New Beginnings

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Hello, at long last.  I can't believe my last post was in June!  It is certainly time to fix that lapse. Things have been a little topsey-turvey in my house and that has made all my routines out of kilter, including time to sit and write.  I'll take a few posts to catch you on what's been going on, and then get back to some recipes.  

I started a big renovation on my house back in July.  I actually started with the design back in February, and it took until the end of June to get the plans finalized, and a contract in place with a general contractor. It is a big project and has the whole house a mess.  My house is a beautiful little Southern bungalow built in 1927.  As with many old houses, the bathrooms and closets are a challenge.  I have two full baths and both were woefully out of date. The downstairs bath also functioned as the laundry room, making the shower smaller than a phone booth and the toilet crammed in about 24 inches across.  Upstairs had a beautiful but worn old tub, that also served as shower.  You know the kind, narrow and the shower curtain sticks to your body!  :( In addition to the bathroom/closet issues, I had heating-cooling issues. My house is a story and half (meaning one story with a finished attic) and I only had one heating and cooling system, so to get the upstairs cool in the summer, the downstairs was like a refrigerator, and in the winter, to get the downstairs warm, the upstairs was an oven.  So long story short, I had a heat pump put in for upstairs, renovated both bathrooms including refinished the beautiful tub, and had a little eave room upstairs built out into a full size room for the laundry and a master closet.  I also had a huge screened porch added to the back.  The upstairs is complete and we are about 90% on the downstairs bath and porch.  The house has been full of dust and mess for months, with the living room stacked with materials.  I am so ready for it to all be finished.  I think we only have a couple more weeks! The work has gone smoothly and the company (ICON Custom Builders) could not have done a better job.  I am just ready to get everything cleaned and my house back in order. 

I'll post some better pictures once I get everything cleaned and all moved in.  Although this has been a significant expense, it is worth every penny.  So the constant worry, mess, and decisions (What kind of tile?  Door pulls?  Paint color?  Paint or seal the porch?  Light fixtures?  Ceiling fan? Door hardware?  so many choices!) are almost to an end and I can get back to regular life and routines.  It's funny how the turmoil seeps into routines and get your whole life out of balance.

Besides home construction, I continue work at full time Reynolds American in clinical studies research in tobacco harm reduction/product integrity, and Hospice of Greensboro, doing admissions a few days a month.  I went to Rock Hill for a family wedding, Beau and Tom visited twice, I went to San Francisco for a project management training and met up with my friend Barbara, and then went on a cruise around Spain and Portugal for 9 days.  I will post a bit on some of those those things over the next week or so.  Small bites and I will get back into a writing routine hopefully!  I also cooked this past weekend for the women's retreat at my church.  So nice to be back in the kitchen other than for for my own meals. I have a quite a few requests for my recipes so I will post those some what as well.  (Vegan black bean chili, turkey chili with white beans, corn bread, apple-pear crumble, baked oatmeal, sweet potato salad.....it was a hit!)

I still cook a lot. This is a great time of year for roasted vegetables and soups.  My plan is to start sharing recipes again on a regular basis.  Unfortunately the site I use to post recipes isn't working right and the help email I sent bounced back with a full mailbox! Boo.  So.  I'm happy to be writing again.  Bear with me while I get back at it.  I always think of Fall as a time to start again. I know that is counter-intuitive with everything slowing down, days getting shorter, and nature is closing up shop.  But the start of every season is a new beginning.  Each day a chance to try again.  Make things right.  Do what you didn't get to yesterday. Pick back up the needlepoint.  Sit back down at the computer.  Pick up the book where you left off.  Find some comfort in the evenings inside to start again,  since there is no long, slow dusk to draw you out into the yard, for a walk, into the garden. So nice to be with you again, friends.  Until next time! 

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