TPH on LGN & Vegan Biscuits for Your Weekend

Y’all, my toilet paper was featured on Little Green Notebook this week!  Did you see that?  And, also, my house.  Screen shot 2014-02-20 at 10.37.55 PMAnd, don’t forget, my toilet paper!

That Jenny really surprised me this week when I woke up and saw that she did a whole post on just me and our new house and my Instagram feed.  FLOORED.  DYING.  Should I wake up now?

I know I don’t need to introduce you to talented, ambitious, color genius Jenny.  You all know and love her.  Thank you, Jenny, for such kind words and risking your reputation by recommending me to your readers.

And, funny story:  yesterday I popped into an antique store before picking up the kids from school.  I was eyeballing a charming painting for the home office when I told the shopkeeper and her friend that I’d have to think it over as I currently have 583 paintings stacked on the floor around the house.  I’ll check back when I get more settled.

“Can I ask you your name?” the friend asked.

“Sure…I’m Angela.”

“I thought you looked familiar–you were on Little Green Notebook this week, right?  I’ve been following Jenny for a long time…”

Nice to meet you, Phyllis!

And, I think this pretty much means that I am famous.  Me and my Angel Soft.

So now that Jenny singlehandedly sextupled my Instagram audience, there’s no pressure, right?  I’ll just continue with cat photos…

Now let’s get down to biscuit business.

The biscuit recipe from the Minimalist Baker has seriously made my 2014 so far.  I’m from Texas so I don’t need to tell you that I’m a biscuit and gravy kind of girl.  Girlhood mornings at my grandparents’ farm saw my grandmother baking up homemade biscuits that she served alongside fried eggs and potatoes–all doused in gravy.  Now that I’m older, I like a little green with breakfast to, you know, balance it all out.  Go to the Minimalist Baker to see gorgeous biscuit photos, or stay here to see mediocre photos of a delicious vegan biscuit with vegan almond gravy and veggies.  I couldn’t put the camera down fast enough to eat it!

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Soft and fluffy, yum, just like good biscuits should be (at least that’s what my husband insists, wink-wink).

Here you can see the nice rise on the heart-shaped biscuits I made for the kiddos on Valentine’s Day morning.  I do hope you try the Minimalist Baker’s vegan biscuits.

vegan biscuit

As I prepped last week’s pan of biscuits, I got to thinking about Mrs. L and how I hadn’t seen her since Christmas.  She is precious and sweet and generous and 94-years old.  We were her neighbors for 6 years in the rancher we sold last summer.  She makes us pound cake and biscuits as good as my grandmother.  I get phonecalls from her, “Angela, I just took a pound cake out of the oven–come over and get it.”  Uh, okay!

So I went to see her on Valentine’s Day.  We talked about biscuits and compared our laundry chutes and I listened happily to how she did laundry in her family of 11 siblings on a farm in the 1920s and 30s–I relished every detailed and promptly came home and laid a slobbery kiss on my washer and dryer.  She and her husband married in 1939.  All I can say is what a treasure living history is.  If there is someone in your life ripe with history and experience and gray and wrinkly–it is worth every bit of your time to soak up the wisdom, the stories, and the connection to the past.

Mrs. L built her rancher in 1954 and has been there ever since.  I used to do home tours on TPH (want to return to that), and the tour of her home is one of my favorites.  She laughs knowingly when I tell her moving is hard–that makes me smile.

The Loft: Sold!

This was the photo I took as I headed out the loft door for the last time.

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Man, I miss that place!

The space was an empty and wide open when we bought it in 2011.

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See that drywall patch on the brick wall?  The massive antique bar mirror would eventually conceal that spot.

So when we decided (uh, really, when I decided I was mentally prepared to part with it) to list the loft, it happened to coincide with a trip we had scheduled to Texas.  The listing went live on Thursday, we left for Texas on Friday, and by Saturday we had to tell all showing agents to hold all offers until Monday at noon when we would review the highest and best offers.  We were blown away.  Totally unexpected.

