These four faces are the most beautiful in the world. Now, there are some of you out there who would disagree because you have your own set of beautiful faces that you love and cherish dearly. But these are mine. From the children I bore came these four, and I love them to the moon and back about a million times ninety.
Most who know me well know that my eldest daughter and her family have completed their seven-year mission journey to Honduras (at least for now) and have relocated back to the states with their two precious little girls. It is an understatement to say how much I have enjoyed having them not only home in Georgia, but a mere 20 minutes' drive away. On a recent trip back to Honduras to finish up their packing, bring baby back to meet their Honduran family, and to say goodbye (for now), I was a mess! It has been heaven having them home and, needless to say, I have become quite spoiled. But for now they are here and I'm lovin' it!
My son, on the other hand, will probably never live in Georgia again because he married a Florida gal, and they have been back in Tampa for the last five+ years. I have missed them terribly and every chance I am with them is something I never take for granted. But, as you can see in the pictures above, they are older and with older comes busier and more tied-down! Once kids get into late grammar/middle/high school, the parents aren't likely to dig up their roots and replant them unless they absolutely have to. I totally understand that, but it doesn't mean I miss them any less. I am headed their way this week, and I am beyond excited! My oldest starts high school the next week and I had to see her before the rush and craziness of the new school year starts in! I can't believe my one and only grandson is nine; he is changing so much. I cannot wait to hang out with them. Can you see me? I am totally doing my happy dance!
As for the youngest child once housed in my uterus, she is counting down the months till her April 2018 wedding. It's not likely she will ever live in Georgia again either, since she's marrying a Texan and both their careers are established there. I'm okay with the crazy pull the city of Houston has on her but I fully expect, if it be the will of the Good Lord (and I've relayed this to her and her fiancé), to have at least one grandbaby from them in the not-too-distant future. They owe me that, don't you think, moving so far away from mama?! But first, let's find that wedding dress, girl!
In the meantime, we celebrated my Daddy's 91st birthday yesterday, and I truly find it hard to believe that it's been a year since he had his 90th shindig! But it was a good family time and the day was truly special. For 91, he is doing relatively well (for those of you who have asked), just the usual 90-year-old aches, pains, and complaints about the English peas they serve him. He enjoyed the day with five of his seven great-grandchildren around him. I missed my two oldest but I have learned that this is my plight in life right now, that the times my children, their significant others, and my grandchildren are all together in the same room are few and far between, so I take "what I can get when I can get it" and try not to fuss about it too much. My sister was here with her three grandchildren and that was an added bonus. Family truly is forever.
But to the renovation in progress, in case you were wondering...
It totally drones on, kind of like this summer heat. But by the time I get back from Tampa, I fully expect to see the back room completed (roof and all), inner walls studded out, and everything ready to be finished in that area of the house. I will have my "floor-laying" pants on, ready to go! We will soon have our engines revved and ready to truck ahead and shift into what I call the final stages of renovation. Now, I'm too smart to get overly excited, because I know the final stages can drag on like a Baptist preacher on a muggy August Sunday with the windows open but no breeze. All you can think about is Sunday lunch and a nap in front of the fan. But we're on a mission to get this renovation finished. Full steam ahead!
I call some of these pics the Blue Man Group, because a very large tarp covered the add-on before the roof, casting a mysterious moody glow...weird lighting for a picture!
"Family and close friends are who get us through what can be long, hard days. They are like lyrics to the song of our life...familiar and comfortable, sometimes making you happy and proud, sometimes bringing tears and haunting your soul, but stuck deep in your heart and stirring it to something more than complacency."
I was reprimanded this week by a friend who says I need to post more pics of the renovation. I tried to explain to her that unless something has changed, no one wants to see the same ol' pictures again! And, as I recently lamented, to me it looks as though nothing has changed in the last six weeks. But this week there have been some big changes, so here goes...
The weather man strayed true to his word and gave us several consecutive days of sunshine, so for that I am extremely thankful. But with the sun came really high temperatures, extreme humidity, and lots and lots of liquids! I have, as always, popped in and out checking the progress, taking pictures, and making sure everyone is hydrated and safe. I've also made quite a few runs to the home improvement store, local eateries for lunch, and to the nearest place that has ice-cold Gatorade! But a lot of progress has been made and I'm beginning to see some of my plans becoming reality. After drawing a layout for this back room we're re-doing, I've re-drawn them again and again trying to squeeze every last inch out of this space. We were able (with the help of our good friend and sub-contractor) to squeeze a couple more feet out of the area, which will go to the master bath. Every inch counts in the master bath!
