May 31, 2013

Tschuess and goodbye!

Dear readers and friends out there!

No activities here for a long time and I finally decided to close this blog. So it's time to say goodbye, I guess:

"Tschüss und auf Wiedersehen!" to all of you.

Thanks for all of your comments and good wishes - they were really much appreciated. It was fun and very inspiring to "meet" all of you!

We didn't move or sell the house or anything like that - it's just not the right time for blogging right now. Maybe I'll continue writing on our adventures with our old house some day in the future.
For the time being, I left only some of the posts that might be of general interest for people fascinated by old houses - if you have any questions, feel free to contact me by leaving a comment.

Take care!

May 02, 2009

Hungry as a worm...

Another loooong silence over here, although I actually have a lot to post about. Being a working-and-diy'er-mom just leaves little time for blogging. We're all doing great and with our son taking his first steps, life became yet more exciting ;-)

We finally began to seriously work on the nursery, it's about time with the little one turning 1 in June... At first we wanted to leave the hated laminate floor in there due to practical reasons. But in the end we were too curious and just had to peek at what's underneath. After several layers (more in a separate post to come), we found: A WOODEN FLOOR, hurray :-) And it seems to be an old floor indeed as the planks are up to 73 cm wide (and 4 metres long).

In this post, I just wanted to show you the traces of a roomer called woodworm. Normally, we have those little holes:

But in that plank, someone must have been really, really hungry:

Some two years ago, we'd probably been in panic and afraid of the house tumbling down. After more than two years in our witch's hut, we are pretty calm. Typical dialogue:

"Oh, traces of woodworms."
"Any fresh sawdust?"
"Not at a first glance."
"Alright then!"

November 17, 2008

Fantastic find - antiquity in the garden

Yesterday, hubby planted about 100 bulbs - hoping that some of them will bloom in spring ;-). He ameliorated the soil with the pickax and suddenly he had the impression he was hitting a stone. But it wasn't a stone, it was this clay bottle:

After cleaning it, we discovered a stamp saying "Herzogthum Nassau" (Duchy of Nassau), a lioncel and the word "Selters" (seltzer):

Let's sum up the information: We found a clay bottle once filled with mineral water, deriving from the former Duchy of Nassau. This Duchy was part of the German Confederation and existed barely 60 years (1806-1866). Folks, that means, our bottle is at least 150 years old, maybe even 200!! So very exciting!

But back to the information: The Duchy was situated in what is nowadays a part of the federal state of Hesse.
The mineral water originates from the well in Niederselters/Taunus Mountains:
* The following information is translated from Wikipedia*
The well was discovered in 1536 and soon the water was said to have curative effects. In the 18th century, the water was verifiably exported to Scandinavia, Russia, North America and Africa.
Between 1806 and 1866, the export of seltzer became the Duke of Nassau's most important source of income.

By the way: Niederselters is about 360 km from our little town, quite an amazing distance for a bottle of mineral water at that time! It definitely means that the owner of our house (in the first half of the 19th century) was fairly wealthy!

November 15, 2008

New windows, part II: Choice of contractor and formalities

The difficulty with our new windows is how to find a fine balance between conformity with preservation orders and modern comforts, especially concerning the energy balance.
Remember: We are a monument :-) and therefore we have to consider quite a lot of regulatory requirements. The most important ones are:

1. Windows must be outward opening (which I love in general but which is a pest when you do your window-cleaning...)

2. Divided-light windows

3. Narrow profiles

After checking several offers, we decided to commission a carpentry from a nearby village to build our new windows. They use local wood and ecologically compatible paint, usually from Auro, which was an important factor in our decision-making. Especially as some of the new windows will be built in in the nursery - good to know no toxins will evaporate.

Here is a drawing of the windows we'll have built in, they are so-called "Kreuzstockfenster", is the English expression for it "crossbar window"?

The next steps (protected and listed building) have to be these:

a) submit a building application to the monuments administration

b) wait for their decision and especially the important STAMP of permission

c) after works will be finished: acceptance of construction work by the authorities

We've managed up to step b) and here it is, the stamp of permission: