Monday, June 22, 2009

Living the Good Life in Texas

I am blessed to be able to still maintain a friendly relationship with my ex-husband's family. This past week my SIL flew in from Decatur, AL to spend some time at her mother's former MIL. Gwen, a cousin, lives close by and has a real knack for decorating. I was SO happy when I was invited along to see the progress of her home renovations. Gwen and her hubby have lived in this house for 2 years but have made many changes. They added a stone path and flower bed; as well as stripped local cedar timbers that are now porch posts.
This is a view of their backyard (10 acres) that contains a small pond. There are even deer that come to feed in the evening. This is a goose that adopted them last year and is named AFLAK.
A patio was poured outside of the back door so they could sit and enjoy the view.

The previous owners owned hogs and that shed is still up. Gwen wants to start raising goats.

Off to the side of the house is a two car garage with a work bench but they don't park their vehicles in the's a gameroom. You can see the flat screen tv; as well as a much need fan to cool things off. IS South Texas!
What bird wouldn't like to live right outside of this party palace/gameroom in the cute patriotic birdhouse?
Here's a little closer view inside the garage. This window opens right up to the barbeque pit so they can pass "the vittles" right through the window. Gwen re-cycled this formica countertop (seen above) after it fell off a flat bed truck and then no one came back to claim it. It's about 12 feet long so it provides a good place for friends to plop down and watch the billiard game. Notice the posts she added to hold up the countertop

Here's what the room looks like when the neon lights are switched on. They must have at least 75 or more neon's they've collected over the years. The whole room and ceiling are lined with them.

Isn't this interesting Yard Art? I was told it was once a piece of farm equipment. They THINK it was some sort of planting device but were not sure. Do YOU know?!??!

Since it was a hot, Texas afternoon we opened the ice chest and found them to be full of ice-cold longnecks! AHHHH....a great way to cool off. And of course, Ms. Gwen always likes to add her southwestern touches by adding the steerhead about the cold beer.

And THIS is what's called a Cowgirl Swimming Pool. It's actually a watering trough for livestock but every weekend they fill this "pool" with water and then sit and soak in the shade. I THINK the blue plastic pool is for the dogs.
This place wouldn't be complete without a fire-pit...because, yes....sometimes it does get nippy in Texas. And see the cute little shed in the's for disguising the Well/Septic system and for a bit of yard machinery storage.
Well....that a tour of the yard...check back for pictures of the inside. Gwen is super talented and has a really cool "leather" look wall, she faux finished with paper bags. Ya'll come back now...ya hear?!?!?


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Hi Susan, What a fun place to visit. I love that you pass the vittles thru the window and I love the fire pit and the logs to sit on. I can just imagine the view of those 10 acres and the wildlife, especially in early evening. Thanks for sharing the photos with us.

  3. I love this homey place! What fun must be had there!

  4. What a beautiful place they have! I love the cedar posts on the front porch - heck I love the porch! And their yard is just beautiful. And I AM NOT going to let DH see that gameroom lol. Kathy

  5. My husband would go absolutely crazy over all of those great neon signs! This looks like a wonderful place. Can't wait to see the inside. I think that speaks so highly of you that you remain friends with your ex's family! laurie

  6. What a great place to just hang! I'm totally digging the white trash pool...gotta get me one of those for real. I had a kiddie pool last year, but everytime I tried to lay back, all the water dumped out!
    Tell her to get miniature goats...they are just too cute!
    Pop a top for me, wouldja?

  7. Very cool place, I love the woods, I love to see houses in other states. Someday I am going to visit the great state of Texas.

  8. I love that kind of recycling..., stripping local cedar timbers and using them a posts. Looks great!

  9. Wow, that is a lot of neon signs! I like the "Genuine Gwen" one. :)

    ~ Sarah

  10. Such a cool house! I love all the neon signs and the DIY work table!

  11. LOVE the fire pit and cute patriotic birdhouse! My girlfriend has one of those "Cowgirl" swimming pool/troughs for her kids. When her hubby brought it home she about died, but they love it now! You lose all shame when you live in the kind of heat and humidity we live in. Whatever it takes to cool off!


  12. My dogs would jump in the water wherever I was! Thanks for the tour. That's a lot of signs! Saw your comment over at The Bunny Bungalow and wanted to say I'm a fellow Texas, Tyler way.

  13. we had a trough that we used as a pool when i was a kid...what fun memories!
    love the goose named aflac~hilarious!!!

  14. Did it rain at your house? (If someone not from Houston reads this: Susan and I both live in Houston, but the city is so large that it can rain in one part and be dry in we always ask when we meet, "Did you get rain?") Did your A/C get repaired?

  15. Sorta seems like our house, random old farm equipment, fire pit, trash to treasure items.....we don't even have a bathtub, so my kids used to bathe in a tub I would put in the shower. Now my grandkids use the same tub! It was from a farm supply store, big sturdy plastic with rope handles...made to last I guess!

  16. Enjoyed your blog. Thanks for a trip back to Texas. I lived there 62 years.

    The fire pit is a wonderful idea.

  17. Love that cowgirl swimming pool! ;) Nancy

  18. Hi Susan, thanks for the home tour. That birdhouse is toooo cute! Hope you are enjoying summer, we got a good rain shower yesterday! Hooray, I didn't need to water the flowers.

  19. That is a true Texas dream house! My husband will giggle like a girl when I show him the neon room!

  20. Hi Susan :)

    What a great place! I love the shed especially :)

    Loved your view from the pool too!

    Thank you for being so sweet to me and for your kind words about Shiloh sweet friend :)


  21. Just wanted to wish you a happy July 4th.
    I don't have any of the Moss paintings but have always admired them and was interested in the info I found on them. You are so fortunate to have some of her art - especially with your flair for decorating. Thanks for your visit to my blog.

  22. Wow, I wish you had taken me with you. What a neat place to visit (or live). I would not want to leave.

  23. Hi Susan! Thanks for commenting on my blog. It's so funny, my daughter and I were talking about getting one of those plastic pools to just sit in on hot days...I like that trough better! I'm going to go poke around your blog now!


Thank you so much for visiting my blog! I LOVE to read all your comments. They bring a smile to my SPILL IT SISTER!!!