Saturday, October 13, 2012

Road Trip

Well, today there is much activity in the house. I am making last minute preparations to rent a car and drive the 986 miles to NY to visit family. Amidst the chaos of laundry, cleaning, brow waxing, Etsy updating and 2 rambunctious Pit Bulls I am a ball of nerves.

It's not like I've never taken a long road  trip solo before. I have taken quite a few. My first lengthy solo trip was in 2005 to Philadelphia, but for some reason, this one has got my stomach just churning and I find it completely ridiculous. I know where it is coming from and it is embarrassing to admit but here goes...

Ever since Jessie died, I am completely terrified to be away from my husband for more than 24 hours. All of my usual ridiculous(but very real) phobias have been magnified but this one in particular has magnified itself in epic proportion. I find myself thinking all the silly "what ifs" and it's getting worse the closer I get to Monday morning. "What if something terrible happens while he's at work?", "what if  he pulls over someone with a tail light out only to discover he is a wanted killer who doesn't want to go back to prison?". Those are the normal what ifs that I have gotten used to over the years since he went into Law Enforcement. I got used to that at some point and those thoughts (although completely justifiable because it is a possibility) became more of just background noise. But ever since the loss of our daughter, I find them no longer background noise but loud screaming tangents that need to STFU but won't.

With this trip to NY, I will be gone for about 9 days and I am starting to panic. It has now escalated to "what if I get in a wreck and die in God knows what state?", "what if something happens while I am gone and I can't get back fast enough?" and on and on it goes.

Ridiculous, isn't it? Here I am, getting ready to go see family, some of whom I haven't seen since at least 1991 and I am completely terrified instead of excited. The first thing I wanted to do once some of the fog of grief lifted (besides dye my hair bright pink) was to get in the car and drive. Far away. By myself.

I am 2 days away from doing just that and now it seems like the scariest thing ever. And then, on the other hand, I think of my husbands ex girl friend who is in town from Arizona (on her way to Philly) and she drives solo all over the country all the time. I'm trying to tell myself "Well, if she can do it, so can I." But so far, it doesn't seem to make the fear and anxiety any less annoying. And if the reality is, that I'll most likely make it there in one piece and have a lot of fun, why on earth should I be freaking out right now? If this is part of that "new normal" everyone keeps telling me I have to accept,  Idon't want it. It's seriously cramping my style.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda

Well, a couple of weeks back I blogged a Work Table Wednesday post about a request for a bracelet. I posted a photo of the work in progress and then delivered it to its recipient the following day. Now, this is a bracelet that I made for the first time over a year ago. It was one of those pieces that as you work on it, you just know there is something awesome coming together. Well, I put the bracelet on my wrist when I was done, to test the look and feel of it. The intention was to photograph and list it for sale, but I found myself not wanting to take it off. I have since been wearing it almost every single day. Once I made the bracelet for someone else who expressed interest in it, it has garnered much more attention than I originally expected. I mean, I knew it was a pretty bracelet and I have made others in the same style with a different color scheme, but none of them seem to get the same "OMG! Where did you get that?" reaction.

This is the finished product:

I finally decided to make another and list it in my Etsy shop. It sold in ten minutes. The next night at the Journey concert I had a lady request that I make her one and reserve it for her. I have since done so and also relisted another just in case. It left me wondering, what would have happened if I hadn't been so stingy and just listed it in the first place all that time ago? How many would I have actually sold between then and now? Maybe not enough to retire on of course, but, man...that's what I get for hoarding it, huh?

I think some earrings to go with it may be on the horizon. So, stay tuned!


I was wrong. I was contacted recently by a customer who loves hers so much she requested one to be made custom. Imagine that.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Work Table Wednesday: Impulse Purchase

the terrible lighting doesn't really do the colors justice...
This was supposed to be a trip to the store to pick up some glue. And as a self described bead junkie, I made a detour down the beading aisle, just to "see what was there". Well, these beads were so pretty  I couldn't help myself and I caved. I did make it to the glue aisle, shortly after these made their way into my basket. As you can see, they are on their way to becoming earrings and will soon be available to you all in my Etsy shop.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Up At The Crack of Dawn

The other day we had some rainy weather. A cold front was coming in so it was expected and, as is customary, I was prepared. I had my rain boots ready to go. What I wasn't prepared for was the biggest rainbow I have seen since our trip to Vieques! I think this had to be the biggest one yet. If I hadn't looked out the bedroom window at just the right moment, I would have missed it. Thankfully,  that day, I had just enough time to snatch my camera and try to get at least one picture. Unfortunately, by the time I got outside, the rain was too heavy to risk getting the camera wet. This wouldn't be good, so I did the best I could from the front porch.

