it's about life.. down here in ...

letter F Cast Iron Capital Letter R (North Scituate, RI) alphabet series - e letter N C letter H L metal verdigris letter I typewriter key letter Q U white paint on blue - rusting chocolate letter E

Saturday, December 9, 2017

I hate the boot, but I love the knee!

Monday, I received my second knee replacement from Dr. David Fox.  Yep, this has been my “seasons of surgery” year.  If you recall, from previous posts,  I was scheduled for knee replacement surgery on June 5th, 2017... but instead, Breast Cancer reared it’s ugly head... and I’ve said enough about that to last a lifetime!

Got up early Monday, and got to the hospital at 5:30!  Surgery was promptly at 8am.  I was #2 on Dr. Fox’s list of 7 patients, scheduled for either hip or the dreaded knee replacement.  He has a method. He does all the knees first, left then right... then he does the hips.. all the left then the right!  The man is legendary as a machine.  Honestly, he has terrible bedside manner, unless you like docs that are snarky and arrogant.  Fortunately for me, I love both! I did throw a pillow at him in my room this week though!? Whattttt???!!!???!!!?!?!

The first day was pretty bad... lots of pain narcotics, given through the i.v., while we figure out which pills are best for me!  By Tuesday evening I was sleeping soundly in between hobbled walks to the restroom and the occasional “I need to get... blood... temp... oxygen count... blood pressure...”, you know the drill.  To make things worse, I wore the pink band telling all personnel that the right arm was off limits due to recent breast cancer/ lymp node surgery.... my poor left arm is battered and bruised!

I’m home now... 5 short days post surgery." Hooked up to the OptiFlex machine for a min 6-hours per day... resting my foot in the “boot” for 6-8 hours per day... walking indoors 15-30 minutes per day...  knee leg exercises (about 10 of them) 10 to20 Times each, twice a day... sigh... I’m tired... but hey...

2017 is almost gone, and 2018 is just around the corner.

I am ready for that too, are you....? So,  how was your year?

Wishing you all the best in the upcoming year! That you will be blessed beyond measure, and that “Life will treat you good”.  LOVE from Down Here in French Lique..
.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Can this breast be saved?

I was listening to someone (a doctor) talk about Julia Louis-Dreyfus' breast cancer diagnosis.  He (of course it was a "he") said that depending on the type of breast cancer she had, it could be an opportunity to show women that the most drastic treatment (double mastectomy) doesn't have to be the always treatment.  He also said that breast surgery has come a long, long way in the past few years, and in some cases, after healing, you might be unable to tell which breast had the cancer.  While I think some might be doubtful, the message was a good one.  A message that, today, I know is a truthful one.

When I was diagnosed, and before meeting with my oncologist, I had no idea what type of breast cancer I had. I wasn't actually aware there were different types of breast cancer. There are. During the long-long wait to see the oncologist (it seemed long, long to me!), my Ricky and I, had the opportunity to have some serious talks on what to do "if".  I knew my cancer tumor was small, so my best case scenario (in my less than knowledgeable mind) was a lumpectomy, aka partial mastectomy.  My worse case scenario was, of course, the dreaded double mastectomy.  I've often said of the former, that I would definately go for reconstruction.  I mean... I kinda like my breasts.

I was very lucky, if one diagnosed with breast cancer can be called "lucky".  I got the best case scenario, along with getting a wonderful oncologist, who directed me to an equally wonderful surgeon.  Both of them women, and both considered outstanding in their chosen medical field, breast cancer treatment.  My surgeon, during my pre-surgery appointment, asked me: "do you like the way your breasts look now?"  Uh, yes.  (Though I was a bit bewildered by her question.) Then she promised to do her best to make me like them post surgery. (What a great concept!)

Today, 3-months post surgery and 1-month post radiation therapy, I can say she did her job well.  It's not always possible to "save this breast", but sometimes, if you're lucky....

Feeling pretty lucky, Down Here in French Lique.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

OMG! Cancer 2

i suppose if you can get a minor cancer... that's the one I got.  Girlfriends that have had stage 2,3,4... tell me that there IS NO MINOR CANCER. Maybe not. Those girlfriends, that have had radical mastectomy and months of chemo... they say, cancer is cancer... I love those girlfriends. I have 2, very close to me, both with much more serious breast cancers than me... but somehow... we have had much the same experience... and here's why...

Step 1 diagnosis. No matter which stage... this is your "oh shit" moment.

