About The Happy Cardinal


Welcome to The Happy Cardinal Blog

I love the south. There’s so much about southern culture that charms my soul.Β  To me, being southern means a warm smile, an attitude and the desire to engage others and to connect on a more intimate level; it’s a welcoming home, a garden, faith in God, sharing recipes and homemaking. Being southern is like a cup of hot tea on a blustery cold day.

I was born in the southeast and will always have a deep appreciating for my southern roots and for the generation to which I was born and raised. This southern attitude will always be deeply ingrained in me,

Homemaking for my family and friends is my passion. Whether it’s decorating or organizing, refinishing an old piece of furniture, gardening or cooking; my home is my castle. My name is Kim Brewer – Bettencourt, and I am a southern woman.

Cardinal’s have been in my life since I lost my mother in 2007. I’ve come to believe that they are sent to me from my mom to encourage me and to assure me that she is never far away. Those beautiful red birds are the encouragement for this blog which I dedicate to my beautiful mother, Ida Brewer.

My personality type is said to be, an expressive. With this blog, an outlet for the need to express myself, I hope to deliver anecdotal and encouraging summaries inspired by personal experiences. If you are inspired by some of the posts here, please pass them along by sharing them with your friends and families.Β  And please, share your thoughts and comments. I welcome and value your feedback.

I also encourage you to share your own thoughts here, on this blog. Please let me know if you would like to submit an essay under one of the menu items. I would be most happy to share your personal wisdom.

In navigating this blog, please note the Menu tab at the top of this page for different categories and sub-category content.

Thank you so much for stopping by!


Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be Ralph Waldo Emerson


A photograph of my beloved sister, Nadine Wolfe, who inspires me every day.

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  1. Scott Cyre says:

    Hello again, Miss Kim!

    I nominated you for a Liebster Award. You can see your nomination on my site here:


    You can read about it when you have time. You can even accept your award by nominating your own favorite blogs and answering the deep, dark, probing personal questions you’ll see on the site. It goes without saying, you don’t have to do a doggone thing and just enjoy being that cool.

    Appreciate your stuff, my friend. Ciao!

    1. thehappycardinal says:

      Dear Scott, I want to sincerely thank you for nominating The Happy Cardinal for the Liebster Award. I haven’t submitted any content to my blog for months now and your nomination caused me to really give thought to whether or not to continue. My husband and I relocated to another state a year ago and getting settled in our new home has become an exhausting priority. I have wanted to start up again but haven’t been able to get myself going as there is always something to tend to in relocation and getting settled. Your nomination incited me to begin the process of accepting the award. In beginning that process, it became clear to me that, as honored as I am, the time it will take for me to work through it will encroach on the time that I can devote to re-vamping and building The Happy Cardinal blog. I am amazed at the time you (and many others) commit to your blog(s). It takes great discipline and that’s an area I need to work on. Therefore, as flattered as I am, Scott, I have decided not to accept the award. I thank you though for calling me to action. I needed a good kick in the behind.
      Please offer the award to another worthy blogger. I will continue to read and enjoy your wonderful blog hermansneutics.com. Thank you again for thinking of me. Kim Brewer-Bettencourt

  2. judy Trew says:

    I love how your imagination works during your quiet moments. Sorry you do not get much imagination time with me…love the photo!

    1. thehappycardinal says:

      Oh my goodness! Judy, you are such an inspiration! I can’t imagine my life without you!

  3. Nadine says:

    What a nice place to visit,,you touch on every area that most find interesting..great job Kim…cant wait to be able to do it together..love much…..

    1. thehappycardinal says:

      Dear Nadine, I can’t wait. Love you with all my heart!

