"whoever touches us, teaches us....."

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Most Unusual Ornament

I realized today that  like most families, I have a very extensive ornament collection. And each one has a story, each has  it's own memory. But I got some whacko ornaments!!!! I never realized how weird some of them are. And probably the oddest is this little dog. This is also my sons favorite and has been since he was 3. Actually I think his grandmother gave it to him as a gift when he was a toddler , because he loves dogs so much. It has a little string between its legs. And you pull the string...

And he lifts his leg !!!!


I think am am a little late this year with the decorating. Just haven't been feeling it for some reason. It gets to be more trouble every year and this time I toyed with the idea of skipping the tree. I thought I might just hang a fresh wreath on the door and maybe some greenery on the mantle and call it a day. I think mainly because no one really cares but me. Everyone is so busy this time of year, got to go to this party and that, decorating their own homes and spending way to much time shopping. My grown son professes he doesn't care if we even have the tree. So I thought this year I might just go without. What stopped me was my fear of I didn't do it this year, that I would probably never go back to it again. And even though my only child is grown, and doesn't really need me anymore; I am not yet ready to give up being the one who"does Christmas" for him. I am the one who put the memories in his head that I hope some day he wants to replicate for his own children. So I have unpacked the memory box, and one by one I hung the memories on the tree. As I hang each one, I have tried to think of someone or thing that brings me joy. Each one is a blessing; and I have some very wonderful blessings!

Sunday, November 28, 2010


I realize Thanksgiving is a non religious holiday. Still, and possibly because of families being together, it is one that causes many moments of prayer, gratitude and thanks. We usually have a really large gathering of people; some are relatives while others are just people we care about and who have merged into our family. There are my immediate family of course, some cousins, some sister in laws, a sitter who cared for one of our elderly parents, and dearest friends.  This year our numbers began dwindling the week before Thanksgiving. One dropout was due to a small family spat (which was later resolved and  forgotten via phone after dinner).  One  couple  recently  learned  of the probable illness of the husband; possibly quite serious but still unknown at this point; so they weren’t feeling the dinner table crowd.  My niece, the only child of my brother who was lost to suicide 5 years ago, was unable to make the trip because it was her in-laws turn. We missed her and her husband but at least she was with family. And the best of friends, had a more pressing family situation to deal with, a long last minute drive to aid his daughter. All had important reasons for not being able to join us, but they were all missed anyway. So after the family prayer,  I said a silent prayer for each; one for health and strength, one to find purpose in her life, a daughter to have an easier road to travel, and more importantly, one that they will all be with us next year.  Although they were not at the table, they are still a part of us. Each day, not just Thanksgiving, I need to say more prayers…you never know what the coming year will bring.  Hope everyone’s Thanksgiving was a blessed one.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

  Have read from a lot of sources that the leaf color in North Carolina was not spectacular this year. I disagree....I thought they were beautiful! I think there is a slower change this year, each different variety seems to be enjoying it's own time to change  colors....therefore there is still a lot of green still mixed in. At least it will make for a longer time of beauty! These were taken Oct 20th, on the parkway, and there is still quite  a bit of green!

Finally Done

Finally finished...my tile job turned out great, but no more house projects for awhile!!!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Before and After

Well, there isn't any grout yet...but still 1000% improvement in my opinion!!!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Fun fun....

I have to say..... this is fun! Once I got the kinks worked out and got the hang of it, anyway. This probably the most fun remodeling "project" I have even undertaken. Will post results in a few days!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

More Kitchen Work

I am starting to think in straight lines.......

Saturday, August 28, 2010

A Butterfly Interlude

My son keeps a small herb garden outside our front door. He harvests his 3 kinds of basil, oregano and 2 parsleys every night for his food of choice; pasta. Usually our herbs are so prolific that we have ridiculous amounts that 50 people could not consume. This year they have been scanty and he has had to ration just to have enough. He came out one day and ALL of his parsley plants were stripped to the stems and the ground. I mean nothing was left. After some searching he found some caterpillars lingering and devouring the final stems and we captured them and but them in a critter cage. Now he wanted to protect his parsley and take them to another location to release. I wanted to see butterflies. And since parsley and I think fennel is mainly all this particular butterfly eats...and we were leaving for the beach in a few hours...I went to the grocery store and bought the largest bunch of parsley I could find,and  stuffed it in the cage. I was hoping to see the whole chryssalis (sp?) thing happen but we were out of town and missed it . But we had a critter cage with a few stems left and 5 beautiful swallow tail butterflies. Unfortunately I didn't get a photo if them, but we released them all at once and they were very beautiful! We have started a new crop of parsley; for my son so he make pasta. For me, so I can feed butterflies.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Getting there

