March 30, 2010

It’s A Boy!

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If you’ve been reading my blog lately, you know that my son and DIL are expecting baby #2 in August.    Today we found it they are having a baby boy!     When we saw the “evidence” on the screen today, Jennifer and I both started crying but Shane played it cool and collected….but he is thrilled beyond words.      Now we can start decorating little one’s room and I can go crazy buying boy stuff!

March 28, 2010

The Week Ahead

That sounds like a lead-in for a news broadcast!      I guess in a way you could say it’s own personal news to announce that I FINALLY got started on the re-do of the sunroom.    I’ve put it off long enough so Saturday I got started.    My biggest dilemma is deciding on what color to paint the walls….the red has to go and in its place will be a calming neutral.     Creamy white or maybe an oatmeal color.    Suggestions please!!!!

The weather here has been just gorgeous for the past few days so I took advantage to get outside to paint.     I started stripping and painting my little green dresser.       Here’s how it looked before I started “stripping” ….

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I bought this sweet little dresser for $35 at an estate sale a few years ago.    I loved the paint treatment and that it offered a good bit of storage.     It was not in the best condition but that didn’t bother me then or now.    

I used this product which had been recommended by Miss Mustard Seed who swears by it….it is the best stripping product I’ve ever used.


So here’s the top after I got it stripped down to the original finish.     It has some damage but once I put on the stain and poly finish, it will look great.     The body of the dresser is going to be painted aqua with a little distressing and glaze.     I  got the drawers painted yesterday and I’m hoping to get the dresser completely painted, distressed and glazed in the next few days then finish it off by staining the top dark walnut.

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I’ve  got to sand off the paint on the “lip” of the dresser as it will be stained as well.

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Here’s two of the drawers painted aqua.    (See that seagrass rug?     I got it at a local flea market for $19.00!)

I also got started on sewing panels for the windows.     The sunroom has 3 huge windows and one set of french doors.     I  have matchstick blinds on the windows but I wanted to add some softness at the windows by making  my “signature” panels using sheets and drop cloths.     I love, love, love the way my dining room window treatment turned out last year.     In case you missed that, here’s a a picture of those drapes I made using the ever popular drop cloths and a flat black sheet:

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To see the entire room, you can read all about it here.

This first panel is going to be my template for all 8 panels.     Still tweaking and measuring but I hung it up to get an idea of how it is going to look.     I have the bottom pinned to the top section and I see that I’ve got to cut more off the top section so they just “kiss” the floor.     (I  hung them up backwards…by accident….so I flipped the curtain right side out so you get an idea of what I’m doing… me, they will look great when I’m done).

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I have an old trunk that I might use as a coffee table.    Here’s my inspiration pic.     I don’t think this would be hard to duplicate at all!

aqua trunk


And last but certainly not least, on Tuesday I’m going to Birmingham to the doctor with my son and DIL  to find out what the baby they are expecting in August will be……we are so excited!   Here’s the first sonogram when Jennifer confirmed her pregnancy back in December (she scanned them in sideways).



Have a great week!

March 23, 2010

Ohhh, Ahhh

Here’s what I had today…a Swedish massage


…courtesy of my daughter who gave me a wonderful spa package!      Friday I get a 60 minute facial…..pure bliss!

March 15, 2010

Fun, Food and Friends…….

……Three essential ingredients to my life and I got all three last weekend with my best friend Judy.    Whenever I know I’m going to Judy’s house, I know the food is going to be great and the fellowship is going to be fabulous.     I have many friends but there is only one I consider my “bestest” friend and I know she feels the same about me.

We had planned on eating at a little sandwich shop near Judy’s house but when I got to Judy’s  she had made chicken salad, pimento cheese spread and another cheese concoction I just called “cheesey wonderful”.     I’m going to share all her recipes with ya’ll at the end of this post.      After making a pig of myself at lunch, we got out and did a little shopping.     Along the way, I took a few pictures of while cruising down “Main Street”.

