Hi...remember me? I can't believe I waited so long to post, it's been one thing after another and then a lot of distractions. You may be looking at this picture and wondering if it's upside down. No, I'm drying roses from the bouquets I brought home from my son's wedding. I have vases of dried roses I've saved just everywhere, I love them, they hold up pretty well for a long time. I thought about pressing some of these petals and perhaps making a first anniversary gift for the couple. Something along the lines of framing some romantic sheet music and placing some petals here and there under the glass? I know you can print out sheet music but it seems I'm always picking out old books of it whenever I'm in an antique shop.
The wedding is so far behind us it seems. We really had a ball. One of the best parts was seeing the friends of the bride and groom (and of my other children as well since they all sort of blended in as they grew up). Several young guys that Jeff and Kevin went to school with and also played with on the same little league teams came up to me and I didn't recognize them at first. Then I'd see something in their smile or eyes, it was so cool, these adult versions. And I don't think I sat the entire night. Every now and then I think of someone that I didn't have a chance to talk to. Still, a great time was had by all. I'm still recovering.
The rest of this post will be an attempt to share the status of some projects going on around here. I'll even have to refrain from sharing a few new recipes I've made up and promised on Instagram that I'd post. We'll save those for a rainy day. But I did have to share my first gorgeous tomato from the vine. I planted two Early Girl plants in a big container early this spring. The squirrels got at a few and that made me sad, they don't even like them. I know I won't have anything more than a few to make salads and some pasta with, maybe a small bowl of fixings for bruschetta. Still--it's something since I never seem to find the time in the spring to resurrect my old vegetable patch. Thank goodness for farmer's markets. :)
I'm happy to say that we get closer each day to starting work on the lakehouse. We have a contractor that has been so wonderful in working with the insurance company on prices of material and labor and we are now starting to pick out the essentials for basically rebuilding the whole interior of the house. I personally will be in charge of the kitchen. We've redone it twice in the past 25 years. I've gone from yellow and white checked wallpaper with white painted cabinets, to white open shelving above and dark "turtle green" colored cabinets below. Wood floors to tile. Butcher block counters to Silestone. Above you can see some of the samples I took home with me from various tile shops I went to with Emily on Monday. It is an absolute wonder and relief to have an interior designer in the family. I know the blogger mantra by heart, "I decorate with what I like." And I do as well. I walk into these shops with a vision in my head and thank God my daughter knows me and understands exactly how I want a certain room. And yeah, that's me...each room can be very different, I like to keep my color schemes neutral but I can go from cottage to more rustic in turning a corner. Decorating is pure self expression, design is technical.
In a nutshell, if you look at the above picture, everything but the hexagon shaped tile is for the kitchen, that particular tile is for the powder room around the corner. My kitchen floor will be the porcelain with the wood grain pattern that you see. It has more blues and greens in it much like driftwood. It's also maintenance free. My back splash will be going from subway tile to these stone pieces. And the space between the stove and it's hood, these glass squares to add reflection and shine. "Texture!" as Emily says! Also, easier to clean than the stone---a must in an area where you get grease splatters.
She put this together for me. She nailed the light fixtures right on the head. And I had scoured Pinterest for the open shelving I wanted this time around---something a bit more rustic and natural. I don't want to say I'm aiming at a farmhouse kitchen, I simply want a kitchen (and home) that reflects our lifestyle there; wildflowers in vases, tomatoes ripening on the window ledge, sand on the floor and little Elsie running around in a tiny bathing suit laughing!
The powder room will be done in muted beach colors. I'm looking at pedestal sinks and light fixtures. Very simple. And I have a long mudroom/laundry room and love all the ideas I've seen for keeping them organized and fabulous looking at the same time. Believe me, here in the city my laundry room is down two flights of stairs in a dark basement. I deserve a clean light filled laundry at the lake. :)
I know I left all of you hanging with ongoing projects here in the city. I left myself hanging (gag, gag). The den has come together little by little. I ordered the chairs, I bought the sea grass rug, the chairs came, I had no tables. Tossed around some pillows. Shopped the house for a table and lamp. We could finally sit. Ahhh...
The Husband thought sitting was boring in itself so he shopped the sales and bought this awesome curved TV. I love it. The picture is 3D, It's like watching live television. I found the cabinet at Home Decorators. I love the hardware and the whole distressed look. I never thought they would be using reclaimed wood. I tossed a basket of books and magazines on a Target pouf that I use as an ottoman. Looks a little silly though. So...now I have ideas for the walls. That will happen soon. I'm pretty sure. Yes. Ahem...
