Tag Archives: Home

Thankful — Needful #3

Food — got it.

Clothing — on my body.

Shelter. The third of the necessities taught in elementary school.

Shelter, let’s think for a minute of what we are being sheltered from. Rain and cold are two things which pop into my mind. Heat. Glaring sunshine. Mud and muck and swampy water are easy to add to the list.

Most often shelter is a home. It may be modest or extravagant. Permanent or temporary. My personal experience is limited. Yes, I’ve had a couple of nights in a tent. I’ve slept overnight in a car. But the vast majority of my nights, and a good many days, have been spent in permanent buildings – a house, a workplace, a hotel.

My choice for shelter keeps me dry, protected from wind and extremes of temperature.

This looks like a suitable shelter in the American Midwest.


Mystery Structure

When walking around a historical village, I can put a name and/or purpose to most things. But this one had me stuck.

Is this for grain or produce storage? What about that trough at the bottom?        It must be there for a reason.

It all made good sense after I asked one of the employees — in 1830’s costume.

Several households together pooled their fireplace ashes in these. Once they were full they added water. (The metaphorical light bulb started to glow.) What do you get when you add water to wood ashes? Lye.

The trough at the bottom facilitated collecting the lye which would have been used to make soap.

Please give our ancestors points for being smart, clever, and thrifty. But since I remember lye soap well (my mother made and used it for laundry) I’m fine with purchasing modern detergent at the store.

Candle Power

In physics class we learned the definition of candle power as the light from one standard candle one foot away. During out last power outage I discovered that these eyes need two candle power to read comfortably at the table.

Recently I had occasion to visit a historical village. The decade for the reproductions and artifacts was the 1830’s. It was a delightful place to visit and learn. Cooking and heat from the fireplace. Light from home made candles – either dipped or molded.

And when you needed to go outside on a dark night — take your lantern.

So grateful to be living in current times — when a flip of the switch gives us many more than one candle power.

The March Project

Yes. You read the title correctly. I’m aware that this is April. But for today I want to share the large project which occurred in my life during March.

Regular readers know I like to travel and often populate this blog with photos from my travels or outdoor features in St. Louis.

We’re going inside today. Because sometimes a house needs a little (or a lot) of work in the interior. March was one of those times.

Walls accumulate layers of paint, wallpaper, and more paint. Fixtures age. Become fussy. Or broken. Replacements clash. Dirt refuses to budge. Such was the state of my bathroom in a 50 year-old building.

Save the nickels and dimes. Dollars too. Call in the experts. Take the plunge.



Sleek, clean lines – may the major portions serve owners over the next 50 years.

Hang it High

Decades ago, when I was a newlywed, it was popular to have hanging houseplants.

The concept has charms. In our circle of friends, the apartments were small and often older buildings. Furniture was minimal to match our paychecks. But if you had a nice window it was common to find a spider plant, wandering Jew, or other tropical foliage draping over the sides of a plastic or clay pot. During a macrame craze the holders became works of folk art with beads incorporated  into elaborate string designs. (Not at my house. I need to concentrate when tying my shoes.)

One plant more than all the others seemed designed to be admired when hung. Imagine this thriving specimen hung in a foyer with a cathedral ceiling.


Floral Wall Decoration

Unless you’re a bachelor that I’m related to — you hang some decorative objects on your living space walls.

Prints of famous art are popular. Enlargements of family or vacation photos find a place in many homes. Perhaps a favorite plate or a shadow box holding small items from vacation trips decorate a room. Original artwork? By a professional artist? Or a family member with talent?

Flowers are a popular theme. They have cheerful colors and tend to bring an illusion of sunshine and fresh air inside with their image.


I’m going to pass on these cheerful and dramatic beauties.

My rooms are too small!


Welcome Home

It’s good to be home.

Have you ever voiced this comment after a vacation? Business trip? Hospital stay?

Some returns make history outside of the immediate family. The statue below, located on the St. Louis riverfront marks one of those returns.


After nearly three years, travelling many difficult miles and experiencing adventures for a lifetime, Captain William Clark and party returned to St. Louis. Yes, they had a Newfoundland dog along on the trip.

Welcome Home! Whether that conjures up a farmhouse, a medium size town, or a large city — Welcome!

Maylee and Dave consider St. Louis their home. What happens when these two young professionals with opposing opinions end up as neighbors? The answer is in Stare Down.  amzn.to/1LXiTwP


Emerging End???

It’s functional. And not as full as prior to the project.

The brush is washed, the roller cover discarded. The tape is trashed and the shrouds have been removed from the huddled furniture. It didn’t all go back together in a snap. No, small things didn’t line up or fit where I wanted. But then again, this was a home improvement project. Aren’t they required to demand multiple trips to the store?

This project certainly demanded multiple trips to the recycle bin. Paper was the largest portion — in both volume and weight. A little plastic and cloth added variety.


It waits for finishing touches. But photo needed to be quick before the cluttered file-system-of-papers-on-the-bed takes over.


Messy Middle

Craft projects. Sewing. Cooking. Home improvement.

Each and every one of them – at least in my hands – have a point in the middle where it appears as if a tornado attacked my stash of  supplies. I proved it again with my painting/decorating project begun in earnest last Thursday and still in the recovery — may as well sort this stuff I pulled out of the closet – stage.

Friday, Saturday, and Sunday the largest/heaviest/non-wheeled pieces of furniture huddled under shrouds. They endured getting pushed around. (Actually I endured pushing them around.) Outside it was hot with occasional rain. Inside it was hot with intermittent spatters. (The old shower curtains which I use for drop cloths give a history of paints used through the years.)


Stay close together! Crazy lady is moving the ladder around the edges.

The Beginning

You’ve heard the advice about a long journey beginning with the first step.

I’d like to back up a little from lifting the foot off the ground and swinging it forward. A thought. A plan. Some preparation. These are good things. Yes, they can be taken to the extreme. It’s been years — at least three — since I started talking, thinking, and planning to re-paint my office/guest bedroom.

About two weeks ago I started to take action by ordering a new baseboard heater and contacting a handyman to install it. And then I set a goal for me. As soon as I finish XX I’ll move things out, buy the paint, and do it.

I have too many things. My children have too many “left overs” stored at my place. And papers! Do I really need to keep every draft of the bad, learning to write, stories? Evidently that was my feeling at one time.

So I’m back from the store – two actually, the first one had paint but not the replacement A/C duct register. Now is the time to get “grubby” (do people still use that word?) and remove dirt, hangers, and wallpaper border.

Progress report next Friday

Progress report next Friday