Tuesday, June 21, 2011


Thank you to all who offered their opinion on my poll. It is certainly fun to know what you are thinking. : ) So, you either want to see me more often around here... or my ultra long blog posts are putting you to sleep!

Either way, I am going to really try to blog every other day. I'm not sure it will always happen (look what happened to my poor project 365! Eeks! I really need to get back on that!), but I'm going to try to cut my posts into 1/4ths and bring you the latest and greatest on the McCash family in bite sized portions. Deal?

Now... if you can handle one more marathon-length post, I'm going to empty this camera chip!  : )

I'm so thankful for the library. It is free and easy to get to and it offers Harbor and I place to play and explore, free of charge. If you have been reading our blog for any length of time, you know we spend a lot of time there. As a "retired" early Language Arts and Reading teacher, teaching young children the importance of sitting still, focusing, and creating feel-good feelings over books is just such a short window of time. Most children, by kindergarten age already have very strong feelings pertaining to reading. It is just never too early to teach the self-discipline of finding enjoyment from the printed word.

Off to the library! I love having a tri-pod and Harbor is getting used to mommy setting it up.

Early last week, surprise, surprise, another package arrived from Arkansas. We are so thankful for the continuous blessing of mail from family and friends.

This package really made me giggle. My sweet mom had hand written about 20 little notes and taped them onto every. single. item. They are just so "classically" my mom in a nutshell. SO something she would do! I am going to save all of them and put them in my Everyday Album.

                     And even our little dog, Bichon, had a little sweet from Gigi and Poppy!

Harbor had a new train, two sets of summer pajamas, dental floss, a few new books, and candy. Even David and I found a few little treasures tucked here and there. We love everything, mom and dad, and appreciate the time and finances you extend to our little family. We sure do feel loved!

Something else she sent, among other things not shown, were these two old Christmas cards from when I was a kid and a teenager. My mom knows I keep cards and wanted me to add them to my Christmas Album. Fun pictures!

Harbor has enjoyed his train, Thomas hardback book, and coloring books, but his favorite has been this "Q-Tip" paint book. I love that each page has its own set of paint.

We had a really special Father's Day weekend. Harbor ended up sleeping in until almost 10:00 am (I'm so lucky that he is still a late sleeper!) which was a blessing because we had stayed up really late the night before painting the dining room. I made cinnamon rolls and we loaded up the bikes and headed to Lake Erie. David stripped the Jeep down and we all enjoyed the ride, though it was a bit cold.

For a southern girl who had never once visited any of the Great Lakes, we have been to Lake Erie about  six times already and I love it! The marsh, the lighthouse, the seagulls, the sailboats, the freight liners, the rocky shore, the white-capped waves breaking with the tide. It has such a coastal feel to it that I would swear it was the cold Pacific. Of course, these lakes are truly big enough to be small oceans, and they are just beautiful.

We rode along the shore, stopped and used the tripod for a few pictures, and hunched over as the spray would break from the tide and whip over the rocks toward us. With high temps only in the mid 70's here, staying warm along the bike path can be an issue.

This is our 1928 cape cod off the river walk. It is quite tall with a fairly steep roof pitch. All the homes here have a steep pitch due to heavy snowfall and the need to keep water draining off properly. The large front window is a bay seat in our living room and the small upstairs window above that is the sitting room off of the master bedroom. The window above the front door is also in our master as you enter my walk-in-closet. Rachel said my closet was one of her favorite parts of the house, so I need to make a note to take some pictures of it.  : ) The house has three levels and so many neat features like an old butlers pantry connecting the foyer to the kitchen with a full door intact to close off the foyer to keep the eyes of the guests averted from the kitchen spaces, the original "milk" door used for storing glass bottles of milk and cream delivered externally from the house, and even the coal room in the basement, complete with the coal door for the exterior unloading of coal. Homes like this are a dime-a-dozen here, but where I am from, an "old" home is considered old if it was built in the 1960's or 1970's.

David received his favorite drink along with his Father's Day card, and Harbor and I felt pretty proud to see David smile and crack a cold one open!  : )

Lake Erie bike path

On the way home, we stopped at the park near the end of our street, which sits on the water front. The pier is a local stopping place for yachts, freight loaders carrying steel and coal, and yachts that want to unload passengers. We just happened to pull in as a large yacht was anchoring. Harbor was really excited to see such a big boat at our park.

Our neighborhood pier

Windsor, Canada behind the boat

It is hard to see, but a freight liner was heading up into Canadain waters carrying something heavy.

We stopped by Coldstone and Harbor ended up having such a fun day!

David enjoyed getting a work-out on the bikes.

And, well, I just enjoyed being with my little family and snapping pictures. Even if I have to take them of myself these days! Ha, ha!

