0 A Few Notes

NOTE #1: I learned my first new word of 2013 last week. It came about organically; I was reading a Fourth Circuit opinion that landed on my desk (United States v. Allmendinger, No. 11-5162, in case you're curious) when I came across a word I did not recognize. I could glean the meaning of the word from the context of the sentence, and on any other occasion, I fully admit that I would have hopped right past the unrecognized word and continued on my way. But with "Project Thirteen" in full swing, instead of skipping ahead, I pulled out the Dictionary.

The word I didn't recognize was "inveigle."

Do you recognize it? 

If not, here's the sentence in which it was used:

"The court concluded that 'when you are operating a business that is based on fraud, you are charged with the knowledge that you potentially put at risk everybody's money that you've got and you've stolen and inveigled them to part with.' "

The definition:


  1. Persuade (someone) to do something by means of deception or flattery.
  2. Gain entrance to (a place) by using such methods.
entice - lure - tempt - seduce - allure - decoy - coax

So there you go. I've learned a new word.

NOTE #2: As I've told y'all, the night before our wedding, Tod's parents hosted a wonderful party for our guests--barbecue, booze, music. The barbecue, it was delicious; the booze, it was plentiful; and the music, well, it was good and loud and fun--the kind of music that makes you want to dance.

So, who played the good, loud, and fun music? The one and only Ned Durrett and the Kindly Gents, that's who.

And if you were there and enjoyed their music, or if you just enjoy being a patron of the arts, particularly when it involves adorable USC students, then check out their Kickstarter page and make a pledge. (Click here.) They are trying to raise $5500 to create a full-length studio album, and as of this writing they have raised $3412, with sixteen days to go. We're so very happy to support these guys.

NOTE #3: Tod and I attended our first random ticketed event (I'm talking about "Project Thirteen" again) two weeks ago. Comedians Vic Henley and Rory Scovel performed at the Footlight Players Theater as a part of Charleston Comedy Week, and although we're not huge stand-up followers, the idea behind attending thirteen random ticketed events in 2013 is to push ourselves to try things we may not otherwise try. Because trying new things from time to time is important. At least I think it is. (I'm not sure if Tod totally agrees with me on that one, but he's a good sport nonetheless.) The venue was new to both of us; it's great. And we enjoyed the show. 

NOTE #4: While we're on the subject of attending random ticketed events, we'll be attending event number two on Friday night, when we head up to the North Charleston Performing Arts Center for The Price is Right Live. No, I'm not kidding. And yes, Tod and I are hoping that we get called to "Come on Down!" If we happen to win something fabulous, I'll definitely let you know.

Okay, that's it for now. The days are busy for me, so the posting has taken a backseat, but I'll try to post the second half of the sofa story this weekend.

One final note: hug someone you love tonight. Because life is precious and wild and sweet, but sometimes it's just hard to understand.


0 The Story of a Sofa, Part 1

Tod lived in Sumter before we got married, and I lived in Charleston. Two homes meant two sofas, of course, although I'd actually say I had a couch--a slightly oversized, cushion-filled thing--while Tod had a sofa--a formal, camel-backed, mint green thing, an old-fashioned item with good bones and a good history. While my squishy couch came from a fancy furniture store--bought brand new in the nineties for a "bonus" room--Tod's sofa came from his grandparents, two special people I very much wish I'd had the chance to meet. Tod's dad remembers the sofa from when he was a kid, so like I said, there's some history there (no offense, Ted).

As much as I wasn't a fan of the mint green fabric on Tod's sofa, I also wasn't a fan of the green chenille that covered my couch, so most of the time it wore a khaki or denim Pottery Barn slip cover (one of which I picked up at Goodwill for a whopping $6.99). When the dogs came along, the slip covers made even more sense because it's a heck of a lot easier to throw a slip cover in the washing machine than it is to spot treat upholstery. 

Tod's sofa was quite comfortable, and it always was my favorite place to sit in his house, but when it came time to combine our households, the thought never crossed my mind to get rid of my couch and replace it with his sofa. I was planning a wedding, so I guess I just wasn't thinking clearly. 

By the way, in this picture, I'm pretty sure I was supposed to be "helping" Tod while he changed the front stoop light fixture. I'm such a good helper. (At least the dogs think so.) 

Okay, so back to the combining of households. When it came time to put Tod's place on the market, the little sofa that could was perfect for "staging" his place. Yes, I just used that verb. 

