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Happy New Year...2014....It has been a rather unseasonably cold winter here in the Southeast particularly Dublin, GA. Living in an 140 year old house not built to withstand below normal winter temperatures for long stretches at a time makes living somewhat challenging. About two weeks ago, the temperatures got into the teens, causing our pipes to freeze then thaw and burst. John, my resident plumber, fixed the problem. Then about 5 days ago, a crack developed in one of the pipes. It burst too..Off to the home improvement store to get supplies to fix it. We lost pressure with the result of no water however we do have our well. We can always draw beautiful clean and crisp water from the well for our needs...

Nearly two weeks ago, Dublin barely escaped a crippling snow/ice storm that impacted the Atlanta and Macon metro areas. I was unable to travel to work for 3 straight days. Today, right now, Dublin, along with all of Georgia are in the cross hairs of a crippling ice storm. We still have power at the moment, however as the day progresses and as the cold rain changes over to freezing rain, we may have to revert to early 19th century living. The office where I work, is closed today and most likely will be closed tomorrow as the ice storm progresses, making travel nearly impossible if not dangerous. So today, we will be hunkering down and staying warm and dry.

I went back to the corporate work world over a year ago, so my blog entries have been few and far between. I have updated a smartphone scan link to my main page of my blog so you can view my blog on the fly. Check it out!

Please be sure to check out John's blog for the most recent updates since my full time job limits me to post timely events going on at the Hardy Smith House. John's blog  and Hardy Smith House Facebook Page

Thanks for visiting my blog.


Progress update on ongoing projects at the Capt Hardy Smith house.

Good Afternoon and welcome to my blog! It has been a VERY LONG TIME since my last entry. I went back to work full-time late last year. So time that I could devote to my blog has been very limited. John has gotten very busy with his 'day job' work. We don't see each other much except on weekends. It is a cool, rainy day here in Dublin today. John has kept up with progress of projects at the house than I can duplicate here. Be sure to check out John's blog by clicking here:  John's blog

John finally, after nearly two years, completed my office upstairs, above his office. Check out the before and after photos of the room by checking out John's blog. The completed photos I have captured below. My laptop crashed earlier this year and I lost all of my Hardy Smith House photos. I am so incredibly fortunate to have my own office as beautiful as this. I wanted to keep the elements as traditional as possible. All rooms in the house have fireplaces. Two out of the three rooms upstairs are now complete.

The room adjoining my office will be converted into a bathroom/dressing room/closet for my clothes. To communicate, if he is in the root cellar working and I am up here in my office, we use walkie talkies. Very handy. I still need to add furniture, pictures, window treatments but a far cry from the storage room it once was. The mirror above the fireplace was donated to the house. The back dates it to September 10, 1927. My birthday is September 10th. The things on the fireplace mantel are 'pieces of my past' and present that I wanted to display. The colors of the room were chosen by me to have a light, airy, breezy feel since we both love the sea. The floor was in relatively good shape but the perfectionist that John is, spent many hours getting it to what it is now. We have mini blinds in all rooms in the front part of the house only at this time. 

The chair in the last photo belonged to my family. I got it from my mom to display in my office. My dad loved this chair. Just having it in this room adds a beautiful touch. Notice the results of the wood floor. Reminds me a little of home in Indiana. 

John has completed the floor restoration in the hallway downstairs. The root cellar has been converted into another 'Man Cave' for John. John is building root cellar wood doors for the windows using 100+ year old timbers that he had milled several months ago. He plans to use some of that wood to build me a office desk. John restored the screen doors to the front door and breezeway and are up now. Outside trim work in the breezeway area has been repaired, restored and painted. We have a sunflower garden in the back part of the house that is growing and doing well now. We lost one of our dogs, 'Lady', to illness and age the end of May. She was 16 years old. She and Max, our other dog, have been buddies and were nearly inseparable in the years they were together. Our house is a little quieter. Maybe one day, we will get another dog. 

Time to go do laundry and onto other projects ongoing at the house. Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Be sure to visit again and often.  


