We Survived!

The 2019 Old West end Festival is over and we all survived. It was a crazy few months getting ready and a crazy weekend watching people line up out front to go through our house. I’m not sure how many visited but our house captains believe it was over 2000!

We knew when we moved here that we were not only moving our family to a new home, we also became stewards of this historic home. We hope everyone who came enjoyed seeing this piece of Toledo history. We have worked hard to maintain the home in a way that preserves it’s history and makes it feel like home to us.

I would like to thank everyone who made our home tour a success. Matt and the kids for doing everything I asked with only a few eyerolls. They even did the things I know they thought were crazy like wiping off lightbulbs and dusting AGAIN on Sunday morning.

Thank you to everyone who helped clean up the flower beds, edge the sidewalks ( I had no idea they were that wide!) and provide plants and flowers inside every space that was on view. Our house never looked as nice as it did this past weekend.

Thank you to our house captains. Michael, Terrance and Lorraine-we could not have done this without you. Thank you for holding our hands and keeping us calm. Thank you for your watchful eyes throughout the weekend to keep our house safe, to train the docents and make sure everything ran smoothly. Also, a big thanks to the docents who gave up time to help at our home.

Finally, thank you to everyone who came out for the festival this weekend. We hope you enjoyed it and got to see what makes The Old West End Toledo’s best neighborhood.

Still Surprised!

After living here almost four years, it seems like we have discovered most everything there is to know about our house. So I was very surprised today as I was dusting. No, it isn’t surprising that I WAS dusting. I do that a lot! Matt has been working hard on the back staircase to repair the walls and freshen up the stairs. (I will post the before and after as soon as he is finished.) I have spent a lot more time recently looking at the back stairs. The back staircase is not fancy but very functional except for the bottom of each run has this detail:

Decorative ends on the banisters.
Simple newel posts

Today as I was dusting the main stairs, I realized that the bottoms of those banisters have the same detail!

Same decorative finial at the bottom as the back stairs!

Although everything about the entry stairs is grand and fancy, I guess it shouldn’t be surprising that at least a little of the detail is carried over into the back stairs.  So many patterns and details in the house are repeated. 

Alvin B. Tillinghast

Since we found out so much about the Oblates time here, I decided to do some digging and see if I could clear up some more of the house’s history. We know Mr. Tillinghast was the original owner. He hired architects Brown, Burton and Davis from Cincinnati to design the house which is an unusual mix of English Tudor half timbering and French Gothic roof. We have many decorative details that don’t really fit either style of architecture. Our home is certainly unique among a whole neighborhood of unique homes.

Tillinghast was born in 1853. Using census records and other resources available on Ancestory.com I was able to discover these facts:

  • According to the 1880 US census records, Alvin lived at 209 Michigan Street with his sister and brother-in-law, two nieces and his father. His occupation is listed as retail grocer.
  • From the 1900 census (the year construction began on our house) The Tillinghasts, Alvin, his wife Eudora and son Harold rented a home at 2152 Robinwood. There is no 2152 now. It seems this home would have been located where the OWE Commons now is. We know there was a gas station there at one time. I guess the home was removed to put the gas station in. It is interesting that he rented the house across the street while his home was under construction. I guess that made it easier to keep an eye on things. Oddly, his occupation is listed on the census report as “baegel manufacturer.”
  • The 1900 City director also shows the 2152 home as his address but lists Alvin the president and manager of Toledo Licorice Co and the second vice president of Central Savings Bank.
  • From 1903-1909 the Tillighasts are listed in the Toledo City directory with our home’s address. This makes the rumor that Tillighast never lived in the home he built likely false.
  • From 1905-1908 Tillighasts seems to have been running the licorice company that made him his fortune as well as being the treasurer of Royal Brush & Broom.
  • The 1910 census report has the Tillighasts renting a home on Glenwood and he now is self employed, selling life insurance. It is safe to assume that Toledo Licorice has probably stopped operating and the failing company forced Alvin to move from the house he built. We are trying to find the records for the deed transfer to see if the house did return to the builder or if it was sold by the Tillinghasts.
  • I was able to find that in 1922 he owned a home at 2547 Robinwood with no mortgage.
  • He served on the board at The Toledo Museum of Art for many years.
  • Mr. Tillinghast died at age 98 in 1951. I was able to find several obituaries for him. Most refer to him being a widower with no children. This seemed strange as I knew he had one son. Again using Ancestry records, I found his son Harold had passed away at age 45 in Pennsylvania. His cause of death was listed as suicide. Harold had a daughter who was 5 at that time. I was able to track her and she passed away in 1991. I’m not sure why Tillinghast didn’t list his granddaughter in his obituary. There seems to have been a lot of difficulties in Alvin’s life but he seemed to keep his chin up. Apparently he planned his own funeral 15 years prior to his death. He left very specific instructions that he would not have a casket but would lie in state on a slumber bed. The funeral home was to play music he chose and loved. He had cards printed out when he made his funeral arrangements that said “If you have any pleasant recollections of me, smile.” There seemed to be some discussion about whether refreshments would be served. He had requested none but the funeral home did decide to serve cake and coffee.
Obituary for Mr. Tillinghast from June 8, 1951 Huntingdon PA Daily News

