If you miss the old days of grandma's kitchen or your own mother's old fashioned cozy home, you can reconnect here and get a flavor for all things vintage, warm, cozy, special, and memorable!

Monday, January 8, 2018

Welcome Millie, my new English Laborador

A recent conversation with my eldest attached (cohabitating) son revealed that even though I am in the prime of my "be a grandmother" years, I do not have that element of my life to look forward to...at least not in the near future.  I recently said to Mackenzie..hey, when do you think you might get married and have children? To which he replied, Mom, if you want something to bounce on your knee go buy a soccer ball..I just do not know.

Fast forward to today and after a couple of hint dropping sessions with him and the nice young lady he lives with and I am convinced that I will have to live my "grandmother years" through others' grandkids or buy myself a couple of goldfish.  Sure I have Belle, my cat that I love dearly and keeps me entertained but I guess I had hoped for something more permanent and real.  This world with all its issues is pretty daunting to most young people right now, let alone entering into a marriage contract that, these days, is more likely to fail than completing a triathelon.  There are issues and problems and evils in the world which give pause to many young couples about if and when they will bring a new life into it.

So, I can live with that..as long as I can exercise the option to add to my animal menagerie.  With my kitty Belle I have been so happy. She is a lovely animal, and lately we have been able to cuddle up in my cozy sleep place and she stays there most of the night. When I awake at 2 am I bring up Youtube kitty videos on my IPhone and we watch and enjoy together as Belle swats at the screen and purrs.  I get a good laugh out of it and it calms me in countless ways allowing me to sleep better when an hour later I finally am able to put the phone down.

But I had been registered with several pet rescue organizations thinking I would like to provide a home to an unwanted dog.  Age did not matter until I realized I was missing my Westie that is living with my ex and his dog that have become great buddies. I could not see myself tearing apart that union after I moved into my house and had what I thought would be the perfect place to reclaim my dog.  My family members objected because Kozmo and Dakotah (the black lab) are such good playmates now and separating them is not nor ever will be an option.

That's my Westie, Kozmo, and sidekick, Dakotah. Buddies forever.

After being diagnosed with Sarcoidosis (a pulmonary breathing illness) and a 4 day hospital stint my doctor told me that I had to work on a few things.  He advised that my BP was high and I needed to exercise.  I said I was going to get into Yoga but he advised that I needed to raise my heart rate..I needed to get moving. Sarcoidosis is treatable but not by, oddly enough, taking it easy.  I have a few pounds to lose and a heart to get healthy which should send Sarcoidosis into remission..but I had to start now and with vigor.

I thought of joining a gym..but who was going to insure that I actually go?  How many times have you bought membership in a gym and just not gone?  I have done it twice and it doesn't feel good to fail.  But with no one prodding me to go, not even a less than perfect physical exam result...what could I do to make certain I would be more active? I gave this a lot of thought and the answer was already there right in front of me. I should consider getting a dog, not for just a pet but for a walking and activity companion.

A dog makes you get up and take it for a walk.  They force you to be active and there is no way I can say NO to an animal relying on me to make certain that they get fresh air and be taken out on a leash for a brisk walk when I may feel like just sitting.  This was it...I need to get a dog and for more reasons than the ones I originally had pondered.  I would look in a shelter and find one, somewhere. I thought of saving a dog from a shelter.

Looking for a shelter dog is not as easy as it seems. I had criteria about size, temperament and breed. But after seven months there are such rare occasions that the dog I would want to have are available. Sure there are lots of Pit Bull breeds that need homes but I would rather not entertain that venue..I want a dog that is kid friendly and I have knowledge of their medical issues and all the rest.  So after losing the last available Westie that was available through a pet rescue I opened my mind up to a private rehoming through an ad on Craigslist.

Destiny was an 11 1/2 year old Westie whose family was moving to place where dogs were not allowed.  The owner had offered all of her playthings, leftover food, collar, leash and all of that for a rehoming fee of $100.  My kids, well, they were all up in arms when I mentioned that this is the dog I may be adopting.  Mom, they said, you know this is an old dog...she may have all kinds of issues, expensive medical problems...what are you thinking?!  Now, I know they are well intentioned, but so am I.  I wanted to see this little girl in my house and hopefully, even an old dog would acclimate to my home with no problems.

