"God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him."
(1 Jn 4:16)

Monday, October 02, 2017

Water Damage (Part 1)

One morning in March, I was woken by one of my sons standing by my bed telling me that the bathroom floor was flooded with dirty toilet water. Before I could get out of bed, Cecilia came upstairs and told me that there was water dripping into the bathroom, her closet, and her bedroom. I got out of bed to go and see what was causing the problem. As I stepped in the hallway, I gasped. My foot was wet and slimy. I made my way to the bathroom, turned off the toilet and instructed a couple of my sons to bail the overflowing toilet. They had to bail it one or two other times during the day.

My husband told me to contact our insurance company. I did so, and the rep gave me the names of two water mitigation teams and told me to call one of them. I called one of the companies. An employee came out with giant dehumidifiers, fans, and a humidity reader. The man made note of high humidity readings and told me that employees would come the next day to take out flooring, walls, and ceilings. 

Once flooring, walls, ceilings, casing, etc. were removed, it was time to find someone to repair and texture the drywall. We called a couple of people before turning to Home Advisor for recommendations. We had four or five contractors come out to give estimates and chose one of them. The man was conscientious, hardworking, and friendly towards my children. My husband and I were happy with who we chose to do the work, despite the fact that the textured walls weren't matched exactly.

Next, we started to paint the main areas of the house. Thankfully, we had matched the paint a few years ago, making it possible for us to paint all the walls and avoid painting the ceiling in most of the rooms. We decided to paint our trim white which totally changed the look of the color on the walls. The money that we saved by painting everything ourselves was applied towards upgrading from vinyl flooring to tile in two bathrooms and our downstairs hallway. Thankfully, the porcelain tile that we liked cost less per square foot than vinyl.


We were ready to focus on flooring for the upstairs hallway. Our upstairs hallway carpet matched our carpeting in the living room and on our stairs. Knowing that we wouldn't be able to match the carpeting and how much we liked the Pergo Original American Honey Oak in our dining room and kitchen, I set to work trying to find a close match. We thought that we could extend the Pergo from the kitchen and dining room into the hallway so that the upstairs flooring would still look cohesive. After a lot of research, we resigned ourselves to the fact that we would not be able to find a close match for the Pergo that was installed in our house over 20 years ago. 

We were left trying to decide whether we pay out of pocket to have new carpeting installed in our living room and on our stairs or whether we pay to install new Pergo in our kitchen, dining room, living room, hallway, and stairs. It's too bad that insurance companies don't pay to maintain the cohesive look of a house unless it's paint on walls and ceilings.

To be continued...

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

A Midsummer Garden

Echinacea 'Double Scoop Bubblegum'

I couldn't resist scooping up this beauty when I saw it for a reduced price last month at a local garden store. It seems to be thriving in its new home. 

Platycodon 'White' (Balloon Flower)

I planted three balloon flowers several years ago and then transplanted them the next year. This is the only plant that survived the transplantation. It is a prolific and beautiful bloomer.


Despite their dainty appearance Cosmos are hardy annuals in our garden. We can always count on them to grow from seeds that I scatter in the spring. 


This beautiful Cosmos came from the same seed packet as the flower above.

Rudbeckia 'Goldstrum'

I purchased a single Black-eyed Susan several years ago. Each year, it has continued to grow and spread. They grow from rhizomes which means that I occasionally need to pull some of the flowers to keep them in bounds. I have debated moving them, but their bright sunny yellow color prevents me from doing so. 

Rose 'Gertrude Jekyll'

This is the newest and most fragrant rose in my garden. I have planted it in a very dry spot and am hoping that I can get its roots to grow deep enough that it survives the winter without me watering it. 


Usually, I plant geraniums in our backyard planters. This year, I decided to divide our raspberries and plant them in the planters. Thus, the geraniums ended up in the garden. 

Sweet Alyssum

I plant alyssum around my garden each year. The fragrance is truly sweet. 


After having Anthony transplant this tree a couple of years ago, I read that peach trees don't like to be transplanted. This peach tree is proving what I read wasn't quite right. We shouldn't always believe what we read. 


My dad planted these grapes from his garden before moving away almost twelve years ago. The children enjoy foraging for them while playing in the backyard. 


Some of the grapes are easier to get than others. 

'Friar' Plum

Hopefully, this plum ripens and we are able to pick it before the squirrels do. 

Italian Prunes

My parents had the most amazing Italian prune tree when I was growing up. The fruit was juicy and delicious. I am anxious to see how these prunes compare. 

Centipedes, do you really have 100 legs?


I divided and transplanted some of our strawberries this year. I am surprised to see that they are still bearing fruit in August. My little boys so enjoy plucking them from the planters whenever they are outside. 


Do you see the busy bee? The bees really seem to like the blanket flowers, penstemon, and scabiosa. Seeing them flying all around my garden makes me wonder if beekeeping might be something that our boys would enjoy. 

Rose 'Peace'

A friend of mine gave me this Rose in 2003 when I miscarried at 19 weeks. The first year it produced three blooms. This year, the blooms haven't stopped coming. 

What do you have growing in your garden?

Monday, July 24, 2017


I hope that nobody else's daughter feels this way about their dad. ;)

Friday, June 30, 2017

Encouraging Confession

A few weeks ago, a friend asked me how we encourage our children to go to confession. I shared the following with her. I am sharing it here just in case it helps any other mothers. 

In my family, we make it a habit to go to confession on the First Friday/First Saturday of each month. If any of the children want to go before then, they can do so. Having your child review his conscience each night before bed is a good habit. We can help our children by focusing on the 10 Commandments with prompting questions (Did I always listen to my mommy and daddy?) and letting the child reflect on each one quietly in his head. We have been known to go over the 10 Commandments with questions on our way to Mass. Don't ever tell your child that he has sinned. Do gently help him see that he has done so by encouraging him to examine his conscience at the end of each day. 

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Summer Garden



One of the benefits of gardening is having a ready supply of cut flowers to place around the house.

Photos copyright Anthony

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

One of the Eight Best

I am happy to share that Lilla Rose has been named one of the eight best direct sales companies by Woman's Day,
I became an independent Lilla Rose stylist in 2014. When I first signed up, I thought that I was doing so for the 30% discount, but I soon realized that selling beautiful, comfortable, durable hair accessories is a great way to earn a little extra money. For a one time fee of $49.95, plus shipping and tax, Lilla Rose provides a free website and commissions of 30% to 45%. There are no quotas to meet. This means that I can focus on my family. I am thankful that I found Lilla Rose, as the extra income really does help my family. I am also thankful to have made some wonderful friends. If you would like to learn more about becoming a Lilla Rose consultant, please let me know. I would love to have more people join my growing team.

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