  4. Mysoresoul says:

    Thank you, what a lovely reply, sorry if I went on a bit, I do that sometimes lol. But yes anytime just ask, I will try and answer you the best I can πŸ™‚ Thanks again for directing your views my way take care God bless. Hope your having a lovely weekend πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you, Pete! I put your blog title in twice but it’s not showing up in the comments on my end! Maybe just a security measure. Maybe after I moderate it will show up. I’m having a heck of a time finding the time to blog and all the while my mind is bursting with ideas. At some point soon I will have to purge on a blog!
      Thinking of transitioning to a self hosted blog but still reading and learning. Thanks for your well wishes and for your support!

    2. Pete says:

      I saw my email address on the email I received from you but looking, on your blog is not trre and neither is your repky button.
      Your reply button and my email address are links, so I think your blog has links as white hence it doesn’t show on your white background. If you go into your template settings and you should be able to change the link colour in there or if you stop the email or web address being a link by highlighting it and above the text box along with all the othrr formatting tools, you will see a chain link and a broken chain link, click the broken chain and it will turn off linking. πŸ™‚
      I hope that helps πŸ™‚


    3. Oyee-veeh! Will give it a try! Thank you!

    4. Pete says:

      I am going back to see another neurologist in the next 12 weeks I hope they can fix me as this mistake making is sending me nuts. I spend more time correcting my text then writing it lol. This new neurologist is called a Functionality neurologist and going to train me to deal with the nerve blockage in my brain and spinal cord, its embarrassing to realise I have made all those mistakes after I have posted and unable to sort them. I suppose I should check before posting lol, or post when I have more time or not when I am no busy lol. Anyway I think you get the gist of what I am saying πŸ™‚

    5. Pete! I understand completely! I went for a hearing test recently as I am convinced that I hear much better in one ear and much less in another. So much in fact, that when I hear a sound coming from one direction it sounds as though it’s coming from the complete opposite direction! The audiologist and the doctor, both, told me that I, in fact, have better hearing in the very ear in which I am convinced I have hearing loss. How about that! They call it a processing disorder! Can you imagine!? Can it just be thatI’m getting older and that my mind is going in 100 different directions. Ha ha! Yes I have found that it’s better to not post or hit the post button until I have checked and rechecked. Although, I am as guilty as you, for making similar mistakes. I let my husband edit my posts when they’re lengthy. It always helps to have four eyes, or even six eyes help out with such things. Good luck at the neurologist! Pete, one suggestion for you might be to write your blog in a wordprocessing program first which will correct or highlight in red your errors and misspellings, and then copy and paste them onto your blog post.

    6. Pete says:

      My youngest granddaughter has just been diagnosed as having partial deafness, she is 4 and has had difficulty with speech. My wifes grandmothers 3 sisters were all deaf and without speech, my wifes father has 2 hearing aids, her brother who is only 50 has just been fitted with two and my wife has hearing loss in one ear. My friend Stacey she has legal guardianship of Amy who she is 17 now has an implant in her brain who allows her to hear, Stacey says she still has selective hearing lol
      Here is Staceys blog http://juststaci.wordpress.com/
      She is only 26 but has lived with and got rig of her ex, he beat her up on many occasions, he was drug dealing, had her house raided, she got rid of him she has her own 5 year old and like I said she brought up Amy since she was 9 and done a fantastic job, Amy apart from teen moods is still at school, is well mannered and just lovely and so is her youngest. Please read her blog, she is a lovely writer and of course Scottish ( the best people lol ) πŸ™‚ take care πŸ™‚

    7. Sad story, Pete. I will certainly check it out! Thanks and take care.

  5. Pete, thank you for the “expert” advise on how to correctly restore furniture. You certainly know your stuff and I will refer to your instruction the next time! Keep up the good work and the best of luck in rebuilding your blog! For anyone wishing to restore furniture the “proper way” please visit my blogger friend, Pete, at the address below. He is quite talented in many areas, including photography, visit him at

