Refreshed Bathroom

After we closed our small river outfitter business for the season, it was time to work on our house.  We’d postponed this twice.   While we had painted the walls for most of the rooms, we had not painted the trim and the doors since 1999.  Seventeen years.   Likewise, while we’d reapplied a finish to our hardwood in the past, we’d had water and pet damage and only a complete floor refinish including sanding and restaining would return them looking good.   I took the time to go through every drawer, every closet, and every cabinet and sort and determine what to keep, what to throw away, and what to give away.  Many trips to Goodwill, consignment stores and to the waste disposal station occurred.

Mike was resistant to this whole thing until we got going and then he realized just how bad some of the areas of our house looked.   I’d used the Mr. Clean Magic Erasers so frequently on some parts of the trim that the paint had worn away.   Literally, we cleaned everything including the underside of the furniture.


While the expense of having the floors refinished (~$1900) and the painting done (~about $2700 excluding paint) prevented us from doing any additional major work, I did take the opportunity to repurpose or rearrange things so that the rooms felt fresh.    Here’s our “before” of the master bathroom.  It’s brown.  Oh my gosh.    I was working out of town when this occurred.  While I’d said okay to the color, I wasn’t in love with it but didn’t have time to give it a lot of thought.   I had planned to bring a lot of blue towels in or something to make it more the look I wanted.   Nothing really worked in this bathroom.


We painted it a soft, pretty blue and added a few touches to make it feel more unique.


I love the towel bar Mike made for me out of wormy chestnut and old doorknobs.   Two of the doorknobs were the same and one was an odd one.   I’d thought about painting the wood, but I like the contrast between the soft blue, the dressy glass doorknobs, and the wormy chestnut wood that came from a Mendota barn.


So pretty.


He’d taken an old picture frame with hooks for a few pieces of jewelry (all cheap lol)  that he made some time ago and painted it white.  I like it so much better.


Here it is again.


I really like this blue so much better.


Clinch Mountain Fire – Mendota

A few weeks ago, we had the unsettling news that there was a fire on Clinch Mountain.  It was on the “Mendota” side of the mountain, and before it was out 10 acres had burned.   “Thank goodness that is over,” we all thought.   Later in the week on another part of the mountain, another fire was discovered and close to 900 acres were burned before the fire died.

On Wednesday morning before Thanksgiving, another fire was discovered on Clinch Mountain–not far from where the first one occurred.   This looks like a beautiful, foggy morning, but it is misleading.  It’s smoke.   (Picture taken by Amy Larson)


Primarily, the fire is moving along the forest floor, and in many cases, the leaves on the tops of the tree are not even affected, and it’s difficult to see where it has burned if you are looking at the trees from a distance.   However, it is burning, and some of the dead trees are on fire as well as the underbrush.  They take longer to burn.  The picture below was taken by Randy Powers.


If you are a mountain person… you understand how difficult this is.   It’s not just safety that comes to mind,  it’s the violation of the mountain we love.    This pictures below were taken by Amy Larson and  Saul Hernandez, the Tyler District County Supervisor, who has been watching this closely.


Pinnacle Road, which I still call “the Mountain Road” as it was known for generations, acts as a fire line, keeping the fire from crossing further if the wind is not blowing hard.


The fire moves along at a steady clip…burning the very, very dry leaves and brush on the mountain floor.    Acres and acres…close to 1,000 by now have burned.  Some say fires leave the mountain healthier, but this is not good.  The mountain was full of acorns which sustain deer and other wildlife.  They are burning.


At night, we can see the “big picture.”  It is terrifying.   Brandon Moore took the picture below.  I did not sleep at all the night this picture was taken.  We had Mike’s son and daughters in town and our plan to was to go to IHOP on Thanksgiving morning and eat before they drove back to Northern Virginia.  I did not sleep until it was day light and I could look out and see the mountain.  We opted out of IHop and I slept most of the morning.


Mendota is in Poor Valley…at the base of Clinch Mountain on the Washington County side.  Homes are tucked in close to the woods.   We all love living near the mountain.  I feel unsafe without Clinch Mountain at my back.    However, when this looms nearby as in Pam Powers’ picture on Thanksgiving evening.   it’s unnerving.


Goodson Kinderhook Volunteer Fire & Rescue has been working for three weeks on the fires.  Here’s four of our guys.   Saul Hernandez took this picture.


The air quality has been affected all around us.   Randy Powers took this picture from Cracker Barrel at Exit 7 in Bristol.


Here’s a picture taken this afternoon by Amy Larson, and our latest official update from Saul Hernandez.


As many of you already know the fire jumped the line that had been cut by Virginia Dept Forestry on the west side going towards Gate City. A new fire line has been cut and Goodson is on stand by ready to protect structures. They have also started a back burn to head off the fire going down hill. The fire has also jumped fire line on North side last night and burning into Russel County. This fire will easily burn over 1000 acres maybe more by time it is said and done. Just spoke with Chief Venable and as you can imagine the guys Goodson Kinderhook Volunteer Fire Department are pretty tired. I would imagine so is Brumley Gap Vol. Fire Department and Forest Service. Please continue to pray for their safety and for some rain.

Please join me and others in Mendota in doing exactly what Saul has suggested.   We love this beautiful mountain.  The photo below was taken by Angela Fleenor who is a friend of my friend, Joann Vicars.


Thank you.



Getting Ready For Thanksgiving


Mike and I have spent a month outside of our house.  We had our floors refinished and the house repainted.   It’s so nice.   I love watching home decorating shows, and I’ve admired the neutrals I see.   However, I’m just not a neutral person.    I like color, and I’m old enough at […]

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Lucky Me!


I am so lucky to have my two sisters, Pat and Nancy.   They both are deeper thinkers than I am.   When I went to Meredith College as an adult, I had to read many of the “great works.”    I toiled through them, but what was so surprising is that Pat had read […]

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Boating on South Holston


In the early spring,  I asked my brother-in-law, Gerald, if he’d take me out in his boat.   Since I had about 60 other “little boats” (kayaks) to think about shortly thereafter, we didn’t  go until this week.   We picked what we thought would be a perfect day.  It was going to be 70 degrees and […]

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My World September 24, 2106

Clinch Mountain View From the Mendota Bridge

WOW!  Has it ever been hot and dry in Mendota, Virginia!    It was 90 degrees yesterday when I took this picture from the Mendota bridge.  I was waiting on kayakers to come in.   I’ll go back to this same spot next week and the following week so that I can record how the leaves will […]

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Ruby Smith…. A Century Of Life


My mother had two best friends in her lifetime.   One was Connie Collier and the second was Ruby Smith.    On Saturday, Ruby’s 100th birthday was celebrated by her friends and family.   Here’s a picture of my sister, Pat,  and Ruby that was taken at the event. Pat wrote about Ruby on Facebook, and she expressed […]

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Door Knobs Or Channeling Aunt Clara


We are moving next door in about three weeks while our house is being updated a bit with fresh paint and refinished hardwoods.    Since we essentially have to move out of all the rooms with hardwood, and that is all of the bedrooms, living room, dining room and hallway, this is a great opportunity […]

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My Goals – One More Thing Done


I’m still working on my 2016 goals.  So far, I’ve got my ears pierced and they grew right back up.    I’ve lost 11 pounds but still have about 15 to go.   I’m on to a new goal.  I have always wanted to enter something into the Washington County Fair!    This year, I did.   And guess what?  […]

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I Choose Love

Good picture

My favorite picture of the past few weeks.    I choose love.  How about you? (15)

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