When The Cast Is Away

     When the cat is away, the mice will play, or so the old saying goes.  I have several little projects I’ve been wanting to get to around my home.  Just shifting of things from here to there, wanting to give a few small areas a new look.  No major room re-do’s, just small things.  However, even those small things do take time, and I’ve been slow in getting to them.

     Dani was gone all day Tuesday.  My boys were in the pool for the afternoon, and my husband was busy painting the front door.  I had all of my daily tasks completed and decided I would tackle one of those little areas.  Here’s the deal……..sometimes when I get these grandiose ideas about moving things around, Dani presents all sorts of really logical reasons why they won’t work.  Now, don’t get me wrong.  She’s an adult woman with her own tastes, and she’s usually right when she offers her opinion in these instances.  You’ll see further on where having her here would have saved me some time!  Anyway, this little mouse played while her logical, practical daughter, the one with the naturally creative, artistic bent was away.

      The top of my fridge drives me crazy.  In reality, the front of my fridge drives me crazy, too.  I am NOT a magnets holding all sorts of stuff to the front of the fridge kind of person.  I prefer nothing on the front of the fridge.  However, in my less than perfect kitchen, the front of the fridge really is the ideal spot for a magnetic dry erase board to keep our shopping list on.  It works for us, so I’m happy.  The only other thing that is permanently on the front of the fridge is our list of emergency contact numbers for the kids. 


      Occasionally, kid creations of one sort or another will also make their way to the front of the fridge. Aaron’s GI Joe, holding  the dry erase pen, lasted for months on the front of the fridge.  I thought he was kind of cool, myself.  In the same manner, Will’s little magnet & metal sculptures have also had their time on the front of the fridge.  Yesterday, though, I put them away.  I also put the recent photo of my husband and his high school/college/church youth group buds with our other photos.








      The top of the fridge, though……I’d like that area to look nice, but I also like things in my kitchen to be as functional as possible.  Here’s what it looked like before I started.  The only things kept on top of the fridge were/are my bread machine and a painted tin.  This has been a good location for the bread machine because my baking center is located on the counter (and in the cabinets) just to the left of the fridge.  Remember, as I’m sure is true with most of us, I’m making my less-than-perfect kitchen the best that I can while working with what I’ve got! 



IMG_5997       I’m short.  I was only 5’4″ in my prime, and I’m sure I’ve started that shrinking thing by now.  Dani is shorter than I am.  Apparently, our “out of sight out of mind” philosophies apply to the top of the fridge, too.  Yuck!  I’m sure I would never have found the oven thermometer up there behind the door hinge, and I would certainly have had a banana before they were too ripe.  Yes, I know, some of you think these bananas look just right, but we prefer them a little on the green side.  No nasty comments, please, I am what I am.  Short and a green banana lover.   The oven thermometer was put away, the bananas were put in the compost bucket and the top of the fridge was scrubbed clean.

IMG_5990      Awhile back, I completely cleaned off the back counter in my kitchen.   I’ve really enjoyed the look of having this being so nice and open.  The corner, where the microwave used to be, has become the home of:  a bowl of fruit, a dish of walnuts & a nutcracker, and my very yummy smelling Buttercream candle.  However, in the summer we are more likely to take a piece of COLD fruit out of the fridge than reach for a room temperature piece.  The candle had, at best, an hour’s worth of burn time left.  The fruit went into the fruit drawer of the fridge.  The candle was lit and put next to my stove to pleasantly scent my kitchen while I worked, and the nuts were moved to the center of the back counter. 

IMG_6008      While the candle burned away, I moved my bread machine to that spot in the corner.  As you can see, it really does not take up much room on the back counter.  (There are a couple of left over blueberry muffins in a vintage covered dish next to it.)  Not only did this free up the top of my fridge, but it also makes more sense.  Though my baking center is on the other side of the kitchen, next to the fridge, there are only two plugs and a very limited amount of counter space there.  Having the bread machine plugged in and running there makes the area out-of-service for anything else.  Now, we will simply bring the bread pan from the machine to the baking center, fill it with our bread ingredients, and then take it back to the machine to be baked, keeping the small counter at the baking center free to be used for other things.  I like it!  


