Monday, March 28, 2011

This Old House

The first time we looked at this house, we were very much entertained.  We didn't expect that we would revisit this place, as we figured it was more fixer than we cared to work with.  This old house is a very tired old house!  However, we discovered the 'bones' to be solid, and the other options we were considering were turning out to be far too much of a financial strain.  We thought we would go to the bargaining table on this one, since despite its need for some major updates, it still was more of a matter of cleaning, scrubbing and repairing.   When we left the bargaining table, we were suprised to have reached an agreement of $8,300 for the purchase of this old house.  Proof that when all of the doors seem to have closed, the Lord suddenly shows you a secret doorway you never imagine existed!  The house sits on a full city block, about 2 acres.  There are 14 lots. 

The fun things we learned about this house's history are that it was built in 1885.  The first load of lumber cost $256.  The second and final load cost less than this.  It was built by a gentleman from Texas.  He built two other homes in the nearby area, however, this is the only one he built with closets.  Closets were unheard of in those days because generally a person was taxed on the number of rooms in the home and each closet counted as an additional home.  There was a time that the house was used for boarding.  After that time, the Henderson family, also from Texas, settled in and raised their families.  LeRee, the lady we bought the home from, turns 97 years old in two weeks. 

The home had become difficult for the family to keep up, and last summer, their mother had to go to a nursing home after she fell and injured her hips. 

There will be lots of repairs, lots of cleaning and some serious updates in the near future.  I love to try to preserve what I can, but not at the expense of comfort and simplicity that modern day provides us with.  So I'm anxious to see how this blend of antique and modern will mix after all of the work is complete.  Be prepared from lots of before and after photos!

The first project to get underway is plumbing.  The lines all froze and split this last winter so the home has no water right now.  As Tim measured out what he would need and made a list of fittings and supplies we need to take up with us when we visit next, I put myself to work in the bathroom to find some answers about the tub.  One big question that we've had is whether or not the tub in the bathroom was a clawfoot tub or not.  After a little bit of demolition I could hardly wait to get the flashlight into the dark hole.  You can see where I broke the side of the tub surround so we could get a good look.  Guess what we found?

Claw Feet!

Old Houses Fascinate Me!

Little ones...

Big ones....

I'm not quite sure what it is that draws me into them.  Their unique architecture.  The original handiwork of skilled craftsmen who used nothing but their hands and good tools to create their own kind of beautiful within their homes.  They tell stories of simple times and hard work. 

Old houses are sacred family monuments!  The floors within their walls have been center stage to brand new life, and birthday parties, Christmas traditions, quilting bees and first dates.  Happy times and sad times.  Grandchildren.  Grandfathers.  Grandmothers.  And within these walls, where the first breaths of life were taken, very often the last whispers of life were spent.

I love them!

So today, we hopped ourselves into the van and headed 2 1/2 hours to Nebraska....

where we signed papers on the purchase of our very own "haunted house curtains"...

That hang in this old house. 

Today marks the first day of the Nebraska chapters as our life takes center stage in this old 1885 house.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Bushy Bushy Blonde Hair-do

Choosing music to run to has been a lot harder than I imagined!  Is it because I'm getting older?  Or am I just a lot more cranky when I run than I used to be forever ago, and it takes a real special kind of song to take my mind off of being cranky?  As far as types of music go, I think I could be considered somewhat eclectic, the nice way of saying wierd, in my music choices.  I am finding, however, that some well loved songs really make me aware of and impatient with my murmmering muscles, or maybe the music isn't crazy enough to drown out my jiggly Christmas Cheer singing Joy to the World as a plod along on my very merry way?  As I ran, I tried to figure out the rhyme and reason behind what music worked, and what didn't.  Some of what kept me pumped up and moving was pretty obvious why, but others that kept me going were suprising and started my wheels churning on what it was that kept me going!  Whatever magic was in some of that music, it took me from yesterdays 1.5 mile run to todays forty minute 3 mile run.  It was a good run!  It was a very slow run, but, I did happen beat my shadow today - just barely!