Step 2 reality. "I have CANCER!" We all thought about what surgery would mean.. talked to those closest to us... husbands, children, siblings, best friends. We made up our minds that if we had to go radical, that's what we would do.

Step 3 really reality.  Our oncologist told us what we had to do,...

Step 4 Just do it.  The choice is, just move forward. What else can you do? Give up? Oh hell no.

That damn cancer diagnosis is a funny thing. Not haha funny... just oddly funny.  I think you become more of who you are.  Cancer makes you realize that, life is a short and finite thing.  It makes you examine every aspect of your life in the most condensed way you can imagine.  It makes you "more".

Cancer sucks in the worst way imaginable; and then somehow, on the other side... it becomes a gift.

Just surviving, Down here in French Lique.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

OMG Cancer

wow. I haven't blogged in a very long time. Life kinda grabs you... snd then time goes by so quickly, doesn't it.  I'm going to share some stuff here... don't know if anyone will read it... and that's okay. I'm just putting it into words...

In May this year... 2017, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. It sucks. CANCER! My mind screamed that at me, every day around 5 in the morning.  Between my PCP telling me I had breast cancer, and me seeing the oncologist, was about 2-weeks.  To me, it seemed like a long time to have to wait. I mean, I had this cancer in my breast, eating away at me (she envisions pacman), and why in the hell was everyone else so cavalier? "I have freakin' cancer!"

I won't go into all the torrid details... at least not yet...but the upshot is... stage 1 of a slow growing, estrogen fed (yes, I'm 62 and I still apparently produce estrogen), malignant tumor 9 mm.. a scant 1/4".

Diagnosis... good.  Treatment... worse than the cancer itself.  Partial mastectomy and 6-weeks of radiation treatments.. 5-days a week.. for 6-weeks.  Radiation sucks, but it's better than chemo.

Cancer. It scares the hell out of you. It makes you take stock of your life.

I'm fine now, and awaiting knee replacement surgery (which is what started all this cancer stuff in the first place)... scheduled for December 4th... prayers and sweet comments accepted.. Down Here in French Lique.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Been a long time...

It has been a long time since I have posted on French Lique, Texas blog.  Life has moved on.  My family has lost precious loved ones in the past couple of years.  First, my beloved Uncle Alec... Died age 92.  One week later, on the day of my middle daughter's wedding,  her best friend, my nephew Charlie, died, age 34.

In 2016,  I lost three precious high school friends.... Christie - breast cancer, Bubba - anurism, Andy - lung cancer.  My precious brother-in-law, Ernest,  esophgial cancer... It's been a difficult time down here in French Lique...

2017 - I've gotten off of Facebook... can't stand all the hate.  I'm retiring at the end of they year... "Joy!"  Things at Dylla Farmhouse are very busy.  This is our 3rd year on VRBO with the farmhouse, and this January has been our busiest January ever.  We are already booked for Christmas 2017.  The Dylla Farmhouse has become my favorite business venture ever!

The cabin in Mississippi... still my place of peace and rejuvenation.  It is so welcoming, so serene... when I'm there... I don't want to leave... but Texas calls me home.

2017... now that I'm avoiding Facebook...  I think I'll be blogging more.  I hope so.  Candy (Rock Candy) and I are planning a girlfriends getaway to Warrenton and Roundtop this spring.  I'll be blogging about our trip and our wonspderful finds!

I'm back!!!!!   DOWN HERE IN FRENCH LIQUE...


Saturday, February 28, 2015

A Room with a View at the Farmhouse...

When we purchased the Dylla Family Farmhouse in 2013, there was an old shed in the back yard that was falling down.  The wood was completely rotted, and the bottom half of most of the walls was nonexistent.  Once we took it down, we were left with a 10x10 concrete pad and four rusty steel posts, one at each corner.  Ricky asked me what I wanted to do with it... I said "I think I'll build an outdoor room with a view".  
Finding two old screen doors in the tractor barn at the farmhouse, sent me on a mission to find more.  I scoured the country side for cheap, rusty screen doors and windows.  Including scouring my friend Candy's house... thank you Candy!

that's the old chicken coup to the right of the "room" and our freshly tilled vegetable garden, yet to be planted, to the left...

