Tuesday, October 28

Nope, Nada, No...well...OK!

4 Christmases ago, Shawn got me a years worth of monthly delivered flowers. It was so unexpected, one of those truly surprise gifts.
The next year, he thrilled me again with the same gift, loved it, loved it, loved it!
But the next year, I was a 'bah humbug' and told him that the flowers were so luxurious, wonderful, appreciated... but pricey... and we were building the house, so I asked him to be good, cheap, penny-pincher, etc. He was a good hubby!
Then comes Christmas 2007, that naughty husband caught me off guard, yep... he got me monthly flowers again. I squealed in delight!!! The 20th of each month I am watching for the FedEx fella.
I grab the box out of the FedEx guys hands. Run inside giggling, hugging myself in excitement. Rip open the box... and start filling as many vases as I can with goodness.
Shawn includes a sweet message inside each delivery too!
I'm so glad he ignored me, so glad he thought to regive this gift, so glad he's mine!
This months collection was gorgeous and classic...

Monday, October 27

'Holding patterns'

You know what I've learned in the past few months? Some projects are just so huge that they never are really 'done', they just go through 'holding patterns.' But I'm actually getting used to this way of doing things... and slowly but surely... we're chipping away at it!
So do you remember our hillbilly swimmin' pool?
The one smack dab in the front lawn?
The one the kids used to throw beach balls in to torment me?
Here's a refresher pic...

In actuality, that is just the center of our circular driveway that would flood everytime it rained. Got many suggestions for this space... koi pond, fountain, duck pond... but I always wanted it as a 'green' space.
So here is Holding Pattern #1, tah-dah! At this time I would like to thank all the little people (aka Savannah, Christian, and Ty) and our landscaping crew (aka Shawn and I). We worked on the drainage, hauled in tons of dirt, sodded, did stonework, and planted a few twigs, er, uh, I mean trees... or what will BE trees in 10years.

This is where you need to have a vivid imagination. In the NEXT Holding Pattern, there will be a much larger curved bench, with pots surrounding it overflowing with goodness. Then the mulched area will be oozing with yummy plants spilling over the rocks. Can you see it?

This pic doesn't do the sod justice. Shawn did this part all by himself, can't claim an ounce of it. It is so comfy to walk on. It is the only decent grass we have so far.

I decided to do bigger, chunkier, rocks here and I love the look. I look forward to the spring when we will add yet more dirt and I will put little plants in all the crevices. I never used pine needle mulch until we moved out here. I always preferred the shredded or nugget bark mulch. But it doesn't work out here. It either blows or washes away. So I started using the pine needles and they are quite the natural fit/look for the land and it packs down so well that nothing moves it, not even dragging garden hoses across it.

AND here is one of the 3 twigs in my planting bed. They are coral bark (can't remember the fancy name) Japanese Maples. Alisha and I love these maples, although I must admit that I have killed a few in the past... lets hope I have learned from these sad incidences. It took me forever to figure out what I wanted as the trees... in the end I loved several choices and had to make a decision. So we went to my favorite DREAM nursery... you know the one... the one that you THINK you will be able to afford 3 trees at, but you were lying to yourself?!?!! So there were plenty of huge, gorgeous, coral barks there... for a mere $359.00 EACH. Drat! So then off to Lowes we go... they had these for $68.00 each and then, lo and behold, we get to the register and they are 50% off. So the twigs is was! The $359.00 trees were pruned drastically and had more the shape of a redbud and I loved the look, so I will attempt to prune mine the same... I'm an optimistic gal, snort!
So I am happy with my little 'oval' and won't give it another obsessive thought UNTIL spring!

Sunday, October 26


Do you see it?!?

There's another one!!!
Aren't these cute?! They are little iron mice I got to put on my front porch with my pumpkins and gourds. I've only had one person jump at the sight of 'em... poor unsuspecting UPS guy, I begged forgiveness, and he promised not to smash any future deliveries!

