Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Christmas on Gidley Lane {2019 Tour}

Merry Christmas, Everyone!

I'm not a huge Christmas decorator, but I had some fun taking pictures of the few spaces that I did actually decorate and thought you might enjoy a little Christmas tour indoor and out. 

Our sun room gets Christmas-y with an evergreen wreath in each window, a few seasonal pillows on the window seats, and a tree on the table.

This wonky tree fit perfectly in an old metal bucket I had, and I found some ribbon in my stash to add to the top.  I am the world's worst ribbon tie-er. Someone once gifted me a book on how to tie all those different gorgeous bows but my ADD doesn't let me follow directions and it ended up in the Goodwill box! It was the thought that counted!

You can see one of our Christmas trees peeking out from the family room, but the trees didn't get photographed because that's another thing we aren't real awesome at around here.  Tree trimming!  One is decked out in all the ornaments the kids have made at school or been given over the years and it's fun and zany.  The other tree is supposed to be my "pretty" tree, but well, it's not quite there.

My friend Becky gave me these gorgeous flocked and lit trees last year.  Thankfully, the kitchen counters and table are the one place my cat won't go so they are safe here by my sink!  Otherwise there was about to be either another intestinal blockage, or pieces of flocked trees going out with the next day's litter.

I had originally made the Christmas embroidery hoops with my mom for our barn sale, but they didn't sell and I was okay with that because it meant I could use them in my house!

Next up are our fireplace mantels.  There are three fireplaces in this house! I didn't really go all out in decorating because I don't want to put stuff away, so I just added Christmas stuff.  First up is the family room fireplace which got a wreath, a lighted evergreen garland, and some stockings.  Yes, I have three kids, but there were only two in the donation box Aunt Dee gave me.  Haha!  Don't worry, the kids each have a stocking hanging on the staircase.

Next is the master bedroom mantel.  Nothing too exciting, just added some white lights and a garland.
I also painted the "great is thy faithfulness" today.  UGH.  Talk about a new respect for people who hand letter signs.  I make signs all the time, but I'm a stenciler.  That took me all morning and still doesn't look straight and right and OH WELL.  Good enough for who it's for, my Dad would say.  (eye roll).

Now THIS one, Nelson thinks is just for him!

 Last but not least, my living room fireplace.  This was super easy, because all I did was add a few things to what was already there.  A few red and black checked bows from the Dollar Tree, a holly wreath, and a Christmas hoop craft.

I recently discovered there are adults - even ones I call my FRIENDS - who have never watched "It's A Wonderful Life."  I'm not even sure I can call them my friends anymore.  I'm ALRIGHT!  I'm ALLLLLLLL RIGHT!!!

The stairway pics aren't real great quality since I took them at night (not that any of these photos are since I'm being lazy and using my phone and not my nice camera!  What kind of a blogger have I turned into, anyhow?!  Miss Mustard Seed would be horrified).

So last of the indoor shots, this has got to be one of my favorite things.  There is the sweetest little old man here in our village named Mike.  He's always making and giving me his creations.  Last year he asked if there was anything I really wanted him to make me out of wood and I wondered if he could do a nativity scene.  About a week later, he was in the Parma Antique Mall waiting for me with my little wooden nativity.  I love it!  Something that came straight from the heart. :)

Yesterday we finally got a small dusting of snow and just as I pulled in the driveway at dusk, the lamp posts and pillar lights popped on so I stopped the car and hopped out to snap this picture:

And here it is at night.  We totally take the easy (or lazy!) way out and take the regular spot lights out that shine on the pillars and replace them with red and green bulbs. We also put a candle in each window, but they are battery operated so they aren't real bright and are a little difficult to see from the road.

Hope you enjoyed your tour.  Next time stay for a cup of coffee!  And don't forgot to put your brakes on for the new stop sign at the end of our driveway on your way out since the county has decided our driveway is now officially a road... whatever, Dude.

The faces behind the decor :)

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Stop back soon for the annual "Family Christmas Photo Through the Years". 

