Sunday, July 24, 2011


Dear friends,

The remodeling of Two Sisters cottage continues. The days are flying past, and no end is in sight yet to the things that need to be done before we can actually move. This week, we're having the old gal leveled. The foundation is the pier-and-beam type, which means the house sits up on whatever the builder could find at the time--old stumps, telephone poles, rocks, etc. We weren't going to spring for this right away, but walking up and down the slanty floors has been making my legs ache, and we won't be able to put in any kind of hard flooring, such as tile, until it's level. Since the process is nice and slooow, I'm hoping that we won't get too many cracked walls or windows/doors that won't open (or close).

So, it's out with the old...
And in with the new:
I'm annoyed that the old stumps will have to be trashed. They still reek of creosote (a coal-tar/petroleum product used for treating wood) even after all these years. I seem to be very sensitive to it. No surprise there. That pile represents some huge old trees. Sigh. I don't like the idea of using something with so much embodied energy (like concrete blocks), but at least they're forever, and they don't smell. And they were probably made locally.

It's been hot here in Texas. Most of us have lost count, but in general we've had over 35 days of above 100-degree temps, with more predicted for this week. (Which prompted a thought...we didn't move to AZ because it's too hot there. Hmmmm.) Want proof? Here's some:

And that's in the shade, folks. Ay yi yi.

In spite of the heat, my little potted garden is doing well there and I'm harvesting red bell peppers for the first time, as well as baby eggplant for grilling. One of the many rosebushes has been outdoing itself. Here's an impromptu bouquet I cut the other day. No fancy vases here...LOL. BTW, all of these are on ONE stem. I'm still trying to identify this rose. Anybody know?

In spite of some surprises with the house (as in, balloon framing), I continue to be charmed. Here's how the two sisters communicated with each other. One hangs beside the back door and one hangs beside the cottage door.

They didn't need no steenkin' cell phones!

Every once in a while, I'll walk to the edge of the cottage and ponder my new yard ornament.

Yes, it's the original 1930 enamel over cast-iron bathtub. It took two very strong plumbers to get it out of the bathroom, down the steps, and out to the yard. They told me to make SURE I wanted it there, because it would never be moved. I have my own opinions about that (LOL), but for now, it stays put. I'm thinking pond, or planter?

In another part of the yard, another mystery has popped up.

This mess of rusted metal all of a sudden popped up in the yard. We tried to pull it up, thinking it was just some old trash, but nuthin doin'. Is it part of a former water well? Storm cellar door? Further investigation is needed. Meanwhile,
we have it covered so that nobody slices their toes open on it---like, well, me.

Thanks for reading!

Happy trails from h.o.t. Texas,

bobbi c.


  1. That bell is precious, Bobbi! I can't wait to read the stories and essays you'll write from and about Two Sisters Cottage. Seems to me it found just the right people to bring it back to life again. I hope the leveling goes smoothly, and one of your new neighbors in Taylor has a suggestion for Ginger-cat and a good vet...

  2. Thanks, Susan! I love that bell, too. The writing has taken a back seat to the "real" work, but I'm hoping to get some time to catch up soon. I am taking notes and lots of photos, so those will jog my memory. We are having fun, although we're facing challenges we never thought we would. This balloon framing had us flabbergasted for a while. Luckily, we found lots of locals who have worked on that type house and were free with their excellent advice.

  3. You better paint that tub and get some of your wonderful artistic talent on display. What a marvelous canvas!

  4. Hey Dani, I know! I've been looking around online for ideas, and have found a few cool lily ponds, fish ponds or other water features for inspiration. The big thing about the tub is deciding where to put it, then finding some hunks to shove it around for me! LOL. I also have a smaller claw foot tub inside the cottage (without the claws right now, I'm afraid) that also needs some paint. :-)


Thank you for commenting on my blog! I love visitors, and readers, and appreciate the time you spend there. Hope it's enjoyable and fun for you. bobbi c.