Friday, October 26, 2012


The other day, out of nowhere, Charlie said, "You rely on me too much."

What?!  That's something I've never had a guy tell me.  "You're too independent."  Oh, yes.  "Why don't you ask for help once in a while?"  All the time.  But being accused of relying on a guy too much?  Never.

So, in the spirit of self-reliance, I decided to remove the crappy old vanity from the little bathroom.  This is something I know how to do.  This is something I've done before.  And without the help of any man.  I am confident.  I am independent.

And then I discovered the shut-off valves under the sink don't really shut off the water.  Even if they did, I can't get to the nuts under the faucet without a basin wrench.  (See?  I am independent.  I am a girl who knows what a basin wrench is.  I just don't own one...)  So out of frustration I kicked the vanity repeatedly and not only kicked a hole in the side of it (it's rotted) but I also knocked the seal loose between the sink and the pipe, so now I have to brush my teeth in the kitchen.

Still determined to demonstrate my self-reliance, I sorted through all the stuff in my head that needs to be done (and that's a lot of stuff, y'all) and came up with this:  put up the ceiling trim in the bathroom.  I'd previously wallpapered the ceiling, but it looked unfinished without trim.  I was not deterred by the fact that I've never put up trim by myself.  The fact that I have no miter that's a deterrent.  But I improvised.  I overcame.  I adapted.

I stole the trim from the laundry room with its already-mitered corners.

Oh yes, I did.  That way I only had to make straight cuts, which I did and I messed up just one time.  Unfortunately it's right in the middle of the wall above the door.  I think caulk and paint will cover it.  I hope.

So when I told Charlie about all this, he said he was proud of me for starting and completing a project in one day and for my ingenuity.  Then he said, "Just leave that vanity for later when I can help you with it."

Oh, really?!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


I showed this photo to a friend of mine.

"Look at all those leaves!  They're covering up my brand-new patio!" I said. 
 "And the clapboards on the house look really bad, too."

He considered this for a moment.

Then he said, "Forget the leaves and the siding.  That's an awfully little deer leaving the photo."

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Patio

You know how they say that "the best laid plans of mice and men often go astray"?  Well, that's pretty much what happened with my patio.  Charlie and Flint tore out the old patio over a month ago and Charlie meant to pour the new one a week or so later.  But life happened, like it does, and so we're just now getting around to the new patio.

Charlie took the day off from pouring concrete at his job to...well, pour concrete at my house.
He's funny like that.

The concrete truck kept barfing out sludgy cement, and Charlie kept spreading it around, and pretty soon the forms were all filled up.
For the first time in many years, the walkway goes right up to the back door.  This pleases me greatly.

What also pleases me greatly is the way Charlie finished the patio and the walkway by "picture-framing" it.  I think it looks really nice.
The walkway was finished pretty quickly, but the patio took awhile to broom out.

 It's 9 feet wide and 32 feet long.  That's a lot of broom-pushing.

At the west corner of the patio, near the back door, is a spot where Little Marie often sat and watched the world go by.  That was where my son buried her last week.  I wanted to mark the spot somehow, so my mama got me a small stone.  I placed it over her grave today.
It made me feel both a little bit better and a little bit worse to do that.  Y'all understand.
But now my little gray girl has a marker on her grave, and I can sit there sometimes and feel as if I'm with her.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Untamed Little Soul

On the front porch, Summer of 2008.
This is my favorite photo of Marie.
Karen Anne said it best:  "There are no words."

So I will just say that Monday morning when I came home I found Little Marie in the street by my house where she had been hit by a car, and that was as horrible as you imagine it was.

I am not ready yet to write about what she meant to me.  

God bless her untamed little soul.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Missing Motivation

You know how it is when you really don't like something, but you try to make it work anyway?  One of two things happens then:  you either get over it, or every time you look at the something you get cranky.  There's been a whole lot of cranky around here over the color of the bathroom.  So today I started repainting it.

The difference is startling, right?!  If you look really, really hard at the right side of the photo you can see the old blue color on the bottom versus the new blue color on the top.  I know, I know, it's almost the same color.  Almost.  But not exactly.  Enough so that I'm not cranky anymore.  Oh, and I'm leaving the bottom half of the walls the old color because soon--I mean, eventually--that will be covered up with beadboard.

I know I've been talking a lot lately about the bathroom, but I haven't forgotten about the outside of the house.  I made some progress on scraping paint yesterday and today, too.

Amazing, isn't it?  Why, if I make that much progress every day I'll be done in only...another 27 weeks or so.    That electrical line stringing across the back of the house down to the fixture in the window is lovely, isn't it?  At least I spared y'all the view of the back yard, which still looks pretty much like it did a month ago when Flint and Charlie tore up the old patio.

I'm hoping to get my motivation back real soon.   Like before November 18th, when my building permit runs out....