Saturday, February 28, 2009


It's raining today...sweet, nourishing, beautiful rain. I love the rain. I have loved it since I was a child. Most of my friends would be upset when it rained, but I would simply grab my raincoat and go outside. I'd hit every mud puddle. If it was warm enough, off came the rain boots and I would wade. Who needed an umbrella? Not me! Rain brought endless possibilities of play and turned our neighborhood playground into one big puddle. I absolutely LOVED it.

Maybe that's why one of my favorite movie scenes is Gene Kelly in Singing in the Rain. I adore it so much! A couple of years ago, my dad bought me a little white bunny with a pink raincoat and umbrella...and when you squeeze his hand, he dances with the umbrella and sings Singing in the Rain. You see, my dad understands. He knows a good mud puddle when he sees one.

I'm singing in the rain
Just singing in the rain
What a glorious feelin'
I'm happy again
I'm laughing at clouds
So dark up above
The sun's in my heart
And I'm ready for love
Let the stormy clouds chase
Everyone from the place
Come on with the rain
I've a smile on my face
I walk down the lane
With a happy refrain
Just singin',
Singin' in the rain

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Happy Fat Tuesday!!

I LOVE NEW ORLEANS, Fat Tuesday and all the Mardi Gras celebrations! What other time can one wear purple, green and gold, don extravagant masks, prance around in flamboyant shoes and beads every color of the rainbow...and get by with it?!?!?! This year, my favorite artist, New Orleans native Harry Connick, Jr., is going home for Mardi Gras, and OH HOW I WISH I could be there! My husband and I love to visit New Orleans, listen to the jazz in the French Quarter clubs, eat the delicious foods, and catch beads from the surprise "pop up" street parades that can happen anytime, day or night. It's one of our favorite places!!

Photo and Mask Design by
Coleen Perilloux Landry

Monday, February 23, 2009

A Simple Woman's Daybook - February 23, 2009


A sprinkling of snow on the ground, but glorious sunshine and blue skies!

that picking out bedding for our baby is harder than I thought it would be!

My husband who is supportive, wonderful, loving and a rock of strength! The most responsible person I've ever met.

Chicken in a marinate cooked in the slow cooker and will be served with rice and a vegetable.

Brown slacks, a beige sweater, a beige, brown and black scarf and brown mules with a cute little buckle on the favorite shoes.

Right now, all I'm creating is better looking woodwork in the Man Room. We spent the weekend scraping, sanding, caulking...and now we're ready to prime.

The same books I was reading last week, as I've scarcely had time to do any reading at all the last week! What a pity!

that my husband has a safe trip to Montgomery this week and comes back home soon. I miss him when he travels for work.

Co-workers preparing for our monthly meeting and classical music on my radio

We have boxes of things to take to Goodwill! We really should clean out our closets more often.

Our acre full of trees, flowers and endless possibilities.

The "Mardi Paws" benefit for the Humane Society (I can't wait to wear my fancy mask and beads!), more work on the Man Room, and dinner out and a movie with my husband.

At last, my love has come along
My lonely days are over
And life is like a song
Oh, yeah, at last
The skies above are blue
My heart was wrapped up in clovers
The night I looked at you
I found a dream that I could speak to
A dream that I can call my own
I found a thrill to rest my cheek to
A thrill that I have never known
Oh, yeah when you smile, you smile
Oh, and then the spell was cast
And here we are in heaven
For you are mine
At last

Friday, February 20, 2009

100th Posting Giveaway @ Time Worn Interiors

Today, I discovered such a lovely blog, and I had to sign up to follow the postings of Theresa at Time Worn Interiors. You MUST go check out this beautiful blog for yourself! Theresa is celebrating her 100th posting with a fabulous giveaway, so be sure to stop by! Above is a photo of the lovely things you may win. Aren't they fabulous?!

Congratulations, Theresa! I'm a fan!

