Friends, Choices, And The Miracle Of Life

We all become friends because we have things in common. A choice we have made at some point in our lives has brought us together. Through that commonality, we have discovered these things, and gotten to know one another. Can you imagine how many times we’ve decided NOT to do something that would bring us to know even more people, and how many people we might have commonalities with are wandering around whom we have yet to meet? Every time you don’t go out, you might be missing out. Every choice we make has unintended consequences. By making a (sometimes) very quick choice, we can meet people who will change our lives forever, people we will love forever, people who will change us, and people who will help us grow in ways we cannot even imagine. The miracle of this life (one of them) is that there are always more people to meet. There are always more people out there who will challenge you, and forever change who you are right now.

I was angry at God, and a friend made me make a promise, and because I made that promise and kept it, I’ve been married for 17 1/2 years. Where would I be if I’d just kept driving and ignored that promise? What would I be like if it weren’t for that moment in time when I said I would try something new? What kind of person would I be if I weren’t who I am? If I weren’t married to him, would I be a different person? Would I be in a different place? Where would I live? What would my job be? Who would my children be? I didn’t intentionally cut him off on the freeway that day. I decided to keep a promise. And here I am.


A Long Post About Pretty Doors, and Flow, and Basketball Players

Since last Friday, we’ve been doing a slight remodel on the house. We’ve gotten a new side door (that actually locks-don’t tell anyone we lived here for over a year with a sketchy door) and a new storm door for the front of the house.

We could see daylight through the framing of the side door, and underneath the front door, and our energy bill is higher than we’d like, so we had to fix it. I was afraid to spend the money, especially since the doors had to be custom ordered (more about our old house and its’ weird doors in a minute). I don’t like to spend a lot of money, but Barry is sure as he can be that is (one of the reasons) why our energy bill is so high, and he promises that this will help.

*stands with hands on hips, tapping foot, waiting for the next energy bill*

Here is the old side door with the crappy broken storm door:

The door will make a wonderful crafty project at a later date, so we will keep it. The storm door and frame are gone, and we have a beautiful, newly framed door in place of this. Do you see that small silver plate just below the window in the pic of the storm door just above this paragraph? Well, one night the wind caught the door and almost ripped it right off the house. It wouldn’t close properly after that, so Barry went out and jimmied it so that the door would close again. Two screws were sticking through the outside of that door, and, while it was ugly, it fixed the door temporarily.

Now we’ve come to the part of the story where I tell you that if it’s not nails, paint, screws, or duct tape, it is beyond our level of home improvement skills. We hired a friend from church to install the doors for us. Here are some pics of the work being done:

Having a huge hole on the side of our house for most of a day was very strange. I’m just happy we did not acquire any new “pets” (or kids) during that time. We also locked up the cats, so they were perfectly safe.

Bye-bye old doors… and good riddance to the storm door.

Hello pretty new side door, with your gorgeous, brushed-silver doorknob. (I have to secretly say, though, that I am really going to miss the old door knob. I liked it so much. However the brushed-silver knob, with a working dead-bolt lock, is nice, too)

When I saw the hole in the plaster around our door, I was beyond relieved that we didn’t take this project on ourselves. Thank God we know our limits.

Look! The hole is patched. Even though I don’t have a picture of it, Craig also primed the whole wall around the door, so that when we re-paint (next project) we won’t have to worry about priming it. It will probably be a few weeks before we paint the hallway here, so it will be white for a while. I’m still thinking about what colors I want to come home to.

He also put up trim around the whole door.

Isn’t it just beautiful??? We are so happy. Although we’re still getting used to not having two doors, getting groceries in is SO much easier. The old storm door use to come after you like a rabid wolf, and if you didn’t jump in and get out of the way, the door would try to eat your foot. I lost a shoe or got a bruise from that old door more than once. This new door is so much nicer.

The fun thing (I use “fun” as loosely as possible here. Feel free to replace it with “expensive”) about owning a very old home (over 100 years) is that the doors, if original, are all custom made to fit each and every doorway. I think it’s the opposite now. The doorways are made to fit the standard size doors, and if you do anything else, it’s crazy expensive. In our home, they ONLY fit THAT doorway. We have (except for the new side door, basement doors, and back door) all of the original five-panel doors that were installed when the home was built. When we replaced the side door it was not a typical size, so the door had to be custom ordered. That’s why all the mess of re-framing and such had to be done. The new side door is wider. A professional was hired. We are not stupid, just frugal. We can paint. We cannot re-frame. We are smart enough to know our limits.

Now to the front door. The front door is the original door. It is OLD. When we originally looked at the house years ago (when it was first up for sale, and I put my foot down with a shaking finger, and a firm “No. It does not have air-conditioning, and I will NEVER live in a home with no A/C”) there was a storm door on the front of the house. It was in poor shape, but it seemed to do the job nicely enough. In my mind, the storm door has a few functions. Mainly, keeping the weather OUT, keeping the cats IN – while letting a breeze blow through the house, and PROTECTING the front door.

For whatever reason (I think because it was so crappy) the storm door was removed before we bought the house (still with no A/C – and after I priced having it installed, it will stay that way).

The front door of our home is SEVEN FEET tall. If that doesn’t sound very high, think of it this way: Most professional basketball players (average height in the NBA is 6’7″) would not have to duck – at all – walking through our home. Those are tall doorways. Our ceilings are 10 feet in most of the home, so the doorways don’t seem that high.