David is working so hard on getting the house "just-so".  The fireplace, though it has a gorgeous mahogany (we think that is the wood, but still debate the certainty of it) mantle that is original and matches our trim and interior doors, unfortunately needed a little updating. With a gold insert and a red brick surround, it just wasn't my style at all. David, being so handy, taped everything off and used Rustoleum's high heat paint in a matte black finish. I swear, Rustoleum is not paying me to mention their name in every other post, but they have some amazing products available. This particular paint is made to handle heat up to 1200 degrees and is commonly used on grills and car engines.

David then used a Valspar paint to "whitewash" the brick, which sounds easier than it really is. The trick is to apply it in stages and layers to ensure that the old brick shows through. Seeing bits of the red, original brick only adds to that patina of old. And I like that. It makes me feel less guilty for the being the first person in 82 years to touch that fireplace. Ha! They may die (if anyone is still living to see) what I am doing to the plantation shutter wall in the dining room! 

Goodbye gold and red brick!

I still have work to do in here, as the living room is very long and narrow, but it is finally resembling something that feels like home to me. My decorating is not for everyone. I happen to love deep, dark colors, bronzed metals, dark-stained gold, wrought-iron, and rich jewel tones. Our bedroom is much more "Bavarian" with whites and creams and robin egg blues, but I typically prefer, what I call, a "Biltmore" house palette. I adore the homes where everything is white and bright and airy and lofty. I really do. I follow several blogs that decorate that way and I drool over their spaces. But, for me, I always have a sudden urge to throw in a deep, red vase or a lime table runner.

To the left, we have another set of windows, an arm chair and ottoman, and an armoire, and to the right we have our couch, a buffet table, a sofa table, and an entire area for Harbor to use as play space.

Don't you love the wall sconces? The house has several, with four in the living room alone. I couldn't replace them even if I wanted to. The wiring is original and they are literally bolted into the lathe and plaster. Ever heard of that? This house has no sheet rock. The walls are literally sheets of concrete. And this is not a good picture to show you, but our living room ceiling is slightly barrelled, as is our foyer and dining room. Curved ceilings are a challenge when you are hanging curtain rods, let me tell you!

And this is for my mom and Rachel and Lyndsey... I had my hair foiled and cut tonight, the first time since moving to Michigan. I had her cut off an inch, and just do a partial foil. My natural color is that honey-tone you see. So, mom, you can see it now!  : )

Thanks for staying with me through this long post- I hope you made it to the end!


  1. The Q-tip book is genius!!! I will be purchasing that!! I also adore the fireplace and I think it looks wonderful! Your "new" house is beautiful!

  2. I love the white washed brick! Our fireplace is red brick and we've wanted to do that since we moved in. We're thinking seriously about doing the exterior too. I'm glad you're enjoying your new home!

  3. I'm so glad you guys are enjoying all the goodie's from home, I always have my eye's on the look out for special things. I know you love living there now & I'm so glad you love it but Poppy & Gigi miss you guys so much. So gifts help us & you to know we think of you all often,ha!!! When I found those q-tips coloring books I thought isn't that cool, maybe alot less mess & maybe Harbor won't dump out his water,ha!!! I love the fireplace it really is a focal point now & looks more like your taste. Good job Mr.David. How did David like it after he was done? And I love your hair they did a good job so I guess you will go back. I know I shouldn't write so much really this is only a blog post,ha!!!But my head is full of all kinds of stuff that I might forget if I just call you,ha!!!! Also that boat that was docked in your pictures looks like that boat we were on when we rode the motorcycles to Canada many years ago,the boat that carried our bikes across the water.Did that boat make you think of that trip? Miss & love you all, give Harbor a kiss for us....Gigi

  4. Your house has so much character! Love it!

  5. I drool all over your decorating posts! :) The fireplace looks great! And so does your hair!!

  6. Your house is darling! I can't wait to see more pictures, especially that closet!

  7. Love the changes in the fireplace! How fun for you guys to receive those special packages from home : )

  8. I'm enjoying seeing your house come along. I love seeing how everyone decorates differently! I can't wait for a full tour! I did one on my blog, then updated my dining room afterward. Check it out sometime, I'd like to hear your opinion. I hope you're all adjusting well to Michigan.


  9. I love the fireplace. We lived in a Victorian home that was built in 1890. Everyone told me not to mess it up, not to change it. They made me so afraid that we hardly did anything to it. I have since learned...it's my house. I'm gonna make it my own. So don't be afraid to change it or to paint brick. :)

  10. Your house looks GREAT! Always fun to see the decorating pictures!

    Have a great week!

  11. Everything is just beautiful! I know you mom is missing you tons! Those grandma's get so sad when their grandbabies move away! She is so sweet to send such thoughtful little gifts! It is amazing how you appreciate things like toothpaste when you move away and get it in the mail from family!!!