Places to Save

Being Manuel's birthday, this is a good day to mention Mike Wolfe / National Trust for Historic Preservation Instagram campaign, This Place Matters. I remember walking up to this building for my internship interview in 2007, getting inside and looking at the glittering, glistening, glowing suits and having a “look but don’t touch” moment. These rhinestoned, embroidered jackets and garments looked expensive, and they were. And they should be. What started as an internship led to my place of employment for the next several years, working alongside Manuel and and rhinestoning each of these jackets and garments by hand, along with other intricate handiwork. These clothes were the definition of what Nashville used to mean… and used to look like. Dressing up to perform, putting on your best suit for the people who saved up and paid good money and travelled far to see you entertain. If you’ve ever seen Porter Wagoner, Cash in black, Dolly Parton, or Elvis’ gold lame suit – this was the man behind it. It was where I met some of my best friends today, learned lessons in life and business, met Little Richard out front in his Escalade to hand deliver his suits, surfed the internet with Robert Plant, and talked peanut butter and crackers for breakfast with George Jones. This building, along with several others on that block near Vanderbilt University, are scheduled for demolition for more Nashville high-rises. When, I don’t know, but the overgrown rose bushes tell me it won’t be long. Manuel is still in business today, now in downtown Nashville. This historic Victorian building which once was a brothel, will always be important to me and I know so many others. Please join Mike Wolfe to let us know why a building near you is ‪#‎PlacestoSave‬. Mike will pick a place and make a personal visit to raise preservation awareness. "This Place Matters" shirt sales benefit National Trust for Historic Preservation’s efforts. You can get it here: http://www.antiquearchaeology.com/iteminfo.php?II=386&cat=37

1922 Broadway

1922 Broadway

 

 

 

 

Golden Year Lessons from Jack the Dog

What feels the weirdest, the quietest, is the “no clicking” on the floors.  For the past 13 years I’ve heard click-click-click, as my one friend calls “tap dancing”, by a hairy 4-legged animal each and every day… and sometimes night. Oh and I sleep in now  - a new one for me. I put my dog (Jack) down 3 weeks ago today.

It was a day I dreaded for the past several years as I could see Jack get older. Dogs, and ultimately we, come full circle.  We need more care, more medical attention, someone to remind us. Albeit an animal, caring for Jack in his golden years taught me a lesson in patience, love, and knowing when to put someone (yes, I am going to refer to him as a “someone” here) before me - sacrifice.

I made the appointment with my at-home vet and actually bumped the appointment sooner. 

After crying every night knowing his final appointment was drawing near, I knew I made the appointment too far in advance, two weeks out. It now made sense why my vet said, “Let me know if I need to come sooner.” During those two weeks, I sad-smiled during Christmas with family, not wanting to be the person drinking eggnog by the fire talking about how I was going to put my dog down in just a few days. I came back from holiday and asked my vet to come sooner.  I knew I could never be ready for her visit, but I did know I couldn’t live with the anticipation for something I knew couldn’t be avoided.  She actually came almost a week sooner than I planned… 3 weeks ago today, the last day of her Christmas break.

They say you’ll know when it’s time. 

I kept asking myself this over and over and over - Is it time? I still don’t really know the answer.  Jack was 15 or 16 (I don’t know for sure as he was a rescue) and who knows - probably could’ve “lived” several more years! But is it living? We had already long passed the point of my “When he starts doing this, it’s time list” that I made a few years ago. There were odd behavioral things that started making me concerned, stressed, and at times, mad and frustrated. Nobody was sleeping at this point. The house was becoming filthy. The oddest of things were getting destroyed. My vet came to visit us and recommended trying a few medicines to help calm him.  They helped, but only for a short amount of time.  Now, I feel like he was telling me, “See?” My vet who I worked closely with and I ultimately knew whatever I decided for the next step, we wanted to preserve the human-animal bond. So, I guess yes, for me… for us… it was time.

The appointment was the easiest part.

