The Mural

Get comfortable. This is gonna be a long one. šŸ™‚

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A close up of the mural behind our stove.

And this is my friend Jean Tuzi Williams who created it for us.

Jean and her bunny

Jean and her special needs bunny Nutkin.

Jean and I “met” way back in 2014 when we were searching for something fun to put behind our kitchen stove as a decorative backsplash. I was online and searching for bunnies, chickens, kitties etc. because we knew we wanted an animal theme. We saw some great tile by an extremely talented artist who loved color as much as we did. Here are some examples of what we found.

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Cock-a-doodle GORGEOUS!

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Baby Mulder!!!

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Bun-TASTIC!

You can see why were were so in love with her stuff, right? We couldn’t decide what tiles we wanted to buy because it was so hard to choose. So we got the bright idea for her to do something custom for us. Two years earlier we had been forced by The Waters to give up our pet chickens Rosie, Daisy & Violet. It’s a long story and most of you already know it, but it was sad for us and we missed them a lot. I did find a lovely home for them though so don’t feel too bad. I wrote a blog about the experience back in 2011 & 2012. If you want to relive the saga you can find it on mychickendiary.com

I contacted Jean thru the interwebs and we became fast friends. Go figure, this chick was an animal lover/rescuer too, and she had pet bunnies! We talked on the phone and exchanged photos thru emails and came up with this lovely creation immortalizing my sweet girls.

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She even captured Violet’s wonky toe, Daisy’s lazy eye, and Rosie’s weird mutton chops.

Go here for the story of this mural

https://kittybunnychicken.com/2014/07/09/he-did-it/

Are you still with me? Soooo….when we began planning the Green House we knew we wanted something special from Jean and we were NOT disappointed. I had a vision of Hannah that I always went to when I wanted to think of her in a happy way. After she died, Jim and I mostly thought of her as a little girl. Don’t ask me why. Perhaps because she was so fun and happy as a little girl and that’s how we wanted to remember her. I drew a cartoon of her at the age of three or four sitting under a tree with her cats and some other favorites.

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chubby little arms and feet. Her arm around Tony her cat, who lives with us now.

I sent it to Jean and asked if we could create a beautiful scene where Hannah is happy and peaceful and surrounded by beauty and good memories. It took a lot of back and forth between us to get it right. Jean took my ideas and added so much of her own creative energy to the project and it turned out more beautiful than I could ever imagine.

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Zoom in. Hannah under the tree with her cats Tony and Dexter. A pond full of lotus blossoms (her favorite flower) Buster and my pet chickens in the background. She loved owls. Jim and I are in the empty nest. and the cardinal is in the tree. He visited us for two weeks after she died.

I wouldn’t mind one bit if Heaven looked like this. Thank you Jean. Although we’ve never met in person, you feel like family to me. I hope to meet you someday.

Well, that’s the story. It’s hard to talk about Hannah without crying, but I try to talk about her every day and remember her kind heart and compassion for animals and people. Jean’s art is all over the internet and here are a few places you can go to get of piece of her remarkable work.

http://www.tuziwilliams.com

Zazzle

Amazon (She’s an author too!)

Facebook

Pinterest (Jeantuzi)

 

 

 

 

 

Landscaping!

The lot has looked pitiful since construction began, but now we’re pleased with the results of our VERY simple landscaping plan. The first thing we did was hire a great crew to build up the dirt in the yard and lay sod. I highly recommend Southern Landscaping Contracting (SLC) They made a HUGE job look like child’s play.

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There’s a nice story behind this great rock. His name is Hudson (think about it…) and he lived at the Yellow House for a decade. Hannah sat on him for three of our Christmas cards.

This is the back right corner of our yard. There will eventually be a privacy fence on top of the retaining wall. Rock Hudson will be the centerpiece of a pretty memorial garden with a small fountain, angel, St. Francis (with bunnies at his feet) plus some flowers and shrubbery. That will probably come much later. For now we are satisfied with the flowers in the front of the house and the lovely green sod.

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Notice the stones on the wall???

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Delivery from Froggy Bottom.

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Before…

You’ll have to wait for after. They will probably finish Monday.

And finally, we found a Little Gem Magnolia from Green Thumb Nursery (such nice folks!!!) It is one of the smaller varieties. Since our yard is small we didn’t need a huge tree to overpower it. It will get around 15-20 feet tall.

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My sweaty handy man planted it and “adjusted” the sod to his excruciating specifications. He works cheap too.

OK, in kitty news. Miss Tammy has taken over the Hoffman home. She decided she needed to claim poor Sailor’s favorite lounging bowl.

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MY bowl!

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WHO’S bowl?

 

Wood Floors & Shutters

Our floors are 90% finished. They’ve been sanded and coated with polyurethane twice. The only thing left to do is coat them one more time and then buff to a matte sheen. (not shiny) This they do right before we move in. These planks are reclaimed heart pine. Mr. Bird told me they came from an old cotton gin in Georgia. I love the scars and cracks and holes in the wood.

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Master bedroom. Our king bed will just fit between these windows with room for very small nightstands.

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View into the sitting room. Notice how the planks change direction as you pass the French doors.

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I love, love, love the stairs. The kick plates will be painted white.

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This is my favorite part. Top of the stairs right before entering our bedroom. Mr. Bird spent a very long time trying to explain the math/geometry of this cut. I finally told him to save his energy for someone who could understand. Jim would have loved to hear all about it.

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It won’t be shiny like this when they’re finished.

So, now on to the SHUTTERS!

I only have a few plantation shutters inside.

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Office/guest room. There will be a sofa bed in front of this double window. The full shutters are here because the house next door has windows that can look directly into this room.

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Dormer nook. Only half shutters here because unless you can fly, you cannot see into our bedroom.

