Thursday, May 31, 2012

Apartment Sweet Apartment

I confess.
This old mother hen was worried. 

I didn't really *get* the whole Washington thing.  I didn't understand what The Practical One meant when she called -- quite excited I might add-- and announced that she had found her very own apartment in the Capitol Hill Historic District.

When she used words like basement and rowhouse
all kinds of images entered my head. 

I've learned to trust the girl, though. She's practical, after all. She is also a girl who knows exactly how to speak my language.  As she described the tiny space as an efficiency with a separate kitchen, she added this:

You know,
 kind of like Mary Tyler Moore.

I smiled. 

You see, I confess to having broken one of the cardinal rules of parenting about twenty years ago. I let her sleep with me when Super Dad was on the road. We would lie in bed and watch Nick at Night back when it was still worth watching.  Her favorite show was Mary Tyler Moore. 

When we fashioned her first Big Girl Room, she had a daybed that pulled out for sleeping and an extra walk- in closet just big enough for her play kitchen.

If I had been a blogging mommy, I would have pictures. 

While little sister napped, she and I would *play* Mary Tyler Moore. I was Rhoda, and she was "Mare". Sleeping beauty in the nursery was called Phyllis. Phyllis annoyed Mare when she woke and interrupted the game.

Yeah, I know. How my girls don't need therapy is anyone's guess...  

Keeping all that in mind,
can you see why I fell completely in love with this little place?

It hardly qualifies as a basement to my way of thinking,.
 with its tall ceilings and many large windows. 

Of course, she doesn't have any curtains on them yet.

One thing at a time, folks. 
One thing at a time...

Right now, her project is changing the bed linens.
The brown and blue are just temporary and from her college days.

They are going to be white with these colors. 

She did get a new sofa.
We shopped for it while we were there,
but it wasn't delivered until we were headed home.

She sent this photo
 along with instructions to imagine it 
with the new bed colors.

So I did.

I think it's really cozy. 

Of course, even before I saw the interior,
 I knew that this was the very spot that God had designed for her to live. 

Do you know how I knew? 

Because this is what she sees when she steps outside her door. 

Have I mentioned that there isn't a person on the planet 
who loves flowers 
and secret gardens more than this girl?

And have I mentioned that she has a 
twenty minute walk to work every day?

And that this is what it looks like
 the entire way? 

I'm not so worried anymore. 

In fact, do you know what I think?

I think...

She's  gonna make it 
after all.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Clampetts Take the Capitol

Don't worry, folks.
 I'm not planning to give a play by play of our trip to DC. 
I'm pretty sure no one wants to read it. 

There were a few yakkable highlights from our 
Incredible Capitol Adventure, though. 

One such yakabout happened on our first full day in town.
That was the day that we got to sit in the gallery 
and watch the action on the House floor. 

That's the kind of thing that gets me all atwitter.
The closer I got to the Capitol, the more I felt the urge   
to burst into School House Rock

I'm just a bill, yes I'm only a bill...
Sitting here on Capitol Hill...

I would have started a little sing-a-long, but I'm pretty sure the angry young man at the door would have tossed me out. I summoned all of my self-control and engaged in some political star gazing instead.  

Yes, star gazing.

Have I mentioned that I'm a bit of a news junkie? Well, I am.  When I see the real life body that goes with a talking head, I'm kind of a like a 13 year old girl who has just spotted Justin Bieber.  I entertained myself with my own personal game of I Spy. It didn't start out as my own personal game, but apparently, Miss Whimsy doesn't like to be jabbed in the ribs with the elbow.

Therefore,  I had to play by myself.  

Since this will never be a political blog,  I'll engage in some bi-partisan commentary of the feminine type, instead. 

I don't care whether you love her or hate her folks,  house minority leader Nancy Pelosi is a  woman with an incredible sense of style. She came gliding in wearing a spiffy pantsuit with heels and a magenta jacket. Even from a distance, you can tell she's poised and really pretty.

Not to get all Joan Rivers-ish or anything, but I personally think Nancy needs to have a little bi- partisan slumber party and invite her pal (Congresswoman) Debbie Wasserman-Shultz for a commando- style makeover.  Remember how we used to practice walking with a book on our heads? Yeah, well, they need to do that too.  Deb does not glide. She schlumpadumps.    

While chewing gum...

Yes indeed, they need a slumber party. They can play truth or dare and make prank phone calls to Paul Ryan.   

Speaking of (Budget Chairman) Paul Ryan, I saw him too. Again, I don't care whether you love him or hate him folks, there is no denying that Paul has the dreamiest set of eyes on Capitol Hill. (Sir Lotsa Hair excluded.)  He behaved better than most of his colleagues, too. He sat quietly on the second row while many of them ambled about not paying a lick of attention to the person speaking.  I thought maybe we should sic the angry door dude on them, but they finally banged the gavel and called them to order.  

They behaved for about five minutes before they were at it again. 