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Sunday, December 8, 2019

Dresser Redo Plan B

I was mowing a lawn one day in our little village when the neighbor lady across the street asked me if I'd be interested in some furniture she had sitting out in her shed (You could say I have a reputation for taking everyone's junk!).  What to my wondering eyes did appear BUT THIS BEAUTY!  (And another gorgeous dresser that is currently in my guest room and you can see that HERE.)  Rough shape on the outside, yeah, but good sturdy bones and A HANKY BOX!  Seriously, why don't they make little lidded cubbies for handkerchiefs anymore on furniture?  Maybe since the world is bonkers for "going green", we should start a hanky movement.  I mean, it's totally green in more ways than one!  😒🤣

The paint was really chippy and peeling on top so my plan was to take all the paint off the top and refinish the wood.  I scraped and sanded and got so crazy frustrated with how stubborn some of it was that I literally walked away from the project for a whole year.  Every now and then I would walk by and put a little elbow grease in to it but it just wasn't being a sweetie to me.

Then I finally decided it had taken up precious space in my work shop long enough and had to get beautiful before the mice decided to move in and destroy it like they did the last dresser I let sit that long! I never did accomplish getting every speck off, the wood ended up being UGH, and I had to replace a strip of veneer along the edge where you see that painters tape.  I took the easy way out and painted the top with a creamy white.  Instead of having the antique white bottom with gorgeous refinished wood top, it ended up with a charcoal navy/black bottom with a creamy white top!

Those hideous plastic silver knobs obviously could not go back on, and the crystal knobs I wanted were too expensive so I decided to piece out this dresser a friend gave to me and the knobs were PERFECT once I painted them!
(The rest of the dresser got repurposed into cool hand painted signs and more.  I never waste!)

Even though it was not at all what I had originally envisioned and planned, I sure do love the end result!  Pretty sure you can apply the spiritual lesson in this. :)

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Tuesday, November 26, 2019

What's With The Windmill Behind Your House?

So many drive down Michigan Avenue and see the house, but fail to see the gem in the background.
I've even had people drive up my driveway, roll down their window, and tell me they've driven by our place hundreds of times but never noticed the windmill before!
So many questions about it and I hope maybe this blog post will satisfy a little of your curiosity!

With the pressure of a wedding on our property over labor day weekend, we finally finished restoring most of the old windmill.  Here's the progress story in mostly picture form.  Enjoy!

From the Parma News 1982:

Thanks to the Lefere's (estate owners from 1963 - early 90's) for this awesome photo!
  Circa 1964:

Fast forward to 2014 when I snapped these photos when we acquired the place:

Notice the walkway is completely rotted off and the supports are mostly in a decaying heap under vines and brush.  No wonder so many people didn't know it was there!

Some very gracious people have given me copies of newspaper articles from years gone by.  Here's a snippet from an article in 1966:

To the left you can see the stairway which is still there and very sturdy.  I've taken many guests up those stairs with my cell phone flashlight. :)  To the left is the gigantic cement water tank - which is now empty!  Can you believe it?  The windmill is a facade for the water tank!  The arms never did rotate - all for show.

My Mamma Bear, livin' on the edge...

Now take a good look at the top right windmill blade in this next pic I took from my upstairs window - it's starting to go..... and eventually did come crashing down during a fierce wind in 2017.

Then we hired the Barn Cats.  Here's faithful worker Kim who spent a lot of very hot summer days at our place working and rebuilding!

My daughter and I testing out the new railing!!

And down come the three remaining blades...

Rebuilt blades:

The pictures make this look easy, but that 500 pound piece was anything BUT easy to take off!

The huge support beams going across and through the top ended up being rotten and needing replaced. In the next picture you will be able to see how they cut the top right off the peeked part to climb in through and work.

I convinced the lift operator to take me and the kids up there!!!  No way was I going to miss the one opportunity to go up there and have a look! :)
Not afraid of heights, these kids!

Sitting at the top, looking down into the tank.  There's no water in it anymore, but some of the good ole' boys I chat with in town swear there's bodies down there....  wha....?!

Such beautiful pictures, but there was a lot of unpretty language happening in these photos!

I hired my buddy Dave Crandall to paint the windmill, and then I stained some of the cedar shakes that Tim replaced so it didn't look like our windmill had the measles.  I just happened to have some stain that matched pretty good - garage sale find of course.  Bought for a quarter because "you just never know".... :)

I thought there was a picture of me standing on the railing on my tiptoes trying to reach some of those but I can't find it.  Probably a good thing with all the ruckus I caused the last time I posted a "dangerous" pic.  Haha!

Looking beautiful in our first snowfall this year!

It makes a great spot for senior pics!

These next photos are credits to: O'Malley King Michigan Wedding Photographer.

If you still have questions after this, well, first go back up and read the old newspaper clippings.  Next, send me photos, police records, and your social security number and we can arrange a visit and I'll take you up there and explain more. :)

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