This is hard to talk about so no one wants to. I am so very thankful for my vet who told me all the specifics I wanted to know beforehand.  No question was shocking to her or off limits - and I had several. I won’t go into the details as I want whoever reads this to be ready to hear about it, but would be happy to share my experience in a private message if you have any questions (contact form in link). Again, it is an extremely personal experience that I’m sure differs for everyone but I can say, for me,the appointment was the easiest part. Pain is seeing your friend’s health decline and the grief that follows. It felt very peaceful and I am so forever thankful to be able to have access to this service. I am not a professional, only a pet owner sharing an experience to maybe help someone or provide encouragement to someone who is experiencing a similar situation.

“I cried more than when my Grandma died!!”

That’s what someone told me when I announced Jack’s death. It took a few days to share that information. I have a close circle of family and friends who comforted me so greatly, but as my boss said “You need to be surrounded with love”. And I was! From social media comments from people I don’t know, each and every word was read.  I have to laugh because it is sounded so ridiculous but also so true when someone posted under Jack’s picture when talking about their own experience - “I cried more than when my grandma died!” I laughed for some reason when I read that because man, I cried A LOT when my grandma died. But yes, I too cried more when Jack died. It’s been 3 weeks, I feel like I’m coming around.

Again, I am one person sharing an experience that many of us has gone through. I find personal comfort in writing things out and figure I provide one other person a little comfort as well, I’ll be glad I posted it. A forever thank you to Mockingbird Vet.

Up close and personal with the man himself!

Be Kind

I don't talk a lot about personal stuff on the Internet and Social Media. Pictures with my friends and cool stuff I find  and groovy sunsets and funny dog videos are fun to share... I just try to keep it light and fun.  However, something happened to me today that bummed me out, not because someone was being "ugly" towards me but thinking about the continued BAD vibes they are projecting towards people without even realizing. I was working today and overheard someone ask my co-worker, "Where is the fat blonde girl?" (me).  I was not shocked for someone I don't know personally to comment about my weight, oddly. I often have people who see me working in the shop ask if I've lost weight or comment that I'm smaller in person all the time... Yes, the camera isn't always forgiving for a 5'2 curvy gal!  There's no behind the scenes glam squad on American Pickers, although Danielle does kindly help me with my make up when we film together!

I poked my head around the corner and stated, "I'm not fat! I weight 140 pounds!", shut the door behind me and went back to my business. I was a little mad because I defended myself by stating my weight (and actually I stretched the truth by a few pounds... but that's beside the point) instead of my magnum opus of comebacks. I know by now 99% of the time the things you wish you'd said always come later. Ultimately, I wanted them to know that their comment was heard.  It wasn't a matter so much of someone thinking I was fat, but more speaking about someone's image in a negative way without even batting a lash. Words are powerful stuff and maybe that's why I don't say too much on here or any Internet platform.  It's a New Year and a good time to remind myself the power of what you say. I'm going to focus more on things like: Don't s*** talk. Give more compliments. Whine less (my boyfriend will love this one.) Don't talk down about yourself to make other people comfortable. Tell your loved ones, well, you love them. Say please and thank you. Do what you say you're going to do. Get to the point. Say what you mean.

 

(Thought I'd include this pics someone uploaded to a site, something like Lovethesecurves.com or something, where people could comment on my weight gain. Good stuff!!)   

(Thought I'd include this pics someone uploaded to a site, something like Lovethesecurves.com or something, where people could comment on my weight gain. Good stuff!!) 

 

Back From Iowa

ALWAYS. AWESOME. to head up to the Midwest and see what Antique Archaeology LeClaire is doing... I'm terrible about snapping shots when I'm having a good time but can't wait to share with y'all what we're up to!! (Here's about the only one I took - Danielle and her pal Hailey on a nature walk... complete with deer, hawks, a windstorm... oh yeah, and using a bathroom in the woods).  

