Friday, July 31, 2009


Oh!!! Do I wish I looked this good!! Look at that little sarong! I definitely would need a bigger sarong. And the beach ball...Much bigger to hide behind!! In any event, I'm off for a wee vacation in Michigan. Some leisurely days at the cottage, floating on a raft, napping in the Summerhouse with the dogs and sitting under the palm trees (plants), reading a book. One of my very favorite things to do is take the boat out with The Husband to the far end of the lake where there is no traffic (and there really isn't any during the week) and we just drift, no anchor. He fishes and I read and it is so quiet and peaceful. The only time the silence is broken is when he catches a fish and that rarely happens.
We are going to get away for 3 days and travel up the coast of Lake Michigan to a little resort town called Ludington. This is the Bed & Breakfast I chose to stay at. It is right smack in town around all the shopping and restaurants and just a short walk to the beaches, which are supposed to be just pristine. Oh, I can't wait to collect shells now that I've decided to give the cottage a bit of a coastal look!

I am boarding Milo and Layla for the first time. I found a nice place called Whispering Pines which is on 23 acres in the country. The owners actually enjoy playing with the dogs in a fenced in yard and they live on the property so they get 24 hour care. I think my little pups are going to have a little vacation of their own!

I promised to show a bit more of the kitchen even though it is not completed. What I really want you to see is a custom made wall of cabinets that Resident Carpenter and I designed.
This is what you see if you are seated at the bar/counter that divides the kitchen from the great room. I wanted my refrigerator enclosed. I kept my appliances as they were perfectly good and of course, white. All of the cabinets are done in Painted Turtle by Behr. These cabinets and cupboards make up a half octagonal shape on this wall. Not only did I want storage space, I wanted to display some things as well.

This side cabinet opens up on the top and the bottom...

The next set of cabinets have two glass panes that open in the middle and although I don't have the shelves or trim in, I will be able to use this upper cabinet for display. RC put a piece of the tin ceiling in for the back and I don't like it. I don't know what I will do with it, paint it for sure, but what color?

Now you can see that the whole door opens up into a cabinet!! How cool is this?? It is like a hidden door!. My hardware is not on yet, I chose brushed nickel knobs and pulls to match my sink faucet and knobs. Isn't this ingenious? Well, this is all that I am going to show for now because there is so much more work to do and I would rather have you all see it when it is completed. Let me know what you think!

I mentioned that I finally pulled out my new front porch furniture and The Husband assembled all but for the coffee table. I found these cushions on and they came in a set of three for about $60.00. After looking everywhere for cushions that I liked, in the right size and at a reasonable price, I think I hit the jackpot. I love them!! Now look at the pillows...

I found these at that mansion/flower shop/antique store in White Pigeon last weekend. There were pillows EVERYWHERE!! They were all handmade by a 90 year old woman. Boy, does she have her groove or what??! Zillions of colors and patterns. I bought a neck roll for my bed that has pearls and crystals and all sorts of bling. Handmade and only $23.00!! The pillows at Target cost more! She IS good!! And you know I am going to the big sale there on the 6th. Whoo Hoo! I am renting a U~Haul!!

They match my furniture cushions perfectly!

And I leave you with a parting shot of the day lily's that I have planted around this front porch. They even match the furniture. This was a happy accident, I was simply looking for pink.

So off we go tonight. I am doing a ton of laundry (again) and running some errands, but otherwise I am ready!! Happy dance!! And wherever Blondie goes, so does the laptop so I will be in touch and post some pic's.

Have a great weekend! :-)


Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Today I am participating in White Wednesday, which is hosted by Kathleen at Faded Charm Cottage. I came upon her blog last week and really loved it. I highly recommend visiting her. I also visited some of the other participants in WW last week and they had some really unique things to show. A lot of decorating ideas here!! So after you leave a comment, visit Kathleen and all of the ladies joining in.