My eldest said don't do it Mom. I will help you find a dog that you can afford that you can love and it will be a puppy that you will train and will know your house from its earliest age.  That is the way to do this.

Two weeks later I had found a woman on FB who had a litter of English Laboradors to adopt.  There was one female yellow Lab and long story short...I now have her.  She was born on November 23rd and I have her today, January 8th.

I decided to name her Millie..short for Millicent.  She looks like a Millie.  And she is beautiful!
A pudgy little puppy  7 weeks

Getting settled  on my comfy  couch
Taking a much needed snooze after the long trip to my home
Get a look at these large paws

Now that's love! And I love that puppy breath! 
Millie has big paws and is really a stocky short little thing.  I was going to buy her a small cage to get her though the next few weeks but she has already outgrown that.  She has a large stocky neck and big paws.  I can tell she is warming up to me.  Her first night at my house in her cage was a trial for her but only for a short time.  I put her in the cage with a nice soft pillow and a pee pad just in case..and a few toys.  In  the night when I awoke at 3 am I took her out and she peed. I could see she already voided #2 on the pad, cleaned that up and then spent a little time holding her and putting some love on her and then gingerly laid her back in her big cage on her big pillow.  That puppy breath will make up for having to get up in the night every time.  This baby already has my heart in a big big way.

So the next few weeks and months I will be potty training her (dead of winter so quite a challenge).  Add that to the fact that I work out of the house M - F 9 hours a day...and you've got the biggest and maybe toughest job.  But I could not see myself ruling out this plan to bring Millie into my life just because of a few minor inconveniences.  I know I will live the best life filled with love and satisfaction of making this dog my sidekick and walker.  This is going to be a big dog though and I will be doing a lot more than just walking.  The maintenance involved would keep me active.  The companionship outside the house would be good for my total well being.  With Millie in my home just this one overnight I am so excited about all the good having her around will do for me.

Pets are a big responsibility but they do make a house a home.  Filling up your place with non living things that you love to have around is one thing.  However, having a living breathing living thing around that relies on you is quite another. It is the most unselfish thing a person can do to be in the position to provide another with a happy safe atmosphere and the love and companionship that all living things crave.  And people need to get over the changes they will need to make in their homes if they really want any kind of pet.  I have, for instance, a dark brown couch, and I know this dog will shed because I had a yellow lab before. I will have to not be so uptight about accidents and hair balls and getting up in the middle of the night for a few months to get the PT done.  I will have to overlook the half eaten dog food bowls and watch closely so that Millie doesn't run off.  I will have to escape proof my back yard by plugging up any gaps in the fencing and make sure it is tall enough to impede her jumping over it because dogs will do that.  I have a mole problem and I will have to be diligent about Millie not making a meal out of all of them as she grazes out there when summer comes.  There will be dirty dog paws and run in's with skunks probably...oh well.  I accept it all.  It all comes with the territory and you cannot have a dog without some or all of these things being brought into the picture.  These are the things that will make your house a home.

Share your pet pics, your thoughts, tell me all about how you finally gave in to add a fur baby to your home.  I want to know everything.  We can learn from one another about the best tips for PT, care and maintenance of your pet and tips on making it all work.

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Hell's Bells, I have a new kitty named Belle

I adopted a new kitty about four months ago.  Belle came to me from an man that works for my son.  Belle was just so tiny and i had to wonder if she was really old enough to be separated from her mom. But she seemed to do well with me and as each day passed she became familiar with her new name. She resembles a Siamese but she is definitely a mix and it really did  not matter to me.  Today she is continuing to grow and is the charmer I thought she would be.

First things first...she had a case of fleas which took me over three months to eradicate.  Thing about getting a kitten from a private home means there will be fleas.  And since fleas have many stages I had to fight the grown fleas, the baby fleas and fight the eggs that I could not see.  I googled the topic until I became the master of fighting fleas. And then after all that information was learned,  I had to google getting fleas out of my house, carpet, furniture,...anywhere I thought they may exist and let me tell you...fleas can infest in many different places in the house..not just your pet.

Here are some photos of Belle when I first got her.

