A Love Story…City Girl Meets Country Boy…

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!”

Here’s a pic of Laura and Tom standing at the foot of their wagon with the more practical flat top…

This shows the more stylized, rounded top…don’t you just love this?!

“Driving” a wagon proved to be a bit more of a challenge than Laura had thought it would be…

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!”

Laura and Tom share their home with two sweet doggies, Buddy and Elmo, and a kitty named Sugarbelle. Sugarbelle is visible (if you look closely) in one of the upcoming photos…can you spot her? πŸ™‚

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!” πŸ™‚

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.”

I love this pic looking down Laura and Tom’s front porch. Isn’t the log construction amazing?!

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!”

Laura, also, has a wonderful Limoges collection…I just love these!

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!

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  1. decorator101 says

    What an incredible love story.. I had cold chills the whole time I was reading.. I love your horses Laura,and naturally the dogs..and your kitties name is just too cute.. I’m sure the culture shock was huge, going from a big city to a rural wooded area… You truly have a beautiful home that you can tell is filled with love in each and every corner…thanks so much for sharing… hugs ~lynne~

  2. Happy To Be says

    Oh Susan you did one of my most special friend Laura.. Laura you look like a cowgirl!! and that got to be Tommy Lee Jones?? Great warm love story..and you know I am just a sucker for a good love story story.. I love your home,,,alway a dream of mine to have a log cabin in the woods..All your critters are too cute..Oh Thank you Susan for sharing our sweet friend Laura.. Sorry girl about your foot..Just a GREAT post again Susan..Hugs and smiles…Gloria music is very romantic

  3. RetiredAtLast says

    I have had tomarie bookmarked in my RMS folder in Favorites since my first visit to her space. I am glad to hear “the rest of the story” as Paul Harvey would say.
    Face it Laura, you are a romantic and old fashioned girl at heart. That’s a good thing. Don’t ever change. You’ve got it right already. Love your space on RMS and the story behind it.

  4. What a story! I do identify with her and her culture shock. I was the country girl that got dropped into the city! the smog gave me headaches and I could not sleep because it didn’t ever get dark enough…and the NOISE!!!!!
    now that I go back to the farm, it is too dark, too quiet…lol
    thanks for sharing this story.

  5. Oh Susan and Laura, what a wonderful story-like watching a movie on Lifetime!! I love her RMS name, “Tomarie” and was kind of dissapointed to learn that it wasn’t really her name. Tomarie just seemed like the perfect name for someone who created and lived in this very special home. But now I’m used to the name “Laura” and I’ve realized, it doesn’t matter what name she uses, she is still one of the most kind people I have had the pleasure of “meeting”. I am so glad to get to read about her “movie” life. Thank you so much, Susan and Laura for sharing this beautiful story about such a truly sweet person. Laurie (bargainhunr)

  6. lvroftiques says

    Laura you little minx you!! You didn’t let on at all that you were being featured here!! But Susan you couldn’t have picked a nicer more sincere person to showcase. I consider Laura one of my bestest friends, and I’m blessed to pieces to have met her on RMS. Her home reflects exactly who she is, a warm wonderful, kind and old fashioned (in the nicest way *winks*) gal with spunk to spare!! I have loved her home from my first view! And I’m so happy to learn a little more about her! I also learned she’s pretty good at keeping a secret *winks* Cheers to you kiddo!! You’re one of the best IMO! Lol!! Vanna

  7. What a wonderful, touching, and beautiful story. Thank you so much for sharing this with everyone. I almost feel as though I’ve just read a wonderful storybook to my precious Mr. Big. The photos are simply wonderful too. My deepest dream has always been to live in a log cabin somewhere with a big old front porch and lots of room to roam. Sending prayers up for fast healing for that broken foot. I’m going to have to check out the RMS page so I can oogle the log cabin a wee bit more.

