bounty, Design, Fruit, Happiness Project, Museum Monday

Jeanne Illenye (Exuberance)

When I was younger, I dreamed of being like the Medici family. Buying spectacular art, and helping the artists that I purchased from in any way I could. Having a blog has allowed me to do what I have dreamed of doing.

I have commissioned many paintings from Jeanne, but the one that is the most special is the one here. It has the mixture of everything I love about a still life, little insects, that are representative of life continuing and renewing itself. Little drops of water for the iridescent and fragility of life and the dependency of those little droplets for every living thing.


There are books in the painting, as a reminder how important learning is at any age. Severs porcelain vase that are rare and amazing. Lemons and fruits that are from California. The peonies are reminders of my home state, Indiana. Where we always had Peonies growing in our yard. We would spend hours watching the ants work on the peonies, like they knew the flowers would not be open for very long. One month, which may arguably be the most important month in Indianapolis, May, race month.  Jeanne Illenye got everything I ask for in the painting. Now, it hangs in my dining room as a reminder of beauty and fleeting moments.

If you are interested in the work of Jeanne Illenye, here is her website.


Men in The Military…John Russell Spink

My grandfather was a mysterious man, and one of few words. My cousin sent me this photo, and he almost looks like he is smiling. I am sure all of us grandchildren saw him differently because the relationships he had with each of us was different. I never heard him utter more than a few words. He always sat in the same chair watching a game show. He always seemed annoyed, but I am sure there  were other sides of him I did not know.

He was born in October in 1907 in Elizabeth town, Kentucky. At some point his family uprooted their lives in Kentucky and headed to Indiana. By 1910 his family was living in Indianapolis, Indiana. In 1917 United States declared war on Germany, and John was ten years old.

In 1925 the deadliest tornado in history struck the midwest, and John lived to tell the tale of the monster storm.

In 1930 he moved to Portsmouth, (Independent City) Virginia. He was still single at the time. In January 1930 he joined the U. S. Marines. He reenlisted in September of 1930.

In 1935 he may have married a woman named Mary Wiley. This is a bit of a mystery…there is a record of someone with the same name, marrying one, Mary Wiley in Marion County, Indianapolis Indiana. So, it is neither confirmed or denied.

March the 29the 1941 he reenlisted for World War II at Fort Benjamin Harrison, Indiana.

By 1945 he is listed in the telephone directory with wife Opaline, but they were married before that time. I have not been able to find the marriage certificate. By 1945 the two of them have had four children.

Over the years he worked to support five children. He worked in at a tar company, so that could not have been easy work. He worked the late shift, and slept during the day.



Bathroom Furniture

Antiquing is a passion. I love old things, shiny things, things that reflect and refract light. When shopping for antiques, there needs to be a feeling about the piece. Usually, when I see it I just know, but there have been things I have purchased, and they just did not fit.

Once, I purchased this beautiful library table when I lived in Indianapolis. I saved my money week by week. Visited the piece, and just looked at it. Finally, I got to bring it home. The gentlemen that worked at the antique store brought it the long flight of stairs. It looked great. Then, I had to go and buy a file cabinet, it didn’t fit under the table. I sawed off the feet with a knife. Yep!

When my husband and I went house hunting several years ago we loved a piece of furniture, and have been wanting a piece like it since the first time we saw it. When we purchased this house we had the perfect place to add the furniture. Now, we had to find it.

A couple of weeks ago I was hell bent to find the piece. I went to an antique store, and ask them for a secretary side by side, they had one. They had just bumped the price down on it the day before I came into the shop. I purchased it, and we went to get pick it up a week later.

Here is what it looks like in my bathroom…IMG_2990