Monday, October 12, 2015

Three Pairs of Glasses

Day #12

Monte decided three years ago to chuck contact lenses and wear progressive glasses instead.

They are a blended bifocal type pair of glasses.

He LOVES them.

As he was pulling into our church’s men’s retreat a few weeks ago, his glasses fell apart in his hands.

Luckily, he brought his prescription sunglasses with him as well.

Unluckily, it was unseasonably cold,
dipping near 30 degrees at night 
and it poured rain most of the weekend.

And he slept in a tent.

But that has nothing to do with this story. 

When he came back from the retreat, Monte stopped by Lenscrafters with his broken glasses and they said it was too big of a job for them and to go to a eyeglass repair shop instead.

It was closed.

When he went to the repair shop the next morning, they said there was nothing they could do since he didn’t have the broken piece from the glasses.

Except that he did.

At least he did when he was at Lenscrafters.

So Monte drove back to Lenscrafters and asked if they had seen his missing piece to his glasses.

They had.

Except they couldn’t remember exactly what that piece was for or why they had it, so THEY THREW IT AWAY.

Now, Monte was looking at the expense of an ENTIRE NEW PAIR OF GLASSES rather than a repair bill.

He was not happy.

He found an old pair of glasses that were not bifocal and decided to just wear them until he could figure out what our insurance would cover, etc.

For whatever reason, our insurance would cover the cost of a new pair of glasses
 but not until the end of the month.

Monte was fine with wearing his back up glasses.

Well he was, until we were talking one night on the couch and he touched the side of his glasses to emphasize to me that he was “thinking” about something and the side of the glasses split and the lens popped right out.

I saw the whole thing.

Monte dug around in his bathroom closet and found a super old pair of glasses.

His back-up to the back-up, 
if you will.

They weren’t the right prescription but good enough until the end of the month.

The alternative was that he was going to have to wear his prescription sunglasses everywhere like he was Bono.

I could NOT sit with him at church 
with him wearing sunglasses.

I couldn’t.

I’m not even sorry.

So last night, our “date night” consisted of us running errands, eating candy corn out of a sack in Monte’s trunk and stopping by Lenscrafters so he could try on glasses.

He wanted to see if he should try a new style when the time came to order new in two weeks.

Guess who helped him?

The lady who threw away Monte’s piece of glasses frame 
that would’ve saved us a lot of money had she not.

I know!

This stuff happens to us all the time.

She told Monte that she was the one who did it. She said she dug through the trash trying to find it.

She gave Monte a REALLY good deal on a pair of glasses so he could get them right away and not at the end of the month.

So that’s how we spent our evening.

The girls said he needed to try “hipster” glasses.

I thought they made him looked like Charles Nelson Riley.

Or someone from the Flintstones.

So he went more neutral. 

I really like them.

Because we were at a Lenscrafters on a Saturday evening right before closing time, their “ready in one hour” policy didn’t apply. So the new glasses would be ready the next day.


After church, Monte and I ran to the grocery store.

As I was getting help finding the shoe polish,

(Really, Kroger? Next to the vitamins?!)

Monte was getting trash bags.

I heard Monte yell,


I ignored it because, honestly, it could’ve meant any number of things,

“I’m bored!”

“I’m wearing a monkey mask and want to scare you!”

“I can’t find the trash bags!”

I’ve been burned before.

When I had the shoe polish, I found Monte by the trash bags looking like this:

I almost peed my pants.

In case you weren’t counting,

that’s three pairs of broken glasses in one week.

Thank goodness for boring date nights and the guilty conscience of the salesperson at Lenscrafters because I was THIS CLOSE  to living with Bono.


Here’s his new glasses:

Sunday, October 11, 2015

The “Real”ness of a Friday Morning

Day #11

I host a Moms In Prayer meeting for the high school in our community.

Moms gather each Friday morning to pray for our kids, their teachers and the administration at the school.

It has brought many women together that I have never met before.

Last Friday, one woman asked to use the restroom off of our kitchen.

She came running out, saying the sink was leaking.

I found water shooting out from the exposed pipes underneath and the sink was nearly overflowing!

I was able to shut off the water and put a bowl underneath the pipes and wipe everything up fairly quickly with everyone’s help.

The poor lady kept apologizing and saying,

“I broke your bathroom!”

I was reassuring her back in the kitchen that she did NOT break my bathroom and that the sink had been slow to drain over the past month.

I was standing next to her as she grabbed a mug and the pot of coffee and as she was explaining that

“goofy things like this happen to me all the time,” 

she missed the mug and poured 
hot coffee right on my foot.

I was wearing flip flops.

Just then the door bell rang.

I flicked off my sandal and limped/hopped to the door to open it to a lady I had never met before.

We both seemed to focus on the fact that I only had on one sandal 
as we made our introductions.

