Biography of Westinmoreland House

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October 14, 2004

Guest House Supplies

Well not much else going on except this weekend we will be working on the house. We have a problem spot to fix, and have also to go and pick up some free shingles from our neighbor, since he cleans up constructions sites, he gets all sorts of shingles. So for our guest house he has offered them to us for free. That was a nice surprise. As it is the guess house is already built from free wood, minus about 400.00 for the ceiling rafters. And maybe a 150.00 or so on nails and tar paper.
But now we will be getting shingles for free too. That will defiantly help out!

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November 5, 2005

Period Colors

I found a website that has period colors for the different styles throughout the past since Colonial Times. My period is a combination of Colonial, Federal, and sometimes Early Victorian. I am aiming for Federal to be the most pronounced.
This site has a good selection of period colors that can help guide in the choosing, which is always the tough part. just scroll down to Historic Colors

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January 25, 2006

Gathering Ideas

Some "Early American" Style Inspirations

This is a site I have visited before. They have some very nice period & authentic styled homes for different era's or styles.
Eastender Restoration

Here are some of thier early kitchens...
Eastender Restoration

Kitchen Furniture
Wentworth Kitchen

Just for .... hummm .....
Some *interesting* links in my search for old kitchens:

If you are into roses & pink fluff this is your inspiration...
I have never seen so many roses or as many miles of lace & frill:
An 1820s Federal In the Pink - Literally
Country Kitchen

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February 13, 2006

A Simplyfying Plan

We have been doing a lot of thinking lately, and something we have decided to do is to simplify. One good thing about when we bought the house, is it went for very cheap. We can get double what we paid for it, easily.
So we decided to cut down some of our debt.
We figure if some people we have known, could sell their house, their car, and all their furnishings (how Brave!!) to come down here and help with the relief efforts for people they have never even met before, then I don?t see why we can't down-size so we could free up our time to give a greater hand in the relief efforts ourselves. Brian already is able to help out, but if he could work less, then he could truck more for relief efforts than for paying bills. Plus it would help both of us spend more time at some personal obligations that we both have.
Then too the highway our road is off, is in the near future going to be a four lane highway. Something we did not expect this small rural area to do when we moved here, is how fast it would grow. A neighboring town has doubled its population since Katrina. Our own neighborhood is seeing many more houses going up and fast too. The utility bills, along with everything else continue to rise. The pay does not. So all of this into consideration led us to consider this option.
Here's how we would like to do this...
A while back, we started building a guesthouse, so my mother in law could stay without having to rent a hotel room, since we had no ?guest room? for her to sleep here, we thought they would enjoy the guest house and it would give them a mini-vacation without the cost. Well she passed away before we could finish it, and so we never really finished it though we have thought about using it as an office, but Katrina changed those plans, and so we then decided to just fix it up as a sort of work shed. That being said we don?t really ever have any guests to justify the guest house idea anymore. But then we got to thinking, the shell of the guest house is almost finished. We wouldn?t need too much (relatively) to finish re-modeling our current house as well as finish off the guest house to live in. We were thinking of buying a few acres off the extra we get for the house and moving the guest house onto it. That?s the plan anyway, whether it will work or not, time will tell. But so far things have been falling into place well with that plan. Many of the supplies we have needed we are coming up with, either for nothing or for very little. For instance, the shingles were given to us by a neighbor awhile back, we used to haul ?used lumber? from New Orleans - pre Katrina - (we hauled it to save a company money, it cost them to throw the wood away) and have much of it still stored here, well Brian is planing some of it for pine floors for the guest house. And they are coming out beautiful! (Going to be playing with the stain tomorrow) Then we found interior doors at Lowes for only $10.00 each, they had water spots - nothing KILZ can't take care of, but the doors are not damaged. Now we have enough doors to re-do our current house and the "guest house" so as to have all matching doors.
By doing this plan we would have no mortgage note, and might even be able pay off our car note. At any rate we would have less utility bills and most likely more land, which we want anyway for cows and sheep - in the future. So though we would be down-sizing, I think it would be nice to have a ?clean slate? and a relatively debt-free one too. We hope that we can free up more time too by doing this.
I will continue to make updates to the changes we make for this house....but I will be in the future creating a new journal for the things we do to the little "guest house" we have affectionately dubbed our Little Dacha, which in Russian means "a country cottage used especially in the summer".

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February 24, 2006

What's My Style? - Quiz

A simple style quiz from Merillat Cabinets.
Here are my results
Country Traditional

Thank you for completing the quiz. We hope you had fun! Based on your answers we think you would most like our Country Traditional style of cabinetry. For additional selections, you also scored high in the Eclectic style, so you might want to check those out as well.

Visit our Photo Gallery to See More Country Traditional Images, and access links to our product detail pages.

Learn about design elements that you can add to a room to help make it more Country Traditional.

