A Tiffanys Giveaway… Sort of

May 28th, 2009

I was in the basement looking for some ‘summer decorative items’ when I stumbled across this box of stuff from our wedding.

I can’t really call it a ‘box o’ crap’ can I?  I mean, it’s wedding stuff!




Rick Mitchell, a Lawrence KS photographer and a co-worker of mine at the time at the Lawrence Arts Center took our wedding photos.  I wanted all of our wedding photos to be taken in black and white.  My mom wanted color photos.  So Rick ended up hauling around three cameras on that day, one for black and whites, one for color and one for candids.  I wonder if he ever photographed another wedding after mine?




As hard as I fought my mom on the color photos, I am glad we finally compromised.  







Here is the Oracle Known as Steve helping the Country School Teacher get ready.

Did you know that the Country Doctor was a high school physics and chemistry teacher when I married him?  

The Oracle however, has always been an Oracle.





Here is a note that I found in that box.  Evidently, I borrowed my fiance’s car, it got a flat tire, and I abandoned it somewhere with a note to explain. I have always been extremely good at illustrating my points.  






This is one of the paper bells that my mom insisted on using to decorate the outside of the old barn where we had our reception.  I did not want to use the paper bells.  I thought we should just keep the barn unadorned.  Let the barn be a barn.  Let the barn speak for barnyness and barnyness alone!   Leave the barn alone MOM!






But when my back was turned, my mom hung the paper bells over the entrance to the barn.  

At the time I thought she was insane.  

Now I think that perhaps it was I who was insane.  

But my mom was also insane.  

And so was I.  


Okay, we were BOTH insane.  

But mostly HER!







Wasn’t this post supposed to be about a book giveaway?



By the way, those are my wedding shoes and my wedding head piece.  I found them both in that box o’ wedding stuff.

I only wore those shoes once, yet they look like I walked a million miles in them.





Today, I am giving away three books that have nothing to do with weddings.  Instead they have to do with Tiffanys, the shop famous for wedding rings, and other fabulous jewelry, except for one of the books which has nothing to do with Tiffanys at all, but I threw it in just because I felt like it.  GAW!  I love having a blog and being totally in charge and able to make completely nonsensical decisions whenever I want!






The first book is Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote.  I read this book today.  I had not ever read the story before and though I briefly considered giving a book away that I had never read, I quickly came to my senses.  How can I give a book away I have never read?  What am I going to do next?  Start having opinions on things I know nothing about?  Start writing posts that rely only on Wikipedia for my information?  Start making up conversations I have with customers at work?  Start hosting pretend interviews with Oprah Winfrey and Katie Couric?


So I finished the novella just a few minutes ago.  The book is very much like the movie.  There are a few differences, but they do not change the ‘character’ of the book, which is really a book of characters, and one character in particular that being Holly Golightly played brilliantly by Audrey Hepburn in the 1961 movie, Breakfast at Tiffanys.  Holly is described in many ways in the book.  She is called a ‘starlet’ a ‘call girl’ a ‘socialite’ and a ‘girl about town’.  She is also called a few other things, but for the more genteel readers of this blog, we must put on our massive dark glasses and politely pretend not to notice.  Holly is befriended by a struggling writer who eventually falls in love with her, as does everyone that she meets.  The writer’s experiences with Holly knit together her haphazard life in a brilliant and highly entertaining manner.  The main difference between the book and the movie for me was the scene when Holly’s husband appears.  Capote’s version of this event struck me as hysterically funny.  Suddenly out of nowhere ‘Doc Golightly shows up and what a stark contrast he is to the life that his estranged wife is leading. In the movie, this scene is dark, melancholy and full of rain.  In the book, it is goofy, shocking and weird.  I imagine that old Truman Capote had himself a high old time sticking Doc Golightly in the middle of the storm of Manhattan night life.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s is a quick, interesting and captivating character study of one very quirky girl and her odd assortment of criminals and friends.  There are a few other short stories in this book as well and I am sorry to tell you that I have not read them.   




Summer at Tiffany by Marjorie Hart is the wonderful story of a young woman’s experience working at Tiffanys in 1945.  Set amidst WWII, this book is the autobiographical account of one young woman and her best friend Marty departing the University of Iowa for a summer in New York City.  Attempting to find jobs as ‘shop girls’ in one of the many downtown department store, the girls instead get hired as pages for Tiffanys and become the first women ever to work on the sales floor.  Their summer is filled with stories of encountering New York’s uber wealthy, and celebrities while scrounging for enough coins to buy lunch at the automat.  The girls meet and fall in love with a variety of midshipmen while just over their heads, the realities of war and big city life cast long shadows over a summer of youthful adventure.  





