Friday, January 29, 2016

old house styles

I don't know if I just like to torture myself or what, but I tend to watch House Hunters, before I go to bed at night.

Honestly, it's probably because it's usually mindless television and less frustrating than the news, which is lately on my tv all day.

Not to say that the show can't be frustrating.

It is!

When watching, I tend to get really irritated when people say....

"I want an old home".... and proceed to talk about gutting it.



"I want an old house with lots of charm, but I want it modernized and open concept."


Those two statements gives me a headache every time I hear them and that's when I try to find something else to do, like read a book.

Which prevents me from yelling obscenities at the tv about them destroying an old house instead of buying a new one that looks old.

Actually, I do that and then read a book while drinking a stiff cocktail cup of tea ;)


One of the things I've noticed lately is that hardly anyone seems to know what the proper name is for the style of home they're looking for.

The other day someone said they wanted a Craftsman and they were thrilled to see a house that they thought was a craftsman.

It was a farmhouse.

I'm sure Greene and Greene were rolling in their graves.

In case you're curious about the difference, here's the best example I could find of what the house looked like:

It's actually more of a smaller inexpensive Folk Victorian or Greek Revival, which most farmhouses, as we think of them, were based on.

Here's a Greene and Greene Craftsman:

And here is a typical Craftsman Bungalow:

See what I mean?

The craftsman homes were meant to be the antithesis of Victorian architecture that had dominated for decades.

The same goes for the American Foursquare.

And the Prairie Style, that I'm showing because no old house post about this time period should be without Frank Lloyd Wright:

People wanted simple.

Read more about the American Arts and Craft movement 'here'.

And yes, a farmhouse is simple, but an entirely different style of home.

So, all of this got me thinking that there might not be a lot of people out there that know the difference between one old house style and another.

It couldn't just be the people that run that show or the people buying the homes, right?

Maybe people that don't have access to the Google search engine?

How about a library?

And don't get me wrong. I know not everyone is a fan of owning an old home, so they wouldn't know the difference and that's understandable, but when you're buying one, I would think that you'd have done some research.

Actually never mind.

Most of them haven't even researched the prices of homes in the area they're looking and don't realize that the houses in Los Angeles and New York City are not going to be the same price as a home in Middle America.


You thought your $200 grand, that you got for your 5,000 sq. foot home in Ohio, was going to buy a 5,000 sq. foot home on the beach in California?

I'd like to know what you've been smoking, because it isn't cigarettes.

Oops! Sidetracked by another rant.


Kind of ;)

Moving on back to explaining the styles...

Speaking of Victorians, most people think that all Victorian homes are Queen Annes,

when in reality, there were many different kinds of homes built in that era.

Queen Victoria reigned from 1837-1901, and it is considered that anything built between 1840-1900 is Victorian.

In other words, Queen Annes are Victorians, but not all Victorians are Queen Annes.

Read more about this 'here'.

Some examples....

There's Italianate:

Gothic Revival:

The aforementioned Folk Victorian:

and Greek Revival:

And also the Greek Revival Farmhouse:


Mansard (or Second Empire):

Also sometimes called the Adams Family style ;)


Shingle style:

The Eastlake, which is a lot like a Queen Anne, but more froufrou with all the ornamentation:

And of course the tudor revival:

Which is the mother of the Tudor Revival Cottage:

and a cousin to the English Revival Cottage:

Which leads us to the Storybook Cottage...

from the simple:

My home is another example :)

To the exaggerated, like you see in Carmel and other parts of California:

Of course, all the Revival Cottages were after the Victorian era, because they started in the 1920s and 30s, but I thought it was neat how the cottage progressed in America and it brings us back to a movement after the Victorians :)

More about Storybook homes 'here'.

I could go on and on about old houses and I might just do another post on them sometime in the future.

After all there's the eras before and after the Victorians and well, I just plain love old houses.

Obviously :)

I think that's enough for now though, since this post is pretty long and besides, that would take a lot more research on the before part, because shockingly I'm not all that educated on those, BUT I can guarantee you that if I was in the market for one, that I would have done my research.

Before going to a realtor, much less going on television ;)

Now I'm pretty sure this post probably insulted a few people (there's always someone), but if you know me at all, you'll know that I'm a restorer of old homes, that has had to deal with her share of remuddeling and what uneducated people do to them and that upsets me A LOT more.

you're a caretaker of these old, beautiful, pieces of history and they should be respected, not reinvented, should you be lucky enough to own one.

I'm also well acquainted with buying and selling homes on both coasts and in Ohio, so there's that

So, I apologize for hurting anyone, but not sorry for how I feel.

Hopefully though, you learned something anyway :)


Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The pantry

For such a little house, I have a great deal of storage. 

From what I can figure out, Margaret, the first owner of my home, must have grown her own things on the property, because in the plans, she included a root cellar and a large pantry downstairs. She had plenty of room then because she owned most of the land surrounding the house, before it was sold off by future owners to other home builders, as the years went on.

Growing her own food makes sense, because from the information I've gathered about my town, there wasn't a full fledged grocery store in the area until after the house was built in 1930 or right about the same time. I'm sure there was a general store for supplies, but nothing like the Piggly Wiggly that came into town later on, but has since left.

