Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Tranquil Tuesday: Signs of Spring

Happy Tuesday! It has been gray, wet and cold lately. I'm over it and so ready for spring. Daylight savings is such a treat but not when it looks so sad and gray until 7:30 pm. Eric spent the better part of St. Patrick's Day pruning the fruit trees. We didn't do this last year and suffered gravely. We didn't have ANY pears or apples. I love our pears and make a mean chutney with them. I went out to help as it is a beast of a job. You have to cut all the suckers down, and we had a ton. I hope we aren't pruning them too late. The buds are just barely showing. I know the best time to prune is when the tree is completely dormant. So please cross your fingers for us. 

A new addition to the garden this year are tulips. We went to the Big Dig at Sherwood Gardens this past spring. They allow you to come and dig up the beds and sell what you find for $.25 a bulb! I think we got about $30.00 worth from a few different beds. Who knows what color they are, or if they will even match, but I'm thrilled they came up at all. The first year we planted bulbs and the squirrels feasted on them like candy. We never saw one damn tulip. So I'm dancing a jig this St. Patrick's Day week to see these darling reminders that spring is almost here.

Our peony shoots were peeking their pretty pink heads out of the dirt as well. Never too many peonies or tulips in ones garden is how I see it.

And finally, I can hardly believe it but think we will have more than one daffodil grouping this year! I say this every year, but I swear we rake. The wind just blows every last leaf into the corner of our yard. I'm curious if the foxglove will bloom again. I've been told they come back every other year. It's like waiting for a present. Can't wait to see what happens.

The creeping hydrangea is also showing off her little buds.

So is the grocery store hydrangea. 

You can barely tell but E. did such a good job on the trees. When I went to help, he had the nerve to call me a know-it-all. I blamed Martha Stewart, of course. I'm obsessed with her and watch her show all the time. So what if I paid extra close attention to it this day. 

The other fun thing about our garden, is that each spring we get little treasures from years gone by. We literally find china in the dirt. Broken old glass bottles and other odds and ins. This year, a new piece of burgundy and white china. Not sure if this is 160 years old, or not, but either way it is fun to think of the dinners eaten on this plate. Maybe some pears, perhaps.

The sedum and wild strawberries are making their way as well. 

Wishing you all moments of peace to walk quietly in the garden and see what is coming up. Lent is such a great time to reflect and be quiet. I'm ready for the Easter season however. Let the countdown begin.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Mill No. 1 Behind the Scenes Part Two

A few weekends ago Eric arranged for us to go back to the Mill No. 1 project to check in on their progress. See our first post here from last November. It was a cold, winter morning. Last time we met with Jennifer Tufaro Nolley, this time we met with Steve Travieso, who works for the Thornhill Properties. The greenish/gray color is the parking deck on the first level. There is a large parking facility on property for the apartments and the restaurants.

The poured concrete building across the Falls has a second foot bridge now.

Jennifer painted this rendering that hangs in the sales office. You can see the umbrellas on the lower right where the restaurant area will be in the future. 

The view of the Falls from the north end of the building is the most serene.

We got to see one of the show apartments that is now finished. It would have been cool if they kept some of the exposed brick, but I think it would have been really chilly. The window seat is a nice touch.

The ceiling height was insane in the showroom. I'm guessing at least 13 feet high.

The kitchen was very efficient and the floors were made out of bamboo. The original floors on the first and second floor were too far gone to salvage, but I believe they are trying to reuse them on the third and fourth floors.

The breakfast bar wood is all reclaimed from the original Mill.

There was a gigantic laundry room and mud room off the front door for the sample apartment. Each apartment will have a washer dryer.

We saw a few sample studio/loft apartments. The light on the south side will be great for the folks who decide to rent here.

We went back to the elevator shaft that now has a floor on the second level. Each apartment on this side of the building will have a bedroom in this previous elevator shaft. The doors are too beautiful, but really damaged by weather. I sincerely hope they can re-use them in the space.

