One Week In – Or How Am I Doing In 2018?

The floor and joists are gone!

Today is Monday, January 8, and we are one week into the new year.  Unfortunately, I have no tales of great accomplishments as far as my resolutions are concerned. My weight is the same as it was last Monday.  I have not met my step goal once in 2018.  No blogging schedule to speak of. No business reading accomplished.  No painting.  As far as Passion Flower Farm business is concerned, I am stagnant.

However, I am totally happy and content.  You see, I have my family with me.  Sarah received a bathtub for Christmas.  When Andrew went to install it we found that all the floor joists in the bathroom were rotted due to water damage.  So the floor and all the joists were removed.  The window is old and not airtight, so the window is going.  The vanity, medicine chest and commode are over 30 years old – so they are going too.

So naturally, since this is their only bathroom, they have moved in with us.  Zac, Sarah, Taz and Breezy and their dog, Deniro, have been with us during the tear out and reconstruction.  I get to see them in all their different moods.  Taz is all smiles and happy in the morning while Breezy is a grump.  They come to me for everything from wiping poopie butts to snuggling on the sofa and watching  Paw Patrol. We are rescuing kitties from Breezy embraces all day long.  Taz doesn’t want to eat anything but pasta.

When my babies were little  we also had piles of legos everywhere and you couldn’t sit at the table without clearing off the Play Dough first.  There are Lunchables in the fridge (we had a coupon) and fruit snacks on the counter again. It’s loud and hectic, and then very quiet and relaxed.

Taz is asleep in his bed. The baby monitor is next to me on my desk so I can watch Breezy sleep while Sarah takes a shower. I am going to fix a cup of herbal tea in a minute.  It’s not even 8:30 and I am thinking about bed.

Now Sarah is in the kitchen talking to Smokey the cat while she is making Chex Mix for her MOPS (Mother’s of Preschoolers) group for tomorrow.  Zac will be finished with his shift by 10 and should be home soon after.  Andrew is doing a workout in the basement (as if he didn’t already do enough physical activity).   Steve is watching an old movie in the den, and my dad is watching wrestling in his living room.

So 2018 didn’t start out the way I expected it to.   That’s okay.  There will always be time to decorate and repair this home.  My ideas and my Pinterest boards aren’t going anywhere.  However, one day Taz and Breezy will be teenagers, and  their lives will be filled with friends and school activities.  That’s just the way life is.   I know it and accept it and am soaking up every minute with those two babies that I can, while I can.




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Hello Again!

More than a week has gone by since the Alzheimer’s Walk to Remember in Greensboro, NC.  It was a great experience attended by so many personally affected by this disease. My dad and I made a poster to honor my mother and he carried it almost the whole way (we did the one mile walk). My dad’s knee has been bothering him since he climbed down a steep hill to pick a flower and had to climb back up on his hands and knees.  It was a purple Dutch iris – purple is the Alzheimer’s color, and Dutch iris grew  in their garden in New York. The iris is a spring flower. Our grief counselor said we should look for signs from my mother and I guess this was one of them.

We have all been suffering from a lousy cold and the cough just hangs on forever. I ordered dried elderberries for a recipe Sarah has for a Homemade Elderberry Syrup which is supposed to be a natural remedy for colds and the flu. I need to get going on that one.

Andrew and I have been coming up with some ideas for our online store. Some of the prototypes are really neat. We just have to figure out how to make them in a way that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. He is at a woodworking show in Hickory today and I know he saw a lot of things that excited him.  It’s wonderful to be excited about what you do for a living.  We are thinking shelving, frames made from repurposed woods like wormy chestnut, custom sized frames for those special gallery walls,  unusual wreaths and tableware.

I love repurposing items. A while ago I pulled Sophie’s old baby crib out of the scrap metal pile and decided to use the two end pieces to make a queen sized bed headboard. Sanding and painting is still going on but today should be the last coat. The paint I am using is Rust-oleum Flat Soft Iron.

I am getting up now to put another coat on it. Then making our Elderberry Syrup and Homemade Potato Soup.

Until tomorrow,



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September Give Away

The first Passion Flower Farm Give Away winners are:

Ellen Dale, Lancaster, SC

Joan Brady, Fort Mill, SC

Our third winner has not responded to me yet.  The email address begins rlarue…….  Please email your contact information  to so that I can send you your cloths. Continue reading

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Chalk Paint is Wonderful!

Steve and I built some of our own furniture when we first were married. We built a sofa out of framing lumber and a twin mattress, a breakfast nook table out of a barrel and a hutch for the dining room. This hutch eventually was crackle painted and put in our kitchen. Remember crackle paint? Continue reading

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September Give Away

Three winners have been chosen for my September give away! I am in the process of contacting these winners and will announce their names once they have given me permission.

I am working hard on an October give away. Details will be coming soon!

Thanks again for reading.


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One Year Ago…an Alzheimer’s Story Begins

My dad and I were remembering my mother today. Last year at this time he called me and told me I needed to come because she was not doing well. I took a week off from work and drove up the last week of September.  She wasn’t doing well but immediately knew who I was. Her speech was severely affected. She couldn’t remember words and had trouble being understood. She had begun sundowning – wandering and becoming agitated in the evenings. Little did we know how mild this was compared to what we would experience. Continue reading

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Chicken & Dumplings and a Busy Day

It’s 10 a.m. and  I am sitting thinking of everything I need to do yet today. So far I took my dad to the North Carolina DMV to get his NC driver’s license. He passed his test and has his temporary license and has registered to vote and became an organ donor, all in less than 30 minutes. It definitely is smart to make an appointment instead of just dropping in. Continue reading

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