Saturday, June 26, 2010

Heaven's Walk Welcomes House at the Lake!

Good morning, sweet friends!

I am so very excited today I can't sit still!
Kinda like a kid at Christmas.
Not that I've been sitting still over the past few days, because I've been a busy busy busy
gal preparing for weekend guests here at Heaven's Walk. 
Cleaning, dusting, polishing, painting...whew! 

Hosting overnight guests is always a good reason do get those little chores done that always end up on the back burner, ya know? A little prodding and promises directed hubby's way and miraculously - things start to happen. (*wink)

My friend, my 'sister', Debbie from,
(you have visited her blog, haven't you? It's sweet and cozy and totally Debbie!)
is driving down from the north with her hubby to visit my southern part of Michigan to kick back with my hubby and me. We've known each other for about 30 years, 
but haven't seen each other in over 10 years.
How could we not be sisters after all that time?

This, dear friends, will be emotional....I guarantee it. The hubs will stand back and roll their eyes and shake their heads and comment how dorky we are while we squeal with delight, hug and kiss and hug some more.
I can hardly wait!

After a tour of our grand, old, much-loved home and gardens, we'll all be imbibing  
(is that a word...?) 
in a couple bottles of Heaven's Walk homemade "Fat Cat-Happy Dog" wine on the deck (or front porch if the promised rain makes an unwelcomed appearance),
but guess guess guess what else we'll be doing.....?

We're headed off very early Sunday morning (rain or shine!) to a local flea/antique market that is only held once a month. Four hundred vendors will be waiting for us! Yeah, four hundred! Talk about eye candy. Soul candy. Vintage treasure candy! Total Retail Therapy! Does it get any better than this???!!

(Cue: more squealing!)

(Yes, I promise I'll share with you all the treasures that I just can't leave behind.  And I'm sure that Debbie will be blogging about her goodies, too!)

We're going to wander and drool and obsess and buy vintage treasures til the cows come home and we can't squeeze any more into my little SUV.

(Ummmm....on second thought....maybe we should take hubby's truck...)

So.....preparations have been made for our beloved overnight guests.

 The guest room has been primped, starched, fluffed and made cozy for them.
And yes, you recognize my 'Sea Isle' rocker from the front porch, don't you?
You'll have to stay tuned for a future post on how she ended up in the guest room!  

 Fresh, sweet lavender and hydrangea is on the nightstand because I know how much Debbie loves them.

Fluffy towels, bath supplies, 'Beach Mist' shampoo and lotion I nabbed from our vacation spot in Florida this past spring, and a pink mesh bag full of seashells all nestled into a wicker basket to make them feel welcome.

Mmmmm....there's just nothing better in life than to climb into a bed smelling of lavender and sheets fresh from the clothesline.

A vintage family Bible passed on to us by hubby's dear mother sits next to beach and lake magazines to curl up with in bed.

 I pray that they both feel welcomed and loved and we have a memorable weekend of fun, fellowship, and laughter....oh, and a lot of treasure-gathering - which I promise will be followed by a lot of blogging by Debbie and me.

 So, hey....if you're ever in the neighborhood,
just remember that there's always a cozy bed with plump pillows, warm duvet,
and fresh lavender waiting for you at Heaven's Walk, friend!

 Hugs to you

~ laurie

Thursday, June 24, 2010

BlueMan Joins the Group

'Morning, everyone!

Hey, do you remember this little guy who visited Heaven's Walk a couple weeks ago?
The sweet little guy that was so contentedly snoozing on the front porch steps?

Well, he's a gray tree frog (Google's a wonderful thing!) --- and a permanent resident now.

Little BlueMan (don't ask me why he acquired that name, but he just did) was making a huge  racket the other evening during happy hour on the deck. His 'deet-deet-deet-deet-deet-deet-deet!' sound was unlike any other frog-type language we'd ever heard. It was incredibly loud to be coming out of such a small body.
I decided to go poking around to see exactly where he was hiding.

With wine in hand, I moseyed around the side of the house following his call with my ever-so-sharp hearing and came to a halt at the front porch.  I looked high and low. No BlueMan.  Of course, he stopped the noise making knowing I was close by.

He probably smelled the wine in my hand...

I patiently waited a few seconds, and sure enough....he started again!

This is where I found him....

In the bottom of the sap bucket under a pot of lavender.

I left him to his business, and returned to the deck to report to hubby that the mystery was solved.

