Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Sisterly Love ~ and Thank You...My Friends

Best Friends and Sisters, too ~ Ms. Maggie Mae is giving Punkie Brewster a sweet hug!My Sweet Sally is gone but not forgotten...We've shed a pool of tears this week but are doing better with each passing day. We miss Sally so much but had expected that she would be leaving for the Rainbow Bridge soon. Sally was about 13 years old and had a heart murmur. Her little heart was just worn out. She had trouble breathing for the last week. It was so hard watching her struggle for each breath. She was such a trooper. If you didn't know it, you would have never known she was an old girl with a bad heart. She still played like a puppy and never lost her appetite. She was a little beggar and always managed to get her way when it came to getting an extra treat or a scrap of something off my dinner plate. We miss her but are relieved that she is not suffering any longer.

Thank you sweet blog friends for all the heart felt comments about Sally's passing. We read each and every comment. It is so heartwarming to know that there are so many animal lovers who felt our pain and expressed sympathy with such benevolence. The compassion that each comment expressed was overwhelming. Thanks to each and every one who showed such sympathetic kindness. I'm happy to call you my friends...

Monday, February 23, 2009


My beloved Sally died in my arms yesterday evening. She had grown old and had not been well for the last week. I miss her...She is waiting for me at the Rainbow Bridge.
My Sweet, Sweet Sally ~ August 20, 1996 - February 22, 2009Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together....

Author unknown

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Dreaming in Color...Spring Colors!

The first sign of Spring is Mr. Robin, right? Hmm, but I think these colorful birds stay in East Texas year round. So we went looking around for more signs of Spring...

Yesterday was beautiful! Spring like! Today is another story...cold, drizzling, cloudy...we are having a light freeze tonight...brrr! But alas, there are many signs of an early Spring here in East Texas... Can Spring be far behind when the Redbuds are blooming?

The Pear Trees down by the lake are in bloom...a sure sign of Spring!

The Daffodils are blooming all over my sister's yard, just across the street from us!

Some of the trees in my yard are beginning to leaf out ...while others still look bare.

We took advantage of the warm weather yesterday...we spontaneously decided to do a little garage sale~ing. Joei drove her cute little VW. The decision was made to take her car. We rationalized that since it has a small trunk, it's perfect for cottage-size shopping trips! We further surmised it would put somewhat of a curtail on our purchases! Hey, we need all the help we can get when it comes to putting a quietus on what we bring home...small trunks included!

We rode around town from sale to down!

After stopping to peruse the goods at one of the sales, we returned to the car only to find that we had a little unwanted visitor but nonetheless a visitor that is a sure signal of spring! A honey bee sipping nectar from the little daisy in Joei's car!

C'mon Spring...I'm so ready to go to Lowe's and buy a beautiful green fern and some blooming begonias for my little planters on the porch. I'm ready to decorate the front porch and relax on the dreaming while the sun warms me.

Our porch is an extension of our cottage. It is considered to be another room...and I lovelovelove to decorate it for the welcome the anticipated at the cottage, warm weather signals the beginning of many weekend visitors.

We painted our front door RED because red on the front door is a cheery way to greet guests. In feng shui, red is a recommended color for the front door, as it is believed to invite prosperity to the homeowners. Prosperity can have many definitions...When it comes to family and friends, we are very prosperous...

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Before & After...

This is a photo collage of my little kitchen when we were just coming to the cottage for the weekends. These photos were taken in August 2006. I gave up the corner of the kitchen (where the windows are) for a breakfast nook which consisted of a small round table and an "L" shaped banquette...piled high with pillows made from vintage tablecloths and linens. I also had the sink skirt made from vintage tablecloths.

See the little round table in the photo above? That's where the "L" shaped banquette was...behind the table. We used to sit there and have breakfast or when the grandkids came, they would eat at the little table. Mr. S and I usually eat (very informally) sitting in our favorite chairs...sometimes with a TV tray...sometimes sans the TV tray.