Oh dear!  

Now here is a steamy novel for you!

The Valley of the Dolls was written in 1966 by Jacqueline Susann.  Susann was a very interesting character herself.  As a very bright young girl, her mother hoped she would become a writer, but Susann instead longed for fame and left her hometown of Philadelphia to become an actress in New York City.  She had some modest success in acting and modelling, and married a newspaper man who used his articles to propel her career further, but it wasn’t until she turned her experiences into pulp fiction that she gained the fame and fortune for which she had always longed.  Valley of the Dolls is the story of three young women all attempting to work their way up the theatrical food chain of Broadway.  Neely is truly talented, Jennifer is the bombshell, and Anne is the small town girl who attempts keep her head a little above the grimy fray.  Sometimes she succeeds, but all too often she fails as well.  I don’t think anyone would call this book classic fiction or high art, but it is an interesting story of the rise and ruin of three women who give up too much for a chance at stardom.

Interestingly, the writers Truman Capote and Jacqueline Susann were contemporaries of one another and both frequently appeared on the talk show circuit.  Capote could find no intrinsic merit in the writing of Jacqueline Susann and once while on the Tonight Show, he referred to Susann as a ‘truck driver in drag’.  Jacqueline Susann threatened to sue NBC over Capote’s comments to which Truman apologized to truck drivers everywhere.  A few months later, Johnny Carson gave Susann the opportunity to get even with Capote by asking her during an appearance on the Tonight Show what she thought of Truman.  She responed, “Truman?  I think history will prove he’s one of the best presidents we’ve ever had.”

Valley of the Dolls is often reported as one of the best selling books of all time.  It has sold over 30 million copies since it’s release.  Capote’s childhood friend, Harper Lee is just ahead of Valley of the Dolls with her book, To Kill a Mocking Bird.  None of Capote’s books appear anywhere on the best selling books of all time, but the image of Audrey Hepburn with dark glasses and head scarf holding a croissant and a coffee is burned into the brains of every man, woman and child who has ever bothered to take a walk past any strip of retail stores at any point in their lives.    

For a chance to win one of these books, just leave a comment.  The contest will end Friday May 29th around 8 PM.  By then perhaps I will have recovered from a huge camp-out of boys that is just about to begin in my front yard.


  • jamoody:

    Love your wedding photos….love books!!!!

  • Kathy from NJ:

    I read Valley of the Dolls when it was first published – at that time it was considered FILTHY.

  • Well, they all sound interesting. I think I read Valley of the Dolls as a teenager. Maybe…or not…

  • Alabama Grandmother:

    Beautiful wedding pictures..
    Love reading your blog.

  • Laurie:

    I’ve never read any of those books. Should be an interesting read.
    Love your blog!!

  • I love your wedding story,pictures, the anouncement that your husband wrote and the way you described the three books up for grabs. I would also love to win one of the books. I don’t think I have ever read any of them.

    Good luck with the camping boys.

  • It’s be nice to win some books.

  • Love your wedding post(s).

  • Kat:

    I’m racking my head, trying to remember the scene where Holly’s husband comes into the movie. Just can’t bring it up! This is one of the only movies I’ve seen that I can say I haven’t read the book. Hopefully I win, and we can remedy that situation! Thanks for the giveaway!

  • I’d love a chance at any of those books. I looove the B’fast at Tiffany’s movie.

    Doesn’t every woman battle her mother’s ideas when it comes to weddings? I just think it goes along with the “something old, new, & blue” tradition. “Your mother shall suggest you do something you find horrifying…but in the end you’ll be glad you did what she wanted.”

  • Stephanie:

    Looks like a lovely wedding…
    and the memories are forever…

  • Heidi:

    Geez. I didn’t know Breakfast at Tiffany’s was a book.

    I like the paper bells on the barn. I think they are perfect.

  • Lesley:

    I also married a future (although he is a city boy) dr. while he was in medical school–we couldn’t afford a wedding, honeymoon, or diamond ring–we got hitched at a Catholic abbey church (free), went to downtown Cleveland for one night (spent all of our savings), and I still don’t have that diamond yet (hmm)! We celebrated 15 years this past February with our 6 kids–I guess we’re together for life!

  • Thank you for sharing your bridal regalia with us! I loved reading your husband’s wedding announcement. I’m a first time visitor to your site, but I’ll be back because you made me laugh and that is what it is all about. That AND the hokey pokey.

