Saturday, December 8, 2012

Mostly photos and an update

THANK YOU EVERYONE for your wonderful comments and e-mails last week for my two sons – there were so many and I wasn’t around and so it was overwhelming to get back to each of you so a huge THANK YOU HERE. 

The boys are doing wonderfully and I do believe Darren will finally get the use of his right arm back again after 3 years.  Last Monday without even thinking about it he picked something up with his right hand and started to unscrew the top – could never do that before….so it will come back again.  Brett says he doesn’t want to talk about how he feels because he doesn’t want to jinks the good feeling…lol.  He is able to drive now which is wonderful…for the June surgery it was a lot longer.  But for both boys it will be a long road to healing and getting back to normal – not sure what the norm is for them but certainly getting rid of the pain they have both suffered.
Prayers are so powerful and there were many.  You are just the greatest group of people who really care.  They both thank you as well.
MaryAnn took a picture of Darren’s surgery – it’s a biggie!!!

Remember you can click on the pictures to make them bigger.

Yesterday (Saturday) was a horribly sad day – we took Lola into the Vet to be euthanized – she was a little trooper. Dr. Beth gave her a shot to relax her and she became a little limp noodle – so I held her for about 10 minutes and then the dr. came in and took care of her so gently I was amazed at her concern for Lola.  She petted her and petted her.  I honestly think she fell in love with Lola over the times we have taken her in there.  So now she’s gone and I’m okay with it.  Had my moments when we first found out 2 weeks ago.
Doug snapped this picture just before I wrapped her up to leave.  Sorry for the rugged face…crying doesn’t always leave one looking refreshed!
Me and Lola

Remember the lady who ordered the 6 chair backers awhile back…well she sent me a picture of them in her home.  They look wonderful and I just may have to make some for myself.  Thanks Susie for sharing your photo!
Susies chair backers

And so on to a livelier post…just needed to get these things posted because many, many of you cared so much.  Bless you all.

Just photos now -  I promise – the finish of decorating.

A few weeks back I purchased some vintage ornaments from a shop near us and yesterday we stopped again and they had tons of them on several of the display trees.  I wanted them all but chose only the silver, gold and mottled ones to match what is already on our tree.
New ornaments 

My good friend Renea brought me this gold and silver teardrop ornament on Thursday when she came for lunch.  She said she didn’t know what to get me – she couldn’t have gotten a more perfect gift.
ornament from Renea

I’ve tried over and over to get a full shot of the tree with the lights on but it always comes out blurry so here are a few individual shots of the tree/ornaments.  I bought a total of 12 new vintage ornaments this year…some are on the dining room tree.
new ornament 3 


 ornament 4

See the long teardrop one on the right…it’s glass and has gold in it and there are some silver ones too.  I bought them after Christmas last year at a local shop.

 ornament 3

new ornament 1

tree 1

On Thursday a group of former co-workers came over for lunch – I made a simple one of pulled beef, layered salad, cole slaw, strawberry whip and baked beans.  For dessert I made toffee bars and an angel food raspberry cake.  The center of the angel food cake is filled with whip cream and raspberries and then covered in whipped cream. I use strawberries sometimes but being there was a strawberry Jell-O whip I wanted this different.

dinner 2

Raspberry Cake

toffee bars 

I made huge batches of Cranberry/Walnut Bread and gave them as the guests left (along with leftovers)
Cranberry Breads

So again on to the decorating.

I think this is my favorite this year.  It’s the hallway between the kitchen and den
Hallway christmas 2012

hutch 2012

blue table 1

den table 

After posting this and looking at this picture the tree on the left on the mantle is really wonky – there’s a parchment paper on the front of it (with words on it) that is making it look like a weird face…sorry – I don’t know what happened there.
Fireplace 2012 

family room 2012 

clipper box with lights

kitchen tree 3


 top of cabinets
And some decoration in the kitchen that didn’t stay was this pile of real pine boughs wrapped in a sheet that BABY decided was going to make a wonderful and aromatic bed.  I left it until our company came on Thursday.
Baby in pine 2012


I bought this basket in PA in October with the idea of doing just this.  Lots of birch twigs, Winter Berries, pine boughs and lighted twigs.  It looks like what I had in mind which surprised me – I had no idea if all of it would fit and it did.  It’s in front of the stairway in place of having greens/lights on the railing.
basket of twigs and lights 1 

