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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

A Thing or Two

There's no denying it now.  In one week--one week!--I will turn 50.  No matter what kind of care I have or haven't taken of myself, no matter how strong or weak the gene pool from which I sprang, I think it's safe to say I've reached midlife.  Really.  I just don't see myself going on past 100.

And yet, I still have some dreams and goals to accomplish, which means the next 20 or 30 years are chock full of potential.  The bad news, of course, is that as we age (oh, yes, it pains me to say it), certain things decline or diminish.  Memory, for instance.

In 50 years, I've learned a thing or two.  And my intent is to write some of those tidbits down this week.  I want to be able to re-read them in case I can't remember them later.  If any of them are of help to you, dear readers, then so much the better.  For those of you in the "ohmygosh I can't even imagine turning (shudder) 50" camp, let me just say neither could I.  For those of you who have blazed the trail already, I offer a million thanks for your generosity in sharing a slice of your journey.  And now, a thing or two.

An hour of sleep before midnight is worth two afterward.  The corollary of this is that a productive hour before 7 am is worth two later in the day.

Drugstore make-up really is just as good as department store make-up.  Almost always.

Expensive hair products, on the other hand, are usually really better.

Don't skimp on towels, sheets, or toilet paper.

Most people, including your spouse most of the time, usually just want to hear the bullet points.  Only one or two dear friends want the whole narrative.

Expecting someone, especially a man, to read your mind is an unrealistic expectation.  To pout or punish him when he is unable to do the impossible sets up a most unsatisfying cycle of disappointment.  Communicating clearly and kindly will enhance your relationship far more.

No one can remember everyone's name.  Avoid the awkwardness.  Apologize for forgetting a name, and re-introduce yourself right away.

That's all for tonight.  More to come.


  1. When I turned forty I threw myself a lavish sit down dinner party in a one of the sweller New York restaurant for 75 of my closest friends, had special tablecloths made, tables covered with masses of white lillies, and chamagne flowing ike water. The party wound up at an afterhours club in downtown Manhattan where all sorts of fun was had into the wee morning. When i turned fifty, I decided my present to myself would be the renovaion of a barn on our property at Darlington house. End of the day I probably spent more on the barm but it gives me so much more pleasure than a shingig would have. My, how one's proiorities change over time! Happy Birthday! Reggie

  2. These are great tips!
    I'm an early bird and personally can attest to getting stuff done before 7am. It changes the whole rhythm of the day in a positive way.
    And I never skimp on towels, sheets, or toilet paper, it makes all the difference :-)

  3. Thank you for sharing your life lessons with us.
    I'll be 57 on dec. 25th and I sure cant tell you how that happened:) I still feel 30 so maybe if I hold on to that thought-- well ok, aint happenin lol..

    Happy Birthday to YOU,,in advance.

    Merry Christmas

  4. I love these! Some are things I have thought, some are wonderful reminders.... ie. sleep before midnight!!!!
    I wish you a beautiful birthday and thank you for taking the time to share your wonderful blog!

  5. Reggie, I had a big blow-out 40th party, which was supposed to have been a surprise, but, of course, I made The Mister 'fess up as to who was hosting and what the plans were. (Turns out his only responsibilities were to have the invitations done and write a check.) I promptly took over the invitation duties (I might have had a few control issues in my younger years!) and scheduled a hair and nail appointment for the morning of. Then I feigned complete surprise that night! Happily, I'm a little more relaxed these days, and I think a renovated barn sounds like a wonderful and long-lasting present! I hope you'll share its story with your readers one day!

  6. Sara Louise and Sonny, Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. I'm so happy to have found your blogs!

    Cheryl, isn't it the truth about sleep before midnight. I'm still not great about following my own advice, though. I'm blaming Pinterest!

  7. I should tell my husband to read this...I have lost count of the number of times I have wandered away in my mind while he is telling some story and he asks me if I am listening. Le sigh. I always tell him he loses his audience when he takes so long to get to the point! A bestie is the one who will sit on the edge of her seat with bated breath waiting to hear every detail :O)

    I know you are faboo at 50 so I know you will glide into it with your usual grace.

  8. Happy Birthday and of course you do not look anywhere near 50. I adore all of your thoughts! So much life ahead for us!

    Please Come and enter in My 12 Days of Holiday Giveaways. There are so many exciting & special Gifts! Tis the Season!


    Art by Karena

  9. Been there. Done that. I won't tell you all that's coming down the pike. The beginning of 50 is hard enough! lol! ;)

  10. What great post, I'm really looking forward to turning 50,my late 40's have been awful so I just want the next two years to whizz by.

    And I say amen to the point about bullet points/narrative!

  11. Happy Birthday! I am now 63 and find it hard to believe. So your 50 seems young to me. I try to tell myself it's just a number, but certain changes can't be denied.

    Always enjoy my visits to your blog.


  12. happy {almost} birthday!! 50 is the new 30. add that to your list!! i hope you have something really special planned to celebrate!! xo, tessa

  13. Happy Birthday, in advance. I hope you enjoy the heck out of your 50s!


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