Saturday, May 31, 2008

How Many Baptists Does It Take . . . . Part II

We're still checking things off of our "to do" list from the home inspector and the buyer. At the top of the buyer's list - something that the sale of the house depended on - was a closet in the master bedroom. We didn't have one. We have a big, beautiful bedroom, a big, beautiful bathroom complete with jacuzzi tub and no closet! You see, up until abouty six years ago, our master bedroom was a two car garage. My mother, who was 87 at the time, had suffered a massive heart attack. It was one of those situations that they don't prepare you for in the "what to expect when you grow up book". Our roles were reversed. I was no longer the little girl and she was no longer the strong, independent woman who could conquer the world. At any rate, we knew that she would no longer be able to drive and that it probably wouldn't be long before she wasn't able to live alone. The solution . . . we'd add on to our house so she could move in with us. We have friends from church in all areas of construction, I'm married to the plumber . . . So while I was making daily trips back and forth to the hospital and evntually the rehab center, keeping up with my work, making sure that my busy middle schooler was where he needed to be at the appointed time I pretty much left all of the major decisions up to the guys. I told them I trusted their judgement on all of the technical aspects and that when it came time to pick colors, etc, I'd give my input. Mother was eventually discharged from rehab and was able to go back to her little apartment. I was still making daily trips in to check on her and to help her decide what she was going to bring with her and what we would sell at the yard sale. I was still trying to keep up with my work and with my son. I stuck my head in the room to check on things once in a while, but as promised I left everything up to the guys. Every once in a while when I stuck my head in there, I got that nagging feeling that something was missing. In the mean time, mother was re-admitted to the hospital with another problem. So back and forth to the hospital, back and forth to Ryan's activities, back and forth to pick up and drop off work. I came home one afternoon just as a couple of the guys were loading up the truck. The drywall was done! I could start picking out paint and carpet colors! Great! I needed a distraction! I walked in and looked around. It was beautiful. I'm thinking, "OK, I'll paint the walls this color and we can use that color for the carpet and the bed will go over here, and my dresser will go over here and we can put the TV on the stand over by the clo . . . . Hey! Where's the closet? Uh, honey! Where is the closet? D, where's the closet?" I got blank stares. "Uh, I think we forgot to ask you where you wanted it." "Well, we could . . . or maybe we . . . uh, where do you want it?" The final decision was made by way of a quick trip through an antique warehouse sale one afternoon while mother was having some tests done. They had two matching armoirs. If I had cash and could pick them up that day, he'd let me have them for a steal because he had a shipment coming in the next day and needed the room. So, for the past six years we've used beautiful vintage Brittish armoirs as our "closet".

So, when it came time to list the house, the realtor questioned us about the closet (or lack thereof). He assumed that the armoirs were family heirlooms and that we had designed the room around them. "Uh, yeah! That's it!". So we came up with three alternatives for prospective buyers, including keeping the armoirs. When the alternatives were presented to this buyer (actually her mother, who will be living here too) she said a resounding "NO!!!" when offered the armoirs. The second alternative was a "custom" built-in from Ikea along the window wall complete with drawers and window seat. "NO! That's too much like the wardrobes I've had to use all of my life. I want a CLOSET!" Third alternative . . . . move the washer and dryer down to the other end of the utility room, cut a door through the wall between the bedroom and the utility room, add a wall to divide the new closet from the utility room and . . . . "YES! That's what I want!". So Super Plumber moved the washer and dryer hookup to the other end of the utility room and our friend Scott (Carpenter Extraordinaire and Drywall Guru)came to help with the rest.

Just another hour or so worth of finish work tomorrow, and Scott will be coming out of the closet so I can go in and paint! Sorry. I just couldn't resist that one.

One more short story made long by a rambling, nervous, sleep deprived middle ager!

Blessings y'all!

P.S. I let you know that "Super Tucker" is a preacher, so I have to let you know that Scott (and his wife Beth) sings like an angel! With any luck, Scott will sing the special the night that Tucker preaches then I can get a CD with both of them on it to pass around to anyone who wants to hear!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

How many Baptists does it take . . .

