Wednesday, January 2, 2013

I'm Still a Retired Painter!

In my last post, I announced that 
I'd quit my job (only temporarily!)
as unpaid painter at the house 
and was heading to the hair salon to get "beautified."

A chance encounter with a 10x mirror in a store display 
had sent me reeling a few weeks before!
Ladies of a certain age, if you want to scare yourself: 
ignore your grooming habits, lose your tweezers for a few months 
and then look in a 10x mirror
under fluorescent store lighting.
Scary doesn't begin to describe the situation.
I wasn't even sure that I still had eyes under my bushy eyebrows! 

I'm married to a saint that he didn't say anything to me about how I was looking.

The morning that I quit/retired, 
the crew seemed genuinely glad to see me in something other than my tatty work clothes.  
I'd guess that building a beautiful house for a slob 
must be something of a let down!
And of course they couldn't say anything about my eyebrows and crazy hair either!

The building inspector was in a holiday mood 
and we received a verbal "blessing" that
 despite being unfinished and out of compliance on a few things, 
we could set up beds and more or less move in.

I think we're probably still flying under the radar, 
but we're not asking any questions.

So four days before Christmas, we spent our first night in the new house!!
For most of us, it was a delight to have room to move around
and to finally curl up in a real bed for the first time in ages....

But one member of the family missed the trailer 
and thought the house was too big, empty and scary.  
Notice that lump in the bed?

That's little tabby cat Noel saying 
"Make the world go away."

Joe and I were mopping and sweeping up sawdust and nails 
until minutes before the first of the family arrived late on Friday night.
The house was clean (sort of) 
but that was the extent of it.... 
there were no dishes, eating utensils or pots, 
no beds other than the one Noel was hiding in.
And the only furniture in the den and dining room
 was two folding chairs and a dog bed.

But by Sunday night when the last couple arrived, 
everyone had pitched in and it was no longer a construction zone.

We'd unearthed most of the dishes and pots we needed for cooking and eating,
made a few trips to the grocery store, 
hauled the sofa, rug and a three chairs up from the basement,
found sheets, towels and mattresses for everyone, 
decorated a tree, installed the dishwasher, 
set up a jigsaw puzzle and gotten out a few games (no TV yet)
hung the stockings on the bolts for the mantel, 
convinced Noel to end her three day hibernation under the covers,  
and then I was busy feasting my eyes on my handsome sons and lovely daughters in law.

I'm a lucky woman.

I didn't wrap a thing and the presents I gave were few and far between.
The "kids" got stockings (Santa never wraps things that he delivers to our house) 
and one big gift each which just came straight out of the cardboard box that Amazon sent it in.
Joe's sole gift from me arrived late the day after Christmas.

I didn't fret and I didn't apologize... 
it was just the way it was this year.

Odd as the whole holiday was, 
it was close to perfect.
It snowed just enough to let us know that we weren't in Louisiana any more.
Clark and Raeanna volunteered to sleep out in the "love nest" 
aka the horse trailer,
so everyone had beds. 
The kitchen is awesome  
and I love, love, love the gas range!

If we needed it and couldn't find the box it was in, Wal-Mart sold it.
little and big
they were all around me.  

We've had two nights now without company in the house. 
It's a peaceful feeling to be here together.
We've unpacked and settled into our bedroom and bathroom 
but are waiting on the rest of the house 
until the rest of the construction is finished. 

Pat and Dave came back today and worked on the stair railings.
Once again there was sawdust in the air.
On Friday I'll put on my work clothes and find the paint can opener.
But I've had a break and now I'm in a position to set my own pace...
which no longer has to be at breakneck/exhaustion speed.

I've got a bridge game tomorrow followed by lunch with lady friends
and a fellowship dinner on Saturday night with church friends....
I have a life again!!!!


  1. oh, this is awesome. what a wonderful family-filled, love-filled home!

  2. Your entire family was there so it was indeed a perfect Christmas. So happy for you that it is all coming together at last. :)

  3. Grace and Joe, THANK YOU for the post - it was worth the wait! I especially liked the bump in the bed and the 2 cuddlers. When we rebuilt after our fire, the building inspector let us move into part of the house while it was still being built. When we finally moved in, he signed our guest book with very kind and understanding words. So get out your guest book! And one more fun thing. When people who ask about the house hear your names, half of them say, "We play bridge with them! They're so nice!!!" You guys do get around!! :)

  4. You're in!

    When we moved here from California, one of the cats disappeared every day. He would come out in the dead of night when I thought he had escaped and was eaten for sure. Turns out he crawled into a suitcase and hid. After living in a house on a 6000 square foot lot in a crowded Southern California neighborhood our 60 acres was pretty scary.

    So glad you got in in time for a great family Christmas.

  5. May your blessings be many and your troubles be few; it's a good post with so much grace, mercy and love poured upon you and yours.

  6. Happy New Year, Grace and Joe, and so happy to read this post and see photos of the family gathering in your new home. We had to smile at seeing the living room with a couch and tree and no scaffolding. We can't wait to see more photos, especially of the kitchen. Nice that you made your Christmas such a wonderful celebration.


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