Monthly Archives: December 2013

The basement saga continues

I promised myself a while ago that I would do a compete overhaul in the basement, throwing out the unneeded/unwanted and organizing the rest of the ‘stuff’.  Well, stowing away the Christmas stuff has got me on a roll.  Yesterday, I emptied one of several storage totes containing Christmas linens- napkins, table runner, tablecloths, etc.  Whittled that down to two totes-one full of stuff I use every year, the other full of stuff that I bought intending to get them embroidered for gifts.  That’s a project for a later date.

Then I tackled a box labeled “Christmas fabric”.  Found several pieces of fabric with Christmas vests printed on them.  I cut our all the vest last night and got three of them quilted (I’m adding a thin layer of batting to make them warmer) and stitched together.  Then I started cutting the other Christmas fabrics into pillow sized pieces.  Couldn’t get started on the sewing because I didn’t have enough cording, and I do love pillows with cording!  After a trip this afternoon to the fabric store, I’ll start on the pillows tonight.  I plan to make them removable so I can change out the covers for pillows on the front porch rockers.  May also have some to sell at the Christmas bazaar next year.

We’ve had my brother and nephews over all day trying to find a water leak.  They had to dig up a bunch of the front yard-that red clay is sticky with all this rain.  Finally found the leak at the faucet in the garden.  At least they didn’t have to replace the whole water line as we had feared.  Steve is such a good old soul.  Never complains about working in the cold or heat.  I got lucky when I was born into the family with a brother like him.

We bought a new dining room set before Christmas, and the rug looked terrible with the red seated chairs.  So the new rug came today and the old rug looks great in my bedroom.  Couldn’t have worked out better.  Hopefully that’s all the stuff we’ll have to deal with for a while, until I start my next remodel project.  Oh, yes, there’s always something that change be changed, rearranged, torn down or built on.  I have three specific projects in mind, but I’ll only spring one at a time on Mr. Hight.  I have to give him time to recover from one before I begin on another!

A Successful Christmas

The tree is down, decorations are packed away, and I’m through for the day.  Don’t want to think about what needs to be done in the basement to get everything back in some semblance of order.

On the other hand, I have installed 48 card holders on the drawers of the cabinet I am restoring.  It’s an old lateral filing cabinet with 24 drawers.  I found it half rotted away in the basement of a house my cousin bought.  It had been in the Bank of Covington for years, then put in storage when they modernized.  When I started the refinishing, the card holders had the alphabet written on the backs of cut up food ration coupons from the 40’s.

With a new base, new top and some sanding and staining, it will make a great storage cabinet for my table linens.  I’m also devoting a couple of the drawers to cards and stationary to make a correspondence center.

Brandi and Leslie gave me new brass card holders for the drawers and they look great.  Now I just have to find some appropriate-sized handles for the very shallow  drawers and I’ll be all set.  They gave me handles, but they are a bit too substantial for the small drawers.  But they look great on the kitchen cabinets where I am installing them to replace the 30+ year old handles that have definitely seen better days.  They did a great job of selecting just the perfect gift.



Life at Christmas time is certainly like a whirlwind, spinning from one family get together to another, opening gifts, cooking, eating, and visiting.  We had a wonderful Christmas meal with Mama-our annual breakfast for supper, with homemade biscuits, sausage, tenderloin, fried and scrambled eggs, melon, and tons of desserts.  Mama’s been cooking cakes and pies for a week.  The kids (and yes the 40 somethings are still part of the kids) enjoyed opening their stockings.  Dianne and I start the week after Christmas finding quirky, useful, or silly things to fill the stockings.  We had some real winners this year.

Gram’s parties started last Saturday with all the grandkids, except Casey.  She came in on Christmas day.  For years, we have gathered all the grandchildren in the living room for a group photo in front of the Christmas tree.  Each year, they all take the same place with the same poses.  It’s really fun to look back and see them grow up.  We started this about 11 years ago.  Wish we had thought of it when they were small children, but then Sam probably wouldn’t have had his famous pose!  It’s a zoo when Gram, all her children, their spouses, and all the grands and the great grands start opening presents.  Every year, it’s what did you get.  Oh, neat!  I want one of those.   Where die you get that?  What a great family to be a part of.

On Christmas Day, we spent time at Gram’s house with the extended family-her siblings and their children who were able to come, plus all her children and grands who were able to come.  We had a houseful of people, and spent the day talking about all the family get togethers we have had over the years.


Yesterday, I finished the curtains I was making as part of Brandi’s Christmas present.  They looked good, just hope they fit like she wants them to.  I hate making Roman shades!  Now Leslie has started selecting fabrics for curtains in the house they just bought.  Looks like another sewing marathon.  I’d rather spend the time playing in the dirt on that hill in the back yard.  I can just see it in my mind’s eye- covered with native azaleas, native flowering trees and shrubs, and the stream bank covered with native ferns.  Looks like I’ll be spending a lot of time on plant rescues if we’re going to turn that hill into a showplace.

