~Spring, Now & Then~

This photo collage shows a Cleveland Pear, non fruit bearing, as it looked a year ago, this week. The tree grows beside our patio. We had an early Spring in 2007. A week or two after this photo was taken, we experienced a heavy frost. Many of the already blooming plants in our yard and gardens, were blackened by the freeze. This caused the plants to bloom later and in some cases, like our Endless Summer Hydrangeas, there were no blooms at all during last year.
I took a photo of the same tree, yesterday afternoon. You can see it's just beginning to bud. We're having more "normal" Spring weather, this year and we are having quite a bit more moisture. We're hoping to see our Hydrangeas and other plants, come back in all their glory, in 2008.

The photo, at right, shows four month old grandson, Noah, wearing the Black Belt outfit, given to him by Xanti's Tae Kwon Do Master. Of course, this gift called for photographs! Noah is wearing a gold medal won by big sis, Xanti, at a Tae Kwon Do tournament. Xanti, a 2nd Degree Black Belt, has studied TKD, since she was 11 years old. She's competed in many tournaments, locally and nationally.

In this photo, Noah seems to be taking in every word, as he and Xanti read Black Belt Magazine.

The photos were taken, yesterday. I obtained permission from the copyright owner, to publish them here.
We will be leaving for the lake, soon. I'll write a little something about Spring, in the beautiful Ozarks, when we return, Tuesday or Wednesday. Evergreen re-opens for the season, April 1st. I hope to stop by and see what Jason found at market, over the winter. Click on the link to find out more about this store, located in Osage Beach.
Thank you all for stopping by and your wonderful comments, during March! Most of all, thank you for being there, during this particular time in our lives.
Have a wonderful weekend!


~Guest Room II~

I find working around our home is wonderful for stress relief. J works in the yard/gardens and cleans the vehicles to occupy his time and thoughts. Today, we continued with our spring cleaning and redoing, by working on the second guest room.

We began the rearrangement by taking the bed apart and moving it to an end wall. It has been between two windows since we moved here, 4 years ago. We both wonder how many more years we will be able to move furniture here and there!

The furniture in this room was in the master bedroom of our former home, at the farm.

The white jar on the chest holds Peacock and Pheasant feathers. The bench at the end of the bed was moved to this room from the foyer. I'll post a little update of the foyer one day soon. The rug was moved from the studio. It's something a little different and perhaps fun, for this room.

I've looked for a barrel shade for Jim's mother's rose lamp for awhile. On our way from meeting with J's surgeon, Monday, we stopped at the mall in Chesterfield, where I found this shade at Pottery Barn.
I wasn't sure the green would work, but decided to take a chance. It works wonderfully and it was marked 50% off!
J's mother was an avid garage/yard sale shopper. She also enjoyed auctions. I think she found this lamp and the two smaller rose lamps, we have, at one sale or another. We believe the lamps are from the 1950's.

Looking toward one of the vanity areas in the Jack and Jill bath. The other vanity area is entered by way of the hall.


A date has been scheduled for J's surgery, next month. I've booked a hotel near the hospital and we've arranged for Molly's boarding. J has an appointment with our Cardiologist in a couple of weeks. We hope to get to the lake once or twice before the surgery. We're doing our homework for the surgery and we are keeping busy.

You have our continued appreciation for your thoughts and prayers as we approach J's hospitalization and after he returns home.


Back Porch Promise & Easter

Preparing the back porch for Summer 2008, is a project I hope to complete in the next few weeks.

Several months ago, I purchased the red Laura Ashley print, for recovering the chair seats. I'll paint the chairs a creamy white. I found four floral cushions for the black iron glider, at Marshall's. The back porch fireplace can be seen through the door, behind the chair. In the corner, is a birdhouse on a stand. We used it on the deck at the lake, previously. I have all the elements gathered and ready for a sunny warm day, when I can paint and recover the chairs and ready the porch for the season.
It has snowed, sleeted and rained, this Easter Sunday. The sun was shining during the day, also.

We had breakfast with our family early this morning. Xanti was able to join us for breakfast. We missed her yesterday, because she was working during our family Easter gathering at her aunt and uncle's.

These photos show our younger grandbabies. They entertained us all through the day, yesterday. Gabi, Drew and Noah are pictured, in the grid, as well as our daughter, holding her son, Noah.