The candle in this basket is a Flicker Flame Candle from Primitives By Kathy’s – it’s the most realistic looking candle I’ve ever seen…I have two of them now.  Look at the flame…it wiggles back and forth like a real flame.  I get tickled by the simplest things don’t I?  lol

hanging basket

sanata on pie safe

bowl rack

hutch 2012

candle in wire basket

Wire basket 1

Desk 2012
Last Christmas my friend Linda from PA sent this wonderful realistic battery candle for Christmas – it flickers way down in like a burning candle.
It’s much larger than it looks in the picture – so yesterday when we were shopping I bought another one.
Candle from Linda M 

our dresser


EXTERIOR – back (but our main entrance)
back porch 2012
On front porch.  I bought this fabric reindeer at a local shop hand made by a local artist
deer front porch

Woaaaaa!  I guess I had enough pictures didn’t I….well the heading told you that, so if you are still THANK YOU….

Okay, I need to tell on myself and I’m not proud of this.
Last week I washed a load of red things and one of them was a red plastic table cloth that had grease on it so in the washer it went…well, I was not in my right mind I just know it…no surprise though for what all has been going on but I guess after 50 years of washing clothes one would have know….nope, not me.  It melted the tablecloth onto the back of the dryer. Now this dryer is only 2 years old so I’m really sick about it.   So far I’ve washed rugs and another load of reds/darks that didn’t really matter but to no avail…it won’t budge.   This morning I’m in there with a scraper and elbow grease trying to pry some loose.  Got a few pieces but nothing will move.  Now I’m afraid to do laundry and it’s starting to build….what to do!!!
dryer tub 

I am all caught up with orders and will not do any more until after the first of the year as I’m not sure what the outcome will be with my dr. apt. on Monday when I find out if they can even do surgery.

Hope you are all ready for the Christmas holiday and have time to take just for yourself…like I said it has been years for me and it feels good and it will continue.  I most likely will have time for visiting my friends blogs now…so see you around.

Blessings to all….see you next week with a report and more photos.  For some reason I had many, many things built up waiting to post so I’m putting it in two different posts….this one is long enough.


  1. Karen I hope your sons on on the mend..that sutured back looks very uncomfortable/
    I am so sorry about your sweet Lola..I still have tears after looking at you two.

    Your holiday pictures are wonderful and always love looking at your cozy home. Time to go look again.
    Love~Best Wishes~Hugs

  2. Well, I had to stop and come back. It rained on my face too. I am so sorry, but glad you had a loving vet.I think some are called to be a vet like some are called to the ministry. It has to so hard. Glad to hear the boys are doing well and I pray you will get the best news you can on Mon. Your house looks fabulous. Just beautiful. How you have done it with a broken heart is beyond me. I admire you. Those chair backs certainly found a gorgeous home, didn't they?

  3. Hi Karen~

    Sounds like your sons are on the mend. I will continue with prayers that all stays as it should. Sorry to hear about your dear Lola. It's always hard to lose a member of your family.

    Love the photos of your Christmas decorating. Maybe I'll finally get my decorating done after seeing yours.

    Have a Merry Christmas~Becky

  4. Dear Karen, You and your family sure have had a time of it lately. I'm glad Darren is on the mend and hope his arm will be perfect. I hope both of your sons recuperate and will be fine.
    I didn't write to you about Lola but I knew what you were going through.. We had to have our 17 year old "Boo" kitty put to sleep on the 25th of October.. He had cancer in his lungs.. He couldn't eat and breathe too so he stopped eating.. I squeezed tuna out of the can to get the juice for him to drink..
    I know having a pet put to sleep is one of the hardest things pet parents have to do. We don't have any kitties now, but are thinking about looking for a kitten after Christmas.. I've been dreaming about the kitties that we've lost and they all look "fat and sassy" and in good health..
    Take care of yourself.. I hope if you have surgery it will help you feel like new again.
    Your home looks so cozy and "Christmasy". The lunch you fixed looks scrumptious.
    Have been thinking about you. Best wishes for a wonderful Christmas and happy, healthy new year.
    Charlotte in Va.

  5. Oh Karen, you've been through so much! I'm so glad the boys are bouncing back...although that scar rivals Brian's head scar! Ick! Love all your vintage ornaments..especially the tree one I saw hiding there. Your lunch looked delicious--beautifully decorated cake--I love angel food cake.
    Poor Lola...such a painful time. My brother was planning on being a vet, but soon realized he wouldn't be able to handle this situation. He instead taught in a people hospital. Baby must miss her little friend. :( I think we will always shed a tear for our Stryker. I really enjoyed all your pics--so prim and festive. The chair backs look great-you can tell she was thrilled with them! --Jan

  6. Karen glad to hear that your sons are on the mend.Will be praying for then and you to get the best news possible on Monday.

