Saturday, April 30, 2016

Burnout and Birds

Okay, so lately, I've been drawing a "blank" when trying to blog.  Its not like I haven't seen and done things that at the time I thought that I'd like to share; but when it comes time to put pen to, fingers to keyboard...I can't find the right words and soon lose interest.  Guess this is just plain ole' burnout, and the only way I know to combat burnout is to start writing, so here I go.....

This past week, our youngest, Katie, got a week off and came down here to visit us for a few days...Huzzah!  We had a great time.  One day we just hung out running errands like going to the nursery for a few geraniums and herbs, then shopping at the farm market for early corn and Carolina strawberries.

Then Katie helped Lee polish up his new toy. 
Our new toy (more on the motorhome later)
That evening we pulled out a frozen meatloaf from the freezer and cooked up an old fashioned comfort meal with sides of corn on the cob and a salad.  Then we followed that by a night of board and card games. 

The next day we drove over to Virginia Beach and toured the Virginia Marine Science Museum, a long-time family favorite. 
Turtle at VMMS looking at my shoes
It recently has been remodeled and expanded, and we were curious how it had changed.  The last time we were there in 2000, Katie was about 12 years old, and her brother, Vince, was a docent assigned to the horseshoe crab touchtank.  There are two docents at the touchtank now, but just like before, none of us wanted to touch those darned crabs.
Vince at the touch tank with Julie and Katie, in 2000
Julie and Katie along hiking trail, lookout tower, in 2000

They have a few outside exhibits, but it was really pretty chilly, so we took one of the short trails through an aviary with some sweet tweety birds.
Bluebird at VMMS aviary trail

Oriole at VMMS aviary trail
We looked at all the exhibits except the outdoors ones.  One could spend the whole day there, but we toured it in 3 1/2 hours.  We especially liked the aquariums, the harbor seals and the river otters.  Unfortunately, I couldn't get very good pictures through the glass of the tanks.

That evening we got home late due to no less than TWO traffic jams, so we decided to try an upscale corner pub nearby instead of cooking.  Lee and I had been wanting to try it out, so this was a perfect opportunity.  Even though it was Wednesday and the place was packed, we got a seat pretty quickly.  Lee and Katie enjoyed a couple of craft drafts, and we all gobbled down their special, a large cheese pizza.  When we got back home, I took a Bendryl and some cough medicine for my allergies, and that pretty well zonked me out.  So Katie and Lee spent the evening playing cards and watching me sleep on the couch. zzzz

The next day we took in an early movie before Katie left for Roanoke.  We went to see the new version of Disney's The Jungle Book.  Lee thought he'd be bored thinking it was just another cartoon, but the realistic animation and live acting was so good that he really enjoyed it, too.  I highly recommend it ... it's not just a kids' movie.  In fact, there were mostly adults in the audience.

She took off and we went back to our same ole same ole.  Its always great to spend time with our (not so) little KatieLu, and can't wait to see her again soon.  Now that we have a new-to-us motorhome, we'll probably see her sooner than later. 

Until next time, Peace an Joy....

                                             ~~ Karen ~~

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Roanoke in the Rain

We just got home from a week in Roanoke visiting our youngest.   On the way into town, I was able to catch a few photos of the town through the rain...
Iconic Neon Coffee Pot

Center in the Square where the weekend market lives

Downtown Renovated

Striking Tilework.  The plaque on the building reads FD&G
The entire cold week it just rained and rained.  We didn't do anything downtown, but we did try out a couple of new restaurants near Katie's, and on her day off we went to a few antique stores in nearby Salem.  Pretty low-key, but that's the fun of it...just hanging with loved ones...
Katie's new roommate, Henley
She and her Dad share a love of looking at used cars for sale on the net.  Hard to tell by this picture, but they are enjoying themselves...

Lee and I left early Saturday morning shortly after Katie left for work.  We were greeted by this glorious view upon opening the blinds....
View of the mountains out the back windows

View out the front windows
All the bad weather had ended by Saturday, and we had a very beautiful sunny day for traveling back home.