Thank You

I am so very thankful that I recently participated in the One World - One Heart event, for I have met so many wonderful fellow-bloggers and am truly enjoying getting to know them! It was just an extra perk that I also was given the opportunity to win some fabulous giveaways while making new friends! Never dreaming that I would actually win anything, imagine how thrilled I was when I was contacted by five people telling me I had won something! Isn't that wonderful?! I feel so fortunate!! And I'm so very excited!

Today, I received in the mail the sweetest little box from the sweetest new friend! "Ladybug" at Living in the Light I Find sent me a delicious smelling candle...the SUNRISE CANDLE, heavenly scented with orange, mango, lemon and vanilla! I can hardly wait to light it and let those wonderful scents waft throughout the rooms.

Thank you so much, Ladybug!!! I adore the candle and the sweet little handmade card! Best of all is that I have had the opportunity to meet a new friend. Thank you, friend.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Our Home & Business Tour, Circa 2005

So much has changed in the four years since I moved into the B&B. I look back at these pictures and can pick out changes in every one of them! I don't always realize how significant the changes have been until I look at some of the older photographs of the house that were taken when I first moved there. It was fun today to look through some of these and note all those changes!

I am posting some of these older photographs below. As you can see, we inherited some very offensive wallpaper and carpet! We are slowly replacing it or restoring the hardwood floors, doing some painting, acquiring "new" antiques and letting go of others. We pick a major project to do each year, sometimes two depending on our budget. Most of those projects to date have been those that are "unseen but necessary" - a new roof, floor jacks, foundation stabilization, wood replacement on the outside of the house, plumbing, ceilings, etc. Needless to say, our home and business has been a work in progress!! We love looking back and seeing the changes we've made. I DO admit that I often get very impatient and want to rid my home of all the hideous wallpaper NOW, and want my new custom made window treatments NOW, and want the kitchen remodeled NOW. But in reality, I'm not sure I could handle all that change so quickly. Well...maybe I could.

So...I am working with my DH to lovingly restore this wonderful old house to its former glory. Sometimes it is a pain but most of the time it is a pleasure. We see ourselves as "keepers of the past" and take that role very seriously. We live in a piece of history. The man who built this house was a veteran of the Civil War and an escort to Nathan Bedford Forest. In CW circles, that is fairly significant! He raised his family in this house. The house was inherited by one of his children who then raised her family in the house, and her child raised his family in the house, and, finally, his child sold the house to us! We are the first people outside of the original family to own the home, and we truly feel a strong connection to the family who sold it to us.

Anyway, here is how the house looked in 2005 after DH and I were first married. I will post updated photos soon so that you may see our progress!

Before any significant landscaping was added to the front of the house. We still have a lot of work to do on the yard and gardens!

Here, you can see our B&B sign. Sorry about the wires. I need to learn how to use Photoshop!

Another view of the front of the house. At one time, the porch wrapped around the left corner of the house but was later enclosed and made into bathrooms, both upstairs and down.

A view of the back of our house. The back section was originally a cottage built in the 1820's. It now houses our kitchen. Check out that beautiful, huge, old Oak Tree to the left of the photograph. He has to be hundreds of years old.

The original back porch railing. Isn't it lovely?

A tiny view of our side screened-in porch. The house has a total of four porches.

Looking out into our backyard.
Another view of our yard.
In the garden.The door to our 100 year old garage and home to so many spiders I that I try to avoid going in there whenever possible.