The front of the house looked funny. I couldn’t quite explain it. I thought it was the ugly porch color, so we painted it a pretty ocean blue. Not it. I thought it was the empty porch, so we got new porch furniture to fill it up. Not it. It was the door. The front of our house is white, with dark shutters on some of the windows (not too many-just enough)…and the problem was this big, tall, brown door. It looked out of place. It kind of messed up the flow of the house. I love brown, but it was bothering me. It was kind-of like, white…white…white…BROWN!…white…white…white. Does that make sense? Barry will NOT let me paint the front door, so I was stuck. I couldn’t figure out how to get the flow going. I’m happy to report that the flow is back! (And much to his delight – and, honestly, my own as well – the door is still brown)

It only took half a day for our friend Craig to install it, so I don’t have any “during” photos. You’ll survive, I’m sure. Here are the pics of the front door:

I almost missed getting a “before” pic. He’s so quick to get started :)

This is a view from inside, after the storm door is installed, and you can’t even see it! That is exactly what I wanted. I love having that big window in our front door, and the view we’ve always had is still there! YAY!

Still from the inside of the house, but with the front door open. It’s a split-screen storm door, meaning the top part is screened, and the glass from the top slides down to the bottom to give you great air flow, while your view still remains as full as possible. This way we can finally get some air flow from the front of the house, without having the front door gaping open and losing our cats. (They would only go under the front porch since once they got out they’d immediately freak and hide. But still, it’s a pain to get under there to dig them out.)

A couple close shots of the door so you can see how great it looks! The second one is off a little so that I’m not in it. This reminds me that it’s time for a new “welcome” mat. This one is getting pretty faded. I hope Target has another one just like it. Maybe I should buy a few of them… Oh right! Back to the doors…sorry.

This is only important to me…but my pretty mailbox and the door handles match (as closely as possible). I refuse to move my mailbox, and it was important to me, since they’re so close together, that they are as close to the same as possible.

This last pic is as much of the front of the house as I could manage without getting too much of the trees. We have two beautiful, big trees in the front yard, and while they provide a lot of shade, and cool, rustling sounds, and cooler temps, and sound amazing during a rainstorm, they are in the way of getting a great, straight pic of the front of our house.

I tried.

See what I mean about the flow? It looks “finished” now.

So, there you have it…the last week of our lives. And hopefully cheaper energy bills to make the price of two custom doors and installation worth it in the long run.

*crosses fingers*

Table AND Chairs…what a concept!

We finally got a kitchen table. We’ve had one since we moved in, but we haven’t had any chairs for it, so we have just been using metal folding chairs. Those are not comfy. So the old one goes to the basement to (hopefully) become a sewing table, and the new one takes its’ place (and leaves a lot more space for the humans to roam around in the kitchen)

Here it is! It goes with my pretty red teapot, and my polka dot mixer!

I think it’s just wonderful, and soon the walls won’t be red anymore, and it will be a less overwhelming color in my kitchen. I’d like red to be the accent (pop) color, rather than the main color.

I have big ideas for the walls, too.

Stay tuned…

Brain Dump Friday

Giraffes are my favorite thing about going to the zoo.
I have had such a great week with my girl! A whole week, (mostly) just the two of us.
I love aquariums. As a place to go, they make for a great date or family outing. Especially when they have the tunnel you can walk through so the fish are all around you. It’s aaaaah-may-zing!
Our side door is being replaced today. A huge thank you to our friend, Cindy, for loaning us her husband again. Hopefully between this, and the new storm door we get next week, our energy bill will go down. A hot house for a couple of days, is ok for a cooler/warmer house the rest of our lives. Considering there is not an ounce of insulation in any of the walls (thank you very much previous owners for siding the house and not doing insulation first, so now we have to remove siding and drill holes-someday), we need all the help we can get.
I’m trying to come up with some kind of crafty thing to do with the old door. It’s a gorgeous door. Probably over-painted, but the glass is in really good shape. I don’t think it will fit any other doorways in the house, so I’m thinking about making it into some sort of organizational piece, or DIY decor of some kind. We don’t need a coffee table, but that would be an amazing idea. (we have a huge ottoman that came with our even-more-huge couch) I’m going to keep looking at blogs and Pinterest to see what I can come up with. (qualification: what I can come up with, that Barry will say “OK” to)
I finally made a zoo photo album today. Take a look.
I am missing my son more than I can say. I got to talk to him for almost 20 minutes last night. I was smiling as I went to sleep. It was the best I’ve slept all week. I cannot wait for him to be home.
A lot is on my mind, but it’s probably best that I not share it all today. I hope you have a great Friday, and a great weekend.
That is all.

Baking…made better.


I have this thing for polka dots. It’s not just that I like polka dots.

It’s more of an obsession.

I saw this pin on Pinterest, and I bought the dots immediately. (Even though I didn’t yet own a stand mixer.)

I’ve wanted one for years, and I knew that if I bought the dots, I’d have to finally break down and buy one. Otherwise, the money I spent on the dots would be wasted, because I’d never be able to figure out just the right thing to do with the dots. (I get overwhelmed easily)

Dave’s wife did it first, and sold me the dots, so all credit goes to her!

Here she is, the newest addition to my kitchen! Isn’t she just gorgeous???