Welcome to our old farmhouse. Over the past year I have learned so much history of this house and the people who lived here. Ninety six years of love, loss, hopes and dreams. Preservation continues and there is always a repair to be done. We are trying to be purest in our preservation as much as we possibly can. I hope you follow along and each week I will try to give you a little history of the house as well as the first owners of the house. I've been lucky enough to find a journal from a Granddaughter who talks about the house as well as her Grandparents. So come follow along and learn about this old house as well as the occupants, old and new.

Friday, January 29, 2016

The Vessel

Do you ever buy things at yard sales or thrift stores and never end up using them for the intended purpose?
 The story of my life!
I bought this popcorn bowl years ago thought it would be cute for our usual snack. To be honest it was just to heavy to carry around not to mention a storage problem. I really don't think I paid over a $1.00 for it, so no big deal other than it was taking up room.

It did have a little red insert that was much more practical.

Then there was this water cooler with stand I picked up at a yard sale for $1.00. I gave it to Daughter one then Daughter two and they both brought it back. I have a large one in the pantry so I didn't need the smaller one.

There has to be another life for it.

How about a serving vessel?

The lid was made from an old wooden circle from a craft store I had laying around, a wooden knob, a little blue paint. After turning the popcorn bowl upside down and sanding off the writing, I watered down a little black paint, rubbed it on, and a new serving piece!

Sharing with The Everyday Home at Share It One More Time

Monday, January 25, 2016

The Other Side

A 2012 view of the kitchen. you can see the microwave shelf hanging form the cabinet. I'm guessing that when the kitchen was remodeled the refrigerator sat there. I remember growing up our first refrigerator was very short. I think it was one from the fifties when my parents were newly married. Anyway a modern refrigerator sat beside the self and cabinet, because of the size and took up way to much space.

Making the best of the space you have, 2012.

2016 and yes that is the traveling fireplace mantel. I think she's found her home for life. I used it in a rental on the patio, on my back porch here and then in our outdoor kitchen

We still have lots of work to do, new counter tops and a new/old sink but I expect to finish by spring.

But for now we can still sit and have a big ole bowl of hot soup on cold days and enjoy the work we've gotten done so far.

Until next time.
Join me at Knick of Time for Talk Of The Town

The Cracked Teacup

What to do with a cracked teacup!
Let the new girls pose in it of course.
 Say hello to the new girls to the flock.

They will join Ginger, Prissy, Brooke, Hailey and Penelopie in in the coupe as soon as we start to get
much warmer weather. For now they will be hand raised, as all my girls have been.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Warming Things Up

No snow here, but it sure is cold, so how do I warm things up?
A little glow in the fireplace and lots of texture.

Feathers, fur a little grass, a few sticks with dishes I've had for years.

My little overflow table in the corner,

Did you know?
As late as 1920, children were not allowed to eat at the dining room table!
The children of this house ate at benches positioned along the wall after the adults were served.
Just try that one now!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

The Old Window

Everything in my house seems to begin with old, dented, time worn, lets just call it character. This little window is no exception. One of the original three window of the house I found in the attic that were taken from the dormer. The other one was used as part of the wall we replaced and will be seen above the door. Believe me when I say it took allot of cleaning, probably hasn't saw the light of day in at least forty years. So here is my new/old chalk board window, the second one I might add. Daughter one, saw the first one and wanted one so I gave it to her. The other window was in much better shape, but I think I like this one better.

Had to add an old picture!


Monday, January 18, 2016

Just Old

Yes it's just old, not a fancy French or English antique.  Just a table that's the workhorse of my kitchen, a thrift store find from years ago. When I found it it was covered in newspaper, so maybe the workhorse of some other lady's kitchen. I can just imagine the cook of this house working on a similar table. No fancy chairs, just pull up a stool and relax.

Lots of room to spread out. Eggs from my chickens, pecans from the yard, my Great Grandmothers oil lamp.

Wooden bowl for making bread.

My little salt pig.

A butter crock.

A don't forget my Grandmothers cookbook.

