This whole project started because of some drainage and elevation problems we have between the barn and what we call "the pond" which is just a deep extension of the swamp that is behind our property. I thought about modified terracing but that was more work with less reward than I like. I thought about a garden and the ground just stays too damp back there for most of the year to be worth anything except as a place to grow bananas and plaintains. Not to mention the varmints that come out of the swamp wouldn't cut me a break. I have to fight them enough over the bananas. Not to mention I didn't want any soil amendments washing into the pond and swamp and creating a different kind of problem. So the carport idea was born and it will also be used for parties during the winter when the mosquito population isn't so bad that some citronella torches or smudge pots can't keep them under control.
The other thing I did while hubby supervised some of the last of the concrete work was took my 18 year old to an estate sale over in South Tampa. Lovely old homes owned by people that have and had money at some point. Wasn't too crazy about some of the prices as the majority of what they had were inherited antiques ... I guess they didn't have any children/descendants still living that wanted or would take the stuff the idea of which turned my stomach as there were stories attached to almost every piece. I'm kicking myself now that I didn't get some of the laces and linens but that's the way it goes. At the time I didn't think some of them were salvageable.
Here's the thing. I have three daughters and two sons. When I got married I had almost everything we needed to start our home in my "hope chest" which was actually a chest, several boxes, and most of my clothes closet. <grin> My oldest daughter never was interested in that sort of stuff and is now married and got some really nice things during her year engagement and as wedding gifts. My mom made her a quilt and hubby and I paid for a very nice wedding and since they didn't spend the whole budget we told them to take the rest and finish outfitting their home ... apartment I mean. My next kid down is a boy more interested in completing college than "frou frou mom stuff." I've got box of things put back for him and being he is a pretty big minimalist I'll wait until he finds the right girl and ... well, you know what I mean. Our middle child is a girl and she is like a Martha Stewart wannabe without being mean or neurotic. She is the Downton Abbey, linens & lace, blue willow kind of girl.
With the way the economy is helping your kid develop a "hope chest" just makes sense in my opinion. But, with the economy is that isn't the easiest thing in the world to do. So hubs and I have taken to going to auctions and estate sales. We go, have some fun, knock some things off of our personal wants/needs list and also try and get stuff for the kids' hope chests. Today I and the 18 year old got a couple of deals.
The cast iron muffin pan is for her and the supersized non-electric beater is for me. The frou-frou tongs in the picture with the beaters is also hers. Spent less than $10 and the cast iron doesn't even have any rust on it. I also got suckered into a crystal, two-tiered canapé or candy tray sort of thing but I only paid $5 for it. Like I said, what I wish I had done was buy some more of the linens and laces. I didn't because most of them were badly stained. I got a set of 12 lace coasters and though they cost me $10 I'm not going to bleat about it because I'm going to use them as an experiment in washing old lace. Turning used and abused items into something useful and visually appealing has always attracted me. If my experiment works then next time I won't be so shy of haggling on something that looks pretty rough. And hopefully my daughters will wind up with something really nice for their hope chests.
From the estate sale I had to take the youngest ... aka "Monkey Boy" or "Dragon" depending on his behavior and my mood ... to his Cub Scout kick off. Yep, it is that time of year again ... my calendar looks like a gross of highlighters and sharpies upchucked all over it. Oy. I was saved by a weather change so we came home before the bugs came out and I've been able to get some writing accomplished.
Zombies Aren't Real ... Are They?!
Up On Hartford Ridge
Larkspur in Eden
There Is No Such Thing As A Thornless Garden
When All Doors Close
A Bunch of Wild Thyme
Enduring on the Lake
Mother Hen's Recipes
BlogSpot apparently objects to the story. Trying to publish the next post. Grrr. Almost done. Hopefully will go up before midnight.
Martha Stewart has the best "how to" vid out there for washing old lace and linen but I can't get it to embed. The link is at http://www.marthastewart.com/913359/how-cleaning-fine-antique-linens and it is worth a watch.
And if you are looking for a good tutorial on restoring cast iron I've included a couple below as today's videos. Enjoy!