  6. Pete says:

    failing your way through a project or life means that we get better at what ever it is that you wish from what every you are doing.
    Yes wire wool, when applying a finish try and do it in moderate humidity, in a dust free environment, even building a paint booth so after sanding and a wipe down you can apply your finish, just sheets of polythene taped together to form a box, it will save some heartache after, preperation should take as long as the project. If you are going to use varnish a lot invest in a compressor and gun, should cost you less than $100. When you use varnish seal the wood with a cut down varnish, mix with white spirit, you will need to experiment even make yourself a board with samples of thicknesses of thinned varnish. Sanded wood loves moisture and will suck in varnish but if its to thick it will block the woods pores and cause bubbles or little marks. When mixing varnish it can trap air, if this happens tap the side of the tin I used to have a plate that vibrated and moved the air to the top of the tin, quicker than tapping. Last thing is brushes use the more expensive animal hair brushed and dont use one that is to big as that will trap air, putting on the thinned varnish use a clean dust and lint free rag. In restoration speed is your enemy, patience is your friend. πŸ™‚

  7. Pete says:

    Hiya, you may find that the little bumps is the veneer starting to lift a little, remember veneer is only millimetres thick that why when reading that you used a power sander on it, it sent a shiver down my back lol. You can use household bleach to remove stain, pour on a cloth and wipe down AFTER sanding to take off any varnish and then use spirit vinegar to neutralise the bleach, then leave to dry for a few days and then rub down with wire wool, if its veneered do this with care so you don’t over wet.
    If there are bumps in your veneer take off any finish around the bump, cut a small line in it, insert a small amount of wood glue and weight down. Before you do this practice first as its a learnt skill, get a bit of veneered wood wet it and leave it to dry and bubble then practice. πŸ˜‰

    1. Haha! I know that I failed my way through it but still love the way it turned out. And Pete, the bubbles were in the poly finish that I used, not the veneer.

  8. Pete says:

    I forgot to say, I have another blog which I should really work on a bit more, but getting chance to get behind the camera is a bit difficult at the moment anyway, you will find it at http://www.rainbow-photography.net
    Enjoy πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks Pete! I’ll check it out.

  9. Pete says:

    Hi yes I did, it looks a nice piece of wood, I will give you a couple of tips, use wire wool and not sand paper, it lasts longer and easier to control, also you can dip it in paint stripper, use the different grades and always finish off with a 00 or a 000 as yjis shines the wood. On tops that will be used a lot apply a yacht varnish and with a lint free cloth wipe it over straight away to leave a very thin coat, let it dry for a few days, then give it a light sanding with 00 grade wirewool, yhe apply a good coat of wax. You top will now look waxed, the secret is thst yacht is very tough so anyone putting hot coffee or any like that will just damage the wax and not the wood, a quick buff up and mark gone. πŸ™‚ Thank you for the visit

    1. Wonderful advice! Thanks so much for the tip. I’m definitely a novice and can’t believe it came out as good as it did Someone else mentioned the steel wool trick. Do you think it would be alright to use the steel wool even though I’ve already finished it? To get some of the little bumps out?

  10. Thank you for stopping by, Pete, and also for the encouragement!

    Did you happen to see my post about the buffet I refinished?

    I look forward to visiting your blog too.

  11. Pete says:

    Hi I like the start of what I hope will be a great blog, I worked for a while restoring antique furniture, included stripping, waxing and French polishing, so if you need any tips or help let me know. Keep going its an exciting project you are hatching. πŸ™‚

    1. Hi Pete. I loved you site. Its well organized and full of information. Thank you for taking a look at mine too!

  12. Kim mason says:

    Hello my friend! You have the gift of inspiring others and I am so blessed to have you as my friend. Looking forward to seeing you soon. Love love love your blog!

    1. Thank you for visiting, Kim! I am so excited for you and for the next chapter in your life. Get your sunglasses ready for a very bright future ahead. Start a blog! Love you!

  13. Nadia Navab says:

    So excited to see what you bring to this blog! You’re so creative and full of ideas that inspire. Proud of you!

    1. Thank you sweetheart. I’m sure proud of you too!

  14. bettmanuel68 says:

    What a brilliant woman!

    1. Haha! You’re just predjudiced!