Belle was not the original name I had in mind for her but when I saw her it just stuck.  She was very tiny and had a tiny voice and very sharp claws.  I love the way kittens pop up out of nowhere with their tiny heads.  My son even had second thoughts about being the go-between for me to get this kitten as he fell for her too. Those bright blue eyes and little pink nose immediately drew us both in.  And she adapted to my house with little effort.  I provided her with all the play toys I could. She took to scratching my sofa but I taped up the corners with shipping tape and she stopped. That was okay because then the other problem popped up...the fleas!

 Kitty liked to sit on the sofa near my shoulder right away and watch TV with me.  I look at Belle today and cannot believe how small she was.  And she was much fluffier than she is now.  Everybody in the neighborhood saw me outside and wanted to touch her and hold her and I let them but did warn that I had begun the assault on the fleas and they all had good advice for me which seems to have worked.

Belle is really photogenic.  I think the photos I shared on social media actually inspired a few people to go get a cat out of a shelter. My friend Joan adopted an older cat and named it Fritz.  I was glad to have played some part in that since I connected one of my FB friends with her who takes in cats for re-homing. 

I bought a bunch of cute collars for belle and there is a bell on all of them so that I know where she is.  When i come home at night she is waiting on the arm of the sofa right by the front door and i bend down and we meet nose to nose. Its a silly ritual but it tells me that my kitty misses me as I miss her.

We licked the fleas. But know this..it was not easy.  I first bathed her in Dawn Dish soap and she hated it..claws out full throttle scratch match.  No matter how gentle I was she was not having it. But i was always glad when i got done.  And trust me I was not ready for the red water that came out of the baths..you see the "poop" left by the fleas is actually blood and so when belle was wet she ran red colored water and it was all over her coat.  And it was also scary watching all the fleas run to her head, down her face and to her nose.  I had to be so careful not to get water in her nose and ears as she fought the good fight.  And those stubborn fleas did not just fall off, i had to rub them off and keep doing it. A bath every few days for weeks!  Followed by a flea treatment and in between visits to the vets to get her shots and they administered a flea treatment as well.  There were the shots, the liquid drops and a pill that was supposed to kill off any fleas for the next 30 days..i did each of these exercises for a month for three months.  Then i had to be sure there were no fleas in my house. I left out trays of water with a candle burning in the middle to attract the fleas and did so for two months.  I spent so much time worrying about fleas that I barely got to enjoy holding and cuddling my kitty for fear of becoming flea infested myself.  Some households, I learned, get flea bites all over their bodies and I didn't want to be one of those casualties.  Also some people become allergic to cats due to the fleas themselves or the medicine they are giving their cat to fight them. I feared for a while that this cat ownership thing would not work out and it dogged me night and day...until that one day about four months later when i was able to pick up my cat, stroke her fur and look for fleas and not find even one.  That flea collar and monthly flea treatments seems to be holding now. Good thing. I can even let Belle come into my room now where as before I had shut the doors to every room in the house to keep any flea infestation out.  Now being able to relax a little more I am thoroughly enjoying my kitty.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Summer Days and all that Work...

OMG!  So I had said I would be back with a new entry soon after my last one and I got sidetracked...big time obviously.  I cannot believe how busy I have been since moving into my place in November.  Christmas came and went, spring arrived and now we are getting into fall weather here in the great state of Michigan.  So let's just get on with what has been happening since then, shall we?

I had dreams for the porch of my house since I first saw it in August of 2016.  I envisioned a nice garden, colorful furniture and a porch swing with nice plump cushions and under the window flower boxes filled to the max with blue lobelia, potato plants, ivy and of course pink, red and white impatiens bursting forth.  And I thought of an indoor/outdoor rug on the floor of the porch, something floral and loud to show from the street.  The grass looked a little bit neglected, thinning and brown. I wondered if I would have to replace the grass with sod or tear up everything and re-seed.


It is now September and I have enjoyed a lovely summer in my house with the exterior spruced up to exactly where I wanted it to be. With time it will get better but I had all of my list fulfilled and the place having the cute curb appeal I had dreamed of.

 Everything on the outside of the house looked clean. I loved the buttery light shade of yellow that was on the house. The bright white trim and the interesting lines of the house sold me when I first saw it. Now I could use these details to decide on what to do with the furniture and decide on colors.
This is what I had to start with.
The bright green of the grass needed a shot in the arm.  My son who is the family landscaping guru told me I could easily bring back the grass to a plush thick green. I began to fertilize and trim back some of the edging.  But let's face it...the focal point of the house needed color. My red patio chairs, a porch swing and some foliage in colorful reds would do the trick. And the window boxes I retrieved from my ex, in olive green, were the perfect accent to those boring windows.

