(Reading on Facebook?  Click here https://www.xanga.com/serenitymine instead!)

You’ve been complaining (ie. whining)…and I’ve decided to take it seriously this time!  So rather than engage in another wordy essay on the pitfalls of nihilism and the benefits of colon cleansing, I’ll treat you instead to a collection of pertinent pictures.  We’ll start with a budget-friendly remodel (all disinterested readers may skip the first portion) and end with the latest of BFA’s grand occasions: the Christmas banquet.  I think they call it “Winterfest” now, mostly because it happens in November, but from the general gist of the program’s performances, I think it’s safe to assume that winter takes a back seat to Santa in this scenario.

THE REMODEL!  See, here’s the problem with GENERATIONS of students engaging in this kind of furniture abuse:

It has consequences!  You think Oprah’s couch suffered from Tom Cruise’s excess of enthusiasm?  Her couch is a sissy next to my bastion of martyrdom!  It started to spring holes a couple months ago, and I decided it was time to invest in a facelift of sorts.  The only problem, I discovered, was that my tastes have changed substantially since I first decorated my apartment nearly 15 years ago, and the old color scheme, which the couch supported, had to GO!

So I hired some cheap labor, and they set to work repainting my walls in record time!

The only payment they required was a meal of their choice, which I was glad to prepare while they transformed my living room from raging raspberry into tantalizing taupe.  The meal they requested?  It looked something like this:

Then there was the issue of the hideous paper liner that ran along the wall around the dining room table.

I enlisted the help of the De Renzo Duo and they made quick work of installing a wooden chair-rail that is a substantial upgrade on the previous eyesore!  Thank you, Jerry!!

But that didn’t exactly resolve the couch issue.  I ordered a new, custom-made couch cover–one that would look just dandy with the wall color I’d selected.  And it took NINE WEEKS to get here.  When it finally did, Erin had no qualms putting the old couch out of its misery (and mine):

The new couch?  Sigh…I love it.  And I know it sounds materialistic and I know it sounds vain, but it makes me feel warm and somehow enveloped to look around at my new decor and bask in the classiness of it all!  I’m a missionary with a love of beauty–sue me!

I even pulled out my angel collection a little earlier than usual to celebrate the occasion!

Meanwhile, back in the real world, BFA hosted a momentous event last week.  I posted a flurry of pictures on Facebook, but I realize that many of you don’t get there very often, so I’ll paste a few below!  At Storch, the day begins with banquet prep…starting as early us noon!  (Count yourselves fortunate, guys!)

The girls entertain themselves as well as they can while they wait in the endless “hair and makeup” line…

The results of so much time and effort?  Stunning.

And, in this case, stunning-times-twenty-two:

The girls eventually clamber into dorm vans as gracefully as their skirts and heels will allow, then float off to the school in a bliss of grinding gears and diesel fumes.  They painfully get over the “pin the tail on the donkey”…er…”pin the boutonniere into your date’s chest” phase of the evening, pose for the requisite pictures, and finally find their seats for an evening of eating as much as their dresses will allow and watching the program of songs and other merriment.

I must admit (sheepishly) that I left the festivities a little early…  I made a quick stop on my way home to indulge in some Young therapy:

And found myself hopelessly falling in love…with a girl called Maggie. 

The good news is that it appeared to be mutual!  (No sarcastic comments from snot-nosed brats…)  Maggie fancies herself a lapdog, which is just fine by me!  And once she got installed, she didn’t move for ages.  I miss (I really MISS) having an animal around home.

There’s a much more extensive collection of banquet pictures on Facebook if you’d like to see more!  But I’d hate for my photo-blogs to get as long as my philosophical musings, so I’ll end with a glimpse of the two extraordinary ladies who were the first to sample my new couch’s apparel.  Renee sat beautifully on it while we caught up and prayed, and Mari Ellen…well, Mari Ellen was feeling a tad tired (that’s “tahred” for you southerners), so she just sorta fell into it!

Note to former students from ages past:  the couch is just as comfy as ever, and your spot is still reserved.  All you have to do is get here…  As for the rest of you, I hereby declare the new decor open for business.  Now all it needs is an inaugural sit-in by a bunch of my favorite mor…uhm…mortals.  Yeah, that’s what I meant to say.  Mortals.



  1. The living room looks beautiful! And I, as a class A mor. . .tal, reserve a spot for “ometime in the distant future.”

  2. just wanted to say that i love your new decor. looks like you had some awesome people to help you with it. and your girls from Storch looked amazing. what a blessing that must have been. and i think that little (er big?) girl that you found yourself falling in love with has some lovely attributes (one of which is she thinks she’s a lap dog 😉 looks like you had a great night.

  3. Talk about double chins. I got a pretty good one going there! Thanks for letting me drop by and fall asleep!! LOVE YOU MUCHLY!

  4. You really did hire some cheap labor to paint. hehe. It’s ok. you picked out two very good cheap laborors, if you haven’t noticed already. I love your new couch too!! I want to sit on it!!!

  5. i LUV LUV LUV the new look michele! it’s gorgeous! and WAY less pink than before 😉 it’s amazing! makes me nostalgic for star academy nights. do you still do those?!?!

  6. shame… a lot of memories on that old couch. sad to see it go. BUT life is full of change and if we don’t embrace the improvements they sometimes hardly even qualify as improvements anymore, i guess. love ya! 🙂

  7. michele! it’s all so lovely!
    and those storch girls are the prettiest i’ve ever seen…
    and… i’m sitting here… quarter after 8 on a friday night… finding your offer of a coach very tempting…
    and… now i’m leaving…
    have a most joyous weekend!

  8. I’ll be there soon, Michele!

  9. so can i come over soon and try out that new couch?!

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