It didn't take me long to decide that I loved being at the cottage much better than in Dallas. As a matter-of-fact, after spending the first weekend here, I was hooked on country life! Mr. S encouraged me to stay since I loved being here so much (he only had to twist my arm for about two seconds!) Mr. S is still working in Dallas and didn't want to commute 150 miles each day. He continued living in our Dallas home and "visited" me at the cottage on holidays and weekends. A few months ago, Mr. S decided Dallas was not for him either. The end of January, we decided to put our Dallas home on the market. I know! It's not the best time to put a house on the market but we did and much to our surprise we got several offers in the first few days it hit the market. And we got our asking price! Woohoo! We close on the house February 26! Yippeeeee! Mr. S lives here now...commuting 150 miles a day! Country life is GOOD...very addicting! He couldn't stay away...we are HOOKED! I don't miss Dallas...not even a little!
When we were building this little cottage, I thought that I could live without a dishwasher...wrongwrongwrong!! After about 6 months of no dishwasher, it was time for a kitchen redesign! We had an "L" shaped section of lower cabinets built and an upper cabinet designed with slide out trays for our appliances. And I got the cutest li'l dishwasher drawer...I love it! Just the right size for a cottage kitchen. With the kitchen island chest and the addition of the cabinets, I have unused cabinet and drawer space...can you believe it? Oh...but not for long...I'm always looking for vintage dishes to fill the empty space. See my little dishwasher drawer below? Cute, huh?

The photo below shows our little "dining area". It's plenty of room for about 6 when both leaves of the table are up. My grandkids love the cute little slipcovered bench...It will seat 2!When you live in a little cottage, you have to make use of every square inch of space. I have learned to live with less. And I have learned that less is more...

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

IT's ReaLLy NO BiGGie...

For real! It's a teeny, tiny kitchen...just like I like it!I think the photo above is the one that piqued some interest in my kitchen. I've had several requests to show more. I hope you won't be disappointed...there's really not much more...It's an itty, bitty cottage kitchen.
This photo was taken standing at the end of the kitchen island...this photo shows 90% of the kitchen...hmm maybe 95%...I told you it is isty bitsy!
This photo was taken about 2 baby steps forward from the last photo. This vintage chest has been my kitchen island in my last two homes. The drawers are the best! You wouldn't believe how deep and wide they are...I can get tons of kitchen stuff in there! I bought it many years ago in the Design District of Dallas. It has the original old paint on it. I wax it with bee's wax twice a year to protect it and seal the old paint which probably has lead in it!These are some of my favorite things. A Lloyd Loom hamper, a vintage picnic tin and a cute framed cottage litho with a thermometer! This trio is at the end of my kitchen, next to the French doors that lead out onto our grilling deck...we love to grill and wanted a deck close to the kitchen for our smoker and bbq grill. The photos above are of the other end of the kitchen island. See my cute little cook stove? It does just as good a job as a big one! I love big ol' ironstone trays...especially this one. It holds all my cooking oils, salt 'n pepper and other often used spices.
I wanted to show this photo with my Ikea lights turned on. I saw these lights at the Frisco, TX Ikea right after they opened a few years ago. I loved them but had no idea where I could use them. I didn't even live at Simplicity Cottage then. We were still in Dallas (ugh!) The next time I went to Ikea, they were calling my name! I bought 2 of them not having any clue what I would do with them. I just knew I loved them! They were in storage for a long time. One of those sleepless know what I mean...we ALL have them. Anyway, it came to me...the next morning, I measured and it was a perfect fit!
Oh, almost forget to mention the upper cabinet. I purchased it from the Canton Flea Market. It came out of an old General Store in Ohio. I got it for almost it in my kitchen! I love the glass sliding doors!
I bought an old red door several years it out at the Canton Flea Market, too....don't ask me why I bought it...the chippy, peeling paint probably! It stayed in our garage for the longest time. I don't know if you noticed, or not but I don't have much wall space in my little kitchen...I decided to wash it up and bring it in...more bee's wax, I'm sure it has leaded paint, too! I slid it in right between refrigerator and the farmhouse sink. VOILA! extra wall!! I hung my paper towels, a towel ring, a hook for hot pads and my favorite old dime store print on the old door. And don't you just love the color? This is the counter top area right next to my old soap, pot scrubbers, hand lotion, etc...on top of an old brown and white calico platter.
Now you know it's hard for me to go without talking about those dogs o' mine. Just check out this cute old Staffordshire dog cookie stores doggie cookies for good li'l pooches! This is my favorite corner in the kitchen. The little pine plate rack is from England. I didn't have a wall it would fit on. Mr. S had a fix for that! He "MacGyvered" it to fit in my little corner between the two kitchen windows.
This is a view of the other side of the front of the other window. This window is next to the upper cabinet...
This is just down the counter from the little corner plate rack. The cabinet above holds our microwave and toaster. We also keep paper plates, napkins, paper towels, etc. in this cabinet.More of my favorite things...old ironstone and brown 'em!
Oh...and here's Maggie on the 'fridge reminding me what "not" to feed her! Ashlei made the heart for me several years ago for Valentine's Day! Another of my favorite things! for the last two photos. I am crazy for farmhouse sink skirts. The skirt that I have on my old sink is REVERSIBLE. I had it made with a Fall/Winter side and Spring/Summer side. I am so ready for Spring...I've already changed the skirt to the Spring side. Look at the photos below and tell me which side you like the best...OK?
Are you a Spring/Summer or Fall/Winter?

