Saturday, October 31, 2009

Yesterday at my hypertufa making party at Almost's house, I was crowned with a new name.
Drum roll, please.

I am now considered The Duchess of Clifford.

Don't be jealous.  My friends will rename you with somethin' fancy if you simply ask.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

I wanted to blog about these new days so as to keep a record.

Once we moved into Clifford, I was hoping Wise One and Pooh Bear would allow me to homeschool at least till the end of the semester.  Pooh Bear has been very clear that she prefers homeschooling.  Wise One was content to stay home as well until Tater decided on a dime to change to his zoned school Tuesday after saying goodbye to friends at his old school Monday.  Wise One puts lots of thought and time into his decisions and decided to quit homeschooling after Monday as well.  I choked back tears silently at his news and have been for the last three days.  I'm actually tired of homeschooling, but I love being with my children.  Wise One is especially easy to be around, and he's not here with us anymore. He walks out the door after 7 a.m. and returns at 4:00.  Such a long day away.
Buck and I took them both into their new school Tuesday to register.  Tater got right in with his paperwork from his previous school.  Wise One was asked to wait to enroll till the next day, because the doctor's office had a days delay in shot records/physical record sharing. 

Wise One returned home yesterday from his first day full of joy.  He's not much of a talker, but he had a few stories to tell.  He definately is into the whole school idea.  I still get teary missing him. 

One day without Wise One here was enough for Pooh Bear to suggest that she'd like to try school.  Gasp.  Choke.  Whimper.  She's not ready in so many ways, but some sort of alternate schooling will be necessary sooner or later as I'll be looking for a job.  Friends have offered to keep her while I work and allow me to homeschool her on my days off.  I just can't wrap my brain around the entire issue of putting that little wisp of a girl into the school machine and letting go.  I'm up for letting her try it and then finding alternatives if she's eaten up. 

Off to figure hang with my fix-it guy to resolve some of Clifford's flaws.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Spent the last week painting inside the Clifford Estate with an army of beloved friends.  More friends on the way today to scrub floors.  I've simplified my life beyond belief, so the move has been easier than any other I've made.  I'm not hanging onto anything "just in case". 

kids- check
bare necessities for life- check
clutter- gone to Goodwill or the dump

I'll take pictures inside as soon as I unpack and get a little organized.  

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Try to hold back the snickers.  Yes, she's very RED.  Yes, she's awfully odd and awkward for a house. She has lots and lots of work to be done on her.

I'm calling her Clifford, Clifford the Big Red House.  If the stars in the heavens align properly, and the unknown banker will allow, we'll buy her Thursday.

Then I'll have to relearn civilization, how to be a friendly neighbor instead of a scowling recluse- that kind of thing.  Wish me luck.

Pooh Bear Horse Vaulting

Saturday, October 10, 2009

I worked on a project yesterday whilst I wait upon unknown realitors and bankers to acquire a certain one paragraph document enabling me to begin a new path on my journey.

I've had an old behind the couch table sitting in our garage collecting junk, spider eggs and spider poo for the last six years. The table's veneer was gummy and peeling up on top. I decided it might do in my new kitchen as an island of sorts. The new kitchen has very limited cabinets unlike my farm kitchen which boasts entirely empty spaces and shelves from overabundance of cabinetry and workspace.

My dear friend Claire now creates mosaics, and I roped her into agreeing to tile the table top with me or for me. She instructed to get the area flat, so the tile would be mounted on something stable. This is precisely how I spent my afternoon after homeschooling. Much of the veneer pulled off by my hands with the exception of a long strip 7 inches wide which had been tightly adhered with God's Super Glue. This sticky strip required a literal chisel to pry loose. With a chisel, I ran the risk of gouging an uneven surface, so the work became meticulously slow. Pooh Bear came out to help with a bucket and brush to scrub off arachnid leftovers. Some water got on God's glue, which we discovered loosened it's bond considerably, and the work became easier.

Once we were finished removing the veneer, I stepped back to admire my work. Yes, the table was smooth and ready for tile. I went for some sandpaper just for the edges which would surely leave splinters if left undone. I went over the top as well in the process and a the beauty of the bare wood caught my eye. The more I sanded, the more I fell in love with the natural grain. After taming all splinters and smoothing over all rough patches, I loaded the table up with help into the back of my van to take it to Claire's knowing I didn't want to tile over that lovely surface any longer.

