Chalk Paint

It all started when I decided to paint my bathroom cabinets...

A few weeks ago, I looked at my bathroom cabinets as if I were seeing them for the first time. They were stained (from me dripping hair color all over them) and a little beat up looking (the result of Trixie during a particularly bad gnawing phase). Deciding that painting was the cheaper option as opposed to replacing them, I set about doing research on the topic and concluded that chalk paint was the way to go. There's little to no sanding involved and it looked fairly easy. I now use the word "looked" fairly loosely, knowing know what I wish I would've known then.

So yesterday I embarked on what will forever in my memory be labeled as the "Day I Fought the Chalk Paint and the Chalk Paint Won." When I got up yesterday morning, I figured that I'd procrastinated enough, and I opened my paint can with a sense of purpose, ready to have my cabinets look like an ad for Better Homes and Gardens. Needless to say, what with my life being what it is, it did not go as planned...for starters, that doggone chalk paint is THICK! It was like brushing biscuit dough onto the cabinet. So I stirred it some more. Still thick. I concluded this must be the consistency of the paint itself and proceeded to spread it on the cabinets and hope for the best. Because by this time, I was committed...I had the doors off and had started spreading it on. Looking back, I should have tried this technique on something smaller, rather than starting on such a large project, but it looked simple enough on the internet, didn't it?

After a couple of hours of fighting that paint and waiting a while between coats (yes, FOUR coats, ladies and gentlemen), I was ready to put on the wax.

The wax...let me just state right here that waxing that paint is nowhere near as easy as it sticks like glue to the chalk paint and doesn't go on as smoothly as it does for Chip and Joanna Gaines...just saying...Finally get that finished and have to end up going back and sanding a couple of areas (something I was trying to avoid) where the wax just did not adhere. Fun time for all, right there now...

Then, came the highlight of my day...I had taken the cabinet doors down to the garage to finish painting because my bathroom was simply too small for both me and the doors. I kept stepping on them...By this time, I'm covered head to toes (I literally had to wash my feet) in chalk paint. I'm tired, grouchy and hungry....that is the only excuse for the making of my next decision...I decided to take the OPENED paint can DOWNSTAIRS to finish can guess how this ends...yep, spilled that sucker all over the kitchen floor. I spent the next 15 or 20 minutes wiping chalk paint from every surface within a five foot radius of me and the can. I was washing my brush at the sink, and looked behind me and there was Trixie...and you guessed it...covered in paint splatter...gotta admit, I did not handle that well...I may or may not have used a few choice words.

After wiping her off the best I could with baby wipes, I determined I would have to bathe her. Ok, you gotta understand...this is something both she and I deplore. To say  she resists the procedure is putting it mildly. Since I have limited ways of bathing her at the house, I bundled her up and made an unplanned trip to Pet Supply Plus to wash her off. So here I am, out in public in paint-splattered overalls, a do-rag on my head and Crocs. We both look like we've been hit by a Sherwin-Williams paint truck.

So we go through the ordeal of the bath, and thankfully, the paint comes off. I have never prayed for dog paint removal before, but there is a first time for everything.

At the end of the day, neither Trixie nor I died, so I'd have to call it a good, albeit a challenging day.  Those cabinet doors are still in my garage, awaiting waxing. I'm gonna try to complete that today. I must say, although I will certainly never be an expert, they don't look too bad. Problem is, I have another bathroom...

Have a great day and God bless!!


The Leave-Taking

Dear Friends,  

I have had to do something very difficult this week...dispose of my mom and dad's possessions. It has been a difficult journey. 

For those of you who may not know, my mother has Alzheimer's disease. We had to admit her to an assisted living facility last November and we are now trying to clear out her house to sell it. I'll admit...I procrastinated. Because really, who wants to do such a thing? But necessity and reverse mortgage obligations forced our hand on this, leaving us with few options. Don't get me wrong...I'm grateful we had the reverse mortgage option. It allowed us to keep Mom in her home for a few additional years. But now it's time for closure. 

i guess the reality of it is just now settling in...the leave-taking in my mind of Mom and Dad's things. I had to give myself a pep talk about it. I had to give myself permission to dispose of the sheer volume of stuff that accumulates in a marriage after 50+ years together, an anniversary number I will never know nor celebrate.  

Watching this stuff leave the house in the hands of strangers was difficult. I did pretty well until I watched a guy remove my Daddy's books...He loved his books. I once told Mom, "If you take Dads books away, you might as well amputate his arm." I had a moment of utter regret that I couldn't scoop them all up and take them home with me. There were over 200 of them. Yes, people, 200...

As the week went by, and I became more and more resigned to the inevitable, I realized that the leave-taking is a process. It's not a once and done type of thing. It's a gradual awareness of the fact that things change, and we grow from it. It's a gradual resignation of the fate that comes to us all. It's a growing knowledge that my parents are not their stuff. My parents are the memories I have in my heart. They are the legacy that's worth reading again and again. They are the joy and laughter from my childhood. They are the pain of discipline from my youth. They are the wisdom of my gray hair (if I'd ever let anyone actually SEE my gray hair). They are the sum plus One of my creation.  

