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100 Thousand Thanks

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Ever since I started blogging,  I have stopped 25 thousand page views to look over what happened since we started. I just hit 100,000 page views.  I had not been paying much attention to the stats so this one was a bit of a surprise.   It used to take a long time to reach 25 thousand page views. I mean a really long time. This time took 5 months. I was worried that in the last five months I wouldn’t have much to show you guys. It felt to me like we were sort of stuck and not getting a lot done. The kids moved out of the country, the garage is full of unfinished projects, school got started, life happened.

When I actually looked back over the last five months , I was pleasantly surprised. We got a little more done than I remembered.

My favorites from the last five months are below.  If you click on the link below each picture it will take you to that actual blog, complete with DIY and pictures.

Our biggest project was updating our suburban bathroom and figuring out how to get that restoration hardware weathered wood look on a dresser.  Board and batten, cool shelf, zinc finished towel rack and chandelier made to look like wood beads.

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Bathroom Makeover

beautiful chandelier

Chandelier

The next big thing was creating a fun office at work that included a reclaimed wood wall, suitcase wall and a giant marquee letter.

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Suitcase Wall

We made one of my favorite benches from a queen sized bed.

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Bench

We finally got started on our pile of cedar and are making headway with projects there.  My favorite so far is a cedar barn door.

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Cedar Barn Door

I repurposed a 1980’s dresser hutch top to look go with our green buffet table.  I now have a place to display my milk glass that makes sense.

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Hutch

I worked off and on for a while on a funky dresser that is now 99% complete.  I love the look of this piece that is going to be an entertainment center.

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Funky Dresser

I tried my hand at painting fabric.

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Painted Fabric Chair

and finally…

I enjoyed making a rustic Christmas mantle.

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Rustic Deer Head

Not too bad for a “slow” few months. Being a weekend country girl is a great life.  I am blessed to have the opportunities that I have.

Thank you all so much for joining my husband and me on this empty-nest, third quarter adventure. Repurposing furniture and blogging has helped me to stay active and has enlarged my circle of friends.

I appreciate you taking the time to read my blog and travel with us on this adventure. We have a lot in store and look forward to the future.

I love to hear from you,

Blessings,

Karen

A Weekend Country Christmas

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The weather was beautiful up in the country this weekend.  Temperatures in the 60’s and 70’s with some sun.

The great weather meant everyone, and I mean everyone, showed up for Christmas on the Square in Coldspring, Texas.  When the population of the city is less than 1000, a crowd like this boggles the mind.

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Daytime was Fair on the Square.  They literally close the entire square to traffic.  You park and walk in to the square vendors, the shops, and the roadside mom and pop vegetable stands.  It is so much fun to see everyone.

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This poor dog’s name is Booger. He did take the Santa suit in stride.

The booths are fun, the food is great, but the Christmas parade is the best. You have to get there early enough to get a good spot. For us, a good spot is one that is near the announcer and where we can watch the floats make a 90 degree turn. The announcer cracks me up. He tells way too much about the folks on the floats and sometimes gives his opinions on float design.

The 90 degree turns are just funny. This year they didn’t have to empty a float to make the turn. It is fun to sit out by the parade, watch the kids on the floats and in the crowd.

The floats are classic small-town America. They are still hand made, with roll paper painted signs, pulled by tractors or trucks.

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The band plays Christmas music.

The water tower has a cross on it. The county courthouse has a nativity scene on the lawn.

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It reminds me every year why we love this small town.

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Hay bale reindeer with lighted antlers.

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Yes, there are county inmates following the parade.  They are the clean up crew.  Only in a small town.  It reminds me of Otis in Mayberry RFD.

I hope you get a chance to slow down his season and enjoy Christmas. Next year, come visit our weekend small town at Christmas. You will be welcomed with open arms.

Merry Christmas!

Karen

The Waiting Place

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Before I take a break from the Internet during the holidays, I wanted to share this post. I actually wrote this blog post while on a work trip to Santa Fe and have been holding on to the post because I wanted to make sure I was ready to share this much about myself. I also didn’t want to sound “lame”.

