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Countertop Review

This time last year I was packing up our house to prepare for our down-to-the-studs renovation in our kitchen, family room, and master bath as well as the addition of a screened porch. The family room wasn't originally part of the plan, but that's a post for another time. The kitchen was where I really had to plan and scheme, and, yes even fret, to stay in our footprint and budget and to get the function and look I wanted. I love a challenge like this, though, so despite some occasional frustration with my client (aka me! ), I enjoyed the process. A key "want" of mine was honed marble countertops. There are dozens--maybe hundreds--of blog posts, articles, and showroom sites that compare various types of countertop materials and their pros and cons. I read most of them and took notes from a lot of them in the months leading up to our start date. One of the most helpful things was visiting a sweet friend's kitchen, where I was able to ask questions about cleaning, a

Trekker Chic

If you’ve been reading Town and Country Mom for more than a few posts (and thank you if you have!), then you know that I seldom write about fashion or style.  Many others do that far better than I ever could. (Two of my favorite  women’s style blogs are Privilege and Une Femme d'un Certain Age.)  This post is not an exception.

The Mister and I leave for our annual mission trip to Peru on Sunday.  Packing for this trip is a breeze.  Like a hurricane.

The good news is that the Mister and I are both reasonably light travelers.  Additional good news is that we each get to check two bags weighing up to 50 pounds for free in addition to our carry-on bags.  Our goal is to fill the four checked bags with items we will leave behind.  We have collected children’s clothes, soccer balls (deflated), small stuffed animals, school supplies, individually wrapped candies, sheets, towels, and hygiene items.  Friends have given us old (as in no longer stylish) suitcases to use, and we will leave those behind as well.   The recipients are thrilled to have a place to store things out of the desert dust.

IMG_3088For myself, I am keeping it simple.  My version of trekker chic is: five pairs of stone/khaki pants and shorts and lots of white shirts and tops; two caps; my Peru backpack; and some new work gloves.  All of this except my caps and backpack will be left.  I’ll also take at least one decent dress to wear shopping and to dinner in Lima as well as my usual flight garb (black knit pants, black turtleneck, shawl (hopefully a new baby Alpaca one) and black Clark’s) to wear home.

Other necessities (some would say luxuries) include water bottles, individually packed trail mix, Starbucks instant coffee, a jar of peanut butter, my Bible, a notebook, and my iPod.  For the travel days, I’m thinking of taking a needlepoint project as well as a book because for some mysterious reason, I enjoy needlepointing and eavesdropping people-watching in airports.

I wrote several posts about our trip last year—about our work and about what we ate and about what we bought—and I’m on the fence about writing about Peru when we return this year.  IMG_0728If you’d like to hear more, or if you have questions about our trip, please let me know.  Or if you’d rather return to regular programming, let me know that, too!

In the meantime, I’ve planned some non-Peru related posts for while we’re away, and I hope they post as scheduled.  I may not be able to respond to, or even publish your comments, as internet service is extremely sketchy but I’m already looking forward to catching up when we return!

Lastly, we’re most grateful for prayers for our group as well as for Middle and Little, who are staying behind with their grandparents.  Big, of course, is at college, studying. 

Or sledding.


  1. Thank you T&C. Much appreciated. I remember your trip last year, and I'd love to hear a recap when you return. It's such a great thing you do, a way to really live the values of responsibility.

  2. What an amazing oppotunity ~ can wait to hear more upon your return! Love what you are doing for others.

    Safe travels ~

  3. How wonderful...what part of Peru are you traveling to? BTW sent you an email...I received a stylish blogger award and had to pass it on to 10 other blogs that I love, and I awarded it to you! Please visit me to see...

  4. I loved hearing about your trip last year and look forward to hearing about it this year. Save travels!

  5. Will be praying for you and your ministry! So honored to call you friend! ...and thanks again for your sweet email.

  6. Thanks for your visit to my blog and for becoming a follower. I'm returning the favor. I hope you have a wonderful mission trip. My prayers go with you. It's a great thing you are doing. How happy the people must be to see you.

    God bless and keep you!

  7. Have a wonderful, inspiring, giving time in Peru! Will miss the updates here, but know that what you will be doing is helping many more. Look forward to updates you see appropriate to share when you return .... and hope those don't include sledding injuries! :)

  8. A year has past already? I can't believe it. Wishing you safe travels. :)

  9. Hi there-
    Just found your blog for the first time, and I am lovin' it! I am now a follower on Bloglines.
    We seem to have some things in common- I was trying to figure out where you live, because I saw some references to the upstate and Clemson. My son is a Clemson grad, and is now back there in grad school. My husband and I are grads. My husband is from the town of Clemson, and I am from Charleston. Now we are smack dab in the middle in Columbia. I am an elementary French teacher. I saw some francophone references in your blog, too. Happy travels on your mission trip. My family enjoys doing those, too.

  10. i first met you right after your trip to peru and
    was so inspired by it. it is just wonderful that
    your bags will be filled with gifts to leave

    you're STILL an inspiration!

  11. Godspeed! I do hope you will share your experiences with us when you return. I think the kind of work you are doing is inspirational and truly makes the world a better place.

  12. Thinking about you and hope you are doing well! Look forward to your return. God bless!


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