Ah, the end of the holidays.  We’re still hanging out in Waco – parked at Midway Park on Lake Waco, but spending most of our time at DD Lara’s house.  Everyone’s back to work today, so the house seemed pretty empty – just us, the two dogs and three cats.    So I guess empty is a relative term.  How about the house is empty-ish?  We’ve really enjoyed our time here, though it’s been less than a traditional “holiday” season.  We’ve had some ups and downs, but I’m happy to report that the Ups out weighed the Downs.

Ups –

Christmas with Lara!  It was a quiet day, just the three of us.  And since we’re all “watchin’ what we eat”, we had to (sadly) forgo our traditional Conrad Sticky Buns.  But we did enjoy some yummy eggs Benedict Florentine that helped make our morning special.
Christmas Eggs
We finished off the day with a lovely Christmas dinner at friends of Lara’s – and since we were there last Christmas too, it’s like we’re family. It was a good day – sometimes it’s hard not to be with the WHOLE family on Christmas, but we were with family, and in that regard we are blessed. Hope your day was filled with hugs and kisses and calories, and special reminders of the birth of our Lord. 🙂

But Christmas was only a small part of our time at Lara’s. Gary, of course, had a long list of chores he wanted to accomplish and Lara and I decided that we needed to have some project fun of our own. So we decided to tackle painting some furniture that she had collected over the years.
The first was a pink dresser that originally had magazine pages decoupaged on both sides and the top. Quite the design element. Once we got the paper scraped off, it was clear sailing to a pretty fine and functional dresser that now is the happy home to part of Lara’s yarn stash!
Then there was a plant stand that seemed to need a little refreshing –
Plant stand
But I think our favorite “re-do” was a little cabinet that had been in the family for probably 20 years and when we got it it needed to be refinished. By the time Lara got it, one cabinet door was broken and soon after the other door bit the dust and so it was definitely in need of some refurbishing. We not only refurbished it – we re-purposed it!
Lara's Cat Dresser
And in case you don’t instantly see the re-purposing, it’s now the cats’ private eating station. Safe from the prying eyes (and appetites) of the two dogs that share the house!
Pretty sweet, eh?
But of course, Gary never stopped moving. He had three big jobs he wanted to accomplish – build a better gate to the alley, re-screen the screened in porch, and spruce up the garden enclosure using the old wood from the deck.
The gate turned out great –
New Gate
And well, the garden “upgrade” is quite impressive!
I don’t actually have an “official” before picture – but here’s a shot when he built the boxes and enclosure last fall.
Lara's Garden-7
And here’s a glimpse of it from October of this year when Gary was working on the fence –
And here it is now –
Now if those Brussels Sprouts would start producing……

We kept finding other little jobs for him to do, like lowering closet rods and adding shelving and building dog bowl decks,
so the screening is still a work in progress. But all in all – he’s been one busy dude!
And there has been one other major distraction –
And this definitely goes in the “Down” category!
What started out as a suspicious “sewer-y smell” turned into a cracked drain/sewer pipe under the house. Ugh. And Ugh again.
Lara’s house is “post and beam” construction – with about 8 inches between the dirt and the floor joists.
Gary did his best, but Lara had to call in a plumber.
The house was without plumbing for 48 hours – and folks were getting pretty creative in finding places to shower and (ahem) pee. We even had a little gathering here at the campground, cause hey, we can flush! 🙂 And there’e a bathhouse for multiple showers! The plumber and helper (who also happened to be one of the housemate’s new fiance!) spent Friday in the dirt under the house (literally), and by the end of the day all drains were working. Phew. There was always the risk that the back bedroom floor would have to be removed to do the repair, so to get everything back on track without floor damage was a huge relief. Thank goodness for determined (and small) plumbers!

We’ll be in Waco until Friday morning when we head down to Giddings, TX and Camp Tejas – our January project. But we still have a bit of fun to look forward to before we leave. Like helping Lara celebrate her birthday tomorrow!
And then of course, there’s the porch screening to keep Gary happy for the next couple of days!

2012? Really? Have a Happy, Healthy, and Blessed New Year, everyone!

4 thoughts on “Quiet”

  1. Thanks for sharing! Loved the pics! We’ll be in Trinity Pines for Jan. & His Hill in Comfort for Feb. Safe, healthy & happy year! We’re thinking about Mar. & April still. May in Florida. Hugs!

  2. I love the pink dresser remake. What a modern, elegant piece. And I love the colors Laura chose, especially the contrasting drawers.

  3. So fun to see what you are up to. we will be in Waco in 2 weeks for Mari to visit Baylor. she got in about 2 months ago but we haven’t had time to visit. Does Lara work there?

  4. Pam – Yes, Lara does work at Baylor – she’s the “Assistant Director for Resident Learning, Living-Learning Programs” :). She got your message – and would be happy to connect when you’re in town!

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