The Clock is Ticking...

Yes! It is works! This is my "new" vintage kitchen clock. Another eBay find! The description read: This is old, it is large and guaranteed to run perfectly. And yes, it needs some paint. But this is a fortuitous listing for someone out there, so don't be afraid to bid. The diameter of this nice wall clock is a full 18 inches so people can see it from a distance. There is no reserve on this clock, and a low opening bid. Needs some paint?? I don't think so...I love it just the way it is!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

More to come when the sun is shining ~ or Ashlei gets home from school

I started to do my kitchen post but when I commenced taking pictures, there was a glare on everything because it is dark outside. I'm going to take some pics tomorrow when the sun is shining and I can turn off my flash!
Ashlei just came over...she decided to spend the night with me...she took some photos that are great (dadgum 13 year old!) but it's past her bedtime and her mom would not approve of her being up at 11:30 pm helping MeMe with a blog! Shhh! Don't tell Joei! Oh yeah, Ashlei's mom would yell at both of us!
I will post more kitchen photos tomorrow...Good night!

Monday, February 16, 2009

ThE NeVeR EnDiNG TaSk ~

L a U n D r y T o D a Y ...
o R N a K e D

T o M o RR o W !

Saturday, February 14, 2009

~~~ HaPPy VaLenTines DaY ~~~

Do something you love to do today~
With somebody you love.
It doesn't get any better than that!
XOXO ~ Donna

Friday, February 13, 2009

"B" is for BuLLdoG...

I know! I know! After a full week of "Bulldog" blog, you're probably thinking I need to get a life! A real that hasn't gone to the dogs...

I just had to show what I won on eBay! Isn't is sooo cute? It's from a vintage children's book. The artist is Clara Tice. It measures 8" x 11"...very suitable for framing! I think I'm going to dedicate this weekend to finding the perfect vintage frame for this cutie!

Next week, my kitchen...I promise!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Karma, Cliches, The Golden Rule and Justice...

Karma is a law in Hinduism which maintains that every act done, no matter how insignificant, will eventually return to the doer with equal impact. Good will be returned with good; evil with evil.

What comes around goes around is a cliche that means you will get what you deserve.

You reap what you sow is the basic nature of God's justice.

Do into others as you would have them do unto you is The Golden Rule. Many religions promote this as a rule to live by.

I would never wish anyone ill will. I do believe in living life by following the Golden Rule. I believe in Karma. And I believe in God's justice.

This is actually the final part of my story about imported puppies and puppy mills. I don't have much to say about how bad I think these people are. I am convinced that the people who import puppies are driven by greed. And greed is bad. Greedy people are bad. Greed makes good people do bad things.

There are many sickly puppies being cared for by families who have purchased puppies from these puppy mill puppy importers.There are many puppies with genetic problems which will lead to an early death or a painful life because of the unscrupulous puppy mill breeders and importers who do not care to breed for a better, healthier puppy. There are many families who are heartbroken because their puppy died after doing as much as possible to get a sick puppy well.

There are many sad stories. I have read most of them...and when I do it makes me feel sad, very sad.

Many of the people who purchased sick puppies from "D" filed complaints with the Better Business Bureau, The IC3 (Internet Crimes/FBI) and the Texas Attorney General.