I've been spending my days doing a myriad of things. I'm trying to do more reading and in an effort to do that I'm finding it nice to have more than one book going on at a time. That would have been a horrible idea to me six months ago but with the variety of books I read, from fiction to non-fiction, decorating books to gardening and cookbooks, memoirs to beach reads, well a girl deserves to change her mind once in awhile. So, I read what I'm in the mood for. When I sit on the patio in the afternoon with the dogs lolling in the grass, I love my romantic novels. Evenings are usually non-fiction and before bed I usually hit the self-help books, I have no idea why. Maybe the prospect of hope for a better tomorrow gets me to sleep easier. Ha!
This just arrived from Amazon. And that's another new thing I've been doing of late. Ordering less on my Nook and getting more of the real deal. I love them both and have always gotten my reference books straight from the source. They are keepers. And I've always loved picking up a soft cover at Target or a hardback in a bookstore. And why, why, why would I do this after repainting all the rooms of this house in the last two years and taking down each and every bookshelf to eliminate clutter? Because I'm crazy, that's why. Don't ask where I'm keeping the books I'm hanging on to (closet shelves, under chairs, a hamper in the guest room. Shhhh...).
This book is wonderful. Part decorating, part memoir. The writer, Frances Schultz, mixes the two with her spunky Southern charm. Just as the changes in our homes mirror the lives we are living, you can see how this really wonderful lady navigated her way through good times and bad while she created Bee Cottage. You'll love it. I just signed up to follow her blog.
So I left all of you with some teasers in my last post. I seriously thought that after Jeff and Deirdre's wedding life would settle into a somewhat predictable and sane order. I was really excited for Monday to roll around to have a hot shower, a warm breakfast and sort of just lounge on the patio for a week or two or three. Nope. Woke up to The Husband, "Jane, I think there's something wrong with Layla." He continued to get ready for work and out the door he went while I cradled a limp, feverish, eight pound ball of fur. I threw on some clothes and patiently tapped my foot until the vet clinic opened at 9:00 a.m. Thankfully I was able to get her right in and even better, they are just 5 minutes away. I rushed right over, well, at least halfway over. A really sweet and kind police officer pulled me over en route. Talk about pleading guilty before charged, I meekly asked her, "Was I going too fast?" She looked at me like I had two heads and then saw Layla's glum little face peering up from the passenger seat. "No. You disregarded a stop sign." Oops. That's also called 'blowing a stop sign", just between us. I didn't cry or anything, I rarely cry if you don't count weddings, funerals, romantic comedies, John Greene books or the endings of the last two Tiny Houses on HGTV (the proposal and the father/daughter project). Sniff. She let me go with a warning ticket, it was all about Layla's sad little eyes I'm sure. What Officer Friendly didn't know was that if Layla hadn't been so terribly sick, she would have been growling, barking and baring her teeth, the uniform being a huge motivator. Well...all that's well ends well. Layla recovered from her virus. I didn't get a ticket. I could have bought a weeks worth of groceries with what the vet cost.
All of you are so sweet in asking about the old broken arm. It's healing, but slowly. I get physical therapy several times a week but I still can't bend or twist at the wrist. I awake in the morning peacefully and then once I move my hand, it all comes back to me and I think...when will this nightmare ever end? I mean---I fell June 27th! I did go for a second opinion with a great specialist. If he hadn't recommended more therapy before taking other avenues, I'd have totally switched over to him from the crotchety doctor I have now (excellent doctor and surgeon...just a little like a spark plug when you question his methods). My 2nd opinion guy had me look at the X-rays with him and explained that one of the three fractures was really quite bad. And that particular bone has healed in such a way that it's shorter than the other bone. Thus, I have cartilage, a callus and soft tissue changes going on and that spells out a lot of pain. So I continue the therapy close to home as opposed to the other doctor, hoping to get things moving (literally). The human body is amazing but it also takes a beating once in awhile. I just wish it wasn't mine. ;-D
I'm trying to visit blogs and to those of you who come by and leave your heartwarming comments. I've been reading blogs while I'm curled up in my new, somewhat finished den but I don't always comment for fear of having to hit the pain meds again from the pain. And then you probably wouldn't understand my comment anyway. :)
See you soon!