Go Ahead, Pinch Me!?…..

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I am not Irish and as far as I know do not have any Irish blood in me, but I still like to acknowledge the holiday.  The closest I get to being Irish is I’m short like a Leprechaun,  and I like to party.  I like to dance, or attempt to, but not the Irish jig or river dance or such.

I also like pots of gold and rainbows.  Once hubby, friends and I saw a rainbow that began in our back yard and ended across the street in front of our house.  This is a true story.   I ran out to see if there was a pot of gold, but alas, not to be.  I think the leprechaun saw me coming and ran away with it.  I’m still looking for it though.                         

As you know I love the color green as I blogged in It’s Good to Be Green.  Which brings me to green beer.  I  personally do not like beer and green beer just doesn’t look appealing but I suppose, if you’re Irish, green is good no matter what it is.

  

I also like to look for and collect four-leaf clovers.  One weekend, while we were at Camp Liberty,  I found a total of fifteen (15)  four-leaf clovers in our yard.  Talk about the “luck of the French”,  I mean Irish, but I’m not Irish!?  I’ll post pictures of them later.  Hoping to find more now that the grass and clover is growing again.

St. Patrick’s day is observed on the day the patron saint of Ireland died.  It is also a day to celebrate Ireland and who doesn’t like a party, Irish or not so…….

He makes my day…….

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He always makes my day and anyone else’s he may come in contact with during a days time.  He’s always happy, upbeat, never meets a stranger, loves old and young alike, doesn’t like negativity, and loves, loves, loves music.

He’s our son, Eddie!

 

He was involved in an automobile accident January 1993 and suffered a TBI (traumatic brain injury).  He was 16 at the time and it was very touch and go for many weeks.  He had to learn everything over from speaking, eating, brushing his teeth, etc. to putting on a baseball cap.  He has a smile on his face always, and such a positive attitude, it just makes you feel good to be in his presence.  

People are always drawn to him and once you meet him you’ll never forget him.  Should my husband and I be somewhere without him,  the first question out of someone’s mouth is, “Where’s Eddie“? 

He inspires me everyday to be a better person.  To be kind, forgiving, happy, loving and compassionate. 

If you would like to read more about our son,  you can visit his story at www.eddiesisco.com.

   

Of mice and cats…….

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This is about a weekend almost one year ago, March 18-21, 2010,  that was spent at Camp Liberty.  I had actually written it in a document because it stood out as a something I would like to remember.  Why?  I guess you’ll know the real reason at the end of this blog.

It was Thursday evening after we had returned from having dinner at our favorite catfish restaurant, Fall Hollow.  We had settled down to watch a little TV before retiring for the night.  Of course, going to the camp for the weekend is supposed to be relaxing and for the most part non eventful.

To begin with, lady bugs decided they liked our camp also.  They seem to like a couple of light fixtures, the kitchen windows and our son’s bedroom window.   The little buggers just crawl around and around in circles, fall off, turn over and die.   So when we walked into the camp that was what we found.This night while I was watching TV with hubby, I thought one flew onto the back of my neck.  I swatted it but it wasn’t a lady bug, it was a dang wasp.  OUCH!  Needless to say, I got stung.  I hadn’t been stung by a wasp in a while and this hurt like everything.  But he won’t hurt anyone again.!!

Okay, drama over, lady bugs under control and wasp flying around in another world.  Now I am sitting down ready to watch TV.  Boo is sitting beside me on the arm of the love seat  when she suddenly jumps down and runs into our bedroom.    In a couple of minutes she comes out and proudly shows us her catch.   It’s a mouse!!Thinking it might be fun to play with, she drops it and the mouse makes a run for it.  Hubby was backing Boo up and helped her chase it down.  He grabs it with paper towels and proceeds to take it outside and dispose of it.  Now we can settle down and watch TV.  Wrong!!  A couple of hours later, we repeat the same scenario.  Look mom I brought you a present.  Aren’t you proud of me?Hubby to the rescue again, (my hero) caught this little guy and outside again.   I don’t know what he does with them but I probably don’t want to know.  Back to the TV and no more mice for the night.  Whew!!!

Next day, Friday, was a beautiful day.  The river was beautiful, the sun was out for the first time in weeks and all was well with the world.  Such a nice relaxing day.  The evening remains calm and about 11 pm I decide to go to bed.  Hubby decided to stay up a while longer and watch TV.

