Monday, August 22, 2016


My Prerequisite Beautiful Photo

Hello everyone.  Me again.  A day late and a dollar short.  Where does the time go?  I can't tell you how many days go by when I think I don't have anything interesting to say or new photos to share.  The other evening I was scrolling back over posts I'd written years ago and I saw so many craft projects, tablescapes, changes in decor, organizational ideas... a nice variety of everything.  I feel like my blog has taken a different direction of late...  Okay, things shift, life has it's changes, but I plan to spend some extra time I have in the winter months, when the Midwest burrows down under blankets and the snow flies, to spend time going off in varied directions.  And I hope to get on a better schedule! 

I've been working on my den again.  Have you ever felt that a room would be perfect if for just one thing...something you can't put your finger on.  This is a super small room and before I overhauled it a year ago it had walls covered in  dark green floral wallpaper, shelves on every wall with dusty books going back years, and a few pieces of somewhat formal furniture that made the room even more unappealing as opposed to relaxing.  The room time had forgotten.  

I stripped the room down to the bare bones and bought some comfy furniture.  Maybe it's the small space but the neutral colors looked very bland.  I've tried bold pillows, adding navy and then burgundy accents.  I almost gave up, my room felt comfortable so I was just going to stop fussing.  And then a few days ago I saw these curtains at Target and I thought, "Bingo".  The color, pattern, the silky texture, it was everything I needed.  Sometimes things just don't fall together at once.  And since I am a chameleon, it's probably better that they don't.

And then I got around to some other decorating challenges.  I might have mentioned that The Husband has been sticking his nose, becoming a bit more interested in the decor here and at the lakehouse.  I'm seriously not sure where this is coming from.  Everything from pictures on the walls to simple switch plates.  We bickered for days over having white or cream colored cabinets in the laundry room.  The laundry room!!!  I didn't know he even knew we had one.  That aside, one day I found that he had made some major changes to our office.  Over a year ago I took on a huge project of cleaning out this space that had become a virtual storage room with a computer.  I actually filled up five huge Hefty bags and spent a ton of time tossing out homework going  back to when my girls were in high school and The Husband was working on his first season of Fantasy Football.  Possibly 1987.  

You see that huge clock?  It was a garish gold and it took me days to paint, three coats in and out of all those little curlycues.  I made the little floral arrangement under the cloche and framed photos of the kids.  And above the computer I added push pin boards.  In keeping with my feminine side I pinned all sort of cute postcards and pics...  

...pretty, huh?

And then one day I noticed this.  The Husband came along and claimed his territory in a way that would have made General Grant happy.  He loves the history of the Civil War and American Indians.  And I truly love that he loves that.  His knowledge of that period of time is extraordinary.  But I just happened to walk into the office one day and there was Geronimo staring at me.  I sort of freaked.  On the opposite wall where I had a lovely gicglee painting on canvas, he had replaced it with one of his framed degrees, and the painting was on a wall in the guest room, a terrible placement I might add.  

My feelings were all over the place.  Of course I wanted his degree hanging on the wall, but it was a  smallish framed square on an otherwise empty wall.  But I remained calm, he actually uses the office more than I do and in a way it's rather cute that he wants to add his weird little choices for decor.  

One day last week he came to me with a stack of photos, maybe 8 X 11.  Black and white illustrations of...trout.  Big ugly trout swimming to the surface of the water with flies on hooks dangling above.  His eyes were sort of twinkling, "I'm going to have these framed!" he exclaimed, "For my office!"  Oh, high five!  Then..."You mean your office downtown, right?"  "No!  Here!"

This is when you take the time to walk around the house and gently close all the windows and doors or your neighbors might otherwise warn the police your home is about to become crime scene.  

I did however, calm myself down by taking a long shower.  My second of the day.  But it gave me time to think.  And my first thought was the obvious, march into the office and take all of his gosh darn historical, over achieving crap down and put my stuff back.  And then as I was drying my hair I had a novel idea.  Sometimes when you do the opposite of what people expect it really throws them off.  I went in and took down my pictures, my burlap boards, my pretty cloche and framed photos, I even took the cute baskets holding printer paper and the miscellaneous.  Oh, and the Target lamp.  

