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

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Sunday, August 23, 2020

A Love Letter from Down Here in French Lique

                                                                     Hello, everyone!

Are you all well?  I really hope so!

So many things have changed since I last blogged with regularity here.  

I'm now a Retired Lady, a bit unexpectedly.  In the fall, after my annual flu shot, I was stricken with GBS, Gillian Barre’ Syndrome
GBS has altered the trajectory of my life, permanently.  We are learning to live within our new normal. I say we, because my darling Ricky has been affected too. Together we are working to improve this life and make it better than it has been for the past 10-months.
Grey hair and crow's feet showed up unexpectedly and refuse to leave. I’m learning to live with that... sorta... thank goodness for Clairol! 

And my sweet little grandchildren, Little Romeo and Andie-Panda, will be 18 before the year is out. How did we get here so quickly?!

So while I tried very, very, very briefly, and clearly unsuccessfully, to resurrect this blog last year, I finally realized it's time to permanently close the chapter on French Lique, Texas Blog.  

This blog reflects a certain time from my life that no longer exists.  And that's fine on many levels. 

Fortunately, there's also lots to look back on fondly from this blog by way of the friendships, connections, creativity and community that existed here.  In fact, I dearly miss all of those things.

So if anyone out there is still receiving these posts or following along, I bid you a fond farewell.  I’m on to the next chapter of whatever that may be..

Down Here in French Lique...

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Sheltering in place...

Remember the Swine Flu circa 2009?  My BFF (Candy) and I pretty much ignored it, going about out junkin’ shopping that year and whatever else we chose.. we ran across this swine at a trade days shopping excursion in Wimberley, Texas that year.  We had to take the photo... I mean, it was pretty darn funny... right? 
 Fast forward to 2020 and Coronavirus...  now who’s wearing the masks? Not so funny now... right?  
 So... I haven’t seen Candy in months!  Me & Ricky are sheltering in place at our vacation cabin somewhere in the National Forests of Mississippi.  We have everything we need, and most everything we want.  We’ve been working on a complete renovation of our cabin kitchen, and we’re almost done. Thank goodness the government deemed Home Depot & Lowe’s necessary industries to be open!
Someday soon (I hope) life will be back to normal... well, okay... the new normal... and we will be able once again to gather (in groups of 10 or less) keeping social distanced, and enjoy a glass or two to celebrate having survived this calamity of humanness.  We hope and pray you are well and healthy.  Raise a glass (or two) in celebration of being alive & well! As for us, all is well 
Down Here in French Lique...

Friday, January 18, 2019

What’s next

I might think about retiring this year... so what’s next?

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Letter to my younger self...

Letter to my younger self...

There will be times in your life when you think the burdens are too great and you cannot survive, but you will find a way.
You will learn to overcome many obstacles in your pathway, and you will discover that, you are the one that has placed most of the obstacles there yourself.
You will learn to overcome the anger left by a childhood of abuse and neglect, and you will learn how to live without that anger as your wall and your protection.
You will learn to forgive, and you will learn that your forgiveness is more for yourself than for others.  You will learn that forgiving does not mean forgetting, and that sometimes it’s better to walk away rather than to stay and fight.  Everyone has their own path to walk, and at a place in time, it is no longer up to you to point the way.
You will learn that some people are for a season in your life, and some are for a lifetime.  You will learn, sometime in your mid-forties, how to tell which is which, and you will ultimately find peace in this knowing.
You will meet some remarkable people along the way... many of them will share wisdom from their childhoods, wisdoms that you never learned in yours.  They will be kind, and they will help.  You will learn what the word “friend” actually means.
You will have your heart broken many times, but you will learn from each of these heart breaks, and you will recover.
When someone tries to make a decision for you, especially choices regarding men, ignore them. They won’t be right.  Trust your own instincts when it comes to making choices that are suppose to last a lifetime.    You’ll be amazed at how well you know yourself.
When people abuse the friendship you offer... move on. They’re not your friends.  When others blame you for their short comings, know that you cannot “own” others actions, emotions or decisions. You can only effect your own change... no one else’s, no matter who they are in your life.
You will always like the “bad boys” and they will like you.  They are not good husband material. Don’t waste your time with men you don’t want to end up with.
When you come across a quiet man that has an easy smile and nothing to prove.... he’s the one.  Don’t pass him by.
You will find the love of your life, late in life.  He’s been busy taking care of others before he meets you, but he’ll be done before you show up in his life. Be patient with him. He will be well worth the wait.
The road will be long, and often, very difficult.  You will stumble and you will fall; but you will find the strength, deep within yourself, to get back up and keep going.

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...

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Making pillows at the Farmhouse

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!