Saturday Spotlight: Life Behind the Blogger

Susan from Must Love Junk, and myself wanted to do a regular feature on our blogs, something unique that hasn't been done before.   So we came up with an idea to 'spotlight the real life behind the blogger' in a more personal way.
There is so much talent and inspiration in blogland, and we thought it would be fun to bring you a closer look at the person behind the blog.

Every week on Saturday we will spotlight a blogger and have them tell us a little bit about themselves and their blogs.  You will be able to see and read about each of the bloggers on both Susan's and my blog. 
Mary from My dogs My Garden And Mary
June 7

This week's spotlight is of Mary from My Dogs My Garden and Mary blog.  Mary is fairly new to blogland and has a beautiful blog.  So after getting to know Mary in Spotlight please hop over to check our her blog.  Mary has become a very good friend to me and my blog.  You will love getting to know her.

First, I would like to thank Kris from "JUNK CHIC COTTAGE" for featuring me today as part of her Saturday Spotlight:  "LIFE BEHIND THE BLOGGER SERIES".  I feel so honored to be asked since I am so new to blogging.

My name is Mary Ferguson of mydogsmygardenandmary.  I was born in Clifton Forge, Virginia.  My mother was visiting her sister and the farm where she was born, when mom went into labor before she was due and I made my early entrance.  My parents were living in Cleveland, Ohio.

Every summer I would spend my vacation between my Aunt Nell's house and the farm in Springwood, Virginia.  Oh, what fun I had and the wonderful memories with my cousins, swimming in the James River, picking cherries and playing all day.

Graduation picture

After graduation and living in the cold Midwest, until I was 21, I wanted to go where it was warm - so being very adventurous my girlfriend and I hit the road for sunny California.  We had so much fun traveling across country and seeing the sights. I got a great job in Los Angeles and met my Prince Charming and got married.
But that only lasted 8 years and then we divorced.  We had a wonderful son, Shaun who lives in Los Gatos, CA along with his daughter Kelly.  Kelly will be 12 in October and of course is grandma's girl.

Kelly and Shaun in Hawaii having a wonderful hamburger.

I was a stay-at-home mom until Shaun turned 5 years old and then I had to go to work to support my son and father.  Eventually I worked my way up to Director of Sales and Catering in the hotel industry for 14 years.  I have to say I loved my jobs and my career path took me to many famous places and a introduction to a wealth of interesting people.  Met President Ford and numerous entertainers that stayed at the hotel.

My home is a little yellow cottage in Fullerton, CA, and was built in 1955.  My room mates are, Waldo - a Border Collie and Lili a Dalmatian/Lab mix.  Both of my dogs were rescued and are my best friends.

Waldo and Lili taking a nap

Waiting for their dinner - looks like they are starving LOL

Opportunity knocked on my door to go and work for a large manufacturing company that made
fabricating equipment.  They offered me the position of Trade Show Manager and Meeting Planner.  I also managed their Travel Department and set-up all in house shows, trade shows, and all employees and customers travel arrangements.  Through this job I was able to travel to many countries and throughout the United States.

I was appointed the first woman chairperson for the Society of Manufacturing Engineers and Metal Forming Association for exhibits.  I felt very honored to hold this position since it was a "good old boys industry", yea for women!

My employment lasted over 19 years and then I was laid off due to 9/11 and the very slow economy.  150 jobs were lost due to many of our customers losing their businesses.  I then settled into retirement (which I hated) so I threw myself into gardening and re-decorating my home.  But, after 4 months I needed to go back to work as I was so bored.  I had a little craft business "Fergies Fineries" , which I did very well, but I missed being around people.  So back to hotel sales for 5 more years.  I have to say I loved my job, and was very happy meeting people and traveling again.

But as fate would have it I became very ill and ended up the the hospital with pneumonia, kidney failure, asthma and bronchitis.  WOW was I ever sick!  But I got well only to find out that I now had COPD.  You know that commercial with the elephant is sitting on your chest - well when that hits you, you have to take it easy and rest.

