First of all, before we do before and after pics, let me explain a little about what we did inside.  Walls were sheet rocked, all ceilings were redone to get rid of that popcorn, all interior doors were replaced, all trim was replaced…crown and shoe.  The toilets were replaced, the bathrooms rebuilt, new central heat and air, all new light fixtures and ceiling fans.  The only thing untouched was the floor.  It was in good shape and other than being steam cleaned twice, it was left alone.



The colors I chose remind me of the colors I love in the ocean.  Each room is a different shade.  That was scary for me to do, because I could just hear my Mom saying ‘every room should be the same so the house does not look chopped up’.  🙂  But, my thought was that the rooms would flow together like the colors do in the oceans.  And actually there is such a subtle difference in the colors, it’s hard to tell they are different. All the ceilings are painted a very pale blue.  The trim color is called ‘Pure White’…though here it looks like ‘Pure Grey’!  The color on the far left is the ceiling color…it does not look that blue in real life!  The middle color is quite aqua, but is just doesn’t show up.

Now.  Our builder finished most of everything so that we could move in.  The painters were finished, and all was ready.  This is when my fun was going to begin!  My friend, Shirl, was chomping at the bit to get started, as well!  We made it to the beach late on a Friday afternoon with 2 SUV’s, a budget, and a house to fill!  And, I had had cataract surgery 2 days before…so no heavy lifting for me!  Ha! And, it rained everyday.  And, the huge dumpster in the driveway that had been used during construction, had not been picked up and was right smack dab in our path!  But, we were not deterred!  We soldiered on!

We went through the house, room to room, and made lists of what we needed to buy.  Then went to her house to spend the night…and make more plans.    She had nothing to eat except leftover lemon pie, and half a gallon of sweet tea.  A good enough supper for us!   We were up the next day, which happened to be my birthday, early…EARLY!  And, off we went.  Now we had 3 bedrooms, a den, 1 1/2 bathrooms, a dining room and a kitchen to furnish.  And, we brought NOTHING with us…except 2 lamps and a tiny bookcase that I had redone.   Hard work ahead…but oh! what fun!!!  First we went to buy the big furniture…a sofa, a chair, 2 beds and 4 mattresses.  To be delivered.  Then we hit the consignment shops…bought a bedroom suit, a table, 6 chairs.  This we had to haul in our own vehicles.  Back to the house, pick up another car, go back and get chair, etagere, 4 small tables, a large mirror, and a bookcase.  Since we were on two cars, we had loads of room and decided to stop by Wal-Mart on the way home.  Cause, I mean, furnishing a home?  How can you not stop at Wal-Mart?  And while we were there…Shirl bought me a birthday cake!  Which made me happy in more than one way.  It was my birthday and I couldn’t have a real birthday without a cake…and we needed something other than leftover lemon pie to eat because it was all gone!  Then we went back to her house.  And each got a fork and we had a birthday party.  Oh, we still had some sweet tea left, too.


I love Shirley.  Shirley loves lists.  She loves to make lists of the lists she needs to make.  She keeps it all in a notebook.  And, she keeps to a budget, too.  I am not talented in either area.  I make grocery lists and never take them to the store with me!  She keeps all the receipts and the money in an envelope.  And, she doesn’t lose it.  And, she writes down every dime she spends.  I, however, do not do any of those things.  I try, but, something will catch my eye while I have a receipt in my hand…and I’m a goner and the receipt is never to be found. And if I try to put all my lists in a book, I lose the book!   Shirley knows this about me, and loves me anyway.  That’s what a true friend is.  I hope you have a friend like that.


Birthday cake!  It’s what’s for supper!

So in between furniture deliveries and appliance deliveries, we made numerous trips to Target, the antique and decor store that was full of booths, back to Wal-Mart, K-Mart, and once we had to eat something other than leftover lemon pie and birthday cake, so we went to the best steak house in town and sat and ate and enjoyed it so much!  But, friends, let me tell you…that birthday cake from Wal-Mart was delicious and it travelled with us back and forth from Shirl’s house to my house and back the whole 4 days!