But first let me say that we are so very grateful for our family friend and sub-contractor this week who has come to share with us his expertise. This kind and generous man is a friend of our daughter and son-in-law and has recently relocated his family to the U.S. from Honduras. It has touched my heart in so many ways to talk with him each day and to see a bit of his heart as he shares with us his journey from danger in his home country to his path of citizenship in this new land he now calls home. He is one of the hardest working men I have ever met and we are so grateful to him for his willingness to help out on this leg of the project.
Okay. Here come the pics but I had to say that. I will shut my mouth now.
As with the front porch demo, the back room was meticulously taken down layer by layer until it was a clean, open space. I didn't post individual captions because there were so many but, as you can see, it was a process. Patience is key on a demo like this because this type of work can be very dangerous if you're not careful. Let me tell you, I've never been so happy as when that final piece of sheet metal roofing came down hitting the ground with a loud bang. It was nasty, it was heavy, and it was very, very sharp. We're grateful that the previous owner secured the foundation because that has made our work a whole lot easier!
More pictures to come as the framing is done. Stay tuned...
"By perseverance the snail reached the ark."
- Charles Spurgeon
I am the world's greatest "wordster," which I know isn't a word but it fits. Whenever I have a situation, I can almost always think of a song that fits the situation because it has lyrics that relate. Maybe I should call myself a songster -- not a singer, no way, because at best I can carry a semi-okay tune, but a songster. I am definitely not a singer (as much as I would've liked to have been in my younger days). But I love music and I think of songs every day that fit current situations and experiences. So the title for this post popped into my mind as I thought about the past week and what's been happening on the jobsite.
As my son-in-law has been out of town and has been my hubby's best sidekick in recent weeks, I have fallen to the job of apprentice in his absence, however pitiful I am at it, which is pretty pitiful. Mostly I give advice like Take a break! Don't go any higher on that ladder! Watch out, you're too near the edge! I'm sure he wishes I'd just take my mouth and go on home. But I'm all he has right now until we're ready for the subcontractor coming this week (hopefully) to help frame the room on the back of the house (hopefully) because it will be torn off in the next few days (hopefully), due to finally having a 3-to-4-day run of sunny weather (HOPEFULLY!). I sincerely "hope" the weather man gets it right this week because, if not, I am gonna be really agitated at him, and I can think of several tunes I'll sing him if he's wrong. In the meantime, every day brings the reno a little further along. As there have been no women on the jobsite recently other than me, I realized at the end of the last week that "the cleaning of said jobsite" had dropped off the long list of things to do. Once again, I gave my unsolicited advice, reminding the hubs that a dirty jobsite is a dangerous jobsite and we spent most of one day re-arranging stuff, sweeping, vacuuming, and cleaning the dirt off our weary bodies at day's end.
But somehow last week (I'm even impressed at getting it done), the porch was indeed torn off the front of the house and all I can say is the light is magnificent! No more low, overhanging porch to obscure the views of the mature hardwoods or to block light to the front of the house. I was also amazed at the methodical way the hubs took it off layer by layer...first the asphalt shingles, then the 2x4 beams, then the plywood sheathing, then the corner posts…I may not have the order of that exactly right but, before I knew it, by Friday afternoon the porch was gone, and the dumpster was a whole lot more full. We were able to save most of the studs to repurpose for the back room that will be framed this week. Repurpose and re-use has been the theme of this, #our1892adventure. So another one did indeed "bite the dust" -- another porch, that is. Which may not really be the best song for this situation because how many people really do take porches off houses? Yep, we did! And I can say "we" because I was there helping every step of the way. I sat in my lawn chair and gave excellent directions and I headed up the "clean-up" crew pretty well. If there is one thing I've learned to do in my lifetime, it's clean! Ever heard "King of the Road" by Roger Miller..."two hours of pushin' a broom buys an eight by twelve four-bit room"? That's me. I work hard, and I'm cheap!
It's really hard to believe we're well into the month of July and a new week as begun once again. If the weather does indeed cooperate this week, it should prove to be a few days of great progress. Once the back room is reframed, it will become the master bath, master closet, half bath, and laundry closet. So you can see how important this week is for the "moving forward" of the reno. Much depends on finishing this one area, and for me it cannot be soon enough. We have flooring that needs to go down in the back of the house, electrical that needs to be finished, and plumbing that needs to be started. And, please tell me now, how can you put in plumbing when you're not yet sure where the toilet is even gonna be? Or the sinks...or the tub...you get the gist. In my mind I feel as though this back room is the pivotal point in the reno -- you know, kind of the next jumping-off point to usher in some real progress. But that little voice in the back of my head keeps poking at me and saying you know it's gonna take way longer than you think -- it always does! Sometimes I hate that dad-gummed little voice. I'm sure there's a song that goes along with it, but right now the only song I can think of is the one I have for my son-in-law...
