Friday, August 15, 2014

How to have Vertigo

In this Pinterest, Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram world, more and more people are using what they see on these vehicles to mold and shape not only their opinions about decorating but about lifestyle. However, this post is about decorating. A trend in today’s decorating that I have grown to dislike. A lot.

 (all pics from Pinterest)

Chevron has found its way into everything.

A little chevron goes a long way. This is a tasteful and appropriate use of chevron.

And then there is this....really? I haven’t seen one in person but someone told me about it. You can find it at Target. Hum....

Seeing it commercialized on something like a bathroom product means that the trend is popular enough and has been around long enough to declare it dead.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Court House Burns - Genealogist Nightmare

Sad, sad, news today. The Hancock County, GA Courthouse burned. The Second Empire style building red brick exterior walls were still standing hours later, but the interior is burned out and the courthouse's majestic clock tower is gone.

From today's news:

What is looked like before:

Why is this sad?

  • One of the oldest standing Courthouses in GA. Built in 1883. 
  • Listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
  • Also, listed on the The Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation's list of "Places in Peril"in 2013.

Courthouses in more rural areas still signify much more than a place where legal proceedings are held.  It is the anchor of the town, and in many ways it represents “where we are from”.

Sparta was once plantation country, a very wealthy area. Now it is all but abandoned; however, recent years have seen an exciting regeneration of Sparta. The courthouse is a testimony to the wealth that once existed.

I always loved this view when approaching Sparta to do some hunting for dead relatives. I really, really, really regret that we did not take the courthouse tour while we were there in May visiting the
You can read that post here.

But more than anything else, the courthouse held records, tons of them. Some dating back to the original Land Lotteries that began in 1805. While the births, marriages and deaths have all gone to the state, for a genealogist, wills, land purchases, court records are just as important. Those precious records, I am afraid, are now gone. I may never read Stephen Pearson's will (1774-1854 - 3rd great grandfather) and understand how his land was broken up and given to his children.

The courthouse burned -- the nightmare of any genealogist. I know it is now mine.


Friday, August 1, 2014

Gorgeous or Gaudy?

Ah, the Victorians. I have often said, "No one did it like the Victorians did it." And in most cases that is true.

But.... sometimes I think they did go the teeniest bit over board and gaudy is the only descriptive word that comes to mind. The Brennan House in Louisville, Ky has some incredible examples. Not so much the house, which is a basic Italianate, but the furnishings.

Check out this hall tree:
 I can't believe all those little sticks and posts have survived all these years without being broken off.

I have never seen anything like it.

And then this bedroom set......manufactured in Louisville by the J.W. Davis Co. and exhibited at the Philadelphia Centennial of 1876.
 Massive headboard...massive.
Look at the size of that dresser.

A bit of information from the website:

The Brennan House is the last remaining Victorian mansion along what was once a residential street in downtown Louisville. Located at 631 S. 5th, the house dates to 1868 and features original interior finishes, lighting and furnishings from the Brennan family's extensive personal collection. This authentic historic home harkens to a time when horse-drawn carriages clip-clopped through downtown and 5th Street was lined with similarly appointed residences that reflected the grace and style of wealthy urban families in the late 19th century.
The Brennan House was built by tobacco wholesaler Francis Slaughter Jones Ronald and purchased in 1884 by Thomas Brennan, a native of Ireland and prominent inventor. He and his wife, Anna, had eight children who occupied the home through 1969. Today it houses the nonprofit advocacy organization Preservation Louisville Inc., whose mission is to protect and promote the cultural, architectural and environmental heritage of our community. Its stewardship of the Brennan House exemplifies this mission.
The three-story townhouse is constructed in the Italianate style with six bedrooms, 16-foot ceilings, stained-glass windows, expansive veranda, hand-carved marble and slate mantels, crystal chandeliers and walls lined family portraits. Rooms are filled with an entirely original family collection including massive, hand-carved dining room and bedroom furniture, an ornate silver service, steamer trunks with memorabilia from world travels, and a library lined with richly-bound volumes. One son - Dr. J.A.O. Brennan - added an office, waiting room and exam room to the north wing of the house in 1912 which remains intact, including exam table, equipment and medical volumes dating to the early 20th century.
Today the Brennan House Historic Home and Gardens remains virtually untouched since Victorian times, an oasis amid a bustling 21st century backdrop. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places, the Brennan House and Gardens is available to rent for weddings, parties, corporate events or meetings.

