DIY-ing with a Round Tuit-Ist
One of My Stories / June 24, 2020

My husband and I have what you might call “a mixed marriage.” Not because he’s Southern-born, while I’m a Prairie Girl, and not because we’ve been known to vote for different candidates. The division goes deeper than that. The fact is, I like DIY and Home Improvement projects and my husband is a Round Tuit-ist. I’ll bet you know a Round Tuit-Ist (or, if you’re just reading this in 2059, you may be one). Round Tuit-ists are very nice people. They love to listen to your ideas. And, if you need a hand, they are happy to help. “Absolutely, as soon as I get around to it”, they say. And you will grow old and gray, waiting for them to get that Round Tuit Which is why, when it came to painting the kitchen, I knew it would be difficult for my Round Tuit-ist. Part of him really wants to help, or at least for me to find something else to talk about besides the kitchen. But he’s never really ready to start a project. He’s not sure we have exactly what we need or if the area is sufficiently prepped. In other words, he hasn’t found his Round Tuit….

The Evolution of a Door: The Misadventures of a Would-be DIY’er
One of My Stories / November 28, 2017

Madison Avenue thinks it knows what presents women wish for. They tell us through commercials all the time. What love token should you give a lady? Give her diamonds. Give her shoes. Give her a new car.  Well, Madison Avenue never heard of me. I wanted a new front door. Door, the First In all fairness, I’ve wanted one for the past 27 years. Our little house came with a rather standard, wooden door; one that let in the weather, but kept out the light. Can’t say I liked it much. Matter of fact, I hated the thing. But, with one thing and another, the door never got replaced when we were a double-income family.  Now that we’re living on one, what were the chances my front door could change? You’d be surprised. Not that it was easy.  First off entry doors aren’t cheap, at least entry doors that have lots of glass.  Go ahead, google “3/4 lite entry door”. and you’ll see what I’m talking about.  I’ll wait. Scary, isn’t it? Well, I started scouring.  Craig’s List, LetGo, Facebook selling, you name it.  And I finally found this beauty at a price we could afford.  Only one small issue. …

End of Summer Report Card
One of My Stories / September 5, 2017

“I’m just a Summer Girl,Living in a Summer World…” The only thing is, Summer is ending. That much is obvious, even without the store displays of Halloween Costumes and Football gear. Days are shortening, outside light is yellowing, and the trees have begun their annual game of pelting our metal roof with nuts. (it’s amazing how something that small can make that large a noise!) Autumn is coming again, and it’s time to take stock of what did and didn’t happen this Summer. See More of Friends and Family: Well, yes and no.  Sadly, I missed my High School Reunion again, and I only hope my classmates and hometown will forgive me. On the other hand, my nephew came to see us in June, and I talked with my sister almost every day, which is very good.  Our folks would never have believed we’ve learned to be sisters and friends. Learn to DIY on a Dime: Check.  So, I’m a slave to all of those H&G/DIY shows/pictures/ideas, a truth that frightens my husband no end. (His lawn and garden dreams involve Astroturfing the yard.) The only thing is, we haven’t got the budget for hiring Home Improvement teams.  So this summer I…

Assaulting a Boston Fern: Confessions of a Broke H&Ger (Part 1)
One of My Stories / August 10, 2017

It’s time to come clean First Confession: I’m a lifestyle/Home & Garden nut. Even though I nearly flunked Home Ec (twice!) growing up, I really love a pretty house. Ditto, lawn, and garden.  Set me inside a home-improvement store and I will happily spend us into the poorhouse.  Second Confession: We’re already too close to the poorhouse for me to do much home-improvement. Hey, that’s how it goes.  When my husband and I both worked, we had the cash for decorating but no time. Now I have the time and energy needed but insufficient valuta for the home-improvement store.  What’s an H&G addict to do? Answer: Find a cheaper choice. For example, I’ve always loved the look of potted ferns. They say “summer” when I see them  on a front porch. But have you priced those suckers lately? Anywhere between $10-$50 bucks each.  And I wanted at least four ferns, two to hang and two to stand.  Given that price tag, I figured my house would stay fernless this summer. What’s a porch without hanging ferns? A sad thing indded Then, Sunday before last, I noticed my local hardware store was having a garden sale. Big racks of season ending plants were displayed in…

The Old, Family Porch Rocking Chair
One of My Stories / November 2, 2016

Great Uncles and Nephews(The only record of my family on the porch)The bare edge of the rocker is at the left My dad’s family lived in a house with a front porch they never used. I mean they never used it during my lifetime.  When we visited, we always parked in the side yard and used the kitchen door for our exits and entrances. (Some farm families do that; the kitchen is the heart of the house and everyone’s go-to spot before and after the fields.)  All the indoor rooms were lived in but the front porch, with its wrought iron supports and cement floor was just not a comfortable place. The only decorations I remember seeing on the porch were some Elephant Ears growing out of coffee cans and the only seats were some wooden rocking chairs that could put splinters in your thighs if you sat in them. These chairs were hard and unfinished and the antithesis of comfort. Alone, they were enough to turn me into someone who hated porches. Luckily that didn’t work because my adult home came equipped with a porch that I wouldn’t change for the world.  Running the length of the house it…