It looked sad.  Barren and sad.  As we sat down for dinner I told him he was welcome to frame his trout and flies.  I said, "I actually made a ton of room for you in the office to do whatever you please."

A week went by and not much happened.  One of our daughters mentioned to me that they brought up the subject of the 'undecorated' office to him and he looked a little sullen.  And then one day I received a text from him.  "Hon, have you redecorated the office yet?" 

And that I did!

In other news, we watched this movie Saturday night.  Having read the book and loving it, I wasn't sure if I'd like the movie but I think they were equally good.  The movie kept true to the book although it had to leave out a lot of nuances that shaped the story and characters, but otherwise, it had us both reaching for the Kleenex.  I'm reading the sequel now along with fifteen other books. 

I'm really excited to say that we may be moving back into the lakehouse over Labor Day weekend.  I am beyond excited.  Everything will be delivered, the furniture put back in place and I believe our belongings are in boxes labeled for each room.  Everything is going to have to be washed and stored. Have you ever looked forward to work like that?  I am so excited that Milo and Layla can be back at their home away from home...I know that sounds a little over the top but they filled in a spot where the kids left off once they grew out of spending weekends 100 miles from the city.  I wonder if the hounds will recognize it with all of the new smells.? I have a little stash in the corner of my family room but otherwise we have nothing new to bring.  Abby and Tom found this sign at HomeGoods.  I love it!

I want to end this post by telling you about a long time blogger friend of mine, Traci, from The Traci Chronicles.  Traci and her family live in Baton Rouge and although they are safe and have escaped damage to their homes, there is devastation all around.  It's heart wrenching to read this blog post I'm linking you to but I hope you take the time to read it along with a recent email from her.  I'm copying and pasting it for all of you.  I asked her how we could give, how we could donate or help.  Her email  says it all and more.  It's my feeling that we see devastation, pain, hunger and disaster all around the world everyday.  Seeing communities, countries and the world work together is one thing that is not only critical, it opens our hearts and restores humanity.  If you have the time to look at the Go Fund Me Page, please do.  Ordering much needed bins and supplies directly through Amazon is also a  really great option.  I ask that you contact me directly for Traci's address.

Traci Blanchard

9:47 AM (7 hours ago)
to me

The email address you sent this too originally is good but the one I'm replying from is best. I check it multiple times a day. THe other is just for blog stuff. 

We're doing ok. So much better than most people. We've spent a lot of time this week helping friends & family basically demolish their homes & throw away all of their personal belongings & washing A TON of clothes. It's such an eye opening experience.  

I was in Central this weekend which is where my parents & brother & sis-in-law live. They were so lucky that they didn't flood. The majority of the subd. did & it's EVERY street. The shock has subsided now & reality is setting in for people & a lot of them just don't know what they're going to do. Aside from the stress of losing everything, there's the dealing with flood insurance IF you had it & car insurance because aside from losing houses a lot of these people lost cars too. There's just so much. 

Some schools are starting back this week. At least the ones that didn't have damage. Plans have been put in place that some schools with damage are moving the kids to other locations to be able to hold classes. The public school system in Baton Rouge isn't a good one. Several of the private schools are heavily damaged. We have a large number of private Catholic schools which are trying to make arrangements to take in kids from schools with damage. This is a burden as well because these are schools that have to deny entrance during normal years because of lack of space & trying to keep the student to teacher ratio balanced.  All of those things will be thrown out the window so that kids can just get back to school & some sort of normalcy. 

Baton Rouge has had a really rough few months between the police shootings & this but one thing is certain - Southern Hospitality is real & the people of Louisiana have come together like you've never seen. People without damage are helping the people with damage. People without damage are cooking hot meals for people with damage. Donations are pouring in. I'm not sure if you saw anything about the "Cajun Navy". These were just "regular" people with boats (a LOT of people) rescued person after person after person & animal after animal after animal. Someone dubbed them the Cajun Navy. These people were life savers. 