    I am so sorry about your Lola!The pic of the two of you sent tears sliding down my face.It was great that the vet had such compassion.

    Your home is as lovely as ever,so festive.It is always a treat to see your decor.Merry Christmas,Jen

  7. Whata\ an enjoyable post! I am glad your boys' health is looking up! I wish the same for you...I hope the dr. appt brings good news. At least to know, the surgery can be done. You have been in pain long enough. My heart aches about Lola, although I know she's free from pain now. I have been there aand it's not easy. I hope Baby doesn't mourn for her too long. Doodle mourned for Simba for several months when we lost him in our house fire. It was so sad. Your new vintage ornaments are to die for, as is that angel food cake! Post the recipe...we are all drooling. Your table is beautiful with all those yummy treats. I always look forward to the Christmas pics of your beautiful home. I love the effect you give them when you edit them. I just may have to treat myself to some chair backers this year. They would look lovely on my dining room chairs. They sure look lovely in their new home. I'll look forward to more pictures next week. Enjoy the rest of your weekend.


  8. Love all your pictures of your home. I am sorry to hear about your sweet Lola!

  9. I'm so sorry that you lost Lola. You gave her a wonderful life and a peaceful passing.
    Sounds like good results for your sons. What a blessing! Really enjoyed all the photos (and food) and hope your appt. goes well.

  10. HI Karen,

    I'm just catching up on all that's been going on with you! I'm so sorry I missed out on the post about your sons' surgery. I'm so glad they're better and will pray for them! Wish I had seen it then to be praying. So sorry!

    Also so sorry about Lola. We have a kitty we love dearly too. I'm glad you are ok with your decision. We've been there before on that...and it's hard!

    Your home is beautiful as usual! Just gorgeous! Love everything! It's cozy Christmas there for sure!

    You have a great weekend, great week, and a Merry Christmas!


  11. Karen, hoping for continued healing for your sons, and your niece! Also ease of heart for you over letting Lola go, such a heart rending thing to have to do, but she was well loved, and the vet sounds like a true friend.

    Your photos are just so pretty. I love your home, it looks wonderful.
    So good your friends came by, and the food sounds yummy!

    The chair pads did come out just wonderful! her room is terrific!

    I hope and pray you have a wonderful December holiday season.
    God be with you & your family.
    Hugs, friend Karen!

  12. Karen, everything looks so lovely. I think my favorite thing is the snowman on the back porch...awesome.
    Sorry about Lola but good to know your vet was so caring and that Lola is no longer in pain. Praying you get great results on Monday and continued prayers for your boys.
    Be blessed,

  13. Hi Karen, I'm trying to play catch up here. I'm sooooooo sorry about Lola. I know how you feel. I had to put my blue point siamese, Bugs down about 6 or 7 years ago. I cried so hard. When I seen you holding Lola it brought back all the memories and I choked up and almost cried with you.

    Sorry to hear about your boys but glad they are both getting better.

    Your house is so pretty no beautiful all decorated up. I only have my tree up and a few snowmen. We are so busy at the office. Unfortunately it seems this time of year we have more grieving families. Don't know why but we do. I just can't seem to keep up anymore.

    Well I've bent your ear enough. Hope you have a wonderful Christmas and I hope and pray your surgery helps take away your pain and brings healing to your body.


  14. Karen, I'm praying for your sons' continued recovery. I'm so glad you have such a compassionate vet - I know this was hard for you. Your home is beautiful as always. Hope you get good news on Monday.

  15. Karen,
    I am so sorry to read about Lola. I know the pain of losing a beloved pet. Your Lola had a wonderful life with you and she will always stay in your heart. Try to focus on the happy times you shared with her.

  16. Evening Karen, sure hope your Sons are on the road to recovery. So sorry to hear about losing Lola, the picture made tears roll down my fat cheeks, we forever keep them warm and safe tucked away in our hearts.Your cozy home looks so wonderful decked out for the Holidays, so many great goodies I saw. Love the old glass ornaments, saw a pinecone, my favorite. Warm Blessings Francine.

  17. Hi Karen, so glad to hear your boys are recooperating nicely. It's so good to hear good news after hearing so much of the bad news that's been going on in the world.
    Your home looks so nice! My granddaughter looked over my shoulder just in time to see your beautiful cake and she started to drool. Ha!

