Before and After

The Bossman just finished a really big job on the house. Painted the basement walls and floor, put in a light over my washing machine and made three sets of shelves for the basement and three for the garage while he was at it. He even let me help paint the shelves! Wouldn’t let me near the basement though ;( It was such a big job because there was so much stuff in it! He did it in sections moving stuff around as he went. It’s a joy to go down there now, so nice and fresh and clean! There is still an old table down there with lots of hand tools and doodads on it that has to go. We have a lovely old sturdy table the previous owners left that we’ve painted and it will go where the ‘tool table’ is now. It’s perfect for doing puzzles or folding clothes on!

He even got his garage , we had put in last fall, pretty well sorted with all the new shelves. Now we just have to get the electrician out to run electricity to it and have the concrete laid beside it and the parking pad area done in front of it.

Before and after pics…

before basement FullSizeRender-10

Before:basement FullSizeRender


You can see the shower room to the far right in the one above. You can check out the before and after on that HERE!

IMG_1951 IMG_1949

To paint the walls and ceiling above the steps going down into the basement he had to make a platform to stand on. I meant to get a pic of him standing on it painting but I didn’t get around to it in time and he was tearing it down when I grabbed the camera to take the piIMG_20170322_134632_679c, but you’ll get the idea. It’s just the frame, he had a sheet of plywood laid on the frame and a chair on the plywood and he stood on the chair and painted up high.

He said its the same blue as the walls but it looks so different in the enclosed area. Must be the lighting! I think I would have preferred white up there.

In the ‘before picture’ with the green table and chairs set (which is now the ‘tool table’) you’ll notice a square opening in the wall. That goes into the crawl space. We only have basement under about 3/4 of the house. I think they ran into solid rock and decided to just stop when they were putting in the basement!



Looks like solid rock there to the right.

Someday I’ll get my kitchen finished and can share pictures with you of that. It still needs painted and new light fixtures. I’m thinking about hiring it done. The bathroom isn’t completely finished yet either. I live in hope! Some plumbing to be done on the bathtub/shower and wall tile to be replaced but it’s pretty well done. All the major stuff is done. I’ll take photos when the shower curtain comes in!

Any big projects going on at your house? The only other BIG project we have on the radar is a back porch of some kind. We only have a concrete pad now. Probably not until next summer though. This one looks like we’ll be gone a lot. We need to do some landscaping too. Patience is a virtue, right? 🙂

And Now We Know…



A little while ago I told you about Paul Fronczak , a man who was abandoned as a toddler and thought to be, and raised as, the kidnapped son of Dora and Chester Fronczak, and the book coming out soon about his journey to the truth.  Well I got an advance copy from Netgalley last week and I couldn’t put the book down!  

The mystery of who Paul really is, why he was left in a stroller in front of McCrory’s and who his real family are. Plus the mystery of the biggest manhunt in Chicago history with the kidnapping of the one day old infant. Throw in the ancestry and DNA hunting and you have a fantastic puzzle and human interest tale.

The Foundling is a touching and inspiring story about a child lost and faith found, about the permanence of families and the bloodlines that define you, and about the emotional toll of both losing your identity and rediscovering who you truly are. It also pulls in the emotional toll taken on the Fronczak’s , losing a newborn to kidnap and raising a son your never quite sure is yours or not. Excellent read on many levels. Thank you to Howard Books for allowing me this advance copy! The book will be released on April 4, 2017. 

Purchase the book @ Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Indie bound

Knoxville Museum of Art

The Knoxville Museum of Art is not a large museum. They do have quite a few interesting pieces though. These two sculptures were my favorite pieces…


Woman and Child, 2010

This one is by Sam Jinks from Bendigo, Australia, 1973. He lives and works in Melbourne, Australia

It’s made of silicone, silk and human hair. It is so realistic! The color in her finger tips exactly like when you are exerting pressure on something with them. You have to click on this to see it better!  Her arm is so real! You really need to click on his name above and visit his website to see his other work.

fullsizeoutput_427This one is by Evan Penny and is a self portrait sculpture. He was born in South Africa in 1953 and now lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Working with moulded and dyed-painted silicone he implants real hair one strand at a time! The scar on the scalp, the blemishes along the back are unbelievable and the hair stubble, the creases in the skin and the muscles in the back! WOW is all I can say. You could literally stand there all day and look at this.