     Here’s where having Dani home would have saved me some time.  I thought that a nice display done in and around this vintage bolt box would be just the ticket.  When I showed Dani this picture today, she laughed.  See, she would have just “known” that that box wouldn’t have fit up there.  Me?  I’ve got to see it to believe it.  Rats!  However, I will tell you that putting that box up there, opened up like that, gave me some inspiration for what I might do with one of my other problem areas, which is…………….




…….the top of the gun safe where the box has been (and is again).  It’s always struck me that the safe, which is in the corner of my living room, looks very much like a fridge.  You can be watching for what I might do to this area soon.  Let’s get back to the kitchen.





     Even though the box didn’t work, I knew I wanted to have a collection of vintage, or vintage-looking, red things on the fridge.  I was pretty sure that my mom’s red oil lamp would be used, but it wasn’t until I’d snooped around a bit through some cabinets and my pantry that I came up with this.  The scale is not quite what I want up there, but it will do until I find just the right thing.  I’m happy with the results, though I’m sure I’ll tweak things a bit from time to time.





    My husband worked all day yesterday on the outside of our front door.  He sanded it, by hand, until it was smooth.  Our silly cat kept pestering him, and walking on the door, but once he started painted she was banished.  Those first strokes of high-gloss Emerald Green (Behr paint) were a bit alarming, but we were soon confident that we had, indeed chosen the right color for the door.  He applied two coats.  And yet, I have no after pictures to show you.  Not yet.  As generally happens, my husband’s days off ended just a bit before the project.  The door is back in place, but the new hardware isn’t on it yet.  Oh, it is so pretty!!  He will be able to finish the door on his next days off, and I will absolutely have pictures to show you then. 

     While the cat was away this mouse did play…..and there’s a truth to be told here.  Though I did, in fact, succeed in accomplishing my end goal – prettying up the top of my fridge – having my daughter here to offer her advice would certainly have saved me some time!  It was fun, though, tinkering about a bit; and I’m always so thankful when the Lord enables me to find ways of beautifying my home, without spending a dime!  This is one way we can exercise our God given creative bent in our homes.


     Another way, of course, is in keeping a scrapbook or other type of creative journal.  Several of you commented or messaged me after my last post, and I’m hoping to answer your questions and point you to some other folks, via links, who have done some amazing things with theirs in my next post.  Lord willing, that will come in a day or two. 

     We’ve had a different sort of day here, a bit out of our norm; but it was wonderful in its own way.  Grumpy children have been rebuked and redirected.  A sweet child’s desire was met, and the delight on his face was worth every bit of the effort.  A wonderful old book I purchased, recommended to me on Sunday by a dear friend, arrived today and it is even better than I expected.  (I’ll be sharing some books soon.)   An icy cold drink and two, yes two, special candy bars were delivered to my husband who returned to his place of work only to find that his office had fallen a full day behind due to a computer outage.  Can I just say that standing in the very busy lobby of our county’s downtown jail, smooching my handsome hubby in his uniform caused me to skip right on by the folks I met on the street on my way back to my car?  Most work days do not offer me that wonderful opportunity!  Bliss!!! 


     Do remember to keep Mighty Joe in prayer.  Updates and specific prayer needs can be found on Kendra’s blog or on Fletch’s blog

God bless you as you look well to the ways of your household!
Proverbs 31:27

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12 comments to When The Cast Is Away

  • I just love a clean flat surface!! Yours look incredible!:goodjob: I think the red scale is perfect. It looks very much in place. I have some “special” pieces on top of my frig too. Some blue ball jars, a fancy colender, and a rooster crock holding a plethera of Game Boy games (of of sight). It was fun to see your dirt, Cheryl…I know I get my thrills cheap!:fun:

    I look forward to learning more about your scrapbook journaling. Continuing in prayer for Mighty Joe….I love that picture of him (I saw it last night on Kendra’s blog), he looks much better.:love:

    Blessings to you My Friend!!!

