Friday, July 23, 2010

I'm Back

I've been thinking about this blog & didn't realize it had been so long since I had posted anything. Boy, a lot has happened since my last post.

Our construction saga continues. Work on the cottage is at a standstill for now. It was taken back to the studs, a new green metal roof was put on, new windows are in place, and the plumbing is ready to be hooked up. We ended up having to put a new septic system in. Now we're waiting on more money to finish it. I'm thinking about using white vinyl siding on the outside. The only things we need to get for the inside is a stove and refrigerator. We'll just do sheetrock for the walls and ceilings. Our carpenter son has already made the kitchen cabinets. Now if he can just remember how they all go together when the time comes for him to install them.

Things really got interesting when Hurricane Gustav put a tree through one of the bedrooms on the end of the house. Since we had taken the enclosure off the back of the house around the pool, half of the roof was off of the house when the storm hit. So, quite a bit of the house had water damage. We've just finished redoing the back bedroom! Daughter #2 has moved into it. My darling hubby did the work himself. A new ceiling, new flooring, new electrical,and new ceiling fan. Daughter #2 and her friends did the painting. It looks really good.

There's a new green metal roof on the house, a new coat of white paint, new gutters with copper rain chains, new windows in the master bedroom, and new doors on the laundry room, pump room, bathroom, and storage room outside.

Due to dry rot, I ended up with new windows in the living room. They are beautiful and we got a tax credit on them. It's amazing the surprises you get when you're remodeling an old house. We've certainly had plenty of them and they're never good.

I now have two sets of French doors in my dining room. They lead out to the deck and swimming pool. The fireplace has been reworked and is so pretty. The guy who did the stonework did a wonderful job on it. I'll try to post before and after pictures of all the work done around here. My DH has done all of the electrical work throughout. Now he's working on the ceiling. I plan to do the painting in the dining room. The last thing to go in will be the new floor. We've raised it to be the same as the rest of the house.

It's slow going since we're doing one room at a time as we get the money. Plus DH hasn't had just a lot of time to work on things. Out of his 2 weeks off each month he only gets to work the house maybe 4 days. The rest of the time he's catching up on his rest, has meetings to attend, does the yard work, and we've done quite a bit of traveling.

Daughter #1 got married in May 2009 to a man from India she met on It was a beautiful wedding! Her sister made her dress from the same pattern that my dress and my mother's dress was made from. But, the marriage hasn't turned out to be what she dreamed of and she's back home. He was laid off from his job a couple of weeks before the wedding. We weren't that concerned about the culture differences as he constantly told her there was nothing about his culture that he wanted to keep. That was before the wedding. After the wedding it was a different story. Then he got a job in New York and they moved to Long Island in January 2010. He became increasingly abusive, manipulative, and controlling. So, we brought her home for her own safety. We'll be flying up there in a couple of weeks to pack up all of her stuff and then drive back home. That's 1400 miles in a U-Haul truck. I'm not really looking forward to that. We don't know what the future holds for them. I know that God is still in the miracle business and I'm praying that He'll change my son-in-law's heart. Right now he's such an angry young man. DH has diagnosed him as having a narcissistic personality. But, God can change that. Right now Daughter #1 is terrified to go back to him and is content to be here with us where she feels safe. Please pray for all of us to know God's will in this situation, for us to be able to love the son-in-law in spite of the way he's treated our precious daughter, and for traveling mercies over the next few weeks. Also, pray that son-in-law will change his mind and sign her vehicle over to her so she can bring it back home.

Daughter #2 has been expanding the garden this year. It's called the Zombie garden and she loves working in it. We have 3 raised beds this year plus 2 big water troughs, multiple pots, and an antique wash tub on a stand filled with plants. Last year we planted some squash in the rose bed and they did really well. So, this year we expanded that a little bit and it's now the Zombie Annex. But, the squash and zuchinni are not making much. There seems to be a lack of bees in our state this year to pollinate. Everyone is having problems with it. The plants grow and flower but nothing else happens. Another project this year has been clearing space behind the old horse stable to make a chicken coop. As soon as it is finished she'll get some chickens so we'll have fresh eggs. If only she could quit her day job and become a farmer!

Son #1 and precious daughter-in-law are still in south Louisiana. We don't get to see them often enough. Son was laid off of his job a couple of years ago and finally got a job with Wal-Mart. He's been there a year now. It's certainly not his dream job, but it pays the bills. We're still praying that something better will come his way. He's trying to get some side jobs going doing some remodeling work for people they know.

Son #2 moved out and is renting a house in town with one of his friends. We rarely see him or hear from him. He's had several jobs from telephone support line to landscaping. Now he's selling Cutco. I did buy a set of cookware from him and love it! The economy is so bad. We're just praying that things work out for him. He's had his heart broken at least once since my last post. It may have happened twice. He seems to be drawn to girls that need "rescuing". So he jumps in ready to rescue and they change their minds.

