Tuesday, October 31

I like the color.

After all that sanding and patching, the entire wall looks like concrete. But its supposed to be textured. It has little flecks of granite than sometimes catch the light of the morning sun and sparkle just a bit. I love sparkles!

My other half calls it "definitely different" and says the walls "look pretty wild."

At any rate, I finished the first coat about 5pm and left the plastic dropcloths down, because I will be painting again. Those walls sucked up that paint and I have scraped the bottom of the bucket.

I'm off for more supplies!

Sunday, October 29

Color me "Hooked"

My favorite place to shop is becoming Lowe's. I can spend a couple of hours quite easily and lose myself in daydreams of our home "with just a little work."

I have putty knives, sanding blocks and this really neat spackling that goes on bubblegum pink and then dries very smooth and white. I think I may be just a bit addicted to the tools and gadgets!

Three days in the hall of puttying and sanding has put me almost there. My other half removed the last door trim yesterday for me--the hallway has five doors! I plan on doing the last touch-up of sanding today and then I get to paint!

It's really beautiful to see white walls transformed by color!

Friday, October 27

Just Unplug It

I haven't always been a hermit.

In my previous life, I scarcely had time to think! Honest to God, I'd get half-dressed--run one kid to school--then finish dressing , fix my hair and make-up-- run the other kid to school. After that I could go to my 8+ hour a day job. Busy, busy, busy.

Lunch was an event. Happy hour was a social among friends at least twice a week. Most evenings were eaten up by school and extracirricular activities---as well as most weekends. How did I keep the house clean, laundry done and groceries in the house? I really have no idea... but it was done.

I've been in this area not quite 5 years now. There is no delivery I am aware of other than Fed Ex and UPS. Kids are gone. Just me and my other half, the four dogs... and the big ass cat.

There are days I can't seem to get anything done because of the phone ringing. I honestly have relatives that call 3 to 4 times a day--or more!

I've solved that problem (thanks to a suggestion from my other half). I unplug the phones and let voicemail catch it. Works great!

Maybe I should cut off the Nextel as well...

Thursday, October 26

Life is a Trade-Off

I am constantly amazed at the number of offers from service providers that require a contract or service commitment. What ever happened to earning a customer's loyalty? Seems to me if you were doing things right, there wouldn't be a need for a contract or commitment from the customer. Call me old-fashioned, but back in the day, you had customers because they were treated fairly and you offered a good product and/or service. I challenge you to find that today!

I mentioned many times how I live way off the beaten path... but have you any idea what it is like to just have internet connectivity in my neck of the woods? I have satellite internet. My monthly rate is twice of most cable providers (no cable here!) and my bandwidth is less than half. But... I have no choice... absolutely NO CHOICE. The old phone lines have probably been here a hundred years and they hum upon occasion. No DSL either.

Consider this a "count your blessings" moment: Those of you out there who enjoy the modern conveniences that are foreign in my area-- how close is your closest neighbor? Do you hear sirens and boomboxes?

I hear the beagle next door in hot pursuit and need binoculars to see my mailbox. Peace and quiet.

And I bet my neighbors don't even hear me scream when I have to reset my satellite transmitter.

Tuesday, October 24

My Slice of Heaven

God knows I love a challenge... I think that's why I am where I am.

Each hurdle is greater than the last. The sense of accomplishment is wonderful, but I just need some breathing room between hurdles.

Is that too much to ask???

This week, I am a wallpaper stripper, hole-patcher and painter.

I promise, I'll share pictures...

Thursday, October 19

Granny's Pear Honey

Seems the men folk have been visiting in my neighborhood about my Pear Honey. I recently shared it with a neighbor who has two big beautiful pear trees... this recipe will make very good of them!

This is my Granny's recipe. I have such wonderful, fond memories of making this with her and my mother, so I made it a tradition at my home in Texas with my two daughters.

We planted two pear trees when the girls were very young. Once the trees began to bear fruit, we'd draft the neighborhood girls to help with the chopping.

As years passed, friends became conveniently indisposed when the pears began to ripen! My Kitchenaid mixer--with the proper attachments--has made this a manageable task alone.

I must admit, I do miss the visiting that accompanies any group project

Granny's Pear Honey
3 lbs fresh pears
5 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
8 oz. can crushed pineapple

Core, peel and finely chop all pears. Add all ingredients in 6 quart pot. Bring to boil. Simmer 40 minutes, stirring over low heat.
Spoon into hot jars and seal. (I usually run my jars through the dishwasher and time the making of the pear honey so it coincides with the end of the dishwasher's cycle.)

Delicious on hot biscuits or toast. Wonderful on a ham or grilled pork chops.

Wednesday, October 18

Blue's Birthday

Yesterday was Blue's Birthday--he's a whopping 7 years old.

Blue was so small when I first saw him that he fit in my husband's hand and was able to concealed comfortably behind his back. He has since grown to 22 pounds.

My girls were hesitant to accept him right away... they were still mourning the loss of our 13 year old German Shepherd. Besides that, Blue grunted like a pig and had a tendency to sneeze right in your face (still does!).

He is a bit of a pig--my oldest has dubbed him a "food whore"--the only animal I have ever seen that will eat anything and everything. He stands by the island in the kitchen anytime I am cooking. He is so sure I'll drop something!

If he's not eating, chances are he's taking a nap. And yes, he snores.