We're slowly working down our "punch list" of things that the home inspector made as well as a couple of requests from the lady who is purchasing our house. One request she made was to move an 8 x 10 shed from point A in the front of the house beside the carport to point B in the back yard next to the "big ugly green thing". How does one move an 8 x 10 shed from point A to point B? Well, around our church family, one calls "Super Tucker". Any time there is a big, seemingling impossible task or if someone has gotten themselves into the proverbial pickle that requires the strength of Herculese to correct - we call Tucker. The "no fear" signs you see everywhere . . . they originated with Tucker. He's the one who balances on a 2 x 4 and guides the roof trusses into place. He's the one who plays Cheeta/George of the Jungle and shimmies up a 40' sand pine tree to attach a rope near the top so the tree doesn't fall the wrong way. The thing about him climbing the tree is that it wasn't attached to the ground any more. When it was cut, instead of it falling the way it was supposed to, it kind of just got stuck between two other trees and was suspended there. A good stiff wind or a squirrel positioned on just right branch would have sent the tree crashing to the ground (or on to the roof, depending on the direction it fell). That didn't stop Tucker. He shimmied up that tree (twice because he didn't get the rope high enough the first time), tied the rope, shimmied down the tree and tied the other end of the rope off to the bumper of "big green" (not to be confused with the "big ugly green thing", which is a building) his 4WD Ford pickup that is as big as a building and requires a step ladder to get into it when you are vertically challenged like me. The tree was brought down safe and sound and we all had another chapter to add to our "stupid things that no one else has the guts to do" books that we're writing about Tucker.

At any rate, when Tucker found out that we needed to move the shed, he volunteered to help. He showed up bright and early yesterday morning in "big green" hauling "old yeller" on a trailer. "Old yeller" is a tractor with all the accessories that gets used for just about everything imaginable (and sometimes things that are unimaginable). The idea was to put the fork lift attachment on to "old yeller", slide the forks under the shed and then drive the shed from the front side of the house around to the back. I went outside at one point just in time to see them lifting the shed. My husband had his head stuck under the shed to make sure it was level. "Old yeller" and Tucker started to tip one way, the shed started to tip the other way, and somehow my husband managed to get from point A to point B without his feet ever touching the ground. Don't worry - nothing fell. I don't EVEN want to think about what could have happened if those two guys hadn't prayed before they started the job! I stayed around long enough to make sure everyone/everything was OK and then came into the house and shut the blinds so I didn't have to watch any more. I guess plan B must have worked because when curiosity got the best of me, I peeked out the window and saw the shed sitting in the back yard. Judging from the ruts in the yard, I gather they attached a chain to the platform and used "old yeller" to drag the shed around to its appointed position. It took them about another 20 minutes to get the shed positioned correctly on the slab(during which time it was discovered that "old yeller's" brakes are going bad and one of our small oak trees almost made the ultimate sacrifice as a result).

After a couple of hours of hoopin' and hollerin' and breath holding and head scratching and laughing, the shed was moved, "old yeller" was loaded back on to the trailer, Tucker was on his way home behind the wheel of "big green" and the neighborhood was once again safe and quiet. PLUS, we have another chapter to add to the book!

As a post script, I have to add that come Sunday night, "Super Tucker" will be ducking into the nearest phone booth, shedding his grubby Wranglers, t-shirt and ball cap and changing into his suit and tie and black dress cowboy boots as he becomes none other than "Reverend Tucker". You see, Tucker surrendered to preach several years ago and every couple of months he fills in on a Sunday night. He preaches one powerful message infused with some pretty funny illustrations taken from "stupid things no one else has the guts to do - volumes I through 10".

Sunday, May 25, 2008


The Lord Jesus Christ said of Lazarus in John 11:4. "This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby."

Approximately eight weeks ago our church claimed this verse for our pastor, who had sustained a hip fracture. There were complications after surgery and for a while things were touch and go. Still, we held firm to God's promise. Today, Brother Billy walked into the sanctuary for the first time since his accident. He still has a ways to to before he'll be strong enough to stand behind the pulpit to preach, but he's able to be back in God's house.

. . . that the son of God might be glorified. . . !


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

This is for the birds!

