Tuesday, April 22, 2014

A Little Carpet Magic and a Lotta Cabinet Love

Remember my beautiful hand painted carpet?

Well, now you see it...



And now you don't. 

OK, you kinda don't. 

Please say you don't..

Even if you do let's just pretend you don't. OK?

In my recent yakabout, I mentioned the terrible, horrible, very bad, no good modern art  I had created on the living room carpet.  It was a dried on, chalk painted disaster, in case you have forgotten.  (And yes and thank you to those who commented with cleaning solutions. I did try them. Nothing made a dent. I think it's the plaster in the paint. Thanks a lot, Annie Sloan...)

Well...

We were just about to bite the bullet and purchase  new carpet for the whole room when a friend in the carpet biz suggested that we track down a good carpet man and at least try to patch it first.

"I said a good carpet man", he said. 
"And don't even think about trying this one yourself. "

Because, well, you know...

So that's exactly what we did.  We moved the corner cabinet that started the whole thing and used a piece of carpet from under it. (That sucker isn't going anywhere. It's the only place in the entire house suited to it.)




Then, the carpet maven pulled back the carpet and patched it from the underside  
...because apparently that's how it's done.  Who knew?

In the end, we were pleased with the result.. It cost a whopping $50.00 and bought us some time. New carpet was going to be over a thousand.

As for the corner cabinet that started the whole thing?
  I'm pleased with the result there, too.


I'm planning to leave the top doors open because I like it like that. 

The top has some of my Italian Countryside 
and my mother-in-law's Wedgewood. 

They play well together, don't you think?


The bottom is just full of the new Cameo Platinum that I've started to collect. 


I love how the bottom doors are different from the top ones.  

And see the tassels? 

Yeah, well, I kinda like them too.

For now.

As I said earlier, this cabinet was made by my husband's grandfather. 
He never did get around to putting knobs on the doors. 

No one who has used it since has wanted to add them.

My mother-in-law put those tassels there, 
and I'm leaving them right where they are.

For now. 

Pretty good start on the living room project, though, don't you think?

Now that the floor is settled, it's time to decide on the walls...

Sunday, April 20, 2014

When Easter Doesn't Feel the Same

Easter doesn't feel like Easter this year.

For one thing, it's cold and rainy.  We've had a constant drip for days on end, and the ground squishes when you walk on it.  Even if we wanted to slosh across the lawn for the traditional Easter picture, it wouldn't be very pretty. The few azaleas that managed to bloom before the monsoon have been washed off the bushes.

It isn't the half empty bushes that really bother me anyway, though.  It's the half empty nest.

The Practical One didn't come home for Easter. She's flying home in less than a month for another auspicious occasion, and it would be, well, impractical to come this weekend, too.

I miss her.

Actually, I miss it. I miss having little girls in the home. I miss Easter eggs and Easter baskets and Easter candy. I miss Easter dresses and white patent leather shoes

I miss the days of boing boing curls.


That's what my girls called it when they slept in little foam rollers. In the morning, their heads were full of little boing boings  that hippity hopped on their heads when they walked  like a hundred little Easter bunnies.

I miss the boing boing curls. 



I admit it. For a few days this week, this holy week, I actually got a little glum about all that empty nest stuff. I'm nothing if not human after all. I can fall to temptation just like everyone else, and the Deceiver tried very hard to make me do just that.  He tried to fill me with a spirit of Easter emptiness by reminding me of my empty nest. 

So I reminded him of my empty tomb. 

Sure, things change...but the one thing about Easter that will never change is the only thing about Easter that matters anyway.


Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God, was crucified, dead, and buried.  On the third day, He rose again, fully resurrected, fully restored, and fully glorified, wearing a flesh that was absolutely perfect... right down to the scars.

Because a Savior without a scar is no Savior at all.

Just think about it.

I don't just say all that stuff, folks. I truly believe it.  Mine isn't a blind faith, either.  Mine is a a belief based on sight.   You see, I have seen the empty tomb.  

Not His.
Mine. 