My hydrangea's in bloom - very early this year - the white ones are the mopheads

Again, here we go  - I was so bored and my dearest friend Phyllis from"aroundthehouse" got me interested in reading her blog and a few others.  Loved reading all the blogs but I didn't know how to post.  One day Phyllis came over and we sat down at my computer and spent hours teaching me how to post.  I can truly say that I love this terrific journey, meeting so many wonderful, caring people.  I have only been posting for 16 months and I can't image not blogging.  It has renewed my interest in so many interesting things.

My dinning and living rooms

Just a few of my roses that the wind and HOT weather didn't destroy along with Feverfew flowers.  I like the Feverfew flowers as fillers for my bouquets.

Again, thank you Kris for Spotlighting me on "LIFE BEHIND THE BLOGGERS SERIES"

Thank you Mary for sharing your personal side with us.  Love Waldo and Lili they are too adorable.  Now that you have gotten to know Mary please hop over to Susan's blog and meet another wonderful blogger Donna Distressed Donna Down Home.
Have a great Saturday everyone.

Milk and Cream Company

Happy Middle of the Week.   
I went to a show a few weeks ago with a friend and I found this sign that I absolutely fell in love with.  I originally bought it to come home and be put on my kitchen island but it was too big.  So that started a whole thing to find a place for it.  

I was determined since I loved it so much.
This is the sign.  I just fell hard for it the minute I saw it and knew I needed to add this to my french farmhouse kitchen.  It was just so big and I do not have a lot of wall space left in my kitchen.

This is how this wall use to look which I loved but I needed wall space for that sign.  I took the flower drying rack down and the birdhouse and old frame.

I had Terry put the sign up on this wall for me.  Oh how I love that man.  He has tools and knows how to use them. LOL!

A little rearranging and I now have my new Milk and Cream sign.  I had a few old creamery bottles to add up on the shelf.

The old creamery bottles are aqua blue to add a little pop of color to the shelf.

After I did up this post I found this great Farm Fresh milk crate with the antique bottles and holder from a little shop I frequent.  So now I have this new piece to add to the vignette.

I was just admiring Kelly from The Essence of Home's crate collection and I was telling her how I have been looking for a unique vintage milk crate myself. If you did not see Kelly's post on her fabulous crates you can go here.  Good Karma for me after leaving Kelly that comment on her post,  I found this one today.

Found a new place for the little chippy ladder made into a flower drying rack.
I am happy I could relocate this ladder drying rack to another place in the kitchen.  Love to dry flowers on this unique piece.

Fits right in over my kitchen sink.

Hope your week is going great.  Please come back on Saturday for Spotlight.  Susan and I have two special bloggers for you to get to know.
Thanks for your visits.

NBC's Today Show On Line Magazine Feature

Hi Everyone.  I was approached by Jennifer Kantor that writes for NBC's Today Show on Line Magazine to feature my laundry room.  She was featuring fun and efficient ways to do have your laundry room and she asked if she could feature my laundry room.  I was honored to be asked and of course said yes.  Here is a clip of the feature.  

Hey Death, Taxes and Laundry all happen so why not have a space that is bright cheery and efficient to do it in RIGHT?!


