Monday, August 30, 2010

The redneck family has arrived.

So, this is how you stretch a buck in our house.  We are a cheap family.  I have no problem admitting it. Being cheap in some areas has allowed us to do some things we couldn't afford in others so i'm good with it.  And i was cheap when cheap wasn't cool.  I gotz cheap skillz.

This is what our fan and porch looked like before.   Well, not before as much as during.  I forgot to take a picture of the pumpkin orange walls. Yes, not coral, pumpkin orange - as in ready for a jack-o-lantern face walls and the green avocado ceiling. Not a good look but now that i think about it, pumpkins do have stems and the ceiling is the top....anyway....where was I...oh, the you go lovelies:

You can kind of see the orange peeking out of the cream paint where we still needed to trim, but get a load of this beauty. Isn't she lovely? In her avocado green self and faux pickled oak fan blades.  Ahhhh...gorgeousness.  At least she matched her hat, i mean ceiling.

And this is her sister.  The dreaded builders light.  Yuck. Enough said.  But hey - more green and orange...woohoo! 

So this weekend we finished painting the ceiling, knocking out the trim  (buh by pumpkin!) and replaced and renewed lights and fans.  We painted the fan casing in the backyard - redneck style.  

That first pic could only be improved on if it were a car engine and in the front yard.  And spent $14 dollars on replacement blades at HD. 

and got this for our effort:

Looks like a brand new fan doesn't it?  Go ahead, scroll back up there and look at it again...i'll wait....yep...told ya - extreme makeover in can of paint.  LOVE it.

We didn't want her sister to feel left out, but there was no help for her - so off to the orphanage - i mean habitat re-store - for her.  And back to HD for this:

I am in love people.  And the best thing - it was on clearance - and we used Amex point converted to HD gift certificates so more like FREE.  Except those points are hard earned every month so it's really not free - i'd say found money is more appropriate...

and did you notice....the paint is done! Hallaluyer.  I have not decided what to do with this space yet, but in the meantime, the boys are enjoying the fruits of their labor (oh, yea, we hung the TV too.  Busy busy people this weekend!)

Linking to Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Never give up

Be strong in the Lord and never give up hope -
You're going to do great things I already know

God's got His hand on you so don't live life in fear,
Forgive and forget but don't forget why you're here...

Take your time and pray these are the words I would say.

Beautiful Words by Sidewalk Prophets
Baseball tryouts today for my youngest.  He was so nervous he didn't sleep the night before and hardly ate breakfast this morning.  But even the smallest trials and tests matter - His eye is on the tiniest of sparrows, right?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Today is a big day for us at The Project!

We got our first ever SHOUT OUT in the blog world :0) WOOHOO!

Vanessa at Southern In My Heart asked if I would mind if she featured me the blog and guys, I wish I could say I was all cool and stuff and waited like a few days to return the message and was like "uhm, sure, whatev."  RIGHT.  THAT HAPPENED. yeah.  What really happened is i kind of yelped out loud and scared the crap out of the cat that was in my lap when I saw the message on my blog.  And then i shoved Max to the floor and started typing back as fast as my little fingers would type and said PLEASE DO PLEASE DO - I was a little more than excited.   

So, today, Vanessa is hosting Inspiration Fridays where we all can post what we found that inspired us this week.  Anything.  Posts about scripture, posts about decorating, pictures posts, it doesn't matter. What matters is that YOU were inspired by it. And bless her ever-lovin heart, she was inspired by my front door re-do.  Now i'm embarrassed that I didn't do MORE.  It's a project half completed - it needs it needs it needs... BUT IT DOESN'T MATTER, i'm on cloud 9 feeling all Sally Field at the Oscars.


So, let me tell you what inspired me this week.  It came from 2 different blogs and it was all about the kitchen in both. 

First...from A Dash Of Humble Pie.   This is Lissa's kitchen. 

Yea. I know. Right?? I think I have gone back to her blog and stared at this kitchen no less than 100 times.  It's the muted, soft colors yet the crispness of it that just draws me in. I know, it's a dichotomy - that pale versus crisp thing.  Whatever, it works.  I love how it feels so very Martha but a lot warmer.  (Sorry Martha. Still love ya. Promise.)  And i have been searching high and low for a similar candle holder/vase.  You guys, i have kitchen envy.  

