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”.

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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”?)

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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.

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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…

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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.Β  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. πŸ™‚ That boy…

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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.Β  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.

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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)

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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.

 

 

Punch List

A “punch” list is a bunch of things still left to do at the end of construction. So we’ve moved in and are living here, but there are several chores that have to be done before the house is officially completed. I’m not sure why it’s called that, but it may have something to do with the fact that by now the builders and homeowners want to “punch” each other in the face. (Just kidding Gary & GT!)

Here are a few little jobs that we’re still working on.

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Underskirt door. Jim will store some stuff under the house, but more importantly the plumber and/or HVAC guy may need to access this area for repairs.

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Porches still not stained yet. They’ll be “honey” colored.

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Chris is finishing up the slats on the back of the golf cart bay. They didn’t have enough boards before.

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Cute. Just needs to be painted now.

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Rock Hudson, St. Francis & the Hannah angel are enjoying hanging out together. (along with Buster & Boo Boo’s grave markers) Soon the fence will be built on top of this rock wall and they can have a cozy corner to enjoy.

Eventually we’ll make a lovely Hannah Memorial Garden here with a tinkling fountain, a small tree, someΒ  flowers, and all of our pet grave markers (there are many). It will be a pleasant spot to view from the back porch and we hope it will be peaceful and beautiful.

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The mantle still not painted. Grrrrrrrrrrr. Marlin, where have all the painters gone? Shall I send out a search party?

Those iron cats in the fireplace have green glass eyes that will glow when we have a fire. I’m afraid they might scare Mulder.

Jim has a “punch” list too and it is as long as my arm. He put together our corner TV stand before he left for Brussels and Tony thought it was a playhouse just for him.

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Pretty fun Dad. Thanks!

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And Rowdy thought it was a display case just for her.

See the pretty kitty?

I’d love to show you some of the inside rooms but I’m going to wait til I can hang pictures. Jim is gone AGAIN! This time he’s not in some fur-in country but on the Appalachian Trail supposedly having FUN. (He married the wrong girl) Anyway, he gave me strict orders not to hang any pictures while he was gone. That’s usually my job, and I do OK, unless you count the 3-4 nail holes behind each one. Jim likes to use science and math to hang stuff and he wanted to do it this time. When he hangs a picture you can bet there’s only one nail hole behind it. I guess you could call Jim a “one hole-er”.

(insert joke here) πŸ™‚

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No Tony, you don’t live there anymore. 😦

Mostly Kitties, Some House

It’s been a while since an update from the KittyBunnyChicken but I have been BIZZ-AY!

Jim left for a trip to Brussels last week and by the time he got home I had done a partial move into the house. The first step was to get the big stuff out of the Pink House and over to the Green House (king mattress, sofa bed, chest of drawers etc.) That night I got a wild idea to sleep over there so I herded four cats into our new abode and hunkered down. How did the first night go? Well…..

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I have never seen this happen EVER!

These cats are mortal enemies. Tony tortures poor Sammy all day and she slaps and hisses in response whenever they are in the same room. Tony thinks it’s super fun to pester her but she does not see the humor. Well, these two kids slept side by side for most of the night!!! It’s kind of unclear but notice Tony’s face buried in his stuffed elephant (Hannah the Bama fan gave it to him). πŸ™‚ And Sammy is in a “help me” pose rolled over on her side reaching for safety. You have to understand my critters to know just how unbelievable and hilarious this photo is.

And Rowdy! Well, lets just say she’s tried to hide from this move whenever she could.

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Don’t see me!

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Not always successfully.

And Mr. Mulder?

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Weirdness personified.

Actually, he cried from the time I put him in the front door until about 1:00AM. It made for a really restful night I can tell you.

And I have a few cute updates regarding my former foster kid Tammy. She having so much trouble fitting in at her new home in North Carolina. The stress is almost too much!

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I’m so stwessed out!

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It’s almost too much to bear!

Needless to say, this little girl has hit the jackpot and is happier than a pig in mud. Thanks again cousin, for taking this little hellion off my hands.

OK, so ready to see some more Green House?

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Pathway and brick step from the carport to the back porch is done.

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Island wooden bar top is made but not attached yet. It’s made out of the reclaimed pine of the floor.

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Two red bar stools will go here.

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Setting up a few small sticks of furniture.

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We changed the name of this room from “The Office” to “The Blue Room” because, well….

The sofa makes into a double bed so it’s a guest room for you if you wanna have a sleepover.

Then Jim came home from his trip and THIS happened…

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Debbie, Jim & Jamie (our good strong friend) moved an entire storage unit into the house. It only took 147 hours! Well it felt like it.

It was so fun unpacking stuff I hadn’t seen in over a year.

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What, you don’t have a lighted chicken?

Pictures won’t be hung for a while, but for now it’s nice to see some of them on the recently completed (but not painted) mantle.

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So this is it for now. There is still much to do. Emptying and cleaning the Pink House is more of a challenge than I had expected. We lived HARD in that house! But I am so happy with our new home and looking forward to the fun part of fixing it up and having friends over soon. Thanks for travelling this journey with us. Stop by and visit the Green House anytime. I have many jobs for you.

Homestretch

I have some pretty stuff to show off today. There is no theme to these photos. I’m just excited that progress continues slowly but surely.

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The laundry room is done. There is nothing cosmic about our washer and dryer. They’re very small and kind of old school.

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Kitchen is mostly done. They still have to build the wooden bar on the back of the island. There will be two red bar stools in front.

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I like the country-looking valence under the sink. Looks like the 1950’s style.

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Sitting room coffee bar turned out so nicely. It will double as a guest room sink for overflow guests. See the bunny knobs?

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The dining table chandelier is hung but still naked. Jim will put the crystals on with the white gloves that came in the box! Yes, I will take a picture of that!

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The retaining wall has been covered in stone and we think it turned out great! If you zoom in you can see the notches in the top of the wall starting about the second pier. These are where the fence posts will attach later. Jim has some “bracket-thingy” plan to accomplish this. That boy….

And finally…

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Porch lights really do say, “Welcome, I’m a friendly little house.”

πŸ™‚

The Mural

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

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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?