Monday, December 5, 2011
Sunday, September 25, 2011
To be quite honest, I think I have been a bit out of sorts lately. You might have sensed that because I feel like it has shown in a couple of my recent blog posts.
Overall, I have a pretty sweet life. In the scheme of things, I have few stresses and nothing major to complain about but these past six or seven months have been somewhat hard on me emotionally.
During the past couple months that I have spent so much time caring for our sick and old pets, I have definitely been affected by the realization that there is a good likelihood neither of our two dogs will be around much longer. It has been difficult and extremely sad watching Bo’s body give out before his spirit. I know 14 year old Jasmin is on borrowed time too. It’s always hard losing one beloved pet but I am reminded every single day that we are probably going to have to deal with losing both dogs very close together.
Even after more than six months of being a full-time resident of Hooterville, some days I still find myself feeling displaced out here in the country and very homesick for my previous home and the city I grew up in. Despite my best efforts, the house in Hooterville still doesn’t feel like home to me yet. It’s familiar but not “home,” if that makes any sense. Maybe that’s to be expected when you live in one place *forever* and then move away.
The list of home improvement and decorating projects I want to do to this house is still quite lengthy but, for the most part, my motivation to do them has become non-existent. Every night, when I get into bed, I think about those projects and tell myself, “Tomorrow I’m going to work on… __insert 1 project from list here__.” However, when tomorrow comes, I find 101 excuses not to start that chosen project. Then, that night, I have the same mental conversation with myself again, “Tomorrow I WILL work on…” but usually I don’t.
And not only do I not feel inspired to work on house projects, I certainly don’t have the focus or motivation to blog right now either. Currently, writing posts for my blog feels more like an obligation rather than the fun hobby I want it to be. I’ve seriously considered just shutting my blog down but there is a part of me that isn’t ready to throw in the towel quite yet. I have really enjoyed the warm and friendly blogging community, as well as the creative process of blogging, so I hope my enthusiasm for blogging returns.
In the 2 + years since I started this blog, I have never actually taken what I would consider a formal break. I think now would be a good time. So, after much deliberation, I’ve made the decision to step away from my blog for awhile.
I’m not sure how long it will take me to recharge and regroup but I do hope you, my sweet, loyal readers, will still be out there when I get back.
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
These first three weeks of September have been much like August for me. I’m still spending a lot of time in the veterinarian's office, particularly with Bo. We are really saddened by the continued and rapid deterioration in his health.
In a previous post, I mentioned Bo had a hematoma in his left ear flap we were dealing with. We ultimately had a second opinion from another vet and he placed a small cannula in the inner ear flap.
At least once a day for about 10 days, we had to unscrew the cap and drain the blood and serum that would accumulate in the ear flap. The very same day the cannula in the left ear came out, Bo developed a hematoma in the right ear so it was back to the vet to have a cannula placed in the right ear and our daily draining and bandaging ritual continued for another week. The cannula was removed from the right ear a couple days ago and much to our dismay, that ear flap seems to be filling up again. Darn hematomas!
Despite our hopes the acupuncture treatments Bo has been getting might slow down the progression of his degenerative myelopathy, it doesn’t seem to be helping. At least he doesn’t appear to be in any pain. In fact, it’s probably just the opposite; he’s losing the feeling in his hind legs. His left rear leg is becoming particularly weak and pretty much useless a large percentage of the time. The slippery laminate floors I have in part of the house are further contributing to his difficulties in walking so in an effort to try to give him a little stability, I bought some throw rugs to put down in the traffic paths but they have been only minimally helpful.
While most of the bloggers I have been visiting seem to be excitedly decorating for fall, I am sooo not ready to let summer go. Inasmuch as my heart is longing to blow this country town and head off for an extended trip to the beach, I guess it’s not so surprising that in my free time I’m playing around with sea shells instead of pumpkins.
I piled some white shells on a glass cake pedestal.
After I hit a pair of old pitted brass candlesticks with some white spray paint, I placed the shells and candlesticks on my new-to-me Craigslist dining room table.
If hanging a dream catcher is suppose to protect against nightmares, will decorating with shells slow down the exit of summer? I can only hope.
Bertie Higgins is hosting a Florida premiere showing of “Tango’s movie” in Palm Harbor, Florida on two nights, October 5 and October 6. Many of the movie’s scenes were filmed here on the west coast of Florida ( in Tarpon Springs, New Port Richey and Palm Harbor) so if anyone in the Tampa Bay area is interested in seeing it, you can email me for the details of the premiere location and time.
Of course, my daughter already saw the movie in July when she flew out for the California premiere. Just as I suspected, she said Tango’s scenes were really short but nevertheless, I’m anxious to now have the opportunity to see the movie.
I have made some significant decorating progress in my family room that I would like to share but until I have some free time to take photos, here are a couple teaser photos of my inspiration.
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
The formal dining room at the house in Hooterville has not been a priority for me to furnish, especially when we have so many other projects I deemed more important. We have a breakfast room we use for our day-to-day meals so I couldn’t really justify spending a lot of time or money right now on a room we will likely only use at the holidays.