Donations are greatly appreciated. Todd McClure is a former LSU football player who was raised in Central. He went on to play in the NFL for awhile for the Atlanta Falcons. He's set up a Go Fund Me account through a local bank here. All donations will be given to the people in the communities that were hardest hit. NO administration fees or any of that nonsense. The site is

If someone would rather not donate money & wants to donate "stuff" (toiletries, diapers, wipes, cleaning supplies) they can send them to me & I'll  make sure they're distributed where needed. My address is *****Please contact Blondies Journal 

There are a lot of things that are in short supply here - mainly things like plastic storage bins. A suggestion was made on FB that if someone wants to donate something like that order it from Amazon & have it shipped to someone in the area so that's another idea & my address may  be used. 

The Red Cross is here & hasn't been as helpful as they could be. When they get here they take over the shelters & won't accept any food that doesn't come from one of their "contracted" people. They say they have to make sure that health regulations are being abided by. The people in these shelters have lost everything. Some were sitting on their roof waiting to be rescued, some had to wade through sewer water to be rescued. A good, hot meal that someone is providing free is most important & that's not what the Red Cross is providing.  A LOT of home cooked, good food has been turned away at these shelters. It's a very sad situation. 

Thank you so much for the thoughts & prayers.

I'm off now, have a great week!  I will be back soon, or else!!

Jane x


Lorrie said...

You're a wily one with the decorating! Glad it's all working out well.

The Louisiana flood is such a terrible thing for so many people. Thank you for sharing Traci's news.

Debby said...

The curtains are perfect. When we moved I really didn't want a neutral palate but it worked. I have some teal accents here and there.
So excited for you moving back into the lake house. Such a long road of returning. It can't wait to see what you do with it.
It is so sad about the floods and the fires. Loosing everything. Some have just rebuilt. I don't know how you go on after such devastation.
I am helping my church put together some things for the flood victims.
Your husband decorating is funny. My husband found some nails in the wall and put up his Ducks Unlimited pictures. Oh my. But I decided why not. He can do his side of the room and I will on mine. It's going to look weird but oh well.

Linda said...

I have always loved your blog and always will! Do you know one post I am remembering right now? You had a new pair of boots and y'all went out to dinner with some friends (as I recall) and you said "I all but propped my feet up on the table so everyone could see them!" Funny how we remember bits and pieces from blog posts. I also recall your beautiful lake house posts and how much you enjoyed your home there. My small 31 foot camper is nowhere near what you had/have but something you said back then stuck with me. You never took things from one place to the other. Both places had their own things and that's what I've done with our Country Camper and Home. I also remember the weddings and celebrations and births and milestones you have shared with us.
So, from one friend to another, just keep sharing your life. It doesn't have to have a theme or's your heart to ours and ours back to you.
Love you loads!!!!
Linda C

Michele M./ Finch Rest said...

Hi Jane - just feels as thought we just had a great catch-up after reading this. Glad all worked out. Love the curtains. SO sorry about Louisiana yet again = Traci sounds wonderful.

God bless. Hugs.

Deb @ Frugal Little Bungalow said...

Oh Jane that office story is too funny! Glad to hear the news about the lakehouse! I will check out Traci's blog ; what happened in LA is just crazy...such a horrible weather event.

Maria Elena said...

Hi Jane. I just loved your post! Too funny about the office decorating "issues". When we moved into this home, we went through a few of those episodes, but they got quickly resolved. LOL I am so glad to hear about your lakehouse. What has happened in Louisiana is heartbreaking. So much devastation! My heart goes out to them. I am heading over to Tracy's blog. Enjoy the rest of your week. Maria

Kathleen Grace said...

You are one smart cookie, The office story is hilarious! I'm really looking forward to some room revels at the lake house. I'm so glad for you that you are finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel on that project, Next summer everything will be business as usual and I know you'll be back in your element there partying with the family :)

Pondside said...

I'm glad that the office decorating was settled to everyone's satisfaction. I had to laugh at this because all of a sudden The Great Dane has taken a similar interest. I just don't get it.
So glad to read that you are getting back into your Lake House - what a time you've had with it. Just think of the good times next summer with little ones there too.

podso said...

I had to smile at your husband and his sudden decor interests. Maybe it has something to do with the lake house. So glad you are able to move in soon. Even though it sounds like a lot of work, maybe you will enjoy it because of where it is and what it means. I too like your drapes, AND the refurbished clock. Nice! Your posts are always chatty over the fence kind of catch up conversation between friends. Keep them coming.

