Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Love And Princeses

Welcome to the Hodgepodge!
Come join all the faithful as we share our thoughts on the questions Joyce poses each week.
1. Describe love using all five senses.
My Paraphrase of the "Love Chapter", 1 Corinthians 13:1-11
"Though I speak with the tongues of men and angels, but taste not of my spouse, I am missing the sweetest use of my tongue.
And though I hear all the wise sayings and understand the mysteries of the world and not recognize and love the worth of my spouse, I am nothing.
 And though I see the hurting and hungry around me and try to help them all, but do not seek to meet the needs of my spouse, it profits me nothing.
And though I smell the suffering and injustice around me, but fail to sense the hurt and disappointment in my spouse, I am not being kind.
And though I touch all the good things love has to offer but fail to touch the cheek and heart of my spouse, I have missed out on touching love.

2. February is Canned Food Month. What's your favorite food that comes straight from a can?

Black Beans

3. A principal in a UK school recently sent home a letter to parents requesting they (the parents!) dress appropriately when escorting their children to/from school (basically saying please don't wear your pajamas) You can read the letter here. It's gotten a lot of publicity, both positive and negative. Your thoughts? And do/did you ever make the school run (or hit Starbucks, Walmart, etc) in your pjs?

I could not agree more.  I wish businesses in my area could be so bold as to take such a stand.  I saw both a mother and older teenage daughter wearing their pj's and slippers in a main-line store the other day.  At least the mother thought enough to wear her robe.  UGH!

I can honestly and proudly say I have never left the house in my pjs and unless it's in an ambulance, I don't plan to.

4. Crew neck, V-neck, turtleneck, scoop neck...which is most prevalent in your wardrobe?

Scoop neck

5. I read here recently a list of four things to avoid so you wake up happier. They were late night snacks, hitting the snooze button, social media just before bed/upon waking, checking emails.

Are you guilty of any of these behaviors? Which on that list do you need to work harder at avoiding?

I am probably guilty of checking both social media and emails at some point before going to bed.  I am also guilty of playing mindless games on my iphone or ipad during the night if I wake up and can't go back to sleep.  I am doing better with this though.

6. Share something you remember about a house you lived in as a child? Of all the homes you lived in as a child, which did you love best?

I guess perhaps the most memorable one was the little house with a stump as a step to the porch.

I really didn't love any of the houses we lived in.  They were all parsonages provided by rural churches and not pretty at all.  However, my mother always made them as nice and pretty inside as she possibly could.  I do have some great memories from each of these humble abodes though.

7.Your favorite movie based on a true story?

I'm having trouble remembering any from the distant past, so will go with the last two I've seen; American Sniper and 13 Hours in Benghazi.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

In case you missed my Monday blog post on "Love Your Home" #3, and appreciate Victorian Country, you will want to click HERE to see how my friend decorated her retirement "cabin" in the Arkansas hills.

The niece of one of my good friends was featured on the cover of our SB Magazine (Shreveport/Bossier).  We are so proud of her.  By the way, she is the princess and the pea here, hence the mattresses.  And the princess's dress is said to cost approx. $20,000.  Truly made for a princess.
And this weekend we are off to spend some overdue time with our own little princess and her family in Dallas.  This is our Ava Grace and her dad before leaving for the Daddy/Daughter Dance at her school last week.  Isn't she adorable!

Now, this has nothing to do with being a princess except to possibly make you smell like one, but have you tried the Geranium scent in the Mrs. Meyer's cleaning products?

This Geranium floral fragrance is said to uplift and soothe.  Nothing like Peace of mind while you clean!  Hubby even likes it.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Love Your Home #3

While the architecture and decor of the houses I will be featuring may vary, what they all have in common is an interesting story to share because it is the story of the people who call it home.

Romantic Victorian Country

Romantic women are generally artistic, charming and diplomatic.  Preferring all that depicts the notion of being feminine, romantics strive for glamour and sensuality via soft, flowing fabrics, ruffles, lace, drapery (and often a bit of bling!).  Seeking beauty in grace in all that she does, a Romantic likes curls, flounces, and florals.

They are likely to be collectors of beautiful objects, perhaps vintage jewelry, antique books, dishes, and china.  Her home will likely reflect these feminine traits and interests.

