Frank and I have always loved Christmas, especially when the house was full of kids. My favorite tradition that our family has, is to go to a Christmas Eve candlelight church service and then have…
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Frank and I have always loved Christmas, especially when the house was full of kids. My favorite tradition that our family has, is to go to a Christmas Eve candlelight church service and then have dinner at Waffle House and tip our server big. It’s such a special feeling, being with your family and celebrating the greatest gift ever given and the true meaning of Christmas.
Each year at Thanksgiving, we would tell our kids to give us their wish list, which would help us, and the grandparents, with our shopping. The hard part was finding places to hide the gifts so the kids couldn’t find and open them. As I suspected, and it was later confirmed, Kendel was very good at opening and rewrapping them back up. Finally one year, we got smart and put a dead bolt on the attic door and kept the key on a string, that I wore around my neck or hid in a very good place. On Christmas Eve, the girls would sleep (or not sleep) together, while Frank and I would get in the attic and bring out all of Santa’s gifts.
Frank was always a nut about gift presentation and would literally take hours arranging and rearranging the gifts so each was displayed just so, and to make sure it flowed from one gift to another and from one kid’s section to the next. I would stay up and watch for a while, and marvel at his talent, to finally, yawn, and give up and go to bed.
When I was a kid, my whole family, including aunt and uncle and cousins spent the night at my grandparent’s house and we would wake up at 4 or 5 in the morning and we would all tear into our gifts at the same time. Wrapping paper would be flying, and everyone would be hooping and yelling with excitement, as they unwrapped something that they had been asking Santa for. It was total craziness and so much fun, and I loved it. Frank, on the other hand, was used to a much more organized and slower pace. The Christmas music was turned on and we would all sit and take turns going around the room to open one gift at a time. HOLY COW – I thought I would go insane! But the most important thing, was that we were all together, healthy, and happy.
Things are a little different now. All the kids have places and lives of their own, and our house is quite now……… except for when, Pandora’s 70’s funk music channel is playing, or we are screaming and yelling when Alabama is playing ball, or when we are dancing in the kitchen. We may be getting older, but we ain’t dead yet and we are going to make the most of every single day.
Frank and I agreed that we wouldn’t do presents for each other this year, because we wanted to spend the money on the house. So after Thanksgiving, we went into high gear to finish our sunroom. I wanted to put the Christmas tree in there and have a place ready for the kids to use the little table and chairs I had for them and a place to play. At the same time, the gas department was trying to get us scheduled to install gas to the house and logs in the fireplace. I’m so happy that it all has been completed and I love the results.
So, we are ready for ole Santa, and for anyone else that wants to come for a visit. Frank and I want to say thank you to each and every one of you, for coming along with us on this journey, and we hope that you and your family have a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! 2017 is going to be fabulous!!
Yes, we were THOSE parents that took our kids out to roll yards every year at Halloween. I don’t remember at what age or exactly who introduced me to rolling yards, but I do know, for m…
I don’t remember at what age or exactly who introduced me to rolling yards, but I do know, for many years of my life, I have loved rolling yards or taking our kids out rolling.
There was a time in high school, when a group of us got together to go rolling. I have never been more scared or laughed more than I did that night. It was an epic night that ended up with all of us almost going to jail. But thank goodness, the parents of our friend, whose house we had just rolled, came out to tell the police to leave us alone, and that we were just having fun. Those were cool parents.
When my girls were in elementary school, a parent confronted me about one of my girls rolling her yard. When I told her that I knew about it, and had actually taken her and some friends around to roll yards, she let me have it, and she became even more mad when I started giggling. I guess I never understood why anyone would get so upset about having their yard rolled.
As our kids got older, Frank and I would load them and their friends up and head out as soon as it got dark. We would do a drive by and check out the target house and determine whether we would drop them off and come back by at a designated time or park somewhere and go with them to help get the job done.
In all of those years, our yard was never rolled, thanks to our dogs. There were a few times when cars would be creeping along in front of our property, but they were quickly deterred by our dogs barking and nipping at their tires. Our last dog is now 15 and a half years old. He can’t hear thunder and doesn’t see too well either, and spends most of the time inside. So this happened….