Not ten minutes later, our attention was drawn to a wayward raccoon in the yard back by the barn.  As we dealt that that little invader 
(no, we didn't shoot him - just shooed him back into the woods with the golf cart and a rake....but that's a whole 'nother story), 
we returned to the deck to hear BlueMan VERY CLOSE BY!


He was somewhere right next to us....but we couldn't figure out where.

Out came the binoculars and I started scanning the area.  

This is where I found him...

Now, if you look very closely, he's that little blob of blue, sitting on his bum on that metal bracket, facing UP the chimney.

What??!! How did he get there so fast?!

We were totally amazed.  Now, I know what you're thinking and no...

#1 - We were not crazy.
#2 - There were not two of them. 
#3 - We were not all.

We went inside to reload refill our glasses,  
(stop thinking what you're thinking) 
came back out and....

you guessed it.....

he was making noise from down by the pond.

What in the world??!!

So I whipped out my trusty camera to nab another photo op.

Now, you've gotta know that it's dusk by this time.  It's getting dark.  Picture me down on my knees with my nose practically in the pond searching for this little noise maker.

Sure enough.   There he was.

Just 'deet-deet-deet-deet-deet-deet-deet'ing away next to the waterfall.

By this time, I was honestly beginning to look for a miniature Superman cape on this little guy, and it wasn't due to the abundance of wine, either.
We hadn't the foggiest how he moved so quickly from place to place.

How DID he do that?!

So, BlueMan has joined ranks with Larry, Daryl & Darryl and between them all they create quite a ruckus here at Heaven's Walk during the evenings.

I always wonder, though, where BlueMan will show up - 
like under our bedroom window last night.

Hubby was most delighted.

 Until next time!

~ laurie

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Happy Dancing

Happy morning to you all!

I had an inkling that you wanted to ask me about the fireplace that you noticed in one of my recent posts.

I read your mind.....(*wink)

Ah.....yes......the good old oak fireplace.  
Now, don't get me wrong.  When we moved in here, I was doing the happy dance because I had always wanted a fireplace. I was thrilled! I could see hubby and me all snuggled up together on a long winter's night with a roaring fire warming our toes.

But I really hated strongly disliked the color of the thing. 
The wood just HAD to go.

It seemed to take command of the room and use up the air in it.
It was just so there.  You know?

Now, add to the mix that hubby and I were sparring discussing about me 
painting any woodwork in the house. 
I guess our visions just weren't meshing - even now.... 
Can't you just see all that wide richness of the door and window trim 
with creamy coat of white? 
(bigger sigh)
I soooo want my house to look like Maria's at! 
(even bigger sigh)

So.....while hubby was away one weekend, I threw all worries 
(about what conniption fit he would have he would say) 
out the window and started painting. 
(And this wasn't the only thing that my obsession with white transformed
while he was away.)

I bad. Verrry verrry bad.

But that poor fireplace was just calling out for me to paint it. 
It confronted me during the day and called my name at night.

I followed my intuition, knowing that this was going to be a good thing. 
A very good thing.

And once it was done.....

...all I could do was gaze at it....
and smile.

Oh yes.  A coat of soft white paint is what it had so desperately needed.

Switching the mirror from horizontal to vertical made our tall ceiling feel even grander. 
Arranging a few gifts from the sea...

...and some frilly peonies picked from the garden on it's smooth shiny mantel...

...even hubby did a little happy dance.


~ laurie

Friday, June 18, 2010

More Red Gold....

Good day, friends!

Remember last week when I shared my new cherry pitter with you?

Well, here at Heaven's Walk, it's been getting a lot of use! I'm so glad I invested in one....
....I think.....

Hubby picked a whole bucket of white sweet cherries this past weekend, and told me he stopped at one bucket because he knew I'd be pitting til the cows came home if he didn't.
So guess how I spent my Saturday afternoon? 
But a few more quarts in the freezer did my heart good -- and turned my hands a very attractive orangey-red color to boot.

This morning while I was outside letting the girls out for a few minutes in the warm, muggy air to do their 'business' before retreating back into the AC, I noticed how the cherry tree behind the garage was laden with deep red gold.  Dark, sweet ones this time. The branches were hanging low because of the amount of cherries on them.

Time for me to get busy, sisters!

Luckily, I didn't have to climb any tall, creaky ladders to pick.  I just stood beneath the tree and pulled the branches down one by one, grabbing handfuls of those sweet treats to throw in the pickin' pot.

