Friday, August 13, 2010

A Post of Quietude. And Snowy As You’ve Never Seen Him Before.

If you’re having a frantic, hectic, stressful, wild, disquieting, tense and taxing day, take a deep breath.

Let it out.

And then scroll down.

When I was on the bike trail a few days ago, I took a few pictures of loveliness in the hopes that they would be like a sip of cool water to a dusty soul.

IMG_6687 IMG_6695 IMG_6700 IMG_6707 IMG_6712 IMG_6719 IMG_6727 IMG_6736 IMG_6751




Oh, wait. How did Snowy sneak in there?

Technically Snowy is not a “picture of loveliness;” he’s far too macho for that. But he does come equipped with a guarantee to bring a smile, especially when he’s posing so nicely in his “long hair hippie” mode. All he needs are some leather sandals and a beaded head band and he’d be, like, groovy, dude.


How about this picture of Snowy. You know, since he never got to “officially” graduate from college?

snowy grad

Enjoy the smile. Enjoy your day!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Visit.

Last weekend, Steve’s parent’s spent a few days with us. We worked them so hard during their visit that they finally had to flee back to Charlotte in desperation, just to catch up on their rest.

Their first job was to change the message on the church sign.

I thought it was appropriate that two people who have been married for fifty-five years would be assigned to put up a sermon title like . . .


. . . this.


(Note: During the service, Steve had a couple brave souls come up front with him and sing a few bars of that song. It was most entertaining.)

After that job was complete, Ken went around the house and worked on the switch plates that we had removed for painting.


Vernie got right to work folding bulletins with Our Regular Folder of the Sunday Bulletins. Don’t they look so inspired?


Then Ken was “talked into” singing a special with Steve on Sunday morning. (That line is really a joke because there are few things Ken enjoys doing more than singing in front of people.)

Before he started the song Ken said, “I tried to get a good guitar player to get up here to accompany me but all I could find was Steve.” That got a good laugh.


Then Ken called “his favorite alto” to the front to do a duet with him.


And as if THAT weren’t enough work, Steve took Ken with him to sing at the local radio station.

Steve preaches on the radio 15 minutes every Monday morning but he usually just does it by phone. However, since he had a local singing celebrity with him this time, he decided to go on into the studio instead.


I must say that Steve and I have been both been so blessed through the years by the parents God has given us. My Mom and Dad always had the same attitude as Ken and Vernie do. Whenever they arrived for a visit it wasn’t, “Okay, entertain us.” Their attitude was, “What can we do to help you?”

My dad has been gone to heaven for almost a year now, but I’ll always remember the way he and Mom invested their lives into other people at every possible opportunity. Both sets of parents have provided such excellent examples for our kids.

Okay. Back to the visit . . .

Just in case you’re thinking that Ken and Vernie’s visit was all work and no play, I have to add that they took Sarah to the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse where Ken and Sarah climbed 268 steps all the way to the top of the lighthouse. (Ken will be eighty years old in January so I’d say he’s in pretty good shape to be able to do that.)

One evening, we got out the bikes and took a spin up and down the street in front of our house.

IMG_7249-1 IMG_7254-1

One of the most endearing sights of the whole visit was this one. Vernie hadn’t ridden bike in a long time and was a little wobbly starting off. Steve ran along beside her, just like she and Ken had run alongside his bike when he first learned to ride. Sarah and I stood in the driveway watching them and both got teary-eyed over the sweetness of it.


Saturday night was video night. We watched Jungle Book which is one of the best movies ever. You can tell that Snowy was fascinated by it.


On Sunday night, they took us out to dinner for an early celebration of Sarah’s fifteenth birthday coming up on August 23rd. (View from the restaurant.)IMG_7428

This is at Stripers in Manteo which serves the best crab stuffed flounder I’ve ever had.



Leaving the restaurant to go get dessert at another restaurant.

IMG_7449 IMG_7450-1

When we got out of the car at the next place, Steve looked at Sarah and said (as he often does), “So! Do you want to skip?” Usually she says no but on Sunday night she surprised him by saying yes. It’s kind of a blurry picture but it still captures the whimsy of the moment.


Waiting on the deck of the restaurant to be seated.

Sarah and her grandpa--looking ahead to another year.


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Big Reveal

Finally, I have a chance to sit down for more than 3.5 seconds and actually get this post together.

Before I show you the (sort of, almost) final version of our re-decorated bedroom, I’ll show you a few pictures of the process so that you can truly appreciate the change.

Here’s what the room looked like when we first laid eyes on it one year ago.


The bedroom right as we were moving in.


The wonderful, marvelous, and completely enjoyable moving process.


Our pretty wing chairs and the not-so-pretty mini blinds.


The painting begins.


The room with new paint and old carpet. (We’re getting closer to our goal!)


And now ladies and gentlemen, for the Big Reveal . . .






Snowy asks, “Do you like it?

“Aw, shucks. I sure do.”


Monday, August 9, 2010

Pre-Op Appointment. Age Poll. And Other Stuff.

I’m heading out in a few minutes for my pre-op appointment where I will have blood work done and will also probably need to sign papers that will promise my first born son to the financial person. Such a fun time.

Of course, I will also be meeting with my surgeon to make The Final Decision so that he can get the correct thingamadoochies ordered for my exchange surgery. From what I understand, they never order the permanent implants any earlier than a week before a scheduled surgery because they’re so expensive. So we’ll have our Big Chat and he’ll get the order placed and I should be good to go. Surgery is slated for Tuesday, August 17 and I am extremely and completely and inordinately ready to have that day come. (And go.)