The Higher Ground Exhibition is devoted to East Tennessee art achievement. Many artists from outside East Tennessee came to the area between 1920-1950 in order to capture the wild beauty of the Smoky Mountains. The Smokies had long been inaccessible to all but the most intrepid, but intensive logging and the post-World War I development of mountainside resorts opened roads and trails for visitors. This period of artistic interest in the Smokies coincides with efforts to preserve this unique wilderness area, which culminated in the creation of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in 1934.  Knoxville had a thriving art community until the mid twenties.

fullsizeoutput_42eAnna Catherine Wiley  (1879-1958) from Coal Creek (now Lake City) Tennessee was a leader in the Knoxville art community. She was an impressionist. She received instruction from fellow Tennessean artist, Lloyd Branson. After the death of Branson and her father, she had a mental breakdown in 1926. She never painted again and lived the rest of her life in an institution. How sad. This is The Pea Shellers, circa 1915. I’d love to see more of her work.

Thomas Campbell (1834-1914) was born in England and immigrated to the US when he was 19 and became an ordained minister. He was a missionary to Nativfullsizeoutput_425e Americans and then held church pastorates in New York and Illinois. He always had a sketch pad with him. They moved to East Tennessee in 1892. He lived in Marysville which is just south of Knoxville. After his wife died he retired and devoted himself to painting. He founded the art department at Maryville College in 1902 and headed it until his death. This is Untitled, circa 1900. I love the cows!


Charles Krutch (1849-1934) was born in South Carolina and moved to Knoxville with his family when he was a child. He started painting early in life and was self taught. He limited his subject matter to The Great Smoky Mountains and often hiked to remote areas and boarded with mountain families to capture backcountry vistas. This one is Study in Oils of the Mountains of East Tennessee, Circa 1916-1918

This one was in the modern room with the silicone sculptures afullsizeoutput_426nd was so cool. I didn’t get the name and artist thought. But the talent in this is amazing. Its very hard to believe that this is a flat painting with no texture. It really looks like a three dimensional piece of cloth.

I wish I could have spent more time but we were there to specifically see the holocaust art and had to get to the Civic Center t for the conference. Another time I can browse longer. I love going to art museums, do you enjoy it? Hope you enjoyed the trip to Knoxville Museum of Art!

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

I’ve slowly been getting my hair cut off. First 10 inches off to shoulder length, then chin length layered with the sides a little long looking (messy, very messy!) and now chin length with the sides layered short too. Found a wonderful stylist through a recommendation from a gal at the library book-sale. She’s a little pricey, but it’s so nice to have a good haircut and someone who knows their stuff! She said the more she works with my hair and gets to know it, the better she’ll be able to work with it.


Holocaust Survivor and the Art Museum

FullSizeRender-11A few weeks ago a couple of friends and I went to Knoxville to see Eva Geiringer Schloss, a holocaust survivor. She was born in Vienna Austria in 1929. Her family were Jewish. They moved to Belgium and then Holland in 1938 as Hitler had annexed Austria. In 1942 they had to go into hiding. She and her mother went to one place and her father and brother went to another. In 1944 they were betrayed and captured by the Germans. Her father and brother were killed in the camp, but she and her mother miraculously survived and were freed when the Russians came.

It was a most interesting evening! Eva travels now to speak about the holocaust as she wants to make sure people do not forget. Her father and brother to pass time while in hiding took up painting. They hid their art works under the floor boards with a letter so if they were captured they could be retrieved. Eva and her mother were able to get these paintings after the war. They had two of the originals and several prints of others on display at the Knoxville Art Museum for the month before she came. We went to the museum first to see the artworks. It was very moving. The young brother’s art showed the despair he felt, the father painted more religious type and scenery and a portrait of her mother.

