I am re-posting this shot, which you may have seen before, because you might as well look at it, too. Nothing changed last week because my carpenter took a family vacation (!) for his birthday. He went frog noodling in Oklahoma. I looked that up. It sounds like fun actually... This week he will be here again to move through this process...
This is no longer a view in my kitchen! Wait for the big reveal!!! I have been cooking either in my crockpot or the air fryer. My stove works, but the whole kitchen is just shambles so no room to prep. Today we are having chicken Teryaki, cabbage, and fried rice. It really smells wonderful. I bought Pioneer Woman Crockpot, and I absolutely love it because it is oval and beautiful!!!!
Finally after being bitten July 3rd by something, I went to the Doctor last Thursday because my wrist was doing that thing where it looked as if it had healed and then another patch of skin bubbled up... So I guess it was a brown recluse from the attic. My doctor precribed some antibiotic and said I had an infection but would be okay in a couple weeks. I really hate spiders. It is better, but the bite really hurts.... kinda like a fresh burn.
I have been dreaming of the sunlit morning when everything is pretty much in place and I sit in the new kitchen with a cup of coffee, brownies baking in the oven. Experts say to visualize the life you want to live, so I will add in a few details and do just that. I think I will add in the detail that the brownies are slenderizing! Have a beautiful Sunday.
I know by now I have mentioned my dear little grandmothers SO many times. It seems the world over has been blessed with an absolute outpouring of perfect grandmothers, each 100 percent what their grandchildren need to cope with the world they inherited.
My Gramma Minnie, 5 foot nothin', had so many accurate and perfectly timed sayings to offer at each situation. I have never heard many of them from anyone else, but others are fairly popular. So, in the
self-serving spirit of keeping it real and to scare Miss Merry to pieces, I will offer today's lesson in de-cluttering. "DON'T THROW THE BABY OUT WITH THE BATH WATER."
Open with a frantic scene of my son and me vs. an asinine amount of stupid clutter. I classify clutter into understandable, a bit over dramatic, and just plain stupid. My parents, though perfect to my eyes, had collected a little lot too much of each! Understandable: clippings of favorite artists since there was no YouTube, Google, or Wikipedia to find information. Recipes. Instruction books. An extra coffee pot as a back-up.... and so forth. Over-Dramtic: A Gourd that was four foot long from an Uncle's garden in Indiana.(The uncle died in 1956!) Little painted swatches from each room in the house through three transitions of refurbishing...plus wallpaper samples. Recipes. A dog collar, cat toy, or bird Ferris wheel from more than one beloved pet now gone past Rainbow Bridge... And Stupid: Washed but disposable cutlery, plastic cups, turkey roasters. A bag of unusual power cords minus their respective waffle irons, mixers, coffee pots or skillets. Recipes. Little envelopes of saved seeds from gardens marked by cryptic, pencil-scribbled codes such as "SUM72/NGAR/tpcrp/STUBBY" Laugh out Loud, I understand that to be green beans called top crop we planted in 1972's north part of the garden that turned out to be short, little squatty beans... (!) For the love of God, Mom! I didn't know I could read and translate Hoardish...
So, you see that recipes make all three lists because we love cooking in this family and relate in that love language to so many precious people, family, places visited, etc... So enter wild, disgusted, frantic, drowning, over-dramatic, radical moi... One night as we forged into a stash unseen by human eye in at least 30 years, I just pitched. I created an auction box filled with (gasp) cookbooks that seemed super-ratty and non-descript... about 15 of them... plus other junk that has passed the get-rid-of-it test and needs to skedaddle. Then my auction man failed me. He promised to come, missed his deadline, re promised and missed, really promised and threw out his back... I couldn't take the temptations in the wilderness, so I re-sorted and looked again through the boxes...
Yes, that is a cat on a hope chest on a freezer
in a bedroom created from a dining room.
Ya don't see that every day!
Oh, my goodness, There in the middle of three meat grinders and about seven cookie shooters was that stash of cookbooks. I mean double ugly. Then (insert Hallelujah Chorus here) I opened a couple to stumble upon three or four with my Gramma Minnie's wonderful, beloved, treasured handwriting. She has every possible blank space penciled and penned with the very best family legendary recipes ---smack dab next to a good bug remedy for worms in the corn patch. And yes, it is clear which is which! I would never have missed or pined for these books because I didn't know they existed... but yes, they are saved and really, really special. I have snapped just a smidgen of them for you to see... (I realize to the naked eye these are still ugly fugly.... but "beauty is in the eye of the beholder.")
So yes... When it comes to frustrated de-cluttering, I give myself a D+... Bathwater, you need to go, but Baby, you need to stay and let me bake "Aunt Letha's Applesauce Cake" and "My Favorite Sugar Cookies" a few more times. And who knows, I may need to concoct a cleaner or bug bomb at any moment.
Two weeks in today and... really just going the wrong way with demo and rewiring and free falling. My carpenter is really kind and patient. I am taped out of the kitchen and the good bathroom... and the laundry...
He is taking next week off after Monday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So the good news will be that I can go through and consolidate things and sort.