I quickly explained everything that had just happened in the last five seconds and ended with a,

“Welcome to the Mad House!”

I could not stop laughing.

The funny thing is, I want to tell my sweet new friends, 

“Goofy things like this happen to ME all the time!"

Saturday, October 10, 2015

More On Ellie’s Thrift Store Party

Day #10

In keeping with my 31 Days of “REAL” theme,

Ellie felt that the few pictures I featured about her 
did not accurately convey how much fun was had by all.

So she sent me pictures she had taken with her phone.

As it turns out, we gave them a princess and wedding theme to dress up as in a group after they were done with the scavenger hunts.

Not an 80s theme like I reported earlier.

Heaven forbid.

Here are some of the princess pictures:

Kudos to Paula for adding the nice “Tangled” touch of a frying pan to Rapunzel.

And if you haven’t seen Disney’s “Tangled” yet, 
PLEASE do yourself a favor 
and stop reading this post immediately
 and see it. 

So worth it.

Here are some shots of the wedding theme.

The flower girl complete with basket.


And of course, the bride.

Friday, October 09, 2015

Shut the Barn Door!

Day #9

I’ve been waiting to show you the BEST part of our dining room turned office makeover.


We knew last spring when we moved into the new space that the sound from the TV really carried into the office and made homework time a not-so-quiet space.

We were used to our old office having French doors that could shut out the noise. We knew we needed a door and Dad and I talked about making a sliding barn door.

My dad made the barn door and brought it over the same time he brought over my great-grandfather’s desk and a cool hall tree that he made me that I will show you soon.

In other words, he had a TRUCK LOAD. 

And it was like Christmas morning for me.

The wood used for this barn door is from an old covered bridge in my hometown in Indiana that is currently being renovated.


How cool is that?

The wood was piled up on the side of the road and someone called my dad and asked if he could use any of it.

Can you believe someone would throw this awesome wood AWAY?!

When we were home at the end of the summer, Dad drove me by the covered bridge.

Look at the curved beams.

This is what it used to look like with my wood on it.

Monte was able to find some info about it.

I just love that it is now hanging in my office instead of rotting in some dumpster somewhere.

Dad researched barn door equipment that would allow you to hang and slide the doors open and it was WAY cheaper to buy it at an actual tractor/farm supply store than online through some home design company.

The slider bar was metal grey so Dad just spray painted it black.

It involved lots of holding steady and drilling and then taking a break to go get a new metal bit for the drill and then more holding again.

But overall, Dad said it went up WAY faster and easier than he anticipated.

This is my favorite view:

We did realize that the door was scraping the trim around the doorway and leaving a little pile of red paint on the floor when we opened and closed it.

So Dad figured out if we screwed a caster wheel to the wall just above the floor boards, the door would slide clear of the trim.

It worked!

I  picked out handles from the hardware store. The one in the office is bigger and more heavy duty.

The handle facing the kitchen had some width constraints (I think we had 1 1/2” to play with) so the door would still slide freely.

I had to clean spider sacs and dirt off this door. I didn’t do a thorough job because I like the distressed look. 

Except the spider sacs.
 They had to go!

This door is such a focal point now!

We show everyone and use it daily!

Thursday, October 08, 2015

Writing the Family Ad FOR THE LAST TIME

Day #8

It’s that time of year again.

My daugther, Ellie, is in her middle school’s production of High School Musical.

This is Ellie’s third year being a part of the musicals.

She was an orphan in Annie,

a water snake in The Little Mermaid

and now she is a “thespian” in High School Musical.

She gets to follow Sharpay around stage.

Which is SO her personality.

Not mean, like Sharpay, 

Along with getting her to rehearsals, 

putting together stage makeup 
and costumes, 

we are asked as parents to write and PAY FOR a family ad wishing our child good luck which will go into the program.

The kids totally buy the lie that they are UNLOVED if their parents don’t purchase ad space and write a witty little very public good luck wish.

As a writer of words, this proves to be a frustrating task for me.

I draw a blank every year.

Ellie’s first year, I actually PAID someone to write and layout an ad for me.

It lacked any sort of warmth or personal touch.

Last year, I asked you all to help write the ad and it was SO MUCH better.

This year, time is a ticking, I need help again!

Ellie told me that my initial suggestion of 

“We’re all in this together” good luck, Ellie!

Would be overplayed by EVERYONE.

And that is unacceptable, WHY???

She’s a “thespian”.


My mind exploded with suggestions 
I could not or SHOULD not use.

And yes, I DO KNOW 
why they’d be unacceptable.


Wednesday, October 07, 2015

New Office

Day #7

We decided to turn our formal dining room into an office once we had our beautiful new big farm table that my dad made for the kitchen.

If needed, we will add a card table to accommodate more people.

