Shopping Spree

One of the reasons I had so much fun yesterday is that I got to order a lot of the things for my new office. I also got a lot of news about the renovation, so that made my day fun to get through.

I believe we are getting the one at top center. Kathleen wanted it to be very rustic. This is easy to install and waterproof, too.

The renovation team has decided that the floors in my future office are not salvageable. I am not surprised. This room seems to have gotten the most abuse during the years, and the floors looked practically worn through in some areas. Others had been badly repaired. So, I reluctantly agreed to have the same vinyl planks put in there that Kathleen will have in her office. I’ll cover it up with the giant and inexpensive rug I bought (that I can’t find a picture of, so it will be a surprise).

But, that’s okay, because when I look up I will see this symphony of rustic beauty! It is nice and big, which I need for the size of the room and its ceiling height, and it was not too costly (but not “cheap” – just right). You may have noticed it does not have one bit of bling on it.

A most beautiful, yet rustic, light fixture. With many bulbs.
Bling.

Don’t worry! I found a place to buy chandelier crystals online, and they weren’t too expensive. Eighteen of those will be coming in the mail very soon, and I’ll just add them to the lamp. I’m creative. I will also order some replacements for ones that got knocked off my very similar chandelier at the ranch. I must know what I like.

It just screams “Suna,” doesn’t it!

Now, we certainly don’t want my office to be boring, with all that brick and wood, right? Of course not! So, I have selected extra shiny tile to go under my fake woodstove and on the floor in the tiny bathroom. I will smile at it every single day, and it fits my office decor colors of red, orange, and pink. You know, because those are my favorite hair colors…

Shiny!

AND we were told that we could not repair the ceiling in the entry hallway of the Pope Residence, because it would look too patchy (thanks, dumb stairway). So, we’re going to put up a lovely copper-colored metal ceiling in there. We will put it in the bathrooms, too, since they don’t have the cool wood ceilings that are in the rest of the house.

I have to admit, making these selections is why I loved my real estate redevelopment work so much. I’m glad to have another opportunity to select quality materials that will enhance a beautiful building.

I Am So Proud of Our Friends and Family on This Renovation

Wow, the amount of work that’s gone into our office renovation project is immense. Anything to do with money can get my poor spouse upset, and things were getting to him. I am so grateful to Kathleen and Chris, who were also dealing with their own stressful “stuff,” for helping Lee and the team figure out a good way to move forward on our project to bring a very old house back to life. I feel like I owe them something!

This brick has been cleaned so you can see all its colors. Looks so good. What’s that on top? The air conditioning/heating unit!

Now our family and friends are part of the team, and getting stuff DONE. Chris and Cody are supporting each other and leading the charge, while they brought in Easton (Kathleen’s daughter’s boyfriend) and Randy (neighbor at the ranch). These guys are cleaning bricks like crazy , making the walls prettier every day.

Here’s the unit in my office, and one of the doors that we’re going to use for a desk.

This lets Cody concentrate on bringing in specialists, such as our friend Felix, whose team swooped in today and installed a new HVAC system that’s both energy efficient and minimally intrusive. Wow, that’s going to literally be cool!

Working on the tiny hole that goes from the outside unit to the inside one.

Interior decoration helps me get my balance back. I told you earlier how Kathleen and I spent a happy hour or two last night dreaming of rustic chandeliers for our offices (mine with bling, hers without). We also have been figuring out ways to re-use the doors we’ll have to replace by making them our new desks. She’s looking for something cool to set hers on. I’ll probably get something with drawers from IKEA. I need drawers.

Another crazy light fixture. Antlers and bling. I have no idea which of the possibilities I’ll actually get.

We found a giant mirror in the bathroom by my office, which we already know a place for in Lee’s office. When we get it cleaned a bit, we’ll show it to you.

Look at all the pretty shiplap in the empty bathroom. That’s way better than a lot of really dirty stuff.

Most important, though, is that our family, our friends, and the people we are working with are back to having FUN on this project, which is how it should be. I am so grateful to everyone who is pitching in and helping me and Lee.