Other than a major meltdown over the 62 year old wiring experienced by these young carpenters, things are doing fine.
Evidently despite exterminators, opening up walls and exposing attic and basement let in at least one brown recluse who decided to bite me on my wrist... So I whipped up a lavendar and baking soda poultice .......and googled scary pictures.
My auction man called yesterday to report he could not come to pick up the things that have been waiting three weeks right smack in the middle because he was coming "then..." (This sounds a little like Camp Grenada Hello Muddah. Hello Faddah.)
I need to turn and burn because they start between 7 and 8 a.m. I am still gung-ho, excited, glad we are doing this, hopeful, and full of Pollyanna Positivity... Have a super weekend! No Friday French Toast for us today...
Before my birthday my sister/cousin came down with wonderful gifts and an icy drink from Sonic. I now am the proud owner of solar lawn lights! I am really excited about those. She had so much fun stuff and even a fun card with a stash of mad money to spend on the paint for my remodel! And we got to visit a while, which is a beautiful gift in itself. <3. I can't wait to reveal my four rooms! (But believe me when I say it may be a month of Sundays!)
I decided to attempt to spiff my house... just in the middle of all the rubble. As I did that, I had a distinct feeling of how similar it was to one of my favorite scenes in my beloved movie, It's a Wonderful Life. Don't you love it when Mary creates a haven for the honeymoon night in that old house? I felt like that--- minus the honeymoon... or high heels... or singing driver and cop outside in the rain... Minus the groom... I guess just making beauty in the midst of chaos counts. I bought this candle for myself from Bath and Body works at half price sale. It smells amazing! (Like vanilla icing on warm birthday cake good. Like cover up the dusty musty smell of opened attic and damp basement good...) Oh, that keepin' it real. It really taxes my soul.
Then at noon on my birthday my dear friend (and book party honoree from last post) arrived to celebrate! She brought flowers and paper products, homemade bread, salad, French Dip, and strawberry shortcake.... enough for our lunch and several more meals... We had a blast! I was blessed to be able to serve that same lunch to my son and our friend on Sunday.
She brought me cross stitch kits and books, jewelry, and all kinds of wonders. I am sooooo spoiled!
And then to round out the night my son barbecued my absolute favorite... hot dogs burned to black, on the grill. He naturally bought the big jumbo kind, but that wonderful son also bought the skinny, cheap kind with the "hushed jumble of un-pronounceable ingredients" for me! I have always loved those fixed like that, whether on a grill or in a fireplace or at a wiener roast in the woods. With soft buns and a hint of condiments.... I guess he still needs me and he still feeds me when I'm 64.... Plus he got us all a cheesecake sampler!
We had our friend who comes most Sundays and my two dear friends who have a long history of celebrating life with us. They arrived with gifts and all kinds of side dishes like a green salad, potato salad, chips, salsa, dips... Just set me in a corner with grape tomatoes, hot dogs, and tater salad... Is that a country song? It should be.
Oh, yes. My birthday was indeed rung in... in style. I guess so. I broke Facebook by "liking" and responding in messages (aka suspicious amount of activity requiring investigation) to my wonderful messages received by family, friends, and former students.I got Facebook jail for 72 hours for that. I laughed, but I ain't gonna lie. I was kinda ticked off.
Saturday my son and I drove to Bevier to see the fireworks. We parked close by and just stayed in the truck with the AC either on or standing by. Our patriotism is only matched by my aversion to heat...
Have a wonderful 4th. My carpenters are coming even on a holiday! Those are keepers!
My dear friend's daughters held a surprise party for her birthday last week. The theme was a pure favorite, The Love of Books.
We had the best time, and the whole night held wonderful surprises. They also honored me because it was also my birthday.
What a pretty table! We had all kinds of teas to choose from.
Each of us had our own monogram to mark our spot and reserve our notebooks.
The lovely miniatures collection is a treasure from the original owners, a grandmother of our hostess.
We were invited to attend in costume of a favorite book character. Here we see Mrs. Piggle Wiggle and Corrie Ten Boom.(I felt fortunte to find both shoes!)
Each of us had tons of favors, including these dear bags with book quotations on them you see hanging on the coat rack.
We had delicious food. We had fruit, pasta salad, and later we had flaky croissants with dreamy chicken salad, ham salad and pimiento cheese sandwiches, and pie. Delicious!
We drew favorite, vivid scenes from book favorites and dabbled in water colors. I drew the midnight scene from To Kill a Mockingbird when Jem slapped Boo Radley's house.
We had journaling moments in our newest literary journals.
Too many kinds of pie to settle on just one! A little wedge of cocoanut cream and one of strawberry-rhubarb did the trick.
She made these cute candy favors
My friend was truly happy to see her daughters do this for all of us. She is one of those people who does so much for others and goes that extra bit in her own life to bring joy to others.
Here is the sweet couple who hosted the pary. She was so busy I didn't get a shot of her at the party. They have three children. All in all, my friend is a grandmother (Nana) to 10 beautiful grandchildren. It was so much fun to see them at the party. They had a room of their own, and the guys ate together in the family room...