Sunday, July 24, 2011

Fireplace Re-Do...Or Not

This is the fireplace surround that came with our house. I'm not crazy about it and the builder promised to find another (more country french type) surround and replace this one for a low sum of money. I've yet to hear from him, so I'm thinking I'm stuck with it.

This is the view of it across the room. I took this before we moved in...or should I say moved our boxes in. We haven't really settled in the house yet, even though it's been 5 months. We have a couch and chair, and a bed in the master and a bed in one of the guest rooms. And, uh, boxes of stuff all over the place. When we're there, I call it "camping in".

So, back to the fireplace surround. I'm thinking of adding a top to the fireplace that would go up the wall above the surround. I'm also thinking of painting the fireplace. Anyone out there have some ideas for me? The cable outlet and plug in are built into the wall above the fireplace and a flat screen will be up there some day soon.

So...what's your idea for me? Paint it white and make it "pop" like all the designer/decorators like to say? Our make it look like an aged stone piece? It's a cement replica I believe and I'm willing to try a few things. It's only paint, and the more layers the better, right? Leave me a comment on what you would do...that pinky color just doesn't work for me.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Fences I Really Admire

When we were looking for a new house last winter, we kept going back to this neighborhood in Prosper Texas just so I could look at this lovely driveway with its Austin stone fence and iron gate.

Here's a look at it from a distance. Isn't it lovely?

We did so many drive-bys, I'm sure they thought we were casing the place! To say I love this driveway is an understatement.

Even though our builder put in a great 6 foot wood fence around the house we eventually bought, Wild Bill and I have a "some day" list that includes putting up a rock fence like the one above.

This iron fence is pretty too:

The iron fence is "high-dollar" (which is Texas speak for expensive), but looks ineffective next door to the rock fence.

I love this front yard...a great way to cut down on lawn and still get a lovely garden feel. I'm reading up on how to covert your lawn to flower beds the easy and cheap way.

It's so hot in Texas this year, reading up on it is all I'm able to do. Have to wait until Fall for the weather to get cool enough to spend much time outdoors.

In the mean time, I'm planning out how we can get rid of the grass (and the mowing and watering it entails) by putting together an idea board that includes patios and flower beds like the ones in this post.

On the top of the list is a new patio for the front yard just like this one:

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Watch What You Say

The "unusual" glass of tea above resulted from my asking 2-year-old Lily if she wanted to put sugar in Gammy's tea for me. I had forgotten how literal a 2 year old can be!

So, after her mother and I had a good laugh, I tried a different approach and made myself a little clearer. I showed Lily how to shake down the sugar packet and pour the contents in the tea. She took the job very serious:

Getting the sugar to the bottom of the packet with precise detail. Then, tearing it open so as not to spill a speck of sugar.

It tasted so much better without the paper wrapper still attached!

Monday, July 4, 2011

No One Thrown Off This Island

Eight miles out of town is a huge body of water named Lake Texoma (Texas and Oklahoma border this lake) where you can dock your boat at this dock (among others) and enjoy a brief respite from the Texas sun.

Since we don't have a boat, we took the car out to the lake and headed toward The Island. Some of us were impatient for the older ones to catch up...

The Island bar and grill is a welcome sight. We got there at 11:00 am when they opened.

Looked like we were not going to have to share the space with anyone, but this soon changed as the fisherman and the fishing guides came back from their early morning fishing trips and had the same idea we had --- get out of that sun!

We had a variety of appetizers and veggies, plus a fruit plate hit the spot with Lily.

We sat at the edge of the patio. The breeze kept us nice and cool, and Lily enjoyed feeding the fish, turtles and ducks that gathered below when they determined the place was open and there were tourists to throw food for them.

Here's a view from our table. This quiet was quickly broken when it hit noon and the fishing boats started returning. The place filled completely up and we decided we had occupied our table long enough.

We drove all the way across the lake road and when we came to the end, we had this lovely view of the lake. I really hated to leave, but nap time was near and we all needed one.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Don't Fence Me In

I love old fences and the creativity it took for the builders to make them. Around Texas this type of fence was real popular. Apparently, the early settlers would cut down the cedar trees that grow wild, and put a hole in one then use the others to make the rails. Pretty simple and pretty rustic, but doesn't look like it held much out.

I love this fence made of old bikes. The bikes don't add much to the fence, except to make it unusual.

I have to wonder...did the bikers get tired and just leave their bikes by the wayside? Is that what started the tradition of adding the bikes to the fence?

These old bikes are just laying around at the Donut Shop in the same town. I wonder if they are planning to add them to the fence?

I think I'll ask if he's willing to sell one of these. They make really cute planters with a basket full of flowers on the front and ivy growing over the spokes.