Sunday, April 29, 2012

An Evening Dining on Lake Lure

Mr. Comforts and I enjoyed a wonderful evening with good friends last night.

Penny from Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen and her husband invited us over to their home for dinner.

We started out with a wonderful appetizer that Penny made.  It was a savory cheesecake with pepper onion relish served with crackers.
(picture from Penny, Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen)

It was wonderful and if you would like the recipe, you can click on Penny's blog link above.


The evening was perfect for dining out on the porch.  Candle light, the sun sparkling on the lake as it set, fresh air all made the dinner even more delightful.


 The main course was a fork tender Zinfandel Beef Ribs from Napa Wine Country, rice pilaf with roasted almonds and orange soaked dried cranberries, and fresh asparagus.

As Penny went into the kitchen to make the coffee and prepare dessert, her sweet dog just knew she was getting a little treat of short rib....look how fast her tail is wagging!


And speaking of dessert, Penny served warm from the oven Apple Crostata with ice cream.  I took a quick shot after it came out of the oven, before Penny plated it.


If you want the short rib recipe or crostata recipe, Penny is sharing them on her blog.

It was a wonderful evening filled with fabulous food, wine, good conversations and laughter.  Thank you Penny and D!
Welcome Home,
Penny

Saturday, April 28, 2012

French Pastoral Painting

The other day I showed a sneak peek of a painting I bought.  The painting is framed now and hanging in my bedroom.

I get to see it every morning when I open my eyes.  

So while we are in my bedroom, I thought I would show you the other side of the room.

I am still using my yellow and red toile bedding (but not the curtains I made - there are no curtain rods here).  Though the yellow and red really do not go with the sage green walls, I don't want to spend money on new bedding that would go better with the color because we are only going to be here a year.  I might get a neutral comforter that will match anything down the road.  We will see.

Here is a close up of the painting.



I love that it has cows, a pond and thatched roof houses.  I have wanted a pastoral French landscape painting for a long time.  I love it to pieces!
Welcome Home,
Penny

Friday, April 27, 2012

Lunch, Rain, Frame

I can't believe it is Friday already!  Where did the week go?

Well, I got a hair cut on Tuesday, had lunch with a new blog friend, Jeanne from Perfect Imperfections on Wednesday...

Ran errands in the rain yesterday, including stopping in at my booth at Needful Things to do inventory and fluff it up a bit.

Speaking of rain, it has been raining most of the week here, except for a few hours when Jeanne and I met for lunch.  The rain has caused most of the blossoms etc to fall off the trees onto our deck.

And with the rain, comes the fog... (see the deer in the picture below off of our back deck?)


This is the weather forecast for the next few days.  


My frame arrived for my new painting I spoke about in the last post.  Tomorrow is suppose to be sunny, so maybe I can get a good picture of it!

What did you do this week?
Welcome Home,
Penny


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

French Landscape

While out antiquing last week at the Screen Door, an oil painting that I have been wanting was finally marked down half price!  I had wanted this painting or one like it for years.  I spotted this one about 6 months ago, but didn't like the price.

I am only going to show you a sneak peek of it, because I am waiting for a frame to arrive to put it in.


This is a close up cropped shot.  The actual painting shows a lot more French countryside.  The painting is large.  Without framing it is 2 feet x 3 feet.

As soon as the frame gets here, I will show you the whole painting and where it will be hung in my house.
Welcome Home,
Penny

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Where I Blog From Now

I thought you might like to see where I am blogging from in the house we are renting.

I put the sofa table we had in our great room at our other house into the guest bedroom.

When guests come to visit, I will move my computer into my bedroom and place a small flat screen TV on the sofa table, so my guests will have a place to relax in the evening.  The TV sits in the guest room closet right now.

I have been having a lot of fun this past week!  I drove to Greenville to have lunch and go antiquing with Gretchen of Bird Nest Cottage. She has the coziest home.  She greeted me with a welcome sign in her kitchen.

Here is Gretchen in her home.


And here we are sitting on a lovely French sofa in a store in Greenville, SC called Postcards from Paris.


I met another blog friend for lunch yesterday at the Bistro in Biltmore Estate.  Jeanne from Backyard Neighbor came into town to see the flower gardens at the Biltmore Estate and to pick up a mosaic kit from me.

We had a wonderful lunch and had a great time catching up.

