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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

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!

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.

Renovations continue

Lovely folks from Shreveport just left after celebrating their first wedding anniversary in Jefferson at Wise Manor with Stillwater Inn for dinner last night and Jodie’s Ghost Walk last evening. 

Glenn has not quite finished work on the dumb waiter, but I have been using it to haul fresh towels and linens, cleaning supplies and fresh coffee, etc. upstairs.  Glenn will be back to adjust the speed of ascension and descent and to keep it level, but it is quite functional as is.  Just in time!  as my poor old knees are starting to creak. 

The parlor sofa and Mom’s chair are back from the upholsterer’s and look spectacular!  Ballew’s was able to pick them up, order in the fabric, repair and re-upholster, then deliver, all in two weeks!  The fabric for the other chair is on back order and will arrive soon.  I have already referred two friends to Ballew’s and they seem very pleased.  In the meantime, I have discovered a retired upholsterer here in the Jefferson community.  I’ve decided to send her one of the rockers from the Ramsay Suite.  The fabric is in good shape, but it clashes with the new linens I’m using upstairs now so needs to be changed out to blend better.  The parlor furniture was in very bad shape thanks to years of use and a steady procession of highly pampered cats which could do no wrong, even if it involved shredding the furniture.

Jefferson’s first ever Easter Parade was a great hit last week.  It was a small, but auspicious beginning and ladies and gents alike had a splendid time!  I expect the parade will double in size by next year.  Start planning your Easter hat now.  More fun in Jefferson! 

And the glass for the new window installation in on its way!  The stained glass and the etched center panel will be delivered Tuesday and Glenn should have it installed within the week.  His crew is finishing up the very back of the house, installing new siding, but there are lots of things still on my to-do list.   Very excited to have the new window going in over the staircase!  Restoring this beautiful old house is a joy to my spirit!  Loving it!  Hoping Mom is watching…

A Happy Couple play bride & groom for the Spring Tour

A Happy Couple

Teri made her outfit to docent for the Spring Tour of Homes.

Historical Dress

Ready for Tea