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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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Monday, July 30, 2012

Change is Good

I'm linking up with Susan over at Between Naps on The Porch to share my master bedroom redo for Metamorphosis Monday.  I've been trying to lighten up my house a bit.  When one has lots of antiques and vintage treasures around, things can appear somewhat stuffy.  My bedroom was decorated in deep reds and golds and I just felt the need for a change.  Here's a before shot of a rather dark and dreary room:

And here are the after shots of a much lighter, more upbeat room:

Don't the lighter colors make a HUGE difference????  I'm just loving the throw pillows I picked up at World Imports.  They were the inspiration for the entire room.  I searched high and low for new lamps and ended up bringing the pretty blue ones home from Kirkland's.  They are wired for three-way bulbs and that's a nice feature I'm enjoying a lot when reading in bed.  I haven't put the dust ruffle on the bed yet as I'm still not supposed to be lifting anything heavy.  I go for my six week post-op appointment tomorrow and hope I get released to do more....

I've been on the look out for some nice artwork to hang above the bed.  Since the headboard is curved, I'm thinking three smaller pictures with the middle one hung slighter higher would look nice.  Feel free to jump in there with suggestions, ladies!!!  Talk to me!!!

The next pic is a bit blurry but I wanted to share the wall sconce that I picked up at a yard sale for $3.  It was gold but I dressed it up with some Annie Sloan Old White chalk paint and distressed it a bit so just a bit of the gold shows through.  Love it now!  I stacked a couple of old books on it and topped it off with the "bluebird of happiness" that my sweetie gave to me shortly after we began dating.  It makes me smile just like he does!  The frame holds an advertisement for Sunshine "biscuits" (now known as Oreo cookies) from a 1927 issue of Ladies Home Journal magazine.  That frame will soon proudly wear a coat of Old White paint as well.....

Here are the Belle Vigne drapery panels I ordered online from Ballard Designs.   They were on sale for $89 per panel and I am SO impressed with the workmanship in them.  They are heavyweight and nicely lined and weighted at the hem.  I love Ballard Designs!!!  I want to frame the window with white moulding to dress it up a bit.  J and I did that quite easily and inexpensively to my family room and breakfast area windows and it really finished them off nicely.

Here's one last shot of my new bedding......  Hmmmm, might be time for a cat nap.....  :)))

Saturday, July 21, 2012

A Foyer Tour

I'm joining up with Kelly over at Kelly's Corner to share my foyer pictures.  When my mom passed away, I inherited her beautiful antique foyer hall tree.  I absolutely LOVE all of the intricate carving on it.  Isn't it awesome?

As with most antiques, there is a story there....  When my parents built their last house many years ago, my great aunt gave me father this piece to use in their foyer.  Problem was, it had been stored in an old barn for years and looked nothing like it does now.  When my dad arrived home with it, my mom took ONE look at it and announced that she didn't think she was interested!  Not one easily discouraged, my dad used several entire jars of wood filler to plug the large holes and gouges and restore it back to its former beauty.  I think he did an AMAZING job, how 'bout you?  The seat lifts up to reveal a large storage compartment.  It's where I keep all of my photo albums and scrapbooks.  That old worn straw hat belonged to my dad as well.  It was his favorite hat and he wore it out he used it so much when he gardened or worked in the yard.  At one point, he used some staples to try to secure the edge to the brim.  My older sister bought him a brand spanking new hat to wear but he preferred his old broken-in one.  I will always treasure that old hat.  It's a testament to how hard my dad worked all his life.  He was born a poor country boy whose father left the home when he was just a few years old but he worked hard, earned a scholarship to attend college in the "big" city, and was very successful in life.  I miss that man SOOO much.  Here is a shot of my front door with the starfish garland I made a couple of summers ago.  I LOVE summertime because I don't work then!!!!!

Here's a view looking into my family room...... Kindly ignore that not so flattering image in the mirror....

As you can see from the reflection in the mirror, my dining room is still an outdated deep red color.  That's the next room up for painting in my humble abode, my friends.  I've been considering what color to go with in there.....  I'm WAYYY too heavy on the gold and need to venture out a bit.  My illness put quite a damper on my plans for the summer, I can tell you.....

