Brick by Brick

The intention of writing this post was to share the natural beauty of Vintage Bricks. Somehow the story evolved and seem to grow, brick by brick. Curiosity, thoughts and learning became the bricks—the foundation and information in building this post. Hopefully you will enjoy the building of this meandering story of Vintage Bricks—Brick by Brick!

The expansive range of color variations—light peach to red and every subtle nuance in between embrace the essence of warmth. There are even purple bricks—we will be on the look-out for those! The color is based upon the natural clay that is available to be used to make the bricks. At times, the method of baking the bricks, as well as the source of the fuel, such as wood or coal, which has been used to heat the ovens contributes to the end result and baked-color.

Color is just one of the fascinating elements of Vintage Bricks. These bricks are Re-Purposed and often there are visible remnants of the previous life of these salvaged bricks—aged mortar stains, chipping paint and tar from streets. Adding into the design mix are the names which have been molded into the bricks which creates a dimensional texture in a color-on-color pattern. As huge fans of Vintage Bricks, we have installed them in the interior of The Cottage and more recently, in the kitchen of The House at Rooster Ridge and subsequently outside Rooster Ridge in paths and patios—I found myself wondering;

“How old are these bricks anyway?”

The question continued to gnaw at me (Stop it! Go away thought—you know what this will lead to…) I wrestled with the curiosity of the age of these Vintage Bricks while I simultaneously desired to efficiently complete this post in a timely manner. My hand hovered over the cursor of my computer the little arrow inviting me to finish—and select the publish icon! 

“Clicking” on the blue rectangular icon, with its soft rounded corners and the word Publish neatly printed within its boundaries is the moment of knowing—I have completed my task… I wanted to experience that feeling, if only briefly, the sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. I have achieved! (trumpets sound!)

I have come to learn—and I continue to work on—accepting the understanding that writing a blog is a task as ongoing and seemingly never-ending as some domestic chores—such as washing dishes or doing laundry. The moment, the very moment, you complete the job at hand, a sound emerges jolting you from your fleeting moment of revelry. A faint noise, the almost inaudible clink of a glass being placed in the sink or the whoosh of a towel falling into the hamper as the terry cloth replaces the space where air previously resided. And with that clink or whoosh—you hear the taunting translation in your mind;

“Not so fast missy, you’re not done!”

Despite my wish to complete the post as efficiently as possible—curiosity won—and I began at first glance what seemed to be a cursory research into the age of the bricks we had Re-Purposed. This brief glance resulted in a Monday post being posted on Wednesday. Curse you curiosity!

This brief stroll into the age of the bricks had led me to discover the historic journey of the brick making industry in New York along the Hudson River. The salvaged bricks we are fortunate to have as a mere design aspect of Rooster Ridge date back to the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. As I write this I feel an urge for a new collection being born—and yes, I did print out the 112 page Hudson River & New England Brick Collection and Identifier which I discovered while on my history lesson route.

I am starting to become aware—that for every item—there exists a collector or a collecting group for each category and that is—just lovely! Everything deserves the attention of a collection!

Our first very small experience with using Vintage Bricks required a mere 30 bricks during the renovation of The Cottage at Rooster Ridge. The symbolic hearth of the home or cottage in this case, seemed to request the warmth and charm of Vintage Bricks. In this small space the focus became all about the names which declared the brick-maker-company and as I am now learning the subsequent fascinating history of the brick-makers themselves.

In this initial search for such a small quantity we found ourselves in the back of a building of what at one time was the Cascadian Bottling Works in Grand View, New York—beautifully overlooking The Hudson River. Indeed the view was grand and the cohesiveness of the aptly named town emerged gloriously. A natural spring still travels down the cliffs of The Palisades spilling into a small, lovely pool of crisp, clear spring water. At the time the current owner of the building was selling Vintage Bricks by the piece. As we required such a small amount of we were afforded the opportunity to hand select them—Brick by Brick. It turned into a bit of a competitive scavenger hunt as our objective became to discover as many variations of names as possible. As we shouted out each new name discovered with glee, and at times, to regretfully hear the response, “Got it!” Thus the competition. In addition to lettered names of the brick-makers we also found symbols used to identify some of the companies.

On our Vintage Brick Hunt, unknowingly at the time, we were embarking upon a (delayed) fascinating glimpse into history. Note the triple circle symbol in the center brick.

Little did we know at the time our selection of Vintage Bricks with the name ROSE embedded upon them would turn out to have a wonderful history. This brickyard began in the 1890’s and at its peak sold 400 million bricks worldwide. Architects and builders recognized the superior quality of the Rose-made bricks. Rose Bricks were used in the Ansonia Hotel, The Customs House, The Empire State Building, The Stock Exchange and the Waldorf Astoria!

