Friday, September 19, 2014

"The Hillbilly Debutante's Guide to Decorating...."

or "The Tail Gate that Brought Down a Marriage"

My first weekend in Rowlett (Texas) my cousin Mel took me junking - my favorite thing in the world to do. Well, next to decorating. And maybe writing riding.
Lo and behold we stumbled upon an out-in-the-middle-of-nowhere place that had at least an acre of old gas station signs, antique car doors, furniture, dishes. You name it, honey - he had it.
And that, my friend is where I found the above treasure. Isn't she a beaut? A real find?
 'Hillbilly Hacienda' is going to be a bit more formal than my previous house, but I still want to have a few 'fun' pieces.
You know - like the bull horns in my previous post.
(With a name like 'Hillbilly Hacienda' you can't take things too serious, don't you agree?)
I just knew this tail gate, sitting on top of a long, ornate, formal table and propped against the wall, would be the best conversation piece EVER.
''Kathie, I am not spending thousands of dollars on this kitchen for you to put a stupid tailgate in here."
Then- and I have to take a deep breath and collect myself before even continuing this story. Give me a brief moment, please - whew...Okay. I'm ready. Then he said a word to me he has only used maybe one other time in our 32 years together. Well 34 if you count our dating years.
 ''No! (I cringe) it's not happening. Good grief, Kathie - It's not even a cool year of a vehicle.''
Me: "Well, if that's all that's bothering you, there is a really, really cool 1960-something Volkswagen Beetle door that would ---"
Dang! There it is again. That awful word.
So....if you live in the Rowlett, Texas area and are in the market for a 1974 Ford Tailgate....she's free to a good home.
Til Next Time,

Monday, September 1, 2014

More changes at Hillbilly Hacienda - or whatever the heck her name is....

There have been so many changes here... where do I start?

We've decided to wait until late fall to lay down sod but neither one of us could stand those awful shrubs a day bye-bye!
Our landscaper, Miguel and his crew got the job done in about 3 hours. It took 3 men

and a pickup pull up those stubborn trees and pesky roots, and although it was dusk by the time they were finished I couldn't resist a picture.


 Bit by bit she's coming back to life.

Remember these 'before' pictures?

Well, here is the living room 'almost' finished. I laughed before I even got that sentenced typed out. Y'all know me - I'm NEVER done!

Ahh - see those gorgeous bull-horns on the wall? I bought those at Shepler's Western Store in Mesquite. You know - Sheplers? The store I had my heart set on working at yet they don't seem to be as excited about that as I am? Anyway, I was in Fort Worth all week and when I got home on Friday, Mr. T had them hung! Now, I need a picture to hang underneath....hmm. I also need a picture for the wall on the left - that's a big space so it really needs something 'special'. I'll find something, I'm sure but back to the bull horns. I'm planning on having a pair in every single room.

I've been so busy with projects here that I haven't had as much time to shop as I'd like. I still need a dining room table and a kitchen table! I took advantage of Labor Day sales to buy two Queen-size mattresses. (Mattress Stop in Rowlett for those of you in the Dallas area). Plus, I still have an upstairs hallway and a bathroom to paint. I did, however, take one weekend to go to Quinlan, a small, charming, country town about 30 miles east of Rowlett - but it's late here at the Hillbilly Hacienda and this girl needs some shut-eye.  You know, I really hate calling her that - Hillbilly Hacienda - she is much too grand for such a simple name. But I have yet to think of a name that suits her. Some of my readers have suggested 'Greystone' because while exterior is pink brick there are large obvious grey strokes throughout. But as much as Hillbilly Hacienda sounds silly,  Greystone sounds pretentious. Guess I'll have to give this more thought.
I think the deeper I get into remodeling and decorating she will let me know what she wants to be called. What? You don't think houses have personalities? Stick around....I'll prove you wrong.
Til next time,

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Talking dogs....

