Monday, February 28, 2011

Time for a checklist

Not a terribly exciting post, but I feel like I need a checklist of projects to refer back to. And, since this was a slow week for 'after' pictures around the MP, I might as well give you a bulleted list to look at, instead! These are the things I plan to accomplish at the MP before May, which I plan to rename Deck month. Cross your fingers and ask lots of questions to be sure I'm staying on target!

Main Bath
  • Order vanity top
  • Seal floor
  • Install base tile
  • Install vanity/sink/faucet
  • Install new shower curtain rod
  • Buy/install new switchplate covers
  • Put up shelves/artwork
  • Trim and install door
  • Buy and install mirror

Family Room
  • Paint wall/ceiling
  • Clean off pool table
  • Call Stanley Steamer

  • Install shelves and doors on cabinets
  • Stain shelves
  • Install countertop and shelves on cabinets

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Tomorrow will worry about itself

It's been an interesting week at the MP. J and I both fought our way through colds, he made some decisions about personal/professional development, and I managed to find myself on a bit of an emotional rollercoaster for some reason or another. Though he grumbled and I fussed, we did manage to notice that the same bible scripture popped into our lives several times. Remember when I shared in January about how God is a whsiper, if we would only listen for it? I think that today (after only three or four reminders this week), I finally heard him.

Matthew 6:25-34
25“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his lifeb?

28“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

It's hard for me to not be in control--of my job, my relationships, my emotions. I plan everything out, and I avoid situations that I cannot plan out (or at least role play in my mind before-hand). What is interesting to me about this passage, though, is that it doesn't tell me I can't plan or have some control (which is what I've been overloading on this week). What it says, is not to worry about it.

I know this is crazy, but I've just never thought about it that way. Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. I've talked about the trouble I have with faith, and I think this is just another symptom of my troubles. Something to work on...

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Saturday smells like... Huevos con chorizo

Lest you think that breakfast is always a high-carb sweet treat (a la Tuesday's post), J also whipped up a fabulous highly savory breakfast treat for us this week.

Huevos con chorizo

Start with a pound of chorizo; brown and drain. Put a small portion (as J says, 'about as much as you'd think') back in your frying pan. (When it is completely cool, put the rest of the chorizo in a plastic bag to use later--I like to use it on nachos!)

Crack three eggs into a small bowl; add salt and pepper; whisk together and pour into the frying pan with your chorizo. Scramble together over medium heat until eggs are cooked to your liking. Remove from heat.

Heat corn tortillas in your frying pan (I think I mentioned before that I really prefer soft corn tortillas to flour tortillas, and at least in my own mind, they are healthier for you, too!). We heated six.

Put together soft tacos, using your egg/chorizo mix, grated cheddar cheese and salsa (we like the kind my mom and J's sister make, using tomato, onion, jalapeno and something vinegar-y--it's much lighter than picante sauce). We had three each and were full!

Hope you enjoy our take on a tex-mex classic!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Furnishing Friday: Coffee and Tea Service

This week's item for Furnishing Friday is, perhaps more than most I've shared, a sentimental favorite. My grandmothers each promised me something special for a wedding gift, and this is that something from my Grandmother B. I'll share the gift from my Grandmother H. next week!

Item: Coffee & Tea Service

Who Purchased: Grandmother B. purchased the set

Year Purchased/Received: ??

Location Purchased/Received: A shop in Owensboro ordered the set for Mur.

Description: The set has both a coffee pot and a tea pot, a sugar bowl with lid, and a creamer. All four pieces sit on a large oval footed tray. The tea pot is a little shorter/squatter than the coffee pot (it is on the right on the photo above).

How it came to the MP: Mur had always wanted a coffee/tea service, so when she received a small sum of money following the deaths of her parents, she used it to purchase the set. At some point (I don’t remember exactly when, I just remember knowing), she told me that I would receive it when I married. She backed off of that statement when she moved to Texas (I had just started dating J), but my grad school apartment decorated in hand-me-downs and ReStore finds was hardly the place to keep it. The set moved to my room at my parents’ house where, ironically, it sat on my Hope Chest for the next two and a half years. After we married, the set moved to the MP. I had planned to put it in our living room, but it soon found a home on the server in our dining area. I love that because it lived on the buffet at my grandmother’s last home in Owensboro for more than fifteen years of my life, so it just seems right that it be on mine, too.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Thankful Thursday--February 24

If you saw my post yesterday, you know where I'm headed with this week's Thankful Thoughts. That's right, number one I'm thankful for this week:

Spring-like temperatures! Sure, we also had a little weather in the 30's this week, but more often than not the sun has been shining and I've been willing to walk outside and throw a ball for Zep. And that makes him a happy dog. Add in the dafodils popping through the soil (my favorite flower, by the way) and I'm a happy girl. J worked all weekend and has been sick this week, so I'm afraid we aren't three-for-three at the MP, but as the old song says, two of of three ain't bad.