That wonderful old tree gave up another bucketful of red gold, as we're fondly calling them now. I froze about four more quarts and reserved a bowlful for our dessert tonight.

Now, I suppose I could get really creative and imaginative and Betty Crocker-ish and whip up a dish of cherry cobbler or something.
But like I've admitted before...and I'll admit again...

I am not a cook nor a baker. 
I was not born with one single gene remotely resembling a gal who loves to throw flour and sugar around her kitchen. 
Oh sure, I could throw flour and sugar around my kitchen...
for fun...

Give me something to paint or redecorate or make pretty, and I'm right there with ya.  
But, please - you can handle the baking department. 
Unless, of course, you want me to throw flour and sugar at you
(which might me fun.........for me).

So, we'll just have these juicy treats in our fav vanilla yogurt again tonight and consider it a healthy decision - and a much better choice for the benefit of our kitchen clean up crew (yeah, that's me).

But just to surprise my hubby and probably throw him for a loop, if you have any really easy cherry dessert recipes
(and you know I mean reeeeally easy)
I'd love to have you share them with me.
And I promise, I won't make you clean up the kitchen.

 {Hugs} til next time

~ laurie

Monday, June 14, 2010

Project #2...

Good morning, lovlies!

Well, Project #2 was a kinda, sorta, instantaneous, fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants, type of thing.

I headed to the building supply store to look for my fav color in a quart of paint to slap on the sap buckets that hold pots of lavender on my front porch. I nabbed those wonderful little treasures at a lake shore antique market hubby and I visit once a year during the summer - a huge old barn on the way to the lake shore, filled to the brim with treasures and trinkets. 
We always find something there to take home.

  Those buckets have graced that prized spot on the porch since we moved here - holding fragrant lavender in the summer and glorious rose-colored mums during the autumn months.

But I was soooo tired of looking at pink buckets.  I needed a change. I needed "Heaven's Walk Blue", ya know?  Something more sea-sidey and beachy looking. Pink had played it's part in my life for a while, but with the new beachy spin on Heaven's Walk, 
it was time for a change.

This is the only photo I have of those buckets. 
Ha!  But wait til you see the finished product!

So I stood there in front of all those sample chips of paint searching...searching...
Til my eyes landed on the color my heart was aching for.

Back at home, I eagerly opened up the paint can and instantly fell in love.

I first sprayed black gloss paint down onto the rims of the buckets.  I wanted to give them that old French sap bucket feel.  When that was dry, I coated those babies with that beautiful, perfect sea-green, aqua, green/blue - whatever you want to call it - color.  Actually I fell in love with the name of paint, too.  "SEA ISLE".  Nice, hmmm?  It was perfect! I couldn't believe that it actually matched the color in Heaven's Walk sign.

 Ok.  So this is not the greatest photo for you....BUT I'm also giving you a peek at Project #3, too, that was also very very fly-by-my-seat and spur of the moment.

After sitting many times in that rocker at my friend, G's, antique shop and having a hot cup of tea with her, for some odd reason, last fall I decided that it must come home with me.
Why hadn't I noticed how wonderful it was before?  

Must'ave been a 'blonde' 'senior moment'......

Must'ave been whatever she spiked my tea with.....

It was originally white from what I could tell.  Someone had painted it a purpley blue color. It was ok, but not my idea of the perfect beach side rocker.  I knew that I would paint it someday. And I also knew what color I wanted it.

You can just make out the color of it in this pic.  
(Along with the 'before' sap buckets...)

HOWEVER, come to find out - Krylon stopped manufacturing my absolutely most favorite color spray paint in the entire world called "Tidepool". 

It was very close to the "Sea Isle" I found, but with a tad more gray to it.  And in spray form.  Much easier for painting wicker.

I was devastated!!! I was panicking! I was desperate!!  I called around, Googled it, wrote to Krylon, begging and whimpering how I needed more of that spray paint!  I had projects to complete! Didn't they understand?!  I even suggested to them to create a special colors for different type 'themes' customers were trying to convey. Like a City Theme (grays, blacks, whites, taupes), a Garden Theme (roses, pinks, purples), 
a Beach Theme (TIDEPOOL, whites, aquas, blues, tan) get the idea. 

Evidently, they didn't think much of it.  I never heard a word back.....

Sooo....with wet brush in hand, I tentatively started painting the wicker with "Sea Isle".  Dabbing, squishing, globbing, swiping. I had no idea how long this was going to take me, but by George, I was going to do it.