I decided that I am ready for you all to see my nearing-retirement age, what am I going to do with myself, angst. After the holiday break I will be sharing our dreams (well one dream anyway) and what we are doing to chase that dream.

One of my favorite Dr. Seuss books is Oh the Places You’ll Go.  I read it every year to graduating seniors as they head off to amazing places like work, college or the military. I have given it as graduation gifts, too. I put a link to John Lithgow reading the story if you have never heard it before.  I hope you take a few moments to listen to the very wise words of Theodore Geisel- Dr. Seuss.

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Right now, in this moment in my life I am in ” the waiting place.”  You know,  that place that according to Dr. Seuss:

And IF you go in, should you turn left or right…
or right-and-three-quarters? Or, maybe, not quite?
Or go around back and sneak in from behind?
Simple it’s not, I’m afraid you will find,
for a mind-maker-upper to make up his mind.

You can get so confused
that you’ll start in to race
down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace
and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space,
headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.
The Waiting Place…

…for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go
or a bus to come, or a plane to go
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
or waiting around for a Yes or a No
or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting.

Waiting for the fish to bite
or waiting for wind to fly a kite
or waiting around for Friday night
or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake
or a pot to boil, or a Better Break
or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants
or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.
Everyone is just waiting.

Am I alone in the waiting place? Sometimes I feel like I am, but I suspect I am not the only one.

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While I write this, I am waiting for a session to begin at a conference. (Fitting, right?) I am waiting for my daughter and son in law to come in at Christmas, waiting for summer when my son and daughter in law return from out of country, waiting for the next chapter in my life… and frankly I am not even sure what that next chapter is or when it will begin.

Life is change. Change is hard. It is a good thing we are tough! 😊

I am lucky enough to be in a good job, with a healthy family, and almost enough resources to do what I want to do. I sometimes wish I had a crystal ball, but I think half the fun is figuring out what the next step is on the journey.

How about you? What are you waiting for?

I would love to hear from you.

I will be taking a break from blogging until January. I hope you have a wonderful holiday break, you can rest, and that you are able to sped time with family and friends.

Blessings,

Karen

P.S.   I found another blogger who wrote about the same topic.  Funny thing is they have a 2 year old.  Oh, and they offered suggestions on what to do when in the Waiting Place.  I am happy to report that I am already following his suggestions. Your can read their blog Here

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The Finished Funky Dresser

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Painting furniture in the Garagemahal during a southeast Texas winter is tough. It is either too cold or too humid to dream of painting. I usually take on smallish projects that I can finis in the house during winter. This fall I found a dresser that I wanted to turn into an unusual entertainment center. It was $20.00 at Huntsville Goodwill. It is a 1950’s wooden dresser that probably went in a boy’s room.

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I had been looking for something to turn into a funky dresser after finding this dresser a year ago at the Mainstreet America Christmas home tour.  It was over a thousand dollars but it was so cool.

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The dresser was originally destined for my brother in law and sister in law’s  new house near us. It took me so long to surprise them with the piece done that they already bought a beautiful entertainment center out of whiskey barrel oak.

I wasn’t sure what I would do with it at this point, until I sanded the top corner. There it was: “I love e b”. My hubby’s first and middle name begins with e and b. ( In his family he goes by Eddie Ben.)  I knew it would have to be something that would end up with us.

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I struggled with what to do with each drawer and redid three of the drawers at least twice, one of them three times.

I determined that I did not want to spend much on this project. I have a large collection of hardware, a pile of paint and everything needed to give the wood a weathered finish like the inspiration piece. A bonus is that the colors on the piece will be colors I already like and have in my home.

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What you see above is just a small sample of the hardware I have. Notice how many of the pieces I photographed I actually used in the final shot.

Saturday afternoon the skies cleared, the humidity dropped and I had about two hours to work.

The dresser went from looking like this Saturday …

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To this by mid-day, Sunday.

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I glazed the turquoise because it was a little too bright for the rest of the piece after this photo and I added  a license plate and some letters.  I am not sure it is finished but it is coming along.

Soon, I will tell you where I hope it gets to go.

