Office Face Lift

I love bargains! However, I got more work than I’d bargained for. New deskMy husband bought this beautiful mahogany and poplar desk at our local Goodwill store for a great price. I’d have room for storage and a better work surface.

Living in a 1900 era house has its charm but also some drawbacks–narrow doors plus oddly angled dormers and roof lines. Moving the desk into my office nook would take some creative maneuvers and the muscles of two men. We had to leave the desk outside during its first night at our home until someone could help carry it. The next day I discovered several white water stains where the tarp allowed moisture through. I couldn’t work on those outside or risk more damage from rain!

Did I mention both the desk and the top weigh a ton and have a bazillion screws? I seriously considered moving my office to another location in our home. My husband removed the 3 ft. x 6 ft. top. A friend helped carry the files and drawers up the stairs, through four doors, and around several corners. After all of that effort, the top was an inch too long for the window nook!  According to measurements, the desk should perfectly fit in the dormer. Instead, we found a marked bow in the old wall. Why hadn’t I seen that before? Yes, I knew the floor wasn’t level but I didn’t realize the wall was crooked too!

While we considered how to trim the top so it would fit, I needed to remove the water stain. A friend suggested I iron the white marks with a thin cloth and a steam iron. It greatly improved the marks but didn’t remove all the water damage. Pinterest pins said to use mayonnaise. It helped but some white areas remained. Plain toothpaste and a baking soda mixture finally removed all the white marks and restored the top to a beautiful shine. Finally, something was going right.

Reattaching the top of the desk became the grand adventure. We carried the top back down the stairs and hauled it to the local cabinet shop. They trimmed an inch from each side. That should work! So we proudly took it home and carried it back up those stairs. Of course Murphy and his law were in charge now. The crazy top needed another ¼ inch trim on the side where the wall bowed. We hauled it back down the stairs so the cabinet man could shave it once again. Finally, the monster desktop would accommodate the quirky curve we’d never noticed in the wall.

While I was out of town babysitting  grandchildren, my dear husband painted my office/extra bedroom a lighter shade of blue. He placed fresh flowers on the lovely new desk to welcome me home. He’s a keeper. As for the desk, well, it stays with the house if we ever move.




I’m sorting and packing to prepare for demolition and remodeling. What do I keep? Are these dishes worth consigning or are they Goodwill bound?  Tough choices, but nothing like some we face each day. What hard choice are you facing today?

I’m emptying a closet so a damaged wall can be removed. Sorting through years of accumulated stuff isn’t fun. It brings to mind the years of stored excuses and worldly things I should dump at the foot of the cross so a loving Savior can offer forgiveness. Do you need to unload some burden today?
 Our daily lives become cluttered with the cares of the world. God understands. He wants to restore order to the chaos that sneaks in to crowd Him out.

I won’t fill all of my home remodeling posts with analogies for Christian living. These items struck me today as important words. So I’m sharing a bit of my internal and external clutter with a prayer that you can release part of yours to Christ.

Empty of the mess, stripped of their covering, these upper cabinets stand ready for demolition. Renewal awaits. The process won’t be easy as upheaval and inconvenience comes later this month. It’s worth the effort. Half of my home will get an uplift.Tossing earthly possessions is hard. Reaping the rewards of restoration and a newly redecorated home will be worth the effort.

Renewal of our souls means so much more. Are you ready to remove the doors that mask the junk and pain in your life? Are you ready to allow God to renovate? I’m praying about areas of my life that need to be revamped as I sort and clean the clutter from my house.

Share your needs with God. If you want to post ways He’s working in your life, leave a comment. Prayers for each other can bring strength and courage to face a huge challenge.

Demolition and Reconstruction

Damage from a fallen tree limb during a storm brings major home repairs at the Evaul house. 

Add to that a house that’s over 100 years old, a leaky roof with several days of rain from the remnants of hurricane Lee, and we’re preparing for loads of fun. This is a crack  around our kitchen window on the first floor. The cabinets are separated from the wall. 

