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Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Denham Springs Animal Shelter Louisiana

As, you most certainly already know Baton Rouge and surrounding parishes in Louisiana were devastated by flooding last week.  
My sister Patti, my niece Jenny and my nephew Forest all live in Baton Rouge with their families.  Thankfully, they and their homes are all safe and dry.  So many people lost everything, and a newspaper report said only 1 in 8 people in BR have flood insurance.  A state of emergency has been declared.
When Jenny told me about the flooding last Friday I immediately thought of the Denham Springs Animal Shelter.  This is where Louise called home for a year and a half before we adopted her, and the shelter is near and dear to our hearts.  Denham Springs Animal Shelter is the only no-kill municipal facility in the entire state.   If Louise had found her way into any other facility she would no doubt have been euthanized well before we found her.
This is our beautiful girl Louise (Louisiana Amelia Mae... because every girl should have a proper name!) on the day we picked her up!  She is truly the sweetest, kindest, gentlest dog in the world and we all love her so much.

This photo was also taken the day we adopted Louise.  The shelter was much larger than shown in the photo, but I loved how they had a pool set out as the heat index was over a hundred on the days we were in town to pick her up and visit with family.  The bare bones facility (think concrete, metal roofs, wire enclosures) was immaculately cared for; so clean and the dogs and cats in their care were obviously very loved and tended to.  Dan and I were so impressed with the shelter and all the people who worked there.  They were all so excited that Louise had finally found her forever home.  
Sweet Louise who lived outside for a  year and a half is terrified of thunder.  Breaks my heart that she had to endure the sometimes daily thunderstorms that occur in Baton Rouge.  
We discus ad nauseam how "when" :) we win the lottery we are going to build the shelter a "Louise Amelia Mae" enclosed and air conditioned building! 

This is the Denham Springs Animal Shelter this past Saturday, water is up to the roof. 
On the first day of rain the volunteers said the animals were all fine and dry on their Facebook post HERE, then the frantic call for anyone with a boat to come help them rescue the animals was posted. As the shelter became engulfed in rising flood waters the staff and volunteers fought to save as many animals as possibly could.  At the end they simply had to unlatch the kennel doors and let the dogs hopefully swim out and climb on a roof in hopes of being saved.  

This video from Beau Madison Rescue Network on Instagram shows the devastation at the shelter, and the dogs waiting on the roof to be rescued.  Heartbreaking.

The dogs that were rescued by boat were taken to a dry street and the neighbors that live there, who did not evacuate, were feeding the dogs. The dogs were allowed to run at large due to the inability of cars and trucks to get to the area.  Those dogs have since been rounded up and are safe, but they are still doing boat rescues to the shelter to look dogs.  The blonde dog in the left front of the photo is Tuff and was one of Louise's roommates when we adopted her.   The shelter's director is still stranded in Denham Springs in a vacant house filled with cats, awaiting rescue.  They are rounding up all their dogs in the flooded area, and know that they will be taking in new animals due to the devastation.
The shelter is desperately seeking temporary fosters for their dogs and cats and kittens. If  you, or anyone you know who loves animals lives in the Baton Rouge or New Orleans area please share this post.
To fill out a Denham Springs Shelter Foster Application HERE

To all my dog and cat loving readers (xxo)  I am in hopes that you might join me in donating to help this wonderful shelter that saved Louise for us!   No amount is too small, $5 would help.  
If you would like to donate please click
All funds raised will go to the animal shelter towards recover and rebuilding efforts.  
The Petco Foundation has generously offered to match each dollar raised up to at $100,000.
The following is what Sue Cosby-Jennings, of the Petco Foundation, said about the Denham Springs Animal Shelter on Facebook...

Sue Cosby-Jennings
1 day ago
From the Petco Foundation-- The Petco Foundation joins community efforts to help Denham Springs Animal Shelter flood recovery with matching grant: Even before the flooding, the Denham Springs Animal Shelter in Louisiana had very limited resources. But that never stopped this small organization and its dedicated team from operating the community's animal control shelter and doing everything they could to save animal lives. They are all heart! So it is heartbreaking to imagine what they must be going through during this tragedy. We understand that efforts are ongoing to raise support for the Denham Springs Animal Shelter in their time of need. To encourage this support, the Petco Foundation will match all amounts received by the Denham Animal Shelter during this time up to at least $50,000 in support of the flood recovery and rebuild efforts.
To donate via "go fund me" HERE

To send a check, mail to:
Denham Springs Animal Control
600 Bowman Street #C
Denham Springs, LA  70726

To follow the shelter Facebook  HERE  - please share!

