Tuesday, September 30, 2014


To take us back
this used to be a window...that had ivy growing inside--into the house--
we removed that old cracked leaky window and replaced it with double french doors and poured the concrete to stop, so that a porch could be added later

That's the nice thing about living in your construction...3 years later....
after we had the concrete poured and after finding out that we would not be able to add the loggia on the other side of the room and after we had the window taken out and the doors installed
we changed our minds!

 this became...the door to nowhere

we gathered up cute carpenter man for his thoughts
and trust me...his thoughts equal his brawn!
We came up with a plan to turn the door to nowhere into a window bump-out

it was such a simple solution really
at least simple for him..
this is him without his knee braces after his double knee surgeries
and his trusty helper Mr. PV!
talent with a saw
this photo does not do justice to how great this looks...
it is completely in sync with the groove of the stone

talent with a level

I have yet to find one thing these two cannot do
and you would never know that they each have a real job
and cute carpenter man has a remodel project of his own
but I have found he kind of folds under the pressure of 

I will take the credit for extra fabric on the ceiling and how about that great light fixture from
Lowes?  $7.99!!

So I asked cute carpenter man about window facts for you
These vinyl casement windows are about 2 x more expensive than the double glass windows we had custom made to fit our project.

He told me the windows we have used almost entirely at 822 are considered more industrial.  They don't open so you must adhere to fire codes and have an escape 
There are so many outside doors to 822, we were able to use this much cheaper window solution 
and I believe a much prettier window solution
(a window that contains two pieces of thermal glass injected with a gas to form a seal)
it's a matter of choice he told me 
because it also takes about half the time to install the vinyl windows 
so if you are not a DIY-er it could be cheaper in the long run to have real windows installed
(these 3x6 thermal glass cost about $80 each and a window about $200)
(there's that darn ivy!)
We are planning on copper for the roof

Job Done! 
It looks like the door to nowhere has always been
this window
I found the cutest little chess table that will fit just right in here for
some real fun and a great view
and those wonderful diamond bevel windows which prompted this whole project...
a great find on 6th Street in Amarillo...$135 for them!!!
They are removable for easy cleaning if you like to clean one pane at a time

As it all turned out...I'm pretty happy that this ended up being a window rather than a door 
I can just imagine Coach Been and Mr. PV pondering their chess plays...cozy as two guys can be!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014


I always say
All work and no play is just

So me and the mister and the baby sister and our new son in love
took a few days out of our very busy work lives to
taste the vine

We all left very busy professional lives
(except me...mine's not so busy)
and headed west to wine country

Scribe is where we met up with our old friend and his new girl
and sat out in the warm California sun 
and tasted

My gosh that state is gorgeous and we just love the laid back vibe
there were so many fun moments (and vineyards!)
my favorite being the evening we sat out on the porch of our "home", having a glass of wine before dinner in Healdsburg

 being tested on the 
Periodic Table of Elements
by our very own in house chemist Coach Been

yes...it does

Sunday, September 7, 2014


makes the heart grow fonder

during the sweet baby girl shower yesterday I was able to use my 
Bon Bon  spoon for the first time

this Bon Bon spoon was a real lesson for me

on a trip to New Orleans a few years back
we went on a haunted pub crawl and were introduced to

Absinthe is an anise flavored spirit (as opposed to a liqueur)
 derived from botanicals, including the flowers and leaves of Artemisia absinthium

oh what fun and what fun is that Absinthe spoon?

so I was on the lookout for one and found one in one of my favorite
6th Street haunts...only she called it a Bon Bon spoon
( I knew immediately that I would use a Bon Bon spoon about as often as an Absinthe spoon 
so I bought it anyway)

the youtube above shows the ritual to prepare and drink Absinthe

Who drank Absinthe?
Ernest Hemingway, Charles Baudelaire, Paul Verlaine, Arthur Rimbaud, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Amedeo Modigliani, Picasso, Vincent van Gogh, Oscar Wilde
{{not me}}

It is rumored that Napoleon died from a licorice overdose
Licorice is anise (arsenic) not to be confused with, but similar in flavor to, absinthe (wormwood)

if you like licorice you might consider the drink of Greece

we brought some back from our trip there, and as my grandmother might say
{{although she never had a drop to drink her whole life}}
knowing that Absinthe might invite
a visit from the 
and possibly cause you to cut off your ear

what in this world would possess you to drink it at all????

if I remember correctly,
what possessed us on that pub crawl a few years back
was not only the mood set in New Orleans but it also could have been

one too many of these!

Absinthe makes the heart grow fonder!

and on a side note about the bon bon spoon baby shower
how very special and sentimental that
first there are four grands that grew up together 
(two of which were in my wedding)
we had babies together
and now they are having babies together

Wednesday, September 3, 2014


With Honey's 80th Birthday Pow Wow written in the history books...I move on to the next fun thing on my agenda!

I will be hosting a baby shower for my sweet life-long  friend Denise and her sweet daughter and new baby granddaughter!

Wedding and baby showers are big stuff  around here
well attended and well gifted
we love to love our peeps in all their happy moments!

so what's the big deal about having a major remodel project 3 days before the shower?
Listen...with the scarcity of good carpenters around here...I take it any way I can
and often find myself using a shower as an excuse to get lots of things done that need doing!
by the end of today...these windows will be in this space

{{more about this project later}}

but one can't deny that my couch  looks very good with my new tiger pillow!

all prompted by the image below

from one of my favorite blogs
Cote de Texas

And here is the AFTER of her living room – it has a double height ceiling.  And here is the famous Lee Radziwill sofa.  Now – think about this, Lee moved into the Fifth Avenue duplex around 1964 – this makes the sofa around 50 years old!!!  Amazing!  It is faded, which only adds to its charm.  There were some torn pieces on the arms – but it looks like her interior designer bought new fabric and added it over the two arms.  Smart!   In the throw-away society we live in today – to have a 50 year old sofa still look this good, is amazing! 

This is the letter I wrote my daughters and sisters about this wonderful tiger velvet fabric...including a little swatch for them

Dear Sisters:

I must be getting sentimental in my old age or maybe it’s all the planning I’ve been doing for Honey’s 80th birthday….anyway wanted to share this sweet story with you.

I asked Mother the other day if Granny B and her sisters loved each other and she said very quickly…”YES….they really really loved each other” and I asked her where they lived and how they kept in touch…”

She told me they were all very close and they would write letters to each other all the time and in those letters would be recipes, details of their home life and children and even sometimes they would send swatches of fabrics or wallpaper they might be using in decorating their home or maybe sewing baby clothes.    I thought it was so sweet and while I am so glad to have the ability for us all to stay connected and wouldn’t trade it for the world, I can’t help but think how fun it would have been to wait on a letter from someone you cared so much about…wondering what in the world was going on with husbands, kids, and home.

The blog above is one of my favorites and not too long ago she wrote about a famous tiger couch in which the fabric back then cost about $2500.00 a yard…and this couch is still famous today.  She is Jackie Kennedy’s sister and the blogger included a link to purchase the look alike fabric…and of course I bought one yard to make a pillow.

Most girls buy designer purse knockoffs…I buy fabrics  so just for fun I am sending you across the miles, via the mail…a letter to let you know what’s up at 822 and most of all how much I love you!

since I can't sew (or weld)
I just hand stitched this yard of fabric into a pillow
to make it seem like I was accomplishing something besides
swatting all the flies entering into the space where the windows will be
**at the end of the day**