Put on your sunglasses. Our bedroom is BRIGHT! One of my dearest friends called this room “gaudy”. I know you meant it with love, right Susna? The burgundy velvet headboard would look right at home in Miss Kitty’s bedroom at the Longbranch Saloon.


I feel certain that she would approve of these prissy valences with the dangly doodles as well.


Set a spell Marshall Dillon!

I know I’m still stuck in the 90s with these burgundy/gold/green colors, but hey what’s so bad about the 90s?


Room to stretch out.


Jim “teleports” every Friday from this nook. Believe me, you are getting your tax dollar’s worth out of this guy.

So that’s our crazy bedroom. It may be a little “loud” for some, but I find it fun and peaceful.


A couple of other critters like it too.

Bobbi spends most of her waking hours (and sleeping ones) under the bed. She’s sharing a rare brave moment with her best friend Mulder here. She really loves him and seeks him out whenever she can. The only time we ever hear her meow is when she’s talking to him. She’s getting big and we’re still unable to tame her. Some miracle has to happen soon because the longer she stays wild, the less likely that she’ll ever warm to humans.


We do have evidence that she ventures into other rooms when no one is looking.

Here’s a final picture of one of the finishing touches to the Burlingame casa.


Thaaaaaat’s what I’m talking about!



More Bobbi Please!

Bobbi is the most challenging foster kitten we’ve had since we started ten years ago. I guess her first eight weeks were so stressful and scary that she’s taking a very long time to recover. When Jim can catch her, she enjoys being in his lap and getting petted and scratched. She has a very loud motor and she purrs like crazy with him. But as soon as he lets go, she zips off the bed and hides.


See her little paw touching Mulder’s face?

We have an ottoman at the foot of our bed and sometimes she’ll watch us for a long time before she gets the courage to jump up.


Don’t see me!

Jim is making a kitty door in our bedroom wall so the cats can go in there to use their box and get some food. Bobby loves going in and out of it getting foam insulation all over her head.


I love this playhouse!

She recently had her first visit to the vet and she got some fun worm medicine and shots. She was a very good girl, mostly because she was terrified. I was happy to learn that her tail was not injured. Bobbi was born with her weird little tail that looks like a thumb hitch hiking.  Mulder makes fun of it, but she doesn’t seem to notice that she’s different in anyway.


When can I go home?

We will continue to socialize this baby and make a proper pet out of her as best we can. Finding a forever home will be challenging since she’s shyer than most Burlingame kittens. Someone will have to love her for her beauty and sweetness since her personality is a little slow to shine. I know someone out there is the right parent for Bobbi.

I’ll close with some photos of our completed fence. We are so pleased with it. Joel Jackson built it and it was the first project he’d ever done like ours. He and Jim figured out a system to put the privacy fence on top of the stone wall with some funky brackets and cement mortar. We have to wait a couple of months to paint it, but for now it still looks great and gives us a very nice little private yard.


Front right. The pickets will be painted white and the privacy part will be stained the porch color.


View from the street corner. I love how the stone wall looks with the fence.


Nice sized enclosed yard despite our small lot. Tony is the only cat who can scale this fence to escape. Our other cats are too fat and lazy.


Left side. Shortly after the fence was completed our neighbor added some fencing on his side to create a little enclosure for his dog.


Not much room on this side of the house for anything but AC units and our composters, but it’s nice that the fence hides this stuff.


The gate is in front of my car and when I’m carrying groceries I just push on the gate and it opens easily with one finger.


This gate will be red like all the other doors on the house. The rest will be stained the color of the porches.


And once in the gate, it’s just one step up to the porch and back door. We wanted the house as low to the ground as permitted just for this reason. Easy access will come in handy as we age and get crotchety.


My favorite part of all is how cozy and private the back porch is now.

