Our front entrance.

 

driveway view gate open from mailbox

Our property is like a little hidden jewel.  Our neighborhood is located within ten minutes of Waverly, in the Dry Creek Cabin Site community. This area was surveyed into approximately 60 large lots, by the Tennessee Valley Authority in the 1950’s and the lots were auctioned off.  The community stretches over several acres and has roads that meander along the banks of the Tennessee River/Kentucky Lake.  The lot our house sits on is at the end of Periwinkle Lane and there is only one other house on our road. We always say that we sit in the palm of God’s hand. When looking at the picture below, can you tell why we say that?

Gods hand

We also have two other lots here, that we have just recently decided to sell.  Let me know if you want to be my neighbor!! Here are a few pics of them………..

Frank and I have always wanted a gate at our front entrance. Our friends in Florida have an entrance gate and we have always liked it and the extra security it gives to your property, not that we feel we need it.  We are very safe here, but when Frank is away and it’s just me and my dog, Cooper, I like knowing its there. There was already a fence along the entrance of our property when we purchased it, and from the looks of it, it had been here for a pretty good while.  I originally thought I wanted to tear it down and start over with a new fence, but the more I looked at it each day, the more it grew on me.  We ended up replacing broken boards, and giving it a fresh coat of paint and it turned out great.  We aren’t foo foo people in any way, and decided against a big fancy schmancy entrance and just added on to the fence to hang the gate.

gate view from mailbox

Frank researched gates and openers before ordering the gate from Lowes and the opener from Amazon.  It was relatively easy to put up and only took a couple of days for Frank and one of his guys to get it done.  We have a marine battery and a solar panel for the opener, so there was no need to run electricity out to the gate from the house.

There were a several Yuka plants on both sides of the entrance.  One side has several more than the other, so I added some in an attempt to even it out.

Here is our view when looking down the driveway.

Gate view from driveway

October 2018 is going to be a big month.  Our daughter, Kasie is getting married.  I can’t wait to share all the pics with you.  AND, we are starting another project today so stay tuned.  There’s more to come!!

Until next time, stay safe and be kind.

xoxox – Mitzie

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The Pergola

Pergola 2

From the first time that I told Frank that I wanted to do a pergola on the back of the house, it was a battle.  I had planned since last November to have a bridal shower here for my daughter Kasie, and wanted to have it under a pergola.  Frank, in no way was in favor of a pergola.  In his mind, it didn’t serve a purpose and he wanted to extend the roof out and have a covered patio outside of the sunroom.  But, I was adamant that a covered porch wouldn’t let the sun shine into the sunroom, and the sunroom would become a shade room. So to make me happy, he built a pergola, and as it started coming together, he admitted that he liked how it turned out.

This is what we started with.  The back of the house shortly after we purchased the house a little over two years ago.

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We first took the siding off of the gable. After doing that, we realized that the exterior wall was actually bowed in.  Whoever had installed the windows had not installed the correct support and as usual, this job turned into a bigger one than expected.  The first step was to pour the concrete for our porch.  Once it was poured and set up for a couple of days, our concrete guy came back and cut in the pattern.

concrete

cut concrete

Next came the fun part of taking out the center windows.  Then, the dangerous part of pulling the wall out by strapping it to a truck and pulling it out.  Believe it or not, it worked and we were able to then put in supports on both sides of the door and made the whole wall secure and stable.  Good jobs guys!

 

Next came installing the shake siding in the gable and building the pergola, which is when I got really excited.

 

From the beginning I thought that I wanted the pergola to be stained wood and not painted, but as it got closer to time to make the final decision, I questioned my decision.  I did a poll among family and friends and stained wood was voted in unanimously.  I couldn’t be happier with the results!

Pergola 3

 

Until next time, be happy and RTR.

All construction done by Biltmore Construction, General Contractor, Frank McDonnell, 615-310-9211.

Making Plans

buttercups

I don’t know about you, but March is definitely one of my most favorite months, especially this year.  This winter has been very long and very cold, and I am over it.  Anyone that knows me, knows that I do not like the cold, at all!  When it’s cold outside, I am not motivated to do anything, except pile up under a blanket on the couch in front of the fire and have hot chocolate.

