Wednesday, June 08, 2005

The Ritual

I have an afternoon ritual that I go through everyday when I get home from work. It starts with feeding the piglets. My two cats are on a bit of a diet so they seem like they are on the verge of starvation when I get home. Then I plop down on the couch and do a bit of surfing. I have three or four sites I go to on a regular basis. I spend about 20 to 40 minutes on-line, depending on how much I write.

First I go to The Old House Web Forum. There are always interesting discussions with a nice group of mostly like-minded people. It is fun to answer peoples questions. I especially like the old house mystery questions. People find something odd from a by-gone era and can’t figure out what it is. Sometimes It is not always apparent to anyone at first what it might be. Of course, I always have plenty of questions myself to ask.

Next I sometimes go to The Old House Journal Forum. I used to go there more often, but I don’t like the lay-out of the forum very well. It is not user friendly. There is A LOT of clicking and waiting to go around to the different areas of the forum. There are always interesting things going on there, so it is still fun from time to time.

Next I head here to see what’s new on the House Blogs. There are a few that I read on a regular basis. I tend to read blogs that are either well written or are pertinent to what I am doing at my house. It is interesting that I can read something that I’m not really interested in if it is well written and or cleverly written. Also, if it is something I have been through in the past, or plan on doing in the future I will read it.

Next I check my email. I download the email headers only because I get a lot of Spam. Fifty emails is about normal. Some days it is over 100. I’m lucky if 4 of those are legitimate emails. I’m always on the lookout for the emails that start with [Petch House]. This, of course, means that someone left a comment on my blog. A blog comment means my life is now complete. All is right with the world. I’m not blogging to the Dead Letter Office in cyberspace. My existence in this world now has meaning. Ok, that is a bit much, but comments are nice.

Finally, I head to Ebay if I’m looking for something specific or am currently bidding on something. I couldn’t imagine trying to do what I’m doing with my house without Ebay. Especially living so far out on the boonies as I do. The selection is incredible and prices are usually very good. On Saturday I just won an auction on an 1890s, 4 piece cast iron fireplace surround and cover unit. The 2 were missing on the fireplaces in my house. I bought one on Ebay about 9 months ago and have been looking for a similar one for the other fireplace. I want them to look like they were bought at the same time. Getting 2 matching ones was out of the question, but 2 similar ones will be nice. Below is the one I bought 9 months ago. The tiles and mantle are original to the house.

This one is in the dining room. It is a pretty intense scene. Maybe Civil War inspired. There is a broken canon on the ground and the horse has been wounded. I didn't really realize what the scene was when I bought it. At first I wasn't sure I liked it, but the more time I spend with it the more I like it. It is a very powerful scene. Most people don't realize what they are looking at. The one I bought on Saturday is a little more ornate, but has the same bottom grate and same size cover. The image on the cover is some type of harp - maybe a lyre - with flowers and ribbons. That one will go in the back parlor and it will be very fitting because I have 2 large antique Cambridge Tile Works tiles for the hearth that have French Horns them. I had thought about putting a piano in that room someday so it should all tie together nicely as The Music Room.


merideth said...

i think ebay really helps us Californians...antiques and antique fixtures can be expensive in CA so i love that prices on ebay kind of reflect the whole country and tend to bring the pricepoints down a little...we've bought fantastic pottery and fabric for the house for amounts that would be a real steal here

Patricia W said...

I'm in Texas and it seems there is never anything nearby, most of it is either on the East or West coasts. Luckily I will soon be in Michigan and within a short driving distance of Chicago, Ohio and Pennsylvania. I haven't posted much since my initial posts since I haven't closed on the house yet. Closing is scheduled for next week but that could change. I'm also new to blogging and mine looks pretty bad although I started a new one that looks much better. I enjoy reading your posts. Your fireplace is beautiful, the house I'm buying has none :(

Jocelyn said...

I like this post. You have a nice way of putting things- in a very slice of life way.

I agree it's nice to know someone's reading too...

The fireplace looks perfect for your place. You really seem to find some great things on eBay.

Becky said...

The fire place looks great!
I think you can get away with the strong scene because the tiles and mantle are such strong visual features in themselves. Don't you just love it when you pick something out on a gamble, being a little unsure, and it works out wonderfully.

Darlene said...

Whew, I know what you mean when you say that your life is finally complete, when you see e-mail that shows somebody has posted a comment on your site. Wish there was some easy way to reach people!

What a clever idea, finding new items through e-bay. I usually just wander around rummage sales, and when I find something that strikes my fancy, if the price is right will buy it. But using your method, you can hone in more on what you'd like. Trouble is, there have been so many things I liked, and so many things I love that we got from others, there's no room for anything else. (Same with my garden; no more room for anything else, but I still end up finding wildflowers I "have to have" and transplant them in the few remaining bare spots I can find.)

Suzanne said...

I really enjoy reading your blog, and since I've come back to the OHW, I've been checking as often as possible.
You really are an inspiration, and I enjoy your writing style, and all of your adventures in your house.
Whenever I bet on something for my house on ebay, which usually isn't too often, as I need to save bucks for the big stuff - I always wonder if you are betting, or at least looking, as well.
All the best! See you in cyberspace!

Suzanne in Brooklyn

Chelle said...

Just thought I would make your day and post something....I have just learned about your blog from another site and am slowly making my way through all of the archives since we are just into the first year of our own home renovation story.

Chelle said...

I just thought that I would comment on your post to make your day :-) I just discovered your blog through another renovation blog and am working my way through the archives as we are into our first year of our own renovation. Thanks!