Boo props herself on the bed with her eyes glued to the fireplace.  This is her usual position when sleeping at the camp.  About 3 am I am awakened by a noise that sounds like  EEEEK,  EEEEK and then Boo pounces on my bed.   I raise up and turn on the lamp and there she is with her prize ON MY BED!  I jump up and get hubby off the sofa (he can sleep through most anything) to come to my rescue once more.  But the mouse escapes.  They are quick little suckers.  Boo chases it around but hubby goes back to his comfortable place and asleep.

I”M UP!!!  I am not going back to bed until I’m sure this mouse is not in my bedroom, my bed  or in the camp.  Boo is still on the search.  She hones in on hubby’s shoes.  “Hubby the mouse is in your shoe“.  He looks but doesn’t see anything so back to bed for hubby.   Boo is pushing his shoe all over the floor.  I get brave enough to look in the shoe and what do I see…..two little feet.

I grab the shoe and march to hubby on the sofa.  “The mouse is in your shoe!”  Hubby….”Are you sure?”  I take another look and say…..”YES!  I see his little face.”  He takes the shoe and goes outside and returns with the shoe and no mouse.  Poor Boo is confused and once he puts the shoe down she continues to look.  She takes her place on the bed once more and I decide to sleep on the love seat the remainder of the night!!  What a night….it was like a Tom and Jerry cartoon.

Okay, next morning I get up and take our sweet little Corky out.  He is old and not quite as quick as he use to be, so we go with him and watch for anything that might decide he would make a good meal.  I glance over to the river and guess what I see?  A bald Eagle flying down river.  We knew  he was around here and had only seen him one other time  but didn’t get a picture. 

I ran into the camp, got hubby, the binoculars and the camera and we ran back out to the point, hoping he had lit on a tree .  Sure enough about 100 yards down stream he was on a tree and there he sat for a few minutes.  Hubby got this picture and then he flew away.

It was such an awesome moment.  We look for him every time we go down but so far no more sightings.

This made up for the lady bugs, the chasing of the mouse for two nights and getting no sleep.  This is why we love the river and the camp.  Our animals and wildlife keep  us entertained.  Who needs TV??

Log cabin, log cabin…..here it is

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Yesterday’s post was about how the cabin looked at first sight.  I guess I had on rose-colored glasses because I saw through all that.

To make the cabin ours and what we envisioned a cabin getaway should look like, we decided the walls needed to be board and bat.  The ceiling tiles made the rooms feel claustrophobic but we thought it was also for insulation and to hold duct work.

My great local guy (GLG) got a glimpse of what we might expect the ceilings to look like when he was re-wiring the electric panel in a bedroom.  Here’s a look at what he found…….

There was plenty of insulation above these ceilings so we decided to remove the drop ceilings in all rooms.  WOW!  Did that ever make a difference in the feel and look.

The dining room floor was a very dark wood and had a hole in it on the right hand side close to the fireplace.  Due to the problems with a leak we had in the kitchen, we thought it might be a result from that and had caused some rot.  GLG  said he would take a look and try to repair it to match the rest of the floor.  

Surprise, surprise, surprise……oh yeah, it was rotten because some brilliant person had laid the floor on top of the ground!!  Look around, are we on Candid Camera?

Along with GLG we figured out a fix.  He also took out the two large gas heaters, built a mantle out of another piece of wood found in the storage shed, took out the fluorescent lighting, and hung a chandelier.  It is cozy, quaint and somewhat romantic when the fireplace is lit.  Here’s a look…..

I found an antique farm table at a local antique shop, Loblolly Antiques, and the chairs came from two more antique shops, one between here and Atlanta and the other I can’t remember.  The churn is my hubby’s great grandmother’s, the little corner cabinet was his mother’s and the french grain sack on the table and the ones I made cushions out of were from an antique shop in Franklin, Tennessee.

Next are pictures of the great hall and family room. 

The ceilings and walls were treated the same way as the dining room. The floor in the great hall did not need repair but the one in the family room was repaired by putting a 3/4 inch subflooring with a finished side.  This made a world of difference in that room.  No more cracks and wondering what might come through the floor.  Actually nothing ever did except cold air.