I am blessed. Have a wonderful day! 


Just a few of the many books that belonged to Mom and Dad... 

Rent A Kid!

 "Things you should probably hire a professional for, but I can do instead!" That's the name of Anthony Cox's summer business! If you need any work done over this summer, please contact me.  Anthony is trying to earn some extra money over the summer to buy a computer for school. He is a really good kid. He's digging in my back yard, doing a little landscaping work because I didn't want to hire a professional! Help him out! Rent a kid today!



Flat Tire

There are things in life that happen unexpectedly, despite how much you plan. I just got back from a little trip to Mississippi to visit my sister and, on the way back, I had a flat. Now, my brother-in-law and nephew has just checked my truck the day before and everything was fine. But somehow between Memphis and Jackson, my tire deflated. I am thankful for a couple of things...1) The good Lord was watching over me, and 2) I have good insurance which includes roadside assistance. Insurance is kinda like don't like them, you don't want to go because of the expense, but you're sure glad they exist when you need one. You know, I always try to sell roadside assistance to a new policyholder. Now I have a story to go along with it. I have a first hand experience in using the service and can speak with high regard concerning the claims department. They were great. They even called the Tennessee Highway Patrol for me so I'd feel safe. That's service. 

Hope everyone had a great Memorial Day! God bless! 




Car Show!!

Today was the NSRA Car Shiw at Chilhowee Park. Had a great morning with these fine folks, Kelly McDowell from the Home Office and Michael Scarantino, another agent! The booth will be there all weekend, so stop by and pick up some swag!! 






Kelly and Michael



And Michael is NOT the prize you enter to win... 


Me, looking all official...   

Me, looking all official... 



Random car that I loved the color of... 


My dream car... 


Anybody remember this place? 

Dog Shaming

Doggie give away day... free to a good home...just kidding BUT she has tangled up herself in the leash FOUR times, slithered out of her seatbelt harness, refused to go potty, then when she finally did, she took a mud bath  and tracked mud all over my kitchen floor, mauled my mother and chewed my socks. Look at her...and yes, this is definitely DOG SHAMING! LOL!


Trixie Belle looking guilty as charged. 



Good morning, folks!   It's been a while since I've written.  Suffice it to say, I've been very busy the last month.  Today is the third anniversary of Greg's passing.  It has been an eventful three years...years that have been difficult, but good in most ways.  God has been with me, and here I sit at my kitchen table this morning, pondering the goodness and mercy of God.  That may sound strange, but God has brought me through the fire and kept me in the palm of His hand during the most difficult, stressful, and just plan horrible year of my life.  He is faithful.

May God bless you today and every day!! Hug your family and tell them you love them!

God bless!

Puppy School

Tonight, Trixie and I graduated from Puppy School. The graduation surely wasn't based on her performance tonight because she ignored half my commands and pretty much just did as she pleased. I really don't mind. She is still adorable and I love her. Happy graduation, Trixie Belle!




Sorry for the green cast to this picture...the lighting was terrible!

Happy Valentines Day!

Today is a day we celebrate Valentine's Day, a day where love is in the air! I am very blessed to have my family. Even so, it is a difficult day for me. It would've been mine and Greg's Anniversary...I didn't write this to elicit sympathy. I wouldn't do that. I did, however, write it to make you aware of the gift you have in your husband or you wfe. It's a precious gift, this gift of life, and one we humans take for granted. Death has a way of making us look at life differently and that isn't a bad thing. How can it be bad when it has taught me to love more, to laugh more, and simply just live more? 

The things I've learned since Greg's passing have helped me move on with my life.  The  mercy and grace of  God has brought me to where I am today...Flawed, yes, but loved in a way that I never dreamed possible. I would urge you to surrender to that love, the precious love of the Lord. It will change your life, as it changed mine. 

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone! God bless!




Last night, I went to Kristy Kreme and had a donut. Ok, maybe it was one or three. But who can resist the "Hot" sign?  

I had never actually stopped to watch the making of these heavenly delights, but last night, I did. It was a an experience of epic proportions, ladies and gentlemen. I have no idea where the dough comes from, but watching those little, perfect "o's" make their way down the conveyer belt was fascinating and educational.  I'd always wondered why donuts have that little line down the I know...they are flipped over in the fat vat...well, most of them, seemed like there was always one in each batch that didn't flip over. If I were a donut, that one would be me...the resistant one, the defiant donut that insisted on doing things their own way until I was burned to a crisp on one side and raw on the other...yeah...

