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 priority....like 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 goofy...like 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".....it 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 bathtubs......no, 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 point....my 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!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

It's a Guy Thing.....


Ben all tuckered out after his 3rd birthday! He fell asleep still holding his new BOB THE BUILDER hand tools! He is already following in Dad's foot prints...not the tool fetish...the fall asleep on the couch routine...It's a GUY THING!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Nerves of Steel....Urban Pioneer....aka "sucka"






Well, for you DIY'rs this one is for you! We knew going into this project there was a lot of work to be done to restore this place but living it is a whole 'nother thing! Yes, we are brave souls! Fearless URBAN PIONEERS! Nah, I am just too poor to afford a nice place up front. So, I live the life of a prairie wife who faithfully watches as hubby chops logs and weaves a thatch roof! Hah! This chick is really the job superintendent!

Bob Villa has nothing on us....he gets to go home to his own palatial digs at the end of a shoot. Little ole me gets to pray that Bert can put it back together again before nightfall! Nerves of steel! That me! I live in a concrete jungle along with my courageous family and hard-working hubby as we brave the hazards of life in the city! Boy are we crazy or what? And just for the record....WE DO NOT GET A DISCOUNT AT HOME DEPOT but I bet Bob Villa does!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

State of Construction


I live in a constant state of construction! We are currently renovating a 1922 Craftsman Style Bungalow...and we do live there while we renovate. Kind of a hobby of sorts....buy the junkiest house in a great neighborhood and wallah poof we have a totally remodeled home! Not! It takes us years to complete these projects and about the time we get done....we sell and start all over again! Yes, we are nuts!

Meanwhile, it is a good thing that I am not offended by exposed 2x4's, sheetrock dust and tools in every corner! Baby proof, smaby proof! Hand the kid a wrecking bar and let them go to town! Both my kids where born with caulking guns in their mouths...I mean in their hands!

For our daughter, this is house number three! Yes, she survived (to the age of twenty) all the exposure to 1940's lead-based paint without suffering any ill effects..... that we know of????

As for our 5 year old son, well....give him a screw gun, some sheetrock screws and an empty cardboard box and he will be intertained for hours! He is such a boy!

You know what I mean, Vern????


My Daddy is named Vern and he is a hoot! What you can't see in the photograph is the rainbow suspenders! Yes, this is my daddy.

He is a long time Kerrville Folk Festival old-timer! If you think that I am a character, you should meet Vern....

I love my daddy and his fashion sense over the years has been comical. I know- everybody has a story to tell about how their parents dressed but I was lucky to survive puberty with any dignity intact.....

Take the time that he decided to support the Ending Hunger Project and wore NOTHING and I kid you not, NOTHING but BLACK (even in the middle of summer!) "Ending Hunger" T-Shirts. Now, I know what you are thinking...SO???? I mean he had about 30 of these shirts in his closet. He would wear a variety of jeans and shirts paired up with the famous Ending Hunger T-Shirt with it's bright orange and yellow lettering.

No, I don't mean he USUALLY wore this outfit! HE wore this outfit EVERYDAY for about 2 years!!!

He changed up the look a bit with an array of hats....rainbow beenie (I did say rainbow beenie!), floppy straw hat or well worn felt hat.....no, no, that outfit was not complete until the hat had artfully arranged buttons attached showing his support for whatever group happened to be giving out free buttons and reeked of hippie ideology!

If his pants or shorts were a little too big to stay up on their own, he would drag out the rainbow suspenders! No joke! As if this outfit needed any additional adornment!

So, if you think you had it rough as a kid, then stay tuned...this is only one of many classic fashion moments I can share with you! You will think your dad's white tube socks weren't so bad after all!

Dad, if you are reading this, please know that I value all that you have contributed to my life.....especially the funny parts!

Redheads



If you wanna play the old "If you could have lunch with anyone....who would you choose?" game....I am in...

I would choose:
1) Lucille Ball - I love Lucy!
2) Carol Burnett
3) Sarah Barah BoBarah - my daughter
4) jilljillbobill

Notice a theme???? I will help you out...
They are all redheads and they make me laugh!

Giggle till you spit diet Coke!

That is my idea of fun! Nothing like a therapuetic dose of laughter!

You think it was the milkman?