Sunday, March 28, 2010


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I'd love to say that my bathroom is 100% done, but that is not the way we do things around here.  If I wait until every last little thing is completed, then you may never see a reveal.  The fact is that I am so enjoying my newly decorated space, that even I am willing to overlook the two or three things yet to be finished.  I wish I had the time to go into detail about this remodel, but I am desperate to get a post up so I am not forgotten out there in blog world.  Enjoy!
The project started way back in December.  I wrote about the tear-out here
The story continued here and here.  And I'm pretty sure it ends today. 
a peek through the door before
pink bathroom 2
 a peek through the door after
the Goodwill curtain that Kelly so generously gave to me
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the painted towel bar, ruffled towels, and lavender sachet
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the $5 auction chandelier (shades extra)
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the window that will be painted when the weather is nicer
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1/6/11 post edit:  the window painted and dressed
the ceiling waiting for crown
1/6/11 post edit:  the ceiling with crown
the awesome plastic beadboard product used in the shower
the awesome old tin bought at the same auction as the chandelier
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and, of course, a bird
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1/6/11 post edit:  little touch
Cost Breakdown:
beadboard and trim:  $30-$40
old tin:  $10 
light fixture:  $5
shades for light fixture:  $24
Kaboom:  $5 (and worth every penny)
shower curtain and towels:  $50
rug:  $10
bucket for towels:  $4
paint:  whatever (didn't take much)
crown molding:  no idea (might have leftovers from another job)
towel bar, frog light, seashell curtain, metal shelf, lavender sachet:  shopped the house

Sunday, March 14, 2010


Tessa came across a craft project recently that involves hollowing out the center of a thick book to make a box.  It's more involved than that, but this is not meant to be a tutorial.  Actually, I probably did not have to even mention the craft project.  The fact that the gel medium that is needed costs $11.49 probably will keep almost everyone I know from even wanting to do it anyway. 

Back to the story.

While looking for a book at the thrift store, we came across an old letter.  It wasn't technically in *the* book we ended up purchasing--well, not until I stuck it in there, but I don't suppose it's really stealing as long as I did buy a book.  I mean it could have been in the book we were buying and then fell out and then got put into another.  Right?


There was something so mysterious about the letter.  I just had to have it.  It did not even look like it had been opened.  I'm sure it had been--very neatly--and then kind of glued shut again after years in the book.  I brought it home and then waited for just the right moment to read it  You may imagine that I sat in a comfy chair with a cup of hot tea while the rays of sunshine cast a warm glow around me as I gently reopened the letter.   Imagination is a wonderful thing.   

The fact is, though, that I was sitting around the table with my big, fat, Italian in-laws--not really fat, but you get the picture--trying to not repeat the dinner from hell of the week before that I could not write about.    I was not about to let the conversation slip into anything remotely reminiscent of the previous week.  I decided that they would enjoy sharing the mysterious letter with me.  Yes, I decided.  And they listened to me read it.  And we all laughed.  And that was a good thing.  The letter is so telling of the time, 1970, and it saddens me to think that with all of our electronic communications, the future generation will not have the opportunity to find such a priceless treasure in an old book in a thrift store.
April 6, 1970

Dear Mom,

Well, I bombed out on another interview today--another all-day affair at First Union.  It was really scary.  At this rate I'll never get a job.  I had to take an IBM programmer aptitude test which was unreal and unexpected!  You wouldn't have believed the last part, nothing but word problems.  I don't think I did one of them right!  The man told me I made a high C on it and then proceeded to tell me that they "couldn't always tell" anything by the test!  HA!  I took that to mean I blew it!  And he's just smoothing things over.  Oh me.  I'm at the depths of depression, now!  HA!  And I'm beginning to think programming is not for me.  They all want you to be utterly ambitious, want a life-long career and be an expert at everything.  Well, I'm just not that ambitious right now.  I can't be--I don't know what it's like, what I can do or really what I want to do!  So your daughter is still a good-for-nothing unemployed waste of good money!

Well, how are things in Union?  I really thought I'd make it home but Tom called and came down Saturday.  We went out to the state park again--all day.  It was perfect!!  The weather was so warm.  We had such a good time!  He even stayed for a while Sunday and went out to the shack and explored.  When he left, I practically collapsed from all that walking--but I wouldn't have missed it.  I'm so proud of him.  He's written the introduction to his paper and was expecting to finish the literary review (that goes over all the work done previously on the particular topic) Sunday night.  One experiment had to be redone, though; but he expects to be finished by July, I think.  He got a notice from the army.  He'll go in in September at Fort Benning for branch school and then what he, of course, doesn't know.  At least the dates are definite, so he can plan accordingly.  He's still hoping to get into the medical corp--but he wrote a letter to the Surgeon General and forgot to sign it!  HA!  So, I doubt it'll do too much impressing.  I hope he can get in, though, cause at least then he'll feel like he's doing something worthwhile.

Oh, the funniest thing.  Tommy's had to go on a special diet to try to get rid of his "jungle rot" he's been thinking was a fungus.  The doctor said it was a reaction to some foods--the weirdest combination of things like radishes and hot dogs and onions and chocolate and caffeine (no coffee or tea) and soft drinks and beer, and I don't know what all--oh, fried pork and fried fish or seafood.  Well, everywhere we went to eat all weekend, the menu would be full of the very things he couldn't eat!!  I just hooted--he loves food so much!  HA!  And it never failed that fish, shrimp, fried pork chops, even frankfurters and sauerkraut!!

