Archive for the ‘Fayetteville’ Category

Washington Elementary House Walk

Wednesday, May 6th, 2009

Our grade school is hosting its annual house walk. Proceeds go to the library, and mean that there will be no selling of cookie dough or the like for us although the Little One was a top seller of Girl Scout cookies in her Daisy troop this year – she really enjoyed it.

We are still not ready to be on it unless somebody wants to tour a house with no windows or indoor plumbing or lights.* We do have rough-in plumbing and more than a mile of wiring installed.

Like last year, we’re hosting a house – the Hunts’ house, which I think of as the Januarys’** new house (since they bought it when they moved out of our house in about 1960). We haven’t been inside, but we’ve been in their garden when it was on a garden tour last spring. It is very French (as you might expect, since they own French Metro Antiques), with a brick wall around it, and has two beautiful Montmorency cherries. The cherries are probably what started me thinking about permaculture/sustainable agriculture/joys of having fresh fruit in your own yard.

Little One and Montmorency Cherry Tree June 2008 Montmorency Cherries French Hand Pump Under the Cherry Tree   The brochure has photos of this year’s houses, and here’s the list:

  • Jack and Anne Butt 526 E. Lafayette
  • U of A Chancellor Dave and Jane Gearhart 523 North Razorback
  • Terry and Renee Hunt 432 North Washington
  • John and Jennifer Lewis 137 S. Kestrel
  • Philip and Jennifer Maynard 315 N. Washington
  • Raymond Niblock 601 North Highland
  • Jan and Stacey Sturner 1 West Mount Nord
  • Reception and Refreshments at French Metro Antiques 200 West Dickson

This is a great collection of houses, both old (the Hunts’ house is pre-Civil War) and new (the Chancellor’s house is about a year old), for a great cause, so buy a ticket and take a tour. Tickets are available at French Metro Antiques, or at any of the houses the day of the tour.

*Strangely, we do seem to give a lot of tours of our house. The neighborhood seems to believe that a house with no plumbing, little electricity, and fewer and fewer windows every day is an improvement over the five-flat of college students that it was. (We stopped by the house yesterday morning, and three four windows in the living room were gone. I thought we weren’t doing those windows until we moved in, but apparently the siding needs to be replaced there, too. Don says the bright side is that we will only have to rebuild three or four windows after we move in. I guess that’s true. I’ll feel better after he’s put back one of the 87 gazillion we’ve taken out and rebuilt. I think he will, too.)

**Tom January stopped by our house last week while Don was there. He remembers watching the big house fire from Washington, and not being able to go home. He said his parents bought the house from two sisters, presumably the Brown sisters. Don thought he was pleased with how the house was going. (He didn’t think to ask whether he had any pictures of the house.) I think he’s going to stop by with his wife soon. I’d enjoy meeting him.

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Tree-Lined Streets

Tuesday, April 14th, 2009

I loved the tree-lined streets of our neighborhood. Even though we had to cut down five trees over the summer, I loved the settled feeling that you get from tree-lined streets. Except that our streets have considerably fewer trees now. Yes, we got hit by the ice storm the end of January. (Also got hit by lethargy, so I drafted this, but didn’t post, but since then, we almost lost our computer so I shall stop aiming for perfection and see if I can just post.) We spent Monday night-Friday morning at my folks’ place on the Hill because 45+ trees fell on their driveway. We had planned to take advantage of their their in-line generator and work on windows, but it refused to engage, so we were very glad for their wood-burning fireplace. Wednesday, Don and I hiked down and hitched a ride to town with neighbors. We then backpacked supplies back to the house. Thursday afternoon, a four-man crew spent six hours clearing the driveway, and our apartment got power back that evening. We didn’t go back to the apartment until daylight Friday — and, two months later, the driveway is still pretty alarming at night. The Hill got power back Sunday. We got cable, phone, and internet sometime the next week. (One of those package deals.)Before:april-2007-driveway.jpgDuring:backpacking-up-driveway.JPGUs:ice-palace.JPG don-in-ice-palace.JPGOur apartment escaped unscathed. Our house lost the electric mast, and four more trees. The redbud in the front yard, a massive pecan by the driveway (which fell into the dumpster), and a couple of little trees in the side yards. The debris was piled up chest high.FEMA estimated six months to remove it all, although the contracted removers have already made two passes through the city, and are starting their third (and final) pass. The chipped trees from Fayetteville (about 150,000 cubic yards) are sufficient to mulch 800 acres 5 inches deep, so disposal is going to be a problem. I wish we were further along with the house so I could mulch my gardens with free mulch.

