Tuesday, December 29, 2009


I wanted to share a picture of my family and my siblings and thier families taken at dad's service yesterday. It was a beautiful service. The message of Jesus was shared and it was a great celebration of Dad's life with much singing and praising the Lord. My dad had only been a believer for about 10 years and what a transformation of his life that was. We are rejoicing in that and thankful that he will spend all eternity with Jesus. Here are my hubby's comments about the service as well. " Today was my father inlaws memorial service. It was a great tribute to him and to God. His testimony about salvation came through loud and clear. He didn't live a perfect life, but God accepts us just as we are as long as we accept his gift of grace."
My dad (Jim) lived the past several years in a wheel chair. He was a very tall man 6'4" When He lost his leg and was forced into a new lifestyle is when he came to know the Lord. I wanted to share a poem with you that he wrote during this time. We shared it at his service.

Thank you all again for praying. I am overwhelmed by your kindness, love, and support.
I will be back to posting decorating tips and design info after the first of the year sometime.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas wishes and other stuff

I wanted to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a blessed new year!! It is going to get a bit crazy and already has been, as we are trying to plan dad's service and have Christmas at our house too. I will not be blogging much until after the first of the year, but I will check in from time to time.
I also wanted to thank you all for your thoughts and prayers in the loss of my Father. I can definitely feel them.
Some of you asked about my dad, so here is a bit of info. I just had a comment from a friend who said" what a precious daddy you had ... I love how he made everyone feel special" He was a wonderful man. He spent most of his life in radio broadcast journalism and advertising. He was active in community theater and starred in roles with Edie Adams, Soupy Sales, Leonard Nemoy and more. He loved being in the spotlight and loved music. Standing at 6'4" tall and not a small man people remembered him. His quick wit was often what drew people to him.
He lost a leg a few years ago and has declined steadily since. Many times over the years he would fall ill and go into long term care and then get to come home again. Lately he had not been caring for himself at all, so when the call came that he was going into the hospital I being the oldest was ready for a fight to not let him come home again. Now for those of you who are gasping at this. his quality of life was poor. At least in a long term facility he would get the medical care he needed and have a social life.
However this was not to be. He had hidden from us just how ill he was and once in the hospital went down hill fast. Pray for us. I have 2 sisters and a brother but most of the burden of this has fallen on Myself and my hubby. He and my mom divorced years ago. There was no will and things are complicated.
In spite of it all, It is still Jesus's birthday and we are choosing to be joyful and celebrate knowing my Daddy is celebrating Christmas in style.
May you hug those you love a little tighter this holiday season and try not to sweat the small stuff.
Merry Christmas my friends! You are a blessing to me more than you know!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Just a note

I have had a crazy and sad last couple of days. We lost my Dad yesterday. He would have been 72 on Sunday. He hasn't been well for a long time but none of us expected this. Please keep our family in your prayers. I know the next few weeks will be difficult.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

My tree and a bit of decorating

Today I am linking up with the Nester, Thrifty decor chick, Rhoda's home for the holidays tour and Funky Junk Interiors Be sure and stop by these places to see all the lovely decorating and all of the homes on the tours. I am sharing a bit of my Christmas decorating with you. I have much more I will add later.
Here is a peek at my "imperfect" purchased sight unseen tree. You can read about that here

I am a Starbucks Junkie, so it is only fitting to have a "Starbucks" tree :)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A Heartwarming Story

I received this a few days ago in an email and thought I would share it
It is quite a long story but worth reading.

The Folded Napkin - A Trucker Stop Story

I try not to be biased, but I had my doubts about hiring Stevie. His placement counsellor assured me that he would be a good, reliable busboy. But I had never had a mentally handicapped employee and wasn't sure I wanted one. I wasn't sure how my customers would react to Stevie.

He was short, a little dumpy with the smooth facial features and thick-tongued speech of Downs Syndrome. I wasn't worried about most of my trucker customers because truckers don't generally care who buses tables as long as the meatloaf platter is good and the pies are homemade.

