Thursday, November 5, 2009


A lovely, old Irish saying meaning a "Hundred Thousand Welcomes." Being old and Irish myself, I thought I'd use this greeting as the title for my new Thursday blog feature. The phrase has special meaning for me because my great-aunt Hannah(Johannah) and her husband, John Henry (Harry) Phelan, built an opulent home in Beaumont (my home town) in 1928 named CÉAD MÍLE FÁILTE, located on the corner of 11th Street and Calder Avenue. My brother and I grew up hearing stories about "The Big House." At one time it had an art studio, a miniature golf course, stables, a swimming pool, a bowling lane, and a $25,000 pipe organ! Architect Owen James Trainor Southwell, a long-time friend of the family who grew up with the Phelan children, designed the overall project. The Phelan children recently donated the house to the sisters of St. Elizabeth for their hospital complex.
I would never need a home of that stature, but I do love knowing that my Daddy played there as a boy and that it is part of my family history. (By the way, where in the hell did all that money go? Not this way, I assure you.)
It seems fitting then to use that home's name as your invitation to come on inside and peek around my home on Thursdays. I've spent so much time showing you what's happening
outside that I'd like to bring you inside for a little visit every now and then. I do so love my home. It's filled with light, love, dirt and color - lots and lots of color (and, if I am to be honest, lots and lots of dirt). Now, listen, I'm tellin' ya, I'm not gonna show you the ugly stuff - the pile of laundry, the unmade bed, the dishes in the sink, the ring around the tub, etc.. I'm going to clean up all around the shot and move things just so and wait until there's no slobbering dog in the way. It's kind of cheating, but who cares? If you wanted to see a pile of laundry you'd go look in your own house, right? Har Har.

The only thing more endearing than the art of a child? A perfectly red cabinet found at a thrift store for $10 (TEN!!!) dollars.

I'm in a "basket phase" right now. I was in an "Ikea plastic bins phase" for awhile, but I got overwhelmed with the, well, plasticness of it all. I recently scoured the thrift stores for several large baskets to put Finn's toys in. They look so lovely and Waldorfy. Don't be too impressed, just to the left of this shot is a stack of movies mostly involving violent superheroes and a big shelf full of Wii games. We are very fond of the middle way around here. We grow some of our own food, but we're not afraid of tater tots with cheese and a cherry limeade every now and then.

Practically every person who comes into our house walks straight to this red thing and says, "What is this?" It's a mirror from Ikea. You open it up to reveal the mirror and there are some little pockets on either side for treasures. They don't sell them anymore and I wish they did because I would give one to everyone I know. They are sooo cool. That's a sweet hand light switch found in New Mexico, and a wonderful photograph of Finny entitled, ZOOM. It was taken by our friend, Autumn Fawn.
We'll do it again soon. Next Thursday, actually. Course my house is so small, this feature may run out in a couple of weeks or so. Maybe then I'll move on to showing you the dark side of it all. Bathtub ring, anyone?


  1. In a home so obviously filled with love who would even consider thinking any thoughts about it not being "hospital" clean?

    What a wonderful person you are and your family is a reflection of your influence.
    Oh, if only I could do it over...........

  2. merrymerry - What kind, kind words! You did JUST fine the first time. Where do you THINK I got my uber style sense FROM?

    Maureen - Aye, lassie. See you Sunday. Call when you're up and coherent.

  3. Family and relationships are always paramount to a clean house. If Finnigan and Jack Daddy feel loved & happy, that's what counts.

    Also, I'll show you my bathtub ring if you'll show me yours.

    I love the little red cabinet. It's darling and shabby chic. The mirror is also so unusual. Some of my best stuff has been loved previously. The 1940's desk I type on now was owned by an Austin American Statesman journalist who was put into a nursing home in the early 1980's. I think of him sometimes as I type. It's also shabby chic.--Chippy paint but very sturdy.

  4. What beautiful and warm spaces! I think taking the time to get little corners of our home just right-- even if that only lasts as long as a shutter click-- are great opportunities to fall in love with our place all over again:)

  5. O I so wish I could wiggle my nose and be at your front door this morning. I will try with all my heart to come see you the next time I'm in Austin.

  6. You find the greatest "finds!" I love that red cabinet. And baskets, well, yes, I have that basket thing going on, too. Everything has a basket. Is it some female gene there? And I love the "middle way." Now I want some tater tots with cheese.

  7. "..clean up all around the shot and move things just so.." - think that's the method used by many a garden blogger, too!

    Love the mirror and the red cabinet and the baskets. I've been stuck in my "basket phase" for about 25-years.

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  8. I love the title you chose for this series...and the story behind it. If you look at pictures taken inside my house on my blog you will almost always find they are all taken very close in...hmmm...wonder why?

    these are lovely shots of your home. I love the touches of red.

  9. How very gracious of you to share your warm indoor spaces as well as your wonderful out of doors ones.

    Friendly eyes see right past bathtub rings just the way they gloss over weedy patches, right? Definitely....

    We have been through plastic bin stage, basket stage, glass container stage, bucket stage (that is a fun one!) and now are in what I'd have to call combo stage. Whatever works, I'll use that. Maybe I should call it my Practical Stage?

  10. OOOH! I looove the red cabinet. I am totally on the hunt for something just like that right now. Haven't found it yet, though... I'm a basket collector, too. They are so cheap and beautiful. I got some little round ones with lids in Mexico that are adorable. Most of mine are thrifted, though.


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