This and That

It has been a crazy hot week here making even the simplest of tasks seem overwhelming.  Not having air conditioning isn’t too bad when the overnight low temperatures get down at least to the upper 60’s.  This week that hasn’t happened and it has been very humid so we have not been able to get the house cooled down at night.  We went to the big box store for more paint and found this:

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A portable air conditioner!

I had no idea such things existed.  I knew you could get a window air conditioner but not a portable one.  Needless to say we brought one home.  The plan was to use it primarily in the kitchen which for some reason never cools down even when the rest of the house does.  It will make meal prep so much nicer.  So far we have only used it in the study where both of the boys have been hanging out a lot this summer.  The desktop computer, cable gateway and router and the boys video game systems are all in there.  With an east facing window and all the electronics the room gets hot.  The portable A/C made a huge difference.  It will be great to be able to cool down whatever area of the house we need.  We do have A/C on the third floor so we can always hang out up there and sleep up there if it gets really bad.

Since we have been here for a year now, our homeowners insurance was due to renew.  Getting homeowners insurance for an historic home was a challenge we did not expect.  Renewing with our current carrier was horrible.  Our cost was going to increase nearly a $1000.  We hadn’t filed any claims or made any changes.  It was crazy.  There seems to be only two carriers for homes like ours.  Both base your rates on replacement value.  The tricky part about that is most of the features of our home that we fell in love with-the stained glass, the woodwork are irreplaceable.  You can’t get the craftsmen or the materials today to replace these features.  The insurance company still puts a value on it though.  Our home is valued at over $4,000,000.  Yes.  That is six zeroes!  We would never spend that much to replace this house in this neighborhood if we were to suffer a catastrophic loss. Due to the crazy increase, we switched to the only alternative we had.

The insurance company required us to install a security system which we had already had done.  As part of our renewal we needed smoke detectors which we had but the insurance company wanted a remotely monitored smoke detector system in place.  We now have that and these lovely little gadgets had to be placed on the walls on the first floor, eight inches from the ceiling.

So fitting on the walls of our home!

Trying to find someplace where they would not be an eye sore was a challenge but we managed.  I won’t post pictures of the actual detectors on my walls because I am hoping you will never notice them if you come over!  No need to point them out here.  On the second and third floors they are on the ceilings and a little less obvious.  Plus nobody looks at the hallway ceilings there.

Larry the tree guy is coming back this weekend to remove the other mulberry tree, the dead trees and a few trees that will be in the way when we (hopefully) put our pool in next summer.  The backyard/sideyard (I never know what to call this space) will look a lot different on Monday.

We cleaned up the front floor bed last weekend and added a few perennials and some more shrubs.  We get a lot of compliments on the yard.  The general consensus from the neighborhood is the yard hasn’t been well cared for in a long time and this is the best it has looked in years. I missed having flowers and a garden last year.  It does make it feel more like home when you pull in the driveway and see all the landscaping.  Since the house is on such a visible corner it seems everyone notices.



A Step in the Right Direction

After much back and forth discussion, I finally got Matt to agree to let me remove the rest of the 1981 carpet from the main staircase.  It was threadbare and worn and impossible to clean.


The cat loved it and used it for sleeping and claw sharpening on occasion.

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When we took the carpet off from the top part of the landing we found that the last time the stairs were refinished, the centers did not get polyurethane applied.  When we removed the rest of the carpet the same held true.  They looked like this:


The centers that were untreated were really dry.  I thought maybe using the lemon oil I had used on all the wood work when we first moved in might help.  (All our woodwork was dry and lacked shine when we got here.)  The steps still lack a shine but they look a lot better (I think) and have some protection.

