Category Archives: observations

Catching Up

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Hope you all had a fine holiday! We did not do much, but Honey did have several days off and that is always most welcome!

I believe I have mentioned that Honey is Canadian by birth, and one of his favorite things from the Mother Land is fries with gravy, also known as poutine. Honey and The Girls had been having a hankering to check this place out for some time, so we headed over to Ann Arbor to give it a whirl. Unfortunately for Mousey, poutine is not legal on her keto diet at the moment, so she opted out of a big basket of temptation. Sad face emoji 😦

They had many, many different toppings for the basic fries.

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I had my fries with gravy and cheese curds with pulled pork, Honey and The Ab-Cat were purists, strictly fries, gravy and cheese. While I enjoyed it, I don’t feel like a meal of fries contributes to my best self. It was pretty heavy and would have been a better side dish. Was a fun experience though!

Honey spent a good chunk of his time tweaking with the pool while I maintained the grass and weeds until this happened.

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SHEESH!! I was standing in our raised bed, WITH NO SHOES ON, reached out and down to grab a handful of weeds and looked between the greenery and saw a black black snake a couple feet away. If I am not mistaken (or shall I say missnakin’!) this snake, or a relative, has lived in our back garden for some time. We have met before and have both slowly and respectfully gone about our business when both parties discovered one another, and that is what happened here.

The other snake startled me, and when I looked over the retaining wall to get a better look it raised straight up out of the bed at me!! The nerve of that little light colored hussy!!!!! Honey said maybe it was protecting babies. NOT HELPING HONEY!!! So there you have it, why I can never garden in our snake infested garden again.

Since they made fireworks legal several years ago in The Mitten, The Fourth has been a very colorful, very loud night. They are now sold in parking lots all across the state, no Meijer’s or O’Reilly’s left behind is their motto. Our next door neighbors have always had a display for their friends and family, even before they were so readily available. In years past we have learned to roll up our solar pool cover to prevent the burning embers from melting holes, and sure enough, at about 10:05, I asked Mousey to lend a hand with the rolling. After the rolling had commenced, the Girls and I stood on the deck and watched and listened to all the festivities going on all around us in various subdivisions. Mousey stated that this is what a war zone must sound like!

Meanwhile, in the house we had our Fearless Defender.

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He wishes you a Happy Independence Day. Weenie. The elder felines were all holed up in our bedroom, as they always are. They make no claims to being tough guys though, and therein lies the difference.

Honey had this past weekend off as well and we worked like rented mules. He trimmed the miles long hedge in the back and I raked, scooped and bagged the clippings. The next day we tackled the front yard, which I am sad to say we could not even remember how long it had been since it had seen the blade of a clipper. The burning bushes have a big comeback to make. They were taller than the windows, and are now sticks with sparse vegetation. If there is anything we learned from The Polar Vortex fiasco a few years back, is if you cut bushes WAY BACK, they will rebound. They should anyway. Well, fingers crossed.

The Boy and The Dane have been very good to send regular pictures of the new grandbaby! It helps immensely since we will not meet her until August. She is settling in very nicely! I think they are in love!

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Lots of snuggling going on.

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in most of the pictures she was sweetly sleeping. As all newborns do. Not.

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There she is! All bright eyed and bushy tailed!!!

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Precious little Moon Pie!

Have a good Monday.

Catching Up

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Spring is shaping up nicely in The Mitten. Honey and I actually got out there one day last week and did some yard work, weeding, cutting back grasses and such. Mousey helped me empty our shed of chairs, wind chimes and the pretty shelves and other things that help us enjoy our patio. I was sitting on the front porch yesterday afternoon with the elder felines and young catten and decided that this week needs to be the first grass cutting.

But, I got ahead of myself, we need to go back to Easter weekend. We took a trip over the Ambassador Bridge to see The Canadians! They have been here, but it had been far too long since we had visited the land of Honey’s people!

Queeny B and Paisley!

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Paisley with her big brother Burke!

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Then Turtle, Kim and sons! Parker and Spencer are adorable!

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Finally Krazy Kenny, Honey’s sister Nanny Rachel, and Burke again. We need to do it again soon, those kids are SPROUTING too quick!!!!!

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Our Easter Girlies. I am not sure what animals they are, but I love it!

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We spent Easter Sunday at church and then joined The Grandpa, Beeve, Stacey and Goomba for lunch at a mediterranean restaurant, in a nod to our Savior’s place of origin.