  • Kathy:

    I’m so glad your husband is as witty and hilarious as you. You were a beautiful bride (still are!). Thank you for sharing your box o’crap and your artwork.

  • OH, I just LOVE the black and white of the two of you in the field. (And Rechelle’s mom, I’m sorry to say that you were crazy to want that paper bell thingy. It’s all WRONG for a barn. Maybe it would’ve worked better at a VFW Hall, but not a barn.)

    Rechelle, seriously, my wedding shoes are exactly like yours. I’m gonna have to dig them up…this means either I was ahead of my time in fashion or you were behind because I’m coming up to my 17th anniversary in Nov. I’d like to think, for my sake, it was the former.

    And I read Summer At Tiffany’s and LOVED it.

  • Mary:

    I loved the wedding announcement you had posted earlier. Was it for real!! I love to read and need more reading material.

  • What a fun box-o-wedding-post. Loved the gaggle of geese post too! Thanks for the grins!

  • Southern Gal:

    My daughter just got married and we loved decorating every inch of the old (1782) church and cottage. She wore my gown and veil with modifications. Was I ever that little? Yes, I guess I was. Anyway, I would love to read the books. Thanks for the chance.

  • Marilyn:

    Oh, I can still remember the summer I read Valley of the Dolls and Bonnie and Clyde (under the covers)…hot and steamy that year!

  • Catherine McP:

    Oh man, love the old books…I can smell them from here!

  • Love the barn.

  • Kathy from Texas:

    Would love to read the “Tiffany” books. I read Valley of the Dolls in High School without my parents knowledge. My Dad was a minister and I think my parents would have had a heart attack if they had found out. I loved it!!

  • Corinne:

    I love Breakfast at Tiffany’s but I have never read the book. If I don’t win I will have to check out the book and read it.

  • Jaci:

    I thoroughly enjoyed your wedding announcement. Quite funny!

    These books look like fun summer reads – just what I was looking for after school is finished next week!

  • I cannot believe I have never read any of those books. Oh pick me, pick me!

  • Kathleen H Bloomington IN:

    You were a lovely bride! Would love to read those books, especially Valley of the Dolls, sounds like a soap opera.

  • Gina:

    What fun, a yard camp out! Perfect weather for it. We did that as kids so many times. Good memories…. Have fun!

    My daughter is getting married June 20 and let me tell you I have had to bite my tongue a couple times. I’ve tired really hard to just sit back and let her do all the planing. It hasn’t been to bad. I’ve only put my two cents in a few times. ;-) ha

    Anyhows, I could use some good books to read after this wedding is over.

  • debra hannah:

    My sweet daughter, writer extraodinaire and Northwestern University freshman was Holly Go Lightly for Halloween. –Darling costume!! I loved your reviews of the books!! Hope the campout goes well! It’s always handy when the house is fairly close. (Been there, done that with two 6ft. 6in. sons!!)

  • Erin in Holton:

    LOVE the shoes! Planning a wedding is fun – you just never ever want to do it again after it’s over!

    I’ve never read any of those books either, would love to though!

    Good luck with the campout!

    (I just realized that I ended every sentence in this comment with an exclamation point — bad Erin! -there I go again…)

  • Tracy B:

    I read Valley of the Dolls when I was a teenager. As I recall the three women were loosely based on real actresses. I haven’t read the other two, but would certainly like to.

  • I love to get suggestions from others on what to read. When I was very young, my friend, Rochelle, used to have to spend part of her summer days in town at her parents hardware store, so I would go play with her and we would spend hours in the library reading. I went through the whole Judy Blume selection just by sitting in the library for those hours. I’ve been taking my kids to the library lately and we’ve had great fun looking at books. Thankfully, I’ve moved from my small hometown to another small town so the librarians don’t get mad when my 19 month old gets a little loud. We just checked out “Walter the Farting Dog.” That should provide a lot of jokes for the summer. And my three year old told me it’s a “miracle” that we can borrow books from the “wibary.” It sure is.

  • Anonymous:

    Who doesn’t want a new book?

  • Okay, the above anonymous was from me….I meant to hit tab, not return…Biffs self on head….

  • Fran:

    Could you box the book I win in a classic Tiffany Blue box? Thank you.

  • Anoria:

    One smalll aspect of your post has cast a shadow of confusion on my life. In an effort to clarify things, I’m going to take advantage of the fact that there’s essentially no length limit on comments here :) My conundrum is as follows:
    You are the Country Doctor’s Wife and your husband used to be the Country High School Chemistry and Physics Teacher.
    I am currently working on becoming a country high school chemistry and physics teacher (though I don’t know if I’ll ever earn the capital letters on every word). My fiance-minus-the-ring is working on becoming a country doctor. If all goes according to plan, I will end up being a country school teacher who is also a country doctor’s wife.
    I don’t know if that’s allowed. I think maybe if it happens, the world may implode or the part of the internet that allows me to read your blog might catch on fire. I don’t want that to occur. Please advise!

