Tuesday, May 9, 2017

A Work In Progress - Adding Color

Working on my center hallway. At first, I filled it with old varnish brown pieces from the Decatur house. The hall was dark and a bit sad looking.  I loved all the other rooms, but looking into the hall pulled my spirits down. It was lovely, but a little too traditional for me. The rest of the rooms were filled with light and art and my favorite old painted pieces of furniture. I dug out a few cupboards in storage and purchased a few more items, the blue table, sweet white chair, and a white bench that I will post later. Now I am tickled pink with the results. It is hard to photograph the space because of the high ceilings and darker woodwork, but all in all, I think you can catch a glimpse of how it is shaping up

While I love all my old oil paintings, I decided to add a bit of an edge to all the sweetness in the hall, now that it was so light and airy. Old lithographs, from the 1980's when I was buying and selling more modern art, found their new home on these walls. Again, more whimsy than serious art, but colorful and playful, which makes me smile.

And finally, I am obsessed with all things garden related so the six-foot garden gate feels right at home as you enter the front door. The St. Augustine sign brings back sweet memories of my mother and the house we had in St. Augustine, Florida, that she loved. The oil painting is full of color and life and at the very bottom, in tiny scrawl, the word "Magic". Which I believes sums up living in my 1906 cottage. It is magical.

Monday, April 10, 2017

A Year In Review

My new home in Social Circle, Georgia
     One year ago today I had hip replacement surgery on my right hip and a year's journey began that ended with me living in the cottage in my mind for real. It was a year full of unsettling things, heartbreak, and finally joy in finding my new house and beginning a new chapter of my life. Between April 11, 2016 and April 11, 2017, everything they tell you triggers stress landed on my head! Three surgeries in thirty days ( hip replacement that went badly with a fractured femur and infection) and seven weeks away from the nest where my dogs were waiting for me to return. Thanks to my friend and pet sitter and a few good doctors, we were all reunited the end of May. My mother had a terrible health year and at the end of August we lost her. A blessing that ended the pain that engulfed her but a loss I still can't comprehend. I sold my house in Florida that had been her home for years, where she had been happy and started writing again, a house I loved but could not afford to keep. For so many years I have wanted to move from my own home in Decatur. Mother encouraged me to follow my dreams but the timing was off. In 2015, I had left hip replacement surgery and then the fiasco surgery in April 2016. In January of this year I knew it was time for me to find a new path. My lovely home in Decatur, the one my husband bought when we were first together, before we married, was overwhelming to me on my own the last few years. I'd found a little 1906 cottage in the charming town of Social Circle, an hour outside of Atlanta, and made an offer. My house in Decatur sold to a wonderful couple, the first to look at it, in less than a day on the market. So, February 28th we closed on the sale of the Decatur house at 9AM and at noon I purchased my cottage. I had thirty days to move, which was a blessing with all my things that had to be sorted through and hard to pack since I am still on my cane, but a necessity since I had to have a privacy fence put up for my dogs to go out in the yard. The house is in a historic district so all had to be approved before the fence could go in. My fence was completed five days before I had to leave the Decatur house. I also had the interior of the house painted white, a farmhouse white, since once I moved in I would never paint it myself. The dogs and I spent our first night in Social Circle March 26th. The adventure has just begun. I am happy. I want to call my mother and tell her the news, just like I always called her to tell her everything. Somehow I know she is smiling. When I started the process in January I knew exactly what she would say. Go my darling. Spread your wings. I am tossing my cane aside and beginning to fly again.
A dream come true!
The little shed in the back yard.
First roses in bloom.
Fresh Paint
After painting, looking down center hall to front door.
Keeping room off kitchen.
Shelves in kitchen
Vanity in bathroom. The previous owner had renovated the house beautifully.
I just added my paint colors.
Dining room.
The Dogs Arrive
(transported by a friend in animal rescue
who brought me April and Rascal originally.)
And feeling right at home in the midst of all that needs to be done.
Sleeping every place they can.
And walking carefully between boxes, art, and books.
A Happy Camper
(more to come as progress is made)

Sunday, January 1, 2017

My Little Christmas House Tour 2016

I made it to 2017. January lst. The year looms ahead. New beginnings, and for me, many changes in my life again. I greeted the New Year in my comfy thrift store, faux leather chair, my dogs happy in the house, Chloe my little Chihuahua tucked under a quilt on my lap, and felt a feeling of peace and joy fill my heart. I had been out earlier in the evening to see a movie with a friend and dinner at The Waffle House. Very low key on a cold, somewhat rainy, night. Most years I would have liked to have a friend share the dropping of the ball in Times Square with me, but last night I wanted to myself. To reflect on what the year had been and to think of those I've loved and lost. My mother closer in my thoughts than my husband. He has been gone since 2008 and up until this year, he was certainly in my thoughts at the holidays. Mother left me in August, so the pain is raw still, the memories of her more vivid. A calm came over me as I thought about how lucky I've been in my life. Even the passing of my loved ones was guided by a higher being. They stayed around long enough while ill for me to get used to the idea things would change, but not so long they suffered with pain.  I hope I've learned something this past year to guide me into 2017. Surrounded by dear friends and a pack of hoodlum dogs, I will figure it out. And my wonderful sister and her husband, miles away, but still a source of comfort and fun to visit with on the phone. My little twig star with its tin angel full of joy is a reminder of all the good things.

So, that said, before I take down my Christmas, I wanted to save my photos here. I did a bit of decorating, partly out of determination that I would not be sad, and partly because I promised myself there would always be trees! Now I have five little trees and lots of treasures to pack up until next year. My house is lovely, but I wonder if I will be in this house or a new (older) cottage next season. It's fun to dream and I am a dreamer. It is also a plus to know when you are lucky with what you have. I believe the universe will bring me what I need this year and I am anxious to see what's next.

My 2016 holiday tour is mostly so I can look back and remember this Christmas and say I love you, mother. I love you Brad. And I love all my friends who make life so sweet.

Farm table and mantel and a few other
little spots that called for a festive touch.

Sunroom and Office
Living Room, Dining Room, and Foyer
Wishing us all a Happy New Year full of love and friendship!