Traci said...

Thank you again for spreading the word about the flooding.

Lisa @ Texas Decor said...

Oh Jane, you had me laughing out loud this time! The laundry room cabinet debate and the funny! I often wonder what sparks my hubby's sudden interest in MY decor choices too. Lol! I'm so happy you'll be back at the lake house soon!

Summer said...

Your den looks so cozy ♥

Lisa said...

What is it with these husbands new found decorating interests? You think it could be the empty nest thing? Whatever it is I wish it would all just go back to the good old days when all he cared about was the remote. I'm taking notes at how you handled this. Pure perfection! The thought that often crosses my mind during these moments of the decorating husband syndrome is,"I'm so glad I don't have a gun 'cause I might use it and then go watch Real Housewives". Jane you might have saved a marriage and a life.LOL
Thanks for telling us about Tracy's blog. Headed over there now.

Dewena said...

I think my endorphins are surging now after chuckles turned to deep belly laughs by the time you made room for your husband's trout. This is one I'll have to read to my husband who would appreciate your husband's interest in Native American history. Also that you're now getting input on even the laundry room. That happens every once in a while with us and I have to remind him of what Angela at Parisienne Farmgirl says about whose territory decorating is: "That's why God made garages."

ann said...

Hello, Jane. I enjoyed your story of redecorating the office. Years and years ago I worked as displayer (that's what we were called) for a home sales company, Home Interiors and Gifts (have you heard of it?) It is still in business, but I think besides the family not running the company as their founder did and places like Hobby Lobby and Walmart, the company nearly died. Anyway, we sold decorating accessories and helped women decorate their homes We were trained that our husbands deserved a wall, too, so the company developed an nice line of wildlife accessories--pictures of deer mostly and ducks and pretty figurines to go along with them. So I chuckled as you wrote about your husband's flare for decorating. Here, my husband is a hunter. He hunts with a bow, so his success rate is low; however, we do have trophies that I must display--in the stair well down to the basement, the basement wall, and I have turned the front bedroom over to him as his office, so he has his space in an otherwise girly house. Fish might be another story, though. I love the soft browns that you have chosen for the room. It is a very restful space and then that splash of red. Wonderful. My heart aches for Baton Rouge. We went through similar flooding here our part of the state with friends who lost everything and had to rebuild their house, stripping it down to the studs and then having shovel out the sludge that slid into the crawl space. Very ugly. Wishing you a good week.

Gypsy Heart said...

Men! Lol! There are very few, at least in my experience, that have a talent for decorating. Oh well, give them a room and then close the door when they're not home. I am so happy that you're going to be able to enjoy your lake house again! I know how much that means to you.

It's absolutely heartbreaking to see the devastation in Baton Rouge! Thank you for sharing the email from Traci and suggesting ways to help. I always hate to just donate $$$ to the Red Cross as you don't know where it actually goes. It's sad that the food donations are not being accepted...there's nothing like LA cooks! :) It's comforting to know that so many without damage are stepping up to help those that have major losses. As Mr. Rogers said, "Always look for the helpers!"

Have a blessed week my friend!

It's me said...

Have a Nice week from me Ria x

Melanie said...

I think your den looks nice and cozy. If adding color in there didn't work for you, then adding pattern and texture is always a good alternative - like what you did with the curtains. The curtains add just the right touch!

I was laughing so hard over the story about your hubby decorating his way - you are so funny the way you described it! God help my husband if he ever takes an interest in decorating, ha ha.

So exciting that you will soon be in the lakehouse! I can't wait to see photos.

Carla from The River said...

I love the den. Cozy and I would enjoy curling up on one of those chairs.
I had to laugh about you and hubby. :-) And that he actually hung the photos on your bulletin board. I just love it. You did a great job writing about it.

Sending prayers for the Lake House! I hope all goes well.

Mary said...

Hi sweet Jane and A. I'm glad you took another shower rather than have neighbors call the Police, haha!!!

Love the curtain panels - they are perfect for that room which looks like such a sweet, comfy corner for reading and such. Great news regarding the lake house - hope all goes well with the move in and it will be interesting to see the doggies reaction to the newness of everything.

