Jan 25, 2017

checking in (edited)

Not sure exactly how to start this post as things tend to blur together after awhile.  When I left off last time, Charles and I were going to watch the 4 youngest grandkids so their mom could take their cousin shopping for school clothes.  She will be staying with them this semester and the clothes she brought with her were not meeting the local school dress codes.  Fortunately we had good weather and did take the kids into our town's park to play on the cool slides and stuff there.  Then we scored point by taking them off to Mickey D's for ice cream cones.  Well, there was some grumbling about wanting sundaes but Gramps and I said they all got the same thing this trip.

This past weekend, the "twin-cesses" came for an overnight stay.  I had some helpers for "dough smashing"  (Pride of Iowa cookies call for the dough to be flattened with a glass dipped in granulated sugar).  I sent most of the output home with the kids though.

Emma and I---Araya said to pose this way as the last batch was in the oven

Araya looks like she is doing the pageant wave, LOL

Plans are to have their older brother Zeke come this weekend.  We thought the youngest Abby was going to come Monday evening but at the last minute she decided she would stay with Mama and play outside some more, LOL.   Instant grandmom, that's me!

Charles and I had decided to table several of our household projects until after the wedding.  Mostly those plans consist of painting the master bedroom and putting up some shelving on the wall above the desk.  He hung a blind I had gotten for the bedroom that had been waiting while the bathroom work was completed.  However, Charles had gone out to help his son with a plumbing issue and came home with a closet rod and brackets.    Way back in July 2014 I had posted about the jerry rigged closet rod in the master bedroom and wondered how it had managed to not snap like a twig.  It is fixed now, thanks to Charles.  We could address this before it got too loaded up with stuff now that those 81 quilts were delivered.

We do have plans to paint, re-tile my bathroom with the same tile as the master bath we just did, re-size the mirror, replace the light fixture and toilet to a low flow chair height one.  Just generally update the room a bit.  Again, that needs to wait till after the wedding.  Mom and Dad will be staying here when they come down and people will be in and out.  Better not to have the house all torn up!  I have paint color cards stuck up in both rooms---looking at pretty blue for the bedroom and at first a green for the bathroom.  Now I am leaning towards a butterscotch yellow.  Jury is still out, LOL but I have time to think about this!  I see more trips to Lowe's in our future.  If anyone were to ask what we might need as a wedding gift, the answer would be Lowe's gift cards.

We have not been idle though. He hung a blind I had gotten for the bedroom that had been waiting while the bathroom work was completed.  He turned his attention to the utility shed and I went out there to help decide some of the "stay or go" items.  In this picture from the bush cutting down days, you can see some of that giant mess behind him!  We filled up the trash can rather quickly and had to ask a couple of the the neighbors if they had room in theirs for a couple of things.  I resisted going through the subdivision near us at the dead of night to sneak a bag in some stranger's though, LOL.  As soon as the can was emptied last Friday morning, I had it almost 3/4's full again with the bags we had waiting.

At some point he will run electricity out there but a lot of clearing out needed to be done to gain some floor space.  Using the scrap lumber bits out there, he put up some shelving to get the Christmas decoration boxes up off the floor.  He also re-purposed that old wooden closet rod he just took down in the bedroom and got some chain to hang the ladders from the rafters.  The old door that DJ and I had taken down between the kitchen and laundry room is now a work table hinged to a side wall.  He put some vinyl tile on the top of it yesterday and added some trim and it looks pretty cool!  He moved and re-organized the shelving units and put up a wire shelf unit that DJ had never mounted.  It now holds a couple cord reels and a few more items.  All the weed eaters are mounted on the other side wall too.   There is still some tossing to be done and a surplus of nails found a new home at a friend's house who has a building project coming up but it is looking up!  The cat carrier you see below is only in a temporary home at this point.  We replaced the rickety sawhorses this past weekend when Harbor Freight had them about 40 bucks cheaper than we had priced at Lowe's.  You would not believe how much cleaner and open this space looks like already!

Oh, that yellow roll of batting is out of there now too as I've got it in my car to run down to the church next week.  

He needs to see if the two compressors we have in this heap still work and the old kitchen chair back needs dismantled for parts.

Charles at work organizing the shelves but you can see the ladder things he rigged up in this shot.

Turns out that ours was not the only shed we had to worry about.  This Sunday his son or daughter-in-law called and the hot water heater had been tripping off repeatedly for a 24 hr period.  Also it had been raining quite heavily (windy too) and a roof leak problem had returned.  Charles went out to see if he could fix the problem.  I know he cleaned out the gutters a bit and checked into the breaker situation while he was there.  Being an intermittent problem, they would have to continue to monitor it.