Boy, nobody tells you how hard it is to be parents to adult children. Especially when they have problems and/or get hurt. You're not supposed to get involved in their lives, but you can't help it. Just because they're legally responsible for themselves, married, or just moved out they're still your children. The problems they have are a lot tougher now and you can't put a band-aid on and tell them they'll be OK.

I've come to the conclusion that the majority of our adult lives are spent in the valleys with very little time on the mountaintops. My faith is really being tested right now. In my head I know that God has a plan for my life and for each member of my family's life. I also know that His plan will be good. But, I sure do wish He would clue me in a little more.

With everything that's gone on around here, my writing and my scrapbooking have taken a back burner. I've been a consultant with Creative Memories for 10 years this month. For the first time, I'm not attending Showcase in Minneapolis this summer. Most of my scrapbook has been packed up for over a year now. It was supposed to be for a month at the most. I do hope to get back into it though.

I will be attending the ACFW conference with Daughter #1 in September. It's being held in Indianapolis and we are excited about it. I have some ideas floating around in my head. We will be rooming with her critique partner. They plan on helping me learn how to get the story idea from my head to paper. I can't wait!!

Friday, May 09, 2008


Things have been in a turmoil in my little corner of the world. My 2nd daughter lives in a little guest cottage on our property. We decided to add on a small room for her to use as a sewing work room. She also needed the bathroom redone. Poor thing has been walking over to the main house for showers, etc. the entire time she's lived over there. Naturally the project morphed into more than we bargained for. The entire cottage has been gutted back to the studs! Now comes the task of putting it all back together. I have a wonderful contractor, my neighbor just moved down Seattle. We trust him completely, just have to keep him on the same page that we're on. It's going to be a really cute place when it's all done. Elizabeth has done well in her decision making so far. She's remained practical, for the most part, while keeping her special eccletic style intact.

There's also work going on at the main house where the rest of us live. We had an enclosed in ground heated swimming pool. Now we have an outdoor in ground heated swimming pool. The space looks so much bigger! I'm now anxious to get the pool repainted & a new filter so we can use it this summer.

Next on the list for the main house is a new roof, fixing the mess that was made when the pool was enclosed. Then we'll put in 2 sets of french doors on each side of the fireplace so we can go right out to the pool & deck. I've picked out new wood flooring for the house. We have 4 bedrooms, 3 baths, a kitchen, dining room, living room, study, & parlor. Each room needs major remodeling done except 1 bedroom. My oldest son did a great job of laying new flooring & painting his bedroom before he moved off & got married. I turned his room into our guest room.

The "to-do list" is daunting! Sometimes you just don't know where to start. The dining room & our bedroom/bath will be the first. That will include new floor, new ceiling, new walls, lighting, etc. Basically, gut it & start over!

If I "disappear" for awhile, you'll know why. I'm just overwhelmed with all the work around here & trying to go on with our every day life in the midst of it all.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


My daughter tagged me & I decided to respond this time. So, here goes . . .

10 years ago I was trying to settle into a new house & town. I ended up having to work in my husband's office, one of the benefits of moving here was supposed to be that I wouldn't have to work in the office. We were living out of boxes as I didn't have time to unpack properly. Since I homeschooled my 4 kids, & I wasn't home very much, that was barely happening. We moved on the 2nd anniversary of the death of my dad. I was tired & depressed.

20 years ago was a better time for me! I gave birth to a daughter in 1982, another daughter in 1984, a son in 1986, and was pregnant again with my youngest & last child, another son born in 1988. All of them are miracles from God. I had suffered so much damage from endometriosis that the doctors said I would never be able to have children. I had to have a hysterectomy in 1989 & the surgeon, who was an unbeliever, said that God really wanted me to have children as I had so much damage & reconstruction that I shouldn't have been able to conceive, much less carry a child to term. What an awesome God!! We lived in a nice house, in a nice neighborhood, had good friends around, lived close to all of my in-laws, & my husband's medical practice was thriving. Life was good!!

30 years ago I was single & working in a Family Practice Clinic. I loved my job!! I had given up on getting married. Then in August of 1977 I met my husband when he moved to Little Rock to start medical school. He joined our church & we were in the choir together. He asked me out, my mother talked me into going out with him, & I knew on the 2nd date that he was the one for me! Before he went to visit his family during the Thanksgiving break, he told me he loved me. Then he told his parents about me. By Christmas I had my engagement ring, which my oldest son gave to his bride when he proposed to her. I went to Vidalia, LA to meet my soon to be in-laws. We were married June 2, 1978. I'm still amazed at how quickly things happened when I finally let go & let God have complete control of my life.