I'm going to Raleigh this weekend.  I've already got two riders.  There's to be a big folk rock festival at UNC.  That ought to be interesting to say the lest.  I guess I ought to go out and get a wild outfit to wear!  HA!  Tom wouldn't believe it!  HA!

I'd like to report that I've caught up everything, but I haven't really.  I did get some work and ironing done this weekend, but this week is going to be a dilly.  Test Thursday and probably one Friday, I don't know!  Of course, it's only 25 or so days left 'til graduation.  How about that!  That reminds me, I got to thinking about that stereo I mentioned.  Now Mom, don't go out and make plans to get some big thing!  If anything, I want the portable kind, not furniture!  And it'd be much better just to save the money for a while 'cause I have a feeling it's gonna be awful expensive to set up housekeeping somewhere!  Besides, I don't have any clothes to start work in.  They're more necessary than anything else.  O.K.!?!?

I don't know when I'll be home.  The 25th is our big weekend here (Jr./Sr.) and 17th is the big shindig at State, although I don't know if we're planning to go.  I'd say we'd be home after Jr./Sr., but I may have to check cards that weekend--I'm not sure yet.  Anyway, be good and let me hear from you.  I'll try not to call 'cause it's too expensive.

Bye for now!


Okay, did you not just die laughing at some of Felicia's writing.  HA!  I loved it and wish that I could find her.  I want to know if she ever got a job or if she ended up being a good-for-nothing unemployed waste of good money!  And did Tom ever get cured of his jungle rot?  I suppose we'll never know.  HA!

Anyway, this opened the door for me to share a book that I had put together about my grandmother which included copies of the letters that she had written to me while I was in high school. Let me just say that the response from the in-laws was quite surprising.  I think they actually grew to like me just a little bit. 

If, in fact, I did not have that hour stolen from my sleep last night, then I would finish this post with more about my grandmother and my secret talent--which I'm sure you are all just dying to know about--but that will have to be another post on another day.

I am missing hanging with my blogging buddies and pray that this insanity in my life right now is temporary.


Patty at Blessed Moon recently organized a blog luncheon for the locals and has written about it on her site.  I got to take a few hours off from work to join the others so it was double fun for me!  I especially enjoyed hearing from each person about why she blogs. Patty includes this information on her site as well.  Just go on over and read about it!  She has the most amazing camera and took this photo of the group.

Saturday, March 06, 2010


My eight-year-old grandson, Nate, drew this picture the other day to go with a report that he is doing on Dr. Seuss.  It is obvious to me that this is talent.  He has been drawing this well for years--with either hand.  We are all pretty impressed.  Amazing.  Talented.  Gifted.  And guess what?  He came that way--straight from God.

Nate's Dr. Seuss
Now talent is an interesting topic.  Most people--and I am one of them--are impressed with four main areas of talent:  art, music, sports, and academics.  Achievement in any of those categories means something to almost everybody.  If you don't believe me, just go re-read all of the Christmas letters you got which chronicled the accomplishments of your friends' children--you know, the ones that left you feeling like you were a failure as a parent because your children are so ordinary.  Have you ever received one that showcased obedience or compassion or brotherly love or my favorite:  common sense?

As a parent, I have tried to identify some talent or strength in each of my children in which to invest--so they could feel special.   I have studied them from infancy to find that spark to fan, hoping that in doing so, it would build confidence and give them a passion for something unique to them.  I secretly--or not so secretly--have wanted to find a hint of one of the top four talents. Unfortunately for them, my children don't come from overachieving, talented stock.  My husband and I are just average folks born to average parents.  We have average intelligence and average looks and average abilities.  We don't sing or dance or play an instrument or have a shelf of trophies for our athletic accomplishments.  We don't even hold college degrees.  Perhaps if a spark had been identified when we were younger, it may have been fanned into a campfire; but even with fanning, it would not have produced a forest fire. Average.  Straight from God average.

Regardless of our stock, I've enrolled my children in piano, drum, violin, and harp lessons.  I have signed them up for basketball, baseball, soccer, and dance.  I have even paid for art lessons.  And guess what?  Not a musician, athlete, or artist among them.  I have read the classics to them and paid for higher education and guess what?  They are not geniuses.  I  have  fanned--believe you me--and even threw in  some accelerant --and they still appear to be just like their parents:  straight from God average.

Or maybe not.

Perhaps God thinks things are special that the world does not.  I'd like to think that God has, in fact, gifted me and my family with talents--no matter how seemingly insignificant--to be used for His purpose.  And more importantly, I'd like to think that we are being faithful to Him with those talents.

As I ponder just what those are for my next post, I wonder if others have questioned God's sovereignty when it comes to His choice in gift giving.  I know that through my 33 years of parenting, there have been times when I--yes, I know it's horribly selfish--wanted more for my children than their heavenly Father has seen fit to give them.  I've wanted more for myself as well. 

Thursday, March 04, 2010


That's what I need in my life:  just a little bit of sunshine.
Florida, here we come!
--with the pirates and their sidekick
Tessa, Nate, Ross