From the first sight of buttercups and daffodils pushing up through the dirt, to seeing small buds forming in the tops of the trees and the yellow blooms on forsythia bushes, my heart starts jumping for joy and my mind starts running like crazy.  I start cruising the garden isles at Walmart and websites dealing with planting gardens, all the while knowing deep down inside that I will never get Frank to help me put in a garden, and I will buy fresh vegetables from local farmers again this year.  But that’s ok, today the sun is shining and the birds are singing, and I am going to take a walk outside and soak up some vitamin D!

Not only do I plan yard work, but I also think about what projects I want to get completed on the house this year.  That list is easy for me to come up with and also very long.  As most years, I am hopeful that we will be able to accomplish a lot of work that needs to be done here, but in reality, I am the bottom person on the list, as far as my contractor husband getting the work done.  Frank’s customers come first, and of course, I understand that, but – Happy Wife equals Happy Life!!

Not only am I planning projects for around the house but also for a wedding in October this year.  Our daughter Kasie, and her fiancé Cody, are getting married at Carillon Beach, Florida, and I am planning to have a wedding shower for them here at Periwinkle Lane in September. So momma needs to get some work done around here and I don’t want to put it off until the last minute!!

We had a quick trip down to the beach last weekend to meet with our wedding planner, Clay.  We had so much fun doing tastings and working out details for the reception.  We can’t wait to see it all come together.  When Frank was collecting our luggage at the airport, I went to get keys for our rental car.  The nice guy at the counter said you know for $10 more, I have a red Dodge Challenger with a Hemi under the hood. Of course, I immediately agreed.  Anyone that knows me, knows that I like to drive and drive fast. When we went out to the lot, I pushed the clicker to see where it was parked.  Frank said “That’s not a Ford Fusion!”.  I said “I will drive that when I’m 85.”  He said “No you won’t!”  I may or may not have punched it a couple of times (or maybe more).  While we were there, we also visited with family and ate lots and lots of seafood.  So much fun and just what we needed!!

Some of my wish list items for Periwinkle Lane are to finish the front driveway entrance and to install gate and opener.  Plant trees, shrubs, and more flowers. Finish metal roof and covered front porch on main house.  Finish building boat dock and install ramp.  Dry in master bedroom, bath, and workout room addition.  Build Frank’s shop on our front lot and put in new road down to boat ramp.  Doesn’t sound like too much, does it??  Oh yeah, and finish out our little shed into a carriage house that will be our guest quarters.  LOL  And, I could totally add a few more items to that list, but I know I am pushing my luck with what I have on it now.  One thing about this Periwinkle Lane project, it has sure taught me to have patience and to enjoy the beauty of what is already here.

We have started the front porch and roof project.  We have planned to cover the front porch from the start, but something was lacking in the over all look of the roof line.  Our little plain box needed a little added character, so we decided to add a fake dormer.  At first we couldn’t agree exactly where it should be.  Poor David had to move it three times before we could make a final decision.  I apologized to him, but he said it knew and expected it would take a few tries before we made up our minds.  He knows us well.  Thanks David for your hard work and patience!!

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The past month we have a lot of water here.  It had been raining continuously over several weeks and other areas had bad flooding.  The TVA has been regulating our water levels to help with flooding issues as much as possible.  Meanwhile our area was over the summer pool level and there was a lot of debris floating in the water.  Frank and Michael have already had to clean up our shoreline of all the tree limbs and trash left and the spare tire that floated up.

Well, I will close for now, because I have a lot of things to do too and times a wasting!! And did I mention, the fish are starting to bite!!!!!!!!!  That might put a little wrinkle in all of the work I have planned.  We may just have to hang up the “Gone Fishing” sign. 😉

Until next time, check your tackle box and make sure you have everything you need to catch the big one, and keep smiling.

xoxo – Mitzie

 

Twenty and counting.

It is January 17, and twenty years ago today the weather was much like it is right now. It was dang cold, with temps around the 18 degree mark, which made heating the little stone church at Montgomery State Park, in Dickson, TN, a little difficult. Frank’s college buddies were in charge of filling the heaters with kerosene, and of course, spilled it everywhere, which burned your eyes and tickled your nose when entering in the building. Oh well.

