Family,  Hodgepodge Cottage,  Home

Old and New and Loved

I am so touched by some of your emails, inquiring as to my whereabouts lately. I haven't been here at the computer – mostly because I've been tending to the On Prudence model (to be released next week, hopefully!) and to little bits of spring cleaning here and there.

But the best thing that's happened this month is that my oldest daughter, Breanna, found a new place to move into! I'm so, so happy for her – especially because the apartment seems beautifully suited to her personality: the entire building is quite vintage, with the original wood flooring from 1917, as well as radiators (I love radiators) for heat, and a clawfoot bathtub (which we didn't realize required a special sized shower curtain). What a cozy, sweet, darling little place it is! (And the best part for her mom and dad: a state trooper lives on the floor below.)

Mike, Sophie, and I made the long jaunt out to western Nebraska with a rented truck and Uhaul trailer-full of Breanna's furniture, which had been in storage. (We had been saving all of Mike's parents' old furniture for the day that Bre got a place of her own.) The ride felt like it was about 3 days long…





Finally, sunshine! Here we are, but we look so much smaller in our shadow. 🙂




Immediately upon arriving at Bre's new apartment, we got to work unloading all of the furniture. Bre and Mike did the heavy lifting, while Sophie and I scurried in and around them with all the little boxes of pillows, plates, utensils, accessories, and coffee. Always coffee.

I love that Bre had her favorite items in the living room: her sewing machine, fabric tote, her grandmother's sewing box, Tilly's scratching post, and her beloved hoola hoops.

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About an hour later…

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Sabrina (she couldn't come with us, as she had classes) gifted Bre with a framed family picture…

Photo 2-2

After we got everything put in the rooms they belonged, we decided to go to dinner and call it a night.

The next day, we all got right to work moving and arranging furniture, cleaning floors, and finding out the hard way that almost all of her walls in her apartment are brick! (When a large nail meant to bear the weight of a heavy piece of art bends right in half under the hammer, you know you're not exactly dealing with drywall.)

For her "coffee table," we brought along Mike's dad's old foot locker from Vietnam, which Bre absolutely loved. Not only for the storage space inside, but because her grandfather's name is stenciled on the top.

Photo 1




I spent the day in the kitchen, doing lots of cooking, and enjoying every minute of it. I wasn't sure how I was going to be able to cook efficiently with no counter space except for the drain board, but I actually found it to be quite easy, as long as I kept everything picked up and put away. I'll never forget that day, with everyone taking turns dodging in and out of the kitchen to scoop up some of the hot corn dip I'd made (from a Tricia Yearwood cookbook)… or to have some of the delicious Zuppa Tuscano soup that Bre's co-worker brought to us (along with a delicious loaf of garlic bread and cake – what a lovely gesture! Thank you, Alona!), or to ask why we didn't buy a pitcher at WalMart for some sweet tea…


I'll also always remember how Big Papa's Big Idea was to buy a stand to build around the toilet for extra shelving, which we all applauded, and which made him very pleased with himself. 🙂


… And how excited Sophie was that Bre entrusted her with all of the decorating and organizing in both the kitchen and bathroom…


Photo 1

Photo 5

As the sun went down, the living room became more and more cozy…


Sophie decided it was time to find someone to spy on, and whatever she found warranted her calling to Bre to come take a look…



 It turned out to be a neighbor who had locked his keys in his car and was using a flashlight to search for them. 🙂

Oh how I've missed this sweet baby cat… she was so happy in the new place, exploring everything and purring nonstop. Kaia will live at Josh's house because she is so close to Josh's dog, Nahla, and Bre and Josh didn't want to hurt Kaia's feelings by seperating the two. However, I imagine this arrangement works out just fine for Miss Tilly, as she can have Bre and company all to herself…


I've always loved this silly girl's feet!



When I took this picture, Tilly was watching Bre arrange her Grandma Frieda's figurines into her old shadowbox…



(And across from the shadowbox, just outside the kitchen, is a blank wall I've instructed Bre to leave blank, because it needs a sampler there. Ha!)

I suppose I've kept you long enough.. see there? I'm either never here or I'm here too much. Feast or famine, nothing in moderation with me. 🙂

I leave you with my favorite picture of Miss Tilly… it makes me laugh.


And thank you again to those of you who checked in on me. 🙂


  • Kathy Furlong

    Oh……the love of a family makes anyplace feel like home!! I know it was a bittersweet parting but I also know you are so proud!! Sophie did a great job! Be well!!

  • Tammy

    Sounds like an eventful time. Just visited my son & his new bride to be in their new home & to see that our children can leave the nest & spread their wings is a wonderful feeling. Beautiful place & hope goes well for you all. Looking forward to your new design as always.
    God Bless,
    Tammy (West Liberty, OH)

  • Mindi Bruner

    Love the apartment, it looks so cozy! I recognize some of those rock formations, especially the last one (image 281), its right outside of Pine Bluffs. I passed it many time driving from Cheyenne out to the missile field (and it was also at the spot we’d stop at for gigantic cups of coffee).

  • Penny Houser

    What a fabulous apartment! I just love the floors, brick walls and that wonderful tub. You are so blessed to have your sweet family. Looking forward to your new release.

  • Robin Sutton

    Love, love, love the apartment and the sweetness that went into the set up. But, am I going nutty? I thought Tilly was a tortoise and belonged to Sophie. This cat has white and is with Bre…do you have 2 cats named Tilly? Just a random question. LOL

  • Jmollard

    Love it!! And for hanging I highly recommend the 3m command strips! We just moved into our new house and I’m hesitant to put holes in the walls yet so we’ve been using the strips. Love them!

  • Joann09

    Loved that picture of the formations!
    What a great. Find in apartments! And bre’s furniture fits just right there! It all
    Looks so cozy! And isn’t it great to have family there to help? ❤️

  • Susan

    The apartment looks so cozy! Love the pictures of your journey across the state. Made me homesick as I grew up in southeastern Nebraska, but always loved the hills in the western part of the state.

  • Margaret

    What a great post! What a great apartment! Isn’t it amazing how us parents and younger siblings always get dragged into helping with the moving? lolol! Love the pics of Tilly. Such a cutie!

  • Mike

    Robin, yes our family has two lovely cats named Tilly. Bre has her Tilly and Sophie has Queen Tilly the black tortie. It was very fun getting Breanna moved in and set up in her apartment.

  • Yvonne

    I also recommend the 3M Command Strips. They work very well. Just make sure you read the instructions and follow them – especially when it says to stick them and not hang anything on them for an hour. That hour makes a difference!! LOL And, go ahead and buy the ones that hold the most weight. Best wishes to Bre. This is an exciting time for her and everyone in the family. I can’t wait to see what sampler goes up on the wall – LOL

  • Cathryn

    Paulette, Your photos are always so great. They tell a story. I LOVE the picture of the shadows of the truck and trailer on the Nebraska landscape. The other landscapes are beautiful too. Breanna has a wonderful place and it was made so cozy by all of you working together. It will be a wonderful home for her and Tilly. Once again I am so grateful for your generous sharing of your family. God bless you and yours. Cathryn

  • marly

    What a sweet place. It already looks complete and polished and she just moved in! Best wishes to her and Tilly in their new home.

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