Hey friends! Does the date May 30th, ring a bell? That’s the last time we sat down for one of our fireside chats. Time sure flies, doesn’t it? After a renovation of this magnitude, the changes aren’t happening as quickly as they were this time last year, as you can well imagine. Sometimes it takes me a little longer to gather enough information to share. That time has come. I’m locked and loaded!
Speaking of this time last year, I find myself playing that game quite often. You know, the “This Time Last Year” game. Whether we are sitting in the backyard listening to music at night or when I am just walking up the stairs in the middle of the day. I often find myself remembering exactly what the house looked like in that particular spot, this time last year. I’m pretty good at it too. It is one of my favorite things to do. I hope I never forget. As strange as it may seem, I loved her back then. Even then, to me, she was beautiful.
But you know what? I think she remembers too. I know you think I’m crazy. Just let me have my fun, okay? I have written about whether there might be a ghost living between these here walls. We have had no indication of anything of the sort. Unless, that is, you think these photos might be a slight indicator of at least a sense of happiness from the soul of Sutherly.
And how about these? Fairy dust, maybe?
Of course, skeptics will explain it away as reflections of light. And they will be correct. But I prefer to think of it as Sutherly telling us how happy and grateful she is to be loved once more. Please don’t bother me with your factual explanations. Just let me have fun all by myself. 🙂
Moving right along…
I was thrilled a few weeks ago when English Drews knocked on my front door. When I answered, the first thing she said was, “You’ve been chosen as the Hampton Park Terrace Yard of the Month!” It was the closest I’ll ever come to knowing what it would feel like to win the Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes! I seriously got tears in my eyes. At that very moment I felt like Miss America!
A huge “Thank you” to Hampton Park Terrace for such a warm welcome to the neighborhood and for making us feel so special. The feeling is absolutely mutual!
Friends often ask us what we do with our time now that we have retired for the second time? Well, I guess it is obvious we spend a lot of time in the yard, right? David is in charge of the grass. And what a great job he is doing, I might add. Augusta National has nothing on him.
I spend most of my time in the backyard. You will find me out there most mornings picking, plucking and prodding until the sun comes over to fill the patio area with steaming hot sun. That’s usually around 10:30. I make a quick round in the afternoon to see if anyone is thirsty. After dinner I’m usually back out there again. It is my therapy. I can always find something to do out there.
I took this shot one day when I noticed my distinct shadow on the fence. It kind of captures how I feel when I’m out there all by myself. Just me and my shadow…and my flowers.
How’s the bathtub coming along you might ask? Well, mostly good. It looks very similar to what it has in recent weeks because I keep it trimmed for control. I am, for the most part, pleased. The thorn in my side (pardon the pun) is the pain in the behind Mandevilla!
The plan was that by now it would have crawled all over the window and been the cherry on top of the proverbial bathtub! But noooo…it…or might I say “they”…had other ideas. I have planted THREE of them. Was it too much water? Not enough? Everyone else seems to be happy in there. Why not the mandevillas? One thing is for certain. Gardening is not an exact science!
David loves giving me a hard time about it. He’s always looking out the window saying, “Boy, your Mandevilla is going crazy out there. Just look at it. It’s crawling all over that window. I’ve never seen anything like it!” Isn’t he a riot?
Despite the Mandevilla catastrophe, everything else seems to be quite happy. Feel free to take a peak.
This is called a Moon Blossom Vine that blooms at night. My friend Belinda gave it to me in a Styrofoam cup a few weeks ago and look at it now. It is filled with blooms ready to burst open any night. I thought I’d experiment a little with it. I wasn’t interested in a traditional trellis so I decided to use twine attached to the fence with eye hooks. I ran them horizontal and diagonal in a checker board pattern. Next year I think I’ll try to be more creative with the pattern now that I know it will work.
Here’s another fun non-traditional planter that I have had for years. I bought it at Scott’s Antique Market in Atlanta. Whenever I meet someone who knows about Scott’s, I know we’re going to be great friends. It is my most favorite playground where I find some of my greatest treasures.
When it came time to pack up this thermometer and tide clock out at Seabrook, I almost threw them away. After all, they both were broken. The thermometer was stuck at 80 degrees and the tide clock always read low tide. After I thought about it for a minute, I changed my mind. Heck, that’s just too dang perfect. Even if it’s not really 80 degrees and low tide, I can pretend can’t I? Can you think of any more perfect conditions? “Not I” said the crazy woman! 🙂
Speaking of Seabrook, one of David & my most favorite things to do out there was to have what we called a “fire in the driveway”. We’d sit outside for hours with a drink and some music enjoying the beauty of nature. In warmer weather we’d just use candles instead of the fire pit. That was something we were concerned that we might not be able to recreate in town. But, where there’s a will, there’s a way!
