Sunday, February 28, 2010

Winner of 150th Post Giveaway!

I am happy to announce the winner of my
Sesquicentennial Post Giveaway is


Please visit her gorgeous blog. You will love visiting as much as I do!

Congratulations, Nan!

Please visit me again and be looking for my next special giveaway coming soon!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

And did I mention, "I love our house?!?!"

I love our house. I am just going to keep saying that over and over again and maybe...just will quit surprising us with unexpected little catastrophes. And maybe if I keep repeating that phrase, I will remind myself of all the excitement I first felt at owning a historic home with all its character and charm. I love our house. I love our house...

The story of being a historic homeowner began for my husband in 2001. I joined the team upon our marriage in 2005. And then began the growing list of...well...projects to be done. I'm serious. We had pipes breaking and flooding rooms, floors creaking and shaking when we walked on them. New roof. New boards on outside of house to replace those that were rotted. Foundation stabilization. The root seller that fills up with water every time it rains. Raccoons down the chimney, skunks between the floors. Mice. Ugly wallpaper. Uneven corners. Cracks in the walls. Hail damage. Another new roof. Burned ceiling beams from a century ago. No water pressure. Dry rotted carpet. And now we have added to the latest little snag in our growing list of mini disasters.

Apparently at some point in the history of our house, someone decided to remove an old chimney from the first floor of the house. What they DID NOT do was remove the rest of it on the second floor of the house. You know, we wondered why the floor was beginning to sag in the oldest section of the house. Little did we know it was because said floor was holding up century-and-a-half old chimney bricks with very little help.

Oh yeah. They found it today.

I love our house. I love our house. I love our house.

We are very fortunate that chimney above-mentioned sagging floor did not crash through on top of our heads. I mean, we already lost our minds when we bought this place...we don't need any more brain damage...right?!

The cost of the latest project is climbing. We are now having the chimney removed, the roof patched where chimney comes out of roof, and in the entire new roof will be put on the house. Oh, the roof is needed due to the recent hail and wind damage, not due to the chimney. At least we discovered them at the same time.

I have a migraine.

And did I mention...I love our house?

Pictures of said mini disaster forthcoming as soon as I locate my photo memory card. And my sanity.

Top Photo credit: Scene from "The Money Pit."

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Evidence of the Past

We have always heard that our historic home had been through a fire sometime in the 1930's or 40's, but we did not know any of the details. Yesterday, we found a few. When workers remodeling the oldest part of our house (built in the 1820's) pulled down some of the beadboard ceiling to put in insulation, they uncovered old, charred beams and rafters. I panicked! How in the world has this held up the roof for this long?!? I was concerned over the obvious safety issues; however, as I looked at my husband, I could see him mentally totaling up how much more this was going to cost him. :-)~ That's how we work. He worries about money - I worry about everything else. Needless to say, this little surprise has taken us both aback.

Obviously, we're going to have to get some reinforcement up there. We have left it for the workers to secure. We trust them because we have to do so. Neither of us has the knowledge to deal with this latest snag in our effort to refurbish this old house.

Anyway, upon taking a survey of the condition, I had to leave. That, along with the rotted floor boards around the old chimney gave me a headache.

I am going home tonight and rent the movie The Money Pit to make me feel better about our situation.

Oh, the woes of owning a historic home.

Wish us luck and say lots of prayers that we'll make it through this! :-)

Monday, February 22, 2010

Inventing the Perfect Closet

My husband and I recently closed our historic Bed and Breakfast. The two of us had, until that point, shared a walk-in closet just off of our "innkeeper's suite." While it is a fairly good size walk-in closet, over the four years we have been married, it seems to have shrunk. After closing the B&B, we have been able to live in our entire house for the first time! That means that we have inherited a lot of extra storage space that we could never utilize before (our guests probably would not have appreciated their guestroom closets stuffed full of our personal junk!). We have been finding new homes for a lot of our "stuff," and have loved every moment of it.