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318 W Ila, Fayetteville, AR

Monday, May 5th, 2008

One of the houses on the Washington Elementary Tour of Homes (Saturday, May 10) is 318 W Ila. According to the Wilson Park Historic District survey, it was built in 1928, and is considered non-contributing to the historic nature of the district. (The house, shown below in a drive-by shooting, is not that tilty. It is, however, that long.)

318 W Ila318 W Ila

Joseph Taylor Strate, his wife Marie, and daughter Barbara lived there in 1930. He taught mechanical engineering, according to the census, so I expect he was faculty at the University of Arkansas. They were from Wisconsin and Illinois, and Barbara was born in Fargo, North Dakota (where Prof. Strate lived in at least 1910-1920). They moved to Ft. Collins, Colorado sometime before 1951, where Prof. Strate taught mechanical engineering at CSU, and eventually made department head. Both Prof. and Mrs. Strate died in the late 1980s.

Don and I will host this house, now owned by Rolf and Ceri Wilkins, for the early shift. Come by and say hi, if you want. Otherwise, come by and ogle the house. It’s for a good cause.

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Washington Elementary House Walk May 10

Thursday, May 1st, 2008

Washington Elementary PTA is hosting a Tour of Homes.
Event Date: Saturday, May 10
Event Time: Noon to 5pm

Homes featured on the tour:

  • Bryan & Laureen Benafield, 217 E Sutton
  • Bill & Carol Eaton, 412 E Lafayette
  • Dale & Marilyn Green, 1035 N Park
  • JF & Cindy Meullenet, 303 E Sutton
  • Steven & Melissa Rogers, 40 W Prospect
  • Tom & Tammy Smith, 847 N Park
  • Rolf & Ceri Wilkin, 318 W Ila*

Refreshments at French Metro Antiques, 200 W Dickson.

Admission $20 in advance, $25 at the door.

Tickets available at:

  • French Metro Antiques, 200 W Dickson;
  • Downtown Bank of Fayetteville, 1 S. Block on the Square;
  • The Gift House, 525 N Mission Blvd.

*Don and I are hosting the Wilkin house on Ila from 11:45 – 2:30, so come on by and say hi. (Or don’t say “hi” if you’re shy, but come by and spy on us if you want.) The money goes to a really great cause: Preventing us from having to sell cookie dough.

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Yes, we have no bananas in NW Arkansas

Monday, February 11th, 2008

In what seems to be an Onion-worthy announcement, I received an email from the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce Friday. It was captioned “Very Important.”* It seems the Chamber has confirmed that the world is round that there is no, repeat, no outbreak of leprosy around here. Whew. We can all go back to our normal lives. Maybe practice our duck and cover techniques.

In unrelated news, my brother says there is an outbreak of whooping cough in his area.  Or at least, there are two cases he knows of.

*Text of the Chamber’s message:

Promoting a Strong Business Climate in Fayetteville, Arkansas

An Important Message!

Dear Chamber Members:

You may be aware of a media report that is suggesting there has been an outbreak of leprosy in Springdale. This is not true.

The Springdale Chamber has been in touch this morning with Governor Mike Beebe, Congressman John Boozman, the Center for Disease Control and the Washington County Health Department. Each of these entities are fully engaged and are reporting to us that there is no “outbreak” of leprosy in Springdale or Northwest Arkansas.

In fact, the Washington County Health Department explains nothing has changed in the number of known cases of communicable diseases in Northwest Arkansas in the past year.