 Last weekend, Ricky and I brought all the doors and windows out of the barn and started patching them together, to create walls in our outdoor room.  I had a set of rusty bed springs that I used as part of one wall, a small collection of bird houses and... a lovely iron arch that I purchased several years ago from my friends, Glenn and Joe, the Curious Boys.
 The two pink doors, one on the front in this photo, and the other laying horizontally at the bottom of the side wall, were the two that use to hang here, at the farmhouse.  The window screens were all purchased in Roundtop, Texas last spring.  The screen doors on the back wall came from my friend Candy, of  Rock Candy Blogspot.
On the north side, there's a fig tree... and the south side, our big barn...
 I laid everything out the way I wanted it.... and left my darling husband, Ricky, to figure out how to put it together... 
the front of the "room" faces the back of the farmhouse...
 and he did!
and there's the pretty vintage metal swing I purchased from Theresa Halley Cano in Fredericksburg...
 the yellow window screen and the blue screen door came from a vendor in New Braunfels, Texas...
 The tractor shed, shop and corral are on the north side of the "room"...
 I love the way our little space turned out!

 and I love the sweet iron arch of hearts above the entry...
 I wonder if we'll get any permanent visitors to the little bird houses this summer?  
I wouldn't be surprised if we do!

 in the meantime, we'll just sit right here and watch the beautiful south Texas sunsets...

the "view" from the  entry of the "room" is the farmhouse patio...
Loving the little Dylla Family Farmhouse...
Down Here in French Lique...

Friday, January 30, 2015

Anne Lorys Visits French Lique! (And brings her camera with her!)

A few weeks ago, we were honored to have the amazing Anne Lorys (Fiona and Twig) visit our little farmhouse for a photography shoot.  Here are a few photos Anne took and...

Beautiful vintage LuRay Pastel dishes...  The inside of the cabinet was painted with ASCP Duck Egg Blue

Old mirror, found the attic, was grandmothers dressing mirror... circa 1930's


We kept the desk because it was so heavy... then I did an Ombre effect painting of the drawers and "found" the hardware in the barn.  I tied a vintage lace curtain valance around the chair back to "soften" the chairs profile...

if you'd like to see Anne's post, link to "There was a little farmhouse" and more of her beautiful photography...
Everything is beautiful
Down Here in French Lique...

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Annie Sloan to the Rescue!

I purchased this tattered gate-leg table from my friend Theresa Halley-Cano at Fredericksburg Trade Days in late November.  As you can see, it was in pretty bad shape... but... Annie Sloan Chalk Paint (and a little carpentry repair by my sweet Ricky) brought the old girl back to life!
 I'm linking to the Vintage Inspiration Party, Show & Share at Costal Charm, 
so go check it out!


 I ended up mixing up my own paint color after I painted the whole table in the "Florence" aqua green color... it was just too bright... even after putting a liming wax on...
 I used about 6 different paint colors until I finally got to the color of aqua green I really wanted... don't ask... i have no idea what the combination was/is!?!
 fortunately, the legs were in really good shape... so the top was all Ricky had to work on...
 and here she is..  the perfect bedside table in one of the Dylla Farmhouse bedrooms...

Thank you Theresa!
things are getting all bright and shiny at the Dylla Farmhouse...
Down Here in French Lique!


Monday, November 24, 2014

I'm Baaaack! Where have you been Dixie Dylla!

In the past 18 months, Ricky and I have purchased and renovated two vacation destination homes.  This one, a small cabin in the Bienville National Forest in west-central Mississippi.  It is still undergoing its "facelift" and will be ready for vacation rental in the spring, 2015.
visit Four Oaks Cabin Blog here...


 and Ricky's boyhood home, a farmhouse near San Antonio, Texas.  This home is nearly complete and ready for vacation rentals.  This house is situated 15-miles east of San Antonio, off IH10 and 1604 South.  It sits on a 27 acre tract of a working farm/ranch.  A perfect location to visit San Antonio, Austin, New Braunfels and the Texas Hill Country or Texas Gulf Coast.
visit the Dylla Farmhouse blog here...
You can find more photos of each home on their individual blog sites...

Almost finished renovating...
Down Here in French Lique...

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Renovation of the Family Farmhouse...


When my hubby and I purchased his childhood home, after his father passed away last year, we knew we had our work cut out for us.  Renovating a whole house, built in 1960, I wondered (right after the sale closing)... "Have we lost our minds!?"  Today I can answer that question... "No... Not yet!"

I purchased this lovely vintage screen from Theresa Cano of Garden Vntge Antiques.  She has a great new permanent space at Fredericksburg (Texas) Trade Days.  I've incorporated it into our farmhouse decor, and I can't wait to show you how!