In our back yard here in Eden, we have a structure that we lovingly refer to as "the big ugly green thing". It started out life about twelve years ago as a two-story fort for our son. Tall and rustic, it blended into the piney woods that surround it. Over the years it has evolved into the "big ugly green thing". First, the bottom of the fort was closed in to house the lawn equipment. Then a larger edition was added on to the side to act as a "temporary shed" when we turned our garage into the new master bedroom and bathroom when my mother was going to be moving in with us seven years ago. As my son outgrew playing in the fort, the door and windows were eventually boarded up. The woodsy green that at one time blended into to the piney woods and matched the trim on the house has faded into a ...I can't even think of a word to describe the color(s). Thus the name "big ugly green thing".

Evidently, birds are color blind - or they have a passion for big ugly green things that in no way resemble a birdhouse or trees. For the past four years or so, every Spring Mr. and Mrs. House Wren have decided to take up residence there. The first year, we found an abandoned nest with 3 little pink speckled eggs in it. I'm certain that Sylvester, our neighbor's cat, had something to do with the fact that the nest was abandoned. For the next couple of years, we'd find empty nests hidden in boxes of nails, or plastic bins on the top shelf. We never knew when the nests were built or how many children they housed. This year, however, it's almost as though Mr. & Mrs. H.W. had some inkling that we'd be selling the house and moving on. Even though the shed has been cleaned out and there are only a few places that a nest could be hidden, they have once again graced us with there presence. My husband stumbled upon the nest one day when he was down there in the dark, scary "big ugly green thing" puting the lawnmower away. He looked at the new nest nestled among some plumbing fixures in an old milk crate and thought it was empty (like I said it's kind of dark and scary in there). He leaned in for a closer look, startled Mrs. H.W who in turn startled hubby. She flew off in one direction, he jumped back in the other direction and . . . well you get the picture. Once he forced his heart back into his chest, hubby peeked in the nest again and saw 4 little pink speckled eggs! A couple of weeks later, he peeked in again just in time to see a little brown head beginning to poke his head out of one of the shells. I've poked my head in several times and have had the joy of watching 4 little H.W.s in various stages of growth. It's been a treat and an honor to have been invited to watch such a miracle.

Now, I'm getting a little sad. It won't be long before the H.W. children will be ready to leave the nest. It won't be long before hubby and I will be moving on. I wonder how I can convey to the new owners that the structure in the back yard is really not a "big ugly green thing". It's a very LARGE birdhouse. And, if they are very, very patient next Spring Mr. and Mrs. H.W. may honor them by building a nest somewhere inside the "big green birdhouse" so that they can witness the wonders of nature first hand. Maybe they'll take the boards off of the windows and door so that their little girl can turn the fort into her very own castle. Maybe they'll see fit to paint it a different color. Or, maybe they'll decide to tear it down - in which case Mr. and Mrs. H.W. will have to find a new place to nest next Spring. Hmmmm. Maybe I should invite them to join us in Kentucky!

Blessings Y'all!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

WhAT iS OnE to dO?

What does one do when one awakens early in the morning faced with the insurmountable task of getting ready to move in a month PLUS the knowledge that there is approximately four + - hours of transcription waiting for one's attention. One might sit with pad and pencil, making a detailed and prioritized list of the things that need to be done while sipping a cup of tea and eating a healthy breakfast. Yes, one might do that. But not THIS one. One might decide to take one's tea to one's desk and begin to pound out the day's work so that one might have the afternoon free to make out the detailed and prioritized list and begin to work on the task at hand, seeing how many items one can check off the list before nightfall. Yes, one could do that. But not THIS one. One could compose the list, type a while, work a while, type a while, work a while - managing to put a dent in the transcription AND check a number of things off the list. Yes, one could do that. But not THIS one. One could slurp down a cup of tea, throw on some clothes, jump in the car and head for the home of an old friend who is having a yard sale in anticipation of an upcoming move out of state (there is an epidemic of that around here)for just a short visit, a quick look around for old times sake and come home empty handed because one has enough of one's own belongings to pack and doesn't need a single thing more. Yes, one could do that. But not THIS one.

Now, when one returns home after a three hour visit with one's old friend, sporting a load of things that one's old friend kept stuffing into one's trunk, one could immediately jump into the tasks at hand. Yes, one could do that. But not THIS one. One could make a mental list of everything that needs to be done, stare at the number of dictations in the queue awaiting transcription, sigh in utter frustration, take a long, refreshing shower, watch a little HGTV and then take a nap. Yes, one could do that! And that is EXACTLY what THIS one did!



Friday, May 16, 2008

To everything . . . there is a season . . .

