Monday, September 22, 2014

Historic Barns of Northwest Ohio, Pt. 2: Second Annual Barn Tour

Last year, our local historical society arranged for six barns to be open to the public for tours.  Hard to believe that a year has passed since then!  Hubby and I had so much fun touring the countryside and exploring the old farms that when another tour was announced for this year, we bought tickets right away.  This year, we headed to the eastern half of our county to tour six more barns.

It was a beautiful day again, just like last year.  The sun was shining, there was a great breeze (it actually got windier as the day progressed), and we got to see some great farms!

The first barn we went to was built in 1865, and is now a reception venue available to the public:
The owners of the barn fixed it up so that they could have their wedding reception here, and have since opened the barn for others to use, too!
Their Facebook page:
The Athen Ry band, they were really good!


The next barn was a working cattle farm that used to be a dairy farm:
Best friends, bovine-style.

I love the rhythm of the framing.  The ceiling is 55' tall.  It had a cathedral feeling to it!

1877 farm house.  The owner said that the walls were composed of a thickness of two bricks, then an air layer, then another two bricks.

Fall is coming!
One of the largest barns in the county--80' across this side, and 120' deep.
Great combine!  'Merica.

The third barn we visited was set up a little like a museum, with farming implements and artifacts displayed in the bays and on the walls:

Commode!  More comfy than an outhouse...?

I loved the texture of the wood floor with the antique nails.
While we were there, this group of historic cars drove up and parked.  Visitors were allowed to look in the cars and ask questions of the owners.  They were pretty neat!
The next barn was a quick tractor ride across the field, to the farm next door.  This barn housed a quilt display from the local quilting club:

Wasn't sure what this was...used for hauling something!
This next barn was made using a new type of construction, that was more stable than older barns.  It was also quite large, with additions through the years:

In comparing the framing of this barn to the others, there is definitely less wood used on the sides, yet is supposedly more sturdy and secure, not to mention cost-effective.
Original sign from the dairy operation
A great old planter.
I loved the hardware on the door--the stars are great!
The last barn that we visited was also the oldest, dating back to 1854.  It has a heavy German influence, and was the most decorative, with oval louvers.  The barn has been fixed up and is available for parties and receptions:

This little guy was resting after a hard day of greeting people at the barn door!
A great "chandelier" hanging from the rafters of the barn.

Not sure what the purpose of this stuffed bird was, but he was keeping a "birds-eye" view on the situation! 
The barn from the front--I love the deeper red color with the yellow, black and green accents.
I've always thought old barns were interesting.  As a city girl, I always thought the grass was greener on the other side of the fence--the side where cows mooed, goats baaahed, chickens clucked, and corn grew.  I always thought that it would be fun to live on a farm, but alas, we knew no one who owned a farm, so I was never able to experience farm life.  I think I would have enjoyed it, though.  In a way, touring these historic barns brings together so many things I enjoy: historic architecture, rural living, adorable animals, nice fall weather, and last but certainly not least, just spending time with my best friend.  I'm so glad that the Historical Society has arranged these tours over the last two years--we haven't been disappointed.  We're definitely looking forward to next year's tour!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Organization--The Spice Of Life

Some people love chaos and confusion.

Some folks love order and method.

I am the latter.

I can't stand things to not have a place, a "home".  However, our home does not allow all of my stuff to have homes.  Especially a full set of cast-iron enamel pots and pans.

I purchased this set back in the spring to replace our mismatched, gifted and otherwise acquired pots and pans that have accumulated over the past ten years of marriage.  We had wanted a set that we picked out to call our own, so after much thought and research, we decided on this set:
Williams Sonoma, Le Creuset Ocean

However, our kitchen did not have enough cupboard space to house the pieces in a convenient manner.  For the past three months, I've had everything stacked, with dish towels between each piece, in a lower cabinet that required me to get down on my hands and knees and stack, unstack, and dig out the pot or pan needed each time I cooked.  The towels were between each piece because the enamel on the pots and pans scratches when the rough cast iron edges rub against them, and I don't want a set of pots and pans that are scratched up.

This color, Ocean, is too beautiful to be covered in scratches!

Our solution was simple: an industrial set of shelves that would be large enough to house each piece of cookware, but small enough to fit in the corner of our small dining/kitchen space and not look out of place.  We looked around for a while before coming up with something we really liked:
Shelving unit from World Market, $350 plus delivery

Unfortunately, it was more than I was willing to pay.  So, we went with this:
Whitmore industrial shelving unit, Amazon

We found this rack at Meijer for $63.  On Amazon and other sites, it was at least $10 more!  We snatched it up and I went to work assembling the shelves the next morning.  It was really easy to put together, and perfect for our needs!
We bought some S-hooks from Lowe's for hanging the skillets (that was a brilliant idea from my husband), set a layer of shelf liner on each shelf, and placed my two houseplants on the top shelf, along with a half-gallon Ball jar from the '30s whose color looks great with the cookware.

We're really pleased with the look of the rack, and the pots and pans are so much easier to access now!  Amazing the change that a little corner shelf makes when you need just a little extra space.