Archive for the ‘showing appreciation’ Category

Christmas TO DO list



15 days to Christmasyikes!

And I still have a big

TO DO list.

I’ve checked it twice, even thrice!

Again, yikes!


How’s YOUR project list?





Mary Beth Abruzzo  –Is there anything that you can’t do? As always, I love watching your progress and can’t wait to see the finished project!
Nancy –How did you first learn carpentry? You are so skilled.
Lisa –I agree with Nancy, You are very skilled. I would love to take a class from you!!

Thank You for all the compliments to my carpentry skills. . . . . . so you want to know where it all comes from. . . ?

I LUV CONSTRUCTION.  Kind of obvious, huh?

build it yourself!As a little girl, my dad would teach me simple things and send me off to do whatever-the-task to get me out of his hair and focus on his project.  –I would complete whatever it was and return to being under foot until the next “lesson.”

The first project I remember building, I was about 6.  Our family made a last move at the end of my dad’s time in the Air Force.  The new neighbor-girl had all this cOOl doll furniture to play with–I had none.  BUT–I saw a scrap block of wood (from a 2×4) and some (4″) nails in the garage, and swiped some fabric from my mom’s stash.  I hammered the nails in at each corner of the block and wrapped the fabric around it making a canopy bed for my Wishie doll (remember those?).  

I was a Realtor for many years before moving to Phoenix in ’92, where I crossed over to the construction side of Real Estate.  I managed and renovated several large apartment complexes before getting a position in the Warranty dept of a major home builder.  It didn’t take me long to land an Asst. Superintendent role with another major builder where I took charge at Frame-to-Finish and Closing.  And -longer story short- I was later persuaded to make another switch to work for our cabinet designers.

be fearless!I tease of how I am the ultimate domestic– I can design it, build it, decorate it, AND sell it! At every stage I learned A LOT–but my furniture building/re-building skills really came out of learning the construction of cabinetry.

I was sO lucky to be surrounded by some very skilled trades along the way who shared generously, and I absorbed everything I could! And- I LUV to pay it all forward with anyone interested, especially women, ’cause. . .

power tools are—Power!


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happy new year!

May I give the very Best Wishes to you all


give Many Thanks to every visitor to this blog~it is





My focus for this coming year…

…I wish this for all of you as well!

My goals for this coming year!

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inspirational--1st, I have to say~

You ladies are aMAZing!

I mean, I alReady knew this world of blogging was pretty incredible– but then I went to Haven–and met it face-to-face!

And then -sadly- I returned to deal with -Mother Nature- (dun-dun-duuuun).


And then–I get these inCREDible well wishes, prayers -and bits of nEEded hUMor-  from the most inCREDible women.  And, again I say to myself—this blogging world is the most aMAZing thing to be connected to and a part of!

My heart is full—with so much ThANKs and GRATitude for the luck of “meeting” so many new friends!

You guys are AmAZing–you laugh wiTH me (and wiTH me at mySELF when needed), you’re so enCOURaging and the bEST cheerleaders eVer, and quick with a kleenex—or the boxing gloves when someone’s out of line!  BLOGGERS RULE!

thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you!

So. . .

I puttied and sanded and stained and sealed and painted away, all Tuesday.  WoW–was a long day! ~said the girl who was yakkin’ on the phone endlessly too.

My newest project was taking shape  ~and, I  l-i-k-ed it  ~but, u-h-h, there’s just something~off.  Hmmm.  So I walked away from it all Wednesday.    I really didn’t mEAn to do that–it just happened.  And it WaS sUper  hU-mid  –but I know you guys will understand thAT tOO!

*funny how excuses rEAlly only please the people who make them. . .

Sorry, no pics beyond this early point of painting Tuesday, to share.

in progress--

*UpDate.  Okay, so you won’t believe—all that weird and hUmid weather left us in aNother TORnado watch last night!  Seriously Mother Nature-?!?  ThaNKfully–wE were spared, but others were hit hard, and our hearts ache for them.

Getting back to work~now the TOP for this project is giving me a headache.

You know these cheap dressers typically come with a laminate top, and I’d like a wood top–but I don’t want to invest any more money into this piece.  So far, I’ve spent about $32 for the ½” and ¼” veneered plywood.

I’ve got an idea though.  The edges are actually wOOd, so I’m thinking I could veneer the top tOO!

Voilà!  My wOOd top!  Now. . .do I hAVe any. . ? 


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It has been–rough.  So I’m writing this diary-style cause~

no. body. would EVer. believe. me. otherwise.

July 31st.  Up and out the door by 5:02am

Got all the way through Milwaukee AnD Chicago traffic without aNy issues (aka, slow and go)  Okay, can I just say “That was tOO easy. . ?”

Crossed into Indiana, switched to 65-S and everything changed.  North-bound accident, 2 cars fatally sandwiched between 2 semis, highway shut down, 2 hour delay.  A LOT of prayers they didn’t suffer.

Traffic flowing again, semi beside me had a blow out ~right. beside me.  My heart was beating out of my chest at the scare, I got off the next exit to -breathe- and, may as well get gas.  The sign said $3.68, but at the pump it was $3.86.  Way to take advantage of the shut-down highway and price-gauge us.  Karma comes to mind here.