    Sending continued blessings to the boys and have a Merry, Merry!

  18. Oh Karen,
    You have had to deal with so much lately. Wish I could reach in and give you a big hug.
    So glad to hear your boys are getting better. I will continue to send them my prayers.
    I am so sorry for your loss of Lola.
    I can understand. We lost our little Charlie Man of few months back and I grieved for him for over a month. Certain family members were telling me, "its just a cat" but I LOVED THAT CAT! He was my buddy, my cuddle bug. I was heart broken. He got sick over the weekend. I tried to find a vet that would come in and see him. But even with pleading no one would. So I watched him suffer for days and then pass away hours before the vet office opened.
    Sorry, I'm babbling a bit.
    Hope things turn around for you and that 2013 does nothing but POUR BLESSINGS onto you and yours!

    Love your photos.
    Your home looks Gorgeous!!
    Of course, your home always looks gorgeous!!
    Thanks for sharing.
    Take care, sweet Karen.
    Big hug,

  19. Karen ~
    Thanks for the newsy post. I am so glad to hear your sons are on the mend. That is quite an incision! OUCH!
    You gave Lola the ultimate gift ~ letting her go when it was time. Big hugs to you.
    Your home looks lovely. Thank you for sharing.

  20. Karen,
    Such a wonderful post! All the things in life we must endure and then some for you and your family! I hope your heart heals quickly and maybe the season of Christmas and hope will help that process along. Your home is absolutely stunning in all it's Christmas finery! So enjoyed seeing how you put it all together!
    I need to go give my doggies a hug now!!
    Blessings and the warmest of hugs!!
    Cathy G

  21. Have you tried using goofy off to clean your dryer. I have used it to remove gum and ink out of my dryer . It will leave a chemical smell but dry old cleaning rags. As he next load.

  22. So much for automatic correct that is goof off

  23. Oh Karen,

    I am so sorry about everything that has gone on and then loosing a faithful friend as well. I have been so out of touch with everything going on in here that I have not been keeping in touch with and checking in on everyone like I wish I could, please know I am thinking of you and your family.

    The house looks wonderful and what a good feeling to be cone with orders for now!

    Meryy Christmas my frind!


  24. Hello to my dear friend, Karen......Karen, how do you do it? You have so much going on yet, your home is just out of this world beautiful. I think you must plan ahead? Everything is in it's perfect place. I absolutely enjoy coming to your blog to read what is going on in your house. It is very exciting to hear all that you accomplish.

    I am so sorry about your son..I hope that this time all heals well and he can use his arms freely. Karen, our 45 year old Tim, is experienceing pain right there where Darron has. It has been recently.He is going to a therapist but we both know that maybe and maybe not he will help him. I pray your other son gets back to feeling so much better too. The two yhoung guys have been through enough.

    Also, I was surprised last week when I heard you say you have decided to have the surgery on your back if they can. I am not in the pain I was in. My doctor diagnosed me with hypomyalgia and started me on Cymbalta and I must say it has helped my back somewhat.

    Why do we have to have so many trials and tribulations? But we do. With God's help, we really do know how to handle these things that come along. Especially your darling little Lola. I loved her, too. I am sorry, truly sorry.
    Love and Peace
    Sus (Susannah

  25. So happy your sons are doing well. LOve Love Love your decorations!!!

  26. So happy your sons are doing well. LOve Love Love your decorations!!!

  27. wow..glad to hear the boys are on their way to feeling sorry about your sweet baby sad...funny how we all makes these pets such a big part of our lives....
    Love love all your christmas photos....beautiful !! Just love your home....

  28. Karen, I'm sorry about Lola. So glad your sons are doing well. I hope you get good news at the Dr. Your house looks beautiful!