With a combined total of five kids and three ex’s, I would say the odds were stacked against us from the start and more than likely, no one expected us to make it for the long haul. But guess what?? Here we are. Stronger and happier than ever, knowing that God had everything with putting us together and getting us to where we are today.

As with every marriage, it hasn’t all been a bed of roses. In fact, there have been a couple of times, neither of us thought we would make it. Life sometimes throws things at you from left field, and you just try to do the best you can. There have been many times, I have hit my knees and begged God for direction and answers. He has never once failed me.

Frank and I just returned home a couple of days ago from spending time with our best friends, that introduced us those many years ago. We had a blast fishing on Lake Okeechobee and hanging together for a few days. Thanks Chris and Lisa for everything, from then until now. We love you.

So with just family and close friends gathered together, and Cole to stand with Frank, and Paige and Kendel to stand with me and my little Kasie to walk me down the isle, I finally had the church wedding that I always wanted. It is a sweet memory that I will always cherish.

Because of the snow and weather we are having, Frank and I didn’t have a chance to get cards for each other. We decided this morning, to tell each other how we feel about our lives and marriage and each other. It was so much better than any card he could have given me.

Thank you Frank for the laughs, for baiting my hook, saddling my horse, bringing me coffee in bed most every morning, proposing the way you did, seeing the vision with me at Periwinkle, and a million other things. I never want to live without you and I’m so glad that I get to spend eternity with you. Happy 20th Anniversary. I love you. ❤️

Until next time, be sure and tell your special someone, friend, or family member, that you love them and live each day to the fullest!

xoxo Mitzie<<<<
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Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

2017 Christmas Jesus ornament

Christmas is the celebration of Jesus’s birth and his gift of love for each and everyone of us.

With everything being so commercialized these days, it is sometimes hard to put it all aside and remember what Christmas is all about. Frank and I, have a Christmas Eve tradition of going to a candlelight church service and having dinner at Waffle House.  We like to leave a big tip for our waiter and slip out before they find it.  There have been times when we have been able to watch through the window as they return to the table to be surprised.  We look forward to doing it each year.  This year, for the first time in many years, we missed the church service.  The service that we usually attend was earlier than expected and we couldn’t get there in time.  So we watched a service on-line and ate at Waffle House on Christmas Day.  The message was the same but the experience wasn’t.  I really missed being in church and singing the songs with my husband and family.  Next year – I will not miss it!!!!

Honestly, some years, I really dread the holidays, and I don’t want to participate.  But, some years, I have the Christmas spirit and really enjoy all of the decorating, baking, wrapping, and festivities.  This year, I was all about Christmas from start to finish, and it mostly had to do with a day that I planned for everyone in our family of five kids and their families to be together for the first time in 5 years.  I couldn’t stop buying decorations.  Every time I went into a store, it was like I was Frank in the fishing isle at Walmart, except I was in the Christmas section of whatever store I went in.  My spare time was searching Pinterest and LivingwithLandyn.com for ideas for my table and recipes.  And of course, I gave Frank a list of things that I needed him to work on too, and he came through with flying colors!!!  Because of his hard work, the whole family was able to sit together at one long table in our sunroom and have a meal together.  Let me tell you – this momma was happy!

When all of the kids confirmed they would be here for Christmas, my heart leapt for joy!!  I immediately started planning the menu and making lists.  My biggest obstacle was, where was everyone going to sit???  I was scouring Wayfair, Crate and Barrel, and Pottery Barn, like a mad woman.  My next great idea, was Frank can build me a table!!  He wasn’t excited at all and quickly squashed that idea, especially when he was trying to finish up a couple of jobs before the holidays and didn’t have time to be doing honey-dos.  One day, out of the blue, a video popped up while I was on-line, that showed someone putting wood on top of white plastic folding table to dress them up.  I watched it a couple of times and then forwarded to Frank.  It was the answer I needed and evidently God, google, or someone, sent it right to me.  We had already wondered, if Frank did build a table, where would we store it when not in use???  Obviously, we don’t need a table that big all of the time, so this worked perfectly, and it will be something we can use for many years to come.  I think they turned out wonderful.  If you want one, let me know. We can make one for you too!!!