Tour of Homes. The Capt Hardy Smith house

The local TV station here in Dublin interviewed John about the history of the Capt Hardy Smith house recently. Click on the following link and enjoy the show. Tour of Homes- The Capt Hardy Smith house


Renovation Update- HSH- July 2012

July 16, 2012 Capt Hardy Smith House
New gate on breezeway. Completed July 2012.
Good afternoon everyone. A typical warm, sunny mid July day here in Dublin, GA. The grass has been mowed and is green and beautiful. John just built from original wood, scraps from the house, a 'new' gate for the breezeway to keep our wandering dogs from escaping. It has a latch and handle to make coming and going easy. He may need to add more support to the side because of the weight. There are only 2 hinges on one side for support..

He is now working on repairing, caulking and priming the trim work on both sides of the breezeway (including all the railing) for the final coat of paint which will be an oil based semi gloss or possibly gloss white. After two years of attempting to get in contact with the owner to find out the paint color used on the exterior of the house that was once the president's home of North Georgia College up in Dahlonega, GA, success! John will be picking up a gallon of this very unique color in a couple of weeks. We want to duplicate the color on the Hardy Smith house. I think it will look beautiful. If things go as planned, the exterior paint work will start next year..Exterior trim work repairs need to be completed first. That will take some time to do. John wants to do as much work himself before we bring the pros in the finish the rest.
Exterior trimwork repair.
As you can see from the picture, John has been up on the ladder scraping off old paint, repairing and or replacing wood and sanding. I won't get up on that ladder. The railing on both sides of the new gate have been repaired, caulked, sanded and primed. I will help paint of course. That is the fun part :) . That is the progress report from the Capt Hardy Smith house for the month of July 2012. Keep checking back for more updates as the renovation/restoration continues.


HSH Update: 2nd Guest Bedroom

Hello all. Spring has sprung and Summer is almost here. It has been several months since I posted  my last entry. Life has been pretty busy at the Capt Hardy Smith house. The 2nd guest bedroom upstairs, except the floor is complete as of mid March 2012. It took many months of painstakingly hard work to repair the walls and floor boards to get the room ready to prime and paint. We choose seashell white for the walls and tan linen for the trim work. I look forward to decorating and moving my office in there soon.

We have had a very pleasant Spring so far this year. 'Mother Nature' has provided the much needed rain at the appropriate times for our new grass to green up and our Confederate Jasmine to grow and bloom.
The shady side of the house is still 'stubborningly' slow to grow grass in the bald spots we tried to eradicate last year. John planted new centipede seeds in March. We have had quite a bit of Magnolia leaf drop this year. Hopefully the cycle is about over. The two little Magnolia trees on the west side of the house are thriving. The 'Knock Out' rose bush given to us by our neighbor, Mary Townsend, is doing very well. I call it the 'Townsend' rose bush, in honor of Ms Townsend, who has lived across the street from the house since the 1940s.

A couple of days ago, John got under the house and started to clean out things out. He found a silver plated spoon from the early 1900s that perhaps a child may have used to play with.

He also found a cast iron cooking kettle that he just restored.

He found a gecko that changed color..It looked like a monster to me when I saw the picture of it. I told him to be careful with the black widow and recluse spiders under there. Who knows, the Confederate Gold may be hidden somewhere under the house. Time to get out the metal detector and other tools again...More treasures possibly await us to be discovered, who knows.

Our day business has picked up which leaves us just the weekends and a few hours during the week to focus on the house restoration. The money has to come from somewhere :)  So that is all for now on what is going on at the Capt Hardy Smith house. Keep checking back for updates as the renovation continues. Thanks for visiting my blog.


The 'Gone with The Wind' room is done

Hello all. The harsh, dry and oppressively hot summer has ended. The first day of  Fall is officially 2 days away. For the past two days Dublin has been receiving much needed and steady rainfall. I can almost see our yard at the Capt Hardy Smith house 'green up' right before my eyes.

This weekend is the annual 'Possum Hollow Festival' in Dexter, GA. What fun that will be. If it rains, that is ok because we sure need it. Check out:  Possum Hollow Festival  or try this link:  C'mon out to the festival. What a way to kick off the first weekend of Fall!

The 'Gone With The Wind' room is 95% complete. The hardwood floor needs to be restored. That project will start once the cooler weather is in place. We have spent a year, on and off, repairing windows, mantel/trim-work, moving walls, painting the 'Gone With The Wind' room. The picture to the left is the room as it looks today. The picture to the right, taken about 2007, shows the room before renovation started. What a difference painstaking effort makes! The result is beauty and elegance. The owners of The Courier Herald Newspaper, Griffin & Diane Lovett and their daughter, T.J, came over for a tour last week to check our progress.