Here are a few close up shots I took after adding the license plate from 1969 that we found in the dirt at my husband’s family farm.  The numbers are the year of his birth and the S  is our last name initial.

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Did you notice I used a different license plate than what I pulled originally?  I decided that I wanted to use the one with browns and yellows.  It is great that I have options.  I collected quite a few plates from my husband’s farm.

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I love it.  I am proud that I did this almost all by myself.  I cut trim, drilled holes, selected colors, and rethought it when I wasn’t happy.  I did have a meltdown on the white bottom corner “drawer” (it is actually one long drawer made to look like two) and had to get help on that one.  I could not get the trim to line up.  Thanks, Hubby.

All in all I have less than $10.00 in supplies in the dresser along with the $20.00 investment for the dresser I think it turned out well.

Funky Dresser dresser with different drawer colors painted mulitcolored dresser

I have a random bunch of french provincial hardware that I would love to do a little girl’s dresser with one day.  The possibilities are exciting.

Thanks for reading my blog.

I would love to hear what you think about my funky dresser.

Blessings,

Karen

Decorating for Christmas

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This year we are going to do something a little different for Christmas.  We are taking a cruise.  Yep.  I was in a funk about two of the kids not being here that I just decided we were going to do something different.  We tried a snowy vacation home but couldn’t work it out.  Sooo, a four-day cruise to Mexico it is.  There will be 10 of us on the trip.  I am excited.  We have never been on a cruise, so I am sure it will be an adventure.

I did decorate for Christmas… sort of.  I mean we got the tree up, the mantle done, the table decorated and we got the yard stuff out.  If you don’t see  a space it is because there is no decorating going on there.

Welcome to our Christmas home.

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My favorite mantle ever. I love the rustic wood, the tarnished silver, the burlap.

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Our tree is beautiful.  Burlap, deer and cardinals.

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The tree is 10 feet tall.

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The hidden office has a little deer stuff on top.

The Coke Christmas village is something we collected for several years.  It has been a while since we had a spot for it.  The newspaper around the village parts was 1998.  I think the green hutch is the perfect spot.

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The farmhouse table has tree cookies cut from the lake, dishes collected from thrift stores and Target, the lanterns were garage sale finds, the basket normally has our silverware in it on the peninsula.

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The porch and backyard are as done as they will be except I do plan on sprucing up the plants.  I really like the porch.  Just enough.  Next year the yard is getting a little more love but this year I traveled two weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  That knocked out the decorating.

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I wish you all a very merry Christmas.

I have been blogging for two years now and my husband and I want to thank you all for joining us on this journey.  We  are smarter than we were two years ago but we still have a lot to learn.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog.

Blessings,

Karen

San Jacinto County Christmas Home Tour Part 3

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I will bet a few of you are ready for the home tour to be done. I’m known as a bit of an over-sharer so, my apologies. I just love our little Weekend country community and I am always amazed at the homes tucked into the woods an hour from Houston.  Come visit!

Today you get to see the last four homes. I am not slighting them, I promise. One of the houses was the inspiration for the green color we painted our lake house. I literally knocked on their door and asked them what color their house was painted. They were gracious, and didn’t act like they thought I was insane. By the way, the color of their house was baked on the Hardee plank, so I had to guess on our color.

The Green House

This house is located right by the Aggie House.  It was one of the first built on the cemetery circle.  I love the craftsman style of the home.  I could not believe I didn’t get a picture of the outside of the house.  I will go take one and add it next week.

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The green house has a nautical vibe.  Did you know that Lake Livingston has sailboats?  It is the second largest lake in Texas.

 

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I really liked the bedrooms.  The colors were very soothing.  I think someone was naughty getting the house ready to show.

 

The Brown House

This house is right next door to the green house.  The owners are friends and they have even put in a walkway between the two homes.  The brown house could not be any more different from they Green House though.  The brown house has a more formal look on the inside.  The owner is a quilter with her own room.

 

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The Mediterranean Home

This house is in a neighborhood that is around the corner from ours.  The neighborhood has a marina and an RV park along with a very active neighborhood group.  They have a pot luck every Thursday night.

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The Last Home… Woopsie.