The girls have a date dance on Saturday (Dancing with the Star Wars, isn’t that a cute theme?) and youngest daughter is going with a big group consisting of most of her swim team.  One of her friends wanted to do pictures at our house because she thinks we can get all 30 plus kids on the stairs.  That was my big push to clean them up now.  They aren’t perfect and we will need to put a clear coat on them.  I still prefer the bare wood to carpet.  I think the wood is beautiful.  I am sure we can get all the kids on the stairs for a picture and having the carpet removed is a step in the right direction!


My To Do List

I realize the to-do-list here will always be a pretty fluid list.  There will be things that get added because of emergencies, things that we add as we notice them and projects that time and budget allow us to complete.  Parts of it will really be more of a “wish list.”  After the Christmas decorations came down, I walked through the first floor and made a list.  I decided to focus just on the first floor for now since that is what people see.  Or at least that is what we want people to see!  Some of these are things that we can handle ourselves.   It is nice to finally be in a position where many of the projects are things we can do ourselves.  It was part of the appeal in owning an older home.

Here is what I hope to get finished.  I haven’t put a time frame on it but none of them appears to be overwhelming or too costly.  Time will tell.

Find new wallpaper for the study.  I hate this wallpaper but haven’t been able to find one that I really like.  I thought about painting the walls but the ceiling has the oak bema’s and is painted red, which I don’t think would look right with painted walls.  I have been looking at using fabric but the installation seems challenging.


Finally decide what to do with the carpet on the staircase.  I am still considering leaving the stairs bare.  It is so much easier to clean them.  If I do that, I need to varnish them.  The last time they were refinished the center of the stairs were left unvarnished.  That is just another thing that makes me shake my head and ask “why?”

  • Refinish the kitchen cabinets.  I am really happy with the new (temporary) counter tops and the lay out with the island turned into a peninsula.  I know a total kitchen remodel is somewhere in our future but not in the immediate future.  I can live with it as it is now but think refinishing the cabinets will make the kitchen look and feel new.  The doors are solid oak and in good shape.  The hardware is rusted or missing.  I would like to paint the doors and add new hardware.  I know this is something I can do myself.  Maybe I will tackle this next.  The hard part is weather to paint the cabinets a fun bright color, stain them a darker color or paint them white.  It is not my forever kitchen so I am leaning towards doing something fun with them.  Plus it is just paint and I can always change it if I hate it!


Find some fun things and actually decorate some of this house.  I know the house needs some “stuff.”  All the design books, magazines, shows have beautifully arranged furniture and accessories in their rooms.  I have always been clutter adverse.  I don’t want to move stuff to dust.  I have kids and pets and I don’t want to worry stuff will get broken.   But this house seems to need stuff to fill up the spaces and make the rooms feel more complete.  I know we need more furniture too but I don’t have the budget to bring in all new furniture pieces. So I need some “stuff” and some smaller furniture pieces.  The problem is I don’t know what I am really looking for. I don’t want stuff just to have stuff.  I don’t necessarily want all old or antique pieces.  It is time to start figuring out what I want/need.  I think it could be fun but worry it will be frustrating.  If anyone has any ideas on how to do that I am open to suggestions.


Call the plumber.  We need to have the toilet in the powder room replaced.  We have tried repairing it and it still runs all the time.  We also need to get water to the hand sink in the powder room.  I hope these will be two inexpensive fixes but having the plumber in never ends without a shockingly high bill.  Besides, George is probably wondering what happened to his buddy.


Patch and paint the butlers pantry.  The butlers pantry has some weird things going on right now.  There is a spot on the ceiling that has been patched many times before and is currently falling off the ceiling.  It doesn’t appear to be wet and we can’t tell what is going on exactly but it needs to be repaired.  The paint in this room also is a problem.  It seems the paint that was used before was not good paint or maybe they applied it badly but it is pulling off the wall.  the kids are having trouble not picking at it which isn’t helping.  Fortunately it seems to be a problem with the paint and not caused by an underlying problem.  Like water.  Then there is the giant crack over the cabinets.  This is more of a mystery.  If you follow this wall up, it is the stairwell wall.  There does not appear to be any plumbing behind it and it is an inside wall so probably not a leak somewhere above that is causing the plaster to crack.  Matt found a plaster repair technique he has wanted to try and this might be just the place.


