Sunday, April 18, 2010

I am so excited about our new product line for Totally Awesome Blossoms

Totally Awesome Blossoms is a Dallas, Texas based florist business that does Totally Unique Floral Designs!
We are proud to announce that we are carring a new line of gift baskets, cookie bouquets, flowers and more that are available for delivery nation wide!
Go visit my La Bella Baskets webstore at: to see the complete line of fantastic gifts available.  I just ordered myself the "Classy Bouquet" and had it delivered to my home!  The photo on the website just did not do the arrangement justice!  It arrived in excellent condition, beautifully packaged & came with care instructions, floral food packets and included a beautiful vase!  I am so impressed!  (See photo of La Bella Baskets floral arrangment that I took and see for yourself what a beautiful floral product is available through my La Bella Baskets webstore!)
Visit Totally Awesome blossoms @ or Call Coral @ 469-363-3996 to order your own custom floral creation, boutonnieres, corsages, wedding and quinceanera flowers, flower arrangments gifts, gift baskets,, cookie bouquets and much, much for all occasions, seasons, reasons and just to put a smile on someone's face!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Totally Awesome Blossoms - A Totally Unique Florist

Totally Awesome Blossoms is not your ordinary florist!  Serving the Dallas area for all of your floral needs! We provide creative and unusual designs unlike any others!  Floral arrangments are available for all occasions!  We provide flowers for weddings, funerals, formals, dances, prom, corsages, boutonnieres, quinceaneras, bodas, new baby, get well wishes or just to brighten someone's day!
We often make use of unusual containers and our designs are truly floral art, not simply flower arrangements! 
Gift baskets, cookie baskets and fruit baskets will be available soon with nation wide shipping in partnership with La Bella Baskets product line!  Gorgeous gifts and goodies that are sure to please!
Visit our website: to order your custom floral arrangements or to go to the La Bella Baskets gift store.  Both Totally Awesome Blossoms and La Bella Baskets-Coral have fan pages on Facebook!  Visit these fan pages and become a fan of Totally Awesome Blossoms and La Bella Baskets-Coral on Facebook!
Call Coral @ 469-363-3996 to order your prom, graduation or Mother's Day flower arrangements today!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Tribute to a Friend

Shannon and I met in 1976 and instantly found ourselves forever friends! She and I were attached at the hip whenever possible. This feat became much easier when her family moved to the corner of Victor and Beacon in East Dallas, just blocks from my house! Our little feet knew all the cracks in the neighborhood sidewalks as we pounded the pavement in search of fun and adventures!

We would walk around talking in pig Latin and our own made-up gibberish language! We found this strangely hilarious when passersby would look at us funny! We would giggle and laugh till we cried. We thought we were so clever!

Because our families were very close and our parents did a lot of socializing and partying, we had even more excuses to be together. When Shannon was 10 years old she found out she was going to be a big sister, something she had mixed emotions about. In the days leading up to the big day, Shannon and I walked what seemed like a million miles with her mom around the block trying to convince this baby it was time to be born.....watched pots never boil!

December 23, 1978 the big day arrived! I was privileged enough to be present when her mother, Brenda, finally went into labor and gave birth to Shannon's little brother, Terrence. Brenda had the baby at home with the assistance of a midwife and many loving friends. At the age of 11, I held Brenda's hand during the delivery as Terrence made his appearance in this world. Afterwards, I sat in a corner and wept uncontrollably. When my mom saw me, she asked what was the matter. I told her that "I don't know. I have never been so happy before!"

My dad was trying his hand at becoming a professional photographer and he captured many beautiful images of the miracle of this day. He even featured a photo of Brenda nursing the baby on his first set of business cards. This was one of the most moving and enlightening experiences of my life and later became the inspiration for why I chose to give birth to my son in a similar fashion so many years later. It was for this reason that I chose to have our own 14 year old daughter present to witness this kind of remarkable beauty and participate in welcoming her new little brother.