A solid storm door! I wish I had thought to take good pictures of our old front door/storm door combo. First, there was no weather-stripping around the door and there was a crack at least an inch wide under the door. You really could sit at the kitchen table and see daylight under the door. Second, the storm door was incredibly warped and wouldn't close all the way unless you pulled really hard. And then you had to push really hard to get out. Needless to say, we generally didn't. The process from door shopping, meetings, measuring, measuring again, choosing a door, choosing a new store to finally getting it all installed was a stressful one to say the least. Opening the front door the other night to find rain literally blowing sideways into the storm door and not having a drop of water find its way inside made the whole process worth it.

Facebook friends--When the much anticipated bathroom sink arrived Tuesday night, I was afraid it was too large. Four pictures and a facebook album later, I've been almost completely reassured and am ready to move forward with ordering our slab. Without facebook, I'd have spent probably another week trying to convince myself it was okay.

What are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


I noticed these when I got home this afternoon. Enough said.

Monday, February 21, 2011

How To's-day!

Hi Friends!

This Tuesday's Talent is going to be a little blend of talents (J's, not mine) and food (just pretend it's Saturday again!). See, one of my regular blog-haunts is The Lettered Cottage. Layla and Kevin made the decision a few years ago to give up their 'safe' life and follow their dreams (Layla as a designer and Kevin as a rockstar). The blog chronicles the story of their home and new life (and gives me hope that J will someday become handy a la Kevin!), and I glean so much inspiration from them, both in regard to our home and my own step off the beaten career path.

So anyway, last week they posted an idea for a How To's-day linky party to take place on the last Tuesday of the month (get it? To'sday? Tuesday? Ha!). I love this blog so much, I desperately wanted to participate (To be noticed by Layla? Maybe... To be a part of their community? Definitely.). I jotted a note on my to-d0 list, and I've thought about it daily ever since, sure that a tutorial for something would come to mind. It didn't. The best I came up with was my post from back in 2009 about a variety of Valentine's crafts, none of which contain any 'how to' about them (unless you count "used a skewer to make holes while they were still warm") and besides, Valetines crafts are so last week.

And now here it is, almost Tuesday, and I've got scant little to work with, except a desire to play along. What's a girl to do? Fall back on her husband's cooking skills, that's what!

Without further ado:
How to make your very own Chocolate Chip Salted Caramel Bourbon Pancakes (with homemade whipped cream)!

We'll start with the picture to reel you in:

Step 1: Look up a recipe for a standard pancake mix; add cinnamon to the mix and blend with whatever mixer (hand-, stand-, whisk and a strong arm, whatever) you prefer.
Step 2: Add chocolate. If you have mini-chocolate chips, you can just stir them into the pancake batter. We didn't have any on hand tonight (Oh, didn't I mention this was supper tonight? Yum!), so we chopped a couple cubes of melting chocolate I keep in the freezer.
Step 3: Fry up the pancakes on your griddle or favorite frying pan. I'm sure you could use Pam or another cooking spray to somehow keep this healthy (??), but we just went straight to butter.
Step 4: While you cook the pancakes, make some homemade whipped cream (whipping cream, powdered sugar and a little vanilla for flavoring is our recipe). It helps a lot if you have a stand mixer or a helpful sous chef and a hand mixer to multi-task this step successfully.
Step 5: Take the pancakes off the griddle, top with a hefty spoonfull of whipped cream, top with bourbon caramel sauce (we use Applecreek Orchard, but you can use Google to find something similar or a recipe to make your own) and a sprinkle of sea salt.
Step 6: Go ahead and un-button your pants--you'll need the extra room!

That's it for this attempt at a How To. I do have a couple of house-related How To's in mind for next month, so definitely plan to drop back by next time! (Or any day between now and then! Can you believe we're officially one-seventh of the way through the every day blogging challenge?!)

