All Through the Night, Irene

As most folks are aware the East Coast of the US was bombarded with Hurricane Irene this past weekend. We were no exception. The Glade is situated in a wooded lot with plenty of mature trees, mostly oak.

Back of the house from deep in the yard before the fall.

 We lost electric power around 11 p.m. on Saturday night and around 1:30 a.m. we heard an enormous thud that shook the house.

Here's a similar shot of the back of the house with the same tree on the the right as a landmark after the trees fell.

 Charlie and I moved our comforters and pillows down to the living room floor just in case the next thud actually hit the house.

Garden before the fall (from bedroom window).

 Two giant oak trees fell over and took out part of the garden.

Same garden after the trees fell (shot from the bedroom window).

 While there was minimal damage to the house: 1. a small piece of gutter and downspout  and

Broken gutter and downspout

  2. broken windows in the dining room,

Dining room storm windows shattered.

 the clean up of these two massive trees will be considerable.

Rootball of the second tree.

Here’s a look at the rootball from the other side when the sun came out in the afternoon.

Cutting up the tree is one thing, getting rid of the immense rootball is something we have not yet figured out.

 Happily, no one was hurt and even more propitious, Charlie had just purchased a new chain saw blade.

Charlie's putting that Husqvarna to good use. Look out below!

It’s miraculous how God preserved us. If the trees had been 10 feet taller we would have been trapped under them. We’re so grateful. How did you fare in the storm?

I’m linked to


How Do They Do That?

When I’m away at the boss’ place everything is both rustic and elegant at the same time.  Rustic because we’re on a mountain out in the woods but elegant because we follow old time customs like dressing for dinner, retiring to the library after dinner, etc.

I noticed in the kitchen an appliance that I not only don’t own (shocking I know) but have never seen before except here.

Do you know what it is?

 I’ll give you a few hints:

  • It’s kept on the counter for daily use.
  • It turns off and on with a switch.
  • It heats up.

Have you guessed that it’s a plate warmer?  That’s how a professional kitchen ensures that the scrambled eggs and toast are hot when you’re ready to eat.

Plate warmer loaded.

 A stack of plates is loaded into the warmer and heated for any hot entree.  You can see this warmer would hold at least a dozen plates at one time.

From personal experience I can tell you this is a lovely convenience. I personally wouldn’t want to be responsible to use it but if I had my own chef .  .  .

Do you warm the plates for hot meals? And chill the plates for salads? Really?

What’s in Your Attic?

I took a stroll through the attic of this 130 year old house and found some unusual stuff in the sense that our attic at The Glade is full of stuff but not this kind of stuff.

Hanging on many of the lighting fixtures including the attic and throughout the house are copies of the following sign on which the Master of the House’s name has been blocked out for privacy. Before 1930 the lamps and ceiling fixtures were all gas.

These are practical rules even today.

 This attic has small rooms partitioned from the large hall.  The room below was once used as a sewing room.  Lots of light and a place to store extra linens and supplies.

Sewing room

 Opposite the sewing room is storage for an odd array of things including  a baby’s basinet.

Another attic room - notice the old floor covering.

 I opened another door and found a lovely yellow cabinet filled with all manner of breakfast sets.

Breakfast in bed? Yes, PLEASE.

 One closet was filled with a plethora of cleanliness supplies which have become passe with the advent of hot and cold running water piped inside the house.

Wash sets and chambers pots

 I always tell my family never eat soup from a one-handled soup tureen. Get it?

Like I said at the start of this post.  Some folks have interesting things in their attic.  What’s in your attic?

Knock, Knock

I discovered something while roaming this large house to find a good internet connection.  Many of the doors have door knockers.

First, the front and back doors at the center of the house have these great huge iron knockers.  The one below is about 10 inches long.

Front door with knocker

 They’re stately.

Large iron door knocker

 The back door’s knocker is equally substantive but totally different.

Iron knocker at the back door

 Some of the bedroom doors also have knockers like this sweet cardinal (about 5 inches tall).

Painted bedroom door knocker

 Two different owls.

White owl bedroom door knocker

 Across the hall.

Brown owl bedroom door knocker

 Farther down the hall is a red rose.

Red rose bedroom door knocker

 Still farther down the hall are some individual bronze knockers which appear to be very old.

I'm not sure what this fellow is doing but I think his name is Chester.


What is this man’s occupation?


This says, "St. Andrew's University - Cambridge"


Henry IV

 Almost finished

A mystery to me

 And finally

Office door deer head knocker with embellishment

Detail of the deer.

Office door knocker with embellishment

 We, too, have door knockers at The Glade.  Remind me to show them to you one day.