The “great hall” substitutes as a part-time office and butler’s pantry.  The table is used as a desk when not needed otherwise and the buffet holds extra dishes. 

You may not be aware but I love roosters!  I have a collection at home and can’t seem to pass one up in a store, but it has to be special.

The furniture in the great room was left with the cabin except for a couple of tables, lamps and pictures.  Not really my choice of sofas and chair but we decided we could replace them some time later.

The little gas fireplace replaced the gas wall heater and when lit can heat up most of the cabin. 

The quilt you see on the small sofa was found in an antique shop, the picture above the large sofa we bought in the late 70’s or early 80’s from an artist at an art show in Brandon,  MS and is actually a cabin in the Tennessee mountains.  Who knew we would have one of our own some day.

The last two rooms are the bedrooms.  The walls and ceilings were treated the same as the other rooms and the floors were in good shape.  They each have identical fireplaces that are original to the cabin and gas log inserts.

The bed was left with the cabin.  I made the triple irish chain quilt along with the bedskirt and curtains.  They are blue and white toile from my fabric stash.  This is the bedroom my son sleeps in.  We decided to keep the fish pictures, lamps and a few other accessories to keep it a little more masculine.

 The ladder you see in this photo was one my daddy made a long time ago when he did carpentry work building houses.  It was actually more than twice as long, but we cut it in two and my niece, Orangie’s Attic, took the other half.  The chest, table and chair came from a local antique shop name Reminisce.

The last room is hubby’s and my bedroom.  Same ceiling and wall treatment as the previous bedroom.

The quilt on this bed is another one made by me.  I think the design is called “In Bloom” because of the fabric I used.

I wanted a somewhat old fashion, cut lace bedskirt but couldn’t find one long enough.  I decided I could use ready-made curtain panels and found some the exact length I needed.  NO SEWING required.  I used the little twist pins and attached the panels to the box springs.  I actually attach all my bed skirts this way.

The window treatment is ready-made panels of gauze with two more cut lace panels hung in between to give a cafe curtain look and lengthen the window.  This all soften the look of the bedroom.

The armoire and chest of drawers were purchased because the closet in this room had shelves only and we use it for storage of supplies. 

There are still some things I need to do or would like to do, but for now,  I’m happy with the way it turned out. 

I hope you enjoyed this post and maybe got a few ideas for your own use.  Whoopee, now I have time for this……..

Aaaaah!  Iced tea or lemonade please?

Log cabin, log cabin….here’s more

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The last post I did on the cabin was the bathroom renovation and promised there would be more.  Well here it is…. or should I say here it was.  Sorry, can’t help myself.

We couldn’t believe someone thought they had improved the look of this cabin by putting in drop ceilings, fluorescent lights, and some sort of paneling on all the walls.

From the kitchen you walk into the “great hall” and directly to the right is the dining room or some area.  This is what we first saw…..

I mentioned the “great hall” in the earlier post “Log cabin, log cabin…..part 2“.  The great hall was named by my sister when she came for a visit.  I didn’t know what to call this area because it seemed to be just a go between from the kitchen to other areas.  My sister, being the world traveler that she is, said they called rooms such as this “the great hall” in Scotland.  Of course, we laughed and I remarked “this wasn’t so great” but we decided that would be a good name for it anyway.

Now, I looked to my right and what did I see?……..Another sad room looking at me!!!

This is what the dining area looked like when we first saw it.  It wasn’t used as a dining area so I guess it was supposed to be the den?!

This room steps down from the rest of the cabin.  It had dark wooden floors with a small hole in the wood near the wall back to back with the kitchen.  Not a problem, my great local guy (GLG) can fix that!! 

I knew I did not want this to be a den.  It needed to be the dining area.  The old rock fireplace was so great, I couldn’t believe someone would cover it up.  I knew it wasn’t a working fireplace but gas logs could be put in for Pete’s sake.  Furniture has to go…….OUTSIDE!!!!

Next we move on into the living room.  Not a lot going on but the walls were the same paneling and the sofa wall did have the exposed log walls.  Hip, hip, hooray!! 

Also, get ready for this…… the floor was just a simple plank floor.  Like a wooden plank porch. There were large cracks in between the boards and later we discovered if you would shine a flashlight through the cracks….you could see the ground underneath.  Yikes….more lions, tigers and bears….I mean opportunities.