Still, ABBA just doesn't cut it for me, and I love some of their music.  What has worked is Crazy Frog's Axel F, compliments of my children who pressured me into that one.  Speaking of pressure, Queen's Under Pressure RAH Mix really gets me moving too!  Cheryl Crowe's Real Gone song is another fabulous one!  MC Hammer Can't Touch This!  That one takes me down memory lane in a powder blue VW Bug with Carrie.  We were in high school, in the land of perpetual summer (I can say that because I've survived six Missouri Winters and I really never knew what cold was until now)!  Here is a shocker, though.  Toad the Wet Sprocket, REM, and Hootie have been fired!  But the Beach Boys?  Both California Dreamin' and Surfin' USA! 

(San Diego, Tara and Me on Christmas Eve)

The only thing I can figure on those is that they appeal to a very distant place inside me, where the days were warm, the sand was even more warm, the air smelled of salty ocean water and coconut flavored suntan oil, and grapes never tasted better, or more sandy! 

Me, Lara, Carrie & Michelle - Santa Barbara

And the bushy, bushy blonde hair-do?  Well, I had a few of those too! 

Just love those days of big bangs!!

Where ever the power of those two songs come from, I may never figure out.  However, I figure if I have 12 'power' songs, I should have more than enough to get me through a 5K at my snails pace!  Any ideas are greatly appreciated!! :)

Wondering if I should go perm my short locks and go for the bushy hair-do again...

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Temple Run

I was talking to Jenae the other day about cub scout things when she asked me if I was planning on running in the Temple Run.  Huh? I asked.  So she told me all about it.  I told her I wasn't sure if I would be ready for the run.  During apple season I pulled a muscle in my calf (I thought it was an awful cramp and that I would be sore for several days but since the pain lasted closer to six weeks before it started to go away, I figured I pulled it) and I hadn't run since.  Besides, I am still packing five pounds of Christmas cheer and five pounds of harvest bounty. 

After I gave her my pathetic excuses, she told me that she would walk with me if I wanted to go.  Awwww!  She is such a sweetheart!  I know full well she can run it under 30 minutes and I'm not going to be responsible for holding her back.  If this isn't her first 5K (I know she was hoping to run in a couple last year), then it is still some of her firsts and I don't want to spoil that.  Hence, the dust was removed from the treadmill, the mp3 player charged up and the running shoes warmed up.

Photo is taken from

The Temple Run is slated for April 30th.  So I searched and printed of a workout plan for Couch 2 5k in six weeks (instead of the original nine!) and got to work.  That didn't last long.  After the initial soreness dissipated, I bagged the plan and ran to see if I could make it a mile without stopping.  Amazingly, yes, I could.  After that mile I ran sprints and walked in between to recover.  Today I did the same, but managed another 1/2 mile after some sprints (compliments of a rambunctious song my boys talked me into downloading - Crazy Frog Axel F).  Tired!  Sore - yes, still in places.  For the most part, surprised!  I guess I imagined starting over would be going back to the beginning of my running endeavors!  And I certainly deserve that!  I would have to say that I'm relieved that this run is a little more within my reach than I realized and I'm excited about that!  I still have a lot of hard work ahead of me!

Friday, March 11, 2011

The Hills are ALIVE!!!!!

...With the sound of music!!

Gracie Anne has fallen in love with the soundtrack from the Sound of Music!  You can find her singing to her baby dolls, while she looks at a book, while she colors and even while she is behind the closed bathroom door!  Doe a Dear is the song she has affectionately renamed "The Gracie Song." 

Saturday, March 5, 2011

A Trivial Evening!

Mason was invited to be apart of a trivia team that competed in town at the middle school.  Each team was allowed three kids (middle school age or younger) and three adults (highschool age or older).  After enjoying walking tacos, we enjoyed good friends and trivia.  Whitney's team, which consisted of her sister Cheyenne, cousin-in-law Lori, Ashley, Kayla and the only boy, Mason!  They ended up taking third place!

Callan & Mason

The team preparing for play!

And popcorn to eat!

Avery & Callan - An excited fan section!

Gracie Anne getting loved on by 'Woofie' (Ruth)

Play begins!

Getting the pictures taken for the newspaper!

Yummers - getting spoiled by 'Woofie.'

Victory is sweet!  And so is the $50.00 they won!