Waiting by the phone for HGTV to call and being the victim of a hate crime.

So, for years and years the Coach and I’ve talked about flipping properties. Houses, condos, whathaveyou.
We did such a beautiful renovation on our house and I figured HGTV would be at our door in a minute to feature us on their new spin-off channel: Everything Suz Does Is Fabulous.
I haven’t’ come up with the entire show line up yet, but some ideas for them would be:
Bee like Suz and keep your sh*t tidy
Let Suz teach you how to organize your closet by season and color so you don’t appear to be clinically insane.

While I’m waiting for them to come knocking on our door, we completely renovated a small condo on the bay across the street from the Gulf of Mexico.
We plan on using it for seasonal rental and when not renting, we’ll visit and keep our boat there.

Ya’ll, it’s SO stinking cute.

Cocoa and Callie wondering when they can go back to their ‘real’ home. 

I will eventually show real photos.

But, this post isn’t really about that adorable condo that we renovated.

This post is about being hated and targeted with violence.

At this condo, there is a Mockingbird with a vendetta against ME.
Me, of all people. 
Me, the nature lover.
Me, the one who feeds the d*amn birds, squirrels, bees & butterflies.

I can’t go to the garbage or recycling area without being squawked at.
I can’t go to my car without being assaulted by its ravenous beak and talons.
I can’t take the dogs for a casual walk without being hunted down and dive-bombed.

Y’all. I hate this bird because this bird hates me.
And this bird is making my life very uncomfortable and I’m almost as traumatized as that time I saw a photo of my 80’s self, wearing ALL that blue eyeshadow and NO mascara.

I googled some information because I assumed it had a nest nearby and perhaps wanted to add some of my blonde straw hair to it.
OR it was worried that I wanted its babies. (Lord knows, I don’t want to feed anything more than I already do)
Come to find out, it’s probably worried about its babies and guess what else.
Mockingbirds don’t attack everyone. They generally will attack the same people over and over and not necessarily everyone that comes near it.
I’ve asked around.
I’m the ONLY target for this damn bird.

I guess I’ll hit up my realtor and see if we can move this property and start renovating another one because I think the neigbhors are tired of hearing me scream my head off 4-6 times a day.

Life with the big dog and our birds view

In the planning stages of the remodel, we had an ‘extra’ area that needed to be used. My very first instinct was: Sitting area. 
It was open, smallish and to the side of the front doors and the side of the kitchen. 
And hey, one of my favorite hobbies is sitting.
Not really, but it sounds good.
I knew I wanted swivel chairs. Because I’m 5 going on 11. And it afforded the sitting area to fully take in the kitchen and family room via the swivel.
Plus, I’m 5 going on 11. 
This lovely little sitting area was just right, but it had a LARGE blank wall.
And we can’t have that. 
It needed something big. 
Something colorful.
Something with a wet nose. 
It needed Cocoa  X 250%.
While perusing pinterest months ago I spotted a tutorial on making a piece of art with a shower curtain; I was intrigued.
And the Coach was on board…that’s most of the battle.
While I loved the Octopus art work, our good friends Don and Kelly who’d just remodeled their home had a lovely Octopus paining in their family room and I couldn’t do the same thing. Or near the same thing.
So, I searched for a boxer shower curtain and BAM. I found one. 
We’re thrilled with our ‘expensive’ art piece.
(it’s simply a plywood frame that you staple the curtain onto)
The best part is, if we grow tired of seeing this colorful Cocoa in a few years, it’s easy to change it up. 
But really, who would get tired of looking at THAT FACE? 
I added a new feeder to this front window and it’s busy with cardinals, blue jays and wood peckers. All.day.long. 
We couldn’t be happier with how it came together. 

Coffee, Coffee, Ice Ice Baby

Our favorite spot in the morning; CAFFEINE!!!

The only thing that gets me out of bed in the morning is the fact that I’m now having cappuccino, espresso, Latte, Moch-choca-latte’s…you get the gist. I’m amped up. 

LIFE IS GOOD WHEN YOU’RE AWAKE. Sorry to scream, must’ve been that extra shot of espresso.

My lovely Latte Machiatto. (steamed milk, espresso, frothed milk)

When we were planning our renovation the Coach decided we should have a built in/plumbed in coffee maker. We have one at our design studio for clients and it’s super cool. Way back in 1997 when we built the house, this area was originally our laundry room. It’s the connecting spot between our garage and the house. We put an addition on back in 2002 and that’s where our laundry room is now….this room has been our ‘mudroom’ since the addition in ’02. You know, where you drop your stuff when coming into the house. No, not our snow boots and jackets; more like our keys, phones, purses, beach towels, sand and mail.

We’ve now made it an extension to the kitchen as well as a good spot to drop your junk.
It houses our ice machine, microwave and the coffee machine.