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I honestly have no idea what happened to the rest of the last house pictures.  I will keep looking.

I loved the back covered porch and the feeling of this home.

 

I hope you enjoyed the Christmas tour.  All the funds for this tour go to scholarships for the kids of San Jacinto County.  What a great cause.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog.

 

Blessings,

 

Karen

The Aggie House; San Jacinto County Christmas Home Tour Part 2

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The road that runs adjacent to our neighborhood main road  is Harrell Cemetery Road.  Guess what is at the end of Harrell Cemetery Road?  If you guessed the Harrell Plantation Cemetery you are correct.  If you guessed a cluster of new homes, built on Stephens Creek and Lake Livingston, you are also correct.

This year it has been driven home to me that we are not the first or second or third or fourth generation to love this particular part of Texas.  A little research into the Harrell Plantation drove home this fact.  The land where our lake house is along with the cemetery road and oh 3000 or so acres that are now under Lake Livingston, were once owned by A. W. Harrell.   The plantation home built between 1840 and 1850 is gone underwater and that makes me sad.   The cemetery was where the black farm hands were buried and it now has a historic marker.

Interesting fact:  Sam Houston used to visit a Choctaw village that was located at the mouth of Stephens Creek.  He would put up a white flag so the steamboat would stop and take him to Galveston.  Right where we live.

In the last two years a cluster of new homes have gone up around the cemetery.  it sounds creepy, but it is really a pretty spot with a historic cemetery in the center.  All the homes are pretty and I am going to show you two of the others quickly tomorrow but today, I have to show you what I call the Aggie compound.  I am sure that is not what the owners call it, but you be the judge.

Welcome to the Aggie compound.

The Aggie House

See the gate?  Proud TAMU folks built this house.

Harrell Cemetery home

Here is the home as we walked up the drive.

Harrell Cemetery home

 

See the peak of the lake on the right?

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As you see, my buddy, The Social Planner, could not resist touching the wreath on the front door.  We were like kids in a candy factory at this house.  ( Oh, yes it is real evergreen.)

 

I am going to clump the photos of rooms together because your tour should not take longer than mine.  You are going to see the main room and kitchen, the bedrooms, the bunk room, the wine cellar, and the outdoors.  Ready to speed walk through this home?

The home is a split level home.  This is the entry hall.  Up to the main room and kitchen, right to a bedroom, down to the bedrooms.

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Oh my word.  That main room.

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Rustic, industrial, eclectic with lots of character.  Those beams.  Hand hewn.  Vintage industrial furnishings.

The kitchen

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Did I mention the farmhouse table that seats 16? Or the two-toned cabinet colors?  Or the cool pendant lights?

The Bedrooms.  There are Five regular bedrooms.  I think.  I may have missed one.  All of them are pretty and are in soft blues/greens.  Most of them look out on the lake.  Wow.  What a view.

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The hallway has built in seating and beautiful cushions.

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The master has two barn doors.  One at the entry and one at the bathroom.  Beautiful.

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This light fixture was in the master in front of the windows looking out on the lake.

The Back Porch

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The owner came out to point out the name of the massive fan.  See the picture on the fan?  It is called a Big Ass fan.  I wonder how it got that name?

The Wine Cellar

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Wine barrel oak ceilings, cool wine rack, live edge bar and stucco walls.  I couldn’t stop staring.

The Grandkid Room

Ever see this on Pinterest?

I would LOVE to do this for our kiddos! Also we need it. Otherwise they would need to live in the bathroom. :p

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I have had this pinned a while.  Wouldn’t it be fun in a weekend home?

I got to see it in real life on this tour.

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It was so cool.  Yes, I climbed the stairs between the bunks to take pictures.

This room also had a mudroom bench right off the porch so that when the kids come in wet and nasty there was a place to drop towels and stuff.

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I hope you aren’t exhausted from our whirlwind visit to the Aggie house.  It is hard to believe that this house is walking distance to our 950 square foot kit home built in the 1970’s with unlevel floors.

I hope you enjoyed this part of the tour.

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog.

I am at a conference this week so the afternoons are all mine.  I am enjoying the quiet time.