When you look up, the elevator shaft is still exposed to the elements. They are working one floor at a time.

I loved seeing this yellow line on the third floor. I imagine it was where people stood in the assembly line at the mill. Just a guess. There were 800 people working here in the 1860s when our home was built in Stone Hill.

When the walls start going up this space is all going to look so different. They laid out the space with studios, 1, 2, and 3 bedrooms based on the windows. They are alternating for the most part. Click here to see the diagrams.

The third floor lofts are going to be amazing. The space again is so high and you can see where they are building the loft in the above photo. They will all have skylights too since there are no windows that far up.

The floors on the higher levels really make you wonder what when on in that section of the mill. Were these scraps of metal hot when they landed on the wood floor? How did they get frozen here for all of these years? What made the marks? And what scuffed the lines in the floor? It's like a little mystery. They would be such a great conversation starter.

The few apartments on the west side of the building really would be the most fabulous. The view of the water is second to none. They have security manning the building at all times. We've seen helicopters patrolling as well. They will have a pool underneath where the officer is standing in this photo. It was hard to visualize, but look forward to seeing how it turns out.

Some lucky, lucky devil is going to get to live in this apartment where the builder signed their name on the beam in 1874, the year after it burned down. You can read all about the history here. They are going to expose this beam in the apartment. How cool is that? 

My favorite part of the tour was going up to the Clerestory on the fourth floor, or penthouse level. You can see it from our guest bedroom window really well! This structure was added to look more like the original building back in the 1800's.
The diagram above shows the apartment layout of the Clerestory. The kitchen and dining room area will be upstairs with windows on either side. The lower level will have skylights added over the bedroom. I can't wait until our next tour with this level finished!

You can see Stone Hill out these windows.

We still haven't heard what restaurants will be contracted for the space, but look forward to the announcement soon. They are anticipating their first clients to move in in May while the building is still being finished. 

Thanks again Steve for meeting us on your weekend. Can't wait for the next tour.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Highlights from Timberweek on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon

I DVR Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and watch it when I get home from work most evenings. I love this show. When @MrJoshCharles played bubble soccer on the show and was out of breath playing with the Raven's shooting goals into the elevator banks I about died. Jimmy's beer pong, Catch Phrase, Pictionary, golf and other games show off his extremely competitive side. Somehow it still comes off as funny. He played Call Me Maybe on elementary school musical instruments. He dances. Sings. Does voices. Plays the guitar and works only a few floors away from our friend Todd Cole. I'm dying to get tickets one day to the show. Come on Todd Cole! I know you can hook us up!!!

This week was the best because Justin Timberlake was on each night to promote his new album 20/20. They called it Timberweek. After killing it on SNL, JT hung out with Jimmy and I had to post them so I could have them all available to go back and watch again and again. The camp scene is my all time favorite!!! 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Grandmother Tayloe and art history

Last Christmas Momma gave me a gift that I have always cherished. This painting was done by my great grandmother, Nelle Tayloe, one of three Nelle's that I'm named for, pronounced Nellie. Grandmother Tayloe painted this at her summer home on Walloon Lake. Walloon is in norther Michigan very close to The Grand Hotel. The lake house had a nickname; Elmarvaho for her four children, Elizabeth, Margaret, Virginia and my granddaddy, Howard. 

E. and I spent our honeymoon very close to Walloon Lake at the Grand Hotel. It's a magical place. This is the color of Lake Michigan. It really and truly looks exactly like this on sunny days this far up north. No photo filter needed. I can imagine my grandparents and great grandparents enjoying the cool summers away from the heat of Memphis. When my Momma and Daddy were first married, Dad got excepted to Michigan State for his Masters program. Mom was excited to head north since she had spent so many summers there as a child. I visited once when I was little, little and then again after college to visit my precious Tayloe at her grandmother's cottage which was next door to the "big" house, as all called it.

