Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year, 2013, The best is yet to come!

May all your dreams come true.  Hope our stupid government can get it together. May happiness, love and all the blessings of heaven and earth come your way. Richard and Sissy Dog at, My Old Historic House.

Friday, December 28, 2012

New Porch Floor

   I bought, My Old Historic House, in the spring of 2006. It was in a sad state of repair. In fact, the entire front porch was missing. I could not understand why any one who have torn it off. It makes the profile of the house so regal. Well, being a proud new home owner, I went about the hard and expensive task of rebuilding the front porch. There were indications of where they porch had once been. Holes in the brick, paint on the brick and little bits of old porch foundation. I basically used the side porch as a guide in building the front porch. We matched measurements and detail designs. Having studied a little drafting in high school and college, I knew just enough to draw up some simple plans. This alone saved me thousands of dollars. My carpenter is  wonderful, between my drawings, his mind and mine, we built a new porch.This was the spring of 2007. It was primed and pained right away. I used oil base paint. I thought it would be the best. One year latter, spring of 2008, the Mississippi River, which is only a little over 100 feet away from my house, flooded.  It was one of the biggest floods in recorded history.We built over 600,000 sandbags, but the river still reached under and around my new porch.Since the new paint had not really soaked into the wood,  basically setting on top, the moister got under the paint and stayed, until it rotted the floor. It has been a big battle. I have sanded the floor several times, repainted it, with first oil and then latex. Nothing seemed to stop the decay. I had no choice but to replace the floor.Only 4 years old and was rotten. Maybe this is why the former owners decided to tear the porch off.

     I have scrimped and saved to come up with the money.  Anyone trying to live on retirement knows, there is very little, if any, left over, for big projects like this. Having the money in my hands, I called the carpenter and said can you start right away. As luck had it, he needed work, and I wanted to do it before something else came up and took this money. So yesterday in weather that was barely above freezing, the crew started tearing off the old porch floor. It was a lot of work as I did not want the iron rails removed. I was afraid they would not go back up and they are very heavy and brittle in this weather. So far. so good, the old rotten floor is gone.

    I ran down that way a took some pictures. When I was redoing, My Old Historic House, I thought it would be fun to capture it's progress in pictures and a blog. I had not at that time, been brave enough to start one. So I am kinda going in reverse, but here it is.

    This picture shows the house with out the front porch. This is how it looked in 2006 when I purchased it. The second picture shows signs telling me there had been a porch at one time. I had no picture of this porch so I used the side porch as a sample in building this porch.

    As you can see the wood has really rotted away. Hard to believe this all happened in 4 short years. It am sure it was the paint. Paint is not what it used to be. When I was young, I grew up in and old Victorian home. It had several porches,like  the ones on my house now. We pained them with oil based paint and you could see the paint soak into the wood. We never knew about primers. Just 3 good coats. The first two soaking in so much they really didn't seem to cover much. The paint today just sets on the surface and chips off  in the cold winter. I am going to use a wood stain on the new floor. Water based. The first few coats, I will water way down ,so it can soak deep into the wood. I am hoping this will help take care of the rotting problem. Anybody out there have an ideals, I'd love to hear them!

    One of my favorite things in the world is, my two Southern Magnolia Trees. They were planed in my side yard the summer that I bought the house. 2006. They were a little over 6 foot tall and I could reach around them. That first winter we had a huge ice storm. A lot of trees broke and died. My Magnolias made it fine. They have grown so much. They bloom almost all summer. The blooms are big and beautiful and smell up the entire garden. The only bad thing is, the blooms only last one day.  The next pictures you will see hear are before and after pictures of My Magnolias.

   When the porch floor is done, I will came back with another blog and let you all see the finished project.I might not paint till in the spring, when the weather is warmer and the porch has had time to settle in.
Until next time, Please come by any time for a tour. I will leave the porch light on and Sissy Dog will always meet you with a jump and a kiss!!! Richard at, My Old Historic House.


PS. Maybe a hot dog roast would be a good way to get rid of those old boards??????

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Christmas is here, take a look!

Finally Christmas is getting here. Only 2 more days left. Everyone, young and old ,are excited and full of  cheer.Trees are decorated, lights are strung, food is being readied and all is calm.Packages are being wrapped, cards received. Joy is everywhere. Family is coming, guest, friends and neighbors pop by. The spirit of the season is truly in the air.

My wish for all of you, is that you have a safe and wonderful Christmas and the best of the Holiday season. May all your dreams and wishes come true. I pray that your family and guest arrive safely and if you are traveling, be delivered safe and sound.

Take time to remember the poor people out there. Children in foster homes. Families with little or no means. People on the street. Old folks with little or no family. Try to be happy, but by all means, share the joy and love. Even if it is a simple phone call. Sissy and I are visiting the nursing home, she's sure to bring some sparkle to some lonely eyes.