Not so funny story though... Saturday, Christian screamed my name from the classroom. Our kitty, Snickers, had snuck in the house through an open door and had something in its mouth! That's never good. Afterall, our kittens are outside pets and pride themselves in being superhero hunters. Yep! My worst fear, Snickers had a mouse... and a live one at that! In all the excitement of trying to scurry Snickers back outside with his 'treasure'... he dropped his loot and ran out.
The mouse found cover behind some boxes and we never found it. Now I keep acting like a HUGE ninny everytime I hear the least little sound.
Shawn is 'on the case',
I trust he will save his family from the mean ole mouse.
Later, I had a long discussion with Snickers on the possibility of him losing his job as Head barn cat. He seemed quite concerned with this possible demotion and promised to do better. So since the UPS guy forgave me, I too must forgive Snickers.

Tuesday, October 21

Would YOU come for a visit?

Warning! This post is a NOVEL, I have added lots of pictures to ease your pain as you trudge through this, its the least I could do for ya!

This is our carriage house. It was designed by Lavor Haynie from a picture of a European barn that I ripped out of a magazine, amazing! I love the roofline! But that is not what I want to 'pick your brains' about today.
The lower level is a 3+ car garage. It is used for woodworking items and storage for now. The upstairs is unfinished, but OH do I have dreams for it. The 2 initial thoughts for eventually finishing the upstairs is for a guest loft for when the Utah Callahans come a visitin', and to have a 'retreat' for me to escape to, to paint, stitch, etc.
I still need this space for those 2 reasons, but overall, I fear the space will mostly be VACANT. So here are some thoughts that have been occupying me for the past year now.
I would love to open a Bed & Breakfast.
Nothing full-time, even just 1 boarder a month would delight me. I love to hostess. Not looking for a new career, just something to keep me creative.
So my thoughts so far:
The upstairs is already plumbed for a full bath (although dinky, or should I say cozy).
I would have probably 2 queen beds, a seating area with a large coffee table that would double as a place to eat. A huge antique armoir that would have a TV, mini fridge, and microwave. And there will also be a desk area.
We were already planning for satellite TV, internet access, and phone... BUT boarders could choose to use any or NONE of those items.
Shawn and I are B&B addicts. We prefer them to Hotels, and interestingly enough, B&B's usually offer fewer amenities but the simplicity they offer is so relaxing.
Future amenities we could offer:
Peace and Quiet (except for the occasional rooster crow and EEEEEAAAAAWWWW)
Free roaming of our property, which will eventually include; pond (with fishing and little paddle boat), animals, plenty of sitting areas, firering for sitting around a crackling fire, animals to pet and enjoy, swimming pool, strolls to the river bank, and eventually horse rides too. Anyone wanting to milk a cow or goat is welcome, snort, or even gathering eggs is adventurous!
For breakfast I would deliver to the loft landing a tray full of pastries, fruits, juices/milk, granolas, brie and crackers, etc.
Finally, but very important...a list of MUST EAT AT local dives, er, um, I mean diners... you know they always have the most incredible, dangerous, forbidden food!
I see family and friends and simple word of mouth patrons, simple, low-key.
Do you think you would come? Steal your husbands away for the weekend and only have to drive to S.Hville to 'escape'.
Here are the BEFOREs of the project, notice we have lots of work to do to the guest loft and the property surrounding it.
We plan to have it complete and open by Fall 2009!
I plan for cool shutters and HUGE window box here. Over the 3 garage doors I want a trellis with cottage roses growing over them.
I just love cupolos and lightning rods, don't you?!

This would be the entrance to the B&B. The dutch door would be decked out in all the fabulous hardware, gorgeous! Inside the garage would be a private entrance to the guest loft, guests would not be able to see the actual contents/junk of the lower area.

OK, this is just as you enter the loft from the stairs. This window faces our backyard, which will be incredible, or so it is in my mind's eye.

This is the bathroom. It will have a corner shower (I wanted a clawfoot but codes are TOUGH for those and made it impossible), a pedestal sink, toilet, little sitting area. It will be done in creams and whites, travertine, simple.