Then back to shopping for art and  accessories.  We had to completely furnish the kitchen with cookware and dinnerware and utensils and then bathrooms with irons and towels and tissue and shower caps and bedrooms with linens and art and lamps and rugs.   And, then there are nails and light bulbs and everything you could possible think of that you have in your house, we had to get.  And, we did it all in 4 days…with beds made, art hung and accessories in place.  Both of our cars were packed to the gills…over and over and over!  We were tired, we were dog tired.  It rained and rained.  I fell on my rear going into one store, and Shirl’s feet got so cold, she wore socks with her flip flops!  But, when we locked the door and headed home…it was perfect!





I worked hard and tried to keep from bending over due to my surgery.  Shirley worked hard and kept the lists and kept the receipts.  At the end, I presented Don with a wad of receipts of where almost every dime had gone!  I could never have furnished the house in the time frame we had with out her.  I don’t think I could have done it at all without her.  She worked rings around me, and we laughed and played and had fun and slept well.  It looks as good as it does because her touch was on everything.  I am blessed and blessed again by her friendship.  And, I thank God for putting her in my life.


OK, I’m trying to figure out the best way to do this without showing way more pictures than you’d ever want to see.  So, I’m going to show a before picture and then some afters.  I’m going to start with the kitchen and dining room.  The cabinets were so old and dirty and greasy and stained and unhealthy for all living things.

KITCHEN…BEFORE…  In this pic, we removed the cabinets over the refrigerator cutout…so we could have a ‘real people’ size refrigerator!  The wall paper…..well…the only word to say is ‘nasty’.  This really is a great kitchen, though.  There were loads of cabinets, though not too much counter space until we created the cut out bar.  The tiny door on the left in the picture below is a pantry. (Can you see how pretty the original back door is?)

  BEFORE…..This is the sink area…   And this is how it looks now…

I used a glass tile in aqua with an iridescent finish…A little ‘out there’…but, if you’re ever gonna be a little ‘wild’, a beach house is the place to do it!  And, I tend to like a little ‘wild’, now and again.





I chose a granite with a sandy colored pattern that actually reminded me of sand underfoot.  I loved the pattern in the slab.

This bank of cabinets and countertop below shares its wall with the den.  But, it also served to cut the kitchen off from the rest of the den and dining room and to block out the beautiful light coming in at the big windows.  We didn’t need these cabinets…there were already plenty…though we did need the counter top.  After it was decided that this was a load bearing wall and couldn’t be removed…we decided that was for the best and just cut out a big hole in it instead.


So it went from this….



And this…


To this…


And the dining room went from this…


To this…

This table we found in an antique store in Panama City and I loved it immediately!  The panels on the sides are what sold me on it!   And can you see how the piece at the bottom is curved.  Nothing had to be done, but a little sanding to the finish.  Also it is beat up and scarred already, so no worries that it will ever get messed up.  If it does, we can just sand it away!  All the chairs around the table will eventually be white!  We found 6 chairs and they are all different.  Actually, the table is designed for 4, but you can always squeeze in a couple of extras!  Right?


The clock below does have hands, it’s just hard to see them…

I’ve got Pop’s fishing hat by the door, ready for him to use…

And above these wonderful boxes is this sign I made.


The sign speaks to me of God’s unfailing love and mercy…of the majesty of His creation…and of the power He holds to control the world and everything in it!  (This is beside the front door, but in the dining room.)  Jeremiah 5:22…”God made the sand to hold the ocean back.  The ocean can not go past it.  It will do that forever.  The waves might roll, but they can not sweep over it.  They might roar, but they can’t go across it.” TMB




🙂 As you can see hanging on the back door…I may not make and keep up with lists, but I do know where to stick a post-it note so I don’t forget it!!!




So, I will end here and finish showing the rooms in the next post.  Then comes the funny story about the trailer.  Oh, it does just go on and on, doesn’t it?




So work began on the  house.  The outside is stucco and required a good power washing and painting, with work done on the eaves and trim.  A totally new roof was added.  Then it got a coat of paint.  I spent a good amount of time picking out the paint colors…with help from Mr. Sherwin Williams.  But,  it seems no one thought I had made a good choice for the outside.  Well, the men, at least.  They said I needed something…anything…else as an accent color other than the green I had chosen.  But, no.  I knew it would look good, so I insisted.