This first picture is of a quaint little church on “main street”.    This is actually the side entrance of the church but I loved the red door.

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Coming up on the “square” in the downtown area.     I love how so many little Southern towns still have their town square.

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Courthouse on the square….Judy “works” here part-time

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The theatre where you can see a movie for $2.00!

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Tudor style home

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This house was really cute.    

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Look at the size of the birdhouse

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Wrought iron gates with huge iron butterfly’s

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Now we’ll take a peek inside of Judy’s home.   

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Here I’m standing in the kitchen looking out into the den area (upstairs landing is seen at the left top of this photo)

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This shabby white cottage style table (above) is a new purchase along with the china cabinet (below).     She is going to change out all the red in here but she’s not sure what color she wants to go with

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She makes all her floral arrangements.      I love the way she uses boxes….I love boxes too but have put most of my away for the time being.

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Looking into the kitchen.    She plans on removing a lot of her decorations from above the cabinets…..some still up from Christmas (as well as her tree which you’ll also see!)

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Looking into the foyer where her tree is still up!    She says she thinks she’ll just add Easter eggs so her husband will get motivated to put the tree up (in his defense, her husband had been quite ill for almost 2 years and works out of town so it’s hard for him to get all their stuff put in storage).

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I was with her when she bought this table from Big Lots!.    You’d never know, would you?

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She got the large lime green “plate” at a discount as it has a small nick in it but she just turned the plate where it wouldn’t be seen, then added in a piece of lime green fabric .

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Looking into her bedroom from the den

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Display on the coffee table

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Top of TV cabinet in her bedroom (to the right of the cabinet are double french doors which lead to her screened-in porch…..and there are double french doors in the den leading to the same porch… beautiful!)

She always says she learned how to decorate from me and I always say I learned how to dress from her but she has lots of talent in the decorating department so I don’t think she got it from me!

Now for a few recipes I enjoyed this weekend.     Let me just say that Judy is a fabulous cook and doesn’t really measure anything or go by a cookbook.     So these recipes are mostly a guideline and you just have to figure out how much you want to make for your situation:


4-5 chicken breasts (bone in) – cook, drain and chop fine

seedless grapes (I use green grapes)

chopped pecans (approximately 1 cup)

1 can crushed pineapple, drain juice (I used a 20 oz. can but you can use less)

2 TBSP. powdered sugar

mayo to taste

Cook chicken, drain, remove bone and chop fine.    Add grapes, pecans, crushed pineapple and powdered sugar.     Add enough mayo to mix ingredients thoroughly.    

Serve with crackers and ENJOY!

(I like my chicken salad sweet and adding the powdered sugar does just that).


Extra sharp cheddar cheese

1 TBSP of pimento (in the jar – mash out the water)

Fine chopped black olives (sm. can)


Pecans (optional)

Grate the cheese (about 1/2 block ---more or less depending on how much you are making)

Add pimento, black olives and nuts to the grated cheese.    Mix with mayo to desired consistency .

Serve with crackers or use as spread for sandwiches


4 green onions, chopped fine

1/2 block extra sharp cheddar cheese

1/2 cup chopped pecans

heaping TBSP (or more) mayo

Grate the cheese and add in chopped onions, pecans and mayo until all are thoroughly blended

Serve with crackers and top it off with Red Pepper Jelly…..this gives it a little sweetness with a kick!    I use Braswell’s Red Pepper Jelly.

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Here’s my version of the chicken salad and red pepper jelly topped cheesey wonderful!

You will love any or all of these recipes.     If you make any of them, I’d love to know if you enjoyed them as much as I did.

Saturday night she served homemade chicken and dumplings and cornbread….YUM!

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Things go better with Coke!

This week is Spring Break and I will be babysitting all week.     I had the twins on Monday (and will have them on Friday) and Taylor will be coming to work with me the other three days while Jackson goes with his daddy to work.    

I hope to be back to some decorating projects soon…..if things ever slow down around here!

