Friday, October 29, 2010

Weekend Project: Surprise Baby Shower

got to knit some little girl things... oh boy!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Some History

I've been eager to learn more about our house-- about the original owners, and about the many different renovations it has likely undergone.  With that in mind I stopped by the Senior Center to see if I could track down anyone in the Lake Orion Historical Society (my e-mail had gone unanswered, and something told me that the Society might not be terribly tech savvy....) Enter Mr. Mike Sweeney who stopped by my door one Friday morning with a short verbal history of the house.

From him, I discovered (or rather, confirmed) that the original occupants of the house were the founders of the local newspaper, the Lake Orion Review.  He also promised me two photos-- one of the original owner and his wife and one of the front of the house.  AND he assured me that the house was not built in 1895 as we originally thought.  It was almost certainly built between 1901-1905.

Then just yesterday he came by my door with the photos and a statement written by the Historical Society

 The Neal House

Journal Entries record the earliest date for the property on which this house sits as 1861.  In 1873 the three lots were sold by Oscar M. Delano to Ann M. Emmons for $150.  These lots passed through several hands during the next 28 years. 

In 1901, William E. French bought the lots from Harriet S. Tinker for $600.  There is evidence that he built this house sometime between 1901-1905 for an unspecified amount of cash and a mortgage of $1500.

John A. Neal, the founder of the local newspaper was living in the house just to the south and, having prospered in his business, took the opportunity to move his family across Jackson Street to occupy the new home.

John Neal continued as editor and publisher of the "Orion Review" and his son George H. Neal became associate editor and manager in 1913.  When John died in 1925 his son George took over the newspaper.  John's wife, Addie, continued to live in the home until her death in 1935.  George and his wife, Aurora, then moved into the house.  Aurora Neal took a very active role in publishing and editing the newspaper which by then was called "Lake Orion Review".

George Neal died of a heart attack in 1946.  Aurora, determined to carry on the newspaper tradition, continued to publish and edit the paper, and to live in this house.  She hired Hamiln W. Robinson from Kansas City, Missouri to assist her.  They were married in 1947.

Since the death of Aurora, the home has been fortunate to have caring owners.  The lovely porch was the site of a full military style wedding in the 1990's and has a reputation for its immaculate yard and gardens.  The current owners continue to care for this home, one of the most beloved in the village. 

Thursday, October 14, 2010

And then my heart burst.

More in the line of sweater modeling.  This time a baby-daddy sweater day.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Nap Project: Black Candy Striping

I started out with the Halloween decor a couple weeks ago, and I loved the idea of candy-striping the columns.  Here's what we ended up with: 

Pretty cute, BUT 
1. I couldn't stop looking at the chipped paint all around the porch trim.  
2. Those orange stripes?  Streamers.  It rained. 

So the wheels in my head started turning, and this happened:

But Alta, you say, You can't Duck Tape freshly painted columns!  
(See this?  This was our half way before/after shot of fresh paint.  It's now finished:)

So in a moment of creative multi-tasking genius, I decided that first I would roll out the duct tape on the carpet, thereby achieving total KO of it's sticking power AND vaccuming the floor ALL IN ONE! 
Brilliant!  So we went from this:

to this:

It ended up taking about 5 yards of unstuck duck tape per column, and it was a 20 yard roll, so I have one left to tackle.  Next up, I'll replace the spiderwebs.  They had to come down for the painting :) 

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Paint Creek Trail

We live less than a half mile from a wonderful trail for biking/walking/horseriding, and boy oh boy is it beautiful at this time of year!

The foliage is so lovely.
 Drake walked backwards since we didn't have any sunglasses, and he and Rowan are cursed with those delicate blue eyes.
 This is overlooking the creek.  It looks like Drake is pulling a Michael Jackson move (when he held his baby out over the balcony, remember?) but don't worry.  He's attached via Baby Bjorn.

We just bought a bicycle trailer for Ro, and it's a two-seater!  Which means he can bring along a friend if he wants to.  As soon as we find a baby helmet, we will be riding along blissfully in this beautiful fall weather.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Halloween costume sneak-peek

After googling "baby beret" proved unsuccessful, I set to work creating one of my own.
I tried to measure his head, but found more success just cutting an X in a piece of fleece thusly:

Then cutting a second circle to match and sewing them together. 

 Really, though, without the model it didn't amount to much....
"What do you want from me, I'm French, and I don't have time for your silly escapades.  Do you see how your very presence draws the outer corners of my lips into a sneer??"

"But perhaps I will tolerate you since you feed me.  Also, do you notice how much I look like my non-french grandfather and name-sake in this picture?"

"I sigh with ennui.  I'm totally over this comment dit-on..... 'allo-ween"

More painting this weekend!!

Here's a before and after shot all in one picture.  You can see how far we got on the "turret."  Just to the left of the swing is where we had to stop for the day.... 

Were so thrilled with how crisp the white looks.  We'll get back up there and repaint the decorative parts, but holy cow does this ever make a big difference!
Some more "before and after...."

And more....

Behind the house before/after....

Drake is working overtime!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Rowan Daniel: Baby sweater model of the year

I'm not the only one who can't resist knitting for this boy....

This lovely Texas-themed sweater sock set comes to us from Massachusetts from a certain wonderful Maureen Sweeney.  

 Don't worry Rowan, Texas has your back :)
look at those adorable socks!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Homecoming Parade

We were *finally* able to enjoy a parade here in Lake Orion.  They go right by our house, and we've missed every single one since we've moved in.

We were ready this time.  I had decorated, Drake cooked some ribs, and I baked a pie, add some friends and we had: