A Lot of Nothing, a Little Something

Dear friend,

I'm not writing to an actual, specific friend, but this is basically a letter to my blog friends. And don't worry, it's not an "open letter" where I make assertions and accusations and tell you what is wrong with you and your church and your subculture. This is a real, honest, old-fashioned letter.

I burned leaves on Sunday afternoon. It's hard for me to be out in the yard for long stretches of times with a little person afoot, who goes in and out of the house and needs supervision, still. So, with Tuan home, I was able to just stand in the yard and fiddle with the fire and the leaves for several hours. It was delightful and restful and I smelled of leaf smoke after, which is Tuan's favorite smell in the whole world. He kept smelling my hair. We are romantic in our own, strange, way!

I kept beginning to think of analogies and life lessons to be found in leaf burning, but in the end, I decided that I simply wanted to burn leaves and not turn it into anything deep. So I burned and fiddled with the fire and thought of a thousand other things and waved at the folks who drove past.

We have been busy with our living room situation. Removing the 1970s paneling, pulling a hundred nails off of the walls, prepping the windows for painting. It's always more work than you expect, but this has definitely taken longer than planned, because life.

The windows are primed and I hope to sand and prime the walls this week. Then we'll be that much closer to Joanna Gaines levels of interior greatness.

I recently read a blog post about how a woman had to turn off Fixer Upper because it brought about discontent in her heart. Oddly enough, it has been the opposite for me. I've been so encouraged by what can be done, that seeing the quick results has bolstered me so much when it seems like we are taking a long time to get things done.

We also ripped out the carpet and linoleum and the the plywood faux subfloor to find the original pine tongue and groove flooring in excellent shape! Whoo-hoo. It's a little bit draftier, but we can don wool socks for the sake of style!

Our housing situation is a wee bit complicated for the blog, but we are living in and fixing up a house that belongs to a very dear and kind friend. The glorious thing is that this is not a "family" house for her. I'm not ripping out "Aunt Myrtle's linoleum that she saved and scrimped for". My friend has little emotional investment in this house, which is a huge blessing. Our house, as I call it for the sake of easy writing, belonged to matriach and patriarch of our road, then their daughter owned it and she is the one who sold it. I hear the most delightful stories about this lady, who is still living, but has family on and near this road. The propane man even raves about her.

My gratefulness about our house owners not being emotionally connected to the house was solidified at a local Christmas party, where I met people who had grown up in the house, or visited the house or had celebrated countless holidays in the house.

As I was introduced as the woman who lived in "M------- K--------'s house", people kept tearing up as they reminisced of the memories and how dear that place was. Whoosh! The burden of southern family heirloom property possession obligation hit. A near relative asked what all we had done, "oh, we renovated the bathroom and are going to pull up the carpet and took the paneling off the living room walls. . . . " {the blush pink painted 1970s paneling!} My audience did not hear me correctly, and said, "oh, yes, she just had that painted a few years back". (whoops!) "but I never did like carpet in a living room" (thinking to self: she didn't catch that I ripped out the freshly painted paneling, but approves of the carpet removal! Victory)

So, I feel a little bit more of an emotional burden than I did, but I do hope they are all pleased with the final results!

In other things: I changed my iphone language to British English, so Siri speaks with a lovely accent and I basically have a butler of my very own. It's the closest I'll ever get to being an aristocrat, so I'll take it.

I also scored a fantastic deal on hams at Kroger the other day. .69 a pound! I stood at the meat case and inspected hams with a fellow mom who I had never met, but who obviously understood the deal we had found. 39.00 hams now 5.00?! I loaded up my buggy like a Supermarket Sweep contestant.

At the register, they rang up at the old price and the cashier, who was MORE than wonderful and kind to me, had obviously been dealing with this all day and called the manager over and then the meat department who had still not entered this price change into the system. She had to manually adjust all the prices of my hams and calls out to the manager (over all the people around the checkout!) "hey! she's buying about eight hams . . . so you know I have to change the price. How many hams you buying? six? no she's buying six hams!" (I was a bit mortified but the customer behind me was very approving).

"I've got a deep freeze and I'm not afraid to use it! Ha. Ha." I said with forced lightness.

Tuan meant to grab a ham sandwich he had prepared to take with him for breakfast on the way to work and grabbed a bundle of ham instead. "I ate every bit", he informed me, "I think I ate ten dollars worth of ham."

That explains why he was not so keen on the ham I prepared for supper.

And that is all I have to say, dear friends. I remain---

yours, affectionately,