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March 20, 2006

Farrow & Ball Paints

I recently discovered this paint company, Farrow & Ball, and so far I have to say I am quite impressed. I just got the free paint card and promotional brochure in the mail a few days ago. I think $5.00 for a sample pot being shipped to my door is quite reasonable. Now I am going to decide on a color and get a sample pot to see how the paints are, quality-wise.
I really like the idea of buying a traditionally made paint. To me their colors seem more period against the modern paint colors of today. On the back of the paint card they even give a little information and sometimes age range for each of the paints on the card. I just loved that idea!
They have such a range of finishes, including Floor Paint, and some of them are supposed to be more environmentally friendly, which is always a good thing.
Now the hard part....choosing a color!

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March 21, 2006

Spring Cleaning in 1872

Since it is spring now, and a lot of us have spring cleaning on the brain I ran across this little article about Spring House Cleaning published in May 1872. I thought it provided an interesting look at thier idea of spring cleaning, and how they went about it. So take a moment away from all the windex and bleach and see how they did many of the same jobs we 1872

Spring House Cleaning.
Now comes the season of general cleaning, when all the corners and closets are overturned and hidden things are brought to light. Early in the months before the moths-millers show themselves all the woolen sheets, blankets, etc., are to be washed, and the extra ones packed carefully away in deep chests, and cedar boughs strewn over them, or camphor gum.
If you possess a camphor-wood trunk, you can defy the moths, but without that convenience, special heed must be paid to their dislikes, or you may have your blankets destroyed.
Carpets that do not require to be taken up should be loosened at the edges, and with a dustpan and brush, all the dust can be removed; if there are any traces of moths, wash the floor with spirits of turpentine or benzine, put the carpet down quickly and the moths will have had their quietus. The disagreeable odor will soon disappear, if the windows are opened widely, and you can be certain that your carpets will not be ruined this summer. This same burning fluid will drive out and keep away the moths from upholstered furniture. It can be put on with a cloth, and if pure will leave no stain, but brighten the colors. Before applying it, brush out the cushions with a hand-brush and a damp cloth, to remove all the dust. Straw matting should be washed with a cloths dampened with salt water. Take care to wet it but little, for if the matting is soaked through it becomes brittle. If Indian meal is sprinkled over it, or damp sand, and then thoroughly swept out, it will also cleanse it finely.
In washing windows, a narrow-bladed wooden knife, sharply pointed, will take out the dust that hardens in the corners of the sash. Dry whiting will polish the glass panes nicely; and we find weak black tea with some alcohol the best liquid to wash the glasses. For a few days before the cleansing takes place, save all the tea grounds; then when needed, boil them in a tin pail with two quarts of water, and use the liquid on the windows. It takes off all dust and fly specks. If applied with a newspaper, and rubbed off with another paper, they look far better than if cloth is used.
If there are old feather beds in the house, and no steam renovator at hand, put them out in the first heavy, drenching rain that falls. Let them become thoroughly wet, and turn the bed several times; then dry them in the sun, and when one side is perfectly dry, beat it with sticks to lighten up the feathers, and turn up the other side to dry; either placing boards under it, or putting the beds on the piazza roof, if one is at hand.
To take out stains from either mattresses or feather beds, make a paste of soft soap and starch, and spread over the spots; when dry, scrape it off with a knife, washing it with a damp sponge, as it falls off if not clean, put on another paste. This application, if repeated frequently, until all discolorations are gone, will purify any bedding. Cockroaches can be kept away with powdered borax. Keep it in a tin pepper box and sprinkle it wherever they go. Paris green is recommended, but it is a poison; while borax is harmless. Sprigs of wintergreen, or ground ivy, will drive away small red ants, and branches of wormwood will make black ants ?vamose the ranch.? Scald your bedsteads in the hottest soap-soads you can apply; if there are traces of bugs apply kerosene with a small paint brush. It is a sure cure. Tenants of city houses are often annoyed by bugs, and can not tell whence they came. Perhaps the border of the wall-paper might divulge their source, or the cornices of the windows disclose their haunts. Again apply kerosene and they will no longer trouble you. Carbolic acid may be applied; if pure the odor is not as disagreeable as that of coal oil. Papering and painting are best done in cold weather, especially the latter, for the wood absorbs the oil of paint much more than in warm weather, while in cold weather it hardens on the outside, making a coat, which will protect the wood instead of soaking into it.
In papering walls, be sure to remove all the old paper and paste, and scrape them perfectly smooth. Dampen the old paper with cloths wet in saleratus water, and it will come off easily; fill up the cracks with plaster of Paris, and if there are any traces of bugs, wash the wall all over with a weak solution of carbolic acid and water; this will purify the air and destroy all mold and vermin. The best paste is made out of rye flour, with two ounces of glue dissolved in each quart of paste; half an ounce of powdered borax will snake the paste better. People now generally understand how dangerous it is to paper a wall over old paper and paste. Many deaths have arisen from this cause; the air of many sleeping-rooms has been thus poisoned. In some old houses three or four layers of paper have been found upon the walls of the rooms, and their inmates have died, and no doctor could tell whence came the disease.
In whitewashing, a pound of glue dissolved in hot water and diluted with four gallons of cold water, to which is added six pounds of whiting, will be found to answer a better purpose titan common lime. Woodwork can be washed with this glue size, and one coat of paint on it would last for years. A little chrome yellow will give a light lemon-colored tint to the wash. A cheap paint for the floor can be made, which a strong, smart woman could apply to any floor: five pounds of French ochre; one fourth of a pound of glue, and a gallon of hot water. Dissolve the glue in a small quantity of hot water; when wholly melted add the rest of it, stirring it slowly until well mixed. Then stir in the ochre, and apply while hot, with a good-sized paint-brush. When well dried apply one or two coats of boiled linseed-oil. This paint dries very quickly, hardening in fifteen to twenty-four hours. It is very cheap; the glue is about twenty-five cents per pound, the ochre ten cents, the oil about seventy-five cents per gallon. So it is within the reach of any woman. An oaken hue can be given to new pine floors and tables by washing them in a solution of copperas dissolved in strong lye, a pound of the former to a gallon of the latter.
When dry this should be oiled, and it will look well for a year or two; then renew the oiling. Grease can be extracted from floors by applying a paste of wood ashes and quicklime, to be kept on for several days and then washed off. Stains on wall paper can be cut out with a sharp penknife, and a piece of paper so nicely inserted that no one can see the patch.
Ink stains on wood can be removed by a solution of oxalic acid. Cover the spots with bits of the acid, turn on a spoonful of water and place a heated flat-iron over it; when the hissing ceases the ink will have disappeared.
Kerosene and powdered lime whiting, or wood ashes, will scour tin with the least labor. Kerosene and whiting will also cleanse silver-ware, door-knobs, hinges, etc. Wet the flannel slightly in oil, dip in the whiting, and rub hard; wash off with a chamois skin or newspaper. Wash the glasses of pictures with a damp newspaper, dipped in whiting, then rub with a dry paper. Spots can be taken out of marble with finely powdered pumice-stone. Mix it with verjuice, cover the spots with it, and let it remain for twelve hours; then rub clean with a damp sponge; rinse with clean water, and wipe dry, with a cloth. Soapstone hearths are first washed in pure water and then rubbed with powdered marble or soapstone, put on with a piece of the same stone. Gray marble hearths can be rubbed with linseed-oil and no spots will show.
If gilt frames are varnished with copal varnish, they can be washed with cold water without injury. Lace curtains should never be ironed. Wash and starch them, using in the rinsing water a tablespoonful of powdered borax. This makes them very stiff. When wet spread on a sheet, either on the floor or bed, and pin down every two or three inches. Let them dry for several-days and they will look very nice ~ Country Gentlemen
Taken from The Manufacturer and Builder May 1872
Found Here

