Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Update from The Manor

Mmm...the smell of gingerbread baking in the oven. It's a sign the holidays are upon us. Thanksgiving day is a time to be thankful for the blessings and bounty of the year. This year, my husband and I find ourselves especially thankful. For four of the five years we've been married, we lived with my in-laws. What was supposed to be a few months in a converted garage turned in to much, much longer. We prayed, begged, bartered, all but stole to get a home of our own. Year after year, this prayer went unanswered. Or did it? I like to think it was a wait...not yet...nope...uh-uh.... Until September. I made an out of the blue call to a friend of mine and asked if there were any lofts available where she lived. She said she thought there was one. There was. This was on a Tuesday. On Thursday we went by for a peek. On Friday we signed the papers. A week later, we were in our own place. Funny isn't it? We can pray for years for something and when the time is right, it happens so fast it makes your head spin!

I found some pictures of the Manor (it's a loft but I have high aspirations and a very fertile imagination) and thought it appropriate to post a little thanksgiving tour. A harvest Open House if you will.

This hangs next to the front doors
(we have double, green, metal doors that lead from the Manor to the outside world).
It's a wonderful reminder that we're not alone.

Walking around the main building the houses 11 of the 16 lofts,
the trees are aglow with Autumnal splendor

I got a little crafty this Halloween and created the banner
which only, sadly, this picture gives a tiny peek

Happy little black cat!
Before we got Master Colby, this little fellow
was our feline companion for the witching season

Sugar and spice and everything nice!
I found this old spice rack at my grandmother's church bazaar
about two years ago. I paid a whopping 50 cents for it!

Apples and pears.
Definite signs of the season.

Awesome Photographer husband and I both LOVE to cook.
This is just a portion of the recipe collection we've amassed.
The rest are in three ring binders in the cupboard.
You can't see it, but on top of the main cookbook selection
sits a program from Alton Brown's Good Eats ten year anniversary celebration.
AP husband and I got to go and see it filmed at the Cobb Energy Center in Atlanta, GA.
Do I even need to tell you how awesome that show was?
Look! Up the stairs!
A rare photo of Master Colby's face.
He's the most camera shy cat I've ever known.
The minute he sees you have a camera, he turns his face and refuses to look!
If he wasn't a guy I'd swear he was a diva!

I bought this key years before we moved into the Manor.
I've always harbored a deep love and fascination for old keys.
This one conjured up images of magic wardrobes and
mysterious boxes filled with treasure. And a home of my own.

Just a small portion of the large collection of books I have.
AP husband was putting them all away, pulling them out of boxes,
stacking them on shelves and exclaimed, "Where do you find this stuff?!"
I think it was when he found a gigantic "Complete Shakespeare".
"I don't know," I said, shrugging, "they just follow me home."

Two hundred year old wood floors.
An espresso cup and saucer set purchased at a yard sale for $2.00
Fresh ground coffee on a Saturday morning.

My mother instilled within me a deep love for crafts.
After a neighbor bestowed upon us heaps and heaps of hot peppers,
I thought it best to preserve them in vinegar.
I added a couple of cloves of garlic and...well,
let's just say you want several glasses of water to go with this vinegar!

A little something I'm cooking up for my soon-to-be Etsy shop!

I love owls.
I love fabric.
I inherited a virtual library of vintage fabric from AP's grandmother.
I've been stitching for months now and there's not end in sight!

A little pillow and an attempt at hand stamped "ribbon"
May your Thanksgiving Day be blessed, full of family and friends, feasting and fun. May you eat more turkey than you can hold, drown your mashed potatoes in gravy, watch at least one parade/football game and laugh until you think that turkey is going to come back for a second round. And may you all pause for just a moment and remember the things you have to be thankful for. I'm sure, if we thought hard enough, we could write a book on those things alone.
Happy Thanksgiving!


  1. Jen, what rich textures you have all around you! The floors, the keys, the books, the owls...Sigh...and the LOFT! I really can't wait until I'm in a space where I can really collect and decorate the way I'd like. Until then I'll be totally inspired by your Manor!

  2. What an unbelievable experience of all the senses stopping by there this morning.
    Everything you are seems to equal beauty.
    Happy Thanksgiving , and I am grateful to have found you :)

  3. Beautiful pictures! We're in the same position as you were, hopefully waiting for a place of our own. And love the picture of your cat....ours is camera shy as well!

  4. It's always a treat stopping here, Jen. I'm thankful for you, my blog pally! Happy THanksgiving, Jen!

  5. AJ: I'm glad to lend the manor for inspiration. It's hard to find inspiration in an uninspiring place, I know. Look hard, dear friend. You'll find it@

    Deb: Can I tell you that I cried when I read your words? Thank you so very much!

    Honey Bee: You'll get there! I know it seems like forever but you'll get there. Yes, our dear camera shy cat. The only other picture I have of his face is when he's asleep!

    Lin: And I'm thankful for you! :)

  6. Hi Jen, so glad you came by and so nice to "meet" you also. I am amazed at your blogs and the wealth of your writing. Putting word on paper, or for us, on computer, is good for the soul.
    Blessings for a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend!

  7. What wonderful pictures! I've a question: How did you attach that key to the wall? I've got 3 giant keys I'd like to put up, but no idea how to do it.


  8. Hi Jen, it´s nice to "meet" you too. Thank you so much for your nice words you left me.
    You have many talents, I was browsing through your other blogs, and in here I found wonderful images and items you have. I will follow you here because I resonate more with what you are in here. I used to read a lot but, for some reason, I have quit now.
    Muchos cariños
    María Cecilia

  9. What a lovely tour. It seems that your hands are always busy with something. Writing, stitching, cooking. You are a Renaissance woman.

  10. Hi Jen,

    I so enjoyed my tour of the Manor. What fun it must be to live in a loft...we have all dreamed that dream at one time or another and you are living it. Love the spice rack and all the creative touches around the Manor. I know you are really going to enjoy decorating for the holidays. Do show us around again! ~jermaine~

  11. Other than your manor being magical, I was taken with your spontaneity. My husband and I are looking to buy a home in New York City, and find that we have such trouble taking the plunge. As if finding a home were a life and death decision.

    I'm a big fan of finding something and playing with what I've got. Seems like you are to?

  12. JEN! I LOVED THIS POST! I would like to post your "be still" picture on my sidebar? Pretty please?? :)


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