Sunday, April 28, 2024

Sunday Stealing

Stolen from How Far Will You Go and presented to us by Bev at Sunday Stealing!

1.    What's the best thing to inherit other than money? I would love to inherit a house on the beach ๐Ÿ˜Š. In reality, I guess it would be wonderful to inherit all of the good traits and qualities of our relatives.

2.    What one thing would you most like to happen tomorrow? Let’s see . . .I’ll wish for my daughter and new granddaughter – the baby is still quite cranky throughout the day and night. I would hope that she would “turn a corner” and not have tummy pain and be content. I’m sure relief is coming . . .those days and nights just feel like they will never end.

3.    Who is the person with whom you've been most infatuated? Over the years, I’ve had a few crushes . . . usually on some celebrity or someone who I think is really cool.  I don’t know if this is in the actual definition of infatuated . . .but I think of infatuation as a come and then go emotion.

4.    In what part of the day does time go slowest and fastest? It goes fastest when I’m having fun and slowest when I’m either bored or doing things I don’t want to do. I imagine you were asking for a more specific time of the day.

5.    Whose thoughts would you most like to read? Sometimes I would like to read Mark’s thoughts and sometimes I would like to read my boss’s thoughts.

6.    Who is the person you'd least like to touch? Weird question. Really weird question. I prefer not to touch a sick person, hence the reason I didn’t go into the medical field.

7.    What is the best quality you inherited from your parents? Look at that! My answer to number 1 was right on target! I inherited my work ethic from them and I’m a hard worker.

8.    Who is the friend you most often disagree with? I have no idea and if I did, I probably wouldn’t put it on here for all the world to see.

9.    What's the best ritual of your daily life? I enjoy eating every day. I guess that is a ritual. I love the feeling of clean teeth so I guess I enjoy the ritual of brushing my teeth. As much as I hate it, I also love exercising every day.

10.    What is the most useful job you've ever had? I think the things I do for my job now are pretty useful to many people.

11.    In which year of your life did you change the most? I think there have been several years of significant change. My mom died when I was 15 years old – that was a year of big changes. I married right out of high school and divorced 18 months later. The year of the divorce was a year of change. I was 28 when I had Laura and Glenn. That was a HUGE year of change. At 40, 50, 60, and 65, I feel like I made some mental changes.

12.    What's the best thing you've ever gotten for free? I wrote about this in a previous blog. The man who was staining our new hardwoods took the time to refinish a table that was on our porch. Our son had made the table for us and it had sat untouched after the fire and it was looking rough. It is beautiful once again. The workman did this as a surprise and he did it for no charge. This may not be "the best thing" but it was a good thing.

13,    What is the thing you are best at? I’m good at smiling ๐Ÿ˜Š. I’m good at laughing. Seriously, I’m a good speaker/teacher. That is a gift for which I don’t take credit – it is a God given gift. I’m good at my job.

14.    What was the luckiest moment in your life? The romantic in me wants to say the luckiest moment in my life was when I met Mark ๐Ÿ˜‰. He would probably say my luckiest moment was when I won the bottle of Pappy Van Winkle for him.

15.    What is the single most important thing you have ever learned? Love God. Love people. All people.

Friday, April 26, 2024

After the Fire House Tour

Today, a reporter from the Hoover Magazine and a freelance photographer (who just happens to be the photographer for the Auburn cheerleaders - War Eagle!) came to visit. They interviewed us and took lots of pictures. She brought lots of equipment. While the house was as clean as it ever gets, I thought I would snap a few photos. Below is proof they were here :-) - photography equipment!

Let's start with the front porch. Mark has been deep cleaning/pressure washing/planting flowers for two weeks.

Our bottom front porch is an L shape. To the left, we have a teak table and six chairs. The lanterns are from At Home. Mark ordered the table and chairs and glider from various places online. The glider is possibly made by the Amish??

On the right of the porch, we have three Pottery Barn Palmetto wicker chairs which I have just discovered .  .  . they have evidently discontinued!! What?? The cushions are from At Home. We actually have new Pottery Barn white cushions BUT the neighbor's cat keeps sleeping on our porch and gets up on the chairs with muddy feet. We've been covering the cushions as a protection against pollen and cat!!

Most of our outdoor pots were purchased at Old Time Pottery. Some plants were gifts and others were purchased at Home Depot. The ceiling fans were all purchased at Dan's Fan City.

The wreaths on our doors are from Amazon! 