I took tons of pictures at the lake this weekend. It wasn't too hard to find white because I chose open shelving with all white dishes when we renovated the kitchen. I'm sorry to say it is still a work in progress and we are well past the completion date but I am trying really hard to be patient. I hope one day soon I can show you the kitchen and two baths totally finished.

This is a pretty general view of the shelves which are on both sides of the sink and just a bit more on the adjoining walls. I have been putting in a little treasures with color for some contrast such as this blue Cape Cod plate.

My everyday dishes are by Gibson and my china is Johann Haviland. I have mentioned this in a previous post, so I hope I am not boring anyone!! The coffee mugs on the bottom are from The Dollar Tree, believe it or not!! We really like them, they are nice and sturdy and I like the texture of the little bumps around the rim! I also collect little glass bottles and they are scattered all around. They make great bud vases. And finally, I broke down and bought the infamous Target Birds!! Of course, you can click to enlarge the pictures.

Next, I have a clock I bought from Lidy Baars at French Garden House. Please click on if you would like to visit her shop that carries all things beautiful and European. I have shopped her site many times and am always impressed by the quality of her items, and of course, Lidy herself is a very special lady. She may not know it, but she is the one who influenced me to start blogging. I was shopping French Garden House and happened to click on her blog. I thought, "Well, this sounds like a lot of fun, but will I have anything to say?" LOL!! The rest is history!! Thank you Lidy!!

Here are some antique glass dessert plates I found a few weeks ago. They came from a flower shop housed in a huge mansion in White Pigeon, Michigan. The flower shop was actually a very small part of the business. Every room held antique or second~hand items. I was like Alice in Wonderland!! I managed to buy only what I could carry in two trips, with the promise that there will be a huge yard sale on August 6th with over 15 dealers. There were a few thing there that I wanted so badly, but The Husband kept patting me on the shoulder, reassuring me that we would be back. I should have just thrown a tantrum!

A little shadow box with some beachy scenes and vintage silver salt & pepper shakers.

The matching shadow box. I found these in Saugatuck, Michigan, a resort town along the lake, many years ago. Saugatuck is still one of my favorite places to visit.

A vintagy sugar jar from Marshall's.

This canister is made out of iron and is super heavy. I found it at a second hand shop and knew it would make a great utensil holder.

I thought we would move outside. A few weeks ago I posted a picture of a mysterious flower bud and by unanimous decision, it was declared a hollyhock!! It sure is different! But very pretty, a very light blush color. Even though the plants are only about 2 or 3 feet high, I had to stake them. The leaves have a zillon little round holes in them like something has been nibbling. I am wondering if this is why the stems are falling over. I have never seen the blasted critters that are doing the damage so I am not sure what to do. The plants around the hollyhock are doing fab. So, once again, I am asking the Bloggerville Garden Advisory Board for help. :-)

I found this cute white chair with a rush seat also at a second hand store. It is sturdy and chippy and I didn't need to do a thing with it. I used a metal container from Michael's as a planter.

This is called an obedience plant and it came up for the first time this year. It is really pretty and I hope it gets bigger each year. It looks perfect in my English Garden.

And my last picture is of the white birch trees in our yard. They are beautiful. I'd love to have more but all of our trees have matured so much over the years that our house is really hard to even see from the lake!
I hope you have enjoyed my contribution to White Wednesday. I have not even come close to exhausting all of the white I have! LOL! So I will probably join again and of course, hope to make new friends.! Please visit Kathleen and see how pretty simple white can be!! Have a wonderful week! :-)

Friday, July 24, 2009

Good morning and Happy Friday!! Another fun filled weekend at the lake awaits me. And that means I have a gazillion things to do to get ready. But first, I have to check out what is going on in Blogland of course. I wanted to mention that yesterday when I was visiting some of my favorite friends, I happened to find out that there is an event called White Wednesday's hosted by Faded Charm Cottage. It is pretty self~explanatory and sounds like a lot of fun. I think I am going to join up. It sounds like a lot of fun and who does not have a lot of WHITE hanging around?? LOL!!!