The Lettered Cottage

Yet another bathroom post

Well, it's another Melton Point Monday, and y'all know I won't miss a chance to blog about our bathroom renovation (hah!). In the news this week (yes, there has been progress): we now have a register cover on the heat/air hole and a sink has been ordered!

First up, let me talk about the register. When I left J back in October with a subfloor and instructions to tile, I didn't really think about the register. I mean, I figured we (he) would just cut out the rectangle with a jig saw and go on with it. J is at one with Mike Holmes on the 'make it right' mentality. And we all know that wasn't exactly what the PO had in mind. Ever. So when J went downstairs to figure out how best to deal with the register, he discovered that PO had DIY'd the ductwork into the bath. As with most of PO's DIY efforts, this one left a lot to be desired. J was even less thrilled when he discovered that Home Depot sells a very nice (and safe. and correct.) duct-work boot to fit situations like ours. Why didn't PO just do it right the first time?! Well, J bought the fix, which included a handy cardboard cover to keep construction dust and debris out of the ductwork. After we grouted the floor, we decided we were ready to stop heating the laundry room and return that hot air to the main bath, which also meant taking out the cardboard. Cue big gaping hole.
Solution? A lovely satin nickel register cover that matches the new metal finishes in the bathroom and that has a pretty cool design, too!
Second part of MPM today: A Bathroom Sink!! On Thursday, I talked about sink-shopping as a result of a failed attempt to make our own sink. What I loved most about our sink was the wash basin shape of it, which led to a serious struggle with sink shopping. When I found this clear glass version of our sink, I knew I'd found the solution. I ordered it Thursday morning and am eagerly awaiting its arrival (unfortunately, I wasn't given a tracking number, so I feel like I'm in the waiting place Dr. Seuss talked about!). I'm a bit nervous about the size, but am trying not to worry unneccessarily until it arrives. So here, for your viewing pleasure, is a picture of our new sink:
I took this off the website, so it's obviously not in context, but it gives you an idea. Once it arrives, we'll put together the template with the drain and faucet markings and send it off for countertop fabrication. With luck, we'll get the sink early enough this week to get the template in and our countertop back on Friday. Otherwise, we're looking at another full week of waiting. I realized the other day that we're closing in on six months, and that seems to be the magic number for me--I'm ready to close the door on this project!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

On rediscovering your real self...

Best part of Free-Style Sunday? I don't feel guilty about not writing this post last night. :)

Best part of waiting until Sunday to write my Free-Style post? I'm always a little more introspective on Sunday afternoons, so the post of much easier to write!

I had lunch today with an old friend I've not seen in a couple years. I think I last talked about Kourtney here, when I posted the hilarious story of our (J and me) adventure with Kourt's adorable little girl and her pull-ups. Well, since that time, Kourt has moved to Cincinnati and then Indianapolis, found her life's work in the mental health field, and ended a relationship that dominated much of her mid-twenties.

To back the story up a bit, I want to tell you how we became friends. We met in 2002, when she was a freshman at UK and I was a new grad student. We were both full of spunk, confidence, and shared a passion for the new Student Volunteer Center. Seriously, Kourt was actually my first student volunteer, and she later went on to become the President of the program's student Board of Directors.

Over time, we both fell into relationships that sapped us of our true selves. For me, it was a relationship with school that changed me. You can only take so many semesters of your work being insufficient and not good enough to start to believe that maybe, in fact, you're not cut out for it. Follow that up with a job where the goals aren't based in reality and, again, you start to believe it you're not cut out for the work you're doing. Somehow, I lost the confidence and the spark the lit me up from the inside. Kourt's relationship, though different, seemed to have the same effect. Apparently, after being told often enough that you're fat or not good enough, you kind of beleive that, too. The girl who signed up as my first volunteer would not have put up with that kind of talk, but quite frankly, the girl I was back then didn't question her own abilities either.

We changed; we gave someone else power over our thoughts and we let them convince us that we were somehow 'less than' who we thought we were. Power is a funny thing though, because when you decide that someone or something will no longer have power over you, it doesn't. (Okay, sure, you can't decide that a law won't have power over your choice to drive 85 in a 55, but my point is that you can decide that your actions are governed by yourself and your choices.) Last fall, at about the same time that I decided that 'being responsible' no longer included going to a job that sapped my spirit and damaged my health, Kourt signed the papers that gave her back her power. And in the months that followed, we've both found that part of ourselves again that gave us the spunk and confidence we shared eight years ago. Today, we looked and sounded much more like the young women we were then than the women we were in the middle years in between.