But literally, this room has gone to the dogs. *snicker snicker* I hang my purse and keys on dog butts….and I’m not even ashamed.

Our collection of boxer paraphernalia; I purchased the custom Boxer Coffee pic from this site on Etsy. 

Our house has now become a “smart house”; I’m SO hoping that smart part will rub off on me. 
We’ve got buttons/keypads for this, that and the other thing. We installed security cameras during the renovation…which is great for when I want to watch Harley drink out of the pool. Weird cat. 

Guess who watched my every move while taking pics of the mudroom…..she was most likely waiting for a handful of the best ice on the planet.

People, we’ve GOT SONIC ICE. And if you don’t know what that means, you’re not an ice person. But if you do know what that means, you’re in good company. 

I can pretty much live out of our mudroom these days. I was never much of a coffee person; just a cup or two in the morning….folgers or whatever was on sale. Now? Well, I still only have one or two cups, but it’s extra special with some frothy milk mixed in; pretty soon I’ll start demanding people address me with my Proper name. (Miss SuzanneFancyPants)

I’m hoping the Coach will learn how to make some of these for my Sunday morning Joe. 
Hey, it’s not like he has anything else to do…..

Happy Friday my people!!


No matter how many times I write hoedown, it just never looks proper.
But then again, when am I really proper?

Way back in December when we thought we’d soon be done with our renovation, (who knew we’d have 3 more months?) the Coach decided he wanted to have a big party. Mostly to celebrate our reno survival (there were some iffy moments) and also to showcase a great local country band that we’ve enjoyed seeing around town.
We tried to book the band in February (hoping it wasn’t yet SUMMER weather, which comes quick around these parts) but they were busy until late March; we booked them. I’m not exaggerating when I say the renovation was done on Friday at 4pm (painters were finishing up the front interior rooms)….we had guests arriving for the weekend at 5pm and the party for 60 the next day.

We are lucky enough to have a lot of really good friends who love to jump in and make stuff happen. Several of our good friends from the East Coast arrived Friday night and got busy. Saturday’s forecast was calling for rain, so the Coach decided we needed a tent on the lanai for the band; the guys headed to Costco for a tent.
They went for a tent, but came home with a garage.

Who does that?

They laid it out on the upper lanai area by the chikee hut. Lo and behold the chickee had to get a mullet cut for the darn garage to fit.


We had a lot of great family and friends prepare good ole’ southern cooking. Pulled pork, ribs, BBQ chicken, cole slaw, collard greens, cowboy beans….SO much good grub!
The Coach and I wisened up this time though and hired some hands to help serve and clean up. Quite possibly the best idea yet. We’re usually stuck in the kitchen; slaving or pouring drinks. We had three guys helping us; two with the food and one manned the bar.

 The band was fantastic….lot’s of dancing and laughing; everyone had a great time.

 Some of my people.

BTW: it never rained on our parade or the newly installed garage. 

We expected 60-70 people…but when I went through my list on Sunday, I realized we had 91 people throughout the night. And the house was still standing; well, most of it.

I had to borrow Lolo’s boots and dress for I had nothing proper to wear!
There was much fun to be had and a lot of it was because of the Coach. He was dancing up a storm and getting everyone around him to join in.

Coach and my wonderful MIL
Lolo and Linds with G’ma Sue

At one point the Coach was actually NOT dancing, he was just walking near the edge of the pool when he toppled into the pool; back side first.
I was on the other side of the lanai, so I didn’t get a first hand look at the situation.

The next thing I saw was other people jumping into the pool with him; about 6 followers.
He said: “why are you jumping in the pool?”
Them: “Because YOU did”
Coach: “no, I fell into the pool….I didn’t jump!”

So, it turns out it wasn’t Coach’s fault for falling into the pool with his good boots and cellphone….our pool coping had come lose in several areas and just gave way.

Luckily he wasn’t really hurt, just bruised up a bit. Thankfully it wasn’t one of our guests that fell….lord knows, who might be living in this house right now. Damn it with the SueHappyPeople.

The next morning I woke up to this sight:

Lindsay took care of her Daddy’s boots by drying them in our tub. FYI: they did survive….his cell phone? NOT.So.Much.

It was quite the party and we had so much fun; it was lovely to host friends at our house again.

I don’t think I recovered until Wednesday afternoon though.

Has anyone else been crazy enough to have a large party at their house?


The Real Renovation-after post.

We had to break away from the renovation to see a little NCAA BBall in Houston! Woot woot. It was fun even though our FGCU boys didn’t quite make it there. {{next year?}

I had a super duper hard time trying to put before and after pics together from the same angle. Do you feel sorry for me? Nah…….I’m actually the worst before/after blogger ever. Where’s my award?
This is the view coming in from the back hallway.