There are several lawsuits pending against "D" and her family, which includes her husband, sister and sister-in-law. I will be testifying against "D" in a lawsuit filed against her by the Texas Attorney General. I will also be testifying against her in a civil suit filed by an Austin, TX attorney. I am not the only witness, unfortunately there are many.

I am going to attach a newspaper article below regarding the lawsuit filed by the Texas Attorney General. I am doing this to spread the word about purchasing puppies from greedy people. The article is from Courthouse News:

September 18, 2008
State Busts Bulldog Sellers Charging Abuse
FORT WORTH (CN) - The State of Texas accuses a married couple and the wife's sister of running puppy mills, misrepresenting the diseased bulldogs they sell for $2,000 to $3,000 apiece, falsely claiming to have bred the dogs themselves, and refusing to replace dead dogs with healthy, live ones. The defendants are Kristy O'Neal dba EPuppyPro aka; her husband, Charles O'Neal, also dba T.B. Elite Marketing LLC dba and; her sister, Melody Edwards dba Lobopuppies aka; and Vickie O'Neal Alvord, an officer of T.B. Elite Marketing and and The O'Neals operate out of North Richland Hills, Texas, Edwards out of Hurst.
The state alleges: The defendants misrepresented the health of at least four sick puppies, claiming they had been checked by vets; one died the day after arrival; another one died soon thereafter; one has "two genetic disorders which left it unable to walk or stand." One puppy the defendants sold was ill on arrival and died within 6 weeks. The defendants advertise their dogs with alleged testimonials from customers, but at least one such customer "made no such statements and remains dissatisfied with his or her purchasing experience."
The defendants use AKC and other trademarks to advertise their dogs, but refuse to provide AKC papers when requested. The defendants misrepresent themselves as the dogs' breeders, but the dogs have tattoos indicating they were imported. One puppy, which Kristy O'Neal misrepresented as bred at her home and "her kids' favorite" went to the purchaser "straight from the airport immediately after being imported."
The state demands penalties of up to $20,000 per violation.

If you must have a specific breed and/or you want a registered puppy...I can understand that. Just do your "homework" before you buy. Better yet...adopt or rescue a dog from a shelter!

If you would like more information about imported Bulldogs, go to or
On a happier note...
Many of my blog friends have commented on my kitchen and asked for more photos. I plan to take some photos this weekend and do a post on my little, teeny, tiny cottage kitchen next week.

From Russia with BuLLdoG Love Part 3

Punkie Brewster! Look at that cute freckled tummy!
I have NEVER for one minute regretted getting Punkie. It was meant to be. She knows that I "rescued" her...she's my baby! You may be wondering why I call her "Punkie Brewster". I added "Brewster" when I discovered that she is kind of an orphan. We call her Punkie most of the time but she'll come to P.B., Punkie B, Punkie-Punk and Chunky Punkie! She is chunky!

Punkie takes medicine like a trooper. Ummm...especially when it's coated with peanut butter or covered with cheese or even wrapped in thin sliced lunch meat. Punkie loves to eat. And it shows! She also loves her yogurt...she has DanActive yogurt with immune booster in it every day.

When puppies are taken from the mother dog too early...before they are naturally weaned, their immune systems suffer tremendously. And it can affect them for the rest of their life. Immune systems are very important! Punkie's immune system continues to be weak because she was taken from her mother at such an early age.

