Skil Saws and Pizza Sauce

Seventeen summers ago we started building our house on the ten acres it had taken us more than two years to find. I say “we”, but really it was My Carpenter who spent his days building houses for other people and his evenings and weekends doing it for us. He’s amazing like that. This was the second house we’d built for ourselves and we used the plans from the first one as a starting point when designing this one. What we liked in the first house, stayed. What we didn’t like, was changed.

One of the first-evers for us with this house was hardwood floors. We couldn’t afford them every place, but when you come into our home, you’re in the great-room, with the living-room portion carpeted, and everything else in hardwood…beautiful oak hardwood. It was breath-taking back then. Continue reading

Bless Your Heart

53 reasons

Valentine’s day is coming up in a few days, again, already. Was it really a whole year ago that I created the “53 Reasons I Love You”  gift for Don? Phew! That was a time-consuming project, but I’m happy to report he still has it sitting where he can see it each day when he wakes up.

Lately, though, I’ve been thinking about hearts and love in a not-very-traditional Valentine way.

I find myself using the term, “bless your heart” with a certain amount of frequency these days. I don’t know when it started. I don’t know why it started. I DO know it makes me feel old, like I should be hunched over my cane, shuffling slowly, shawl around my shoulders, shaky voice uttering, “Well, bless your heart” when a boy scout offers to help me cross the street (do they still do that?). Continue reading

I’m Strung Out!

Traditions…so many of my favorites center around Christmas. Every year, for as long as I can remember, we’ve strung popcorn for the Christmas tree. We go to the tree farm, cut our tree, bring it home, get it straightened in the base and Don puts on the lights while the kids and I string popcorn. Only then, is the tree ready for ornaments. When the kids were both young enough to do my bidding, it went pretty fast. We’d sit on the living room floor, clustered around the roaster pan overflowing with day-old popcorn (it strings easier if it isn’t fresh) and watch television while we created foot after foot of the stuff.

Then Stephen had the nerve to graduate high school, go to college, and proceed to get a life. That left me with Liz. Having a 9-year gap between the kids finally served me well. She had plenty of popcorn-stringing years left in her! Alas, I grew comfortable in the routine, ignoring the signs that a popcorn-stringing apocalypse was barreling down on me, one tree at a time. It finally hit in ’13, when Liz left for college. Continue reading

The Possibility Bubble

I have a million things that need doing today. This wasn’t even on my list, but it won’t leave my head until I make it a reality.

A couple of weeks ago, asking Liz to get me a glass of iced tea while I was doing some sewing led to a conversation about my few years growing up in Atlanta, Georgia and West Monroe, Louisiana. That led to telling her about the heart-throb of 8th grade, Michael Mann, and how, when we moved the summer after, I cried halfway back to Washington state in the back of a station wagon filled with 4 siblings, a collie, and not even one seatbelt, all because we’d left Michael behind, even though we ran in way different junior-high circles and my only contact with him was when our families got together for dinner and I’d try to sit across the table, hoping someone would ask him anything to make him talk so I could look into those gorgeous brown eyes without seeming the fool (whew, is it getting warm in here?). Continue reading

The History of Love

53 reasonsI admit that stumbleupon.com is one of my favorite ways to start the day. Armed with a cup of coffee, I love to sit in the wee hours of the morning, clicking that Stumble button to see what the rest of the world-wide-web is up to. Early last month, I stumbled upon a project that I had seen before and filed in my head under “Something to do, sometime”. Since Valentine’s Day was just around the corner, I decided it was the perfect time to move the project to “Saw it, liked it, made it my own”. It would be a fun gift for My Carpenter, and might even make a good studio workshop down the road (something I’m always looking for).
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