Archives for January 2013

Gracie’s Trip to the Vet

This Sweet Girl visited the vet today. Mike said she was so very brave!

Gracie Looking Out the Window

Dr. Steve says that the “warty” like thing on her eye has to come off. He’s trying an approach of squeezing it (yes, she let him…she’s a good dog) and I’m applying a steroid ointment at night. If it goes away or is reduced enough not to bother her, then we won’t attempt surgery.

He doesn’t want to do surgery due to her age…she’s almost 15. He listened to her heart. It beat strong. He watched her walk. Her arthritis was still manageable.   He felt of her lumps and bumps (too many to list).    He made a loud noise.  She didn’t hear him; her world is quiet.

Most dogs Gracie’s age are very thin.  She runs to fat.    Yes, her arthritis would be better if she was a little lighter, but Dr. Steve is delighted that she’s not thin. 

She still finds joy in her life. She loves riding in the truck, running to the shop, eating, and laying by my feet or on the couch beside me. I’m her “important person.” Mike is her “second important person” but not quite as high as me.

And I love her.  With all my heart.


Not a Lottery Winning Day

I am having one of THOSE days…everything just goes askew.  I realize that on my worst day, my life is better than most.  However….

It started last night when I realized it was 1:30 am and I was still up. I had to get up at 6:30 am and feed the animals. Mike had to take my Prius in for service. I had to meet him at the dealership. He had a dental appointment. We didn’t get back home until 3:30 pm and we were both tired…maybe grumpy.   My mouth was hurting.  I hope it feels better tomorrow, but this afternoon, it felt  like I had 8 kernals of popcorn stuck in between my teeth and in my gums. I was fantasizing about a swish of warm salt water on the way home from town.  When I finally got home and did the swish thing…ahh…it was wonderful. 

So we’re home and Mike goes to the shop. I go down, too, to…well do some spray painting…isn’t that what I do a lot of the time?   I’ll show you what I painted later in the week.  Anyway, I saw this girl…she has to go to the vet tomorrow.  She’s so cute…she looks like she is quinting at me.  

Gracie 1

She has bumps and lumps all over her. She’s had a wart on her eye for a good while. I’m afraid it’s going to start causing her discomfort, so she’s going in for a consultation with Dr. Steve tomorrow.

Gracie 2

I’m worried that any day she will die. I can’t help it. She is over 14.  She sure can bark good though. 

I also went to see the bees today.  There was one single bee outside of the four hives. I keep wondering…are they alive and just in the hives doing what they are supposed to do which is clustering around the queen? One was outside the hives, so I tried to peek into the top of each hive but I didn’t see any activity. I keep wanting to mess with them, but there is not one thing I can do if they are in trouble. We have extra food for them in the event that they run out of honey. We have done everything that we’re supposed to do. It’s just wait and hope and pray.

Bee Hives January

I asked Sam the cat who went to see the bees with me…Sam..are the bees alive?”

Sam the Cat January 2

Sam said…”Who cares?  Why ask me? I’m a cat.”   Look at those cool green eyes.   Self-centered cat!

One of the things that I did while in town was go by Short Sheets and buy my slipcover fabric for the couch in our home office. Guess what? I got home and I’d taken the wrong bolt of fabric. Yikes!

So my day has been spent “waiting” on cars and dentists; my dog has warts on her eye; my bees may be dead; and my couch fabric is wrong. Yikes…I will not buy a lottery ticket today! For sure!

I did do one thing that was fun. I purchased a small basket at TJ Maxx for $4.00.   It’s cute.  I’m not sure what that little round thing on it is. 

TJ Max Basket

So…I now have a basket…and I’m thinking about one of Mike’s bookshelves that is not very organized. It has Mike’s junk on it.

Shelf on Mike's Side of Room

Add one of the many canning jar rings and a little bit of scrapbook paper…and now…that same little shelf is all organized. No more white bowl.

Etc Org Basket

A place for everything and everything in its place.

I still have a long way to go in this room.


Life Unscripted

Isn’t this a pretty church? It’s over 100 years old.

Mt. Vernon United Methodist Church

Joey led this morning’s prayer. He said, “Thank you for staying with us during the snow and ice and power outages. Thank you for riding shotgun with us Father.” Our worship is not scripted.

Here’s some more to be thankful for…it’s our friend Helene and her two house daughters, Ashley and Jenna. Ashley and Jenna have been hanging out with Mike in the shop a lot this week. Like Joey’s prayer today, these three independent women are living life unscripted. They delight everyone they touch.

Helene Jenna and Ashley

And…Jenna and Ashley installed a new, tiled entry in our guest house apartment! Mike had removed the old vinyl and had the ceramic tiles cut and laid out, but his knee surgery is on the near horizon and kneeling isn’t working well for him right now. Jenna and Ashley had never laid or grouted ceramic tile, but they did an awesome job.

Ceramic Floor

It looks like wood, but it’s ceramic tile. I love it!


