~~~Just Plain Stuff~~~

Love

From "Your Little Rememberin' Tree"

Memorial Day Weekend

May 2020

Hey Everybody!! It's ME! Your "Little Rememberin' Tree"! It's been a while since we posted here, so let's get all up in it!! We are 'dressed' up this weekend in our Red, White, And Blue to remember and to honor all those men and women who have given their lives that we may live in freedom. Sure, we are having some tough times right now with COVID19 and people are not in the bet of circumstances BUT, we STILL take time to remember those who paid the ultimate price. For instance, Allen Broom, who perished and is buried in the Phillippines never got to see his daughter, born but a month before he died. This headstone in TN cites his service and final resting place...his daughter, Sandra Lynn, never laid eyes on his but knows him well in her heart.

So, let's take a breath, take a pause, and take a moment to say thanks.

The Princess and the Me

10.18.19

You know, you often hear folks talk about the teacher or teachers who made an impact on them, hopefully for the better.  As a former teacher, it’s been gratifying to have former students not only remember our work together, but also share some positivity about it.

Well, I’m here to tell you that works both ways. There are students that you not only connect with but also stay connected to way past the classroom experience.  Princess Goodall was just such a person. I say ‘was’ because Princess died yesterday, long before she should have. She was fourteen years old when she strolled into my homeroom 7th grade class in 1968…my first year of teaching. Her reputation had preceded her so I was concerned; I was twenty-two years old with a degree in Russian history (not the Tennessee history I was assigned to teach). She towered over most of her classmates and, well, teacher. And she came in with an attitude of ‘don’t try to tell me what to do’.

Somehow, we connected, Princess and me. Sort of an unspoken understanding and mutual respect. When she did not return to the classroom following the Christmas break, I was concerned but could not seem to find out what was going on. And then, I got a letter….from Princess. She was going to have to drop out of school for a while but wanted to stay in touch. And in touch we stayed. For 50 more years. Not always often in touch but always in touch; when I would visit TN, Princess was someone I always tried to see.(Picture to the left was a surprise visit to her around 2004). She was one of the hardest working folks, savvy smart and devoted to her children and grandchildren. She ran programs for senior citizens, had a lawn mowing business, worked at a local funeral home and did whatever came to mind to provide herself and her kids a home. 

She endured diabetes, kidney failure/hemodialysis (see picture right in 2015), kidney transplant(s), dozens of hospitalizations for organ failure, the loss of both legs over the past couple of years; she but right on going, even as her body said, ‘no more’. And then, yesterday, it was time to go home. 

So, you just never know whose life you may touch or whose life may touch you. I celebrate your life, Princess, and all the things you taught me. Godspeed.

The Princess and the Me, date late '90's or early 2000's

~~~Just Plain Stuff~~~

Laugh

 

RETROSPECTFULLY YOURS...Mail Order Annie

2019

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Well, everyone…it appears that I have come to the end of my reign!! My year of 2019 has been eventful (as they all have) and I have had a blast. I started off with our spakly ‘coat of many colors’ (I can hear hear Dolly Parton now!). We shimmied up Mardi Gras a bit with a cool shaky dress and out usual collection of beads. Alas, Marley The Wayward Poodle is once again trying to photo bomb me!! Easter this year brought me some lovely pink hair, eggs galore, and a new friend that Ed the Chihuahua insisted on bringing home fro Hollywood Feed (like I NEED another yappy dog). And for Memorial Day, I got to show off my new hair…RED, WHITE, and BLUE!

The MS State Bulldogs made it to the College World Series again in June, so I busted out the Omaha picture and hoped for the best, but alas, yet again the Dogs were foiled! The Fourth of July saw me with a spectacular outfit of flouncy petticoats and great hair. And to celebrate Mom/Dad’s Great Alaskan Adventure, I found a cool Navy outfit as they were cruisin’ They wanted me to go too but someone had to stay home and take care of things.

And….'now the time has come to face the final curtain'. THANKS EVERYONE FOR FOLLOWING ME, FOR HAVING FUN WITH ME , AND FOR KEEPING ME ACTIVE IN MY OLD AGE! I know there are new adventures waiting for me somewhere but it’s been ever so fun to share these years with everyone and to say.....