The ones who concerned me were the mouthy college kids traveling to school; the yuppie snobs who secretly polish their silverware with their napkins for fear of catching some dreaded 'truck stop germ'; the pairs of white-shirted business men on expense accounts who think every truck stop waitress wants to be flirted with. I knew those people would be uncomfortable around Stevie so I closely watched him for the first few weeks..

I shouldn't have worried. After the first week, Stevie had my staff wrapped around his stubby little finger, and within a month my truck regulars had adopted him as their official truck stop mascot.

After that, I really didn't care what the rest of the customers' thought of him. He was like a 21-year-old in blue jeans and Nikes, eager to laugh and eager to please, but fierce in his attention to his duties. Every salt and peppershaker was exactly in its place, not a breadcrumb or coffee spill was visible when Stevie got done with the table. Our only problem was persuading him to wait to clean a table until after the customers were finished. He would hover in the background, shifting his weight from one foot to the other, scanning the dining room until a table was empty. Then he would scurry to the empty table and carefully bus dishes and glasses onto his cart and meticulously wipe the table up with a practiced flourish of his rag.

If he thought a customer was watching, his brow would pucker with added concentration. He took pride in doing his job exactly right, and you had to love how hard he tried to please each and every person he met.

Over time, we learned that he lived with his mother, a widow who was disabled after repeated surgeries for cancer. They lived on their Social Security benefits in public housing two miles from the truck stop. Their social worker, who stopped to check on him every so often, admitted they had fallen between the cracks. Money was tight, and what I paid him was probably the difference between them being able to live together and Stevie being sent to a group home. That's why the restaurant was a gloomy place that morning last August, the first morning in three years that Stevie missed work.

He was at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester getting a new valve or something put in his heart. His social worker said that people with Downs Syndrome often have heart problems at an early age so this wasn't unexpected, and there was a good chance he would come through the surgery in good shape and be back at work in a few months.

A ripple of excitement ran through the staff later that morning when word came that he was out of surgery, in recovery, and doing fine.

Frannie, the head waitress, let out a war hoop and did a little dance in the aisle when she heard the good news.

Belle Ringer, one of our regular trucker customers, stared at the sight of this 50-year-old grandmother of four doing a victory shimmy beside his table.

Frannie blushed, smoothed her apron and shot Belle Ringer a withering look.

He grinned. 'OK, Frannie , what was that all about?' he asked..

'We just got word that Stevie is out of surgery and going to be okay.'

'I was wondering where he was. I had a new joke to tell him. What was the surgery about?'

Frannie quickly told Belle Ringer and the other two drivers sitting at his booth about Stevie's surgery, then sighed: 'Yeah, I'm glad he is going to be OK,' she said. 'But I don't know how he and his Mom are going to handle all the bills. From what I hear, they're barely getting by as it is.' Belle Ringer nodded thoughtfully, and Frannie hurried off to wait on the rest of her tables. Since I hadn't had time to round up a busboy to replace Stevie and really didn't want to replace him, the girls were busing their own tables that day until we decided what to do.

After the morning rush, Frannie walked into my office. She had a couple of paper napkins in her hand and a funny look on her face.

'What's up?' I asked.

'I didn't get that table where Belle Ringer and his friends were sitting cleared off after they left, and Pony Pete and Tony Tipper were sitting there when I got back to clean it off,' she said. 'This was folded and tucked under a coffee cup.'

She handed the napkin to me, and three $20 bills fell onto my desk when I opened it. On the outside, in big, bold letters, was printed 'Something For Stevie'.

'Pony Pete asked me what that was all about,' she said, 'so I told him about Stevie and his Mom and everything, and Pete looked at Tony and Tony looked at Pete, and they ended up giving me this.' She handed me another paper napkin that had 'Something For Stevie' scrawled on its outside. Two $50 bills were tucked within its folds. Frannie looked at me with wet, shiny eyes, shook her head and said simply: 'truckers.'

That was three months ago. Today is Thanksgiving, the first day Stevie is supposed to be back to work.

His replacement worker said he's been counting the days until the doctor said he could work, and it didn't matter at all that it was a holiday. He called 10 times in the past week, making sure we knew he was coming, fearful that we had forgotten him or that his job was in jeopardy. I arranged to have his mother bring him to work. I then met them in the parking lot and invited them both to celebrate his day back.

