Our Wonderful Followers who come back again and again to read about us...

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Going Home Again

You know that saying, that you can't go home again?  Well, Steve and I made sure someone could!!

For those of you who have read my blog for a while, you know we live in a 100+ year old home. It was started in 1913 and completed in 1914. The Kopf family occupied it for 83 years- from 1929 for four generations until we purchased it in 2012.

We have kept in contact with the Kopf family members since purchasing the home. It turns out that George Kopf Jr, along with his lovely wife Sandy, were traveling to Chilton to attend his high school reunion.

Sandy had written ahead of time to ask if we could arrange some time for George to come to visit his childhood home.  Just to sit on his front porch to have a cup of coffee and reminisce.

Of course!

We were so excited to have them come and see the home again.  To see how we have really tried hard to preserve the home in it's original condition, as opposed to what so many people do to lovely older homes. I shudder when I see these television programs that focus on modernizing, remodeling, ripping out walls, or painting the woodwork. Gasp, oh horrors if we did that!

Sandy and George arrived yesterday morning. They admired all of the plants in the yard as they came around to the front door. I was so tickled that they wanted to come in through the front door. Most of the people that come here just come to the back door, which is closest to where the cars are parked in the driveway.

He specifically admired the old bushes and trees that are still there in the front yard, just as they were when he was a boy. The bridal wreath bush on the corner of the front porch, as well as the clematis plant crawling up the trellis. More on that later---

They came into the home and we got acquainted. As we wandered through the home, from room to room, it was so much fun to hear his stories and recollections as a child.

We showed them the things we had changed, or things we had preserved to make it as original as possible. He had a lot of fine memories to share, some happy, and yes, some sad. It was a lifetime of his memories to sort through as he grew up in this home.

After we wandered throughout the entire house, upstairs and down, we returned to the front porch to do what he had asked... Yes, to sit and sip a cup of coffee in his old front porch and watch the cars go by.

I made some blueberry muffins and we had thoroughly delightful conversation over our coffee.

He remembered the parades that went by as a child, right up the street in front of the house. He talked about all of the trees that had been taken down when the road was widened and how things look different when the road commission needed to accommodate four lanes of traffic. The road in front of our house is State Highway 57. Even though it slows down to 25 miles an hour in our town, there's still a lot of traffic that passes in front of the home.

Sandy took a pic of us with George too! 

He was fondly remembering where his father sat, where the the old philco radio was in the corner, and how on hot summer evenings they would spend their time out there and even sleep on the porch, as opposed to going into the hot bedrooms upstairs.

Gifts were exchanged, which included a wonderful vintage playing deck of cards with the local Kriwanek Ford Garage motif printed on them. This is where his father had worked when he was a child. His niece Debbi had come across them in some of  the family things.  He said to take note that only part of the deck appears to be well used and not the rest of the cards. That's because the card game of choice in their home was Sheepshead, also locally known as "Schafkopf"... How fitting because their last name is Kopf!

They also brought me a beautiful Wax Pottery Bowl embedded with wonderful lilac blossoms. It smells just like the aromatic lilacs, a great reminder of the gnarly age-old lilac bush right outside of the front porch when it is in it's springtime bloom. Now I can smell them all year round even though the springtime blossoms are long gone from the bush.

In return, I give them a jar of raspberry jam made from the berries that grew right here in his own childhood backyard. He had good memories of all the raspberries and garden plants that his father and grandfather used to raise in the big deep backyard over the years.  He knows he picked "gallons" of berries from that yard each year.  Not to mention the weeds he pulled and vegetables that were harvested.

Another gift I gave them were two matching coat hooks, that are used throughout the home. All of the coat hooks in the house match, along with the door hinges, door knobs, heating register vents and cold air return grids. They are all of a specific black and copper patterning. The hooks have a beautiful heart shape to the base of them.

We had removed two of the hooks to erect some shelves inside his father's old bedroom closet last month. I set the two hooks with the coordinating screws aside in a small bag to save them for George and Sandy. It's something small they can tuck into their suitcase when they fly home. So they can bring a little bit of his Chilton childhood home back with them to Florida.