The following summer, on a dare, Shannon and I set about a mission to save up money to go to Six Flags in the Fall. We spent the entire summer scouring the sofa cushions for change, cashing in soda bottles at the Mike's Grocery...a little neighborhood market nestled in the heart of the neighborhood, and doing chores for pennies in pursuit of our lofty goal. We opened a lemonade stand on the street corner and reeked havoc on traffic as we sold our goods and made memories! By October we had saved a whopping $36...whoo hoo! It was just enough to pay our admission into Six Flags! Mission Accomplished! Of course, our parents said it wasn't fair that we were the only ones who got to go. So, by default, my brother, sister, cousin and neighborhood friend tagged along!

I did not like sharing my friend with others. She was mine...all mine...or so I though! We both began to grow up and with that got our own independent lives which led us to spending less and less time together. I went off to a magnet school for middle school where I found my first love. She was angry with me and hurt that my attention could not be drawn away, not even for a moment. I even wrote a short story during that time in a pubescent attempt to process the changes in our friendship and the rift that was forming. During this time, someone I grew to know well, wrote a beautiful poem about friendship. I loved this poem so much that I memorized it way back when. I often refer to it whenever I feel sad about the loss of innocence that one goes through at that age, as first loves are young loves and relationships are like little girls' hearts.....fragile.

Fall of 1982, Shannon entered high school. I was a sophomore and found myself alone and lost....trying to figure out what 15 year old girls try to figure out. Shannon was such a vibrant soul and soon found that she had tons of friends and got an identity that was all her own! She was shining brightly and ever so popular. We talked once in a while but I was no longer a part of her inner circle. Just after Valentines Day of that year, we talked about each others plans for Spring Break. I was just going to hang out at home and Shannon had big plans to go to Galveston/Padre Island with another freshman and her sister who was a senior, who was going to do the driving.

Sure, I was jealous but I wasn't going to let her know that! I was casual about the whole thing. You know, no big deal and all, right? A week or so later, we ran into each other in the choir room at school. Shannon commented to me about an awkward girl at school that I had started hanging out with. She said something like "You shouldn't be hanging out with THAT girl, she is STRANGE!" Since I was already pissed about not being included in her new found little group of friends, I popped off with heated words. I said something like "You know, EVERYONE has SOMEONE who thinks that THEY are STRANGE! Not everyone can be the social butterfly that you have become!"

It was my turn to be hurt and angry and I let her have it! I turned my back and walked away...never to see her face again. You can't ever take back the very last words you will ever get to say to a person....they are written in stone. Those words still haunt me to this day!

School let out for Spring Break 1983. I assumed Shannon was off at the beach having fun with all her NEW friends and I was stuck at home doing little of nothing. However, I did get asked out on a date. He was a really nice young man but we stayed out a little past the time my parents had said I had to be home by. I walked in the door and judging by my parents demeanor, I knew I was in the doghouse...busted!

They said "Coral, we need to talk." Oh, it comes! They are gonna ground me for sure! What they had to say to me stopped time, shattered my world and altered the universe as I knew it.

"Shannon was killed in a car wreck....."

I don't think I heard anything else for several minutes. They had to practically shake me to bring me back to reality. My parents need to know how to get in touch with Shannon's family and did I have any idea where they could be reached. The school officials had been unable to contact her parents. They contacted my family because according to school records, I was listed as one of her "chums" and might now how to reach her parents. Shannon was dead and her mother did not even know it!

I knew that Brenda and Terry were probably at a friend's house where they were supposed to be having a big party and musical jam session as was popular in the, know drinkin', eatin', pickin', singin'. Time stopped again that night. Sure enough, they were at that party and even though I have no memory of what was said, the bottom line is that my parents had to break the news to her parents.