Everything going better–till Louisville.  Really critical accident, another hour delay.

Between Nashville and Murfreesburo–anOTHer critical accident, and another hour delay.

I got to Atlanta and the hotel LAte—but in one piece.  ~Couldn’t cOUnt the number of weaving cars I encountered where you could see the driver texting.  Really people?  Cause we don’t know how dangerous that is?  And perhaps at the root of some of the accidents–??

Anyway~BeaUtiful hotel room–but when I opened the door and turned on the lights—the tv was on–??  Was someone in the room??  Scared to go in–but I did, and found the tv had a “Welcome to HAVEN Catherine!” message to greet me.  Really sweet~but nice scare in my exhausted state. (18hr drive with delays)

August 01.  Slept in.  WHEN I got up, I took a long shower, enjoyed my 17th floor view, and gave myself a mani-pedi~yAy!  AnD THeN~I went shopping!

Went to Forsyth Fabrics and then A Classy Flea!!!

Back to the hotel, people were arriving!  Registration was well under way!  WooHoo!!!  Chased to my room to change clothes and go meet some incredible ladies!  AnD, my roomie at the elevator as the doors opened—insert screams and hugs here!

HAVEN–HAVEN–HAVEN!  I’ll tell you more about that another post.  Suffice it to say—

You’ve just GOT to go next year!

It was sO loaded with info, active, busy -loUD- and exhausting.  By the closing speeches 2 days later, I just need a respite and headed to my room (roomie left at this point).  I laid my head down for just a minute’s rest—and suddenly it was MIDnight.  I missed the final party.  : \

August 04.  Chased over to the Buckhead GoodWill!  Found 7 really nice cashmere sweaters just under $5 each!  Chased back to hotel to catch Elisha–we toured The Swan House!  ~Both of us, “Oh. My. God.”  Jaws dropped.  “Oh. My. God.”  More gawking.  “Oh. My. God.”  You have GOT to go see this inCREDible house!  Oh yeah–they wouldn’t let us take pics—booooooooo.

EVeryone gone now—I was the last cookie in the jar.  :’ (

BuT, an Air France crew arrived, and I found myself surrounded by a dozen or so frenchmen—I don’t remember mUch french anymore, but I did catch a word here and there of their conversations!  I mustered the courage to say Bonjour! and hoped that I didn’t comPLETEly slash my next lame attempt.  I added (with verbal question marks) “Je m’excuse~je ne parle pas bien le français. . .”  The fact that I tried delighted them, but I fumbled a bit trying to remember thAT much.  I couldn’t remember how to say that I was born in Chateauroux, so I said it in English—they seemed even MOre delighted at that!  And each departed the elevator with a wave, a smile, and au revoir!  Sure, my feeble try may have been a little embarrassing, but when would they ever see me again to laugh?!?

August 5.  The alarm did NOT go off.  I was supPOSED to be gone between 4:30 and 5am—it was 5:42.  I panicked and called for the car and my bill and they helped me through my frantic sprint, and I was driving away by 6:02am.  ~And I missed their rush hour traffic.

I stopped along the way to re-brush my teeth and wash my face again in a rest area (I thINK I brushed my teeth and washed my face at the hotel–?)  Heading to the car I could smell something just hORRible.  One of those encased butt cans was on fire, but no one seemed to notice–omg.  I’m terrified of fire, so I grabbed a bottle of water and doused it out.  No one knew but me–and God.  And I was being a little sassy to the Lord about this trip “we” were on.

All was good until I got through Chattanooga.  We were deep in the Smoky Mountains, steep inclines-declines, winding, twisting, 3 lanes to help the poor semis.  But one of them lost a king-sized-sheet worth of brown paper wrap from its load—and it landed pERfectly across my enTiRE windshield.  Like someone just blind folded my eyes–for what seemed like an eternity–it was probably 2 or 3 seconds.  All I could do was have faith and trust and keep going.  Not panic and create an accident.  The paper lifted and flew backward to the car behind me, but caught on their front grill, went under their tires and shredded into large chunks for the cars that followed.   *I felt like my earlier good deed granted me this new safety net, and I gave thanks to the Lord, with a promise of less future “sass.”  –I wILL try.

I was mildly delayed by 2 mORe bAd accidents, but nothing so extreme, and reached Chicago at 5. P. M.  -Prime rush hour.-   So I stopped by my bf till it was over, and returned to my mUm’s by almost midnight.

August 06.  I slept in~completely exhausted.  I tried to get through the staggering number of emails awaiting me, I tried to write a post, I tried to unpack and do laundry—but I was in zombie-mode and nothing was accomplished.  I headed to bed early—

–and was jOLTed awake about 12:50 by a wind that I thought was going to break the windows.

In seconds, I was outside in my nightgown and bare feet to put down the patio umbrellas and release the corners of the pop-up tent.   Barely inside, the wind came with a fury from the West, and things were -literally- flying (like me–trying to close the windows).  The lightning flashed like a strobe light so it was hard to see anything, but it sounded horrifying outside.