 My beautiful friend, Sharon is a perfect example of a Romantic and reflects everything feminine and pretty both personally and in her new home.

But, don't be deceived.  She is also a pistol-packing, ex-military patriot.  You will also see this strong side of her personality reflected in her decor and need for order.
Sharon recently retired and sold her much loved business, The Glenwood Tea Room, here in Shreveport, that she had run for 25 years.  Then, she moved to the seclusion of country and hills in northern Arkansas.  She calls her new home her country cabin and she has invited us to visit.
 She is so enjoying her new home and the view of the beautiful lake from her front porch.
Now, step inside this warm and cozy Victorian country "cabin". Sharon has been collecting "oldies and goodies" for many years because it is her passion, as you will see.  She also has many family antiques and heirlooms. It will be evident that decorating with these collectibles is a gift.
 Sharon has masterfully combined these new roll-back slipper chairs with the old.  They definitely speak to her feminine and romantic side.

 The old inlaid rocker below was bought from a friend many years ago and still brings back special memories.  It is a perfect place to enjoy a roaring fire in this Arkansas Stone fireplace.
 You all know that I love eye-pleasing vignettes and Sharon has such a gift for composition.
This table top grouping is a perfect example, and Sharon explained it like this:

"The chamber pot, I imagine, came from a grand house in London and was seen to by a lady's maid.  The Bibles are great grandmother family pieces.  The kaleidoscope is a toy to enjoy in the sunshine.  It came from the top of a mountain in Jerome, Arizona where hippies still live.  And carefully tucked underneath the candlestick is a book of Shakespeare given to me moons ago by someone I dearly loved.  I wonder if he remembers our time together as beautiful."
I ask you, how could he not!
As you will see, old books are truly a passion of Sharon's.  This little needlepoint chair and desk create one of several ideal spots for reading.
Remember Romantics love lace, florals and toile and these cranberry vintage pillow slips make her happy, happy. 
 Sharon's furniture must serve a dual purpose.  It must be comfortable for her and practical for her house mates.
 This is a collection of perfect little bisque penny dolls that date back to the 1920's.  Marketing strategy at that time thought it best to put these penny dolls by the candy as it would entice any little girl to ask for both!
 Sharon loves creating reading nooks and from this cozy spot, she says "one can choose Sweet Clovers Stories from 1873, A Terrible Coward from 1919, Dickens Works from 1867, or The Hidden Sin, given to Alltemus Schrader on Christmas 1898."
 And this takes us into the country kitchen where Sharon is having a delightful time cooking new and old recipes for herself and not for a business.  By the way, she has an extensive collection of very old recipe books.
 This little Calumet recipe book is from 1912 and is one of her favorites not only for the recipes but for the delightful artwork.
 She calls this her "test kitchen" and so far she has tested some mighty delicious looking dishes that she entices us with on Facebook.
She restored this antique wooden ringer and is using it to hold dish towels and books.  How clever is this?
The dining room is full of beautiful antique pieces that hold collections of china and crystal.  Of course, she would naturally have some of the most beautiful tea pots.  These for example, are Austrian and German beauties.
Sharon suggests that one should not be afraid to mix period pieces when setting a table.  Here she has combined Victorian Era from the 20's and 30's.
The guest bedroom is right out of a magazine and is calling my name.  How about yours?
Notice how Sharon has elevated the small blue lamp to create a greater spread of light and to balance the high headboard, but to also give it prominence in the room.
Also in this room, she has combined atop an antique dresser a rare piece of lace in mint condition with an art piece from New Orleans.  It is a photograph slathered in beeswax.  Notice the happy drawer pulls. 
On a tall china cabinet, (yes, they can be used in a bedroom) she is displaying special pieces of  lusterware she has collected through the years. 
In this home, even the bathrooms are places for antiques and special pieces.
 Sharon says that her master bedroom is a sacred place and it is truly a feminine retreat.
The bedroom pillows were created from vintage fabrics.
This beautiful antique desk belonged to Sharon's mother!  It holds the only John James Audubon Sharon says she could afford.
This beautifully embellished pillow came from an artisan featured in Victoria Magazine and the needlepoint chair is such a sweet English accent piece.
The beautiful old lamp belonged to Sharon's grandmother.
In the unpacking she found this picture of her at her grandmother's with the lamp in the background.  She treasures this piece and the memories it evokes.
This antique dresser is a great place to display these old English platters.
 But perhaps one of the most treasured items in this room is this picture of Sharon with her two handsome sons taken before they were deployed.  After each served eight years of distinguished service, they are both home now, safe and sound.  Sharon gives God all the glory and honor for this.
This special master retreat contains many years of precious memories that can only be fully appreciated in such an intimate setting.

