The NEW Front Parlor

img_4836My husband painted the parlor.  The walls are now pumpkin patch.  That’s Benjamin Moore’s terracotta, I guess.  Here are a few pictures taken at night.  I’ll take some during the daytime and post them later.


This is the bay window that juts out at an odd angle.  Just another example of Queen Anne Victorians’ asymmetry.  I don’t think there’s any symmetry to the parlor at all!  There’s my great-grandfather on the right.  (He’s in the picture!)  His doctor in Ireland told him to move to America because he had asthma.  He moved to Pittsburgh around 1921 and worked in the steel mills.  He never had any more trouble with asthma!

The Front Parlor

After a long hiatus I hadn’t planned, I’ve decided to do another blog post! The summer really flew by.  August was really busy.  I really got tired of the old wallpaper in our parlor quite a while back and tore the old stuff off the walls.  Unfortunately, the backing stayed put!  I thought I would cover up the seams with some temporary wallpaper border, so I got some and started to put that up.  I didn’t get very far with that project.  I decided the border was too expensive when I discovered I didn’t have enough, so I bought some ribbon and thumb tacks.  I never put any ribbon up.  My husband didn’t seem too impressed with the whole idea.  So we had to look at the ugly seams for a long time, but at least the old, blah herringbone wallpaper was gone!

Just lately, my husband decided to steam off the wallpaper backing.  After stripping off grasscloth upstairs in the library, he was dreading this job, but surprisingly everything went well.  This time the stuff came off quite easily and also quite quickly.  The parlor is smaller and there are two doors, six windows, and two doorways!  Here are some pictures:

You can see a little bit of the wallpaper border behind the lamp.



img_4801I couldn’t find any pictures of the parlor with the old wallpaper, but the same stuff is in our vestibule, which is currently a storage (really a junk!) closet.  When I get that cleaned out, I’ll post a picture.img_4802

We’re trying to pick out some paint.  We want terracotta.  We got several swatches at the Benjamin Moore dealer and think we’ll try pumpkin patch.

Roses and FIRST

I thought my rose bush had died, but I guess I was just impatient.  Maybe the roses bloomed late because we had a cold spring!

ROSES finally!


More Roses!
And another rose!
And BEFORE, when I thought my rose bush was dead!
And BEFORE, when I thought my rose bush was dead!

I haven’t done a blog post in awhile.  I was busy at my very part-time job!  AND we went to the FIRST National Conference in San Diego, California last week.  FIRST stands for the Foundation for Ichthyosis & Related Skin Types.  To learn (more) about ichthyosis, you can go to and you can also find out how amazing FIRST is!  The reason why I put “more” in parentheses is because I had never heard of ichthyosis until our son was diagnosed with the disease when he was about six months old.

His pediatric dermatologist said he was a diagnostical dilemma!  We never found out about FIRST until he was around eight years old!  His grandma found FIRST on the internet.  They have a national conference every two years.  We went to the conferences in Denver in 2012 and Indianapolis in 2014.  That first(!) FIRST conference in Denver really helped us a lot.  My son saw kids who had worse cases of ichthyosis, and I was able to let go of some guilt.

His pediatricians never seemed to think he was getting enough nourishment when he was a baby.  He was born in 2003 and in 2008 (I think), a doctor published a study about children with ichthyosis that found they don’t grow as fast as other children.  A lot of the kids at the conference do look small for their age.  I know I’m really off-topic here!  Anyway, we had a great time in San Diego.  I’ll post some pictures in another blog post.

Ichthyosis is a rare disease.  If your child has a rare disease, I would encourage you to find out if there is an organization that offers support to children and their parents.  If your child could be around other children with the same disease, that would be so helpful.

We’re planning to go to North Carolina in July.  I need to locate our camera charger.  I get so frustrated with technology!  All these batteries and chargers, etc. – just more stuff to lose!




Visiting West Virginia

We came to West Virginia to visit my mom for a few days since school’s out.  I took some pictures around her house – actually inside her house!

Here’s her living room sofa. I helped her pick this out about 15 years ago. The sofa almost still looks brand new! I got her the throw later because I thought the colors would look nice together.


She dried the flowers I got her for her birthday in March and put them in this cute hat bowl on her coffee table.


This picture was painted by a friend who gave it to my mom. The scene is from a state park in West Virginia. The friend painted at least three more of these, but always liked this one the best when she compared them. So did we! I remember she said she put a little brown in every color she used (in this version). At that time, the living room had a lot of shades of brown.