She must have been a very busy bee as one of the first female lawyers in Arizona, much less the only woman lawyer in this town, and also taking care of the growing and canning of food, even if she did have help in the form of a maid and then later, her widowed sister.

She is what I would call a tough broad ;)

Did I mention she was 41 and single when this house was built?

The same age and status I was, when I bought it.

Anyway, in the post about my tiny mudroom, I showed you this picture of the stairs that lead down to the laundry room and my bedroom. Off of my bedroom is the root cellar, which is odd, but I guess since (I think) my room was the maids quarters, she wanted her to have access to it?

More questions I'll never have the answers to.

Anyway, there's also a good sized pantry right when you round the corner of these stairs.

I'm not going to show you the hallway down there just yet, because it's another project that I've yet to finish, but here's the door:

Before I show you the inside, let me just tell you that before I spent an entire day organizing it, it was a disaster.

No, I didn't take a before photo, but just picture an area that had extra stuff, like boxes of pictures, cans of food, candles, extra dishes, and miscellanies thrown into it for 5 years, because I was lazy didn't know what else to do with it and you'll have an idea.

Scary stuff!

Anywho, it's not one of those fancy pantries that you see on pinterest or other blogs, because really... it's a working area and don't need to make cleaning anymore difficult for myself. I just want to see what's available, "shop" from it, put away things with ease and get out.

Kinda like my own little store ;)

So here it is...

I have my stored food on one side, with vases lining the entire top and my holiday warming supplies below. 

On the other side is my ridiculous supply of candles, paper goods, extra plastic baggies, pop for Annie (I don't drink the stuff), a step stool and power cords.

Straight ahead, I have my extra set of dishes, wine and champagne glasses, serving platers and dishes, extra booze, and paper sacks.

You have no idea how fabulous it is to finally have all my holiday servers together, instead of the garage and upstairs in my other pantry, not to mention how nice it is to finally be able to see everything.

Yay me! ;)

Oh and totally off subject, but I want to leave you with a dose of pretty and then the reality, instead of just a boring pantry.

So here's the pretty:

And here's the reality:

Bubba wants to know when dinner will be ready ;)


Sunday, January 24, 2016

A new day

I've been getting up earlier these days, but it hasn't always been that way.

After my last baby graduated high school, I slipped into getting up later.

 After raising both of them for the last 26 years, it seemed like a luxury.

And it was :)

But, in the last year or so, the little alarm clock in my head started ringing before the sun rose.

Especially in the winter.

We don't have daylight savings time here in Arizona, so the sun rises around 7:30 am in the winter and sometime around 5 am in the summer.

The benefit to waking up early is obvious...

A glorious sunrise I spotted the other day out my window.

Of course, I'm crazy and ran outside to take pictures of it in my pjs, while it was around 25 degrees.

The lady walking her dog was kind enough not to say anything ;)

I wasn't crazy enough to stay out there long, so I caught the rest of it from inside my warm little kitchen, while enjoying a cup of coffee, fresh from my percolator.

Soon the birds were chirping and I was outside once again pouring warm water in the birdbath to unfreeze it.

But in that moment before, with the blood red sky and no sound at all, it was glorious.

A new day.

With all the possibilities ahead of me.

Isn't it wonderful?



Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Random wrap-up

So now that I'm almost, halfway, kind of done catching up with all of you and halfway through my New Year organization frenzy that I do every year, I thought I should post something.

I know the holidays are over, but I realized that I hadn't posted any pictures since the Christmas decor.


So, please forgive me for the late wrap-up.

First up...

My son, Alex, came for a visit.

He's in Military school to become a pastor, so he's taking advantage of the no hair rules or facial hair rules.

Obviously :p

My children love to ham it up for the camera.

Okay kids.... please just give mom one nice picture.

Never mind lol

We played scrabble that night.

and took the time to make cookies, before Alex had to head back.

For Christmas Eve, I made dinner at home and my tradition is that I always invite any friends that don't have family to eat with. This year it was just my friend Sharon, so there was only four of us. Sometimes it's up to ten people so as much as I love doing that for my friends, it was much more relaxing this year.

Christmas Morning...

Christmas day and evening was at my mom's house, but I didn't take pictures this year.


Christmas cleanup...

On New Years Eve, we were going to have a pajama cocktail party, but we had a scare with Mini and we thought she'd have to have surgery, but she didn't, thank God, so it turned into a pajama party for three instead.

There's Sharon eating all the glorious food...

There may have been a few cocktails involved ;)

But Mini partied the most ;)

The next day we watched the rose parade and then everything went back to normal.

Well, except for this new weird thing that Bubba does with his front legs...

Silly boy :)

So that's it for the wrap-up.

Oh and one last thing...

Apparently it's "the thing" to come up with a word for the New Year.

So, even though I'm not a "thing" girl, I came up with one anyway.

My word is...


Not just my house this time, but an all around restoration of myself.

I've been neglecting myself for a long time for the sake of my family and my home (I'm sure you ladies know what I mean ;) ) and although I'm glad I sacrificed myself for the better of little lives and my passion of old houses, I believe that it's time to start taking a little care of "me" too.

So I am and I feel better.

A lot better :)

Take care of YOU too, okay?