Thursday, May 24, 2007

Born A Little Too Late

I'm one of those women that are convinced they were born in the wrong time. I love the period clothing, decor, furniture, architecture, gardens and life style of the mid to late 1800's. In every sense of the word, I am a true Victorian at heart!

In our little morning chats, I may bore you with findings from my lifelong research into Victorian living. I've always been like a sponge when it comes to things that tickle my fancy. I will spend hours hunting down the answer to a simple question that floats in my head for over ten seconds. As always with me, the enjoyment is the quest, not necessarily in the answer.

Lately, I have been hooked on period movies. I just finished watching "Marie Antoinette" for the eighth time, and still don't know what it's about! I get so wrapped up in the costumes, scenery, furniture, florals, wallpapers, lighting, gardens, colors and food that I still don't have any idea what they are saying! I have recently added "Wives and Daughters" to my collection and am looking forward to devouring that soon.

Today's photo is of the back of our farmhouse home. It had an opened porch with banisters, railings and big, white posts and we loved it. But,when our heating bill, in the first full winter we lived here, went over $700.00 in one month, we knew we had to do something!

Because this is a south facing wall, we opted to enclose the porch. By far, this is the best thing we have EVER done to our home. I can take my tea and a book out on this porch, in the dead of winter, and be clad only in my sweats. The temperature on that porch rarely dips below 65 on a sunny day, regardless of the snow, wind or blustery Michigan weather outside that door.

We did a little research into solar collection before designing and that, I believe, was key to its success. There are five 5 foot square insulated, double-paned sliding windows and a standard 60 inch, insulated, double-paned sliding door to catch the sun's rays. We installed a dark colored ceramic tile on the floor to absorb the warmth. During the winter months, the sun is very low in the sky and it reaches about four feet up the brick, back wall of the house. With over 300 square feet of that heat absorbing material, we are nice and toasty out there for about two hours after the sun sets.

On winter days that it exceeds 70 degrees on the porch, I open the french doors to the kitchen and let some of that wonderful warmth into the house. Folks are amazed to come to our home on a 20 degree February afternoon and see the back door wide opened!

Perhaps you, too, can find some way to take God's wonderful gifts and harness them for your everyday enjoyment!


Stephanie said...

Yeah! Bertie has joined us!! I love your new blog, dear. It is going to be so much fun for you! I'm right with you, thinking that I, too, was born in the wrong era.

Adding you to my favs right now!!


Mrs. G said...

Hi :) my first visit to your blog (via from my cherry heart) & I love your farmhouse & its porch :)

Heather ~ Pretty Petals said...

Hi Bertie! I love your pretty! I can't wait to hear of your victorian tales!

By the way, blog is short for web log. I always wondered where in the world they got that name too! LOL

Have Fun! Heather

Ele said...

Hi Bertie,
Glad to visit your beautiful blog, I always enjoy your lovely pictures and now I will get to see even more!

vickie said...

Bertie, your home and cottage are just beautiful. Every picture looks
so inviting, put together with love. Thanks for sharing.