We have redesigned the upstairs first guest bedroom for a more traditional look. I have dedicated this room in memory of my late brother, Frederick 'Fritz' Robbins Fortner. May he forever rest in peace. His spirit will forever live on at the Hardy Smith house.

Next on the restoration list will be the floor work in the downstairs hallway, 'Gone With The Wind' room and John's office. That work will begin once cooler weather sets in. In addition, we have some work left to complete in the master- bedroom. The corner molding needs to be installed, primed and painted. The floor trimwork needs to be primed, painted and sealed. I will be in charge of the painting and John will do the installation. The next room on the list, will be what John calls the 'green' room. That room is in pretty good shape structurally. We are using that room for storage right now.

John's office is 95% complete. The hardwood floor only needs to be done. He has spent a little over a month painting, staining, repairing windows and a section of the floor that had rotted with air coming in from the outside. That patch work has been completed. He stained all the walls and ceiling and it looks beautiful. How many offices do you see that look like this?

That is all for today from the Hardy Smith house, restoration committee VP. Enjoy the rest of your weekend and continue to check back for updates as the renovation continues. Thanks for visiting my blog.


The painting in 'The Gone With The Wind' room has started

We started to paint the 'Gone With The Wind' room 3 days ago. The colors we chose are: Cranberry for the walls and Ivory Lace for the trim-work, door and mantel. John put two coats of the Cranberry on..I was a little worried that it would be too cherry looking. After two coats of the Cranberry had dried, it dried dark and it looks nice. We are using semi gloss on the trim-work and satin on the walls. The ceiling will be a flat white.
Once the painting of the walls are complete, the gold, gilded border that was original in the room, will be put back up in its original location.

We are excited about the prospect of finishing the painting in that room. FINALLY! John has been so busy with making a living that house improvements had to be put on hold for awhile. Now, we are back on track for completing that room, (except the floor) within a month or so. After three days, we ran out of Cranberry paint to finish the walls. We will probably need 4 more gallons to finish all the walls with 2 coats. It is looking beautiful in there now. John discovered today, in the light, that the ceiling will need a third coat of white paint. We ran out of white paint as well, so painting will resume most likely next week. Check out the progress pictures.

Once 'The Gone With The Wind' room is painted, then John's office will be worked on next. He plans to stain  the walls and ceiling instead of painting them to bring out the richness in the wood. He will need to insulate/plug any drafty areas due to the shifting of the foundation as well as seal/repair the windows. The floors in the 'GWTW' room, downstairs hallway and John's office will be worked on most likely this fall, when the weather is cooler.

Other updates. We had to re design/modify the driveway and remove the historical marker so that we can enter and exit to the street safely. The historical marker will be re-positioned to another area in front of the house. Aside from putting down gravel in the new driveway, the basic yard landscaping is pretty much complete. The very harsh drought situation in middle Georgia that we have experienced all summer so far, has taxed the growth of our new grass. There are bare spots in the yard that will have to be reseeded next spring. I am surprised water restrictions have not been put in place here in Dublin. The grass in the yard from the rain events we experienced Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, greened up the yard nicely. Hope it continues because Georgia is still in a severe drought situation.

That is the progress report for the Hardy Smith House for this week. Thanks for visiting my blog and check back as we continue home improvements.

The Beach at Jekyl Island Georgia


Finally we have rain

Father's Day

Hello all and Happy Father's Day,

It has been a few days since my last entry. We finally got some much needed rain after weeks of 90+ degree heat and no rain until finally June 15th. The last rainfall was May 20th, I believe. Much to be thankful for- remembering our dad's on this special day is all important. I am remembering my dad in spirit. He passed away in 2003.

The rain situation. About 75% of Georgia is in a severe drought alert. Our drought situation is pretty dire. It is almost like living in a desert except we have humidity. Before the rain came, I noticed that our mature, older trees in our yard, the leaves began to look droopy. Our magnolia trees have been dropping more leaves than usual. I don't remember them dropping this many leaves this time last year. Every night, I have been watering our newly planted flower beds with  Mediterranean Vinca, Marigolds and Lirope. I use soaker hoses for the beds and part of the yard is getting watered too. The Vinca is spreading and looking beautiful. I applied mulch around the lirope also. John just needs to put in the edging on the other side of the front steps so that I can complete the mulching and the flower beds will be 100% done for the season.