  • I’m one of those who would say those banana’s look just right, or maybe about 12 hours past “just right”.  I don’t do green ones, though.  They give me a tummy ache!

    Your frig looks nice.  I like mine accessorized, too, but right now it is a mess – 3 canisters, clean dishcloths and towels, two water jugs and our box holding our vitamins and such!  Wow!  I just realized that’s a lot of stuff up there!!!  Anyway, I’ll be happy to get it all sorted away eventually. 

    Thanks for the recommendation of the green tape.  I’ll be sure to look for that next time.  Your door is looking beautiful.  That color looks almost the same as our front door of our old house.  Our front door is very nondescript right now, but I do have big plans for it and for the front porch!  I’m thinking dark red!!!!!

    Thanks for the updates, and we’re still praying for Mighty Joe!


  • Short, green-banana-lover here too! :goodjob: I love the top of your fridge! I have tried to decorate mine before but my husband is under the impression that it is there to hold his hats!  He does have a whole shelf designated for that purpose in a closet that is about 2 steps away but old habits die hard. After almost eighteen years, I have about given up!

    Continuing to pray for Mighty Joe!! I love that picture of him!

  • I like the red scale! Everything looks so nice and clean!

    Can’t wait to see the links to the other scrapbook journals. I am thinking of starting one. Hope your back is better! :spinning:

  • Your counter looks great! We’re doing that too- putting the bread maker in one place and just bringing the insert to an area with our basket of baking stuff- and our recipe with a picture of “Coppers Wife” on the top. : )

    We’re trying the more oil idea today using a combo of olive oil and flax oil. We’ll let you know how it turns out.

    I also LOVE that red scale.


  • @from_rebecca_j –   I love that you guys have the Copper’s Wife picture on your recipe! :love:  It makes me feel so special!

    @tjsNana – @joyfulprayz – @from_rebecca_j –  Well, you all are about to convince me that the red scale is what I want up there afterall.  Harrumph.  I hate it when you’re right! 😉 😆  Thanks for all of the encouraging words.:heartbeat:

    @Kimberly – @akconklin – Everyone loving bananas in different stages of ripeness, I guess, is why my particular store seems to sell them that way!    Don’t fret those fridge tops, gals!  Sometimes the best place for things in our kitchens IS on top of the fridge.  So long as you can find stuff, I say yee haw!  And if your dear husband likes perching his cap there, how about making THAT the thing?  Give the hat, or hats, a place of honor there.  Let that man know that it’s A.O.K.  Afterall, wherever a man hangs his hat is home, right?  :coolman:

  • Hi Cheryl,

    I love when i am alone in the house and can piddle and play. I like to rearrange things.

    It looks good.



  • @elizabethq –  Thanks, Elizabeth!  🙂

  • I like red in my kitchen too.  I have a red can opener, strainer and a few other little things.  It works.  I completely understand keeping the finishing of projects until the next day off.  Often we have to do that too.  It makes the completion of those projects that much sweeter. 

    Thank you for sharing your bits and pieces today.  :sunny:


  • @Homeschoolmummyx3 – Regina said, “It makes the completion of those projects that much sweeter.  “.   Amen!!!!  It really does make the completion sweeter! 

  • Oh, that scale is wonderful!  And those bananas, too: perfect for freezing and using for banana cake or banana bread!  I almost gulped when I read that you put them in the compost!

    Still thinking about the scrapbook journal,

    Pamela (in Chicago)

  • @P_D_Babe –   Pamela (heeheehee) The deal is, we’re not much on banana breads, muffins or cakes. We do freeze them for smoothies, but these were beyond our preferred freezing stage, too.  I know, I know………but they weren’t wasted if they went into the compost, right?