She knew Anne Frank from school in Holland and after the war Anne Frank’s father and Eva’s mother married, both having lost their spouses in the camps.

The event was held at the civic auditorium and there was heavy police presence and we each had to wander and our bags searched before being admitted. I thought it was just because of terrorism and a large group meeting. Never entered my mind that it was because it was a Jewish event! The next day I read an article about how anti-semitism is on the rise and there have been many threats and attacks on Jewish community centers! That explains the security.

She was a wonderful speaker. We weren’t thrilled with the interviewer. He kept
interrupting her. She prefers a conversation IMG_1819type interview instead of just giving a speech. She wrote two books about her experiences. You can read about them and Eva on her website The Holocaust: A Survivor’s Tale. I found an interview from 2013 online, very much like the one we saw. This interviewer let her talk though! If you’d like to listen to her tell her story click HERE.  THIS is a short interview for the news she did if you don’t want to hear the whole story. I’ve always shied away from watching programs about the holocaust or going to the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC because when I have it is so disturbing it affects me for days. But Eva said, in the short interview, something that made me re-think that. When the interviewer said some people can’t bear to see these things, Eva said, we went through it, so they should have the courage to see what happened, so that they can make sure it never happens again.

Her brother was Heinz and her father Erich. I only took photos of a few prints that Heinz did. None of the father’s paintings. Click on the photos to enlarge.




This is the original painting by Heinz, not a print.

I took some shots of other art work in the museum but I’ll share them in a post by themselves. I hope you take the time to listen to Eva tell her full story. You’ll be blessed.

Peggy Ann

Porch Talk

Hello, happy Sunday! I hope all is well in your neighborhood. It’s a bit cooler here but our skies are blue and cloudless today. We missed the snow they thought we were going to get over the weekend. It dipped further south and they got it in Chattanooga and north Georgia. Looks like another system, winter storm Stella, is coming in across the northeast on Monday and Tuesday though. It will miss us but hit both states where my sons live. The one in Maryland’s looking at 8-12 inches of very heavy wet snow! Guess he won’t be working for a couple of days as he works outside. The one in Pennsylvania will only get 4-6″.  Moving to Tennessee was a good move I think!

FullSizeRender-11The new copy of The Sin Mark, I ordered for the dust jacket, came in! Lovely cover. I couldn’t wait to add it to Goodreads so a picture of it will be somewhere online! Tequila by Margaret Page Hood came in too. Now I have all her books. It’s a sweet little Dell paperback in excellent shape. Also Rising, the second book set in Coolidge Corners Vermont, by Alison Smith came in. It was a good week for mail! Nothing like finding a book in your mailbox. I’m adding a big picture of The Sin Mark cover back in the post with my review if you want to see it up close.

We had a new feathered friend visit last week, a yellow-bellied sapsucker! FirstYellow-bellied Sapsucker time I’ve seen one. It’s a little on the larger size and he’s been here most everyday this last week. Haven’t seen him at the feeders just pecking at the tree trunk. Son in Maryland said he is just drinking the sap, it doesn’t mean my tree is dying or anything. He is an arborist, when I said I wish the Pileated woodpecker would visit my trees he said ‘no you don’t, when a woodpecker is busy in your trees its not a good sign of the health of the tree!’ So I was a little worried about my pecan tree, it is the feeding station for all my feeders after all! The mockingbird is still around but not quite as vigilant as he’s been. He’s letting the other birds eat at the feeders but guards the suet cakes. The woodpeckers loved them and I miss seeing them everyday.