Sharon has surrounded herself in her wonderful, new home with memories, beauty, order and history, that make it truly the perfect place for starting a new life.

We miss you, Sharon but can't wait to come visit one day soon.
Thank you for showing us how you truly
Love Your Home!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Wednesday Hodgepodge

One month almost down in 2016 with only eleven more to go.  Where does the time go when you're having fun?
You can always count on fun happening with Joyce on the Hodgepodge, so click HERE and join us.
1. Share a winter memory from your childhood.
I suppose the most vivid memories would be of standing in front of the large space heater in our parent's bedroom/family room and toasting one side before turning around to toast the other.  I also remember hanging clothing in front of the heater to dry because there was no dryer other than outdoor clothes lines at that time.  I know I am really telling my age with this answer, but that was life in the rural south in the late 40's and early 50's. No snow stories for us! 

2. What was on your blog this time last year? (Besides the Hodgepodge of course!) If you weren't blogging, what in the world were you doing with all that free time?

On January 27, 2015 I did a post on what I had worn to the symphony the Saturday night before and on Friday the 30th, I did a "Loved, Liked and Learned" post. Should you be interested, those posts can be found HERE. and HERE.  In looking back, I realized I was posting more frequently on quite a variety of topics that seemed of interest at that time.  I'm not posting as often at this point, and seem to be enjoying it more.  (See #8 below)
3. Ellen Goodman is quoted as saying, 'We spend January 1 walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives...not looking for flaws, but for potential.' 

Do you see more flaws or more potential in your life at the start of a new year? Have you done anything specific this month to address either one? Does the new year truly begin for you on January 1, or is there some other month of the year that feels like a fresh start and new beginning?

I have never been one for New Years resolutions.  I do however, recommit myself to doing better those things I may have slacked on and continuing the things that I have been doing well.  I guess it is a time of reflecting although certainly not a time to dwell very long on either successes or failures because each day is a new opportunity to begin again.  I see more potential in my life and pray for the Lord's blessing and direction for every day.

4. Who's an athlete you admire or respect and why?

Hubby and I have been recording and watching a program "A Football Life" as time allows.  We have enjoyed seeing these athletes, some old ones, some deceased, some still alive and active, most of whom we remember from past football glory days.

Although there is much to admire and appreciate in these men's lives, I am going to go with an athlete who is very near and dear to our heart; our grandson.  Jackson has been consistent these past few years to dedicate himself to his skill on the football field and in the classroom as well.  This past year he was ready to step into a leadership role at center when needed then to move into a position he had never played - left guard on a night before a national TV audience against the #1 ranked team in the nation - Ohio State.  He not only played well, he played exceptionally well and added the much needed stability to the offensive line.

He has played with integrity and grit all year, getting only one penalty.  He was the one to always assist a fellow player off the ground and pat those who did well.  He never talked trash to the defensive line in front of him, but made his presence known to them by his strength and physical power.

We could not be more proud of our Big Boy for stepping up and digging deep this year to make a tremendous difference to his team.  As a result of his and his team's effort, they brought a lot of recognition and honors to their school and coaches as well.  Jackson was accepted into the highly acclaimed Haworth College of Business this semester as a Junior and continues to excel academically.

Jackson, this next year is your opportunity to again step up, dig deep and be the leader on the big, tough offensive line for Western Michigan University Broncos.  We love you #65!!!
5. Do you like cream in your coffee? Whipped cream on your pumpkin pie? Cream cheese on a bagel? Sour cream on a baked potato? Cream of wheat for breakfast? Have you ever had a scone with clotted cream? Of all the creamy foods mentioned, which one sounds most appealing to you right this very minute?

Sour cream on a baked potato would be my favorite.  I have not had the clotted cream on a scone, but love the combination of whipped cream and lemon curd on a scone.