I lost my grandmother, to whom I was very close, in Feb. 1978. I became an aunt for the first time the day after her death when my sister gave birth to her son. My poor mother had quite a year with loosing her mother, becoming a grandmother, & her last child at home getting married all within a 6 month period of time.

In looking back, I don't think I'd do anything differently. I've had a good life! It's had its ups & downs, but I've always learned valuable lessons during the down times and the up times were even better. I've been truly blessed by God!! I have a wonderful, loving husband who loves God & our family with all his heart. I have 4 wonderful kids, all grown now. They've all been healthy & they all have personal relationships with Jesus Christ. I gained a wonderful daughter-in-law this year who brings out the very best in my son. Things are looking up after a very long down time. And it's exciting!! My mother-in-law is responding great to radiation therapy for breast cancer. My mom is still alive after a close call several years ago & is in good health considering.

I think I have a good relationship with all of my kids & my daughter-in-law. I have grandpets instead of grandbabies but hopefully that will change one day. I'm looking forward to the next season of my life!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

bits & pieces

Yesterday was a beautiful day! Cooler temperatures (low 90's) with plenty of sunshine. Today is the same. Sure wish it would stay this way for a while.

Last week Rachel & I were in Dallas for the ACFW conference. Our first writers conference. It was a good conference. We took the Historical continuing education classes taught by Tricia Goyer. I've read her WWII books & really like her. Her teaching style was easy to follow. I've gotten to know her a little through her blog where I entered her Travel Story contest. I didn't win, but it was still fun to write about our cruise that was cut short due to the ship catching on fire.

Anyway, we also took some classes that Susan May Warren taught. Boy, she's an energetic lady! The type that's the life of the party. I've read every book she's written & love them all. She's very talented in that she can write in any genre. Not just write, but write really, really well. All of characters come to life & jump off the page to take you on their adventure. I hope to be able to write characters like that some day.

We met some of the people we've "talked" to on-line. That's always exciting. The world has gotten so much smaller through all the technology available to us. It boggles my mind!

There's a new member to our family. An orange kitten named Aisling (not sure about the spelling). Jason found her abandoned behind the coffee shop where he works. Of course he just had to take her in. She was scratched up pretty bad so he took her to the vet. They gave her a thorough going over & cleaned her up. She's 8 weeks old, anemic, malnourished, & very hyper when she gets the run of the house. She doesn't get along with other cats, but loves people. She growls & yowls really loud at Zoe. Poor Zoe has been so traumatized by other cats during her life that she's terribly depressed that this little thing is in her house. Aisling took on Murdock yesterday & got body slammed into a tree. Didn't faze her at all. I'll have to break the news to DH next week that we have another cat. That could be "interesting".

I'm still knitting on a prayer shawl for my MIL who's getting radiation for breast cancer. She's doing very well. It's taking me longer to get it finished than I had hoped. I have it as long as the directions say but I want it longer to really be able to wrap up in it. Hopefully I can get it finished in the next week. I plan to put fringe with charms attached to it, the charms are all symbols of things that mean something special to her.

Next week is the 1853 funeral re-enactment at Kent Plantation House. This will be my 4th year to participate (I think). Things are all different this year & I'm not sure how it will turn out. Elizabeth insisted that I have a new costume this year. I'll work on getting it hemmed this week. She's in the process of making 5 new costumes for this event. She wanted a new one for herself, but ended up making sure everyone else was properly costumed. If she still works there next year, I'll make sure she has a new costume!!

Now, I need to get back to my knitting.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

My how time flies! The entire month of August and half of September gone in a flash. I must be getting senile since I don't seem to know where the time went.

Anyhow, it's raining again! A tropical storm is heading our way. At least it's not a hurricane! I don't really mind hurricane's since the only effect they have on us is some rain, wind, & usually a power outage. We're not in danger of flooding or losing our home to storm surge. With my son & daughter-in-law living south of here, nearly as south as you can get without being in the Gulf of Mexico, I wouldn't mind an extended visit from them as long as they didn't lose anything to the storm. But, you can't pick & choose in these situations.

My baby is in college! He's still at home this year while he goes to LSU-A & works at a local coffee shop. Bless his heart, he's having trouble with math (& it's a remedial class). He never saw the point for math. Now he regrets not doing the math assignments I gave him. Mother does know best after all. It's hard watching his frustration over it though. Mother's still don't want their children to be hurt even if they're grown.

Next week is the ACFW conference in Dallas. Rachel & I will be attending for the first time. I'm nervous about it. All I have are ideas rattling around in my head but nothing on paper. To meet these real authors who have the experience under their belts is intimidating to say the least. Rachel, on the other hand, has flourished getting ready for this. She has her business cards & her one-sheet for her Russian trilogy all ready. I keep telling myself that I'm going to learn! It's been so long since I've done anything like this I sure hope I can remember how to learn something new. And I'll be learning from one of my favorite historical fiction writers, Trisha Goyer. I am looking forward to that. A bonus will be the late night chat I signed up for with Susan May Warren, another favorite of mine. I'm taking a book written by each of them so I can get it autographed.