The colors were a beautiful aqua, a green, and an off white with grey undertones.  And, we put on a metal roof.   The front porch was a custom mix right on the job, as I wanted a slightly darker shade of the house color.  It turned out to be a shade of teal, which I liked very much.  We worked on the porch color back and forth from PC to Dothan via our cell phones!  Isn’t technology wonderful?   See what you think about the colors…





We replaced windows, and added the storm doors and outdoor lighting.  Fortunately, we were able to use the original front and rear exterior doors which made me very happy.  They have loads of character.  And, as you can see a little in one of the pics, we painted the trailer the same colors as well.  At least now everything matched and looked clean and cared for…on the outside, at least!  We redid that storage room with the missing door, and now it has its door and is filled with shelves.  Plans are on hold to finish the front with a white fence…but we have to get all the rest finished first.  They also put in an area for an outdoor shower.  We are waiting on some landscaping work before we completely finish the outside work.  There will be a gate added to the fence so it will be easier to go back and forth.

(These ominous clouds are part of Hurricane Isaac which was expected in these parts, but turned another way.  Remember, it delayed the Republican National Convention in Tampa Florida.)

PS…They had to go back and paint the shutters green on the trailer!



Isn’t this a great old tree in the front yard?  The ferns have taken up residence in between the spaces around the trunk of the palm.  I think it needs a little haircut, though!


(Sorry, the grass wasn’t cut in the above picture.)  And, that’s the look on the outside…next we’ll get into the inside.  Oh!  what a mess it was!  But, our builder, Mike , worked his magic and now it looks terrific!  I can hardly wait to show you!  And, in case you couldn’t tell…that’s our beach way up top…gorgeous, isn’t it?

Oh, by the way…the house has its own name now…THE SAND CASTLE!

Because…who lives in a castle…….?

See you soon with the inside!  Oh, it looks so good!  I think you’ll love it!  I bet you’ll even want to come and spend some time with me.  Well, I think that is a fabulous idea!  Come on…we’ll have a beach party!




So…He bought the beach house and I didn’t like it and then I decided I did.  So, you are up-to-date.

Of course, now that I have a house at the beach…sad that it is…I want it to be fixed up and finished yesterday!  So, I can go and live out my dream of having a place at the beach!  It seems that he could get our electricity turned on by telephone from here.  But, to get the water turned on, he had to go the the ‘water place’  in Panama City and do it in person!.  Crazy, huh?  And, so he took off one Monday and went down to take care of business!  And, much more happened on that trip that I expected.

We knew that there was a house on one side of us that was kept up nicely, and a mobile home across the street that had let the yards grow up, even though the house itself was in good shape.  (I already told you that big groups of folks had lived there twice and they were trying to block their view)  They really must not have wanted to see anything!

There was also a ‘quite-a-bit older mobile home’ on the other side of our house.  It looked pretty rough, but the new owner was busy working to clean it up and redo the inside.

Don went straight to the water store and got ours turned on.  Then he decided to drive by the house.  When he got there, he found that ‘quite-a-bit older mobile home’ that the man was fixing up, was for sell.  He immediately called and asked the price.  There were 2 other bids.  But Don placed a bid anyway.  The owner then asked each bidder to send in his best bid…Don did…and when he walked in the house from his trip to handle the water issue…we had bought ourselves the trailer next door to the house!  ( This is how it looked as I snapped it when I first saw the house.  The yellow carport is the corner of our house).  The chain link fence separates the yard of the trailer from the carport of the house.

(This is how it looked as the man got ready to put it on the market.  He repainted it so it would have a better appeal to buyers, bless his heart)  And, obviously Don and I have a very different aesthetic from him when it comes to color choice and matching colors.  BTW…there were 8 flamingos strutting proudly through the little yard…8.  Looks like a few got out of the yard….

Now, I could make you laugh out loud…and I will…just not now.  Suffice it to say that we own a house and a sideways trailer with a small yard…and a chainlink fence on 2 sides…and a partial white picket fence across the front.    Can you see how the yard in front of the trailer meets the side of the house?



Oh, the story of the trailer is too good not to tell…but since I do things neat and orderly  (HA!) I’ll take on only one story at a time.  But, oh, do please stay tuned…it’s a doozy!