March 4, 2010

I’m Off To L.A.!

…..Lower Alabama, that is!     My best friend, Judy, lives in what we natives call “Lower Alabama”.     Due to family obligations and circumstances beyond our control, we have not had a girl’s weekend in almost 2 years!    She called me when we were on our way home from our trip to Vicksburg and Natchez and we decided this weekend would be a good time for a long visit and to try and catch up on lost time.     Her husband is out of town for a week so we can talk and talk and talk (and shop….our #1 thing to do)!. 

I had planned on leaving Thursday afternoon after work to go to her home which is about 1 1/2 hours away from my house but since I’ve been under the weather this week, I’m not leaving until Friday morning.   

Judy and I have been best friends since the early 80’s when we met in church.    I was always a little intimidated by her because she ran with the “in crowd” and was so fashionable and stylish.      It seemed she had the perfect home, the perfect marriage, the perfect everything, but of course nothing is perfect.     She called me one evening at home and wanted me to go to the movie with her to see ‘Risky Business” (ya’ll remember that with smokin’ Tom Cruise)?     We sat in the back of the theater with a large box of popcorn dripping butter and each of us had a large Coke…..we laughed until we cried at the movie and from that day forward, our friendship was sealed.     Truth be known, she’s more down-to-earth than anyone I know (her personality reminds me of Goldie Hawn).    

Throughout the years, we’ve been there for each other through lots of ups and downs.     I’ve told her more than once if it had not been for her when I was going through my divorce many years ago, I don’t think I would have made it.     She is the true definition of a “friend”.

A few years ago, when my now husband and I were dating, Judy and her husband lived here in our town for a while, in fact on my mom’s street.    One evening we decided to drop in for a little visit with Judy and her husband and Judy and I started talking about fixing up hubby’s (then boyfriend) house.      Judy’s husband spoke up and said “don’t let those women in your house, they’ll paint everything in sight, and they’ll put pillows, mirrors, tassels and lamps EVERYWHERE!”    (he sure does know us)….needless to say, we didn’t get to fix up his house because we got married that same year and he found out how right Judy’s husband was!

I call her my “trust fund” friend as she came into quite a bit of moola but it has not changed her a bit.     They did buy a bigger camper and built a beautiful home, but she loves to shop at Freds, Cato, Wal-Mart and does not spend her money foolishly.     By the way, when a realtor toured her home recently, she could not believe the home had not been furnished from a high-end store!  However, she quietly does good with her money when she hears of someone in need.    A few years ago during Christmas, she found out about a family near her that was about to lose their home to foreclosure due to job loss.     She called the firm handling the foreclosure to see what it would take to get the foreclosure stopped.     Then she called on a few friends and asked them if they would be willing to contribute whatever they could to help this family.      Of course, Judy contributed the lion’s share.    Her only stipulation was that her contribution and name not be used….she wanted it to be an anonymous donation.    The family was able to save their home thanks to Judy’s generous spirit.     This is only one example of her big heart.

Here we are at the beach 2 years ago (Judy has on all white and I am in black and white)

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I hope everyone has a safe and wonderful weekend.     We’re hoping for some sunshine and spring-like temps here for a change!

March 2, 2010

The Myrtles Plantation

Our final stop on our Old South tour was The Myrtles Plantation located in St. Francisville, Louisiana.    I had seen The Myrtles featured on A&E, The History Channel and The Travel Channel and billed as “One of America’s Most Haunted Homes.”     

Here’s a little history of The Myrtles from their website:

The Myrtles Plantation, circa 1796, invites you to step into the past to experience antebellum splendor.   You will see the antiques and architectural treasures of the South and discover why The Myrtles had been called one of America’s Most Haunted Homes”

The history of the South will always provide us with tales of romance and mystery.    The saga of the Antebellum South and a lifestyle that will never be forgotten lives on at this grand mansion.   A first glimpse of the mansion with its magnificent double dormers and lacy grillwork of the 120 foot veranda envelopes one with a complete sense of peace and tranquility.”

