~Three Animals~

Awhile back, while we were out gallivanting around, my youngest daughter called to tell us about a great sale. She was at home, taking time off to care for her children, Gabi and Drew, who were not feeling well. M finds the best bargains at a site known as While there, she discovered that Target had discounted Butterscotch ridiculously low! When she called, we just happened to be across the street from Target. Being doting g'parents, of course we went right over there and bought Butterscotch for the young'uns. The deal was too good to pass up!

J assembled Butterscotch, last week. The pony was standing in the garage until this morning. Every time I opened the door from the kitchen, I would wonder how that big ol' dog got in the garage. It was a tad disconcerting! It isn't any wonder it took awhile for Molly to warm up to Butterscotch. I don't even want to think what her reaction would have been, had the pony been put in motion!

"Hey Mom! Who is this and what is he doing in my house?"

"Let me get a little closer look."
"I'm not sure about this guy. I think I'll try one of my intimidation tactics."

"I suppose it's okay for you to be here. Gimme some sugar, Butterscotch!"
The photo at right shows the third "animal" mentioned in this post. We've been shopping around for a new vacuum sweeper. Two of our daughters own a Dyson Animal. They convinced us this is the sweeper to buy.
I used the new sweeper, this morning and am amazed at what it pulled out of the rug in the foyer! I thought it was clean, before!! One of our sons in law swears his allergies have improved since owning the Dyson Animal.
Do you have a Dyson Animal? If so, what has been your experience with it?

A few days ago, a wonderful package arrived from Suzanne at Pear Tree Primitives. Aren't these note cards beautiful? Thanks Suzanne!


~A Work in Progress~

The past few months we've been considering the purchase of a new mattress set for the master bedroom. For sometime now, we've awakened each morning achy and cranky. The mattress is just simply too soft!

We also talked about moving the queen mattress set from the master bedroom at our condo, exchanging for the king set here. We decided if we did that, we'd be waking achy and cranky at the lake. We certainly don't want to do that!

Last week we came to a decision. A mattress set, identical to the one at the lake, was in a seldom used guest room here. We moved it downstairs to the master suite and moved the king set from that room, up to the guest room.

If you've visited the Back Porch, now and then, you know this little change involved more than moving beds, from room to room.

This is a before photo, of the 2nd floor guest room, from around 2006. The iron bed is now in the master suite on the main floor.

This is how the guest room's "new" bed looked, in the master bedroom.
I've often thought of doing a room in shades of white. I was hesitant, because of our precious Molly and her beautiful black hair. When we decided to move the beds, a plan began to form in my mind. Here was my opportunity to have a room, done in shades of white. Molly, knowing her boundaries, never goes to the 2nd floor.
The paint color in the guest room is the same as that in the master suite, Laura Ashley Gold 3, by Valspar. It's a great neutral. The rooms will remain this color. However, the king headboard didn't fit into my scheme.
While visiting Laila's blog, I learned she had taken a dining set to a car shop for painting. That post was my inspiration for the headboard makeover. We made arrangements with a local auto body shop, to paint the bed. The painter suggested we buy a good paint, in the color we wanted for the piece. We matched chips to the small dresser, that was to remain in the guest room. Benjamin Moore Bavarian Cream, in satin, is the color we chose. J dropped off the headboard, at the shop, last Tuesday. Wednesday we got the call to pick it up. The finish is perfect and the cost was less than we would have paid at a furniture paint shop. This was the painter's first time painting wood furniture.
We used this same auto shop, one other time, when we had them sand blast an antique iron bed. We painted that piece, at home.
The headboard paint was matched to the small chest in this photo. The wing chair in the corner was given to us, a few years ago. It was upholstered in a frayed green/chartreuse stripe. I believe the chair was purchased during the 1960's, at an upscale Saint Louis furniture store, no longer in business. The legs remain green. The chair was skirted, when we had it reupholstered. The pillows, in the chair, are ribbon embroidered.
I've ordered a single tortoise shell bamboo shade for the double window. There will be lined and interlined panels, in ivory, on either side.
The print, pictured below, is a memento of our trip to Mackinac Island Michigan, in 2006. It depicts Haldemand Bay Harbor. I'm making decisions about other accessories and bedside tables. When this latest makeover is complete, I'll post an update.
We've not awakened achy and/or cranky, one single morning, since making the move last week. That alone has made this a successful makeover. Even though, it's still a work in progress.