I have spent the last few days with my friends, Shirley and Tina, on our annual fall trip.  This year we returned to Atlanta, one of our favorite places to visit and shop.  I had learned about the Country Living Fair that is sponsored by Country Living magazine, and it sounded like just the sort of event the three of us like the best.  So, plans were made and off we went for 4 days of fun, frivolity and friendship.  Since the event was held at Stone Mountain, we stayed in a new place for us, Tucker, which is nearby.

We arrived in Atlanta and managed to do some shopping in the area of our motel before bedtime.  We intended to get up early, so as to be in line for tickets to the Fair, before the majority of people arrived.  When I checked in, one of the ladies at the motel handed me a ticket and said that another lady had checked in and one of the people in her group could not come.  She had given the ticket to her and told her to give it to someone when they checked in.  And she gave it to me!  Wow!  That was like an extra $20 in my pocket!

We did get in line early and were able to walk right in when the gates were opened.  It was an excellent fair.  There were lots of good vendors there with amazing wares!  We had the most fun looking and seeing all the new things and the old things and the new-to-us old things!  The fair is at Stone Mountain Park and the vendors were set up along a paved path winding through the woods.  It still was a help to have my cane, though.  The foliage was beautiful and the weather could not have been nicer.  Cool, a little breeze…just perfect!  We shopped until about an hour before they closed…but our feet had walked all they wanted to for that day!  Really didn’t buy very much…just a few little treasures we couldn’t leave behind!

Aren’t these the most gorgeous pumpkins?  They were everywhere!  So festive!



Though we had no problem getting there, getting out of there was a different story!  It could have been the driver…it could have been the navigator…it even could have been the passenger with opinions in the back seat…WHATEVER…we could not find our way out.  When we finally did, after asking a policeman and a park worker, trouble continued to follow.  We found the road out, but one of us wanted to go see what was in Stone Mountain Village.  So, we went that way.  Wrong decision.  In case you care…there is nothing there…nothing.  And even though there was nothing there, and seemingly only 2 roads…we still managed to get turned around.  Really, I do not even remember how we got back on the right highway, but we finally made it back to the motel and ordered in Chinese food.  Looooooong day.  Good day.

Saturday, we had tickets to return to the Country Living Fair…but, we decided we’d seen enough and besides, we wanted to visit some of our favorite places.  (There is NEVER enough time for us to get in all we want to when we travel…we just always run out of time.)  I will admit to being a little OCD about some things…and one of them is knowing where I am going and how to get there.  And, even though I was never a boy scout, I do believe in the motto, BE PREPARED.  So, I had printed out explicit directions to and from anywhere we could possibly have thought of going.  And, since Shirley had told me of a great place in Alpharetta she had heard of on several blogs, I had directions there as well.  Our plans were to go to Roswell and Alpharetta and visit our favorite shops and then visit the new place.  We dressed and got into the car and I handed the directions to the friend seated to my right.  All I asked her and her friend in the backseat to do is read and watch the road signs.  While I, as the driver, was dealing with all those crazy drivers going 90 miles an hour on 8 lane highways, and trying to merge from this road to that road and switch lanes because the lane I’m in suddenly and unexpectedly turns into an exit lane and trying to keep my wits about me when someone blows the horn at me for no good reason that I could tell!  I thought it was more than a fair plan of action.  And, that’s all I’ll say about that.  However…we ended up on a toll road going in the wrong direction when I was told to take the wrong exit.  I was cool…I didn’t mind wasting 50 cents to go the wrong way.  Heck!  I didn’t even mind wasting 50 cents again to try and get back to where I was when I was led down the wrong path.  And, that, dear friends, is how I ended up in Buckhead.  At a traffic light.  Staring right at a TJMaxx, one of our favorite places to go hunting.  So, to prevent myself from screaming unkind words, or from tearing my hair out by the roots, I instead suggested we take a little sanity break at TJM.  And that suited everyone!  We managed to stay in the store for 3 hours.  We also filled up 3 carts.  Sanity comes at a price!  We had fun.  But, we had to get it in gear if we were going to hit all the places on our list.  I used the navigation on my phone and found the way to the new store and it was a fairly easy trip there.