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Country Living Fair - Lebanon, TN

I had an awesome time this weekend at the Country Living Fair. I got to meet so many amazing people and it is always inspiring to be around folks that are equally passionate about their craft! There's a lot of talent and creativity at these things, plus people that manage the event are top-notch!  I worked with our talented art director, Lauren Walker and also Woodstock Vintage Lumber to create our "store" within the vendors.  It couldn't have turned out better... Thanks again to everyone who said hello and also did some pickin' at our booth. aa - cl booth

I'm a dork, who cares... Steven Tyler's here.

Yesterday, I had the privilege of meeting Steven Tyler who I am an insane fan of, who isn't? Working in entertainment I have met many celebs (yeah, who cares, but true) and I never take pics... I just feel so corny and I don't want to be "that person", ya know? Well, I had to yesterday and he was such a nice guy. I mean, who wants to meet people they in their head totally love and then they end up to be divas &/or jerks (this has happened to me a few times too.. whomp whomp...) So here you go. Welcome to Nashville, Mr. Tyler.STEVEN  

Memorial Mounds

Every since I can remember, I've always been a little obsessed with the macabre...  Maybe it was living within a stone's throw between 2 cemeteries growing up, or thinking as a kid I would find an Egyptian mummy (being that I was in Alabama, not sure how I thought this was happen, but hey- dream big!), and wandering around antique stores with my mom wondering what the people were like that originally bought these items??...  I found this article recently after visiting Bessemer, Alabama and I was kind of blown away at how strange it is, especially considering it's location.  I guess it's recent online popularity has made it even more so a tourist attraction and it's now being maintained by the police, but take a look... Isn't it crazy? memorial

Nashville's Changing

And so is everywhere. I'm not the only one effected by the sudden and continuing boom of skyscrapers, condos, and new restaurants with new menus... yes, I purposefully used the word effected. When I drive around town, sometimes I feel like I need to be taking pictures constantly of the buildings and nooks I love because these places that are "my Nashville" - will the still be around in this development boom? But are my the pictures I take on the phone really going to preserve my memory when I'm feeling nostalgic? Not really.

I had a new revelation the other night which was that even though I don't "like" it, this is where I live... I work... pay taxes. My friends are here. After 14 years in Tennessee, it's home, and I simply just have to coexist with some of these insane and sudden changes.  I once moved to Nashville too and there's people that's been here a lot longer than I have.  I've seen my neighborhood of East Nashville go through so many changes... from hood to now million dollar homes. But guess what? It changed.  People like me moved in. I wasn't the first one here and it's arrogant to think that someone is moving in "my neighborhood" (even though I'm guilty of sometimes doing so - being honest here).

Through the changes and knowing the importance of preservation AND progress (Yep! They can go hand in hand) I hope that Nashville remembers that. I hope to use my voice as a reminder.

 

 

 

Summertime

I want to apologize for not being a very good poster. I'm very good at writing for and about other people but terrible in doing that for myself. Summer has been crazy at AA. It's so amazing though, we are all sooo thankful to have such an incredible audience that visit us, watch the show, send us leads, sell us stuff, etc. Etc. I also had a birthday, turned 21 again. I feel great!! I am headed for a much needed vacation next week, cannot wait. I'll leave you with a few recent pics. The best way to stay current with my vida loca is Instagram: @laurenwraygrisham Thanks for reading!! Stay tuned for new episodes of American Pickers Wednesday nights on HISTORY 9/8c!! Love ya, LWG

 

Lola - my dad's pet possum

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Mosquito bites

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Birthday Party

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Walter & Robert - Walnut, Mississippi

Lindsay Scott is a dear friend of mine that I met in college many moons ago.  Also, growing up Southern, she held her friends from home in Walnut, Walter & Robert, to the highest regard and spoke of them often.  I've met them before and they are truly some of the last individuals of a generation a modest, and more simple time.  Their story is captivating, humble, and proud.  Read more here: http://theamericanguide.org/post/90563431527/robert-and-walter-scott-walnut-mississippi tumblr_n83bf0LcL81rwlt7do8_1280