Thursday, December 23, 2010

Stevens-Johnson Syndrome

It has been almost three years now since my oldest son Aaron developed Stevens-Johnson Syndrome and its more insidious form called TENS. The syndrome manifests from an allergic reaction to over-the-counter or prescription drugs and is deadly and has life long consequences for those that survive.
Early diagnosis of Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS) is the key to survival of this hideous condition. Because it is rare (or so they say) very few health care providers are aware that it exists and many people afflicted die going undiagnosed.

I am taking a few minutes here to post this public service announcement to advocate for better education in the health care profession for SJS awareness. I am also advocating for personal awareness. If you or a loved one develops any kind of a rash that involves blistering, especially around the area of the lips, mouth, and throat, please, please, please seek medical attention immediately and raise the issue of SJS with your Doctor and ask them to do an Internet search for information about it and then follow up with it on your own and find another Doctor if the Doctor you are seeing does not.
Many of you long time readers of Life At Home will remember Aaron's battle with SJS. For new readers or any one coming here for information I refer you to my side bar categories list where if you scroll down you will find a category labeled Stevens-Johnson Syndrome. There are 49 entries in the category so I would suggest you scroll to the beginning to read through the progression of Aaron's case.
There is not much technical information in the blog posts, they are mostly a Mother's heart being poured out for support while going through the ordeal of a sick child.

For more technical information about SJS for any one afflicted with it, or that has a loved one experiencing it, I would direct you to the SJS website but I issue this warning that it is not a pleasant subject to delve into right before Christmas and the pictures shown there are beyond (though accurate) graphic and horrifying so enter the area with pictures with caution.

Links are provided on the SJS website for those interested in donating to raise awareness. Aaron and I thank you in advance for anything you can give.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Hopefully you are all keeping your cool during these last few days before Christmas. We had our family celebration here a couple of weeks ago so the bulk of my shopping, wrapping, cooking, cleaning, and hostessing are complete. You would think that this week would have gone smoothly, and it has for the most part, but yesterday I felt like I might be loosing it with papers piled a mile high on my desk and the ghosts of things undone all came rushing in at once.

I was on the phone most of the day with our insurance prescription provider, then with Boyne Highlands and Dad trying to get rooms reserved for the overflow up north next week. Stacks of menu ideas, grocery & to do lists, year end charitable giving lists, graduation and wedding cards to get in the mail (added anxiety about being so negligent), Christmas pictures to download and forward were all piling up. Hurt feelings soothed and confusion clarified.
This morning though I woke up with a new attitude. These smiling faces greeted me on my computer and reminded me that all is right with the world even if I don't get every thing done.

I am so grateful for the grace that my family and friends give me, and we give each other, year in and year out for my, and their, short comings. Isn't that one of the best gifts we can share with each other?

Blessings and grace I share with You my kind reader. As you go about your day may the peace of the Lord be with you. Smiles all around!
Pictures of our Grand Children
Ashley Privite

Monday, December 20, 2010

A Visit To Meadow Brook Hall

Tonight we are going to visit one of America's Castles. Meadow Brook Hall is located on the property of Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. They open the house every year for their main fundraiser, a Holiday Walk.
Here is a closer picture of the enterance.
The picture above is of the Banquet Hall.
Here is the fireplace in the Main Hall beautifully decorated for the Holiday Walk.
This is the living room fireplace.
I love the paneling in Mrs. Wilson's Study
Meadow Brook Hall is a place for the community and its visitors to be entertained, educated and inspired by history. As Meadow Brook Hall is fully self-funded, it relies on events such as the annual Holiday Walk for its preservation and interpretation.

You can read about the history of this interesting house and view more pictures at the link below.

Pictures courtesy of Meadow Brook Hall website

Friday, December 17, 2010

Favorite Things

Well the neighbors may have questioned the sight of me outside this morning in my robe and PJ's but I wanted to get this picture for you so it was worth it....

One of my favorite things is having our dry cleaning picked up and delivered. Every week I hang the cute yellow bag the cleaners provides us on the front door and in a couple of days they bring us beautifully laundered and pressed shirts and pants. The best part of this small luxury is that they provide this service for FREE....

