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The Cabin   |   The Garden
"As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness weakness."
Henry David Thoreau

On July 15, 2008, we began moving our small collection of primitive antiques into the cabin. Just as the logs have a story to tell, so do many of the items we will fill it with.

Some speak of the everyday tasks of our pioneer ancestors, and remind us of how fortunate we are to have so many modern conveniences today. Some remind us of the ingenuity of the people in that bygone era. Others just seem to add a comforting warmth to the rooms.

The Keeping Room  
The Bedroom  
The Enclosed Dog-trot Area Including Bathroom  
The Upstairs Loft & Half-bath  

For the loft bed, we decided on an iron daybed with a pullout-popup trundle. Fitting nicely into the small area, this allows for the versatility of either a twin-size sit-upon, a twin-size bed, two twin beds, or even a king-size bed when the trundle is popped-up and attached.

The quilts are from Quilts by Pradeep Kumar, Garland, TX

Hiding the Frig:
How to hide the modern frig was one of our dilemmas. Mike solved that nicely by building a cabinet in the corner, out of old wood from the original house. Then he used pieces from one of the original exterior doors to cover the frig doors. We thought the old door latches added a whimsical touch. And there is room over the frig for more storage.

Hiding the Microwave, Toaster, & Coffee Maker:
Terry Hopkins* of Monticello Antique Reproduction & Restoration in Monticello, GA built a stepback cabinet to fit our specifications. Small appliances are hidden behind doors and it holds all the dishes, pots, pans, and table linens. It's made from old reclaimed heart pine and antique glass. Mike finished it off with coats of tung oil, then BRI WAX. The inside is painted with red milk paint.

* We highly recommend Terry Hopkins - has a booth at Scott's Antique Mart, Atlanta - Monticello, GA workshop phone: 706-468-1126

The telephone:
is a reproduction of a vintage model which we purchased years ago.


The Bedroom "closet":
is a huge old wardrobe I found on Ebay. It has shelves on one side, room to hang on the other, and two drawers at the bottom.


The Hot Water Heater:
is hidden under the stairs and it's pipes run up behind the staircase paneling to the loft bathroom , and under the floor to the kitchen and downstairs bath.

The Pantry:
is in the same under-the stairs space.


Dishes: "Yellow ware" bowls were a staple of the late 1800s
kitchen. Originally made in 16th century England and Scotland, gaining its name from the yellow clay it was fashioned from.
It was made in America, before the Revolution, when similar
clays were found here. I found a reproduction Yellow ware with
a white stripe, made by Ragon House. Can be purchased here.

Interior Locks:
on the bathroom door are simple forged hook latches.

Floor Register covers:
are black painted steel from Home Depot Expo 

Electrical Outlet Covers:

are oil-rubbed bronze from Home Depot Expo

Air System thermostate: is covered with a wooden box (bottomless to allow air entry)


Bathroom Vent Fans:
were painted to blend with the ceiling's "grungy whitewash"

The cabin, being dark by nature, needed lots of lighting.......


Period lighting fixtures:
ordered from BarnHouse Lighting in Alton, New Hampshire


Table Lamps:
Made from antique containers, and found at Scotts Antique Market, held monthly in Atlanta.

What's Next?  

Okay, so the nesting instinct has set in. It's that urge to “nest” like a bird, set up a home, make it cozy and warm.

As of July 15th, the basics are in. In the weeks to come, we will go back up and fill in the details. Mike still needs to build a few more shelves, and a mantle for the keeping room fireplace. I want to add a few accessories, not enough to clutter, but ..... well, you understand that nesting instinct thing, don't you?

We have our two rocking chairs we gave each other this past Christmas, but I am looking for more porch furniture. I have an idea that the porch (just as it did in pioneer days) will become the center gathering place for family and friends.

Early September 2008  

The front porch
is beginning to take on a bit of "character"
with its rockers, and a big antique wood box.......

.... it remains a temporary work area. Here's Mike putting the finish on the stepback cabinet. Millie, as usual, is waiting for someone to toss the Frisbee for her to fetch.

The back porch is coming along nicely. Along with the rockers, we have added a swing, a couple of little tables to sit the lemonade on, a birdhouse made from an old can, and a cool old rusty antique Coca Cola thermometer. And there are plenty of wildflowers around to fill the tin pot. Just as we suspected, this is the end-of-day gathering place to watch the sun go down and listen to the whippoorwills call and the cicadas begin their night noises.

Now if only we could do something about that crazy odd left stair rail that seems to hang in thin air, apparently it's a building code thing.
I can pick wildflowers every week and have
a very different bouquet each time.

Speaking of "wildflowers".... look at this one! We found it blooming this week and identified it as "hearts-a-burstin" (Euonymus Americanus). Actually what I thought was a bloom is really its fall fruit.
Late September 2008  

Spending a couple of days at the cabin, we awoke to a nippy
Fall chill in the air and thought this an excellent time to
test the draw of the chimney...........

..... our first fire in the hearth!
October 2008  

It's hard to believe that Fall is here so soon. There is a stack of firewood on the porch, ready for the chilly days to come.

The incredibly blue sky is matched only by the intense color of the turning leaves, Our lab, Millie still loves a swim in the pond, and we allI enjoy a walk to the ridgetop.

Mike's fall project is building split-rail fences along the driveway. Historically this technique was used as it can be assembled with simple tools, without any nails, and without digging post-holes. It was common for the pioneers of the 1800’s to fence in their crops while the livestock roamed free. Rot-resistant Black Locust logs were cut about 6 feet long, then split length-wise into several pieces. They were then stacked in an interlocking zig-zag pattern which is self-supporting.
December 2008
Once again Christmas draws near, and we prepare to celebrate the Birth of our Savior. A wreath on the door, a tree filled with traditional decorations, a cozy fire in the hearth, and a candle in the window to welcome friends and family...... “Peace on earth”    
The cabin is pretty much finished now and our dream is a reality. If you would like to continue reading about what's going on at Wildwood Cabin, visit "If These Walls Could Talk", an ongoing journal.
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