2018 ~ the sunshine year in review

This is the year we moved ever closer to having our Gambrel Cottage done ~ we now only have one room left to renovate and then small jobs to tick off the list!!  I am so glad I had the opportunity to take on a fixer-upper but when Trey says we will build our next house new, I am open to it.  And that house will be built so we can take it off-grid, so I am sure it will be its own kind of adventure.

The highlight of the reno this year was hosting Dad for a few days while he mastered our front stairwell with his amazing wood work!  At some point in the house’s history, something large plummeted down the front stairwell and busted through the banister.  When we bought the house the banister had been mended with tons of wood glue and looked so sad.  Now, thanks to Dad, it looks happy again.   When Dad was finished with that complicated job, he and Trey dismantled the banister on the back stairwell and brought it back to its original sturdy self.  AMAZING.  These two jobs really make the house feel finished!



We have been so lucky to make journeys to the ocean, (during spring break, a journey ON the ocean to the Caribbean) sojourns in the mountains and take waterfall hikes.  We took Ella on her first set of college visits and Trey and I started to dream our future move to gorgeous, quirky and warm  Athens, GA.  For those that know us, you know this decision was a long time in the making and we had so many different ideas about where we wanted to go to next, every few months was a new city, state, country.  But I think we have finally settled on the perfect next move for us ~ in the meantime, we are going to enjoy however much time we have left in Lawrence, KS 🙂

Life is good here in the shadow of KU.

Ella is enjoying her junior year and I am enjoying her friends gathering at our house for games, walks to Mass Street, movies and pizza.  Gentry has graduated from KU with a double major in Anthropology and Chinese Language and Culture and is working on her master’s degree in Shaanxi, China (and making plans for her upcoming 2020 wedding).  Camille is working her way up at Great Clips and if you want a fantastic hair cut, check her out: Cami at Great Clips  She is an artist in every way.

Here are the songs and images that fueled 2018.  Can’t wait to see what 2019 brings us.

Below, is the full Mayfield-Toman-Smith 2018 playlist on YouTube.  YouTube is no longer allowing (most) videos to be shared from a blog, so please click the blue link below that says, “Click me to get to the Playlist”.  My 2018 YouTube created playlist will open in a new window.

Following the playlist link you will find the songs’ titles and artists along with some images, pictures and random thoughts 🙂

Click ME to get to the Playlist

1.  Bassnectar – Laughter Crescendo

Trey and I walk almost every day  that the weather allows (sometimes Ella joins us).  Here are some of my favorite images from our 2018 River Walks:

Just in case you lost a rat this year, someone in Lawrence found it 🙂


honey bee swarm on tree along the Kaw ~ the city must have taken it down, it was gone the next time we walked


We often see Bald Eagles on our walks, but this time we walked right under one!


We often see herons ~ they always make me feel wistful and soften my heart.



2.  Simple Minds – Don’t You (Forget About Me)

3.  Daughter – Landfill


4.  Alice Phoebe Lou – She

5.  Eurielle – Je T’Adore

     (My husband’s comment on my Playlist, “What do you do, search for “Fairy Music”???”

     Me, “The fairy music just finds me” 🙂

IMG_8140 2
The Doka full of firewood

This year I decided that we need a 1/4 cord of firewood, my plan was that if I could keep warmer this winter I might be able to stave off the winter blues.  And I have been building fires like a pyromaniac, the stack of wood is almost gone.  I have been enjoying my cozy fires (it is even worth the broken toe I got one night after a piece of the stack fell on my left foot (sigh)).


6.  Aurora – Queendom

7.  The Cure – Pictures of You

8.  Mogli – Winter Sun

Sunset in the Blue Ridge Mountains

9.  Echo and the Bunnymen – Lips Like Sugar


10.  Svrcina – Astronomical

11.  Aurora – Lucky


Here we go, 2019!


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