The staging worked, Tod's place sold, and it was time to say goodbye to 209-B. Only problem was, the sofa had nowhere to go. Like I said, I never had the thought to bring it to Charleston (silly me); plus, it definitely was not a yard sale item; and in the end, I guess we just kept hoping it might find its way into the hands of another family member or friend. When family members and friends didn't work out, the next best place to turn was the church. And so off to Sunday school the little mint green sofa went. (Translation: Tod's family donated it to their church.) 

And now we've reached the really good, Indian-giving part of the story. Because about two or three weeks after the little mint green sofa went to Sunday school, I had a sleepless night. Why? Because all I could think about was how I wanted that little mint green sofa back. Bad. (I admit it: sometimes the adverb form of the word, or the -ly, just doesn't get the job done.) I had big plans for that little green sofa, plans that involved re-doing lots of things in our living room. (Yay!)

Tod made me sleep on it. I made him call his parents first thing the next day. Why couldn't I have had this sleepless night two or three weeks sooner? (That's what everyone was thinking, especially Tod's parents.) I guess that just would have been too easy.

Now, after donating something, you just can't take it back without replacing your donation, so once we pleaded our way back into the arms of that little mint green sofa, we knew we needed to make it right.

And so we rented a van (that makes it sound so simple; it was not), loaded up my green chenille couch (which was in excellent shape since it had been slip covered for seven years), and headed to Sumter on a Sunday afternoon to get back our baby. 

Dogs like adventures, too, so of course they joined us for the big switch.

We headed to Sumter, left Old Chenille in the Sunday school room, and headed back to Charleston with our mint green baby, which I'm pretty sure the dogs instantly recognized.

Oh yeah, we also headed back with Tod's grill; his parents had been storing it for us. Rental vans are so fun.

Once we'd moved Old Camel in, and once I'd found some great new fabric for him at the mill, it wasn't long before I shipped him off to the reupholstery shop. (I'm not a big facebooker, but it sure does come in handy when you need to ask for recommendations. I asked whether anyone knew of a good, local reupholstery person, and I immediately found my man: William Moultrie.)

Ta da! Check you later, three-cushioned, mint green sofa. Hello, bench-seated, take-charge, red sofa. We love you.

This concludes part 1 of my story. Check back later for part 2.


1 One last thing

I've got one last thing to show you about our little room at the beach, and then I promise I'll move on to something different.

When I started all the spray painting several months ago, I thought Tod might enjoy a project of his own. My dad is a builder, which means that my mom and I can usually talk him into bringing old scraps of things home from his renovation projects, scraps of things that would otherwise head to the landfill, scraps of things like old pieces of molding.

So, with a couple of old pieces of molding in hand, I headed to Pawleys Island Supplies and picked up a handful of brass hooks. I gave everything to Tod and let him have at it.

The results:

A few months later, we finally got around to putting these bad boys to use by hanging them on the wall behind the door in our room. They're out of the way but still very convenient for hanging coats, hats, towels, bathing suits, you name it.

Oh, and Tod has so much fun with his project that he headed back to Pawleys Island Supplies and bought more hooks for hanging all the crab traps underneath the house.

Who knew hooks could be so much fun?


0 Project Thirteen

Thirteen is my most favorite number. Today is the thirteenth. It's 2013. So here you go, a new project I'm calling "Project Thirteen." Click on the page tab above if you're curious.

0 Art

My mom likes to paint.

Tod and I like what she paints.

So for Christmas this year, we asked her to paint some canvases for our little suite at the beach. 

As usual, she was happy to oblige. 

In all, I think we received 11 pieces from her. Some fun, some serious, all wonderful.

I kept three of my favorites for our walls in Charleston (I'll show you those later) and took the other eight to the beach, where they quickly made themselves at home on the knotty pine.

A sweet tribute to Penny on the right. Two west coast scenes on the left.

Five little ones by mom to the left of a giant one by Ernest Lee (a/k/a "the Chicken Man") on the right.

So--and I know Tod joins me in saying this--thank you, thank you, Mom, for all the time and energy you put into helping us making this little room feel so special, not only for the wonderful art, but also for the wedding tablecloths-turned-bed linens. But mostly, for all the love. Lots and lots of love. 

This place feels so much like home.