Also, I gave them a DVD of a movie that had been produced about Chilton in 1938. A movie production company had filmed people and businesses around the town in 1938. A few years ago, the Kiwanis club undertook identifying all of the people, narrating it, and made the movie public. In the course of the movie there is one section where the movie production company filmed his father working at the Ford garage and he is mentioned by name. The movie is available to watch in two parts on YouTube:


I put both parts on a DVD, as well as a CD of all of the old newspaper articles in the column named "Looking Back" featuring different events, homes, businesses, and people in the community. This retro memory column is published by a friend of ours, Herb Buhl. Lastly, I attached all of the photos of the house when we first looked at it when it was for sale in 2012, along with new photos now over the last five and a half years of the things we have restored. So he can bring a bit of his childhood home and pop in a CD to see the photos again and again.

All too soon it was time to go... They had to return the rental car and had a plane to catch out of Green Bay.

We stopped outside by the vintage bridal wreath bush next to the many decades-old clematis plant on the trellis.  We re-created this photo from his 8th grade graduation!!

Before he got into the car, he was looking around the yard, with a wistful look of remembrance in his eyes.

  • he told stories of flying paper airplanes off the back upstairs shaker porch...
  • he talked about the old apple tree that is now long gone...
  • he talked about when Uncle Mike came to build the original single stall garage behind the home...
  • he also remembered the year that the tall black pine tree out front had been planted, as well as when his Uncle Mike backed into it with a truck! All the while his father was yelling "WHOA WHOA" like trying to stop a horse!

I could have listened to him for hours. 

The family has shared some photos of both George and his sister Joan as they grew up in this house.

What a fine young man to be raised in this little community, to go on and become a doctor, get married to a wonderful woman and raise a family of his own.

Here, just for grins, is a photo of the house
that he knew as a child...

And how it looks today!

Some kind people let me go back last year and visit my childhood home. It was wonderful to pay it forward and do someone else the same honor.

you can 
go back home 

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Busy Week of Grandkids!

Whew! Sorry I haven't blogged, but this week done tuckered me out.

Last Sunday we had a special birthday party to go to.  Our oldest grandson Jameson turned 10 and his little sister Whitney turned 3.  Their birthdays are only 4 days apart, so they celebrate them together. 

Our daughter Heather and soninlaw Jesse live up in Oconto, just a half mile down the road from our old house.  We tease them that they waited to buy a house just up the road until AFTER we sold ours and moved away! hahaha   

The kids had blast and all of our kids and grandkids were there, along with Grandpa Pfundtner and some family friends as well.  They recently put up a swimming pool in their yard, so the party became a swimming party for the young ones. It was hot hot hot out, but we found shade under the trees in our lawn chairs with the other older folks.  

After a fun taco bar meal, 
and present openings....

It was time for BIRTHDAY CAKE!!!

(each got their own cake)

here a little You Tube of their song: 

Whitney                                       Jameson

I have no idea where these years have gone,
has it really been TEN years since our first grandchild was born?


Then on Monday, we had the chance to pick up grandkids Allegra and Mason from their summer school class, as their other auntie wasn't able to make it. These are the two that belong to our son Dan and daugherinlaw Heather. Their class happened to be held at Heritage Hill State Park in Green Bay.  They were sketching wildlife flowers and learning to volunteer and do chores for the park. That place is very special to us because that is where we got married 21 years ago!  

Yes, we were married in the Moravian Church on the historic grounds complete with carriage and horses and a wonderful family ceremony, surrounded by friends and relatives. 

The kids took pics of us on the steps, and then we peeked in all the windows, as the buildings had been closed up for the day.  It was so wonderful to kiss my husband all over again, 21 years later in the same place we had said our vows. 

