Welcome to my little world! My name is Donna and I'm the mother of one very spoiled kitty named Clarice. I was a banker for over 20 years but now I'm a SAHM and loving every minute of it. I'm a super, huge Bon Jovi fan and an avid cross stitcher. I love decorating my home with flea market finds, primitive style items and vintage items. My hubby says if the last three generations threw it out as trash it'll end up in our house as a decoration.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

So barely 20 days ago we were in the hotel

First off let me explain that this post will be picture heavy and probably quite lengthy.  So grab a cup of your poison of choice and settle in for a long, much awaited (lol) update on the Harris family.

We officially moved in August 17th and have been working our butts off to make this apartment into our peaceful home.  Mark is under a lot of stress and yes, I do mean more than his norm so I wanted the home to just surround him, nurture his spirit and welcome him to a sanctuary when he walks in the door.  Not an easy feat when you have no car or don't speak the language and trying to find stuff at stores, on line, ect... But we are getting there so I'm gonna put some pics on of the progress so far.  It's a work in progress but that's how I always view my homes no matter where I live. Now remember no kitchen, no over lights, no closets or even bathroom fixtures come in an unfurnished apartmentin Germany.  Now you see why I said working our butts off? 

Clarice has adapted remarkably will which is probably due to the fact that she now has room to roam, play and escape us instead of being tethered to a windowsill every minute.  She loves walking out on the balconies and watching the world go by.  As a matter of fact, she just jumped off the back of the couch, stretched real big and walked outside to watch some workers in the park.  Speaking of the park, she has been for 3 walks over there and loves every minute of it. We have had older people stop to pet her and children just adore it because there is just something really funny about a Katzen walking on a leash in the park!  I enjoy the cool shade and read while she explores.  Thank goodness that Auntie Donna Davis got her a retractable leash because it gives her much more range than the little cat leash that I had bought her.  We are still debating keeping her "Soft Claw" caps on her nails because Mark doesn't like them but if she starts scratching the furniture I say they stay on.  Just think of them like nail tips so they don't hurt her but Mark thinks she pounces less when they are on so he doesn't like them. 

I have discovered the Antik Store that Mark found before we moved over here and I love it!  It's a family run business with an older couple and their daughter who looks about my age.  They carry a lot of stuff like primitives and dusty stuff that looks like it hasn't moved in years.  I have been there twice already and got some just amazing stuff, free delivery and established a friendship already.  Of course, guess that's easy when you are throwing money around...LOL!  Seriously, I was able to haggle a little which was fun for both of us...I think!  I know I came away just bubbling over with excitement which scared Mark nearly to death....OMG, She's already found a place to spend my hard earned money...LOL!  Doesn't take me long does it?  These people just have amazing stuff and it's packed to the ceilings, piled up, some outside with tarps (which of course is my favorite area) and some storage buildings.  I just ran around like a kid in a candy store those 2 times and must have made 10 or 12 passes with piling stuff at the register before I finally said I was ready to discuss price.  Now I should explain that it's been in the high 80's to 90's here with no air conditioning so I was a sweaty mess by the time I was ready to start haggling.  I think they really felt bad for the poor fat, sweaty American so they actually threw a few items in for free.  I was beyond thrilled and I think they will be too when I go show them the pictures of what I have done with the stuff now.

One last story then I'll start adding pictures.  Those that know we all too well will remember that I am a mystery novel junkie.  I think it all started with my addiction to Nancy Drew novels as a child but I admit I like nothing better than reading mystery, crime novels.  So our last week at the hotel proved that I may be a little paranoid from all that I have read.  I walked the contents of the litter box(ewww) over to drop into the hotels garbage area late one evening.  It was really dark and it's about 1/2 a block from where we were staying.  As I started back thru the empty street, I realized it was very dark and isolated back there which was spooky.  Then I started across the street and I heard a man's dress shoe footsteps behind me along with the swooshing of his pant legs.  I didn't want to turn around so I just increased my pace a little but knowing that I had to walk into a dark alley to get to our room was scaring me a little.  I look up and see Mark working at the computer with his back turned to the window, Clarice sitting in the window and I wonder if they will hear me if I start yelling.  The guy turns and starts down the alley right behind me and at this point I'm almost running.  Yep this is it is what I'm thinking.....he's gonna grab me and Mark not have a clue what happened.  It's every mystery novel"s plot happening to me!!!!!  Yep, you got it...he was staying in the building right next to ours but I didn't know that until I broke out into a run, swiped my card and quickly pulled the main doors shut.  I ran up the stairs just about in a panic and I looked outside our window in time to see him swipe his card in the other building and go inside.  I was so out of breath that it took a couple of minutes for me to calm down to explain to Mark what was going on.  After we had a good laugh over it, he decided that he'd take whatever items needed to be thrown out after dark from then on.  I felt so silly afterwards but also very happy that it was just my imagination running away with me instead of some psycho man!

And to quote Bugs Bunny:  On with the show this is it!!!!  Now admit it how many of you just sang that line and thought of all the characters walking on stage? 

We arrived and now where to store everything
I must decorate even the hotel nightstand that first day

Clarice makes herself at home right away!

