Tuesday, February 21, 2017

A Trip to Our Old House

Many of you know that when we moved to Florida we sold our 1920 farmhouse, our home for over 25 years, to our son Zack and our soon-to-be daughter-in-law Courtney. 

Would you like to see a few pictures of the dear old house now? They have put so much hard work into making it their own and it has a fresh young look. 




Remember the long narrow space below that was so difficult for me to use?



Courtney has made it into a special reading and music nook where some of her many houseplants thrive.  Here it is again.......



RH and I love what this long narrow room has become! It used to be the back porch of the original farmhouse.

Right around the corner from this room is the large living space that is open to the kitchen. And I've borrowed one of Courtney's pictures from Facebook for it because I plumb forgot to get a picture. Later you'll understand why.

And yes, it was a Christmas picture and no, the Christmas tree is not still up but I wish I could have seen it. Next year!




Now here is the reason I forgot to take a picture of this room.......



Remember this boy, our sweet Brown Eyes? He's a very big boy and he stayed there on the farm with Zack and Courtney when we moved to Florida. He recently had eye surgery and has had to wear a cone. He remembered us and was happy to see us but it was obvious that he knows who his mom and dad are now. He adores his new mom Courtney!



Here is the front living room that Zack and Courtney call their Tennessee Room.
There's the old Gothic church cabinet on the wall and it holds the collection of Tennessee and Nashville books I left them. And that's the old cedar chest RH gave me when we were engaged.

I'm so glad that they treasure these old things. 



My photograph here is out of focus but I had to show you Courtney's collection of instruments. 



Now we're in Zack's office, the room where I spent so many hours on accounting work for our family business. It's wonderful to be retired from that and have turned it over to him-- and my desk was never this organized!



The old fireplace surround and mantel show up beautifully against the blue walls. The old gas hot plate on the floor holding the dogs' water dish was a neglected treasure Courtney found in the smokehouse and brought inside. 

I've loved knowing that she has rescued and repurposed so many things that were in the outbuildings. Like these old green handled utensils that I stuck in the barn years ago? Courtney saw that they were unique and mounted them on this old piece of metal and hung them in the kitchen.



Another room I completely forgot to photograph is my old dressing room where they have added this gorgeous claw foot tub. I borrowed this photo from her post on Facebook too--my excuse for not asking permission is that the girl is extremely busy right now, dealing with florists and caterers, etc. And finding a stunning wedding gown!



Courtney says it's a work in progress but isn't it dreamy?

You can't really see in the picture but there is also an old Franklin stove beside the tub that belonged to RH's grandparents. Courtney scrubbed it down with a wire brush and painted it a glossy white. 

Could you bear with me for more pictures? Zack and Courtney took us out for Sunday brunch at The Old School, a new restaurant near them that's part of the Eat Real movement.

Located in an actual former school near the Cumberland River, they have large gardens and their own hens and use their own and regional organic sustainable food.





And, since it had been a record four months since the last time RH and I had eaten at a restaurant, you're going to have to look at pictures of our plates.




My trout with Hollandaise sauce and smoked Gouda grits.
I'm hiding my Bloody Mary glass!


Zack's sweet potatoes, bacon and poached eggs.


Courtney and RH both ordered the breakfast vegetable hash with eggs.

After our delicious brunch we went back to their house and walked around outside and visited the hens. No pictures of that and I also forgot to take pictures of Zack's bulldog and Courtney's greyhound.

I'll get more photos on another visit and you'll see photographs of a farmhouse wedding come September!

Thank you so much for visiting! Have I told you lately that I love you?

Well, darlin', I'm telling you now!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Happy St. Valentine's Day



A gloomy day outside your kitchen window today?

Here too and I love it!

But then I love sunny days here too.

Hugs and kisses to each and everyone

from both of us here at Dewena's Window!