It was good to see her again. And good to see myself, too.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Saturday smells like... homemade pizzas

Last Saturday we hosted Game Night, a group of four couples we belong to that rotates evenings. J and I usually cook a variety of appetizers when we host Game Night, but this time, he decided to go in a slightly different direction with fewer appetizers and the addition of a create-your-own mini-pizza bar.

Now, our pizza evolution goes like this:
2005 - 2007: We love pizza and order out frequently
2007: We discover Papa Murphy's, a shop where they build your pizza then send you home with it to bake in your own oven. Oh, and we still order pizza, too.
early 2010: J discovers pre-made pizza crusts at Kroger and suggests we try to make our own pizzas at home.
later 2010: We go cheap and discover that with olive oil and spices, the Kroger brand pre-made crusts can be as tasty as the name-brand pre-made.
January 2011: J decides to use our new Kitchen-Aid to make our own crust. He plays with a few different recipes, and has (for now) settled on the recipe on the package for Fleischman's pizza yeast with a few herbs mixed in.
Next? I'm thinking we need to buy a pizza stone to keep in our oven.

So how did the pizza bar go? I think it went well! We made two batches of dough and split each into four portions, then gave everyone the choice of thin or thicker crust. We put out a variety of toppings (pepperoni, sausage, bacon, two kinds of cheese, fresh herbs, olives, etc.) and everyone seemed to enjoy creating their own supper. I think it is definitely something we'll try again!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Furnishing Friday: Italian Table and Accessories

This post will be heavy on pictures, as I've decided to lump several items purchased when my parents lived in Italy into one post. Enjoy!

Item: Florentine gold table and accessories--tray, coasters, trashcan, tissue box

Who Purchased: My grandparents B. bought the table; my parents purchased the various accessories as gits for my grandparents.

Year Purchased/Received: The table was purchased in 1976 or 1977 when my grandparents went to Italy to visit. The other items were bought between 1974 and 1978 and sent to my grandparents as gifts at holidays during their assignment.
Location Purchased/Received: Franco's, an Italian gift shop of sorts just outside the gate of the military base where my dad was stationed in the 1970's. Mom told me that Franco's was frequented by all of the military families, and that the wives all agreed that if there was ever any reason for evacuation, they would need time to stop at Franco's on their way out of the country.
Description: All of the items are wood with gold and ivory etching and painting. The coasters also have other colors painted in various designs on them. The table is a pedestal table with three legs. The trashcan is lined with a gold paper-like material.
Markings: None
How it came to the MP: I remember many of these items in my grandmother's main bath, though she told me that the table used to sit in her living room. They all went with her when she moved to Texas, but were returned to Kentucky when we received the rest of her living room items. I use the tray and coasters on one of our end tables, and I use the trashcan to hold flags not currently hanging out front. The table moves around a lot, but it always somewhere in the living room. The tissue box is actually kept in a drawer of an end table, since I don't actually have a place to set it out (or an inclination to keep tissues in my living room).

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Thankful Thursday--February 17

Why do I love the idea of Thankful Thursday? Because all week, I've had moments scattered throughout my days where I think "ooh, that needs to go in this week's Thankful Thursday post". Did I jot those things down so I could actually share them with you? But. At least I was a more thankful, more appreciative person this week. Isn't that really the point?

A few things I'm thankful for that I did manage to remember:

  • My husband, who gave up his Friday evening and all day Saturday to cook for a meeting I was hostess for, then came home and prepped more food for our Game Night group. He shares his talent for cooking so willingly, and I'm so thankful for his attitude of abundance and willingness to share.
  • Entire catalogs devoted to vessel sinks, and the employees who put up with my picky-ness. I know, you're beyond tired of hearing about our bathroom remodel. Honestly, me, too. But, it isn't finished, and I really want to document every step--even the steps I never imagined taking, like buying a vessel sink. Three different stores, countless catalogs, the encouragement to alter the picture in my head, and finally acceptance led me to the most amazing find, and I'm so thankful to each of the stores (and each of the catalogs), for moving me along that path.
  • A hint at springtime. A week ago, I was slogging through the latest snowfall. This week, I'm cleaning out my car so I can put the top down. Now, I know that we've not even gotten close to dogwood winter, so these warmer temperatures can't last, but I'm so thankful for a taste!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Going to the chapel

In light of Valentine's Day this week, I decided to post a picture of the chapel where J and I were married almost three and a half years ago. Love this view of it!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


J and I really enjoy a blog called Hyperbole and a Half, and one of her stories (The God of Cake) in particular reminds me of the post I wanted to share today for Tuesday's Talents. In it, a four-year-old fights her way through all sorts of obstacles to get to her grandfather's cake. Sunday, I took a cake to a birthday party for a very special, newly minted five-year-old. Let's just say that the mass numbers of squealing children reminded me a lot of The God of Cake.

Becky and her husband Daniel mentioned about a month ago that their little boy Superman had received a tractor cake pan for Christmas, and would love to have a tractor cake for his birthday party. Last week, when I asked if he wanted any particular kind of cake, his parents replied chocolate chip. Nothing like throwing a new type of cake in there for me to grow with!

I gave you a sneak peek of the undecorated cake on Saturday, but wanted to share the final product (and a shot of the birthday boy with his cake) today. He was so excited when I brought it in on Sunday, and his only complaint was that I hadn't put Superman in the cab of the tractor! Silly me--and I mistake I wouldn't dare make again!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Sinking feeling...

I don't generally go much for bad puns, but today's post totally calls for it! I had dreams of picking up my painted sink last Monday, ordering the countertop for the vanity on Tuesday, and bringing in the plumbers this weekend or early this week to finish up the vanity. Unfortunately, when I dropped by the Mad Potter last Monday to check on the sink, I learned that it had not fired correctly. They offered to repaint and refire for me, so I went back in on Friday to see if it had helped. It hadn't. In fact, was much worse. At this point, the bowl is a bit of a lost cause. We could probably try again with another bowl, but at this point, J and I are ready to throw in the handtowel and buy a vessel sink made specifically for that purpose. I'll be heading out today to see what I can find.

In the meantime, J spent time this week replacing the ductwork to the bathroom register. We've been heating and cooling our unfinished laundry room since October, so it's nice to have that in working order again. I'll also be heading out in search of a brushed nickel register for the gaping hole we see now!

I'm so glad to have several days off this week to spend some time getting this project a little closer to wrapped up. As spring arrives (slowly but surely), I'm starting to find some outdoor projects that will have to be dealt with, so we really do need to get the bathroom finished!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Free-Style Sunday

My only real concern with defining a label/topic for each day of the week is that it leaves little opportunity to just write. Because every other day is taken, I've decided to label Sundays "Free-Style Sunday". Sundays will be wide open for whatever general musing, not specific to another day, I want to share. Of course, Saturday being as busy as it was this week(DAR meeting, followed by a DAR conference planning meeting, followed by a quick house cleaning, followed by hosting game night at our house), I've not really got much to free-style with. But, I wanted to you know what to expect! Have a great day, and enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Saturday smells like... Cake and crostinis

I've been reading blogs regularly for a couple of years now. I have several that I check daily, some that I used to read daily but now just check periodically, and others that I only check sporadically because I know new posts are few and far between. My blog used to be one of those blogs. Last month, it became a blog that could be checked daily, but finding a new post was still kind of hit-or-miss. You might find two new posts; you might find one; you might find the one you read the day before. Suddenly, aspects of my favorite blogs that I never thought about before have become apparent. For example, I know that when I click on the blogs I like best, regardless of the time of day, there will be fresh content for me to read. This week, I've been making a conscious effort to mimic this behavior. How? By writing my posts a day early and scheduling them to publish early the next morning. It works really well, because even if I don't have a chance to write a post until late in the evening, I'm not late. I'm still writing a post a day (because there's no way I'm waking up at 3:00 a.m. to beat the publish time), and I know that our readers are getting fresh content whatever time they pull up our blog.

Great, right? Wrong. I came up with an awesome theme for Saturdays that is totally dependent on what happens on Saturday. Not Friday evening. So I don't exactly know what I'm going to do with this theme, because I feel wrong writing about something as though it has already happened (because this isn't exactly a creative fiction blog...). Last Saturday, I was able to write about Thursday's supper. This week, I'll be writing about the food we're cooking on Friday with the intent to serve it on Saturday. So it's not exactly untrue, since Saturday will still smell like these things. Anyhow, just wanted to start the post with an understanding of where we are.