Okay, how much more of this can you stand?  Looking back at these photos, I’m not sure I can stand much more myself, now that I think about it.

The two bedrooms are the only rooms left in this post to show you.  You see the original cabin consisted of these two rooms only.  If you remember, it is one hundred (100) years old.  Both bedrooms have a fireplace and doors leading to the porch facing the river.

These two rooms were not so bad except for the ceilings and walls.  They each had identical fireplaces and a small closet each.  One room has a storage closet and the other has a clothes closet.

Well, there you have it.  This is what the rest of the inside of this cabin looked like.  You’re probably saying to yourself, “What were they thinking when buying this ?”.  Well this is what my vision was (not necessarily hubby’s)………sorry, you’ll have to wait until the next post but here is a sneak peak.

Sisters, Sisters…..

“Nothing quite so lovely as sisters……”

There are all kinds of sisters.  Biological sisters, sisters-in-law, friends who are like sisters, step sisters, adopted sisters, and sisters of faith just to name a few.  Today’s post is about the first three who are in my life.

First is my biological sister…..my big sister.  I have loved and adored her my entire life.  I was forever being the bratty little sister and hanging around her when her friends visited.  I loved her clothes and always wanted to wear them.  She was very, very smart in school (still is), fun, loving, compassionate, stylish and beautiful.

We live miles and miles apart but we talk practically every day.  I can tell her anything and everything and she’s always there listening or helping if I need it.  We get to see each other about three times a year and we always have such a great time.  I never want it to end.  Move closer to me sister!!!! 

She loves antiquing, decorating, traveling, family and friends, needle work, and painting just to name a few of her interests.  She is the mother of two amazing and beautiful children and grandmother of four who are just as amazing and beautiful.  Sister of mine, I love you!!

Next is my sister-in-law (little sister).  She became my sister over twenty years ago.  She is also beautiful, fun, loving, compassionate and all those other adjectives that most of us strive to be.

This sister is one of the busiest people I know and never a dull moment when she is around.  She has two beautiful and amazing daughters and of course she is a great mom. She is always in style, loves to shop, scrapbook, loves to read like me, cook, playing games, having fun and loves, loves,  loves Paula Deen. 

One of her favorite things to do is color.  Yep!!  She loves nothing better than to get a new box of crayons and a coloring book and color.  At Christmas we sit and color  for hours and have coloring contest.  Our husbands think we’re crazy!  They just don’t know what they’re missing.  I love you sister!!

My third sister is my best friend (JAC).  She lives in the same town as me and we talk almost every day and see each other at least once a week.  She was my sister’s best friend throughout school and of course we all went our separate ways after that.  JAC and I reconnected about fifteen years ago when I lived in Atlanta and have been close ever since. 

In this picture, we were imagining what it would be like to have a few things lifted, if you know what I mean.

She is a fabulous interior decorator, compassionate, loving, giving and beautiful inside and out.  When we are out together, we always find something humorous in the life around us and in ourselves.  Like my other two sisters, she is always there to listen and lend a helping hand.  She is the mother of three and grandmother of many and adored by all.  She is my sister in every way and I love her!!!

As you can see,  I have three of the most wonderful women in my life.  They are everything I said and more. 

I hope you have a sister or many sisters in your life.  They are special and nothing can replace that relationship.

It’s good to be green……

I don’t know about any of you but I am totally ready for spring and for every tree, bush, stem and leaf to turn that beautiful new green color that is most prevalent in spring.  I can’t think of any other color that goes so perfect with every other color as green does.  I love it so much and makes me so happy that I painted my front door green last summer.  Haven’t had any accidents in front of our house or any nasty notes in the mail box so far.

When my crepe myrtles bloom in early summer, the watermelon pink and green just make my heart jump for joy.

Boo also looks fabulous on my green ottoman.  Don’t you think?

I also use every color in my quilts with green.  In this baby quilt, I used blue, yellow, brown, purple and orange with the green.  When you put it into words vs visual it doesn’t sound as good but it works and I love it. I use to be told as a child not to use blue and green together.  I did it anyway (defiant child) when I colored in my coloring books or would draw pictures. 

Hey you know, some apples and pears are green, broccoli, asparagus, cucumbers and lettuce are all green.  Frogs are green (Kermit), grasshoppers and some crickets (Jiminy Cricket), freshmen in high school are green and money.