Finally Moved in!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Master bedroom and I brought the quilt and all bedding with me from home.  Just stuff I had collected but not yet using yet.  I'm a bargain hunter extreme just like my Granny was.  She's say "Don't know what I'm gonna do with it yet but it was a bargin and if I just take it out and bury it in the yard, it was still a bargin"  God, I miss my Granny
Mark's nightstand which is actually a huge hanging cupboard but since we need a place to store his sleep machine I thought this was perfect.  And I only paid $20 euros for it which is about $28.00 US
Ikea lamp with some of my small sewing items in it on his nightstand.  It took me several hours to pry the top off, put the smalls in and figure out how to rewire the dang thing.  They don't want you to do this obviously but I had other ideas.  What else is new?
My makeup table since we only have one bathroom this was a must have item for the bedroom.  Again $20 E and they threw in the pail that I'm using as a trashcan for free
Hope to find more Putz sheep while we are living here but these 2 I brought from my very small collection at home
Yes she made the trip with me as well because you can never have enough primitive dolls around and she's sitting on the huge windowsill in the master bedroom
This is in the entrance hall and Mark made the lights for me.  I knew I wanted huge hanging laterns but couldn't find them over here.  But I did find garden lights to be used with candles so you know us, cut the bottoms out and wired them up.  Perfect and just what I had in mind for this massive hallway.

Living Room light fixture which is a wire lampshade structure that was covered in vinyl, made to look like leather and I cut it off the frame.  The antik lady gave it to me for free and if you'd seen it before you'd think she got the better end of the deal.  Ha, ha!  I knew it would be perfect wired up so Mark did just that then we covered the cored with rope.  I love it!!!!!!
Clarice's chair with my $10E stool as a side table and my $10E solid pewter lamp. Alnog with a coverlet/throw I brought from home. Look at the awesome pail that we are using as a trashcan and it was $5E
Living room sofa and Mark picked the fabric.  I do think it's growing on me now that the room is starting to come together.
Living room wall with stitching I did earlier in the year but framed over here.  The $5E carrier that I put in some of my smalls that I brought with me.  The heart shaped rock was found on our lot in Arkansas when we built our home and it's been in all the others since.  It's just a small way of always carrying home with us no matter where we are living
I did this to honor my Mamma earlier this year and she passed away last week so how fitting that I was framing it myself the day she passed.  I'll miss her and so happy that I did this to honor her before she passed.
My $5E stool with Clarice's KitCat sitting on it.  I just love that someone found this piece of tree and envisioned a stool out of it.  Wow it's a piece of art as well as functional since it holds the living room door open.
Kitchen is finally done!  I will need to declutter my shelves by moving my glassware but first I need to collect more yellowware.  The pitchure on top was $3E and simply gorgeous!
The crock was $5E and the old wooden spoons were free
Finally got my farmhouse sink or atleast the Ikea version of a farmhouse sink

German wine and beer crates to use as storage $5E each.  The white and black graniteware on the racks are from home.  Got the 2 cups at Goodwill for .99 cents before we moved and the cup with spout is a very special gift from a wonderful lady, Eileen that I have the pleasure of calling my friend.  It belonged to her husband Robert as a child and when he passed she gave it to me because she knew how much I loved old things.  I think of her and Robert everytime I walk into my kitchen.  That man made the best fudge in the world!
My farmhouse kitchen table.  I paid more for the wood glue than I did for the table.  LOL! It's just weathered to perfection for us and after a polish of bees wax just as smooth as a baby's butt
My antik breadboard is huge and only cost me $5E  I wish she had a few more of these beauties though I'm loving the simple look of this one board on that wall
Functional and pretty to look at

Finally my favorite space in the whole apartment.  Now according to the owners, this was the first "fridge" when the apartment was built over 100 years ago.  I don't know if that's true but I just love this little space
Isn't it just too cute?  And since it's all "stone" I can burn my tart burner in there without worrying about burning the entire place down.  Sure happy I held onto that old thing all these years because it's perfect here

Ok that's all for now boys and girls but we sure to tune in again real soon and we'll continue to Prim up Germany together!


  1. Oh my goodness where do I start?
    First of all, your mother passed away last week? I am so sorry!
    You certainly have the gift of making a house a home! I love all the things you have found there. What a deal!
    Your kitty looks like he approves.
    Been thinking of you.....


  2. I had no idea you had to furnish everything! Kitchen, lights - WOW. Everything you've done so far looks wonderful and I simply love the bread board you found.

    Glad your cat will walk on a leash - both of mine just sit and will not walk, no matter how much coaxing we do.

    Keep up the good work! Have fun with more haggling in your new favorite store.

  3. I am sooo sorry you lost your mother. Many blessings to you and your family. The apartment looks wonderful and homey! I wish I was there shopping with you. I just love the things you have found. I can't wait to see more bargins! Let me know what you are stitching when you get more settled. Oh, keep your buns in after dark...I read mysteries too!! I did sing the Bugs Bunny song...my very favorite cartoon growing up!!

  4. Looks like you got it going on, Donna!

    So sorry to hear about your mother.

    I love the stump stool (bed pig). Very unique. I am your newest follower. Good to catch up.


  5. I'm sorry I should have said that my grandmother or Mammaw as we called her passed last week at the age of 92. It's never easy to lose someone that you love and being far from home and family made it even harder. But the feisty old gal lived to be 92 and just this past year started having health issues. She was a great woman and we'll all feel her loss but happy that she's no longer suffering.


I'd love to hear your comments good or bad so chat away!