Thursday, August 7, 2014

Read All About It

Recently our house was featured in the Home and Garden section of our local paper, The Herald Bulletin.  The author, Julie Campbell, did a wonderful job and was very flattering in her description of the house.  I thought it would be nice to add to some of the pictures that were in the article.

Our house is a pretty open concept.  You basically can stand at the front door and see the whole thing.  It kind of makes for a pitiful tour when new people are over; however, it sure is a lot less walking and usually means we can get on with eating and playing cards a lot quicker.
Stand at the front door and look left and you'll see/be in our dining room.  Like Julie mentions in the article, the piano used to be your typical, dated, brown, scratched, and worn piece.  After a lot of searching on the internet to find out how to properly paint a piano, I decided to just wing it and went with a chalk paint method that I found online.  It completely transformed it. 

The corner hutch came from our previous house and holds my daughter Morgan's collection of Churchill china. Some of the plates have been used in the table setting.

The blue HeyWoodite chairs came from the high school that my husband and I both attended.  They have been with us for about 8 years and have been used as art class chairs, school chairs, and porch chairs.  They're super durable and stack when we need more space.
This is the piece that seems to be getting the most attention.  Our Buddy L chandelier.  I would love to take claim for this awesome idea, but alas, it is a copy of another man's genius.  Originally, there wasn't a chandelier over the table, just some directed track lighting.  It worked, but you just couldn't look up or you would be blinded with a spotlight in your face.  So, we found this idea online and "biggity- bam!", we have a super fun conversation piece hanging above the table.

Standing at the front door and looking right, you will see our family room. Yes, that is white furniture, and yes, that was the best furniture decision we've ever made.  We purchased the couch and chair at Ikea, and the slipcovers are super easy to clean.  We don't have to wash them very often because we use some fun vintage sheets to tuck around the cushions. The coffee table used to be a tall kitchen table.  Mr. D cut the legs short making it very versatile.  The sides lift up for eating around or playing games.  The two baskets under it are full of the smaller games while the larger board games are behind the white curtain under the stairs. 
This area under the stairs is new.  It was closed in when we moved here, but at one time we think it housed a gas fireplace.  We don't have much storage or closet space on the main floor and we really wanted to make the most of every possibility.  I'm constantly changing up the decorations in the house.  It's the best way I've found to curb a shopping urge.  Swap things out or shuffle things here and there and you've got a whole new space.  It's also a great way to find out if you really like something or not.  If you can't find a place for it, get rid of it.  Here I have a vignette dedicated to my grandparents.  I think spaces like this are most interesting when the pieces come together to tell their own story.  
 We picked this EXIT sign up at Hobby Lobby.  I believe it's an item that they still have available.  This area by the front door has a collection of decorations inspired by travel.  I found the vintage maps of Indiana and Illinois at a garage sale this summer.  The globe was crafted by Morgan for her dad's Christmas present a couple of years ago.  The transit or telescope-y thingy, as I like to call it, was another gift for Mr. D.  Keeping items that are similar together can have a bigger impact than spreading them around the room.
 Just like the article said, the porch is my favorite part of this house.  In fact, that's where I am right now, still in my jammies at two in the afternoon.  I'm just hanging out with Mr. D as the kids are heading in and out throughout the day.   We've had amazing weather this summer, and we just can't seem to get enough of all this fresh air.  

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Introducing the Babies Part 2

 My youngest daughter, Morgan, is a huge Northanger Abby fan and named her new fur baby after her favorite author, Jane Austen. Baby Jane is a bit of a woodland kitten, so she's a little wild and crazy, but we sure love her.  Her momma, Chattie, is a permanent fixture in the area, and everyone that lives around us knows her by a different name. Chattie is quite a challenge to catch, so until the day we finally can bring an end to her cat calling, she continues to make some of the prettiest babes of the woods who, actually, are a big help with the rodent, snake and rabbit population that comes with country living.  Jane, however, will be a pampered pet who will only get to enjoy all of the scenery from the front porch.

Fun Facts About Calico Cats:
  • Cats must have the colors orange, black and white (or muted shades of these colors) to be considered a true calico. 
  • Calicoes are almost always female because females have two X chromosomes. One X chromosome will carry the orange color and the other chromosome will carry the black. 
  • Male (XY) cats are rarely calico. If they have two X chromosomes (XXY) they could possibly be calico but will most likely be sterile, as well.
  • In 2001 calicoes were voted Maryland's state cat!  
  • According to our vet- Calicoes tend to be pretty fearless.  Jane isn't startled easily and she walked out of the woods right up to us when we found her, or she found us.

Dash, however, is not impressed with the newbie.  "She can chase my tail all she wants.  I really just want to eat her food." he says.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Introducing the Babies Part 1

Back in 2010 I left things off with a wish.  My wish, was to have a golden retriever of my very own.  Well, it only took about four years for it to come true, but here he is with his soft and cuddly, smooshy, little face.  We had such a hard time naming the little guy.  I know I said that his name would be Mr. Pickles, but we all know that you've got to look in their eyes and watch them a bit before you know what they are forever going to be called.  Sunny was my favorite, mostly because I wanted to sing "You Are My Sunshine" to him while flopping his ears around. We tossed around Watson, due to our current obsession with BBC's Sherlock, and Barnaby was a pretty close third,  but nothing was sticking and feeling natural. He's kind of a military brat, so to speak.  The couple we adopted him from are up north, but all of the information and correspondence through email came via Afghanistan.  His original pop is serving there in the Marine Corps, and because of all the amazing technology we have now days, he was helping his wife find homes for the babies any way he could.  Now, I'm not sure if I've ever relayed this information in past posts, but Mr. D is a "Once a Marine, always a Marine."  When I was telling a friend the story about where he came from, she said, "Well, it's simple then.  He needs a Marine name!"  I think she's  a little partial to the idea anyway seeing how her  husband is retired from the Marine Corps.  To make a long story short, we've decided on the name Gunny for Gunnery Sergeant.  I've got to give a big shout out to my nephew Ian who, by the way, suggested the name Toast.  He will be heading off to Marine Corps boot camp this month.  OORAH!  "Thank You!" to all of our military for their sacrifice and service to our country.  And, "Thank You!" to all of the young men and women who are braving these uncertain times and are boldly volunteering to serve.  Our hearts and prayers go out to you all. 

We're already seeing signs of fall on our Japanese maple.  It could be because of all of the unseasonably cool weather we've had this summer.  I can't complain, though.  It's really been a beautiful summer. 

Monday, July 21, 2014

It's Good to be Back


So much time has passed since my last post.  We're talking years.  It's about time I caught you up on a few things.  We've nested, settled in, rooted ourselves here in our long awaited home.  Perfect, it is not, but home it most definitely is. It's a country living, porch napping, pond rowing, chicken chasing kind of life, now. Two of my children are gearing up to head off to college, and my baby is now a senior. We've been blessed with friendships beyond measure, and are so thankful for each and everyone of them.   Along with all the changes, it's time to nurture an old friend.  The Finicky Frog is reopening her doors.  I'm shaking out the curtains and dusting off the shelves.  Life is good, and it's good to be back!


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