John finished sanding/priming both sides of the front porch steps/ railing and the main section of the porch. He has some minor repair work to do to one of the porch ceiling support columns. It appears to be moisture not terminate related damage. There is an area in between the foundation supports that John also primed.

Friday (June 17th), we got some more rain. More of the steady kind not the soaking downpour we got on Wednesday (June 15th). The yard should rebound soon. Just as we were enjoying our evening meal tonight, (June 17th), I happened to look down and noticed ants, circling the area rug. As I investigated further, I found the source of the attraction, a dead bat! This is the second dead bat found in the bedroom this week and the third in the front part of the house, near the front door. The first dead bat was found on the bed, near Max, unbeknownst to me and John until I heard the squeaking noise that bats make. After seeing the dead one Friday night, that grossed me out. I don't know where they are coming in from. I thought we eradicated the bat situation, at least in the front part of the house.

John went back into 'The Gone With The Wind' room to continue caulking the corner and top moldings he put up as well as priming. He has just a small section left to do and the room will be completely ready for painting. He needs to add a couple of weights to the west facing window. Finally! We had to put the room on hold for several weeks because John was very busy with other things. Soon, we will revisit color choices for the walls..Yeah!

So that is the most recent update of the never ending renovation going on at the Capt Hardy Smith House. Thanks for visiting my blog and continue to check back for updates on the house restoration. Again, Happy Father's Day!



When will the late spring heat wave of 2011 end

Hello all. It has been awhile since my last entry. I wish I was at the beach, right now. Those who read my blog probably thought I was. In truth yes, I have been to the beach a few times. Dublin and the Southeast have been stuck in a unrelenting heat wave with temperatures in the mid to upper 90s since about mid May and now we have been flirting with 100 to 102 degrees for the last week with little rain. The humidity has been bad too. We are finding ways to stay cool! I got a little misting thing that attaches to my garden hose to keep my Boston ferns from dying and to keep me cool while I sit and take a break from working in the yard, siting on the porch with the ceiling fan going. Summer is not officially here yet! My family and friends to the north have gotten all the rain we so desperately need this spring. The grass up in Indiana, where I traveled to about 2 weeks ago, is green, lush and beautiful. They got some pretty bad weather a few days after we left the state to return to Georgia.

All the grass in the yard has been planted but I am afraid we will have to replant areas of the east side of the house next season because it got hot sooner than we anticipated. The grass needs water so desperately. I have been watering the grass the best I can and it is actually burning up in places. For the past several weeks, we have been focusing on the yard, the flower beds and moderate landscaping. The driveway will hopefully have gravel in it before the season is over.

John removed the back stairs near the garden recently which will have to be rebuilt. They were getting too dangerous to climb up/down. The area where the stairs was is now occupied by our grill. The basic elements of my garden are complete. I would like to buy some stepping stones to put in there too.

A little fountain may be nice. We could probably rig the water source from the well for a constant flow with a nightly glow of solar powered lights. We have a couple of Tiki oil lamps near the Pindo Palm for the tropical feel when we grill out. We will need to put up a 6 ft privacy fence to surround the garden area when we entertain outside. A white picket one would be pretty with Confederate Jasmine or English ivy cascading all over it.

We planted 4 Confederate Jasmine, two between the magnolias on the shady side of the house, put cedar mulch and river rocks around them. They are thriving, growing quickly and the little white flowers give off the most beautiful, fragrant smell. They grow so quickly that you can almost see them grow right before your eyes! It is pretty amazing. Maybe I won't kill those plants. They sure love the shade. I can look out my bedroom window each morning and enjoy them.

John is working on the front steps. Sanding, priming then painting. The steps will be painted white as before. The Gone With the Wind Room is on hold for now because John was so busy with work and we need to finalize the colors for the walls.

The front flower beds are done. I planted Mediterranean Vinca, Marigolds and Lirope on both sides. We have to water at least once a day because the heat will kill them. Our selections are direct sun, heat and drought tolerant for our area but I don't think 95+ degree temperatures for weeks at a time was what they were bred for. The Med Vinca are ground cover perennials that bloom all season long which in middle Georgia goes through end of October before any hint of a frost occurs. I planted pinks, reds, whites, peaches and a mix of those colors. The combination is quite beautiful. I will have to nip the dead stuff in the fall and they will come back next season. They are also low maintenance.

That is all for now. Keep checking back for updates. Thanks for visiting my blog.