Standing among the flowers, keeping guard over the birds, squirrels, racoons, chipmunks and other visitors and residents of our property.
A view of our side yard. The house is located in a historic district.
Ready for a view inside? This is the living room, and here you can view a sampling of the hideous wallpaper I mentioned. Now, the art on the wall is completely different, and we have different chairs and things on the tables. This room is an upcoming project. We will be changing the colors in here and reupholstering furniture, painting, adding crown moulding, and pulling up the carpet and refinishing the hardwood floors that are underneath. See the small painting on the right wall? My husband's great-grandfather painted that piece in 1904. You can also get a little peak at our antique, 13 pane secretary in the right corner of the picture.
Here's another view of the room and the fireplace. This fireplace is one reason we'll be changing the colors of the room. The yellow tile is original to the house, so we'll be incorporating that color into the room in other areas. I'll also add bronze colors (the fireplace cover is bronze), brown and a small touch of blue. We'll see how it comes out. Any suggestions would be so welcome!
And another view of the room and our antique piano (for which we are currently looking for a new home) and one of my favorite pieces in the house, the antique Duncan Phyfe sofa, which will soon be given a makeover to match the new color scheme in the room. We now have new lamp shades, you'll be relieved to know. I know I was relieved! :-)

This room was originally a "receiving room" when the house was first built; however, the location of the front door was changed at some point to open into the living room, and this became a little parlor off the main living room. Since we have used this room to house our many bookshelves, we have been referring to it as the library. This is one of my favorite rooms in the house, and I often sit in here and read.
And here is one reason I love this room so much...look at the beautiful original tile on the fireplace! By the way, we have seven fireplaces in the house...isn't that remarkable?! At some point, someone replaced one of the tiles and didn't do such a great job grouting, but I have plans to blend that in and will show you the results of that project soon. Can you see the detail in the tile?
Here's another picture of the fireplace from farther back. Can you see the beautiful fireplace cover details? Another view of the room...and my favorite reading chair.
This is our formal dining room where we serve our guests breakfast.
A view of the sideboard. It now is home to a teapot collection.
The portrait of the woman came with the house. She was a relative of the original owner. Many of our guests have said that they believe she is our resident ghost. Yes, the house is rumored to be the home of a ghost who has become known over the last century as "The Gray Lady." Many guests and former owners of the house have claimed to have seen her, especially in the upstairs hallway. DH and I have never seen her, so we can't say for certain if the rumors are true!
The entryway from one of the house's four porches.
Our registration table in the main stairwell of the house.
And now we go upstairs. This is a photo of the hallway upstairs. This beautiful antique sofa is now in one of our guest rooms and an antique library couch is now in its former place. Bad Wallpaper Alert! This stripy paper is the most hideous of all the wallpaper in the entire house! We HATE it! And soon it will be gone, gone, gone.

This is the upstairs entertainment room, or what my husband likes to refer to as "The Man Room." Another Wallpaper Alert! Soon, the Man Room will relocate to the first floor into a much larger space, and this cozy little room will undergo a makeover. It will soon be decorated with roses and floral patterns and become MY room...a place for reading, sewing and doing craft projects.Another view of the Man Room.This is one of our guest rooms, circa 2005. More of that wallpaper we can't seem to get rid of fast enough! But the shape of this room is gorgeous with a bay window area. We have added new bedding since this photo was taken and removed the canopy railings - it's now just a four post bed. One of my favorite beds ever.
Since this photo was taken, we have since said goodbye to these old chairs. I love the old mantle scarf on this fireplace.
The bedside table in the master bedroom.

Here's another guest room. I actually kind of like the wallpaper in this room, as I think it looks rather authentic. We have since changed the bedding to blend more with the design of the wallpaper. The bed is antique, circa 1872, and looks almost exactly like the bed in the Lincoln Bedroom of the White House. We have a matching washstand/dresser with a marble top.
The doll once belonged to my great grandmother.
I love this old lamp that sits bedside in one of the guest rooms. It is lovely when all lit!
This old house has a total of 23 rooms and 30 windows. It is drafty, to say the least, but we love it and are working to restore it to the grand painted lady she once was. I'll post pictures of our updates soon, so please come back and visit!

Saying Good-Bye to an Old Friend

My husband and I reached a sad decision. We will sell our beautiful, antique Weber & Co. square grand piano. It has occupied our home for many years, and it is lovely...but it needs a space that can do it justice, and we simply need the extra space. We're also getting ready to refinish hardwood floors in this room, strip wallpaper, add crown moulding and paint, and we would really like the piano to find a new home before we begin. We are so sad to let it go, but neither of us play, and this grand old piano deserves to be played!