Thank you Bella Cleaners of Shelby Twp., Michigan. If you are in this area you might want to give them a try or ask the dry cleaner that you are using if they provide this luxurious service. It really is one of my favorite things.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Two New Books

The books that I ordered months ago, before they were released, were delivered a couple of weeks ago. These beauties will be my project today.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

It Is Freezing Here In Michigan

I am ready to fly off to any where that is warm. From the looks of the weather maps that might have to be somewhere outside of the US.

We celebrated Christmas here at our house last weekend. Today my plan was to head up north for a party with my girl friends but the black ice covering the roads is keeping me home ;( Hopefully by Christmas Eve the weather will be better so we can make it home for the final family Christmas celebration.

During the spring, summer, and fall I don't have any problem jumping in the car and traveling all over the state. When Winter hits I get much more cautious. The least bit of potential for slippery roads keeps me house bound. It is a good thing I love ~ Life At Home ~.

Well, since I have no plans to jet off to warmer weather any time soon, and I have to miss all my girly friends, I better go find a project to get busy with around here. One can only watch so many episodes of The Real Housewives and I think I have reached my saturation level.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Techno Tike's

This was the scene yesterday at our house. Nine Grandchildren all over the house plugged into their new Pottery Barn Kids personal DVD players with matching headphones.
I hope you all are enjoying this lovely time of year with the ones you love!

Monday, December 06, 2010

Christmas Past

It has been so long since I have blogged it is hard to remember how. Anyway, how is everyone? Thank you for the kind expressions of sympathy. This is a difficult time of year for those of us that have lost loved ones and my heart goes out to all who are dealing with their losses.
Friday we have the family coming to our house to celebrate Christmas. This year we got one of the new pre-lit, slim Christmas trees that they had at Costco. It will be our only decoration this year. With Thanksgiving close to the end of November, an early celebration to accommodate family commitments, milestone birthdays to commemorate and my general funk it will have to do.
Life At Home, or any where for that matter, always has its ups and downs. The second half of this year has been weighted more to the down side but I look forward to a new year. With all the problems of last year filed away as life being lived, lessons learn, and memories saved we all move on. We make the best of what we have left with the ones we love and carry on.
Blessing and much love,

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Missing My Mother

I am sad to report that the keeper of this lovely house died on September 28th after a 15 year battle with Alzheimer's. Mom also had heart problems that created problems that could not be overcome. She died peacefully surrounded by her family.

This is a picture of Mom at last years CMU Homecomings parade. RIP Mom.

Monday, June 28, 2010

The Summer Shuffle

The mirror from the foyer is now in the dining room.

I added a few old leather books to the living room.

It cost me a broken window but finally the trays that I have had for years are hung over the fireplace.
This is a close up of the mirror that I am contemplating for the foyer

So what do you think? Is it a keeper?

Friday, May 28, 2010

Porch Season

Porch season has finally arrived here in Michigan.The morning pool skimming, flower watering, and flowering plant feeding is in full swing. My back door chaise lounge is beckoning me to get out there for some PTH (peak tanning hours) tan time.

John wanted a rainbow of flowers this year with nothing hanging down to get in the way of his constant grooming of said porch so I complied and picked out sun loving plants in a rainbow of colors for him to plant....Roy G. Biv (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet and indigo) kept running through my head as we cruised the rows of blooms at the nursery.

With the morning chores out of the way it is time for a Friday mani & pedi, a couple of hours of sun, wardrobe change, hair and makeup then out to dinner with friends on our other favorite porch at Brio, a show, then music in the town center.
Tomorrow morning trips all over the neighborhood markets for fresh produce and fodder for the grill for the family and friends that will be joining us to celebrate the Memorial Day holiday weekend that we observer here in the US to honor our Veterans.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

No More Golden Oak

I am still on the hunt for the perfect carpet but the stair case is painted. Thanks to Ryan and Mike, my fabulous painters, for a job well done.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Welcome Spring