Blessings,

Karen

San Jacinto County Home Tour Part 1

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I love our adopted county.  It is tiny.  Teeny tiny.  In fact, it is the smallest county in the second largest state in the United States.  I love the little town square.  Next weekend is the Christmas parade.  We don’t miss it each year.  One year the football float caught on fire in the parade…true story.

One of the things I look forward to each year is the San Jacinto Women’s League home tour.  This year was my favorite, favorite, favorite tour that I have ever been on.  If I could have hand-picked the homes based on homes I look at longingly, five of them would have been on my list.  My top two homes ever were on this list.  I loved this home tour so much that I have divided it up into three parts.  I hope you don’t hate me for it, but my weekend country home folks hit it out of the park this year.

At the end of our county road, in Point Blank, Texas there are two homes I have been nosy about for years.  They are clearly old.  Not old, like 1971 when the lake was built and homes sprung up around it, old.  Old, old.  These homes were clearly homes that were built a long time ago.  When we arrived at the starting point this year, Paul Horton Methodist Church, the map made my heart sing because the two old homes were on the tour.

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You have to love that each year we show up and get a hand-drawn map telling where the homes are for the year.

Paul Horton Meth Paul Horton UMC

The starting point this year was Paul Horton United Methodist Church.  An old church located very near our lake house.  The Church faces away from the road because the road moved to the other side of the church years ago.

House 1 was the house on Boat Launch Road.

Woo Hoo!

When we started going up to the lake eight years ago, this house was empty, the grass was growing up around her, and the bushes were overgrown.  Even in that state I could tell that she was a gem.  I would have loved to have purchased her when she went on the market, but alas the time was not right for us.  The house was purchased and work began on the home.  I strained to see the work in progress every time we drove by.  I was always thrilled when the gate was open because I could see work in progress.

I almost stopped at the house to knock on the door and introduce myself several times.

Over the past couple of years the house started to emerge.  The weeds were gone, the roof was repaired, and the rotted wood was replaced and painted a beautiful white.

Here is my posse for the day on the porch of the boat launch house.

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We wore our Christmas gear.  The Social Planner wore a leopard print Santa hat and the rest of us were reindeer.

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Isn’t she a beauty?

The inside was remodeled in the 50’s and some of the decisions were, well, questionable.  A dentist lived there and opened his office on the property.

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I was thrilled this original fireplace remained from when Mr. Robinson built this home for his plantation overseer/ accountant.  Yep.  this home was part of a huge plantation.  It was built by an Alabama family 150 years ago when the property was all a part of a huge plantation along the trinity river.  More on that later.

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The furnishings are an eclectic mix of antique, vintage, and modern funk.  This is a weekend home for a young Houston professional who is working on the home with his friends and parents.

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See the vintage television they owner has?  I think we had that tv when I was growing up.  The beams are original.

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See that brown trim around the top of the room?  That was installed so that the owner can display his art work without damaging the plaster walls.  what a great idea.

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I really liked this oak table and chairs in this home.  They were the perfect set in this home.

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The grand piano by the windows is stunning.  The original windows are beautiful.

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The fireplace above is clearly an addition.  Not my favorite, but the new owner is making the best of it.  He is adding rustic touches.

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Love the galvanized bucket with poinsettias inside.

House number 2 is a house that I have stared at every time I drive by it and wondered the history.  The sign out front says The West Plantation.  I have wondered about this grand old home since the first time I saw it.

Robinson Plantation

It turns out that this home was built in 1854 by slaves for the Robinson family.  Robert Todd Robinson bought the property, built the home then left his three sons to run the plantation.  Sam Houston’s home on Snow Hill road was close by.  Sam Houston visited the home often and rode on the Robinson’s boat down into Harrisburg (now called Houston)  for business.

Mr. and Mrs. West have owned the home for 40 years.  The home is a conglomeration of of additions, modernization, and original elements.  Mr. West is a historian and he has created a museum out of his barn for the items found on the site.  Only 40 acres of the original plantation remain but those 40 acres are stunning.

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Mr. West was thrilled to share his home and his stories.

