Wild & Wonderful West Virginia

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Annual Block Picnic, and more renovations....

What fun we had at the Annual Palisades Drive Picnic on Sunday afternoon!

There was lots of food, fun and fellowship. We got to meet a few of our neighbors, and by the time we left at 6:00 p.m. (it started at 1:00!) we felt like we had lived here for years!

I keep telling this story, but I always wanted to live in a Dennis the Menace neighborhood where everyone knows everyone, etc. Well, I am finally getting to do it. I love this town and will be so sad to have to leave when the time comes.

My parents left on Saturday morning (boo hoo), Don had to work, and the puppies and I stayed home and cleaned house. I am getting everything ready for Don's parents who will be here tomorrow to visit. We are so excited about them coming and can't wait to show them the new house and this great town. I am certain Stitch will be delighted to see Gilligan, and I can only imagine how many times they will chase each other up and down four flights of stairs in this house! Hopefully Lilo and Ginger can become girl dog friends and continue to be the loving lap dogs that they are. A fun time will be had by all, and Don is off this long Labor Day weekend and we hope to show Pam and Jay the sites!

My Dad found a great concrete contractor on one of his morning walks. Don hired him on Sunday to lengthen the driveway and give me some room to turn around with my van. The van repairs from my episode with the garage wall came to just over $500.00. I ask the bookkeeper at the collision center if the price would be the same if I did it again, especially when the driveway gets icy. She nodded an emphatic "no". I think this is when Don decided he needed to get the driveway extended ASAP. My car goes in for repairs next Tuesday and they started on the driveway extension today:

Gotta get going...I have a surprise for the Richeys and need to get downtown and make it happen!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

I am a Pending OSCI... WooHoo!

That's right....I completed Dewberry Designs One-Stroke Certification this week and I am now a pending "One-Stroke Certified Instuctor". My Certification Teacher was Kim Barone and she was fantastic. I was so lucky that there were only 16 students in my class so we gots lots of one-on-one instruction. I wish my friend Kim from Georgia could have joined me. The hours were long and we covered a lot of material in just four days. The class was held in Pittsburgh and the drive one way from my house was one hour and ten minutes. I drove back and forth each day. Left home at 6:00 a.m. and got back around 8:30 p.m. Class started Tuesday with Sunflowers and this is what we painted:

I wasn't very happy with my paint strokes, but since I had not painted one thing since I left Georgia I guess I shouldn't have expected much. I was planning to practice, practice, practice before the certification began, but with this new house and my parents here, I just never got around to doing it. On Wednesday we learned Ivy and then the birdhouse picture with wildflowers:

I felt better about my painting on Wednesday, but was dreading Thursday's class of fruit and roses, since I NEVER took a fruit class from Sandy and only took one rose class that I did awful in! We painted the fruit on bristol board:

And the rose we painted on a ceramic vase. I kept telling my classmates that I was going to throw the vase away because I wasn't wild about the rose I painted. Well, I guess the powers that be heard me because when I got home and got out of my car I dropped it on my driveway and shattered it into a million pieces!

Anyway, I got upstairs to find a birthday present had been delivered by the postman from my friend Sandy in Georgia. I was thrilled when I opened the package and found this inside:

Thanks Sandy for the birthday present and for being a great One-Stroke Instructor!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Happy Birthday to ME!

"Happy Birthday to ME,
Happy Birthday to ME,
Happy Birthday dear Terry,
I can't believe I'm Forty-Three"

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Ohio & Amish Country Weekend

We decided after much hard work and a very busy week last week that we would play this weekend! On Friday night Don took us all to Steubenville, Ohio for dinner at a chinese buffet. Mom remembered seeing the Steubenville Kroger on the Today Show in June when they were celebrating Dean Martin's birthday (Steubenville's local celebrity). Mom said that there was a huge mural of Dean Martin painted on the wall outside of Kroger. Well, we decided we needed to find out, and GUESS WHAT? She was right!

Then around the corner in the same shopping plaza was another mural...maybe of Lewis or Clark?

Saturday we headed to Holmes County, Ohio Amish Country. The high temperature was 75 degrees and the sky was blue and beautiful. We went to the Amish Fleamarket, Der Dutchman Amish Restaurant, Walnut Creek Cheese and Meats, and to Lehman's Amish Hardware Store. Here are some pictures of what we saw.