Memorial Day 2011


A big thank you to our men and women in uniform. To those who served and passed on and to those who serve, we appreciate you and are proud of you.


Signs of Spring in Dublin, GA

What a beautiful day in Dublin today. Bright, deep blue skies without a hint of what is to be an outbreak of severe storms heading in our direction from the west in just a few hours from now. Just a couple of hours ago, I saw twinkling stars but very breezy conditions, a hint of what is to come. The spring storms are coming to hopefully wash away all the pollen that has been flying through the air and landing on everything, turning to light shades of yellow/green. So we plan to stay safe here at the Hardy Smith House and hopefully not experience anything like my northern friends have gone through.

The first wednesday of every month in major cities and towns across Georgia, the severe storm siren testing is conducted. When I lived in Alpharetta, the testing lasted probably around 3-5 minutes and occurred around noon. Here in Dublin, the testing occurs around 9 am and lasts for a minute or two. So this wednesday, April 6th, you will hear another test. These tests are to educate the public of what to listen for if outside or in the vicinity of the listening area. When the sirens are blaring, that means  bad weather is on the way, such as severe thunderstorms with dangerous cloud to ground lightning, hail and damaging winds with the potential for the development of tornadoes so take shelter and or other safety measures. When the barometric pressure drops, you know something is about to change such as an approaching storm..While the approach of bad storms may be fascinating to watch, always take all the necessary precautions to stay safe and out of harms way.

Beautiful azaleas lining a walkway across from Stubbs Park. The small white azaleas I planted last fall near the basement are full of white beautiful blooms.

It will take many decades for our azaleas to look like the huge pink and white ones. The two pink azalea bushes that nearly burned up in the hot sun last year, John transplanted them to the shade of the basement area and they are coming back. They may bloom later this summer.

Our only neighbor, Ms Townsend from across the street, gave us a lovely  potted mini rose bush late last summer that I planted last fall near the white azalea bushes in the back part of the house. Today, I discovered one beautiful fushia pink rose. Looks like I chose the perfect location for this rose bush to thrive and grow.

Today, we went to our local hardware store to purchase corner and top molding for the "Gone With The Wind' room. The corner molding for all 4 corners of the room are in place with the exception of the top molding, the gold, gilded molding that will be put back in place below it, the floor board trim, then the fun part begins...the painting! A sign in the front window of the hardware store caught my eye, I could not help but take a picture...

Next week, new dirt will be brought into the front yard so the planting of new grass in the bare spots can begin. Be on the look out for updates. That is all for now that is going on at the Hardy Smith house. Keep checking back for more developments coming soon.


2011 Dublin, GA St Patrick's Parade and Festival are Over :( - 4.8 K

Today is the first day of spring, 2011. Came in like a lamb. The sun tried to peek through the clouds earlier today but the skies remained mostly cloudy. The temperatures got into the 70s. Not only was yesterday, Saturday, the super moon, the first in 18 years, but also the warmest day so far of 2011, with a high of 88 degrees with bright sunshine with light and variable winds.

We got to the parade at 10:00 am to get our yearly spot in front of the
Morris Bank sign. The parade started at 10:30 am and ended around 12:30 pm. It was a very enjoyable parade and longer than last year. About midway through the parade, someone got heat stroke and the paramedics were called in. It was a young man who probably forgot to stay hydrated. We brought bottled water with us in order to stay hydrated throughout the parade so we would not become heatstroke victims ourselves but to also prepare for our two tennis matches that we were scheduled to play over in Stubbs Park for the St Patrick's Tennis Tournament later that afternoon. Success. We made it to the final round of mixed doubles and went three sets of a nearly 2 hr match this morning however our old bodies could not outlast our younger, more fit opponents.

After my match today, I went home showered and came back to watch the finals of the other matches. The show of support reminded me of my Atlanta ALTA days less the enormous supply of food, fruit and drinks. Looks like everyone had a great time playing. The winners and finalists got trophies and all participants got a t-shirt. We went to check out the festival at Southern Pines. Most of the fun was under roof at the AG complex. Most of the vendors that came to Stubbs Park last year came to the AG complex this year with a few new ones.

All and all, a great weekend and perfect weather. Thanks for visiting my blog and be sure to check back often   on what is happening in Dublin, GA and at the Capt Hardy Smith house.

Followers of: My Life in Dublin, GA USA