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Robinson plantation

It was Christmas so the house was decorated but I was more interested in the history of the homes.

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The house was really crowded because everyone wanted to see inside this iconic home.

If you ever get the chance to visit our little adopted county, the people of San Jacinto County will welcome you, too.  it is a beautiful, hilly little county full of history, great people, and a great lake.

We are lucky folks.

Thanks for reading about my adopted home.

Karen

Why You Gotta Be So Mean? My Thoughts on Blog Bullies

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An Incident recently made my blood boil, and when my blood boils, I get to tell you what I think.  Today I am going to tell you what I think about Blog Bullies.

I dislike them.

A blog bully is some who uses the comment section of a blog to tear into someone, put them down, attack their homes and family. Just like any bully, they get their joy making others feel bad.

On the site Apartment Therapy, Dana Tucker did a home tour. People, this lady opened up her home for you to look at. She cleaned, staged, photographed, and took the time to respond to questions.

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Apartment Therapy Home Tour
She did not deserve what she got from a select few.

Here are a few pictures of the comments.

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I have seen this before.  Bullies.  They smell blood in the water. It only takes one to bring out all the others.  It used to be the playground, now it is the internet.  Mean girls.  Ever have to deal with them yourself?  I have.

I don’t blog for a living.  I don’t know Dana Tucker, I have no affiliation with Apartment Therapy, I am not a designer who decorates homes for a living.  I blog because I like sharing what my husband and I do to our home, our experimentation with furniture, and our roadside finds.  I also don’t publish the comments of bullies on my site.  If you write a comment on my blog, I have it set so that I can filter out hurtful words. And I don’t apologize for not publishing mean words. One comment or told me once that nothing I do is any good and I should give up. Guess what? I didn’t publish the comment.

According to what I read, the most offensive comments about Dana and her house were removed but there were definitely some comments left that crossed the line in my mind.

One responder called the color of the door putrid. Did that comment need to be made?

I welcome hearing from you. I welcome suggestions. I am even okay with being told that what I do wouldn’t work in your home. Variety is the spice of life. One example is that I am not crazy about super modern furnishings but I appreciate that they are beautiful in the right home.

As blog readers I am going ask you to speak up when you see bullies posting .

Do you feel me climbing down off my soap box? Thank you for being patient with me when I am “stirred up.”

I hope you all have a wonderful day.

Thank you for taking the time to read what I write. It means more to me than you will ever know.

Blessings,

Karen

Santa Fe Color

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I know it is December and I should be writing about Christmas, but I just got back from Santa Fe and being the oversharer that I am, I wanted to share Santa Fe with you.

If you haven’t been to Santa Fe, New Mexico, I would suggest you add it to your bucket list.  It is a unique and quirky little city with an artsy style like no other.  Back in the 1950’s the city decided that what they had was special and enacted laws to preserve the look, size, and feel of this desert mountain oasis.

The buildings are almost all brown and a form of Adobe style. (Only grandfathered buildings are not Adobe and brown.). I stay lost when I am there because there aren’t the usual landmarks. (There are five shades of brown allowed for buildings.)  The Santa Fe color comes out in the trim, the textiles, the pottery, and the plants around the homes and businesses.

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I realized this week that even though I don’t have Santa Fe style in design I am drawn to Santa Fe colors. I love the turquoise, teal, red, orange, brown, and cream colors. They soothe me and make me feel at home.

Here are a few shots taken on my iPhone. No camera this trip. I was working and a camera bag didn’t make the cut.

 

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Outdoor art is everywhere.  I really like this wind park.

Enjoy a few shots from outdoor  vendors.  You can really see the colors come through here.  Once again, sorry about the photo quality.

 

 

 

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The colors are vibrant and full of life.  My favorite place to shop is the market square.  All the vendors are native Americans who hand make the items.  Their work is beautiful and the stories are even better.

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I also like how the rustic wood plays against the bright colors.

 

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Santa fe street

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Here are a few pieces I have done that have that Santa Fe color scheme:

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twin bed bench

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I love the bright colors on a cold day.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog.  I hope you have a wonderful day,

 

Blessings,

 

Karen