So how does the MP smell like cake and crostinis? Well, our friends Becky and Daniel's little boy Superman turned five this week, and his birthday party is Sunday. Superman received a tractor cake pan for Christmas, and his parents asked if I'd use the pan to make a cake for his party. Of course I jumped all over the chance. And then realized that, A. I've already overbooked my Saturday, B. I've never actually decorated a tractor and have no idea how to do it. Solution? Bake the cake Friday night and decorate Sunday before the party. Oh, and the solution to B? Well, I'd never decorated a sheep before I did the cake for Superman's little brother's baptism, either, and that turned out okay. Here is a sneak peek at the cake in pre-decorated form. And to answer my mom's question, the dark spots are mini-chocolate morsels, as Superman wanted a chocolate chip cake. Not exactly sure why it decided to post in portrait mode, either...

As for crostinis, I'm the hostess chair for my DAR meeting tomorrow (Saturday), and when I agreed last August to serve in this position, I begged J to just cater the meeting for me. He agreed, and spent Friday evening grocery shopping, roasting a pork loin, prepping bacon-tomato cups, and making crostinis. I jumped in to help make my personal favorite Brie-Pepper Jelly Kisses. Which actually got slightly modified this time to use a cranberry-jalapeno jelly we had on hand. Much spicier than a traditional pepper jelly, but delicious! I think my DAR ladies are going to be rather impressed!

For a taste of what the MP smells like this Saturday, feel free to try out the Brie-Pepper Jelly Kisses for yourself:

2/3 lb. brie
1 jar pepper jelly
2 boxes phyllo mini-cups

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cube brie, and place in frozen mini-cups. Top with small drop of jelly, and place on a baking sheet. Bake for five-seven minutes. Let cool, and enjoy!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Furnishing Friday: Cedar Chest

Item: Cedar Chest

Who Purchased: Grandmother B.

Year Purchased/Received: Mur bought it in 1942 before her wedding to my Grandfather B. in October of that year.

Location Purchased/Received: Home Furniture Company on Allen Street, Owensboro

Description: Cherry veneer cedar chest. On the front, the top is rounded over, and it has detailing across the ends and around the front. The chest is 42.5 inches long, 19 inches tall, and 17.5 inches deep.

Markings: There is a stamp next to one of the corners on the inside that notes that a patent has been applied for the way the corners have been put together. There is also what looks like a stencil on the back that tells the lot number and size of the tray inside. I couldn’t find anything that told who the manufacturer is, though.

How it came to the MP: Mur bought this piece because she didn’t have a lot of closet/drawer space when she was first married and needed something for storage. Later, she used it to store baby clothes and other things. When she moved onto Griffith Place in 1974 (i.e., her Empty Nest phase), she put it in the guest room. She kept the plants that she received when my Grandfather died on the top, which led to quite a bit of water damage across the top. She used it in her final home in Owensboro in a closet to store blankets. When Mur moved to Texas, the Cedar Chest moved to my parents’ house, and then it came to the MP when we moved her living room furniture from Texas. I use it as a coffee table and keep a throw of some sort over the top (or all of it, as you’ve seen in past photos taken during the holidays!).

The interesting thing, I think, about the Cedar Chest is how it obviously means so little to my grandmother and so much to my mom. To Mur, the piece seems to have served it’s utilitarian mission without affection (held blankets, held baby clothes, held plants, held more blankets—it is only a vessel that held items she treasured), but for mom, the chest is the important part. Mur really doesn’t seem to understand mom’s concern for the water damage, etc. I’m beginning to think my mom must have gotten her affection for antiques from her father…

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Thankful Thursday

It's no secret that J and I love Thanksgiving, and it is easily our most favorite holiday. So when my friend Becky suggested I dedicate a day of the week (Thursday, in particular), I jumped at the chance to celebrate 52 little mini-versions of Thanksgiving (well, since Thanksgiving falls on a Thursday, I guess I'll be celebrating 51 mini-versions and one full-size!).

