Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Our Song...


Bonjour mes amis!

I've been doing a lot of reflecting lately.  No rhyme or reason, just whatever pops into my head, whatever triggers a memory.  Today I've had the Christian TV Radio Station on all day while I worked on paperwork and began decorating a little for Fall.

As I walked by the TV to put something away earlier, an artist's name "Keaggy" came on the TV screen, and then it flashed off quickly, since it was the end of the song.  Suddenly, I recalled something sweet from my Engagement to my husband...

Our Song...

It was the song we wanted sung at our Wedding, but back in the days before the Internet, obtaining lyrics and musical scores was not an easy task, so we had to do without on our Wedding Day...

The lyrics to "Our Song" were perfect for us, so we included them in a little booklet we passed out at our Wedding, and I've never forgotten this.  Today, I decided to google the song, and lo and behold, was able to listen to the song by the original artist...

and then the tears started...

I hope you will click the link above and listen.  I know it's from the '80's, but the words are so sweet, and I still feel the same about my husband, 32 years later.  He always supports me and encourages me, and he loves me no matter what!  I am so blessed.

Song Lyrics
What a Wonder Your Are
by Phil Keaggy
Love, you have truly won my heart today,

Love, I am by your side and here I'll stay.

As we leave our lives behind and enter anew
A place where we two can now rise,
Take hold of the morning.

Love and devotion walking hand in hand,

More than emotion this is in His plan.
I'm amazed at how He's placed you in my life.
There was a time when my eyes
Couldn't face the morning.

Honey, I'm thankful cause you loved me.

Darlin', I'm thankful cause you needed me.
Oh, what a wonder, oh, what a wonder you are,

Now we are under the everlasting arms.

The everlasting arms.

Love is a lady living for her man.

Love is a man who really understands.
As we leave our lives behind and enter anew
A place where we two can now rise,
Take hold of the morning.

Honey, I'm thankful cause you loved me.

Darlin', I'm thankful cause you needed me.
Oh, what a wonder, oh, what a wonder you are,
Now we are under the everlasting arms.
The everlasting arms.

My husband has asked me to write a book.  I asked him what I should write about.  If you've read any of my blog, you know I could write about living in France and never be bored.  BUT, he has asked me to write about my memories.  A book?  Frankly, I'm more comfortable with my blog, since then I can just do tidbits as I go, and then I don't have to worry about making it so cohesive overall, but we will's a challenge for sure.  I have things to recall...

And it was especially sweet to recall this special time in my life today, because I have had quite a wonderful life with this man by my side...

Taken at Maroon Bells, Colorado 2015
Thanks for taking this trip down memory lane with me...and honey, I love you dearly!

Have a "Jewel" of a day!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Is the Wood Wall still standing?


Bonjour mes amis!

Today, I'm going to have to take a break from showing you the city of Caen, France to reveal a big project I worked on that I haven't told you about.

My daughter, Ms. Sapphire, moved to Colorado some three years ago.  As sad as it is to have her living away, it has sure given us a fun place to visit!  Ms. Sapphire is a hard worker and a good saver, and she recently purchased a new home all on her own.  We are so proud of her!

3 Story Townhome!
I really wanted to go see her new home and help with the Decorating!  But...we made a plan for a project or two as well.

Ms. Sapphire's builder wanted about $3,000 to put molding around all of her windows.  I found that ridiculous, and told her not to have them do it, that I would help get it done.  (Wait!  What did I just get myself into?)

Then, in another moment of insanity, I gave Ms. Sapphire a recommendation for obtaining hardware for her kitchen and bathroom cabinets (, by the way, did not disappoint!  Wonderful, heavy, good quality hardware at a good price)!  I  told her I would bring my guides for installing the hardware.  (What?  Another big project!  45 pieces of hardware!?!)

What was I thinking?
She's a working girl!  (Though she did take time off!)
Heading up there with so many projects meant I really had to work,
and work hard,
and, by the way,
do it all in one week!

So, what do I do next?  I see Ms. Sapphire's great new home, and I tell her that she needs a feature wall in her livingroom, like a big reclaimed wood wall!  (Did I just say that?  That's another huge project!)  Oh!  You can bet your bottom dollar that Ms. Sapphire was all about that.