Then there's Ashli's kitchen.  You can see more at her blog Maillardville Manor

Are you dying laughing at me right now? I know what you're thinking.  DUH, blondie, it's almost the same exact look. Yea, i know. But i can't help it.  I love the white cabinets, the color of the counters - and once again - IT'S SO CRISP. And again, still very warm.  And aren't you just dying over that lemon tree on her counter? I know Lissa would :)  She has an entire post about having her own lemon tree. 

And this, sweet girls, it what inspired me this week to keep moving forward on all of my kitchen dreams. 

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

In the quiet

In the quiet, before dawn hours I can hear the branches of the oak tree scrape against our chimney.

In the quiet I can hear my cat's purring, so loud it mimics an idling car engine.

In the quiet I can hear the fish tank gurgle in the kitchen.

And it's in this quiet, this soft, dark silence, though, that what i hear most is God whispering to me.

I wrote on facebook yesterday that I was dog tired. School starting up again has plum wore me out.  The house for the last 2 days has been chaotic, messy and LOUD.  Boys in a hurry, boys hungry, boys from the neighborhood in and out, boys talking, laughing, running in and out. Boys being well, boys. 

It was hard to find the quiet.  

For those of you that know me well, you know that I'm a worrier. I worry about everything. The boys, the boys at school, the boys playing ball, the boys skateboarding down the street, the weather, the car being serviced, my parents, Vance, work.  GAH -  work alone can send me over the edge and deserves it's own post so i'm not even going to go there right now. But you get the picture.  I needed the quiet.

I needed to quiet my brain.  I needed to talk to God.  I mean really, sit down, have a cup of coffee and catch up.  Do you ever get like that? Like, "hey! I haven't talked to you in so long? I've missed you!"  Please don't get me wrong, every day i am faithful to thank Him but I'll be honest, I have not set aside time lately to really really catch up.   Of course He knows what I'm living through, but he wants us to come to him. Rejoice with Him in everything good that happened and bring Him everything we're struggling with.  And He wants you to stop.  Catch your breath. Spend some time with Him.  Not give him what I call "hey, can i hit you back?" text.  You know what I mean.

Nothing is too trivial to discuss either. That's what I love the most.  I can bring him my worries as deep as the ocean, as significant as life and death, but I can bring him the small stuff too.  What? you don't think he wants you to lay that down as well? Ha! Bring it ALL sugah.  He will listen and take it all in and work it through with you. Small arguments.  Overtaxed schedules. Diets. YES DIETS. (Hey, we all have our demons ok, and mine happens to be those brownies that i made for the boys lunches this week.)  

Here is a great reminder that I pulled from

You say: "It's impossible" God says: All things are possible (Luke 18:27)

You say: "I'm too tired" God says: I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28-30)

You say: "Nobody really loves me" God says: I love you (John 3:16 & John 3:34)

You say: "I can't go on" God says: My grace is sufficient (II Corinthians 12:9 & Psalm 91:15)

You say: "I can't figure things out" God says: I will direct your steps (Proverbs 3:5-6)

You say: "I can't do it" God says: You can do all things (Philippians 4:13)

You say: "I'm not able" God says: I am able (II Corinthians 9:8)

You say: "It's not worth it" God says: It will be worth it (Roman 8:28)

You say: "I can't forgive myself" God says: I Forgive you (I John 1:9 & Romans 8:1)

You say: "I can't manage" God says: I will supply all your needs (Philippians 4:19)

You say: "I'm afraid" God says: I have not given you a spirit of fear (II Timothy 1:7)

You say: "I'm always worried and frustrated" God says: Cast all your cares on ME (I Peter 5:7)

You say: "I don't have enough faith" God says: I've given everyone a measure of faith (Romans 12:3)

You say: "I'm not smart enough" God says: I give you wisdom (I Corinthians 1:30)

You say: "I feel all alone" God says: I will never leave you or forsake you (Hebrews 13:5)

Can I get an amen?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Eye Candy

    Yes, that's me in the reflection being a total geek. My stepdaughter would not be amused.         Especially since this is sacred ground to her.  Love this school. Love this town.  Now, i have to tell you, i broke the law on the next 2 pictures.  Ok, not the law per se,  but definitely a rule.  To be fair to ME, i didn't see the sign that said NO PICTURES until i was walking out.  SO...i'm adhering to the rule of "do, then ask forgiveness."

This is the school's design shop that the student's run, and the inventory is the students' portfolio work.  