‘I DID IT MY WAY’!

 

RETROSPECTFULLY YOURS...Mail Order Annie

2018

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Since you’ve seen most of my New Year’s looks and know my affinity for champagne, I don’t want to ‘beat my head against a dead horse’ as Slap Maxwell used to say. So, get’s go right on into Mardi Gras…this was my special salute to my friend Stephanie Weldon who was participating in, like, a DOUBLE TRIATHLON!! Not only that SHE COMPLETED IT!! Next up is another great dress-up day…St. Patrick’s Day! I LOVE all that green!! Then I got my Patriotic self going on Memorial Day to pay tribute to all who made the ultimate sacrifice that we are free.

In June, the Banana Rally continued for the MS State Bulldog team this June, but alas, it wasn’t meant to be. Then I busted out the patriotism again for the Fourth of July and a Happy Birthday Salute to USA!! Mom found this really WICKED netting for my Halloween look AND she even took a close-up of me. I LOVED THIS. And finally to round out 2018, Mom found this AWESOME TREE and a really cool Wintery dress for the holidays!! It was over the holidays that I decided it was time for me to retire…it took a while to break it to Mom, but she handled it pretty well. So, tomorrow, we get my 2019 looks up to now. And THEN…well, you’ll just have to wait and see!! You may get a hint later on but no one ever knows what Mom will do. 

 

RETROSPECTFULLY YOURS...Mail Order Annie

2017

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Well, Mom sure got a great picture of me from THE MORNING AFTER New Year’s Eve!! Lord help me…I looked rough. But I did ring in 207 in style…best I remember. Let’s move quickly on to Mardi Gras with my green hair and purple dress. Elfred really got into this year—just look at all his beads!! July the 4th is always a special day here and I always try to look spiffy and patriotic!! And THEN, the great Eclipse of 2017!! This was my Dark Side of the Sun window. I did have my glasses on so I could see the eclipse and not blind myself!

Halloween saw me get some help from our neighbors, the Hetricks, with the great ‘Day of the Dead’ poster. I love Halloween!! Then, I pulled out Big Solid’s MS State Jersey to root for the Bulldogs in the Egg Bowl…alas, we lost and there was an uncommon amount of profanity that echoed through my house. I thought the window would shatter. And finally, WOULD YOU LOOK AT THIS!!! SNOW!! SNOW!! December 8th and I was floored at what I was seein’. It was beautiful! What a great way to end a great year and get all fired up for 2018!!!

 

RETROSPECTFULLY YOURS...Mail Order Annie

2016

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

MY GOODNESS, here I am welcoming 2016!! How time does go by! Again, I have lots of ground to cover, so let’s go for it. LOOKEE!! I got featured in the March edition of Hometown Madison Magazine in a great story written by Susan Marquez!! Talk about humbled!!  Then, when my feet got back on earth, I got all Irished up for St. Patrick’s day and then Elfred got his Sweet Potato Queen outfit on (much to his chagrin) for Zippity. I had to make a quick change from Zippity to Easter but don’t you just LOVE MY HAT!! And from Easter to Mother’s Day, with Elfred in tow.

Next up was my Mom’s 70th Birthday Party!! There were lots of friends, champagne, and vegan cupcakes…what fun!! Then I posted one of my MOST FAVORITE pics for Halloween…Glamour Annie!! It took us a while to get all that stuff wrapped but it was worth it…I thought I was pretty freaky!!  And, since I gave credit last year to the Native Americans for Thanksgiving, I thought it only fair to be a Vegan Pilgrim this year. And finally, this is Elfred’s first Christmas in the window, so I called this window the ‘Elfapalooza’!! It was a very busy year; 2017 looms ahead! Stay tuned!!

 

RETROSPECTFULLY YOURS...Mail Order Annie

2015

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

LORDY but I have a lot of pictures today, so ‘let’s get all up in them’. I started off the year 2015 with a glamorous silvery look!! Which quickly transitioned into Mardi Gras…my most favorite colors!! What do you think of my gold sequined beret!! Pretty slick, huh. Next up was Easter and I chose some nice blue hair, some rabbit ears, and a white fuzzy outfit. THEN!! I got to go to the Sweet Potato Queens headquarters to meet and greet all the gals who enjoy dressin’ up just like me. Howsomever, I CANNOT match the hat this woman had on!! WOW! My head would fall over. BUT THEN…BUT THEN…I modeled a great and beautiful BRIDAL GOWN to honor all June brides. My Mom found it at Goodwill…I am truly stunning!! Y’all know that summers in Mississippi are HOT, so I got my beach look going and had some fun.