    (Summer at Tiffany really looks like the most interesting out of the three. Not-quite-kids being young and adventuresome against the backdrop of dark reality can make for good fiction. Like in A Separate Peace.)

  • Mrs. I.:

    I love the picture of you and the CD standing in the field. I’d like to see pictures of the inside of that barn. From the outside……..well……………it just doesn’t look wedding receptionish! Actually, 2 of the best weddings I’ve ever been to were held in 1.) a barn and 2.) a farm field. You can’t judge a book by its cover!! Incidentally, I know I would love Summer at Tiffany!!

  • DirtyKSmama:

    I love your photos of your wedding things! Guess I’ll keep dusting off some of mine instead of asking hubby, “Do we really need to keep this silk flower arrangement?” I just need to arrange and photograph and make it pretty again.

    For my birthday this year, Hubby (“Country Nurse?” – doesn’t sound right for a dude) got me a hot pink T-shirt with Holly Golightly on it.
    After spending yet another day painting and staining at my new/future house – yes, west of Manhattan, KANSAS – I would LUV to be moved in soon, sitting on the back porch, good icy drink in hand, listening to the chickens and neighbor’s cattle, wearing my Tiffany’s T-shirt, reading Tiffany’s. I have a dream.

  • Laura:

    I am commenting! 4 a.m. and the brain is not functioning. I need a good read for these times. Off t try bed again. Congrats on the anniversary!

  • nicoel:

    wow this sounds really interesting!! thanks so muchf or it!

  • Curly:

    Happy Belated Anniversary. DH and I are also approaching our 15 year anniversary.

  • OMG.. I LOVE LOVE LOVE Jaqueline Susanns work.. and though I’ve read the book before, I hope hope hope I win this as I’d love to own the book.

    I wouldn’t mind reading the other two either. I’m a hopeless book lover.. if I ever build a house of my own design, it will have zillions of bookcases.

    Happy Anni too. My dh and I have passed the 28 year mark..and it keeps getting better all the time.

  • Casey Barnhard:

    Congrats on 15 years! Time sure does fly doesn’t it! I am approaching 17 years this august and it just keeps getting better!

  • All these sound fun. Good summer reading!

  • Nancy in PA:

    I could definitely use the books to escape to or recover from this Saturday night…my husband & I are hosting/chaperoning/ keeping a lid on/hand-checking my daughter’s senior post-prom party at our house…ACK!!! Yes, I believe I’ve lost my mind… Making lots of snacks and using extra garlic…think that will help?

  • Sarah H.:

    Loved the CD’s rewrite of the conventional wedding announcement. That is a genre that could use some refreshing.

  • Susan in CA:

    Great reads! Summer coming…

  • Oooh- how fun! I’ve read “Summer at Tiffany’s”, and I thought it was adorable- what adventures they had, right? I haven’t read the other two (shame on me), so I’ll have to see if I can pick those up at the used bookstore near me…. thanks for sharing the photos/memories of your wedding!

  • Rae:

    I loved your b&w picture in the corn field (I’m guessing that’s what it was). On my MANY trips via I-70 through the state of Kansas that seems to be what I see the most…..lot’s and lot’s of corn fields and of course the world’s largest prairie dog : ). Someday we need to stop and see that.

  • Deb:

    I’ve not read any of them – would love to win!

  • Margaret:

    loved the wedding pictures. I don’t think I have read any of those books. I would love to have them.

  • Kim:

    Happy Anniversary! We just celebrated number 10 on May first. I love Breakfast at Tiffany’s. My first daughter is named Audrey!

  • Naomi B.:

    ohhh, wedding stuff….
    And Books! Yes, please!
    And a boy camp out at your house? May you recover quickly.

  • Stacy:

    I LOVE books! and I love your photos. Thanks for sharing both!

  • Melissa Hadley:

    What a wild and twisted ride you took us on this morning…from weddings…to barns decorated with paper bells…to tiffany’s!…Wow!

    Loved every twisted minute of it!

  • TamiC:

    Happy Anniversary! Your wedding photos are fab! (Ours are all stuffy and posed–boring!)
    I haven’t read any of these books. Pick me!