Many of you have already seen photos of our kitchen and family room. These rooms are used often. The stove and ovens are all Wolf and they are from All South Appliance. The dishwasher and refrigerator are KitchenAid. Dishwasher is from All South. I can't remember where we got the fridge.

The bar stools are from Pottery Barn. They are Payson Leather Counter Height Bar Stool, Gray Wash Leg, Vintage Midnight leather. 

All of our lighting is from Inline Lighting in Pelham, AL.

Most everything in our family room is from Pottery Barn. The sofa is a cameron roll arm and it is covered in a durable fabric. A lot of people sit on this furniture every week. Our rugs are all from and I have been very pleased.

Our walls are painted Sherwin Williams Agreeable Gray throughout the house . . .except for one room.
Our entry hall and dining room are the first things you see when you enter our home. Our dining room furniture is almost 40 years old and we purchased it at Birmingham Wholesale Furniture and it is made by American Drew. I have recovered the dining room chairs multiple times - the most recent being right after we moved back into the house last summer. Our artwork in the dining room is from High Point Furniture in Jasper, AL.

You might notice that we have plantation shutters and no drapes. We don't have lots of extra fabric in the house due to my horribe allergies.

The tulips on the table are from Publix! I should treat myself to fresh flowers every week. The entry hall piece is from Hoover Antiques - both the chest and the mirror. The plant was a "coming home/housewarming" present from our dear friends. I bought the basket at Walmart and it is actually really nice! I think the lantern came from At Home and I have spray painted it numerous times. The antlers came from our (hubby's family) farm.

Let's move to our bedroom.

I thought the chair above was a total loss. It is an antique that we have had our entire marriage. It was in the middle of the fire. My brother-in-law took it and cleaned the wood. I found this cool fabric at Joann's - it is velvet with gold and silver. I love this chair. I got the little table at Amazon! The top books are about the Alabama Gulf Coast and the little plant is from Target. My devotion book and Bible are on the bottom shelf. We need some artwork on this wall but I have no idea what to buy.

Here are some other views of our bedroom. The dresser and bed tables are from North Carolina. I can't remember which manufacturer?? Hickory? Our bed and bedding are from Pottery Barn. The picture over the dresser is one I bought years ago and it was hanging in Mark's office before he retired. We don't have rugs in the bedroom due to my allergies.

The bedside lamps are from Lamps Plus online (I think). We have small windows on one side of the house because we overlook each other's courtyards. Everyone has full sized windows on the side of the house over their own courtyard and small high windows that overlook the neighbor's courtyard. It affords some privacy.

This is the powder room - the only room that is a different color. It is Sherwin Williams Green Bay. These photos do not do justice for the paint color. The prints are paper prints by an Alabama artist. The corner cabinet is from Wayfair.

I LOVE the mirror in the powder room. It is from White House Interiors here in town. We replaced the faucets with gold to elevate the mood :-). Everything - ceiling, back of door, baseboards, crown moulding are all painted this color.

This is our bathroom. The penny tile is Calacatta Vecchia Penny. The shower walls are 2.5 X 16 artison frost Matte with Mapei warm gray grout. The shower trim is schluter jolly, brushed brass and the niche shelf is montauk quartz.

We bought the mirrors at White House Interiors. The monogrammed towels came from Amazon. I think the matte gold fixtures came from Ferguson.
The cabinet is painted Sherwin Williams Mindful Gray.

Ripping out the giant bathtub and replacing it with floor to ceiling mirrored cabinets was the best decision ever. I also really really love our shower.

Our screen porch (or is it screened porch?) is right off the family room. Our bedroom is literally on the other side of the wall behind the chairs on the right. These are the same type chairs that we have on the front porch from Pottery Barn and these have the white cushions. The little white bench came from Hoover Antiques. The fans are from Dan's Fan City and the wreath is from Amazon. Our porch ceilings are all painted Sherwin Williams . . .maybe Windowpane? They are considered "haint blue." If you don't know about painting porch ceilings haint blue . . .google it. Very interesting!!

This is our little courtyard. Mark's grill and smoker are against the house. The iron furniture came from Frontera in Birmingham. The firepit came from Absco Fireplace and patio. I made the cushions and I HAVE TO MAKE some new ones this year!! Antlers are from the farm. The firepit is a table when not in use. I think this outdoor rug might also be from

Let's head upstairs. The piece at the top -- barrister's cabinet - is from an estate sale of a longtime family friend/relative. We bought it when we were dating for Mark to put in his office. The clock is from World Market. The railings are new and they were custom made for the space.

