Sunday, September 20, 2009

Living Room Color Scheme Help!

When Dear Husband bought our circa 1869 home in 2001, he inherited pink floral wallpaper in our living room. Since then, because we have no idea what the wall looks like behind that wallpaper AND because we had other home projects that were higher priority, we simply decorated to match the wallpaper. As a result, our living room rather resembles a bottle of Pepto Bismol. Don't get me wrong...I LIKE pink. I am just uncertain that I like THIS much pink in one of our main rooms. So, I have decided that it is time to address the pink room. But I am completely at a loss for what direction to take with color! We have original, antique yellow tiles surrounding our fireplace, and that is the one thing in the room we cannot...WILL not change, so we would like to tie a color scheme into that. The pink and yellow just aren't working! So, we need YOUR help! Please take a look at the room -- I took a lot of photos of the fireplace so that you can see the colors we will need to incorporate...or MAKE work. And keep in mind that I may purchase new couches, or I can at LEAST recover those that I have. Thanks for your ideas!

I know...the right side of the secretary needs SOMEthing...paintings? Decorative plates?
We can't figure out what this is...cast iron? Or brass? It has a gold-coppery tinge to it. Any ideas?
These creamy yellow tiles are original to the house. These and the fireplace cover will stay. So how do I go from pink to this? And what colors should I put with it? Help!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Words for a Saturday Morning





The weekend looms in front of me with
all the promises of time
and opportunities for renewal.
I am among everything I love.

I am happy.

Vivaldi, the scent of coffee, the overflowing basket of laundry,
my barking dogs turning circles at my feet, the sound of the rain on the windowsills.

I am happy.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Two Branches of One Tree

Grow old along with me
Two branches of one tree
Face the setting sun
When the day is done
God bless our love
God bless our love

Grow old along with me
Whatever fate decrees
We will see it through
For our love is true
God bless our love
God bless our love

Happy fourth anniversary, my Dear Husband.

Every moment of this journey with you is a blessing and a true gift, and I love you with all that I am or ever hope to be.

Couple photo courtesy of

Lyrics from Grow Old with Me by John Lennon

Friday, September 11, 2009

Never forget.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

A Moment's Perfection

PeoniesThis morning the green fists of the peonies are getting ready
to break my heart
as the sun rises,
as the sun strokes them with his old, buttery fingers

and they open ---
pools of lace,
white and pink ---
and all day the black ants climb over them,

boring their deep and mysterious holes
into curls,
craving the sweet sap,
taking it away

to their dark, underground cities ---
and all day
under the shifty wind,
as in a dance to the great wedding,

the flowers bend their bright bodies,
and tip their fragrance to the air,
and rise,
their red stems holding

all that dampness and recklessness
gladly and lightly,
and there it is again ---
beauty the brave, the exemplary,

blazing open.
Do you love this world?
Do you cherish your humble and silky life?
Do you adore the green grass, with its terror beneath?

Do you also hurry, half-dressed and barefoot, into the garden,
and softly, and exclaiming of their dearness,
fill your arms with the white and pink flowers,

with their honeyed heaviness, their lush trembling,
their eagerness
to be wild and perfect for a moment, before they are
nothing, forever?

from New and Selected Poems by Mary Oliver

My love for flowers has been with me since I was a child. I distinctly remember visiting my great-grandmother who, at the time, had what seemed to be a huge green yard snuggled between the mountains of Southeastern Kentucky. What I remember most about the yard was the abundance of flowers, daisies, roses and tiger lilies, one of my personal favorites. I remember one of my older cousins telling me, "Did you KNOW that if you put flowers in the freezer, they last FOREVER?" I was amazed at this valuable information, so when my great grandmother wasn't looking, I slipped out to the yard and cut all the blooms off of every flower. I went outside with a pair of scissors and a basket and filled the basket to the brim with colorful blooms. Then, I quietly climbed the steps to the back porch, opened the lid to the huge deep-freezer, and poured all the blooms inside on top of frozen foods. Once they were inside the freezer, I remember arranging them in just a way that would allow me to see each and every type of bloom.

It must have been some time the next day before my great-grandmother noticed the blooms in the freezer, but I remember vividly her calling my name and asking me "why in the world" I had cut all her flowers! I am sure I explained to her my desire to save all the blooms forever. I think she probably showed a great deal of patience with me that day, for what I remember is that she explained that if I wanted to save flowers, I should wrap them in a piece of plastic before putting them into the freezer...but most importantly, I should only cut ONE of each type of flower.

My other grandmother had peonies in her yard, and I thought those were the most amazing flowers I had ever seen. I marveled at the full and perfect blooms in pinks and whites, and grieved for them when, after such a short time, those perfect blooms died away. When I bought my first home, I was fortunate enough to inherit a 60 year old garden filled with peonies! Truth be told, I think it was those flowers that made me realize that house was meant to be mine.

This past weekend, I visited my now 93 year old grandmother, and her yard still is full of peonies. During one of our conversations, she reminded me now was the time to transplant them, and if I wanted to take some to my home in Tennessee, I was welcome to dig up a couple of hers. Out I went in the pouring rain with a shovel and my poor husband to dig up those precious treasures. Dear Husband kept reminding me how little room we had in the car for the ride home, but I had to find a way to fit them inside. I explained to him how I have loved these flowers since I was old enough to walk, and he somehow found enough room for them.

Today, I transplanted the peonies, and I can hardly wait to see the first blooms! I know that after transplanting, the plants may not flower for a couple of years...but I am hopeful. Something transplanted with so much love will surely put on a great show.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Doggone Sweet

Heaven goes by favor.
If it went by merit, you would stay out
and your dog would go in".
~Mark Twain.

"To err is human" To forgive, canine"

"They never talk about themselves but listen
to you while you talk about yourself
and keep up an appearance of being
interested in the conversation"
~Jerome K. Jerome

We have a new member of the family. Duke is a Golden Retriever who was adopted by my parents and rescued from the local Animal Shelter. If this isn't an endorsement for adopting your pets from the local shelter, I don't know what is! He's beautiful and perfect! Who could resist such a face! He's 90 pounds of love!

Happy Day!