Does anyone know the best place to sell an antique piano? Craig's List? Ebay? Any recommendations would be so appreciated! And if YOU happen to be in the market for a lovely, old piano, feel free to contact me!

Meanwhile, have a look at this darling of a piano. Isn't it lovely?!?! *sigh*

Monday, February 16, 2009

A Simple Woman's Daybook - February 16, 2009


Oh, Sweet Sunshine! It is glorious and shining through the lace curtains of the bedroom. And blue skies, my favorite color...

That spring surely can't be far away

My sweet old house, 140 years old this year.

A pot roast with potatoes and carrots simmering in the crock pot

Well, since I'm not working this Monday and I'm off to a late pink gown, no kidding. Don't tell anyone how lazy I've been this morning! ;-)

We've just had our hardwood floors refinished, so I will be "re" creating our room by loading the furniture back in. I'm so excited!!

I've started two books: Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens for the online reading group in which I'm participating, and I am STILL on "The Ambassador's Son" by Homer Hickam! Seems like I'm not getting anywhere with that one! I've also been rereading some of Robert Browning & Elizabeth Barrett Browning's love poems, as my DH bought me a book of their poetry for Valentine's Day.

that this week's weather will allow me to go out and work in the yard and garden a while. I need to do some pre-spring maintenance!

the sound of birds singing outside in the trees. I love that sound! It looks like sounds like spring can't be far away, right?!?!

I'm anxious to get our rooms back to normal with the finish of our floors. We've packed up several bags of goodies to take to Goodwill, and I expect to have more by the end of the week. Spring cleaning! I love it!

dried hydrangea in a big dough bowl. I've so missed having a hydrangea plant since I moved from Kentucky to Tennessee. I had a beautiful yard FULL of hydrangea at my hillside home in Kentucky. This yard had none when I moved in. I've planted TWO since I've been here, and both died. I'm DESPERATE to grow hydrangea here, and I don't know what I'm doing wrong! Anyone have any suggestions to offer?!?!

Max is scheduled for a trip to the vet and a day at the groomers. Michael and I are both working all week (except I have today off), but I plan to sneak in a few trips to look for new spring and Easter items that are out on the store shelves, just waiting for me to find them and take them home!

I love coming home in the evenings from work where I'm greeted by our two kitties...always. And if I don't get out of the car right away, they jump on the car and peer in the windows, as if to say, "Mama, what's taking so long? What are you doing in there?!" This photo was snapped one evening as the sun was setting. I had driven into the driveway, and Isabella was very anxious for me to get out of the car. I noticed her peering at me through the side window. Now, who wouldn't want to come home to such love and devotion?!?!
Have a wonderful week!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

I have loved Valentine's Day all my life! I owe that to my Grandmother who, when I was just a small girl, showed me the first Valentine she ever received. It was tattered and a little faded, but she handled it with such care that I knew how much it meant to her. It was given to her by her "first boyfriend," she told me...when she was in First Grade! That would have been.....around 1922. It amazed me that she had kept it all those years!

I remember with such fondness going out and buying a box of Valentines each year. I would work on them for hours, selecting just the right one for each classmate. Then, I would decorate a Valentine Box that I would take to school, where it, along with those decorated by my classmates, would be displayed on a special table draped with a white or red tablecloth. We all waited with great anticipation for the moment that our teacher told us we could drop the Valentines in each other's boxes. And I remember how I couldn't wait to get home with my box filled with cards, and I would sit for what seemed like hours, taking them out of the envelopes and reading them...sometimes rereading them. I thought they were so lovely!

I still send out Valentines every year! I still take great care in selecting just the right cards for my family and friends. I still get excited when I get one in the mail. All that's missing is my fancy little Valentine Box! Maybe I'll have to make fun would that be?!

I have a fascination with Victorian Valentines...the colors, the images. The Victorians certainly knew how to express their love and adoration, didn't they?