My oldest daughter, Paige, originally wanted to surprise me and show up for Christmas unexpectedly, but she told me, that she would have been upset to show up and not have a name card and a place setting at the table.  I was so happy to have her and her husband, Armin and my sweet little Anderson here.  They really made my Christmas special and I will never forget it.

2017 Christmas Paige placesetting

2017 Christmas Cheese board

My cheese board was a huge hit this year.  Everyone gathered around the kitchen island for some fun convo and snacking.  Kitchen tip – Don’t let Kasie’s fiancee’, Cody, near your cooktop, or at least, have some good cleaner near by.  😉 We love you Cody!!

Here is some of our Christmas decorations this year, and my helper Francis the cat.

We had a great game of dirty Santa for the adults and of course, when we finished, the girls had fun playing in a box!

2017 Christmas foyer santa claus 2

We have been looking all year for an older jeep to have as our third vehicle and I happened to find this one on-line one day and asked Frank if he wanted to go look at it.  Turns out, it is my Christmas present. Thank you Frank – I love you.

2017 Christmas the whole family

I want to thank all of you for following along with me and my family on our journey at Periwinkle Lane this year.  It’s been a wonderful year and we are looking forward to all kinds of fun and a great 2018.  Let’s do this!!!

xoxo – Mitzie

The kitchen finally happened!!!

It doesn’t happen often that we have all 5 kids and their families together, but this year we all plan to be here at our home for a whole day during the holidays, and I am over the moon excited.  Someone please remind me to take a picture!!!!  So, you know I am busy planning, making lists, shopping, wrapping, decorating, and on and on.  I want everything to be perfect or as close as to perfect as I can do, which will be nowhere near perfect!!

If you follow my blog, you know that our house remodel has gone on for about a year and a half now, and the last really BIG project was to be the kitchen.  Well, until the next big project of the addition and our dock is started.  But for now, I am celebrating my kitchen and the fact that I can cook for my family for Christmas.

I thought I had a couple of pics of the makeshift kitchen we had the past year, but I haven’t been able to find them.  Frank built a counter out of plywood and 2X4’s that he mounted a kitchen sink in.  We bought a refrigerator when we moved in and a couple of stainless commercial type tables with shelves underneath for storage.  I used a propane gas iron two burner cooker for cooking, along with my crock pot, microwave, grill and smoker.  Let me assure you, we did not miss any meals.  My waistline can attest to that!  But, my new kitchen is so much better.

154 Periwinkle Lane kitchen

Our white shaker cabinets came from Super Home Surplus in Madison, TN.  I met with the kitchen designer, Jill, and she was fabulous.  She has many years experience and has great ideas and always responds promptly to calls and emails.  I highly recommend her for any of your cabinet needs.  Once we nailed down the layout, we placed the order and the cabinets were ready for pickup in about three weeks.  We did the delivery and install ourselves.  Frank and Jimmy also did the trim work.  Our appliances are from Lowes.  I waited until October to order those, as that’s when the best appliance sales are. 😉

Can we just talk about this fabulous island???  I think I could do a whole blog about it alone.  Mr. Junior Brown of Waverly, came out and met with me to get my ideas and measurements. He had built cabinets for us at another house and knew he did excellent work.  I had several pics that I printed from the internet and tried to explain how I wanted to combine them into this beautiful, functional, work of art.  He could not have built anything I would have loved any more!!  For me, it has become my favorite part of the kitchen.  Mr. Brown also brought his counter top guy with him, Mr. Swaner, which measured for our quartz counter tops.  I wanted to go with a gray counter top on the white cabinets and a white Carrera top for the island.