Lee actually having fun with air conditioning stuff. Felix said to get his hands off his noodle. We laughed so much.

PS: I have some additional photos of the renovation over on the Hermit Haus Redevelopment blog, if you want to see more.

Well Past My Limit

I hit my limit on Wednesday. Today I surpassed it.

Work continued to annoy, mainly from being out of the loop when hard work was supposed to be done as a team. We worked it out.

Glad I had my squishy thing today.

And. We had been waiting to close on our Villa Park property all week. Ever so many weird delays occurred.

I was sad and disheveled.

I had hoped for a quiet day in the Cameron office today, but nope. While I was in Austin, all sorts of…things happened on our Pope Residence project, but no one had told me.

They also broke this light fixture.

Blah blah. Who cares. At some point I just started crying as Kathleen talked to me. I just wanted to flee. I couldn’t take any more bad news.

The bathroom window looks out on the yard now. The scary laundry room is gone.

I didn’t. Breathing occurred, and I sat through all my meetings, politely said how I felt, and did my work for all my jobs.

There the laundry room isn’t.

We actually got the closing on that house done, though our real estate agent, Carol, had to drive up to Cameron to bring the papers and our friend Liz had to rush through all the papers. Whew.

Carol and Sierra rest during their brief stop in Cameron for the closing.

I just decided to go with the flow. It worked. Sometimes that’s all you can do!

Yep. That’s an incredible number of papers for sellers.

The sight of all the work going on at the Pope Residence, along with thoughts of chandeliers for our offices helped. And some wine.

Nothing relaxes me more than decorating houses, so tonight Kathleen and I looked for chandeliers for our offices. Which one do you like best?

I’m sure things will settle down soon. I’m sure being out of the loop won’t be permanent. Challenges are part of life!

Whirlwind of Winning

No doubt I’ve mentioned at some point on this here blog that winning and losing aren’t really important to my goals (which may surprise anyone who ever played board games with me in my past). But nonetheless, I declare today a win all around (other than my exercise routine, which has suffered due to too much sitting and chatting). And it’s all thanks to all my friends and contacts in little old Cameron, Texas.

First

Snazzy stripey.

I got to sleep in and then had a fine time getting beautiful new navy and sparkle nails. I wanted something wintry, and you know, dark blue matches every outfit I have, since I usually have on blue jeans. Still not sure why I like fun nails so much, but I just do.

It’s one of my girly things, I guess. That and all those rings, huh?

Second

We’re thinking the vultures were looking over at the Hermit Haus, thinking how dead its rentals were.

After lunch, Mandi and I stopped by the Central Avenue Bistro again, because Mandi craved their Caesar salad so much. I had a light soup, which was good, but not as spectacular as the white chicken chili yesterday, which was loaded with chicken. Anyway, that’s beside the point. The winning came when we followed up on yesterday’s conversation with my friend Jenecia, who said her husband really wanted to come see the Hermit Haus to potentially rent it. OH BOY.

With all the stuff going on with Hearts Homes and Hands, we’d had to let publicizing the Hermit Haus as an event venue slide, so all we have is a couple of board meetings and the Master Naturalist class going on. We really want to make enough money to cover the building’s expenses.

Continue reading “Whirlwind of Winning”

It Is a Brick…House

I’m pretty stoked about working on the 1905 Pope Residence in Cameron. When they said it was brick, none of us had a clue that it meant the brick is on interior walls as well as exterior walls! Every time the crew picks up a hammer to knock something else off, we find another treasure.

I’m not going to share all my photos today. If you want to read more about the house, check out Just a Few More Pope Residence Photos on my real estate blog or By Popular Request: More Old House Coolness on the Hearts Homes and Hands blog. Each is from a slightly different perspective, but they both have more pictures.

The door’s open because people are working in there! You certainly can’t tell what color the brick is from the exterior, since everything is tan, tan, tan.

Brickly Beauty

I’ve been loving the exposed brick on the house, though. You can’t see what it looks like from the outside, because it has all been painted, as you can see above. But inside is a different story. Here’s my favorite image:

There’s a lot going on here!