If you turn left at the top of the stairs, and walk down a short hall, you would enter into this bedroom. Yellow blanket is from At Home (I think). Bedding is from Amazon. Bed is from . . . maybe Haverty's?? Little table to the right of the bed is from Target. Chest of drawers is an antique from family, as is the mirror. There is a little blue velvet chair by the bed that came from our church when we did a remodel! Lamp is from Lamps Plus (online).

I think that big picture is from World Market.

This is the jack and jill bath. Mirror came from At Home. Monogrammed towels came from Land's End. Cabinets are painted Sherwin Williams Urbane Bronze. Picture to the left is of our church and it is done by local artist, Sherry Arias. Lighting upstairs is also from Inline. Cabinet tops are quartz and I can't remember the name!!

Upstairs bathroom floors are rhodes ivory blend 12 X 24. Shower curtains are from Pottery Barn.

Here is my office. I should post a picture of what this looked like on the morning after the fire. It was horrible. I love my office. Rug is from Aldi - $49.99!! Bookshelves are from Pottery Barn - I think they are called Aubrey and they are black. The desk is an antique. The art above the desk is from Smallwood. There is another one of those Pottery Barn Palmetto chairs. Our kids think it is weird in my office but the chair is so comfortable. The little table to the right of the desk is from Amazon. The cabinet on the left of the room is from Southeastern Salvage. Artwork is by our family. The desk chair is from Target and it is Vinsetto Modern Mid Back Office Chair with Velvet Fabric, Swivel.

The artwork in the hallway is from our travels - Ireland, Italy, Israel, Austria. Germany, St. Martin, and Nassau. We will hopefull add artwork from Egypt and Greece and Istanbul later this year.

The other bedroom upstairs in the room that was hardest hit from the fire. The chimney is on the other side of that wall and lightning struck the chimny and then spread. Chest of Drawers and mirror are antiques from family/friends. The lamp is from Lamps Plus. I think this bed came from Macy's or Rich's and was made in North Carolina. The artwork on the far right wall are prints that I bought years ago. The red throw blanket is from At Home. . . or maybe Walmart!! The comforter is from Pottery Barn. I have no idea where I bought the little table.

This bedroom has an on-suite bath. Cabinet is painted Urbane Bronz and top is quartz. Rubrum Lily painting was done by my sister-in-law, Alice. Shower curtain from Pottery Barn.

Wall tile is Andor Ivory 8 X 24 and it is the same in both tubs upstairs.

The last room upstairs is our "loft" area. It is a second living room/family room space. The chairs and sofa were purchased from a furniture store here in town that is no longer in business. I don't remember the manufacturer. We bought these three pieces around the same time we bought our dining room furniture . . .40 years ago! They have been recovered many times but this fabric is my favorite. I love those big blue and white checks. The sofa is a red recycled leather. A family owned business about an hour north of here has recovered them every time.

The tree in the far corner is a fake fiddle leaf fig from Amazon. The canoe painting is from High Point Furniture in Jasper. The cabinet under the tv is from Wayfair. The bookshelf is an antique from family/friends. The two fish paintings over the bookcase were painted by another sister-in-law. The rug is also from

The cat in the sunshine is Harvey.

The little table on the front right is an antique that was damaged in the fire/water and my brother-in-law (same one that worked on the chair downstairs) sanded off the water damage and refinished it for us. The lamp is old. The bike is my recumbent bike that I ride every day. The photographs are of Mark and his brothers when they were little boys . . . fishing. The colored pencil drawing of three boys fishing was drawn by a man who was in the day program at Church of the Reconciler. He had no home and was sleeping in shelters or on the street. He was very talented. The door goes onto our top porch which is the only thing we haven't re-decorated. We need to get with it - hahaha!

So there you have it! Our home . . .we lived through the fire. We lived through 16 days in a hotel and a year in an apartment. We are happy with our home and we give thanks to God for all of our blessings! When the magazine is published this summer, I'll let y'all know. We may have a little article or a big article .  .  . who knows?

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

It's a Hodgepodge Kind of Day

I'm joining up with Joyce and friends for Wednesday Hodgepodge.

1. When did you last have cancelled plans? Were you happy about that or disappointed? 

Our last cancelled plans were back in March and we were supposed to go out to dinner, but our daughter was in the hospital with pre-eclampsia so we had to cancel. I had mixed emotions. I was glad I could go to be with our daughter.

