Friday, September 23, 2016

Spud and the Gang

"I'll take the Mr. Potato Head set!" 
One of my favorite lines from The Andy Griffith Show episode: Aunt Bee, The Warden.
For my birthday this year, that's the line I used when asked what I wanted for my present. 

 Yay! Vintage 1952 Mr. Potato Head Set! Potatoes and anthropomorphic attributes kinda became my birthday theme this year.  Makes sense...Potatoes are yummy and everything is more fun with googly eyes.

Hubbs got me a super awesome collection of not only Mr. Potato Head but his usual gang of perishable vegetation: Oscar Orange, Pete Pepper, and Kooky Cucumber. Yes, I am aware that Pete is wearing a dress, heels, and lipstick...He's a transvestveg!

The kit was originally for making garden folks from actual produce. My collection came with all sorts of extra parts from other sets: eyebrows, mustaches, pipes, hats, glasses, and a wig for covering old lady Tater's bald head.

Also included in the box was this insert pamphlet about making "Spud-ettes" such as Bushy Bear and Dinkey Donkey.  The accessories for these guys didn't make it to my set sadly.   I really wanted to make that onion headed Piggly Wiggly.

While constructing these guys with their plastic bodies and pre-punched body sockets is "fun for every member of the family", I decided to try out the original idea of real fruits and veggies.
Here we have Ted "All Ears" Tangerine, Sinead O' Tater, and Andy Rooney Apple.

Shown within the 'How To" guide for making the Mr. and Mrs. PH was this birthday cake serving suggestion.  
Don't mind if I do!

As I mentioned earlier, I went with a potato theme for my birthday. My cake is make from sweet potatoes (recipe below) and I topped it with crushed potato chips. Spudarific!

(p.s. this plastic good luck cockroach is a guest not a pest)

I had a whole evening planned which involved wearing a potato sack dress.

Listening to The Ventures instrumental "Mashed Potatoes".

And gathering the gang for a good old fashioned potato peeling party!

But in the end I went with munching on a big bowl of tater tots and couch potatoed myself while reading " 250 Ways of Serving Potatoes".

Sweet Potato Cake with Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting
1 box yellow cake mix
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups mashed cooked sweet potatoes
1 1/2 teaspoons apple pie spice

1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Heat oven to 350°F. Grease pan with shortening.
In large bowl, beat cake mix, milk, oil, eggs, sweet potatoes and apple pie spice with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds. Beat on medium speed 2 minutes. Pour into pan.
Bake 34 to 38 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on cooling rack, about 1 hour.
In medium bowl, beat cream cheese and butter with electric mixer on medium speed 2 minutes or until creamy. Beat in powdered sugar, brown sugar and almond extract until desired consistency.  Frost cooled cake.  Store left overs in fridge.  Optional toppings: Crusted potato chips or crisp cooked bacon. 

Here are several links to my past posted birthday shindigs:
Pee-wee Partypalooza
Birthday Hoopla Light Bulb Baking and Cockroaches and Cake
Giving a rat's ass Bday Cake
Yadhtrib Aknow and Snozzberry Birthday Cake

Monday, September 19, 2016

Lunch Time Ring Side!

Wrestling has been 'the thing' between PB and Hubbs for a long time and fairly constant over the last 8 years. PB has a storage bin full of wigs and hats and other dress up stuff that he uses for his many personas. When PB was little (5 years old) he came up with his first character's name (The Green Gobbler) with matching appropriate outfit (a green Mexican wrestling mask and a big plastic gold chain) on his own.  Generally Hubbs is also required to don a get-up from his supplies as well.   PB would then have Hubbs bring the bedroom mattress into the living room for the Smack Down challenge.
Recently it's been Wrestle Mania at our house again due to some new video game PB and Hubbs play together.  I am not into video games but I do like that this particular one is introducing him to the classics like Rowdy Roddy Piper and Andre' the Giant.

I decided to turn this mutual interest into something crafty. Even though PB is in middle school he still likes for me to put little lunch note kinda deals in his lunch bag.  I try to make them fun and relate to something we have experienced in the recent.  Last Halloween I made a little future telling magic 8 ball container that held inside a 'Yes, No, or Maybe' cookie (Mystifying Oracles of Butter Rings) to reveal his answer.  I also made a Nightmare Before Christmas Oogie Boogie Treat Holder.  Another time I wrote out David Letterman "facts" like "The refrigerator, the microwave, and the Slurpee machine were all invented by fat guys."  I tend to steer clear of those boring printables from online that say "Dream big today!".  PB and I actually make fun of that sooo maybe I will have to do those in the future...with stickers of rainbows and puppies on them!  Ha!  File that one away for later!

Back to wrestling.  For this fun lunch bag deal I went with the idea of collecting trading cards of various cool wrestlers from yesteryear! Seen below between Cactus Jack and The Million Dollar Man is the little pocket folder I made to hold the cards.  I put a printed vintage image depicting a pack of trading cards on the front and back.  I then laminated it for moisture protection.  Each day for the next few weeks I will add a new printed trading card to the folder.

