Friday, January 30, 2009

Morning Surprises...

Clipping along on my morning walk, I ventured down a different street. Imagine my surprise and delight when I noticed this cornerstone. The old clock is built into the retaining wall/privacy fence. What an idea!

It was 27 degrees again... made lovely frost outlines of the ivy! =)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

A little of what I do...

When we moved into this neighborhood four years ago, I was enthralled with the homes people had taken great care to maintain and preserve. I was less than pleased with the way some rental properties scattered throughout the district appeared. (Let me also say that there are those who have gone before me caring for some of the multi-family properties well.) But, there are still a great many properties that are in sad states. These properties are a part of Tyler's history and I feel they should be honored as such. Two and a half years ago, my husband and I decided to be a part of the solution, not just the complainers. We still have a lot of work ahead of us... it may never end. =) Here is an example of one of the units in a great old fourplex.

This was my last "project." You cannot imagine how filthy it was. Trash left behind. Fleas. We had to put of flea bombs for a month before I could even stay in for more than a few minutes. Then just to be able to tolerate it to START the project, I had to unclog the vacuum three times from cat hair and dirt! Disgusting!

This is what it looks like now. Please IGNORE the horrid little window treatment. It is gone!

This is one of the bedrooms. Yes, the flamingo paint was just like that.
This is the living room. Note the added crown molding and the beautiful old hardwoods restored to their natural beauty.

Dining room. Sorry, I don't have a before.

And last, the bathroom:

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Cold Morning Walk

To a Southern Gal, the thirty-something tempertature of my morning walk was bitter! I love warm weather! But, it was crisp and clear and the air danced with the smell of bread baking. We have a bakery near downtown. Walking along as darkness becomes dawn infuses me with hope and promise. I am always amazed. Every winter I witness the camelias, the pansies and the violas bloom in the bitter cold (of course, for us the bitter only lasts a couple of days at a time... soon, it will be in the seventies again. =) Oh, wonder of wonders!).
Spring waits just around the corner... Tyler ablaze with azaleas, tulips, snapdragons, dogwoods, redbuds. The Azalea Trails 10K. The Historic Tyler on Tour. Lots to look forward to!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

One of my friends' old projects...

I walked with my friend Patrice this morning. She and her husband, Mike, are into a big PROJECT on the home they are currently living in. Throughout their married lives they have been passionate about old homes and have restored SEVERAL. They are now on their third one in the Azalea District, the Historic District just south of us. I asked Patrice if it would be okay for me to share some of the photos I have of their last beauty. It is a 1931 Mediterranean Revival home they bought in 2002, restored and sold in 2007. Here are some photos:

1931 Mediterranean Revival

Listed in the National Register of Historic Places

And as a Tyler Landmark

Living room with the original Italian marble fireplace.

The cabinets you see are original. Mike and Patrice added the island, backsplash and countertop.

The details in the arches, there are twenty-seven, and the original lighting of this home are magnificent.

The graceful spiral staircase leads down to a foyer where Patrice had hand-painted the "stone wall."

This is the view of the courtyard from the library. Mike always had a fresh flower floating in the fountain. So beautiful. So serene.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Our House

This is a photo of our Arts and Crafts Bungalow on the brick street where I live... with my beloved, Evan; our Scottie, Tess; several fish... and the real Queen of the Castle, our cat, Velvet. She conveyed with the property... or the property conveyed with her, I should say. =) Never doubt who is in charge! We bought our home October 29, 2004 and moved in December 21, 2004. Our tree was up by the 23rd. =) Before moving in, we painted and had the floors refinished. I wish I had digital "before" pictures. It will always be a Work-In-Progress, but I will share other pictures later.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Brick Streets National Historic District

Our home is in the Brick Streets National Historic District of Tyler, Texas. This nationally designated district has the largest and best preserved concentration of mid-19th to mid-20th century vernacular, popular and high style dwellings in the city. The district includes all or portions of eleven streets: Chilton, College, Bonner, Bois D'Arc, Kennedy, Robertson, Vine, West Dobbs, West Rusk and West Houston. Many retain their original red brick paving. We are fortunate to have a City Management committed to maintaining this historic legacy.

Monday, January 5, 2009

A Season of Joy and Acceptance...

There is a time for everything,
And a season for every activity under heaven.
A time to be born and a time to die,
A time to plant and a time to uproot,
A time to kill and a time to heal,
A time to tear down and a time to build,
A time to weep and a time to laugh,
A time to mourn and a time to dance,
A time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
A time to embrace and a time to refrain,
A time to search and a time to give up,
A time to keep and a time to throw away,
A time to tear and a time to mend,
A time to be silent and a time to speak,
A time to love and a time to hate,
A time for war and time for peace.

Ecclesiates 3:1-8, The Bible NIV

I’m fifty-two. Letting go of my youth has been hard. I have come to realize that I have been in a grieving process… I think I am finally to acceptance.

Throughout our lives, we define and validate ourselves by our families, our jobs, our appearance, our roles, our natures, our innate gifts, our strengths and our weaknesses. I took most all of that for granted. Now, it has all fallen away or changed. Some of the falling away or change I welcomed. Some of it I resisted with all my might. In the end, all of it changed… and, I have finally let go.

The slate is clean. I am free to be.

Friday, January 2, 2009

The Brick Street Bungalow

I woke with an incredible sense of joy this morning. I have been stumbling through a maze of menopausal madness for the past year and a half. Today, I think I see the light filtering through the fog. Thank the Lord!

Recently, I have discovered blogs. Late and behind the times, I know. But, I am excited! I am excited to know that there are others out there who share some of the same passions and trials. I am excited at the prospects of inspiring and being inspired! I am crazed for integrity, old homes, warm nights, and wicked passion. Passion for anything. It is the zest that gives life to living. Mine has been dormant for too long… time to wake the dragons.

Don’t let me mislead you. Not for a minute do I believe this journal will be all roses and sunshine. I intend for it to be real. And, some of me is not pretty.

Let’s begin.
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Numbers 6:24-26

The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.