This is the master suite, before. The floral love seat is no longer in the room. The small rug is now in the foyer. The lamps have been moved to the living room.
The former guest room bed, now in our room. The rug is from the living room. The sheer panels were on the double window in the guest room. The bedside chests, in the room, when this photo was taken, have been exchanged for a larger dark wood chest and table, moved from other rooms. I'm still working on this room, updates soon.


~Like Ducks to Water~

As we were leaving our town this morning, we saw these beautiful birds on the pond at Fairgrounds Park. We stopped to watch them. They entertained us for quite awhile, their antics delightful!
The tiny building next to the pond is the duck house. In the distance is First Baptist Church. The park was once home to our county fair.

This was the only pair of Canada Geese, today. When we were at the park last week, there were several.


The stop at the park was on our way to Michaels. I took advantage of a 60% off total framing order, not long ago and had this print of Shane Kindchi's pencil drawing of Biltmore framed. Michaels has always done great work with our framing needs. This time is no exception. The frame and mats are perfect for this wonderful print, a memento of our Biltmore visit.



My grandmother, "Granny", with her daughters around 1923. My mother Marjorie, sits in her left arm, my Aunt Helen on her right. A few years after this photograph was done the sisters' brother Clifford, was born.

Another photograph shows my maternal grandparents around 1918-1919, after they married.

This book sits on the round table in our living room. It is a history of Laclede County Missouri. Found on the pages are stories about my family.

My Grandad can be seen in the back row, second from left, in this photograph. The family arrived in Missouri, from Kentucky in 1880, where they had lived since 1790. I believe their home was in the vicinity of Horse Cave Kentucky.
Soon after they arrived in Missouri, my great grandparents became instrumental in the organization of New Hope Baptist Church, in 1881. The family was well known throughout Laclede County for their beautiful singing voices. I can remember attending "sings" when I was a child. The memory of those wonderful voices, singing gospel music is as fresh in my memory as though I heard them yesterday.

Granny's family lived in Anderson County Tennessee before moving to Missouri. Her parents were married in 1886 and established a homestead near Morgan Missouri. My great grandfather was a reporter for the Lebanon Rustic and Laclede County Republican. In 1930 the Jobe High School Law went into effect. The Morgan Jobe High School opened in September, 1930, with 13 students. Great-Grandpa Hicks served as one of the first directors of the school. Imagine his pride when his youngest son was Validictorian of the first graduating class, in 1934.
As a young woman, Granny carried the mail daily on a small horse called Patsy.
I remember Sunday dinners of fried chicken and mashed potatoes and gravy, at my grandparents home. Granny made the lightest biscuits I ever tasted.
Grandad had a dry wit. He entertained us with jokes and stories, I hope I never forget.

I've added a photo of the living room, from the french door, leading into the hearth room. The makeover is complete. We've begun an update of the master bedroom. I'll post about that little project sometime soon.
The photo at right shows the pencil sketch of our home, given to us by the local Garden Club, when our home was on tour. I reframed it today. The Labrador print from Nell Hill's makes a nice companion print.


~A Living Room Makeover~

Have you ever noticed how one thing leads to another? That's how the living room makeover began. A friend at one of my decorating boards posted about a great sale on a set of three framed bird prints at Pottery Barn. That was shortly before Christmas. I went to Pottery Barn online, fell in love with the prints and ordered them, right then and there. While I was there I ordered two small unframed bird prints. The snowball started rolling, growing in momentum with each minute!

I reluctantly set the prints aside, while we prepared for Christmas and our Merry Christmas Road Trip. The prints were always in the back of my mind, as I day dreamed my way through Christmas and our vacation. I could hardly wait to put all the Christmas decorations away, so I could begin the great January living room makeover of 2008!

Of course, I knew there would be more involved than just hanging those prints on one of the living room walls. How much fun would that be! I began the redo this week. I pulled things from other rooms and played with accessories. Our first move was the wine cabinet from the dining room to the living room. I pulled a chair from the master bath and took pictures from the walls in our room. Tables and chairs were moved here and there. I was in a re-arrange frenzy! All the while the prints that started it all remained leaning against a wall. Finally, I was ready to decide an arrangement for them. I knew they would go above the paisley sofa, I just hadn't figured out how I wanted them arranged. I placed the prints on the floor and moved them this way and that. Alas, I decided I needed one more. I remembered seeing just what I needed at the Osage Beach Marshalls. I thought perhaps I might find it at a nearby Home Goods and I did.