After that, we had a couple hours to kill before their parents were coming home from work.  Soooo we took a little stop at Kastle Karts in Green Bay.  Mason was not old enough to drive alone, but he could ride along.  Allegra was able to drive, but preferred to let Grandpa drive her.  So Mason and I paired up in another cart. It was sure fun!  We weren't allowed to take a cell phone on the ride, so the workers snapped this pic for us before we took off. 

After that we went over to Bay Beach... It's a city owned amusement park with only 25 cent tickets for the rides!  Some rides take one ticket, some two, some three.  It was fun and we rode for a couple hours on only $10.  I made a video for them of the day.....

We finished off that visit with a stop at A and W for supper.... (we rarely do fast food) but brought them home all fed and full of sugar... there were FREE root beer floats on that day as well!  


Then this weekend we just had the littlest grandkid, Claire, for an overnight.  Her parents, our oldest daughter Erin and soninlaw Waylen, went to a concert in Alpine Valley (country music.. ick!)  and we got to keep the wee one, not quite 2 years old yet.  She is such a quiet, inquisitive and gentle little girl.  Here she is playing with my blown glass paperweights.  I allow the grandkids to play with them because although they are glass, they are pretty much unbreakable. Unless they drop one on the foot.. ouch!  But they love the idea of getting to touch and handle GLASS.

She played and played so well with the toys and explored the toy closet now that she is old enough to play with the "big kid toys".  Last time she was here, we only took out the "baby toys" ... she sure is growing up fast too.

It was miserably hot outside, but we did manage a walk around the block with her pulled in the little red wagon by her Grandpa.  I followed with Finney and Binney on leash.  Only one block and we were tuckered out.  This heat and humidity are just too much this summer in Wisconsin.  Our central air is running nonstop to keep the house cool.

But that little stinker wasn't worn out yet... so we let her play in the Big Backyard for a while, fetching frisbee and playing ball.  Here is a cute you tube of her antics:

What fun! 

When I got her in the bathtub, she was slowing down --- and by 8 p.m. she was out like a light!  She even slept in this morning until 7:30 a.m.!  That is amazing, because she usually wakes up between 5 and 6 am.

We played around the house until her parents came to pick her up on their way home from Alpine Valley.  She was a sweetie and even helped to pick up all of her toys! Imagine that!

After hugs and waves, they headed on home, and now Steve and I had a shift to do at the Calumet County Historical Museum.  We volunteer there for Sunday during open hours from 1-4 and we also help with maintenance and serve on the board as well.  It was a hot hot humid icky afternoon again.  

I am glad we took along a fan and cooler of ice water, we sure needed it.  But even on a hot miserable day, we had 9 visitors. The buildings are not air conditioned and unless there is a breeze, *which there wasn't a lick of wind*  we do the best that we can.

It is a wonderful place with a collection of locally owned and cherished items... with as much provenance and stories attached as possible.  We love the people who come in and tell even more stories about things that their families did or items they owned as well. It is a fun task to help out, and we learn more and more each time we help out.

I was honestly happy to see 4pm roll around so we could lock up and stow the flag and take down the signs.  I had tossed a pork roast with sauerkraut in the slow cooker before we left, so supper was ready when we got home.  We are now spending the evening sitting on our butts in the livingroom, watching How The West Was Won and being two total slugs! 

I promise to write about PART THREE of It All Started with a Facebook Marketplace Ad....  I just haven't gotten around to it yet.  But it deals with some interesting light fixtures added to Our Old House. 

Friday, August 3, 2018

It All Started With a Facebook Marketplace Post - PART TWO

In my last blog, I started on all of the changes we had to make just because of a Marketplace ad from Facebook.

Now for one more change that we made, due to a Marketplace ad from Facebook:  last week I saw this very interesting ottoman. We needed a long low seat for additional seating in the living room that could go under the front window. Luckily, this one was only in Kaukauna, about 18 miles away. We made arrangements with the lady to pick it up off her front porch because she had to leave her house for an unexpected errand. She told us if we liked it, just put the money in an envelope and slide it underneath her front door mat. What a trusting soul! I sent her a selfie pic of myself and my husband in the car so she knew we were real people, just little old honest grandma and grandpa! We drove over and snapped it up for $65.

