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Always in My Heart

My Sweet Twin Grandgirls

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About Me

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My passion is decorating with vintage and antique finds on a budget. There was a time when I wouldn't have dreamed of going into a goodwill. That day has passed. :) My second love is scrapbooking all those special family moments for posterity, and I recently set up my very own scrapbooking room. I have three beautiful children, two sons and a daughter as well as a sweet (albeit full blooded Yankee) daughter-in-law and two grandgirls. I also enjoy gardening, meeting new friends and relaxing on my patio in the evenings with a glass of fine wine. During the summer of 2001, I spent two glorious weeks at Kennedy Space Center. I've been somewhat of a space geek ever since....

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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Looking Back

I can't let Christmas 2011 slip away without posting any photos. It was a great Christmas, a little sad because it was the first without my dear mom with us, but I know she's in a better place and that I will see her again one day. My grandgirls are so adorable and fun. Look at the note Haylee left behind, presumably for Santa....

Why is you a thief of milk and cookies????

Guess she thinks Santa should work for free, huh???

My tree was so blingy that I decided to tone down my usual mantel decorations.... Do you see my new painting hanging over the mantel? It shows a street scene in Paris around the turn of the century and the beautiful hues caught my eye at Ross. I just had to bring it home with me and am so glad I did. What a steal for $49!!!

Here is my crew. I'm taking them all to Disneyworld in May. My son had an awful scare at Thanksgiving when he developed Bell's Palsy and lost muscle control on the left side of his face. Any little health problem can be cause for concern after beating cancer but thankfully it was a mild case of palsy, totally unrelated, and it resolved itself quickly. I've been wanting to take them all to Disney ever since he went into remission and the girls were old enough to really enjoy it. When I reflect on those bleak days with him undergoing chemotherapy and my DIL on bedrest threatening to have those babies early, I wonder how we managed to maintain our sanity. We are going to have so much fun!!!

Johnny joined us on Christmas Eve, and I went to Johnny's and celebrated Christmas with his mom and kids on Christmas Day. The holidays can feel really lonely after a divorce at the empty nest stage but that just didn't happen this year. I am blessed with people in my life who really care about me.

I've been shopping for a new dining table and chairs for my updated kitchen so you'll have to wait with baited breath for the big reveal. :-))

I'm happy to report that those cabinets FINALLY have knobs back on them.... Decisions, decisions....


Sunday, December 25, 2011

Counting My Blessings

I haven't posted one single time over this busy holiday season.......  What a whirlwind month it has been!  I spent Thanksgiving in Charleston, SC with my sweet daughter.  It was a great trip with lots of quality mother/daughter time.....

I have so very much to be thankful for......  A beautiful and HEALTHY family........  We had an awful scare last month when my son suddenly developed Bell's Palsy as I was in route to South Carolina.  Brought back all those memories of that bittersweet time in 2005 when we greeted beautiful grandgirls while he battled Hodgkin's Lymphoma.... The palsy is totally resolved and we are all going to celebrate his continuing health with a family trip to Disneyworld this May!!!

Merry Christmas, my friends!!!!!!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Beginnings of a New Kitchen!!!!

I've been busy as a bee, can I tell ya? ..... I had granite and tumbled marble tiles installed in my kitchen last week.  Something I've wanted to do for a very long time..... But one thing leads to another and another..... And now I'm changing cabinet knobs out, replacing light fixtures, reworking my island, etc. etc.  :-) 

I'm linking up with Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for Metamorphosis Monday.  I really really need some input so please take time to leave me a comment.

Here's a quick peek at the work in progress.  But you can only view if you PROMISE (scout's honor) to post a comment with your preference on cabinet hardware.

I have several design dilemmas to contend with.  First and foremost, I want updated knobs that de-emphasize the red in the stain on my cabinets.  And I'm very undecided, with the top picks being either flat black or brushed nickel.  The black knobs accent the black appliances, but the brushed nickel reflects lights in a beautiful way and matches the finish on my new faucet.  I tried oil rubbed bronze but it does nothing for the cabinet color other than blend right in.