I am hosting the Sharing Day fellowship for BSF admin and children’s leaders again this year. I have set a goal to have my flowers planted and arranged attractively in their places. It will either turn out great or cause me great angst. To help me get a jump on my plan, Jip the Farm Dog and I are heading out to the Favorite Flower Place on Thursday after BSF. She is, of course, buying flowers for her own yard. For some reason we have a great fondness for buying way too many flats and pots and then have to perform something like garden Jenga to get them all in the vehicle. We evidently like a challenge and take great pride in recalling our past successes!

Have a pleasant Monday.

Way Back When-sday Hodgepodge

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Happy April! Click on the button below if you would like to link up. Here we go!

From this Side of the Pond

1. April is Lawn and Garden Month. On a scale of 1-10 what’s the current state of your lawn and/or garden. (10=a showpiece, 1=send in the professionals). Tell us about any lawn or garden plans you have for this month.

Well, it’s a little early to be working in the garden up here in The Mitten. The backyard is still closed up for winter, pots covered, debris to be cleared, furniture in the shed. Heck, Honey’s snow plowing sticks are still in the ground and their services could still be needed! I’m going to say a solid 5, we are no further ahead or behind than usual, just dormant.

We have had a few nice days that caused the day lillies to poke their heads up for a looksee, but that’s about it. Once it looks like spring has sprung, the first thing we usually do is get the chairs and patio pretties out of the shed and start cleaning up the beds, cutting stuff back and distributing the pots back to their homes.

I do need to get on the stick and get my hyacinth bean seeds planted in the house so they can be ready to plant in the ground. They need to have a good head start so they can climb the trellis and have a party at the top! That’s my big plans.
2. “Many things grow in the garden that were never sown there.”~Thomas Fuller What does this quote mean to you?This could be love, laughter, friendship and memories. Not sown in dirt the traditional way, but beautiful, lovingly cared for, and treasured all the same. All grown in the garden of life.
3. What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think about God?

Creator.

I don’t understand how anyone could think that all the amazing, beautiful, intricate things in our world could have just evolved out of nothing. The human body, our universe and its delicate balance, a mind complicated enough to build a computer, watch, or rocket ship and solve intricate problems. There has to be a Creator.
4. If we were chatting in person, how would I know if you were nervous?

I don’t think you would know unless I told you, I have a pretty good poker face 🙂
5. Do you like the color yellow? Would I find any in your home or wardrobe? Daffodils, tulips, roses, sunflowers, day lily, black eyed susan…which yellow bloom on this list is your favorite?

I like the color yellow, just not on my person. None is represented in my wardrobe or our home, but I love, love, LOVE it in the garden! I have many yellow day lillies and black eyed Susan’s, and have a special place in my heart for the sunflower because it was our oldest daughter’s favorite for many years.

My favorites lately are the cheerfully reliable zinnias!

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And happy million bells. They add so much.

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6. Flip flops or bare feet?

Bare feet or sandals. My flip flop days are long gone, plus that slapping sound annoys me.
7. Tell us about any Easter plans, celebrations, or traditions you’ll carry out this month.

For so many years we were on vacation at Easter, it has only been the last couple of years that we have even been home. I find myself at loose ends and very out of practice! The only things set in stone are we will go to church and we will eat….something! Another tradition would be Easter baskets, I still do that for the girls.

We are studying John this year at BSF and we are almost to the crucifixion. I want to always remember what the Lord suffered so that I could have my sins forgiven and be made righteous. He sacrificed himself so that I could believe in Him and have my sins covered by His blood, and receive the blessing of His Holy Spirit to guide, teach, and refine me.

John 14:25-27

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His death and resurrection prove He has power over the grave and is fully capable of offering forgiveness, salvation, the Holy Spirit and the promise of eternal life with Him in heaven. That is something to celebrate!!!!

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Here is some Way Back When-sday from 2000, SEVENTEEN years ago!!!!! We were in Florida for Easter break. This is when we used to take the kids out of school for an additional week to have a nice long vacation! We are at Islands of Adventure here.

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Eleven year old Ab-Cat, nine year old Boy and six year old Mousey.

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We spent quite a bit of time at Seuss Landing!

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Back at the pool, their happy place!

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Thanks for stopping by, Happy Easter!