So that’s it for this week. I’m almost finished with doing “house” posts. I think I just have a couple of things left to share with you on this topic. Meanwhile we’ll keep bombarding Bobbi with mandatory love and hope for the best. Thanks for reading.



I have a new foster kitten. Her name is Bobbi. Here is her story…


I scared.

About 10 days ago I swear I saw a tiny black bunny running in the back yard. I watched the little thing try frantically to scramble under the fence and then jump on top of it to disappear. The reason I thought it was a bunny was the tail. Just a little nub. But I soon understood it was a kitten with a bobbed tail. I was very upset that I couldn’t catch her but there was nothing I could do but be sad. The next day I saw her again. This time she ran under my neighbor’s house. I called Traci and asked if I could go under her house to set a humane trap and of course she said yes.  That night Jim set the trap with some stinky cat food and put a warm blanket inside and a heavy rug on top of the trap. We went out to dinner, and when we came home we had a kitten.


I still scared.

We set up the kitten nursery in our sitting room off our master bedroom. There’s a futon in there and she mostly stays under it. Jim has to shimmy underneath (I am not really made for “shimmying”). She was absolutely terrified of us but Jim was able to catch her and hold her tight for some “mandatory love”. It’s the only way we know how to tame wild kittens and it usually works within a few days. Jim examined her and saw she was a girl. He also looked closely at her poor little tail. It’s been broken and it has somehow healed up crooked. I shudder to think how this could have happened and how much she must have suffered while when it was injured. It’s only about two inches long and has a little bend in the middle. Imagine a thumb hitch-hiking.


Maybe not so scared now.

We watch TV in the evenings upstairs and Jim aggressively pets and scratches her for the whole time. She seems to enjoy it and even purrs a little, but as soon as he lets go-BAM she’s off and back under the futon. She comes out to eat and use her litter box (only one accident the very first night). She has no idea how to play. She probably has been using every ounce of her energy to survive for the first eight weeks of her life. We sent in the professional kitten whisperer yesterday for the first time to begin his rigorous kitten-training method.


Listen kid. Here’s how we do things around here.

I thought she’d be terrified the first time she saw another cat, but no. She mewed and ran right up to him and nuzzled her head into his side. Sweet Mulder. He is a cat among cats. I saw a tiny sign of progress this morning when I looked into the sitting room and saw her sitting ON TOP of the futon. Baby steps Miss Bobbi. We’ll make a proper kitten out of you soon.


Brave Bobbi!

My heart breaks for this little girl and you can believe I’m going to use shameless begging to find her a forever home. I can never take her to the shelter because her chances of getting adopted are slim. Open your hearts people. Find room in your family for this little orphan! Please.

I’ll close with a couple of photos of my casa. Here’s the completed front porch…


Looking west toward the lake


Looking east up the street.

And in keeping with the kitty theme today, here’s a picture of my foyer closet.


Actually we don’t have a foyer closet, but these guys do a great job!

More on Bobbi and more house stuff later this week. Thanks for reading!



Random Acts of Decorating

Do you obsess about the little things? Have you ever pondered the little deely boppers on the end of your ceiling fan chain? Of course you haven’t. But guess what? Jim has. He thought we needed to have some bling instead of the boring kind that comes with the fan. I found some sparkly colorful ones on Etsy and ordered all different colors. Jim put them up according to his particular sense of style and I have to admit, they’re pretty cool.


Blue Room


Living Room

My husband is such a GIRL!  Yes, he’s a bit of a weirdo, but he’s MY weirdo!

He’s also a math genius (OK, genius is a strong word, but he is really smart), so his skills came in handy when hanging the pet pictures on the first stair landing. Here’s the story…When Hannah was eleven she drew a stunning picture of our kitty Boots. This was back in the year 2000. We loved it so much. It truly captured our sweet little cat and we were happy to frame it and hang it on the wall.


This job was not easy since all of the pics are slightly different sizes, plus the hanging methods were different and placed in random areas on the back of each pic. He got out his tape measure and turned up the “Geek dial” to full blast and began calculations.


