Monday, August 30, 2010

Harleigh Who?

There is one beating heart at Chateau Gahan who has loved the transition to empty nest. With Harleigh no longer here to take Gideon out in the afternoon, we now have a dog walker. Gideon is in heaven. Jennifer goes to my church and has a dog walking business. She squeezed me into her rotation and now Giddy has an hour a day in the afternoon for walking and play time. But the best part is that Miss Jennifer often brings over other dogs she walks for play dates. Gideon especially loves Sam the Portuguese Water Dog and Bullet the 12-pound Pug mix rescue pup.

Yesterday Jennifer was babysitting Bullet and asked if she could bring her over to show me how much they adore each other. My boy, gotta admit, is a gentle giant. Their play was sweet and tiring in the afternoon heat. They both plopped down, pooped, after running, and Gideon proceeded to put his paw on top of hers. OK, so not intentional, but it had a Lady and the Tramp feel to it.

Every day Jennifer leaves me a cute note about what they did. Being a mom to a child is no different than being mom to your dog . . . it warms your heart to hear good things about your "child."

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Mailbox Inspiration

This Waverly ad has my mind racing with ideas for how to pretty-up my mailbox. Somethin' crafty is sooooo gonna happen. And Henry will be most appreciative of a mailbox that makes him smile when he delivers my mail.

Saturday, August 21, 2010


Harleigh's room will certainly stay intact. It's not going to become an annex to my craft room, a place to store stuff, or an office. Gideon still likes to sleep on her bed since her room is the only one with a ceiling fan (I know, I know, Giddy, looking out the window endlessly won't bring her home from college).The only change-up I'm doing in there is to move in my maple bench from the ken. I found a drop-front maple desk at my favorite thrift store and am setting up office in the ken. I've attempted this once before and failed badly. The problem with using a table as a desk is that there's no place to store anything.

And so the drop-front desk is now where the bench used to be. I've got some nesting to do to make it look like it belongs, but that'll happen soon enough. The icky part about it all is that I have to keep my stinkin' file cabinet nearby in order to use the desk efficiently. Oh well.

Thursday, August 19, 2010


My weekend in Statesboro was the big goodbye for me and my girlie, but also an opportunity to say hello to some wonderful new friends!

First of all, Jackie over at Empty Nest Full Life emailed me after seeing the Georgia Southern sticker on the suitcase at Harleigh's graduation open house. She has ties to Georgia Southern and lives about 45 minutes away. Needless to say, we wound up having lunch, meeting for the first time. This is the first blog friend I've met (aside from readers in the co-worker, family and just-around-the-corner-friends categories), and it was such an easy friendship to go from blog posts to face-to-face conversation. It's amazing to me how well we get to know each other through our postings. Thanks, Jackie, for being a friend, and for offering up your home when I visit and to Harleigh if she needs to get away. Generosity and heartfelt prayers define you.

The second connection was through a friend at my church. Clarice's family lives in Statesboro and so she hooked us up. Her parents Barbara and Paul met us on Saturday morning for breakfast at local digs Snooky's. A wood paneled restaurant steeped in the '70s with Georgia Southern paraphernalia on the walls, cash-only, one meat and two veggies kind of place. At the center of the restaurant was a large round table of only men, drinking coffee, talking politics and stocks . . . so old boy Southern. Needless to say a handful of the men stopped at our table to say hello to Barbara and Paul and meet us. Harleigh left with a list of phone numbers for the best dentist, doctor and auto mechanic in town, invitations to church on Sunday and to sing in the choir, a promise that she'd call any one of them if she needs anything, and . . . well, a family in Statesboro. She also got to meet Clarice's sister and her family, and is babysitting the three girls of Clarice's brother and sister-in-law this evening.
God is good.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Window Bulletin Board

I've had this old window around forever, figuring it would find a home somewhere, perhaps in a re-fashioned state. Well, my daughter was heading off to college, and we'd been struggling with what kind of bulletin board we should buy. Hanging stuff on college dorm walls alone is a feat unto itself since we're limited by the dorm restrictions. Then when she spied this window leaning in a dusty corner of the garage, a light bulb went off in both our heads.

So I gave it a good cleaning. All the glass was intact but one piece; no biggee. I covered the back of the 7 pieces of glass with scrapbook paper. Then in three of the panes I glued (to the front of the glass) a piece of foam core covered in corkboard (which I wrapped around the foam core so the edges are finished). For the pane with no glass, I screwed in eye hooks on the reverse of the frame, ran string across, and clipped on a miniature clothespin for hanging notes and memorabilia.

To take the craft factor to the next level, I made pushpins using vintage earrings.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Empty Nest

First of all, Harleigh is safe and sound at school. We said our goodbyes with lots of smiles and I'm proud to say, few tears on my part. And for those of you who know that I cry at the drop of a hat, I'm so proud of myself. She was never more ready to enter this chapter of her life. And I think her confidence in her ability to tackle the workload and all its distractions, her ease with the transition, her overall joy . . . she's going to love college.