Way Back When-sday Hodgepodge

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Hi Guys, welcome to the last March Hodgepodge of 2017! If you would like to link up, click on the button below and head over to Joyce’s, our hostess with the most-est!

From this Side of the Pond 

1. ‘Beauty is in the eye of the beholder’  What’s something you’ve seen recently that you thought was beautiful?

Mrs. Schmenkman posted this on the Facebook yesterday! They are having full on spring down in Virginia!!!!! Beautiful!

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2. Our culture and beauty…your thoughts?

I think our culture focuses WAY too much on what a person looks like on the outside, and WAY too little attention on developing the inside. There are a lot of ignorant, shallow, crude, unkind, stupid, dishonest, pretty people out there. I remember one year at my Bible study they had a page of verses for developing character over physical traits. That’s what we should be more concerned with, beautiful hearts and souls.
3. Age before beauty, beauty queen, beauty mark, beauty sleep…which beauty-ful phrase resonates with you today? Why?

I would LOVE some beauty sleep! In this ever changing life stage I find myself in, sleep and beauty are becoming hard work.. Sleep seems to be optional, with no rhyme or reason for disruption. As far as looks go, I’m just putting out fires here! Loss of skin elasticity, strange spots, new products designed to restore, repair and revitalize, it’s all Temple Maintenance from here on out!

4. I read here a list of the top ten beasts animals that scare us the most-
alligators, coyotes, black bears, birds (but pigeons in particular), sharks, bats, bed bugs, rats, rattlesnakes, and the black widow spider.
Which ‘beast’ on the list scares you the most? What is the liklihood of you having an actual encounter with that particular beast? Did a movie contribute to your fear of this creature? Have you ever had a real life encounter with any of the animals listed?

Wow, I think you about nailed all of my animal fears here Joyce! Sharks, alligators and rattle snakes scare me the most and bedbugs and rats creep me out pretty bad. The likelihood of an interaction with any of them is very slim, THANK GOODNESS!!!!

Jaws came out when I was in 7th grade and I have never comfortably swam in the ocean again. I’m ok with that, there are other bitey things in there anyway! I am not a huge fan of swooping birds either and the movie probably has more than a little to do with that. I saw it when I was very young, maybe 5, when we were visiting friends. Way to supervise the kids Folks!

I have never had a real life encounter with any of the above, although a bird did poop on my hand at MGM Grand theme park, that was bad enough.

5. Where were you when you last heard a bell ring? Was it alarming or musical?

A particularly loud cell phone with a bell ring tone went off during lecture at Bible Study Fellowship last week. It was a little alarming because it took the gal forever to find her phone and turn it off!
6. What’s your favorite carb? How’s that for random?

I am really missing carbs these days. I am one week away from completing The Whole 30, a diet devoid of most carbs and all happiness. Right now my favorite carbs seem to be the cherry chip cupcakes sitting on my island. They are tempting me MIGHTILY, but I have not succumbed. I did put 2 of them and a piece of my Dad’s pineapple upside down birthday cake in the freezer to enjoy after my time of confinement is over. I.Can’t.Wait. I also do love a crunchy kettle chip.
7. Let’s wrap up another month of Hodgepodging and life with an acrostic. Recap your month using the word MARCH.

Many kinds of Michigan weather! Freezing cold, 70s, damaging winds and much rain!

Absolutely missing dairy on this diet!!!!!

Remake of Beauty and the Beast. The original was huge around our house back in the day. We quite enjoyed it!

Correspondence with The Boy! We are pen pals!

Hungry, a fitting end.
8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Here’s the Way Back When-sday part of the post.

The Boy and his wife, The Dane, are expecting a baby this summer! As I mentioned, he and I have been writing letters to each other. Michigan and Washington state are far apart and he suggested we should kick it old school and use the U.S. Postal Service to write down some thoughts.

In his previous letter he was saying how excited he is to meet his child and asking me some of my recollections while waiting for my first baby. In my last letter, I sent him a couple pictures of himself as a newborn and a 6 month old, along with a picture of myself, rocking a sweeeeeet Osh Kosh BGosh maternity jumper, at 9 1/2 months pregnant!  They made that boy come out, he was not showing any signs of vacating the premises!

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And here he is at 6 months, precious little Buddy Bear!

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Time flies so quickly!

Thanks for stopping by.