One thing I've noticed since joining ACFW is the number of authors that also homeschool their kids. I wish I could have been writing while I was homeschooling my kids. But, I couldn't seem to do that with having 4 kids in 5 years and a husband with a very busy rural medical practice. Most of the time I felt like a single parent. The only time he was with us without the chance of being called away was when we were out of town on vacation. We also had 40 acres of land at one point to take care of. I wouldn't trade any of it though. This has been God's plan for my life! And I wouldn't want anything less.

So, I shall embark on this new journey with God leading the way. And my special verse that got me through all those years with 4 little ones hanging on my legs. "I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me" Philippians 4:13

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

More Rain

We're currently having another thunder storm! I can't remember ever having such a wet summer. Makes me wonder what kind of winter we're going to have. It's about time to have another ice storm.

I went to the in-laws on Friday morning with plans to stay until today. My MIL was supposed to have an appointment with the radiological oncologist to discuss the path reports & map out her treatment. Friday afternoon his office called her & rescheduled the appointment for Aug. 22 at which time he would go ahead & start her radiation. And that's all we know! Very frustrating!! Anyway, I stayed until Sunday. She's doing really well all thing's considered. After they left to go to church Sunday morning, I straightened up a little & headed home.

I stopped at the outlet mall in Arcardia & did some shopping. Got me some new casual shoes, 5 pairs of pants, a skirt, & 4 shirts. Also got DH some new clothes for his birthday.

With my trip to Minneapolis next week & the ACFW conference in Sept., I needed to casual business clothes that will be comfortable on plane rides as well as for sitting in classes all day.

DH has a medical meeting in Feb. 2008 in Hawaii. I get to go with him of course! The first part of the meeting will be in Honolulu and the second part will be on Kaui. I'm really looking forward to this! One of the excursions we can do is whale watching. I want to do that.

I'm behind on my Bible study of Women of the Bible. It won't take long to catch up on the reading, but it takes me longer to crochet the squares. I'm not as experienced as some of the other ladies. But, I'm learning how to read a pattern & lots of new stitches.

I have several other projects going on also. I'm knitting a baby blanket for Joanna. The baby is due Dec. 26, so I have a little time to get it done. I just started knitting a "prayer" shawl for my MIL. I want to get it done ASAP. On the back burner I have a knitted scarf not quite finished. I plan to send it to a friend in the 82nd Airborne on his 2nd tour of duty in Iraq. It won't take long to finish it.

DS#2 is applying to enter LSU-A so I need to get his transcript together tonight. He's supposed to take his ACT on Aug. 9. This will be his first time to take it. He's probably nervous, but I know he'll do just fine on it.

We will get "new" neighbors in November. They're moving from Seattle to her childhood home. We're all excited about it. He's a carpenter & is going to work for us on our place. His first job will be to put a new bathroom & add a room onto the cottage. Then he'll put in a kitchenette, new floor, & french doors on the front. DD#2 is excited since she's the one that lives out there. Then he'll start demolishing our sunroom. By next summer we'll have an outdoor pool instead of an indoor pool. The list of things that need to be done in remodeling both properties is a very long list. I can't wait to get started though!

One of these days, maybe I'll remember to update this blog on a regular basis. :-)

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

When Families Need to Stick Together

Yesterday DH & I got up early & drove to Shreveport to be with his family while my MIL had surgery for breast cancer. It was a long day of waiting. We got home after midnight. That makes 3 late nights in a row & I can really feel it today. Now we're waiting for all of the pathology reports to come back. We know that she will have to take radiation treatments, but additional treatments will depend on the reports. I'm afraid life as we've known it will be changing. DH & I will be going to his parents some during the weeks that he's not working. Just to check on them & give his dad a break from driving to & from Shreveport every day. I'm afraid that's going to get very tiring very quickly since it's an hour each way. We offered to house them at our house for the duration so she could get treatment here, but they don't want to be separated that long (I don't blame them) & he has to check all the oil wells (that's their income) every day. The grandkids are volunteering to step up & help on weekends as their work & school schedules allow. They can all cook, clean, & do the grocery shopping for them. We will all have to come together, work together, & support each other to get through this difficult time. We all know that God is a merciful, loving, healing God who will provide what's needed for each of our families. As one SIL stated, "I don't know how people deal with this when they don't know God." I totally agree!!

This is about all we've been able to think about for the last week. I'm sure there's more I could write about, but I just can't seem to think through them right now. Maybe later on this week I can update this blog with more pleasant things that have been going in my life.

BTW, the photo at the bottom of this page is the entire clan that's affected by these circumstances. It was taken at the family reunion in June.