So here is our dining room when we used it as an actual dining room:

The paint was called Sea Urchin green. I’m not sure why I didn’t move on when I saw that the paint chip I had
selected was called Sea Urchin. Yet I did. And then slapped it on the walls of my dining room. 
It took me awhile to find a picture of our dining room. I had to dig. This is Ellie’s ice skating theme birthday party three years ago.

While we were deep in our house construction project, the dining room became our kitchen.

I think this picture is blurry because 1) I was coughing from all the construction dust.
2) I was shivering because it was 20 degrees in the house.
3) I was crying because of all of the above.

It felt like we lived like this FOREVER, yet it seems like a lifetime ago.

Now this room is happily completely different as our office:

My dad brought over a desk that used to belong to his grandfather. So that makes it my great-grandfather’s desk.

My brother has had it in his family room for the last several years.

It weighs a ton.

Check out the panels!

It has so many nice, deep drawers.

I use one just for washi tape.

The girls BOTH can sit at this desk at the same time and do homework, which is what we wanted.

I don’t like having to move books to set the table for dinner.

I was going to have my dad build some shelves on the two walls flanking the window behind the desk when he was here but I decided to live with the space for awhile to see if I even need them.

So far, I don’t think we do.

I got this big bulletin board piece from friends years ago who wanted us to sell it at our yard sale. It’s such a solid piece, I just couldn’t sell it and asked to keep it.

I’ve painted it loads of times over the years. It’s been black, cream (I think), light blue and now white.

I’ve painted the cork with stripes, 
covered it in toille, 
chicken print material 
(I know, WHY?), 
drop cloth 
and now burlap.

I didn’t even hot glue it this time, just folded the burlap and tacked it on with gold thumb tacks.

I love how it turned out!

I’ve had fun playing around with it.

See those invitations tacked up? We have TWO weddings to attend this month! We haven’t been to a wedding in YEARS! So excited!

There’s the Chairs from the Curb sign Julie made me, which I LOVE!

This is how it looks today:

I painted a little wooden tray table white to keep my laptop charged and out of the way so the desk stays nice and clear for homework time.

I like where I moved the Chairs from the Curb sign--underneath an actual picture of a chair.

To the left (in the picture below) is what used to be the inside of a storm door we had on the front of the house when we moved in.

We went away to Fripp Island some 10 years ago and came back to find our storm door in the middle of our front yard.

The frame was rotten and a big wind just ripped it right off the house. Didn’t break a single pane of glass!

It was brown and I painted it black and never really knew what to do with it.

It sat in the basement for years.

I saw on Pinterest that someone had turned an old window into a message board and that gave me an idea.

So I painted the door with some turquoise chalk paint I found at Wal-Mart, of all places, 
propped the door against the wall,
attached a metal container of dry erase markers to a hook on the door with twine 
and we have a message board.

I decided to bring upstairs the piece my dad made us for our TV in the basement for our desk computer and printer. All the holes in the back of the shelf are perfect for the computer cords.

All one zillion of them.

This piece had been black.

It took SO MANY COATS of chalk paint to cover it even though chalk paint touts itself as the paint you don’t have to prime first to use.

Not in this case.

See how inconsistently it went on in the picture below?

And this was after a few coats!

I decided to use a dark wax to distress the piece and try to pass off the poorly covered parts as “distressed”.

Time was just not on my side because I needed to get the 
computer and printer set back up for homework time.

Or I would’ve just spray painted the whole thing.

An old soda crate houses scissors and markers, pencils and pens.

The metal container to the right with the 4 painted on it holds extra computer paper.

My friend loved it so much, my dad made her a bookshelf for her office!

Here is my yard sale office chair.

I love this chair. 

I’ve painted it several times too. It’s been cream and turquoise.

I spray painted it white this time and recovered the seat with burlap.

It’s very comfy.

I knew I wanted to reuse the stick letters I made from sticks in my backyard that used to hang in our old kitchen.

I just didn’t know where.

I like it here.

Might as well have a good sense of humor 
about homework, right?

We got a new, bigger, more neutral rug for this space. McDaniel was running an errand for us at Bed, Bath and Beyond when she saw this deeply discounted rug. I couldn’t pass up such a good deal and told her to get it.

We all kind of forgot McDaniel was alone, in a dress and driving a sedan rather than one of our SUVs.

Did I mention it was like 104 degrees?

Like a ROCK STAR, she heaved the rug roll onto her shoulder and walked out of the store and down the sidewalk to where she parked a GOOD DISTANCE AWAY.

A few men actually said to her,

“Oh, let me get out of your way.”

Rather than,

“Hey, can I help you?”


“Let me carry that for you.”

The only thing I don’t like about the new office is the lighting. The new ceiling light is too dim and it causes a strain on the girls' eyes at night.

All the light seems to shoot up instead of down into the room.

Now that it’s getting darker earlier and earlier [sad sigh] we need to decide if we are having can lights installed in the ceiling or just getting a bigger, brighter light fixture.

What do you think?