I was dead, too. If you don't believe me, I can show you my scars.  I know what it's like to live in a tomb. It's dark in there, and the scenery never changes. Oh sure, you can try to decorate the place, but it doesn't really work. No matter how many grave flowers you try to spread around, the fact remains that you're trying to decorate a tomb. 

It stinketh.

But then one day, you hear the resurrection story.  Maybe you've heard it a thousand times before, but that day you hear it for the first time, and you do the bravest thing you have ever done. You dare to believe that it's actually true. 

And folks, I can't describe it any better than this: When you step out of that tomb, and the grave clothes start to peel away from your eyes, you simply know that it is.  


He was alive then.
He is alive now.
He will be alive forever.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.
Christ, the LORD, is risen today.

Hallelujah.

*****
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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Bend in the Road

Just a quick post from me this morning.

 I'm already more than fashionably late for the
 Note Card Party
 at A Haven for Vee. 

There won't be a lot of yakking to go along this post,  either. Frankly, I don't have the time to fill up the empty spaces between pictures with my usual noise.  Nobody wants to hear it anyway. 
You're busy too, probably busier than I am. 

Instead, I put some text with my photos to make the sentiment, and the reason that I chose each picture, self explanatory.  The inspiration was this first photo from a post written nearly four years ago.  


The bend in the road...  



... is not the end of the road. 



The journey isn't over just because the pavement ends, either.




And you know what they say about one door closing...




Sharing these melodramatic sentiments
with the note card party at A Haven For Vee

Monday, April 14, 2014

Repairing the Wheels

I've been looking for just the perfect picture to illustrate my life these days, and I think I finally found it. It's from a card that the Practical One sent to her grandmother. I think it sums it up pretty well.


First, an update on the Duchess.  

She is doing wonderfully! She's nothing if not determined, after all, and she is determined to rehabilitate those legs. She has done so well that the knee which was once broken into three bionic pieces is now considered her "good knee".  In a few months, she'll have her second surgery, this time to  replace the other knee. If she keeps this up, she'll be ready for a new gig by Christmas.


  Other than doing Duchess duty, 
I've been busy and  (honestly?) a bit overwhelmed.    

Right before the surgery,  we had the task of emptying  and dividing family treasure from my (late) mother-in-law's home.  Besides being emotional, the job was enormous. It took Two Men and a Truck to bring our portion to south Georgia. Much of it is being stored for the daughters. After schtuffing up the attic(s), we finally bit the bullet and rented a storage unit.

Just a fraction of it.


Oy.  

The rest of it  will take up residence right here.   (More about that soon...) The only thing I've painted is the inside of this wonderful old cabinet  made by Sir Lotsa Hair's grandfather. It was returned to its original (white) color.



OK, technncally that's not the only thing that got painted. 
The carpet in front of it got a white wash too. 


Yes, I used a drop cloth,
 and no, I do not know how it happened.
 I never even discovered it until it was too late.  

By the way, do you know what happens when chalk paint oozes slowly out of a container onto the carpet and goes unnoticed for a weekend because you're out of town?  It dries to a nice, hard, plaster. 


Seriously, it is so hard  you can knock on it. 

Knock Knock
Who's there?
Boo
Boo Hoo...

Have I ever mentioned that the one room in this house that  doesn't  didn't really need new carpet was the living room?  Yeah, well now it does...

... which would be the reason that this is yet another post which might be titled,
 "Why Debbie Is Still Not Getting New Living Room Furniture." 

Except that isn't true. 

I'm getting new living room furniture anyway.  

Yep. I'm as surprised as you are.  I would call it a pity purchase from all that boo hoo-ing, but it was actually in the works before the great carpet misadventure.  We were going to get a new sofa  and new chairs.  Now, we're just getting a new sofa and reupholstering the chairs... 

..and getting new carpet. Let's not forget the new carpet.

Regardless, I am choosing to consider the glass half full.  The fact that it is half full of paint because the other half dripped onto the carpet is irrelevant and should not diminish the optimism of this post. 

I'll spill more about this later, but here's a hint as to the color family. 