  • Meg:

    We have similar taste – in wedding dresses and in books. I have never checked out your library tab before. Clearly you are a Nancy Drew afficionado. I am currently saving for my own speedy blue roadster! Should I win this contest, I have a book for you! It’s called Nancy Drew – Girl Sleuth. It’s about the writers and the writing of the Nancy series. That Carolyn Keene was something else, I tell ya!

  • Melissa:

    Happy Anniversary! Pick me!

  • I must say I side with you on the wedding pics in black and white….I love them. The barn where your reception was held is massive and beautiful!

    Your selection of books for the giveaway is great….I especially like the sound of Summer at Tiffany.

  • Happy anniversary!

    Your photos are lovely. May you have many more lovely anniversaries and oppertunities to look at your wedding memories.

    I would love to win these books. I haven’t read them and would love to win.

  • stacy:

    Would love a chance to win…thanks

  • OH I want to read these! Pick me! Pick me! Also I think you did very well to have B&W photos…and no, the fact that for several years my husband was a wedding photographer who specialized in B&W has nothing to do with this :) Seriously, I love B&W photography, esp of people.

  • Oh, I love me some old books. Thanks for the opportunity to enter.

  • tammy s:

    pick me, I love you pictures,wedding,.

  • Laura:

    Ooo! Books! Love your pictures.

  • barb:

    Love your blog and love to read. Breakfast at Tiffanys is an all time favorite movie!

  • Stephanie _Oh:

    You and the Country Doctor were/are such a lovely couple. I love Audrey Hepburn in any movie! Steph

  • Brenna Marie:

    Happy Anniversary! I would love to win your books! Me, me..pick mee!! I read both you and your sisters blogs daily – Kansas must be a fantastic state…two hillarious bloggers and now a spelling bee champion! Thank you also for inspiring me to build raised planters next year when I plant my garden – I love the layout of yours and plan to do something similar! Oh how I wish I would have thought of that before I rotor-tilled (hmm spelling doesn’t look right – oh well!) the whole thing by hand!

    Happy front yard camping! Brenna

  • Linda B:

    Happy Anniversary!

  • Leslie:

    Happy Anniversary! Our 15th anniversary is this year too (in October) and, coincidentally, I graduated from High School and College the same years that you did.

    I have seen the movie “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” but never read the book. I have heard of “Valley of the Dolls” but never read it. I have never heard of the other book but it actually sounds like the most interesting one to me.

    Good luck with the camp out. My son is going to a sleepover tonight and that makes me very, very happy :-).

  • kirsten:

    Happy anniversary … I love your shoes btw

  • Sheila:

    I would some day like to shop at Tiffanys.

  • Deb F:

    I love giveaways, especially books! You are hilarious as is the Country Doctor.

  • Rebecca:

    Sounds like good summer reading

  • becky up the hill:

    I just celebrated my 30th! You guys are babies! We went to romatic Monterey, Ca. My husband got the flu and a parking ticket. Please throw my name in the ring/hat? Thanks!

  • Julie Ann:

    Love the b/w picture of you two of in the field!

    Audrey Hepburn is my all-time favorite actress. Ever. (but I guess that is what all-time means), but I have never read the book that goes with the movie.

  • Denise:

    I love books and I love contests! Yay!

  • Theresa in Bexhill:

    I’m flying to NYC next Thursday and will do my very best to drag my husband into Tiffany’s!.

  • Jenny:

    Those shoes are amazing!
    Happy Anniversary! We celebrate our 11th this weekend.

  • Sandy in MI:

    Ooh, I’d love to win Valley of the Dolls.

    And I believe you when you say your mom was insane, but I like the paper bell anyway. I think paper bells should make a big comeback.

  • Ronda:

    I love looking at past wedding souveniers. Thanks for showing it to us!

  • I once started reading “Valley of the Dolls” – it belonged to my roommate. Then I somehow put it down, & now I don’t live in the same place! I need it (obviously) for my life to be complete.

    Happy Anniversary, btw! I wear my wedding shoes (white flip-flops) often in the summer :)

  • Nancy:

    I remember the book the valley of the dolls and also the movie that was made. It was really racy back in my day, but today it would not raise many eyebrows at all.
    Happy Anniversary!!

  • leah:

    I would like to win, a lot!

  • Tracy:

    Great beach reads!

  • rose:

    I Loved the movie, “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”!!! Watched it 3 times….Also enjoyed reading Pillars of the Earth.

  • Judy:

    Just discovered your blog via Pioneer Woman’s site. So excited to have cyper stumbled into your world…………loving it all and going into archives now, be back soon, I hope !