This is the brick that is above what was once a back door on the house. There is a lovely arch above the door made by some very interesting bricks of a variety of colors and quite non-uniform size. Note that some of the bricks have glaze on the ends.

Above that are the regular bricks that made the walls of the house. They are certainly not uniform, either! Even at that time, bricks were made in uniform molds and imprented with manufacturer names, but I don’t see any of that here.

And it looks like some work will need to be done by a mason in some spots. As I gaze at these quirky pieces of clay that have held up this building a LONG time, I think about what it must have been like making bricks in the blazing hot Texas sun. Did they make them nearby or bring them in? I’m thinking I might be able to find out if I study the 1906 maps some more.

The window that goes out into the entry hallway.

Now, in this picture you see the bricks from farther away. You can see how they did the window frames, too. Note that there is a border a few feet up from the floor. That goes all around the house. Was it decorative or functional? Do I have to go find a book about bricks? I love how irregular the bricks are and how there are a whole bunch of dark brown ones in one spot. (By the way, those are original floors, too, and Cody has a source for similar wood to fix areas that are damaged! Wow!)

Oooh, aah. All the prettiness in one spot.

Though the brickwork is irregular, they made all these beautiful arches throughout the house. We’re also going to whip that stained glass back into shape!

Final glimpse.

I think it’s interesting that these two doors are not beautiful arches, but are instead normally sized doors. I could just look at all these different brick shapes and textures all day. Hmm, if I’m lucky maybe the room that will be MY future office will end up this good, too.

We can’t be sure if we can take all the walls down to brick. If we find a lot of damage, we might have to plaster it again. That’s just one more thing to discover as we renovate this place!


PS: don’t worry, I’ll have more things to write “deep thoughts” about later. I’ve been so busy working and attending meetings that there’s no time to think.

I Want to Show You This Historical Beauty!

While this is my personal and ranch blog, I just can’t resist sharing something we are doing in one of our businesses, Hearts Homes and Hands, which is a personal assistance service for Milam and surrounding counties.

We just opened the business, and are currently sharing the lovely old church building where we run a real estate business and host meetings/events. It’s fine, but not terribly accessible for people dealing with physical handicaps, and we’re a bit cramped.

The old Pope residence, most recently the Taylor residence.

So, we were pretty excited when we were finally able to close on this amazing old house with a cool history. We’d bought it from a really great family that was having trouble keeping up with the payments, due to family illnesses and other issues. We were happy to help out and even more happy to finally own the first brick home built in the city of Cameron, in 1905.

Here’s where the Pope family are buried, in the old part of Cameron’s main cemetery. Mandi and I searched for this last year.

The house was originally owned by a doctor Pope and his family, who were beloved in the city’s early years. Their piano-teacher daughter lived there until the late 1950s, using the bottom floor as a boarding house for income.

This hazardous staircase is gone!

Many changes had happened to the house over 115 years, and when we got it, there was a lot of paneling, wallpaper, and interesting interior changes. The biggest change was when the previous owners hired a contractor to install a staircase. It wasn’t exactly safe. (The house had an exterior staircase, since the upstairs started out as a home and the downstairs a doctor’s office, then a boarding house for many years.)

Continue reading “I Want to Show You This Historical Beauty!”

Old Houses, Theater, Work: No Deep Thoughts Today

I have been too busy getting things DONE to get any of my writing tasks done. No complaints there! I have things to write about in all my work blogs now.

One Old House

Yesterday was a lot of fun and messy as hell. Anita had a home inspection scheduled at the cute little house she’s buying from us in Cameron. We took that opportunity to clean up what was left in the house, which has been waiting for TLC for four years.

You can barely see them, but we put decorations in front of the Nash house.

So , we moved lots of bags of things the family of the first owner didn’t want. We removed furniture that wasn’t fixable. We cleaned mildew off furniture we want to keep.

The clean stuff we are keeping and a cleaner living room floor.

My most odious task was sweeping up the baking soda the folks who sold us the house had put down to deal with the odors. Whew. That was dusty.

Continue reading “Old Houses, Theater, Work: No Deep Thoughts Today”
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