Tale End of Vacation-Part 3

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The Boy and The Dane were supposed to leave on Saturday morning, but there was some kind of weather event going on out west and their flight kept getting delayed. While at breakfast The Dane alerted us that all the changes were going to cause them to miss their connecting flight, so the nice employee at Southwest said that spending the night in some airport was too much of a hardship and booked them on another flight the next morning. Thank you for flying Southwest!

FREE DAY!!!!!!!!!!

There was some Bothering at that same breakfast. He learned from The Master. his father.

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That hair. I have no words.

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They lovin’.

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Love this picture of me and my girl baby!

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The middle seat sharers.

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The Boy had this idea that we should draw each other whilst not looking down. It is way harder than it sounds and produced some hilarious pictures! I think this was his drawing of Mousey. Never has our girl looked worse! He dyin’! This happened twice and produced many laughs!

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Mousey offered a family portrait. I love this so bad! I think she was struggling with the humidity there.

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Sibling selfie. Or two-sy, them-my.. I never know what they are called.

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The Ab-Cat wanted to try a Cubano, so Honey did some research and found a joint that was in the top 10 of Ft Myers. Cross another thing off her bucket list, she is on fire!!! I’m sorry but I can’t remember the name of the place. I think it was near-ish to the airport.

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By the second Tuesday all of the offspring had returned to their place of origin and it was just me and my boyfriend. He continued the catching and releasing.

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We also did a large amount of visiting model homes and met with a realtor one day to view some some existing homes in a community we have had our eye on. We are not sure exactly what we want, but we are expanding our list of what we don’t. So….progress.

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We enjoyed eating, as we always do. I think we had ice cream pretty much every day. And twice one day because The Dane had a …..need.

We always love vacationing in Florida, loved spending some time with Uncle Bob and Aunt Phyllis, and were so happy all of the kids made it down at one time or another! A good trip!

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And it got even better for Honey on the way home! It has always been his desire to get “bumped” from a flight! Unfortunately, the only times it was offered, there were reasons he could not accept. It was his lucky day!!!

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His joy was almost made complete when there was talk of another “bump” at the Indianapolis airport! That one would involve them putting us up in a hotel overnight. I was a little apprehensive, but agreed. It didn’t actually happen and I would be lying if I didn’t confess I was a little relieved. I had no clothes, makeup or even a hairbrush! Honey could have cared less about all that, but I would have felt…. disheveled! In the future, I will be more mindful of my packing on the trip home!

There you have it, our 2017 Spring Vacation, it’s a wrap! Thanks for taking me Honey!!!

Wednesday Hodgepodge

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Happy Valentine’s Day Hodgepodgers! We are in sunny Florida this week! Thank you to Joyce for rounding everybody up and giving us something to talk about! Blogging on the iPad is always a challenge, but here goes.

1. What do/did you call your grandparents? If it’s something unusual tell us the story behind the name. If you’re a grandparent what do your grands call you? Who chose your moniker?

We kicked it old school in my family, Grandma Georgia and Grandpa, and Grandma and Grandpa Hoover.

Funny you should ask what our grandchildren will call us, because Honey and I have been discussing that very thing lately! The Boy and The Dane told us around Thanksgiving that they were expecting at the end of June! Our first grand Baby!

Honey has long said he would like to be called Paisan or Paisano, which evidently is buddy or friend in Italian. I would not be surprised if this turns into Papa.

I am divided between Grandma and Grammie, which is what our kids called my Grandma Georgia. So fun to think about!

2. Ever taken a road trip along the California Coast? If so what was the highlight of your trek? If not, any desire to do so? If you were to take a trip along the California Coast what’s one attraction you’d have on your must-see list?

Honey and I have talked about heading out west to see the sights for a long time. Seeing the Redwoods is definitely on that list.

3. What are three things you don’t know how to do?

Only three!!! Surgery, space flight and scaling a mountain come quickly to mind!!

4. Tom Peters is quoted as saying, ‘Celebrate what you want to see more of.’ If that’s true what will you celebrate and more importantly, how will you celebrate?

I am sure I am not alone in observing that Facebook has become a place where unhappy people spout off about everything and everyone who has a dissenting opinion. As a relative newbie to the space (a year and a few months) even I can long for the kinder, gentler days of yore where we posted funny, inspirational, or encouraging memes, pictures of our families, comings and goings, and links to stories that were uplifting or full on hilarious.