What so you think? Gorgeous or gaudy?


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Flowers on the Table

I love flowers. 

I try to have fresh flowers on my dining room table all the time -- just ask my husband. Since we eat in our dining room every night, I get to enjoy them daily, plus I see them through the kitchen door.  Here are a few of my arrangements I have done so far this year.

Love jonquils. These came from my garden at my mother's house. I planted them years and years ago and they steadfastly come back every year. I paired them with Camellias off my bush in the backyard.

For Memorial Day, I grabbed a huge Southern Magnolia off my tree and some greenery from a nearby bush.

A little later in the season, my neighbor had not cut his grass in a while, so I picked his weeds. Even weeds can steal the show when placed in a festive pitcher turned into a vase.

For July 4th, I thought nice, bright sunflowers would be fun. I just love their fresh faces. I have to admit, I bought these from the local Kroger.

Then just this past week, I sneaked back over the "the neighbor who never cuts grass" and stole these beauties out of his overgrown garden. I am sure he didn't notice.

These days, many flowers are available year-round, but because out-of-season flowers must be grown in a hothouse or shipped from afar, they can be quite pricey. For the freshest blooms on a budget, use what is in your yard  (or a neighbor’s yard.)

Do you put fresh flowers on your table?


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

More to Talladega than a Race

Talladega, AL. 

We all know about the famous NASCAR racetrack located just off of 1-20. How could you not know with a movie like Talladega Nights?

But drive about 6 miles south and you come upon the small town of Talladega. Chocked full of beautiful homes, this historic town is a delight and a surprise.

In typical southern town layout, just find the First Methodist Church and the neighborhood adjoining it,  is often the Historical District. Talladega is no different. You immediately enter the "Silk Stocking Historical District."

The Jones Mansion, c. 1880's (cougar_6 Flicker)

The McElderry-Malone Home, c1905

The Woods-Sims House c. 1891

The Samuel C Oliver Home c.1890

The Brown-Elliott Mansion c. 1912

Dr C.L. Salter home c. 1840

The Reynolds-McGee Mansion c. 1904

The Jamison-Purefoy House c. 1898

Side view

And a post card of how the Jamison-Purefoy house looked back then.

This is just a few of the lovely homes found in Talladega. Next time you go by the race track, take the road south, look for the First Methodist Church and drive along the Silk Stocking Historical District.


Thursday, June 12, 2014

Cute Shoes

Last week I was at a real estate tech conference and I saw an adorable pair of shoes walk by. Never being shy, I ran over and inquired. They were Avarca sandals from Spain. The wearer told me about the website, so I immediately whipped out the trusty iPad and ordered a pair.

I got these. Aren't they cute?

Avarras USA

Avarras USA

Here is the other style and I am seriously contemplating.

Avarras USA

And they come in all these luscious colors. As well as tan, brown, beige, white and black.

Avarras USA

There is an interesting story about these shoes, but I will let you read it yourself on the their website.


Thursday, June 5, 2014

Garden Musings

I’ve been gardening a lot lately. By which I mean I’ve been doing everything from mowing my lawn to pulling up weeds by hand to conversing with a bed of vegetables.

In my earlier years,  I would have laughed in your face if you told me that one day I would get excited about little yellow flowers emerging from a tomato plant.

Or, that I would be patient enough to plant biennials and wait two years for blooms.

While I love the activity of gardening, the hobby itself is a little, well, odd. 

  • I talk aloud to the growing things in my garden.
  • I sometimes wear very strange miss-matched clothes – called “yard clothes.”
  • I have given up on having my nail done. How can you have the perfect manicure when you get dirt under your fingernails?
  • I hope for bees to visit.
  • I study how old and dry manure needs to be before applying to the dirt.
  • I buy any new product seen on TV. Like a Garden Weasel. The Weed Popper. The Pocket Hose, because: 

To a gardener there is nothing more exasperating than a hose that isn’t long enough.
Cecil Roberts