Sunday, July 31, 2022

What We Were Up To In July ~ Painting, Dancing and Bears

 We had a pretty busy month. Rebekah was at summer dance intensives for most of it but was home for about two weeks in the middle of the month. She spent her time at home registering for college classes, auditioning for a professional ballet program to attend in the fall, and finding a new job. She accomplished all three.  She will be working at the H&M clothing store starting next week. Rebekah passed the audition and was put in the highest level at the ballet conservatory. She will start that at the end of August, four nights a week and all day Saturday. She is excited about it, because it is right here in town and does four different shows each year with multiple performances of each. Rebekah will be taking three classes at the local community college in retail marketing. She is working toward a certificate and then perhaps a diploma or degree in Business Administration and Marketing. She is going to be very busy this fall!

The second two summer dance intensives were a wonderful experience. She absolutely loved all of the ballet at the Ballet Conservatory of Cary. The teachers were kind but made excellent corrections. She felt like she improved a great deal under their care. She was a little less thrilled with the living situation. She was in an apartment with three other girls who were a bit younger and a bit catty. They didn't really interact with her much and mostly left her to do the majority of the house work in the apartment. They reported to the conservatory for the days worth of classes and then to the "mother house" at dinner time for dinner with about 20 other dancers. It was loud and chaotic and required a few miles of walking in the extreme heat each day. However, it was  a great experience over all.

The last intensive was contemporary dance and was held at UNCSA. She got to live in the dorms and dance her heart out for about nine hours a day. She made some incredible friends and loved almost every minute of it. I am so glad she got a little taste of the nice parts of college life, since she will be going to community college instead of living at a university. They created a film that I can't wait to see. It should be edited and released by September.  She came home absolutely exhausted but happy. 

I walked around the campus the morning that I picked her up. It is a gorgeous campus filled with lots of nooks and crannies. UNCSA does a very nice job of taking care of their students. It is a really sweet place. 

This little street on the campus is all fake and used by the film students to do outdoor films. 

All the Rest

We tried out a new food place at the mall that makes carnival food.

I had the Street Corn.

We played a ton of Scrabble games in July. It seems like some combination of us played it every other night. 

We visited a cute covered bridge that is one of only two left in the state. This one was built in 1895 by four local men who read a popular book on bridge styles and went out and built it. I wish our society hadn't lost so many of those skills. 

We have had many visits from our mama bear with her youth cubs. They are getting pretty big. I think she will send them on their way into adulthood soon. 

Elijah has been busy working away at Target. He has now been there for a full year. He has made some great friends and had to say goodbye to a few who have moved on. He is doing well and keeping busy. Driving is going very slowly. I wish he would take a few lessons from a professional but he absolutely refuses to do so. We now are driving on a few back roads rather than parking lots. He is making very slow and steady progress.

I spent much of the month of July working on the rec room. I am very pleased with the results so far. We still have to save for and buy an electric fireplace and paint the bricks behind which only have a coat of Kilz primer at the moment. We had a huge multi week debate about the color of the room, and in the end the kids won. We painted it a very bright and a bit dark green. I am shocked how good it looks and creates a continuation to the green outdoors. Sometimes, you just have to throw caution to the wind. Dear Husband and I also replaced all of the baseboards so they would match,  fixed the overhead lighting shades (with parchment paper!), and painted all of the doors and trim in ultra white. My main goal for this room was to bring it all together and make it more uniform. With five different wall textures (yes, there are only four walls) and three different styles of baseboard, it looked a awful. The guys were insistent that we keep the brown cedar shake wall (from when that wall was the exterior to a previous rendition of this house), and since I could not afford to have it replaced, they won and we made it a focal point. Even the outlet covers were all different until we changed them. 
We added more floor lamps to bring in light and decided to match the outlet covers to the walls by painting them in the same color as the wall they were on. If you look carefully, there is one near the bottom of the stairs.

They guys' game table is a drop leaf and we folded it up and covered it with a table cloth when it is not in use. The mirror was a super find at the thrift store for $20. It adds so much light to the room.

The next project in this room is finishing the fireplace area. The brick used to be red and there were about six bricks missing. I couldn't find a match so I made styrofoam bricks and painted them with a primer.  We do not have to worry about heat getting to them because we are installing an electric fireplace which can go against any wall and doesn't put off heat in the back. 
Can you find the fake bricks?
The brightest white one is one of them. They will disappear completely with a final coat of paint. 

We also have really old fluorescent lights in the basement. It wasn't in the budget to replace them, but the diffusers were hideous and didn't fit right. I was looking for a budget-friendly solution and decided to use parchment paper. Once again, they are heat resistant and cover the ugliness for now. We just cut them to the right size and glued them to the frame. 

We budgeted $200 for phase one of the project (phase two is the fireplace) and came in a little bit higher at $285. Those pesky baseboards were pricey. However, I am very pleased with the results. 

I hope you all are having a fantastic summer. 

Blessings, Dawn


  1. What clever solutions!! And what a wonderful job you do on a tight budget!! I'm super impressed!

    Congratulations to your kids on their excellent progress at adulting. I feel a strange sort of investment in your kids, and I root for them and rejoice in their successes. :)

  2. The rec room turned out really nice! I love your way of thinking outside the box to fix the missing bricks and the light cover! I'm glad the intensives have been overall good experiences this year!