Collect Them All!!!
 Jake the Snake!  George "The Animal" Steele! Junkyard Dog!

  A couple of years ago we actually rode in an elevator at the Los Angeles airport with The Million Dollar Man!  We also got to meet Sargent Slaughter and Hacksaw Jim Duggan at a convention around the same time. PB's all time favorite wrestler is Mick Foley....and Ladies and Gentlemen! Mrs. Foley's Baby Boy is going to be at a comic convention next year in a city near us!!

To make this little fun pack it's really simple, as you may have guessed:
Everything is just printed paper of images from the internet. I made the pocket folder from cardstock.
Print, Cut, Trade!

When I was a kid growing up I LOVED WWF wrestling!  I always watched the Rock n' Wrestling cartoon on Saturday mornings. I have a feeling the cartoon is probably not as great as I remember it though.   I may try to talk PB into watching it with me.  Only he isn't as easily entertained as I used to be at his age...or even my current age!

Example: I have watched this commercial about 10 times in a row and could do so several more times.  I love it!

Friday, September 16, 2016

Zack's Hamburgers

Last day of Vacation!
This is the final stop for our 3 day tour/ family vacation we took last summer in a region of North Carolina.  We mostly spent our time in Mount Airy aka Mayberry, but also squeezed in a couple of places in Charlotte.

Zack's Hamburgers was one of those places!
It has been around since 1975.
The building and sign design are super cool!  I believe they are older than 1975 though.  

These kind of angles are calling out a 1950-60 time frame.

I thought this was a fun feature to the building.  It originally had a walk-up window exposed to outside but at some point they walled in a climate controlled sitting area on the perimeter leaving the awesome angled window section in tact.

The bathrooms are located outside because originally there was no inside!  I really liked the concrete decorative wall on the left.

Here is the "Burger of Burgers"! With cheese fries!  Bonus: Crushed ice!

The outside seating area is neat too but I enjoy the luxury of air conditioning so I opted out on this atmosphere.

It was the first time any of us had been to Zack's.
 It was excellent! I would be a regular if I was a local.

4009 South Blvd
Charlotte, NC

So there you have it, 3 days and a crap ton of fun stuff squeezed in.  I didn't even post images from some of the other places we visited such as IKEA, and a few other Mount. Airy museums and shops.  While I was planning this trip I made bunches of calls to the places we wanted to go to way ahead of time for additional information.  I wanted to make sure none of them were hosting any special events like  'Moron Mondays" or just happen to be closed on the days we would be in town. Three days doesn't have much wiggle room for issues.   Luckily for us 'Moron Mondays' are only held on the sixth Tuesday of every month.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Scoops Ice Cream

For our 3 day vacation to NC with family last summer I did a lot of planning.  We did all of our Mayberry 'repeat offender' things we always enjoy doing...Walking around downtown Mt. Airy, visiting Opie's Candy Shoppe, perusing the Andy Griffith Museum, eating at Snappy Lunch, and visiting Wally's Filling Station and Courthouse... But I also seeked out a few new places for us to visit as well.  
Scoops Ice Cream was one of those new things to try out.  I don't even remember how in the world I found out about this place! 
It is so fun!  The main part is a permanently parked vintage ice cream truck.  I can't recall the different options and sundaes they offered but I am sure fun names were involved.

Lots of fun vintage quirky stuff all over the grounds.

The guy who owns Scoops is an artist who made the sitting areas and decor from old salvaged metal parts.

Decorative sculpture fountain with rubber duckies!

The owner's house is on the land.  Behind his home, into the woods along a winding path, he has a sculpture park.  Some of the sculptures are interactive and make fun noises and movements. Ice cream, art, vintage stuff...the only things missing for me are donuts and dinosaurs!

They don't have a website so here is their basic info.  They are opened seasonally...the "ice cream season" of May thru October:

Scoops Ice Cream
5091 West Pine Street
Mount Airy, NC 27030
(336) 352-3113

 I gathered some links below from a past trip we took to the area with places we visited that were un-Andy in nature.  The Bright Leaf Drive-In is gone and so is the Mt. Airy Diner though.

The Derby
Bright Leaf Drive-In
Mt. Airy Diner
Eng and Chang Bunker Siamese Twins Exhibit

This is our last stop in Mount Airy but there is still one more place to hit up, so just hold it for a few more miles til we get there!

Monday, September 12, 2016

Galaxy Grocery Mart

Right next door to The Derby is Galaxy Grocery Mart.  I think it may have been at one time "Caudle's Super Market" mentioned on the Sealtest Ice Cream sign on the side of The Derby.

It has all sorts of neat old grocery store stuff that I like.  Old aisle signs and cans of Pork Brains and milk gravy...

I also liked these packages of hot dogs.

and you can't have franks with beans...

Anyone for some dessert?
 Not your kind of treat?

I have some thing much better.
Next stop, brain freeze!

Friday, September 09, 2016

The Derby

The Derby Restaurant is a place my mom and I happened to stumble on when we visited Mount Airy, NC in 2006.  It wasn't a place that was listed on the "Visit Mt. Airy" brochure at the time.  It is where the locals eat and a bit off the beaten path of town.