Get inspired: 6 tips for a more efficient laundry room

April 21, 2014 at 1:29 PM ET
Cleaning clothes isn't anyone's idea of a good time. Besides the tedious sorting and folding, laundry rooms tend to be in cramped corners of the home that haven't seen an ounce of attention since move-in day. But it doesn't have to be that way. These bloggers transformed their laundry nooks into a thing of beauty by adding serious organization, lots of light, clever storage and chic accessories. Read on for tips on how you can do the same.
Use every inch of space
Elsie Larson's laundry room
A Beautiful Mess
"A Beautiful Mess" blogger Elsie Larson transformed the empty area next to her washer/dryer into an ingenious laundry basket shelf and ironing spot. Wire metal shelf bins, like these from West Elm, hold everything else. 
Stock up on closed storage
Kelly Marzka's laundry room
View Along the Way
Keep messy laundry supplies, random socks and other miscellaneous items stored behind a closed cabinet, as Kelly Marzka, "View Along the Way" blogger, does in her laundry room. If that's not an option in your home, a shelf-hiding curtain or lidded container, like this one from Crate & Barrel, should do the trick.
 Label everything
Kristi Dominguez's laundry room
I Should Be Mopping the Floor
Baskets are great—until they become junk bins. "I Should Be Mopping the Floor" blogger Kristi Dominguez avoids that mess by storing orphaned socks, hats, cleaning supplies, warranty manuals and sunscreen in labeled locker baskets. 
Designate a place to fold
Kate Riley's laundry room
Picasa / Centstational Gril
Take a cue from "Centsational Girl" blogger Kate Riley, whose light and lovely laundry room features a plain white laminate counter top for fresh-from-the-dryer folding. "Just that 2' x 4' amount of space makes all the difference in the world," she says. Short on square footage? Try Neatfreak's Triple Sorter Hamper, which allows you to fold and iron with the ironing board on top, then transport clothes to the dresser in three detachable bags.
Let there be light
Cristina Gray's laundry room
Remodelando la Casa
Whimsical chandeliers perk up dark, dreary laundry rooms, while mirrors reflect and amplify whatever natural light is available. Add both, like "Remodelando La Casa" blogger Cristina Garay did, and the laundry room will be a pillar of light. Here's one trick: Hang a mirror directly across from a window, as Garay did, to create the illusion of another mirror and a bigger, brighter space.
Make it your own
Rustic laundry room
Junk Chic Cottage
We decorate living rooms, bedrooms and other areas in the home to reflect our personal style, and treating the laundry room the same way will help create a positive, efficient atmosphere. "Junk Chic Cottage" blogger Kris Vavra blended distressed accents with functional elements to reflect her vintage aesthetic. Take some time to bring in your own taste to the laundry room and you might feel better about spending time there. 

Garden Tour Anyone?

Here are some pictures of my back deck.  This is truly my sanctuary where I soak up the sun and read and relax. 

I love to surround myself with flowers.  I truly am a summer girl.   Believe it or not it is very relaxing to me to water and fuss with the flowers.

This Garden is a work in progress.  I will change things up as the plants grow and I find new things to add.

I love to add vintage pieces with the flowers, like an old gate, chippy french doors, old porch posts, vintage suit cases.  Well you will see in the pictures.


My flower garden deck.

I love my chaise lounge.  This is where I sit and read and soak up the sun.  It is pure heaven to me.

Vintage salvage, chippy and flowers just go together for me.

Old cabinet doors hung on the deck wall.  An old chippy bench and of course a working chandelier for romance.

Petunia's are very high maintenance with having to always be dead heading them but they bring such pretty color and they are sun loving so I have to have a few with my flowers.

Remember that birdcage I got last year from the flea market.  After I redid the living room I saved it knowing I could find a place for it in the garden for summer.

I added some flowers inside and also my garden angels.  The cottage retreat sign hangs on an old headboard.
Gotta love an old chippy beach chair and table.

This is one of my favorite garden angels.  It is hard to see in the picture but she is holding a small bird.  Love how sweet she is to have in the garden.

Where you see the basset hound statue that is a special place in my garden.  We had two basset hounds and we lost our Molly a couple of years ago at age 15.

This was her favorite place in the garden to lay so after she died we buried her ashes in this spot.  It is hard to see but there is also a memorial stone with her name on it next to the spot where she is buried.  A good friend gave me this special stone when Molly died.

  I still every summer think I will look over and see her laying there under that bush in her favorite spot.
We still have our Libby who is 10 years old and is in great health.  So we hope to have many more wonderful years with her.

Had these vintage suit cases in the shed so they found a place on the deck this summer.

This is an old drop leaf table I had that was falling apart so instead of throwing it out I had Terry hang an old salvage shelf on it and now have this sitting on the deck with flowers and my old gate.

I am so drawn to garden angels.  This is another of my faves.

There is the old garden gate that is attached to the back of the drop leaf table.  It makes for a great hanger for this bag of flowers.

Little vintage drawers with flowers in it and I put this old hand painted watering can on this old architectural post.

Well there you have it.  I worked yesterday on my deck.  Those old french doors did not fit anywhere in my house so I am using them out on the deck.  They make for a great plant hanger/headboard for the lounge chair.

My flowers are always a work in progress but I love the start to this season.  Being out on my deck with all the lovely blooms is a little bit of heaven for me.

Hope your summer gardens are starting.
 I Just Love Summer.
Have a great start to the new week.