December 28, 2009


Those of you that are long time bloggers are familiar with the "HONEST SCRAP AWARD'. The premise is  a fellow blogger suggests your blog and you are to tell 10 things about yourself that most would not know about. Then I am to suggest 7 bloggers to receive the award. Having trouble with the latter, this has been around so long everyone I researched had already participated.

Being a new blogger I am late to the "party". Deborah of Boxwood Terrace, whose blog I LOVE suggested me.

So here I go................and problem. Deep dark secrets?......still are :-)

When I was twelve a life altering event took place, my Father died suddenly on a ski slope, I was with him.
No, no, I am not courting sympathy nor drama but to share how that shaped me into the person I am today. Learning at an early age that life is fragile and to be savored, I found the quote below that mirrors my thoughts as if I wrote it.

1)  Adventure Sports

I earned my skydiving professional license and a portion of my income from "jumping". A life metaphor is  "leap and the net will appear"

Within 498 dives I have leapt from a variety of planes, helicopters, a hot air balloon, into water and at night. My favorite was into the puffy cumulus clouds. Did you know they are filled with tunnels? And that you could wend your way through? PS;  that was in my youth

Scuba Divers License; colorful fish, manta rays, eels, sharks, octopus...........but my favorite was the manatees. Living in murky springs and rivers, I was going along one day hoping to spot one. Suddenly the feeling of not being alone enveloped me, looking to the side was a form then an eye..........a mother manatee was right next to me, baby in tow. Dare I reach out to touch her, she was a mother after all? Not being able to help myself, I touched her, then kept touching her and before you know it she is bringing the baby forward..............heaven! These gentle creatures are endangered.  

Fencing; a life long passion. It wasn't till I was in my thirties that I found a club to learn the sport. Fast, elegant, similar to a moving breathing chess game. here are a few fun facts;
  • while fencing all of my cellulite disappeared!
  • most of your sparring partners are men
  • there are many fencing scholarships that go unclaimed.

2) Will always try to take my own path and never fear getting lost
I was a dismal candidate for the corporate world. Yes there was a fear of starting my own business and leaving the "safety net" but I have never looked back.
Getting lost in the car.........have made great discoveries, shops to explore, new scenery, inspiration and a life long friend.

3) England. Nothing new to those that know me..........but feel as if I once lived there, feel complete and at home there.

4) Enjoy alone time. Mind you I LOVE people, am in a people pleasing industry..........but being alone means; recharging, regrouping, seeking new inspiration..........thinking.

5) You want me near you in an emergency. Yes, have been tested, many times, I leap into action, without forethought. Once I was in a large hotel and in the middle of the night heard a woman screaming in the hallway, blood-curdling screaming. Immediately jumping up I ran out, I was the only one. Fortunately it was a break-in and her purse was snatched, the thief was gone and she was physically ok. 

6) Mad for Dogs, actually ALL animals but have a soft spot for our loyalist companions.

7) Want to go on a trip, call me! I live to travel.

8) Men in kilts! So far my husband is not cooperating..........can you imagine? And if the man in a kilt is playing a bagpipe watch me make a fool of myself.

9) Laughter. Deep belly busting laughter, being silly, getting ridiculous. My favorite partner in crime here is sister.......... only problem, she reminds me, is I "forget" when to stop :-) .............and what on earth would we do without our women friends??!!

10) Faith in God. The comfort of knowing He is there, my reminder to be a good person and to trust in Him.

Now, onto my RANT, it's a local if you do not want to stay, know I warned you

I am having an affair..............

Yes, you read that correctly.........I am having an affair...............I want to scream about it

Because my heart is breaking. And since I shared so much above I might as well keep going. But really, it is not what you think............the affair is with my home and with the village I live in.
Didn't you think Bunny Williams book My Affair with a House, was the best title?

I am passionate, vocal, obnoxious even on this topic because my home and village are threatened.

I live in a village named Wayne, Illinois. Wanting to live here came first, the house second. Wayne has a remarkable history and most that have moved here enjoy the story, love open space, preservation of land and tradition. What I did not know was that I would have to become a rabid fighter of "progress". You know the sort; massive subdivisions, shopping malls and strip malls everywhere in the surrounding cities. These necessitate more traffic and new roads.

