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Star Hill Send Off

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This past Saturday we gave Star Hill a proper send off.  There won’t be tons of pictures because I was pretty busy with our guests but we had a crowd.  There was corn hole to play, horse shoes to throw,  catfish to fry, stories to tell, and time to remember.  

It just seemed natural that we should throw one last party for friends to enjoy this place we have loved and where have welcomed family, friends and adventure.  

The weather was too windy to get the boat out, but the rain held off.  We had friends that visited for the first time, those who have visited many times, old friends, new friends, and even the soon to be owner.  Yep.  The guy who is buying our home showed up, hung out, brought his dog, daughter, and girlfriend.  True story.  He is going to love the place and has plans for what Star Hill is going to look like when he is through with her. 

   

 We are blessed.  The sale of our lake house has been quick, if not eventful, up to this point.  We had someone drive up today who wanted to make an offer on the home if you can believe it.  He insisted we take his number in case the sale falls through.  

   
      It is our prayer that our new, unnamed place is a destination for family, friends, and others who need a place to rest, relax, laugh, and unplug.  We are getting excited about the opportunity to share our home and are purposefully trying to figure out a way for more company to stay overnight.  There is a guest house, potentially we are going to have two bunk rooms, and my dream is to convert the barn into a gathering place.

Today we got busy packing.  Four truck loads of stuff was taken to storage. 

By the way, the secret to Mr. Math’s amazing catfish… Yellow mustard in the batter. 

  
I hope your weekend was restful.  Come see us if you are in the area.

Blessings,

Karen

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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

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. Our First Stay in a B & B

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Mr. Math loves me. He knew that with the start of school, our son and daughter in law going overseas for a year, and even the addition of our rowdy rescue dog, Lumi, I was exhausted and ready for a break. He surprised me with a trip to a Bed and Breakfast in Fredricksburg. Texas. We even took a day off work to extend the weekend which is something I almost never do during the school year.

Fredricksburg is a town with a strong German heritage in the Texas Hill Country about four hours from Houston. It is a picture postcard, small town that has worked hard to preserve historic buildings. (In Texas, historic means late 1800’s up to early 1900’s.)

Fredricksburg TX Downtown Fredricksburg

Link to the Fredricksburg website is HERE

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This was our first ever trip to a bed and breakfast after hearing about them for years from our buddy, The Social Planner. The room wasn’t cheap. It would have been comparable to the cost of a room in a downtown Doubletree in Austin, Dallas, or San Antonio during the fall.  Once Mr. Math let me know we were going, I got to pick the room.   We looked at room photos when choosing where we would stay. I was smitten with the room I chose.   It was a mix of vintage and eclectic furnishing.  Totally funky and bohemian.

We got our reservation through this site: HERE

Here is the 360 degree view of the room at theroadrunnerinn.com .  HERE The photos don’t lie.    It was a cool space and looked exactly like the photos. The inside was exactly the type space I would create for myself.

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We arrived just after 3:00 pm at Main Street Bed and Breakfast to get our room key. The young lady at registration handed us the key, a map to the location of our building, two $6.00  breakfast vouchers for a local restaurant and told us good luck finding parking because our room did not have parking and that there was no sign for the Roadrunner which was our room.  We found parking a block behind the location and walked up to the room.  Here is a photo of all the information we got from the young lady.

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I will be honest and say that this is not the B and B experience I thought we would have.    I guess this is tip number one if you are going to a B and B.  Ask about parking, ask about breakfast, ask if someone will be on site 24 hours.  (By the way, breakfast was really good but we had to pay the balance on our meal Saturday.  It cost over the amount of our vouchers. Sunday we each got a breakfast taco and coffee and it was within the allotted amount.)

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The Little Roadrunner on the glass up to our room was the only sign.  We walked by it twice.

 

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I really like the mix of modern with mid century chairs at the top of the stairs.

 

I feel a little like a whiner when I say this but here goes.  I had expectations that a Bed and Breakfast would be more intimate.  I thought we would have human contact while we were there at a more personal level than at a hotel.  Except for the young lady who gave us the key and paper we did not see another soul related to the B &B the time we stayed there except the shop owner in the shop below our room who helped us with the door when our hands were full and a man who told us to leave the key in the mailbox Sunday morning when the office wasn’t open. We were just another set of patrons at the restaurant and frankly we could have found a place to eat on our own had we stayed in a hotel.   There were no notes, suggestions, or “Where to find…” information provided except this large picture over the kitchen area.

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Coffee was provided in the room along with basic dishes, which was nice.

We have rented beach houses several times and this felt much more like a beach house rental than what I thought we would find at a B&B.

Tip number 2:  Ask more questions and check rating sites like Yelp. 