The next day, Lola Pooper, my lovely little pit bull decided to start squawking before dawn for me to let her out of the kennel. It's this horrendous racket that sounds like someone is beating a baby sea lion to death in the next room, not fun. I was pretty annoyed, as I have been dealing with some serious bouts of insomnia lately, but once I was awake it was a done deal. There was no going back to sleep for me. So, I got up and got dressed and let her out the front door. I intended to go make coffee but as soon as I saw the sky, I decided to grab the camera. Again. The pink clouds in the sky just looked so pretty that I spent that first hour running around taking pictures of the sky with Lola chasing behind me. I couldn't really get any good shots of the sun coming up because the cloudy sky was hiding it, so now I'm on a mission to get it done. I'm sure my neighbors who were all getting ready to leave for work had to think I was nuts for running around in the field taking pictures of clouds, but I didn't care and Lola was having fun playing. Needless to say, by the time I was ready for coffee,  I wasn't so mad at her anymore for making such a fuss.

I love this place. I really do!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Swimming Pool Renovation

A lot of friends and family have been asking about the swimming pool project. Most people have seen the photos of before, when it looked like a murky swamp. At night the bullfrogs were so loud it was like trying to sleep on the front row at Sea World. And oh my God, it was annoying. Anyhow, here are the photos of the progress made. We still have landscaping to finish. The high temperatures and blazing sun made it really difficult and uncomfortable to work on the grounds this year. That will be done this fall. Be sure and follow this blog to keep up to date on the happenings here in Moreland. I hope you enjoy the photos!


 The work begins:

Totally worth the wait:

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Creatures, Critters and Cuties

Since moving to our new house, I am learning to be a little less skittish around the various critters that I otherwise find terrifying.

 Lately, I have been obsessed with taking photos of the various creatures that are always lurking around. I mean besides my two silly pit bulls, Lucky & Lola. I will literally drop whatever I'm doing to go run off and grab the camera as soon as I see something. Once I can wrap my head around the fact that we actually have Armadillos in GA, I will try to get a photo of the one I chased away. Whoopsie!

Here are some photos of what I have gotten so far. (bear in mind, I am in no way a pro with the camera)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Out With the Old...(Kitchen Redo: Before)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

We have been in the new place for a couple of months and we are finally ready to reveal the results of our first project. It is the biggest and most important one of all, the kitchen. It was also the most frustrating, the most time consuming and I think it is the one that I am most proud of. But first, here is what it looked like before.

so dark and dingy...
It started out with nothing but wood. Everywhere. Pine floors, and hardwood counter tops on stained wood cabinets. Now, don't get me wrong, I love the detail and the warmth that wood elements give to a room, but it was like a hardwood overdose. All the same color and very boring. I don't know about any of you, but I like my kitchens bright and cheerful. Not dull and dark and monotonous. And since we have mostly tongue and groove pine walls on most of the first floor, It needed something to break it up a bit.

beautiful detail in the countertops.
There is so much detail in the counter tops, that the original cabinet stain just washed out everything. I mean, the floors are amazing and so are the counters, why hide it? From what I understand, the flooring for the lower level of the house as well as the front door and kitchen counters, is alleged to be reclaimed wood from decommissioned boxcars. It looks to me like the floors still have the original finish but it's well maintained. I was in love the minute I walked in the front door. Well, maybe not with the old, dirty and busted appliances. Yuck.
The nasty old cooktop

the perfect place for a stainless french door model

The plan:
  • New stainless steel appliances
  • Fresh paint
  • Updated lighting
  • Refinished kitchen cabinets with new hardware
  • A special  new place for the old ugly dishwasher    
The Budget: 
We didn't really have much of one. We probably should have, but I prefer to fly by the seat of my pants. Much to my husbands chagrin, of course. We had an idea of how much the appliances would cost and for the lighting, well if my husband didn't like the price tag, I didn't get it. And that's how it went. 