Share your fortune, no matter what size it is, even if it is only a smile and a simple Merry Christmas. Say a prayer for our loved one on duty, making our life safe. Especially pray for the dear sweet children who were taken this season . Prayer for the lost souls, so this might not happen again. Plead with gun lovers, for a change. This murder has to stop.Maybe all we need to do is show compassion. Think about all the lost souls that are bullied, made fun of and need our help.   As a nation, we must come together.

Remember all the animals, especially the ones outside, in the cold or in shelters. Send a check or drop off some food. Ask your neighbors to bring there animals inside. They are some of our best friends. They ask so little in return.Rewards from animals, unconditional love, is more than most of us can ever dream of.

Most of all, lets try and get our country back together. We need to unite and do something for the good of the nation. Washington has to come together. The only way this might happen, if , "We the People," show we want and need it to.We must respect our President. Other countries are watching us and are ready for us to be off guard. Let's become the ,"Leader of the Free World". the strongest nation in the world and a country we all can be proud of.

In closing, be safe, be happy. Have a wonderful Christmas. Share your love, not only with family and friends, but the world around us. From My Blog to Yours. Merry Christmas. Richard from My Old historic House.And Sissy Dog too!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Santa Claus coming to town.

  I live in a small rural town in Missouri. It is 70 miles from St.Louis and 50 miles from Hannibal. These are the nearest and best know towns that are close to me. Our town, Clarksville,Mo. has about 400 people. The town is are very old , 1815, and right on the  banks of the Mississippi river. Being a historic town on the river we have tried to promote tourism.All our old brick store fronts have been restored and are open. The town has many artist studios and galleries along with two antiques malls, one of which is mine, The Downtown Antique mall. I also own and operate the 1845 Historic Elgin/Cottrell House Museum.which doubles as my home. My blog friends know it as, My Old Historic House. Through out the year, we have many events to bring people to town. In December we decorate and  welcome Santa and Mrs. Claus to town. It is quite an event. Santa arrives by fire truck. His sled and reindeer awaits him  at city hall, which is decorated with hundreds of trees, Santa, snowmen and much much more. This is mostly done by our Mayor. She is very much devoted to this task and loves doing it for the children. Hundreds of visitors come each December. bringing  there children, family, pets and cameras. I just wanted to share a little with you today. In spite of the Worlds problems, Christmas must go on for the Children and today in Clarksville,Mo. it has done just that..
    I hope have a wonderful Christmas and maybe I'll see you again before the New Year. Love and  Best Wishes from My Blog to Yours. Richard and Sissy

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Christmas Cards - December 2012

   Every now and then we all find ourselves with a budget problem. That is me this Christmas. So I had to be creative. I always enjoy sending and getting Christmas cards. It is a time to catch up with family and friends and give a little cheer. It is so exciting to open them up and see what people have chosen. Some are big, some small, small serious while others are plain. I always know who will send the funny ones, the religious ones and the ones with family pictures. I  came up with this idea a few weeks ago and have been having fun making and sending them.. I have two versions, one for the serious on my list and the second for the fun lovers. Some people with children and a very few who are extra special, I send large envelopes with dozens and dozens. I know it must be fun and a surprise to open that envelope up and see snow flakes fall ever where.

    I made this picture of, My Old Historic House. I got a card last year with this snow and winter scene. I cut the center out and added a picture of my house behind. They print up really good and cost only a few pennies to print on the computer. I bought extra white paper and a little bit heavier than normal, just to make them a little bit nice. On this card I printed a little verse I came up with." I am dreaming of a white Christmas. Just like the ones  we used to know. And to make sure we all will have one, I'm sending you some snow!!!

  The fun loving card is kind of a cop out. I found this picture on Facebook and copied it. I probably broke a law??? Sorry. I wrote on it. " The snowmen, not you!!! Have a White Christmas on me."
   Snow flakes have been made for many a year. I was taught the art of making them in grade school. Latter when I was an elementary art teacher, I loved seeing the kids faces as they created some of there own. They are a very fun and in expensive way to decorate or send cards. All scraps of paper, even tiny pieces can be used. I iron mine with the electric iron set on high or cotton. This takes all the fold marks out and makes them extra nice. I have them on my tree this year and hanging from my library chandelier.
   In closing, just remember, it doesn't have to cost a lot to send a Christmas wish or give a little present. Hope your Holidays are coming along and especially hope we all have a 'White Christmas." I know I will and so will my friends and family. Give it a try next year. I think people will like it.
       Merry Christmas,  from Richard ,at My Old Historic House, and especially Sissy Dog!!!