None of these are overwhelming and hopefully nothing too costly.  They will help make the house more functional, look nicer and feel more like ours.  Maybe we can get most of these things done before summer when will need to do some serious work on the landscaping/exterior of the house.

15 Lessons Learned, part two

7.  We live in an eclectic neighborhood.  We had been told that before we moved but now that we have been here a few months we have first hand knowledge.  Just a few of the people we see on a daily basis:

  • Very elderly gentleman who lives in the apartments across the street.  He wears a trench coat, a suit and tie and carries a brief case and umbrella.  He leaves home about the same time every morning and heads out for about 90 minutes.  Not sure where he goes but it must be important work he is doing.
  • The man who goes everywhere on his unicycle.  Something I see every day but you probably don’t.  Unless you also live near me.  He also sings while he is riding past.
  • Dog people.  There are a lot of people with dogs in the neighborhood and they all walk them.  There is a three legged dog.  There are great Danes,  Saint Bernards, tiny yippy dogs, people walking three dogs at once.  They are all friendly and George (our dog) used to bark at all of them.  Now there are just a few that he clearly doesn’t trust.
  • Extremely heavy set man in electric wheelchair who “walks” his tiny dog every day.  The dog is always in the lead so I am not sure who is walking who.
  • Lots of kids on bikes
  • Families with toddlers on bikes and babies in strollers
  • Michael, the friendly neighborhood odd job guy.  He is always on his way to a job and is happy to do any work you might need a hand with for a very fair price.
  • Occasionally there is a homeless man sleeping in the park across the street
  • The lady with the pom-pom hat and purple coat (even in the summer.)  She heads to the burger place and will ask for change or a dollar as she walks by.

8. We expected to have guests in our house and we have actually done far less entertaining than we did before we moved.  Partly this was due to the fact that we were getting settled and it is difficult to entertain when there are holes in your ceiling, walls torn out, no water in your powder room and you are without a functioning oven. This didn’t detour the overnight guests though.  I would estimate that we used a guest room over 90 times.  There were times when we had several overnight guests here at the same time so we didn’t have 90 nights with guests but it was still a lot.  More than we had expected but great to have so many family and friends spend time with us.

9. We learned that the budget for any project should be $10,000.  Or in increments of $10,000.  New shower $10,000.  Plumbing $10,000.  Bathroom $10,000.  Furnace $10,000 times two.  All the big projects that are on our wish list require $10,000.  A fence for the yard, a pool, a new garage, tree removal, additional plumbing repairs, flat roof repairs, kitchen remodel.  All big expenses.

10.  The house is about 25 minutes from our old house and we felt like we were pretty centrally located and close to all the places we needed to get to at the other house.  We have found that for the most part we are a lot closer to everything here except a good grocery store.  It takes less time to get to school, work, church and practices for the girls.  The boys are farther from school but not so much that they want to live closer to campus yet.

11. We found that even after the exterminator comes and inspects and treats your house, a house this old that hasn’t been occupied for a long time still has pests.  We have had a few mice try to take up residence.  The cats took care of them.  There are a lot of weird creepy crawly bugs that I hadn’t ever seen.  Many only come out at night.  We also have had two bats in the house.  I didn’t know before but have now decided I am not a fan of bats inside the house.

12. It is impossible to even attempt to keep a house clean when there are holes in the ceiling and contractors coming in every day.  Don’t even try.  Just get used to the dust and know that eventually the holes will get covered.  Of course there will also be new holes but don’t think about that!

13. No matter how carefully you inspect an historic home and how much you think you know about what needs to be done to restore it and what you think needs repairs you will be wrong.  The list will change and the scope of the project may be more or less than you anticipate but there will always be a to do list that doesn’t get shorter.

14.  We learned that a house that is 115 years old does not have enough electric outlets to adequately support a family of six in 2015.  For example, there is ONE outlet in the master bedroom.  Bedside lamps and alarm clocks are a challenge we still haven’t managed to overcome.  The outlet is under the windows and not behind the bed.  Try to make that work!