Neat Desk Scanner

Have you seen the commercials from Office Depot on “Jane at Work?”  I’ve been eyeing all of the great black and white desk organization items. I was thinking I could get a cardboard box and with a glue gun, Cricut, chalkboard paint and some creativity, I could make something similar for free!

See Jane Work 1

Mike saw me watching this commercial, and I thought he was just being observant. However, he was watching something else, and it had nothing to do with saving money — quite the opposite.

He was eyeing the Neat Desk Scanner that also appears in the commercial. And guess what? He went and bought it! Now, he will HAVE to get rid of some of those 20 or so notebooks. He bought the scanner, and now he’s obligated to scan!!

Here it is on the desk (still haven’t moved the rug or anything much on this side of the room).

Neat Desk Scanner 2

And a little closer….I’m so glad he’s addicted to gadgets. He’ll be scanning for hours. For days!

Neat Desk Scanner 1

While he’s scanning, I can do meaningful, important things. Like pin things on Pinterest. Or play games on my iPad. Or surf the internet for crafts and decorating ideas! I’m in love with that scanner already!



Happy Snowy Friday and Office Reorg Update

 Happy snowy Friday!   I adore these serendipitous holidays where nature has everyone slow down a bit.  We’ve had a wonderful day staying indoors. 

I went upstairs this morning and took a few pictures of our home office which is my current “big” project.    No one is going to say I took performance enhancing drugs to get through fast.   Small steps. Bits of progress.

Chairs look a lot crisper spray painted black.   I think a little red lumbar pillow will look great in this chair.  

Chair painted Black

If you can get around all of the mess I have pulled out in the above picture, you’ll see how the newly painted black chair looked BEFORE when you look at the picture below.   Just imagine all of the junk gone and picture how GOOD the chair looks black in this spot.   I takes some imagination.  

While you’re using your imagination, imagine the couch slipcovered in white denim.  I’m ordering 14 yards today!!  The labor for this will be $400.  I’m saving $100 per week for four weeks.   

Mike's side of office

Bookshelf all neat and organized in the picture below.  A place for everything and everything in its place. These bookshelves are over 30 years old now. They are a little out of style. They were purchased at Ethan Allen and are really sturdy. They work!   

Bookshelf Right Side of Room

And my file cabinet…all tidied up with the Cricut on top where its handy.    I’ve organized all of the drawers, too!   I like these little wooden file cabinets.  Mike and I each have one.  

Eva's File Cabinet

You can see the green rug in the above picture.    That rug will be shampooed  and rolled up for storage.  It’ll come out again some time in another room, but the rug that will go in it’s place is a neutral natural “cream” color.   Imagine…the natural rug, the black chairs, the wood pieces all accented in black and red.   I’m starting to see it!

Accessories will make this a sweet space.   New lampshades, a red throw, some burlap, plants, black and white checks…you get the picture.   Lots of cleaning, throwing away and organizing still ahead.

 I’m also looking around the house and seeing what I have that I can reuse. I had a wrought iron “curly thing” that I’d hung above the entry way in the dining room.   It was a distressed yellow color.  I painted it black. It’ll go behind the couch.  See the post it note for Mike!”   He hates those things!

Wrought Iron Curly Piece

How are you spending this snowy day? Are you crafting, reading, cleaning, sleeping or eating? All of them sound good to me!


Slow Cooker Minestrone Soup

Last week’s rainy…then snowy…weather made me want soup in the crock pot. Is it more classy to say “slow cooker?” Anyway, I found a recipe which used the following ingredients.

Minestrone Ingredients

And here’s how you assemble the ingredients…I got this from my Rival Crock Pot Cookbook that came when I bought the crockpot ages ago.

1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, sliced
1 zucchini, diced
1 cup cabbage, shredded
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 15 oz. cans kidney beans, drained
2 14 1/2 oz. cans beef broth
1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes (I used home canned)
1 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 cups cooked elbow macaroni
1/4 cup Parmeasean cheese, grated (Of course it’s grates as I use the big green can!! So NOT classy!)

Combine all of the ingredients in the crockpot except the macaroni and Parmesan cheese. Cover. Cook on low for 7 to 9 hours or on high for 4 to 5 hours. Stir in the macaroni and Parmesan cheese.

It’s good! We had homemade bread (someone else’s homemade..not mine) and this soup last Thursday when it was snowing outside.

Very cozy.


After the January 2013 Snow

Hi!  Baby it’s cold outside!   It’s been a wild week.  I had no internet on the onset of last week due to  a transmitter being replaced up at the Mendota Fire Tower by my pals at IGO Technologies.  They did the replacement while our area received 6.5 inches of rainfall!

Here’s where my internet comes from…on top of Clinch Mountain!

Mendota Firetower

Twenty four hours after the repair, we received 6-7 inches of wet (and beautiful) snow resulting in no phone service, no electricity and no internet. The phone service returned in 48 hours, the electricity in about 72 hours, and the internet, FINALLY, today!  