Sorry to rat you out, Congress, but I think we might possibly need an elementary teacher as Speaker of the House. I'd run for the job myself, but I'd rather keep my day job as judgemental tourist.     

We watched the entire voting process, 
which wasn't at all like I wanted or expected it be.
  Then, we took an afternoon stroll 
from this house...

To this one.

According to google maps, this is a walking distance of 1.5 miles and should take about 30 minutes.

Of course, when you're married to Billy from The Family Circus,
 it takes a bit longer.

I don't know how he managed to do it, but our Billy Path covered every landmark large or small between those two points.  Did we walk straight down Pennsylvania Avenue? Nooooo....

We marched by way of the mall to the Washington Monument, to the ellipse, to the back side of the White House, then all the way around some big honkin' circle and down a street as long as the state for which it was named...

...and then we got to the front side of the White House.

All that for a picture.  The next time I visit, I'm taking a tour. It actually wasn't that bad of a walk, though, since it felt like it was downhill most of the way.  Of course, that meant that it would be uphill most of the way home. 

Which is how this post became words on wheels.  

I had to squeeze my big bahonkus in that remaining space for the ride back.
 It was a cozy fit, but I managed to ride all the way back to the Capitol
 by way of Pennsylvania Avenue.

Giving the Queen Wave the whole way.  

And that was just day one. 
Aren't you glad I'm not doing a play by play?

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Stones of Remembrance

Let this be a sign among you (that) when your children ask in time to come, 

"What do these stones mean to you?"   

You shall say,  "Because the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD when it passed over the Jordan, so these stones shall be to the people of Israel  a memorial forever. (Joshua 4:6-7) 

God speaks regularly in His Word on the concept of remembrance. Repeatedly, He places things in the midst of His children designed only to make us remember. Tied to every single one of them is a corresponding call to action. 

In some cases, that action is a simple retelling for future generations.  

Our vacation to Washington DC was different than usual family adventures. Usually, we try to cram as much sightseeing into our days as time will allow. We saw a lot of sights while there this time, but since we now have a daughter living in DC, we're planning many return visits.   Therefore, we thought it best to leave a few stones unturned. 

Some stones, however, deserve their turn.

We had been told to prepare our hearts for the enormity of it. 

But in truth, no such preparation is possible.

What do these stones mean to you?

To the young lady giving us a private tour, those uniform, nondescript stones are personal. She has not one but two sets of grandparents resting beneath them. It was she who recognized the faint sound of a cadence and knew to stop in respect and wait for the funeral procession to pass by. 

We saw not one but two such processions that day. They marched slowly and reverently. First came the band, and then the soldiers. Then came the caisson with its flag draped coffin and riderless horse. Then came the family.

Because it's personal to them.

... We are the dead, short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow
Loved and were loved and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe
To you from falling hands we throw
The torch be yours to hold it high
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not rest while poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
~ Lt. Col. John McCrae

Tell me:
On this Memorial Day, and on every day, 
what do these stones mean to you?

Comments off on Sundays,
but I'm still sharing with The Tablescaper
at Seasonal Sundays

Friday, May 25, 2012

The Capitol Hillbillies

We're baaack.

In case you didn't figure it out on your own, the aforementioned little blog break was actually a family vacation.  We had no more gotten the college girl home when Jed loaded up the truck and and headed for the hills.

Capitol Hill, that is...

Remember all that furniture I yakked about the week before?  It came right along with us, plus  enough other stuff to fill one of these things.

Jethro drove the U-Haul. 
Granny and Ellie May followed in Ebenezer

We kept on trucking until we reached our destination, 
a tiny apartment in the 
Capitol Hill Historic District
of DC. 

That's where a very Practical One was camping out in her first
  solo apartment.

She had moved in on the first day of the month, you see, 
but we couldn't get there with her furnishings until little sister got home.
  In the meantime, she had been roughing it on an inflatable mattress. 

That caused Granny Clampett a great deal of consternation... 

Not the Practical One, though.  
"No big deal,"  said she.

"I have a roof over my head and food to eat.
 If my biggest problem is waiting a few weeks for furniture, 
then I don't have a problem."

I like her style.

She tends to focus on the things of lasting value. 

Maybe that's why she chose to live
 in a tiny basement apartment
 in an old, restored, row house.

But then again, maybe that has more to do with her budget.

Believe it or not, there is someone in Washington
who thinks you ought to live within one of those.

I'd encourage her to run for office, but I'd probably have to rein in my yakker...

I'll be back later with The Great Furnishing Adventure 
and a tour beyond the garden gate. 
   As for today, I have a lot of catching up to do in Blog Land.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Now It's Time to Say Goodbye...

To Jed and all his kin
But we would like to thank you folks
For kindly dropping in...

You're all invited back next week
to this locality
To have a heapin' helping of our hospitality.

Hillbilly, that is.
Set a spell...
Take yer shoes off...

Y'all come back now, y'here?