Please help us in our effort to diffuse this non-factual story with the accurate details of the Springdale Chamber’s research from this morning. 
Copyright © 2003-2008 Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce. All rights reserved.

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Habitat’s Fayetteville (AR) ReStore – Closet Maid deals!

Tuesday, January 15th, 2008

I stopped in the Fayetteville Habitat ReStore on Saturday. They have a very nice assortment of shopworn boxes and boxes of Closet Maid, at what appear to be great prices. We have too much Elfa in storage and not enough closets to take advantage, but I thought I’d share this news with northwest Arkansas.

The Habitat store is a bit tricky to find and impossible to find in the internet. You can go behind the Thai restaurant on 71B or turn east onto 16th Street off 71B. In either case, you head for the Salvation Army thrift store and look to the north. You will see what appears to be a Hostess/Wonderbread thrift store in a long, low-lying yellow building. The northerly half of that building is the (unlabeled) Habitat store.


It is open only Fridays and Saturdays, and has a variety of used or shopworn materials at reduced prices along with some more unusual offerings. There are lots of NIB lights, some fasteners, snow shovels, etc. Very used appliances. Newer windows and doors.  Ceiling fans. Lumber. Furniture. The Little One bought a Mary icon thingy (see below) there for fifty cents in December.


Worth visiting on occasion.  We will be visiting there with ten or twelve ceiling fans and five kitchens worth of appliances sometime in the near future.

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Exterior Colors

Friday, November 30th, 2007

The current owners had already contracted to paint the house when they decided to sell to us. Our last two houses were Victorian, so an Arts & Crafts or Colonial Revival was a little outside my comfort zone, at least when it came to dealing with accent and trim colors — I was fine with the medium sage green for the body, but not too sure about going with lighter trim instead of darker. Not to worry, the Big Noble Book Store had Bungalow Colors, Exterior, in stock so we bought it.

A quick study of it (along with looking at several examples in the neighborhood), and I was fine with the light, light sage green for the trim, and a somewhat darker sage green as an accent (including the bottom trim piece — like a kickplate), and a brickish red for the screen door. (I got a bit defensive when our neighbor/current owner thought it sounded like it is going to be a Victorian/painted lady — it’s three shades of the same green, which hardly compares to the five or six different colors we used on our true Victorians. Guess we’ll see how it turns out.)

Now to see if the painter can get it done before real winter shows up. It was up nearly to 80 degrees (F) on the Sunday before Thanksgiving and we’re still getting some warm days. Lovely late November weather. He’s gotten the base coat on all the house except a section that we are having resided, and he has the trim work done on most of the house. Not to mention the back part that he’s already ripped off and resided. (Rotten, nasty bit around the walk-out basement.) It looks like he spray painted the sides (plastic over the windows), and brush painted the front.

From left to right, a picture of the house in October (when we thought we were making an offer), and a picture of the house in process.  The lower right windows in the second photo shows two trim combinations we considered.  We chose the trim color on the right side (more or less), the red (visible above the window on the right) on the front door, and a dark green (but not as dark as the one on the left) for the “kick plate.”  (What do you call that board that wraps around the bottom of the house?)

  Exterior before offerExterior before trim

I was waiting on this post because I have a picture of the whole front in its finished form, but I haven’t uploaded it.  Will just post separately on it sometime later.  I don’t know why the sky turned pink — it was a normal, sky color in the original photo.

We’re thinking red for the roof when we replace it.

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Freecycling, anyone?

Tuesday, November 27th, 2007

I’ve gotten the hang of buying things from Chicago’s Craig’s List and even Dallas.*  Our stove at the old house was a Craig’s List buy, and the dishwasher was a local EBay buy.  (Mostly, I entice my husband with pictures, and he does the negotiations), but there are two other options in NW Arkansas that I haven’t tried: Freecycling and KURM’s dial-a-trade.

I haven’t done Freecycling myself (yet), but this comment from Jennifer at Tiny Old House made me think about it. And Google it. We do have a Freecycle group here in NW Arkansas. (Come to think of it, a fellow I used to work with told me about Freecycle last fall.) And, they’re mentioned in this Fayetteville Free Weekly article about dumpster diving as a resource. I have a feeling I’ll be watching the list for a while to see what I think.  Last week, I saw several old fridges find homes.  Might be a way to deal with the many fridges that are coming with our house.

