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!!