Here's a before shot taken the morning of the demo after the outdated white porcelain knobs had been removed.....

It was time for that worn, tired formica, stained tile, and drippy faucet to go.  The granite guys came in and had it all torn out in no time flat.  They might have worn earrings but they sure worked like REAL men.  LOL

Here is my kitchen now, still a work in progress............. I replaced my vent hood because it was grimy from 19 years of duty and I love that it not only has two lights, there are high and low settings.  Who would have thought a vent hood could bring such joy?  Do you see that ugly outlet cover?  After I took this photo, I found some ceramic ones at Home Depot that blend right in with the marble....

I spotted that pencil trim on the backsplash in a kitchen photo online and just fell in love with it.  I knew that a lot of pattern on my backsplash would detract from that gorgeous granite so I opted for a monochromatic look with pencil trim to add just a bit of polish. 

As much as I wanted a new cooktop, I had them drop the old one right back in.  I'll use it until it goes out and then replace it.  I know, just call me TIGHTWAD.

I knew I wanted an overhang on the end of my island to increase my usable counter space and possibly house a barstool.  I've ordered some decorative iron brackets online but am still considering having the cabinet guys mount two wooden posts under the overhang. 

I love it when an island looks like a piece of furniture, don't you?  Another thought would be to add some feet to it and stick with the iron brackets.  Talk to me, ladies....

And then there's the possibility of painting and glazing just the island in a pretty country white color.....  I was leaning that way at first and even consulted with a lady who does fabulous faux finishes, but truly CRINGE at the idea of painting over such nice wood.  But a little voice keeps saying, "Wouldn't it be absolutely beautiful????"  The cost of faux finishing all of the cabinets would be around $2,700 but to redo just the island would be quite reasonable.

Here's my new much deeper sink and faucet.  In hindsight, I would have preferred for the tile to run around the upright area behind the sink for continuity but I won't fret over it.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE my new sink!!!!

Back to the scout's honor stuff.........  Please PLEASE post your opinion on cabinet knobs and other stuff if you so desire.....  Drum roll, please.................... 

Knob #1.......
Or knob # 2............

Stay tuned for regular updates.......................

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Red Toile Curtains for Sale!!!

Well, ladies, I don't usually post items for sale on my blog but I'm smack dab in the middle of a kitchen redo and have these pretty red toile curtain valances I'd like to get rid of.  I've always been a lover of all things toile and they've served me well, but now I'm ready for a change.  Here's a pic.....

All together, I have six of these valances for sale.  I bought them online and they are well made of Waverly heavy toile and fully lined.  If you are interested in purchasing some or all of them, please e-mail me at  I'm asking $30 per valance or $25 each if you buy all six.  That's six valances for the cost of five...... Here's another shot.....

They're just too darn pretty to donate to goodwill and need a good home.....  They will fit 35" wide windows.  Stay tuned for kitchen redo pics.......

Happy Thursday!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

First Time Cruisin'

Hellooooo, my sweet blogging friends.  I've been sort of AWOL lately, in case you haven't noticed. :-/

The return to school every fall is always a terribly BUSY time for me and I've also been having lots of fun outside of work.  Johnny and I went on a four-day cruise over the fall break!  Never having been before, neither of us knew quite what to expect.  I got a great deal on the tickets so we thought we'd just give it a try and see what we thought.  Cruising is really a great value for your money.  The price was all inclusive except for cold drinks and alcoholic drinks and let me tell ya, they don't scrimp on the alcohol in those drinks of the day.  Just one was enough to give me quite a good buzz.  LOL

I was worried about getting seasick but it didn't happen, even the night that some bad weather blew in and got that boat a 'rocking like you wouldn't believe.  And we arrived back home just as a cold front was moving in.  Have you ever worn a sweater with a sun tan?  I guess there's a first time for everything.  :-)

Here's our ship docked in port in Cozumel.  It stormed all day but we put on our rain ponchos and I slapped a sun visor on to keep the rain off my face and off we went.