So, here's the tease... I'm behind the curtain screen trying to upload photos of the before and after... Be back soon!



Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Curious Boys, Joe Broske Guest Book

If you would like to leave a message for Glenn and the family of Joe Brosko, here's the link...

http://www.treshewell.com
Shy Angel from Glory B's
Fireplace Iron from the Curious Boys

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

My heart is saddened..

My sweet Curious Boys... My heart is saddened to hear that sweet Joe passed away last night.  My deepest sympathy to Glenn and Joe's family.  Joe was a wonderful, creative soul, who I was blessed to know, however briefly.  The world is a better place for him having been in it... Though his time was way too short.  God bless you and hold you closely.  I will miss you sweet friend.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

I is for...

I is for Inspiration...

Looking on blogs and on Pinterest... I find some of the most inspiratonal spaces and places.  One of my favorite photos is of this beautiful old door with tattered wallpaper... I literally look at it almost daily...because of this photo,  I've saved an old green door from the barn... and found some vintage wallpaper, but...
still haven't started the project... an old door turned into a head board..

This photo has inspired me for months... I love it... I love the door... I love the tattered wallpaper... I want it!  So from inspiration to "find!"; this past weekend, when we were camping in Kerrville, I just had to swing by and visit some of my favorite bloggers/junkers... in particular Betsy of Sisters Treasures and Theresa of  Gardens Antqs Vintage... Both would tell you I'm a regular customer... Both would tell you I generally shop with specific ideas in mind...
I didn't have much time this weekend... but that was okay.. cause look what I found at Theresa's booth... a treasure! A dream! I just couldn't believe it!

 not a door... but a screen... with tattered, vintage wallpaper...
INSPIRATION!!

So yes, it was love at first sight... and the price was just right! I can hardly wait to clean it up a little and find a perfect place for it at the farm...
Thank you dear sweet friend Theresa Cano... You absolutely made my weekend!

More fabulous finds for the old farmhouse...
Down Here in French Lique...

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

A Tribute for Lahoma Herron... August, 1921 to April 13, 2013...

I heard from Lahoma's granddaughter, Laura, on Monday.  Sadly, she informed me that Lahoma had passed away earlier this year.  She stumbled upon my posts from 2009, where I had found one of Lahoma's paintings in a Goodwill Store and so, set out to find Lahoma.  I'm reposting the original posts below, just as they were written in 2009.  Lahoma Herron was one fine lady... and this reposting, my Christmas gift to Lahoma and her family...

  Lahoma's painting, stills holds it's place of honor in my home office, where it will be cherished for many years to come...

Down Here in French Lique...

Part 1: Looking for Lahoma Herron

originally published March 19. 2009

I did a little Goodwill shopping a couple of weeks ago when Ricky and I went to drop off a few items... I figured I'd donated at least 20 or so items.. I could stand to pick up a couple of treasures... if I found any.

Lo' and Behold! I found this little treasure... a delicate oil painting... beautifully framed in Paris...
Paris, Texas that is...

There they were those sweet little birds.. sitting on a shelf behind some larger, cheaper looking pictures... mass produced... not original oil paintings... had someone tried to hide this little treasure? Too late... I found it and it is mine... and only $1.99...
An original to be sure... signed right here by the artist... Lahoma Herron... Herron like the bird? Perhaps, Lahoma was or is a bird lover... and an accomplished painter to be sure... But who is Lahoma?There are a few clues hidden back here... on the reverse of this lovely treasure... Let's see what they are... Framed by Vernon Daniel in... look... Paris... Texas...
and signed again on the back by Lahoma... obviously a gift to someone special... and Lahoma... a Christian by all accounts... as she has asked God to bless the receiver of this treasure... and they were a special recipient.. because she signed with "Love"... But where is Lahoma... and how did such a lovely treasure come to be in the picture bin at Goodwill? I'm doing my research... and I think I've found a relative of Miss Lahoma's... I've sent them an email inquiry and am awaiting their response...
Until then... The beautiful treasure, painted by Miss Lahoma Herron, has found a place of honor...
on my freshly painted walls, in my newly redecorated home office...
down here in French Lique...

A little Looking for Lahoma update... I've been in email contact with her Great-Niece Krystal.... Krystal has kindly offered to get me in touch with Lahoma. I'll let you know what happens!
Update #2... I heard from Lahoma's niece, Shelley (Krystal's mom). Shelley is going to contact Lahoma for me... There will be a new post sometime this weekend about Miss Lahoma and her art... stay tuned...