So I mounted the window boxes using curlyq brackets and planned on filling them with flowers once Memorial day hit...it was still to early to plant. Anything I would bring to plant would be available in more volume at the stores once that date had come. The final result would be great but it took everything out of me to keep to the safe planting date.  At least there was a bit of color with the wreath I had mounted next to the door. 

Soon I was able to sit on my porch and observe the neighborhood activity, see and wave to my new neighbors and even enjoyed the beauty of a summer rain.

The indoor/outdoor rug seemed to pull it all together nicely!
I learned the secret to the abundant window boxes that I always see when I visit the western side of the state...they cram all the flowers in that the box can hold and water it every day. Also I move them around, trading them from side to side so none gets too hot in the sun and wrinkles.  Still its a big job to constantly be watering the flowers. Don't they look great though? 
Before the flowers were all planted I planned
I love the view from the walkway though..this was before I actually planted all the flowers. I mapped it out. The rocks were found along the side of the property so I gathered them and placed them. Next year I will enlarge the garden and give it more shape.  And I think I will rethink the corner where the columns are..i would like to have some blue morning glories growing up those columns.  There is a rosebush that I want to add, one that climbs to go up the right side of the porch on a sheet of lattice.  As long as the flowers are well fed I can see a beautiful summer ahead.

Below you can see a summer rain from my front porch.  It was really pouring this day so I got a shot from each side of the porch looking out onto the street. 

My neighbors told me that the last owners were going to make the driveway wider. Thank God they didn't.  I even question this one. But I guess everyone has a two car driveway.                                                                                
The grass was so green this day but needed the rain

See how nice the street looks from this vantage point? Everyone on the street have older homes that have been well maintained.  I was told that many years ago the street had to be raised and that explains why my basement window are covered and I have only one with a well for access.  It is a narrow street and so no one parks on the street at all.  You can see the ceiling of the porch is plain wood. I would like to make it beadboard and paint it with a high gloss blue like the sky or something like that. I will be replacing the porch light and my son said I should stain the wood like the color it is when it is wet to protect it from the sun and I will be doing that next year.   
Another view
On a sunny day. Loving it!

Had some neighborhood visitors. I had just gotten my kitty Belle.

So I had finally gotten settled with the outside and I had visitors come by.
The neighborhood kids saw me and could not resist stopping by.  This made me so happy.

I plan to add a wooden screen door to my rear entrance . I always loved that clacking noise that the door at grandma's used to make when I visited there as a very young child. I want to add a clothesline so that I can dry my clothes outside like my grandma did. I remember running through the sheets and towels as they swayed in the wind and smelled so good when we took them down off the line.  I remember pinching my fingers on the clips..not such a great memory but I would re-live it if I could.  So many things about this small cozy historic place remind me of simpler times. And one of those things that I love the most is the view from the front porch, reconnecting with the neighbors. I have waved so many times as I sit on my porch swing and take in all the neighborhood of my little piece of heaven. I have gone a little nuts and brought out a large container of lemonade just in case someone drops by.  I have asked for names and where people are coming from. I am getting smiles galore and feeling so at home here.I am so grateful.

I adopted a kitten and named it Belle.  We will talk about her in the upcoming installments.

We will talk about that in my next installment.  Thanks for stopping by!

With kind regards,


Moving In and Putting it All Together in Time for the Holidays

I do not suppose that anyone who reads these posts about moving into a new place can claim that when they have done it the process went smoothly and it only took a short time to be done and done.  My situation had its up and downs.  Let me tell you how moving into my first house went and maybe you can feel better about yours.

Assembling a long list of people to actually haul my belongings was not really difficult. I have been blessed with many who may not see me on a daily, weekly or even monthly basis but they are there for the important times and know that they can count on me as well.  So with two weekends booked in which to get out of my apartment and move my things to my new place I carefully strategized on which rooms of things would go first and which could be relegated to the last Sunday that I would be able to occupy the old place. 

Two weekends prior to Thanksgiving I summoned my son who has a huge trailer and a nice truck as well.   Since none of my best friends was able and had a Jeep she came to help as well.  I had boxes stored up for the previous six weeks, taped, labeled and ready to go.  And since my cousin who would be living practically around the block from me contacted me on the first Saturday of moving weekend offering her truck, trailer and husband, I was in good stead to get all the boxes out on that first day, and the bigger furniture out the Sunday of that weekend.  It was not easy work. 

