Saturday, June 12, 2010

What do you collect?

I collect lots of things...some collections are short-lived, some start out innocently enough but then people catch on and start buying you tons of whatever you collect and take all the fun out of it, and some stand the test of time.  Cat's Meow, for me, falls in the 3rd category. 

Even though our house is slowly moving from country and crafty to something else (not sure what it's called), the Cat's Meow pieces I've been collecting will always fit in because I love them.  I started collecting some of the Amish pieces during trips to Sugarcreek, OH.  Bonnie gave me some barn pieces, but the best ones were the quilt shops and quilts hanging on clotheslines!  Cute!

My mom has a ton from Fredericksburg, Williamsburg, and her and my dad's colleges.  I got her a generic JMU one for Christmas one year, and even though we all know how JMU and I got along, she still has it displayed right next to the Wren Building.  The pieces are harder to find now, and some of the good ones are retired, so it's more fun to search for them.  Even the Cat's Meow website only has certain pieces for sale - it's all about the hunt!

Lately I've been wanting some specific Fredericksburg pieces, only places I've visited or that mean something to me, and I promised myself I wouldn't go crazy and buy every single Fredericksburg one.  That was a hard promise to make.  This week, when I was in FXBG for doctor's appointments, I made a quick stop at this crafty store, Dottie's Den.  I figured if anyone would have the pieces I wanted, this would be it.  I've tried to go there a few times, but they have limited hours, and aren't even open on Sunday.  So, this time I was in luck!  Noon on a Wednesday!

Here's what I bought:
  • Paul's Bakery - this place has been in Fredericksburg for over 30 years and it's the place to go if you want a special occasion cake.  We got them there for birthdays and soccer parties, among other things, and used to visit on the occasional Saturday morning for their freshly baked donuts.  It's a local staple.
  •  Rising Sun Tavern - when my mom retired after 30(?) years with the federal government, she got a part-time job as a tavern wench downtown at the Rising Sun Tavern.  It was owned by George Washington's brother, and then turned into a tavern in the 1790's.  I was a frequent visitor while my mom was working, and would help out for special events.  The place is haunted - every night when the wenches lock up, they turn off all the inside lights, and turn on the porch light.  But some nights, when they would drive through town on an errand or just checking the place out, they would notice that the porch light had been turned off, and the upstairs lamp was on.  I experience this mysterious being during a Christmas open house event, when I was sent to the basement for toilet paper or paper towels.  I should have known better - all the employees were free to go down there, but they insisted I do it, and I soon learned why.  While I was down there, the light bulb exploded - didn't just burn out or something, the bulb exploded!
  • Hyperion Espresso -this one might sound strange since I don't drink coffee, but my friends and I used to hang out here on cold weekends,  after movies or the Christmas parade, or any other random reason we could think of.  When we weren't here, we were at that weird gas station on Route 1 by the school, since it was open later than all other gas stations and it had (so I heard) cappuccino.

  • Carl's - if you haven't been to Carl's - run, don't walk.  It's open February - November, and serves the most awesome soft-serve ice cream in the world.  Kline's in Harrisonburg is a close second, though.  Kids who work there swear the ice cream recipe includes Everclear, but no one believes them.  I mean, they would know right?  Why don't we believe them?  The line is always long, but it moves fast, and it's SO worth the short wait.

  • Lastly, Goolrick's Pharmacy - this place is awesome.  If you've been walking around downtown and need a break, or possible a milkshake, check this place out.  The old-fashioned soda fountain instantly takes you back to the 50's.  They have a limited menu of sandwiches and ice cream creations, but I always get a strawberry milkshake.  Lately, Bonnie and I have added a new activity to the Goolrick's agenda.  Taking copies of the advertisements and local papers on the newspaper rack and marking up the spelling and grammar errors, and over-apostrophication with a red pen - grammar saves lives, people.  I'm not sure if over-apostrophication is an actual term, but it works.  Let's go with it.

Now, I need to find some Richmond pieces. I have a couple, but Richmond doesn't have the kind of stores that would sell these things.  The Capitol has their own piece, and Very Richmond has a couple that I purchased back in February, but it's a very limited's hoping I can find some more!

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