Tuesday, August 30

I've Been Bitten!

Oh, I have been bitten.  I have the bug...the bug that has no cure, except to just let go.

No, I'm not dying of West Nile or the Swine flu--at least, not that I know of.  No, I'm talking about the remodeling bug.  It comes and goes, but it seems to be coming back again, and it's very strong right now.  What makes it worse is that my husband has the bug as well!  Truly, though, the house is due.  We live in a 50 year old house that was probably remodeled ten to fifteen years ago, and in general the house has been well-lived in.  It's not in bad shape, but there are problems that need to be fixed, as expected in a house this age (or anything this age).  The vinyl flooring in our bathroom is starting to come unglued, and will need to be replaced soon.  The tub surround requires re-caulking on a semi-regular basis, and is old and hard to clean (so is the tub itself).  The sink and cabinet look aged, and not in a good, antique-y way.  'Tis time, 'tis time.  What makes this even worse are two things:  1) we only have one bathroom, and to have it remodeled will leave us with no place for "reading", and 2) we made the mistake of going to Menard's and finding a cabinet, one-piece solid surface vanity top/sink,  faucet, medicine cabinet, and tub/shower combo that I realllllllly liked.  I've even included a few photos below, courtesy of the Menard's website:
Love the cabinet, but not the vanity top--stock photo
Isn't this the cutest sink faucet??  I would take it with us when we move to our dream home someday, because it's also pretty pricey.
There are several things that we would like to do to make this house look a little more appealing when it comes to selling someday.  This is just the start, but we would also like to eventually replace carpeting and add a half bath too, over time.  We are already working on curb appeal, thanks to the hail storm and our insurance!  We already have a brand-new roof and will have all new siding and shutters on our house soon.  We'll repaint the shed out back.  We've repainted the living room and hallway.  We've replaced all of the kitchen appliances.  *Sniff, sniff*...aah, I love the smell of remodeling!  I have to admit, I was spoiled by our last house in Kentucky.  It had been completely gutted and replaced with all new everything.  It was smaller than this house, but it looked better.  But, the economy there was much different than it is where we now live, so we are faced with doing upgrades on our own.  Someday, I hope we have the house that we've always wanted, but for now, I think we can make this house a comfortable stop along the way.

Not long ago, a friend on Facebook posted that they were reminded of the verse about contentment in 1 Timothy.  It struck me, because I sway between contentment and compulsion, and I thought it seemed fitting for my desire to have the perfect house--the house that everyone envies, the house that shows up on HGTV and in the magazines as full-page color photos.  Part of it is my (now unpracticed) profession of interior design, and design in general, and should be expected.  But when I think about it, I can't help but wonder, "what's the point?"  I know that my treasures and mansion won't be here on earth one day, but rather will be found in Heaven above when I finally get there.  So, even though I would love to have the showplace of my dreams here, I know there are other more important things to focus on.  "But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it."--1 Timothy 6:6-7.  Basically, be content with what God has given you, because you can't take worldly gain with you when you die!

Friday, August 26

Hello All!

Time To Get Out Of Dodge!
There's not much to talk about right now.  I did have another Art-See-Mart on August 20, which was depressingly slow.  It took four hours to make the $10 booth fee back!  But that's just how it goes sometimes.  I'm investigating the possibility of doing a few large craft shows in the area, so hopefully I'll have more luck next time.  I have felt for a few weeks now that there is not enough time to work, do housework, and try to get TSFT up and running.  If only the days had another four or five hours!  I'm left with no time to do anything else.  Hubby and I are contemplating a long weekend trip out of town, because I think we could both use a little time away.  It would be nice to take a trip with him for a change!
Conner Prairie Farmhouse, 2009
Conner House, Conner Prairie, 2009
 The Dreaded C-Word
Now that the ninety-plus degree weather is gone, my thoughts are beginning to turn toward fall.  I'm looking forward to the beautiful days and cool nights.  The days are already noticeably shorter.  It won't be long before the trees change, and I'll be anticipating the excitement of the first snowfall, and Christmas!  Of course, the stores have begun displaying Christmas items already--I think Hobby Lobby started their Christmas section last month!  Even too early for me.  But, I am looking forward to Christmas decorating--I've dreamed about it twice now!  I found an interesting blog that has a cute idea for a Christmas decoration: Christmas trees from fabric scraps (click on the link to go to the instruction page). I came across it while searching for something else, but thought I would share it with you in case you felt crafty.  I'd love to give it a whirl!
Finished Christmas tree--Photo from All Things Heart and Home (click the link in the Interesting Sites box to the right to check out the blog--she has some great decorating ideas!)
Beans, Beans...
I finally got a decent harvest of green beans out of the garden.  I took a gallon Ziploc bag out with me and filled it up halfway, then added another good harvest to the bag that was keeping in the fridge.  We cooked them last night and still have plenty for another meal.  Finally, yay!  The garden will soon be done for the year again.  Hopefully, next year's garden will be more successful.

There has been some strange happenings lately...an earthquake along the East Coast, then the first hurricane to hit the States in three years (also along the East Coast)...it would seem as though America is under attack from nature!  But there is nothing to fear; God controls all.  Simply put your trust in Him! "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for.  By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible." (Hebrews 11:1-3)  God has power that we cannot even try to understand.  So why do we fret over things we can do nothing about?