The devastation in Baton Rouge has touched hearts throughout the country - all so very sad. I was upset to read Traci's words about the Red Cross not permitting home cooked hot meals for the people who must be hungry and exhausted. We pray for all the people made homeless - hoping that they will recover soon, and that government will step up to the plate and do some good for a change!

Hugs - Mary x

Linda said...

HI Jane....
We really need to have a coffee and talk about M E N !
Your story had me smiling...they are kooky characters,eh?
Great news about the Lake must be itching to get out there!
I am kinda like you lately...about bloody time!
I try to do 2 posts a week...I need to do another....soon!
Enjoy your evening...
Linda :o)

Unknown said...

Glad you don't have fish in your office! :) It's such a terrible situation in Louisiana. Glad to know you are closer to getting to the lake house. Take care!

Penny from Enjoying The Simple Things said...

I am very lucky that Kent and I decorate fish pictures here. But I will say that I never ever do anything with his is all his.

So glad you are almost ready to get back to your lake house!

Vee said...

This post had me laughing out loud! I am so glad that I have always been allowed to do as I saw fit in the house because I am honestly telling you that there would have been war in the camp otherwise. You handled it so wisely and well!

Ahhh...Baton Rouge and all the parishes affected...what a nightmare and so little has been in the news about it.

Stonecropsister said...

Hi Jane,
Men make me mental. xx Nancy

Row homes and Cobblestones said...

Jane thats such delightful news about the Lake House and can't wait until you share photos with us. I always enjoy your decor adventures. Jane today I was watching CNN and they reported 140,000 homes destroyed because of the flooding. Prayers, many prayers are being said and a donation given.

Mereknits said...

Congrats on the lake house being complete, how exciting! I love how you handled your husband and the office situation.

Deserae said...

Love the new panels in the den.....they are perfect! My husband never shows any interest in decorating until I am working on a project that I am very passionate about and then he has an opinion about everything!!!! I have been known to tell him to go away, I don't care what he thinks. LOL!!!! Congrats on the lake house almost being done. I can only imagine how excited you must be?!?!

Theresa said...

You always entertain me with your blog posts:). My Hubby likes to do a little decorating around here too. I bite my tongue, wait a while and then buy something new to replace his stuff. Most of the time he doesn't notice. I can't wait to see your lake house. You have waited a long time to get back in it. Have a blessed evening, hugs.

jmac said...

I, too, am from Louisiana. We didn't get the flooding in my area this time. But last May and March, our lakehouse flooded. Big time. We had not had water levels that high in over 50 yrs. I had been reading your blog and thought of your lakehouse often. So my heart bleeds for Baton Rouge. I have taken bags and bags to Red Cross of things that we needed when we flooded...I know how it feels to be completely helpless with Mother Nature.
Glad you're getting back into your place. Be sure to post pics!

Doreen@foxdenrd said...

I'm on pins and needles waiting to see pics of the lake house. I'm sure it is going to be all you have dreamed of and more!

Isn't it interesting how your hubby has now taken an interest in decorating? Maybe it's a midlife crisis? lol

The flooding and devastation is hard to comprehend, and the fact that so many didn't have insurance is heartbreaking. Thank you for sharing how we can help.


Jill said...

It is so sad about all the devastation right now... Your den turned out lovely and I always enjoy visiting your blog :-) Enjoy the lake house and the rest of your week


Karen @ Beatrice Euphemie said...

Hi Jane, love reading about your decorating adventures - got a good laugh out of the Mr. and the trout faces. I guess that is why all the 'man caves' are so popular these days :) They can put all their manly things in one room with a heavy and solid door to hide them from the world. Lol! I do like your new curtains and those chairs look so comfy, too. I hope all goes well with the lake house move-in, too. So sad about the flooding - the scope of the disaster is so astounding. I heard on the news that the Red Cross only wants cash right now and that they have to turn away truck-loads of household goods because they have no place to warehouse them. You are so kind to pass along your friend's request for help. xx Karen

Preppy Empty Nester said...

Hi Jane... love the new curtains. Target is the best. Love the trout story. Sounds like goes on around here. The Mister likes to be hands-on in the decorating process. Drives me crazy. Good luck with the lake house move-in! Sounds exciting. Thanks for the link. Have a good weekend!!

