slowing down and cleaning up!


Confession. Numbering my be free challenge days is not “freeing” at all. I need less to think about, not more, so from here on out I’m just not numbering them. Cool I’m glad we can all agree on that 🙂

Ok, let me catch you up to speed. We’ve been stumbling along our little project list so I will now introduce you to the past few things we have done which include a chalkboard, chicken wire, a wheel barrow, and a car alternator…not free…but also not for the house. Ah-ha! Still in the game.

Before all that I came across a post today that nearly made me cry. I read Manhattan Nest and Daniel (foul mouthed and all) has to be one of the best writers I have come across. The way he interprets life is so inspiring. Anyways, he took in a dog off the street, Linus. Here is a link to the whole story but if you a) don’t have time b) don’t want to read the salty language here is a recap. Linus walked into Daniels life looking like this:


Daniel took him in at 10 years old and a mouth full of rotten teeth. Daniel had just won $5,000 dollars for a decorating contest and he used it to spare this dog and let him live out life the best way he could. What Daniel did I think few people would do. Here is Linus after:


Today is Linus’ “birthday” (here is a link to this one, no foul language today and I recommend the read) and this paragraph just caused such a swell in my heart for Lola.

“But Linus lives thoroughly in the moment. He moves quickly when he feels excited, but most of the time he moves at a pace not much faster than a crawl. Fresh flowers, discarded food scraps on the sidewalk, the fragrant aroma of someone else’s pee——these are all things Linus feels obligated to stop and appreciate fully, with every ounce of his attention. He greets each discovery anew, as if it’s the most fascinating and enticing thing he’s ever encountered. Absent any schedule to keep or goals to fulfill, Linus is left only with what’s in front of him, here and now. He’s the one that literally makes us slow down, take long pauses, and remember that maybe everything doesn’t have to happen so fast. Maybe time will just wait for us a little longer than we thought it could. Maybe we have all the time we need.”

Blake and I constantly find humor in how slow Lola is. She walks through the house at a turtle speed and always looks like she is walking on thin ice. She walks as if every step might be the one that finally causes the floor to fall through. We have no clue why she does it but it’s just so different from Finley. He bounces around the house in such a way that you can hear him move from anywhere in the house. Constantly charging around to the next best thing…meanwhile Lola is somewhere in a corner or under a table just soaking everything in. We’ve tried to get Lola to “come out of her shell” but this made me realize that we probably ought to just let her be.

I digress,

Here we talked about how we tidied up the peg board area going down to the basement. Now that it’s clean I don’t mind looking up when I come home from work and go into the house. I had Blake saw off a piece of that giant chalkboard I made and we hung it here. It’s just a sweet place to leave a little message or leave a reminder for yourself.


Secondly, whoever said white dogs can’t jump lied. Finley can just be sitting and out of nowhere leap out of the rock wall in the back. Blake and I just couldn’t bring ourselves to buy 2 more rows of pavers (34 pavers times 2 rows=68 pavers times probably $5 each….umm, NO.) So, we settled for some good old chicken wire or “poultry netting” as they class it up in the store to say so they can charge you more. Anyways, we lifted all of the pavers on the top row and rolled the wire our to leave about 6 inches hanging over into the yard…giving Fin a “ceiling”.


This was tough work. That’s 50 feet and there were scary bugs under some of the pavers. I had my bug killing boots on.


The worst part is that Fin came up to tell us we hadn’t done enough…sweet of him to let us know, right?


We realized we had to get the wire to tilt up and for whatever reason that changed the game for him. He doesn’t like it and won’t even try to get near it.


The best part is that you really can’t see this…it was a discreet and cost effective way to keep our furkid contained (no one likes getting that phone call that says “Hi, are you the owner of Finley? He’s in my yard…..”

Confession. Haha and I can’t wait to tell all of you this. Mostly because we have people tell us a lot “wow you guys just get so much stuff done!”. When we moved in we found a huge wheel barrow on the back patio filled to the brim with chips of concrete.


I haven’t posted about the mess on our back patio. I might do that tomorrow along with an entry form you can all fill out to submit us to HGTV for help. Until a few days ago that wheel barrow hadn’t been touched. It has two flat tires and 250lbs of mess. y’all. Y’ALL. While blake mowed the yard one day I lifted all those chips out, by hand, put them into like 35 walmart bags, prayed they wouldn’t bust, carried them down the stairs (one by one) and hauled them to the recycling center. I could start a workout class at our house. Saturday classes only…for free. Just show up 🙂 so that was free, and not that exciting for you but it’s a big deal to me. And I hope it makes you all feel better that it took us 8 months to deal with the wheel barrow. worst part…the wheel barrow is still there…but it’s empty. ha! feel better about your nagging projects now?

Blake’s old mustang is the best. He had to change the alternator Saturday and so I was lucky enough to catch a ride to the auto part store with him. And then he took me to Hardee’s. it was love….I even had a coupon for a 99 cent gravy biscuit. That Charlie Sheen, is winning. I just like to ride around in it.



There is this unspoken camaraderie between him and other classic car drivers. That sweet thumbs up they give you at an intersection makes me feel proud. It makes me feel like we are connecting to someone else in the world over the love of restoration…I suppose that’s pretty much what this blog is too.

Here’s a hint about what’s been going on the past two days.


I can’t wait to share. Newsflash, this wasn’t free  but it had to be done. Blake doesn’t feel “the challenge” is a good enough reason to ignore rotting wood…so practical, that one.

Longest post ever…anyone asleep yet? 🙂 good. go love on your “Linus” ps: Linus doesn’t have to be a dog…just that one person/thing that makes you stop and smell the roses.

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