Glenn had never laid a brick before, but the new retaining wall is installed and looks beautiful! What a blessing he is; if he doesn’t know how to do it today, he will know how tomorrow. The asphalt still needs sealing, but we have the added blessing of a little rain today. Extremely hot weather seems not to have deterred folks coming to Jefferson. My business has never been better, and now the house looks great, too! Lovely folks here for the last two days from West Monroe, celebrating young lady’s 14th birthday. I remember 14! Last week folks from Grand Prairie were here for six nights celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary; last week, a couple returned to celebrate their 10th anniversary. We celebrate life!
Sprinkler system is finished! and comes on zone by zone every morning at 2:00 a.m. I happened to be on the porch last night when I was shot in the stomach by a stream of water. Glenn got it adjusted this morning and it is behaving nicely. What a joy not to have to worry about my lawn drying up again this summer and especially not having to reset the hose and sprinkler repeatedly every evening! I’m loving this new addition to my lovely home, Wise Manor! We’ve started on the parking area, just waiting for the asphault man to get the paving done, then will build the brick retaining wall facing the street. This will be a nice addition and a much more welcoming view of the house.
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!
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!
“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
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.
Dear guests and potential guests,
Thanks for taking a look at my brand new web site. It was designed by a former student of mine who now lives several states away, but who re-connected with me on Facebook. If we have left off any bells or whistles, or there is something you would like to see on the site, please let us know. We’d be very grateful for your feedback. We like it very much and hope you do, too!
Wise Manor is undergoing a restoration/facelift! Since October, 2010, a fantastic carpenter/contractor has been working on the house with his small crew. It appears to be a labor of love, as he takes each new project I present to him as a new adventure. So far he and his crew have re-built rotten window frames, inserted insulation all around the house and in the attic, re-built attic vents, repaired squirrel holes, re-built crumbling piers underneath the house and repaired others, replaced bad wooden siding with Hardie Plank, and other-wise repaired or replaced everything on the exterior that needed replacing or repairing…and painting. We are planning to replace a window over the staircase that was removed sixty years ago as it continually leaked. The stained and etched glass has been ordered from Glass Castles in Nacogdoches. Meanwhile Glenn has found, repaired, and refinished a door to match the others throughout the house, and has inserted it as a second sound baffle between the adjoining upstairs rooms. Today he was taking measurement for a dumb waiter so I can haul sheets and towels upstairs without carrying them in my arms. He is amazing! I am thinking seriously of adopting him.