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And that is how I found myself in a Texas waterpark standing barefoot in mysterious water managing a bidding war with our agent in Georgia.

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There was one offer who wanted to buy the place completely furnished, down to the last detail.  I was flattered.  But, really, the response to the place overall was a huge ego boost for me.  The space had been highly personalized for me, and I loved knowing so many people wanted it even still.  And, just like that, it was sold and gone.

IMG_0749I hope you will come back and see how this place shaped up to be a beloved painting retreat.  I have posted about the bathroom before.  Neon pink–I miss that bathroom!

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Take a tour of the loft:

The Loft Bedroom

The Loft Bathroom

The Loft Living & Dining

The Loft Bunkroom

New Studio Space

The sun is shining on us in the snowy Atlanta area–and this makes me so happy!  While the snow is beautiful and magical and all, it has me feeling a little inconvenienced.  I know, how dare I?  Well, it’s been four weeks now that we’ve been without a driveway or a yard–the painted house is surrounded by a mud pit.  We are waiting on fine weather to complete this exterior project–among many others inside the house.  My desire to feel settled is so strong it is trumping my desire to enjoy the snow.  Scrooge!

I wish I had more to share on the house, but I’ve had little time to nest between managing the unfinished projects, hanging with the family, and taking some rest for myself to maintain some sanity.  The nesting to-do list is taller than a 6th-grade Angela over her male classmates.  But I think next up is painting some of our existing furniture…in the new studio.

img_3735 copyphoto: Christina Wedge

For those of you who follow me on Instagram, you might have seen that I alluded to the fact that we sold the loft studio (above) last summer.  Boo-hoo!  I tell you, I loved that place.  So many good moments there painting and with friends and family; but when we went under contract on the new house last spring that had space for a nice studio…and the kids would be in school instead of homeschooled…well, it didn’t make sense to maintain the loft as my retreat when I would have the house to myself during the day.  Come back and I’ll tell you the exciting (to us, anyway) story of how that sale went down.  It involves me in a mom-tankini in a Texas waterpark negotiating over the phone with our agent in Georgia (thankfully no photos of this moment exist).

And, I still have photos of the space to show you…from when I finished it in 2011.  Man, I have been a bad blogger.

Certainly the highlight of the loft was the feature in Atlanta magazine, written by Lisa Mowry and photographed by Christina Wedge.  Twas an awesome honor.   Christina also did some family shots of us at the loft…I need to show you those, too, because she did a fantastic job!  Bad blogger…

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photo: Christina Wedge

I love this one of my daughter and me–the girl created art in this space almost as much as me.  So when I say “my studio” I really mean “our studio.”

We’ve been without studio space since July 2013.  No wonder I’ve been going almost crazy!  So, I am anxious to set up shop in the new studio here at the house.  But first I’m going to haul in furniture for painting before I gear up for any art.  And, art, goodness, that is another 5 or 500 therapy posts on that subject.  Anyone want to tell me what to do with my life when the house is done?

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I think it will be a lovely place to sling some paint.

What Is Your Unword

Last week Darlene, Edie, Myquillyn and I shared our unwords for 2014.  Have you picked one out?  If you did, inspire us by sharing yours in either the comments or link up a post you wrote about that unwelcomed, undesirable UNword.

2014 Un-word of the yearMy unword for 2014 is FRET.

unword of the yearDeclaring an unword has proven to be successful so far.  I am much more mindful when FRET threatens to hijack my day, thinking of the little pep talk I wrote myself last week.  And, really, I’m seeing I do worry about some pretty silly stuff.  Or maybe that is my OCD.  Yep, didn’t you know that the old tagline of TPH was “obsessed and compulsive with offbeat beauty“?

The Un-Word of the Year

There is a little rebel in this good girl.  So when Darlene of Fieldstone Hill Design asked me to join her, Edie, and Nester in announcing an UNword of the year, I felt it was just the way to resist resolutions and do things a smidgen different.  And you can share yours, too!