"Baby, come back...." I promise with all my heart I will never again take you for granted!
"Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much."
- Helen Keller
Today is a great day. It's great because it's the day after my birthday. Yep, you read that right. Once you get my age, you kinda like birthdays to just slide on by without much fanfare. But when I think of all the folks who sincerely wished me a happy birthday, I feel very grateful for that. I mean, what is life without good friends, and what are friends without well wishes when you tuck one more year under your belt? And, better yet, what is life without birthdays? That would be no life at all. Uh, no one wants to go there. If you are alive and still inhabiting planet earth, you will have a birthday every year, celebratory or not!
Summer is ticking by right before our very eyes and I am reminded that every summer seems to get shorter when it comes to the school season ending and beginning again. This will tell my age for sure, but I remember summers as a kid being so dang long that I was ready to go back to school and it usually wasn't till after Labor Day. That is unheard of now and rightly so, because those long summer breaks were for the kids to help with the harvest (from what I've been told), and not too many folks around here depend on their children for that, even if they depend on farming for their living. They depend more on John Deere and all those mechanical new-fangled apparatuses they use to till, plant, and harvest. This summer has been especially rainy around these parts and, if I didn't know better, I'd think I was in Florida, what, with all the late afternoon thunder showers. But unfortunately, I know I'm not in Florida, because there is no beach nearby -- or not within five hours anyway. But rainbows have abounded and, for that, I am once again thankful. I am reminded that rain will come but sunshine will return in all its splendor. Kind of sounds like life, does it not?
The rain has put a damper (no pun intended) on work at the jobsite because it hasn't allowed us to tear off a part of the house that needs to be rebuilt. And moving forward with the reno as a whole depends on this being done so that fixtures, lighting, and various other elements can follow. It seems as though right now progress depends on something else being done first and something else being done even before that, and so on and so forth. Ugh! Pretty much all appliances, fixtures, and lighting have been purchased and are waiting, waiting, waiting for installation. But as I said in my last post, patience is key here and I'm the queen of patience, right? Ha.
In an effort to make new memories for the books and just purely entertain the little ones, I prepared a tea party for the little granddaughters last week. The only way it would've been more perfect was if my eldest granddaughter could've been here. She is 14 now (what, are you kidding me?!), but you never get too old for a tea party, right? It is a great thing to do if you have little girls and, unbeknownst to me at the time, the tea parties I had with my daughters when they were young really stood out in their minds as something special. Why have a pretend tea party when you can make little sandwiches and bring out the teacups and make it lunch? So what better thing to do on a hot summer's day than to bring it all inside and drink a cup of steaming hot tea?!! (I also had raspberry lemonade on hand as well!) I knew the day had been a success when our four-year-old thanked God for Nana and the tea party in her prayers that night. A tasty lunch? Check. Lots of laughter? Check. New memories made? Double check.
But back to the reno...since my last post we have finished installing new windows, and whoever purchases this house will have an AMAZING view of the back two acres when standing at the kitchen sink. I am a firm believer in windows over kitchen sinks if at all possible because seeing the great outdoors is crucial when you're doing something as mundane as washing dishes. It is tall; it is wide; it is awesome! This week the front porch is being torn off, much to some folks' horror, but I know in my heart of hearts that the curb appeal will be made so much more appealing without that crumbling down porch. Plus, someone in the history of this house added a quite sufficient deck on the back, so there is a great outdoor space for the future homeowners. If the rain can give us a reprieve for at least three or four days in a row, the back room can be torn off and redone and hopefully we'll be on our way to some real progress!
And so I'm on my way to another "year," albeit with days so full, a rare day to be bored is always welcomed. And even though these days, summers, AND years are going by way too fast, I suppose it's better to be busy and productive than bored to tears like a kid with nowhere to go and no way to get there if there was somewhere to go. And though I'm in no way the youthful woman I once was, I do pretty well for my age I think. I might even be mistaken for a much younger woman when I'm dressed and painted up. I'd say I don't look a day over 59 most days! Every single birthday is 59 now anyways.
Have a great day, y'all!
Don't waste a minute not being happy. If one window closes, run to the next window- or break down a door.
- Brooke Shields
Posted by CC
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