Surprise. Surprise. Surprise. 

In my head, I sound just like Gomer Pyle.

*****
So, what's up in your corner of Mayberry?



Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Great Green Surgery Adventure



... otherwise known as
Spending St. Patrick's Day With A Duchess On Wheels. 



If you've read here long enough, you know that the Duchess is a woman on the go. Really, nothing much keeps her down for very long. What I haven't mentioned lately is the form of mobile transportation she's been using to do it all.

She went from two wheels...




... to  three wheels



... to four wheels.  


And on occasion to even  more wheels.   



While I admit that it was kind of nice to push her around for a change, nobody has been happy about a Duchess on wheels, especially the Duchess.

 A little pain at 75 is normal, but what we had was anything but normal.  So says the little boy who grew up in the house behind her, anyway.  These days, he makes his living as an orthopedic surgeon. What he discovered upon inspection was that we did, indeed, have problems of the abnormal variety.

The primary culprit was that fancy schmancy bionic knee that she had installed about a decade ago. They don't come with a lifetime guarantee, after all, and hers had managed to break into three pieces, causing additional damage to both the shin and thigh bones  in so doing.

Good grief. No wonder she has been in so much pain. 

So yesterday, while the rest of the world was celebrating St. Patrick's Day, 
she took a ride on these wheels. 


The little boy who grew up behind her didn't actually do the surgery. Apparently, they call in the big guns when you have blown out bionics and bone damage.

We called in the big guns too. The Great Green Surgery Adventure was enough to bring that big sister of mine all the way from Colorado.  The only bright spot of the day was being able to spend it with both of my sisters.

I've mentioned how fond I am of sisters, right?

The three of us followed her all the way into Pre Op, where she waited on the runway to get clearance for take off. That's the way it felt, anyway. I'm thankful to say that I didn't know hospitals had gotten so high tech with color coded tracking boards on the wall.


Patient # 19442 regaled us with her never ending repertoire of Irish songs because that's the way she rolls on St. Patrick's Day. I would show you the video that I took of her, but then she would have to kill me.

Hennessey Tennessee toodled the flute for nearly two hours before they wheeled her off, humming a little and pretending not to be nervous at all. She wasn't really fooling anyone, but we let her pretend anyway.  We pretended right back.

And then, we waited. We ate a late lunch and taught the high tech systems engineer from Colorad-y all about Pinterest.  She had never even  heard of it because, apparently,  she got most of the genes in her pool from Dad's side of the family.  A few hours with the weird sisters, and she was fully hooked.  Glad to help, Pinterest.

The surgery ended up taking about 3 1/2 hours. They encountered more damage than originally thought, but Dr. Big Guns was very positive and optimistic about the success of it.

Whew.

She got to her room about 7:00, very groggy and in a great deal of pain. As the anesthesia wore off and the pain medicine kicked in, things began to look a little more normal. She asked about her brother and her friend who is in hospice so we knew about whom she had been thinking   worrying at take off.  She tried to pick out faces in the room and asked for some water.

And then, 
she looked at the 250 pound nurse named Mike and said,

Who threw the overalls in Mrs. Murphy's chowder?

Big Mike had absolutely no clue what she was talking about, but we did. Pretty soon, he understood as well because she started singing the song that goes with the question, followed by a few more wee Irish tunes as well. When he didn't join in, she decided aloud that he must not be Irish. 

The fact that she isn't Irish either is irrelevant to her on St. Patrick's Day.

And with that, she was back, still very tired and in some pain, but every bit the Duchess. You've just gotta love that woman. 

I'm heading back to the hospital this morning to relieve the Farm Sister who did night duty. I'll spend the day and night there because that's the way we roll around here.  We anticipate a painful day today as she starts her therapy.

Not looking forward to that but it is a very necessary evil. 

 She'll be at this hospital for the rest of this week. Where she goes next is still up in the air, probably to a swing bed closer to home.  Wherever it is, that's where I'll be. I'll probably have time to sit and blog stalk in the days to come, which will be a welcome relief from recent weeks of distractions.