Anonymous said...

Gee whiz, Jane...I really like the Civil War, Indian collage...a lot!!...:)JP

Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

How fun to be getting back into the lakehouse...lots of new decorating!

Kim said...

Mars vs. Venus decorating going on over there, huh? We have it over here, too!! Off to check out Traci's blog. Just terrible.

xinex said...

You certainly have a husband who is a keeper, Janie. I am excited for you to go back to the lake house. Wnjoy redecorating and organizing it. So sad of what happened to Baton Rouge. That is always where we flew in and out of when we lived in Natchez. Thanks for the info from Traci....Christine

Art and Sand said...

I enjoyed reading this until the end - the devastation in Baton Rouge is so sad.

Have fun at the lake house!

Celestina Marie said...

Hi Jane, Your post is always a joy to read. So excited for you to go back to your lakehouse.
It will be so fun to decorate and set all you treasure in place.
I understand to well decorating rooms and feeling like it needs one little thing to complete a look. Being a decorator, I change things around a lot and rooms seems to evolve into what they are supposed to be. My hubby likes to give his input but agrees with me in most all the decor decisions. haha
We pray for those in Baton Rouge and what they are going through. We just don't realize how bad it is. I saw a special on TV showing the devastation and it is so sad.

Have a nice weekend!! xo

baili said...

Setting and flowers are glorious loved the colour scheme too

Glad that you will move to your favourite lake house and can imagine your excitement dear
Best wishes for each step

Kelly said...

You made me laugh with your husband's sudden interest in decorating the office. I think I would've reacted the same as you. With shock! It's good to know that your "tactic" worked. ha! My husband would've probably loved to have trout framed on the walls too. Ugh! He plans on having his own room in our next house that he can decorate with all of his fire dept stuff and fly fishing stuff. None of which would look good mixed with our everyday decor. Too funny! I love that cute dog picture in your den. That room turned out very nice.

Leslie said...

hahaha Jane, you have me cracking up with your office décor dilemma. I think that they ( men ) are all the same. Keep him out of the lake house!! : )
The devastation in Louisiana is horribly sad. Prayers for everyone there.

Hope that you have a great new week!!!!!

Linda A. said...

Enjoy your blog ! The husband sounds too funny, mine gets little urges once in a blue moon to add
something to a wall or area in computer room...... It's a touchy time. Lol
Thank you for the Baton Rouge update . So good to hear from someone from the area.

Elaine said...

It's been a while but I am back to reading your blog and blogging on my own blog. I am wondering where the Summer went. Actually it has been too darn hot here, much too hot for my liking. Can't wait for Fall!

You cracked me up with the office story. I can imagine your surprise at seeing his redecoration of the office! I bet you too are comical together.

Glad you are getting back to the lake house and on some level I guess you can understand the pain of losing your home to water damage whether it's a burst pipe or a flood. I know the devastation is much worse in LA but you do have something in common. I will take a look at the gofundme page. Thank you for posting about it.

Decor To Adore said...

Oh I am chuckling with a "been there, done that". I lovingly collected wonderful antique and vintage images from Panama (where Mr. Decor grew up) and had them professionally framed. Once hung, everyone who came into the family room made such appreciative comments. Fast forward a year later when I came home to badly rendered images of planes that had been given to the Mr. as "gifts" which he then placed crookedly in off the rack frames. The room no longer receives any compliments but he is happy. :)

Unknown said...

Haha, funny, my husband has an on going project in the kitchen room ( not for the kitchen ) and it's been sitting there forever, driving me nuts, maybe that's the reason:). I love your den, very cozy and the Lake sign perfect for your Fall getaways at The Lake House, love saying that, romantic :).
Now for seriousness, while I do whine about the relentless heat here in Arizona, I'm grateful for my home, with the floods, fires, and earthquakes everywhere destroying homes and loss of life, my home stands, very, very grateful. Have a cool day, Kathleen in Az

Karen (Back Road Journal) said...

Your comment "he wants to add his weird little choices for decor" gave me a real laugh. It sounds like he is a wise man and in the end decided you were a good decorator for him. :D