Thursday, May 29, 2014

Well hello

I've been MIA from this blog for way too long. Things here at Chateau Gahan have been summatime busy!

We got Harleigh moved out of the house in Statesboro where she'd lived for 2 years. That was, for sure, a bitter sweet move. She's glad to move onto the next chapter, but 809 Gentilly had been her home-away-from-home for two intense years of her college life. She's got one more semester to go before she graduates in December, and a couple from church (empty nesters) offered up a room in their house for free so that she doesn't have to worry about a 6-month lease. What a blessing!

With a moving-truck-full of thrifted furniture now in my garage, my booth at Simple Finds will be full for quite awhile. What I sell of Harleigh's college bedroom (and living room and kitchen) will surely pay for the moving expenses. Despite the sizable lot of items that I need to sell, I did cave in to one purchase. I bought two of these dining chairs from Simple Finds; the combo of the seafoam blue, the hand-painted flowers and the gold trim teased me into checking out the price tags (and the booth was 20% off for the holiday weekend, so I scored quite a deal). And I exercised a rule that I've put into place and followed religiously: If I buy anything from Simple Finds, I have to take something out of the house and sell it in my booth. So, in the case of these two new acquisitions, these two chairs left the house and are now for sale.

I'm head of set design and decor for the church VBS, and so that's kept this gal knee deep in hot knives and gallons of paint. Pix to come. Beyond cute!!!!

Harleigh hit the ground running as soon as we got her home; training for camp began. She's director this year over the middle school camp, Ozone. I love seeing her in a leadership role of this magnitude, finding strengths she didn't even know she had and growing in her faith.

Our company closed the Friday before Memorial Day weekend, so I had four glorious days. They were jam-packed, for sure, but having Harleigh home (even though she was swamped as well) made for random snippets of together time, a lunch here and there, coffee in the ken in the mornings.

Gideon loves having both his girls at home, but honestly, once Monday evening came, he was over it. Harleigh and I know that he likes his alone time during the day to sleep, and with both of us in and out of the house throughout the day for four solid days, he was awake or being wakened much more than usual.

I had seen these spools of weathered muslin "ribbon" at the fabric store for $6.99 a piece; a bit out of my price range. When I went to Hall's Wholesale Florist to pick up the flowers for Julie's wedding a few weekends ago, they had them at wholesale price, so I picked up these six. Almost too pretty to use. The clock in my craft room was a purchase from my church's annual Craft Fair last year. It's an embroidery hoop with buttons sewn onto linen for the numbers.

When Harleigh was growing up, every summer we'd go to Florida for vacation with my parents. So many wonderful memories made. Then when Harleigh got older and was in private school, times were a little leaner, and summer trips to the beach were only wishes. When I took my three week sabbatical in 2012, I splurged on two of those weeks at the beach (captured here, here, here, here, here and here — that vacation ranked right up there with one of the happiest times of my life).

With Harleigh almost a college graduate, I've decided that vacations need to come back into our lives. I'll work a little harder on my side businesses to make them happen. I know that time off is good for the soul, but more importantly, it's good for our relationship. Who knows where her life may take her. I want to take advantage of having her close to home and not married yet. I look to the future and see myself renting a big house at the beach every summer with Harleigh, husband and kids coming for the week. I want memories to continue to be made.

So a couple weekends ago, I got online and made a spreadsheet of about 10 houses I'd found in Florida. This past weekend, I shared it with Harleigh. We poured over pictures and descriptions online, and we weighed one property against the other using the detailed checklist I'd created. It felt like House Hunters, at the end when the buyers sit down and talk about the pros and cons of each home.

This is where we netted out, and I'm over the moon. A two-bedroom, two-bath house directly on the beach. Alligator Point, FL to be exact. Right on the Gulf of Mexico. You can count on me to be living in one of these chairs most days.

Here's the Google map image of the property location.

And here is the house location when you zoom in. You can see that not far to the left, the road completely dead ends and there are miles of uninhabited white beach (out to the point, which you can't see in this picture). Gideon and I are going to be in walking/shelling heaven.

Here is the porch that overlooks the beach and the Gulf. Harleigh and I fell in love with the swinging chairs.

Next year can't get here soon enough!

Monday, May 5, 2014


This weekend it really hit me just how much social media and the digital world
have taken over my life. Sorta made me sad.
On Sunday afternoon, after a full weekend, I escaped to the back patio with Gideon

When was the last time I did that?
Without a phone or a laptop.
Or a camera.

I sat in my cheap, plastic Adirondack chair,
my hands, palms up, on the arms of the chair,
my head resting on the chair back,
the serenity and warmth 
causing my eyelids to drop and my 
whole being

The house was in shambles.
The garden in need of weeding.
Dustbunnies everywhere.
Laundry done and folded but in piles on my bed.
Everywhere I looked, I saw work to be done.

My usual escape is to play a game of solitaire on my phone.
Catch up on Pinterest.
Post and peruse Instagram.
Watch the newest episode of Housewives of NYC on my laptop.
Listen to music.
Watch TV.

As I sat in the chair on my patio, 
a peace came over me that I've not felt in quite some time. 
Escaping without an outlet, a keypad, a screen.
What a novel idea.
Instead, I was plugged into the sounds of birds chirping and kids playing, 
the smells of cut grass and my neighbors grilling,
the feel of a warm breeze stroking my face and of Gideon's fluffy head beneath my hand.

And so, I vow to enjoy more of these escapes.
Have them happen more than just during vacations.
Share them with my daughter.
Schedule them. Spontaneously do 'em. 
Simply perfect.

In my quest to simplify, I don't go to thrift stores anymore. 
But at the antique mall where I have my booth, 
I chanced upon a huge stack of these salesman button sample cards, and I couldn't pass them up.
I bought four and plan on hanging them "as is" on the wall in my craft room.
[Excuse the IG image; will take a better picture once I hang them.]

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