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March 23, 2006

Attn: Anyone who has bought a house in the past...

Today was the arranged day for the real estate agent to drop in and give us pointers as to what we should do for remodeling work and what to save our money on. I would like your thoughts too! Since many of you were perspective house buyers at one time...Or even looking back on it what would YOU want to have in a house? Any pointers and tips will be very much appreciated!

Here are a few things she said & our thoughts on it:

Living Room:
1. Scrape/Sand down the texture on the wall.
Our Thoughts - Were already planning on it
2. She said we could leave the floors, just finish them.
Our Thoughts -We just can?t bring ourselves to do this. We have some free flooring we are going to be down since the cracks in the current floor are huge, we are talking wide enough to lose pens and pencils in.
Would YOU be okay buying a house with this kind of floor??? I wouldn't care because I know we would replace them, but I don?t feel I could speak for the general what are you thoughts??
3. Finish trim work
Our Thoughts -Were already planning on it

1. Add a hood vent
Our Thoughts - We were surprised to find out this was required by law
2. Add upper cabinets & finish lower cabinets
Our Thoughts - Were already planning on it

1. Add ceramic tile
Our Thoughts - We were going to add wood in the sink/toilet area and tile in the tub area, but she strongly advised ceramic tile in all areas so we might go that route.
2. Cover with a cabinet the pipe/faucets for the tub which sticks out of the sink/toilet wall
Our Thoughts - Were already planning on it

Master Bedroom:
1. Finish Trim
Our Thoughts - Were already planning on it
2. Put up closet doors
Our Thoughts - Were already planning on it
3. Add Carpet
Our Thoughts - Were already planning on it
4. Scrape/Sand down the texture on the wall.
Our Thoughts - Were already planning on it

Kids Bedroom:
1. Scrape/Sand down the texture on the wall.
Our Thoughts - Were already planning on it
2. Sand and re-varnish wood floor
Our Thoughts - We didn?t think of doing this, but it is a good idea.