Meanwhile, a few loads of gravel and top soil have been delivered and we now have an actual driveway. It changed the whole look of the property and now we don’t have to worry about getting stuck in mud, once the fall weather finally gets here and it starts raining. The lavs were installed on the exterior of the house and the windows have been trimmed out.
One Saturday morning, we looked out of our back window and saw this large group of white pelicans fly into our little cove and begin fishing. I slipped down and zoomed in my camera and filmed them swimming all bunched up together, and watched as others flew in and joined them. It was a magical sight that I won’t ever forget. Moments like that have truly helped me get through all of the rough times of our move and the work on our house this year.
We have finished and are staying in what will eventually be the guest suite.
This is the entrance on the side of the house that comes in by the laundry room.
We continue to work on and mark off on our list of projects every week, but the list never seems to get any shorter. I add more than I mark off.
We are starting some work on the outside. Trying to get a driveway in before weather starts turning bad and we have a muddy mess. Siding being delivered soon. Hope to have pics to show you soon!! Until next time – Happy Fall Yall!! And Roll Tide. 😁
God is an amazing artist and I am so thankful that we are blessed to see this beautiful sunset and I am grateful that we are able to enjoy the beauty that he creates.
It seems as though I am always decorating or designing something. If I am not physically putting something together, I am picturing something in my head that would look better than it does at the present time. I can be driving and see a house, and in my head, I am adding shutters, changing paint colors and landscaping, to give it curb appeal with pizzazz.
Ideas and influences come to me from everywhere. I love to travel and I recently took a couple of small trips, where I was able to get some great ideas. First, I went to Florida to visit my sister Lisa, to surprise her for her 50th birthday. Those of you that know me, know that I am an only child, but God blessed me with a friend that I call my sister over 20 years ago, and even though we live many miles apart, we are close as ever.
While there, I had the opportunity to visit a beautiful central Florida cattle ranch. The ranch is owned by a family that visits a few times a year and celebrates holidays by inviting family to visit and stay in one of the two Flordia cracker houses. Many people do not know that Florida is the second largest cattle state, ranked behind Texas. Florida cowboys are called crackers, from cracking their whips while herding their cattle. Hence, the houses they live in are called cracker houses.
Frank and I also took a trip to Texas to visit our daughter Meredith, and to go to the Alabama vs USC football game. Roll Tide. Meredith recently moved to Fort Worth to start her dream job of working at a zoo. She is a keeper at the Fort Worth Zoo. We are so proud that she is doing so well, and for going after her dreams. We also went down to Waco and visited Magnolia Market, that is owned by Chip and Jo Ann Gaines from the Fixer Upper show on HGTV.
There were times, I doubted it would ever happen, but the weekend before traveling to Texas, we actually moved to the river house. We slung our clothes and some stuff in the house and then headed to the airport. Even though, we still have a long way to go, we are excited to be here now, and are trying to organize and put away. We have a bedroom, bathroom, and laundry room that are mostly finished, and are working to make improvements every day. I love to mix old with new, vintage and modern, and if I had to categorize the style of our house, I would say that it is a modern -farm/lake house – with nautical influence. Here are some of our details…
There was a time that I got excited, looked forward to, and even enjoyed heading out for a day of shopping. I’m not sure when that changed. Maybe it was one of the shopping trips when I spent hours with a teenage daughter in a dressing room while she was having a meltdown, because nothing she tried on fit right. Or maybe, it was when the skinny jeans became a fad. Either way, thinking about having to do it now, almost makes me sick to my stomach. Luckily for me, the internet and on-line shopping came along, and shopping for a house is much more fun, and better than trying to squeeze my butt into skinny jeans.
I get most of my decorating ideas scouring websites and apps such as Pinterest and Houzz, and I am also a huge fan of Chip and Joanna Gaines and the Fixer Upper show on HGTV. I decided early on in this process, that I wanted to combine old with new. I love the old wood ceilings that our house has, but I am also a fan of the more modern features that you find in homes today. I have chosen a neutral color scheme, and we are also giving a nod to a nautical look. I did not want a theme, but I did want some of the elements that we chose to give a nautical impression.