And then there’s KURM’s dial-a-trade. Until recently, I thought that the radio show’s host’s was named Kerm (as in Kermit the Frog), and that he had an awfully long shift since the show is on mornings and evenings.  However, K-U-R-M are the call letters, and it is essentially classified ads on the radio. I could listen to them for hours. Very relaxing. (Except when the host gets irritated with someone trying to sell more than one firearm or any firewood at all. Why one firearm, but no firewood? I don’t know.  Probably has something to do with the Second Amendment.) KURM even broadcasts livestock auctions, umm, live.  And one of their former announcers has been in the news lately for leading an unusual double life.  (In another small world coincidence, this same former announcer was a pastor at the Hessville Baptist Church in Hammond, Indiana – not too far at all from Don’s first house.)

*We haven’t bought anything from the Fayetteville Craig’s List, but the listing activity is gradually picking up so I’m hopeful there will be something for us soon.

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Buying Update 2

Monday, November 26th, 2007

We ran into our mortgage broker on the way to kindergarten this morning.  The appraisal came in at our price and as a four-plex, so I expect we’ll be closing sometime later this week at 6.5%, 30 year-fixed, investment property.  Whew.  Maybe we’ll be doing demolition this weekend while the Little One goes to see Santa.  (Neighbors have offered us spare space in their kitchen-demolition dumpster.)  I’ll have to see if my parents are available for a trip to Santa.  The only thing I’ve heard so far on her list is something that will “make me and Daddy girly girls.”  I think it’s spray paint for hair, featured in a commercial she saw in Chicago.

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Adventures in Salvaging, Part 4: Westwood Gardens Auction

Friday, November 23rd, 2007

When we thought we were about to buy a house in October, I saw an ad in the paper. The local big garden center was auctioning off its surplus plants. I made big plans to go and get a headstart on landscaping. As you can imagine, a house that has been rental apartments for fifty years (or eighty) doesn’t have a lot of landscaping, but it does have at least three huge dying trees that I hope can stay upright until spring. Anyway, we ran into a snag, and I didn’t have a house at the time of the auction. I went anyway, with our neighbor, who is, among other things, a master gardener.

Lacking a house, despite being an auction junkie, I managed not to buy too much — just two huge hydrangeas (Dooley’s, $8 each, currently parked in my mom’s labyrinth garden), four fly swatting chairs ($12.50 each), a pair of hypertufa/concrete birdbath like things with a definite Prairie style to them ($60+20), and a marble-looking planter with figures cast in it ($15). It still filled our truck up because the fly swatting chairs wouldn’t nestle.

Good thing we both had trucks because our neighbor filled up his truck with Japanese maples (some beautiful ones) and the like. (We took just his truck for the day — Don and the Little One came at the end to help load up my stuff when I realized that the chairs wouldn’t nest.)

Our stuff:


Of course, now that it looks like we’ll have a house after all, I’m wishing that I would have been able to buy for it. I’m thinking of an Asian-influenced garden (with 1950s flyswatting chairs), and need to, ahem, buy some books about Arts and Crafts gardens so I know what I’m doing. I think we’ll put a gingko in the parkway* — there aren’t any on our street, so that will add some diversity.

My prairie birdbaths have been installed at my parents’ modern house (where, unfortunately, they look very good – the gourds were grown by the Little One and my mom, and arranged by the Little One), but I bet I can make some hypertufa birdbaths in my copious spare time.

The flyswatting chairs have some surface rust, but should be just fine — and, at $12.50, they’re cheaper than the rustier originals we’ve seen at flea markets.

*Do you know where the parkway is? I didn’t, until I moved to Chicago. It is not the driveway. Nor is it the scenic road running along the Blue Ridge. Rather, it is the small bit of dirt between the sidewalk and the street. A useful term, but not in the answer dot com definitions.  (See my glossary for more.)

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