This week, I'm thankful for:
  • Becky, who suggested the topic and who, together with her entire family, has touched and changed my life in so many ways. By the way, in case you're wondering, this is the same Becky I talked about on Tuesday. And if you missed Tuesday's post, you can read it here, or you can just jump straight over to Becky's blog for more of her insights (I love that at the end of every post she includes a lesson she's learned--such an example of being a life-long learner for her boys!).
  • Stella & Dot, the company I work for as a Stylist. Misson: to improve the lives of women, be it through an awesome piece of jewelry, a career, or as a beneficiary of our Foundation (we're building a school this summer in South America!). I am so thankful to have found work in an organization that values women as they are and that empowers them to be as strong as the women who made our country what it is.
  • Technology and the human spirit's ability to adapt. I spent probably an hour (between two different phone calls) on the phone yesterday with an 83-year-old woman who was struggling to complete an online report. Actually, I think she's okay with the report; it took most of that hour just to get her on the right website. Now, I'm not certain of her background, but it's very likely that for at least some of her childhood, this woman had no electricity. And here, at 83, she's learning how to navigate the internet. I don't know how much technology will change in my lifetime, but I do know that I don't recall ever not knowing where the enter key was on a keyboard (Thank you, mom and dad, for buying(?) the cookie monster game for your toddler in the early 1980's). What I take for granted is truly unrecognizable to her, and yet, she hasn't crawled in a hole and covered her head--she's still learning, still figuring it out, and still moving forward. I don't know how technology will change in the next 50 years, but I know that this experience will drive me to hang with it, rather than look for the nearest hole.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Training Day

On Tuesday, I attended a training conducted by Stella & Dot's director of training. She was pretty awesome.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Tuesday's Talents

Okay, so my awesome friend Becky (BTW, you should read her blog. Right now. Even if you have no interest in infertility or adoption, she is hilarious, insightful, and honest. And she shares the most hilarious stories about her almost-five-year-old.) suggested that I devote one day of the week to craftiness. Unable to come up with a decent alliterative Label for a day of the week and "crafty", I went with talents and assigned it to Tuesday. So on Tuesdays, you might see paper crafts, cakes, painted pottery, or whatever hobby has piqued my interest that week. Unfortunately, unless Becky took pictures of the cookies I made her family last week (my first attempt at the dam and flood method of cookie decorating), there are no pictures to share today. I'll get better about it, I promise!

See you next Tuesday, with (I expect) a picture of a (hopefully) well-decorated tractor cake!

Monday, February 7, 2011

MeltonPoint Monday

I've been at this daily blogging this for 38 days now, and as I mentioned last week, I think it will be easier to maintain my momentum if each day has a theme. So...welcome to MeltonPoint Monday! MPM will generally be devoted to the primary goal of this blog--to document and inform on the progress of our various home renovation projects. Sometimes I'll use MPM to talk about budgeting or couponing (since those directly impact how much money we have available for home reno projects), but mostly I think you'll see pictures and hear stories about our attempts at bringing the MP into this century (or at least up to this century's building standards!).

To that end, let's start with a picture of our new toilet seat! J expressed dislike for our old oak toilet seat from the moment he bought the house (it may have even been mentioned during the home inspection...). Unfortunately, other items took priority and since the seat matched the vanity, medicine cabinet, towel bars, etc. it just didn't seem important. When I published the picture of our newly reinstalled toilet, though, the need to replace the seat became clear. The oak no longer matched anything in the room! Lucky for me, J apparently has a great eye for toilet seats and purchased and installed this beauty! (Actually, he purchased and installed an elongated version of this seat before realizing that apparently we have a round toilet. Then he removed the wrong seat, purchased and installed this seat. Extra husband points for that one!)

Other bathroom news: The bowl that I bought years ago (like 2008 or so) at the Mad Potter was successfully drilled by our marble company (I've been asking places for the last two years and no one wanted to take on the risk of drilling that hole!). I painted the bowl on Friday and left it to be fired. Now, we cross our fingers and hope it comes out of the kiln in one piece! As soon as that is done, we'll finalize the layout for the marble fabricators, drop off the template and twiddle our thumbs until it arrives! Oh, and we still need to seal the floor and install the baseboard. And find a mirror. And then hang it and a towel bar. And some art. But really, it's almost done!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

This little light of mine

I just wrote a huge long post about today's sermon in church, which was heavily based on the verse in Matthew, chapter 5 about letting your light shine so that others might know God's love (major paraphrase, if you're interested, Google "Matthew, Chapter 5, Let your light shine). But you know what? I'm not a preacher. My attempts at making sense of the sermon and applying it to my life are sorely lacking.

In a nutshell, I think my take-away is this--God knows how people feel. Through Jesus, he's been here, listened, shared, experienced ever human emotion there is. Our role is to be there for others, to listen and share in the experiences of others in the way Jesus did for his contemporaries. For me, at least, the role is to be present, not just with my husband, but with everyone.