This is a portrait of Grandmother Tayloe. Everyone calls her Grandmother Tayloe even though she is my great. It was finished in 1935 in Memphis, Tennessee. The reason I have this painting breaks my heart because the uncle who gave it to me is no longer with us. We all miss him. I remember this painting so vividly in my grandparents home. My mother has such fond memories of Grandmother Tayloe, saying she never complained and loved the hokey pokey! Isn't that a hoot?

Charles Frederick Naegele was the artist. After doing some research I found out that he was living in Memphis and was 87 when he painted it. My great Grandfather George Tayloe commissioned many works for the family at this time by Mr. Naegele. Portrait crazy is what some wrote. I need to go to the National Portrait Gallery and the Renwick in DC and see if I can find out more about him. I love a good art history lesson and this one will be so personal to research.

This is one of my most favorite photos of me and my grandmother Tayloe, who we all fondly called Grandmommy Nancy, my mother's mother. Not the one in the portrait above but her daughter-in-law. She was also nicknamed NT by some.

This is Grandmommy Nancy and my adorably tan Granddaddy Howard. Howard is Grandmother Tayloe's first child and only son. Are you bored to tears yet? Sorry, but I've realized that this blog has become a wonderful journal that I can look back on. Grandmother Tayloe wrote to Granddaddy at W&L from Washington, DC, boasting about riding in the Inaugural parade during Calvin Coolidge's Inauguration! This painting hadn't even been painted yet! That history is posted here, jump to (5) in the post. 

I've had this post queued up for over a year thanks to a request from @girltuesday. Thanks so much for the interest Kate. It's been so much fun finding out more about this artist and celebrating the fact that so many women in my family were artistically gifted as well. Many of my cousins are professional artists and I too was an art major.  

While in Memphis a few weeks ago I found Grandfather's portrait was beautifully hung in the dining room at Chip and Louise's home. I love knowing that I got grandfather out of the garage!!! Ha. You can see that the frames are exactly the same. Aren't they a regal couple, Grandmother and Grandfather?

Missing my family scattered throughout the country writing this, especially my sweet Momma. This photo of her dancing with her brother Chip is one of my all time favorites. Save your letters pals. The history they tell for generations have been priceless to us.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Todd Cole turns 40

We celebrated our best man's birthday a few weekends ago in Maryland. Actually, a TON of weekends ago. Anyone still out there? Sorry for the quiet but have had some fun stuff happen as of late. More on that soon. Back to Todd.  I love how his mother kept this invite that his dad drew 36 years ago.

Warren and Todd Cole (can't just say Todd...it has to be Todd Cole to the tune and vibe of Outcast saying "ICE COLD").

Todd makes fun of me because I take pictures of food and post them on Facebook. I don't mind. I don't read all the smarty pants newsy posts he puts up either. So there.

His mom hooked it UP in the food department. I was too busy enjoying the baseball sized crab cakes to remember to photograph them. The cakes were all from Ms. Desserts. This yellow cake with chocolate frosting reminds me of the cakes from Pollyanna. Is that weird?

How great is the biddy on the drums?

I sampled at least three cakes, have mercy. 

Kev and Charlie

Todd Cole's adorable family! His mother Carolyn and sister Kelly.

In most pictures of Todd Cole, he is pointing. Article A. our wedding. 

I asked all the friends at the party to point for the photo. The result was priceless! 

Wishing you many more happy returns Todd Cole. Thank you for being such a great and true friend to my Charlie. I think his nickname stuck because you laughed so hard. 

In other Stone Hill Farm news, E. and I are both WORKING full time, within three miles of home. We couldn't feel more blessed, challenged and encouraged by our new work. Thank you all for your prayers, patience and friendship over this past year. It has brought many new adventures, great introductions, deep reflection and rest. I personally feel rejuvenated and ready to tackle my new gig with such energy. I waited for the right fit which was very much worth it. Thanks again dear readers and friends.