6. Where were you last kept waiting for 'hours on end'? Or for what felt like hours on end? How well did you cope?

That would be on the plane leaving the Bahamas on Dec. 26.  We were kept on the tarmac for over an hour which bumped us off the connecting flight to Chicago.  I try to cope by seeing that everything in my life is ordered by a Sovereign God.  I may never know why things happen as they do; however, what is beyond my control is being controlled by a loving and omnipotent God.

7. Believe it or not, when next week's Hodgepodge rolls around it will be February. Huh?!? Bid adieu here to January in seven words or less.

You were only a collection of days!

8.  Insert your own random thought here. 

 I started my Monday "Love Your Home" series with two very different homes.  If you missed them, you can find the 2nd one HERE with a link to the first at the bottom.
Check back next Monday for #3.

My little 9 year old Dallas granddaughter attended the birthday party of a classmate last weekend.  These mothers are so clever in creating fun and different themes for parties these days.

This one was a spa theme held in the honoree's home and they left nothing undone.
Each young lady was asked to find her own monogrammed robe draped over an awaiting chair where she would be pampered with facials, foot rubs, mani/pedis and hairstyles.  There was not a birthday cake to be found but rather healthy snacks and a lot of fun.
 They were given the royal treatment for sure.
I love that Ava Grace found a more practical use for her cucumber slices.
 I think having one of these for lady friends would be a great way to celebrate a birthday.  Except that most of my friends would have a problem getting up off the floor.  HA!!!

Monday, January 25, 2016

Love Your Home Part 2

While the architecture and decor of the houses I will be featuring may vary, what they all have in common is an interesting story to share because it is the story of the people who call it home.

Honoring the Past
The housing world is made up of two kinds of people:  Those who love old houses and those who don't.
I want you to meet two people who do!

Karl and Judy have always loved old houses and many trips have been spent just looking at the southern plantation homes of Louisiana.  In fact, Karl has a sizable collection of plantation prints by the well-known Louisiana artist, James Kindrick III and they can be seen throughout their home.

It was this love for old houses and old things that led them to step into the house they made home several years ago.  This beautiful, stately home, situated in the Historic South Highlands District of Shreveport represents their interests in preserving family, local, state, and southern history.
The home was built in 1922  by William Rex Hirsch after whom the Hirsch Memorial Coliseum was named in 1954.  Mr. Hirsch was the president, treasurer and manager of the Louisiana State Fair and it was on those grounds that the largest building in the city at that time was built.

This building also carries its own fame as being the site in which Elvis played for the Louisiana Hayride in both 1955 and 1956.  It was known locally as the Youth Building.
The homeowners consider themselves preservationists and not renovationists.  They have not tried to preserve the era in which the home was built; however they have chosen to preserve their own family history and interests while preserving the integrity and character of the original home.
The beautiful brick, ionic columns, and molded plaster work on the exterior are eye-catching details.  The theme found on the outside of the entrance above the door, the fleur de lis, is also a theme carried out throughout the home.
In fact, while re-plastering and painting some of the interior walls, Judy made sure that every room contained this insignia.
Most everything in the house is original.  Previous owners did add the heating and cooling systems and enclose the back porch.  The original hot water heater and incinerator are still in the kitchen though not functioning due to city code restrictions.

The front door, bedecked with a Mardi Gras wreath invites one into this warm and charming Southern residence.
 The spacious foyer sets the stage for the remainder of the home.
 The beautifully maintained original hardwood floors are the foundation for a space full of character and personality.  Vintage and precious heirloom pieces, most of which were given to them by family and friends, all have a story behind them. There are so many eye-pleasing vignettes.

To the right of the foyer is the large dining room.
The table belonged to Karl's mother and the chairs were Judy's mother's.
 The lights located on two of the walls are original and still work.
The painting (below left) came from an old boarding house in the city.
 There are so many collections of family pieces and keepsakes from past generations.  The pie safe below belonged to Judy's mother as did much of its contents.
Across the foyer is the living room.
 Judy says her tastes and decorating style is more European, specifically French Country more than Americana.  She and daughter Megan, both love shabby chic and you see that influence very heavily in this room.

Beautiful french doors close off the foyer completely when necessary.
One is invited into this cozy space by soft lighting and overstuffed furniture.  The room is layered beginning with an old textured, muted toned rug, neutral upholstered sofas and antique wooden furniture pieces.