The countryside and amish farms like the picture above are so beautiful. To me it was like stepping into a John Sliney picture! LOTS of his art was for sale in the Amish Flea Market. I just loved this hatbox lamp that fit perfect in my new home:

My Mom found this awesome bust of an Eagle and the Liberty Bell. Doesn't it fit perfect on my staircase landing by Don's flag?

Okay, a few pictures of the house....the half bath just inside the front door and the bookshelf at the front door:

Half bath before, during the renovations and now:

I love the sunflowers and the red pip berrys! I even have them in my kitchen. (will post kitchen pictures this week some time) Look close and you will see that we mounted the mirror sideways. We found the coolest mirrored cubbie hole when we removed the mirror. This was original with the house, so I wanted it left uncovered. I floored the cubbie hole with a piece of the blue panel wallpaper, polished the inset mirror and put in my guest hand towels.

Here is a picture of the bookcase.

My Mom gave me the flags from my grandfather and great grandfather's caskets. We framed pictures of both of my grandfathers and placed them on the shelves by the flags. I know how much these flags mean to my Mom. I am beaming with pride that they are now in my home!

Today was rainy and cold...high 61 degrees! My parents and I drove to the City of Pittsburgh and visited "Rockler" a woodworking store that my dad orders from via catalog. It was fun to see the city, drive through the tunnel and enjoy seeing the sites. We also drove around "Oakdale" until we finally find the local commissary at an Army Missle Site! Don't think I will be doing much shopping there. We have a busy week this week before my parents leave to go home next weekend. I can't wait to post before and after pictures of the handrails on my patio! My dad has done a fantastic job of sanding and sealing the spindles. They look great and still have the old wood look. This week we are working on the sitting room upstairs, the guest room, and I am still sorting through my craft room. Can't wait to get it all done and start creating. Take care and have a great week!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Primanti Brothers Cheesesteak!

Yesterday I took my parents into Pittsburgh to the Air Reserve Base. Don wanted them to hang the pictures in his new office. Don treated us to lunch at Primanti Brothers, so Mom and Dad could have an original cheese steak sandwich. The sandwich is served on Italian bread with steak, cheese, onions, french fries (yes, right on the sandwich) and coleslaw. They are huge and taste fantastic! I prefer the pastrami over the cheese steak. The menu indicates that the cheese steak sandwich is the #2 bestseller. Daddy ask the waitress what the number one best seller was....her answer..."IRON CITY BEER". We all had a good laugh over that one.

Don told my dad that he hoped his cardiologist didn't read my blog! I am sure my brothers would be upset with some of the "bad" foods I have fed my parents while they are here! Oh well, they are on vacation so it is time to splurge. I am sure my Mom doesn't think this is much of a vacation, that's for sure!

We found some chairs for the fireplace sitting area on Saturday. Had to go to two different stores to get what we wanted, but this is how it turned out:

Don worked all weekend, but when he got home from drill on Saturday we had dinner and then DON WALLPAPERED THE STAIRCASE LANDING! After much complaining and whining, he got it all up and it looks fantastic. Here are before and after pics:



Didn't he do a great job?!? We were so proud. Don was the only one of the four us that could reach the top of the window on the ladder without getting dizzy and nauseous. My dad and I both suffer with vertigo (Dad more than me) so we decided since Don isn't afraid of heights, was the tallest and had the arm span enough to stretch the paper across the top without having to move the ladder that he simply had to be the one to do this job! The flag on the landing is a flag that flew with Don while he was flying combat missions in Iraq.


Lilo and Stitch had their baths on Saturday at "Nancy's Dog House". She did a fantastic job and the dogs smell terrific! They were both glad to get their baths and to get a reprieve on getting on the bed to take an afternoon nap!

In the background of this picture of Lilo you can see how foggy the mornings are here on humid days. You can't see the river until well after lunch sometimes! Today it was very nice, cooler (high was 82 degree) and the breeze was great. Dad worked outside on the handrails and the dogs spent the afternoon under the trees in the backyard. Mom and I continued working on the wallpaper in the bathroom and hopefully will finish soon! Tomorrow we are working on the kitchen and doing some light housekeeping. We still have the third floor that we haven't even started on. Looks like my parents will stay an extra week or so until we get it all done. Have a good Monday night and check back with me later in the week for another update.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Happy Birthday Alex...and large pizzas West Virginia Style!