I created large 8 1/2 by 11" signs to glue on each and every sealed box to identify its contents.  Breakables were carefully wrapped in bubble wrap I had been collecting at work from the orders I received and disbursed at work. So I had plenty of boxes and bubble wrap and signage. 

It is so funny how a stack of boxes in a small bedroom can look like so little, until one begins to peel away the boxes in the front and begins to see what all is hiding behind.  let's just say that on that first day my cousin and her husband could not believe how small of a dent was made in the stuff set to go that morning to the new place. We took one trip and when I returned to the apartment to do an eyeball audit of the place I began to get pretty discouraged.

Come Sunday, my son and my best friend were there bright and early.  Of course my son balked at all the stuff and tried to lecture me on the evils of accumulation.  Again I had to remind him that I had downsized all I could and gotten rid of  or donated and what remained was what I absolutely needed to keep. Kids are that way....always telling me I can't take it with me. And as much as I know they are right, there are times when what I should have gotten rid of I have instead kept because I love to have my memories surrounding me no matter where I go.  And I know that the transition into the new place would only be something comfortable for me if I had my treasures there to comfort and accompany me.  To be thrown into a new place with the things I wanted around would make this whole process a little more daunting.  To me..anyway!  It's not BS at all.  And if you have been reading my blog continuously you would know that I am a very sentimental person and I am moving very slowly toward being practical.  I am only half way through this life and if I want to keep my memories in physical form a little longer there isn't anyone who is going to make me do anything different. I would rather come to my decisions about downsizing myself and not be forced into it.

I collect dishes and so many of the boxes that were being relocated first were those. I think I must have at least 15 large boxes of china sets.  I am today, very afraid to look at those dishes, because even though I reminded people of what was in the boxes and pointed out their labeling, there are not too many people who have the patience to handle so many with kid gloves.  One day I will open up each box and unfortunately take stock of what I expect to be some damage to the items nearest the bottom of the boxes.  Oh well, I guess it is to be expected.

By the end of the first Sunday I had moved some of my things.  The following weekend was more fun than ever.

That Sunday my Son came out again and this time brought his father.  Two minutes before he drove up I fell down the stairs outside the apartment and sprained my ankle. I was rendered totally useless. As my ankle swelled  I felt more helpless. I was relegated to sitting and pointing out where everyone who came to help me move was to place box after box that blew past me. "This one goes upstairs, the bedroom on the right. This one to the bedroom on the left.  this one goes to the bathroom, this one goes in the cellar, this one goes in the kitchen. This one you can take home if you like because I don't need it..."  was my song all day Sunday. 

For the next Thanksgiving week, I hopped, crawled and used a walker to get around hoping my ankle would heal enough to get back to work on that next Monday. It was just a good thing that the first week I had brought in most of my living room furniture and my bedroom mattress, otherwise I would have been a wreck.  And before I had sprained my ankle I had at least some semblance of a nice living room and bedroom together and had access to everything I needed to prepare for a workday in the house for the holidays. I had already put up my Christmas Tree and moved a chair out of the way to make room for it.

I loved setting up my walls with the green framed botanical prints I had been saving for four years..yes, four years!  they are prints of birds done by an artist for the Audobon Society and I cannot recall the name but they are originals professionally set in frames by a merchant in Birmingham Michigan.  There are eight framed prints in all and I had to be creative in hanging them on the wall and I think I got it right.  You can see the colors on the wall and trim were all done in cream color, perfect for the backdrop. I did not have to burden myself with lifting a paintbrush..it was all done.
I love the color of this piece!
The sofa is a Craigslist find. How lucky I was to get this in my possession before I even looked at house listings. It cost me a mere pittance and was in immaculate condition.  No need to reupholster or anything. I even rebuffed the idea of painting the woodwork on it..it is beautiful just the way it was when I found it.  The ottoman was purchased from a woman changing from traditional furniture to modern and the table beside the sofa was purchased from a man who was selling out his deceased mother's estate.  I had the other things from years of finds at the thrift stores. You already know what a great bit of luck I have had finding the coolest decorative accessories. 
The walls are a perfect color.

Monday, November 28, 2016

In My New Home…Organized Chaos

I am in heaven!  I finally closed on my new home a couple weeks ago and am not in the throes of boxes and bags and a myriad of furniture and belongings.  My clothes are on a rack in the cellar…that is the ones that will fit.  The rest are on an extra bed in the second bedroom. Boxes of all shapes and sizes are all strewn around the cellar and also in the second bedroom.  And me…well, I sprained my ankle coming out of my old place on moving day so I have had my feet up, cold compresses numbing the pain, and unable to get around without either crawling on my hands and knees or using a walker. Yep, you guessed it..I am down with an injury and now must wait to get everything organized. 

But I do not want to focus on this..I want to sing the praises of myself for choosing and buying the best house built for me.  My little place is perfect for the style I love which is traditional and somewhat shabby chic, and has a big kitchen for entertaining and a huge bathroom with a lot of character and room for improvement but good enough til I get settled.  With the November Thanksgiving came some days of real cold but other days of 60+ degree days with sunshine.  I feel snug as a bug in a rug!

Moving in was a challenge because I have a couple pieces of furniture that are heavy.  First of all the box spring to my queen size bed would not fit up the stairs. I had to throw it out and buy a metal frame to take the place of it.  Not so bad, but now my bed is lower to the ground. I intend to fix that with a topper that I hope will raise me up a couple of inches.

My cherry bedroom  dresser is so heavy and the stairs in this place, again very steep, and the treads are shallow.  A very large china cabinet that does not detach from the base is also a piece that was clumsy and difficult to move. By the end of the move the top had come detached from the base.  Oh well…one of the casualties of moving and I should have expected it. So what though…I have it in my kitchen where I wanted it and painted its final coat of white it is perfect right where I set it.

Christmas is coming and so my small tree went up and the colors of the furniture, walls and the tree trimmings fit with the vision I had in mind.  The color palette is soft and soothing. The atmosphere is “small parlor” style.  The architectural elements already in place in the room lend nicely to the vintage appearance with my furniture. 

Now it is time for me to get everything in order for the holidays and my first Christmas Open House. I am beyond excited!  You are invited to read my next installment that will show you all the decorations and the buffet I will be sharing with my guests.  See you soon!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Patience in the Pursuit of my Happy Place & Fall Decorating Ideas

So I am moving closer to the closing date of closing on my mortgage. Seems like the more excited we are about seeing our vision through the longer it takes to happen.  Maybe I need to learn a little bit about patience.  I know that I have not been in the cheeriest of moods as the cloud of "additional documentation needed" looms overhead.  But here I am in the last week of October and I can actually see tomorrow...and it looks like I can yell hooray shortly.

In the last month I have driven to the new place about four times.  It looks more raggedy as the days go by because it is not being lived in right now..(the owner moved in with her fiancĂ©, and the grass needs to be groomed.  But hey...some repainting was done on the trim and fence.  I am so grateful to call this place mine one day soon.  One of the things I look forward to is driving by just to drive in the driveway! 

When that happens I will have a paper trail of everything I had to do to make this purchase happen, and the experience to share with any future home buyers.  I could write a book by now.  The docs and records stack at least 9" high and fit nicely into a canvas shopping bag.  And I have saved the entire process in a file on a computer, copies of everything I submitted with dates and everything, duplicating my online mortgage lending file account that my lender maintains.  The knowledge I have now of this entire journey could be of use to someone else someday.

So moving on I just want to decorate my place for the upcoming holidays.  First, Thanksgiving.  I envision a bale of hay with some nice fat pumpkins on my porch. I see perhaps a cornucopia sitting atop one of bales..and perhaps a couple of planters of mums.  Or...better...here are a couple of pictures I found on the internet for beautiful outdoor decorations for Thanksgiving:

If you have bushel baskets left over from your cider mill visits they make great holiday
vessels for mums or gourds or pumpkins.  If you do not have any check out the
nearest thrift shop in the baskets aisle.

Those empty wire foliage containers that you get from all over the place
do have a special use for this time of year.  The floral can be purchased
at the dollar store but still have a million dollar impact.

Those galvanized containers are perfect for any time of year.  And finding a
few bare twigs and either some real autumn leaves or a package
of silk ones from the craft store makes a simple but lovely

If you have a porch with steps, what better way to spruce up each one
than with an array of pumpkins, mums and gourds? The colors
make it a spectacular fall show from mid October through to
Thanksgiving Day.