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I know you’re glad we put shutters here!

Now for the best part.

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Outside shutters! They work too!

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Cool!

All my appliances have been delivered but not installed just yet. When the washer/dryer came from Lowe’s there was only one guy on the truck and my laundry room is on the second floor! My favorite painter came to the rescue to lend his muscle to the job.

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Thanks Robert!

 

 

 

Tammy’s Happy Ending

My cousin Merrilu, recently moved from Ohio to North Carolina. I’m happy that she’ll be closer because we don’t get to see each other too often. She reads the KittyBunnyChicken and decided that Tammy needed to join her home. She already has two brain-damaged animals so what’s one more?

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Miss Daisy has the crazy look in her eyes, but Merrilu assures me she is a gentle goofball.

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Mr. Sailor has a broken/crooked tail so he and Tammy will have physical deformities in common. Her janky ears will fit right into this family.

My cousin and I were joined at the hip in high school. I never met her until 9th grade when she moved to Mississippi from years of living in yankee-land. She stayed at our house so much that my dad started asking her for money at the breakfast table. She never paid up.

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We were born only two weeks apart and I always enjoy calling her on her birthday to remind her she’s older than me.

I hatched a plan to meet halfway between our homes for a sleepover and furry prisoner exchange. So we met in a hotel in Greenville SC, went out to dinner, talked about the olden days, and played with our insane kitten.

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Can I bwing Pink Tiger?

Tammy is going to live with Merrilu’s son Sam. I call him Edward G. after a 1940s actor who starred in a lot of gangster films. (He looked just like him in his baby pics.) Happily he grew into a very handsome old young man.

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OK kid, I’m the boss around here now see?!?

Merrilu’s hubby Jeff is already enjoying the benefits of having a technology assistant on hand 24/7.

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I know PAW-er Point!

It sure is quiet around here without her. For some reason, the other cats do not seem to miss her. I know Tammy hit the jackpot with my cousin/friend Merrilu and will have a long happy life with her human and animal family. Thanks pal. Love you much. Deb

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Tammy & her Mammy. šŸ™‚

 

 

Ode to the Barn Door

OK, so last week I made a snarky comment about shiplap and the ubiquitous barn door.Ā  I should explain…

I LIKE shiplap and I think the interior barn door is not only cute, but a useful design for some homes. Just not mine. You see, if it’s popular and everyone is doing it, I’m probably not going to go for it.Ā  If I have to choose between popular or odd, I’m usually going to go for the odd. For instance the “linoleum” tile in the laundry room and closet. Nobody wants that! But I do. I think it’s weird and retro and cute. Also, we also have NO canned/recessed lights in our house. I have never liked overhead lighting, plus it I wanted my house to look old fashioned. My Memaw & Papa had never even HEARD of recessed lighting. We desired a wood burning fireplace. Who wants one of those these days? There are other things but I’ll stop now.

If you want to call me a “reverse snob” you might be justified. But if you have shiplap and barn doors on every available wall in your house, and if you love the look, then I’m very happy for you. You probably think my kitchen looks like the interior of a circus tent and you’d be right about that too. šŸ™‚

Now for a funny story. After my blog post regarding the above, I attended an open house given by my friends Marcie & Bill. These two are an amazing and talented team of designers and home-flippers extraordinaire! I was excited to see their latest project in a mid-town Montgomery neighborhood. After I knocked, My friend Marcie flung open the door and gleefully informed me that she not only had shiplap, but a barn door too! I deserved that! I smacked my head as she led me to the kitchen to see her creation.

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Just lovely

In the future I’ll be more careful about sharing my opinions. I have NO decorating or design training. Jim and I are just flying by the seat of our pants and having fun.

Now for kitty stuff…

Jim is off Ukraine today for a week. He’s going with a team from the US to help their Air Force get back on track. Tammy helped him pack.

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Maybe if I’m weely quiet, he’ll accidentally pack me and I can go with him.

And tomorrow Tammy goes to meet her new mommy! Details on this later, but rest assured this little creature is going to have a fun, happy life in Raleigh NC.

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Bye Bye sweet Tammy šŸ˜¦

I Refuse to Say “Shiplap”

Sorry Joanna, I’m very sick of that word. And don’t get me started with the interior “barn door”!

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One of Chris’s crew call this “lapping”. I’m fine with that.

So our carport is next to our neighbor’s carport and under storage. I don’t want to look at that and I’m sure they don’t want to look at our cars, so this is a good solution to fix that problem. Plus it will make the back porch more private.Ā  The houses in our hood are all very close together and ours is especially so, since we got a variance to build up to the property line.

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View from the back porch. There will be a privacy fence across the open area, so even WE don’t have to look at our cars.

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We put some boards on the side of the golf cart bay too. These will be painted white and the shed will be green with white trim. The shed door will be red like the front door.

I got very excited to see the AC units installed this week!

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Then I got very “unexcited” to learn that they’re useless until the electrician gets back out here to hook up power to them. šŸ˜¦

The bird family has left the chimney, so we cleaned up the poop and are ready to install this pretty copper chimney cap.

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The cap will eventually turn dark green.

Two of my favorite peeps on our building team are these two ladies. They arrive about once a week to clean up the debris in the yard and spiff up the interior of the house. They work super hard and are both animal lovers so we always have a lot to talk about.

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Kat & Janet

Janet has been working with GT for fourteen years this week! Happy Anniversary girl!

And in the never-ending battle to control water flow on our lot, we had even more pipes installed in the yard to connect with the French drain.

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Thanks John!

We will have catch basins in three areas of the yard which will eliminate the need for gutters. I’m not a fan of the “gutter” look and Jim devised this evil plan to make me happy. Yes, I know I don’t deserve him. Shut up!