That doesn’t mean I didn’t have a plan for the dining room though.
About the time we were in the process of buying the house in Hooterville, the mega-talented Layla @ The Lettered Cottage designed the dining room below for one of her clients and I was instantly smitten. Layla’s design became my inspiration photo for the house in Hooterville dining room I would get finished “some day.”
(I took the liberty of flipping Layla’s photo so you can better visualize how well my favorite elements from her design would work in my dining room.)
I loved the bead board in Layla’s design so when I painted my dining room, I added my favorite Graham & Brown Super Fresco bead board wallpaper, which is available for purchase here. Although I’m not a huge fan of fabric window treatments in my own home, I was intrigued by the simple white panels used in conjunction with the bamboo roman shades. I also liked the look of the dark table, dark buffet and mirror mixed with the different styles of chairs, particularly the slip-covered parson’s chairs.
Kate @ Censational Girl has also mixed a classic style wood table with 4 parson’s chairs with short, white, pleated slip-covers in her dining room.
I have actually swooned, drooled and lusted many times over the same upholstered couture parson’s chairs and short pleated slip-covers on the Ballard Designs website that Kate has. When it comes to slip-covered parson’s chairs, I think Ballard’s are the crème de la crème.
But four parson’s chairs and 4 slip-covers from Ballard’s seems a bit pricey for a seldom used dining room though so, we’ll see…
About 5 weeks ago, I happened to be perusing my local Craigslist and saw a classic style mahogany dining room set for sale.
and EIGHT chairs—
2 arm chairs and 6 side chairs.
Me to Hubby: “I wasn’t really planning to buy furniture for the dining room now but we’ve GOT to go see this set!”
The set was in beautiful condition so it came home with us. He was absolutely ecstatic over the deal we got.
The top of the table is almost flawless. I need to check into getting a piece of glass cut for it to keep it that way.
In keeping with my inspiration photo from Layla, I’m now I’m on the lookout for a deal on a mahogany buffet similar to this style.source
Or, I could move this buffet to the dining room but I’d have to find a replacement for it as it is providing much needed storage in our home office.
Once I find a buffet, I think a buffet plus the 8 chairs that match the table is too matchy-matchy and too much wood for the lighter look I’m going for. My plan is to sell the 2 arm chairs and 4 of the side chairs that came with the table. I’ll keep 2 side chairs and replace the 4 I sell with 4 white slip-covered parson’s chairs. (Maybe from Ballard’s, or perhaps I can find some on Craigslist!) If I need more than 6 chairs for a family get-together, I can always pull in the 2 mahogany arm chairs I bought off Craigslist for the living room.
So, although I wasn’t planning to buy furniture for the dining room right now…
sometimes you just have to jump on a good deal when opportunity knocks.
Have you jumped on any good deals lately?
Thursday, September 1, 2011
Wow! I can’t believe it’s September already! Can you?
Almost a month ago I promised to show you my latest and greatest Craigslist purchase.
Well, that was before I started spending so much time during August with the new veterinarian here in Hooterville. I’ve been in the office so much in recent weeks, they recognize me when I walk in the door and I’m on a first name basis with all of the staff. I feel like the vet and I are BFF’s now.
First, our cat, Bitty, was sick so off to the vet we went. Bitty made a great first impression on the new vet. (Not.)
Don’t let her cute face fool you. Miss Congeniality, this cat is not! I think they doubled my bill (just kidding… sort of) because she was such a pain to deal with, hissing and spitting and throwing her weight around like she was a several hundred pound wild tiger. She was so uncooperative, they had to keep her overnight just to get a urine sample from her.
Jasmin, our old German Shepherd, just turned 14 at the end of July.
She’s been getting periodic acupuncture treatments for the past couple years to help with her arthritis. I don’t think she would still be with us if it weren’t for the acupuncture treatments. She loves getting acupunctured and it really does help her mobility.
Jasmin was long overdue for a treatment because I hadn’t been able to find a vet close to Hooterville that did acupuncture, until the new vet who treated the cat said she was trained in acupuncture (yay! ) so I’ve been taking Jasmin to the vet 1 to 2 times a week this month for acupuncture .
Here, (young) Dr. N. is inserting the acupuncture needles. Unlike Bitty, sweet old Jasmin has quickly become one of Dr. N’s favorite patients!
Some of the needles are connected to a machine that delivers mild electrical pulses to stimulate the acupuncture points.
The acupuncture stimulates the release of endorphins and often Jasmin will doze off during the treatment because she is so relaxed.
He’s now developed a condition called Degenerative Myelopathy, an autoimmune disease German Shepherds are prone to. With DM, the dog’s immune system attacks the central nervous system, particularly the white matter pathways of the spinal cord. DM has been likened to Multiple Sclerosis in humans. DM is progressive and there is no cure.
Due to DM, Bo is losing the use of his back legs. Eventually he will be paralyzed. Sadly, in his case, the disease is progressing so rapidly we can almost see deterioration from one day to the next in his ability to walk. Acupuncture won’t stop the disease or reverse the damage that has already been done but we are trying it to see if it will slow the progression. He will be getting acupuncture treatments at least 1 time per week for the foreseeable future.