Hard to make this out, but there is a closet for hanging clothes. Also the inset for the giant antique armoire (which I will need 100 friends to help me hoist through the french doors, any volunteers?), and a nook for a 'kitchen' cabinet for little necessities. The sitting room will be in this area too, in front of the armoire.

This is the view to the other end of the loft. The beds would be against the right wall (I am standing in the future seating area taking this picture). The desk area (my retreat space) will be to either side of the french doors. The view out these french doors is out to our dry river bed and woods. There will be a faux iron balcony, the doors open to the inside and can be left wide open for breezes. All the beams you see will be left open, just painted. There will be ceiling fans, and dropped pendant lighting.

The ceiling pitch is 20+ feet high and follows the exact curves of the roofline, breathtaking! Beadboard will cover insulation on the celings, wood planking on the vertical walls, and wood plank floors.
Colors will be whites, creams, espresso, and coastal blues.
I have a slight (completely misleading) addiction to antique linens. I have collected for years and have boxes of this stuff, the beds will be dripping with yummy, antique linens in creams and whites. I also bought an antique (aka, old as dirt) bedframe several years ago in Destin that I hope to use the headboard and footboard for the beds, needs some rigging though.
The whole loft will be quite minimalist, but YUMMY... I like to call it Modern Cottage.
This is the current view from the carriage house front door. Future plans for the pond, fencing, horse barn, livestock barn, etc.

And cutey patootey animals just around each corner!

I have several names for the B&B swimming around in my head. We still need to come up with a name for our property too, several of our neighbors have cute farm names for their land and horseboarding businesses, etc. I want the B&B to have it's own distinctive name, I think, but I will keep you updated when I finally narrow down my many thoughts... I know you will be waiting in the wings just anxious for the announcement, laughter!! Thank you for your patience! Lots of thought and work, and definitely future work, has and will go into this project. Fun!!

Monday, October 20

100th Post, Yippee!

What a wonderful blogging milestone, giggle!
I usually bum Savannah's point and click camera but it is broken. Since it was such a gorgeous morning, I decided to go play around with Shawn's camera instead.
Don't you just love fall?!!!

OH Golly, Miss Molly!! How are you this fine Fall day!

Saturday, October 18

Two Crusheypoos!

Crush #1:
While I have been a huge fan, sometimes stalker, of
'a greenfield photography'...
today, I am just about to bust.
The Mayfield Clan, in its ENTIRETY, was blessed to have KimG
come for a session. Can you imagine trying to photograph 30+ people... all with different personalities, wants, expectations? We tried real hard to behave ourselves, but once again, you can describe our family in two words... wonderful chaos! Thank you Kim!
Crush #2:
I am in love with a computer geek, nope, Shawn is not said computer geek. Scandalous, I know!! It is my firm belief that every family should have at least 1 geek in their ranks, and we are blessed to have a couple. But specifically our bil Chris, is the hero today. Our computer has been 'diseased' for 2 weeks. In a matter of a few hours, Chris saved our sanity and restored our computer to us. Sniffle, sniffle, excuse my tears of joy.
PS - in case you may want to think harsh of me calling my bil Chris a geek, Chris proudly wears a shirt that declares this title!
So, I shall return to blogging, including pictures... you lucky readers! Well, probably not till Monday because I had a strenuous day of smiling for the camera and keeping my children clean as they ran around 15 acres of potential grass stains, animal poop, trees begging to be climbed, and cousins running a muck! What a great day!

Thursday, October 16

I am...