Monday, February 6, 2017

A Writing Room & Other Loves

Hello dear friends! It's been a month today since we moved home to Tennessee and I wanted to tell you all how much I love, love, love our new home.

I hardly know where to start so will tell you about one room.


When our youngest son and his wife began looking for a house to buy for us to move back to, they looked at mid-century houses. We were all thinking of 1950s knotty pine paneled den and kitchen, a dream of mine to remind me of the house my parents built in 1956. But heavens to Betsy they were expensive. One contract fell through because of being in a flood zone with costly insurance.

In desperation at the end of a long day's house viewings, our son thought about settling for a newer, updated but characterless house. My daughter-in-law told him, "Your mom's soul would shrivel here." She knows me so well.

At almost the last day before he was to get completely immersed in a new major project at work he found this 1935 cottage with 2.4 acres.


It had plenty of the knotty pine I craved, not in the kitchen but in the big room we use as a living and dining room, a wide hall, and in two of the three bedrooms. Even the ceilings are gorgeous knotty pine, much of it in 11 inch wide boards.

One bedroom has become my office, or my Writing Room as I like to call it, even if little writing has yet been done there. It was the room we filled with boxes to be unpacked, but finally I cleared away enough space to declare myself in business.


See Otis there? He and Milo are always to be found in whatever room I'm in.

Now I have windows by my desk that truly remind me of my signature blog header. You probably noticed that I never changed my snow scene to one showing palm trees while we lived in Florida for nine months, didn't you? I bet some people wondered about snow for Dewena's Window while living at the beach but now we know it was always meant to be snow, don't we?

Here's a picture of that day on January 6th when we first pulled into our driveway back in Nashville, Tennessee.


One window in my Writing Room looks toward the pond--it's our neighbor's pond but he brought us a big pecan pie to welcome us and told us he hoped we would enjoy the view and go fishing anytime we want to.



 And the other window looks out on the front yard by one of many big holly bushes loaded with red berries.




Can you see the cute black and white toile curtains in a chandelier pattern? We bought all the other curtains for this house at Goodwill but I found these on Etsy at a very reasonable price of $10 a panel. Now I'm hoping we'll eventually find a small black iron chandelier for this room to replace the ceiling fan.




I wanted black and white toile fabric in this room to complement the two old 1947 lithographs of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec's Au Cirque series that I've had for over 40 years.









Family photographs keep me company on the old green primitive drop leaf table that I use as a desk, because family is what it's all about.



We would never have been able to make two difficult moves in a nine months' period if it had not been for family. One son searched for, found and bought our house so we could move home, another son flew down to Florida and for two days helped RH load everything, and a third son and his wife and her sister worked all day here to make sure the house was spotless for moving day.

The actual move happened because our daughter drove me, Otis and Milo back in my car, our son-in-law drove a big 26 foot truck the whole way, and our son drove RH and his truck, pulling a trailer. We were a convoy leaving at 3 a.m. trying to beat the predicted snow storm in Atlanta and on Monteagle Mountain.

Everyone helped unload trucks in freezing temperatures including my sister's husband who also met the inspector here before the closing for the important house inspection, and RH's brother who helped RH build a bookshelf the other day for this room and is going to help him build pretty open shelving in the kitchen. 



Not only that but our youngest son, our landlord, came and helped his father install a new toilet--the old one was cute and cottagey but it was like sitting on a geyser. He also hung heavy mirrors, helped put shelving up in the laundry room and a closet, and helped his mom unpack box after box. 

Before we moved here he brought his family here to Nashville and installed a new dishwasher for me while our daughter-in-law taught our granddaughters how to pitch in and help too.



Are they not adorable? I feel like they blessed this house for their Mimi and Pawpaw.

My list could go on and on of sacrificial things everyone did for us. They are my heroes-- my main hero being RH who not only let me come home but has worked his butt off in the doing of it, and he didn't have much of a butt to begin with. 

Everyone made sure our homecoming was comfortable and welcoming.