Turn back the hands of time, please God, turn them back! That is all I can remember thinking. Music was one of Shannon's many gifts. She played odd instrument but she loved it! Her favorite song was "Pachalbel Canon in D". Shannon's family chose to have her cremated and there was a beautiful memorial service. A quartet that included a gifted musician and friend, Ruth Ann Aten, played the "Pachalbel Canon in D". It was absolutely breathtaking and emotional!

When, I married three years later, I did not have a Maid of Maid of Honor was gone. Instead, I called upon her spirit to be by my side with "Pachalbel" playing as I walked down the isle and knew that Shannon was there just as I knew she was there when we had the memorial service. Friends were asked to make comments during the memorial, you know, tell anecdotes and share memories during the service. I have long since lost the original copy of the poem but I will try to recall some of the words from the poem that I chose to recite in her memory at the memorial service....I can only hope that the author will forgive my fading memory of the exact wording but I believe my recollection will at least portray the value his words. These words and these memories, both joyous and painful, have been carried deep in my heart over a lifetime.

Friends are like snowflakes
Softly they come and softly they go....

Many times wanted
Other times, not.....
But we will always miss them
No matter what.....

So, when a friend leaves you
And you want to die
Don't sit around waiting
Just asking God why?......

Look out the window....
And pray for more snow!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Spring Through the Eyes of a Child

My handsome boy admires one of the Black Swallow Tail Butterflies that we raised a couple of years ago!

Spring at the Haynes house this year currently consists of critters such as one green yard lizard....named Lizzy (of course!), one batch of Painted Lady Chrysilides and one batch of soon to be born "oddles" of Praying Mantis younglings!

One of the joys of Spring for me has been the pleasure learning to see life from the vantage point of a 6 year old little boy! Filled with lots of opportunities about the science of the world around us....magic!

I am sure this will again turn into a Summer all about frogs, toads, snakes and fish! Seeing the world through the eyes of a little boy....I am sure glad I was a tomboy growing up!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

25 Random Things About Coral

25 Random Things about Coral....

1. I have one brown eye and one green eye.
2. I weighed 4 pounds 3 ounces when I was born and my green eye was blue.
3. I will have been married to Bert 23 years on February 16th.
4. We have one child in college and one child in kindergarten.
5. I have been a registered nurse since 1992 and I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up.
6. I grew up in East Dallas.
7. I am a recovering perfectionist.
8. I wake up very early and go to bed early.
9. I am not one to embrace the latest and greatest technology. I still carry the same antique cell phone.
10. I am very frugal.
11. I hate people who take advantage of others.
12. I root for the underdog!
13. I love shoes but hate to shop for the clothes to go with the shoes.
14. I tend to have conservative political views.
15. I am not wealthy but live a rich life.
16. I love sunshine.
17. I hate cold, cloudy days!
18. I love to go fishing!
19. I am a fair weather fisherman.
20. I no longer color my hair.
21. I love to putter in the garden on a nice day!
22. I am not a big fan of vegetables.
23. I have the nicest in-laws a girl could hope for!
24. I am the harshest critic of my children but their biggest advocate.
25. I am a loyal friend.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

All It Needs Is A Red Ribbon!

My gift from Bert is one that I will be able to enjoy all year round!

This is the second living area that we are calling the Media Room!

Santa brought Ben a Wii along with lots of games and stuff!

A handsome room for a handsome young man!

Comfy couch for Samson the Palace Dog!

Beautiful Wooden Doors to boot!

Making use of Boenig Family antique furniture!

Fantabulous Guest Bath adjoins the media room!

Lovely sunroom with french doors will be an office someday!

Mama's Dresser from the farm!

Caught under the mistletoe!
Happy New Year!
I had to hug the man's neck!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Alice went to wonderland!

I am about to dash out the door to a great holiday party!

Many "Mad Hatters" attended this lovely event....

OMG...what a beautiful home!!!

It was worth getting all dressed up and putting on a hat just for the previledge of seeing this place!