When we moved our bedroom to one of our former guest rooms, we took one look at the teeny tiny closet and immediately knew it would never work. Historic homes, as you know, are not known for their abundant closet space, and I think I would be hard pressed to get my shoes in that closet, let alone my clothes, and pocketbooks and scarves and ..... (you get the idea). We finally decided to take one of the extra rooms upstairs and build a master closet. Needless to say, I am overjoyed about this! The room we have chosen is quite quaint with sloping ceilings and tons of character, but we are limited as to how far up we can hang clothes racks. I think we have come up with a fairly good solution, though, and it forced us to be a little creative with our space. I think we are going to like it!

The workers came today to begin the process. I had my sketches roughly drawn. Of course, they were not to scale. The guys began asking me questions like, "How deep do you want those shelves?" To which I replied, "Deep enough to get my shoes on them?...." and "enough height that my pocketbooks will stand up?...." Blank stares. I think in the end they understood me, though. I hope. I guess I will find out soon enough. As I was leaving them to go to work, I told them not to talk about my drawings or the way I measured the shelves after I was gone. I know they did. :-)

Anyway, this newest venture has had me considering all the possibilities this new closet will hold, and I have to say I AM SO EXCITED!!!!! I have stolen ....I mean, borrowed...a few ideas from celebrities' closets and closet sites and decorating sites and mixed them all together into something that would fit my own needs...and our room dimensions. I found so much inspiration, and below are a few that I really love.

My favorite closet designs came from Closet Tailors. Their design styles and material options are extensive. As you will see in the next five photos, their closets are to die for!

The closet below is from Affordable Closet Systems. Love it, love it, love it!
What do you think about this cutesy closet from Decorology. Isn't it adorable?! The colors are amazing and fun!
And this one, also from Decorology's blog, is Paris Hilton's closet. Isn't that the most amazing closet you have ever seen?! Check out the chandelier!
My closet may not be as flashy as Paris' or as cute or as organized as any of those above, but I do believe it will be a wonderful space! I can't wait to post the before and after photos and will do that soon!


Giveaway Reminder!

Don't forget to go sign up for my 150th Post Giveaway! Click here to learn more about it and to leave a message to enter. Good luck! I will draw a winner on February 28th...this coming Sunday, the last day of the month!

Have a fabulous week!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Old-Fashioned Screen Doors

Recently, my dog destroyed our screen door. I admit, I wasn't sad...or even mad at her. I hate our screen door! We inherited it with our house, and it is the standard, cheap metal with plexiglass door that one sees everywhere. Needless to say, it does not look as though it belongs on our circa 1869 house. I love those old-fashioned, squeek-when-you-open, slam-shut-with-a-spring kind of doors...those with the little curly-cues in the corners are my favorite. So I searched the internet to find one that I like, and I admit I like many! But they are so expensive to order over the internet. The shipping alone will break my budget! So, I am on the hunt for a local woodworker/master carpenter to make me a door. It has to be 85 inches tall by 40 inches wide...that's one BIG door! And, most importantly, it has to stand up to Molly the Mutt and our two cats, Isabella and Hermione, who love to hang by their toes from the screen. Below are a few that I have fallen in love with. Which do you like?

Look at the cute puppy on this one! I adore this!
This photo is from

Doesn't this look so homey and inviting?! Found this photo on

These from Glyndon Carpentry are magnificent! Oh, how I wish I had a double-wide door! :-)

Okay, granted this is not a door to outside...but to a pantry! Isn't it WONDERFUL?!?! This came from the Sugar Pie Farmhouse...whose site you MUST visit!! This makes me want to take down my own pantry door and put up a cute screen door. Look at the embellishments in the corners and the chalkboard paint! What an adorable idea!

I love the cozy look of this porch!!