The final ask more questions occurred Saturday night when we discovered that a band was playing in the beer garden next door after the posted hours for the Beer Garden and during the bar open hours. (It rained Friday night or we would have discovered this sooner.)   Nothing on the website mentioned that a beer garden was right outside our window or the physical address of the Roadrunner Inn.  If we were partying folk, this would have been great.  It would be a draw to know we could stay up until 2:00 am drinking then stagger back to the room once the music finished without having to drive anywhere.  We are not those folk.  After a day of shopping, exploring, and walking in cooler than expected and wet weather we were ready for bed about 11:00 pm.  By 12:30 am we were tired and frustrated.  By 12:35 there were words exchanged between Mr. Math and the manager of the Beer Garden.  It was a long night with little sleep after the words were exchanged.

Tip number 3:  Ask for the physical address of the B and B if it is not provided on the website, then go to Google Maps and Look at the Street View.  I think it would have saved us some of the aggravation Saturday night.

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FYI- This  nice looking pair playing music on the porch of said Beer Garden WAS NOT the band playing late at night and the seats were full at 12:30 am.

Will we go back to Fredricksburg?  Probably not.  We enjoyed our visit but the town was very crowded, the shopping was nice, but things were a little overpriced, and frankly our B and B experience tainted our enjoyment.  We ended up paying for a really nice weekend away and got the equivalent of Motel 6 experience in a really nice room (really it was less than Motel 6 in service- there is usually parking, 24 hour on site personnel, and ice at a Motel 6).   Will we try a Bed and Breakfast again?  I hope so.  I have already heard from two different folks about great B and B locations to try that offer what we were hoping to find.

Have you had a great B and B experience?  I would love to hear about it.  Have you been to Fredricksburg?  If so, what did we miss that would have made our trip more enjoyable?  I would love to hear from you.

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog and share in our mid-life adventures.

Blessings,

Karen

 

 

Opposites Attract- My Husband’s Style

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I am a lucky girl. I am married to my best friend. He is more than just my husband, he is a good man.  He loves me, works hard, can build just about anything, and is tolerant of my quirky, off kilter style of vintage junk. While he is tolerant, my style is not his particular style.

I love mid-century modern, I am not afraid of color and experimentation, I think 1970’s funk is cool, I want junk barn doors on the wall, I don’t want to paint over worn, chippy paint and I LOVE painted furniture.  Bright colors are fun.

Mr. Math, my hubby, likes neutral colors. He likes natural wood.  His style is conventional, traditional, classic and full of history.  He is the sentimental one of us.  He is the one to keep things that make him remember moments in his life and ours.

I totally gave Mr. Math our den to do as he chose. No input from me. No color suggestions, and no throw pillows with one exception.  I did veto the barley twist table he wanted to put by his chair.  It would not have survived the drinks left to sweat on the waxed wood.  I substituted a neutral painted side table.   It is the perfect room for him. No windows ( he hates light when watching football), cozy, and quiet. Everything in the room was selected by him.

Here is his space. It makes him happy.  What can I say?  I am glad he still loves me, color and all.

the den

The den from the door.  The four doors lead to the two bedrooms, a bathroom, and a closet.

television mounted

 

It was my suggestion that he mount the television.  He is borrowing this serpentine dresser from our daughter in law for the next year.  He has surround sound.  In a ten foot by twelve foot room.

love seat and chest

Sorry about the Lumi photo bomb.  The chest was purchased 20 years ago and holds our wedding photos, baby pictures, and momentos.  Note the lack of “decoration” on top.   The love seat is throw pillow free.

football central

This corner is football/golf central.  (Nap central)

 

 

 

view of the barn door

I wanted you to see the amazing barn door from inside the room.

 

looking into the den

Looking into the den from the hallway.  Love that door.

 

 

family shelf

 

The shelf has Mr. Math’s dad’s flag, photo and a clock my parents gave us when we were newly weds.  More than 30 years ago.

windberg print

 

The art work is traditional art from a Texas artist, Dalhart Windberg.  This print looks like where Mr. Math grew up.

Black and White Memories

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Today we took a trip back to one of the happiest places of my childhood, the east Texas piney woods.  Because I found the trip so nostalgic, I decided to play with black and white for some of my pictures I took.

We enjoyed getting to go by and see the place that I grew up loving.  Our weekend place, The Farm.  The trees my uncle planted now are fully grown and have a rope swing.  The pasture my parents cleared and got poison ivy so bad they had to go to the doctor is still beautiful, the red dirt road is the same.  The house is double the size it was when we lived there.

growing up weekend home

the farm

uncle wendel oak trees

foster hill road

My mom, Memie, and our sweet Lumi are still here with us so I couldn’t make them black and white.

Don’t they both look great?

Memie

lumi

lumi nose

lumi running

 

Enjoy the shots taken at some property I fell in love with today and some shots from Dam-B, the lake I grew up on.

light and dark beautiful weed

blue flower

 

I just had to show you how beautiful this little blue flower is.

old pipe

fence ornament dog on fence

I love these old gate toppers.  I think they are greyhounds but I can’t be sure.

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The property in the woods has some funny signs.

 

pine trees in black and white lucky's fishing hole bw fern bw beautyberry yellow flower rattlebox weed     water lillies water lilly buds

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