I must note the terrible news of all that bad weather bringing a terrible burst of tornadoes which hit nearby towns and others across Virginia with great destruction. Our hearts ache for the victims, and I hope you join us in lifting prayers for the folks affected and left to pull their lives and communities back together.

Hope you enjoyed this little travelogue.  I just wish I had been able to take more pictures, especially of the charming restaurants we enjoyed.  Our next visit, for sure.

So, until next time....... Peace and Blessings

                                                           ~~~ Karen ~~

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Old Things -- Nature's Reclamations

Shack from the side
On a recent trip from Charlotte, NC, we found this old structure along I-77. 

You can't see it from the highway although its less than 100 feet from it. 

We had pulled off the highway looking for a campground, but we pulled down the wrong road which dead ended at this old cabin.

It looks abandoned, but someone is using it.  It looks like the only thing holding it together is the tangle of vines.
Shack's front entrance

Friday, February 5, 2016

Reupholstering an Old Chair

Antique Store Find

Time to finish up some UFP's (UnFinished Projects).

We found this somewhat dirty old chair at an antique store near Wilmington, North Carolina, way back in 2012 when we first landed in Southern Virginia. We needed another chair for our family reunion (anniversary) party that we were hosting in a few weeks, and the store gave us a real nice deal.

I had planned on reupholstering it after the party, and I did start by taking all the old fabric off.  But then, I got side-tracked with moving into this house, remodeling it, then dealing with a bout with cancerI haven't worked on it since, so its been sitting naked for years.

Although its been fun watching the cats (we had two then) try to jump onto the seat (immediately falling through), I decided it was time to finish this project. Yep, this is the year to put this chair back together. Now, if I could only remember how to reassemble it. 

Navy and White Fabric
Now, back in 2013, I had purchased some pretty teal patterned brocade for this chair, but it is too pale for the finish, so I started trying out other fabric in my stash.  That's when I tried this piece from which I had made curtains for my new kitchen.  The curtains didn't work well as a window treatment, but they do look great on this chair.  Its a navy and white cotton duck, and has a nice amount of contrast with the chair's blonde finish

The Chair Back  
Chair Back, gluing
While deconstructing this chair, there must have been 5 pounds of staples holding everything in place, each layer was stapled on creating a mess of staples...heck there's hardly any wood left along the lip of the back.  I spent several days pulling all of those @#$%^&*(&* staples out and scraping off the residual glue.  I kept the stiff non-woven backing and the foam cushions which were in pretty good condition.  All that was left to do was to replace the fabric and the double piping.  Hmmm, double piping.  Off to the hardware store to get some clothesline.  Just the right size to match the old piping. 

Chair Back, tacking piping in place

I decided to try just gluing the 3 layers of fabric and foam together, then use brads to hold all the layers in place while I place just one layer of staples around the lip of the back.

Back nearly done
The back was definitely the most challenging.  The piping wanted to twist all the time, and the small lip that everything rested on made the whole stapling process quite tedious to do.  Using the brad tacks was the key to success.

The Seat      

Seat Bottom

This part of the project was really simple because I just wrapped and then stapled the fabric around the foam-topped pressboard seat bottom.  I've yet to get to the store to pick up some more non-woven backing to cover the staples and the screw holes on the underside of the chair.  When I get it, I'll cut it to fit, then just glue it in place since there's no stress on the bottom of the chair.  I may add a few staples just as an added measure, but it's not necessary because I'll be using a permanent glue like 6000.  

Voila!  Done, and ready to use again.  Now, won't the cat be surprised.  Wonder how long it'll take her to find out it's fixed.

(PS...if you use a linear print like this one, be sure to double check that you have it aligned well before attaching it.  If you look carefully, you can see that I didn't, and the print is askew just a bit dagnabit).  Oh, well, good enough for the folks who'll be sitting on it.  Onto the next UFP .....


 Until next time.........