Photo of  The Derby circa 1947 when it was updated with a 'modern' building

We always stop in for dinner when in town. (Lunch is always at Snappy Lunch! though)

It's such a neat place.  The cute derby hat shaped building that was out in front isn't there anymore unfortunately.  It was torn down some time in the 1960's.

One of my favorite things to do while at The Derby is to get my fortune on the penny scale located in the foyer area.
Since it was over a year ago when we went to The Derby last I can't remember what my fortune was!

However, I would think the shelf life of these fortunes probably expire after a year any way.  

There is a really old Sealtest Ice Cream sign on the side of the building.  Could be from the 1947 time frame? It also mentions Caudle's Super Market which I'll bring up in the next post.

See my 2006 Derby Visit post for more pics!

The Derby is definitely the place to go to get a true feeling of small town.  It's the "Cheers" of Mount Airy sans liquor.  You'll have to hunt down some of Otis Campbell's suppliers for that! 

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

The Earle

Our next stop is the historic Earle Theatre.
The Earle Theatre is located in downtown Mount Airy (Mayberry) NC.  It's just across the street from Floyd's Barbershop and Snappy Lunch.  It originally opened in 1938.  It captured national attention it's inaugural year when it was selected to present the premiere of Shirley Temple's film "Just Around the Corner".  It was also one of just a few theatres selected to premiere 1940's "Gone With The Wind" in the southern region.  In 1958, The Earle featured their hometown boy, Andy Griffith's film, "A Face In The Crowd".  I bet that was a grand night in Mount Airy!  No rolling the sidewalks up that evening! The Earle continues to show movies along with hosting radio station WPAQ's bluegrass music program,"Merry Go Round", the second longest running live radio show in America (The Grand Ole Opry being the longest) since 1948 .
Our family has been visiting Mount Airy for several years since we are big fans of The Andy Griffith Show.  During all of our past visits the Earle Theatre wasn't open at the times we were in town.  They now have it open during the day with a small bluegrass museum (Old-Time Music Heritage Hall) in the lobby.  You can also explore the theatre section as well because movies do not start until later in the evening.  For just 6 dollars you can visit the Earle, The Siamese Twins exhibit and the Andy Griffith Museum.  You got to grab a bargain like that!

Here are just a few images from the historic theatre section:
A lovely wall sconce.

PB taking a break in one of the balcony seats.

It's a bathroom door.  But I loved it's art deco design! The women didn't get left out.  They have the same cool door design.  Though it may sound odd, I love to 'visit' bathrooms of older buildings.  A bunch of times they are not updated and have cool fixtures and tile work.  It slipped my mind to check these stalls out though!

While we were downtown we visited all of the regular spots also:  Snappy Lunch, Opie's Candy Shoppe, and Floyd's Barbershop.

While this is my second round of posting about Mayberry on MHICTY, it is certainly not that we have only been twice.
This was the last time we were able to see "Floyd" Russell Hiatt sadly.  He passed away May 3, 2016 at the age of 92.  Mr. Hiatt and his barbershop are credited as the inspiration for the character of Floyd Lawson on The Andy Griffith Show.  Mr. Hiatt used to cut Andy's hair when he was a young man.

My mom lives only a couple of hours from Mount Airy and would visit often just to see Mr. Hiatt.  He was a kind man who was always happy to see you.  The walls of the barber shop are covered in Polaroid snapshots of his visitors.

Here are our 2006 images on his wall.

Special to our family is that PB's first 'store bought' hair cut was given by Mr. Hiatt in 2009.  Before that PB was a third generation Flo-Bee user.

 We took this 'commemorative' photo of PB in 2009 with him wearing his Mayberry shirt and sitting in his Mayberry Police metal pedal car.  We gave Mr. Hiatt a print of this photo which he hung up in the barbershop.  Mr. Hiatt gave PB a 'Floyd's Barbershop' t-shirt during another visit.  Such sweet memories.

This is our last Andy Griffith related stop on this trip but not our last in Mayberry/Mount Airy.  But to keep the small town feeling going here are links to all of my Andy Griffith posts!

2006 Trip
Tour Mayberry!
Floyd's Barbershop
Mayberry Courthouse
Snappy Lunch
Andy Griffith TV Land Landmark

Crafty Andy Stuff
Andy Griffith Christmas Tree 2006
Andy Griffith Show Christmas Tree featured at ATOM 2015
Gutter Ball Gurus: Monroe's Funeral Palor and TV Repairs Bowling Team Shirts
Demented Decor: Old Man Rimshaw Halloween Display

Mayberry Menus
Wallpaper Paste and Moulages
Pea Patch Pocketbooks with Mr. Goss Gravy
Andy Griffith Show The Pickle Story (Jello!)
Applesauce Cake
Opies Lemonade Piedding
Nesselrode Pie
Briscoe Darling Larrapin Blueberry

We are now headed to the outskirts of Mount. Airy NC for some Blue Plate Specials!