You work toward it and hope for it. Then when it happens…

You work toward it and hope for it. Yet when it happens, it is still a joyous surprise.

On Saturday of this last weekend, Buds and I were gone all morning, then we popped home to grab the littles and headed out for the afternoon. Monkey didn’t want to attend either of the event options, so she had the day to herself, including all afternoon at home alone.

She and I messaged about a couple things, and as you can see, I teased her about folding the laundry.

Monkey Pulls A Surprise

I walked up the basement stairs and into the kitchen. Monkey was sitting at the kitchen table working diligently on her video game creation. I gave her a cheerful, “Hi, Monkey!” Then I looked around me.

Clean dishes were drying next to the sparkling sink. Everything was so shiny I swear I saw those little twinkle lights.

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She had cleaned the kitchen and all that entailed; folded two loads of laundry, as well as processing more laundry; taken out garbage and recycling; cared for cats’ needs; plus, she made time for self-care by going out for a walk on the beautiful winter day.

Buds told us later that he was thinking on the drive home from our day out, “Okay, we’ll get home and I’ll tackle that dirty kitchen.” That was not a joy-filled thought for him. But he was going to do it.

All the people in the house help with chores all the time. That wasn’t the surprise. Giving of her precious time to show her love for all of us in this way; what generosity of spirit.

She said she likes doing chores when she’s alone because she can play her music and sing as loudly as she wants, which makes the time pass so quickly as she’s working. Monkey spends a fair amount of time thinking about when she’ll be ready to forge forth in the world on her own. She takes opportunities like this to see how “adulting” really works.

Whatever the reason, it was a lovely gift to the family.

Love this face.

Love this face.

An IKEA Farmhouse Kitchen that Lives Under the Sicilian Sun

In a splendid twist, a blog post was written about us by someone else!

A few months back the owner of the design firm that we used when planning the kitchen remodel reached out to ask how we felt about their services. I told him we had loved them, and suggested he read the blog posts about the remodel to see how things worked out.

And then we never heard from him again.

But then, a couple weeks ago, a writer reached out asking if they could do a write up about the kitchen. The owner had read the blog, and liked what he saw in the kitchen remodel outcome. Since Buds was the one who dealt with the IKD designer, he’s the one who gave the interview and visited with the writer.

It’s always fun to hear an outsider’s perspective on your decisions, and the journalist presents us in a sane, respectful light, and it even sounds like we have some creative vision, so big win all around.

If you can stand to read any more about our kitchen, here you go. Nashville’s Sicilian Kitchen

As a funny aside, the author reached out one last time for some before pictures of the kitchen “without people in them.”

Apparently they made an exception one time in agreeing to use pictures that had people in them, and that only reinforced their decision to NEVER use pictures with people in them ever again.

Interesting story there.

And oh, that kitchen in Sicily…

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Happy Catversary

Long time no write, folks.

Lots going on here at The Shoebox, and at some point I’m sure there will be a flurry of posts to tell you all about it.

But for MLK Jr. Day, as the children and I prepare to march in a celebration parade with hopes for a better world for all people, I decided to share pictures of cats.

Because that’s fun.

One year ago yesterday Waffles and MoonStar joined the family.

“Wow. It’s gone so quickly.” said Monkey.

Doesn’t time have that way about it.

MoonStar used to just sit nearby while we sewed.

MoonStar used to just sit nearby while we sewed.

Then she decided Monkey's new blanket was the best place in the world to rest.

Then she decided Monkey’s new blanket was the best place in the world to rest.

Then she wanted a better perspective.

Then she wanted a better perspective.

Then she decided she wanted to learn to sew.

Then she decided she wanted to learn to sew.

Their preferred resting places.

Their preferred resting places.

Moonie has selected a random styrofoam castoff as her preferred resting place. And the above photo shows the difficulties of taking pictures of an all black cat.

Waffles is curled up on the cat bed on the right…his snuggle spot.

A better shot of Waffles.

A better shot of Waffles.

MoonStar is the talkative one and Waffles is the squeaky one and they have both brought a tremendous amount of laughter and joy to our lives.

Oh, and worms, they have also brought worms, but let’s not focus on that today.

Happy Catversary.