Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Rewind Wednesday/Pet Parade - Our Little Fur Person

It's hump day! Time for another blast from the past so graciously hosted by Kelly and Victoria at This fun weekly event lets us repost something from our archives, allowing us more time for gardening, decorating, putting our head in the freezer to escape the heat - you get the picture! If you haven't been to visit these gals, you really should. They have a fantastic blog chock full of great decorating and great humor! And since this post is about our little fur person, I'm also linking to Gayle's Pet Parade at Be sure to stop by and visit all the pets being shown off. Everyone loves a parade, right? This post originally appeared in February. So without further ado, allow me to introduce you to the queen of our house, Sax the Cat!

This weeks theme is "Furry Friends, Real and Faux". I know she looks stuffed in this picture (the cat silly), but our little Sax is very real indeed. When our daughter was in high school, she worked part time at the veterinary practice that I manage. We had lost our 3 dogs and 2 cats within 2 years, and just could not bring ourselves to get another. DH and I thought that it would be best to hold off on any pets with Cait getting ready to go to college. It's a big responsibility to care for one of these little creatures, and we assumed (and we were right!) that we might be taking alot of weekend trips for football games, recitals and the like. One day, Cait came home from work and was acting rather odd. I asked how her shift went, and she would not turn to look at me. It was February and she had on a heavy coat. As she turned to go to her room, I saw a little fuzzy head pop out of her jacket! "But Mom," she pleaded. "She was laying in a rain puddle next to the dumpster at work, I couldn't just leave her there" Of course, at this point we had not had a dog or cat in the house for over 2 years. So, we had no cat food, litter, litter pan, or any of the kitty "necessities" I also did not want to get attached to a stray cat that had not been checked out first. So I told Cait to take her up to the clinic and put her in the isolation room, and I would have one of the Doctors check her the next day. If she got a clean bill of health, and Cait purchased the basic cat necessities, we would keep her on a trial basis. The next day, Dr. Webster checked her over well, tested her for all the nasty kitty viruses that are out there, vaccinated her and gave us the thumbs up to take her home. We also discovered that she had a spay scar and was declawed! Sax has turned out to be the best cat we have ever had. She is very social and loves nothing better than laying in our lap or on our chest, attempting to con us into a nap! Turns out napping is the thing she does best, she is the QUEEN of naps! I have read that the average house cat spends 13-18 hours a day sleeping, I think she is trying to beat that average.
This is her "pout pose" when I remove her from my lap to use the computer! DH says I bought the new sofa because it matched the cat - hey at least the hair doesn't show as badly!
This is Sax pretending not to be asleep - she's just "resting her eyes"
She likes to hide around the corner and pounce on your leg when you come through - she thinks you can't see her!
Staring out the window at her neighborhood boyfriend - Romeo, oh Romeo! She's not allowed outside, daddy is very protective, and remember, she's been declawed. Besides, we have some wicked mockingbirds in our yard! And please, please, please forgive the holy mess in this room - this is Cait's room (I promise you Barney purple was not my idea) and until we redo this room it has become a storage shed! Notice the unframed art on the chair? The glass table top leaning against the window? You should see the other side of the room, or no, maybe you shouldn't.
This is Sax saying so long, it was nice to visit, but she needs her beauty sleep! I hope you enjoyed meeting our little fur person. Please remember that stray and shelter pets need a home too, and they usually make the very best pets. It's almost as if they understand that you saved their lives, and the unconditional love and patience they offer is beyond compare!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Calling all firefighters

As many of you know, my husband runs an art gallery and is the marketing manager for a well known Texas artist. They have just signed a very promising young man who is so talented. Clinton Broyles is a graduate of Texas A & M with a degree in architecture. But his dream is to paint for a living. His work is just beautiful, and we are lucky to own one of his smaller original oil paintings. A few weeks ago I was taking lunch to DH at the gallery. I saw this piece leaning against the wall and stopped dead in my tracks. He told me it was Clinton's newest work and they were thinking of publishing it. It's funny, there are no firefighters in my family, but this just really spoke to me. The artist is from a long line of firefighters, and this is his tribute to them. I just love all of the little details he included, but my favorite is the photograph in the background.