  8. I love it all. What a sweet couple!! They seem to be a perfect match.

  9. This was so romantic.Susan,you did an exceptional job writing it.Laura,you did an exceptional job living it.It is like a lifetime movie.
    Laura,no wonder your favorite movie stars is Tommy Lee Jones,Tom is certainly that type.
    I never saw the kitty.Will someone cheat and tell me where is thah kitty hiding?
    And I agree you can truly see the love drooling everywhere.It’s so obvious you have truly found your soul-mate.
    Get well girl,your cyber-family needs you….Ann

  10. Darlene - Our Creative Life says

    What a sweet love story! Thanks for sharing it!

  11. Hello Susan!

    Oh my, what a grand surprise to find that you featured my dear friend Laura on your blog today! I have to agree with what Vanna said…Laura you are a “sly fox”, girlfriend! Never letting on that you were going to be featured on Susan’s blog…hehe!!! I love it! It’s just the “bestest” surprise ever! Well, I’m such a “mush” about hearing love stories and Laura and Tom’s love story is certain proof that dreams and fairytales do come true!

    Laura and Tom, I just adore your log home!!! Love the uniqueness of it…the warmth, cozy comfortable style, it certainly portrays your personalities and that charming country lifestyle that so many long for! I just want to congratulate Laura and Tom on their success! I’m sending all of my best wishes for continued happiness in your life’s journey together!!! Laura, I love ya Sweetie!!!

    Susan, thank you so much for doing this piece on Laura! You’re the best my friend!!!

    Warmest wishes…Chari (Happytodesign)

  12. Brown-Eyes says

    Golly whiz, this was such a warm & fuzzy read…what a wonderful life they are sharing and it is so good of you Susan to bring it to blogland for all of us to see…
    πŸ˜‰ Bo

  13. Christine (xinex) says

    “Lady Muleskinner”…LOL…I love it! Thanks for writing this beautiful love story b/w Laura and Tom, Susan. I thought i know Laura but you made me know her even more. I love her house, it is the most inviting and warmest home.

    Laura, no wonder you like watching lifetime movies. Your love story belongs there…LOL! Thanks for sharing!

  14. Hi Susan and Laura. What a great story you have done on my daughter! She has always been the wonderful person that she is today. By the time she was 6 years old, she could decorate her room without spending a dime on it! She could get along with people of every age and type. ( I knew she would become a great teacher some day!) She looked after me whenever I needed it, as well as the rest of our family. She is the only person in the world who can really make me laugh!! She is always proud of you when you try hard or do a good job, is affectionate and sentimental. Thanks for reminding me why I love to visit her house! Nancy Carter

  15. What a beautiful story and lovely home!! I really enjoyed reading this and can’t wait to see more at RMS. Thank you so much for sharing this. Sorry to hear about the broken foot Laura, hope you will get back on you feet again soon!! Thanks again for sharing, have a lovely day. Jannet

  16. Nice story and what a fine cabin home they have!

  17. Susan, Laura introduced your blog to me, and I've enjoyed looking at your beautiful home and reading your wonderful blog entries. You are so talented!
    Laura is my favorite niece,…. I consider her one of my special blessings in life!!
    She's so unselfish, and always there with a listening ear and heart. Laura is beautiful inside and out……
    I love the warmth and beauty of Laura & Tom's home, it's a true reflection of the city girl and the country boy.
    To me, Laura and Tom's love story is a prayer answered in heaven….

    Thanks for sharing!

  18. Hi Susan,
    I just wanted to tell you what a great job you did on our house and love story. I want everyone to know Laura is just as nice as she seems to be. She is the love of my life and the Woman of my dreams. Tom

  19. Susan,
    I am truly overwhelmed by the kindness that you’ve shown me here today! I feel so blessed as I look at my life in pictures, and the best part, sharing that with so many friends and family! For all of you who left comments, there really are no words to express how special you all made me feel today. I am just humbled beyond words. THANK YOU all so very much!! Laura/Tomarie

  20. Terrie's Lil' Piece of Serenity says

    Susan, Thank you for telling us Lauras lovestory. I do remember tomarie and her beautiful home from RMS. She was always such a sweet gal!! It’s a real honor to get to know more about her!!!
    Hugs, Terrie

  21. Such a sweet love story. And their home is very comfortable and warm looking. Thanks for sharing with us!
    love bj

  22. Thank you susan for stopping by the blog and leaving such a beautiful comment. I tried to leave a message for you last night when you posted this, but blogger was acting up, and wouldn’t let me. I think that the love story here is pure poetry, and the house is lovely. Laura and Tom are lovely people, and how kind of you to showcase their beauty here on your beautiful blog? Great job Susan!