Part 2; Finding Lahoma originally published March 21, 2009

Finding Lahoma was much easier than I had expected... Yes... I have found Lahoma McCollom Herron... 86 years young; still painting, sewing, quilting and crafting, daily, in Robinson, Texas.


The beautiful bird painting was given to a young man whose last name was Daniels. Lahoma believes that the family downsized their living accommodations, and thus... her beautiful painting ended up at the Goodwill... where it found me. Then this morning, about 10 a.m. the phone rang...
I answered.."Hello?"
"Hello Dixie!"... was the reply...
"Lahoma, is that you?" I said...
"Yes dear.. it's me! It's Lahoma."...
and so the 30-minute conversation began.

Lahoma had already read my previous blog post, Looking for Lahoma Herron.  She was thrilled that I had found her painting and that I had taken the time to look for her and to write about her. Everything that I share with you here, I have Lahoma's permission to share... I hope you enjoy her story... 

Lahoma Maxine McCollom was born in Lone Wolf, Oklahoma (and named after her state... OkLahoma) in August of 1921. She Married Eugene Alexander Herron in February of 1939. After WWII, Lahoma and Eugene moved to McLean, Texas and farmed for 17 years.

In McLean, they ran the last "Grade A Raw Milk Dairy" in Texas until the drought.  

During the drought (the 6-yr Texas drought 1951-1956), they had to sell the cattle and find some other means of support.

Eugene went to California and came back with a job setting up and running a bra and girdle factory, where Lahoma also worked for 7-years. 

Finally, "Eugene got fed up with it" and they left the factory and McLean for Paris... Paris, Texas in 1961.






There, Lahoma's Sweet Shoppe was born, where Lahoma turned out all kinds of sweets, candies, cakes and pies.

Eugene passed away in March of 1981... but Lahoma continued to live in Paris.

Lahoma had always wanted to paint pictures, so around 1985 she started taking painting lessons from an artist/teacher in Paris... uh, Texas... 

and Lahoma started painting everything that would take paint. Today she paints on paper, canvas, farm implements, shells, glass... just about everything.

Then in 2003, Lahoma gave up her little house in Paris and moved to Robinson, Texas with her daughter, Lona; where she still resides. She has a walker, which she doesn't use... and one of those little "help I've fallen" beepers... just in case... but she says she doesn't really need either one! 

Each year, Lahoma (or "Aunt Homie" as she is known to her family) hand paints more than 300 Christmas cards for friends and family and mails them out. She said "sometimes they come back with a little note telling (her) that the person is deceased"...
She also has a list of special friends and family that she paints birthday cards for each year.  (In 2009 I was a lucky recipient of one of Lahoma's hand painted cards). 

We talked about my Uncle A and Aunt C (also in their 80's), and how they attend a funeral nearly every week. I told her sometimes Uncle A gets depressed with so many friends and family dying... Lahoma said she doesn't go to funerals because "they are depressin"... and she doesn't like to feel depressed!
She told me that she still loves to sew and quilt... in fact she currently has a "quilt in the frame"... but says she can't do those tiny little 16-stitches-to-the-inch Amish quilts... but she likes to quilt anyway...

What a delight she was to talk to today. I think I could have stayed on the phone with her for hours. She is full of life, and I bet, full of stories too.

 Lahoma and I have exchanged phone numbers and addresses. I think a new friendship has been born... and how lucky I am to be the benefactor of that precious painting... which Miss Lahoma is so proud to know, hangs in a special place in my home where I see it every day.

This little biography of Lahoma Herron will be printed, put into an envelope, and attached to the back of my little painting of birds... Hopefully, 50-years from now when both Lahoma and I are gone.. someone else will find this little painting in a thrift shop somewhere and wonder... "where is Lahoma Herron?"


Just enjoying the view... and the wonder of living... down here in French Lique... thanks Lahoma...

and just a note... Thank you Candy for photo shopping the three pictures of Lahoma for me... The photos of Lahoma's bird painting were taken by me. The rest of the photos you see have been googled and are simply part of my vivid imagination. Thank you for joining me in the search for Lahoma Herron.

Monday, December 2, 2013

H is for...

H is for... Holidays...

I love all holidays... But especially the Christmas and Hanukkah holidays.  Our extended family celebrates both, so lucky us!  It's a special time to be with friends and family, to remember loved ones no longer with us, and to remember the special meaning of this wonderful time.

Wishing you and your loved ones all the joys that the Holidays bring!