2. On a scale of 1-10 how much of a planner are you? 

1= I go where the wind takes me

10=I've got a power point on it, no matter what it is

I don’t have a power point on it . . .BUT I do have a detailed list where I can mark things off as I do them and I have lots of Excel spreadsheets!!

3. Do you have a menu plan for the week? If so tell us one or two things that are on it. If not, what's your plan for not having a plan lol? 

I love to meal plan, but it hasn’t been happening much lately. On Sundays, we eat a big lunch at Mark’s mother’s house. Some weeks Mark and I provide the entrรฉe and some weeks one of my sister-in-law’s provides it. We just eat something light for dinner on Sunday nights. On Mondays, Mark is at his mother’s, so I usually grab a salad to eat and study while I eat. On Tuesdays, we host the young adults, so I have whatever we are serving them (I cook for 15-20 folks). On Wednesdays, I work until six and our church chef prepares dinner for purchase by our families, and I usually order a dinner for Mark and me. That leaves Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. We usually eat out at least one of those nights. The other two nights might include some cooking, or they might include a Lean Cuisine.

4. The Hodgepodge lands on National Bucket List Day. Do you have a bucket list? Is it written down or just in your head? What is one thing on your bucket list? If you don't have a list, what is one thing you'd add to a list if you did? Yes, I'm going to make you think about it. 

I don’t have a Bucket List written down (which is crazy since I love lists!!) but there are several things I definitely want to do. I want to go up in a hot air balloon. I thought the hot air balloon was getting marked off this year, but that portion of our trip was cancelled (trip is in October). I want to ride a zip line. Is it called “riding”? I actually said something about this on Saturday night. I think my daughter-in-law wants to do it, too. Mark and I want to travel more – we want to go to Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and I want to see the Northern Lights in Iceland. We want to go to Scotland.

5. Rain buckets, a drop in the bucket, couldn't carry a tune in a bucket, sweat buckets, cry buckets...which 'bucket' idiom applies to your life in some way currently? 

I’m going with cry bucket. Our newest baby granddaughter is having a tough time and her mommy says she cries a lot – as in all the time if she isn’t being held . . . and sometimes even when being held. They are adjusting formula and adding some tummy meds. I could choose sweat bucket because we are getting ready to move into summer here in Alabama and we sweat buckets around here at times.

6. Insert your own random thought here.  

I mentioned here that a local magazine might contact us. They have contacted us and they are sending a reporter and a photographer to our house on Friday. It is a “town” magazine so not a huge publication, but it is still cool.


Monday, April 22, 2024

A Simple Weekend In Review

We have been on the road, going and coming, for six straight weeks in addition to the fact that I still work full-time and am taking a class at the local community college trying to finish my degree. I totally hit the wall and told Mark I just had to stay home. We had a women's event at church on Saturday and I didn't even attend. That is a rare thing.

We got up at our regular time on Friday because a guy from the insulation company was coming at 7:30 to put more insulation in the attic. During the day on Friday, Mark worked in the yard and I studied for my final and did laundry. We did go on an evening golf cart ride.

On Saturday morning, I ran to Walgreen's to pick up a prescription and a couple of photos I had printed. I went back home and studied some more.

Our son had called Mark and invited us over for dinner on Saturday night. We went about an hour early so Mark could play Barbies with our granddaughter. She and I also made the deviled eggs.

Our son and his family have lots of chickens. During the day, they are free to roam around the yard but they go into their pens at night. The pen below is for the newer chickens . . . one has turned out to be a rooster.

Here are our eggs prior to a sprinkling of paprika.

Mark and our granddaughter made a structure/shelter for the Barbies out of bamboo that Mark cut from his mother's backyard. I think the Barbies were on survivor.

Dinner was a shrimp boil and it was delicious.

Since Mark's sister and her husband have moved to town, we are able to spend more time together. Glenn had invited them for dinner, too. Mark and his sister, Susie are on the settee to the left. Our daughter-in-law, Lauren, was cleaning the table in the back. Brother-in-law Bob is in the yellow. Our friend Wynn is sitting with baseball cap on and granddaughter is in the middle.

Here is another picture of some of the chickens.

We had a threat of rain on Friday and Saturday but neither day was a wash out. By the time, we left our son's house, it was raining pretty hard.

 On Sunday, I worked the Welcome Desk and then went home. Mark went to church and Sunday School and then to his mom's house for lunch. While I ate my lunch, I listened to the sermon. I actually went home so I could study more. I did wander out into our courtyard for a few minutes to check on the hydrangeas! They are going to have so many flowers! Look at the funny one sticking straight up - it is like a bloom coming out of a bloom!