The top cover is really clean, the photograph of the velour just kind of made it look dirty due to the nap of the fabric. I wasn't so worried about the top cover anyhow because I was going to recover it. But the inside and lower portion was very clean as well and that's what counted...

After we left her house, we drove over to Jo-Ann's Fabrics. I had a coupon in my hand and a sale was ending that very day.

I picked up some additional matching fabric that I had used to cover my dining room chairs. It's a deep rich paisley tapestry type fabric with gold and black and brown accents and an underlying burgundy. I like it because it doesn't show the dirt and wears well.

The fabric was normally $39.99 per yard! Ouch! But it was on sale for half off for $19.99 a yard. Plus I had a coupon to get an additional 20% off so I ended up paying only $15.99 a yard. Much better. Got to love those coupons at Joanns!

I only needed one yard of the fabric. As soon as we got home, Steve removed the top lid and I got to work. I used chalk to mark the corners on the inside of the fabric. I sewed some box corner seams, then I spread it out over the cushion and flipped it over. Now all I had to do was fold under the edges all of the way around and staple them into place. Of course, I ran out of staples part way through. Isn't that the par for the course? We went to 3 local stores to look for these particular staples for a Sears PowerShot staple gun. Steve said I would have to wait for another trip up to Appleton to check some big stores for them. We came came home empty handed. But then we checked an old box in the garage that was left over from an old staple gun, long ago gone, and the staples fit! So I could finish my task at hand.


Steve put the lid back on the base, as well as the safety hinges. Sometimes you just got to use your head when working on things, hey?

This ottoman will give us additional seating for one or two more people when we have visitors, because after moving out the couch to the other room, we only have a rocking chair besides our two mission recliner chairs.

The other benefit of it being a storage ottoman, it will work well for our folded up snuggly blankets that we use in the winter time.


Now I will digress for a moment and talk about some other little foot stools that I recovered with that same fabric a while back. Steve and I had been in the Habitat for Humanity ReStore and I found these two adorable little foot stools for $10 each. One was a very ugly large cabbage rose print, and the other one was a wine-colored burgundy. 

I finally got around to recovering them.
The one on the left was the ugly one, I did that first.

These footstools are set in the old Loom Room / Fiber Den on each side of my treadle sewing machine cabinet.. Hmmmmm do you wonder what these footstools are used for?

Of course!!! 
Doggie Perches 
to look out the window 
and keep an eye out for the 
mail lady, 
or our neighbor Diane!


Now, back up to the living room and the newest storage ottoman:

I was a little concerned that if the dogs jumped up on this ottoman by the front window, they may scratch up the beautiful original woodwork of the windowsill in the living room.

The dogs had already sadly scratched up the windowsill in the Loom Room / Fiber Den room, but that is not original woodwork and I'm going to replace it someday with something else, so I didn't mind as much. I'm even considering lining the edge of that window sill in there with assorted painted Mexican tiles to protect its surface. That will be a future project?

But for now, I was thinking of protecting the front window sill.

I had an idea.

I took out some Modge Podge. When is the last time you ever used Modge Podge? They still sell it in the craft department. I coated some beautiful rocks we had taken from the beach when we were up in Canada last fall.  This is fun!  When they dried, they were clear and shiney and oh so pretty.

I placed them in these lovely delft blue ceramic planters that I had found at a thrift store. I used a hot glue gun to add a layer of felt to the bottom of each planter so it would not scratch. Whatever did we do before glue guns?

I put all three of them in a row across the windowsill, is a perfect deterrent from keeping the dogs from jumping up with their paws on the beautiful woodwork!

So far, so good. They have not even attempted to jump up there, nor look out the front window.  I think it will work.  The rocks are heavy enough to not get knocked down.

That is PART TWO of the changes we made in the house, all because of a Facebook Marketplace ad. I still have PART THREE coming in another blog.  Stay tuned!