While he was there, a pine tree uprooted and sheared the wiring from Jeff's mechanic shed but hit the other one that he and Charles shared.  I was just grateful that he was not out in it at the time as he was headed that way for some of his electrical supplies.  The one that got hit sort of sits at right angles to other one and the tree went through the left hand third of the building, raising the roof.  It missed his big riding mower and all of his electronic equipment and "toys" but bent the tar out of his shelving.  There is a motorcycle and tiller under all this mess among other things.
 I went out to help clear things out and see what we could selvage.  The insurance adjuster is due out tomorrow morning but he and Jeff were allowed to remove what was not damaged with orders to keep away from the damaged areas.  Charles was able to store several wagon loads of stuff in his old apartment downstairs in the house.  Some stuff got tossed as it was wet or no longer needed.  Some stuff came back here with us as he sets up some shop area here.  That wire shelving unit you see against the wall in one of the pictures of our shed above got mounted and nicely holds his electronic course books.  It is shaping up!

 In between, Wendell dropped off a length of leather for the treadle machine so that is now fixed though I have not had a chance to sit down and try it.  He also started drilling out the bush stumps so they can be treated with Stump-Rid product.  The battery packs both died or he might have gotten a bit further this afternoon, LOL.  

We had the pleasure of meeting his cousin Jim and his wife Rosemary a week ago Wednesday.  They were up from Ocala, FL and doing some geneology work near here but on the Georgia side of the state line.   Jim suggested meeting up in Oxford for lunch near the exchange.  Then we all went out through Cleburne County and a church cemetery where their mutual great-grandfather (or was it their grandfather?)  is buried along with some other relatives.  I believe they plan to come up for the wedding.

We were finally able to meet with the pastor a week ago Sunday and tour the fellowship hall we will be using for the reception, discuss what we wanted to do for vows, etc.  There are several options for the bride dressing rooms and other logistical things explained that will help us get the supplies and such we need.   Charles is afraid to use the linen table cloths so I think we will be making a trip out to Sam's for disposable table cover once we get a linear measurement of the tables after church next Sunday, LOL.

I went shopping yesterday after the Belles meeting for some of the things we will be needing but still need to go for some of the punch ingredients.  Charles' oldest son and daughter-in-law will be helping with the reception and providing the bride and groom's cakes as our wedding gift.  I am thankful for their help!  Melissa and I recently discussed what we wanted to serve with cake and punch and they will prepare/purchase those items or that is the current plan!  I also have a lead on a florist so that is what I need to address next along with some rehearsal dinner details.  At this writing if you don't count today, 30 days to go!

All this excitement is sort of tempered for me this week as I am mindful that Thursday the 26th would have been DJ's and my 18th anniversary.  February 1st marks the 3rd anniversary of his passing. If I don't mark these dates, then I don't know who will and he deserves to be remembered.   He was a good man and loved me as I loved him.  I am deliriously happy with Charles and am looking forward to being his wife but I do honor DJ and our life together for 36 years.  This made me who I am today, taught me what it was to be a wife and in a long term relationship.  I think Charles would thank him for that if they had met.  Charles knows what loss is as well.  We know just how blessed we are to have this 2nd chance at love and marriage and will treasure every day that God grants us.  That we are ready to try again is a testament to our loved ones, don't you think?

Changing course here and looking to the future---------

Of course, it probably goes without saying that I am not sewing.  Who has time??  I barely know my own name, LOL, and after all, it is changing soon!  I do plan on doing the Fat Quarter Shop 2017 Make a Wish quilt.  I purchased the kits and fat quarter stack of Bonnie and Camille Basics with Christmas monies from Charles and my dear Belles.  I want it bigger---I think, LOL.  The first block was just released mid-month.  I will get to it---actually tempted to make the blocks larger than 5 inches and re-size them either 7.5 or 10 inch finished.  Will re-visit that when I can fiddle in EQ a bit----in my free time, HA!

I would love to have the long planned Disappearing 4 patch in blues and white done for the master bedroom and maybe that is where my focus needs to be.  Once the room is painted it would look great in there!  That and on the queen sized headboard/bed frame that we will be hunting for at some point.  Just gathering style ideas at this point.  

And there you have it for this check-in post.  I need to get Oscar into his bed, hit the shower and wind down for the night.  Not sure where this day went but it is about over.   THX for stopping by to see what's up.


  1. As always you are a busy little bee. It was a delight to see you and the Belles on Tuesday. I hope to get back to visiting regularly.

  2. WOW you are busier than ever! 30 days? yikes! It sounds as though you have everything organized and on schedule, enjoy this time, don't stress too much :) So excited for you!

  3. So good to hear how your doing and you are one busy beaver but sound so happy. 30 days, they will fly by, enjoy all the excitement. I have been following Gene's blog for quite some time and always am surprised when he leaves a comment, I didn't realize you and he were part of the Belles what a small world.

  4. You two have been BUSY! And I agree - that you are ready to try again IS a testament to your loved ones. Re-sizing the blocks is a great idea - larger blocks equals fewer needed - so that's a definite plus. Your Disappearing 4 Patch sounds perfect for the master bedroom - but don't stress yourself out - there is no hurry on any of it - except for the wedding plans - ;))

  5. Wow...You are even busier! It is wonderful to read all of you happy news. Thank you for the link to the QAL...I like big quilts so I am always resizing or adding extra blocks or borders, too. Remember to slow down and take a deep breath every now and then. It is not good to have your head spin off.


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