If you have a firestation near your house, surprise these wonderful men and woman with some homebaked cookies or a cake sometime other than Christmas. Or just make sure and say hey when you see them taking a meal break or out and about in your town. Everyone should take the time to thank these wonderful public servants!

I know that many of you in blogland have firefighters in your family, and I thought you might enjoy seeing this tribute to their work and sacrifice. To read more about the artist, go to and click on artist bios.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Rewind Wednesday - Kitchen Reno!

It's Wednesday, so I decided to join Kelly and Victoria at Design Ties for Rewind Wednesday. Kelly and Victoria understand how busy the summer months can be, so they are hosting an event where we can be lazy, er, more prudent with our time and re post a favorite from our blog archives. Not only is this a big time saver for me right now ( work has NOT slowed down an iota) but it allows us to share an older post with new friends who may not have seen it. This post was originally a Metamorphosis Monday post that ran in January. Hope you enjoy our kitchen renovation.! And when you finish, make sure to stop by and visit all the other participants in Rewind Wednesday at If you haven't visited Design Ties before, what are you waiting for? Kelly and Victoria have a fabulous blog with some amazing design ideas and tips. You may remember Victoria from the late lamented Micasa Style web site. You will love their rooms and ideas. And besides, they are just fun! And wait until you see their new blog dress - it's divine!

In July of 2008, we returned from a wonderful and relaxing week at the beach. When we arrived home, we noticed a distinctly "musty" odor. Thinking that it was due to the house being closed up for 10 days in the Texas heat, we ignored it for a day. The next day, I went to pull an appliance out of a lower cupboard and discovered lots of wet and (horrors), the beginning of mold. After the initial screaming meemies, we set out to discover the source of the water. At first, we thought the washer had leaked as it was on the other side of the kitchen wall and we found water under the machine. Our trusty appliance repairman came out and gave the washer a clean bill of health. So we pulled the cabinet out (it was at this point totally useless) and discovered that the water was actually coming up through the concrete slab! So, away we went breaking up the concrete around what we thought was the source. Lo and behold, one of the pipes in the slab was set too close to the rebar, and a hole was eventually rubbed through. Apparently whoever built this house knew it was too close, as they had wrapped the pipe in - can I hear an amen - DUCT TAPE! Our plumber came out and repaired the leak, we repaired the concrete and then set out to renovate the kitchen. Our homeowners policy would not cover the repairs, as there was a sneaky little Texas clause in our policy that did not cover "leaks under grade". So, what now? We had been trying to decide what to do with this horrible, dated, UGLY kitchen for years. We just decided to rip everything out and start over! These are some before and after pix. We did all of the work ourselves, with the exception of the new drywall and the quartz countertop installation. It took us about 6 weeks from demo to new kitchen, during which time I discovered 3 important things: 1) It is no fun washing dishes in the bathtub 2) It's hard to have your kitchen and dining room in your living room (except DH loved having the frig next to his chair) 3) You know that you've been eating out too much when the man behind the counter at Wing Stop greets you by name when you come in! Hope you enjoy the change as much as we have. Stop in anytime for a cup of coffee and a chat.

The culprit

After demo and installation of new window

Old, low ceiling and everyone's favorite, a fluorescent light box

New raised ceiling and track lighting

Old high pass through and little used cabinet. We originally planned to remove this wall altogether, but it contains a large plumbing stack and alot of wiring. We (our budget) chose to remove the cabinet and lower the pass through to give a more open appearance.

The best part of any kitchen, the coffee area! Open shelve where cabinet used to be.

Old stove and pantry area. Lots of wasted space, and just ugly. Notice the lovely formica backsplash. The different paint colors were our attempt to get it right the first time. My husband swears that the rest of the house is held together by layers of paint.

Detail of the new backsplash, as well as the new stove/pantry area. We gained 15 inches of counterspace and a pot/pan organizer cabinet by getting rid of the old pantry "closet" and installing a new, narrower pantry.

The much more appetizing new view from our dining room.

