Finally I found a picture of a yard we both agree on. Wild Bill likes pergolas while I love shade trees, but this would be shady enough for me.
The picture is from Better Homes and Gardens magazine and it's a perfect space in my opinion. That much perfection though will require more $$ than we can afford right now. But, at least we have a reference of where to start. Due to budget limitations, we'll start with the patio base and just leave room for the pergola and fireplace. My philosophy is you can do anything a piece at a time.
Off to the left of the dream patio, we would want to put in a garden. Of course, in my dreams, it will be one like Meryl Streep had in the movie It's Complicated.
I've been reading about putting in gardens, so now I think I'm an expert -- just like when I read Julia Childs and think I can bake! I would not have considered attempting this 3 or 4 garden books back.
Well, while we're dreaming, we still have empty space to the right of the patio, so let's throw in a pool. Here's my ideal pool from a magazine photo I clipped a long time ago. I don't know where I got it, but I would love to give you credit -- and come by for a swim -- if you let me know it's yours!
Man, that seems like a lot of work to do. I better buy a lotto ticket then get back to my garden books and rest up!
Here's a picture of our kitchen before we put anything in it. I'm stumped with what to do with the blank space over the refrigerator. It was designed for a TV and has a plug in and cable connection, but I don't want a TV in the kitchen.
The painted cabinets tend to make the kitchen look "busy" when things are left out. This picture was taken when the house was for sale.
If anyone has a suggestion for what to put in the cabinet above the fridge, I'd love to hear from you. Should I paint it inside? Have cabinet doors made to cover the space? Help!
One of our daughters use to volunteer at a private no-kill shelter, and she told us that the animal shelters can use towels to wash the animals and small washable rugs to put in the dog's kennels to make them a little more comfortable while they wait for someone to come and take them home. We currently have three "dog-members" in our family who came from animal shelters. One daughter has two terriers she adopted from the shelters. Both of them love a good car ride, and they fight for the window seat just like the rest of the kids in the family do.
Another daughter and son-in-law adopted a beagle-dachshund mix who manages the household and "her" people with minimum effort and a sly smile. The shelter who found her said she has a sad story about being found after several months of wandering the streets. Don't feel too sorry for her though, she's able to get everyone to feed her from their plates due to her sad story.
But before those 3 motley mutts came along, there was another pound dog in our past, a long time ago. Her name was Ginger and she was the smartest dog in the world if you ask anyone who knew her. We adopted her for the kids, but somehow she became my best friend.
Ginger was around 2 years old when the kids and I found her indignantly stuffed into a small dog kennel and left under a table at an Adopt-A-Pup-In-The-Park function a shelter was sponsoring back in 1984. I guess the people running the pup-adoption that day didn't think anyone would want her and, in fact, all three daughters cried when I passed up a cute little Cocker Spaniel puppy and talked them into the sad little terrier-mix locked up under the table.
Ginger suffered through indignities like getting dressed up as a bride for Halloween. I use to joke my mother that Ginger was her only grandchild that had hair like her. Here's a picture of the two of them snuggled up in a rocker around 1986.
Ginger has been gone for over 20 years. I had to put her to sleep due to cancer in 1992. I'd love to adopt another pound pup, but every time I think I'm ready, I just can't do it.
So today we took a big box of our old rugs and towels out to the animal shelter in memory of Ginger. She was and always will be my best friend.