As of Sunday, our future was uncertain. The housing market is at its bleakest. We had no idea when we'd be able to move, if we'd be forced to rent our house . . . We talked about lowering the price of the house again and I kind of stomped my size 7 1/2 and said "we've already lowered the price twice. I don't want to lower it any more than (insert amount)." By Monday afternoon, there was a possibility that our realtor would be showing our house on Tuesday morning. Tuesday morning at 10:00, the realtor showed the house to a single mother with a 4 year old daughter. The little girl's grandmother would also be living with them. Tuesday afternoon at 4:00, the grandmother came for her tour of the house. Wednesday morning at 11:00 we were sitting in the realtor's office with an offer in front of us for . . . you guessed it! . .. the exact amount I mentioned in my little foot stomping episode. Next time I think I'll give a little more thought to the amounts I blurt out! Who knows, we could have gotten a couple thousand extra! Thursday and today has been spent fluffing and patching and double checking outlets and roof shingles and all that stuff because today at 4:30 they come for the inspection. If all goes well, we'll be closing by (gasp) June 18. My husband is meeting tomorrow with a man who is interested in our business. I'm trying to decide whether I should don my red dress-up shoes and step up on my needlepoint stool and stomp my magic foot with the amount we really want/need for the business (plus a little extra for good measure) or if I should just randomy stomp and blurt out an amount before Tony goes to the meeting in the morning. Hey! It worked once, didn't it?!

Well then, It's always been assumed (yeah, I know what assume means) that because I work at home, on the computer, with a totally digital system that can be done from anywhere in the world that has high speed internet access that I'd have job security when we moved. So, I told the person I sub-contract through that we have a contract on the house and that we'd probably be moving within the next 30 days and asked if there was anything we needed to work out as far as logistics is concerned. WELL, she beat around the bush, she ran around Robinhood's barn, she passed the buck . . . . are you getting the picture here? . . . and the final word supposedly came from the administrator at the Dr's. office I transcribe for that due to (insert blah blah blah, BS)they are no longer able to allow anyone outside of our county area to transcribe for them. Translation - about 8 months ago the lady I subcontract through bought a new vehicle based on the amount of money she was making (and had been making for several years). About 6 months ago, one of her doctors left the practice and left her with a hole the size of 1/3 of her paycheck in her car payment fund. Do you see a little bit of a coincidence here? Uh huh, so do I.

So, for the first time in over 10 years, this golden girl is going to have to search for a job! In a new town/state/county! While living in a travel trailer and renovating our adopted house! (insert heavy sigh).

Bear with me. I'll probably be rambling more than usual over the next weeks. As of right now our future is uncertain . . .

Blessings y'all!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

I love you ALL this much!

I've been honored by Grace with this absolutely wonderful award. Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, I've received a "hug" all the way from Sunny California from a beautiful lady I've come to love and admire through her blogging. I felt such an honor deserved more than flip flops and unpainted toe nails as I climb up on my needlepoint stool to accept the award. I decided to don my favorite dressup shoes and some of my sparkliest sparkles for the occasion.

The reason for the stool? Certainly not to place myself above any of you! No! At 5 foot used to be almost 2 inches but not so much any more, the stool is meerly an aid so that I can return the hug without the average person having to bend down and risk injuring their back in the process!

At the risk of leaving someone out, I've decided to pass this award on to ALL OF YOU! Each of you who visit me here have become so special to me in so many ways. So close your eyes and place your left hand on your right shoulder! Now place your right hand on your left shoulder and squeeze real tight! Consider yourself hugged!

P.S. If my Forever Friend happens to be reading this, hang on to that hug for an extra long time! You've been on my mind all day. Love you lots!

Blessings Y'all!


Sunday, May 11, 2008

Friday, May 9, 2008


Twenty years ago this coming Sunday I was standing quietly at the back of our little church at the end of the service. It was a hard day for me - as were most Mother's Days. I didn't want to talk to anyone. I just wanted to go home. A sweet, little Jamaican lady who was a member of the church at that time came up to give me a hug. She whispered in my ear "next year, you will be spending Mother's Day with your son". I just stared at her. She didn't understand. I'd been wishing, hoping, praying for a child for ten years and had given up hope. Besides that, my marriage was on the rocks. There was just no way I'd be spending Mother's Day or any other day with my son next year.