But can you look at this picture and NOT want to climb into your monitor? This was such a great shop with so much to see.  Very 'anthropology-ish'.  And i was diggin' it.  I didn't want to leave.  All of this eye candy.  I saw at least 2 paintings that i could have walked out of there with, definitely wanted some of the sparkly handmade jewelry in the case - all one of kind made by the students.  And books.  LOTS of books on design, Savannah, coastal towns, home decor, art. sigh.

I'm telling you, I cannot wait to go back to Savannah.  I love this town.  I love the inspiration I get here. I love the feeling that time may not stop, but it definitely slows down to a manageable pace.  Look at these pillows.  Look at the front one with the cow.  I WANT THAT DAMN COW PILLOW.  Look at what they have them displayed in - I want this crib thing.  I want it all.

Please go to Savannah.  Please go and support this shop.  The students would appreciate it.  And if you can, stuff me into your suitcase when you go.  I don't take up much room.  I promise.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Goin to the chapel....and that wasn't the plan.

The plan was to elope.  We had grandiose ideas of a not so grand escape.  Just me and him. Hopping on a plane to NYC.  Had already contacted a chaplain.  Had a plan. Reserved the vacation time.

Then my mom started to cry.  

                                    photo from The Knot.

And the boys said they wanted to see us get married. And Sarah, V's daughter wanted to document with pictures (wish i had just a smidge of her talent).  So, i bought a dress.  A REAL wedding dress.  One that almost made me want to cry when i had to take it off. THAT perfect.  Did i tell you I got it for almost 75% off? I did. Bridal salon closed their doors and i happened to be there on the day they tagged the dresses.  Fate i guess.

 My mother is happiest when she's planning a party. So i handed it off to her. The only thing i asked is that it was just immediate family.  I think she sighed. My mother does not do anything small.  I don't think she knows what that word means.  But she gave in.  

So, we're getting married in October in a small white church in the Blue Ridge Parkway.  My mother has already reserved a caterer. For 20 people. TWENTY PEOPLE. A caterer.  That's so funny to me. In lieu of a honeymoon, we will postpone that and instead spend time with those we wish we could see more.  So we're going to do fall festivals, pumpkin carving, hit up a winery or two and head to the orchard and pick some apples.  I think I hear some apple crisp calling my name.  :)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

A Little Paint Can Do Wonders

Boring, isn't it? Dated.  Not yawning yet?  Here take it all in...not exactly saying "WELCOME, come in! We're so glad you're here!"  Yea, not so much.

I'm not sure what is worse.  The plastic wreath hangar left over from Christmas, that has now turned yellow....or.....the mud dobber stuck to the top of the door frame...(don't ask to see a shot of the alcove above the door - there were 13 nests up there - GROSS)....or the 'victorian frosted glass'....wait I's THIS....this is what the worst part was....

Where they changed the door hardware and decided that it didn't matter if they painted around it or not.  Nice, huh? And  GRIME, people. So, first, a good cleaning was necessary - and I love this stuff...

Then the fun part started. Ok, really, i wasn't having fun.  It was 100 degrees with a heat index of 102 when i started this and it didn't exactly cool off as the day progressed.  Kind of the opposite actually.

So, being the bad documenter that I am (which blogger is telling me is NOT a word - go figure), I didn't take pictures of the front of the paint can.  I should have because thank goodness I listened to the paint lady at HD. This is Behr Ultra with primer - painting this red color would i think have taken the rest of my natural life.  We did this (mostly ) in an afternoon.

And then Vance installed new hardware.  LOVE IT.   Can I just say btw, that deciding on what hardware finish was harder than picking my wedding dress.  NotnotNOT an exaggeration. I picked my dress (3rd i tried on) in under 30 minutes.  Choosing between brushed nickel, ORB, or shiny brass (which i got told 3x in HD was making a comeback) about pushed me over the edge.  We actually got a little snippy with each other. ONE of us was losing patience with the other. I won't say who's who in this little exchange.

We still have more to do. Vance is ordering new windows since these are double pained and we can't scrape the frost off - and he thinking he wants to cut the middle bracket totally out and make one window per door.  Which i think is a great idea. If he can do it.  And i'm kind of scared of opening pandora's box on that one - but sometimes you gotta let a man be THE man, kwim?  So, i'm letting him run with it.  I'm sure it will be lovely.  

We also need a new doorbell, a new doormat and I really am ready to hang my Southern Living at Home flower tins on the doors. All in good time :)  While we wait, I can live with this. For awhile.  A few weeks.  A week.

Linking to Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch :)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Maybe it's the heat.

