Wednesday, July 21, 2010


I'm back from Galveston and finally sitting down to share some pictures of my friend's family homestead that she and her husband have been working so hard on repairing and bringing back to life. 

This friend's name is Sharman and we go way back.  Back before cell phones and personal computers.  We worked for the same company but in different departments.  We were fast friends who shared the same sarcasm and dry wit.  Many breaks were spent in the coffee shop lounge discussing how lame our bosses were.....not to mention those pesky co-workers.  She got me, I got her. 

Then our company filed bankruptcy and one by one, the 200 plus employees all went their separate ways.  My way was to the suburbs to become the stay-at-home mom....who had lots and lots of odd jobs through the years.    Sharman opened her own store and became a mother.  She stayed in the city. 

This was in the 80's.   That's so sad to think that was over 20 years ago.  I was a young woman in the 80's. Single, then married, then a mother of one, then a mother of two....and eventually the mother of three.  I had the big hair, the preppy clothes, the add-a-pearl necklace and thought things couldn't get more modern. 

 But things always get more modern. 


It was fun to spend two days in a house that was built before 1900.  It survived The Storm of 1900, over a 100 years of people walking in and out its door and then Hurricane Ike.  The house survived but has taken a beating never the less. Visualize soaking wet sheet rock, water logged wood, the heat and humidity adding to the damage and the first floor sitting in this moldy, mildewy brew for months before work to restore it began. 

It's now habitable....but it's taken months and months of weekends of Sharman and her husband Larry's hard work to get it to this point.  The reason Sharman and I  went down  was to fluff and puff it...because out-of-town relatives were coming in for a week's stay. To fluff and puff means to rearrange some things, put sheets on the bed and make it cute and welcoming.

It took 2 days because Sharman and I worked hard for an hour, talked for two.  Worked another hour, stopped to eat for one.  Worked a little more, then made our beds and said goodnight.  Got up early, talked, cleaned, made a Starbucks run, cleaned, talked, swept the floors and locked the doors behind us.

The house....fluffed and puffed and ready for company.....

Coming in the front the first room....

Front room looking back to the kitchen.

This is the perfect place for a margarita and a card game.

Maybe next time.

Well, hello cute chair.

Old marble top table with iPod station sitting on it. 
 1920 meet 2010.

Sharman has done a wonderful job of creating this "home" with used furniture and finds. Things that are beautiful and pleasing yet comfortable and not expensive.
 Recycling things she already had or bought new or used with a low price tag.
This pine piece was in Sharman's house for years. 
It's right at home here.

Now to the middle room... the t.v. room...the family room
...or the striped room.

The khaki slipcovered sleeper sofa is from Cindy Crawford/Room Store.  The striped roman shades are from Pottery Barn Kids.  Let that be a lesson to all of us to look there next time.  The other things are just "finds" to make this space cute and comfortable. 
Some finds are from the upstairs quarters of this house.


 The upper cabinet was in Sharman's house forever...
but now it has found the perfect place to hang.
  The vintage suitcase belonged to a girl named Camille...
bought for her by her brother. 

They grew up in this house. 

I love the embossed gold initials....and the traveling tag still attached. 


 A requirement for all beach, cards and puzzles for the people....
and tennis balls and frisbees for the dogs.

The best organizing solution ever.


 A wine crate....the perfect chair holder.

We "slipcovered" the rattan sofa, that belonged to Sharman's mother, with a white blanket.  The white slipcovered ottoman is a twin bed waiting to happen. 
How great is that?  
 You just throw off the cover and fold out the bed.   

 Oars, of course.

 Fishing poles and bright and shiny lures become art.
And the greatest part about having cracks in the wall? 
You can stick photos in them. 

Now we head into the kitchen....


I wanted to steal the lantern while Sharman was sleeping but I think she would have noticed.
Lanterns are so current and I have no lanterns.
  Makes me feel behind the times.

Double sinks sitting in Corian....Craig's List. 

The marble back splash....from Sharman's grandfather's barbershop in Galveston. 
His history kept alive.
His story.

The bottom cabinets were ruined in Ike so they were rebuilt.
But the upper cabinets survived...Sharman just took the doors off to make them look more current.
I look at this open shelving and want to go take my kitchen doors off.
Chuck is hyperventilating as he reads this.


Easy access.   

People who belonged here at one time or another.

Sharman's mother with her mother-in-law (Sharman's father's mother), the mother of this house.
Aunt Rose calls this house, "Mama's House."

There's the rattan sofa in its younger days.
Proof that rattan holds up.

Open shelving with labeled baskets.

I instructed Sharman that she could put her canned goods between the baskets....
she replied, "You mean canned good."
As of now, there is only one can.

As there is still progress going on, they will have a pantry one day
....but for now the one canned good is on the shelf.

This little alcove behind the curtain is the future pantry...but for now it is where we stashed all things "construction"...and the brooms.  The step ladder becomes hanging it.  It's totally a necessary item as the kitchen shelves are so tall. 

Sharman painted the Port of Galv on the curtain.  People, it's in the details.

Now to the yellow of the kitchen.

      This is Aunt Rose's bed.  Rose grew up in this house.
         She is 96 years young and still lives in Galveston.
                                                                    Aunt Rose has an iPod.  I don't.

 A peek at the bathroom.  No one really wants to see the bathroom....
but I thought you should know that there is one.
Monogrammed towels even. 


This is the house. 
 The survivor. 

 As I said, it's still in progress....
but it's come such a long way.
The original door is on the right...then somewhere along the way
 this house was turned in to a duplex.  Hence, the 2 doors.
Children were raised here. 
People grew old here.


In my last post, I may have said something about Galveston not being so pretty. 

 I take it back. 

There has been a lot of work going on since Ike took Galveston to its knees. 
The Strand looks great.
Lots and lots of places have been re-done, repainted, renewed.
The people of Galveston have worked hard.

I saw lots of "pretty" and I took pictures to prove it. 

This is the one I want. 

Stunning.  So much detail.  And the colors of the sea and land.

Look again.  Can you believe that architecture?

I know. You can't see the house for the tree.  The Christmas tree. 
 How cool would that be to have in your front yard come December? 




Imagine that you're the painter on the ladder
....painting that detail in all those different colors. 
 Hard to imagine.


I love the symmetry.  And the sweet potato vine in the baskets caught my eye. 
 I love the bright neon green of that vine. 
Every yard could use a little of that vine...color. 
 And it's very low maintenance.  My kind of plant.
It loves the heat.  Houston's kind of plant.

Apparently there are sculptors that are taking damaged, fallen trees from Ike and carving them into animals, things and such.  We stopped so I could take a picture of the dog. 
This was from a tree trunk. 
Recycling goes cute.

The water was really pretty.  And the sand was clear of seaweed and oil.
  Just a beautiful day.
Deep blue water on the horizon.

This can sits near Sharman's favorite fishing spot.
Great color...don't you think?

The last two days were full of hard work, lots of sweat,
non-stop talking, great food and loads of fun.  
Thanks Sharman....I'm ready to do it again.

I have always.....always loved to clean other people's houses.  And rearrange their stuff. 
 But it's the truth.


  1. What a charming home! I love the way it is decorated.

  2. Loved seeing these pictures. Hubby's cousin lives in a historic home on Market Street...I didn't see it in the pics...their house was pretty devastated in the storm.

  3. Fantastic story of histories being preserved...the history of a family home and the history of a friendship nourished. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Of course it's fun to do other's houses because you do it once, maybe twice not every hour on the hour, day after day, year after year. Getting my drift (pun intended)? What a great place with all the family history, that's fab. Roots...wish I had some. You'll have to share that one house with me.