Stevie was thinner and paler, but couldn't stop grinning as he pushed through the doors and headed for the back room where his apron and busing cart were waiting.

'Hold up there, Stevie, not so fast,' I said. I took him and his mother by their arms. 'Work can wait for a minute. To celebrate you coming back, breakfast for you and your mother is on me!' I led them toward a large corner booth at the rear of the room.

I could feel and hear the rest of the staff following behind as we marched through the dining room. Glancing over my shoulder, I saw booth after booth of grinning truckers empty and join the procession. We stopped in front of the big table. Its surface was covered with coffee cups, saucers and dinner plates, all sitting slightly crooked on dozens of folded paper napkins 'First thing you have to do, Stevie, is clean up this mess,' I said. I tried to sound stern.

Stevie looked at me, and then at his mother, then pulled out one of the napkins. It had 'Something for Stevie' printed on the outside. As he picked it up, two $10 bills fell onto the table.

Stevie stared at the money, then at all the napkins peeking from beneath the tableware, each with his name printed or scrawled on it. I turned to his mother. 'There's more than $10,000 in cash and checks on that table, all from truckers and trucking companies that heard about your problems. 'Happy Thanksgiving.'

Well, it got real noisy about that time, with everybody hollering and shouting, and there were a few tears, as well.

But you know what's funny?
While everybody else was busy shaking hands and hugging each other, Stevie, with a big, big smile on his face, was busy clearing all the cups and dishes from the table..

Best worker I ever hired.

I couldn't read this with a dry eye. This is what life should be about
Since it is the season of giving, let's all search out the Tommy's in our lives and give generously!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Decorating for Christmas...Finally

It is beginning to look a lot like Christmas at our house!
After spending the last few weeks decorating for Christmas for clients and friends, I am now on to my own.
We got the tree up and decorated, lights outside hung, and much of the inside decor finished. Still some odds and ends to do, but I am trying to stick with my motto to relax and enjoy the holiday, so I am doing a little at a time and trying to savor the moment.
We bought a tree sight unseen from some girls doing a fund raiser for a science trip. I am a bit of a perfectionist and it was hard for me to purchase one in this way. I am usually the "crazy" lady who has the poor lot owner opening up and standing with every tree so I can find the "perfect one". I must say that I would have never picked this tree from a lot, it is flawed and less than perfect. However, once we got it decorated the flaws are hardly noticeable. In fact it is quite beautiful.
It made me think as I was pointing out all of it's faults, that this tree is bit like all of us. Full of imperfections and flaws, yet filled with a beauty that is all our own. There are no "perfect" people and no "perfect" Christmas. Even the first Christmas was not perfect. The King of Kings had to be born in a manger, in a stable. Talk about Mary not having the Perfect Christmas.
But, there was joy and beauty in the moment. In spite of things not being perfect Mary gave birth to perfection. The only Perfect one.
May we all be willing to look beyond the "flaws and imperfections" in one another and our agendas, finding the good and the beauty in the moment as we celebrate the season of Christ's birth.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Great gift ideas at love the decor.com

Please check out my website lovethedecor.com
We have great unique home decor and gifts for all of your gift giving needs.
From Firestarter pinecone Baskets, candles, & unique lamps to pictures and plaques, you'll find something to fit every budget!
Here are just a few of my favorite things from lovethedecor.com

Monday, November 30, 2009

Relax! Have Fun!

