Friday, December 19, 2014


 by the chimney with care

may I take you back a few days please?

to let you know that we have added 3 new stockings to our mantel this Christmas
you see...we had a wedding this November...
(this is my mother smudging the ceremony)

Mr. and Mrs. Ashley August Pshigoda

the new family

a new bun in the oven early spring....Betty gets the brother

Perrilyn gets the cousin

maybe this young lady and her Coach 
will get the bug!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014


I would love to enjoy the story of your mantel if you have one
this time of year we love to surround ourselves with tradition and family and stories and history
and we bloggers like to share that

I don't know about you, but I could get lost in everyone's decorations and caught up in the stories 
of why you do what you do
I love it!

In our music/dining room I have 
The Nature Mantel
and this is how it all began

we have owls that hoot in our trees almost every night

a few houses down, a pair of owls have a nest every year... the crook of a huge old elm tree
the baby owl photo is from google but this is exactly what they look like
(it's not smart to take photos of baby owls)

because the parents watch from up above and they just might swoop down and pluck your eyeballs right out of your one likes that!

I tend to break the rules...these babies are past the white fluff ball stage, and I couldn't resist the risk

 Pier 1 has got them down to an irresistible T!

and like your mantel might...mine tells a story...a family story
that begins with
two jeweled cardinals in a sparkly snowy tree

Mr. and Mrs. PV...two birds in a tree

this snowy tree has three cardinals on the icy branches
they signify our three kids

this mantel has changed several times since we've lived in 822...
...due to our sweet additions to our family

this baby owl nest used to represent the three kids but now-- 
the nest, lined with shredded vintage music, are
Grace, Jena and Mattie

we have added a new deer
we now have three deer that are
Charles, Coach Been and new this Christmas 
Ashley August Pshigoda

and it gets even better!

this year we also have three owls that represent
Betty, Perilyn and Jordy (Ashley's daughter and our new granddaughter)
and what do I see here?  
Why yes...that is a gold egg in its own little nest

next year, there will be a new baby owl perched in 
own little nest
and if we are very lucky
that little gold egg might just make a return next year...although who it might belong to 
is only for God to know right now!

every time I see this mantel 

my heart is filled with 


and upstairs?

the mantel just brings a tear to my eye
it's a fun one, where we hang our stockings
~each family~
that now includes the newbie Pshigodas

I would love to know the story about your mantel

Linking with

Friday, December 12, 2014


Hey Ya'll
Merry Christmas!
I was kinda gettin' bored with all that reno stuff...I think I have just about everything covered except the outside, and I will save that for a snowy day in January when garden photos will help us all look forward to the spring days ahead!

Believe it or not...we still have to reno the ugly brown bathroom and turn the drab old basement into the wine cellar...plans for this this winter while the snow flies!

We found this old Nativity in the garage in a box and have lovingly placed it in this niche every year

I can load up this corner with decorations because it's the baking station that no one bakes at
unless I win that Castle Cake Pan
from Kevin at Garden For The House

we have 10 TREES...TEN!
this one has food related in the world did that happen???
I would love to share with you  a very sweet post from a very sweet blog friend 
that addresses this issue

this year I decided to go with's just so 

I started my old white dish collection a long time ago

but at a recent estate auction we bought a box for $2
that had an interesting white lacy edged bowl sticking out of it

as it turns out, there was an 8 piece place setting of dishes

and other very cool items to add to the collection...enough so, that I cleaned out a drawer 
to make room...well Merry Christmas to us!

Peppermint Schnapps
 is another way to get your daily intake of Peppermint during the holidays
it goes nicely in 
*hot chocolate*
*a shot glass*

come see us!  the plates are dusted!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014


When we were making decisions on connecting the garage apartment to the old part of the house,
it became apparent that we didn't want just a "hallway" and since it was going to be such small space
we decided to go UP for some drama!

We knew Mr. PV should have his office...but what besides that?

Several years ago we owned a building on Main Street that we bought at an estate auction
...we just used a limited amount of renovation money and turned it into an art gallery...
who doesn't want to have an art gallery?
and this is where, over the course of several years, I taught art lessons for elementary kids on Tuesday and Thursday after school

one day Mr.PV was wearing his bank hat, called me and told me we had been offered a good price to sell it,
and so we did

you can see the floor joists that will allow us to add a third story here someday

this made a perfect space for me to begin art classes again...just smaller ones

we will eventually add more of these wonderful windows as time goes on
but just a few here and there make a huge statement at 822

also, in our part of the country we really have to consider hail damage
I say we live in the New Roof Capital of the USA
hail-high winds-insurance- make this world go round!

we created an outside entrance for the art kids to enter

I've had several people tell me they heard this was a shower
man...I wish I'd thought of that!'s just an interesting detail that stretched the minds and souls of the frame crew

it's not a very good time of year to capture the view to the yard from the loft/atrium
but these are the windows...more like a ski lodge...but we just weren't sure what else to do?
except what we always do...and that's put in some glass!

this is the lovely view in the summer

the inside of the turret changes, I dare to say daily...but it changes a lot!

Are you ready for today?


art. art. art.

  • just went with the flow as the ideas came as we were building.   It's hard to imagine for some there was no architect and most of the things we did in this area just happened as ideas hit us...this is where I am so grateful to the wonderful artsy blogs I read! So much creativity there
  • painted it a sunny yellow
  • purchased 4 diamond beveled windows...the others are just our regular double glass
  • used colorful 4x4 Moroccan tile for the stairs purchased on eBay
  • cute carpenter guy gathered and cut sucker rod from local water wells to build the custom stair rail...he can just about do anything...make that... he can do anything!
  • put a varathane coat on the concrete floor

~Biggest Challenge~
putting the old copper weather vane my sister gave me on the turret....when that happened,
I shouted..out loud...YAY!!!!

~Favorite Thing~
This is hard to say....there's so much to love...the color, the light, the view... so if I were to have to sum it up I would just say that this space up here is full of


we light it all up each Christmas season

and no matter how many lights there are...the loveliness can never match
what the Master gifts us in nature
the colors of the night time sky filled with stars
are just breathtaking