics were exactly, but I just remember hearing how she was treated badly at home.  That made me sad even then.  I can’t imagine having 16 of my own children, and going to someone else’s house to cook, clean, and babysit all day every day.  I can’t think of many women that would do that today!

I remember her fried chicken too!  Mmmm… delicious!  Mom reminded me that Bessie had asked that she be able to make herself a plate of the food she cooked for us every night.  When we had fried chicken, she always wanted the back!  People are funny about their chicken : )

kim baby pic1
Me at 2 years old

Because I was so young, I don’t have a whole lot of memories of specific events involving Bessie.  I just remember her being there.  I remember feeling loved.  And I certainly do not remember feeling any kind of prejudice against her because she was black.  I hope she felt loved and appreciated by our family, especially in light of her own difficult home life. 

In reading “The Help”, I was shocked and hurt many times by the words that were spoken to and about the maids in those homes. 
I guess I was just too young when we had a maid to see the very ugly side of racial prejudice, and I am thankful for that.  Don’t get me wrong, living in the South, I’ve seen a lot and heard a lot that made me angry or uncomfortable.  But, thankfully, I’ve never believed that anyone, regardless of the color of their skin or the kind of job they held, is less important than I am.
I’m so thankful to have the small yet pleasant memories of my Bessie to remind me of someone who was KIND, GOOD, and IMPORTANT.  I will always remember her fondly….

Linking to these great parties:
Show and Tell at Blue Cricket Designs

PhotobucketA Diamond in the Stuff

Weekend Bloggy Reading

Oopsey Daisy

Positively Splendid

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Directors Chairs- a quick before and after

I picked up 2 of these directors chairs at a yard sale last Spring.  It was late in the day, and they were leaning against the wall and folded with no seat or backs on them.  I had to ask the seller what they were.  She pulled out one ratty looking seat cover to show me what these were supposed to look like when assembled.  I took them home and planned to buy or make the seats and backs from canvas.  I found that the kits are sold at Pier One and World Market for $20 each, but I’m way too frugal to pay that much!  I held on to the chairs and hoped to have the time to make some myself.  Butmonths later, as I was browsing my local Habitat Home Restore, I came across 2 sets of these directors chair seats and backs!  I couldn’t believe my luck!  Sometimes, it pays just to wait for the right thing to come along

directors chairs before

So, I have just recently pulled these little guys out and cleaned them up.  They were made in the early 80’s, according to the tag underneath.  The hinges had some type of protective coating on them that had yellowed.  It was so difficult to remove, that I ended up sanding it off!  They were DIRTY too!  So, I cleaned, sanded some rough spots, and taped off all of the hardware.  I used spray paint,which I will NEVER do again on a project like this, but that’s another story.  It took many light coats to get the coverage I was looking for. 

Sadly, I was so into getting these chairs done that I forgot to take any pictures of the intermediate steps.  Sorry.  Once the paint was done, I sanded it lightly in the places that I thought would normally show wear.  I wanted them to look beachy and laid back- not perfectly crisp and white! 

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Once I was ready to put the super duper cute canvas seats and backs on, I discovered, that they were not an exact fit for my chairs.  Uh oh  Thank goodness my mom isn’t afraid of her sewing machine : )  Not saying I’m afraid of mine or anything…  She just hemmed both the seats and backs for me, and we were back in business!

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Ta-da!  Aren’t they great?!?  I love the difference!  From drab to fab- for sure!

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Here’s a little better shot of the seat.  I just love the bright colors!!

I already have some great furniture in my own sunroom, so these two went right up for sale.  I hope they’ll brighten up someone else’s space.

Happy Thursday to you!

Linking up to these great parties:

Weekend wrap up at Tatertots and Jello

The 36th Avenue

Weekend Bloggy ReadingPhotobucket

Sunday's Best Linky Party!