In other news, it’s certainly been interesting watching the results be compiled in the Age Poll. There’s quite a battle going on between the 36-45 and 46-55 age groups. Every time I look at the poll, those two groups have either been exactly even or just a few numbers apart. I don’t know who’s going to end up winning that particular segment but at least I know where the majority of my readers are, age-wise. It’s been so much fun to see the results--thanks to all of you who have voted so far.

And as for whether any males are reading? Well, as of today it said that 462 votes had been cast and 455 showed up as female. So it appears that I have at least seven male readers. (Woo-hoo!) I guess “seven” isn’t big enough to be a blip on the poll meter which is why it isn’t showing up in the actual results. But I’m glad to know that at least we have a few fellas hanging out in our midst.

And on the subject of the Age Poll, here are a few comments that have come in. I especially loved this first one:

Anonymous said, “All right - where are all the old farts? Only 5 (!) in my age bracket???”

That one really made me smile.

Trine said, “Do you have any clue about how many readers you have, Becky?

Jodi added on the same subject, “Wow! Becky, that is all I can say, "WOW!" Did you know you had that many regular readers? Wouldn't it be great if all those people who answered the poll all commented on the same day? I bet you would be giddy with excitement. Congrats on all the readers you do have.”

Trine and Jodi:

Thanks for your enthusiasm! I am truly grateful for every single Smithellaneous reader who stops by. As for an estimate of the number of people who come here, here’s a graph from StatCounter which is installed on Smithellaneous. The big hike in April was because of my cancer diagnosis/surgery. (This graph just measures page loads and not unique visitors.)

At any rate, I feel blessed to know that “quite a couple of people” make the time to come by and visit on a regular basis. (“Quite a couple of” is something Sarah used to say when she was little.) You guys give me an outlet for my writing and a reason to share my story and I can never thank you enough for that.


I also have StatCounter installed on Sarah’s site and today the number there was 1,910, 465. Hard to believe she is nearing the two million mark!

Trine had a couple more questions:

2) Becky, do you ever print your journals out (from here and Sarah's site) or do you just save them on the computer? I mean it would be sad if your sites one day crashed and your computer, too.

No, I don’t have the journals printed out. It would be a huge undertaking (paper, ink, time) because I have written many hundreds of thousands of words between the two sites. I agree, though, that it would be great to print them out at some point.

3) Have you read the book 'My Sister's Keeper'? What is your opinion about the subject and the book/movie covers?

I only saw the movie but have not read the book. The movie was heartbreaking and inspiring and wonderful and I enjoyed it immensely.

4) Becky you write so much but have you ever written a fiction story?

The very thought of writing a fiction story makes me feel completely overwhelmed. I’m in awe of authors who can spin a story out of nothing, complete with plot and dialogue and flow and beginning and ending and the whole nine yards. How they ever accomplish that, I can’t imagine.

Pam D. asked, “What is Steve looking at in that last picture? He reminds me of Adam when we're at the docks in Destin. Always looking down into the water, hoping to spot a crab!”

Pam, I can guarantee that Steve wasn’t looking for a crab. I’m not exactly sure what he was looking for but I think the fact that he’s a very curious guy makes me him look at all sorts of things everywhere he goes, just to see what he can see!

Jenna said, “Wow- Becky, your writing is incredible. You write with heart, soul, and passion and truly have a God given gift. I urge you to submit this story (Where Seventeen Went) for publication (perhaps to a family or women's magazine)- and also to consider writing a book. You have a lot of wisdom and perspective that could bless others through your words (just as your blog is already such a blessing to so many).”

Jenna, that is so sweet of you; you have a gift of encouragement. You really made my day!

Catherine asked, “I love the carpet. What's the color called?”

Carpet is by Bliss. Color: 01 Saddle. Style: 2876 Relax.

I believe someone else asked about the paint color for our bedroom but I don’t have the paint chip on that anymore.

Steve (my hubby) said, “OK, I have to confess that I signed in at the poll twice. Once as my real age and once as the 85-110 year old.”

Sigh. There’s always a trouble maker in every group.

Anonymous asked, “By the way, when is Sarah's Birthday?”

Sarah will turn fifteen on August 23, two days before she starts High School. If you’d like to send her a card you can mail it to:

Sarah Smith
127 Raleigh Wood Dr.
Manteo, NC 27954

And speaking of Sarah, here are a few dishes from a meal she made recently. Can you tell she got the “arranging food decoratively” gene from her mom?


And here’s the ham and noodle casserole. Yummy. And completely calorie free. Well, except for the, um, calories.


Okay, I know I’ve been promising final pictures of our bedroom redecoration project and I haven’t forgotten! Really, I haven’t! We finally got curtains hung and with just one or two more touches, I should be ready to snap a picture or two for you. (Maybe later today or tomorrow at the latest.)

In the meantime, if you would like to be truly inspired, here is what our stairs looked like just a few short days ago. The old carpet on the stairs had to be taken up a few days before the new carpet arrived so that the trim could be painted by Steve and his helpful helper from church. That meant we were walking around on this yucky stuff for a while. Ain’t it lovely?

IMG_6954 IMG_6956


Snowy didn’t know quite what to think as he made his daily rounds.


Quite a change from this . . .


. . . to this.


And now, off to my appointment I go . . .