Earlier in the summer, pics of the most amazing home appeared on RMS. I knew right away that the person(s) who lived there was special because this particular home was unique, exuded warmth and was positively enchanting. This wonderfully cozy home turned out to be the home of Laura (Tomarie on RMS) and her real, live cowboy husband, Tom.
Well, being the incurable romantic that I am, I asked Laura if she would be willing to share their amazing home and the history of how they came to live there. Laura told me it was a story of “city girl meets country boy”.
Laura said, “I always knew I would get married later in life. Maybe it was from watching so many “Mary Tyler Moore” shows as a girl. I loved the fact that she had her own job, a cute apartment with her signature “M”, pretty clothes, and her close group of friends. I wanted that life (at least for a while). After I graduated with a teaching degree, I moved to Houston and got an apartment and the first thing I bought was a large “L” for my wall! I spent most of my money on decorating and lots and lots of clothes!
“I also knew that when I did marry, it would be to a certain type of man. He would be older, kind, and rugged. While visiting my mother who had recently moved to Arkansas, I met Tom. I remember driving back to Houston puzzling, “Huh? He’s like the type of man I’ve always wanted.” We knew that one of us had to move. Tom had children and my mother lived here, so the logical choice was for me to move from the big, bustling city.
“What I did NOT know is what a culture shock it would be coming from a large city to the more “small town, county life”. This city girl didn’t even know what a deer stand was! But I was about to learn many things about horses, trail riding, hunting, fishing, etc. My husband has been a horseman all his life. When he was young, he rode a bareback horse and was a bull rider in rodeos all over the state. I wanted rugged, and I sure got it!”
Laura continued, “I tried horseback riding. I really did. The first time I rode, the horse “spooked” at a far away sound, and I hit the dirt landing directly on my shoulder. I broke my arm and dislodged it from my shoulder. I attempted many times to ride after that, but I had too many heart palpitations for it to be fun! We met a lovely, large family that liked to trail ride. We got the idea that I would drive a wagon! Seemed so easy!”
Laura writes, “Okay, well it wasn’t as easy as I thought!
After bruising a few trees and tearing off a good friend’s headlight, I finally got the hang of it and became a “Lady Muleskinner” (that means a lady mule driver)!”
Laura and Tom have two horses, Holly and Lucy…shown in the pic below. Laura said, “Lucy was abused when she was very young. There were cut marks on her face where someone had whipped her. She would use her front legs to paw at you if you came near her. Each day I would sing to her and feed her out of my hands. Finally the day came when she would lower her ears and lick her lips~~a sign that she finally trusted us.”
Have you ever wondered why a horse is called a quarter horse? Laura explained, “They are both Gaited horses. Gaited horses have a smooth, fast gate and are perfect for trail riding. Quarter horses are generally the ones you see at rodeos. They get the name because they can run super fast for about a quarter of a mile. Gaited horses are kind of the Energizer Bunnies of the bunch…they keep going and going!”
Here’s Buddy all decked out for Christmas. Laura said, “He’s looking pretty pitiful here because of the ridiculous outfit I made him wear on Christmas Eve. But my mother is making him feel better by giving him food~~eating and sleeping are his past time!”
About their lab, Elmo, Laura said, “We found him at the Union County Animal Protection Society and it was like looking at a skeleton. I named him Elmo because I thought the name was befitting to an old porch dog. But once he got a few good meals in him, we found out that he had probably been very well-trained as a hunting dog. He loves to retrieve anything you throw! He also has been known to roam the area around where we live and bring back bowls! He always puts them in one spot near the barn. He’s the only dog I know that likes to collect dishware!”
Regarding her trail riding days, Laura said, “I’m afraid our little group has gotten older and busier so we don’t trail ride as much as we did…but we sure had many, many fun times camping and riding together. And for Tom and me, it was such a HUGE part of our “beginning” together.”
I asked Laura about her wonderful log home…Laura shared, “We found a log house with 5 acres. A teacher and her husband had it built and then moved to Alaska several years later. She still comes back every so often to look at the house. She actually comes back to look at it sometimes because she “designed” the landing at the top of the stairway…she wants to build another one just like it in Alaska. Her mother lives in front of our property. But when she moved, she sold it to a couple that didn’t live here long. The husband died and the woman didn’t want to live “out in the woods” by herself. That’s how we got it. We had looked for a whole year trying to find a place with acreage for our horses.”
Laura graciously shared some interior shots of their wonderful home…
I remember the first time I saw Laura and Tom’s home on RMS…I thought it just glowed with warmth and look sooo very inviting!
I love the “hat rack” over the door…Tom has a say-so in the decorating, too!
Laura told me, “One of the main things that drew us to the house was the stairway. I loved the craftsmanship and all the interesting little nooks and crannies!”
Wow! This IS an amazing stairway…I can see why Laura and Tom fell in love with this wonderful home.
A view into the kitchen…I love the accents of red and blue against the warm, rich color of the walls.
Laura said, “The hay bale on the table was made to sit next to my husband’s groom’s cake at our wedding. My aunt made the cowboys many years ago.”
Laura told me an exciting story about the elk horns that are mounted above their fireplace. Laura said that Tom likes to go hunting in Colorado and one year when he went hunting there with two friends, a terrible snowstorm rolled in. The two guys Tom went hunting with got scared and baled on him! Laura said, “They tried to talk him into coming back but he wouldn’t do it. I was terrified that he wasn’t going to make it home. He managed to find reception on his cell at times and would call and say he was okay…there was no way of talking him out of staying. When the storm ended, he shot the elk the next day! He goes about every two years….he loves it…and all the planning that goes into it!”
This is a pic of Laura and Tom’s cozy master bedroom. Laura said, “The bedspread was hand-embroidered and has been passed down several generations.”
A favorite teacup collection~~
Isn’t this hobby horse adorable! Laura told me, “One of my favorite things is the hobby horse I had restored that was my father’s.”
About her father, Laura said, “I had a collage made of a few of his things. If you look closely, you can see the picture of the hobby horse with my dad on it! They are just small items that were my dad’s, that my mother gave to me after he passed away when I was 21. His birth announcement, college tassels, small toys, pics, and Navy cuff links and few other items.” I love how Laura has grouped these items and displayed them where they can be appreciated every day, instead of just keeping them stuck away in a drawer.
Laura has a second wonderful collage on her wall. About this display, Laura said, “This picture shows a collage of things that are special to me. If you look closely inside the necklace that is hanging, you will spot a Mother-of-Pearl horse head. My mother found this while walking to school one day when she was 11! When she was in her 30′s, she went to a jeweler and had the gold reigns made for it. The jeweler was amazed at the intricate carving. It’s one of my most prized possessions!”
If you would like to see more of Laura and Tom’s wonderful log home, click here: Tomarie .
A few days ago, Laura broke her foot…OUCH! Don’t worry, wasn’t a spooked horse this time! Per doctor’s orders, Laura is at home recuperating for a few days. Thanks so much Laura for allowing me to share this wonderful adventure that is yours and Tom’s life! Feel better soon…we love ya!