Sonnystone Saga: Before and After

To celebrate 17 years living at Sonnystone Acres, we are publishing a series of posts chronicling the first three families who lived here, spanning 111 years…

This is the fourteenth and final installment of the series…

When we moved in, the house was clapboard with old crank-out windows that were covered with sheets of plastic.  The fireplaces were covered and sealed with wood.  It was drafty and old Mr. Casler, who was a math professor at UE, had pushed old mimeographed test papers into the gaps in the windows.  The radiator-heating worked fine, but it needed a boost, so we put a woodburner in the front fireplace and a gas stove in the back the first winter, but our utility bills were outrageous until the following year when we put in new windows and siding.

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The laundry room is in the old garage that we call the Shed (we added a Real garage later), about 15 feet from our kitchen door.  We brainstormed for years to figure out how to connect them, finally arriving at a solution just three years ago…  It is now a fully enclosed covered room that connects the two buildings.

Walkway between house and laundry room/shed

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The Big Tree in front of the south porch, where the Bird/Peace Garden is now, was a Big reason I fell in love with this house.  It was huge, seriously huge, and the first year we had a family of raccoons that lived in a hollow at its base; the babies were darling, but Casey moved them on.  After a few year, a monstrous branch fell — I can’t find the picture, but it was nearly as tall as I am — and I began to see that if I didn’t remove it, it would surely fall on my house.  I’m talking Large Tree that gave shade all the way over the house to the area where the pool is now.  It killed me (and my pocketbook) to have a crane come in and take it down.

It was a good move, though.  Just three years later 70mph straight-line winds blew in and felled the two large trees that were in the front.  They grazed our porch and took out part of the original garage roof where the pool is now.  I think the Huge tree would have smashed our whole house if it had still been standing.

the trees that fell

The hostas and ferns became a thing of the past…it’s all full sun now…and that’s why we screened in the front porch…

Over the last 17 years, the interior has been painted and carpeted a couple of times, different furniture, different arrangements.  I took very few before pictures…no phone cameras back then.  All of these “before” pictures were taken the day we first viewed the home and show the Casler’s decor…

We use the back “bedroom” as a family room…

There was a Lot of wallpaper…  We painted the cabinets 4-5 years after we moved in… I’m ready to repaint them now…this winter…

The middle room that was used as a bedroom was open to the back door–I mean, you walk in and there’s my bed and you had to walk through my bedroom to get to the fam room…  That had to change.  We put up a half-wall and made an entry area and a cozy bedroom…

The entryway formed by the half-wall changed the shotgun-house effect…

There is an entire upstairs, but we do not have “before” pictures.  It’s a cool area with two bedrooms and a full bath that features a clawfoot tub.  We’ve done work up there, but it doesn’t really show…

Some oddities:

The weird door?   It’s very small, maybe original to the cabin, but the locks are…strange…

The trap shooter… There is a foundation behind it that we’re still exploring, possibly where the shooters stood?  It is all wooded now, just to make the study challenging…

It’s been fun writing this genealogy of our home and I thank you for following along.  It isn’t just my love of the house that has motivated all this work, but also my love of historical research.

The Investigations continue!  I’ll be writing stories about my Own Ancestors and others, posting them every Monday here at Sonnystone Acres.

Stay Tuned…

Weekly Report

I was going to post this on Thursday, but the tragic murders of students and teachers in Broward County, Florida left me speechless and grieving.  Oh, yeah, I joined in a few “debates” about what we should do about these recurring murders, but the grief I feel for these families who have lost their loved ones so senselessly is beyond words.  Hearing so many of the adults in the room defend the gun is mind-boggling, but the voices of the kids who are crying out for us to do something is clear.  We need to do something to keep our schools safe.  I just don’t know what, though.

When I was working as a school nurse, I came across some pretty fucked-up kids.  Sometimes I got a little scared that we were going to end up in a shooting situation. Would I have been a hero?  I have no idea.  I’m thankful that it was not required of me, but I had a spot picked out where I would  hide, and would have been safer than the kids in their classrooms.  We need to Do Something.   Listen to the children, hear them.  What can we do to help?  Let’s do it.

So, it seems a little trite, but this is what we did last week…

We finished up the Stairway Remodel…

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Pretty neat, huh?  I’m off to Amazonia this morning to enjoy the warmth and the Orchids.  I’d love to see some of you there!!  Even if I’m not present during your visit, I know the monkeys would be happy to see you!

Peace

Happy birthday, Casey…(and a week-end wrap-up)

My old man is getting to be such an old man, but he’s still nearly 2 years younger than me.  Counting the days until retirement, Casey turns 61 today.  We had a little celebration yesterday with the Jrs…

I must gush about what a great man he is, how much I love him, how much the kids and grandkids adore him, and how lucky he is that I found him…   This is the 38th of his birthdays that we have been together and I appreciate him to infinity and beyond.   Looking forward to many, many more years of celebrating with him.

We just worked and worked, all four days of the week-end.  Remember the curtains, table & chairs project?  It’s about 75% finished.   I didn’t have the proper needle and thread to finish the backs of the chairs, but I’ve held them i place until I can pick up the supplies.  I’ll need yet another yard of fabric for the curtains, so I’m headed back out to get those today.  I’m still proud of what we did accomplish…

Before…

After…

Sunday’s birthday celebration also included some Christmas tree decorating with Olivia in charge of the “Ornament Department”…

So now the countdown begins…  We’re going to Nashville, TN on Saturday with the Jrs. for “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” at the Opry House.  I fly to NYC on the 10th for the Rockettes and a whole slew of other festivities.  I’ve taken on a little accompanying job and will be practicing every Wednesday with the choir at Central UMC for their Christmas program on the 20th.  The Jose’ family is going to try to visit the week after Christmas.

Let the countdown begin…

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