Utility Room:
1. Replace ceiling & ceiling insulation
Our Thoughts -Were already planning on it
She didn?t mention it but the floor would need ceramic tile as well

Guesthouse (if we leave it)
1. Add bathroom
2. Kitchenette
3. Finish interior walls/paint/add flooring
Our Thoughts -Were already planning on it

Heating & Cooling
Since we have only a wood stove for heat and do not plan on running the window units, she suggested we buy a window unit that has a heater in it.

So in summary most of what she said we already knew and was planning on doing. Matter of fact we were planning on doing MORE than she suggested. But if we can save a few steps, then that will help out a lot.
We are thinking of leaving the guesthouse instead of moving it, since we found a piece of land, the perfect location that has a really old house on it. We are finding out more about it this weekend. It?s going for only $15,000 which is immensely cheap! Its in the very rural, unlike it is here anymore. Speaking of location, the real estate agent said we live in a really good location for selling. It?s quite a desirable area, which we already knew based on some things we had been hearing.
Anyway like I said before if anyone has any ideas, suggestions or advice we would love to hear it, since this will be our first time selling a house!

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November 22, 2006

Its Official

We just met with the real estate company today! The agent is coming by Friday to take photos and then we will get the sign to put in the yard. The house listing should be in the system by Saturday if all goes well.
I found a domain and gave the house its own little listing on the web thanks goes to a fellow houseblogger for the idea! You can find it below. I'll be adding to it so its a work in progress....isn’t everything??
Jetting out to town so must make it quick. Ta for now!

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November 28, 2006

House for Sale

For Sale Sign
Our house is officially for sale! We got the sign, gave the key, got a copy of the listing agreement papers. The MLS listing will happen *hopefully* soon. She said she had a few changes to make before she could post it. We have to hurry and get some vital things done, like get the cabinet finished, and get the doors up. Finish the bathroom, ect. Not to mention replace a few boards. All things we have been trying to get to before we listed but just werent able to. So now its doubly vital.Well thats the update. Have much to get done....after lunch hehe.

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December 1, 2006

An Air of Excitement

Ok the house just listed Tuesday. Yesterday our agent called us to let us know we had someone who wanted to come and look at the house. Now we have some things that are not finished with the house but we plan on finishing them. So we were hoping that wouldn’t deter anyone from wanting to buy the place. This morning I took the boys to town, before the people were to come over. That way they wouldn’t be fighting or try to hog their attention as they love to do when people come over.
It is a cold & chilly day as noted by the "winter storm" that came in last night. But it’s not a gloomy day either, matter of fact it’s actually a nice bright and sunshiny day, just chilly. So we have the wood burning stove going, the kittens napping in the chair, the house clean and cozy with our cinnamon brooms and vanilla water simmering on the stove. I actually hated to leave this morning.
Well I left around 8:30am and Brian showed the house around 9ish. When I got back he went on telling me how it went and that he got a good feeling about it.
After awhile we get a phone call from our agent saying an offer has been made for 60,000 so we said sure! Of course we are about to come out of our skin with excitement! Our agent is supposed to come by later so we can sign the offer agreement. Talk about WOW! We know so many things can fall thru but this is so much more quickly than we both thought an offer would be made.

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January 2, 2007

Coming to Completion

Been busy little bees over here. Deadline is Monday Jan 8 to get everything accomplished. Today, we bought some of the needed supplies to finish everything up. Tommorw we will make another run to the store for some things we forgot to pick up today...isnt there always something to forget?
Last night we grouted the bathroom floor and painted the entire bathroom. So now all that is left is the countertop to be grouted, then we are 100% complete with the bathroom.
We were able to cut a few things off our list since we are going by what is contractual, instead of our "would like to's" since those cost us lots of time.
That being the case the master bedroom is complete since we installed the closet doors (and doorknobs) this evening.
Tomorrow will be filled with plumbing, replacing damaged exterior boards, and odds-n-ends since, as if things weren’t crazy enough, we will be tied up Thursday thru Sunday with something else. So hopefully tomorrow we can finish most of what is on our list.
Oh to squeeze things even tighter we have a termite inspector to come out tomorrow at 1:30. Hopefully there will be no problems with that! I could tell you stories and stories about how things are going, but that would be an earful to say the least!

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January 22, 2007

New Site

Since we have sold the house there is no sense in updating here.
You can find out what we are doing here:
Upon the Ridgetops
See you there!

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This page contains an archive of all entries posted to Biography of Westinmoreland in the House: Notes & Misc category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

House: Living Quarters is the previous category.

House: The Bath Chamber is the next category.

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