It turned out this place, Queen of Hearts Antiques and Interiors, was huge!  And we could tell it was just the sort of place we loved to spend time and money.  We went in and turned to the right down a narrow aisle through the vendor’s booths.  Shirley and Tina were ahead of me.  I had to step back to let 2 ladies into the booth we were walking past.  I didn’t, however, catch up with S and T, because one of the women who passed in front of me looked vaguely familiar.  I asked her what her name was and she told me it was Cherilyn.  I just stared.  Then she said that I looked familiar to her.  I told her my name was Tonja.  She then knew who I was, as well.  I had run into my first cousin whom I had not seen in 27 years!

We hugged and talked and hugged again.  Our dads were brothers.  Her mom was the one who always got the family together for reunions, and the last one she had was when Ian was about 2…he is 29 now.  That was actually the last time I have seen any of my cousins or aunts and uncles on my Pop’s side. I just recently made contact with another cousin, Margie, online.  Cherilyn and I exchanged contact information and caught up on the family that we knew about.  She works at this store 3 days a week and has a wonderful booth there, too.  What a serendipitous meeting!

This is what I know for sure.  We can make plans and leave home with all intentions to go to a certain place at a certain time…but if it is not in God’s plans…it will never happen. No matter how carefully we have planned our itinerary.  No matter how many directions we have printed out.  I totally believe that God orchestrated our whole morning…the going off at the wrong exit, the time spent in TJM, the finding the correct roads…just so that I would walk down that narrow aisle at exactly the same time as my cousin.  He is just that way.  Those of us who trust Him as our Lord and Savior are His children.  And, He delights in treating us to unexpected ‘good things’.  There’s no other way to explain it.  We even discovered we had been at the same place at the same time twice in the past few years!  But, we didn’t meet.  This was the appointed time.  How wonderful to touch base with some of my Pop’s family again.  What a blessed day this truly was!

We finished our shopping there (and we found some wonderful treasures) and reluctantly left to try to make time for our other stops.  (Next time we come here, we will allow a whole day!) (This is one of Cherilyn’s booths…great ‘stuff’!)

We made our way to Roswell and the delightful little Canton Street.  Finishing there, we attempted to find one more shop.  We got to the right exit, and we found the right road, and we decided they must have moved the store.  We did see a Cheesecake Factory, though, and decided this was a good place for dinner.  And, it was.  AND…we did not even get any cheesecake!!!  Hard to believe, I know!  As we made our way back to the interstate and on to our motel, we drove right past the shop we had been looking for all along….closed now, of course!

Up early on Sunday morning and on to the puzzle of trying to fit 3 ladies and all the treasures they could find into the Pilot.  That job was delegated to Tina and Shirl…my job was to stand guard and make sure I knew the way to get out of Tucker and back to Dothan.  The puzzle fit together and the navigation was correct and we pulled back into Dothan early evening.

Shirley still had a two hour drive ahead of her to get back to Moultrie.  And she made it safely.  (Pic below on Canton Street, Roswell)

What a trip!  Wonderful time spent with the friends who know me best and love me anyway!  Oh, how important it is to have people like this in your life.  I hope you do.  I know I have been blessed in this regard.  So, that’s it…until we gather together again in the spring for our next getaway!

“Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; …”  Psalm 126:2a


I did my fall decorating a few weeks ago, but have just gotten around to photographing the areas and posting about them.  I sort of cut back a little this year, as I have not been feeling quite up to par.  But, there’s plenty to get the mood across, I think.

This is the antique oak table that sits in my rear foyer…OOPS!  left my keys and sunglasses in the pic!  The mirror below is in the same area.



This table is in the front foyer.  The pumpkin is a painted clear glass, similar to mercury glass, but not as opaque.  It lights up with a battery powered bulb and was a gift from my sister, Joy.

I enjoy setting my dining table with the seasons, as well.  There was only a set of 4 available when I found this china, but I liked it so much, I bought it anyway!   Since my table seats 10, I just set the places in the middle and that leaves the beautiful wood visible on the ends.



The runner on the table is an antique piece found for me by Tina and Shirley.  All hand stitched in shades of orange and brown, it is one of my favorite fall pieces.


Here’s a close-up of the buffet in the dining room.  OOPS…again!  I think the shade on the lamp is a little crooked.  Oh, well, this is a REAL house where people live…and a little boy stays quite often!

Then comes the mantel, my favorite place to decorate.



WP2Social Auto Publish Powered By :