So while I perused blogs, I had a spot of coffee...

...and looked in dismay at all of the clean laundry I did yesterday, that has to be folded today...

...and then I spotted the newspaper, and maybe you heard the news. Mark Buehrle of the Chicago White Sox threw his first perfect game yesterday against the Tampa Bay Rays. This has only been done 18 times in major~league history!! Well I won't bore you or myself with this as I know you all know from a recent post, that I am not a big sports fan, but...GO SOX!!!!

So after the laundry is folded, I will have ironing to do as I left it all squashed in the baskets all night. My family is fully aware of all the obstacle courses Blondie creates in the name of housework

Then off I go to water my flowers...

I am pretty proud of myself for planting 3 more pots yesterday! Yep! Still planting pots. In July (almost August, actually). I still have more flowers sitting in the driveway outside the garage door. They are doing pretty well except for the flat of petunia's I ran over with my car.

I call the ones in pots Survivors!!

I have some really pretty day lily's blooming in the backyard...this peachy one.

And this pretty yellow one.

And I have this cute little chive flower in my herb garden that will drop seed for next year. Maybe I will snip some to bring with me to the lake. Sprinkle a little on some deviled eggs or in a salad.

And of course, I can't forget to water the indoor plants. This is Mr. Palm that spent last summer at the lake. We couldn't bring him back because he outgrew my car!! He and Monster Fern are here to stay!

And then I will pack up my tote bag. The weather here is sunny and in the 80's, so I don't need much more than a bathing suit and some shorts. Yes!!

And then off I go to run some errands We have company coming so it's always nice to have some goodies. I'm pretty much happy eating S'mores all weekend but some people are finicky and want three square meals. Go figure.

And I thought I would bake a little dessert. And of course, by now you know Blondie does not bake, so if you look closely at the picture below, you will see that I have a little helper!

I wanted to mention that Martha from Lines from Linderhof is posting a recipe for a Lemon Blueberry Tart (or cake, I forget). I think I will try that. Blueberries are at their peak right now and not very expensive at all, especially if you get them at a farmer's market.
So, Abby is at her friend Nora's cottage on Lake Michigan in Indiana and will be meeting us.

And Emily and Mike went up to our cottage yesterday. I called her last night to see what was up and she said, "Well, I'm relaxing on the patio with Layla in my lap, drinking your wine." The nerve!! I said, "Emily, quit being me!".
The lucky girl and her boyfriend had tickets to see Elton John and Billy Joel play at Wrigley Field Tuesday night.

That would be one great concert to see. The two Piano Men! We saw Elton John in Vegas a few years ago but The Husband doesn't care for him. He got tickets for us to see Cher in Vegas this year. That will be a blast! I think this will be about her 15th comeback tour. LOL!!

I showed you all U.S. Cellular Field a few weeks ago and now this is Wrigley Field or The Friendly Confines. But pay no attention to me, I am NOT a sports fan!!!

Text Color
And here is a closing shot of Elton, I believe. And another thing, she saw Bruce Springsteen a few weeks ago. I have always adored him!! I'm telling you, the girl is living my life!!
I wish you all a wonderful weekend. Stop by Mrs. Magpie, it is her birthday today. I am going to get on my laundry and then run out to get dessert, I mean stuff to make dessert!!

Friday, July 17, 2009


Today I am joining Met Monday for the first time. Yes, yes, I know it is only Friday, but we are starting to stay up at the lake until Monday night (whoo~hoo!!) and I don't always have a signal for my laptop...I will be linking up with Susan at Between Naps On The Porch, who is the hostess of this event. On Monday, go to Susan's blog to see her post and all the others gals joining up.

This post, as a lot of my posts, involves one of my odd but lovable daughters. But let me first ask; have we all have seen Gone With The Wind or read the epic novel by Margaret Mitchell? Let's see a show of hands... Well, one of my favorite scenes is when Scarlett rips the green velvet drapes off the window to have a gown made since she can no longer afford one. Likewise, you may have seen the parody on The Carol Burnett show a zillion years ago. Not only is Scarlett (Carol) wearing the dress, but the curtain rod is also attached! Oh, it can still bring me to my knees with laughter!!!

