A happy godchild

Though I’ve not been blessed with biological children, I have 3 stepsons, a grandson, (another grandchild on the way), 2 nieces, a nephew and a plethora of godchildren.


One of my beautiful goddaughters graduated from high school this year. It was a tough year for her. Both her grandfather and great grandfather passed away. Later her grandmother, her aunt and two cousins moved in with her family. Yet, she still finished in the top 10 of over 300 students at her high school. That’s not 10%, that’s top 10!


One of the things we share is our love of Dancing with The Stars. When I learned Derek and Juliane Hough were bringing their roadshow to Nashville, there was no question what she was getting as a graduation present. I told her mom, to prevent duplication.


Here are a few pictures. First of her reaction when she opened the card and then when we went to the show.







~ Kay

When Mars and Venus Stage a House

In my last post, I included some photos taken by our realtor of the house my husband and I have on the market.

Being a tad compulsive, I also staged the inside of closets and pantries. Hey, they do it in model homes!

I left a couple of dresses, hung neatly, one of Hubby’s suits, a casual outfit…you get the idea.

As I cleaned out the food, I checked expiration dates. If it had expired, I left it behind. Brilliant, I thought. I did this with the pantry and the freezer. I didn’t have time to do the refrigerator.

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Hubby was at the house one day and asked if I wanted him to clean out the refrigerator. In his defense, I didn’t ask him to “stage” it though I had shown him my handiwork in the other areas.

The next time I dropped by I anxiously opened the fridge to see what he’d done and this is what I found.



Moral: Mars and Venus stage differently.


~ Kay

The world is a stage

1 Front
And so is a house…at least when you’re selling one.

We waited several weeks after our move to list our house so we could shampoo carpets, paint, deep clean and stage our old home so it’d present as well as possible to potential buyers.

Since we were downsizing we had extra furniture we could leave behind. I knew the rule was “keep it simple” so potential buyers could see themselves in the home.

We completely emptied the top floor–who can’t imagine unfurnished bedrooms and a bonus room? From the main floor, we moved the furniture we needed to the new house then relocated our breakfast table to the dining room, put a bench in the breakfast alcove which made the kitchen seem bigger, flanked a television with a couple of bookshelves adorned with only one or two items per shelf and left two wing back chairs. We moved a queen-sized bed to replace our king-sized bed and filled in with an odd dresser and occasional tables here and there.

There’s a finished basement we are marketing as an in-law suite…or nanny suite…or studio apartment. We sat up a table and chairs, a living area with a sofa, chair, coffee table and television, and a sleeping area with a kingsized bed with short book cases on each side. On the other side of the room we set up a ping pong table in case the buyer would prefer a rec room.

I based my vision for staging on model homes we’d toured during our search for a new home. My realtor took some photos for the listing. Here are some of his pictures:

6 Foyer
Liv 1
15 Liv.Din

3 Dining

5 Kitch

4 Kitch








7 Master 9 Master bath 8 Master bath









10 Rec

12 Rec 16 Deck

My next post will show how men and women view staging differently.

~ Kay

Our first post-move guests

Every other year I host a group of girlfriends for a night or few during the summer. Of course, this year, the year we moved, was that year.

In our former house, we could sleep ten guests. In this house, we will have two guest bedrooms…eventually. Currently one is set up as a bedroom, the other is filled with yet to be unpacked boxes. We left some of our furniture in the other house for staging purposes.

As it turned out we had no more than three overnight guests on any one night…not necessarily the same three, but three max, so we were good to go with the current bedroom, a comfy sofa, and a new deluxe air mattress.

Some of us have known each other twenty plus years so sharing a bed isn’t a problem. We’ve shared worse. A couple of the ladies stayed in a hotel. I think they had visions of sleeping on the floor which, fyi, would not have happened. We always could have used the two bedrooms we have staged at the other house, though it would have been difficult to have a house party when the locations are thirty minutes apart.

There was a time in my life when I would have been stressed because all the boxes weren’t unpacked, pictures hung, drapes up, etc. (We’ve hung NO pictures or drapes, by the way. Thankfully blinds came with the house.) At least all of the boxes were in one room so my friends didn’t have to dodge or sit on them.

This year, throughout the week, there were seven of us. Some years we’ve had more; few years have we had less. It’s not always the same group though there are four or five who are always here.

The seven of us this year spanned four decades in age and went to six different universities. We live in Tennessee, Mississippi (2), North Carolina, Illinois, Indiana, and Canada. One might wonder how we even know each other, much less became such good friends. What’s special about this particular group of friends?

We’re sorority sisters. We know each other because we’ve all been volunteers for our college sorority, Alpha Omicron Pi, since our graduation. A couple of us were actually on staff for a few years but that’s a different post. Our paths crossed because we worked together somewhere in the volunteer structure.

One example started with a collegiate chapter president, her chapter adviser (who had graduated from a different university) and their regional director (who graduated from a third school.) I was the regional director. The chapter had some challenges so the three of us talked…a lot. After the chapter president graduated, she maintained her relationship with her former adviser and with me. That was over twenty years ago.

None of us can remember when we actually started this every other summer gathering, but we have pictures going back at least ten years for the group, and I found a water bottle for a 2001 event.

The sorority holds a leadership conference in Nashville every other year, so we do it in conjunction with it. “The girls” are going to be here anyway, might as well  tack a day or two on before or after for some intense sisterhood time.

Some of the things we’ve done in the past include spa days (at least twice), a salt cave, touristy things like the Nash Trash Tour, a tea party…and we’ve shopped, antiqued, and rescued stranded Canadians from the airport when their flights were grounded. We did have people sleeping on the floor that year!

Our tradition always includes a “happy” of some sort. One year it was a bejeweled crown and sunglasses. This year it was a framed photo from last year and a memory book from the last ten years. These are friends of a lifetime and for a lifetime. I’m happy they are some of mine.

This year:

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Prior Years:


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I love my friends. Keep smiling…

~ Kay





Drew home 8


“Daddy returns from deployment”