Adult beverages were required for this task.


Three hours from start to finish.

Three years later she drew our kitty Missy. She continued until 2014 when she drew Dave our little brown bunny. If you zoom in you can see the whole gang starting with Boots at 11:00.


Zoom in to see all the fur babies. Four of them are still with us and eating us out of house and home. The rest are resting peacefully in our pet cemetery.

Boots 2000, Missy 2003, Roger the Wonder hamster 2006 (she gave him “elbows”, hamsters don’t have elbows. 🙂 Buster 2008, Boo Boo 2009, Rowdy & Sam 2012 (still with us and fat as pigs!), Rosie, Daisy & Violet 2012 (my very sweet chickens who were evicted from waters because of a complaining neighbor grrrrrr, Mulder 2013 (still with us, and the strangest cat on Planet Earth), Dave the Bunny 2014 (for a short time we had two bunnies-Dave & Buster)


I love looking at them every time I climb the stairs.

In 2017, I decided that we needed one more pet portrait so I drew Hannah and Tony. Tony came to live with us after she died in December 2015. This little cartoon was modeled after a wonderful picture we took of her on her last Christmas with us.


Hannah & Tony Christmas Day 2014


I tried my best Hannah B.

Stop by any time to see my “priceless” art. Our kid was talented and wonderful. We love all the treasures she left behind.


Old School Chandelier

I don’t have a whole room to show you at this point, but I want to introduce you to our new addition.


Although we’ve been in the house for about 6 weeks our chandelier has remained “nekked”.

We had the electrician hang the skeleton, but he told us emphatically “I don’t do crystals”. OK, no problem. Jim said he was pretty sure he could install all the bling. So, he finally had time this weekend and I was reminded once again why I keep this guy around.


The white gloves came with the instructions. They look super cute Jimmy!!

The whole process took about 3 hours. I helped out by having some vino and tossing encouraging words his way.


Looking good Babe!

The finished product turned out so great.


Ta Daaaaa!

I have ordered some tiny burgundy shades for the bulbs. I’ll take another photo when they arrive.

I have to tell you about a very fun surprise that happened the next day. It was afternoon. Jim was in the kitchen and I was on the couch talking to a friend who had dropped in for the night. (We really enjoyed the visit Mr. Steve!) He was staring at something behind my head and I turned around to see this…


A free light show created by the sun shining directly on the fixture from the French Doors! I lasted about 10 minutes and it was BEAUTIFUL!

All these dots of light are tiny rainbows. We were both stunned and thrilled by this little performance. Steve asked if we had planned it and of course we had not. I think this house is magic. Stop by around 5:00 on a sunny day to see for yourself.

I really love our new house.



The Green Bathroom

We’ve finished another room in the house and this one competes for my favorite! (neck and neck with the kitchen) This bathroom is on the first floor and is also the guest bathroom for when we have company and overnight guests. You can access it from the blue room so guests can a private suite. I wanted to give this a 1930s/40s vibe but it also has a bit of the Orient mixed in. That was an accident but I love the result.



Jim found this pretty Japanese print shower curtain online and convinced me it would look good in here. It’s still growing on me, but I’m coming around.


The best seat in the house.

We got the “comfort height” potty and I highly recommend. Too much information??? Sorry, the older I get, the more I appreciate anything with the word “comfort” in it. I found an old-fashioned little magazine/toilet paper caddy and also a shelf to place your make-up tackle box if you’re staying over.


The view from the “throne”

Hannah’s childhood art looks beautiful in here.


My favorite. The kid had skills. 🙂


These photos are 25 years apart. Two year old Debbie and Hannah–lacy panties, covered in dirt, poochy tummies, (I still have mine) and pageboy haircut.


The Japanese print was Hannah’s. It goes perfectly in here.


I end almost every day in this spot.