Anyway, that's where we stand this morning.  We're praying for a complete recovery and would appreciate any and all prayers as well.

So... how did you spend your St. Patrick's Day? Bet it wasn't quite the same as mine.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Window Wokking

I was about to start this post with the following statement: 

I can't believe it's Friday already.  

Then, I thought about it and decided that yes, I can.  I can jolly well believe that it's Friday and that another week has disappeared.  That's the way things have been rolling around here for quite some time now. Why wouldn't I believe it?  My life is nothing if not predictable.

If I want to spend time catching up with this favorite pastime of mine, it's a safe prediction that I will become Debbie Interrupted.   Something. Will. Happen.  Someone out there will provide me with a different plan.

If I'm not interrupted?
  Well then, I'll come down with an incredible case of blogger's block.  
Or the demons will possess the laptop.
Or the internet service will inexplicably disappear. 
Or we'll have some random weather event. 
 I dunno what kind...
There's a fault line somewhere in Georgia. I  predict an earthquake. 

If you're picking up on a little grumpy gussing, you would be correct. I'm sorry that you're on the receiving end, but I thought it was time to give the family a break from the weekly daily lamentation. Besides, they tuned me out six months ago. All they hear is Charlie Brown's teacher.



So anyway...

I was planning to squeeze in a little post about a little project this morning. By my reckoning, it was going to take me about ten minutes to get it done. This means that I should have chiseled out about four hours and fifteen minutes.  

Five minutes to grumble.
Ten minutes to write.
And four hours to find the photos to go along with it. 

That's also the way things roll around here. I take no less than 1.2 million pictures in any given year, folks.  My problem is not taking pictures. It's more of a real estate thing.

Location. 
Location.
Location. 

I have those 1.2 million photos stashed computer folders. Somewhere hidden among them is a picture that I took of the boring rod pocket panels hanging in my dining room right now.  I just can't find it. The only photo I can locate with a picture of them is this one.  

The before shot of the dining room light fixture. 


Only... don't look up *there*. 
This post has nothing to do with the light.  


It has to do with the curtains. 


 These are the unfortunate rod pocket panels that I have hanging in my dining room.  It's not the pattern or colors that I dislike. I actually like that. It's not the quality either. For ready made curtains, it's really very good. They're Waverly, and I like Waverly.

 It's just the whole rod pocket thing that bugs me.

It isn't just a plain old rod pocket either, it's a big honkin' rod pocket with a good four inches that are supposed to stand up above the rod. Only they don't stand up. They droop like hormone hair on a humid day.  That's why I fixed them.  

It was so easy to fix that I thought I would share it, just in case someone else out there has a rod pocket thing going on that they want to fix too. 

I just removed the top row of stitches for the rod pocket with a seam ripper. Then I folded all six inches of that rod pocket  forward along the lower row of stitches. I pressed it and  stitched with the machine to make it lie flat.



Then, I added a little fringe along the bottom to give it  length.
  It needed length.



Sewed on some rings, and there ya go.




Total cost of the project was less than $10.00 for the fringe and rings.  There's nothing in the world that perks me up faster than a cheap project using schtuff I already have.

I think it looks much better, don't you?





And that, friends, is all I've got for the day. I had plans for more computer time, but I received   3... 4 phone calls while writing this post, and my plans for the afternoon have been changed, which means that my plans for the morning will have to be changed to accommodate them. 

'Cause that's the way it rolls around here.  This is the song that doesn't end. It just goes on and on my friend...

  

Sunday, March 9, 2014

When God Shops The ReStore

Can you stand another post about that coffee table? I hope so because you're going to get it. This one isn't so much about the craftiness of the thing. It's about the treasure I picked up along the way.



A few weeks ago, I mentioned that we were studying this verse in my Bible study class.

Be devoted to one another in genuine love. 
Give preference to one another in honor. 
~Romans 12:10


I mentioned in that post that there was a nugget about that word honor,  but that would have to be a post for another day. Well, today's the day.  