I found this one on the blog Anderson Daily Photo. This is a great blog. Anderson is a town in South Carolina, and the owner of the blog posts a photo each day taken in the city. Such a great idea! Anyway, isn't this a cute little entry to this cottage?

Here's another screen door used as a pantry door in a cute kitchen. I love the design of this one and its blue color! I think I need to paint mine another color besides white. I found this great picture on the AtticMag website. I love this website that has house tours and historic homes and designer rooms. You should really go for a visit!

...and this little cutie all painted in red I saw featured over at Twice Remembered who borrowed it from CountryLiving.Com.

There are so many designs and styles to choose from. As soon as I have it finished and installed, I will share it here with you. I definitely have a tough decision to make!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Creative Intervention

I have a problem. I admit it. It has been getting worse over the colder months and has recently become a full-blown addiction. It is.....gaming on facebook. Specifically, it's FarmTown and Jungle Jewels (I know...don't say it). I need an intervention! Normally, I would have spent my little bit of free time reading or painting or crafting, but I am taking less and less time for those types of activities and spending more time playing those.....silly games! Someone help!

I need ideas for projects that will hold my interest enough to get me away from FarmTown. Any suggestions?! :-)

I am considering taking up knitting.........
Image borrowed from CountryLiving.Com

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Images of Snowfall

What a great amount of respect I have for the trees that carry such a heavy burden. Ice, then snow...and they still stand majestic.

More scenes of a snowy Sewanee. I am beginning to think we may never see the green of the grass again!

I tried without success to make a snowman. The snow is too dry. I find that quite ironic and mildly amusing considering the amount of rainfall we have had in the last few months.

The beauty of this place never ceases to amaze me.

Hope you are staying warm!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Hope & Trust

Hope is both the earliest and the most indispensable virtue
inherent in the state of being alive.
If life is to be sustained, hope must remain,
even where confidence is wounded, trust impaired.
~Erik H. Erikson

My husband and I have been hoping to adopt for a very long time. We have been through all of the home study requirements, the home visits, the background checks and fingerprinting. We have worked through both an agency and an attorney in hope of finding a birthmother. We started on this journey over two years ago, and today, still...we wait.

The nursery is ready. The stuffed animals and toys sit on the dresser and on the shelves with the children's books. We painted artwork for the room. We have taken every precaution as far as safety and comfort. And, still....we wait.

I keep a waiting journal. I write about all the things we are doing in preparation for a little one. I write letters to our baby, even though we don't know his or her name or face. We talk about "the baby" as if he or she are already with us. Every decision we make in our daily lives are made with our baby in mind. But, still...we wait.

Today, although I try so hard to keep hope in my heart, it is difficult not to feel that this may never happen after so much time has passed. I truly believe that all things happen in God's own precious time, but...what if He is saying no, and I am just not listening? What if I am prolonging this vigil because I want to, and it really isn't His will? What if I am ignoring Him? I have battled with this for some days now. I admit that my hope is waning, but I trust God...still. I trust Him to let me know in no uncertain terms what our future holds, and I know He will tell me if I open my heart to hear.

And I trust Him...even if the answer is no.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

My Sesquicentennial Post and Giveaway

This is my 150th post, and I am celebrating with a special giveaway. I will assign each person who comments a special number and conduct a random drawing on Sunday, February 28th, the last day of this month. The winner will receive a special gift box from me containing vintage treasures, art items, and anything else I may think to add to the box. It really is a mystery at this point all that I will decide to include. So...feel free to enter by leaving a comment.

I've truly enjoyed my blog and all the wonderful people with whom I have become acquainted since beginning it. I hope to be blogging for many years to come!

By the way, the sweet little wrapped gift photo above is courtesy of Lilla Blanka. Visit this'll be amazed at the simplistic beauty and the creativity in using vintage items. Just gorgeous! And while my little gift probably won't be wrapped as creatively as this (although I'll try), it has definitely given me inspiration! We'll see what happens!

Thanks for visiting and following,