I can’t explain, but the wind suddenly “swirled” ominously, and hit even harder from the North.  I was never so scared, and asked mom if this was a tornado?  Should we be in the basement?  But there were no sirens–??  And then the power went out.  1:10.

August 07.  The morning light showed all the destruction.  Mom’s incredible Box Elder took a lot of damage, and was crushing a section of her garage roof.  The pop-up was shredded.  Furniture and cushions needed to be found and put back were they belonged.  -And, NO, Connie- the rotten new neighbors had no landscaping to have any damage.  But thanks for the much-needed belly laugh!

We checked on neighbors, they checked on us.  There was no phone service to speak of—the cell towers were damaged badly.  Power lines and trees made travel pretty difficult.  AnD, I started getting a bAd sinus infection.  Great.  We DiD make our way across town later day to an unaffected area, and got some food–and they let us charge up our phones!

August 08.  The storage facility we use was trying to reach us through extended family.  It took a direct hit.  MY unit was okay, Mom’s had no roof, although the garage door held on.  The contents of my late Uncle’s estate were stored in this unit—his Wizard of Oz collection.  Wicked humor that a tornado was coming after it, huh?

The once orderly shelves and stacked boxes that lined the sides are mostly  collapsed into the center in a huge pile.  We don’t know yet what might have been sucked out and is gone.

storage unit--Mom’s (Uncle Fred’s actually) unit was #86.  I used to have #78.  But it had some water leakage, and I have furniture.  So they moved me to another area last year.  Thank God!  #77 and 78 were sucked clean.  [Some] of their belongings were found out in the woods.  That could have been my hoarder collection  of chairs  and other antiques—gasp!

We’re juggling trying to 1) move #86 to another location (that is under tight restrictions to keep looters out), 2) trying to clean up as much as is possible at mom’s, including a trip to the dump with all the lost frig/freezer foods, and 3) deal with tree branches everywhere.  *We even have parts of trees that blew in from we don’t know where!  And we WERE dealing with the lack of power, BUT IT’S FINALLY BACK ON!!!  I got a 1st-in-days really long HoT shower!

My sinus infection trumped just about EVerything Thursday.  I was running a fever that had me shaking, teeth chattering, with the chills–my lower sinuses were infected making my upper teeth just ACHE/throb/pulsate.  I took stuff and just tried to sleep.  Couldn’t do much else anyway.

August 09-10.  Basically, “wash, rinse and repeat.”

Pardon the pun, but when our damages finally got TRIaged, it only placed us in the top half of priority–a double-edged sword.  It wasn’t the house, and it could have been worse–but the longer the heavy tree lays across the garage roof, the more damage you can see daily from its weight.  And the more costly the repairs.  But others have it worse and they come first.  The claims adjuster said he couldn’t reach us till this Tuesday for all the wide-spread damages.

My sinus infection is passing, I feel better -and cleaner, yay hot water!- phones and internet are full speed again–and I have memories I will nEVer forget. . .

. . but I bet God thinks watching over MOI is a full-time job.

Thank you GodCatherine

*Obviously, I’m skipping the Elkhorn flea market tomorrow, booo.

**Several things sold from my antique store space (yAy) but I can’t refill it (boo).

And, life goes on. . .

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Earth DayThis next Saturday, my favorite ReStore is having a big sale to celebrate Earth Day!          And I am building something to contribute, from the mANy things I’m always buying there.

cure pancreatic cancerAnd also next Saturday, a benefit is being held for my niece’s mother-in-law, who (at 50) has been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer.  And I am building something for this as well.

So you can imagine~I am busy-busy-bUsy~ I’m building a Hall Tree for both events.

This one is the 1st —the materials, the construction, and its progress as I quit for the night.

the 1st hall tree--

the hall tree--

I’ll have much more to tell and share tomorrow~


I’m sharing this project with these FABulous linky parties~










Beyond The Picket Fence

Furniture Feature Fridays

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Thank You!

Fail--Thank You–

to ALL of you for the encouragement and generous offerings of help along the way!
Don’t be surprised if I take you up on it!

2½ years ago, I didn’t even know what a blog was—and it would be accurate to say I was nudged pUSHed into it rather reluctantly!  There’s definitely been a LEARNing curve, but very interesting!

The singular BEST part of this path has been—FINDING ALL OF YOU!

-My fellow, creative, archi-types!

be awesome!

-People I can share my crazy imagination with—WHO GET IT!

-And don’t think I’m a bit nuts.          **Well, hopefully you don’t. )

When I try to explain   what blogging is   to the “old me’s” still out there,

it’s really cool to cap it off with “how incredibly generous and giving” this blogging world is!

You are some of the most inspiring, motivating, AWEsome people!  I’m blessed to know you—I give Thanks!


my blogging friends!

btw—at 11:22p, on the 16th, I became a really great-GREAT auntie to little Brody!

dear God--


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Happy Veteran’s Day

To all of the Veterans

–who have and are–

serving to protect this country,

Thank You.

~Just doesn’t really seem like enough, does it?


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