Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘library’

mother reading to childIt’s no secret that writers love books. Most are book hoarders if you want to know the truth. Books are our crack. My love affair with books began at a very young age. I blame my mother. She used to read to me every single night even after I was more than able to read by myself. It was our nighttime ritual.  (more…)

Read Full Post »

Photo courtesy Baer House Inn

Photo courtesy Baer House Inn

Here it is – my new abode! Come on in, take a look around. While you explore, I’ll share some of the history of the home. Let’s start in the ballroom:

Baer House parlor

The Baer House was constructed in 1870 by Leona and Lazarus Baer from an existing site with a brick structure dating prior to 1850. Most of the original house was destroyed during the siege of Vicksburg in 1863. Leona Baer (formerly Bloom) began reconstruction with the goal of building a Victorian home guaranteed to impress with elaborate woodwork in the Eastlake architectural style, made popular by Charles L. Eastlake in the 1870’s and common among the elite in New York.

If you’ll turn around, you can see the other end of this large room, which is where guests enjoy a hearty breakfast, complete with a variety of hot dishes, juice, fresh fruit, homemade breads, hot black coffee, and made-to-order specialty dishes.

Baer House dining room

Back to the home’s construction. Leona Baer, was quite the revolutionary woman, insisting on overseeing every aspect of the home’s design and monitoring it’s construction. She was very forward-thinking for her generation, insisting that the kitchen be inside the home (an unheard of idea at that time) and that there be privies on the first and second floors. That’s right, this home sports a two-story outhouse. Don’t believe me? You’ll have to make a reservation and check this out yourself. The structure is still standing and still attached to the house. Makes for interesting conversation among tour guests.

Let’s step into the hallway for this next portion.

Baer House hallway

The head-turner here is, obviously, the grand staircase, complete with solid walnut balustrade. Notice the floors? They were painstakingly constructed of black walnut and American chestnut, highly sought after for it’s durability and rot resistance. Yes, the chandelier is quite impressive as well, as are the crown moldings and ceiling medallions. However, what is spectacular about this floor is that it is irreplaceable since the entire American chestnut population in Mississippi was wiped out by the blight around the turn of the 20th century.

Up those stairs are 6 guest rooms, 4 with private baths, 2 with a shared bath. Most have either a King or Queen bed, 2 are mini suites. The upstairs, while still quite grand, does not boast the fancy trimmings of the downstairs. You see, Leona believed that the family, children in particular, should not socialize with guests until they reached a proper age, thus the need for upstairs privies. Until such time, children were to remain upstairs and out of sight. There are still 14-foot doors with glass transomes up there, but they are plain, not decorated with the fancy Eastlake trimmings. After all, family does not need to dwell among such lavishness; luxury is visible only to esteemed guests.

Photo courtesy Google Images

Photo courtesy Google Images

Perhaps next week, I’ll treat you to some photos of the guest rooms and share some more of the fascinating history, including mysterious activity that happens in certain areas of the home. For now, this was a smattering of the fanciness of my new digs. I might also tell you about some of the goings-ons (that sounds weird) here in Vicksburg. Yes, stuff happens even in the heat. I know, I was shocked, too.

How have you been managing the summer heat? Have you traveled anywhere fun this month? What cool old houses have you visited? Curious people want to know.

 

Word of the Day: Xerostomia

Fun fact about me: I’ve yet to find a dishwasher that removes egg from anything.

Original post by Jansen Schmidt, August 2015. Photos courtesy TripAdvisor.com and Google Images.

Read Full Post »

Photo courtesy Google Images

Photo courtesy Google Images

Moving is never fun, what with the packing and cleaning, deciding what stays and what goes. It becomes even more complicated when you have to consider that taking stuff means more expense (extra boxes, added weight in the truck, etc.), but leaving stuff means severing an emotional attachment to something. Downsizing or decluttering is good for the body and the soul, but getting rid of stuff can be painful, too. I have things in my drawers and cupboards that I rarely use but I’m keeping simply because they were my mother’s things. Should I pack those things? It seems silly, but they represent a small part of my past, a part of my mother that I can cling to. Is the sentimentality worth it?

Hmmm, what to do, what to do?

Because we are moving into a much larger home than what we have now, we should have room for every single thing. But, that big house we’re moving into is also already furnished. We don’t need our furniture, but some of my furniture is unique; one-of-a-kind items handmade specifically for us. I can’t give that away, nor do I want to. I love some of my furniture. My sofa is super comfortable. My dining room furniture can never be replaced (with the exact same items) and nobody will appreciate it like I do.

Photo courtesy P. Rickrode

Photo courtesy P. Rickrode

Hmmm, what to do, what to do?

And then there’s the closets. For 30 years I’ve worked in a professional environment; two-piece suits, pantyhose, heels, etc. I have lots of really nice professional clothes with matching shoes and accessories. I love my clothes. Will I ever wear them again? Probably not. I paid a lot of money for those clothes and shoes and accessories. Will I ever need them again? Probably not. Is it painful to part with my massive shoe collection? Heck yeah. Should I pack them all and try to find a place to store them at my new home? I don’t know. I have some really cool shoes. I love my shoes. Am I going to wear heels at the inn? Maybe once in a while. But, I love my shoes.

Photo courtesy Google Images

Photo courtesy Google Images

Hmmmm, what to do, what to do?

Finally, there’s the books. This one is a no-brainer. All 99+ boxes of books go into that truck (hey, I’m not the one loading the truck). No sorting, no downsizing, no emotional meltdown for having to part with even a single book. You want to know why? My new house has an honest to goodness, full-fledged LIBRARY!!!!! I can acquire even more books!

Photo courtesy Google Images

Photo courtesy Google Images

Life is good.

Do you find it hard to part with certain things? Do you hold on to things for sentimental reasons? If you had to pack your entire house and move, would you keep every single thing? What advice do you have for me about packing and moving across country? Come on, let me hear it.

Word of the Day: Sabayon

Fun fact about me: I’ve moved about 7 times in my life.

Original post by Jansen Schmidt, June 2015. Photos courtesy Google Images and Patricia Rickrode.

Read Full Post »