1 Spigot

Merriam-Webster defines "spigot" as "the plug of a faucet or cock." (And I'll leave that at that.)

Here's my slightly different definition of spigot: a fun and inexpensive way to update the plain white drawer knob on a bedside table.


And yes, I received more than a few strange looks as I hunted through the little drawers at the hardware store for just the right size screw to make it happen.

It's fun. Plus, this project only cost about three bucks, and you can't beat that.

Oh, and do you see the fish hanging on the wall, swimming in opposite directions like the Pisces that I am? Tod picked them up years ago at a junk shop in Summterton. They're made from recycled rebar (among other things), and they weigh a million pounds. Okay, maybe just something like ten pounds. But anyway, apparently a professor at my alma mater, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, crafted them. Love 'em.

Tomorrow I'll try to show y'all some more stuff we've hung on the walls in our comfy little beach house room--stuff I love even more than the spigot knob and the rebar fish if you can believe that.


1 Towel Bar Update

Back when I was busy spray painting furniture and moving stuff around in our room at the beach house, one of the first things I talked Tod into doing was pulling down the towel bar that hung not-so-conveniently above one of the twin beds. 

It actually wasn't a difficult project. The bar slid right out, and then Tod used a crowbar to pry the supports from the wall.
Better already, right?

Okay, so the basket of towels was a temporary thing because I still wanted to hang towel bars in the room, just perhaps a bit more out of sight. And because I'm a use-what-you-have kind of girl, I came up with an idea. On one of my trips to Home Depot (for more spray paint, I'm sure), I brought the original towel bar with me and asked a nice man who worked in the lumber section to cut it in half (since I don't own a rip saw, box saw, or any other kind of saw).  

So one bar became two, and with two bars in hand, it was time to find something with which to hang those bars.  

I searched Home Depot but found nothing.

So I headed to K-Mart, where I found these hanging plant brackets in the garden section for $2.49 a piece. I picked up four and called it a day.

Because the plant brackets were meant to hang only one way and I, of course, wanted them to hang the other way (so the bars would not be too far away from the wall), I asked my dad to drill some new holes in the brackets.

Then, because I didn't like the way the naked wood looked in the end of the brackets, I broke out my handy black craft paint and camouflaged them a bit. (It's a step I contemplated skipping, but I'm so glad I didn't.)

Then it was time to hang them. Two towel bars for a total of $10. Can't beat that.

Now all of those wet towels have their own little special nook where they can hang out. (Pun definitely intended.)

If you liked this post then get excited because I have a few more room updates to share with you. Stay tuned.


2 Where to begin?

I've been gone from the blog-world for so long that I hardly know where to begin. Tod says I owe my blog readers an apology. I wouldn't go that far. First of all, I'm not sure I really have "blog readers." I have family. And friends. But I'm pretty sure the handful or two of y'all haven't missed my blog posts that much. 

Anyway, dear "blog readers," I do hope you had a wonderful holiday season. We certainly did. First married Christmas and all that. And in case you missed us, here is our Christmas in Greenville in 31 pictures. Lots of children. Lots of dogs. Lots of special memories.

Zelda loved spending time in her old stomping ground.
Chilly enough for hot chocolate!

How many bitches can one couch hold? (I count four.)

Heidi and Zelda had the best time getting to know their new niece, Minnie. She's a precious puppy.

Minnie actually wore Zelda out, if you can believe that.
Heidi, too. 
Zelda loves her Aunt Emily.

A trip to the Greenville Zoo was in order.

This guy moves fast. You better watch him closely.
We met Kiko! (He was born at the Zoo on October 22.)

And we bonded with the orangutans.

And then some of us acted like orangutans.

I told you he moves fast.

This is one of those pictures that will be funny in about ten years . . . 

But maybe not as funny as this one. Richards was done with pictures for the day.

Lo! Unto us a child is born.
Like I said, the girls had the best time getting to know Minnie. Zelda and Minnie bonded particularly well.

And the stockings were hung by the chimney on the kitchen cabinets with care.
Why is opening presents so much more fun when children are involved?
I caught this guy trying to sneak a bite of the mac and cheese.

And this guy was positively thrilled with his new legos.

I'm pretty sure she'll have juggling down pat soon. 
Santa did well this year. Can't you tell?
And this is what happens when you try to get a group photo. (Yes, Richards is eating a bag of marshmallows.)
Getting better.

And that's a wrap.
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