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? 🙂

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

Twelve Angry Men

img_20170204_221124_116-2Last Friday we went to a play at The Capitol Theater. Twelve Angry Men. It was excellent! They had the seats in a semi-circle around the set, right on the stage. Very intimate. The actors did a terrific job and it was such a powerful drama. The whole thing takes place in a hot steamy, crowded jury room. Tempers flare and arguments begin and we learn about each juror as they wrestle with the verdict.  We don’t even know the jurors names, they are just addressed by their juror number. I loved watching our system of justice work!

The jury of 12 men come into the jury room after a 6 week trial. A young Puerto Rican man has been accused of stabbing his father to death. He has a criminal record and circumstantial evidence is mounting. There is a neighbor that heard him say I’ll kill you and saw him run out the door of the tenement bldg. A woman across the train tracks says she saw him do it through the windows of the train as it sped by. Sounds like an open and shut case. Or is it? What exactly is ‘reasonable doubt’? If found guilty he will face a mandatory death penalty.

Here’s a quick clip of our play…

The young man in the suit with the bow tie with the beard reminded me so much of my youngest son! He even looked over the pair of glasses he wore exactly like Paul!

This play was originally written by Reginald Rose for a live teleplay for CBS in 1954.Two  movie versions came after, one in 1957 starring Henry Fonda and then another one in 1990 with Jack Lemmon and George C. Scott. I found the original CBS teleplay restored on Youtube! Click HERE to watch it. Or you can watch the 1957 movie HERE.

Paul said he read the book in high school. That might make an interesting read! Have you seen the movie or a play of it? Read the book? What did you think?

Starting this Thursday evening they are going to do a classic movie night at The Capitol the first Thursday of the month for three months. All Cary Grant movies! I can’t wait!

To Kill a Mockingbird, No Really



Front yard

And I’m not talking about Harper Lee! There’s a mockingbird that has decided my bird feeders are his and his alone. He’s staked my pecan tree as his territory. He won’t let any other birds near the feeders or the tree. He runs them all off even if their sitting on the ground beneath the tree. I’ve tried throwing rocks at him, jumping up and down and swinging my arms around at him to scare him off and he looks at me like I’m an idiot! I probably am 🙂

I’m missing all my birds!

So I thought, ‘I’ll outwit you’, and moved one feeder and one suet feeder out to a tree in the front yard. At least the other birds can eat there. He can have the back feeders. Oh no, he is a pig. He flies back and forth over the house and guards both trees, all four feeders! He doesn’t even eat the seed! Every now and then he’ll eat a little suet. I’m at my wits end with this bird! I adore their songs in the spring when there are so many around, but he isn’t even singing for me! I’ve threatened to go buy a BB gun (but I might shoot my eye out!).


back yard

I’ve finally taken in all the feeders. Maybe he’ll give up and go away. I’ll put them back out in a week and see what happens.  Have you ever encountered something like this and what was your solution?