The hostesss has the most FANTABULOUS collection of vintage Victorian clothes, hats, shoes, photos, hand bags, memorabilia, antiques galore!

You can bet your sweet Aunt Bippy that I will accept the invitation to do it again next year if I get the chance!

Too Much Fun!

(Ann, thanks so much for inviting me!)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Happy Dance at the Yellow House!!!

In May of 2004 we purchased the Yellow house....

The Yellow house had lived its life since 1922 as a Craftsman Style Duplex. The Yellow House had a million coats of rent house paint....
had suffered and survived major neglect....
had jillion cracks in every piece of sheetrock....
had HUGE foundation issues....and we set about converting it to a single family home.

The Yellow House had settled so much in 83 years that the bathroom floor had buckled as the drain line refused to yield to gravity even though the rest of the house had given up the fight.

Our floors resembled a roller coaster ride type ebb and tide of up and down!
Don't try this if you've been drinking!

Bert spent several months jacking the house up and leveling the foundation.

In early 2005, we began demolition of what we called the Master Bath!

Notice the lovely cast iron drain pipe at Bert's feet.....that was the one that was poking through the floor when we bought the place. At least at this point it was below the level of the floor....go figure!

Coral does a HAPPY DANCE! Bert gets a sub-floor in place and I am no longer looking at the joists and soil beneath my house! Side note....Bert was not happy with the height of the floor so before it was said and done, Bert pulled the plywood up, shaved about a quarter inch off the joists and put the sub-floor back down so that the tile that we would EVENTUALLY put down would be flush with the wood floor. Did I mention??? Bert is a perfectionist!! Frustrating but well worth the extra time.....good thing I am a patient woman!

Samson the Wonder Dog takes a sunbath while Bert strips a gazillion coats of paint off the bathtub and the cast iron ring that supports the tub!

Remember??? I have this thing for old bathtubs and Bert will go to the ends of the earth to accommodate little ole me!

God, I love that man!

Bert has installed the Hardi-Backer portion of the floor!

Had I known that 4 years later, I would still be looking at the stuff, I might not have been so damned excited!

Bert is so cute when he is working!
He is finishing up the electrical work and installing the ever so attractive GREENROCK.....another feature that I would look at for FOUR YEARS!! In case you haven't figured out by now....we don't stay on track real well. Seasons often dictate what project happens at a particular time!

Traditionally, we get beyond the crisis point and get diverted by some other project that takes AIR CONDITIONING or getting rid of the very dangerous Deer Born heaters and putting in central heat/air!
(Can you say "small child and open flames???)

Fast forward several years...past gutting and remodeling the sun-room, past completely re-wiring the electrical system, past installing HVAC, past framing in and completing TWO bedrooms, past installing side-lights and back door (see Urban Pioneer Post way back when), past grading the soil and draining water away from the house, past planting not one but two extensive garden spaces, past re-sheetrocking and redoing the master bedroom, past many other miscellaneous projects.......and we finally come back to the infamous bathroom project!!! See I told you we had difficulty staying on track!

Bert has completed all the sheetrock....

installed the wainscoting....

built the ledge...

reconfigured the linen closet complete with custom made doors....

built the medicine cabinet....

Now Bert is priming the floor with this really weird hot pink primer stuff that looks a lot like bubble gum in preparation for laying the tile....we are so close I can almost taste it!

The Bubble Gum stuff has dried and we are ready for the tile! Yes, I am cheering Bert on and patting myself on the back for being so patient!

I can see a light at the end of the tunnel!

We are finally on the home stretch!

All that is left is to install the tile....HOT DAMN!!!!!

I am headed to Bed, Bath and Beyond to treat myself to new bath linens!

We have chosen a antique white, octagon tile with a pinwheel border and cobalt blue dot pattern as an accent. Here, Bert is painstakingly piecing in the damn near microscopic pieces he had to cut and place before he can put the border pieces into place....Bert says "What a pain in the ass!" But, being the perfectionist that he is he drudges through it bravely!