154 Periwinkle Lane kitchen Island 4

154 Periwinkle Lane kitchen Island

Did I mention, besides being beautiful, this island is functional?  I asked for a double trashcan pullout, pullout shelves, and an oversized silverware drawer.  I love being able to chop up veggies and rake off anything that I don’t want into the trashcan.  The plastic white silverware separators come out and go in the dishwasher for easy cleaning.  We originally planned to build a pantry across from the island, where the fish pictures are, but after seeing how much room I have in the island, we decided against it.  I added a bench there, and it has become the place to catch my bag and jacket or whatever I have in my arms when I come home.  The bar stools and wooden bench are both from Wayfair and the fish prints are from Etsy.

154 Periwinkle Lane kitchen 5

Last, but certainly not least, is the backsplash and floating shelves.  It took me a while to finally decide on the backsplash.  I brought home several different styles of subway and mosaic tile to compare to my counter tops.  All of the grays made my countertop look brown and I wanted something different than the stark white against my white cabinets. I hadn’t really thought about glass, until I laid one down on the countertop.  That was all it took.  Frank wasn’t sure about them, but after installation, loves how it looks.  Tile is from Lowes.

I showed Frank what I wanted for shelves and we measured for what we needed and a week later, I had the last element that I had been waiting on for the kitchen grand reveal!!  I love how the shelves turned out.  You too, can have floating shelves.  Just email me with your measurements and if you want them stained or painted, and we can give you a price. mitziemcd@gmail.com  He can also do the wooden window shutters and flower box that I featured a couple of posts back.  Be sure to check them out!!

154 Periwinkle Lane kitchen floating shelves best

Well, that’s it for now.  I hope you all are getting ready to make lots of fun family memories!  I plan to do another post of Christmas decorations soon, so stay tuned!! Until then, you better be good, cause Ole Santa is watching!!!

xoxo – Mitzie

Giving thanks everyday.

Thanksgiving 2017 dining room 4

Thanksgiving 2017 has come and gone, but I wanted to give you a recap of our home  before all of the festivities began. Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving is one of my favorite days of the year, and this one was no exception.  This year was especially wonderful, because for over a year I haven’t had a real kitchen, but now I have an all new kitchen that I love and I was so excited to get in there and mix things up.

MJ had spent Tuesday night with us and she was here to help and keep me company.  Frank stayed here that morning and played with MJ and kept her busy, while I started cooking.  Here they are having pop tarts for breakfast. 😉

Frank and MJ having poptarts

I love to turn on some music, put on my apron, light a candle, and get busy in the kitchen.  Before long, I have every cabinet door open and every bowl and pan dirty from mixing up everyone’s favorite dish.  Frank likes to do the turkey in the smoker, so I prepare a ham and sides.

Of course, I always realize that there are a few items that I forgot to pick up at the store. It is Frank’s job to head off to Walmart with a detailed list in hand to tackle the crowd and checkout lines, while I stay and watch over the cooking pots.  His best thanksgiving shopping tip is to park your buggy in a central location and go and get the items and bring them back to add to your cart.  Also, ask women where things are, because they are so impressed that a guy is in there shopping, they want to help.

I like to go ahead and set the table in advance, and I decided that I wanted to do something different from the traditional fall colors this year.  I wanted to use the dishes and napkins I already had, so I decided to go with a white theme.   I found some little orange plastic pumpkins for .99 each and painted them with white flat spray paint and shimmering gold for the stems.  I added some greenery and little twinkling white lights. Easy peasy and everyone loved it.

Thanksgiving 2017 dining table 2Thanksgiving 2017 table centerpeiceThanksgiving 2017 table place setting.

We were so happy to have my mother, Beverly, and Frank’s mother, Barbara, and sister Vanessa and her son, Parker, along with our son, Cole, here for dinner.  Our daughter Meredith and her boyfriend Austin joined us a little later.  My mom made the dressing and I need you to know, it was the bomb.  I have never made dressing and I’m so glad she made it for us.

Thanksgiving 2017 dining room 3

Thanksgiving 2017 dining room 5

Meredith Parker and Cole Thanksgiving 2017

I have so much to be thankful for!!  I’m so thankful for the journey that my father in heaven is taking me and Frank on,  and I AM SO THANKFUL TO FINALLY HAVE A KITCHEN!!!!!!!!!! The next post will be all about the kitchen.  Until then thank you all for your love and support.  I feel it in your likes, comments, and shares.

XOXO – Mitzie