Gabi returned home with us, to spend the night. She enjoyed Bunny Tracks ice cream with G'pa. I read two books to her before she went to sleep. This morning, she said she had a good night. I told her I was happy she had a good night. She replied, "Thank you, G'ma".

Gabi and Drew hunting eggs.

***********************************************Our thanks to all for your wonderful e-mails, comments, thoughts and prayers. We are so very appreciative.


~Easter, J & Missouri Weather~

~Dogwood at Ha Ha Tonka State Park, Missouri 2007~

Our thanks to everyone for your concern about the Missouri floods. We live about 14 miles from the Mississippi River and north of St Louis. The flooding, happening this week, is south. Our friends, living in Arnold Missouri, report seeing water from their home. They are in no danger, though. That flooding is coming from the Meramec River. We've needed moisture for awhile, but it seems we are having an over abundance! Our hearts go out to those affected by these floods, here in Missouri and throughout the Midwest.
I've written, in recent weeks, about a series of medical tests, J has been having. The early tests were okay. However, this week we received a different sort of news.

A few years ago, J's youngest brother was diagnosed with Prostate Cancer and recovered completely. Since then, we've been vigilant, watching for any signs of Cancer. Often when a close relative, like a brother, is diagnosed, Cancer comes to a brother or sister, also. This week, we learned a small, early stage cancer has been found in J's Prostate. We spent yesterday at DePaul Hospital in St Louis, with J's Urologist. Further testing was done. DePaul is not the hospital we normally use. So we were a bit lost, trying to find our way around. We are so appreciative of the kindness of J's doctor and others working at DePaul. They saw us through the tests and guided our way around the hospital. We should know today, the results of the Bone Scan, done yesterday.

The cancer is medium growing. It's been caught in the early stages. J had the option of several courses of action. Standard surgery, radiation or robotic surgery. Fortunately, our hospital, St Lukes (Saint Louis) has acquired one of the robots and is having wonderful success. After speaking with the Urologist, yesterday, J decided he wants robotic surgery. Click here, for more information about Robot Oncology. Many times, when Prostate Cancer is found in men older than J, it is slow growing and surgery isn't done. However, since J is 62 and the cancer is more aggressive, we have decided to take an aggressive approach to treatment. J will see our Cardiologist for a stress test and other tests. The Cardiologist is confident J will do fine with surgery. Having the tests is an extra precaution. He will also bank his own blood for the surgery.

We continue our journey, Monday morning, with a get acquainted meeting, with the surgeon who will perform the Laporascopic Prostatectomy, sometime in April at St Luke's.

I'll try to keep you updated throughout these next months. I'll add a message sometime next week, to let you know what is happening. As always and as I hope we always will, we are approaching this journey with the faith and optimism, we've approached other challenges in our life together.
Tomorrow, we are going to our oldest daughter's home, where she and her husband are hosting an Easter dinner and egg hunt. On Sunday, Xanti and Noah's parents are hosting an early breakfast. We stopped yesterday, on our way home, for a short visit with all our grandchildren. They are exactly what we needed after our day.

Wishing you all a wonderful Easter, from our family to yours!


~Dining Room Shelves~

I was looking through a Ballard's catalog, this morning, when I happened upon this photo. The shelves looked familiar. Then I remembered! Similar shelves were in my studio, stacked with decorating and travel books.

It didn't take long for the light bulb to go on. I decided my shelf would be the perfect place for some of our white dishes and serving pieces. They will be displayed until I need them. And free up some much needed pantry space at the same time.
Once again J's assistance was called upon. We dismantled the shelves and brought them down to the dining room and reassembled them. It didn't take long to look through the pantry and wine server. I found just what I needed.
The mirror, used above the glass topped table, previously in this spot, was replaced with a print, from the master bathroom. The sconces were used in the master bedroom, before that little makeover.
The console table that was used in the dining room before, is now on the landing.
The drink dispenser from Mary Carol Garrity's Nell Hill's in Atchison Kansas, is filled with eggs, a nest and card, for spring.
Once more, I've used what I have, to do a mini makeover and it's been very enjoyable. I wonder how many more of these little projects I can think of.


~The Decorated House Art~

A few months ago I purchased the print, shown in these photos, from Donna at The Decorated House. The print is from a painting depicting a fairy in autumn, by Donna's husband, a gifted artist.
I framed the print last week and have it hanging in the powder room. I believe it was made for this red room.
The paint color, showing true in these photos, is Ralph Lauren Longjohn Red.
Maureen at Penchants, Ponderings and Posies has a wonderful tablescape post here:

~An Irish Blessing~

May your neighbors respect you,
Troubles neglect you,
The angels protect you,
And Heaven accept you.