However, I wanted to learn how to treat the wood in order to make it useful in a kitchen. Claire and I researched the internet. One site would say, "Make sure to use polyurethane," while another would completely disagree and say, "Do not use polyurethane as it is poison." I decided upon shellac which is essentially made of edible non-toxic Indian bug goo. I learned that shellac will rub off with harsh cleansers or alcohol, but can be easily reapplied when necessary.

Claire sent me off with a coupon for Bed, Bath, and Beyond for a new cutting board to put in the middle of the island table. I also purchased shellac from Home Depot.

At home I applied the shellac which after several coats caused the wood to shine like a new copper penny. I wish I could take a picture to post, but I still haven't figured out where the photo option has gone from my blogger tool bar.   (thanks to John I added the pic)

Isn't it interesting how I could disregard a piece of furniture for years and transform it into something essential and charming for my next home just by removing a difficult layer of unattractive exterior?

Isn't that just like God to redeem something neglected and unloved and make it new and useful again by revealing its natural beauty from under an ugly coating? Let it be a picture of my life.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009


Hidden under forty-two Russian emails, I got an email I've been waiting for over a week with wild anticipation. It's a single paragraph requiring a banker's signature which held up a loan on a new residence for the Vyne family. We are moving back to civilization though it's not what I want to do. Sometimes it comes down to choices on behalf of others, like my children, that require me to step out of my own will and allow what needs to happen. Our bank is working on closing for tomorrow. Local friends, get your grungies ready for some serious cleanin' and paintin'. This new old house is a fixer upper for sure.
I can't publicize the name of my new road on my blog, but let's just say, it makes me giggle.
I'll be working on making my soon to be suburban home in a neighborhood (cough, gasp, wheeze, take a deep breath) into a place of peace and rest. Is that possible? Any tips out there in bloggerland?

Update: The unknown banker musta had some sort of mad and felt coerced into signing the document, so he:
1. only used his initials
2. did not sign on the seller's line
3. did not date his signature

All of which make the document invalid. I can't imagine this man's disposition when he is asked to resign something he's irked about already. So, it's back to my unfavorite game of "when will the banker decide to sign [correctly]?"

Sunday, October 04, 2009

FREE Parenting Tip

FYI, when one takes her son who struggles with RAD to Wal-mart to buy batterys and cat pan liners,and he tells her a knee slappin' story which he finds utterly hilarious and the mom finds horrifying, a good mom should listen closely. Particularly if the story goes something like this:

"Mom. Dad showed me a video of Mr. Greasy covering his hand with Germ X and lighting it on fire! It was way cool! He didn't even burn his hand. Can you believe it? It just shot flames and went out. Wouldn't you like to see THAT!"

Then a good mom shouldn't just say, "That's not my kind of story. WAY to dangerous and stupid thing to ever try. You get that, don't you?"

Instead, that mom should take a mental note, and immediately drive home, obtain all scattered matches around the house and the bottles of Germ X purchased by Dad during the swine flu in weeks previous, and automatically put them all under lock and key.

Otherwise, hours later after the mom has completely stricken the fearful image of third degree burns on bloody hands from her mind, one might find the spent matches and a nearly empty Germ X in the garage next to the son who struggles with RAD exclaiming, "My hands smell SO much like Germ X! Weird isn't it, Mom?"

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Peace called me from his state championship meet in North Carolina to tell me who he beat, who beat him, and that he'd made a personal best in finishing his race in 19:20. His dear friend, Steve made 18th overall and got a trophy as a FRESHMAN! How awesome is that? Peace said the course was easy, but the weather was muggy.
I stayed home and held the fort to make sure Pooh Bear made it to her horsemanship vaulting clinic with the real deal- judges from Georgia. She informed me she had to wear make-up and make a perfect bun in her hair. Thank God she's an independent person cause I'm not hair and make-up kinda mom.

I'd love to post some pics, but there is no longer a picture option on my dashboard. Hasn't been for weeks now. Anyone know where it went?