I am... married to an incredible man I adore.
I think... this world is absolutely breathtaking.
I want... to set a good example.
I have... a strong testimony of Jesus Christ.
I miss... Shawn during work days.
I fear... mean people.
I feel... very shy, very often.
I hear... children laughing outside.
I smell... like roses, or so I've been told, giggle!
I crave... silence, and invite it every chance I get.
I cry... when my children's feelings are hurt.
I search... for ways to stay home.
I wonder... when my Savior will come again.
I regret... not knowing my mother-in-law better.
I wish... I had more hours in each day.
I love... life.
I care... deeply about family time.
I always... hug myself when I am happy/excited.
I worry... that I don't show gratitude enough.
I am not... afraid to say 'no'.
I remember... being sealed to my parents at 3 yrs old.
I believe... Families are Forever.
I know... I am a beloved spirit daughter of God.
I sing... or more accurately, hum, when I am eating something delicious.
I don't always... feel the need to go, go, go. Simple, slow, quiet time is a must.
I argue... with myself, often, outloud.
I write... love notes to my husband.
I lose... track of time when I am gardening.
I listen... to my childrens' feelings and frustrations, very important to me!
I can... usually be found on my front porch, my personal shady nook (with a good book).
I need... uninterrupted time with my children.
I forget... my daughter's orthodontist appointments, repeatedly, grrrr.
I am happy... when I am HOME!

Wednesday, October 15

Please don't tell the librarian...

So today was quite a warm day out, Ty finished school early and we decided to walk around and play with the animals. We ended up in the pen with the barn animals, I sat in a chair in the shade, and Ty pretty much chased the goats endlessly. Six of our goats love us when we feed them but otherwise want us to admire them from a distance. Ty finds this funny and torments them with lovin'.
So while the goats are busy running away from Ty, our 2 barn donkeys... Molly and Eeyore, were beside themselves excited with my attention. But I had brought a book with me to read, and they were being quite nosey. So Molly would nudge me and bat her eyelashes at me... Eeyore would eehaaaawww and poke his ears in my face. Go away donkeys and let me read in peace!! Next thing I know, those 2 rascals ganged up on me... Eeyore pooped on my boot, WHILE MY FOOT WAS STILL IN THAT BOOT, ruuuuude, and then Molly grabbed my book out of my hands with her mouth and ran away with it!
Hardy, har, har, now come back with my book you cute donkey... being a sweet southern donkey that she is, she obeyed me and trotted back over to me and dropped my book right in the poop Eeyore had just so kindly laid at my feet. EWWWW!!
Just in case you need to reference this for later... Wiping donkey poop off a paperback library book does in NO WAY remove the color OR the smell! I have Febreezed it and am hoping for the best. So do you think the librarian will have me arrested for unlawful donkey poop on public library property. If I go to jail, Molly and Eeyore are coming with me, it was a

Saturday, October 11

You know it was a good vacation when...

Even a couple days of rain could not ruin a vacation at the beach...
The meals fixed for you by 'the gals' made you hum happy tunes all week...
You didn't get a sunburn...
None of your kids got swimmer's ear even though they were at the beach or in the pool for the entire time...
Hubby loves all the items you bought on 'girls day out', even the antiques...
You all made it home safe and sound, and your goodies too...
Donkeys welcomed you home, and all your animals were safe and sound thanks to your neighbors...
And everything is already unloaded and put away...
I promise, I won't even grumble while washing all the dirty/sandy laundry, because it would taint all the incredible memories!!!
I LOVE Fall Break and Mayfield Family Reunion!!!

Friday, October 3

Severe withdrawal...

Our computer is down... not able to post photos, so very weak from the need to post photos, cough, wheeze, sputter!!

I have upcoming photos of the 2 sick little donkeys we adopted... Black Bart is thriving... Jenne is hanging in there, I still have faith she will be a blonde bombshell someday.

I have updates on Savannah's Ball... she came home exhausted! They ate, they danced, they female bonded... and all around partAYED!!! Did I mentione that all the brothers of the sisters attending the Ball, ran away and did some male bonding of their own. Ty and Christian joined the 'fellas' in the macho festivities and we had 3 happy children return home after 10pm. Yep, a late night, but knowing they were well taken care of, Shawn and I didn't miss 'em a bit. Did I just say that?!? Well, truthfull, I missed them a bit, and was glad to see them return and here all about the wonderful evening they all had. I just love wonderful neighbors, don't you?!