We did the work ourselves, except for installing the appliances and I can't wait to post the results of the finished project. Although we finished it weeks ago(except for some minor accessories) I am just now getting around to posting this. We also had the swimming pool restored right after the kitchen and, well, I find it difficult to tear myself away from it and get anything remotely important done around here. Can you blame me? Floating in the pool is such hard work, but someone has to do it.  

The intention was to keep it country(but not too country) and blend it with a little bit of modern. I used photos that I found on and from Google searches as inspiration, so it's a mix of those things. I will post the transformation photos in the next blog post. 

As for the old ugly dishwasher we saved, it is now in its rightful place in the yard:

Backyard Shootin'

Monday, April 9, 2012

A New Beginning

There have been many developments taking place for us over the last few months since the loss of our daughter. Some have been disappointing but many have been strangely wonderful, exciting, stressful and inspiring all at the same time.

I think that, somehow the loss of our child has altered our perceptions about what we truly want for our children if we have any that can survive such a high risk pregnancy. It has definitely given me the chance to reflect on what kind of environment is ideal for nurturing a healthy, happy family. Should we be blessed with the chance to have another child (or two, I hope) I found myself asking the questions "Do I really want to be living in a county that has some of the worst schools in the entire state?", "What would it have really been like to bring Jessie Mae home to a neighborhood that has become less than ideal?".

It turns out, that my husband had also been questioning many things himself and had decided that it was best if we move to a new home in a better area. I can honestly say, that at first I was resistant to the idea in spite of all my doubts because I absolutely LOVE the mid century modern house we are in. Emotionally attached, really. I began to get panicky at the thought of it. I was angry and hurt, but knew the decision was really not up to me and agreed to just go look for something else in spite of how I felt. So, we began the hunt online and I spent days driving all over the Central and North Georgia area in search of something new. What that "new" would be, I had no idea. I just knew I wasn't going to find anything that "has the same quirks and beautiful hard wood ceilings and brick work" that this house has. Or, so I thought. At the end of each house hunt, I would literally start bawling and crying uncontrollably as soon as I pulled my beat up Honda into the carport. I felt as if I was "cheating" on my lovely 70's split level.

Silly. Isn't it? It wasn't long before we found something that caught our interest in a very unexpected way. And almost instantly, my fears and doubts were replaced with a sense of hope for the future and a new and very different idea of what I thought I wanted. I prayed, begged and pleaded with God to please, please, please lead us to a house that has the same architectural elements of the house I love so much. A house that my husband can come home to after work and be happy, content and decompress after a stressful day doing a very under appreciated job. And no sooner than the moment I decided to "Let go and let God", his plan for us began to reveal itself.

These things most certainly blow my mind when they happen. The whole "Let go and let God..." way of thinking isn't exactly comfortable or easy. As a self confessed control freak, the thought of letting someone else take the wheel and drive is about as appealing to me as a root canal. I am not at all a religious fanatic, I don't dare claim to be perfect or even a "good Christian"(there is no such thing and I hate that phrase). I don't like the idea of someone forcing their unsolicited advice about matters of faith on me. Yet, every time I just give up and say to him:

"Alright dude, you say you always have our back no matter what? Then now is the time I need YOU to do it. YOU show me what YOU have planned as far as new houses go. And just know, I am really going to miss my hard wood vaulted ceilings, but whatever. You got this...". 

The outcome is always surprisingly just what we need. 100% accurate every time. Without fail, His plan always turns out to be better than I ever expected. And then some.His answer:

"Yes. I got this. Those hardwood ceilings you're bitching about, the neighborhood swimming pool you just joined, the yard and space you want? I have it for you. I just need you to take a detour today and go have a harmless, curious peek at that house your husband found online and told you to wait and watch. Just go look. You know you want to and I know how much you hate the thought of waiting. What can possibly happen if you just trust me and go with it?".

A new beginning. That's what happened. And I think Jessie Mae is totally down with it...