• Wood Family Reunion 2020

    Wood Family Reunion: Saturday, April 25, 2020

    A Gathering of the Clans We would like to once again gather as family to share our rich heritage.  The reunion was traditionally held on July 4th on White Rock Creek and later at the Brandon Community Center so that everyone could enjoy the Texas heat.  Ha! The Community Center has air conditioning now, but we thought we could try an earlier date in the spring.  After much discussion, we did come to the realization that there is a concern about every date.  They are either too hot, too cold, too close to the holidays, too great a chance of storms…you get the picture.  In the end, the Community Center…

  • Wood Family Reunion 2020

    The Wood Family Descendants

    Our Families James and Isabella Riddell Wood left Scotland in 1851 for Texas.  They brought their nine children with them.  Daughter Christina and son James died in Leon County.  Daughter Martha died less than 24 hours after arriving at Ft. Graham.  Their oldest son, Hugh, became a teamster for the U. S. Army and died in the Mormon Wars in the 1850s.  Son John joined the Confederate Army and died on July 26, 1864 in Cloutierville, Louisiana after taking ill. Only four of the Wood children survived to have families of their own.  These are the families that constitute our family reunion. Margaret Wood and James Ransom Davis Margaret Wood…

  • Let's Eat

    The Cheese Making, Goat Milking Lifestyle Surprise

    Hobby to Lifestyle Change Looking back, it is easy to see how I went from cheese making to a goat milking lifestyle.  I can, sort of explain it to most open-minded people.  It made sense (really?) to get goats to milk.  When we decided to make cheese, the natural progression was to make cheese we need milk.  To make goat cheese, we need goat milk.  Goat milk comes from goats.  We should get goats to milk. But the addition of the goats meant that a cheese making quickly went from a lark hobby to full-on lifestyle. Once upon a time I said I wanted to make cheese.  Our favorite cheeses…

  • Let's Eat

    Five Cheeses for the Beginning Cheese Maker

    Plans Are Like Swiss Cheese… Some have holes in them.  Certainly, my cheese making journey had plenty of holes.  If you want to know how many holes, check out this blog post.  If I were going to begin the cheese journey again, I think I would focus on making the soft cheeses that are ready in a week or two and leave the aged cheeses to the professionals.  And yes, there would be lots of my favorites that would be left off my cheese making list.  However, there are several soft cheeses that will keep us satisfied for a lifetime.  Here are our top five cheeses that are perfect for…

  • Let's Eat

    Dangerous Cheese Making: Lessons in Time Commitment

    Hobby or Major Time Commitment? Cheese making as a hobby is a pretty cool choice.  We are a cheese crazy family.  We love nibbling on all different types of cheese.  Indeed, we have spent a fortune at cheese counters around the world purchasing our favorites and trying out new cheeses.  It appeared to me that cheese making was a logical thing to learn.  But not all cheese is created equally as I quickly learned.  Cheese making can be a serious time commitment if you let it.  The time requirements vary greatly for different kinds of cheeses.  Some take months, some just a few days.   Some you drain the curds, salt…

  • 1846 Homestead Renovation,  Uncategorized

    Want DIY Experience? Here’s How To Get It

    Welcome to Square One It is an age-old problem.  How do you get DIY experience when you have no experience?  First time DIY projects can sort of feel the same way.  How do you justify the risk of a first time DIY project?  The potential of saving yourself labor costs is a motivating factor certainly.  However, DIYers must also examine the likelihood of them successfully completing the project.  To fail may mean having to hire a professional to do the job (and repair any damage) along with material costs for a second go around.  Successful DIY projects save money and add value to a home, unsuccessful ones can become nightmares.…

  • 1846 Homestead Renovation

    Delicate Ceiling Boards Require Special Attention

    The Ceiling I wanted to reuse the original ceiling boards in the house.  The ceiling boards were fragile and the rooms needed lighting.  We addressed the boards first.  They were fragile and needed more care than I anticipated.  We also had to make decisions about lighting in the old house that would make it functional without changing it too much.  We were tightrope walking again. The ceiling boards had been covered with sheet rock and wallpaper.   We had the pleasure of knowing that they needed to be cleaned, de-nailed, and repainted.  Did we want to do this on a ladder?  No, we did not.  Still, standing on a ladder working…

  • 1846 Homestead Renovation,  Uncategorized

    South Pen: Original Floor Renovation Mystery

    When Details Tell Tales… The flooring situation in the south pen continues to be a mystery to me and one that I would love to solve because it would tell me so much about how the house was used.  The original floor had been covered with an oak floor during some past renovation.  They type of flooring helps to determine the purpose of the room and so this was a big mystery for me. When you begin any renovation project, there are going to be things that make you wonder.  Little mysteries that previous owners took with them.  In our home, built in 1846, we were surrounded by questions about…

  • 1846 Homestead Renovation

    Bathroom to a Guest Bedroom: Renovation Step One

    We Begin on the South The small pen on the south side of the house would be our daughter’s bedroom when she came home to visit with her family.  It adjoins the room where she bravely had her wedding pictures taken.  When finished, the idea was for her to have a small bedroom, a sitting room and a private bath. This room would be the first we tackled, but not because it belonged to daughter.  We always started on the south side of the house.  It didn’t matter the project.  We emptied the south side first.  We removed the sheet rock in the south side first.  One reason for this…

  • 1846 Homestead Renovation

    Kitchen to Bedroom: Floors, Windows and Paint

    Rebuilding the Room By this time, we had ripped up the flooring and torn down the ceiling.  We had removed the clapboard siding and could see daylight under the walls.  This did make it easier to level the room  as we could walk around unimpeded.  However, it was time to put this room back together.  The room was aching for a new floor, windows and maybe even some fresh paint. Floors First The floor in the kitchen/bedroom was a total loss.  When we removed the linoleum, there was plywood covering most of the floor, with little hardwood remaining.  It looked as if there had been a water leak.  We were…