But, first, what are the crazy chances that this post of the unword falls on my unbirthday?  What?  It’s your unbirthday, too?  Nuts!

Anyway, deciding on my unword was easy:unword of the yearI don’t know about you, but I was born with a furrow on my brow and worries in my little baby heart.  It is not easy to undo what is seemingly genetically wrought, but I’m aiming to be better at controlling the worry instead of the worry controlling me.

What I’ve learned about fretting so far in my life:

  • There have been countless times I have fretted about something, big or small, and let that fret twist up my stomach, keep my eyes wide open at night, whip my thoughts into a frenzy of speculations, and overall incite a general feeling of doom—and, everything turns out okay.  Every.  Single.  Time.  (Results aren’t always how I would have wished, but I make it out okay, smarter, possibly stronger.)
  • There have been fewer situations when I have chosen not to fret, and I let it go.  No twisted gut, no sleepless nights, no frenzies.  Just the little uneasiness of waiting for an impatient person like me. And, everything turns out okay.  Every. Single. Time.

It is a wonder that I ever choose to fret when the result is the same–but the toll on me is not.  Oh, the toll.

So, choosing to reject “fret” this year must mean I have immense amount of self-control.  Nope.   I wield my faith in God to banish worry–sounds pretty Tough Mutha,right?  It is not always easy, as my faith sometimes wanes more than it waxes.  But as a Bible believer, I’d be a fool to reject this counsel:

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Phillipians 4:6 & 7

And from the mouth of Jesus,

And why do you worry about clothes?  See how the flowers of the field grow.  They do not labor or spin.  Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.  If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you?

There he goes appealing to my love of fashion.  I understand this.

But, Angela, why are you getting all Jesus on us here when we just stopped by your blog to look at furniture and paintings and rooms?  

I know, what does this have to do with The Painted House?  Pretty much everything.  Worry kills my creativity.  Worry spikes my anxiety, makes me sick, and represses my appetite for beauty and wonder (click on it if just for the photos).  But I can’t reject worry alone–I need the promise that there is someone bigger in control.  I respect that we all come from different places–but at TPH I can’t ignore that my creativity is one and the same with my relationship with God.

Now, let’s get back to these clothes Jesus said not to worry about.  Please come in size Tall–at least a 34″ inseam.  I don’t look good in yellow.  And, I have orangutan arms.  Thanks!

Do you have an unword for the year?

I hope you will link up with my sweet friends Dar, Edie of Life in Grace, and Myquillyn of Nesting Place next Tuesday, January 21, and share your unword for the year.  You can also post your unword to Instagram, #unword2014.  I’m angenigma on Instagram–see you there!2014 Un-word of the year

Don’t worry, girl, we’re gonna be okay!

girls at the loft

All this talk about fretting reminds me of a moment that changed my course of worrying during my husband’s illness 6 years ago.  I wrote this on the old TPH two weeks after discovering he had cancer.

Just as suspected, I hit a rough patch last night. Too much thinking, too much reasoning, too much trying to put the pieces together–I was struck with fear thinking of the worst case scenario. That churning nausea returned and I could feel my resolve weakening. Even though I told myself that I knew better than to doubt God, I still felt sick as I drifted off to sleep. Please, please help me, Lord, I prayed.

Then sometime in the middle of the night my son appeared on my side of the bed. “Mommy, I had a bad dream,” he said. He does this occasionally and we pray together, asking Jesus for good dreams or no dreams at all. So last night, half asleep, I began praying out loud for him, “Dear Jesus,…” As soon as I said “Amen” he quietly slipped back to his room–comforted and secure. There were no doubts, no questions. And it was then that the phrase “faith like a child” popped into my head. Faith like a child. I need to stop trying to figure it all out–as if there was something to figure out anyway. Stop asking questions, wondering. All I need is to trust.

So today I have worried still a bit more, but then I stop myself and say “faith like a child.” It is so simple, all God asks of us. And, I thank my son and God for that reminder.

I think about that night a lot–it felt so supernatural and gave me a peace that transcended understanding, and it comforts me still.

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