Gertie

Turns out I didn’t have as many house photos as I thought I did. But I went ahead and edited a few of the sweet cat I bonded with while staying in the guest house last weekend – I never did ask what her name was, and nobody told me, so I have named her Gertie. She never would sit still long enough for me to get a decent shot, but I managed to pull together a few that weren’t a total blur.

gertie

Any time I came near her she’d crawl out from under the little table where she hangs and demand my attention. OK, she didn’t have to demand, she got it just by being cute.

gertie2
Yes, my sister-in-law did stamp turkey tracks into the concrete of her guest house. Did I mention she’s a stickler for details?

Gertie also liked to rub her head against the metal stair railing; she’d bang it so hard you could hear it ring out like a gong. I don’t think she’s into self-abuse, just being an enthusiastic cat.

gertie3
I don’t know why, but I like this picture.

Here is a picture of the water silo as seen from my bedroom window. I don’t know why I like this picture either, it’s just water storage – but I do.

silo

And here is a shot of the new house, although this isn’t all of it. It’s longer, but I was too lazy to continue walking backwards to get it all into the shot. Yes, I really did just say that.

house

And this is a photo of a painting made by my husband’s grandmother. My sister-in-law had this spot over the dining table set up for this painting in particular; it has its own special light beaming down on it.

painting

Their grandmother and grandfather moved to some land in Big Bend at some point in their lives, building a house of stone there with their own two hands and basically hiding out from the world in the middle of the desert. My SIL loved going out there and spending time with them. In a way she’s created her own place out in the country to mimic theirs, albeit more refined and less deserted than her grandparents’ place. Apparently that old stone house is still standing but has been abandoned for some time; no one has lived in it since they passed away. My SIL went out to see it a few years ago and said it still has the table set for company (I just realized I’ve never asked if this is a painting of the actual stone house; my guess is that it is but I have never gotten that confirmed).

nook

As I might have mentioned, I’m returning to work tomorrow, so I expect my writing will get more sloppy as I have less time to pull these posts together. Hopefully you will forgive my lack of grace or grammar as I move forward.* In closing, here’s a shot of some more barn kitties, ones with which I did not bond. They were sweet enough, just not as convenient as Gertie, who was always hanging out right outside my bedroom door.

kitties

*For some reason, I like to upload posts both here and at Flickr right after midnight each day, but clearly that is going to have to change also. My plan is to continue writing the posts a day in advance, and to upload them first thing in the morning when I get up. That’s what I do on Flickr when school is in session.This probably matters to no one, but I’m mentioning it anyway. 

House detail

First off, it’s my birthday today. I don’t like forced celebrations of any kind as I generally find them tedious and more trouble than they are worth, so as usual I am doing nothing special for the big event. Just turning a year older, appreciating the fact that I’m still around to do so, and enjoying being back home after a weekend of traveling. Moving on.

In yesterday’s post I mentioned I’d taken a ton of photos of all the antique architectural details in my sister-in-law’s house, where we visited this weekend. While still there, the internet connection was too slow to bother uploading the photos, but now that we’re back home I can upload the first batch.

bar2
This counter is in her kitchen, and was salvaged from an old general store. 

My friend Lana made an interesting comment yesterday that antiques can hold spiritual energy from the past, and I liked that idea. In fact I originally thought I’d try to conjure up a ghost for each photo here, but I was not creative enough to do it. I did however have a good ghost for this door (all the doors in the house are antique; most of them purchased from one particular resale shop in the Hill Country):

door
This antique is haunted by The Ghost That Always Hits You In The Ass On The Way Out. You’re welcome. 

chandlier
Not an antique, but it is a cool picture.

shadows
I mentioned this in yesterday’s post, but she bought loads of this recycled wooden trim and used it all throughout the house.

tub
I asked her where the wood came from, but I don’t remember what she told me.The bathtub isn’t antique – the Jacuzzi jets kinda give that away – but it is a claw-foot tub. 

bar
These lights are over the recycled store counter in the first photo. As a bonus, you can see my car through the window. You’re welcome again. Also, that painting on the left wall was painted by her grandmother. I have a shot of it I’ll process and upload tomorrow.   

jars
Light fixture out of jelly jars. I wonder if it gets jammed often. Double-bonus pun!

stove
Apparently this stove doesn’t work properly, but I loved the bright red knobs on it so whatever.

Lots of driving this weekend and I’m tired, so I’ll upload some more from this trip tomorrow.

Old new house

My sister-in-law recently built a house on her property and this trip was my first time to see it. She is one of those people who puts a great deal of  thought into every nook and cranny of a house, and this one is stuffed with unusual details. All the doors were purchased at antique shops, the wood floors are salvaged from old warehouses, the beams in the ceiling were taken from an old tobacco factory, and even the wooden railing around the porch was stripped from an old house and discovered in an antique store somewhere in the hill country. She has a bar area in the kitchen that was salvaged from an old soda fountain shop and an antique claw-foot tub in the master bath. It boggles my mind the amount of effort it must take to construct a home and incorporate so many unique touches, but she has always been one to care deeply about such things and invest loads of time into personalizing her living spaces.

I wandered about our first day here snapping away with my iPhone, but I don’t know if I took the sort of photos that unify the house as a whole. I was really distracted by the little details, so what I ended up with are bits and pieces of the house that I found photogenic and/or cool. Unfortunately, the wifi out here is horribly slow, and I don’t have the patience it would take to sit through uploading the photos. I’ll upload them in tomorrow’s post after I get back home, but here’s one pic of the lovely screened-in porch that I managed to get uploaded. The railing is the salvaged wood from an old house I mentioned earlier.

porch