The finishing of the “basement” at Doug’s townhome is progressing nicely.  The HVAC, electrical, drywall and painting are all getting close to being completed.  We’ve ordered a light beige plush carpet for the guest bedroom and purchased a cream colored stone/ceramic tile for the bathroom and a beautiful laminate wood floor for all the rest of the space:  the family room, office and my “super closet”.  The wood floor will be an enormous project!  For now, the decorating is all coming together in my head and purchasing as well.  It is very exciting!

I will post pictures of the space as soon as it is a little further along.  In the meantime, I will share a few decorating plans/purchases.  The walls of the family room and office are painted Country Linens by Behr paints.  It is a warm color but not too dark.  Our furniture will look great in the midst of it.  (We’ve ordered new furniture for the upstairs living room – that will be for a later post!)

The guest bedroom is painted several shades lighter than Country Linens but in the same “family”.  The bathroom adjoining the guest bedroom is painted a rich vanilla called Accolade by Pittsburgh Paint.  The bathroom is small and will benefit from a lighter color.

We went with a corner shower – not that large but it will be great for occasional guests.  I love the vanity we selected below.  We’re using brushed nickel fixtures.

I purchased soft “spa blue” towels called “Lagoon blue” to go in the guest bathroom.  As well as a few accessories from the Mosaic Leaves collection by Croscill.  I love the colors!vanitymosaicleavesrug

mosaicleavesMy favorite thing about the downstairs guest bath will be the artwork!  If you haven’t shopped Joss and Main, take a peek at their site!  Right now, they’re having a great sale – including their art work!  One (or two) of the 18″ x 26″ canvas paintings below will go in the master bath…just not sure which one(s) yet!  I really like them all!

Twelve+Sunflowers+by+Van+Gogh+Canvas+Print Summer+Floral+I+Canvas+Print Path+Through+the+Corn+at+Pourville+by+Monet+Canvas+Print



I’ve often wondered what my guardian angel looks like.  Maybe a little like Clarence in the movie It’s A Wonderful Life?  Or is he more like what I think Gabriel must look like…with the strength of a warrior?  We can’t see them of course – angels – but they’re there.  The Bible tells us they are.

When I was growing up, there was a picture, a simple unframed print, tacked up on the wall of the hallway in the little house on Victor Drive.  Years later, that simple print became mine.  It was, and is, one of my treasures.  There is a tiny hole near the top of the print where it had been tacked to the wall for years.  I treasure that tiny hole as well…for it brings back memories of that little house on Victor Drive.


I’ve since had the print – tiny hole and all – professionally matted and framed.  It now hangs in my guest room and will always be in whatever home I’m in.  The angel watching over the small children reminds me that I’ve been protected on more than one occasion – no doubt you have as well – and could tell stories to my grandchildren about those times.

Maybe my angels would remind me of some of those stories – if they could. 

For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.  Psalms 91:11



I’ve always been fascinated with “time”.  It’s a simple concept really.  The world turns…the hands of the clock go round and round…and time passes.  The movement of time seemingly at a snail’s pace when you’re young and then on the wings of an eagle as time literally flies by as one gets older.  All of a sudden – or so it seems – you’re a grandmother.  You wonder where in the world all that time actually went.  And suddenly you realize there are only so many decades left on this earth…God willing.

A few weeks ago, I “babysat” my two oldest grandchildren while their dad was at one of the “March Madness” games in Ohio and their mom and younger siblings were at a swim meet in Minneapolis.  A fifteen year old and a seventeen year old just aren’t interested in sitting on bleachers all day and so I was recruited.

We had a good weekend with a lot of laughter and fun activities.  I had just had my cataract surgery a week before and couldn’t see well enough to drive yet.  And so my seventeen year old grandson chauffeured us wherever we wanted to go.

On Sunday morning, I climb into the back seat (my idea) and my two firstborn grandchildren sit in the front seat on our way to church.  Just then, I have a flashback:  it is January, 17 years earlier.  I’m in Indiana and it is snowing like crazy.  My daughter is in labor two hours away.  Nothing could have stopped her dad and me from making that journey of course – certainly not a snowstorm or icy, treacherous roads.  Twenty-four hours of labor later on my precious daughter’s part and they are first-time parents.  And I am, at last, a grandmother.


From the back seat, I observe my seventeen-year-old grandson driving safely.  He and his sister are laughing, chatting about something.  I pick up my cell phone and call my daughter at the swim meet.  I want to check on my granddaughter’s progress in the meet and share the following amazing thought.  When she answers, I say, “you know, I remember the day he was born and here he is seventeen years later driving his grandmother to church!  What happened to all that time?!”

