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.
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.
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.
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.
The band plays Christmas music.
The water tower has a cross on it. The county courthouse has a nativity scene on the lawn.
It reminds me every year why we love this small town.
Hay bale reindeer with lighted antlers.
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.
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.
My favorite mantle ever. I love the rustic wood, the tarnished silver, the burlap.
Our tree is beautiful. Burlap, deer and cardinals.
The tree is 10 feet tall.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
You have to love that each year we show up and get a hand-drawn map telling where the homes are for the year.
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.
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.
We wore our Christmas gear. The Social Planner wore a leopard print Santa hat and the rest of us were reindeer.
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.
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.
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.
See the vintage television they owner has? I think we had that tv when I was growing up. The beams are original.
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.
I really liked this oak table and chairs in this home. They were the perfect set in this home.
The grand piano by the windows is stunning. The original windows are beautiful.
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.
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.
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.
Mr. West was thrilled to share his home and his stories.
It was Christmas so the house was decorated but I was more interested in the history of the homes.
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.
For the fifth year my buddy, the social planner, and I got to go on our annual snoop visit of beautiful homes located in San Jacinto county. The home tour is a scholarship fundraiser for students in San Jacinto county.
Three years ago, our Farkle group started going with us. Each year is a different group of homes, usually geographically grouped. San Jacinto county is the smallest county in the great state of Texas so the location is never more than 30 minutes from our home, Star Hill. The first unofficial stop this year was a trip to the social planner’s house. We met up, toured her home and loaded up for the tour after yummy chili and chicken noodle soup.
We have such a tiny speck of a home in San Jacinto County that I tend to forget there are million dollar homes around us. I really enjoyed the tour this year. All the homes were in Cape Royale, a gated neighborhood about four miles from our near the lake house.
Stop number one- I was so excited to get started I did not get a photo of the outside. This is the only one I missed.
There were four trees in this house. I have pictures of two of them. I liked this one because it was so different.
I really liked how they used the cabinet doors in the laundry room for Christmas card display.
Even the dog got into the act.
The home owners are weekenders, like us… well not exactly like us… their home is huge. The owner has her own scrapbooking room at the house. She had some of her scrapbooks out for us to see.
I liked how they took all the dishes out of the china cabinet and put in a village.
The second home on the tour was huge. We were greeted by a gigantic flagpole turned into a light tree. Oh, and four bronze life-sized horses.
Here is the front of the house.
I really liked the burlap wreaths in all the windows. I have the pictures from inside too.
I wasn’t the only one taking photos.
What a great idea to wrap burlap around the bottom of vase.
I love the dining room here.
There is a saying up at the lake that if you are lucky enough to live by the lake, you are lucky enough. I agree.
My Christmas cactus is blooming too. I love how they decorated around their cactus.
On our way to house three we spotted these deer.
The front of house three.
I really liked this house.
The front door was beautiful.
The owners are not even weekenders. They come when the kids and grandkids can hang out. They traveled all over the world with Exxon before retiring. The owner was a CPA with the oil company. I had no idea a CPA could make this kind of money.
The owners have a view of Pine Island out their back. One day I will have to take you all there.
This JOY sign is the perfect mix of rustic and modern.
Above the kitchen vent.
I would love to have this kitchen sink. In my real-life, every day home.
I love the pool looking out on the lake.
This was the sink in the workout room bath. wow.
This fire pit looks like fun. I hope it gets used.
This was my favorite home.
Here is our group. The owner took our photo.
What a peaceful room.
I loved this vintage bedspread.
I liked the dining room. House five
You finally made it to house five. Almost done.
I really liked this home owner. They are getting ready to retire here, but still weekenders.
What a pretty table setting.
This wagon was her father’s. He used it to take the grandkids on rides. What a special way to honor him.
This is a real vintage aluminum tree. Did you grow up with this type tree?
This house is designed to hold a ton of folks.
The owner even made a gingerbread house.
Thanks for coming on the tour with us. The houses were beautiful.
This year we did something that we had never done for the holidays. We rented a beach house and spent our time with the kids in the Galveston area. The house was beautiful. We rented a house on the Bolivar Penisula across from Galveston, Texas. A short ferry ride from Galveston. The dolphins were out and we got to see them every time we took the ferry.
We could not have asked for better weather. We wore short sleeves during the day and light jackets at night. We had a fire on the beach at night and went for long walks. We played at Pleasure Pier and ate some great food.
My buddy the social planner came down to the beach house to see us and the kids. She took the picture of the family for me. Thanks Tanis!
The best thing about the trip was having our family there with us. Life is good.