But, there is no way to miss the focal point of the room, the fireplace.
This ornately carved plaster fireplace surround is one of my favorite things in this house.
One of the most noticeable characteristics of Judy's decorating style is how she uses layers in displaying accessories.  She has a gift for using every available space as a display of memorabilia, family pictures, books, souvenirs, and collections.
Every nook and cranny is a treasure trove.  One corner contains her mother's china cabinet with a display of birds one of which was carved by her grandfather and another by her son.
 The opposite corner of the living room contains two of Karl's Kindrick plantation prints and a round table laden with family snap shots.
This comfortable space is where the homeowners host a weekly Sunday evening prayer group of which Hubby and I are happy to be a part.
The French Country touches are most evident in the needlepoint, toile, chintz, and tapestry throw pillows.
This little cozy nook showcases one of the four original lights in the living room, again repeating the fleur de lis in its design.
On this same wall is an old chiffarobe that Judy inherited.  On top are actual platinum recordings of songs written by her grandfather, Ed Pagan.  You may recognize these titles:  "My Blue Heaven", "Baby Makes Three", and "Molly and Me".  Molly by the way, was Judy's grandmother.  He sold all of his music to Gene Austin who recorded them.  Her grandfather was also a violinist and played on these recordings.  I find it sad that history will never give credit for these cherished old songs to their rightful composer.
The old handmade zither above has been passed down in Judy's family for many generations.

On each side of the fireplace are doors leading into Judy's (and mine) favorite room in the house.
 The sunroom perhaps reflects Judy's personality more than any other room, except perhaps the kitchen.
 It was a cold, rainy day outside when I took these photos and Judy and I were tempted to just sit and enjoy the weather in this cozy, beautiful spot.  The windows are amazing architectural bonuses.
Beyond the foyer is the hall that leads to the stairway, breakfast room, kitchen and back porch.
There is a much unexpected surprise in this space that became a blessing for these homeowners.
A few years ago both Judy and her daughter experienced serious heart problems and surgery that made climbing stairs to the bedrooms impossible.  Thankfully God had given them this house that contained an elevator.
Now, the family member who most enjoys it is Caleb.
Across the hall is the family breakfast room.
The hub of the house is the kitchen with its original stainless steel counter tops.  The original cabinets burned in a fire and were replaced with typical 40's metal cabinets.  The original hot water heater can be seen in the far right corner.
 Karl's mother's old roaster is still usable and provides much needed storage in the bottom.
The homeowners love the juxtaposition of the modern light fixture left by a previous owner against all the old in this kitchen.
The overall theme of the kitchen is New Orleans and one can see that reflected in so many ways in the collections and displays found above cabinets and on window ledges.  Remember, no surface is off limits in this house.
Just off the kitchen, is the enclosed back porch which has become a play room for a granddaughter and office for Judy.
The old typewriter was given to Judy by a dear friend and is like one that had belonged to her father,  who also made the cabinet in the corner.
The high window ledge holds Karl's prized bottle collection.  His favorite is this old brown Crush bottle found and given to him by a friend.
The New Orleans theme is further carried out by this George Rodrique Blue Dog print.
One of the things I love about the two houses I have featured so far is that they have showcased what they love and makes them happy.  Their homes are reflective of their everyday lives from kid's framed artwork, books, decorative plates, glassware, collections, and inherited memorabilia.

This is a four year old granddaughter, Sarah Grace's interpretation of Jesus with the Children.  I love it!
The beautiful staircase leads to the second floor and bedroom level.  The woodwork is perfectly preserved.
 Karl showed me the old original attic stairs that lead to an enormous space of exposed aged wooden rafters and an opening to a once existing widows walk.  It was closed off when the roof was redesigned several years ago.  These stairs still work amazing with the original cast iron mechanisms.  The well worn solid wooden steps hold so much character.
The bath rooms still have the original fixtures and tile flooring so typical of homes built in the 1920's.
 There are five spacious bedrooms and a windowed craft room (above the sunroom) on this level.

In the master retreat, Judy has created a space that accentuates the home's peace and quiet.  A room where furniture pieces don't overpower its serenity.
This is a large house, but every room feels comfortable and welcoming.  Every room expresses the love these homeowners have for this house, the past, and their own heritage.
Thank you Karl and Judy for sharing how you
Love Your Home!
Love Your Home Part 1