Here are some of our choices for the house.
Bathroom tile for the guest bathroom.
Tile for bathroom floor, utility room and side entrance hall.
Before pic of guest bedroom ceiling. Yes, We hand sanded and painted each and every groove before rolling. And, I might add, we didn’t have the air in yet. June and July have been hot this year folks.
These wood boards for the floor are milled right down the road, at the prison in Only, Tennessee.
Shiplap wall in the office and sunroom.
Needless to say, the UPS and Lowes drivers know we are here. We have boxes arriving daily. We are finally through with things being torn down, moved, and taken out. It’s finally turning around, and things are going in and starting to take shape. We get more excited with each passing day. Until next time, enjoy and be thankful for your air conditioner!!!!
It’s been a few weeks since I’ve found time to write. During that time, things have been moving along sort of like the tortoise, slow and steady. But life still happens and you have to make time for family, work, and everything that comes along with it.
When doing the demo on the house, we found a few boards that a previous owner had written on, when he did renovations to the house. He had written the date and his name and when the house was built. I decided that I wanted to write on the interior studs of our walls, not only for people that may remodel in the future to find, but to bless our home and all who live and stay there. I found bible scriptures that I like and went through the house one evening, wearing out a few pencils.
A lot of work has been done. The wiring has been completed, which included moving the old breaker box from the bedroom wall on the front of the house and relocating it to the utility room. The electric wiring was also installed underground from the electric pole to the house, so we don’t have ugly wires hanging across the front of the house anymore. The plumbing has all been reworked and finished. I did have a couple of walls moved and framed up a couple of doors, but nothing major at all. The insulation has been reinstalled, drywall hung and finished, and footers have been dug and concrete poured for the addition. But the biggest expense has been digging a new well. The old well was a hand dug well that was only about 26′ deep, which was river water level. Yes, the previous owner used river water. I hope to goodness that they didn’t drink it before boiling it. Ugh!
Frank called a gentleman that had witched the last well we dug, to ask if he could come and help us out again. Unfortunately, he wasn’t feeling well, but recommended someone else that also has the gift to witch wells. Frank gave him a call and he agreed to come out and witch it for us. A few days later, while Frank and his workers were at the house, one of the guys said “Hey Frank, there’s some ole guy out walking around the yard, holding a stick in the air.” They all went out to watch him do his work. He is a very nice gentleman and let them hold onto his stick as he walked around and found the water. Some of them tried to do it on their own, but they didn’t have the gift. The gentleman explained that his father had been able to witch wells, and he was one of 13 children, and the only one to have gotten the gift of witching wells. Some of you may think this is nonsense, but both times we have been successful in hitting very good water, and plenty of it. Thank goodness, I won’t be making my lemonade with river water!
To say that Frank is afraid of snakes, is a huge understatement. I don’t like them either, and avoid them at all cost, but I don’t think about them or look for them when I’m outside just walking around. Frank, on the other hand, is constantly looking, thinking, talking about, and telling me what I need to be wearing, where I need to be walking and looking, to avoid snakes. So the first thing that Frank did after we bought Periwinkle Lane, was to ask one of his workers to bring his mower out and attempt to cut the knee high grass. We haven’t owned a lawn mower in over 10 years, and have always paid to have our yard mowed. Frank and I both have really bad allergies, and mowing grass usually sends us into a terrible sinus infection and all that goes with it, and it takes us days to get over. Our delema here is, that our three lots total almost six acres, of which, we will need to mow about three. The yard at our last home on Rye St was the size of a Kleenex and we had it mowed for $35 every two weeks. Just thinking about how much it would be to pay someone to mow approximately three acres every couple of weeks, made us sick to our stomach. So, we have started our search for a new lawn mower.
So wouldn’t you know it, while our friend, Bubba, was mowing in the front yard, he saw a snake and it started striking at the tire as he went by and was about to hit his leg, so Bubba decided to jump off and let the snake have the mower. Bubba then calls Jimmy, who is weed eating, over to ask what kind of snake it is, but before he can ask him, Jimmy almost stepped on the snake. Jimmy identified the snake as a copperhead and proceeded to weed eat the snake into pieces. A few days later, Jimmy had two heart attacks. We hope it wasn’t because of the snake. Everyone please say a prayer for Jimmy!
