Sunday, December 10, 2017

Time To Downsize


It has been home for 37 years. Our four bedroom split foyer has served our family well. Through babies and teenagers and empty nesters this little house has been our home. We have lived most of our married life in these walls. Our sons have only known this as their home from birth.

But...the steps have become a nuisance. One knee replacement and bones that tend to creak and ache seem to call out for a different location. And so the next season of our life will be a one level three bedroom.

We are moving about ten miles from one end of our county to another. We found a lot with a view of the mountains. It is in a subdivison that will allow for daily walks of a much more level stroll. So, we are beginning the process of having a house built. I never dreamed this would be our next step. I had decided that we would stay in our present home forever. After all, we have spent the last few years updating and maintaining the decor into present day expectations.

To say this is a daunting task is an understatement. I am terribly OCD about being in control. The first step was to find a house plan that would satisfy the space we desire and offer the open concept. I spent hours combing through online plans and would think I found THE one.

The common link was the desire to have a dining room and a kitchen nook. I gravitated toward a kitchen that opened into the great room and split bedrooms. These were top contenders. But the desire to truly downsize became a nagging thought in my mind. These three were very similar. We do want a basement in order to use as storage for lawn equipment and storage bins. I truly want an empty garage except for vehicles. 

But in the end, a different plan is the one that seemed to satisfy our needs the best. It offers a large screened in porch which we really desire. And it also has a small study off the foyer. I envision that area as a small sitting area/library.

We have had to make several small changes in order to allow access to the basement for stairs. And the plan will be mirror imaged due to the layout of the lot. But I am anxious to get this project started.

We can have a view of the country side as we have our morning coffee.

And a view of amazing sunsets over the mountains to the south.

This is the place that will become our forever home.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Las Vegas Memories

I never knew what to expect before our first visit to Vegas. The scenery is breath taking. A much different view than the hills and mountains of Tennessee.

Our most recent visit was two weeks before the sadness that has engulfed the city. The tragedy of lives lost because of evil.  The American flag hangs among the beautiful garden of the Bellagio. A silent reminder that we live in a free society. Free to enjoy a vacation. Free to enjoy a few days away from home. Free to listen to performers.

Since we have visited a couple of times a year Vegas has become a familiar city. It welcomes our family because we have favorite places to dine, play a few machines, walk and enjoy.

Flights seem to arrive every few minutes. Expectations are high and filled with excitement.

Will the act of violence forever change our precious memories? How can we forget the many families whose lives are forever changed?

We can only pray that safety will return.  Beauty will replace nightmares.
Thanks for the good times for my family.

Prayers for those who will remember horror.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Saying Goodbye


How do you say goodbye to a best friend that has graced your life for 12 years?
He came to us at 6 weeks old--small enough to resemble more of a kitten than a dog. He could fit in my hand. He grew to be 15 pounds of pure love.

Jake was always willing to snuggle and sit by my side. Through the years he changed from a lively pup to a more sedate adult--much like us. He aged as we did. He was content to just be.

Oh, the laughs we got from his expressions. The turning of the head from our conversations as if he was understanding our utter nonsense.

His joy of watching for his "daddy" to come home! He sensed the time when he would arrive. He would greet him with running around in circles and just waiting to climb on the couch for a few hugs. And his smiles seem to come with his "purring" sounds he would make as he received that love from his dad.

We said goodbye. He went from being completely alright to letting us know his time was up. The last two weeks of seeing him suffer was heart breaking. We would have kept him with us but it wasn't to be.

So long, best buddy. 
So long, Jake. 
You are missed!

Monday, June 5, 2017

Gorgeous Subway Tile

Baby Steps
I guess you could say that the upgrades to my 1980's kitchen has spanned over decades. In 2001 the custom oak cabinets were installed. And loved...until the white cabinet craze seemed to scoop me up and toss me right in the midst. 
The first upgrade was the change to hardwood flooring throughout the open space great room, dining room, and kitchen. Granite countertops appeared about four years ago. Since there was no backsplash project in the near future a granite tiny backsplash was added. After the cabinets were painted a creamy white I still couldn't get a white subway tile off my mind.

The little granite "lip" seemed to stick out like a sore thumb. Even painting a lighter color couldn't detract from the gloomy feeling. Under cabinet lights only "highlighted each and every wall flaw.

The last project for this kitchen is here!

White Subway Tile

When the installers came I insisted that the granite backspash be removed. Holding my breath that it could come off quite easily only proved true. It had been applied with a bit of silicone caulk on the bottom and against the wallboard.
The problem I hadn't even thought about was the fact that the granite installers hadn't done a precise measurement. Yes, that little granite backsplash covered up a bit of a gap in some places. I was so afraid at this point that it would have to be returned. But the installers decided that they could fill in the gap with grout. Using pieces of thin metal strips to hold the tiles in place until they dried was the method of the day.

The smallest and simplest piece of granite proved to be the one that was most horribly cut. The gap was so large that the grout really had to be applied heavily. In this picture you can see the difference on the left and right sides of the stove.

Returning the next day, the grout was applied. I used a light gray grout which ties in beautifully with the granite.

It amazes me the difference in the kitchen. It seems as if inches have been increased to the space instead of one tiny inch on the countertops. The light reflects off the tile and gives a great feeling.

I hesitated to place anything back on the counters and in reality I have simplified the space. But you will have to wait to see that! For now, I am enjoying just the basics--hardwood floors, white cabinets, granite countertops, and white subway tile backspash!

Kitchen--finished! Decades of updates finally finished to my liking.
Next will have to be a brand new kitchen if we ever move!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Spring Brights

With spring comes the desire to lighten and brighten. I recently made a few minor and inexpensive changes to the master bedroom to bring the glorious sunshine in.

No, I didn't paint the walls a lighter color. No, I didn't rearrange the furniture.
Actually I went shopping! My favorite go-to store to pick up inexpensive curtains is Marshall's or TJMaxx. Since I was not concerned with keeping the room warm or closing out the cold temperatures I picked up white curtains. I think they were $16.99 a pair of panels. I did add two panels on each side of the windows so that was a total of four sets. Not bad in order to lighten the room immediately.

This is the winter look. The drapes I love! They are from World Market and are great fabric and are lined. Perfect for adding warmth to the bedroom. The dark gray background is highlighted with a beige, aqua, and rust colors of decor. It blended well with the beige quilt and gingham duvet picked up from Ikea. Just gazing at this picture I feel cozy.

Yes, a dramatic difference for the light streaming into the room. I did change the quilt to a white one. The aqua colors scream spring. Target supplied the throw pillows. I like the way the solid aqua is picked up in the throw quilt. Stein Mart always has a big selection of quilts in a wide array of colors. Since I wanted this to be used as a throw I decided to pick up a twin size one which also saved me $$$.

Target does have some great pillows if one searches in various sections of their home goods. The flowered ones were part of bedroom accessories. Once I walked past them I was pulled in!

I am satisfied with the bright room. Since it is on the back of the house it gets a short time of morning sun and a short time of afternoon sun. The room isn't large. So I hope to capture all the sunlight and use it to it's fullest.

I will enjoy this look for another few months before transitioning back to the darker decor.

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