But today was devoted to my own yard.  Mulching leaves is probably my least favorite task in the yard, but with all the trees, it’s a have-to-do job.  We finished about half of the front yard. putting the shredded leaves right back around all the plants.  But it does look so much better than piles of leaves tossing around in the wind.  I’m spending a lot of time removing piles of grass clippings that a local yard man dumps in the yard.  I filled his usual spot with tree shreds from Carroll EMC, so he dumped them in the woods, not realizing that he was covering some of my precious native plants.  I’ve uncovered most of them, but still have a few more to go.  However, on the up side, the shreds he left make fabulous mulch after I also run them through my leaf shredder.   It’s like brown gold!  I know my plants will appreciate this during the summer.

Tonight, I’m having a lazy night-not cleaning up anything Christmasy, just gonna read a fun book and go to bed with my ice pack, my heating pad, and my Aleve,.  Getting old and decrepit is not so great, but I do appreciate that I’m still able to be as active as I am.

Life is grand when you have a plan!

Before and after…

So, I got this wild hair to start on an upholstery project (actually two projects, but one must wait for a new supply of staples for my staple gun)  I’ve stripped the cover from a chair I found at Goodwill.  It was covered with some really ugly plastic green vine fabric.  Then I realized that I was out of staples, so I moved onto my footstool.  Scott bought this for me at a shop in Kennesaw, and it had a really ratty cover.  I had hoped to do some needlepoint like the old cover, but have had no luck in finding a pattern.  So Hobby Lobby happened to have some nice fabric that will do well.

I stripped the old fabric off today, and will start the recovering tonight.  So here are the before pictures, and the ‘in between the old and new’ pictures.






Phase 1:  Remove all upholstery fabric, in this case two layers.  These are the In between the old and the new cover.


DSC_1400 DSC_1403 DSC_1402

Phase 2:  Disassemble the wood, glue, clamp, and wait.  Hopefully the stool will be much sturdier now!


Hopefully, the new and improved stool will be ready in a few days.

I’ll keep you posted.

Let the festivities begin….

Sunday night my mother’s family kicked off their holiday traditions with a dinner out.  There were about forty of us.  The number dwindles every year, so it’s so important to not miss this!  Mama still has three of her sisters and one brother, and thankfully they were all able to come.

Tonight is the Native Plant Society’s Christmas meeting, with a short meeting, then tons of great food.  This is one of the most wonderful groups I’ve ever been involved with-no pretentious bones in any of their bodies, thoughtful, committed to our work of rescuing native plants, and just good all-round people.  I look forward to every meeting, rescue, board meeting, presentation we do.

Brandi will be home on Thursday, with our family stuff getting into full swing over the weekend at Gram’s house.  Scott’s family is such a joy to be with.

Still haven’t done all the decorating I usually do, but this year, I’m thankful for the small graces God has bestowed on me-a healthy mama, my sister, my children of whom I am so proud, Scott-who puts up with me.  My list goes on and on-no need to have a Santa list.  I’ve got everything I need to make me happy.

Hope everyone else out there can say the same.

What a great way to start off the Christmas season-a trip to Nashville to see a Christmas program by one of our favorites-Suzy Boguss at the Opryland Hotel.   The hotel was festooned with thousands of cascading twinkling lights, lighted trees outside and garland everywhere.  It was worth the trip just to see the hotel all dressed up for Christmas.

And, as always, Suzy Boguss did a wonderful job.

Our tour guides, Lynn and Hugh, did a wondeful job!  Planning a return trip in the spring to get the full Nashville tour from Hugh.


DSC_1315A tree inside the Opry Hotel

DSC_1346Cascading lights inside the hotel

DSC_1320Outside the hotel, all the trees and shrubs were lighted.


DSC_1324Scott with our friend Lynn

A tour of downtown, including a guided tour through the Ryman Auditorium, home of The Grand Old Opry.

DSC_1384DSC_1376 DSC_1352 DSC_1348And the opening night of Suzy Boguss performing at her Christmas songs.



Say it ain’t so!

DSC_1291Could it be possible that winter has arrived this second week of November?  Surely not.  It seems we just had summer-like weather just last week.  I know I was out planting and pouring cement just a few days ago.  Luckily, I got the veggie garden ready for the cold weather, with frost blankets on all the fall crops.  My new grow light rack in the basement is loaded down with houseplants from the back porch and pots from around the yard.  This will be my first year to try to carry over the outside pots.  We’ll see how that goes.  It sure would save me some cash next spring when I get antsy to plant pots for the summer.

I’ve taken cutting from some of the annuals such as geraniums, to be rooted and potted up for spring.  Never done that before either, but it’s worth a try!

I’m looking out the window at the crimson red leaves of the dogwoods, the brilliant yellows of the hickories, oaks, poplars, and the other fall colors that have been so incredible this year.  But the fountain tells me that all this will soon pass and I’ll be looking out at a landscape barren of foliage, and waiting for spring.  But then there are always the seed catalogs to brighten up my winter blahs.