One battle that is ongoing but picking up surprising speed after four years of silence is a classic case of the city next door, St. Charles, wants a bridge over the fox river. Countless and expensive studies have been paid for but with a slant...........they do not want the bridge in their community and find every reason to eliminate other prospects all the while paying and hiring their own firms for results.
Why am I so worked up? The traffic for this two lane bridge will spill through our village's only east west road.  Our much larger neighbor will no longer admit their future plans, which was at a previous meeting, showing the bridge becoming a four lane and then our road needing to go to four lanes. On those engineering plans my home is gone.

When we moved here I saw the potential and possibility; 4 acres, an 1856 home in need of love and attention, space to build a barn, gardens beyond reason. Our families thought we fell from grace but we knew what this home could be and has become...........slowly restoring ourselves with only one room remaining.

bridge  (noun)
  • link or means of approach
  • structure built over an obstacle
  • a connection, a means of coming together

Instead we have a classic David and Goliath story. The city versus the village. I do not dislike St. Charles, I own a business there, shop there and seek entertainment there. I have clients there, family and friends. So I am fighting and asking for help.

The road in controversy. I would like to share other pictures of our village, all photos along this road.

When I started this blog it was not to have an activist format, hardly! Of course it is a tool to enhance your business but I wanted to talk about design, indoors and out, people and places I discovered, a recipe..........a tip

I had no idea I was entering a new world I would become passionate about. Friends have developed around the world, ideas exchanged, support and inspiration galore.

So my 'rant'has become public as I feel helpless and feel fear.

Oh, did I mention that less than two miles to the north a four lane bridge is under construction? Can't we wait St. Charles to see how that turns out versus spending 30+ million? Did I mention that forest preserve will be taken?

I apologize to my long distance not mean to bore you with local issues. But I do wonder, "have any of you faced this problem?", any success?

If anyone wants to add your voice. St. Charles has given us until 12/31 to deliver comments.
Wayne would love to hear from you too.

So, I will try, along with many on both sides. Am not afraid to try but will admit to fear in defeat.

To all my readers...........thank you for reading my rant. Thank you sincerely for subscribing to this blog and for your friendship extended. I am excited about 2010, many great topics formulating. My best wishes for everyone in the new year!
xxo  Debra

December 21, 2009


Yes, If I ruled the world...............this would be an international holiday..........The first day of Winter!
I know, few would guess it is best I am not in charge........

The business person in me can take a deep breath.......Christmas retail is nearly over, thank you dear customers!
A wild sense of freedom! 

I can stay home if I choose......oh, I will still be busy, think closets, drawers, massive quantities of paperwork (remember that snap of my office?), magazine pull-outs to organize.....a year's worth.  Friends to catch up with, live, via telephone and on blogs.

I may take a walk with my dogs

My gardens and clients gardens are at rest

This is a great time to look at your gardens..............really it interesting this time of year? Enough conifers, architectural elements, winter containers, berries, textural barks?

Here in the Chicago region, winter is nearly 6 months of the year. When I step outdoors or look out my windows I still want lovely views.

How about when you and guests pull up to your home/grounds, are you greeted with visual interest?

"When I no longer thrill to the first snow of the season, I'll know I'm growing old."
by Lady Bird Johnson 

I love a good snow, I see magic, I see sparkling diamonds, I see animal prints (whose could they be?). The architecture of trees, the curves of a bench, beaming lanterns, the lines of a gate.........all are enhanced with a mantle of snow.

It is sheer romance. Ever notice how the sounds of life become muffled and still?

Do you dream of far away castles, roaring fireplaces, hot soup and crusty bread, down comforters?
(Frau, is Germany magical right now?)

"A snow flake is one of God's most fragile creations, but look at what they can do when they stick together"
by   Anon

I am going to enjoy my new CD by Sting, his lusty collection of songs for winter

I am thinking of what this year's diet will be........sigh.........

Shortly, I will depart for my semi-annual buying spree and the shop will get a clean fresh look when I return with my new treasures. Come and see after January 12th.

My new book collection is staring at me.......The Shack,   The Help,   Why my Third Husband will be a Dog :-)    A Way of Living by Pia and Simon Pearce

I promise to keep the bird feeders full and interesting  

 See, smell and hear the season, maybe taste a never know what you might "see". Case in point.........Turtle Doves!

"It's a frequent wish that every cup may overflow with blessings rich and eternal, and that every path may lead to peace"  
by Agnes M Pharo
                                                MERRY CHRISTMAS!

             The trip to Nashville with us is filling rapidly, we would miss you!   Here are the details.

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