Log Rhythms: Joanna and Mom…

Last Wednesday I talked about going to First Monday Trade Days in Canton, Texas. Thanks to numerous web sites telling me what might be available there for the cabin, I felt it was a must.

The hubby and I went last Sunday to find a unique laundry sink for the cabin. If nothing else, I wanted see if Canton might have one at a better price than what I was finding online.

It hit me about a month ago that there was very little about our cabin laundry room that would make it “stand out” from the other rooms in the cabin. I think I can safely say that I have ideas up in my head or already in place in the cabin to make several areas “fun for the eye.”

I already have some stories I want to recount for folks who visit the cabin as our guests. We do plan to rent the cabin when not in family use and I plan to put these stories in a photo album filled with the pics we have taken as we have built and furnished the cabin.

One day it hit me that I could choose a unique laundry sink that would be in keeping with the retro “vibe” of the cabin. I looked online everywhere and about the cheapest I could find a sink was $ 650. And it wasn’t quite the size I wanted. When I found one that was reasonable, it didn’t fit in the space where we will put it.

After finding shady spots for our cars (We went separately, since I was heading back to Central Texas afterward.), we saw the exact sinks I had in mind at the very first part of the first pavilion. And the prices were far better than what we were finding online. However, since these were all used sinks, we feared that they may no longer adequately hold water.

We found numerous ones elsewhere and even better prices. The hubby recommended this sink would wear better if brand new. Thankfully, a First Monday potter/vendor throws custom-made sinks! He had one with a retro vibe that he was willing to discount because of its unusual size and shape. Unfortunately, he had already taken down his display by the time we made the decision. Thankfully, we had his contact and we now own a sink!

Now our dilemma? What to put it in! One vendor puts them in whiskey barrels, but we decided those might be too small for the purchased sink and too wide for the space in the laundry room. We then looked for tables and dressers that could be converted into reservoirs for the sink. We struck out there, but I think that if I continue to look for the right antique dresser, I’ll find the missing piece of giving that laundry room some character.

But, that was probably not the best thing that happened during our visit to Canton. The best thing was discovering that a LOT of the vendors at First Monday Trade Days have the metal letters that Joanna Gaines has made famous in her show with hubby, Chip, “Fixer Upper.” The prices are reasonable in Canton for these and we fell in love with the idea of spelling out the word cabin for one of the vaulted walls in the great room.

Five years ago I would probably never have considered something like this, but Joanna has won me over with her eclectic transitional style and her “home plate” in Waco isn’t too far from Solitude and the Reserve. In fact I’ll bet that she often goes to Canton to get the items she uses to furnish the homes she and Chip renovate.

At one location we actually found metal letters in colors I already love (They are in my Central Texas kitchen) welded together into the word “cabin” and the price was a mere $ 25. Needless to say they came home with me. I call that purchase “the Joanna effect.” If I had to guess, the Joanna effect is probably why so many vendors in Canton offer these metal letters now.

And now it’s important to tell you one of those stories that will one day be a part of that photo album. My mom passed away in 2003 and prior to her death, she chose to forego treatment for cancer and just let nature take its course. Our whole family was together when Mom signed the “Do Not Resuscitate” orders. It was a somber moment, of course.

To break the tension we all felt, the hubby asked, “Nana, if you could do your life all over again, what would you do differently?” My mom, known for her pithy little bits of wisdom, was quite pensive for what seemed like an eternity. We all stopped what we were doing to wait for what was sure to guide all of us for the rest of our lives.

She finally answered, “Eat more ice cream.” What?

After all that thought, that’s what she came up with–eat more ice cream???

We all laughed when she said it. She did mean she would choose to eat more ice cream, but when we had a moment to think, we realized it was incredibly wise. And here’s why.

Mom was a thrifty, frugal Scot and could decorate an entire home beautifully with brown construction paper, contact paper, and a burned up bird cage without a door. Spending money on superfluous things was not her. It was a necessary skill, since in her day, minister husbands didn’t make a lot of money and married women didn’t usually work outside the home.

In addition Mom always struggled with her weight, even as a child. Thus, Mom seldom ate highly caloric foods–she saved those for holidays and special occasions. But, once every blue moon, my mom would splurge on ice cream from the local ice cream connoisseurs just for grins. I had a lot of special memories with her at the ones she favored in Indianapolis when I was a teen.

What Mom meant was that she would have splurged more often and enjoyed life more. She wouldn’t spare the family budget if it meant enjoying more of life and making memories.

One day while surfing on Amazon.com, I came across something I couldn’t believe: a rustic sign in my aforementioned color scheme with the words, “Eat more ice cream.” Nope. Not kidding.

So, this mom splurged and bought it, not even knowing where I was going to put it! But, our entire family is in love with that sign….because of Mom. Whenever we aren’t sure whether we should spend money on something rather frivolous, one of us will inevitably say, “Eat more ice cream.” And we know that’s the signal to go ahead, spend the money and make that memory.

If anything in my life is about eating more ice cream, it’s this cabin. I hope a PILE of memories are made there and that my mom would approve of each one of them.EMIC

So, the pic above is all about Mom and all about Joanna, reportedly another Godly woman like my mom. And don’t they look cool together?!?!

Did I mention that the hubby makes spectacular, off-the-charts great homemade ice cream? Guess that sign will have to go right by a hand-crank ice cream maker that also has created a lot of memories for our family.

And yes, I’m going back to Canton. Probably more than once.

Friday’s Post: Maizie’s New Observation

You Might Also Like: Log Rhythms: Canton-bury Tales and Log Rhythms: Logging Miles

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