After taking almost two weeks of the prescribed antibiotics, immune booster and respiratory treatments, Punkie was still sick. A little better, but not making the progress that Dr. C was expecting. Dr. C and Dr. S had me bring her in for an examination and more tests. After they examined her and read the results of the new tests they consulted with each other and came up with another antibiotic "cocktail". They explained that sometimes bacteria becomes tolerant to some medications. If you change antibiotic, it "confuses" the bacteria and gives the new drugs the opportunity to grab hold of the bacteria and gain control of the host's system.

Never losing faith that Punkie would get better...I had new hope. Punkie and I got into the car with a bag full of new medicine. Punkie talked me into stopping at Burger King for a kids meal. Punkie loves cheeseburgers -- cut the onions!
Punkie took her new medicine just as prescribed and we continued with her respiratory treatments. The docs told me that it would take 24-72 hours to see a change...after four change. I'm not losing my faith...Punkie WILL get better. I kept convincing myself that we just haven't found the right antibiotic concoction.
I started researching on the Internet and reaching out for help from other people who had purchased puppies from "D". I found several women who were happy to help. They put me in touch with their vets, emailed me with the name of medications and faxed me reports from surgeons who had performed tracheal washes on their puppies to identify the strain of bacteria causing the illness.
I called my wonderful vets and scheduled another appointment for Punkie. They wanted me to come right away. I put all my research information together and we took off. The docs poured through the information and even phoned one of the other vets. Yeah, my vets ROCK!
They explained that there is a new drug...not recommended for puppies but it is a kick-butt full spectrum antibiotic. They feel sure it will work. It could make the bones in Punkie's legs sore but that would be the worst side-effect she might have. They had to warn me that it is not approved for use in puppies under a year old...but they recommend that we try it.
Zeniquin. A magic bullet...Yes, we will try it.
The good thing about the magic bullet is that it has been proven to be effective within 72 hours. I was hopeful, yet skeptical.
After the first day, I thought I could see improvement but I kept thinking that it was wishful thinking. Second day, I thought...yeah, I'm almost sure the Zeniquin is hasn't even been 72 hours. I remain reserved in my thoughts but remain hopeful that she is improving. By the middle of the third day, I am no longer skeptical, reserved...and the wishful thinking has turned to positive thinking. Punkie is better! For the first time, she is not coughing, her breathing is no longer labored, no snotty nose...Punkie is getting well!
That night Punkie slept through the night. I put her into our bed and she slept in the same spot until the next morning. She had never slept through the night because she would have to get up and move around many times throughout the night because she was having trouble breathing.
I called her vets that morning and reported that the Zeniquin was working. The full recommended dosage was for 14 days. They reminded me to make sure she took the whole prescription. NO reminder needed, she will take all the magic bullets for sure! We were ALL so happy.
Punkie continued to show improvement all week long. After she finished ALL her antibiotic, we went back for more blood came back clear. Punkie is well...she has been off antibiotics since the end of October 2008. It took three months to get her well!
Punkie suffers from an occasional skin problem or ear infection, but the pneumonia and upper respiratory infection - gone! She also has a couple of genetic problems that we "deal" with. All-in-all she is healthy. Punkie has been medication free since the end of October 2008. Yippee! She is my constant shadow. Where I go...Punkie goes! She even gets in the walk-in shower with me!
Ahhh! Bulldog Love...