Not the least bit prickly in any way!



God bless and keep them all, and each one of you, my patient sweet visitors here at Dewena's Window!

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Happy New Year!


[cover of Woman's Home Companion December 1938]


R.H. and I wish each of you the very best in 2017.

Thank you to each one visiting here, to those of you who leave comments and emails, and to those of you who just read, as that is what I did for years myself.

I wish I could reach out and hug you and tell you what it has meant to have you here, through this year of sparse postings.

Party safely, take care of yourself, be proud of yourself because you are unique and wonderful!

See you in 2017 from Nashville, Tennessee!




Friday, December 23, 2016

Merry Christmas!



Merry Christmas,

Love to all from Dewena and R.H.


The Madonna of Humility by Fra Angelico 

[Cover of Ladies' Home Journal December 1951]

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Here's Home


Home is waiting for me and RH and Otis and Milo.

Waiting for our beds and books,
     
      and dishes and pans,

      broom and mop,

      dreams and plans.

Home is waiting for boxes of Christmas ornaments

      that won't go on a tree until next year.

Before that there will be other celebrations,

      large and small.

We hope you'll join us there and keep us in your

      prayers and thoughts as we travel home to 

      Tennessee on January 6th, to a darling 1935

      cottage on 2 1/2 acres.

We feel it waiting for us, even the sweet barn

      that's waiting for a new bonnet.





P.S. Remind me to tell you sometime about the emotional weeks waiting for our new home as our son Defee chased down one 1950s ranch brick after another only to realize that it was this old cottage that was calling our name!

Thursday, November 3, 2016

The Shorter the Sleeves, the Longer the Gloves

[Ladies Home Journal 1951 ad for Van Raalte Gloves]


The Van Raalte glove ads always reminded women of the main glove rule, "The shorter the sleeves, the longer the gloves."

Did any of you wear above-the-elbow gloves with a strapless dress to the prom? 

I did but I never realized that wearing gloves as a "career woman" was as important as wearing my panty girdle back in the early 1960s when I was hired as a receptionist at a large religious publishing company in Nashville. 

Soon after beginning work one of the young editorial assistants firmly suggested she go with me to Cain-Sloan department store on our lunch break to help me choose a pair. 

They were soft black leather wrist-length gloves and I wish I still had them. I was wearing them here -- on my honeymoon -- with the red tailored suit my mother made me.


And I was wearing my mother's mink stole. You can bet I felt sophisticated, even in my white harlequin glasses. [I wrote about it here, at my old blog Across the Way.]

I didn't know any woman then who thought wearing fur was wrong. All of my girlfriends wished we could afford furs.


I have to admit that if someone had given me this gorgeous chinchilla coat that was in the Ladies Home Journal of 1951, I would have worn it proudly then.

I know--bad, bad, bad. But we didn't know any better then, and honestly, speaking from first hand experience of our son's utterly mean tempered pet chinchilla, I might not turn down the coat now. 

After a few months of him always biting the hand that tried to feed him -- me -- I ignored my son's tears and begged the pet shop to take him back.

And believe me, I knew it was a him. The chinchilla knew he was a him too and was very proud of it. [Don't ask.]

So while today if I could squeeze into this to-die-for red wool suit, I would not buy the Persian-lamb collar, or the fur of any other animal.


But it's best not to tempt me with an offer of a chinchilla coat. 

And I still miss the ratty old mink jacket that I left in Nashville when we moved to Florida. I bought it for $40 at a yard sale back in the 1970s, and nothing was warmer on a cold windy winter day when I took Tex and Penelope, and later Otis and Milo for walks through the valley. 

I may have to haunt the estate sales when we move back to Tennessee. Is wearing old fur coats okay now? If I don't wear them out in public and risk getting paint thrown on me? If I only wear a ratty old yard sale one in the privacy of my own back yard? Isn't that just a thrifty form of recycling?

What do you think?