Elizabeth Cadell booksI’ve been busy volunteering at our local library book sale. We are sorting books now. The sale is May 4-6. I go up 3 days a week and sort for 3 hours. It’s fun and I like the gals I work with. We get to put books we want aside in a box with our name on it for the sale. My box is full already and I’ll have to start another one soon! I found six Elizabeth Cadell books! I’ve read her first book, My Dear Aunt Flora and liked it, but have only ever come across one other, which I grabbed up!  Nan over at Letters From a  Hill Farm turned me on to her. Her books are lighthearted, humorous, romances. I see there is one mystery she wrote in the 50’s but never published and her daughter has published it along with a biography but it’s $39.95 and I’m cheap! Have you read any Elizabeth Cadell?

Still watching that giraffe, April, in NY. She hasn’t had that baby yet! The staff and vet are getting excited at some of the changes in her body and think it should be soon. I hope so! I’m hooked now! Her nipples have waxed which is a good sign I guess. They cover with wax wScreen Shot 2017-03-12 at 4.25.13 PMhen she is starting to produce milk to protect the colostrum from leaking out. Hmm… The baby is VERY active and you can see it moving in the video! There is a lot of tail lifting and pushing on the ‘out door’ too now! I found her laying down today with her neck curved and
her head laying down on her thigh! She very rarely lies down let alone lay her head down. They only sleep about 2 hrs. a day and then in 10 minute or so catnaps. Don’t you wish you could get by on so little sleep? If you want to check on her click the link above.

FullSizeRender-10I’m working on a jigsaw puzzle Katrina sent home with me my first trip to Scotland. It’s an old railroad travel poster for the Trossachs. I have to admit I haven’t really enjoyed this one.  It takes much more concentration than the Wysocki puzzles do. sometimes I sit down and can’t find a piece to fit for 20 minutes or more. I’ve tried to give it up a couple times but Bossman says you have it half done! So I trudge on. I’m getting close now… I finished Wysocki’s ‘Rally at Dandelion Mill’ before I started this one and I have a new one I’m dying to start if I ever finish the Trossachs! Although looking at it in the photo its rather nice. I might just LOVE it when its done 🙂

I’ve had the temporary crown on my tooth for two weeks this Tuesday and suppose to get the permanent on then. I’ve had quite a bit of aching and discomfort from it. My dentist’s receptionist scared me to death and said I shouldn’t have any pain it must be cracked! Go back to the man that did the root canal! I felt like my dentist who did the temporary should have me come in and look at it first before I did that! I finally called the endodondist and asked them what they thought and they were so professional and kind. There are lots of little things it could be that are not a worry at all. Air gets inside the crown and causes discomfort, food particles get in, sometimes they leave a little tiny rod in there that is suppose to come out, the temp is thicker and causes gum discomfort that some people are more sensitive too. As  long as there is no darkening of color, swelling, drainage etc. I should be fine. Why couldn’t my dentist tell me these things? I think I’ll be looking for a new dentist. I spent 4 days worrying sick that $2,000 later I’d have to have the tooth pulled after all.

We’ve been bowling a couple times in the last week. Its been so long since we bowled. I forgot how much I enjoy it. Our bowling alley is in a terrible state of repair, but it’s all we have. Yesterday I beat Bossman all three games! I rarely beat him, let alone three times in a row! Do you like to bowl?

I tried a new pie recipe today. Coconut-Pecan German Chocolate Pie. DELICIOUS! I love German chocolate cake. If you do too you’d love this pie. We also had that Mississippi roast recipe that is everywhere online. It was so good! Leftovers will be used in burritos later this week. What’s your favorite pie? I love pie! Have you made anything new and exciting for dinner lately?

What are you reading now? I’m reading The Silver Darlings by Neil M. Gunn. A wonderful Scottish book set on the northeast coast after the clearances. The fishing industry is just getting started and herring is the big catch, those silver darlings are going to make men rich! It’s a really good book with beautiful language. We’re doing a read-a-long on Goodreads with it.

Well, thanks for coming by and visitin’. See you later!

Peggy Ann