You can Goggle “The Myrtles” and find a lot of history as well as debates on the authenticity of ghosts.    I didn’t go expending to see any ghosts nor did I see any but the grounds and home are spectacular and there is a feeling of spookiness there.    

The most famous ghost story told about The Myrtles is told in the following story:

General Bradford (builder of The Myrtles) had a fourteen-year-old daughter, who married Judge Clarke Woodruff. During his days as master of The Myrtles, Woodruff took one of the plantation slaves named "Chloe" as a mistress. He moved her up to the house to make their arrangement more convenient, under the guise of having her care for the Woodruff children. Chloe took advantage of this situation, however. To gain power, she began to eavesdrop on the conversations of Judge Woodruff and his guests. Although he warned her against this practice many times, she was caught on one occasion when the Judge had several influential friends in the gentlemen’s parlor. He had to punish her to save face, so he had her left ear cut off, and she was banned from the main house and returned to more harsh work elsewhere on the plantation. From that point on, she wore a handkerchief wrapped around her head to hide the defect.

Chloe reportedly longed for the comfortable work caring for the kids, and soon hatched a plan to return her to the former position. Woodruff’s nine-year-old daughter was having a birthday party, and Chloe volunteered to make the cake... but she laced the cake with a potion brewed from Oleander leaves. Her plan was that when the children got sick, she would treat them with an herbal cure and appear to have miraculously cured them. She must have misjudged the dosage, though, because two of the children and Mrs. Woodruff died from eating the poisoned cake.

The Judge had been away, so he returned home to find that he was a widower. As the slaves were questioned, those who knew about Chloe’s dark plan turned on her. When Judge Woodruff learned what had happened, Chloe was hung from one of the plantation trees. When she was dead, her body was cut down, her pockets and clothes stuffed with rocks, and her body dropped into the river.

Not long after that, stories of Chloe’s presence in the house began to circulate among the staff and family. Today, the housekeepers lock the house up at night, only to return the next morning to find chairs in the parlor rearranged, and other furniture moved out of place. During tours, as ladies pass through the doorway to the gentleman’s parlor where Chloe was caught eavesdropping, an earring is sometimes snatched by an unseen hand. The staff regularly finds earrings in the oddest places, and write it off to the fact that Chloe loves earrings, but only needs to take one, since she only has one ear.   (source:

CHLOE at the myrtles pic

The picture above depicts an actual photo taken by a visitor to the home….look closely at the area where the two porches join (partially hidden by the column) and there appears to be a figure with a turban….this is supposedly Chloe…

…And my photo (below) of the same area


Come along with us (if you dare!) to see this famous plantation…..



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The gates invite you to step back in time to another era


  The house is surrounded by large oak trees





This mirror was the only thing you could photograph in the house.    It is one of three mirrors original to the home.     The glass has been replaced but according to the guide, the same streaks, hand marks and sometimes “objects” continue to appear in the replaced glass….



The only thing I saw was this Auburn fan (a/k/a my husband!)


  Back veranda that invites you to sit and rock to pass the time.   

Do you know the difference between a porch and a veranda?      A porch is where you sit and enjoy a  cup of coffee; a veranda is where you go to sip on a mint julep and if you have neither, it’s a shame!   (Lame joke, but it’s one a darling 83 year old guide told us on one of our tours!)

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    Coming around from the side of the house to the front


The caretaker’s cottage is for rent


According to some stories, a little girl’s face has been seen in this upstairs window

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Whether Myrtles Plantation is haunted or not, it still has a long and interesting story to tell, all on its own.

I hope you’ve enjoyed a small glimpse of our Old South tour.     I haven’t shared 1/2 of the pictures I took but I think you get the idea.     I may share more pictures another time.

I’ve come down with a cold/flu this weekend so I’ve been resting a lot.    Can’t wait for Spring to arrive here in Alabama but I think all of us are in for a few more weeks of old man winter.

Have a great week!

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