You remember, that earlier this week I also had lunch and went shopping with Penny from Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen.

Next week I am meeting Jeanne from Perfect Imperfections, while she is visiting in the area!

Are any of you coming to the Asheville area anytime soon?  Let me know and we can meet for lunch and if you have time I can take you to my favorite antique stores!
Welcome Home,
Penny

Friday, April 20, 2012

Wild Ones

Some of the wild life around my home.  I took this video from my front deck with my camera.  The quality is not that great, but you can see what is an every day occurrence around here.  Well except for me talking to the turkey.  I don't normally do that.  Really!

video

Some day I am going to get a video camera...The turkey was actually quietly gobbling when I talked to it.  Just call me Dr. Doolittle :-).

Have a wonderful weekend!
Welcome Home,
Penny

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Something New

While out shopping with Penny the other day, we stopped into a cute little shop called the Gardener's Cottage.  It is another one of the many great little boutiques in Biltmore Village.


If you have time, click on the link and see how cute the shop is.  They sell plants, furniture, soaps, books, art etc.

I have been looking for a small cement or iron sheep for quite a while now, and I finally found one at the Gardener's Cottage.

Here it is sitting on my bookshelf.

I love him!

Today I got a video of some of the wildlife around my house...I will show you next time.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

In Memory of Dick Clark



He will be missed....


Lunch and Shopping

Yesterday I went to lunch and shopping with the other Penny from Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen.  She just got back to NC from her winter home in Florida and it was wonderful to catch up!

We spent the day antiquing, clothes shopping and dining.

Lunch was at a little French restaurant called The Fig Bistro.

We both chose the salmon with cous cous, micro greens and lemon chive beurre.  It tasted as wonderful as it looks!

One of the delightful places we stopped into is called Porter & Prince.

It is a wonderful boutique filled with the most amazing bedding, lighting, furniture and accessories.  Every thing is beautiful and unique.  Look at this wonderful headboard and bed below!


This floor lamp was creating from a vintage porch column.  And, look at those great pillows!


The chandelier below is stunning.  The top nest looks like it is made with drift wood.  There are birds perch on top and gorgeous dripping glass shades float down...cascading soft light around the room.  If you are ever in Biltmore Village in Asheville, this is a store you would love to shop in.  I want to thank Debra, the owner for being so gracious and allowing me to take some pictures of her beautiful store.


While antiquing, I bought a couple of things.  I will show them in another post.

Today I was suppose to visit Gretchen at Birds Nest Cottage but is is raining very heavily here, so we rescheduled for Friday.


My herbs and lettuce love the rain....

What is going on in your life today?
Welcome Home,
Penny

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Oh Deer! And A Portable Potager.

Yes, Oh DEER!

I mentioned a few reasons why I couldn't plant a garden in my temporary rental home in my last post.  Here is another reason.
I took this picture last evening from my back door.  Every morning and every evening a herd of deer come through.  They are really pretty, but they also eat everything in sight.

Here is another shot from inside the house looking out my guest room window, where I now have my computer.  See him/her - there in the middle of the trees?

As you know from a previous post, my FRONT deck is high off the ground, and I don't have to worry about deer getting on the front deck, so that is where I have created my portable potager.

This self watering gardening planter comes from Gardeners Supply.  I am not getting compensated for mentioning them on my blog.  I found this planter in their catalog before we moved and thought this would be a perfect solution.

I ordered casters with the planter, so I can move it around the deck, making sure it stays in the sun.  I can also wheel it inside if there is a threat of frost.


It comes with this grate that has channels in it that wicks up water into the soil, from the reservoir you fill.




I added some potting mix and my herbs and lettuce, and voila!


A portable potager.  I love this because it does have the reservoir so you don't have to water everyday, like you do most container gardens.  You simply pull down the little plastic spout in the front and fill the base with water from a hose.

 
 

You can get these with tomato planting kits too, including cages, but I decided just to go to the farmers market this summer for my tomatoes.
Welcome Home,
Penny

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Potager? Here?

I know....I know....

I said I was taking a break and since this is a rental we will live in  for a year, I really can not build a potager, raised beds, gravel paths etc.

(below my potager, last year at the home I just sold)

BUT...I do need my herbs for cooking.  And some lettuce for salads.  What is a gal to do?

Yes, these are some herbs and lettuce starts that I bought today.