Hope everyone felt extra blessed this Thanksgiving weekend.
We spent a wonderful weekend with our daughter and her hubby. We had the best time. We helped them paint the new basement that includes a giant family room, a full bath, and an office/bedroom. We worked hard and laughed a lot! If you know us, laughing is what we do best! They are expecting our first grandchild in April and we are so excited! It was fun to see the ultrasound videos and talk about nursery decorating plans etc. We feel so blessed to have them include us in all of this.
This brings me to my point.
As Christmas approaches it seems the world goes into a sort of frenzy. Everyone becomes so wrapped up in what they feel are the "have tos" that we all forget to enjoy the simple moments of faith, family, and friendships. I can't help but think that if we would all just Relax and Refocus and get back to what is really important, the holiday season would be filled with the magic and wonder of our childhood memories. I for one am going to try this and quit trying to create the "perfect" Christmas. I love Christmas and have a zillion Christmas traditions. I have more decorations than anyone should have,I could open my own shop and fill it up I think. There is such a thing as going overboard. While all of the "stuff" of Christmas is fun and part of our traditions, the reason for this season is Jesus and for me, this is where the focus should be. Won't you join me in trying to relax and simplify this holiday season?

Don't forget: I am offering a 15% discount at lovethedecor.com through Tonight as a gift to you my faithful friends. There are many wonderful gift ideas and home decor products for you or anyone on your Christmas list. Extende thru Dec 4th
Just enter code decor15 and discount will be applied to your order.
Also watch for my giveaway over at The Shabby Chic Cottage
Gina is doing a day of givewaways you won't want to miss!!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Just taking a minute from baking to wish each of you a blessed Thanksgiving weekend. Praying you will pause in the busyness to relax and enjoy the moment. Remember to give thanks to the ONE who has blessed us with more than we deserve.
Thanks to each of you who let me be a part of your daily routine and for the constant encouragement you send my way.
~Happy Thanksgiving~

Friday, November 20, 2009

Look what I've been up to

As a decorator I often get the opportunity to decorate trees and homes for my clients for Christmas.
That's what I've done for the past 3 days. I love to do this and it is always fun to see how the trees will turn out from year to year. Though I often use the same items the placement of the items is different and it kind of takes on a life of it's own. The outcome of each tree is always amazing to me. I did not get great pictures, or many of them. This particular home is huge and I haven't taken the time to get pictures of everything yet. As always, I think the trees are prettier in person.
Thought you might enjoy a peek at what I do have.
Hope you have a great weekend.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Doors of Welcome

I am linking up with Karen from Some days are Diamonds today for the Doors of Welcome event. We are all showing off our doors dressed up and ready for fall and Thanksgiving. My porch doesn't change a great deal from Halloween to Thanksgiving, however I did add a few more fallish color to the wreath and put it on the door instead of the side wall. I also added a pillow to bring in a bit more color.
You know, you only get one chance to make a great first impression. This applies to your home too. Many times we are so concerned about the inside of our homes, we forget that the front porch or front door is actually the first thing people see of our home. So dress it up for the seasons and let it speak a warm welcome to your visiting friends and neighbors!
Welcome to my front porch... Door color: Sherwin Williams Red Barn SW7591. Enjoy looking and come on in for a cup of coffee
I would love to sit and chat with you!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thanksgiving Traditions and a few Christmas ones too!

We have far more traditions for Christmas than we do for Thanksgiving. I am however, big on tradition. We almost always have the traditional turkey dinner. One of the things we have done over the years is spend the Thanksgiving Holiday with my hubby's family in a nearby city. If everyone comes there is 24 of us. The day is filled with lots of laughter, children, (his sis does foster care) and fun. Not to mention way too much food.
Something we have done, that I really enjoy is to put everyone's name in a bowl, pass it around the table, draw a name, and then talk about what we are thankful for about the person whose name we drew. Because families are not perfect and there is sometimes "drama " this "game" reconnects people and makes us all view a loved one through a different perspective. It is fun to hear what everyone shares and it just kinda gives you a warm fuzzy for the day.
Thanksgiving weekend is when I pull out the Christmas decorations. It takes days for me to decorate the house. I could open a store with the amount of christmas decor I have. Every room in the house changes for Christmas. It is almost like moving,packing away the everyday stuff and transforming each room for the Christmas season.
Another tradition we have, is playing Christmas music starting on Halloween. I think this started when my girls were very little and it snowed on halloween day. The girls thought it felt like Christmas so we pulled out the Christmas music and the tradition was born. My hubby thinks we are crazy but I even find him humming to the music now and then. We have several more Christmas traditions I will share later. What are your traditions? Link up with Is So Very Cheri for the party.
And Link up with Debra @ Bungalow for more Thanksgiving Sharing