Honor, after all, tends to be one of those squishy words. We all use it, and we all pretty much think we understand what it means. If we're asked to give a concrete definition of it, though, words kind of fail us. They fail me anyway. Honor is something that you give. It's something that you show, and it's something that you feel, but how exactly would I define it without using the word honor?

See what I mean? Squishy.

Fortunately for the Romans, Paul's word wasn't in the least bit squishy. When they read the words give preference to one another in honor,  they knew exactly what he meant. That's because Paul used a very specific Greek word here.  This one:

 τιμή  (timē) :  Value; the value by which a price is fixed or the price itself.

Funny that not a single translation puts it that way. Wouldn't it be a lot simpler to understand? To honor someone is to value them. It's to place a price on them based on what we believe them to be worth.

We get that. We live in a commercial world, after all. We know all about values and pricing. Just as the world places a  value on its stuff, believers are to place a value on one another.

We're just not supposed to do it by the world's standards.  The world places its value on the superficial and temporal.  You know... kind of like the way that old coffee table was priced at the ReStore.

Told you I was getting around to this...

The world looks at the surface damage and broken pieces and says,

Meh... 20 bucks.


But God is in the restoration business.


I have it on good Authority that He loves the hand sander even more than I do.
 His power tools have real power, too.  And those broken pieces?  
They're His specialty.

I don't know how you feel about that, but this old diamond in the rough finds that pretty comforting.

And that's not even the good part yet.
It gets better. 

Folks, if all we're thinking about is our makeover value, we're still stuck in the standards of the world. God's value doesn't really have anything to do with the makeover at all. It has everything to do with the price  He was willing to pay, surface damage, broken pieces and all.

I thought my ladies needed to remember that 
so I made some  price tags to stick on them.


Lest they ever forget how valuable they are to God.    


And in so doing, forget to value one another as well.

*****
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Monday, March 3, 2014

Copy Cat Coffee Table

Remember when we used to have all those copy cat challenges out here in blog land? I loved those. I haven't seen one around in a while so I guess I'll just have to make up my own copy cat challenge this morning. I'll call it  Debbie's Copycat Party for One.

Because I've been cheating off someone else's blog paper again,
 and I'm  ready to yak about it.

This time, it's a copy cat coffee table.  
(Try saying that three times fast.)

I gave a little sneak peak of the table in the collage that I posted on Friday. It was a project that I was supposed to finish in the month of February, but I didn't quite make it. March is looking pretty good so far, though. Just three days into the month, and she's basically done.

The inspiration: 
 This table from  The Endearing Home. 


That table has lived in my head for quite a while now. I've just been waiting for  the right one to make over and wasn't willing to settle for something less than perfect.

Right after the first of the year, I ventured into the reStore
 and found this  for a whopping $20.00

Little Miss Perfect


Close enough to perfect for me, anyway. 

Yes, her top was seriously scratched, and yes, one of her drawers was broken.



Her shape was absolutely perfect though, and her wood was really solid.  I loved the shape of her legs and those little nobby things all the way around.  I was also almost positive that there was something really beautiful living under all that scratch and stain on the top, too.


 I was right.



I made my own chalk paint with some Heirloom white because, really, I just wanted a simple white finish on the bottom of this. That's not to say that I don't love the washed finishes, I just didn't want one here.

For now, at least, 


To get the color I wanted for the top, 
I used a base stain of Cabernet and then a second stain of  red mahogany. 


I filled the holes for the knobs and replaced them with just one knob per drawer.  For now, I'm just using the old knobs, darkened with some oil rubbed bronze and espresso.  I'm actually planning to get new knobs entirely, but I stuck these there for now since they were free, and free is my BFF. 



I'm not quite finished with the top. It still lacks (probably just one) coat of  tung oil. I'm trying to behave and wait a good week between the final stain and the finish.  Don't ask me how I know this, but being impatient between coats in a staining project can cause a big old mess and a lot of crying. 

Who has time for mess and crying?


So right now, I'm twiddling my thumbs and staring at her.  


And  thinking about the other furniture adventure I started in February.


 Think I'll get it finished by the end the March?   

*****
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