Nineteen years ago today at 8:31 AM an absolutely beautiful 7lb 10 1/2oz baby boy made his entrance into the world. Ninteen years ago this coming Sunday . . . . I spent Mother's Day with my son.


Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Wow! I can't believe it's been two weeks since my last post! We got back home early Saturday morning, but since then it's been a mad dash to get the piles of laundry done (delayed due to a loss of pressure on our well - but never fear! I'm married to the well guy!), catch up on a back log of work and try to get back into the swing of "real life".

This last trip was definitely a learning experience! I learned that no matter how bad you think something looks on first inspection, it will probably be MUCH worse when you have time to take a closer look.

I learned that the grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence - but it was much shorter in this case because the grass on the other side of the fence is kept in check with the help of a few delightful goats and ours hadn't been touched by man or beast in months.

Hubby and I both learned the importance of waiting to actually meet a person before forming an opinion based soley on the descriptive opinion of others. Such is the case of our neighbor, Mr. Wilson. It turns out he in no way resembles the description we were given when we purchased our property. He is a delightful, frail little seventy-seven-year-old man. He is sweet, wise, and filled with decades of stories having been born and rasied right there in the "holler". He and my hubby formed an instant bond.

I learned that it's not always true that someone elses trash may be my treasure. That point was driven home by two days worth of hard labor cleaning out the sheds and the barn and filling a 20 yard roll-off dumpster to capacity.

I learned that danger lurks amidst the beauty of the mountains. The hills were alive with the sound of . . . . coyotes howling late one afternoon when we were working - an eerie sound that sent chills up the spine of my even my seasoned woodsman. The next morning, Mr. Wilson's baby goat was missing and three of the older goats were limping. Hubby and I went on a hike across the creek and up over the ridge to see if the little kid had possibly just wandered off. We found no sign of him. We did, however, find a small stream flowing out of the side of one of the rocky cliff, splashing into a little pool. A perfect place for a comfy little bench and a good book. Of course I've been forbidden to wander up there alone until I learn the finer points of carrying and learning to shoot a weapon. Danielle Boone I'm not! The only thing I can shoot is a rubber band or a water pistol - and I'm not very good at that. At any rate, gates were closed and the goats were moved from the back pasture up to the side pasture and back yard - much closer to Mr. W's house and much less tempting for the coyotes.

I learned that in all of Kentucky (at least what I've seen so far) there is one eleven acre piece of property that doesn't have one single dogwood tree on it! Everywhere you look, the dogwood trees are in bloom. Everywhere except, that is, OUR property. Not a sapling. Not a single branch full of blossoms sneaking across our property line. NOTHING! I've already given hubby my birthday, Christmas, anniversary lists for the next year. I want dogwood trees planted on our property!

I learned that even those on the tightest of tight budgets can have a Hummer in their yard! Our friends are fortunate enough to have four in their front yard. Of course their driveway is lined with dogwood trees too - but I will not be envious! We've already staked out several spots along our carport/back porch area where we plan to put parking spaces for our Hummer(s).

We learned that to be a friend to someone does not necessarily mean you have a friend. That's a long story, but what's important is that hubby and I learned that when all is said and done, we have each other. We make a great team. We have the ability to accomplish alone in a short time tasks that we thought would take several people a much longer time to accomplish. And at the end of the day we learn to compromise, i.e., "ok you can take your shower first while I fix dinner, but you get to put the BioFreeze put on my aching muscles first while we're watching the movie!"

And I learned that I can live without TV for a week or more, but I don't ever want to be without access to my blogger buddies and special friends for that long again. I missed my daily doses of inspiration, laughter, tears, tips. . . I missed the feeling that at 2AM when I couldn't sleep, or when I was having an emotional melt-down I could "pop in for a visit". I missed my early morning tea time with my Junque Syster when we take time before the bustle of the day begins to "talk" via IM about nothing in particular but everything in general. I missed my 6AM e-mails from my Sister at Heart filling me in on the "what's happening" (we REALLY need to teach her how to IM before I move or phone bills are going to be astronomical!). I missed the prayer requests from church, the e-mail updates from my Forever Friend. So, in reality, I'm willing to give up Grey's Anatomy, Lost and EVEN HGTV as long as I can have contact with all of you!