Finally the wood is in place on the countertop. It looks so much better than I ever imagined and I am really excited about it. It gives my kitchen that warm comforting feeling instead of cold and modern. I am not a modern kind of girl, more of a farmhouse style stuck with a 80's tacky house. It is getting there, though, just takes a little time, money amd a LOT of elbow grease!. Now I have lots of sanding to do and some finish work and the  counter will be done. It has finally reached a point where I can take over and do some of the work, that L has been stuck with the whole time!

Unfortunately (well, its a good thing, just wish I had finished my counter). I go on family vacation this week, so I won't get to work on it for awhile.We are going to the beach  regardless of this awful heat wave the south is having. I think it might be cooler there, as we have had 100's daily for awhile. I will post the before and after shots when I get back in town and have a little time to complete the project.

This last shot is a closeup of my favorite knot and grain pattern in the wood.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Sawdust in My Shoes

The hard part is hours and hours of sanding. These aren't your typical boards from the big box home improvement store. This wood is black walnut from a specialty wood store, only they obviously don't think their wood is special enough for a little TLC, as it is rough cut and uneven.
The wood  in this photo is really beautiful to me. It has so much movement;  the grain seems to ebb and flow downstream. The piles of sawdust look like the sandy shores, waiting for the waves to lap across .

Lest you think that I put in those hours, let me just tell you...not even close. My job was to keep the ice water flowing as it was a high 90's  kind of day. I got the easy job and some of us got the hard job, but that's the way it goes.
I can't wait to see the finished
product; I think the worst is behind us (him), but there is still a little more sanding to go. Soon I will post some updates that will hopefully be the final "after" shots! I am excited !

I love these hands....

Monday, July 19, 2010

Love For The Wood

Once again, we are deep in a project.  We, is a bit of an over statement...I have very little to do with it except the picture in my head. Lucky for me there is a special man in my life who is very talented in many ways, and one happens to be working with wood. You may recall from an earlier post, he made me a beautiful easel, which you can see here . Recently I was lucky enough to finally get rid of my horrific 80's green laminate counter tops. I have hated them from the day I moved into this house, but my budget prevented me from making a change.
I finally got my beloved granite countertops...they are very earthy and natural looking to me and I love them. There is bar between my kitchen and living room which didn't make the transformation. Partially because of expense, but also because I didn't want that "kitcheny look" from the living room side. So I got the bright idea to do a wood  pub type looking countertop. In my mind we wood buy a few boards, nail them down, sand a little and voila...so simple. Right? On advice of the wood expert, I had my heart set on a walnut; we made a trip north to a specialty wood  yard, where you sift through stacks of boards and pick out what you want. It did not look like what I thought, dirty, rough cut, uneven and warped boards.

I can't wait to see the finished project; only time will tell if the picture in my head comes to life on my countertop. If I didn't have so much confidence in the carpenter I would be skeptical. But he knows what he is doing and he has some love for the wood. That's what it takes...love for the wood. I have a whole new respect for bygone days when people built every piece individually. It seems labor intensive as well as full of love. Will post update in a day or so.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Spring,....come back!!!!

