What Happened While I was Doing the Laundry

Today is laundry day (and perhaps, tomorrow is too).
The laundry room's once-adequate three-bin sorter has now overflowed into the hallway.

A daunting task was taunting me.
How long would this take me?
Are all of these things TRULY dirty?
Why do they have so many clothes?

In the past year, our family has doubled.
Where there were three of us (my hubby, Mark, my daughter, Miss A, and me)
sitting, playing, and sleeping, there are now six.
Our other daughter, Miss S, has come home from the University; 
(exchange students) a daughter from Korea, Miss Lovely and a son from Thailand, Alex,  
now call this house their home.

Naturally, the clothes (clean and dirty) have increased.
As has the water bill, the trips with my CR-V, 
the consumption of animal crackers and tortilla chips with salsa, 
the homework sessions, the use of toilet paper and dishwasher detergent,
the tripping over the shoes and backpacks.

But, this morning, this laundry day, as I surveyed the laundry area and turned the clicking dial 
and popped out the knob on my super-capacity washer, here's what happened. 

I contemplated my burden through new eyes.
And I chose to delight in the surplus.
Here's what happened.

Disheveled, yet sorted piles of darks, lights, whites, and reds patiently wait their turns to be bathed.
Empty hangers dangle in delight as they anticipate their turns for service.
The washing machine hums a happy song as the socks slosh around with the shirts.
The buttons on my hubby's favorite shirt rhythymically tap the inside of the dryer drum
as it whirls its way dry.

I concluded, that along with the excess labor came excess love, joy, hugs, and laughter.

This clothing, these towels, napkins, and pillowcases 
are tokens of time spent sharing our lives with one another.

Maintaining these necessary belongings is part of my valuable commission and calling.

So, now, as I listen for the buzzer to sound and mark one more load complete,
I notice that the rain pelting the window has never sounded more melodious,
the fabric softener has never smelled sweeter, the spare sock basket has never looked more content,
the lint leftovers have never been more luxuriously fluffy, 
the capacity of enjoying what I've been given has never been more super,
and I, as a homemaker, have never been more aware of my worth.


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Our Dining Room Makeover

It all started with this sign that my friend Gina, at
The Shabby Creek Cottage, gave me last July when I answered her 

She'd had it hanging above her settee in her sitting room, but she'd changed her decor,
and the sign was just waiting for me in the corner of her living room.
Thank you, Gina!
It only took me 7 months to finish the dining room where it is now.

Here is our dining room right after I finished painting it red.

I love red.
But, these rooms have been red for 8 years.

I also love ironstone, silver, and cloches.
But, I needed to simplify.

So, I did.

These next two pictures were taken at Thanksgiving last year,
and are the last pictures I have of the room before re-painting a few weeks ago.

And, here it is today.
(I always take too many pictures. I hope you don't get bored.)

I still love red, so I kept the Syracuse China (Roxbury pattern).
A gift from my friend, Ann.
Do you see a tad bit of red at the top right of the picture below?
Well, our Music Room is still red, and still has the red check curtains.
This room is next on the agenda.

There are four of these vintage botanical prints here.
One for each Month's birthday represented in our family.
June, July, September, and October.

I sewed this runner from burlap and cotton gauze.

I still like cloches.
And birds, nests, and eggs.
Hurry up, Spring.

I found this gazebo in someone's trash pile.
No joke. I've no shame in unearthing things from a curb's pile.
It was attached to a pole which I removed.

On the way back from our Christmas trip to Pennsylvania in December,
we HAD TO stop at Ikea in Charlotte, NC on the way back south
to our home here in Greenville, SC.
We bought four panels of white linen curtains.

The throw I found at Ross!

Thank you, Marcia, for my Gift from the Sea book.

The previous color?
Lady Bug by Sherwin Williams

The new color?
Wythe Blue by Benjamin Moore

We are enjoying our fresh, bright space.
My hilarious hubby said we need to place a sign in each room with the verb
explaining the main use of each room.

Such as:
EAT for the dining room.
REST for the bed rooms.
PARK for the garage.
SURF for the office (above the desk).
MOP for the kitchen.
And so on.

So, whether you eat or whether you drink,
or whatever you do,
do it all
to the glory of God.

1 Corinthians 10:31

Don't forget that the BLOGGER home tour and linky party is next Monday through Friday!
Our organized home office is HOME #5.

Homes #1-4 and homes #6-9 are some other AWESOME bloggers' spaces you
you DON'T want to miss, trust me!

Each of us bloggers is featuring a different room,
so, if you are in dire need of organizing help/ideas for the rooms all over your home,
this tour is definitely the place to be.

If you have a space that you've organized in your home,
you are welcome to link up on any of our blogs on the last day of the tour, Friday, the 30th.

Grab your button and come on by!


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Apple Tart {A SIMPLE Brunch Bring-Along}

I love being invited to brunches!
What I don't like is trying to figure out what to bring.
#1, I like to try and make something everyone will might like,
and #2, I don't want to spend all day in the kitchen doing it.

I'd say this tart fit my boundaries criteria perfectly.

I bought a bag of Granny Smith Apples and 2 boxes of Puff Pastry.
(This was a breakfast with lots of ladies coming!)

I opened up the boxes, took out both pieces from each box, and laid them out so I could
divide each semi-thawed piece of dough into thirds, lengthwise.

In a bowl, I mixed the sugar, cinnamon, lime juice 
(you can use lemon juice- I just happened to have lime), and salt.
Then added the sliced apples to that.

I set the oven to 425.
Laid out the apples in the middle of the pastry 
and baked them for 18 or so minutes.

The beauty of these is that the sides of the pastry puffs 
up around the edges to hold the apple "filling" in.

I made 12 tarts.
None came home with me.

Now, you might not want TWELVE of these tarts.
Here's the recipe for one batch which is 1/2 a box of Puff Pastry
(each box of Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry has 2 sheets of pastry in it),
and 1/2 a box makes 3 tarts.


1 sheet Puff pastry, semi-thawed, then cut into thirds, length-wise
3 baking apples, like Granny Smith (cored and sliced thinly)
1/8 cup lime or lemon juice
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon. cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt

Set oven to 425 degrees.
Line cookie sheet or baking sheet with parchment paper or spray pan with non-stick spray.
Place Puff pastry onto baking sheets.
Mix other ingredients in a bowl.
Lay out the apple mixture down the center of pastry, in a straight-ish line, overlapping the apple edges.

Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until sides of pastry are golden brown.
Let cool.
Slice into 3" sections to serve.

These can be served with whipped whipping cream. 


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