Actually, it wasn't that bad. Yes, it took longer than spraying it would have - and my brush looked almost as bad as the one did after poking into all those lattice squares on my arbor (see "Square by Square" on 5/11 for that intriguing story).

But I was just jumping for joy with the results.

Is that not THE most beautiful color in the whole world?

What do you think?

So.....two more projects completed at Heaven's Walk.
I think it's been a very productive spring so far!

How are your spring projects coming?

Oh, and before you go.....I would so appreciate any ideas you could offer up to this chic who is in a dilemma.

Should I paint my front door?  
If so....what color?

I was actually considering slathering it with 'Sea Isle', but just not sure if it would compliment the forest green roof shingles.....or doesn't that matter?


{ Hugs } to you all!

~ laurie


Thursday, June 10, 2010

Project #1: Completed

Good morning, friends! How are you?

Ok. So I've kept you in suspense long enough, I guess.  I know that I promised in an earlier post that I'd share with you a couple projects that I had been diligently working on and had happily completed. 

(and I'm still wondering why in the world I waited so long do start them...)

Project #1:  Tired Old Outhouse

When hubby and I moved here, we were delighted to see the original outhouse sitting out in the back yard, snuggled up to a maple tree and facing the side of the barn.

(Though we were MUCH more delighted to see bathrooms inside the house!)

It was painted a deep pine green and trimmed in white - which was okay, but it blended into the surrounding landscaping and felt a little non-descript and dated. The paint was chipping and peeling from years and years of sitting out in the sun, and was sorely neglected. 

But to be truthful, it was actually still very much usable. In fact, the guys who re-roofed our house last summer used it all the time - soggy toilet paper roll and all (among discarded acorns and walnuts from wintering chipmunks and squirrels, who evidently were quite cozy all winter long).

It needed a little TLC (and a fresh roll of t-paper).

I had tried to make it look a tad bit more welcoming (and not so scary) by hanging an antique lantern by the door, added a cement birdbath, and had done a little gardening around the poor thing, but it was time for a more intense make-over.

So, after a good power wash, I was ready for paint.  My sister, Debbie (at told me about the new Behr Ultra paint her husband (who works at Home Depot) suggested.  It contains a primer along with the paint. 
So it takes less coats.

What a great idea!

The next issue was color.

And why, do you ask, would color be an issue?

What color would YOU paint it?
Hubby so lovingly suggested that I should paint it red..."like the barn, honey."

"WHAT??!  RED?  ICK!  ARE YOU KIDDING?" I thought, 
my eyes all squinty and mouth curled in disgust.

"Honey, I think white would be better so that it matches the house," I said out loud, 
smiling sweetly.

"No, I think it should match the barn," he pressed.

controlling the urge to roll my eyes.

"Honey, don't you want it brought back to it's original state?  It used to be white, you know.
Trust me. White will look better," I said out loud and
insanely sweet.

He shook his head and rolled his eyes...

Of course, I took that as him giving in.  
Wouldn't you?  *wink

So after only two days of painting and two coats of paint,
the project was completed!

I painted an old window frame and hung it on the side of the outhouse to give the structure more texture and interest.

And after freshening up the lantern with a new coat of spray paint, hung that back up.

And, of course, placed a new roll of t-paper inside. 

The tired, old outhouse looked neat, clean, and became a trio with our house and new arbor.  
It just seemed to 'fit' now. It sparkled in the sunshine.

So, during happy hour on our deck that evening, hubby so eloquently said, 
"You know.  It DOES look nice painted white. You were right...
.........this time."

Cue --- rolling of MY eyes....

Stay tuned for Project #2.

Sweetly yours!

~ laurie

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

An Old Ladder and a New Pitter

Good morning, ma cheri! 

Ok. Ok. So I can't speak French...much less write it.

(Even though, according to my ancestry, I am part French -  
which is probably where my love for anything shabby and vintage was born).
I am also not a cook...or a baker.
I will never claim to be nor will I pretend to be.  
I leave that all up to hubby.
Oui.  Je suis chanceux femme... 

But I can pick cherries. We have red sweet cherry trees as well as white ones on our property - and it was time for moi 
to climb that old rickety ladder propped in the cherry tree in the back meadow.
 (Hubby conveniently disappeared on the golf cart to places off yonder.)

I grabbed my favorite "pickin' pot' sweetly adorned with "Simple Pleasures" on it, and made my way out there.
Climb like a monkey...I did not.
But slowly, carefully, and tentatively  
(the old woman in me squealing all the while to think about what I was actually doing
- are ya carazy?!!)
making my way up that creaking thing til I could reach those delectible treasures. I kept telling myself it was totally worth it, and wouldn't a cherry pie baked by hubby be sooo nice, and it won't take long to pick enough....just onnnnne more.....