So this week, at least, I'm going to work on that. I'm going to listen when others talk, not just half-way while planning out my grocery list in my head, but all the way, the way Jesus would. Wish me luck; I'll let you know next week how it goes.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Saturday smells like... Homemade Taquitos

So I held off on writing this post because I expected for Saturday to smell super-tasty. Unforuntately, I didn't really think about the fact that I'd be at a meeting at lunch time and volunteering at a benefit at supper time. So other than breakfast (re-heated pancakes and waffles from previous Saturday mornings), I won't be around for any yummy smells today. Lucky for you (and me!), Thursday night smelled awesome at the MP!

Back in grad school, I lived off of flour tortillas and cheese (among other things, mom!), but somewhere along the line, I decided that corn tortillas are pretty tasty (and I'm pretty sure they're better for you, too!). Now, we keep a stack of them on hand for tacos. Thursday night, J brought together the amazingness that is duck fat (remember that from our Thanksgiving feast?), a deep fryer, and corn tortillas! It took a little playing, and I still think maybe we needed a bit more cheese, but we had the absolute best taquitos ever known! Seriously, we might never buy the 'heat and eat' kind again! I mean, why? We know what was in ours (a ground beef/ground sausage blend, cheese, corn tortilla, duck fat--that's it!), it tasted amazing, and quite frankly, took about the same amount of time to do. Awesomeness. In a compact, fried little package.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Furnishing Friday: Wingback Chairs

Item: Pair of Chippendale wingback chairs

Who Purchased: Mur bought the first one when she and Granddaddy B. moved into their house on Griffith Place in Owensboro. A close friend of the family purchased the second as a housewarming gift.
Year Purchased/Received: 1974

Location Purchased/Received: St. Ann Furniture (If I understand correctly, this was located where Owensboro’s city hall is today.)

Description: We’ve established that I’m no good with wood, but they are solid wood with upholstered seat, arms and back. Originally, the upholstery was gold, but Mur had them reupholstered when she moved to Sterling Court in 1988. They are a pinkish-tan color now with an antique gold or brass nailhead trim. I have dreams of white linen slipcovers, though I really love the nailhead trim--wouldn't it be awesome to re-use that over a striking upholstery fabric?!
Markings: No noticeable markings on the legs of the piece.

How it came to the MP: The great furniture move of 2009, written about here.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Of all the things I love about not working full-time, having more time to spend on my volunteer activities ranks way up there. Unfortunately, the 'work' part of those volunteer activities has actually suffered a bit. I'm not certain why, but I suspect that when I was actually working a desk job it was easy to slip in ten minutes of a volunteer project on my computer. Now, it's easier to make plans to actually go volunteer than it is to make myself sit down at the computer.

When I left my job, for the first couple of months I had a working schedule that I used to detail my time and set aside specific blocks of time to work on projects. This really guided my progress and kept me sane, too! Then, the holidays hit, and I spent most of my time at Williams-Sonoma. The schedule fell by the wayside. I was so thrilled to get my free time back in January that I barely noticed I was falling behind on actual projects with actual deadlines. Until I realized that now it is February. Where did January go?! What about the projects I was supposed to get done in January?! What now?! (Yes, that's pretty much how the conversation in my head went!)

So I sat down, made a list of the immediate projects to be completed (like the ones with January 31 deadlines...oops!), moved my laptop to the kitchen table, and got to work. Other than a blessed husband, and a couple of trips outside to throw a ball for my mostly-patient Zeppelin, Wednesday was spent marking things off the list. Of course, lists being what they are, as many more things were added than were crossed off, and it is looking like another day at the table is in store. But at least I feel like I've taken control of my schedule again, and that always makes me a happier me!

Do you feel better with a "to do" list to check off? Let me add one for you--I'm still taking suggestions for daily themes (a la "Furnishing Friday" and "Saturday Smells Like..."). What do you think I should write more about?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


For this week's picture, I scrolled back through my iPhone album, and when I came across this, I decided it needed to be shared!

I just love this guy! This was taken on this past Thanksgiving, but this is much as he appears on the weekends when he's making the MP smell so great!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Finding Order

So I'm still trying to find the point of this blog, and in looking, I've stumbled on a few things I really look forward to (namely, Wordless Wednesday, Furnishing Friday and Saturday Smells like...). The other four days out of the week are still vast expanses of canvas (or computer screen?) that stretch out with two many possibilities to peg down. I have a couple of thoughts--things I've been wanting to flesh out--but I'm still sort of wide open.

So. According to the Stats tab in blogspot, I have a few of you showing up with some sort of regularity. What do you want to read about? Extra points for giving me a topic that ties in with a day of the week in a cute, alliterative way. :)