8 McDowell


By |2016-08-06T17:51:10-04:00August 7, 2016|8 McDowell, Shopping|

The day finally arrived for the new SILGRANIT sink and
Quartz countertops.

We have never, in all the many, many years we have been married and owned houses, done such a renovation to a kitchen! I know, so many people gut and renovate (almost at the drop of a hat, it seems…) but for us this was truly a first. We have painted, we have had new appliances, we’ve installed new lighting but this is the first time I have actually chosen a new sink and countertop!

IMG_1875_wm This is the now-gone Corian counter and sink.


IMG_1922_wm Oh that sink…it never got really clean.

And, ta da, here is the new one:



But, of course, it’s not just the new sink that is SO fabulous, but the new countertops.
We chose Viatera ‘Minuet’ Quartz. Yes, it looks a lot like marble, doesn’t it? But I definitely did not want marble and was not crazy about the granite choices. Our center island is granite, but it’s dark and looks wonderful. I’m not a fan of the lighter granite colors as they show so much […]


By |2016-07-31T16:54:19-04:00July 31, 2016|8 McDowell, Shopping|

So many sinks to choose from!

Corian Kitchen Sink IMG_1877_wm This is one corner of our current sink. Read on to learn why I can’t wait to change it!

If, like me, you are considering replacing your kitchen sink, here are the basics you need to consider:

1. What material do you want? The most popular fabrications are stainless steel, natural stone (soapstone in particular), cast iron, composite granite and copper. Stainless steel is by far the most popular. This article in Houzz,
“Selecting Your Sink Material,”
explains it well.

2. What configuration do you want? Do you like one big sink or do you want it divided? There are MANY pros and cons of each, and each type has its fans.
For ME:  I do not want my drying rack to sit on the counter. That is probably the most important consideration for me. The sink we have now is split, 50/50, and the drying rack sits nicely inside the right hand sink. Perfect. But yes, it would be nice to have a larger sink on the left to do pots. As it is, we are squeezed into a small space. So, I was looking for a double sink but a larger one.

3. The installation type. This is how the […]


By |2016-05-12T21:36:12-04:00May 12, 2016|8 McDowell, Friday Flowers|

What a difference a week can make.

This was happening, just one week ago:


This is what it did to the leaves of my Colocasia, Phlox and Cannas. At first I thought something had been eating them, but then realized these large leaves had been torn by the hail. Luckily it is early in the season and all new leaves will be fine. Amazing, no?

hail damage leaves_wm

Today, one week later, we have this romantic, serene and very feminine view in the garden:


This rose was a gift to me from a dear friend who has since moved away. I’ve looked everywhere for the name and can’t find it but I’m pretty sure it is
“New Dawn.”

In any case, it loves the hot, South/West position against the white fence. It has now been here for four years and, with annual pruning, it has tripled in size. While I am not really a rose person, I adore this one!


Happy Weekend to all!



By |2016-05-08T16:33:17-04:00May 8, 2016|8 McDowell, Shopping|

The subject today is choosing a mattress!
It’s a mine field, right? How in the world do you choose the best mattress for YOU?

There are hundreds of brands at many different mattress and home furnishings stores. And then there is the on-line choice.


So, let me tell you my own story and maybe it will help you.

We had a foam mattress. It was the first of that kind we had bought and we bought it when they were fairly new and novel : read expensive and hard to find.

We paid a fortune for our queen size. Then we also bought a box spring to go with it which, when they arrived at our house, didn’t fit up the stairs so back it went to be redelivered as a “split box.” So we have two separate box units that equal a queen size. Are you with me?

We loved it! There was a slight issue with the warm feeling that many people feel: the foam somehow increases the body heat and sort of traps it underneath you. Well, luckily that problem disappeared for us with a week. We were totally sold on the foam concept versus a coil or spring […]


By |2016-04-03T16:53:04-04:00April 3, 2016|8 McDowell, Color, Garden|

As I write this, the weekend is almost over.

Let me share with you some of my “Sunday Best”: the small and large things that happened around here this weekend!

First, daughter arrived and is here for three days. That is always
a good thing.

Prepping before going out to do some shopping. Mother/daughter shopping is one of life’s finest experiences I have found. My daughter and I just get along. We have fun together (as you have seen from our various trips and travels…)

E and me

Second, I entertained thirty four women on Saturday morning for our monthly women’s group. This is the third year I have hosted the group the first Saturday in April and it is no coincidence that my tulips in the front garden are at their peak this week.


I’m liking the display this year, but you know, I think there is something missing in here. I wish I had planted some lavender tulips, or perhaps a deep purple/black. It needs some oomph and more color. But that is exactly why I pullout all my tulips every year and start again for the next season. Part […]


By |2016-02-28T14:27:12-05:00February 28, 2016|8 McDowell, Color, Shopping|

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint to the rescue!

The Ikea three-drawer dresser we had, the Aneboda, was discontinued about a year ago. But oh, did we get lots of use from two dressers and one tall five drawer dresser. Years and years. We still had one which lives in our guest room and is in beautiful shape. Not a thing wrong with it and still very solid. But the time had come (was overdue?) for a paint job. And new hardware.

The finished product:

Ikea Aneboda dresser IMG_0386_wm

This from an old catalog image:


And this, in situ, almost ready for the transformation to begin:

IMG_9888_wm Oh, those wooden “handles”…why, oh why, didn’t I change them out years ago?

I used “Napoleonic Blue.”

The first coat of this paint is always kind of “iffy” as it looks just awful. AWFUL. Streaky. Thin. No coverage. If you’ve never used this kind of paint…well, just be patient. Wait a few hours; let this first coat dry thoroughly, and wait until you see the second coat!


Here, the lighting is terrible as I took […]

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