One of the things that anyone can do to decorate for the season whether you are an apartment dweller or have your own home is to decorate your door.  Nothing says welcome more than an attractive wreath or spray. I found these on the internet as well:

Each of these wreaths has its own personality.  I love how a couple of the wreaths have
incorporated pheasant feathers together with gourds.  Turkey feathers work
just as well if you cannot get your hands on pheasant feathers.
The colors in all of these wreaths sing out the season and yet are
tasteful...not gaudy or ostentatious.
My house is yellow so the colors I choose for my decorations will include that color in the scheme.  I have a lot of room to make a real statement.  A vine of fall leaves and twigs could make a great hanging trim for the front of the porch roofline and hanging on the two side pillars.  I could go nuts, actually.

Stand by.  I hope to share some of that kind of decorating as soon as I am moved in the place. I look so forward to showing all of you my new pride and joy.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Dream your dreams with open eyes and make them come true.......

You all will never believe what I have to share this time!  I am as mystified at the sudden events as any of you will be after you read this.  You all know how much I like to decorate and re-do and change my space, right?  Well here is a serious re-do endeavor....I am buying a house!

Many of my single girlfriends were either in a house or on the hunt.  One of them in particular felt it was time for me to become a homeowner too. I knew what I wanted.  I felt like being around a lake was my calling which also kept me near my work. But I felt inclined to look where they lived. Most of them had come back to the city where I grew up and the prospect of living there was pretty enticing. Believe me, when I decided to make this move I had every intention of giving the different cities equal consideration. However my hometown is in a hot market, overpriced and in a situation where I do not see the maintenance of the city being on the upside. And, too, the inspiration for my decision came from a chance call from a realtor that I had spoken to about a year ago who called me on a whim to tell me about a cute cottage size house that had just hit the market. That call was about all the things I wanted in my next house...near a body of water, small town but with the comforts of the big city nearby. And above all...it must be charming! 

So while I was perusing online ads for homes I really was just looking at the market to see what the possibilities were. This realtor had been contacted by me months ago when I took a chance to ask a couple questions about a home at that time that was on the market.  I told her I was only browsing but had to know the specifics on this one occasion. She remembered me and called me right around the month that my lease was about to expire.  She told me about a home that was a "cottage" type and she remembered that is exactly what I was interested in.  After we hung up the phone I decided to take the short drive to the house she was talking about and instantly...I fell!  I surveyed the neighborhood, drove around the block to the city park with the pond and walking trail, and took note that a lake was within a mile distance away with privileges.  I actually held my heart as I pulled into the parking lot of the park, exited my vehicle and took a comfortable seat on a bench within it.  I noticed the tennis court busy with youngsters taking lessons, the basketball court abuzz with two teams of men in their thirties, moms with strollers walking the paved trail around the perimeter and the sounds coming from the nearby pond..you know...frogs, crickets...and the like.  The sun was high and the sky was blue and the grass was green. This was a beautiful place and I felt connected to it.  Suddenly I decided I wanted this.

A few days before someone from FHA contacted me to remind me of a program that would assist me in being a homeowner.  I scoffed at the plan originally as the woman reiterated the ease of utilizing the program she described. But now as I sat in that park I was in a thought frenzy...how could I make this work?  Am I really a candidate to buy right now?  How much would a house payment on a home that costs X amount of dollars really be?

Next day I was doing some serious math. I calculated every home I found online that interested me using their mortgage calculator. I contacted the agent about the house I had seen that day I decided to pursue my dream. She informed me that the house was already sold ..in a record 4 hours!  This only excited me more and before I knew it I was out the next weekend looking at 5 homes all within my price range. If I wanted to make this a dream come true...I would have to act quickly on anything that came up that I was interested in and fit my price range.

Fast forward to today in September and I am in the middle of the mortgage process.  All the documents I needed to prove my worth were already accepted.  My realtor and I are waiting on a waiver to allow the lender to sign off on some things that required attention at the house I am buying.  The appraiser had pointed out some places where paint was peeling and a map had to be drawn pointing out the location of the well and septic on the property. Once that document is logged in we are good to go and within a few weeks I will be a proud new homeowner.