Happy Spring!
We are finally getting the stairway painted. The painter's started last Thursday and promise to be finished by this Wednesday. At this stage it looks terrible.....We had house guests this weekend that were kind enough to tolerate the light coating of dust that has permeated the entire house. Of course I did the best I could to remove as much as possible before their arrival but I am afraid the thin haze of gunk remained where least expected.
I hope you are enjoying Spring where ever you are.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Guest Blogger Today is Blake Moore

Dear Aidan, Have a nice day. Have fun at school. I am staying with my Grandma. Good by.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

~ Spring ~

So is everyone in the northern hemisphere enjoying this glimpse of spring that we have been getting recently? We had a great time in Florida last week. After 5 weeks on Weight Watchers the Lilly bathing suits worked out alright.
Since we got back from Florida I have been working on putting away the heavy winter clothes and bringing out a few lighter pieces. We can not be certain here in the north that we will not get another snow storm until around the end of April but I am feeling like it is safe to start thinking about spring at this point in time.
Today is supposed to be beautiful so I am heading to the outlet mall at Birch Run to meet a couple of my girls and their boys for some pre-season shopping. I have some birthday gifts to buy and then on to some of my favorite outlet stores. The Ralph Lauren outlet store is starting a sale today so that will be on my list of must stop shops. JCrew, Brooks Brother's and Coach are a few other ones that I hope to get to if I have enough time. I will let you know if there are any great buys out there.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Fun In The Sun

March came in like a lamb here in southeast Michigan. Yesterday we had beautiful sunshine warm enough to start melting the 10 inches of snow that we received last week. Just the kind of weather needed to get me in the mood for our up-coming trip to Florida. From the looks of the extended weather forecast for southern Florida next week it should be clear sailing for soaking up some Florida sunshine.
My sun soaking attire needed to be refreshed this season so while holding my breath I nervously order a couple of two piece bathing suits. I was holding my breath because I have not attempted to wear a two piece for many, many years. I really wanted to be able to sit in the sun with out wadding up the skirt and tucking in the straps of my old skirted tankinis to get an even tan so I placed the order.

The package came yesterday and to my surprise they fit. Three weeks of Weight Watcher's helped a little. The little sundress coverups help a lot!

The plan is to wear the little dress over the two piece and only remove it when reclining on the pool lounge chair.

Thank you Lilly Pulitzer for these generously cut, well fitting bathing suits, and for letting me borrow your pictures.
I have been busy with house guests and getting ready for our trip so have not had much time to get around to visiting all of you but I miss you and hope you are well.

Monday, February 22, 2010

The Perfect Cottage

Last spring we looked at this old, old cottage and we were instantly smitten.
It has four separate little cottage apartments all connected to this huge common screened in porch that faces the water.

The old boat house has room for three good sized boats.

This is the view from the water.

Can't you just imagine lazy summer days spent here?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Dining Room Bay Window

Welcome! Last week, while rearranging, I brought this demilune table down stair to put in the dining room bay window. The half moon shape made it easy to push back into the bay window to fill that akward space. The curved front leaves room on the edges to easily walk around it.
A few favorite pieces add to the vignette.

In this close up picture are a MacKenzie-Childs dinner plate in the green Honeymoon pattern and a set of pot de creme dessert pots on a matching serving tray.

They are flanked by a pair of custom lamps.

This pair of romantic Staffordshire figurines came from Longton Hall, an antique shop, in Petoskey, Michigan. I am not sure if Longton Hall is still there but if it is you might want to stop by if you are in the area. They carry a beautiful selection of Staffordshire figurines, as well as furniture imported from England and Scotland.

When I worked for Patricia Woods & Co. in Harbor Springs Pat had these figurines made into lamps for me. I love the fabric she selected for the lamp shades. If I am not mistaken, I think that she hand painted the bases to coordinate with the shade.
Sadly, she closed the shop last year. Pat has her permanent home in Dallas and summered in Harbor Springs where her shop was located. It was such a privlige and honor to work for, and learn from her. This pair of lamps will forever remind me of the time I spent with her and all of the knowledge that she so generously shared.
Thanks for stopping by ladies.