We love the little oasis we’ve created and the old fire pit is the crown jewel. Puzzled as to what we would do with the pit in the summer, the answer came when we found this old slice of tree at where else, Scott’s Antique Market. It turned that old pit into a unique, yet perfect, table! I love it!
When the sun goes down, out come the candles. String lights will be coming very soon…or at least that’s what the tracking information says!
It’s kind of a joke with our neighbors. Once those lights go up, anytime they are on, we are open for business! We have an open door (or in this case, “gate”) policy. We have had lots of friends over already and look forward to many more evenings of the same. The backyard that was once an eye sore has turned into a very comfortable oasis which I am sure will continue to evolve while giving us many years of enjoyment.
Have you seen the screen porch? I don’t think so. Here’s a couple of shots. The “reverse painted” window is another Atlanta find that we’ve had for years. It always seems at home on the back porch. You can find David, Oscar and me out there most evening watching TV.
Hungarian baby bathtub? Scott’s Antique Market! I’m really into tubs I guess.
Want to take a stroll around front?
Remember when I told you about the problems I had with deer out at Seabrook? One day deer climbed 17 steps to eat my impatients in broad daylight! Can you imagine driving by and seeing that? Those problems are things of the past. Now all I have to worry about is pinching them back!
Two of the best ways to meet new folks in the neighborhood is to take Oscar for a walk or sit for awhile on the front porch. If in my whole lifetime I had made friends at the same rate that I have in the last 6 months , I’d have a million!
We haven’t spent much time inside lately, have we? There’s progress there. I finally pulled the 3rd bedroom together and am quite pleased with how it turned out. And then there’s the matter of the new hanging in the living room. I was suppose to reveal it to you in the next blog, right? It is as fantastic as I imagined. I just can’t bring myself to show it to you until it is hung and completely settle for maximum impact. You understand, don’t you? It will be worth it, I promise.
In addition, the french doors that were originally in the house are being refurbished and should be delivered next week. We will spend a lot more time on the inside next time, I promise.
Well, I guess that about covers everything for the moment. I cannot tell you how happy it makes me when folks tell me they are following my blog. It means more than words can say. I’ll try to do my part by keeping things interesting.
Until next time folks, take care! Peace out! 🙂
PS And as always….don’t forget to listen to the song!
I’m not sure how I stumbled on your blog but I have been following it from the beginning and really ennjoying the updates on your restoration. It was so fun to watch your home return to its former glory in such a beautiful city. You did a great job. A true labor of love. I love that you kept the thermometer that is always on 80 and the perpetual low tide reading in the garden. Now how about adding a great old clock stuck at 5 because…you know…it’s always 5 0’clock somewhere.
What a great idea! That would be a trifecta!
I seriously can’t tell you how much it means to me to hear you say you are reading my blog. I know it sounds like such an expected response, but I truly mean it. A real ego boost, to say the least. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment.
Enjoy the rest of your evening!
Your house is up the street from my church. I drove by Sunday to see it for myself. It is as beautiful and put together as shown. KUDOS to you for your talent and for your great blog! I have it bookmarked on my computer and you have me as a reader forever! Looking forward to more of your awesome pictures! Ditto on the 5 o’clock idea! Gail
Thank you, Gail! You have no idea how much your words me to me. Please feel free to stop by sometime for a tour!
we are driving down on sunday and driving back to NJ on wednesday. can we see you?
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Yes! We will be returning on Sunday night and leaving again on Wednesday morning. Would love to see your house!
Hi Cindy – what a great blog! My name is Tripp Martin. My wife Kathryn and I just went under contract at the house across the street from you, number 5. We’re hoping for a similar transformation. We are renting at Seabrook while the work is done. Researching the street, I came across your blog. Looking forward to meeting you guys and will likely hit you up for advice frequently! Your house is beautiful!
Tripp and Kathryn
Hello! And thank you for reading the blog. We are can’t wait to me you and your family. You have made the best decision. We LOVE this neighborhood and sure that you will also. Especially with children. There are kiddies everywhere!
Did you know that we lived in Seabrook before we moved downtown? We build a house at 2636 SIR in 2006.
Anything you need or any questions we can answer, please let us know. We can’t wait to have you as neighbors!
Hey Cindy – Kathryn would like to connect with you if possible. Her email is Katmartin70@hotmail.com. If you don’t mind – send her a note w contact info