Taking a little blog break. 
Comments off, of course.


Raise your blog hand if you just sang that
 instead of reading it
 and added

"This has been a Filmways presentation!"
(In your head, you sounded just like Ellie May, didn't you?)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

If God Thinks I Need Some Bookcases...

... He will provide them.

Remember when I yakked abroad that truth about a week or so ago? 

Well, just call me a Debbamiah the Prophet. 

I had hardly gotten the words out of my mouth and onto the keyboard when Jehovah Jireh himself did indeed decide that some bookcases were acceptable items on the Debbie Needs It list.  Or maybe, He knows that I just wanted them and decided to provide them anyway. He's nice like that.

Either way,  I am now the proud possessor of these beauties.

Yes, they are indeed bookcases.  You just have to use your imagination a little.


These are actually part of an even larger set that the Duchess got (already used ) way back in the early  '70s from a Saturday morning radio phone-in show called Swap, Buy, and Sell.  It was sort of a great granddaddy to Craig's List. 

Maybe you had one in your area too.

They came in sections, as you can see. All told, there are 10 sections, I think. There are 2 bottoms,  2 tops, and 6 middle shelves. You can mix and match them any way you want.

The two white ones were being used out at the Love Shack, but on the very day that I was at my house lamenting the fact that I needed some bookcases, the Newlywed Niece was at her grandmother's house helping with a project.

In the process, she unearthed an utterly unused dry sink which she thought she could completely redesign for some kitchen storage.  (The Newlywed Niece is really good at reinvention, by the way. I intend to yak about it when it's done.)

And do you know where that newly redesigned piece will go in her kitchen?
Right where those two white shelves were currently living.

So she passed them along to me.

The brown ones were hiding in some dark corner of a tool shed just waiting for a top and bottom to go with them.

The mouse holes?   Oh, they're just some supersized  cord tunnels. At one point in its history, they held a  Department 56 village.

Now, if you're thinking that I stripped those suckers to their original glory, think again. I would like to do that sometime, but the design plan du jour calls for white bookcases. 

I did sand them down a bit to give them a little tooth since they were not only painted, but the brown ones were varnished as well.  (And, well, I also have a little love affair with my hand sander and like to use it.)

This one got such a toothy grin, I temporarily named him Jimmy Carter.

I was daydreaming...

So I plugged all the mouse holes except the one on the bottom in case I wanted to use it and then gave them all a unifying color called Blanched Pine.

Or as the husband calls it, White.  
It's the same color that I used for the writing desk legs.

I liked the way the niece had a contrasting taupe so I painted my innards
 a light tan color called Cream in my Coffee. 

Waxed her all down, and she's good to go.  

Total cost? 
A couple of bucks for the sample size of Cream in my Coffee.

Take THAT early birds!

Good things do come to those who wait.

Thanks God.
That was a really clever way of providing.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Butler's Table to Writing Desk

Just a little minor makeover to show this morning.  It's actually a piece of furniture that I've been working on for The Practical One.

She has an alcove  in her apartment that she thought would be just perfect for a little desk area and work space and asked me to help with a piece of her furniture in the attic.

It started out as this wonderful old butler's table.  It was given to her (as in free of charge, woohoo...) by the same generous neighbor who gave her the dresser that we refinished in THIS POST.  What a wonderful neighbor we have! She is such a blessing to us

Here it is.

The top comes off. 

It has one drawer in what is supposed to be the front.

And some good looking legs. 

Now, if you've been reading here long, it won't surprise you in the least 
that I love this piece.

  I don't just love the lines of it.
 I love the whole look of it  pretty much just as it is,
 scratches, cracks, finish, and all. 
 If you love old things the way that I do, you'll *get* that.  

If it were mine, I would give it a good sanding and a  gentle refinish 
to retain as much of its worn glory as possible. 

But this table wasn't given to me. 

 It was given to the Practical One. While she appreciates old things, she would rather things look what she calls a little cleaner and younger. 

I think she was afraid I would get an attack of the vapors when she hinted that she wanted to give it a little makeover.  I surprised her when I enthusiastically agreed. The important thing is that she love it.

I did suggest a little compromise, though.

I gave the bottom a new face with some white satin and wax, but I sanded the top as much as it would possibly sand and gave it several light rubs of stain.

Here's how it looks right now.

The top still needs some tung oil, but I'm waiting for the go ahead. 

She has yet to see it so the jury is still out as to whether the top remains dark or joins the bottom in more white or some clean, young, color.

Plus, we have to audition chair makeover candidates
since it's going to be a writing desk. 

Of course, I couldn't help noticing that it can also do double duty as 
a table for two.

  Yep, just enough knee space for the future
48th President of the United States to sit comfortably at dinner.

Hey, you have your blog dreams... I can have mine.

(And by the way, it is absolutely possible to see someone
roll her eyes from 532 miles away.)
Sharing this on Between Naps on the Porch for Met Monday. 


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