If you would like to enter a giveaway for a beautiful quilt, visit Old Red Barn and leave a comment. A winner will be chosen March 19th.


~Kitchen-Breakfast Room-Hearth Room~

Spring cleaning in the breakfast room, kitchen and hearth room is just about finished. I have the new sheer shades on the breakfast room windows. When the shades for the hearth room arrive, I will be finished in these rooms for Spring/Summer.
The photos over the stove are snow scenes from our farm. J took the photos. One of them shows some of the cows in the feedlot. The others are views of the lane to our former home in the back pasture.
The cabinets are custom made, of Hickory.

This is the view from the cabinet in the hearth room.

From the kitchen doorway toward the breakfast room.

The hen cookie jar, sitting on the bar, is from the 1950's and once belonged to my mother.
The small photos, at right, show the farmhouse table, as it looked in 2004 and 2005. The white chairs are now being used on the back porch. At the time of this photo, there were no window coverings.

Two years ago, we had crown molding and other trim installed in the kitchen and breakfast room. The colorful chairs replaced the white chairs in 2005. We purchased the table at a consignment/antique shop, several years ago. The bench under the windows is around 100 years old. I have had the bench since the mid 1970's.
The window coverings in this photo, were made from the same fabric that covered the white chairs.
The table as it looks today. The sheer shades are from Pottery Barn.

This photo shows the Kim Parker prints, and salad plates designed by Judy Westgaard and available through Certified International.

I filled the wicker plant stand with silk flowers that were stored in our basement.

This is the hearth room. The window treatments will be the same as those in the breakfast room. The Windsor chairs were made especially for us, by a Missouri Artisan, using primitive tools.
The rug is from J's "lodge room". I'm trying it out here. I purchased this rug on E-bay. I'm considering purchasing a similar hand knotted rug for the hearth room. The sea grass rug, formerly in this room, is now in the studio. The sea grass rug from the studio, has been moved to the back porch.

Looking toward the back porch, a work in progress, for Spring 2008.

J's Wednesday medical appointment went well. We expect good results from the test. While we were sitting in the waiting room, I was looking through the April issue of Country Living. The cover shows a refurbished antique stove. As I looked through the magazine, J commented he wished we had chosen a stove like that. A little further along, he mentioned he would have liked white cabinets. Now this was a surprise to me, since he chose the Hickory. We've decided to consider having the island done in white and distressed. It's just something to think about.


~Blanket Project Update~

You may remember I recently wrote about my daughter's project to make blankets for St Louis Children's Hospital, St Louis Missouri.
K and our granddaughter Xanti, have made many blankets since 2006 and donated them to St Louis Children's Hospital, in memory of our precious grandson Elijah, Xanti's first baby brother. The baby wrapped in angel's wings in the painting, is Elijah. The painting, by artist Juanita Knowles, was commissioned by Xanti, as a gift to her parents.
Last month, K devised a plan to donate many more blankets, to Children's. I talked to her today. She told me they've received over 100 blankets in the last month, from family and friends. More are expected before Good Friday, when K and Xanti plan to deliver them to the hospital. The photo above, shows one of the blankets I made.
Elijah was born in November 2006. Through late Summer and into the Fall and during Elijah's birth, the staff of St Louis Children's Hospital was amazingly kind and helpful. Elijah was born with a rare birth defect, Posterior Urethral Valves, found in 1 of 8000 births and only in boys, he lived about 2 hours. Apparently, the cause is not known. Elijah's parents decided to give Elijah to Washington University, in St Louis, in hopes they may find a reason and to help other babies born with PUV's.


~Spring Cleaning~

A springtime tablesetting.
The hearthroom/breakfast room/kitchen redo is coming along well. The old valances have been removed, furniture has been arranged and rearranged and wall decor has been reworked.

There are 10 windows. Removing those valances lightened and brightened the rooms. I'm going to replace the old curtains with white shades, if all goes according to plan. When the windows are cleaned and the new window treatments installed, I'll take photos and write about our spring cleaning.

