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Always in My Heart

My Sweet Twin Grandgirls

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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, 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. 


Thursday, July 7, 2011

Grace Manor - A Stately and Beautiful B & B

This summer is FLYING by, I tell ya......  Got back from Galveston, Texas on Monday evening and haven't had a spare moment to share about the beautiful gem of a B & B that we discovered there..... Have been staining a concrete fountain but that's information for another post!

This beautiful home is Grace Manor, located in the downtown historic district only three blocks away from The Strand, a nice area of restaurants, art galleries, and antique shops.  It was so nice to be able to walk on over and not have to pay to park.  And the exercise sure helped considering how we ate like kings!  Here she is, built in 1905.....

Isn't she lovely???  Here's a view as you enter the front gate.....  The owner is a sweet lady named Barb and the mansion is named after her cocker spaniel Gracie.

The house still has all of the original stained glass and it's breathtakingly gorgeous.  Here's an inside shot of the front door.  Those pink flowers in the glass look like oleander blossoms.  Oleander grows profusely in Galveston.  I bought a bush some years back but it didn't do well at all.  It must love sandy soil, something sorely lacking in south Louisiana.

This was my favorite part of the entire house.......  These Tiffany glass windows were unbelievably beautiful with the light streaming through them.  These pictures really don't do them justice.  Barb was told that those windows are probably worth as much as the entire house and I can believe it.

We stayed in the Vanilla Orchid Room, which is on the right just past the antique dresser.  The open door next to the stained glass window leads into the hospitality suite, where Barb keeps a stocked refrigerator, hot coffee, tea bags, etc.....

Here's one last view of the hallway.  The door on the left leads into another guest room and the staircase visible through the open door goes up to the private quarters and down to the kitchen area.  If I saw that settee is any other location, I wouldn't give it a second look but it fits perfectly in that spot, doesn't it?  And that's not a stain on it, it's a red and white napkin that someone left behind.  Barb puts freshly baked cookies out each day.

Isn't this ceiling gorgeous?  It's handpainted and original to the house.  And check out that column covered with acanthus leaves....

Here's a close-up shot.....

This is the parlor.  Isn't it exquisite?  I adore the fleur-de-lis motifs on the rug.

And this is the sitting room.  Barb had books about the history of Galveston EVERYWHERE and I sure wish we'd had time to sit and look through a few of them.

I would love to have an antique sideboard like this.....  Do you see the inlaid designs in the original wood floor?

Here's a shot of the stairwell.  The bench seat on the left lifts for storage.  We joked that it looked like there should be a hidden room behind that beautiful woodwork.

This is the Vanilla Orchid Room where we stayed.  The wood shutters slide upward and are original to the house.  That was one comfy bed.....

Another view of the Vanilla Orchid.....  Grace Manor is not on the Historic Register due to the restrictions.  When Barb converted the house to a B & B, she wanted to add guest bathrooms and that isn't allowed.

We took a ride around the harbor on The Colonel, a paddlewheel boat.

And even played tourist to the max and purchased our photo!  :-)

We visited the Rainforest Pavillion at Moody Gardens where I almost had my camera snatched.  Wait 'til you see the culprit......

That old guy has a penchant for snatching and fleeing....  LOL

The weekend culminated in a good, old-fashioned 4th of July parade hosted by the neighborhood residents.....

I'll end with a shot of the most charming thing about The Strand.....  The gas street lights.....

Johnny and I hit lots of antique shops and I picked up some treasures for tablescapes......  So stay tuned....