Don's daughter Alex is 18 today!! Happy Birthday Alex! I am sure she is working hard and getting ready to start school at the University of Alaska at Anchorage. We love and miss her so much.

Want to see what you get when you order two large pizzas in West Virginia? Check it out:


I called to the local pizza place "Di Carlos" last night to order pizza for four of us (me and Don and my parents). When you order pizza here you order by the slice. I didn't know how to order by the slice so the kids says "you can order a tray of pizza". I was thinking a tray was like a large pizza from Pizza Hut...right? NOPE! We laughed when we saw how much pizza we had for the four of us! The crust is all homemade and the pizza really was terrific. Guess what we are having for lunch and dinner today? And probably tomorrow as well!! All this pizza for $28.00!! Next time I will know to order a couple of slices per person.

Lilo and Stitch have bath appointments today. I am excited to use "Nancys Dog House" that is right here on the mountain in Marland Heights (that is the name of our neighborhood). We have a Marland Heights Deli just a couple of streets over that sells great fried chicken, has a complete deli, convenience store and sells lottery tickets. This will be nice when the weather gets bad and you dont want to drive down the hill to main street to shop. I will let you know how the puppies enjoy their baths.

Have a great Saturday and if you live in the south - STAY COOL!! It is 69 degrees this morning on Palisades Drive and the high is 85 today.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Happy Birthday to Drew...and more pictures too!

Happy Birthday Drew, hope you had a great 41st! Drew is my brother who has a 20 year old son, an 18 year old daughter and just had another son who is 4 months old...way to go Drew! Here is a picture of him with my little nephew Ryder on his first trip to the beach. He is going to be just like his Aunt Sissy....A Beach Lover!

Got lots of things done today. My neighbor Kay came over to help Mom with the wallpaper and they are about half way finished. Probably will be next week before Kay gets a chance to come over again and help. I am so grateful that she is willing to help. Don't know what Mom and I would have done, because we didnt have a clue about how to paper these concrete walls. We did finish the sunroom today. Here are some before and after pictures:



Doesn't my saltbox house window that Sandy McTier painted just melt your heart when you see it?! It looks so great from both my formal dining room and my sunroom. It is the number one commented upon piece in my new house! I have so much respect for Sandy, not just as a great person, but for her artistic talent as well. I am honored to have this piece and have it displayed in my home.

Don is back home today and was pleased with the progress that my parents and I have made since he left. Don has drill this weekend, so my parents and I will keep up the hard work and get even more done on this beautiful home. Thanks for stopping by to check out our progress!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

More pics!

Okay, I am going to post a couple of pictures of the living room (although we are not completely finished), but first a couple of before pictures:

And now....

I had to place my piano kinda catty-cornered so as not to block the a/c vent. Would have preferred it to be on the wall, but didnt want to block the windows either. See the stained glass angel? My friend Mary Jo gave it to me as a gift and my father thinks it is the prettiest "knick-knack" in this room. Doesn't my settee look fantastic!? My friend Sandy gave it to me as a farewell gift when I left Georgia. It needed a few repairs and my father built a completely new frame under the seat. We can sit four adults comfortably on it and it is sturdy enough to stand on! I was delighted that it fit so perfectly in my new living room. The americana pillows on the settee were also given to me by Mary Jo. I miss my friends, they are so good to me!

I have to send kudos to my neighbor Kay. She is so kind and has been very helpful to us since we moved in. She brought over the best corn on the cob ever (twice!), some homegrown tomatos from her hubby Skip's garden, and today she brought over the most perfect homemade pie I ever saw...rhubard! Her pie crust was so pretty that my dad and I had to make pictures of it.

Kay has been a lifesaver on her knowledge of not just this house, but also on wallpapering. My mom is pretty good at, but was completely lost on how to remove the old paper, prepare the concrete wall, and hang the new paper. Kay is a professional on wallpaper and not only loaned mom all the tools she needed, but has come over to give step by step hands on instructions! Tomorrow she will help mom hang the paper and I will be sure to post before and after pictures when it is completed.

