My house-building process surprise: IT’S ALL IN MY HEAD!

Not long ago, I watched Still Mine, a Canadian romantic drama based on a true story about an octogenarian farmer who wants to build a house for his ailing wife.   One particular scene stood out for me. It was between a city bureaucrat and the old farmer, Craig Morrison.   City:  Do you have your plans? Morrison:  Plans for what? City:  For the house. Morrison:  I don't have any plans. City:  Well, how do you know what you want? Morrison: I know what I want. City:  How do you know? Morrison:  Because it's in my head, that's how.   Lately, I've found myself identifying with Morrison as I'm trying to finish designing our new house. I thought with a degree in interior design the process would be easy. Wouldn't you ... Keep Reading...

Channeling the Seven Dwarfs — and a couple more

Yesterday I woke up HAPPY. No longer SLEEPY, I got up and walked into our cozy little kitchen-living-office space to start breakfast. Renaissance Man headed outside to begin his long list of chores. While taking my allergy meds (so I wouldn't be SNEEZY!), IT scurried across my floor and out of sight.   A mouse. In my little, tiny house.   Yes, I know it's cold outside, but there is NOT room for both of us—and I'm not too BASHFUL to say that loud and often.   As I stood reeling from what I'd just seen, Renaissance Man opened the door and said,   After we eat some breakfast, I'm going to need your help. Sorry. The ground wasn't frozen as hard as I thought, and I need you to drive the tractor and help me ... Keep Reading...

Grieving my New Year’s Resolution: Facing the sugar addiction

I've had a relationship with sugar virtually my entire life.   Many of my fondest childhood memories involve sugar, but "innocent" memory-making has turned into over half a century of ingrained habits, extra pounds, and increased health risk.   How do I just up and quit eating sugar without letting go of those "sweet" ties to little girlhood?     Birthday cakes: the very first one (and many, many since) — chocolate with sugary-sweet chocolate icing   Drinking "coffee" with grandparents — milk with a little coffee . . . and a lot of refined sugar   Butterscotch milkshakes at Dairy Queen with Granddaddy; Grandmother's cakes; Brach's wrapped candies   Cherry Coke ... Keep Reading...

Merry Christmas from {Adventurous} My Place to Yours

Well so much for those "all about Christmas" posts I hoped to write after getting moved . . . Believe me. I wrote every one of them in my head.   Instead, I'll just count it a major accomplishment that the move is behind us, everything (including the tricky laundry) now has a place, and Christmas presents are wrapped—except several ordered online and shipped ahead of me to Texas—because I didn't plan well enough . . .  but you won't make me count those, will you?   It's five days until Christmas, so I'm going to assume if you're reading this, you're skimming quickly (I get that!), so I'll give you a very quick peak at the new digs where we'll be adventurous for the next few months while building our Finally Farmhouse. ... Keep Reading...

THE PARTY’S OVER: Final Goodbye to My Old House

As I finish organizing our new space and preparing some "all about Christmas" posts to share with you, here's one last look at the beautiful old house Renaissance Man and I called "home" for over a decade. I wrote this letter a few days ago—on our final day together. December 1, 2016   My dear old friend,   It's time to turn out the lights and say, "Goodbye".     Today Renaissance Man and I will sign away our caretaker responsibilities and turn you over to your new family. After enjoying your company for so long—and then wondering if you'd ever sell—it's a bit surreal that today has actually arrived.   What a pleasure it was making memories within your ... Keep Reading...

What I’m Learning While Moving Out of My Old House

The end is in sight!   It had better be! Cleaning happens Tuesday— because the soon-to-be owners of our old house do their final walk-through Wednesday. Closing is on Thursday. And Friday our new adventure officially begins.   But oh, the things I'm learning (or remembering) while preparing to move . . . In no particular order: I've got the best husband in the world—and we make a great team. I'm not getting any younger, and this move is creating aches in places I didn't know I had places! If you wait long enough to file important papers, you can just shred them instead. It feels good to pass things along to people who can actually use them. It's nice to sell a few things, too. But Craigslist doesn't work ... Keep Reading...

Slowing down to say, “Thank you” . . .

Still packing here and counting the days until we say our final goodbye to our old house . . .   But I learned a long time ago that it's always important to say, "thank you".   You kind and faithful readers are in my thoughts and prayers today.   ... Keep Reading...

DISAPPEARING DOILIES: Packing away Yesterday’s treasures

Still packing here and preparing for adventure!   The past couple of days I've spent a lot of time sorting and packing vintage linens. LOTS of vintage linens. If you've spent much time here at My Place, you know I love vintage linens!   Every time I thought I'd gathered up the last one, I'd find another . . . and another. I had no idea I used so many little vintage beauties in my "everyday" decorating, but I do!  Do you?     Little touches of Yesteryear tucked in around the house add such nice warmth and softness.     I wonder how many I can sneak into my Adventure housing (aka travel trailer) to enjoy while we build our Finally Farmhouse?   What about you? Do you ... Keep Reading...