During our weekend in Statesboro we withstood one of the hottest days I've ever lived through. Move-in day was so humid that I had to stop several times to wipe the sweat out of my eyes because I couldn't see. But once she got into her suite, met her roommate and her family, and we started unpacking, the nesting began. A trip to Kmart landed us much needed kitchen shelves. We made a trip to the Super Wal Mart for groceries. And everywhere we went we ran into other parents and students and gabbed: strangers all with one thing in common, our children leaving the nest. It made us all family.

Here is Harleigh's room. (I didn't get pix of the living room, dining room, bathroom or kitchen because there was still lots of move-in going on.) Harleigh and Rebekah each have their own rooms with doors that lock. Double bed, nightstand (which Harleigh put in her closet), chest of drawers, desk and chair. We put the bed up on risers and added this Japanese lamp. The wall pix are decals that peel off.
Here is her desk. She brought her baby blanket, Quilty, which hangs on the back of the chair. The bulletin board "window" will be a separate post (not used here the way I intended it, but this isn't my room, so I had to bite my tongue and let her do it her way).
She's using her chest of drawers as a nightstand. We will need something on the wall above it. There are mini blinds at the window but Harleigh wanted something softer (but not curtains, since the room gets very little light) and so we opted for an accordian paper shade and pulled the mini blinds all the way up ; this shade goes nicely with the Japanese lamp and can clip up for full sun or be let out to reach the bottom, which gives the room a soft light .
I found this baker's rack at a yard sale a few weeks ago and it wound up being a great catchall in her room without looking out-of-the-box dorm room.
She loves her room, and I like that she has privacy, yet the experience of a roommate sharing the common areas.

What I miss most already: talking to her about what she's doing. I want to text and call her every hour and ask what she's doing. I know, I know, too much. But I want to hear every detail. When I left, she already had plans to shower and then go to the Baptist Youth Group open house. She was already making plans for church this morning and hadn't quite cemented what last night would hold. Ahhhhh, this is killin' me. Letting go has wound up being far less emotional for me than I had anticipated. What I didn't expect was the separation anxiety over communication.

I'm sending a telepathic message . . .

Harleigh call me.

Harleigh call me.

Harleigh call me.

Harleigh call me . . .

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Final Days

We leave for college this Friday. In the meantime there are prescriptions to be refilled, new tires on her car, emission and car registration to tackle, packing and more packing, laundry, last-minute shopping, some life-guarding gigs, lots of time with friends (camping, off-roading, movies, tubing). She's squeezing the last bit of childhood into her last week at home. I'm holding it together, watching her happiness, her confidence, her humor, soaking in her smile, hugging her and stroking her hair, being an absolute idiot over my only daughter.

Onto something non-emotional. Yesterday we went to Goodwill to find her some tennis skirts. We found a Prince skirt with the price tag still on it ($49.99!?!?!?) and got it for $2.09. Dang, are we some smart girls.

And this white ceramic basket made in Italy for $5.05 was too pretty not to bring home.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Ripple Afghan and a Big Snuggly Boy

When you find linens and knit goods at Goodwill, they're often taped up and difficult to see in their entirety. Such was the case with this ripple afghan. When I got it home and untaped it, it wound up being big enough for the foot of my king-sized bed. I love that whoever crocheted it pieced two sections together. Not to mention the fact that it contains every color imaginable. Happy ripples, to say the least.

This afternoon I undertook a craft project for Harleigh's dorm room. Will share tomorrow. I have a denim chair in the craft room where Mr. Gideon often naps, a prime spot to catch up on some ZZZZs and keep an eye on me. I adore the head between the paws.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

The Newest Cage

Back a few posts I talked about the courier bag I got at a yard sale. Well, the darling lady seller was getting rid of many items that I fell in love with. This vintage bird cage by O.L. & Co. out of New York was quite the find at $2.00. The lady and I got to gabbin' about bird cages and she took me inside to show me all of her decorative cages. She must have had 50 of them. Some were more TJMaxx kind of finds, but others were true vintage cages. Gorgeous! We chatted a long time about our collections and what joy we find in them.

I did some research on this particular cage and it's an all-brass Art Deco cage that dates to the 1920s (and appears to be worth way more than the $2 I spent on it). Such a sweet find, especially with my thrift-store ceramic parakeet inside!
And here is the cage in its new home on my living room shelves.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

What the heck?

Was thrifting with my girlie this weekend when I came across this bag of Russ Trolls for $3.00. Put it in my buggy, Harleigh questioned my sanity, and I checked the buyer's remorse gauge . . . yes indeed, I would regret not buying these freakishly fun vintage treasures. So the trolls followed me home.

What the heck am I gonna do with them?

Monday, August 2, 2010

So Little Time Left

I'm savoring the last days of our summer. The fridge is covered in all the weekly camp pictures from Harleigh's summer of camp counseling. We're doing the last-minute packing of dorm needs and scheduling all her doctor appointments before she heads out of town. I've got the dog walker lined up since Harleigh won't be home in the afternoons to take Gideon on their daily afternoon stroll through the neighborhood. The laptop is purchased. There's lots of time being spent together doing absolutely nothing and enjoying simply that. It doesn't seem real that I'm in this phase of life. It crept up on me so quickly. Savoring, that's what I've got to do these next two weeks.

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