Anyway, green to me means spring, daffodils, tulips and hyacinths popping up.  Redbud trees and dogwoods.  New beginnings.

Cat?…fish?…….

I can’ decide if I adopted a cat or a cat that’s PART FISH?!  We got her in October 2010 hoping she would be pal to our other cat “Boo”.

You see, we lost our beloved Corky in early fall and Boo aka “Big Cat” adored Corky.  Corky loved her too but he didn’t want anyone to know.  The pictures below are proof…..

When the kitten “Lil’ Bit” (LB) came home with me, Big Cat (BC) did not take it too well at first.  However, once BC decided LB wasn’t leaving, she decided to ‘tolerate” her.

LB is fearless.  She catches BC with her back to her, runs up, gives BC a little smack on her backside and then LB runs, ducks under a piece of furniture ( just far enough), so BC can’t reach her.  OH, maybe she’s a CHICKEN…..CHICKEN OF THE SEA (she loves tuna).   Oh I forgot, I had just said she was fearless.  She climbs every where and sometimes falls off but it doesn’t affect her.  She just “gets back on the horse” as they say. 

 Where is this story going, anyway?  Well she is not a “chicken” but she doesn’t act like most cats.  You see I caught her several week’s ago standing in the large drinking bowl with all four feet, playing and digging.  She was splashing water everywhere.  Later I was running water in the kitchen sink, she came running and proceeded to paw at the water and stick her head under the stream.  She does this every time at the sink.

Another time, Mike’s uncle came for a visit and didn’t know we had a new cat.  He went into the powder room and found her inside the commode, playing in the water.  EEEEW!  Thankfully it was clean and had clean water but EEEEW!

Her latest antic is to take a shower with me.  She comes running into the bathroom whenever she hears the water running and jumps in the shower with me.  She sits down underneath the water and gets soaked.  If I put a towel down for her on the floor, she will proceed to dry off.  It happens every time I shower and now when hubby showers.  Here are pics of her after the shower.  Notice her head, back and tail.  She hasn’t dried off yet!!

After drying off, she proceeds to get on top of my hubby’s vanity and look at herself in the mirror and occassionally paws at it.  I suppose she’s checking her makeup.  Next comes the weigh in.

Just the other morning, I got on the scales to weigh, UGH, and was panicked that I had gained so much weight in the last few days.  What has happened?  Then I looked down and “guess who” was sitting on the scales.  “Whew”  I thought something was bad wrong with me or maybe I had been sleepwalking to the frig.

One good thing, she will be the cleanest cat for miles around.  I think in a previous life she MUST have been a fish…..a CATFISH…., or with all that primping a MOVIESTAR.

Mamas and Papas……

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Aren’t grandparents wonderful?  At least mine were. Read on and you’ll see why!  

My maternal grandparents were a constant in my sister’s and my life.  We lived next door until I was five, then behind them on another street, then half a block away and finally across the street.  I saw them every day until I got married and moved away.  We stayed at their house probably more than  our own. 

To all the grandchildren they were Mama and Papa but to just about everyone else in town they were Aunt Dora and Uncle Tom.  Mama was a tiny 4ft, 11in tall and I think the most she ever weighed was 98 lbs and that was probably soaking wet.  Papa was probably 5ft, 11in tall and always slim.  His signature look was a bow tie.

Our parents both worked so we would go to their house in the mornings, when school was in session, and wait for the bus until I was probably in the fourth grade. Every afternoon we would come back to their house and there was always some goodie waiting for us.  It could have been a left over biscuit with syrup, a homegrown baked potato, parched peanuts that were also grown by them, iced cookies or tea cakes, chocolate or caramel pie, or a cake like chocolate or banana are just a few of the things I remember.  Makes my mouth water just thinking about it! 

Mama always kept busy as did my Aunt Hazel, who lived with them.  Mama taught my sister and me how to crochet and sew by hand.   Aunt Hazel taught us how to embroidery and make paper dolls from grocery bags.  I remember watching Mama piece quilts and make soap in a kettle outside. 

She would plant all kinds of flowers around her home, tell us all about them and collect the seeds to plant for the next year.  She always had a fresh bouquet in the summer such as roses, lilies, and zinnias  She would also help us set up a playhouse in an old wood shed and gave us old dishes, pots and utensils to make mud pies. 