Another crack in our bedroom floor and extends down the back of the house where the limb acted like a claw hammer and pulled the outer wall away from the house. It’s hanging on by prayers and some sturdy nails. Plastic bags make good temporary insulation. We don’t go out that door to the balcony at this point in time.

It is  not an optical illusion.

 The stairs from our balcony are twisted and detached from the house.    


Yep, we have plaster lathing in the ceiling. We’re good at demolition but our attempt at plumbing failed. The drain still leaks. Hey, at least the ceiling isn’t sagging and sopping wet. Another item for the contractor’s “repair list.”

At the end of September the deck and the back of our house will be removed. Eventually, we’ll have a new kitchen, bedroom, roof, deck, and laundry room. Guess we’ll need a new ceiling in the dining room. Oh, and a new drain for the shower might be handy.

I’ll post pics as we get into full remodel mode. For now, we’ll pack most of our house as we prepare to live in some available corner. Stay tuned for dramatic photos as we discover unknown secrets within the walls of “this old house.”

Farewell Andy Barker

It saddens me to hear that the founder of Love Valley, NC passed away yesterday. Andy Barker was a visionary who leaves his influence on the history of Iredell County, NC.

 He wanted to be a cowboy so he built a town in 1954. People from around the world traveled to meet Andy and see his cowboy town.

 Andy and Ellenora Barker became my friends as I researched my novel, Grow Old With Me. We chatted in Andy’s Hardware Store, laughed around the table in his home, and talked about life in Love Valley.

I’m thankful I had the opportunity to go to Love Valley in April, hold a book signing, and autograph a copy for Andy and his wife Ellenora. It was an honor to spend time with his granddaughter, and attend church with his daughter.

Grow Old With Me is a work of fiction set in Andy’s vibrant old-west-style town. To see more pictures of Love Valley, NC visit my website

North Carolina lost a great man this week.

If God has horses in heaven, I’m sure Andy Barker is riding a fine one today. Farewell to a special man.

Mimi again!

I’m sharing a picture of my new grandson and his two year old brother. I’m currently wearing my Mimi hat as I take care of the older child and help Mom and Dad with the new little one.

The miracle of new life is amazing. A newborn is totally dependant on its parents to provide every need. God has given us a perfect example of His amazing love for us.

Total dependence on God in every aspect of life isn’t our desire–but it’s God’s plan for us.  

My 2 year old grandson wants to do it himself. Most of the time he could use a little help. And the baby? Well, we all know there isn’t much he can do without assistance.

 Have you surrendered every part of your life to our loving and compassionate God?

Whiter Than Snow

I  awoke to a winter wonderland. Merry Christmas! My husband, son, and cat, ventured out to take pictures. I stayed cozy on the couch and watched the branches of our plum tree grow heavy as fat wet flakes settled quietly on every branch.

I’ve added pictures taken in our yard. I’d love to see some of your Christmas shots. After you tour my website, hop over to my FB page, Melinda Evaul-Author, to share your Christmas pictures. I’ll choose a random shot on Monday and give a copy of Grow Old With Me to that poster.

Remember the where’s Waldo pictures? I have my own version–find the white cat in the snow. He’s easy to spot with his fancy blue harness. My cat can’t hear so he’s leash trained.      Cold paws from fluffy snow are a new experience for him.    

He thinks he is royalty so he posed for a regal picture after his adventure.  

True Royalty Came on Christmas

The King of Kings came to earth on Christmas. That old hymn “Whiter Than Snow” keeps rolling through my head. We celebrate Christ’s birth today. Many have no idea that He is the reason we have Christmas . The spotless, sinless, Son of God came to become our savior. He came to take our crimson sins and make us whiter than snow.

The red berries on my nandina bushes reminded me of the blood He willing shed for me. Have you contemplated His gracious gift as you celebrate Christmas?