The biggest surprise was that the water was the most beautiful shade of blue from the minute we entered the gulf.  We spent most of our time basking in the sun on the serenity deck on the back of the ship.  It was a kid free zone with comfy loungers and two hot tubs and we could see the gorgeous blue water as the ship cut a path through it.  Doesn't this pic just make you smile and say "ahhhhh?"

Even though we ate a lot, we used the stairs and worked off some of those calories. 
Notice I said some.....

We gambled a little, too, but those slots just weren't paying off. 

Would we go again?  Absolutely.  I kept thinking of how much my kids would have enjoyed it.  Do you do that?  Always think about your kids when you're doing something really fun?

It was a great trip!!!  And on Tuesday I'm having granite put in my kitchen!!!!  So stay tuned!!!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Happy Birthday in Heaven

We probably never realize the lasting effect we have on those who love us.  My mom was such a sweet, gentle woman and I miss her so very much.  It's been a little over 4 months since she earned her heavenly wings, but the pain of the loss is still so sharp that it often takes my breath away.  The holiday season will be a rough one for me.

Today my sweet Brooke drew this picture.  She told her mom she drew it to show how much she misses her great grandmother.  It is so beautifully done that it made me cry.  There is so much emotion there. 

This coming Saturday would have been a day of celebration because my mom would have been 90 years old.  I know she is at peace and reunited with my dad, the love of her life, but somehow that isn't much consolation on days like today.


Sunday, August 7, 2011

Metamorphosis Monday Washstand

Wow, what a whirlwind week I've had.  Got my daughter moved up to Charleston for college and am starting back to school tomorrow.....

:(  Goodbye, summer, I'm gonna MISS ya.........

To brighten my mood, I'm linking up with Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for Metamorphosis Monday this evening.  We are in the process of cleaning out my mother's house and no one seemed interested in this sweet little washstand that my mom had antiqued years ago.  Remember the antiquing craze?????  Well, I brought this little baby home and gave it an update with old white chalk paint and gave it a good home right next to my rice bed.

Here's the before:

The wonderful thing about chalk paint is that there is no prep work needed.  You just slap that paint on and it adheres to anything......  It has been so wet and rainy here that I brought the washstand inside and worked on it in my kitchen.

Here it is with two coats of old white on it.  I painted right over the old brass handles.  Then I took a sanding block and went to town.  Not something I'll do inside again......  :(  Made the mess of a lifetime, can I tell ya?  After that, I waxed it with clear and then dark Annie Sloan wax.  That dark wax has to be used sparingly.  It went on too dark so I used added clear wax on top to lighten it up.

Here's a close up shot of the distressing.  Talk about relieve some deep seated anxiety in a hurry at half the expense of psychotherapy.  Ha! 

Are ya ready for the finished product?  I'm just so darn proud of it......

Isn't it sweet?  And I love the storage it provides.  If you haven't tried Annie Sloan chalk paint, you HAVE to.  'Nuff said......


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

I Love Water Features.....

It seems like forever since I've posted!  I hadn't been back home from Galveston long when my daughter and I headed off for Charleston, South Carolina to find her a place to live for the coming year.  She is entering her junior year of college and was accepted into a national exchange program and College of Charleston was her school of choice.  We were hoping she would be placed in a dorm but when that didn't happen, we decided to make a trip up there to find her some roommates and a nice place to live.

That turned out to be QUITE a task.  The promising places were rented out from under us and we butted heads over one great old home with fabulous roommates but situated smack dab in the middle of a bad bad neighborhood. 

I made reservations at 1837 Bed and Breakfast in downtown Charleston, just steps away from campus.  There were no rooms available in the main house so Kait and I stayed in the carriage house out back.  It was such a sweet place (and inexpensively priced) and the breakfasts were absolutely to die for!  I had NO PROBLEM getting Kait up in the mornings even though she's usually a late sleeper.  All I had to say was, "Time for Breakfast!" and that girl was up and at 'em.  This Pineapple Upside Down French Toast and fresh fruit with lemon curd was my favorite of them all.