I added a couple of new chairs beside the round table and a bench/coffee table. January Sales are great!! Wednesday, I assembled everything. Something was not quite right. It was the rug! I knew it just didn't fit into this new scheme, dreamed up because of three bird prints! We dragged a black bound seagrass rug in from the hearth room. No, that was not the right look. I asked advice from my decorating board friends and looked on e-bay, where I thought I might find a lovely handknotted rug, from my favorite rug seller. I'm still deciding about the rug. This afternoon, we pulled a beige bound seagrass rug from the studio. It's a little frayed around the binding, but I knew it would give me a pretty good visual for comparison. I do like the beige binding but I'm not sure about the size, which is 8x10. Perhaps I need a larger rug. I know a smaller one would not be right. I'll live with this "borrowed" rug for a few days.

I like the direction this room has taken. And it would not have happened if my friend Karin, at the board, had not mentioned the Pottery Barn prints!

The three prints on the bottom are from Pottery Barn. These are what started everything! The smaller prints above, also from PB, were unframed. I found mats and frames at Michaels. The center print is from Home Goods.

The wine cabinet, moved from the dining room. Here you see a bit of the darker rug, I want to replace.

Look for more living room updates in the weeks to come. There will be a few changes to the foyer. After those updates, I will begin working on the master bedroom. I have an idea or two about that room, that include the dark rug from the living room. The snowball just keeps rolling and rolling!

**EDIT: Suzanne at Pear Tree Primitives is celebrating her 100th post, with beautiful gifts. Stop by and leave a comment, to be added to the drawing.


~Winter Visitors~

This photo of a Cardinal waiting for his turn at a feeder, on our patio, was taken January 14, 2007. Notice the Woodpecker on the feeder. We soon broke the ice for the Cardinal.
The five photos, below, show a rascally Squirrel at the feeder. These photos are from January 22, 2007.

I enjoy watching the animals and birds on our patio. The squirrel's antics were very enjoyable! My desk sits beside the french doors. When we lived at the farm, my desk sat beside the french doors. There is always something going on in the world, just outside our door.


~Elements of Change, Part II~

This photo is right side up. That's the reflection of the sky and trees, in the beautiful Lake of the Ozarks, just after 7AM, this morning.

We returned from the lake, this afternoon. The weather was warm, a January thaw, I suppose. One night we saw severe thunderstorms. These storms always seem to be magnified, at the lake.

October 21, 2007, I published a post about a little makeover at the condo. You can see the post and before photos, here.
I began the re-do, this past weekend. These are a few, in progress, photos. I'm hoping for a more serene feel to this room. I've removed several accessories and added cool soothing color, here and there. The room seems more spacious. I have a plan for a wreath of shells or a wreath containing a few shells, for over the bed. I'm not sure I'll replace the headboard. I have it here, at home.
The bathroom is scheduled for a makeover, also. I'm considering a new color for the bathroom.
These rooms are my "winter project", for the lake.

Pillows, lamps and bedside pictures are from Marshall's, at Osage Beach MO. The throw is from Target. Other bedding was previously used in one of the condo guest rooms. I won the hand knotted rug on E-bay. The bombe chest is one I purchased about 5 years ago. Atop the chest is a family photo from 2002 and a vase filled with shells, gathered by Xanti and her aunt and uncle on a trip to Florida. The rattan chair is one of a pair I found at a re-sale shop in St Charles MO, several years ago. A glass top rattan table completes the set.
When I've completed these rooms, I'll post after photos.
A package was waiting for me, this afternoon. I could hardly wait to open it. It was like Christmas again!
In the photo, at right, are the wonderful gifts Jennifer Grey sent to me, after presenting us with best 2007 Christmas decorated home. Included in this great package, were Criterion Bells, still attached to the card and marked 10 cents. I love these and remember buying bells like these during the 1960's and attaching them to my daughters' shoe strings. I always knew what they were up to! Also included, delightful music boxes, Bonne Maman Apricot Preserves, a lovely scented candle, this fabulous Santa Claus ( I love his boots and beard) and to top it off, a subscription to Romantic Homes. Thank you Jennifer. These gifts are wonderful!