a "been-there" mom of six offers encouragement
to wives, young mothers, and those not so young,
and simple common-sense approaches to
the "ings" of life:
child-rearing (hints and helps), homemaking (all areas),
cooking (simple, cheap, and do-it-yourself)
making (toys and gifts), preparing (for the unexpected),
maintaining (sanity and peace in this increasingly crazy world) and more---
all aspects of making the most of making do on little---
and having fun in the process.

Friday, December 30, 2011

The "Coop" ---- Almost Literally!

In yesterday's post I mentioned our kids having "flown the coop" ---
left the nest ----
moved out ----

And the significance of that term hit me.

Many posts ago I included a picture of me and my pet chicken (when I was four or five). I didn't realize that laying dormant all those years was my love of the feathery critters.

Fast forward many years to the home that was finally large enough to hold our brood----and you'll see what I mean.

When we bought this house it was in "like-new" condition. Windows had never been opened during a storm --- the ledges lacked rain drop spots! This house hadn't lived.

It was great looking --- normal and formal --- neither of which described us but, we were determined to conform until . . .

one day, a couple of months later, when I came home from a shopping trip with a roll of wallpaper that was on sale for 50 cents. "Please, Dave," I begged. "Can I at least paper the basement laundry room with this?" One look at the paper  ----- A second look at the price ----- A return to the store and the house became our home!

This wallpaper was so realistic people
would actually come right up to it to see if it was real.

A wide variety of chickens (and other farm-type stuff) followed. We had so many chickens Dave had a friend of mine cross-stitch "I've never met a chicken I didn't like" for me to roost among the others.

The house had lots of dark paneling and cupboards.  The chicken wire lead to their demise.  We painted the wall white and then used a well-worn whisk broom to streak it with country blue. You can see a little of it on the left side of the above photo. The cabinets also became country blue--although it looks brighter in these pictures.

Looking through the living room into the dining room
These two photos are dark and difficult to see but I have included them because
I want to point out a couple of things.  It was a busy home (walls and people) and no one could
enter without having an opinion ---- good or bad.

  • I mentioned in yesterday's post that many rolls of toilet paper were stored under our couches. This is the couch. 
  • In the dining room, on the right of the kitchen door, is an old wooden file cabinet. The finish was terribly worn so we just painted it black and added an old wooden church hymnal holder (also painted black) on the side to hold our phone book. Four card catalog drawers filled the top section of the cabinet----absolutely perfect for recipe cards and address cards! The next three were full size file cabinet drawers. It was a wonderful and cheap find.
  • Across from the file cabinet, flanking the other side of the kitchen door is a solid oak unit divided into sections. In it's previous life it hung horizontally in an old doctor's office (the office was old, I am not sure about the age of the doctor) to hold patient files.  It was $5 at a country yard sale. I wouldn't tell Dave what I wanted to do with it but I knew exactly. He trusted me.  He liked the price ---- I loved the cabinet.  It held mugs, plates, tablecloths, napkins, etc. perfectly!
  • Hanging on the chicken wire on the back wall is an old pair of size 0 Levis.  My parents had five granddaughters before their first grandson was born. That was back in the days when wee sizes of adult clothing were very rare. My dad was usually stoic but he was so excited to have a grandson that he brought these to the hospital!  My sister and brother never produced a son but the four little boys that followed Romm in our family wore these in turn. The seat and knees were out when Brin finally inherited them. They hung on this wall until Romm had his first son and now they hang in their home. We bought six pairs and stored them away for our kids' boys who have now passed them down in their families. 
I don't know if this has been fun for you but digging out these old pictures sure has been fun for me. 

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