But I'm ready for this...

 and i could really handle some of these (but that's probably the diet talking)...

Why does it have to be so freakin hot?  At least we took a really nice walk in cooler temps tonight - but we had to wait to 8pm to do it - or we would have melted into the sidewalk.  

I'd love to bundle up and just wander around a cozy sweater with some apple cider.  

I'll leave you with one more cool pic. Come on October...I'm ready already. Linking to Melissa's Inspired By Fridays...where I'm inspired by the thought of cooler weather.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Subscribing to a theory of relaxed entertaining

                    All images courtesy of
Do you know Sandy?  You should.  Go visit her here first though so you can enter her giveaway pronto.  Her blog is dedicated to the premise of making entertaining fun. Not work.  And to remind us why we entertain.  Why we open our homes to family and friends in the first place.  To be with them.  Not to show what a meticulous housekeeper we are.  Not to show off our latest house score.  Laugh. eat. visit. Just love them. 

as pretty as this is, we don't have bales of hay at the ready, and i'm not sure i could get comfortable sitting on said bale, while i worry    about bugs getting too familiar with my private places.

She has opened up my eyes about this having people over thing.  I'm going to walk my talk this weekend too. We're having another couple over for dinner on Saturday and there is no furniture in the living room. There's a ladder.  A mirror leaning up against the wall that needs to be hung.  And a huge box of paint supplies.  

                   Now this, this I can do. But with coke cans. Not these great vintage bottles shown here.  I don't have the time to chase 
                         that kind of thing down.  I have a job people.  Plus, i don't wanna. So there.

There is furniture in the family room, but the TV is not hung like it should be - it's up, but we haven't worked on hiding the wires and all that nonsense.  And I could go on and on about the million projects that are in some point of completion all over the house.  So be it. I dont' care.  It's not about that.  She said so.  And i'm at a point of my life where I agree.  I love this part of my life. I love that i have friends that are right there with me and couldn't give 2 shakes about what's done or not done.  

We will grill steaks, potatoes and have salad.  And lemonade.  And heat, it's always invited in August in Florida.  These people don't have heat.  They do have some cool sunflowers though. I can do that. I think.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Summer in the S-L-O-W Lane.

Doesn't this just make you stop (we had to, else we'ld a run into them) and smile? Coming down the back road off of my parents' mountain.  Late for supper with my grandmother.  Grandmothers don't take well to granchildren, or anyone else for that matter, being late to supper.  But sometimes you are just forced to stop. wait. and smile.

What? I didn't do it. I can't help this smirk i wear so well. TRUST ME.

Grampa, can YOU sit in front - there's a huge spider in the front of the canoe.  Nate, that's not a spider, it's a spider web. Grampa, IT'S ALL THE SAME.

Please take note of this.  One COMPLETE snickers bar GONE.  Not ONE bit of chocolate on his face or fingers.  Of course, this is because water is near by and plentiful.  Had we been in the car, where he would have been forced to be neat - it would be all over him, the backseat and the radio knob.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Stalking Savannah

A few weeks ago, I started to feel overwhelmed.  The new house, vacation, and then to add to it, my mom started pressuring me about having a real wedding, instead of elopement. 
                                          The Eliza Thompson House, Front Door (5 West Jones St)

And then, i kind of lost it.  Like crying, getting sick to my stomach, losing it.  That happens when things start going against my gut.
                                 The Hamilton Turner Inn (even more prettier in person, trust me, this picture does not do it justice).

The man stepped in, and was able to get me away for one night to Savannah.  Is there any city more southern, in a romantic sort of way, than Savannah?  
                        View down Jones street, across from Eliza Thompson House. sigh.  I could live here.

He walked all over with me, holding my hand, kissing my forehead, talking sense into me. Loving me.

                                Just dreamy....even in 100 degree weather.

He fixed my camera when the exposure got screwed up and then re-tracked to places that we had already gone so that I could snap these pics.
I want to be in a gorgeous wedding dress, photographed here....

We went to dinner at Vics on the riverfront.  Had the most amazing dinner.  Fried green tomatoes with feta cheese and this wonderful peppercorn sauce, and crab cakes that were to die for.  

                                                          Beautiful statue in the middle of the park - I think this one is Capt. Oglethorpe.

We were surrounded by live oaks, and spanish moss, and the brightest, greenest ferns I have ever seen.

I didn't want to leave.  Even with the new house waiting to be unpacked. I wanted to be selfish and have this man, and this town, and this time....just to be.  Ever felt that way?