Wait what happened? I turned around and one day it was screen door weather, then it rained a few days, then the nineties arrived with a roar! Now we are besieged with  temperatures that linger in the high nineties all day, so hot  even the early morning air sucks the breath out of you. The beautiful hydrangeas you see here in  the pictures, are now burned around the edges and wilt daily in the sun. The coneflowers seem happy though, and although the leaves and stems are dry and wilty, the flowers bring vivid color to the summer garden. I go through this every year and wonder why? I am not a summer person and never have been. I hate the heat and it brings out the worst in me. It makes me feel bad, mean and ornery. My hair gets dry and frizzy, and the dog continuously drools all over my carpet as he struggles to avoid heat stroke. I check the weather daily in the state of North Carolina and I realize it gets hot there just like every where else. But in the western part, in and near the mountains it seems to always be at least 10  or more degrees cooler than here. yesterday we hit 99, they had a high of 84? Why do I stay here I wonder? What holds me to a city that I was not raised in, that I have never liked and that has nothing here for me or my son. Not saying that I don't like my job and that I didn't meet the love of my life here. But jobs can be found elsewhere. Love can survive a moving van. It isn't as hard as I make it in my head. My worries range from not knowing a soul, to realizing after signing on the dotted line and unpacking that I made a mistake. Selling a house and saying good byes seems like an undaunting mountain of tasks. I know they can each be conquered, one at a time. All this crazy zigzag of thoughts, comes from 30 minutes in the sweltering heat.... cutting and edging the grass. Actually, son cut the grass while I edged. But the years and pounds that I have over him made it much more of a "lets move" moment for me.
So, now just to ponder for a while....move or never cut the grass again?

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Where We Land

Some days, this is how life feels...barely surviving. On the other hand, against all odds, apart from the rest, and with very little nurturing...things just spring forth when and where you least expect it. It always seems like at the last minute, something pops up to save me. Or at the last dollar, an unexpected  extra few dollars from an unexpected source. When you think you are all alone in this world, someone makes an unexpected gesture that brightens your day. A small seed is life, no will of its own, but never the less...a life. It had no control over where it landed, where it  would call  home, or what nourishment it would receive. So it grew out of a crack of concrete, hanging sideways out of a wall. It did the best it could with what it had. It didn't flower, but it lived. it made no excuses for not living in the best neighborhood,or having a large income; it did what it needed to do to survive. It clung to a wall and hung on. Just a seed that stuck in the wall. And grew. And made the best of what it was dealt. Isn't this is how we all survive?

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Spring has Sprung

Finally! The rain has finally stopped and the warm weather is here. I have enjoyed screen door weather for the last few weeks. My favorite time of year is spring, I get to see which of last years plants decided to make a comeback to my yard. It is fun to see what pops up and it is amazing how many times I see something and don't remember what I planted and where. This was a hard winter for us in the deep south, so some of my plants did not fair do well. Still, that is part of it and a few losses gives me some room to try some new things

This year we are adding a little herb garden, all in containers, at the request of my son the amateur chef. We planted  lemon balm , mint, greek oregano, sweet basil, thai basil, spicy basil and 2 kinds of red peppers, sweet, and spicy. This year I located my little herb garden right near the front door, and the hose! It's a lot more convenient for me and really is better because it gets more sun then last years spot. I am sure my neighbors think I am weird, but then I guess maybe I am. I am even thinking of planting my tomatoes in the front too..they would benefit from this new location as well as me!

 Here are a few shots of roses, iris and sweet confederate jasmine which are all blooming now.

And last but not least, I am an empty nester once again. Last week had me watching this family drama outside my front door. But now, they have moved on, leaving me listening to quiet instead of "feed me" peeps. I miss them already and hope another family moves in to give it a go. Summer is fast approaching, the sweltering heat we get here in the South will drive me in eventually. But for now I am enjoying my little retreat from it all.

Hope your spring is a blessed one.

Monday, March 22, 2010


Oh I have been so negligent of this blog. I have had a few negative life hits lately, I just haven't had a lot to say. My ex died which was sad and guilt laden for me. Then I had an illness scare, which turned out fine; but the experience showed me just how I would react to the impending threat to my own mortality. Not well. My 23 year old son won't get a job. I think he is happy and content and intends to live with me forever. And I truly love my only child more than anything else in the world. He is smart and funny and a fun person to live with. But I fear he is missing "life" out there. He goes to work and comes home and sleeps, eats, and that's about all. Luckily he seems happy, not depressed at all, so I suppose I should let that go. One bright note in all this, when I got divorced my ex husband kept the family dog, and rightfully so; he had rescued him from the pound before our marriage. Max was his faithful companion until a few days before his death. He had told all his family that ONLY I was to have Max. He knew what a good home we would give him, and he knew it would make his absence easier on Max. He is the coolest of dogs, a mix of some sort who came from the pound. I think he looks like a small Akita or related breed, but we are jot sure. He has adapted well to our home and has given me somebody to vent to, someone who doesn't judge me or mock. me. He just agrees with whatever I say and we are both happy he is here!