This house has been a lot of work, and Don and I could never have been able to afford the house if we had to hire out the work my mom and dad have done. We are forever grateful for all their efforts and all the love they bring to this home. They will be rewarded with an all expense paid trip to Walt Disney World for one week at Christmas. My mom has always wanted to go to Disney at Christmas time, so this year Don and I will fly to Orlando to show my parents how to celebrate the holidays "Mickey Mouse" style. Just a small token of our appreciation to them for all they mean to us.

Dad installed a hanging closet rack in the laundry room for me today, so I need to get busy and unpack my wardrobe boxes. Yep...been here almost three weeks and still have boxes that need unpacking!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007


Just in case you don't remember what the dining room looked like when I bought this house, here is another look:

The previous owner used this room as her living room. I wanted my dining room in this space so it would be close to the kitchen. My Dad swapped the Tiffany lamp with the chandelier and we set up the dining room today. Here are a couple of pictures of my new dining room:

I just love my new wallpaper border and the crown moulding looks so much better bright white. We have worked so hard and are very tired. Daddy is fixing Momma and me a cheese omelet for dinner. YUM! Don doesn't like breakfast food at night (or anytime for that matter!) so I always try to have a breakfast dinner when my parents or his Mom visit.

We have a family of deer that live in the woods in the backyard. I have seen the momma doe and the three fawns up close, but never when I had my camera handy. Last week my father spotted the entire family walking in the backyard. By the time I got my camera this was the only shot I could get which I made through the upstairs window. The other deer had already walked back into the woods.

Got the final roll of wallpaper today, so hopefully we can get the guest bath done tomorrow. Stay tuned for more pictures!

Monday, August 6, 2007

Happy Birthday Matt, Drew & Alex!

Last week my BIL Matt celebrated his birthday. This week my brother Drew and my daughter Alex will be celebrating their birthdays as well. I LOVE YOU ALL AND MISS YOU VERY MUCH! I am hoping that Matt will bring his family up to my new house this Fall so I can reconnect with him, Darla and my niece, Macy Kate. I know Alex is VERY busy working two jobs and getting ready to start college. Hopefully she can come for Christmas, or maybe in the spring and see Pittsburgh. I know my brother Drew will bring Jodi and Ryder after the new year so I can hold Ryder while he is still a baby. I had forgotten how fast children grow up and I feel like I am missing out so much on Macy Kate and Ryder. I have been a horrible Aunt to them lately, but as soon as I get settled I plan to stay more in touch.

I am still very wrapped up in getting my house put together. I had NO IDEA how much work it would be to get a 70 year old house ready to live in. Still have one water leak in the basement that I have to get fixed as soon as I figure out where the water is coming from, and I have to get the gutters cleaned out because it rained all day yesterday and the water was just pouring over the edges instead of going down the spouts. My parents and I are working very hard to get a lot done this week while Don is out of town on business. Today we swapped the chandelier and the Tiffany lamp in the living/dining room. The previous owner had her living room right outside of the kitchen and I wanted my dining room there. Thought it would be much easier when serving dinner. Hopefully we will be ready to make some pictures by this weekend and give you a sneak preview! I know some of you are getting impatient with us. We have given my Dad so many small projects that we have just confused him I think. "Fix this piece of furniture, put an anchor in this wall, level the china cabinet, replace this light bulb, take out the trash, make some homemade peach ice cream, put a new wire hanger on this picture, glue this music box back together, move this table over there, put this shelf together, tell us what kind of bird that is in the yard, bring us a screwdriver, move this table back where we originally had it"...and the list goes on! Mother has successfully unpacked all the boxes in the living room and dining room. YIPPEE! The china has been washed and put in the hutch, the piano has been placed and completely cleaned. The curio has been put together, cleaned and everything meticulously placed inside. Things are really looking good, but we are far from being done. Still have the laundry room and basement to work on, a guest bath to completely wallpaper (when Sherwin Williams gets the final roll of paper delivered) and we haven't even started on the master bedroom, kitchen and most important...MY CRAFT ROOM! I better get some rest so I can get back at it again tomorrow.