Everything was timed to perfection. I loved it. It doesn't take much to entertain me. I am a rather simple woman...but I started thinking about how that conveyer belt was kinda like moves us along, sometimes beyond our control, into the heat of the moment or the heat of this thing called life. The good news is that after we pass through the heat, we are sugared up and in prime condition for consumption. Just like a donut. So I guess my question would be,"what am I gonna be consumed by?" We may not have a choice about what life hands us, but we do have a choice about what we allow to consume us. Unlike the donut, we are not mindless lemmings rushing toward an unknown destiny. Well, our destiny may be unknown, but we are certainly not mindless, nor are we soulless. We have choices. And I'm thankful for that. God bless, have a great day and eat more donuts!



The Defiant Donut... 



Carole King

Yesterday, I sat in my new office, behind my new desk, looking out my new window, I was listening to the "Tapestry" CD by Carole King. "Tapestry" is one of the greatest albums of my generation, in my opinion, and as Carole crooned "Home Again," her voice, like honeyed molasses washed over me like a tidal wave. I never knew melancholia could be so sweet. As "Home Again" melted into "Beautiful ", it was such a bittersweet moment, that I wanted to cry. I didn't, because I was soon dancing around the office, shaking myself to "Smackwater Jack" like a boss. I scared Trixie, who looked at me like I had lost my mind. 

There are few musicians that move me like Carole King...Leon Russell, God rest his soul, John Lennon, God help his soul, and Joni Mitchell, God love her soul. Come to think of it, it seems like these all have something in common...they all sing songs that are relatable to the human condition. On any given day at any given time, I can listen to any of these artists and either have a good, snot slinging cry or a good, head banging belly laugh. Both are good for the soul. 

Hope you have a great day! 





Empty Shelves

Today is my last full day at the old office. They are putting down new carpet in my new office, they will be done in a few hours, and I can move my furniture in there. Even though it's just down the hall, it's an ordeal. 

This is bittersweet  for me. I've spend 17 years in this office, fourteen of which were with Greg. I am happy to be moving because it's best for my clients, but it's sad for me because of the memories. This was the place where client relations were built . This is the place where, green as grass, I wrote my first automobile policy. And this is the last place I shared with Greg, through laughter and tears. 

I am not an overly sentimental person. I do what I can and try to move forward. Today, I looked back a little bit. I looked back to the fun times with clients and fun times with Greg. Even as I did remember these things, I know that the past is the impetus that moves us forward toward our future. So I am moving forward into the unknown, just me and God...and Trixie. God bless you all and have a great day!!



The empty book case...just the eagle... 



Guilty Doggie

I am moving my office, as I've written before. This has prompted my little doggie to be even more crafty about hiding her bones. I bought her a big, juicy bone tonight because she had really been a good girl today. Ok, gotta admit, even if she had been a bad girl, the pup would've gotten a bone. Don't even say it...

Anyway, almost immediately after I gave her said bone, she ran off upstairs and I couldn't find that bone. I'll admit, I was too tired to look too hard. Well, I just found was under the covers in my bed! I was so amused that there was no way I could scold her. It was so funny! She is an entertaining little thing. I am so glad she's a part of my life! Have a great evening and God bless!


Guilty as charged! 

Guilty as charged! 


Ok, folks, I just have to write about this...I have been fretting over moving into the new office because of the carpet. I have to say--it's gross. It has years of stains and spills that no amount of cleaning would ever relieve, and I was fretting about how to fix that. I called several carpet cleaning places to get quotes to clean it. I was contemplating trying to cover most of it with an area rug. Yes, it is that bad...but my landlady is giving me such a good price on the space, I can't really complain. Anyway, this nice fellow by the name of Ronnie called me this morning and we looked at the office space. Long story short, he's gonna replace the carpet, do vinyl flooring in the outer office and the best part..,he's not gonna charge me one red cent. Not a penny, not a dime, not one dollar. Sometimes I forget there are people like that left in the world. So I am making a shameless plug for his business...Service Master, 865-882-0755. Ask for Ronnie. He's the owner, and he's great! And he's also going to get the guy who installs the carpet to help me move some of the heavy stuff! I am blown away by the goodness of God! Hope you all have a great day!! 

Here's his card! And yes, I am referring him to everyone I know! 

Here's his card! And yes, I am referring him to everyone I know! 




Hello! It's been a week or so since I've written anything, and I've been busy. I am in the process of moving the office to a new location! No worries! It's the same building, only just down the hall. But it's amazing the sheer amount of STUFF I've managed to acquire. This move is a good one because: 1) it allows me to be more mobile and accessible for my clients, and 2) it's much more convenient for my clients. I'm thinking about having a bistro in there...just kidding, but a coffee/tea bar sounds pretty tempting! 

I am not a fan of change, as I've stated before, but change still happens, whether we like it or not. This move has been coming for a while, but o kept putting it off because, once again, I hate change. But it's for the good of the agency, and it allows me to serve you better through mobility and accessibility. I will be much more available to help my clients needs by making this move. So there it office, new year. My address will be the same and they are even letting me keep my suite number, for which I am grateful. Please stop in and see my new space if you have a moment next week. I should be in by then...I hope! God bless and have a great day!

Said "bye" to the old desk... 

Said "bye" to the old desk... 

Ready to roll on in! 

Ready to roll on in!