Does anyone find these rare door knockers as interesting as I do? Probably not, right, Charlie?

A Modern Refrigerator

I told you here about my summer business travel destination. One of the things that has always intrigued me is the refrigerator. But first I must tell you that when this lodge was built refrigeration was handled by an ice house.

Ice house from the late 1800s

  This is quite  a spacious ice house that has more recently become a handball court.

The interior of the ice house is now a handball court.

 But I digress. In 1930, very soon after electricity came to this valley, a General Electric refrigerator was installed. The doors are white enameled metal.

4-door General Electric refrigerator from 1930s

 This appliance still functions today in the kitchen as the main food storage for items that need to be kept refrigerated.

The fan and motor are still cooling the contents.

 The motor has been changed once or twice but the actual box is just as is was in 1930. 

Bottom left section of refrigerator

 How incredible is that!  It reminds me that not everyone has “throw-away” mentality in our society today. That’s both a comfort and a life lesson.

General Electric label on the refrigerator.

 Do you have something that has stood the test of time? Is it a dinosaur or does it still contribute to your quality of life?

A Step Back in Time

At least once every summer for quite a few years now I have been summoned from my office in Maryland to the summer home of my employer to help with the paperwork that accumulates there. I love this time away because the house with its 30-some bedrooms remains much as it was in the early years of the twentieth century.  The house was built in the late 1880s. Yes, there is electricity and running water but the furniture and other decor are clearly from another era.

Bridge with iron railing at the mouth of the driveway

 Here’s a detail of the bridge medallion that’s repeated on each corner.

Railing detail

 The approach to the house is a long driveway that passes by open fields and fern forests. 

Ancient ferns carpet the woods

 The transition from hectic modern life to a kinder, gentler time seems to  unfold as I traverse the private road.

The driveway twists and turns up the mountain

  Just before the last bend is a small waterfall that opens into a 14-acre lake.

Small waterfall emptying from the lake

 Then the house appears which is really a glorified log cabin.

The house appears along the driveway

  The front of the house faces the lake; the driveway edges the back of the house which has its own fabulous view.

View from the back of the house

 After parking, I enter through the kitchen wing and await my bedroom assignment.  I’ve stayed in many of the rooms but my favorite is the third floor room that overlooks the lake.

View from my bedroom

 I am blessed by wonderful opportunities that can only come from the Hand of God. How Great Thou Art!

Our Everyday Dishes

I love dishes.  I’m attracted to them.  They call my name and I respond.

We have 2 sets of everyday dinnerware that we alternate. The set we’re currently using is made by Royal Vale which apparently dropped off the face the earth in 1972. I am unable to find a pattern designation.  We inherited this set from my mother. It’s perfect for life at The Glade and by that I mean not too fragile.  Although definitely porcelain of some type it’s not the soft paste variety that easily chips and definitely not stoneware which to my mind is too heavy.

Royal Vale dinner plate and cereal/pasta bowl

This set comes with dinner plate, bowl, dessert plate, bread plate, cup and saucer. We have 6 place settings which for the 3 of us is just about perfect. I love that it’s mostly blue and yellow.

My morning cup and saucer set.

 Because I am a dish diva, however, I wouldn’t mind having 6 additional place settings (which I have never seen and can’t find anywhere).  Do I sound excessive to you?

With the Royal Vale set we also use mugs that are not matching but go with it.  We have 2 of the iris below and 4 of the Churchill design (blue and white).

Everyday coffee or tea mugs

Stored in the dining room and ready at a moment’s notice is our vintage Red Wing pattern, Merrileaf. 

Merrileaf dinner plate

 “Merrileaf” was made with china grade clay by the Red Wing company of Minnesota. The hand-painted underglaze colors are smoky teal, and a minty smoky green on a cream body. The “Merrileaf” pattern is attributed to artist Charles Murphy and was described as “subtle, yet vibrant”.

Merrileaf cup and saucer

 This I have acquired over the years from eBay and own lots and lots, maybe more than 12 place settings.

Merrileaf by Red Wing setting and service pieces

   This pattern from the 1960s has many interesting pieces beyond the plates and cups and saucers. There are small individual serving bowls as well as cereal bowls. 

A pile of Merrileaf individual fruit bowls.

 The divided vegetable and celery server keep company with long-handled sauce pots with covers and place for a serving ladle.  These dishes are versatile for use on an informal party table.

Merrileaf by Red Wing celery dish (front) and divided vegetable

Every so often I come across some Merrileaf at a good price and I snatch it up. I haven’t been successful lately in expanding either the Royal Vale or Merrileaf lines at The Glade.

Do you really, really like your daily use items?  Do you have things that have been handed down to you? How do you complete or add to sets you already own?