Now for some pumpkin nut bread.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Watching The World Go By

 Going to give the kitchen  a little rest this week, just working on a couple of little things I want to add before I post. So I will talk a little about my girly space! This is where I love to go before anyone is up, prop my feet up drink my morning coffee, look at my plants and watch the world go by.
 This room was originally the receiving hall of the house. Guest would arrive at the front door and wait here until they were escorted into the parlor. Now Mary had a large portrait of her Father on an easel sitting in this room, I can just imagine he was probably in his Confederate uniform (maybe, maybe not, his clothing was not described in the journal), and I would also imagine she had a couple chairs here as well.
 I use this room a little differently, It's my little sitting room, sun room and music room. My plants love all the natural light they get not to mention the warmth of the room. The beveled glass in the windows does a great job of warming the space.

A pewter tea/coffee set always comes in handy. A couple vintage hats. All the furniture in the room is family pieces, auction or second hand pieces I picked up along the way with the exception of the grandfather clock which I bought new but is now well over twenty years old.

My children portraits hang in here, the china cabinet holds a couple sets of dinnerware that are covered in beautiful floral patterns.

The Christmas tree for the family was always set up in the parlor, the doors stayed closed until Christmas morning and the children were allowed to see the tree as well as receive their gifts. Wonder how that would work with our children and grandchildren today? I say not so well!

All the mahogany paneling and woodwork are still natural and will not be painted as long as I own the house. Now I'm not one to usually paint my furniture, but I did paint the  little french table and chairs as well as the settee arms and legs. I just liked the contrast against the dark wood.

I love that I can close the french doors as needed. We were fortunate enough to find a salvage yard that had a couple of screen doors we could use on the house, weather permitting, I open the doors and the fresh air flows through the house, and I love to hear them slam. Reminds me of my childhood and simpler times.

So now it's time to sit a bit and watch the world go by!


Monday, January 11, 2016

I Hope Mary is Proud

You may or may not know this is the way our kitchen and center hall looked when we moved into this house. To the left is where we rebuilt the pantry, you can see where the food storage pantry is and the swinging door to the dining room. Down the hall beside the desk is another door going into the dining room, I always wondered why there was another door. One reason may have been for cross ventilation, the air conditioning of the day but another interesting fact and one that may make you a little uncomfortable they are also called funeral doors. I will give you more information on that custom in a future post.

Now for the kitchen, I suppose this was a grand remodel in the 60's and then in the 90's the previous owner did a little more, counter tops, flooring and appliances. Before they placed it on the market they had the cabinets painted white. Livable, but way to white for me as well as being to open. I guess I'm the odd man out I like my kitchen to be warm, inviting and cozy and I like working in the kitchen alone because I am a messy cook. 

 I also believe I am a bit of a purest. I believe old houses are are to be respected and that means being true to the original floor plan. I know we need to make them fit into our modern world to meet our craving for modern conveniences and I think that is doable. We may buy an old house but we are only caretakers until the next caretaker comes along.

Now I hope Mary is looking down on the attempt we are making to restore her house back to it's natural state as best we can. We rebuilt the butlers pantry or dish pantry and replaced the wall between the center hall and kitchen that was taken down we think sometime in the early 60's. After finding a deposit slip from the local bank behind a cabinet, we think the kitchen wall was taken out about 1962 when the cabinets were put in. 

After speaking to a local resident I learned that this house did not have a indoor kitchen. Typical of houses in the South in the 1920's the kitchen was detached. My understanding you left the dining room through the pantry across the porch then into the kitchen. Later the porch was turned into the kitchen. 

As we work on this room, I am trying for all the modern conveniences, bells and whistles of today while paying tribute to the past. As we started, I was given two choices for this large refrigerator by my contractor, (that would be husband)! The refrigerator was located on the other side of the room really in the middle of the floor so my choice was to have it recessed into the food pantry or loose cabinets on this side. You see which choice won. You see the little black knob sticking out beside the stove that is a spice cabinet. Picture quality is poor, this is a very hard house to photograph.

Lots of open cabinet space for baking and cooking supplies. I really like being able to put my hands on things when I'm baking and cooking without having to rummage through cabinets with doors and lots of drawers. The plus is, I have to keep them organized, and that is a very good thing for me! You can see a portion of the wall we put back using materials from the original bead board ceiling. More of that later. The microwave also got a home, up and off of the counter, counter space is very valuable in this kitchen. We were lucky that there was an extra outlet you see old house don't have allot of electrical outlets, so unless you are willing to do a complete gut and new wiring you work with what you have.

Storage for cookbooks and the dead space in front of the chimney turned into a space to store baking pans. I removed the 60's paneling and stucco a couple of years ago to reveal the brick.