Monday, August 15

Brief Updates

Craft Show
Well, the craft show was okay...I came home with less than what I had at the start of the day, which was my goal, but I still had more than what I had hoped for.  There was a hot-air balloon festival this past weekend, so there were more people in town than normal, but apparently this adversely affected the turnout for the craft show, so I'll try again this coming Saturday.
Half of my display
End of Summer
I can't believe that it's halfway through August already!  Where has the year gone??  The weather is even cooler--yesterday felt just a bit like fall, with cool temps, rain and gray clouds.  While there is nothing specific that has kept us so busy, it just seems like this has been a busy year.  While I was outside yesterday collecting a few green beans from the garden, I found this guy crawling up the side of the house:
Does anyone know what he might turn into?  I've never seen a yellow fuzzypillar.  If you know or have a guess, add a comment at the end of the post!

Prayer List?
I've been thinking about this for a while, and wanted some input.  Would anyone be interested in starting a prayer list on here?  It can be something that anyone can add to--just comment at the end of any post, and it'll be added to the list.  It can also be a praise list, and as descriptive or vague as you'd like.  That way,  hopefully anyone who reads the blog might be praying for you or your concern.  If I get feedback, then we'll start it!  Please let me know what you think.

I've always found it easier to give God praise for the good things in my life, but find it hard to go to God when I'm hurting.  I would rather curl up in a little ball and stew over the problem then ask God to help me through it, which is just ridiculous!  I always wonder if I'm strange like that, or are others like that too?  Matthew 21:21-22 says, "Jesus replied, 'Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.'"  Now, if that doesn't motivate us to pray, I don't know what will!

Wednesday, August 3

Busy Weekend!

Hubby Home!
After a week in Knoxville, my husband returned home last Friday from his business trip.  It's never fun to be alone while he's away, but I manage to pass the time somehow.  I watched a few movies, went for a drive, and just stayed cool while the world outside sweltered.  I'm glad he's home now, though, and enjoying his company once again, and we had a busy weekend together, as you will see below.  Yay!

Craft Show
Saturday morning, we ventured downtown looking for a place called Gaslight Gallery.  While hubby was gone, I saw an advertisement for a craft and art show that they put on during certain Saturdays in the summer, and I thought it would be a great idea for The Sunflower Tree to get some exposure.  The ad said that interested people needed to go to the gallery to fill out an application, pay for space, and have your work approved for the show.  So I took a bunch of notepads and we finally found the gallery after a bit of a goose chase.  I was told that the stationery should do very well, and was therefore approved!  Most craft shows in Ohio require a vendor's license for tax purposes, which is why I have not pursued this avenue up to this point, but perhaps if I do well here, I'll apply for a license and do some sales that way.  Here's hoping!
My helpers for the craft show

Hog Roast 
Saturday evening, we were invited to a hog roast and party by one of my husband's co-workers.  It was out in the country, there were three houses involved, and it was a great time, despite only knowing about four people of the hundred or so that were there.  It was a hot day, but once the sun went down, it cooled off nicely and we enjoyed live music and a great view of fireworks that were being shot off in a nearby town.  We stayed out later than we were used to, but it was a lot of fun.

E.P. Jones House
The next day, Sunday, there was an open house here in town to raise money for the renovation of a post-Civil War mansion that has been owned for years by a reclusive woman who recently passed away.  She willed the mansion to a friend/neighbor, who is considering renovating and restoring the building and possibly opening it up as a museum or living history site.  I've wanted to see the house ever since we moved here, and so I had to take the opportunity to take the tour through a house that had no air conditioning, despite another 90-degree day.  I headed over there in the early afternoon, and there was a bit of a wait, but it was worth it.  This was an amazing home at one time: amazing plaster and woodwork, three-story spiral stairs with a mural on the third floor ceiling (visible from the first floor), gold leaf details, original gas fixtures that were retro-fitted for electricity, 8 marble fireplaces, 12' ceilings, a third-floor ballroom, wine cellar in the basement...the list goes on and on.  I was able to take a few pictures of the interior before being told not to, and I've posted them below.  As you can see, the house has some problems, but it could be beautiful again!
Gold leaf detail, plaster moulding in the informal parlor
Ceiling detail in the informal parlor
Leaded glass dining room window
Dining room ceiling moulding
Ceiling detail of the formal parlor
Formal parlor ceiling detail
Front of Jones Mansion
Movie Date
We rounded out the busy weekend with the final Harry Potter movie.  The theater was having a $5.00/ticket deal, and we hadn't had the chance to see the movie yet, so we took advantage of the discount prices and finally saw it.  Pretty good, and I think it followed the book well.  I read the books years ago, and have a somewhat vague memory of the story, but I think they did a pretty good job.  Hard to believe that this franchise has been around for over ten years!  It doesn't seem like that long ago.  Time sure does fly!

I have a hard time not getting wrapped up in the events taking place in my own life.  My own little world is so nice and cozy, but when I'm in it, I can't possibly see what plans God has for me that I might be missing!  I'm sure I'm not the only one to fight this, right?  So, despite what excitement, or lack thereof, I might be experiencing, I must try to remember that it's not earthly goals and treasures that I should be focusing on. Philippians 3:12-14 says: "Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."  That's certainly where my eyes should be!  Where might yours be?