This is Vivien, not Carol. Well, anyway, take a look at what I saw when I walked in to Abigail's room the other day:

You may remember the two beautiful gowns that she wore for her Senior prom and her graduation, respectively.

Yes, she decided to use them as draperies! Is she out of her mind?? Of course! Is she creative? Er...Yes!! Am I livid? You bet!
What led up to this impulsive act by my daughter is that her curtains were constantly falling down as her bed is up against the window. Finally, the rod broke off and in a moment of inventiveness, she hung the dresses as drapes. So, now I would say that she has a window treatment that cost in the area of $700.00...
In all fairness to Scarlett, wouldn't she have won over more of our momentary compassion that she had accepted her fate if she had come home from the gala and re purposed that dress into drapes for that bare window?? If only Scarlett had had dear Abby's sense of frugality!! Oh, but frankly, who gives a damn!!
So this is my contribution to Met Monday. If you have any formal gowns packed away, perhaps your wedding dress, may I suggest you bring it out of storage and put it to good use?


Now I have something else I want to share and this might just be keeping with Met Monday. I happened to hear about a website called Renee's Garden that specializes in flower, herb and vegetable seeds. These are not your average seeds. They are imported from all over the world and she has many antique varieties. Wouldn't it be lovely to have the same flowers that grandmother or great grandmother had? I originally went to the site to order Sweet Peas. I entered through this gate:

And behold, the most beautiful illustrations of all nature's blessings! Mrs. Scott Elliot Columbine from France, Hummingbirds Choice Color Fountains Cleome (which Thomas Jefferson adored and planted in profusion in his garden at Monticello). I ordered exotic and tropical~ looking Ruby Moon Purple Hyacinth Bean, and Gulf Winds Alyssum that will send honey~scented perfume wafting through the air. And for my friends in the South, suffering from this intolerable heat, there is Maiden's Feather Cypress Vine which is heat~loving and twines up effortlessly in "an exquisite tracery of fine cut feathery foliage".

And of course I ordered Jewels of Albion Sweet Pea which is a "custom blended color palette of especially fragrant antique variety seeds". Ooh la la!! I personally love climbing vines because I love to see color at eye level and above. You can also disguise less than desirable features in your yard such as ugly sheds, fences or outhouses. And in an effort to be a little more frugal these days, I want to start plants from seed and the selection I chose will do very well that way. Some are perennials and some will drop seed and come up the next year. I can then transplant some of the seedlings elsewhere.
I just get so excited when I find a website I love, especially like this one with all it's eye candy.
So I am going to get outdoors today and plant some of these darling little seeds and see what happens!! At $2.79 a pack, I am saving tons of money not buying potted plants. So for a future Met Monday, I will show you some of my perennials that are just plugging along in their barren little spot of my garden, and then I hope to show you a plethora of vines and blooms! Oh, am I optimistic or what? I encourage you to visit Renee"s Garden and dream a little bit!