If you want a little kitchen garden and can't build raised beds because you are in a rental, or your yard is too small, or your soil all clay....come back in a few days, and I will show you how to do it!
Welcome Home,
Penny

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Inside Story

Here are some pictures of the inside of the home we are renting for the year.  It has all new paint, carpet, tile, granite counters etc.  The cabinets are older and except for the new refrigerator the appliances are also older, but they work fine.

As you can see, it is an open concept style home.  The living room, kitchen and dining area are all one big room.




It only has one eating area, so luckily the table below did not sell in the yard sale....because the dining space is too small for my formal dining furniture.  That, along with a lot of other things are stored in the basement.  I will show you that another day.


The picture below shows the view from the kitchen windows.


We hung some of our favorite art on the walls and plopped the furniture in place...that is it.  Simple, easy....a nice break.

Welcome Home,
Penny

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Next Chapter

In my last post I told you that we are House Whisperers and have bought and sold many homes over the years.  Now we are taking a little break.

Kelly asked if being House Whisperers was what we did for a living, or if it was just a hobby.  Well, both actually.  Mr. Comforts is an engineer and works full time.  I work on the houses full time, and he works on them during the weekend.

We are giving ourselves a year to decide if we have one more house in us to buy and sell or if we are ready to settle into our forever home.  I will let you in on how we will make our decision as we go along.

We have decided to rent a home for a year.  No pressures, no fixing up, no knocking down walls, no painting, no potagers or pergolas to build.  Not even any repairs!
The deck above is on the front of the house.  The picture below shows the view from the deck.
The home we are renting is in a mountain community about 15 minutes from our last home.

These pictures are of the outside.  The house we just sold was 3600 sq. ft. and this one is about 2000 sq ft.  Luckily for us, it has a huge storage basement.  I will show you inside pictures in a few days, but today I thought I would show you the outside.

It is a 3 bedroom 1974 ranch home that has been totally remodeled, including the new front deck.  We are the first to live in it since the remodel.  Above you can see how steep the driveway is.  That has taken a little getting used to!


Above is a picture of the road we live on.  It ends right there, with only one more house next to ours.


This is the view in the other direction.  In another few weeks when the leaves are full, you won't be able to see the neighbors.  They are a couple of acres away.
Welcome Home,
Penny

Monday, April 9, 2012

House Whisperer

I know some of you were surprised when I said we sold our home.  A lot of you have only known me since we were in that house.   Some of you know me from the beginning of my blog when I lived in a home previous to the one I just sold.

None (except for my family) have known me before that.

If you did, you would know that Mr. Comforts and I are House Whisperers.

House Whisperers or House Savers....we find houses that are sad, neglected or forlorn and purchase them.  House Whisperers are very different from house flippers.  House Whisperers don't just slap on a new coat of paint and throw in some new light fixtures.


(before picture of the house we had prior to the one we just sold)


(after picture)


House Whisperers listen to the house....decide what the house needs and fix it up.  I can truly hear the house's contented sigh when we are finished.  We live in the house while we are remodeling.  Then we live in it a few more years, tweaking it to make sure it is just right.

It is fun fixing up a house.  Every house is different.  Some are fancy, some are cozy and some are very simple.  We have remodeled a Victorian home in upstate NY,  a brand new builders grade home in Florida. A 1940's farmhouse in Tennessee, a condo in Florida, a ranch home in NC and the farmhouse style home here in NC that we just sold.

It is very hard, not to get attached to a home we remodel.  We put our hearts and souls into the homes.  I think that is why they sell so quickly.  This last home was only on the market 4 weeks before we got the offer.  The buyer's asked that we leave the lions head fountain in the back yard.  The wife had been looking for a studio and love the black and white harlequin floor.  Two of the things we just knew we needed to add to this home.


In my next post, I will tell you more about choices we make as House Whisperers and what our plans are next.
Welcome Home,
Penny

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Front Porch Views




This was the view from my front porch yesterday...



This is the view from my front porch today...




No, I didn't have a new deck built and bull doze down the houses across the street.

We moved.  Yes, we did.

When we bought our house almost three years ago, we knew it was a temporary thing.  We knew we would fix it up and sell it.  Remember, it was a foreclosure and needed a lot of love.

So in the next post I will tell you all about it.  It is a side of me that most of you don't know about.  It is a great story.
Welcome Home,
Penny