Weekly Report

I was going to post this on Thursday, but the tragic murders of students and teachers in Broward County, Florida left me speechless and grieving.  Oh, yeah, I joined in a few “debates” about what we should do about these recurring murders, but the grief I feel for these families who have lost their loved ones so senselessly is beyond words.  Hearing so many of the adults in the room defend the gun is mind-boggling, but the voices of the kids who are crying out for us to do something is clear.  We need to do something to keep our schools safe.  I just don’t know what, though.

When I was working as a school nurse, I came across some pretty fucked-up kids.  Sometimes I got a little scared that we were going to end up in a shooting situation. Would I have been a hero?  I have no idea.  I’m thankful that it was not required of me, but I had a spot picked out where I would  hide, and would have been safer than the kids in their classrooms.  We need to Do Something.   Listen to the children, hear them.  What can we do to help?  Let’s do it.

So, it seems a little trite, but this is what we did last week…

We finished up the Stairway Remodel…

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Pretty neat, huh?  I’m off to Amazonia this morning to enjoy the warmth and the Orchids.  I’d love to see some of you there!!  Even if I’m not present during your visit, I know the monkeys would be happy to see you!


Laundry Room Re-do

I’ve been using the New Laundry Room for a week or so now, but just today got the picture of the finished product.  I’m a little embarrassed about how gross it was before we started, but we kept telling ourselves (for 13 years) that we would do fix it soon.   All done now, in 3 weeks of retirement…

Our house is anywhere from 80-150 years old, depending on where you’re standing.  The laundry room is attached to the 1931 building that was apparently built as a garage, but there is no archaeological evidence of a driveway…

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It doesn’t look like there’s been much done between 12/30 and 1/5, but that’s when all the plumbing (there was a pink bathroom in the room we tore down), electrical, and gas hook-ups got done.  You can see we heated the old thing with a cube heater, but now we have fancy-shmancy state of the art gas heat…  I do my laundry more often now.




Weekly Wrap-up…on an otherwise Mundane Monday…

I’ve had the song, “We need a little Christmas” buzzing through my head for a week now, so I initially decided to haul out the holly over the week-end and start the festivities.   As I assessed the house, mentally dressing the mantels and moving furniture to make way for trees, I managed to come up with a big-idea for the room I call the kitchen annex:  make new curtains and re-cover the chairs.  So the sewing machine is back out and I’ve cut 12 panels for the curtains.  I need 2 more yards of material for the chairs, I think, and that will be our lovely Thanksgiving celebration.

While out buying fabric, I stopped by a local used book store.  Amongst the books were some “Sheet Music” magazines and as I glanced through them (I subscribed in the 80’s and 90’s and have a boxful up in the attic), I came across one with the lovely air “Danny Boy”—and with Andy Williams’ picture above it, as this is the arrangement he used…allegedly… so I snatched it up for a dollar…



Since then, I’ve been channeling my inner great-Grandmother Mayne.  Danny Boy was her favorite, one she played often for me.  I can still see her 80-year-old hands moving across the keyboard and remember that she often cried when she played it.   I always think of her when I hear it , and along with the memory is this story:

Grandmother was 96 or 98 when she died, depending on what birth year you believe, and our family had gathered in the tiny little town of Albion, IL for the funeral.  My Great-Aunt Bernie, Grandmother’s older daughter, was sitting with her husband in front of us when the organist began to play, at the family’s request, “Danny Boy”.  Aunt Bernie had a rough, smoker’s voice that carried well across any room, even at a whisper.  But Auntie wasn’t very good at whispering, so when she turned to Uncle Harry and said, “Mother would roll over in her grave if she could hear the way that woman is butchering this song”,  we all heard it (probably not the organist, though).  Being the kind of people that giggle when we’re nervous, my Dad, sister, and I started laughing, uncontrollably.  Stifling our chortling only brought tears to our eyes and shook the folding chairs we were sitting on.  For the rest of the service, all we had to do was look at each other and make banjo-eyes, and the others would crack up again.  Ya gotta love a good funeral.

Still avoiding the news, and thankful that I divided my FB “friends” into categories that allow me to stay away from the haters, I’m going to start the stitching today.  Weirdly, the material I chose is also a Grandmother-throwback:  I remember some dining chairs at her house that were covered with a similar pattern. I’ll get the before and afters and I’m sure you’ll be impressed…which is what I live for, of course.



Happy Week-end!!