The old layout had a formal living and formal dining room in front of the house with a wall dividing. Now, the wall is gone and I can see the front doors/windows from any vantage point.

 The dogs love their spot in the family room. All the doors on the back side are pivoting. You can open the entire room by sliding them all down to one end (or the other) and stacking them.

 View from the front entry doors. FYI: Callie the Cow dog has been such a good addition to our family. We LOVE HER.

 View from the back/side door

 View from the back back doors. Wait…I’m thinking we have too many doors.

Don’t worry about our privacy, we have shades on all the windows; they’re hidden in the ceiling soffit.

The dining area. I’ve always wanted a large table and apparently I eventually always get what I want.

Sadly, it came with cracks in it….not even a discount was offered. LOL!
{Live edge walnut slab table}

 The Coach made (had made for me) this custom china cabinet. It’s mine….ALL MINE!

Are the countertops swoon worthy? Yes. They’re even swine worthy. They are quartzite;  not to be confused with man-made quartz.

 Can you find the dishwasher and garbage cans? It’s not easy…. Did you know we are in the kitchen/stone business? Yeah, otherwise this wouldn’t be so pretty.

One day I’ll post about the details; wall colors, floor choices…more details. I found SO much good info on the ‘net that I’d like to also be of help to someone. {hello-porcelain tiled wood planked floors and all the darned Sherwin Williams paint color samples}

Our mudroom/coffee central itself will get it’s own post soon. Wait…did someone say coffee?
Happy Friday my friends. I hope life is good in your neighborhood. We’re getting used to living in our lovely house and planning a COLLEGE GRADUATION. *sigh* Seriously. I could die from happiness.


Finally-the AFTER photos.

Hello friends.
Let me start by saying that I was reluctant to share the after photos of our renovation. Why?  The Coach and I both come from very humble beginnings….so, for us to have something this nice (our dream house) I almost feel braggy by sharing. I still remember going through the sears catalog as a kid dreaming of nice furniture and fancy sheets. And by fancy, I mean the kind that match.
I can’t win; I should just go back to the trailer park and get over myself.

We are absolutely THRILLED with our home. As in, we’re NEVER LEAVING. The girls will have to bury us in the backyard with Ozzie, Maisy (and the recently departed) Krispy.
We built this house in 1997; it started with a small formal dining room, (could never get everyone at the table) a small formal living area (could fit a couch and a few chairs, but never was enough space at Christmas with the whole family) A good sized kitchen, a breakfast nook, and a smallish family room.
What we had envisioned was a great room. WIDE open kitchen/family/dining.
What we got was a GREAT room with a kitchen to die for. Ok, lets slow down with the dramatics Suz. No one is dying in here. EVER. 

It was hard to make before and after collages…..as the after looks NOTHING like the before so it’s hard to put it in perspective.

I’ll start with the lanai view. Note that the outdoor ceiling fans and the left (closest to you) column are both in the same exact spot. How coincidental to have pets in each pic?  {Miss you Ozzie boy!}

Again, with the critters. See that column down below in the left pic? It’s the same one on the right just behind cocoa and Harley. That’s the amount of outside lanai we stole for the inside.

This is another before/after view of the lanai, looking into the family room/dining area.

Could something ever be better than you’d imagine? I’m here to tell you YES.

I’ll share the all the inside photo’s next. I don’t want to overwhelm you. Or me. Ok, mostly it’s me I’m worried about.
Happy humpday my people.

Is it February already?

Holy Mackerel.
Where has the time gone?
And what makes mackerels so darn holy?
I’m almost embarrassed to be here. Ya know, after so long and with really no explanation for my inactions except that I’ve had many other actions that didn’t involve the ole’ blog.

Would you believe that I grew butterflies?
Milkweed….it’s what everyone should be planting to save the monarch butterflies.

Would you believe the coach and I grew a kitchen, family, dining?

We were so close to being done with the dirty stuff, but then we had to have some windows replaced in the foyer/front of the house.
Also added some new trim inside the front room here….so for a while, we were practicing “safe sex work area” at the front rooms.

Can you see the shadows of men working in there…..so weird and well, yeah it was a weird week. Just trying to keep the dust to one area.

So, that was last week. The painters left at 4:30 on Friday afternoon, just as our first guests for the weekend arrived. Then on Saturday; well, Saturday we had approx. 70 of our closest friends over for a  little get-together.

Fo’ serious.

I’m planning on catching up with all of you THIS week.
This will be the first time that I don’t have MEN in my house on a daily basis. (FYI: I might finally walk around in my birthday suit—it’s been 6 long months!)
Also, my washing machine will be repaired today; it’s been out of commission for 17 days. So, if you need me, I’ll be in the laundry room; and possibly nekkid.

All the best,
Suz, who is so darn happy.