On Saturday night we attended "Beef It Up" with some of our new friends. It was a fundraiser the Chamber of Commerce held just outside town at the Red Barn Market (which hosts a farmer's market every weekend). Tons of smoky tender barbecued beef, delicious sides, a beer truck, lots of fun and friends and laughter. A DJ and lots of "shagging" music. I'm learning things, like shagging in North Carolina means a particular kind of beach dance made popular in the 60's, not what you think. And yes, I did dance the Electric Slide, how could I help it?
I'm doing my best Vanna White-ing here people!
There were also "bling rings" (large, light up, gummy plastic rings) and lots of door prizes. And at the very end of the night, Keith and I walked away with this pretty baby. It's a mini-fridge made up like a Napa Autoparts toolbox. I could not make this stuff up if I tried. It's sitting in Keith's office at Chowan right now, keeping all of his Diet Mountain Dew icy cold. I seriously, seriously love this town!
After we closed on our house, we stopped at Wendy's to celebrate. Yeah, I know, Wendy's? What can I say? It had been a long time since either of us had eaten fast food, and it just sounded....so good. It didn't taste all that great. Oh, well. We enjoyed the anticipation at least.
Then we came back home, and while we were both still dressed all cute, we set up the tripod, set a timer, and snapped a few pics of our new abode. To commemorate the day it officially became all ours.
Cooking can really feel like a chore. There are times when I can barely drag my butt to the kitchen. The end of a long, busy week makes me crave a quiet, lazy Friday evening. Take-out never sounded so good.
But we live in rural North Carolina now. The nearest Chipotle is a long way away. Don't even mention Chick-Fil-A, which was pretty much our go-to to-go in Waco. It would take us an hour and a half to get there.
But something happens when you don't have an easy solution at your fingertips. You get creative. You dust off long-bookmarked recipes that have been languishing on the shelf. You finally pull those ears of fresh corn on the cob (a little welcome to town gift) out of the freezer. You add a little curry powder, some red potatoes, lots of bright lemon juice, chicken broth. Things start to bubble and a smile spreads across your face.
You grab that half loaf of french bread left over from Thursday night's dinner party and start slicing it into thick hunks. Slathered with butter. The real thing. You scavenge the fridge and come up with a few different cheeses. Smooth Provolone. Holey Swiss. Salty Parmesan. You layer those on, then add several paper thin slices of ripe tomato, the remnants of summer, then more cheese. You grill it all to golden-brown melty-molten perfection and start to shimmy, just a little bit. Because sometimes the joy of anticipation just can't be contained.
Then you put it all on a big tray because, goodness knows, at the end of such a long week you don't want to sit stiff and formal at the dining table. Friday nights call for cushion-squashing, snuggling deep into the confines of a comfy couch, and being too lazy to take the empty dishes back to the kitchen quite yet. And yes, the dishes are empty. Practically licked clean, because everything was so darn delicious.
And you find that something magical has happened. You're not so tired, drained, week-weary anymore. You've been refreshed, restored. Nourished. Fed. You are content and deeply at peace. And (if you are a cat-whisperer like Keith here) you are also surrounded on all sides by purring kitties.
Happy Monday everyone. Hope your weekend was long, luxurious, and as sweetly, simply restful as ours was.
Today I want to invite you into the room where I spend the majority of my time each day. My office occupies one end of a sun-room that runs the length of our house. This is pretty much where I live.
Working from home is a little weird. I can go days at a time without having to leave the house. I was afraid at first that I might start to feel a little stir crazy.
That I might get a bit of cabin fever.
As you can see, it's really not so bad.
I really love my roomy, light-filled space.
I love the worn wood of the roll-top desk that used to belong to Keith's great-uncle. And then to Keith. And that has now been taken over by me. It has so many drawers and nooks and cubbies.
Technically it is still Keith's. But I'm the lucky duck that gets to occupy eight hours a day now. I've taken to tucking old china teacups into it and filling them with various office supplies. Paper clips, post it notes, thumb tacks.
Jadeite vessels hold highlighters, markers, note cards. Old sugar bowls and flower pots and other ephemera cozy up on bookshelves.
Most of these belonged to my grandmother or my great-grandmother. I've scooped them up at yard sales, rescuing them, using them again, and again in a variety of ways and places.
I usually have a companion in my little office space. When she's not curled up in my lap, she's here....basking in the sunshine. On the day that I took these pictures I'd thrown open every window in the house to welcome a crisp fall breeze.
The squat little dresser has been given new knobs. I think it makes her look a little cheeky.
This chandelier has seen several iterations before I finally landed on weathered white and teacups. I think she suits my little "granny-chic" space.
Craft projects wait for a free hour or two to arrive. This one is going to be a baby gift for a sweet friend.
The antique oak filing cabinet came out of my grandfather's office. And then worked for my dad for a little while. And now belongs to me.
The rest of the sun-room is a little bit of a catch-all.
This little white cabinet became Keith's by default after someone who had inherited it from someones else ended up leaving it in Keith's house. We distressed it, gave it new knobs, and used it in our kitchen in Waco. And now it's my craft and party planning storage.
This little white table is where we have breakfast and coffee every morning. It's also where Keith works when he's not in his on-campus office.
The armoire is gigantic and heavy. It belonged to cousins in Houston who generously handed it down to us when they built a new house in Austin. We borrowed a truck and drove down from Waco to pick it up. It takes a lot of creativity to move this thing.
Then it rode in the moving truck from Waco to Murfreesboro, where it almost defeated Keith and his dad. They manuevered it into this position in the sun-room and said it would have to stay there for good. Luckily it makes a great little second closet for me.
It houses all my favorite pairs of boots. Some t-shirts. Some scarves. Extra bags.
And makes a little hidden spot to stash purses next to it.
The church bells are tolling out"A Mighty Fortress Is Our God," which means it's already half past twelve and I've spent half my lunch hour writing this post. I suppose it's time to go fix a sandwich and get back to the day at hand.