So, what did we do?

We headed to Home Depot, of course, to buy wood...
To build a wall!
An 8 foot wide, by 10 foot tall wall!

Mind you, at this point, we were so excited and eager to get started...

After purchasing the wood, we cut the wood down so we could make it resemble a pieced wood floor (after very careful calculations), and then we beat on the wood to give it some character with whatever tools we could find!  Following that, we stained the wood using strong tea, and followed up with the Vinegar and Steel Wool concoction that you can find instructions for all over the Internet!  We loved the varying shades of the browns and greys!

Construction began in the afternoon in the livingroom.  Ms Sapphire did not want lots of holes in her walls, so we chose to put up two boards, screwing them into the studs, and then, we would screw the wall into those boards.  We put four black screws in each board, two on each end.  Of course, we had to pre-drill the holes.  Even with two of us, the work took hours!

We got pretty far along, and then realized we better make sure we could lift this thing.  We may or may not have removed a few boards!

We moved right along though, with barely a stop for dinner.  And then, as it got later and later, I begged Ms. Sapphire to stop for the night and finish in the morning.  No!  She was determined that we complete the wall that night.

So, we did!

And Ms. Sapphire even vacuumed up afterward!  (You will note that we did not bring the wall boards all the way to the floor.  We figured a new sofa would cover this area, and this way, Ms. Sapphire has access to the electricity for some cool lighting)!

At 1:04 AM, the work was done, and we headed to bed to veg in front of a little Downton Abby (since Ms. Sapphire hasn't watched the whole series yet)!

That was a hard days work, but the payoff was big!  Even Ms. Sapphire's neighbor (who is a handyman) came to inspect our work, and was super impressed!

And when I say the payoff was big, look at the space now that Ms. Sapphire got her new sofa and has done some decorating!  Wow!  (I'm pretty sure Ms. Sapphire's Pup, Luka, loves his new home too)!

And here's a few closeups, just after the new sofa arrived!

Don't you just love the texture of all that wood?

Quite a Statement!

And, I love all the selections that Ms. Sapphire has made for her new Home!

And yes, the morning after we constructed this wood wall, I came down the stairs, and asked Ms. Sapphire...

"Is the Wood Wall still standing?"

Yeah!  We did good work together, and it was so nice having the time with my daughter.

As a reward for all our hard work, we took a little trip to Steamboat Springs together even though she had to go there for work anyway!  We had a great time!

Come back next time when I will reveal our other projects!
Have a "Jewel" of a Day!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Red and White and Toile all Over!


Bonjour mes amis!

I have a couple of very dear friends who I hang out with a lot.  The three of us each have our "colors"!  One likes LOVES Pink, and the other friend likes LOVES Yellow.  They both know that I like LOVE Green, but they also know that when a POP of color is required, I LOVE Red as well!

Many homes in France are very neutral in color.  The facade is white stone, and there may be some black railing, but in general, everything looks clean and pretty, because it is so neutral, and nature pops beautifully against neutral.

Yesterday, I showed you the courtyard and breakfast room at a home we stayed in in Caen, France in 2011.  Here is the outside of the home, and right behind our rented vehicle there is the lovely courtyard I showed you yesterday!

Ah...the Roses behind us!

Let's head up to our room using the stairway with stone steps!

Everything is so tastefully decorated!

As we enter the room we discover the lovely dark beams on the ceiling, and a huge closet space!

We are greeted across the room to a typed out Welcome, which is thoughtfully placed in an old typewriter!  So ingenius!  And there's the address of the place, Le Clos Saint Martin, should any of you like to visit the city of Caen and enjoy an overnight stay!

Here's some views of the rest of the room...

Have you noticed a bit of a color scheme yet?

Imagine my surprise when I came in and saw...
Red and White and Toile all over!
What a nice POP!  The room spoke to me...

I love the stone wall and writing desk.  See the typewriter greeting?

Here's my favorite shot of the room!

The room was quite huge, and there was an ensuite bathroom, too!

This lovely little dress in the corner added so much charm!

And you can't beat this View!