I had to take short break until Labor Day when I chose to honor all those folks who work in mines, construction, and outdoor work, sometimes under extreme conditions. For our October Breast Cancer Awareness, we wanted to be thankful for Mom’s early detection…whew! Even Belle got inon that picture. After that I HAD to take a quick nap to gear up for the holidays! For Thanksgiving, I represented our Native American heritage remembering that first celebration of Thanks. Them Mom found these great sparkly red trees for our Holiday window; GOSH we both had fun with this one. AND, finally…meet my gift from the grandkids…Elfred!! He is so cute!! I could just eat him with a spoon!

 

RETROSPECTFULLY YOURS...Mail Order Annie

2014

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

My choice for the 2014 New Year’s window was my favorite purpley dress. We also noted with much sadness the loss of ‘Spike’, a little Papillon who’d captured my (and thousands of others) heart with his shenanigans, costumes, and just hilarious thoughts on life. His motto was ‘HECK YEAH’ as he fought a courageous battle with Congestive Heart Failure. My next picture isn’t of me (if you can believe that) but of when ‘Mom’ caught Olaf and Olga (resident kitchen elves) making out behind the etagere during some New Year’s celebrating!! They were told to ‘get a little bitty room’. We’ll fast forward to August and my ‘back to school’ outfit. Seems like it was only yesterday that school was out; these neighborhood kids are growing up in front of my very eyes!!

In September, I honored the life of ‘the voice of the Mississippi State Bulldogs’, Mr. Jack Cristil by wearing my ‘Dad’s MS State Jersey (infamous #22) and listening to his call of Big Solid’s Joe Namath interception when the Bulldogs played ‘Bama in 1963!! As the Holiday season approached, I had some new ideas about what I wanted to be and wear. I was busy changin’ from an Elf outfit to a new idea when ‘Mom’ questioned what I was doing! For Elf’s sake, it looks like I was flipping her off but I wasn’t. Sure ‘nough! And I got into my Holiday Baking duds since it’s a wonderful time of year to practice veganizing some favorite desserts!!  We LOVE being a plant-based Elf and Baker. Then we settled in to welcome 2015!

 

RETROSPECTFULLY YOURS...Mail Order Annie

2013

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

GOSH the years are flying by!! We welcomed  2013 with our FLAPPER LOOK since I LOVED ‘Downton Abbey’. I thought I looked smashing. We went NUTS in our Zippity Blue over our appearance in Fondren at the Grand Opening of NUTS (Neat Used Things for Sale) on behalf the Good Samaritan Center. In fact, I stayed there all week and donned really cool clothes. I also participated in cheering the runner in the Color Run too!! Dressed in my BESTSweet Potato Queen colors! In April, I got all partified to celebrate one of my BEST FANS birthday!! Happy Birthday Aubree!! May is graduation month and I LOVE to celebrate our graduating neighbor-kids. 

And then, since I had such fun venturing out in March, I decided to make an appearance at our neighborhood picnic in the summer!. It was hot, but I didn’t care. The neighbors were really fun, especially the little newbie Reagan. Her brother, Reed, helped me dress up for Halloween…I think he did a great job. Also in October, we doubled down on our commitment to Breast Cancer Awareness since our ‘Mom’ was a recent survivor…lucky gal! For the holiday season, we got our Elf on for a bit of last minute 2013 whimsy!! The year flew and now we are on to 2014. 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

RETROSPECTFULLY YOURS...Mail Order Annie

2012

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I welcomed the year 2012 with a glorious PEACOCK in the window!! This window came about when a local homeowner’s Christmas Peacock decoration was declared not acceptable by the city. This was later reversed but I HAD to have a peacock too. By March, I was in full IRISH mode with my sparkly green duds and hat. And the spring of 2012 was rounded out by our Kentucky Derby window; we honored all of the horses whose lives were lost on the track. Since then, I am not a supporter of horse racing. 