With my feet safely planted on God's green earth again
(whew! thank you, Lord, for quieting that screeching old woman inside my head),
it was time to make use of the new pitter (or stoner as it's also called) that I recently acquired for about $25 at

Cherries washed....check.  Cherries checked for bugs....check.  Cherries ready to pit....check!

Let the pitting begin!  Drop a few cherries in the upper bin, slam down the tall doohicky which pierces the cherry as the pit drops in the lower bin and the cherry drops into your dish.

Ha! I can do this! I got into the rhythm of it and it went quite fast.
Drop, slam, drop, slam, drop, slam.
Hubby (conveniently) popped his head in the back door and said, "I hear someone pitting!"
"Spitting? I'm NOT spitting!" was my quick and witty retort.
"Funny woman....." was his.

No, there weren't enough this time for the cherry pie hubby offered to make
(like my diet needs that, and besides, I was NOT going to awaken that 
squealing old woman again to pick more cherries),
but there was certainly enough to mix in with our favorite vanilla yogurt for dessert tonight.

And if you're wondering......why the French-like take on this post?

Ummm.....I haven't a clue.

Au revoir!

~ laurie

Sunday, June 6, 2010

John D and Me

Good morning, sunshine!

You know, there's no better feeling in the world (in my world, anyhoo) than to get up in the morning knowing that Mr. John D is full of gas - 
and we're going to spend the day together in the yard.

What? Ooookay, I know that you're thinking! *wink

To set the record straight and clear out any goofy thoughts that may be bouncing around
in that noggin of yours,
I'm referring to Mr. John lawn tractor, of course.

When I was a little girl, I always wanted to help Dad cut the lawn.  Back then, everyone had those old style reel push mowers without motors. Mom used to holler out the window, "Make sure you have shoes on!  I don't want you to cut your toes off!"
So, off came the flip-flops and on went the Keds. Then, Dad would then show me how to cut nice, straight lines, overlapping the wheel lines in the grass. And when that was done, we would trim around the trees with hand shears.

Good grief....that took forever. It was like trimming your yard with scissors.

I eventually graduated to the advanced level of Grass Maintenance and was allowed to use a gas powered mower.  That brought even more fear into my mother's eyes, however...

 So when Hubby brought home that big old vintage JD machine for me when we moved out here, I was thrilled. We knew it was going to take more than a push mower to handle this amount of acreage. Trusty thing that it is - it always starts up with a pull of the choke, a flick of the ignition, and we're raring to go.

I start to cut. The clean, earthy smell of fresh cut grass mingles with the strong, sweet aroma of the blooming peonies and lilacs that permeate the area.

A gazillion dragonflies zoom and zip around me.
The birds beneath the feeders scatter when they see me coming.
The bluebirds fly out of their little house every time I make a pass by the clothes pole.
I just know they're thinking, "Oh, she comes again!"

Mr. JD and I cut clean, straight lines in the green grass.  (Thanks, Dad!) Oh - what a beautiful sight!  There's something so.....I don't know.....cleansing about cutting the lawn.
Much more satisfying than mopping a dirty floor.
Probably because I'd rather working outside then in.
Even though I tend to be a tad bit more smelly when I get done with all the yard work.
Gas, exhaust fumes, and the like.
A manly!

I make a pass by two projects in the yard that I just recently completed.
(Not to worry. I'll share them with you later!)
They looks sooo much better than before.   
Why in the world did I wait so long?

I think about all of you out there in blog-land while I'm mowing, you know.  What story could I share with them today?  What photos would they love to see? 
(I hope I'm not boring them to death!)

 Three acres and three hours later, I yank Mr. Stihl #1's pull cord and we trim all the garden edges and around the multitude of trees. Then out comes Mr. Stihl #2 and we blow the clippings off the driveway.

The task is done for another week. Arms a little browner from a day in the sun.
Feet carry flip-flop tan lines. (Poor Mom would be horrified.)
And the lawn and gardens look neat, trimmed, and manicured.

When hubby gets home from a hard day's work, he always mentions how nice the lawn look. And after we settle on the deck for our happy hour together
with glass of wine in hand,
he sighs and says...."It's really nice to live here, ya know?"

I smile.
Yeah. I know.


~ laurie