  23. just to let you know i will be doing your tablescape tuesday this next time. thanks so much for hosting!

  24. santamaker says

    Hi ya Susan,
    You sure you don’t just want to be a freelance writer!?! Goodness, what a wonderful love story. I will mark my calender for the next garden meeting! I first read the speaker was going to talk about BLOG Gardens! I think I am going nuts! LOL…..
    Count me in for the next tablescape.. I so enjoy taking out the dishes that have been just stacked in my hutch and playing with them.
    Have a wonderful day! The weather is SOOOOOOO NiCe today!
    Be Good,

  25. Thanks for sharing this wonderful story! I love their house! Of course, they may be just bc I live in a log house, too and just LOVE to see other log houses! Thanks again!


  27. What a beautiful love story! Thank you Laura for sharing your private thoughts and opening your beautiful home for us to appreciate.

    Bless you for knowing what you wanted and going after it! Your pups and horses are precious and your rescues of these sweet animals warm my heart.


    Gloria (ggmays)

  28. Susan, What a sweet story! I have admired Laura’s home on RMS. It was such a pleasure to read your story about Laura and Tom. Thanks for sharing. πŸ™‚ Pam (pc25)

  29. Beautifully written… beautiful love story! Laura is a wonderful human being and definitely deserved the fairy tale ending that she got with Tom. I couldn’t be happier for her.

  30. Deanie's space says

    Susan, I love your blog. You have so many interesting things to read about and also your tablescapes are wonderful I don’t have that much going on in my life so not much to write about. Deanie

  31. cedwards55 says

    Laura and Susan, I loved this entry in your blog. Laura, you know that I love your warm home and the special attention that you give to detail. The way you “married” the rough hewn and the refined pieces is just amazing. You know from RMS what a huge fan I am. You and Tom are just as cute as you can be and I can just tell how happy the two of you are. It’s written all over your faces. I love how God gives us surprises in our lives… His timing is always perfect and I know that He had the two of you paired up before you ever met. The comments from your family are proof that you are the genuine person that I suspected you to be. Your home so clearly reflects that!
    Susan, Thank you so much for giving us a peek into the special life of Tomarie/Laura.
    hugs~ Carol

  32. Susan (Moonlight and Magnolias on RMS) says

    Laura, Thanks so much for allowing me the honor of posting this wonderful love story, as well as your amazing home! You and Tom are a real-live fairytale come true! God Bless you both! Susan

  33. nikkicrumpet says

    Thanks for sharing their wonderful story. I don’t go to RMS anymore so it’s fun to see some of what I’m missing!

  34. Thank you so much for the love story of my good friend Laura. I feel so lucky to have met her since she came into my life long after I was over rms! She is truely a speical person. We love to laugh at the same things and are known in our chat room as the twins. Love you Laura! vickydarnell

  35. SchmeckyGirl says

    Tomarie just sent me here and I’m so glad she did! What a wonderful love story! I too dreamed of marrying a rugged cowboy one day… but I didn’t. lol.

    Tomarie, thank you for sharing your pics and story with me. I’m so happy that you did. I remmember your log cabin home from RMS and it is indeed special. I remember your bedspread too! I really enjoyed looking at all your little treasures in their special displays too. The mother-of-pearl necklace is so awesome and I’m so glad you still have it.

    I can’t believe you learned to drive a wagon! That’s so cool and I really enjoyed the pics of it.

    How handsome Tom is in that cowboy hat! Good for you woman!

    And thanks for all your nice words about my blog and especially my little girls.

  36. What the heck is RMS? πŸ™

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