August saw me and Second Hand Rose getting all nervous and geared up for Hurricane Isaac which seemed to be heading for, as The Weather Channel noted, the Land Mass Between New Orleans and Mobile. Sheesh!  I wanted to do something a bit more kid-friendly for Halloween this year, so I invited some of the neighborhood ‘chirren’ to come up with a fun costume for me...and this was wonderful. Annie Big Bird! And finally, our Christmas outfit for 2012 Christmas/Holiday Season was “Calling All Angels”. I think I look pretty darn angelic myownself.  Onward we march to 2013!!

RETROSPECTFULLY YOURS.....Mail Order Annie

2011

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I welcomed 2011 with glee in my MOST favorite of all my dresses!! The PURPLE and SPARKLY one!! Not to mention the wonderful concoction called MIMOSAS!! Belle, the chihuahua, was always a scene stealer. And then, it was almost time for one of my FAVORITE times of year, thanks to some household New Orleans heritage…MARDI GRAS. I just adore dressin’ up and sashayin' down the street, “T’row me sumthin’ Mister!” However, I draw the line of exposing my breasts for beads!!

Next up, the new Sweet Potato Queens adventure into a Fondren Parade called Zippity Do Dah! So we got our best Zippity on, complete with a blue bird on my shoulder, found some blue hair, and made up some blue bird earrings to celebrate. 

July saw me become Uncle Samantha! The beard was kinda scratchy but I didn’t mind it bit…folks would laugh when they drove by! Then it was time for Halloween with my sister Second Hand Rose—we alsmot got in a fist fight over who was the Halloweenest! We had REALLY great hair, didn’t we!And finally, I always LOVE getting gussied up for the Christmas/Holiday Season, and this year was no exception! I was also starting to build quite a closet for my outfits! My sister also joined me in the celebratory window. Stay tune tomorrow for year 2012!!!

RETROSPECTFULLY YOURS....Mail Order Annie

2010

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

2010 was our first FULL year in the Whimsical Window…so I have a few more pictures to share. But first, I’d like to remind folks how I got my name. There’s a great old song by Harry Chapin titled “Mail Order Annie”; it was meant to be. My ‘Mom’ even wrote to his widow for permission to use the song title as my name, which was granted as long as I didn’t act out or do anything vile.

So, I was off and running in 2010 with our New Year’s Champagne and my beautiful green sequined gown.  Then I HAD to root for the Saints as they claimed victory in Super Bowl 44, so I got my PomPoms out cheer them to the title of Super Bowl Champs. Next up was our GRAND time getting ready for the Sweet Potato Queens/Hal and Mal’s Saint Patrick’s Day Parade; I really went all out for this one! My house saw lots of friends and fun times. Following all the excitement of the New Year, The Super Bowl, and the Sweet Potato Queen festivities, I HAD to have a massage, grab a good book, and take a nap!

Next up were some great times as a Labor Day Worker, our first outing to Fondren Unwrapped (a local street fair getting ready for the holidays, I had SO MUCH FUN!), and finally into the kitchen for some Christmas Holiday Baking!! It was a memorable year!!

'RETROSPECTFULLY' YOURS....Mail Order Annie

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hi Everyone! I wanted to take the next few days to share some of my MOST favorite moments since appearing in the Whimsical Window in 2009 (though I could swear it was 2008). I am looking forward to days of relaxation, maybe some travel, and lots of reading but first, let’s stroll down memory land with my  favorites from 2009. When I arrived at Trémont Way in Madison MS, I was just a tabula rasa…a blank slate

It didn’t take long for me to let loose with some ideas and off we went. My Hippie/Disco look was a natural start, though I did have to do work on my hair. And my  debut window was off and running. It was quite fun to watch people drive by, do a double take, and slow down!!

Another favorite of mine is my first appearance as a Pilgrim..and with a blow-up turkey nonetheless. And finally, my FIRST Christmas window. I was little nervous, but it all worked all. The glare is a bit much but we just lived with it. Hope you enjoyed our first year pictures. Stay tuned for 2010!!