He made the trip--and the transition--from Texas to Virginia with me. He's my daily companion and confidante.

I forget where I heard this, but it is oh so true: "If you want undying love and affection--get a dog."

Thursday, October 12


Ever get the feeling that life is on fast forward?

I have been doing the usual fall cleaning and found my journal tucked way beneath a pile of neatly folded clothes that I just know I can fit into again one day. The clothes part is not so disturbing. I have come to understand that I will not be a size 6 again. If I hang in there and behave I may just be an 8 again one day soon...

When I found the journal, of course I sat right down in the floor and read the entries. Last one was done on my birthday a year ago! I had written how delighted I was because my other half actually baked me a birthday cake--from scratch. A wonderfully delicious carrot cake with cream cheese frosting! I didn't get one this year--not that I NEED it or anything. I just have all these photos of me all through life taken with my birthday cake (see October 4 post), so somewhere in my subconcious, I feel a bit cheated if I don't get a birthday cake. I started to buy one--but that would be all wrong.

I read on... the thoughts and issues that consumed the pages are the very same thoughts and issues that plague me on a day to day basis... a year later, no less.

Was it Einstein or Mark Twain that said "Insanity is doing the same thing day after day expecting different results?"

Tuesday, October 10

He Killed A Village

Have you ever seen anything like this?

My other half dug it up a day or so after filling the hole in the ground with gasoline. He finds it amusing that I did not know yellow jackets built nests in the ground. This one looks like a village with all its layers!

I guess I'm still noticing and appreciating the differences between living behind six-foot privacy fences in the city and living where you need binoculars to see your neighbors. Needless to say, I appreciate the latter.

The leaves are turning and early mornings are a bit chilly. When I put the fat cat out this morning, I couldn't help but notice how beautifully clear the sky is at 5am. I could clearly see constellations! When my youngest was interested in astrology, we'd have to drive out to the deer lease in an effort to escape the lights of the city.

There's talk of snow... I'm doubtful at this point. But, the talk will push me into getting those loose ends tied up. I think I'll dig up those two big beautiful hibiscus today and place them in my bedroom to brighten my winter days. I have a south window that heats things up just enough to make them bloom all winter.

Wednesday, October 4

A Crone is Born

Beautiful young people are accidents of nature

but beautiful old people are works of art
. - Eleanor Roosevelt -

I've done a bit of research and it appears I am a crone. Actually, hag is also accurate given my age and menopausal state. I'm afraid slang definitions have taken over for the later word and ruined its chances of ever being uttered in a positive light.

I'm not 50 yet, but I see it in the not so far off distance.

“…you only begin to discover the difference between what you really are, your real self, and your appearance, when you get a bit older…A whole dimension of life suddenly slides away and you realize that what in fact you’ve been using to get attention has been what you look like…It’s a biological thing. It’s totally and absolutely impersonal. It really is a most salutary and fascinating thing to go through, shedding it all. Growing old is really extraordinarily interesting.” (Quoted by Germaine Greer: The Whole Woman)

I'm shedding it, for sure. I look the same to me, except for the gray hair and a few ever-growing lines. I realize, though, that I am now the
new and improved me.

“She would be a woman who did not exist to embody male sexual fantasies or rely upon a man to endow her with identity and social status, a woman who did not have to be beautiful, who could be clever, who would grow in authority as she aged.” (The Whole Woman).

I’ve always spoken honestly… some may even call it bluntly. But I accept responsibility for my thoughts and make a real effort to communicate objectively, without blame or disrespect.

I realize that we each are responsible for our own happiness. Self acceptance and forgiveness is at the very core of this. Having done whatever necessary to heal my own wounds, I now have a deeper compassion for others.

“Weaving a cocoon out of the substance of one’s own life is the necessary prerequisite for the emergence of the psyche: in withdrawing we create a way out….Going down into the subconscious and coming back out again are vital parts of the soul’s search for meaning…which is what the crone represents. Through having to complete nearly impossible tasks, the Crone earns her healing power. Turning away from a world to discover whether you are really alive is unquestionably painful. But it is in the conscious acceptance of loneliness- when there is nothing else to do- that a natural process of healing occurs.” (Vicki Noble: Motherpeace Tarot).

Sunday, October 1

Let's Get Real

I feel like crap today. I did yesterday as well. I barked and snapped and my sarcasm had a real sharp edge. There were several times my other half looked at me like I had three heads.
In spite of the fact that I didn't have the first Diet Pepsi and limited myself to 2 mere cups of coffee, I am feeling a tremendous sinus headache this morning. And to make matters worse, I'm going to have go out and face the general public--and read labels--just to improve my outlook today. That is, if I can find the energy to shower and dress.
I am proud of the fact that I have acknowledged to myself and to others that I don't feel good and have duly informed them, as a result, I may have the tendency to go off. I know I'm blunt and straight-forward but today things may go a degree or so more honest -- or raw.
Armed with this information, I declined the breakfast invitation from my mother-in-law this morning. When she called this morning, to tell me she had started the biscuits (she lives a mile away), I very openly admitted that when I don't feel good I have less patience and more sarcasm, and because of this I felt it best my other half go by himself. She told me her two sisters were coming. My husband's brother and his wife are there for the weekend, too. I sent banana nut muffins and some pear honey I put up yesterday.

I think I'll make some Comforting Chicken Soup.