I rushed the season today, setting the table with salad plates, teapot, cake stand and small leaf plates with bunny motif. All of these are Bordallo. The pink bowls and plates are Depression Glass, Miss America. The glasses are Mikasa. The bowl with roses is an antique we found at a country auction several years ago.

How is your spring cleaning going?
March bustles in on windy feet
And sweeps my doorstep and my street.
She washes and cleans with pounding rains,
Scrubbing the earth of winter stains.
She shakes the grime from carpet green
Till naught but fresh new blades are seen.
The house in order, all neat as a pin,
She ushers gentle springtime in.
AUTHOR: Susan Reiner


~A Winner & Time for Change~

And the winner, of MCG's Nell Hill's Stylish Weddings, is #11...Sharon at Serendipity!!

A Nursery, Sharon designed for a Showhouse, was recently published in a book titled Showhouse Review. The subtitle is, An Expose of Interior Decorating Events. Click the above link to find out more about the book and Sharon's Nursery design.
Time "springs forward", early this coming Sunday morning. I'm ready for the time change and for another decorating change. I mentioned in the edit of my previous post, we had a busy day yesterday. After an early morning routine visit to the dentist and shopping, we came home in early afternoon and began rearranging furniture in the kitchen/breakfast room/hearth room. I'm wondering if this furniture rearranging is turning into another obsession, like my obsession with dishes! Not to worry...I'm ok!
Once again I'll use what we have to make this little redo. I'm adding two Kim Parker Giclee prints, I found at Marshalls, last weekend. I love the bright colors of these prints. They will complement our colorful breakfast room chairs, nicely.
Aspects of the redo can be seen in the above collage. As soon as I get things back together, I'll snap some photos, of course, and post about this latest little change.
I've been tagged by KJ. I was to write a 6 word memoir and post it here. My memoir: "The music stopped...we danced on."
J and I were introduced by a mutual friend in late November 1982. We were at an establishment that had music and a dance floor. J asked me to dance and we were lost! The music stopped and we just kept on dancing!
As you can see from the photo, we're still dancing, over 25 years later.

I am to tag 5 blog friends to write their six word memoir.

The meme rules are:

1. Write your own six word memoir.

2. Post it on your blog and include a visual illustration, if you like.

3. Link to the person that tagged you in your post and to the original post if possible, so we can track it as it travels through the blogosphere.

4. Tag five more blogs with links.

Remember to leave a comment on the tagged blogs with an invitation to play.

I tag:







~What a Difference a Day Makes~

Rocks and shells in anchor bowl on a small cabinet, next to dining table.

The weather was wonderful over the weekend. Temperatures were in the 60's and 70's (F). It was definitely shirt sleeve and sandal weather.
I found a pair of sandals at the condo. I didn't care if it was only March 1st, still winter, I wore them.
We shopped and had lunch out, Saturday. I picked up a couple things I needed to finish the condo master bedroom. The headboard is the only thing missing. I may leave it as is for now, though. I like the way it looks without one.
We spackled nail holes, last time we were there, so I sanded and J did paint touch ups where needed. I'm still working on the bathroom. I want to paint, that room.

This pillow, with embroidered Stargazer Lily, is from the Jane Seymour collection. The pillow design was adapted from one of Ms Seymour's paintings. The pillow is from Marshall's, at the lake. I needed a shot of pink somewhere in the room, to complement the hand knotted Soumak rug, at the foot of the bed. This pillow is just what I was looking for!
Yesterday, we rearranged the deck furniture. The weather was perfect for an afternoon drive and a stop at Andy's for frozen custard. The high temperature for Sunday was 78 (F). We enjoyed sitting on the deck. I read and J began preparing fishing gear, for the season.
Now for the title explanation! What a difference a day makes, indeed! We began hearing winter weather advisories yesterday evening. This morning we heard a winter weather warning. As much as we would have loved to stay another day at the lake, we thought it best to start for home, today. It rained and snowed, part of the way, but not bad. We heard of freezing rain in St Louis, around noon. Still no precipitation along our I-70 route, though. At the moment, it's cloudy here at home, with a temperature of 28 degrees (F). We're under a winter weather advisory/warning until tomorrow at 6PM.
We enjoyed a little peek of Spring! It was great!
Don't forget to leave a comment on my previous post, for the Nell Hill's Stylish Weddings blogiversary giveaway!
EDIT: I've closed the comments on the giveaway post and chosen a number by a random # generator. Been a busy day, will post the winner tomorrow! Thanks to all for dropping by!