Tuesday, September 22, 2015


On Sunday afternoon while working at my computer, I heard some loud clunking noises on my back porch. I looked out the window to see two happy dogs there. I was going to go outside to investigate when I noticed the black one had already moved on to my arbor garden. I caught this pic of him or her from my window.

I was not able to get a photo of his or her friend, a three-legged yellow dog wearing a bandana. The fact he had only three legs did not seem to hamper him in the least. About 30 minutes later, I looked outside the window and saw this...

Apparently, a trio of yellow kittens has taken up residence in our dog kennel, which runs the width and length of our garage. Unfortunately, they are scared of humans so you can't get close to them—hence this very bad photo where I tried to zoom in on him! Speaking of shy kitties, my hubby and I recently visited the local Furry Friends Refuge, a no-kill shelter here in Des Moines. While there, we met Indigo, a very shy black female (see below). The helper on duty said she is less likely to be adopted because she is so shy. While initially timid, once you start petting her, she is very affectionate. So we decided to sponsor her, which means she can adopted for free. If you are looking for a sweet kitty and don't have small children in the house, please consider Indigo. She is at the 1723 Grand location listed in the below pic. We would have adopted her but our vet has advised us to get a kitten since our remaining cat Poe is geriatric. You can read more about her at this weblink by looking for Indigo: http://furryfriendsrefuge.org/cats/

Since I last posted, we've completed painting the library! We are loving the new warm mustard hue that picks up the color of the lady's chair, which sits in that room. Click on that link if you wish to see the chair. Now here's an interesting sidenote about paint and this house. Choosing paint colors always came quite easy to me in our previous house in the Beaverdale area of Des Moines. The colors were as you would expect them to be, but because this house has so much natural light, colors are often not what they seem. As a result, nearly every room has taken an average of three paint tries to get right! The only exceptions are the kitchen and the front parlor, both of which are shades of blue. I thought the library would be easier since it's a back room that doesn't get as much light but alas, I was wrong. Suffice it to say that we've learned $3 paint samples are the way to go in these rooms so we don't end up spending a small fortune in paint!

The new wall color is a welcome change from the dilapidated old wallpaper that once cloaked the room in darkness (see previous post for a shot of that). The wall art pops much more, including my framed Victorian wool art and collection of vintage toy pianos (below). I think they say three of anything makes a collection, right? Or is it two? I actually have more than just these three. 

Our next step will be finding a suitable carpet for the room and the adjoining two rooms—a goal we hope to complete by this coming spring. We found good hardwood flooring under the carpet in the TV room, so we want to leave that room uncarpeted. Unfortunately, I don't think the flooring in the other three rooms fared as well and my husband suspects it is bad.

Monday, September 14, 2015


Even though it's only been a couple weeks since I last posted, it feels like much has happened during that time. One of the most exciting is that we celebrated Labor Day by removing the hideous wallpaper in our library! Whoever installed it did an extremely poor job, leaving seams between the sheets and applying it over raw sheetrock instead of the usual plaster or drywall. Because of the raw sheetrock, no water could be applied to help soften the paper for removal. All of that made for a fairly ugly day of wallpaper stripping but how gratifying to see it quickly becoming a distant memory. Luckily, we had an eager and willing set of helping hands, thanks to my hubby's parents who came over and assisted us the whole day. By the end of the day, all of the wallpaper was gone.

We haven't even painted the room and it already looks considerably brighter. We properly treated the walls and are now ready to apply a fresh coat of paint. I'm thinking a warm mustard or gold color would look nice in this room and segue well with the blue/green color of the adjoining parlor, but we'll see. Because of the abundant windows and subsequent natural light, this house is very tricky to paint. What you would think would look good often does not. We had to try three different shades of green to the dining room before we got the right one. 

Once painting is complete in this room, it will be time to start thinking about replacing the carpet in this room and the adjoining rooms. When they came over on Labor Day, the hubby's parents surprised us with a gift of money that will allow us to get some really nice carpet—more than we thought we would be able to afford. So over the weekend, we headed out to some carpet stores to check out options. We really like the patterned carpets like this Nottingham style that add a little character. We're not sure what we'll go with—we might still pick a solid color like our current one. I've been debating between beige and a light gray. What do you think? I'd love to hear your thoughts—feel free to email me by clicking on the Email Me button under my profile pic on this blog. Because we have so much furniture to move, we have decided to carpet room by room rather than all at once. Our goal is to get the carpet in on the main level by next spring. The upper level is another story!

We'd like to have the main level carpet installed before finding a little friend for Poe (pictured below—he can't resist an empty box!). It's been more than a year since his brother, Teddy, passed away, and we can tell he is very lonely. He stays close by me throughout the day, rarely leaving my side. Right now he is curled up to the base of my office chair as I type this post. 

Since I last posted, I also celebrated another birthday. Hubby surprised me some delightful gifts, including this vintage frog planter that I'd been eyeing at a local shop, and took me to one of my favorite restaurants—a French-style one called Django's here in Des Moines.

He also took me to the local New Orleans Jazz Band Party at the Des Moines Social Club. They were terrific! We got there a little late so had to settle for a seat to their side rather than in front. It was fun to watch them play.

In other news, we're continuing our organizing efforts upstairs, and that means more trips to Goodwill. Over the weekend, I found a nice vintage end table for our bedroom, so we can now donate the little book table (pictured below) that we were using for it for the past 10 years. 

I also found several patterns and a couple vintage quilts including this redwork one to donate to the local quilt guild's annual sale last month. 

I'll close with this photo of my streptocarpus, which is blooming up a storm in my kitchen window.