The wet snow had trees down everywhere. Here’s a few on the side of the road going up Nordyke Road leaving Mendota. The scenes below repeated over and over on all of the Mendota roads. Thank goodness some folks had chainsaws as the road crews had too much other stuff on their hands.

Tree 2

And another…

Tree 3

And another…yawn!

Tree 5

We are so fortunate that we have a generator (check out this post). However, to keep from using so much propane, we are careful about our electrical usage during outages. I didn’t spend a lot of time working on my home office organization project because it’s in a different “zone” in terms of the heating system. However, I tried to do a few things…

I have all kinds of photo albums from the time when we didn’t have digital photography.  Look at them!   (If you can get past the trash I have on the floor in this picture…sometimes you have to drag it out before you can clean it up!)

Office Before Right Side

I am putting most of the albums in the lower part of the bookshelf behind doors.  However, there were a few that I could not get in there.  I went back in time to the era when I had to “wrap” my rented school books.  Do students still rent textbooks?   I don’t know!

Took some ordinary mailing paper and a very ugly pink album..

Covering Albums

Using my skills developed during my years as a textbook renter!

Covering Albums 2

Taped down the sides here…

Covering Albums 3

Here ya go! Still a work in doesn’t look like it will look with a bit more tweaking…but you can see where I’m headed.

Bookcase Redo

While slow as molasses, this is a good winter project!


Plans for Office Organization Redo

We got up in a dither of excitement today. The river was rising fairly rapidly and the creeks were out of the banks. I didn’t go to work — was afraid I couldn’t get back home.   

Here’s a picture taken in front of our house early this morning. The river has continued to rise.   This just screams at us to get in the truck and go look around, and we did. 

River in front of the house

I appreciate the rain — especially since there is drought in so many areas of the southeast United States.

Here’s a creek up the road “a piece” from the house…looks like a little lake. 

Creek making a lake

It would have been a great day to hang out and surf the internet, but it was down today, too. Back up now…finally!   Sort of…it’s actually going off and on. 

I did a little work on  a long-term project which is our home office reorganization.   It looks like this now, and Mike says he thinks it looks fine. I hate it.

Mike's side of office

He has a computer that does not work and a printer that does not work. There are at least 150 wood working magazines and he has binders that say things like “Electronic Gate” or “Generac”. He gets to keep the notebooks but the magazines need to leave. I thought the best way to get him to go along with my idea to “redo” the home office was for me to start working on it.   Admittedly, my side is a mess,too. 

Here’s my side of the room…see that trashbag on the floor?  I’ve gotten rid of a bunch of stuff.    

 Office Before Right Side

I have plans for my side and for Mike’s side and for the whole room.  No shortage on ideas here.

My plans are inspired by these…you have to have a start. 


There’s a few things in this room that will be slow to change. The red couch is going to be slipcovered white,  and I haven’t even bought the fabric so that won’t be completed for 6-8 weeks or even longer. 

Do you recall when I spoke about having a chair and ottoman slipcovered?    Here’s that post.   I was going to move it to the downstairs master bedroom, but I’ve decided to leave it up in the office and use the same white on the couch.   That is my only big expense in redoing this room. 

Here’s how the chair turned out.    Don’t you love it.  I can pull these off and wash them. 

 Slipcovered Char

Shifting rugs around, organizing and making those bookshelves look nice, getting rid of stuff we don’t need or is torn up…those things can take place over the next few weeks.

And I’m sure some chalkboard spraypaint and regular spraypaint will be involved!


DRAT! Internet is down!

Hi…I’m gone for a few days as IGo Clear is having an equipment problem. Said we’d be back up Wednesday.

This was eye opening. I am thoroughly addicted to social media.

Serious withdrawal.


Taking You on a Road Trip

I am so over obsessing about the barn that I talked about in the last post (here if you missed it). I don’t know where the barn is. I give in. Uncle!

To celebrate my moving past the barn issue, Mike and I went and grabbed a bite to eat. I’ll take you along!

Here we go…off in the truck. This Ford Lariet has been a great truck for the dogs.

Headed Out

And of course, “the girls” are going with us? Woof!

Gracie Looking Out the Window

We’ll check out the Barnrock Road project. I know the curve will be safer, it’s just…I feel bad for the birds and squirrels…the little creatures.

Barn Rock Road Work 0113

In Mendota, we live about 17-18 miles to the nearest grocery store which is Walmart. However, we’re a little closer to a really great place to get a bite to eat…about 11-12 miles or so.

Please allow me to introduce you to the best place to get a BLT (bacon lettuce and tomato) sandwich in Southwest Virginia.

Rally Mart 1

So can fill up your tank while you fill up your tank!

Rally Mart 2

Here’s the lunch menu…

Lunch Menu

And the breakfast menu..

Breakfast Menu

For this post to be really finished, I’d be showing a picture of a beautiful BLT. However, in my excitement, I forgot to take a picture.

I ate it too fast.


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