Together again

One of the things I always rember sitting on the mantle in our living room as a kid was an old fashioned iron. It is one of those items that never moved form its spot in my childhood home. I dusted it more than once as a kid. It was one of those quirky things I wanted when we were clearing out my childhood home for sale.

IMG_20140902_135031291_HDRI really have not had a use for it other than sitting on a bookshelf. It too has not moved much in my home. However, I was at the local antique show this summer and came across something that goes along with the iron. I initially bought this as a trivet for the kitchen. The seller told me it was a stand for a hot iron. Well I had one of those in my house!


Stand for a hot iron

IMG_20140903_094108176_HDR[1]I was pleasantly surprised when I brought home my trivet that it fit my old iron perfectly.  These two pieces were together again. So now I need to look for another trivet. I cannot bear to keep these two antiques apart.


A little project

I love all old things.. and I love a project. I recently went to the local annual antique show at the end of August and found a few projects. I have been refinishing old furniture for twenty years. There are a few reasons I do so.

Reason 1: I love old things and history.

Reason 2: Necessity of finding cheap furniture to furnish my apartment in college . When I stated you could find a nice oak dresser for $35 and easily refinish to look like new. And then I was hooked.

Reason 3: A great way to spend quality time with my father as we looked over a new find and discussed how to refinish the piece to be useable.

and more …

Well, I found a wonderful Martha Washington Sewing Stand that would be fantastic to hold my yarn and embroidery tools. I have a dog who loves to unravel yarn and thread so I wanted a nice hiding place.

Before picture

Before picture

The stand had its original finish but it was damaged from years of use and storage but structurally it was perfect condition and had the insert to hold spools of thread.


Sewing thread spool holder

Sewing thread spool holder

The piece was super easy to refinish to my delight. Ammonia and steel wool to get the old finish off. I rubbed in a walnut stain to cover the water marks on the top . A few coats of finish that I sanded between coats and rubbed on with a rag for the last coat. This is my secret method that leaves a nice sheen but not clumpy.

My finished product

My finished product with my ancestors Easter cactus


Happy Labor Day!

My ancestors were not famous or rich just hard working people who loved their families and worked hard to give them a better life. So today I celebrate  Labor Day

Great Great Uncle Thomas Kennedy

Great Great Uncle Thomas Kennedy (bar tender)




My Grandmother (librarian)

nixon shields schwarz

Emily Nixon Schwarz , Jack Schwarz (plumber), Thomas Tyson Nixon (stone mason) and Emily Shields Nixon (governess)

john burke lfd

George William Burke (firefighter) Babylon, New York


Henry May (highway supervisor)


Family Farm in Brooklyn


Smell of Fall in the Air

Been a chilly couple of days in New York. Absolutely beautiful sunny days with a chill in the air that makes you think about Autumn. My garden is finally starting to produce red tomatoes. I had more cucumbers than I knew what to do with and made many pints of pickles to get us through the winter. I cannot buy pickles in the store anymore as I am spoiled from eating ones from cucumbers grown in my gardens.

I was getting a little worried that I might not be canning sauce this year. Whenever I think about canning tomatoes I am reminded of my paternal grandmother and great- great grandmother.  They were two ladies who preserved the fruits of their gardens and passed that knowledge down to future generations. I cannot think of fall without thinking of sauce simmering on the stove.

My great great Grandmother Emma Borgwardt May

My great great Grandmother Emma Borgwardt May


Harvest time with my grandmother and a worker picking beans in the 1930’s

Mistaken Identity

I am still slogging through boxes of photos that I inherited over the winter. Of course many don’t have dates or names and I am trying to match up the pictures with what I do know. Funny is when I was comparing some pictures I found one that I had been told years ago by a relative was my great great grandparents William Toborg and Annie Grabber was really my great great grandparents Jessie Kennedy and Alexander Yuill. These two really interested me.With further inspections and a really smart Granmda who labeled the pictures, I found that who I thought was my Torborg line was really my Yuill’s.

Anna Grabber & William Torborg

Couple in Question..

Alexander Yuill

Alexander Yuill

Jessie Kennedy Yuill

Jessie Kennedy Yuill