We finished off the weekend by watching one episode of Bones, one episode  (the last one!) of The Reluctant Traveler, and one episode of Frasier. I must admit that I feel much better after a slower weekend!!

Sunday, April 21, 2024

Sunday Stealing Gives Me a Feeling!

It must be Sunday because I'm answering the Sunday Stealing questions from "How Far Will you Go" stolen by our fearless leader, Bev!

1.    What was the best toy you ever owned? Wow! I had a monkey when I was a pre-schooler and he had a tiny banana in his hand . . .and I chewed that banana up! I loved that monkey. When I was a little bigger, I learned to ride a bike and we rode bikes all of the time all over the neighborhood. I even had a calico cat, Missy, who loved to ride in the basket on my bike. As an adult, my toys are more sophisticated. I love my Apple Watch and I love my Silhouette.

2.    When in your life have you felt the loneliest? I worked at AT&T before our children were born. They were born at 34 weeks and I had been put on bed rest two weeks or so prior to their birth. They were born on November 18 and beginning in December through February of that year, I lived through some of my loneliest days. I had two preemies who had to eat every 1 1/2 hours, my father-in-law was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer so Mark was trying to be in both places, and I had not cultivated new friendships.

3.    What is your strongest emotion? I want to say joy, but I think my personal strongest emotion is probably anger. Wow - that sounds really bad. Also, I'm not sure I'm reading this question correctly nor answering it correctly.

4.    When were you the most disappointed in yourself? I'm a number one on the Enneagram so I have an inner voice telling me what I've done wrong all of the time . . .so I probably disappoint myself on a daily basis.

5.    Which law would you most like to change? I'm going to answer this one in a silly way - not with a deep answer. Could we please change speed limit laws? I've talked about this before. I need those speed limits to be suggestions :-). I also need those driving below the speed limit to get a ticket :-).

6.    Who is the person you have hated the most in your lifetime? I can't answer that on my blog. Let me just say that it took learning that hating someone only hurts me. The other person could care less. This person that I'm thinking about did something really bad. I don't hate easily because I actually believe in lots of love and grace.

7.    What has disappointed you the most? Probably myself -- see #4. Actually, my former brother-in-law disappointed me a lot. He had an affair and left my sister after 30+ years of marriage. I had always thought he was a man of integrity. He actually walked me down the aisle when Mark and I married. We were close. I was very disappointed in him and his actions.

8.    What's the best possible attitude toward death? Love and live while we are alive so that we have little to no regrets when we die. As a Christian, I believe that I will be with Jesus when I die, so that sounds pretty good.

9.    What's been the longest day in your life? Recently, the longest day of our lives was the day our newest granddaughter was born. It was a rough day.

10.  What is the biggest coincidence in your life? I don't have that many relatives and a year or so a lady joined our church and it turns out that our grandmothers were sisters! Pretty cool! I'm sure this isn't the biggest coincidence, but it is all I can think of today!

11.  What's the oldest you'd like to live? My mother-in-law is in her late 90's and has lost most of her memory. I want to live a long and healthy life - both physically and mentally. I don't have an exact age of what that would be.

12.    Who is the most amazing woman you know personally? I've been blessed to know many amazing women. My mother-in-law is one of those women. In all of the pictures below, she is over 90 years old.

These girls are 4 1/2 and 8 now so this
was just a couple of years ago.

This was a few years ago, but even in her 90's
she was making homemade birthday cakes for
her children - she made 3!

I think she was 96 in this picture at the beach

13.    What was your best experience in school? I loved school and had lots of great experiences. I experienced fun trips. I was in the All State choir. I was in the Color Guard in high school. I was in the National Honor Society. I was a part of an active youth group at church. Now at 65, I'm also enjoying school again and I've had some great professors who have been so very kind!

14.    What's the most meaningful compliment you've ever received? I'm going to have to think about this. I'm not sure. I guess it would be when someone has noticed something I've done and mentions it. I'm always a tad embarrassed by compliments and also, due to that nagging voice in my head, I often discount compliments. One that was very meaningful was a comment/complement from my Sociology professor. She told me that she was really going to miss reading my various writings!

15.    What is the most you've spent on something really stupid? I'm sure I've bought some stupid gadget that I'm no longer using. I bought a baseboard cleaner and used it once or twice. I try not to make stupid purchases that cost a lot!