To donate to the Red Cross for the people of Louisiana devastated by the flooding  HERE

To read the story from a year ago about adopting Louise and Magnolia HERE

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

"more" around the house a.k.a. keeping it real...

I really should title this post "trust your gut!"  That said, I have a feeling that I'm going to get some push-back from a lot some of you regarding a recent design decision, but I'm trusting my gut and I'm hoping I can walk you through my design thought process!
As mentioned in my last "around the house a.k.a. keeping it real" post HERE  I said that our next big project was painting the exterior of the farmhouse.  The whole exterior doesn't need painting, just several walls that have taken a beating from our New England winters.  The barn (thankfully for the pocketbook ;) is in good condition.  The barn is stained and the house is painted; the stain has held up much better than the paint (all paint and stain colors are on my sidebar if interested.)  Although we have not done this, it is a common practice here in New England to keep a painter on retainer to come paint one side of your house each year.

The scraping commences.  (f.y.i., that is my antique yogurt pot that stands in the front bed which has been placed on the grass, on it's side, to keep it safe-  it is not one of those half pot thingys that people lay on the ground and plant flowers in :)
Before the scraping, the first thing the painters did was remove all the shutters.

And, unbeknownst to me... I loved it!!!  
I was shocked, but the farmhouse suddenly felt clean, crisp and fresh... and I felt like I could take in a big breath.  Our gorgeous, unusual, antique wavy glass windows suddenly took center stage and the whole house seemed to relax a bit.
I realize this might look a bit naked or unusual if you live in the south or in a metropolitan area, but if you drive through rural New England you will see antique house upon antique house with no shutters.

Before removing the shutters for painting, the windows in the ell between the barn and the farmhouse always bothered me. They didn't have shutters which I liked conceptually since the ell was added after the house and had different windows, but not visually.  But, now that the shutters on the main house are off it all "feels" right to my eye and my gut!  I looked at the house from every angle, close up and at a distance.  After discussing it with Dan, we made the decision of no shutters!  We realized that when we drive around New Hampshire that the antique houses that we are drawn to have a look and a feeling of authenticity and we could now see that the look and feel we loved was the look of our farmhouse without shutters. And hey, I can always put them back if we were to change our minds, but I love the way the house looks and feels.
Before I gave the "no-shutter" word to the painter, I wanted to make sure I was 100% with the decision.  I had the thought that I should look at photos of farmhouses and cottages that I have collected over the last couple of years, and I'll be damned, but literally 99% of them had NO shutters!  Who-knew??!!! I was seriously giggly giddy!  I had just never looked at my saved houses from that perspective.  It was quite a revelation for me and a validation of "trust your gut!"

 The front face after scraping and with the shutters removed.

The house with black shutters.  Classic.  I do think it looks really pretty with shutters, but something about it also seems a bit formal for this simple farmhouse.  When we initially had the whole house painted 7 years ago HERE I remember not being able to get the shutters back on the house fast enough, but thinking about it now the house wasn't landscaped and I was coming from a metropolitan/suburban situation and that was the norm for my eye.  After living here and seeing so many antique houses without shutters my aesthetic for the farmhouse has shifted.  I have taken drive-by photos of antique houses that I love, but can't quite put my finger on what makes me so captivated by them.  I would bet that if I went back to look at all of those houses they wouldn't have shutters!  Don't get me wrong, I love shutters, but for now the house looks and "feels" exactly as it should to me.  
I should also note after getting several comments on the shutters, that the shutters are antique and were original to the house (maybe not to 1853, but perhaps turn of the century?)  The top of the shutters are stationary and the bottoms had movable louvers for air flow.  They were initially operable to close over the windows, but when the storm windows were installed (prior to our owning the house) they were then attached directly to the house.  
And, yes- the house will be remain white!  As I mentioned in the beginning of this post we are only painting several sides of the house.
 photo by Micheal Partenio

Here are some photos of my saved favorite farmhouses, all of which unbeknowst to me until today do not have shutters!

Martha Stewart...That magic moment first thing in the morning on the Fourth of July!  from...  http://lifeofstyle-lifestyle.blogspot.com/2010/11/thank-you.html:
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Out on the farm:
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Connor Homes - The Sarah Taylor House II:
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Blackberry Farm,:
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Nora Murphy Country House - Note To Self:
photo via

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Farmhouse Decorating:
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15 Aesthetic Farmhouse Exterior Designs Showing The Luxury Side Of The Countryside
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“ Glendalough, Co. Wicklow.
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Fotos de casas abandonadas:
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If you would like to read about the history of exterior house shutters this is a really good (and humorous) blog post about them HERE.


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