The dining area is off the living room and beside the kitchen:

Some of my mom's friends wrapped this ivy around the chandelier. I really like how this looks. They also wallpapered the dining room and kitchen.
Some of my mom’s friends wrapped this ivy around the chandelier. I really like how this looks. They also wallpapered the dining room and kitchen.
This painting is titled "Lovers Yet" and was left behind in the first house my parents bought, which was in McKean County, Pennsylvania. I've always liked this picture.
This painting is titled “Lovers Yet” and was left behind in the first house my parents bought, which was in northern Pennsylvania. I’ve always liked this picture.

Sorry about the blur.  I didn’t realize how blurry that picture was until I looked just now!

I like this window treatment that's in my old room. This change was made a long time after I left home!
I like this window treatment that’s in my old room. This change was made a long time after I left home!
My aunt made this quilt for my mom for her birthday. My mom’s favorite color is blue so she has this on her bed.

The weather is so hot here in West Virginia – the low 90s!  Too hot for me!  I’ll be glad to get back home on Monday.














Outside the Queen Anne Victorian


This flowering tree is in our backyard. There weren't so many flowers this year. I hope the tree isn't dying.
This flowering tree is in our backyard. There weren’t so many flowers this year. I hope the tree isn’t dying.


The flower in the purple bowl beside the vase was from this tree.
The flower in the purple bowl beside the vase was from this tree.
This tree is outside the guest room window. The flowers were white, but look dead now.
This tree is outside the guest room window. The flowers were white, but look dead now.
The flowers in the pink vase were from this tree.
The flowers in the pink vase were from this tree.
Here is another tree in our backyard. This tree was a vibrant pink, then turned darker, and now to green.
Here is another tree in our backyard. This tree was a vibrant pink, then turned darker, and is now green.
These flowers were from this tree.
These flowers were from this tree.

I really like these three trees.  I just wish the flowers were in bloom longer.  I wish I had taken pictures when they were in full bloom.  If anyone knows the names of any of these trees, please leave me a comment.

Here are the maples in the side yard. They must be as old as the house. They are so big and tall.
Here are the maples in the side yard. They must be as old as the house. They are so big and tall.
Here is the maple in the front yard. There is one on the other side of the driveway, but that one doesn't belong to us!
Here is the maple in the front yard. There is one on the other side of the driveway, but that one doesn’t belong to us!
Here is the red maple in the front yard.
Here is the red maple in the front yard.
AND here are the rhodies!


Here’s a view of the front of our house.  I hope you’ve enjoyed  the outdoor tour!

Shared at Thoughts of Home on Thursday


A beagle and some blinds

Our camera broke so I can’t show you any pictures of the new blinds, but I can show you a picture of our beagle! Our roller shades weren’t rolling so well anymore so we replaced them with wood blinds. I have a before picture of one window with the roller shade and the lace curtain. I would have had more before pictures, but my husband surprised me! On his day off last week, he hung up all six blinds in our parlor. (I don’t do windows, and we have a lot!) Then he hung up the faux wood blind in the guest room!

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One Room Challenge – Week 6

Here I am!                                                                                                     Late again!  I’m glad we have some extra time to do our posts and links.

I put a book I already had under the lamp on the wicker stand so the other lamp on the table wouldn’t be so much higher.  I got the candle and the little glass vase at Ross Stores.  The flowers are from a tree you can see right outside the guest room window.

We got the dresser at a flea market some time ago.  I like the painted flowers on the top drawer and the ribbon trim on each side.  The flowering branch in the pink vase on the dresser is from the same tree outside the window.  (I didn’t climb out the window to get the branch!  I acted like a lady!  I went downstairs and out on the porch.)  The framed photo is one I took when we were in the Colorado Rockies for the first time in 2012.  The flower in the purple bowl is from another tree in our back yard.  The crystal pitcher was my grandmother’s.  The floral branch is from another tree in our back yard.  (If anyone knows the names of these trees, please let me know.  I’ll take pictures of the trees for a future post.)

I found the tea set at an estate sale.  There are more cups and matching dishes.  There was a note that said the dishes were sent from Sweden by the lady’s niece.  What was so very interesting was the name at the top of the note.  Mor Mor (and then my maiden name which is Swedish and will remain anonymous!) means grandmother in Swedish, I think.  Then there is another name after that on the next line – Esther Clara Victoria.  Then a last name that isn’t Swedish on the next line!  Esther was probably Swedish because they usually had three names.  I thought that meant they had two middle names, but I think someone told me they are two first names and a middle name(?)  I thought the Swedish tea set should go in the Swedish (guest) suite!  The room doesn’t really look very Swedish to me.  I think at some point we will paint the walls a softer (Swedish) green.  The yellow door and trim is a Swedish color.  (The other room in the suite looks more Swedish.)  The white chair beside the dresser is a Swedish (style) chair made in China!

My mom got the large picture of the girl at an estate sale.  I think the colors in the picture look nice with the quilt.  I think I got the quilt at Penney’s.  I probably got the comforter at Bon-Ton.  The round table with the long pink cloth and the short white cloth was from my mom.  The wicker stand was from some of our friends in New Jersey.  We used to see them quite a bit when we lived in Philadelphia.  I think I maybe got the mirror over the bed from T. J. Maxx.  I got the dark aqua pillows at Ross Stores and the light aqua pillow shams at Walmart.  Almost everything else came from an estate sale (or a yard sale).  If you have any questions, please ask.  My husband was very helpful last night.  He really did a lot of work on the guest room.  I painted the door, but he painted the trim yesterday.  Last night we went to Lowe’s to get a white faux wood blind.  I wanted one without faux grain!  Home Depot didn’t have one.  The mini-blind still needs to be ripped out so we (or he!) can hang the new blind.  We’re not totally finished, but close.  Thanks to everyone for their comments and suggestions.  I’ve really enjoyed looking at and reading about the other participants’ progress and seeing their beautiful finished rooms.  Thanks to Linda for hosting the exciting, fun, and interesting ORC of Spring 2016!












One Room Challenge – Week 5

I got the white lamps with the grey shades that I had seen at Home Depot.  I liked them but wanted to look some more.  When I got to Lowe’s last Friday night at 9 p.m., they were closing.  I went to Walmart and didn’t see any lamps I liked.  I did find some pillow shams I thought would work so I bought them.  I asked my husband to hang pictures this morning.  I called him from work and asked him about how the picture hanging was going and he said he forgot or hadn’t gotten to it.  (I forget what he said exactly!)

I was so tired when I came home because I was up till the wee hours of the morning working on a quarterly report.  This process involves typing a lot of numbers, which is my least favorite part of my very part-time job (to put a positive spin on this tedious task!)

Anyway . . . getting back to my ORC, which is much more interesting than a quarterly report, I hope!  I looked at a lot of the other guest participants’ posts and then I thought I better go hang some pictures, etc.  I went upstairs and was very surprised to see that my husband did hang three pictures and a clock.  The funny thing was only one of the pictures was hanging where I asked him to hang it!  That’s the picture over the lamp to the right of the bed.  The picture over the lamp to the left of the bed was one I was thinking about for over the bed (horizontally), but I had changed my mind.  I had decided to use that in the Victorian library.


The picture to the right of the window was supposed to be hung over the lamp to the left of the bed.  I was wondering if that would look okay since the other picture to the right of the bed was tall and narrow.  He said he thought that would be okay, but maybe he changed his mind!


I was wondering about putting the clock over the bed, but he seemed to think the whole idea of the big, round clock in the bedroom was weird (based on his expression).  He ended up hanging the clock on the wall to the right of the door where I said I wanted the small mirror!  He didn’t hang any mirrors!  I guess I’ll just see how I like all this change in location during this next week and then decide if I want to change anything!  Here are some more pictures:


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All has been explained!!  My husband said he was half asleep when I was talking about this.  He hung the pictures after I called him right before he went to work!!

One Room Challenge – Week 4

I kept reading that week 4 was hard, and I wondered why.  Now I know.  The question for this week was “how’s it going?”  I’d have to say, “Not so good!”  I spent a lot more time looking at all the other participants’ posts and didn’t spend much time working on my own ORC!  I’ve always been a last-minute person, but now I’m too old to be!  We didn’t get the missing brass headboard moved in from the garage because it was raining today.  I wondered where the headboard was.  I was glad my husband hadn’t thrown it out.  (an old family joke I better not bring up again!)  There was no hanging today.  I’m referring to pictures and mirrors!  Here are some photos of the wall décor I’m thinking about for the guest room:



CIMG0182CIMG0181My grandfather asked me this one time (Ha!):  What time is it when two model T’s pass each other on the road in Ireland?  Tin past tin.  My grandmother was Irish so he liked telling Irish jokes!


Too bad the photos of the pictures didn’t turn out better.  They’re pretty hard to see.  I think I need a photographer.  The first picture is of a teapot and some flowers.  It came with a stand.  I think I’ll leave it on the dresser.  The second picture is a bunch of roses that I might hang over the bed horizontally.  The third picture is of a girl with some sheep.  All the pictures have pink and green colors that should look good in the room.  The shapes of the pictures are rather distorted in the photos.  I’m thinking about hanging the mirror across from the window.  I’m wondering about what to do with that wall.  I want to take the sewing machine out because there’s hardly enough room for it there.  I’m thinking about bringing my grandmother’s cedar chest in there from the master bedroom.  So many decisions.  I want to paint the trim yellow and get rid of that ugly mini-blind.  I still have to buy lamps!  Time is running out!