I am over the moon for my little piece of heaven.  Its a 990 square foot 2 story bungalow/cape cod style.  It has two bedrooms and a large bathroom, extra large kitchen and a mudroom.  The living room is wide and short, kind of interesting floor plan and features vintage touches that show it's history.  There is a basement which suits me great because there is no garage and I need a place to store the things I love that in the past I have been forced to get rid of. 

This is one of two house on the blocks..that's the way this neighborhood rolls.
The neighbor keeps their yard beautiful and since I have only one neighbor I do not
feel crowded.  I think the porch could use a swing and the windows some colorful
planter boxes.  Don't you?

I love the layout.  Some may see the dining room being an obvious place for eating but
I would like to put my contemporary sitting area on one end and my vintage sofa and
other furniture pieces on the other end.  One day I will enlarge the window on the right to a picture
size.  for now..I am happy with the vintage flair of the crown molding and the wainscoting.
And some day...I will look into getting real wood floors back in here.

The bathroom is a bit too contemporary for my taste but it is sound in
its electrical and plumbing for now.  Someday a claw foot tub, vintage floor
tiles, a dresser re-purposed as a vanity and perhaps a nice window over the space
there would be something to look into.  The big closet across from the tub provides
lots of storage space....more than at my townhouse.  This room has great bones!

This kitchen was updated by painting the cabinets this warm cherry color and granite
counter tops were added.  A great start. I intend to change the color of the cabinets to a warm
cream color and build a fancy island/storage out of an old dresser. A nice chandelier over it and
add some pretty pendant lights over the peninsula/snack bar would do wonders for this room.
Notice all the wonderful light steaming in from outside?  This attracted me immediately
to the kitchen/mudroom area.  I think I would like to place my china cabinet, as seen in previous
installments of my blog, on that right wall. If I could change one thing..it would be to add a door
perhaps a dutch door, to the opening between kitchen and mudroom to sort of seal off the
basement entrance that is right there by the window in the mudroom. It may be needed to retain warmth
in the winter, even with the upgraded vinyl windows throughout the house.

I did not know how much I wanted a mudroom until I saw the one at this house. Someone
was smart about the floor treatment choice and installing the organizer!  Finally I will be able to
empty out my car trunk of all the picnic items and beach equipment!  Fate read my mind!  And, yes
that is granite on the sill there.    Notice how clean and fresh the entire first floor looks and it
is so bright with all the windows!

When I decided to make an offer I was concerned that the seller would only consider the kind of financing that the buyer would be using which would totally discount anyone else including mostly those low-balling.  So to make my offer stronger I wrote a letter to the seller letting her know my emotional response to visiting her place and how much it would mean to me and to my little dog Kozmo to be living here. I also inserted pictures of both me and my dog into the text of the letter.  My realtor tells me it made the difference.  Just goes to show you how creative you have to be in this fast moving market.  I am not to proud to beg which also helps!

I had been visualizing this event for the past two years.  I had even shared with my best friend that I had made up a visual board with pictures and writings glued to it that encompassed what I wanted, what I wanted it to look like and what my plan was to make it happen.  I heard brides did this prior to getting engaged and then in wedding planning.  I knew it felt right for me to do because I had also read the Book of Secrets that says that if you want something badly enough you have to visualize it to make it come true.  I guess that book was right.

So now as I prepare for the day I will actually close on my mortgage and take possession of the keys to my kingdom I am beaming with joy!  I felt an emotional attachment to this place as soon as I entered the front door.  From the big comfy porch to the cute and quaint living room, to the extra large kitchen which will allow me, for the first time in 5 years to keep and store all the things a good cook really needs, to the back yard with its cute tool shed...and all for the same price
per month I am paying to rent! 

I am not saying home ownership is for everyone but it will certainly agree with me.  And even though the house is just fine the way it is I can see the potential to put my mark on every room in this place and not have to give it up as I would with an apartment or other lease agreement. Being able to put to use all the years of planning and dreaming and doing will now make a difference in my surroundings and in my life.  I cannot express the depth of my contentment with the future I am beginning to build and will continue to build over the rest of my lifetime. 

Every decorating decision I make will be worthy of this blog and I look forward to sharing with you the little changes I will be making to each room. 

Stand by...this dream is about to be mine.  I am so glad you are here to witness it and I hope you will share your comments. 

With kind regards,


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