Then, if that isn’t enough, poor Bo developed a hematoma in the tip of his left ear last week from shaking his head too hard. The gnats here in Hooterville have been awful and I suspect he broke a blood vessel in the tip of his ear trying to shake gnats, or perhaps some other type of insect, that was in or around his ears.
Apparently, ear hematomas are common but difficult to fix without surgery. Given his diagnosis of Degenerative Myelopathy, I’m hesitant to have him operated on. I don’t care if his ear never stands up again—that’s really the least of his problems--so I was looking for a treatment for the hematoma that was less invasive (and less costly) than surgery. With the estimated $500-$800 hematoma surgery would cost, we could provide him with a whole lot of acupuncture to hopefully slow the DM and prolong his life.
The vet just got a new laser machine she decided to try using on his hematoma. The laser treatment protocol called for using the laser every other day for 4 treatments but unfortunately, it didn’t seem to work in Bo’s case. The hematoma was getting larger instead of better so on the third visit the decision was made to drain the hematoma during the office visit and then use the laser on his ear.
After the hematoma was drained and lasered, Dr. N. folded his ear back over his head and bandaged it up. He was not happy about the bandage at. all. Within 24 hours he had his ear shaken loose from the bandage and the hematoma started filling up again. ::sigh:: We will be trying the draining procedure again (and a different bandaging technique) Friday.
Needless to say, with all the trips to the vet’s office, I didn’t really get any decorating (or blogging) done in August. Hopefully, I’ll be back soon to reveal that great Craigslist deal.
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
There are still several pieces of furniture I could use to fill in some of the rooms in the house in Hooterville. Depending on what I want, one of my favorite methods of shopping for furniture is Craigslist. Sometimes finding good stuff on Craigslist can feel a lot like looking for the proverbial needle in a haystack but if I’m patient enough, I can usually find what I’m looking for. I’ve scored some really good deals on Craigslist over the past few years.
While working on getting the furniture arranged in the formal living room, it occurred to me the only seating I had in here was the white matelasse slip covered sofa and loveseat from our old house.
However, the living room here at the house in Hooterville really isn’t big enough to accommodate any more upholstered furniture so I decided perhaps one or two dining side chairs would provide extra seating without taking up too much physical or visual space. The problem: I didn’t have any dining room furniture yet to borrow chairs from, and had no plans to buy dining room furniture anytime soon, so I turned to Craigslist in hopes of finding a couple orphaned chairs.
About two days after I started perusing Craigslist, I saw a listing for two mahogany, Chippendale style arm chairs with spotless, off-white, tone-on-tone damask seats. I looked this style up online to see what they typically cost retail and they can run $300 or $400 (or more) for just one chair. I thought the $125.00 the seller was asking for the pair was a pretty good deal so they came home with me.
Those ball and claw feet creep me out just a little bit but otherwise, I love the style of these chairs …the shape, the detail… and they are small enough to easily move around to different places in the living room. It will also be no problem to pull them up to the formal dining room table if I need a couple extra chairs for family gatherings.
In the photos, the chairs seem to look pretty good with the dark wood of my curio cabinet and flooring in the foyer, but in person, the chairs’ dark finish seems to disrupt the serenity of the mostly white living room I desired so, at some point, the chairs may get a coat of white paint.
However, before I decide whether to paint them, there’s a few things that need to be finished. I want to get the brass on the crystal chandelier hanging in the center of the room painted white. Window treatments are still on the “To Do” list too. I know what I want but just haven’t had a chance to implement it yet.
I also recently found a new crystal lamp for the formal living room at HomeGoods. Boy, the HomeGoods stores in my area have had a big selection of beautiful and very reasonably priced crystal lamps lately. I had a hard time deciding which one to buy so I brought a couple home to try and this one with silver satin ribbon on the shade won out.
Next time, I’ll show you what’s happening on the other end of the room, which is the formal dining room. I scored BIG TIME on Craigslist again! Even my hubby was giddy with excitement over that deal.
Sunday, July 31, 2011
Earlier this year, while I was purging stuff in preparation for our move to the house in Hooterville, I mentioned in this post how I had made the decision to part with the wedding gown I wore when I married my hubby in 1972.
Before I let the dress go though, I cut off a small piece of lace and asked Joy of Cupid’s Charm to incorporate it into a special keepsake. Joy turns vintage jewelry, broken china, old silver spoons, vintage photos, papers, lace, crystals, pearls and sterling beads into the most beautiful and romantic pieces of jewelry you have ever seen.
When Joy was done working her creative magic, the charm bracelet below was the result.
In addition to Swarovski crystals, pearls and sterling beads, she combined 3 heart-shaped charms made with broken china pieces and 4 charms containing lace from my wedding dress.
Let me tell you, the bracelet is absolutely exquisite in person! I am sure this gorgeous bracelet is destined to become a family heirloom.
Originally, I had planned to gift my daughter with this special bracelet on her 30th birthday next June. However, I decided to give it to her early so she could wear it to the special premiere event she attended last week in California.
If you pop over to Joy’s on-line shop to browse, don’t blame me if you want one of everything! :)
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