I hope you enjoyed the mini tour of my foyer!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Ovarian Cancer: Everything Can Change in an Instant

When you're diagnosed with cancer, the first emotion is denial.  I went into the "NO, NOT ME" mode the very instant the words Granulosa Cell Tumor came out of my doctor's mouth.  I've felt like a million dollars with bountiful energy the last few years.  I eat really well, lots of fresh fruits, nuts, salads, and veggies with virtually no bread and limited red meat.  The girls I work with always tease me about my healthy lunches.  I don't even keep cookies or candy in the house.  In this world of overweight Americans, I weigh only about 6 pounds more than I did when I was 21.  I saw my mom's gynecological oncologist for my yearly check-ups for years after she did my mom's cancer surgery, all the way up to her retirement in early 2011.  The only area that I struggle with is my stress level.  I tend to internalize my feelings.  I hold them in where they fester.  When people make decisions that I don't like or approve of, I don't speak up and say how I feel.  This is the area I intend to work hard on.  Now don't get me wrong, I intend to continue to document all of my fun home improvement projects on this blog so don't feel that you have to run for the hills.  Ha

I finally got in to see the gynecological oncologist last week.  He is the only one in our metropolitan area since my mom's doctor retired.  His office was packed with women when we arrived and it didn't appear that he had even taken a cursory glance at my file.  He said we needed CT scans of my chest, abdomen, and pelvis and I had to remind him that they had already been done.  He looked on his computer and said he didn't see them and asked me what they showed.  I had to tell HIM that they were all clear.  Things went downhill from there.  He was extremely noncommittal and kept saying "whatever you decide."  He gave me three treatment options:  1.  Watch and wait with blood work and CT scans every 3 months,  2. Have a second look surgery in order to stage the cancer,  or 3. Assume that cancer cells remained behind and begin chemotherapy.  I said that I'd read study after study that concluded that chemotherapy doesn't work well for my type of slow growing cancer and he agreed that was true.  My sister asked which option he'd pursue if it were his wife and he said probably a second look surgery.  I asked if he felt my cancer was related to my mom's and how this might impact my daughter and sisters and he said he felt it was a fluke and totally unrelated since my mom's ovarian cancer was the epithelial type, not a sex chord tumor.   He presented my case before the tumor board on Friday and called late Friday to say they had the same recommendations except they added obtain a second opinion.  I have an appointment at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas for August 14.  I WILL remain positive.  I WILL remind myself that this cancer can remain in remission for 20 or 30 years before it returns.  And I will live my life!


Monday, July 2, 2012

The Bluebird of Happiness

Some years ago when I first started blogging, I posted a list I called Ten Things.  It was a bucket list of sorts, things I'd been dreaming of doing for a long long time.  I posted that list before my separation and divorce around the time that I realized that the state of the union was definitely NOT improving and that divorce was my only real option if I wanted to live the life I'd dreamed of.  I took that quite scary step forward and didn't look back.  And found the most wonderful man who treasures me in every way.....  A while back, he gave me a blown glass bluebird.  He called it the bluebird of happiness.  I treasure that little memento of his love.  Johnny is not one to give lavish gifts or send expensive bouquets of flowers.  Instead, he shows his love in small but frequent ways...... lots and lots of grocery store bouquets of roses or mixed flowers and small but meaningful gifts.  After dealing with my ex-husband's financial irresponsibility for all the years of my marriage, I can truly appreciate such a man.  Expensive bouquets of flowers lose their appeal when the bill comes in month after month and isn't paid.

My pathology report came in on Friday and it was a total shock to discover that despite my healthy lifestyle, low fat healthy diet, and yearly checkups there was something growing inside of me, something that we all dread.  That is all I am prepared to share at this point.  I am being referred to a specialist and until then, I'm trying not to fret or stress.  Emphasis on the word "trying".......

Here's that list:

1. Share the magic of Disney World with my grand girls   COMPLETED!
2. Visit a vineyard in Napa Valley   IN THE EARLY PLANNING STAGES
3. See my children obtain success in love and career   ALMOST THERE!
4. Work at a job that's really really fun   ELEVEN MONTHS LEFT TIL RETIREMENT
5. Learn to speak Italian   HAVE THE DVD, JUST NEED TO USE IT
6. Watch a live space shuttle launch   NO MORE SPACE SHUTTLE LAUNCHES :(( 
7. Live long enough to cherish my great grandchildren
8. Visit the Leaning Tower of Pisa
9. Become a more loving, giving person   CONTINUING TO WORK ON THIS ONE
10. Rejoice as my son walks his girls down the aisle one day ... (Casey -1, That Stupid Cancer - 0)

Asking for prayers, my friends.........