It's a much-needed rainy Sunday morning here at the Hillbilly Hacienda in Rowlett, Texas.
Sally has been roaming around pouting all morning. Things are always a little hectic on Sundays because I try to sleep in til the last minute before getting ready for church, so her walks are pretty short, which makes her none too happy. Don't get me wrong - I would gladly don a raincoat and wellies and still take her out but Miss Priss Diva will NOT go out in the rain. 
Anyway, sweet girl trots downstairs, then back up to me, then down again and back up to me and lets out a hearty 'Moooooomm'. Now, before you think I've gone completely off my rocker, let me assure you that I have many witnesses that will testify to the fact that this dog can indeed say 'Mom'.
While the vet says her pre-dominant breed is Black Lab she also has a lot of husky in her and apparently being able to speak a few words is very characteristic of Huskies.
So, back to the story. After about the umpteenth time I follow her downstairs and she takes me straight to Mr. T who is sitting in his favorite chair drinking his coffee. She sits down by the chair looks at him and looks back at me and says, 'Mooooommm'.
This is also her favorite chair.

And without saying a word, he gets up and lets her have it.
Spoiled brat.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

My new, true love.....

I'd love to tell you that it was love at first sight. That I drove by, took one look and said, 'Oh honey - this is it! The one I've been dreaming of my whole life.'

But that, my friend, would be a lie. Instead it was Mr. T;s heart that went aflutter. 
  I was like, 'You've got to be kidding me.'
I mean, just look at this yard. Bald spots, different types of grass, awful holly bushes planted at the front. Just drive on by, please. And hurry. Instead, we called the realtor and got the grand tour.
I will tell you right now I pitched a hissy fit to beat all hissy fits.
I stomped my foot.
 I cried.
"I do not want to do this, again. I will not do this again!" I vowed. Why couldn't Rosebud Cottage have worked out? All I had to do was just move in! Surely, there has got to be something comparable!
We still weren't really speaking when I dropped him off at the airport an hour later.
 I instinctively drove back to the house. I parked the car across the street and just sat and stared at her. It felt like hours, but what I'm sure was only about 10 minutes I started to soften. Even though the property was highly neglected she still looked stately.
'Man, she must have been a beauty in her hey-day'.
The more I looked at her the more my imagination started to work; the more I felt a connection with her.
I picked up the phone and left a message for Mr. T-
"Okay, I'll do it. But I want you to promise me that we'll get started immediately on fixing her up."
And so it goes....

The family room on the left doesn't look too bad - love the wood wall and the wood floor, but the pale yellow is kind of 'blah'. And that wall paper in the kitchen? Nope. Bye-bye.

Literally, the very first day we moved in our family came over and started painting.
Behr's Glazed Ginger gives a warm, homey glow
I am a wall-paper lover but this looks like it was from the 70's - and the house was only built in 1994. We decided to just paint over it rather than the headache of pealing it.
While cousins Mark and Brian are busy painting I start pealing the paper in the dining room because it's already pealing on it's own. Piece of cake.
My dining room will revolve around my blue and white dishes.
So, we go from this

to this...
to this!
This is Ralph Lauren's "Blue Chalk" but in my mind I call it 'Texas sky' because this is the hue I see every day when I look out at the horizon.
More pictures to come and beautiful, drastic changes every day. I hope you fall in love with her, too as I share her with you.
And we've got to come up with a name...
Til next time,

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

I am asking for your help...

I need a favor from you.
Though it's how I got my home in Texas (thank you, Mr. T) I don't make a habit of begging.
But today all bets are off and I am on my knees.

If you've read 'False Victim' then you know what my family has been through. William was only 10 when we moved away from that situation.
But this isn't about us - so bare with me.
You see, when we moved there were twin boys, Edmund and Edwin, that became like brothers to Will. Those boys were and still are a Godsend.
We lovingly refer to them as 'The Ed's.'  They have a younger brother named Samuel. Their mother is a single, working mom who was working two jobs but had to quit one to continue her education for a better future.

'The Ed's' graduated from a high school a year ago and both turned down college scholarships to play football so they could stay home, attend a local community college and work two jobs (each of them) to help their mom and be there to help with their little brother while he finished high school.
In this daily process we call life, the rent fell behind. They are facing eviction. They live in one of the, if not the cheapest apartment complexes in the DC metro area.
This is not a matter of them living among their means.
It's not.
So what does this have to do with you? I'm glad you asked.
Please click on the link below and donate whatever you can. You think you're donation is too small to make a difference? Think again. It's all about volume.
I'd like to thank you in advance.
There is one thing I know about you all.
 You're big-hearted.
You're insanely generous and you're the most kind-hearted folks in the world.
I KNOW together we will get this done.