  29. hello dear everything looks so sweet
    Sorry about Lola ..I know it is very hard ..sending you lots of hugs...
    I am praying you get great news from the dr.
    Lots of love for you
    Cucki x

  30. So glad that your sons are on the mend. Beautiful decorations in your home for Xmas. Thank you so much for sharing.

  31. Whew, what a post...full of emotions..some good, some not so great. I'm glad to hear the good news about your sons....and so sorry about the loss of your precious kitty Lola, she looked like a real sweetie.
    Thanks for taking the time to share all the beautiful pics of your decorations...just gorgeous! Finally, I hope you figure out something for your dryer...I'm sure you can find some advice on the internet since you can't be the only one this has happened to.
    Have a blessed Sunday.
    Smiles, DianeM

  32. Oh Karen...glad to hear your sons are on the mend...ouch that is on long incision! Sounds like both surgeries were successful and that is great. Hope your get good news on Monday!
    So sorry about dear Lola....she was certainly well loved and cared for.
    Everything looks so wonderful...your Christmas home is a wonderland!
    Take good care,

  33. gosh karen. so much to catch up on! first im sorry to hear of your sons and their surgerys..i am sending thoughts and prayers that they are recovering well as tina as well! and im soo sorry to hear of lola..we that have fur babes understand how your heart is hurting...
    your christmas decorations are beautiful i need to go thru them again. are your bigger trees real? they are wonderful! i just started some decorating and getting more in the mood now. i love vintage christmas decorations and am slowly getting them out and about
    your food and table look wonderful and im sure it was fun to do. i host the cobblestone cobblers christmas get together and love it!
    well karen i better get busy just finished my 2nd cup of coffee and want a 3rd but maybe in a bit. enjoy your day! oh love the chair covers too.

  34. so sorry karen about lola...its such a hard thing to do.....and your boys...oh my...prayers being sent....your house looks great...i enjoyed my tour....and i think if i were you....on the dryer thing...i would ask my hubby to do all laundry from now on because you need a break.....its his turn....would he go for that...or send all your laundry out....and make him pay for it...what a mess in that sorry.....

  35. Ugh~about the dryer! Hope you can get that out! Sorry to hear about your kitty and your son's surgery looks scary~hope he is doing better!
    Loved all of your decor~you really went all out and it looks wonderful!
    Have a very Merry Christmas Karen!!


  36. Your toffee looks amazing.
    So sorry about Lola.... Been there many times before with kitties... Never a fun day... And then you still expect to see them curled up in their favorite places for months to come or peeping their nose on a window to be let in. :(
    Your Home is beautiful for Christmas.. Thanks for the post. hope your week looks up.

  37. I can almost smell Christmas in your home. It looks beautiful. So glad your sons are doing well. Feeling your pain with the loss of Lola. Hope you get good news about the surgery. I know you've endured that pain long enough. Have a blessed week.

  38. Great news about your sons, Karen. So very sorry about Lola..When I saw the pic of you holding her, the tears came flooding,remembering several weeks ago when we had our 15 yr.old Callie put down. Think my heart will break for a long, long time.
    Love all the decorations...such a "wonder woman" to get all that done. Many Blessings for a good report from the doctor...

  39. So glad to hear that your sons are on the mend! Seeing you with Lola brought tears to my eyes as I lost my Tanner boy this year. He was MY lap cat. Your holiday decor is so inviting and I love vintage silver and gold ornaments. I started collecting those myself too. Take care, Janice

  40. Oh my heavens, a whirlwind indeed you've been in. I'm so sorry for your loss of Lola. They are dear to our hearts and stay in them forever.
    Speedy recovery wishes for your sons and you get your pain taken care of so you can have better living.
    Thanks for letting us into your beautiful home. The pine sprigs are excellent for Christmas decorating and really add a lot of beauty.
    I do love your chair rugs! Might have to get me some of those :)


  41. Karen,I too, am so sorry for your loss. You must miss her terribly. Glad your two sons are doing better. Your house look amazing! Loved all the pictures and especially those ornaments!! Any chance you could post the toffee bar recipe....pretty please??!!

  42. Karen,

    Oh my were do I even begin... First.. Sending many hugs! I should of emailed you, but I have been a bit under the weather these couple of weeks.. So glad your sons on are the mend! that scar.. I can't even look I just shutter... and Lola, many hugs my friends.. they are such a big part of our families!
    then your gathering, oh my, the deocrating, double oh my, the silve and gold, LOVE! I blame you, I have been on the look for mercury ornies now... have gotten several great reproductions this year.. and bead garland for our tree, love it! Hugs! OLM

  43. Oh Karen, my sweet friend I am so very sorry about Lola. I have tears in my eyes as I think about how you must feel. One thing was very evident when I first started following your blog and that was your love of family and sweet Lola. I know she had a special place in your heart!

    You've been through a lot girl, goodness! Glad the boys have both had their surgeries and well on their way to recovery. Sounds like it will be good for both of them, glad to hear!

    As always, your Christmas decorating is wonderfully perfect! LOVE the basket with the twigs, lights, and berries... it is absolutely beautiful and simple!


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