One step closer to ADVENTURE

Will someone please tell me how it's the middle of November already?   Happy Monday to all, by the way. I don't tell you enough, but I really appreciate you stopping by! I know your time could be spent elsewhere, so I'm honored you want to spend a few minutes at My Place. I hope by now you know you are ALWAYS welcome.   As you know if you're a regular here, last week was one of "critical timing" at our house. Everything had to hit *just right* if we're going to stay on schedule to move out of our old house and into our new temporary quarters at Wild Rose Farm by the end of the month.     Monday began with a rental delivery and lots of trench digging. Thanks, Renaissance ... Keep Reading...

Paying tribute . . .

 trib·ute an act, statement, or gift that is intended to show gratitude, respect, or admiration   Two days ago, on a cloudy and cooler-than-usual November day in south Texas, a veteran was laid to rest.   Following a service led by his two brothers-in-law (Renaissance Man being one of them), family and friends drove down country roads from the church to the cemetery. Cars moved to the shoulder, stopping in respect as the funeral procession passed.     At the graveside, the flag-draped casket was moved into place as family and friends watched.   Three uniformed grandsons stood at attention. Two Marines and one Navy sailor. All in only their second decade of life. Each one struggling to hold back ... Keep Reading...

Adventure on the Horizon!

Since our big, beautiful old house in town is selling, we began the search for a house to rent while we prepare to build our Finally Farmhouse.   We found one potentially viable house.   One.   Super tiny (we'd still need to rent storage) and only three blocks from our present house—rather than closer to the farm where we'll be overseeing construction—it was not a very good option.   And so we've decided to be adventuresome.   After living in over 3000 square feet of classic, high-ceilinged gorgeousness for more than a decade, we'll soon be moving directly to the farm and living in this baby.     Some say building a house is one of the hardest things a couple can do ... Keep Reading...

Taking a chance …

"Just one sandwich, it's that good."   That was the mindset of Don and Dolores Dissman in 1971 when they walked into Citizens National Bank in Austin, Texas. They wanted a loan to open a sandwich shop offering ONE kind of sandwich. Seriously? Just ONE?   With today's compulsion for variety—and lots of it!—that's almost unheard of.   Their special offering, patterned after a muffuletta sandwich, featured a variety of meats and cheeses plus black olives on fresh, toasted bread. They called their sandwich "The Original".     The Dissmans believed they had a winning product, and so they took a chance and pitched their idea to someone who (hopefully) would also believe.   The loan ... Keep Reading...

Goodbye Letter to My Old House

My dear old house,   It's time for us to part ways. (Sniff) Yes, I asked for this, but still . . .   I'm really going to miss you.   When we first met 11 years ago, I thought we'd be together "'til death do us part". After a few months, I thought death might come sooner rather than later as day after day my sweet husband and I shed blood, sweat, and tears to bring you back to life. It was really hard work.   You were worth it!   Honestly, thanks to my Renaissance Man, you were a dream come true. I'd long wanted to restore an old house, and heaven knows you needed some help. With your sagging porch, three-foot-wide hole in the entry floor, and layers of peeling and painted-over wallpaper, you ... Keep Reading...

25th Anniversary Disappointment . . . and Surprise

I'll tell you the surprise first:  The couple celebrating their 25th anniversary are in their 90s.     The disappointment was that they'd planned to celebrate out of town with family, but a recent hospital stay and the resulting move to assisted living kept them in town. Their church family stepped in and planned a celebration . . . because this couple is a blessing to so many—and the least we could do is bless them!   After church last Sunday, they entered a basic "fellowship hall" quickly transformed to bring sparkles to their eyes.     Several ladies created the delicious food with the idea of "old school" bridal shower in mind.     I created the ... Keep Reading...

Dream come true: Farm Wedding in Amish Country

Picking up where I left you . . . (asking if there's a farmhouse in my future)   Yesterday was The Day. Really.   After two-and-a-half years of trying to sell a big ol' house in a little ol' town, our beautiful home built in 1907 is about to meet its fourth caretakers—and Renaissance Man and I are finally going to build our farmhouse.   Buyer #1 YAY!   Six weeks from now, the woman (and her husband) whose heart beats like mine for old houses will be the next owner of the Witt-Turner House. It's a farm-themed dream come true. Thanks to all of you who've wished us well and pulled for us—and Buyer #1. It means a lot!   But there's another farm-themed dream come true I got to experience recently, ... Keep Reading...

Is there a farmhouse in my future—finally?

After two-and-a-half years, today just may be The Day.   So began my update to you last Friday. (I never sent it.)   If you're a regular friend here, you know Renaissance Man and I live in a wonderful old house in a small town in East Tennessee. It's a house we rescued and restored, transforming it from an uninhabitable eyesore to a welcoming, arms-open part of our community. I told you the entire story.   Two-and-a-half years ago, we put a For Sale sign in the yard. It was time to upsize faith by downsizing life. I believed we were being obedient by refocusing. We had too many unused "treasures".   Where your treasure is, there your heart is also...   And the update ... Keep Reading...