Finally, this is a show I watched the other night and maybe you did too. The title makes it sound like a reality show, but I really liked it. And I am not a television watcher. There are probably a lot of great shows out there but I am a really addictive person, so I just don't turn the T.V. on. Simple as that. I only have so much life ahead of me and I don't want to spend it in front of the tube. But, it wasn't my fault Sunday night. Abby left it on and I was immediately engrossed in this dramedy. I don't want to drone on about it, but I will. A model wannabe (Deb) meets Heaven's gatekeeper, Fred after being in a fatal car crash. Deb tries to persuade Fred in to returning her to her former shallow existence and instead she ends up in the body of recently deceased Jane (Go Jane!!), a brilliant, thoughtful, plus~sized attorney. So this Jane person is sort of mixed up, hating her new appearance, but also being amazed at her new found intelligence and sensitivity (this is the Deb/Jane mix). It doesn't sound plausible but it works. It is really funny, Fred (the gatekeeper) lurks around keeping Jane's morale up, and then there are parts, such as when Jane sees her fiance mourning her (when she was Deb) and then seeing one of her man~hungry co~workers hit on him and there is nothing she can do!!
Okay, I have droned enough. But this show sort of fits in with Met Monday, don't you think? Skinny, mean person turns into plus~size heroine. Drop Dead Diva is on Sunday nights at 9:00 ET/PT on Lifetime. There is an encore performance on Monday nights. Let me know if you watch it and what you think.
Now, I was going to go out and plant those seeds, but it looks like rain. I think I will have lunch and take a nap. I'll worry about it tomorrow!!
Have a great weekend, everyone!!!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Today I am joining everyone in Three Or More Tuesday, as well as 2nd Time around Tuesday, hosted respectively by Tam at The Gypsy's Corner and Diane at A Picture's Worth A Thousand Words. After you leave a comment, please visit these two ladies to see what they have to offer today. Then visit all the participants who have something to share for these events. Have fun!!

First off, for 2nd Time Around Tuesday, I am showing the before and after pictures of the God awful shutters on my house. Yes, God awful. I have had to live with these G.A. shutters for 23 years!! 23 God awful years!! Okay, you get the idea. Our house is a cream colored brick with brown trim. I have wondered and pondered and considered and prayed for ways to change the color without actually selling the house and getting as far away from it as possible. I mean brown!!! And the reason said shutters can't be changed is because all of the gutters and soffit are brown as well. And The Husband has declared that he is not going to have perfectly good material ripped off the house to change perfectly good brown shutters. So...

One day Future Interior Designer Daughter (FIDD) came to me and said, "Mom, I saw the most cool house the other day. It was the same color as ours and it had chocolate brown and blue trim." So I thought, you know, brown and blue look marvelous together. I mean, look at my blog!! Well, we knew we had to do it without The Husband knowing. Generally speaking, we had to "sneak around". So the plan was hatched. I'd whisk The Husband up to the lake while Emily did the deed. Well actually, we were going to the lake anyway, so there was no real whisking involved, but The Husband was out of the way and Emily set to work!

The G.A. brown before:

And the pretty blue after!!

Isn't it great?? Emily also put up flower boxes (as best she could), trimmed the shrubs and spread new shredded bark around them. She had to trim back some of the ivy but that's okay, it was starting to need it's own driveway. The house looks colorful and fresh and the blue goes well with the brown. And does The Husband like it? Nope. Now on to Three Or More Tuesday...

Back during the winter I went to one of my favorite antique stores, the one where The Husband scored the set of china in the auction for $40.00. Remember? I found the three items shown below and bought them on the spot. I knew they would look great together on the sofa table in my den.

Now, Florida Sue at Lux Lanai has the naughty habit of leaving price tags on everything and I am the opposite. So I can't tell you if I got a deal or not.

The lamps are heavy glass and silver with etched glass hurricanes. The only problem I have is that the faux candle is cracked at the top and I am wondering if anyone knows where I can get replacements. Otherwise they are in great shape.

The candelabra is heavy silver that is just starting to tarnish. There are no markings on the bottom.

So this is where I have the trio, in the den, behind the settee I won't let anyone sit on. I didn't notice that the settee is a little crooked in front of the sofa table, but oh well.
Lastly, I wanted to give a big thanks to Fifi of Fifi Flowers Designs for posting a picture of the painting she did of my Summerhouse up at the lake. If you didn't get to see it, go to her Outdoor Wednesday post of last week. She did a fabulous job and I can't wait to get the painting. She will also be doing a painting of the actual Cottage (the Summerhouse is actually a guesthouse) and I am really excited to see that.
Please visit everyone participating in Tam and Diane's events, as I am off to do. Thanks for stopping!!