Hot diggity dog!

The floor turned out fantabulous!!!!

The crowd ooohs and aaaahs!

Greenrock and Hardi-Backer are ghostly images of the past!

As you can see, my trip to Bed, Bath and Beyond went well!

I found linens that go with the paint color perfectly!

Aren't they pretty??

I picked up totally cool stainless steel stuff to go with my totally awesome linens!
Everything matches and I don't know what to do with myself!

Notice the gorgeous linen closet doors
and terrific hand-crafted medicine cabinet!

Damn, I am one lucky girl!

Here's a better shot of linen closet!

See how great the linens go with everything!

Since Bert did 99% of the work on this project.....

I had to do my part ya know?

Just call me the Home Design Diva!

The project is complete!!!!!!!!!

I am doing another HAPPY DANCE!!!

Monday, October 20, 2008

What is a mom to do???

I have not blogged in a long while. You may ask "why?" or you may say "thank goodness!"....who knows. I will only say that life has been rather hectic and to be perfectly honest, I haven't had the emotional energy to even attempt being witty or humorous.

I have been trying to do all of my regular mommy duties while at the same time saving the world. Well, not exactly but it feels like it! I have been attempting to save the jobs of our beloved teachers in DISD. As most of you have heard by now, DISD has found themselves about $84 million in the hole and their idea of how to plug the dam is to fire teachers. As you can imagine, this has impacted thousands of school children. That pisses me off! I have attended DISD Board meetings, written letters, marched in a protest rally and more. Not that it has made one hill of beans in the long run but it is easier for me to be proactive than idle.

So for your laugh factor I am putting up the most ridiculous picture of myself that I can find. Since it is nearly Halloween, this one seems appropriate for the season.....

I didn't say it was pretty....just me!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Birthday Surprise!

Sarah and David now have their own apartment! David was about to turn 25 years old. Their apartment is a really cute place and I am so proud of them!

When Sarah asked me what she should do for David's birthday....of course I thought....why not make him a great dinner??? (Then you have to invite the family to your new place!)

Sarah planned the menu, pulled recipes off the Internet and made up a list of the things she would need to buy at the store. Their kitchen is tiny and isn't set up for MAJOR cooking. I offered to let her come over and do the prep and most of the cooking here at our house. She kinda wanted to surprise David with this treat!

The next day, Sarah shows up and does all of the prep work and gets the meal pretty well cooked in advance. The menu was Cheeseburger Meatloaf, Double Stuffed Baked Potatoes, Green Beans Almondine and a wonderful marbled cake with strawberries!

The day of the party, Sarah came over and picked up all the food and finished the cake. We were due to meet her over there later that evening. Unfortunately, David was already home when Sarah arrived with all the goodies so the cat was out of the bag! So much for the surprise.....

Needless to say, the food was wonderful! This was the first birthday party that David had had since he was 13 years old. I think he enjoyed the pampering! This was Sarah's very first dinner party.... for family. Mom, Dad and little brother all enjoyed getting to see their place all decorated and to be included in Sarah's "grown up" life!

I am so proud of who Sarah is becoming! David is a wonderful young man! The seem to go together like peanut butter and jelly. I remember how hard it was to get my own "grown up" life established and I am really pleased to see these two young people make a go of it!

Happy Birthday, David!

PS....Sarah, the cake was WONDERFUL! Hint! Hint!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Makes me giggle!

This picture of Ben makes me giggle! I long for the days of being with this sweet little boy. I want to speak with the gremlins that stole this cute little baby and left behind the body of a 5 year old grumpster!

I don't care if he is in the process of establishing his independence....I want my sweet potato back! There is a reward in it for the person who can help me locate the kid that made me giggle!

I tried to savor every moment with him as a baby and then as a toddler. I knew those days were precious! How was I to know that the "frustrating five's" would be even more challenging than the "terrible two's"?

