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Wren family

I was taking down my Easter door wreath to put up my patriotic wreath, when I happened to look down to notice that my little wren had made her nest and laid six eggs in the lower curve of the wreath AGAIN this year, soooo my front door still has an Easter wreath on the exterior and the patriotic wreath is currently on the inside of the door.  The tiny bird (or one of her offspring) comes ever year and nests in the same place, but I had overlooked her activities this year although I was constantly picking up moss and debris from my threshold.  I should have remembered that she likes that wreath.  Whenever I attempt to peer into her inner sanctum, she flies out, so I can keep tabs on the progress of the eggs.  She doesn’t seem to be deterred in spite of my intrusions and the opening and closing of the door.  When they hatch, they are quiet as little mice, never peeping or cheeping, even when she comes in to feed them.  Then suddenly one day they are gone and the nest is abandoned until next spring.  I give it a good bug spraying and replace it with the patriotic wreath.  And so it goes…

Landscaping begins!

Glenn and Jackie have begun working on Wise Manor’s landscaping!  Years of neglect, storms, ground shifts, and tree removals have all left their marks on the terrain around the house.  We began by chopping down the boxwood and holly hedges at the front of the house (they are already leafing out again), then removed the old nandina bushes that had thrived but never filled in nicely.  Jackie is cleaning out all the beds and moving the St. Augustine grass into the lawn where it belongs.  Glenn is building a screen at the rear of the house to hide the AC mechanics and other stuff.  Glenn has also planned the layout for the sprinkler system which he described to me while I stared blankly at him.  We have plans to thin the magnificent amaryllis as there are gazillions of them; I’d like to see them all around the house in different beds.  Glenn planted ferns and hostas in the shady moist space between the house and the carport; they should do well there.  We are talking about some evergreens and hydrangeas where the nandinas once were.  Very exciting stuff!

Pilgrimage weekend

What fun my weekend guests had! My sponsorship of the Re-enactors merited a pass to many of the activities so my guests not only toured all the homes, but also attended the parade and the shoot-out afterward, watched the battle out at Tuscumbia Ranch, and loved the reverence of the Illumination of the Confederate and Union graves at Oakwood Cemetery. Some of my guests attended the ball and learned period dances and songs. I was on my way to the tea when I remembered that “period dress REQUIRED”, so changed beds and ironed instead. Jefferson events just keep getting better!

History, Haunts, and Legends

My guests last weekend had a lovely time at Jodie’s event, “Jefferson’s History, Haunts, and Legends.” I thorougly enjoyed the discussion around the breakfast table until they delved into the realm of metaphysics, then I turned on the garbage disposal and sang “Dixie” because my brain was about to be broken…Another new venue in Jefferson is the KnightLight Theatre down on Walnut Street at Lafayette. Coming up are some good comedy and music shows. Lots happening in the big little city on the Bayou!

Unbiased opinion

“What is it about Jefferson, Texas, that makes me not want to come home after I visit there? Could it be the countless amounts of antique stores and shops to visit? Maybe the plethora of lovely, historic hotels and Bed & Breakfasts at which to stay? Ghost hunting after dark? Or maybe it’s peacefulness that overcomes me from just being able to sit on a park bench in the middle of town, in the middle of the day, and relax after a long walking excursion.  Whatever it is, it keeps me going back.” — Angela Thomas, KEEL Radio 710

Girlfriends’ Weekend

Big Girlfriends’ Weekend coming up.  Jefferson will fill up with authors from all over the USA for book signings, book talks, conferences, workshops, fine food and fun. This year’s theme is “The Greatest Book Show on Earth,” so I’m expecting the house will fill up with clowns of every ilk.  I’m terrified of clowns…

Eave ornament

Well, Glenn has done it again!  I asked for it; I got it!  Using the existing gingerbread on the front porch as a guide, Glenn designed and constructed a decoration for the under-eave at the front gable of the house.  As a Queen Anne  house, I had often compared mine with other houses of the same era and noticed that mine is missing an eave ornament.  No more!   It was constructed, painted and installed before my weekend guests arrived last Friday, who, incidentally were delightful fun and took the whole house so they are on my “love you; please come back” list.  AND, although fall can’t seem to make up its mind whether to come on or to concede to summer, my fall decorations are up, prompting my guests to inquire and be sent over to the Pottery Tent south of Jefferson on Highway 59.  Bet they got lots of good stuff!

Through the window

The window has been installed!  I stand in the downstairs entry and gaze up at it in awe; it is so amazingly beautiful!  At night I have taken to leaving the light on at the top of the stairs so the window glows and neighbors and drivers-by can look up and be amazed!  This was a very good decision, very good, indeed!
Glenn and Jacky are racing to finish painting and installing the new crown molding in the Ramsay Suite before the weekend.  We have a cleaning lady coming in the morning to tidy up some and I will do the finishing touches, as always.
Meanwhile, I’ll just stand and stare at my new stained-glass window…

 

Home Again!

Just home from celebrating my birthday in Banff, Canada, with old friends from my west Texas Community Theatre days.  We have a reunion every few years, anywhere but Odessa, and this year I got to pick.  Seven of us shared a four bedroom condo with more steps than I cared to count, but I managed.  Was worried about altitude sickness, but did OK except for major nasal congestion and minor nosebleeds.  Jim and I enjoyed high tea at the lovely Banff Springs Hotel–such a delightful experience!  We drove up to Lake Louise and met a charming Hindu couple who asked for my blessing!  I got to scratch off Stand-on-a-Glacier from my bucket list.  As theatre folk, we had to attend the dinner theatre performance of “O Canada, Eh!” at Canmore; enjoyed the very hard-working actors who also served us dinner, and I got my pic taken with Anne of Green Gables and a Canadian Mountie.  Did some major Christmas shopping, although the shops in Banff were a major disappointment–either tacky souvenir shops or skiing/hiking/biking outfitters.  The hotel shops were a totally different story, and I found something extra-special for my sister Betty’s Christmas! 

And so!  Wise Manor is open for bidness again as the proprietor is home from the hills (what an understatement!  the Canadian Rockies are gi-normous!)  Give me a call…

Fence history

We have halted work on the exterior of Wise Manor for a while as Glenn takes care of an ailing grandmother and sees to his other customers.  We still have serveral things to accomplish, such as installing the new window in the old location, making and inserting the new gable ornament, resurfacing the driveway, painting the front fence, etc., but we’ll get back to them in good time.  Glenn loved the story of the fence:  Mom was town historian and kept cemetery records, as well.  Once when she was copying information from gravestones in Oakwood Cemetery for her records, she noticed a work crew taking down an ornamental fence from around a family’s grave site.  “What are you going to do with that fence?’ she asked.  “Haul it off,” was the answer.  “Haul it up to my house,” she said.  And that’s the story of the fence that stretches across the front of the house and the answer to why there’s only that much of it.  Some of the fleur-de-lis were missing from the top which is probably why the family decided to discard it, but Mom had a local welder cut and attach some rough shapes which the eye does not see because the whole fence is painted black.  While Glenn and I were scratching around in “old stuff” in the cupboard, he found some of the broken-off fleur-de-lis and told me that he could re-attach them.  We’ll do that before we re-paint the fence.  By the way, the fence was cast here in Jefferson, where there were once two flourshing iron founderies due to the abundance of iron ore found locally.  Alas!  they are now long gone, as are the river boats.