Monday, November 9, 2009

Tile info and an Award

I feel as if I haven't been around with any good tips lately. The truth is I just wasn't feeling very creative. I think I used it all up on my last two design projects. My inspiration came this morning though, when a friend called with a question about tile and the difference between ceramic and porcelain tile. It seems her hubby got inspired to rip up the bathroom this weekend and now she needs to pick paint and tile.
It occurred to me that some of you might be wondering the same thing so here a bit of information to help.
Tile can add a sense of elegance to any room. Ceramic tiles are made up of clay and quartz ferrous sand material and water. Once the tiles are formed they are fired to high temperatures and in some cases their surfaces are glazed. The only difference between Porcelain tile and regular ceramic tile is that the clay used in porcelain tile is more highly refined and purified and often times they are fired longer and at higher temperatures. This causes the porcelain tiles to be denser and stronger than a ceramic tile.
Porcelain tiles are more rugged making them ideal for high traffic applications. Also, because of their higher density, porcelain tiles are less likely to absorb moisture (0.5%) which makes them more durable and more resistant to staining. Porcelain tiles are often found in outdoor areas and in cold weather climates where freezing can occur. With their low absorption capability they are less likely to crack in cold weather climates. The tiles today have so many new and exciting patterns and designs to choose from, that your tiled areas can become the decoration in a room. Weather it is your backsplash, countertop, or flooring, there is so much to get creative with in the way of tile. Be daring and have fun with it.
So there you have it. Hope this helps you in making your decision about tiling.

On a different note, I have been the recipient of a few blog awards. I will share about one now, and more in another post.
The over the top award from my friend Elizabeth over at inside me She has a great blog and she is a very talented scrap booker and wonderful lady in general!!
In recognition of this award I now must answer a list of questions with only 1 word replies for each...
1. Where is your cell phone? Desk
2. Your hair? Thick
3. Your mother? Tennessee.
4. Your father? Home.
5. Your favorite food? Chocolate.
6. Your dream last night? Odd
7. Your favorite drink? Coffee.
8. Your dream/goal? Christlikeness.
9. What room are you in? Family.
10. Your hobby? Decorating.
11. Your fear? Spiders.
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Debtfree.
13. Where were you last night? Home.
14. Something that you aren't? boring.
15. Muffins? poppyseed.
16. Wish list item? Italy
17. Where did you grow up? Washington.
18. Last thing you did? read.
19. What are you wearing? Jeans.
20. Your TV? on
21. Your Pets? Cute.
22. Friends? Lifeline
23. Your life? Blessed.
24. Your mood? content
25. Missing Someone? Daughter
26. vehicle? Mercedes.
27. Something you're not wearing? Shoes
28. Your favorite store? Silver Sage
29. Your favorite color? blue.
30. When was the last time you laughed? Today.
31. Last time you cried? Sunday
32. Your best friend? Jay.
33. One place that I go to over and over? Starbucks.
34. Facebook? yes
35. Favorite place to eat? Home
Thanks for the award Elizabeth right back at you!! :) I am now supposed to bestow the award to other bloggers but I just can't pick. You are all very special and are all Over the top to me in so many ways. So consider your self awarded and have a blessed day!!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

New Project

I've been wanting to share with you a project I have been working on. I had an opportunity to redo an office in a neighboring city for an employment staffing business.
Here are some before pictures

We had to keep the carpet (ugh), but we could rip out cabinets and we were allowed to paint. The carpet is a blue gray and a goldish tan color and the logo for the company is navy. So we picked a blue brown and tan/gold color scheme.
We needed to have a reception area, a testing area, and a waiting "room". So we painted, we took out existing counters and built a new curved cherry one to greet clients as the come in. We shopped and we shopped.
Here is the result.

I must add that since this photo has been taken, the mirror in the above photo has been lowered to better fit the space.
My clients were very pleased with the result and we still have a few areas to finish up. There are 3 offices in the building, a break room and a conference room that have been painted and decorated too. I haven't been back to get all of the finished pictures. The owners will be sending them to me soon.