One of my favorite additions.... My stove hood! Believe it of not it took longer to build this than to put the wall back. If you notice the little wooden knob, this hood lifts up revealing the cabinet which gives me more usable space. After two modifications putting it up, it works perfectly. You can see a small portion of a free standing stove. We did take out the counter top stove and you guessed cut out more cabinets for the stove. This is a temporary electric range, I will be putting a gas range in we are still working on new counter tops and of course a plumber to hook up the gas line. After we removed the cabinets, it was very obvious where two older stoves had been, one being a wood cook stove.

 So stay tuned and I will show you what took the place of the refrigerator on the other side of the room. I know this isn't a kitchen for everyone, by no means a modern farmhouse kitchen, a little to rustic for most but I think in everything we are doing we are being true to the house. I get nothing but great feedback from members of the community who visit to see what we are doing to bring the old girl back. Everyone gravitates to this kitchen,( even though there is still lots of work to be done) to have that cup of coffee and maybe a little desert sitting at my old farmhouse table. Now I ask you isn't that what we want all our friends and family to feel when they visit, its cozy, and inviting and they feel at home.

 A party today at A Stroll Thru Life for Inspire Me Tuesday see you there

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Not a Blog For Everyone

It's been a long while since I have posted anything on my little plain simple blog. It's plain and simple because that is what I like. Now I know my post are not going to interest everyone, might even seem boring to most?
What is this blog to me? Fun! A chance to look back at my life over the past several years and how it's changed. We moved back to South Carolina from the mountains of West Virginia, from a ranch house to a ninety six year old farmhouse with chickens and vegetable garden and lets not forget beautiful weather most of the time. You won't find a different beautifully decorated mantel every week (I'm lucky to have one every six months). I so admire those of you who make so many changes every week in your homes but I know it's really not my strong point.

I say on my header " Diary Of An Old House" and since I have spent quiet a bit of time researching the house the past couple of years, I thought it was time to really start  putting this history of this house in black and white. 

After spending a day at the County Courthouse going through ninety six years of deeds, I narrowed the house appearing on the lot in January 1 of 1920. I have spoken to several people in town and no one seems to know who built the house or when it was built. I have been told by one member of the community it was moved here. I have also spent several hours in the Historical Society, and they seem to think it might be the case, due to the building materials used. Where the house came from I may never know although I will keep trying to find out. I have been lucky enough to get a few old photographs of the house which I will post as well as a couple photos of Mary and John, we think the original builder of the house.

Now in my mind 1920 was an up and coming time, you know automobiles, flappers, women given the right to vote, etc.! While at the Historical Society I was lucky enough to find a journal written by Mary and John's Granddaughter remembering her time in this house. I have to say I was amazed at the rules, customs whatever you want to call them the family still practiced. Mary grew up in a planter family and it seems those rules were still in place in this house. I must say, I feel very blessed to live in a house where two people saw so many changes, lived. Both Mary and John's Fathers were lost in in the war, John's Father in 1863 and Mary's in 1864. So here we go on the, "Diary Of An Old House", follow along and I will tell you about some of the rules or customs in up coming post.

This is one of the only early photos I have been able to get my hands on so far, but I just know there are older ones out there. This was taken in the early 70's and you can see the original brick pillars still showing. Porch looks like it might need a little work, but it always does, even now! There were two other houses beside this house facing Main Street or Charleston Hwy. Each house had a plot of land for a garden, and a barn for a cow and chickens. Our barn was turned into a two car garage but you can still see the remnants of the barn structure. Sadly this is the only house still standing on this block, the others have all been torn down.

The early nineties, the ole girl is looking much better!

I hope to be able to replace the windows in the dormer one day, there was a total of three. We think the middle window may have been stained glass I do know the two side windows were small three over three, we rescued them from the attic and used them in the kitchen remodel. They were so deteriorated and fragile they would not stand up to the weather. 

I introduce you to "Mary"
and her husband... 

A man and his dog.
John was a very successful business man, he was a Insurance Recorder in Charleston in 1900 and in 1910 Mayor of this town. He and Mary owned three business in town a grocery store, meat market, and dry goods store which Mary ran. 
I hope you join me tomorrow for a sneak peak at the kitchen, lots of changes have happened there!
Love that chair, wish I could find it in the attic!