15. Finally, we have learned that this historic house is much improved since we got here but has many challenges ahead.  It has turned out to be  a great place for our family to live.  It has been a real blessing to have all four kids here with us on this crazy journey.  There are many hurdles remaining and I am sure I will shed more than a few more tears in frustration at the challenges that we will face but in the end I don’t think any of us has any regrets about making this move.  Our historic house is now our family home.


15 Lessons Learned in 2015, part one

I must say we have learned a lot about purchasing, living and owning an historic home this year.  Here are some of them in no particular order:

  1. Just because a house is for sale does not mean the owners want to sell it.  Even if they had moved out three years ago.  Even if they only lived in the house for a few months.  Even is they are moving to another country.  Even if they failed to maintain the house while they owned it.  Purchasing this house was the most difficult thing we have done.  Ever.  The sellers were delusional and unreasonable nearly every step of the way.  I am still surprised that we were able to buy this house.  In fact, we had walked away from it several times and the sellers kept coming back to us to see what needed to happen to complete the sale.  Even then they put up road blocks.cropped-thf130irc4.jpg
  2. Homeowners insurance is a whole different prospect when you purchase an historic home.  Nobody told us this before hand.  Finding someone to insure our house was nearly impossible.  In fact we really only had one choice and the premiums varied quite a bit for the same insurance company through different agents.  The insurance for our house is crazy.  I think my parents beach house is cheaper to insure.  We have to carry insurance to cover the replacement value of our home.  That is laughable for several reasons.  No amount of money can replace this home.  The materials and craftsmen needed to rebuild just do not exist.  If something should happen to this house it would be foolish to even attempt to spend that kind of money putting a house up in this neighborhood.DSC_0195
  3. When you live in a historic house people will feel they have the right to judge the decisions you will make.  The very first neighbor who stopped by commented that we had removed the wallpaper in the entry.  Before he even introduced himself he felt it necessary to comment on this.  It wasn’t original, although people seemed to think it was.  There were two other papers under it.  Plus it was UGLY!  This is my house and it had to go.  I am not sorry I am making changes.  We will maintain whatever original features we can and restore what is possible to restore.  We know it is a piece of history but please don’t feel that gives you a right to pass judgment on our decisions.DSC_0198
  4. Besides feeling like people are judging our decisions, we learned several things about privacy.  First, people will feel it is perfectly OK to take pictures of your home.  I can understand that to a degree but some people are doing way more than just taking a quick picture.  A few weeks ago, a women was outside taking pictures for over an hour.  She was on the sidewalk and across the street.  That is OK.  Not much I can do but then she was in the driveway and in the yard.  She took pictures of the kids as they came home from school.  This is not OK people!  I don’t know you.  I don’t know what you are doing with these pictures and it is never OK to take pictures of my children without permission or to be trespassing in my yard.  To make matters worse, she came back the next day with another person and they both were taking pictures for several hours.  There are a lot of pictures of this house on line.  How many more do you need?
  5. Our purchasing this home was well publicized.  The local newspaper did a follow up piece and interviewed us after we got the house. Because of this everyone we know, everyone who knows people we know and complete strangers have asked to see inside our house.  This includes random people at school and church, the road construction workers, the gas line repair crew, customers and co-workers and even the check out lady at the grocery store.  It has been crazy and I never expected this.  Hopefully since we opened the house for the Christmas tour and had 1,000 visitors there aren’t that many people left who still want to get inside!DSC_0375 - Copy - Copy - Copy - Copy - Copy
  6. Hand in hand with this notion is what happens when we do have people in.  We had an open house for friends, family and coworkers last month to celebrate the holidays and our new home.  We had a lot of discussion before hand about how much of the house we wanted people to see.  We agreed that the second floor which is all our bedrooms and bathrooms did not need to be on display.  Our kids deserve to have their bedrooms be private spaces.   The house was not designed with the intention that this floor would ever be on public display.  Unfortunately we had guests who decided that a closed door and requests not to go upstairs didn’t apply to them.  My oldest son was sick and had to put up with these inconsiderate people coming into his room all evening.  You would never go to a friend or co-workers house and feel free to walk through every room and closet in a regular house.  I can not understand why these people (who will not be coming back to my house!) felt this was OK here.  I am sure they would be horrified to have people going through their closets, bedrooms and bathrooms.  It made me angry and made me feel like a horrible parent that my children’s privacy was invaded.DSC_0241
  7. During the Christmas tour we had several neighbors comment about our electronics on the first floor.  They made a point of telling us that these are historic home and the first floor of the home should be historically accurate.  That is what they believe people expect.  We have a different view.  This is a historic home but it is first and foremost OUR HOME!  We are going to watch television in our living room and the kids are going to do their homework and use the computer in the study.  Just because there weren’t electronics when the house was built doesn’t mean there shouldn’t be electronics in them now.  The people who built these houses spared no expense.  They put in the finest things money could buy and included the latest innovations, like electric lights.  If they were building them now, the houses would include state of the art home theaters and all the modern conveniences they could imagine.  I really wanted to ask these people if that was how they feel then why did they have refrigerators, microwaves, coffee makers, washers/dryers and a multitude of small appliances on the first floor of their homes.  Not having a computer or television does not make your first floor “historically accurate” unless you are willing to forgo all those other things that were invented in the last 125 years.  Don’t judge us because we enjoy watching a movie with our kids in our living room and want to keep an eye on their computer use.  The kids shouldn’t be banished to their bedrooms to watch TV or use their electronics.  This is our family’s HOME!