Someone tell me that it will get better! I must know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel......someone please.....please tell me this will pass and we will find the "giggle factor again"????????

Okay, fine! I will just have to spend the next 15 years rummaging through the "my pictures" section of my computer dreaming of resurrecting that sweetness like some lonely old lady looking to find the joys of the past! In the meantime, I have a gremlin to remind me that I actually live in the present and presently I am getting more grey hair! Thanks karma! What did I ever do to you?

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Kindergarten to College

Our lives are seldom dull. We have a 5 year old son (Benito Torpedo) and a 20 year old daughter (Sarah Bearah). Yes, we have one child going into Kindergarten and one child going to College! As I told you, we are kinda nuts! It is so strange to be dealing with the issues that go along with each simultaneously....very surreal!

In many ways, it is like having two "only children" at the same time. At times, I think they are both in similar developmental spaces.....Establishing who they are, testing boundaries, exerting independence.

Sarah lives on her own now and Ben misses his "Sissy" a lot. Seeing his sister "all grown up" has been a little tough. Ben thinks the world of his sister but even with the age difference, there is no way to avoid the "sibling rivalry" is just the nature of brothers and sisters!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Sharwon Wenee Wichawrdson

My cousin was so cute as a kid! When Sharon was little she had trouble saying her "RRR's" and they came out with a definite "Wha" sound. Her given name was Sharon Renee Richardson. Life is so unfair!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Bubble, Bubble, Toil and Trouble

I have this thing for cool old bathtubs. My husband has this thing for taking pictures of me in cool old, not what you are thinking! Get your mind out of the gutter!

When we closed on the house we are renovating, the first thing I did was climb into to tub to try it on for size! You see, I am short or to be politically correct, "petite" (at least some parts are petite anyway)! Naturally, my husband has to grab the camera to capture the moment!

I love to lounge in a hot bath and treat myself to the occasional soak. However, being short...I mean petite, the very popular Garden Tub does nothing for me! You say..."What?". The current rage seems to be a bathroom big enough to fit a family in (at one time) along with a deep set "swimming pool" and jacuzzi jets where one could do laps and get a massage at the same time.

Despite the fact that I do know how to swim, these gigantic tubs make me feel vulnerable. Yes, I am a control freak! I want my feet to reach the end of the tub! I want the water to come up to my shoulders without feeling like I am going to float away or be carried off down the rapids. I should not need a life jacket or an anchor to take a damn bath! Just a tub full of very hot water is all that I want!

So, a friend of ours offers us a really awesome antique claw foot bathtub that they pulled out of their 1920's house. When I found out that it was only 4 feet long, I jump for joy! Yes, yes! We will take it! (Husband groans!) Like we need 5000 pounds of cast iron and porcelain to store until we get to the bathroom remodel portion of our journey! We could be looking at this thing for years! (Groan again!)

A couple of days later we take delivery of the new "Tiny Tub" and lovingly place it on a furniture dolly for ease of moving from room to room over the next several years while we renovate! (FYI - We do a lot of moving stuff from room to room, it is the nature of living the life of an "Urban Pioneer".....goes with the territory!)

That evening, after I climb out of our existing antique bathtub and put on my nightgown, hubby walks into the room and asks "You wanna take the Tiny Tub out for a spin?" My mind immediately goes to the gutter....yes, guilty as charged! My first thought is that he has some hanky panky in mind (my turn to groan).....then a vision flashes before my eyes. This tub is on rollers at this eyes bug out!

I see images of him pushing this thing (like a soap box racer) around the house with me in it! Eyes still bugging out,
I say "TAKE IT OUT FOR A SPIN?????" thinking he really has lost his ever loving mind!

No, nothing so crazy....he is suggesting that I "try it on for size" as he knows how weird I am about bathtubs. Naturally, he has the camera in his hands!