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They Call It Home Part 1

I have "homes," on my mind, with the building process just around the corner.

But I am not the only one that does, many of you do too, and our daughters do as well.

One of our girls  just recently relocated to California with her husband and son.

They purchased a precious 1950's home in the Sacramento area,

I shared a few photos of their Mid Century Home a few months ago.

However, since then, they have gotten very serious about making major updates and I thought

your might enjoy viewing how it really all began.

So here is part one of Amanda's story...

The first night we slept in our new California house, my two year old son,Wyatt, 
my husband, Preston, our dog, Patch, and myself slept on a full size blow up 
mattress on the floor of what would become Wyatt’s room. 
I couldn’t sleep at all.
          It wasn’t the lack of personal space , or the noise the bed 
made every time I tried to shift, or the fact that we only had one pillow that was 
fully occupied by my little boy’s head. No, it was much worse."

In the attic. 

Scampering their little feet over every square foot of the ceiling above our make
          shift bed. 
They were river rats to be exact.
          We had moved into a tiny 1950’s home in Sacramento that was parked less than

          1/2 a mile from the levee to the American River.

          In December, vacant attics close to the river are prime real estate for these


I wanted to move.

I still remember our first morning in our house.
          It was an early December morning, somewhere between 4 and 5 AM,

          because Wyatt had not set his internal clock to West Coast time,  and it was freezing 

           inside and smelled musty and old.

          As I looked around at the uncovered windows, the banged up 
baseboards, the hideous kitchen and the paneling (oh the paneling!) 
I seriously questioned our decision  to purchase the home. 

1,053 square feet. One bath and three bedrooms. The home was tiny and needed lots of love. 

But, somewhere between the extermination of the rats and overflow of warm welcome (and 

food!!) from our neighbors, how we looked at the house began to change

We bought the house from a family member who had inherited the home from her 


For 5 years since his passing, the home had been a rental.

Previous to those 5 years, it had been the life-long home to Joey and his wife. 

The house was custom built to Joey's plan, each detail chosen carefully and lovingly from 

the reddish exterior paint, to the knotty pine cabinets.

We learned from our next door neighbor that he had dearly loved his home.

The backyard was packed full of trees, planted and nurtured by Joey-  mature lemon, 

orange and camellia trees, and signs of once expertly cared for roses and garden beds.

Our neighbor, who has lived next door to Joey, and now us, for over 20 years, hugged us 

each warmly when she met us. 

"This house has wonderful bones," she said.

 "Joey would be so happy to know it's has fallen back into loving hands." 

As I look back now I think that's what changed us.

For 5 years the home had fallen to the carelessness of renters,

now it was our duty to restore her with love and hard work she had been given for her 

previous 55 years.

And so we set to work... 

Join me next week to see the progress that is being made!


Please Join Me~

Ivy and Elephants


Downsizing and Moving Tips

Our home is sold, ninety percent of our household goods packed and stored.

My husband and I have been in our two bedroom, two bath apartment on the third floor,

 for two weeks. 

All unpacked and assuming a routine.

 And just as many of 

you suggested and( I thank you so much) we are making the most of downsize living!

The "idea," of selling and moving was nearly paralyzing for me and truly it was something that

I believed I could not do, oh I knew in reality I could do it.  I just wasn't quite sure how.

But through prayer, the support of my family, positive thinking, and a "can do attitude," it has been

far less overwhelming than I had ever imagined it to be.

I know there are many of you out there who are going through the same thing,

and I thought it might be of interest to pass on some tips along the way.

I really never imagined that at 58 years old I would be moving into an apartment and building

a new home.

So, I discovered and implemented a plan that worked for me and I am sharing it with you today.

Set a game plan and stick to it.

Make lists and more lists and above all stay organized and remain logical.

Tip #1

Inventory Your Current Home

At least a month in advance begin to inventory your current home, if you are like me and most

homeowners you have accumulated quite a bit and you will not be able to take everything you

"love," into your transition living space.  Measure beds, sofa's tables, etc...