That neat front porch was my relaxation and sipping wine spot after long days of walking and walking and walking....

It's hard to navigate around in the city because of the narrow streets and lack of parking so we walked everywhere.  Ate like pigs and didn't gain an ounce either....  :) 

College of Charleston is a small and quaint college of about 10,000 students.  The campus is breathtakingly beautiful so I understand why my daughter chose this school.  My son and daughter-in-law were stationed in Charleston for several years so our family spent a lot of time here.

BTW, I'm having problems with blogger and can't respond to posts unless I do it anonymously.  So if I haven't posted a comment on your blog in ages, you know it's not because I'm not following....  Can anyone offer some words of advice on correcting that issue?

Isn't that an incredibly gorgeous house AKA campus building?

I loved this neat old clock.....  Dear Lord, help it get her to class on time.....  :)

Just when I was beginning to feel that we'd never find suitable roommates that we were both comfortable with, a new ad popped up online one morning and it sounded like just what we were looking for.  We went and visited and BINGO, they hit it off.  The apartment is above businesses along King Street in a safe area of town.  And that's the story of how we found a place for my daughter to live. 

Then it was VACATION TIME!

We went down to the battery at the tip of the Charleston peninsula and gazed across the water at Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie.  After the sweltering heat, the cool ocean breezes at dusk were a welcome change.

This gorgeous place is home to a B & B right on the water.  It was named in the book, 1,000 Places to See Before You Die.  Pretty impressive, right?

We rode over to Folly Beach, just a bridge away from downtown.  The beaches aren't as beautiful as those in Florida but they'll definitely do in a pinch....

Here is my sweet girl, all grown up.....

No trip to Charleston is complete without a stop at Jestine's Kitchen.  Rachel Ray once featured the restaurant on her show and business has been very good since then, so good that there is always a line that snakes around the corner and down the street.  They actually have a large water cooler and paper cups strapped to the telephone pole outside for the patiently waiting customers.  We made friends with people in front of us who were from Austin, TX and a bride-to-be behind us who was getting married that weekend at Middleton Plantation.  She told me that Charleston is the second top destination wedding location, second only to Key West, Florida.  Kait looked at me and I could see the wheels in motion.... That night she said, "Wouldn't it be awesome if I got married here one day?"  Gotta finish school and locate a groom first, my girl.....

Jestine's was definitely worth the wait.....

That evening we went on a night tour that detailed the bawdry past of the city.  And heard about this fence that we'd seen on campus.....  Take a close look.......

People from those parts call it the egg and sperm fence.....  Say it represents all that college partying.....  Don't even want to go there...... Makes a momma cringe, ya know?

I kept seeing window boxes everywhere and came home and replicated one.  Here's the inspiration photo I snapped......

And here's what Johnny and I put together..................

I thought I should add more sweet potato vine but was told that it's very aggressive and will take over so I decided to leave it a little dinky looking. 

I know, I know, I need a brown or black hose as that green one is an assault to the ole eyes. 

But the very best part of my trip was coming home to an almost complete garden fountain!  Johnny and I got it put together and running on Saturday.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE it!  We did the staining and sealing and assembly and saved $$$$$.  Are you ready?????

I need ideas as to what to plant around the base.  I want it lush to hide the stepping stone we set the fountain on but not too tall because that would hide the beauty of the pedestal base.  Ideas, my friends?

I know this is a very very long post but I just have so much to share.....  One more shot.  Had to pass my car down to my daughter as hers was not roadworthy so I traded the clunker and bought myself a new car.  Well, a new to me car.  It's a 2011 with 6,800 miles on it and is a preowned certified car with a 100,000 mile warranty.  It's my "one last hoorah before I retire car."  Ready????

It's a Beemer and my auto insurance actually went DOWN $350 per year with this baby. 
Unbelievable, huh?  I got a great deal and just love my new car.