Tomorrow night is Junior-Senior Prom night.  My grandson and his date and another young couple are having dinner at my daughter’s house.  My daughter volunteered to prepare one of her delicious pasta dishes (with homemade pasta) and homemade rosemary bread.  I’ve had them both and they’re delicious!  I volunteered to make a large tossed green salad and a chocolate éclair cake for dessert.  We’ll get dinner all ready with tablecloth and cloth napkins…and then disappear upstairs…after we take a few pictures of course.


Another milestone…another track in time. 

If you’re curious about the number of times I’ve written about the idea of  TIME, go to my earlier blog My Southern Heart and type the word TIME in the blog search bar!

April rain and catching up…

April rain and catching up…

I awoke to the sound of pouring rain this morning, accompanied by distant peals of thunder.  It reminded me of just how much I love rainy days.  I’ve often thought that I would like to be living and sleeping in a farmhouse with a tin roof…although that symphony might actually be a little too loud.  Tempted though I was to roll over and go back to sleep to the tune of the raindrops, I didn’t.  There’s too much to do and, at the moment, too much to tell…catching up on life these past few months.

When I made the journey back to the Midwest two and a half years ago, I wasn’t sure what the future would hold.  Again, I clung to the promise in Jeremiah 29:11…that my Heavenly Father had a future and a hope for me.  Almost two and a half years later, my life is new all over again.  I’m busy building a life, watching grandchildren grow up, traveling, writing and I’m engaged to be married to a wonderful man late May.  I’m happy and God is good.  The “selfie” below was taken early last Fall on my first trip ever through an Iowa corn maze!


So much has happened over the last few months…

Doug returned late January from a once-in-a-lifetime expedition trip to Antarctica with amazing photographs.  We’re in the process of completing a book about his journey with those incredible photos and I will post a link on Amazon when it is finished.  It will be a wonderful addition to your coffee table!  Sharing just a few pics below…







My daughter and her husband sold their home and moved into a rental which is less than half the size of their house…all for the sake of building their dream farmhouse on six acres in the country.  Their new home will sit on a hill overlooking sixty-two apple trees and a beautiful view of the Iowa countryside.  There is also a big red vintage barn, a stand of black walnut trees, many other trees and a large garden site – which has been tilled and is ready to plant!  Doug helped my daughter and son-in-love this past weekend to put in the posts for a tall “deer fence” around the garden for the wildlife who would insist on their share of the produce!

I have now completed cataract surgery on both eyes and can alleviate any fears those of you who are anticipating this procedure might have.  Surgery lasts all of about 20 – 30 minutes and there is no pain involved.  There are eye drops to put in your eyes on schedule and the difference in your eyesight is almost immediately recognized.  I will, most likely, still need glasses to read and fine distance focus but that’s all good.  The worst part is not being able to wear eye makeup for three weeks – or six weeks if you’re having both eyes done…but that’s okay too!

Wishing each of you a blessed and happy day!  Thanks for reading and “catching up” with me…


Easter is coming…

Easter is coming…

I couldn’t help but think about Mary, the mother of Jesus, this past week as I looked into the face of a beautiful, sleeping baby and held him in my arms.  Could you even imagine holding the Saviour in your arms?  Mary knew who He was.  The angel had appeared to her before conception and she knew this was, indeed, a virgin birth.  Did she think Jesus would grow up to be a carpenter…forever?  I truly wonder what she thought it meant for her baby son to be the Saviour of the world?  The long awaited Saviour.  The sacrificial Lamb of God.  Honestly, I don’t believe the mother of Jesus ever considered a cross for her baby

Easter is coming.  Whatever troubles us, confuses us, bewilders us or hurts us…Easter is coming.  There’s an answer…thank God.  What has always amazed me is that Almighty God came to us in the form of a helpless infant.  What incredible, perfect love.

Remember, however, He didn’t remain a baby.  Mary watched Jesus grow up…perfect and wise beyond his years.  Remember when they found him as an older child teaching in the temple?  You know the story.  It’s one of my favorites.

The destiny of Jesus was the cross…His choice.  Remember, He could have called twelve legions of angels…72,000 angels…to save Him, but He didn’t.  He died for you and me.  Jesus knew He would be resurrected.  He told his disciples just that.  Would you have believed that anyone would arise from the grave after three days?  Would I?  It’s because of this resurrection and the fact that Jesus is indeed alive that you and I have any hope at all, especially the hope of salvation.  Salvation which comes through repentance of our sins and belief in Him.  Read all about it in the incredible gospel of the book of John.  Go brew yourself a cup of coffee or tea, curl up in a chair by the window and read the wonderful book of John from the beginning to the very end.  You’ll be amazed all over again.

Easter is coming and Jesus is alive…


Originally published in My Southern Heart on March 30, 2010.

The featured image above came from this site.

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