The camper makeover continues, but we’re not ready for The Big Reveal yet…  I would have gotten farther, but we’re taking a short trip to North Carolina to celebrate my Aunt Shirley’s 80th birthday.  All of my favorite cousins will be there, plus a few I haven’t seen in decades…scores, even.  Aunt Shirley is my mom’s youngest sister, the only one still living,  Clarence and Flo Eaton’s baby #9.    She lives in Florida, but she’s driving up to her grand-daughter’s home near Asheville for the soiree’.  The Eatons are seriously funny folks and I’m hoping to laugh until I pee my pants at least once.

In the meantime, here’s what I’ve been up to…

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I’ve been away from the computer a lot for this project, sitting in front of my new sewing maching.  It self-threads, what not to love?   I’ve got 2 of 4 curtain panels finished, a little behind due to last-minute changes in the design.  We’re going to finish up early next week.


I’m taking along some tomatoes to share with the fam in NC….there’s a glut around here…


For more pictures of the garden click  here

Hope you have a great week-end, full of laughter (the snort-your-drink-out-your-nose kind) and fresh veggies…


New Project: Pop-up camper Makeover

I thought I’d have all the time in the world to write, but Casey and I started a project together and he is a slavemaster…

You may remember that we have a pop-up camper that has been sitting down by our campfire area for several years now.  We have used it for Camp Sleepovers, for SpookWalks, and just for us, but his year we didn’t have time to clean it up for camp.  It is a mildew-y mess, seriously moldy.


Whilst browsing the internets for how-to-eliminate-mold, I discovered that there are plenty of other folks who are remodeling their campers, eager to share their pictures and advice.  What did we do before Pinterest?  I’m bursting with creative ideas and we’re off to a grand start…

We started by re-configuring the floor plan.  It’s a Jayco from the 90’s?, a light 8 ft. so that we can pull it safely with the Caravan.

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Isn’t that fun?  I am so excited that I bought a new sewing machine so I can sew cushion covers and curtains, nothing too elaborate, but clean and comfortable.

We’re hoping we can take her on the road for a week-end before I go back to NYC in September. I’m hatching a plan for her Live Launch, a trip toLexington and the Bourbon Trail in October.    Stay tuned.

Mid-week Missive…

Halfway to Friday, Happy Hump Day…images of the camel dance through our heads.

After starting the steroids on Tuesday, I felt just fine by Friday…maybe a little headache, certainly a lot of muchies, but sooo much better… Of course, I got outside on one of those sunny, 60degree days and sprung the back again.  Okay, though…if I’m going to be laying around on a heating pad, why not have the soundtrack be torrential rain?

I ordered the carpet for the bedroom and when that arrives in a couple of weeks, we’ll be completely done with the remodel.  The pictures really don’t do it justice.  It’s zehr cool to actually have a door to my bedroom.  (It’s the little things)


check out the new pendant lamp in the window seat…


Saturday I’ll be playing piano/organ at the wedding of Kenny Thomas and Amanda Lewis.  Kenny is the son of my good friend, Kristi, and his dad is the late (and legendary)  Chuck “Grady” Thomas.  It will certainly be bittersweet to be a part of their nuptials.  I admire Kristi so much and am so honored to serve;  however, I haven’t practiced piano this much in Years!  It’s a real work-out, as any church musician will attest.    I love the music, though, and have dragged out much more than I’ll need just because…



Take heart:   the day after tomorrow is Friday…I think we’re gonna make it, friends.

Back home

As expected, the flight home was painful.  Thanks to icebags pressed to my back and the kindness of strangers, I managed to limp into EVV ontime, glad to see my hubby…

And look what greeted me as I arrived at Sonnystone!


(Wow, something is way off here at wordpress…they have changed the way we insert pictures and/or edit them.  I don’t like it.)

Casey has finished the painting and trim, pulled up carpet and started on the flooring in the mudroom…


(I am at a complete loss as to why they would change the editing program for pictures.  I can’t create a gallery or even re-size my pictures.  I hate this.  )

My back is still painful when I’m sitting, so I’ve paced, stood, and walked as much as possible.  I’ll admit, my bed is more comfortable than Melissa’s couch, but sleeping is still hit and miss.  I may have to call my doctor tomorrow…

Today I’m going to re-pot the happy seedlings.  I hope the weatherman hasn’t lied when he predicted spring temperatures all week.


Thanks to Wink for keeping an eye on the starts…



The Jrs. are supposed to stop by later on, so I’m sure Olivia will help with the plants.   Hope the sun is shining where you are!