Now stop by and say hey to Kelly and Victoria! You'll be glad you did.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Sunday Favorites - My First Post

Chari at Happy to Design is hosting another edition of "Sunday Favorites" and I'm joining in for the first time. Summer is such a busy season, this is a great way to share an older post with new friends who might not have seen it. After your visit, make sure to pop over to and see who else is posting their favorite "blasts from the past" . I've decided to share the very first post I ever did. Just think of this as "Pre Christmas in July" Lets go back in time to November 2008 and see one of the reasons I love the town that we call home. Bragging alert - Georgetown was just named one of the 100 Best Small Towns to live in America by Money magazine. Gee, I could have told them that years ago!

Thanksgiving is over and it's time to celebrate my favorite season. Our little town has several wonderful yuletide traditions. On the Friday after Thanksgiving at sunset, people gather on the courthouse square to sing carols and "flip the switch" lighting up the courthouse and the buildings on the square. Georgetown has a lovely square with beautiful buildings restored to their original grandeur. There are wonderful little shops with so many unique gifts and handcrafts, art galleries and restaurants. I love strolling around and seeing neighbors old and new. Here are just a few pictures from this annual event.

Before the Magic

After Santa flipped the switch

Ooh, aah - the town in it's Christmas finery

My favorite shop for gifts

Hope you enjoyed our little trip back to November. I feel cooler already. Now stop by Chari's and see what everyone is sharing today.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

For every frustrated airline traveler - revenge is a dish best served cold

By now, you may have heard this story on CNN or Fox, or perhaps someone has mailed you the link. If not, here's a post for every frustrated airline traveler out there! Canadian musician Dave Carroll was on tour with his band Sons of Maxwell. A fellow passenger on their United flight looked out the window in horror as she spied baggage "handlers" tossing instruments around like frisbees. After nearly a year of frustration attempting to receive compensation from the airline for his damaged guitar, Dave promised United that he would write 3 songs and produce a video documenting his trials and tribulations. The following is the first video, as it appears on Youtube - I think he has tapped into a VERY deep well of frustration with airline travel. This video has received about 2 million hits in less than a week! This struck close to home for us. As you know my husband and daughter are both musicians. Their instruments become very special to them and seeing this just made me cringe. As DH put it, "why do you think I NEVER travel with my guitar if we have to fly"? As for me, I'm not afraid to fly, but I absolutely hate to fly. Spending my hard earned money to be herded into a flying tube of virus laden air is not my idea of a good time. The lack of customer service and respect for the passenger's comfort and convenience is just the icing on the cake. Which is why we only travel by air when time constraints leave us no alternative. Does anyone remember when flying was an event? I guess this just proves that United has forgotten it's own motto "Fly the Friendly Skies" I hope you enjoy this video. I thought it was a very clever way to make a point.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Outdoor Wednesday - Let's go to Rockport!

Happy Wednesday everyone! It's time to visit Susan at to see what everyone is sharing for Outdoor Wednesday. If you haven't visited Susan yet, what are you waiting for? She has a beautiful blog full of wonderful ideas. Just wait until you see what she grows in her yard, it is simply gorgeous. And for all of you bookworms, she also has a separate blog "A Southern Daydreamer Reads". It's not too late to join the summer reading challenge!

This week I'd like to share a bit of our recent trip to Rockport, Texas. It was a much needed (but way too short) break over the 4th. Rockport is a lovely little fishing village on the Texas coast that has turned into a mecca for the arts. For now I'll just share a few pictures, I'll do a longer post later about the trip.

When we arrived at the condo we had rented, this was the view that awaited us from the living room.
Now join me on the balcony and look to your right. Isn't that a beautiful sight?

As the sun began to set and the moon began to rise, we prepared to walk down to the end of Key Allegro to see the fireworks display.

The fireworks are set off over "Little Bay". Good thing, as Texas has been under a severe drought and even the coast is dangerously dry this year.

More fireworks. This isn't the best picture ( I think I sneezed lol), but I wanted you to see all of the boats that gather in the bay to watch from the water. Wouldn't that be a fun way to view them?

Hope you enjoyed this little taste of the Texas coast. Stop back later this week and I'll have more of our trip posted! Now don't forget to stop by and visit Susan. This is a really fun blog event and I promise you'll see some beautiful pictures.