Ah!  Thanks for taking this little trip with me down memory lane.  I'm guessing you would have liked to see a little bit of the city, too, but that's for another day.  I'm very picky about where we stay when we are in France, and at Le Clos Saint Martin, these people know how to do it right...

And it didn't hurt...
that they threw a little red in there for me either!

Have a "Jewel" of a Day!

Monday, April 20, 2015

This is what I'm doing on my Birthday!


Bonjour mes amis!

It has been a while.  And I have sure missed being here.  I think of this blog often, and how I'd love to get back to it, and continue to document my love of France, and Decorating, and sharing my Family Life here.

It's my birthday today.  Not a big one.  Not one to write down in the books, because as we all know...the older you get, the more you want to have those birthdays pass by unnoticed.

However, I do always enjoy my birthday, because it seems to last more than one day.  I have already celebrated with two dear friends, and I have lunch plans this week and a dinner outing next week, and I know that Dr. J is planning on taking me out for dinner tonight.  I already have had phone calls and numerous text messages today, and it's so nice to be remembered.

Dr. J gave me some very nice gifts this morning, but one I'd like to share here...

I had requested this book.  It's just beautiful.  It's full of beautiful pictures, and recipes, and tidbits about France and the French, and I was thrilled to sit down for a few minutes this morning with my coffee to enjoy it.

As I was looking through the book, I was reminiscing about not only our year in France, but also previous trips.  In 2011, Dr. J and I spent some time in Caen, France, and I'll share a few beauties from a place we stayed there today...just for some "eye candy".

Isn't this place just beautiful?  This is the courtyard at a Chambre d'hôtes where we stayed.  This was one of my favorites over all the years we have visited France.

I don't know why I never thought to share these photos before.

 And here is an interior view out to the courtyard...

Right in the room where Dr. J and I enjoyed our breakfast each morning...

Isn't it all so beautiful?

Perhaps next time, you would like to see the room we stayed in?  And more of the city of Caen?

I'll close off my Post today with this sweet quote from the new book I received!

Count on me to keep sharing the beauty of France with you!

Have a "Jewel" of a Day!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Longing for Long Island...


Bonjour mes amis!

Everybody's doing these throwback Thursday things these days.  I really don't know where this started, but I often see friends putting old family photos, etc. on Facebook.

This morning, I got a jolt of a throwback...and it's Thursday, so why not?

I was born on Long New York...

My parents were born there...

All my growing up (once we moved away), we regularly went back to Long Island to visit our Grandparents...

A little over a week ago, a very dear man from Long Island was called to be with the Lord.  I knew him all my growing up.  He was such a kind and fun man, a dedicated man (worked for the Fire Department for 60 years), and definitely a Family Man.  He and his wife were married for many years, and they had a big family together.  His children were so blessed.  He cared about each one of them so.  He was so dedicated to his wife also, always looking out for her every need.  We called him "Uncle" Tommy.

"Uncle" Tommy was my Mom's cousin and a dear friend to my Dad.  It turns out that he really was responsible for my parents getting together.  My parents went to Long Island this past week to honor and remember him, and it's been so nice to hear all about their visit, and how loved "Uncle" Tommy was.

Flashing to so-called "Flashback Thursday"...It's a dreary day today, here in Texas.  I made a cup of Tea this morning.  I had to open a new box of Tea.  As I put the tea bag in my mug, I had a vivid memory of my Grandparents (my Dad's parents) who also lived on Long Island.  They were big-time Tea drinkers.  The tea bags were always out, and they had a lazy susan on the kitchen table that never moved.  It was stocked with sugar and tea bags and a cup of tea was always at the ready.  Growing up, I thought that's all they did, was sit at the table and drink tea.  If someone came to the back door (which, of course, is where all guests enter), they were invited in for a cup of tea, even when we were there for a visit.  They were hospitable people.

As I made my cup of tea this morning, complete with two sugar cubes, I grabbed an iced tea spoon from the drawer to stir my tea.  I had grabbed one that my mother gave me years ago, since she didn't use the iced tea spoons anymore. More flashback...the stainless we had all my growing up.

It's a good day to reminisce...and enjoy the rain!

I hope you are blessed with some good memories today!

Have a "Jewel" of a Day!

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