I am aware of the great tub/shower debate (Merrilu!) I don’t take baths to get clean. I take a bath for fun. (Don’t worry, I shower in the morning) I am a firm believer in the Three Bs. Bubbles, book & beverage. At least this system works for me. Again, highly recommend!  This tile is onyx. I ordered it from a warehouse in California. You should see some of these up close. God does beautiful work. Amazing colors and patterns.

And finally…


A little plaque for my guests.

Yes. I stole this from a hotel. Not sorry.

One Down

We’ve been in the Green House over three weeks now and I’ve finally finished exactly ONE room! During construction we were calling this the “office” but after we moved in we christened it “The Blue Room”.


For obvious reasons

These French doors will eventually have panels on the glass so guests can have privacy. They will match the chocolate sofa bed. (Doesn’t “chocolate” sound much better than “brown”?)


My computer desk. Jim’s is upstairs in our bedroom.

Zoom in to see the crazy broken tile flamingo I stole from the Pink House, and 12 year-old Hannah on pointe from her ballet company when we lived in Las Vegas.


Office supplies in the old rickety cabinet with doors that do not shut all the way and a drawer that’s impossible to pull out. But it’s cute right?

We got the Monet lily pad print when Jim was at the Pentagon. It was five years later that we discovered we were hanging it UPSIDE DOWN!

And continuing from right to left…


The pocket door opens to the guest bathroom so when we do have overnight guests they can have their own little private suite.

My friend Judy Walton painted this girl running toward the ocean. We were in her art gallery a few weeks after Hannah died and saw it. We both froze. It’s her in every way, right down to the white dress. She had one exactly like it. If you knew her, you’d say the same thing. Judy painted it around the time she died, but she didn’t know her and had never even met us.  Hannah loved the beach. We knew we had to have this. We told Judy the story and she got tears in her eyes. She cut the price in half. My dad bought it for us. We treasure it.

The Madonna & Child is a Picasso print from 1903. I admired it for many months in an antique shop in Columbus, MS when I was pregnant with Hannah. It was prohibitively expensive. On the day we brought her home from the hospital, I walked into the house to find that Jim had bought it for me. 🙂 That boy…


You’ll have to visit me to see some of these clearly. But of course there is a story behind each one.

I stole the flamingo Audubon print from the Pink House. I found it buried in a pile of old framed pictures in the Eastbrook Flea Market. I researched it and found out it’s quite valuable and hard to find. I paid $65 for it FRAMED!!! Debbie do love a bargain!

From top to bottom…three year old, four year old Hannah and a eight-year-old Hannah and her “Little Daddy” hiking in Shenandoah National Park.  A dear classmate of mine made this beautiful memory quilt for me a couple of weeks after Hannah died. Laura made me one too. It’s in another room. Thank you both for your kindness ladies.


Hannah had been experimenting with a loom she made herself from an old picture frame. She created the patterns and hooked these little rug samples. You have to see them up close–beautiful. I had no idea she could do this. I found them in a box after she died.

The large painting of the salon ladies was done by an Israeli artist named Patricia Govenzensky. I admired this for over a year (again in the Eastbrook Flea Mall). It was finally listed half off and I couldn’t get it in my car fast enough. One of the rare occasions that I didn’t ask Jim first! (We have a rule about buying stuff over a certain price point without permission) This work reminds me so much of the Montgomery artist Barbara Gallagher. My friend Susna is crazy for her. I think both artists might have been influenced by Itzhchak Tarkay. (Google him)


The ottoman contains pillows and linen for the sofa bed. The Union Jack pillow was a gift from a Pink House guest from England. Thank you Deanne!

So that’s the Blue Room. Sorry this was so long. And sorry if I got too sentimental. I like to talk about my kid and we both like to be surrounded by her art and her image. I feel peaceful here. It’s a great place to read and get away from the TV if someone is watching it. I’d love to show it to you in person. Thanks for reading.