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The Ninth Day of Christmas-The Study

It is unclear what the original use was for this room.  Some research says it was a library but that doesn’t seem likely to me.  If this room was originally a library, Mr. Tillinghast would certainly have had built in bookcases here.  The room is the same quarter sawn oak as the entryway with wainscoting that matches the staircase. There are repeats in miniature of the pillars from the entry and a beautiful beamed ceiling that is similar to that in the dining room.  There is a large closet that was clearly original and a hole in the floor that once had a maid call button. (The living room, dining room and music room also have these.)  The door hardware has the trefoil design found throughout the first floor.  Perhaps this was originally an office or study or just a more intimate sitting room.  The closet is the feature that confuses the issue.  Maybe it was a first floor bedroom?  Many of the home listings prior to when we purchased the house list eleven bedrooms.  This room with its closet would have to be included as bedroom to get to that count of 11.

In any case, this was the last room on the first floor that we put together.  It was an easy place on the first floor to leave the odd boxes that were still unpacked and were filled with items I just wasn’t sure where to put.  We could close the door and not see them.  This room also has horrible wallpaper (who picked the paper in this house and what were they thinking!!?) that needs to go.  The ceiling has been redone at some point and is painted red between the beams.  I like the way it looks and have decided to repaper this room instead of painting.  I haven’t found anything yet that I am willing to commit to.  I have been thinking about maybe finding a paper with a trefoil incorporated into the design or maybe a toil with a red that picks up the ceiling color.

We put up new lights and washed the woodwork and windows.  That is the extent of the transformation so far.  It looked cute with the Santa theme and was a great place to put my little Santa collection.



The eighth day of Christmas-The music room

The music room is the room that has had the biggest transformation.  This room was a mess when we moved in.  The ceiling was crumbling, the walls were held up by the horrible metallic gold/orange wallpaper and the floor had a very dramatic dip.  As you know, we had to remove all of the ceiling and most of the walls to repair the plumbing and the damage caused by the leaking master shower.  We were able to return the ceiling to its original height and added recessed lighting in place of the art deco chandelier that was added in the late 90’s-very pretty but doesn’t fit.  The room has a very modern feel with a nod to the original room.

For the Christmas tour we put up this artificial tree (that is now in the upstairs hall)


It is a pretty artificial tree but we wanted a fresh cut tree that we could put all the kids ornaments on.  We didn’t have time to get one before the tour and this looked fine there.

We did manage to get our fresh tree.  It is as wide as it is tall.  The kids decorated it with all their special ornaments and this was the tree Santa placed the gifts for the kids under.

The tree completely fills the room!  Even our 6 foot tall kids look small next to the tree.  I was having a hard time being in a new house for Christmas.  Having this tree up with all these familiar ornaments that mark the many shared Christmas memories helped this feel like home and not a house.

I was still having trouble figuring out what to do with the cabinets in this room when it occurred to me that I still had a lot of glass ornaments that I hadn’t used anywhere yet.  We got ornament stands and filled the cabinets with an assortment of Christmas items.  I like it so much that I may keep the glass ornaments on display inside the cabinets.

The confessional window also got a little Christmas decorating.  Which was a good thing as we filled the house with priests, a deacon and a seminarian at our holiday open house warming party and all the guests were fascinated or amused with our little window.