Mama used to make all her dresses on a treadle sewing machine and when I would beg to sew on it, she would take the belt off and let me sit there and push the treadle up and down like I was sewing.  I have that machine today.  She told me her father gave it to her when she was 16.  There are entirely too many memories of her to mention in this post but I credit her with teaching me so much of what I love to do now.

Papa on the other hand was such a character and so full of mischief.  He had this little grin on his face like he had just gotten away with something and probably had.  He had a huge garden and would pay us to help him hoe the rows….. a whole dime….. and we thought we were rich. 

There was a small, small store (we actually called it “The Little Store”) a short distance from his house and he walked us there to spend our dime.  We could get a candy bar or salted peanuts and a RC cola for a dime.  Papa would usually get peanuts and put them in his cola and then drink it.  We would copy him, thinking it was “cool”.  He grew all their own vegetables, watermelons, cantaloupe, strawberries, and peanuts. Again he would pay us a dime to help him stack the peanuts so they would dry. 

He taught me how and where to dig for ground worms for bait, how to bait the hook and fish.  He slapped his leg when he laughed, which was a lot, rolled his own cigarettes with Prince Albert, chewed tobacco and taught us to spit off the porch. VERY lady like, right?  By the way, my son never knew him, but he slaps his leg when he laughs just like Papa.

I loved them so very much and have such vivid memories of growing up around them.  They lived in a very modest house and didn’t have a lot of money but they were rich in so many other ways, it was worth more than any amount of money. 

They told us stories of their childhood and of my mother as a little girl and her brother and sisters, had feather beds for us to sleep in, a wood stove to warm their house and all the love they could possibly give to their children and grandchildren.

I hope I am remembered as fondly by the members of my family someday, but Mama and Papa’s shoes are big ones to fill.

Log cabin, log cabin….Bathroom renovation

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Okay time to get to the next most important room in the cabin…….the bath.  At first glance all I could think was EEEK!  It was screaming ” help me, help me”.

It had vinyl paneling on all the walls and ceiling that was supposed to look like tile with black grout, an old wall mounted sink in need of refinishing, an old tub with a “sneaky snake” looking shower head and that dark marble looking vinyl floor. OH, and guess where the electrical box was… yep… in the shower……ZZZAP….sorry for the shock!!!  Another great feature, a window located in the shower.  Not only did you have the “sneaky snake” to deal with but creatures both human and non, could look in and watch. Out, out I say!! 

Well, our GLG, had a “ripping good time”…..sorry.  Hey, you never know what you might find behind those walls and floors.  Buried treasure??  Well, we did find some things, like the commode leaking under the floor and the shower leaking behind the wall and the tub as well.  But wait, the wall to the right as you walk in revealed the original logs………YAAAY!!!!  What a treasure!  It’s gold, gold I say!

After repairing floors, walls and plumbing, we decided on no tub just a shower, a pedestal sink and an ADA approved commode.  We installed a slate looking vinyl floor (remember no level floors, no square walls), white subway tiles around the shower stall and board and bat on the walls, except for the log wall which we left exposed.  We put the bead board paneling on the ceiling and took out the window and replaced it with glass block.  It was clear block, the patterned or textured blocks were expensive and had to be special ordered…no time for that, so I got etching cream and etched them myself.  It still let light into the bathroom and looked great.  Added an overhead light, new mirror with medicine cabinet and a light fixture over that.  The electrical panel was moved to the room that backs up to the bathroom.  Now no added shock to the daily shower.

I found a small cabinet in a little shop in Spring Hill, Tennessee called Backdoor Antiques that holds our towels, and has a drawer to hold my makeup.  I had the fabric in my stash and made a surround for the sink, which I attached with industrial strength velcro and made a matching shower curtain.  By the way, we replaced the bathroom door, that was made of plywood and opened to the opposite side against the commode.  We found more old planks in the storage shed and my GLG made a plank door and hinged it on the opposite side.  No extra maneuvering around for our son. 

Whew!!! One more room done and more to come.  I know you are all thinking, this is costing a fortune but I really have searched for the most economical appliances and fixtures.  Some of the things I have purchased have been in the closeout section and I love getting bargains.

I will step away from the log cabin for a while to post on other subjects but will be back with more log cabin……be ready…. more AMAZING uncovered finds.