I am weary of the politics, misinformation and mindless partisanship (on both sides) the screeching hysteria, the ugly unkindness. I am going to celebrate and encourage what I want to see more of, and that includes but is not limited to, stories about people doing good, decent, humble things. Organizations doing the Lord’s work of loving their neighbor as their self, such as Samaritan’s Purse and Mercy Ships. Liking with reckless abandon when human effort and achievements are successful and God honoring. And the funny animal videos, because good common sense, if we can’t agree on a funny animal clip, we are all going down.

5. Thursday (February 16) is National Almond Day. Do you like almonds? Which would you prefer-an Almond Joy or a macaron? What’s something you make that calls for almonds?

I do like almonds and an Almond Joy is a good use of the nut! I make a lot of low carb desserts that use ground almonds or almond flour. I also like to make roasted nuts and almonds are a celebrated feature.

6. What does Saturday morning look like at your house?

Lately I have been working on Saturday mornings. Some of my clients work during the week and are only available in the evening or Saturdays. Monday evenings and Saturday mornings are both good for me to fit them in.

7. Share with us a favorite book you’ve read this winter.

I don’t read as much as I used to, I blame the iPad, but I have already read two books while on vacation. The Penny Pinchers Club by Sarah Strohmeyer and Dandelion Summer by Lisa Wingate, neither one great, deep novels but I enjoyed them.

8. Share a random thought.

This is when it would be nice to add a picture, but from past experience I know that I would have exactly zero control of the placement of a picture, and that would cause me GREAT angst, so I will spare myself the sorrow. 

We are enjoying our vacation! Since all of our people have arrived on different days, with the final loved one arriving tomorrow, we have been on airport shuttle duty. That will continue as we start taking them all BACK to the airport so they can return to their places of origin. Honey and I will remain for the last few days.

We have plans to look at some houses, condos and coach homes, so we can come to the conclusion, yet again, that we don’t know what we want to do when Honey retires next year. It is our way. 

Thanks for stopping by!

Some Thoughts For a New Year

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It’s a new year and, if you are a human, that invites reflection. Here are some of my ponderings.

I have already been to the dentist and called for a new chiropractic referral, at my age Temple Maintenance is very important.

The natural path doctor has suggested I try the Whole30 diet for a month to see if that shows me anything about the inflammation and aches and pains my body seems to create in spades. It is a program surely conceived by joyless persons. Hardcore paleo low carbing, without preservatives, dairy or ANY sweetener of ANY kind, natural or unnatural. I keep telling myself I should be able to do this for a month. If I discover that any of the above are culprits, would I continue to live like this? I will never know if I don’t try.

My primary physician has recommended yoga. I have always wanted to try this and I bring it up every winter when our walking season is over. I have even gotten as far as finding a place to try, that is a first!

I want to limit time on the ipad this year. I have become a poor blogger and even worse reader of books. I love Words With Friends, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest, but they can be a real time sucker. I guess I want to be more intentional. If I want to visit these places, that’s fine. But spending an hour or so surfing all over kingdom come because one thing led to another? Not so much. Have I learned anything worthwhile? Could I have used my time better? I guess I will find out.

We need to to work on our basement! We are holding things for our kids that could be stored better. There is a lot of stuff to go through, condense, purge, discover. I asked Honey to bring home some boxes from work so I can get started. There are some bookshelves in my craft/hair room that have a lot of Honey’s books from previous Bible studies. I’m sure there are many keepers in there but I am just as sure not everything is important to him. I want to bring in some other shelves we have (as soon as I pack up The Boy’s books from college!) so I can get a better handle on our photographs. The blog keeps me going through those boxes and they would serve me better if I wasn’t constantly moving boxes to get to the year I need.

I predict some painting in my future. It’s a little like that episode of The Brady Bunch when Mike and Carol decide to redo a room, which leads the next room to look shabby and then the next and so on ……I would like to take down the border in our kitchen, and since we did not paint under it, the kitchen will need to be repainted. There can be no touchups after 13-14 years! This leads me to believe that the connecting great room will need to be done and maybe it would be a good time to redo the foyer as well and there goes the winter!!!!!!!! I need help from my decorator, Capri Patt, in choosing a new color. I have loved the color we have had but feel ready for a change. We loved this house we saw in South Carolina last fall. Maybe something a little lighter, fresher.

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I guess that is a good start. Any of you been pondering any changes?