Begin a wish list of what you would like to take with you.

Tip #2

Making the Most of your Temporary Living Style

Once you have chosen your temporary living style and your new space- take notes,

and begin making a list.

Measure spaces, take photos and double check things like the size of closets,

cabinets, refrigerator, laundry room.

This will help you make decisions on what you truly can take with you.

Tip #3

Donations, Garage Sales or Craig's List

Use the lists that you have created to de-clutter your life.  There is no better time like the present

or a move to get rid of items that you just no longer need, use or even want.

It is actually a wonderful time to free yourself from carrying so many things around for so long, so

embrace it.

Salvation Army will take used sofa's and items that are not torn or completely worn out.
Local donation centers will welcome clothing, dishes, art work, lamps etc...
If you find that there are items that won't sell or donations that are not accepted ask your
movers if they are interested in any of those items.

Tip #4

It's the Little Things That Make You Happy

I suppose that sounds like an odd term, but honestly there were some items that I knew would make

me happy and feel less displaced.

Photos and keepsakes from and of my family, cookbooks, and my plants.

Yep, I have little treasures tucked here and there, photos on tables and counters and my

Loquats, ferns, succulents, mums and petunias on my over sized balcony.

Oh, and of course fresh flowers always make one's spirit and home a brighter place.

Thank you to those of you who have sent me loving emails, you warmed my heart!


Please Join Me~

French Country Cottage

Mrs. Olson

Cedar Hill Farmhouse

Cozy Little House


Raspberry Scones

This is a recipe which you might just consider making this coming Sunday for Mother's Day.

Bake it for your own Mom, or if you are a Mom with young ones, have your hubby help them

make it for you, or if you are like me and you have a craving for a fresh raspberry scone-

Ta da...make some for yourself!

Did I mention that they are No Fail- I know this to be true because I made them with a

plastic spoon in a Pyrex casserole dish, with not one measuring cup nor, a measuring spoon.

But I did have a very random cooking tool that did not get packed during the move

-a pastry blender...hmmm

 (or the almost move-yes we are sitting in a house full of boxes since Friday,

double trouble on the buyers end, shame on them -details to follow. (  Am I fit to be tied? Yes.)

Fresh butter, juicy ripe raspberries, homemade vanilla extract (thanks to my SIL-Vicki)

you can already see why this is an amazing recipe-

A dough that is incredible, in fact one that I was thinking could double as a pie crust, and it

is wonderful to handle too.

You can see from this photo the consistency is amazing, tender, but does not fall apart.

These scones do not look like the traditional scone, but flavor and texture certainly are.

These scones get rolled up like a jelly roll and then sliced.

They make about 9-10 depending on how thick you slice them.

This great recipe is adapted from Erren's Kitchen

Now my friends this is a scrumptious scone, grab yourself your favorite brew and enjoy.

Also, Happy Mother's Day to the best group of ladies around!


Please Join Me~

Ivy and Elephants

The Cabin Called Me

" I came upon a cabin,

I heard it's voice call to me,

come a little closer, and I will tell you what is to be.

The wind rustles through the trees,

the darkness falls too soon, 

but you will know, and so will I,

that kindness should always be pursued."
                                     ~author unknown~

 I would like to share our serendipitous discovery while hiking in

the beautiful state of Colorado last Summer.

A delightful cabin in the woods.

Still well equipped with a trusty and durable metal roof to shield against weather and varmints.


A cabin loaded with personality and colorful interest, intricate details,

could we even say maybe a Gingerbread House architectural design?

She and I sort of clicked, I was mesmerized by her.

She knew it too, because she looked good in every angle and lighting.

Some people might just see old and tattered, I see intriguing -a log cabin with so many stories to tell.

She appeared kind, personable and adorable too.

Offering a lantern to weary travelers.

And another one for overnight guests.

My friend Doreen over at House Honeys lives in a wonderful cabin and even has

bears that wander by-pay her a visit she'd love to see you!

I would like a cabin in the woods, would you?


Please Join Me~

Cozy Little House