Next, our friendly tree guy come out to trim the lower limbs off of the trees and raise the canopy up and improve our view. Once he was finished, he told us that he made our property value go up and if it had been done prior to us buying it, we would have had to pay a lot more. When we saw the view afterward and how much better it looked, we agreed.
You have got to love demo day! It’s like you actually have permission to tear stuff up and get dirty and messy. We have a lot of stuff to tear up, so our demo day turned into a demo week.
The main entrance of the house was located on the side of the house and another was through a set of double doors on the back of the house through the sunroom. When you enter the front of the property, and see the house, the first thing noticed is that there is no front door. We want to have a front door, so after we reworked the floor plan, we had the perfect place picked out for it, and Frank got the honor of slinging the sledge hammer to make way for where it will be installed. I think he liked knocking that wall down and relieving some frustrations. Some other changes we are making include, moving a few walls, changing some of the wiring and plumbing, running the electrical underground from the pole to the house and knocking down the well house and filling in the old well and digging a new one.
My favorite bible verse is Proverbs 3:5-6. Trust in Jehovah with all they heart, And lean not upon thine own understanding: In all thy ways acknowledge him, And he will direct thy paths.
Frank and I aren’t the most “religious” people you will meet, but our relationship with our heavenly father comes first and is very important to us. We hardly make a decision on anything, before going to him in prayer, to ask for his guidance. The hard part is patiently waiting for his answer. Frank is much more patient than I am, but I am getting better at it, the older I get.
When we started making plans to purchase the river house and selling our Rye Street house, we knew there would be a span of time that we would need a transition spot to stay. We debated on buying a camper and living in it at Periwinkle Lane, but there was going to be a couple of weeks before we could get the electric hooked up and dig a well, so that wasn’t good. Our ultimate decision was to build a small apartment at Frank’s shop. Since the structure was already there, we could do it relatively quick and after we were finished staying there, we could rent it out and have the extra income. So, not only were we packing up everything and storing it at Frank’s shop, we were trying to complete the apartment and work our jobs at the same time.
One day, my daughter Kendel came for a visit and I wanted to take her to see Periwinkle Lane. On the way, we stopped to check on Frank at the shop and I showed her where we were going to be finishing the apartment. When we were getting in the car after seeing it, she said “Oooh mom!” I have to admit, it was in rough shape then, but it turned out okay. Frank and I have laughed about that a few times.
Frank’s shop is an old building located on Hwy 70 between McEwen and Waverly, in a little area call Gorman. So, let me put this in perspective for everyone. Hwy 70 with all of the traffic, which sounds like Daytona 500, is in the front of the building, and 50 feet from the back of the building is the railroad tracks. Trace Creek road runs right beside us and there is a railroad crossing located there for traffic. Does anyone know how many trains run down this track each night? Better yet, does anyone know how many times a train blows it’s horn when approaching and passing through a crossing? The first couple of nights were painful. Needless to say, I had to buy a fan, ear plugs, and take benadryl to help me sleep.
The other small problems we encountered during our first few days at the apartment were seeing a big snake right outside our back entrance, mice getting into our food, and a male cat on the roof screaming all night. I guess he was trying to make friends with my female cat. Then last week, there were terrible storms in our area and before we knew what was happening, there was water coming in everywhere and water was flowing through the apartment like a small creek. Thank goodness, we hadn’t left for work yet, and was able to get all hands on deck with the shop vac, blowers, and dehumidifier. It took most of the day but we got it cleaned up. That one stressed Frank out.
All in all, it wasn’t easy at first, and I must admit, I had a couple of meltdowns. Frank was walking on eggshells and trying to stay out of my way. But, one day, he gave me some great advise, when he told me to “Keep your eye on the prize.” So I am doing just that. I am trusting God and visualizing what is to come. Some days are harder than others, but each day we get a little closer. Until next time, keep smiling!