Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Old Florida

In my last post I ended with a note about the cowhide chair that  now sits on my fireplace hearth.    It has been in my family for 125 years and I feel honored to be the caretaker of  this beautiful historic piece.  In the second pictures you can see there is a little patch that still has hair on it.  I’m so amazed that has lasted on there all these years.

IMG_1070 IMG_1069

Here are some family pictures that I have recently come across.   The internet is truly amazing.   A cousin of mine was doing family research  online and came across some pictures of  our family posted by a lady in Texas.  We contact her and come to find out she is married to a distant cousin of mine and loves genealogy.   I have never met this cousins.   We now are comparing notes, sharing pictures and stories catching up via facebook and e-mail.  We hope to meet soon.  Who knew we both  grew up in Florida now live about an hour and a half apart in Texas.   They shared some of these wonderful old family pictures with me.

This is a picture of my great-great-great grandparents (seated).   See the chairs lined up across the porch.   One of these could possibly be the chair I have today.    This is truly old Florida living.   Yes, my family tree has deep roots in Central Florida and those are orange trees you see.  Notice the well pump on the right side of the porch.  On the left you will see a separate building that housed the kitchen.  The kitchen was built separate from the main house so if there was a fire hopefully the main house would not burn.   This picture was taken around 1910.  Clayborn Taylor (seated) was born in 1842 and his wife Sally was born in 1850. 

sweat family3 

In the picture below my great-great grandparents are photographed along with four of their eventual eight children.  The wife is the daughter of the older couple in the picture above.  The little boy on the left next to his daddy is my great-grandfather Malcolm.  I love his short pants and dirty bare feet.  Once again, you see similar chairs on the porch.  This picture taken around 1900.

 Sweat family

I will be leaving this week for a long road trip in the car to Florida.  It will be just me and the girls as Buster has to work.  Since I’m driving we (I) can take as many bathroom breaks as I want. ;0

I will check in on all your blogs now and then while I’m gone, but probably won’t post until I get back.   


Friday, June 11, 2010

Warms My Heart


We moved into this house five years and I was never crazy about the fireplace in our den.    So this spring we made a change…out with the old and in with the new look we chose for our fire place.

BEFORE:  The black hole…




We chose stacked stone for the fireplace and fieldstone for the hearth.  I’m so happy with the new look.  It seems to brighten up the room.    We also painted the walls  Sherwin Williams Latte.   The mantle is a solid piece of cypress.  I kept it. I sanded it smooth, distressed it and stained it a warmer brown.

The picture above the fireplace is very special to us.  The frame was handmade and designed by Keith’s dad.  He used old barn wood to construct the frame.   His dad passed away over a decade ago, so it is very meaningful to have this.

The art work in the frame is a pheasant painted by Artist Lynn Ash.  Lynn is my mother-in-law’s cousin.    Lynn is a lifelong resident of Tampa, Florida.  He was employed by Busch Garden’s in Tampa as an artist for years and is now retired.  He has painted so many beautiful wildlife pictures as well as the mural below.  The Tampa Bay area is my hometown, but  I haven’t lived there in nearly 20 years.    I have a small copy of the mural below by Lynn.  I just wanted you to see other work he has done.

In 2003, the City of Tampa's Public Art Program commissioned artist Lynn Ash to create a large painting that would weave together many of the notable aspects of Tampa's unique character and identity.  (from Tampagov website)

This is the 4’ x 8’ mural that Lynn painted and is in the lobby of the Tampa Municipal Office Building.  To read more detail about this mural you can visit the website above.


You will also notice on the fireplace hearth a chair that is near and dear to my heart.  This chair was handmade approximately 125 years ago and has been in my family all these years.  The seat is made of cowhide.  In a future post I will share pictures of my family dating back to the late 1800 – early 1900s and you will see what possibly is this chair on the front porch of their home. 

Here is a little closer view of the chair.


So the fireplace in our home is now a focal point of family history and treasured items.  Just the look I was going for.


Monday, June 7, 2010

I’m Mature Now

A few weeks ago I pulled a box down from the storage area of our garage. I was looking for old family pictures.   I found my diary from my when I was a little girl.  It spanned several years.   Buster and the girls had many laughs thanks to my diary entries.

This particular entry was pretty funny from 1977.  I’m sharing it with you all…don’t laugh cause I don’t know if I’m mature enough to handle it.

Joy's Diary 77

If you can’t read my handwriting it reads…

Dear Kitty ‘77'  (yes, my diary had a name actually two: Kitty and Sarah)

today I’m in the 7th grade.  I’m mature now and I got a locker today.

I met some deaf girls  I don’t know there names.  They  can’t here nothing but silence.  I don’t know sign language but I’ll try to learn some

Dear Kitty

I am almost through with my Laura Ingalls Books.  I wish I had more I love them.

Who knew getting a locker and being in 7th grade made one mature.  Apparently, it did in my little pea brain back then.  After going back and reading some of the entries, I  was also very boy crazy.  I will spare you those details.  I think I should have quit chasing boys and worked on my grammar and spelling.

The school I attended started a deaf school around this time.  I think it was my first time being around deaf kids - thus my insight into their world.  Astounding huh.

In other news,,,, speaking of maturity…which I still wonder if I will ever achieve some times, Buster and I celebrated twenty-two years of marriage this weekend.  We had a nice dinner out.   Leah sat on the coffee table and took this picture of us before we left for dinner.


So….at what point in life did you start feeling mature or are you still waiting on that moment?