Sunday, June 30, 2013

The Exterior


It's been a while and I'm happy to report that I have been busy with some new projects!  I'm so excited to share them with you as they come to a close.  I've also made some changes around the Busick house and next month we are scheduled for a bit of a remodel.  All due to the fact that we found dry rot on the back of the house.  Because if someone is going to tear apart my roof, wellll, then can we change a few things upstairs?  Have I shown you the exterior of my house?

This is the house in winter, when we first bought it, with that ugly color on the front door and garage. 

Here is the house in summer, after we painted the front door and garage a turquoise color.  We had just planted new grass, installed new modern house numbers, and replaced the brass letter slot in the front door with a vintage decorative antique brass plate.  We also painted the steps of the porch a rich chocolate color.  These were all affordable changes that made a big difference to us.

Here is a close up of the antique brass plate that replaced the shiny brass envelope slot on the front door.

The exterior of my house continues to bother me. Which means something just isn't right.  For instance the flower bed in front of the living room window continues to be incomplete, I can't get anything to survive there.  I wish I could just replace it with a porch.  Wouldn't that be fun? 

We are considering adding another pop out window to the other side of the house and extending the roof line over the edge of the house.  

I want to paint the whole house a dark grey with white trim.  That could really freshen it up.  Imagine making the trim around the windows really thick.  I think that could be a more modern update that could keep me from adding the typical awnings, shutters and flower boxes.  Maybe I'm living in the wrong style of house for my taste?  I just believe everything old can be new again as long as you add some modern to it.    

What do you think?


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

I came across a fabulous little autobiography by Tullalah Bankhead.  I'm completely smitten and from now on, wish to address you all as Dahling! 
I adore this little book, every time I pick it up and read a little, I smile.  Tullaluh Bankhead was a professional actress who in her words, "loathed acting" but desired fame, carried a parakeet named Gaylord with her wherever she went, married once and didn't apologize for her free and lively spirit.
 She grew up in Alabama and swears it was her name that allowed her to escape the place, although she was heckled for it as a child. 
Raised by Aunt Louise and Aunt Marie, her father and grandparents after the death of her mother when she was born.  Her father was elected to the House of Representatives in 1916 when she was 14 years old. It was her father that supported her future as an actor because of his own desire to be one. An entry into a beauty contest would take her to New York where she pursued the fame that she so desired.  She acted on stage, radio and eventually television and film.  I've caught her on an old rerun of I Love Lucy.  She had a sort of rough nasal voice, and a true air of sophistication.
She referred to everyone as dahling, saying, "Dahling has implications of affection, or at least friendliness.  It cannot disturb the recipient." I couldn't agree more.
Tullalah ends this little memoir with the following words, "By my own standards I've lived to the hilt. I've soared in the clouds and touched bottom.  Much as I like to idle, I know I must carry on or perish.  I have a tiger by the tail. Better than anyone, Edna St. Vincent Millay has expressed my plight, my philosophy:
My candle burns at both ends;
It will not last the night:
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends,
It gives a lovely light."

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Saying Goodbye to My Great Grandmother

This past weekend I traveled with my parents and Hank to Milpitas, California.  It was to say goodbye to my Great-Grandmother Catherine, whom we lovingly called Kay.  In order to remember her and all that she gave to us, we exchanged photos of her and her beloved family.

These are her three daughters in 1937, from left, Betty, Joan and Renee (my grandmother).

On the back of this photo is written:
Renee- Dress- Lavender
Joan - Dress- Pink
Betty - Dress- Blue
Most mothers write the age of their children on the back of photos, but not Grandma Kay. She wrote what color the dresses were because it was an important detail.  I love this about her.  So stink'n cute!

Here is the whole family.  The hair, the clothes, a very young Great-Grandma Kay, makes me smile. And if those curtains were flocked and in a deep jewel tone they would make some fabulous vintage modern curtains. Don't you think?  Also her husband, Grandpa Christiansen as my mother often referred to him, was a great guy, a very hands on father whom Kay never stopped loving or missing even when though he passed away in the early 70's.  

This one is my mother as a baby in Grandpa Christensen's arms and beautiful Kay smiling proudly next to him.  The other two scare me, they were my mother's other grandparents. 

Here is me in my Great-Grandma Kay's arms in 1978. I always felt that I was her favorite. This of course, was not true, but she had a way of making you feel like it was. 
This is a picture of a moment I wish I could go back to.  A gorgeous sunny day and a visit to the city of San Francisco with Great-Grandma Kay. 

So much of who she was will live on in her many grandchildren.  Her graciousness, her innocence, her unconditional love, her vanity and conservativeness, her love of family, her complete adoration for her daughters and her enduring love for her husband. 

In the end, amongst her family with grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great grandchildren present, we layed her body to rest next to the love of her life.  And I am reminded that it is not our physical possessions that matter but those we love and that love us back.  They are the greatest gifts we ever receive in this life here on earth.