Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Quilt Sightings

Last month, friends and I spent a day traversing Union County, NJ,  visiting historic sites that were open to the public during their Four Centuries in a Weekend tour. I am always interested in colonial houses but when there are quilts on display, that's even better.

The mid-18th century Cannon Ball House, so named for a cannon ball lodged in the wall of the house during the Revolutionary War, survived being burned by the British in 1780. That's a huge flag in the front yard--part of a Civil War encampment that was going on during the open house. 

The first quilt sighting was a Bear's Paw quilt on a rope bed.  

The Salt Box Museum, named for  the sloping rear roof which resembles the box in which salt used to be kept, is actually two houses that were joined together in the mid-19th century.

A small bedroom in this house had a Log Cabin quilt on a rope bed and children's vintage clothing displayed throughout. 

The Littell-Lord House was built c. 1760 and had been owned and lived in for more than 100 years by the Lord family who purchased the site in 1867.

A Star of Bethlehem quilt was on the Victorian bedstead in an upstairs bedroom.

A Feathered Star/Sunflower Variation was displayed on a rack at the bottom of the stairs. 

The Caldwell Parsonage was rebuilt after the British burned it during the Revolutionary War.

 An unfinished Chimney Sweep hung in one of the rooms.

Only two of the blocks were signed and both were done in cross-stitch.
On the left:
Frances M. Lum 
Friendship's Offering
Feby 23d 1850

On the right:
Ann M. Woodruff

How's this for an original applique design?


The Woodruff House was built c. 1735 and had a 1930s applique quilt on a colonial cradle but I was more interested in the c. 1900 general store that was attached to the house.

There's just something about general stores that I absolutely love . . .

Perhaps it's because I have so many of these same items in my house :)

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Sandy's Recovery in Our Town

Sandy left us with a few downed trees and no power for six days. We were inconvenienced but very fortunate that we had no real damage to our property. We cooked on the grill and fired up our wood burning stove to boil water and provide a little heat in one section of the house. We read by flashlight and fell asleep early. The Sunday after the storm I waited in line at 6 a.m. for 1-1/2 hours to get gas--why didn't I think to fill up the tank before the storm?


This huge Black Walnut tree fell in our backyard and just missed our screen house. Of course, it damaged the fence rails that we had put up around the garden in the spring.

After a few days of hard work, we had cut up all the limbs and had piles of branches and logs scattered around the yard.


A utility Staging Site was set up in the parking lot of a corporate building behind our house. This sign is at the entrance. There are guards on duty 24-hours a day.


Tents were set up to provide dining and laundry facilities to the hundreds of utility workers who have converged on our town to assist with the recovery. 

Utility trucks fill the parking lot with the overflow across the street (below).

There are utility workers from Missouri, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, California, Mississippi, Texas, Arkansas, Florida, Virginia, Pennsylvania, the Carolinas, Oregon, and Washington state.

At night workers are shuttled by bus from the staging site to local hotels where they sleep and then return early in the morning on time for breakfast and to receive assignments for the day.


A week after Sandy, a Nor'easter dumped snow on an already crippled area but with temps in the 50s it was gone in no time--at least where we live. Our friend from Vermont arrived shortly after to volunteer his time in the hard-hit areas of the Jersey Shore. He was interviewed by Burlington TV before leaving and you can watch the news clip here -- "Vt. Irene victim to 'pay it forward' for Sandy aid." 

To all the utility workers who have helped us recover from Sandy's wrath, "Thank You for a Great Job!"

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Catching Up

The day before Sandy arrived I was with a friend in Hoboken on a self-guided house tour of condos and Victorian homes. I also wanted to find the house where my grandparents lived at one time.


We started at the waterfront looking across at The Empire State Building. The wind was already beginning to kick up and I had a hard time holding my camera steady.


The Yankee Ferry (large ship in back of photo) was not open due to the impending storm. It is currently a bed and breakfast owned by Victoria and Richard MacKenzie-Childs of decorative arts fame. Here is a link to some great photos.

Hoboken streets are lined with row houses and many were decorated for Halloween . . .


 . . like this one which was part of the tour. All were private homes so no photography allowed.


A skeleton on the door. . .  

Pumpkins and mums . . .

 . . .and a huge spider web were just a few of the fun decorations.

This Italianate-style home once housed a medical practice where Frank Sinatra had his tonsils removed--just a bit of trivia :)

My grandparents' house was easy to find. They lived here in the early-1950s but only for a short period of time. My grandfather worked at Stevens Institute of Technology and moved to Hoboken so he could walk to work.

The  Davidson Lab at Stevens' was also part of the tour. This 313-foot high speed towing tank is used to study the effects of wind and tide on model boats and how it applies to larger ships. Along the walls were models of some of the 'wooden boats' that were used in their early research. I didn't take photos.

As soon as I got home, I called my brother as he remembers e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g. I asked him about the Hoboken house and what, exactly, Poppy did at Stevens'.  When he started telling me Poppy used to work with 'wooden boat hulls' I couldn't believe what I was hearing! Little did I know that I would be standing in the same building where my grandfather had stood so many years ago. What a treat!