Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Let's Step Outside

The first thing I do each morning is open the kitchen door and let Otis outside to go potty. Milo sleeps in later than his brother. 

And this is what I see, only it is of course a morning view, not a sunset view. Our neighbor's pond. Right next door, geese and ducks sailing. 

I'm in heaven. I've been in love with this view since our son sent the following picture of our granddaughters visiting our new home--remember, they came and blessed the house before we even moved in.

See what I mean? 

All day long, whenever I open my kitchen door, I see this pond.

From morning to sunset.

Here's the kitchen porch.

Want to bet that I haven't spent hours on Pinterest trying to get ideas for this?

Ideas to compensate for the fact that it also has to be home to RH's grills?
He's already claimed it.

Otis has claimed it too. And that blue has got to be painted out.

I know the chain link fence is ugly but I sent a multitude of praises to heaven when I saw it....a safe place for my dear little boys right outside the door! 

Here's the listing photo that shows how large Otis and Milo's new play space is:

Here's one corner of it they run to first. It has a sweet gum tree in it and a little green rabbit that I think will hop inside and appear on the table for Easter.

The house behind us in the upper right corner is our neighbor the pond belongs to. The nice neighbor who brought us a pecan pie to welcome us.

Here's a real oddity. See these rocks?

They have holes in them and they edge nine beds! And there's a stack of them in the barn.

I was like, "What were they thinking?" But you know what? They've grown on me. They kind of suit the yard and 1935 house. It was the farmhouse for all the land around us once upon a time.

These rocks edge the trees inside the dog pen too. 

And the wire fencing is around all the trees in the pen too. Maybe because this was home to five basset hounds? That's got to go.

But lest you think all these foundation plants are going to be ripped out too, 
forgetaboutit. We're not spring chickens, folks. And we're going to be focusing our efforts on adding to, not taking away. And I'm going to hide the pruning shears.

This big maple is another thing I fell in love with before moving here, shown here in the listing photo:

Here it is now and I can't wait to see it put on its green dress as we had three sugar maples at our old house that were my beloved green umbrella. To find this one here was a gift.

And we have one boxwood! I've always wanted boxwood!

The final picture is of a smoketree in the front yard.

So that's it, lots of potential, but we have a low budget. My blog friend Tara says: "Regardless of your bank account, you have a brain. Figure it out."

Do you know Tara Dillard? Oh you should! I have a notebook full of ideas from reading her posts and a basket full of pages I've printed out. 

If Tara ever comes to speak in Nashville I'm going to be front row center.

For those of you who asked to see pictures of our yard I hope you enjoyed it. I love this place and look forward to each season here. Any and all ideas you have would be appreciated. Flower Lady Lorraine, sure wish I could get even one rose bush here to thrive as yours do!

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 and the old wood icebox in the corner, below.

I'm so glad that they treasure these old things and have added their own treasures. 

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. The large main room/living room's pine predates the 1950s Pickwick pine paneling in the rest of the house. I located pictures of paneling like in in my 1930s magazines.

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.

Here's a picture of that day on January 6th when we first pulled into our driveway 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!