The symbol of the arrow represents The Arrow Brick Company which has a interesting history as well. I’ll stop myself from sharing.

During the renovation of The House at Rooster Ridge we were presented with the opportunity to replace the wood floor in the kitchen and introduce a new surface.

As we had experienced the enjoyment on our practice project we were ready to commit to a full brick floor in the kitchen of The House at Rooster Ridge. In this installation the names are turned in different directions to avoid a “right side” of viewing as well as creating an orchestrated haphazard pattern.

The Vintage Brick flooring delineates the kitchen area whereas previously the wood flooring blended in with the other rooms. We like this sectioned feeling creating a homey and warm kitchen aura.

We’ve yet to discover a brick with a rooster molded into it, however, on our first hand selection Brick by Brick journey we did find one brick stamped with a—heart. Look closely, middle brick!

And so it rests symbolically at the heart of the home—the hearth—where food is transformed into meals and warmth is always available.

Just as the Vintage Bricks have, this post truly came together, day by day and Brick by Brick.

Symbolism Abounds!


The Lesson of Passing Over

With my heartfelt love and deepest respect, I wish to dedicate this excerpt to those who are in the process of saying goodbye.

May you find peace and comfort.

Jeri

Lessons from the Trumpet Vine

Written & Illustrated by Jeri L. Glatter

The Lesson of Passing Over

Those who are traveling their paths upon the earth have great difficulty understanding the complete release of everything they have ever understood. You see, the process of passing over is not of the earth but of the heavens. Earthly thoughts and logic no longer exist. Those who find discomfort in the concept of passing over are viewing the event within the realm of the physical world. Peace and acceptance are available to them should they make every attempt to envision this process as one of the soul. This is the soul’s opportunity to experience freedom from the bondage of a physical lifetime, which has been lived to the intended conclusion. No matter when this occurs, the timing is appropriate. There are no accidents in the departure of a soul from the physical world.

We brought you to this lesson with purpose since many misunderstand death—the passing over. They have forgotten that this is a natural conclusion to a life lived. Death is as intended—a completion of a cycle, a journey, which has been decided upon, even chosen, prior to birth. After passing over, the soul is overjoyed, as you witnessed. There is no regret, pain, judgment, guilt, anger, or resentment, only bliss in the purest form. Many live in fear of their own passing, and many more live their lives in regret and sadness over those who have passed. Through your written words, speak to those who are fearful, sad, or regretful so they might find comfort. There are many who have already spoken of this. We ask you to bravely allow your voice to be added to the others and may your words, dear child, bring some measure of comfort.

Lessons from the Trumpet Vine is available online at:

Amazon:  http://amzn.to/HxJBvG

B & N: http://bit.ly/HrLpTk

Book website:  http://bit.ly/xvOhAs

Please feel free to view the book trailer:  http://bit.ly/xdHFAd


Love—Roosters!

We offer you a dozen Roosters—beginning with twelve seems like a reasonable place to begin—if there is any reason, sanity or purpose—when it comes to The Love of All Things Rooster!

Our love of the image of the Rooster is often questioned—a misdirected attempt—to peer into the psyche of this intangible love—Roosters!

To begin sharing our many Roosters, in an orderly fashion or organized system—would be filled with labor.

The task of developing —categories—largest, smallest, our first, our most recent.

Material; wood, iron, ceramic, glass, silver!

Ridiculous!

Let us just share them with you, now and again—

Perhaps a dozen at a time and we’ll just stay in the category of;

Love—Roosters!

There is not one answer regarding the questions of where, when and why of the Love of Roosters began—however, I offer you some insight.

An excerpt from:

Lessons from the Trumpet Vine

Afterword

“I surveyed my environment as a new observer. Things made more sense now. My eyes fell upon the images of the roosters—everywhere roosters. Proud painted images, ceramic statues with chests puffed up, preparing to crow, a poster of Picasso’s rooster, iron that had been melded into crowing beaks and majestic tail feathers. Dishes, cups and bowls, napkins, pillows, and towels. Roosters. Carved wooden roosters flanking each doorway. Now I understood my attraction to them, the way they called to me. The message to begin another day. To draw forth every ounce of life force I could muster and crow. I hoped I had crowed well.”

Written & Illustrated by

Jeri L. Glatter

Symbolism Abounds!


Rose-Colored Glass

Seeing the world through rose-colored glass is more than a metaphor at Rooster Ridge. The serendipitous discovery of six, in tact, coordinating panes of circa 1900 stained glass alone is monumental—to our good fortune the glass panes magnificently portray  a garden lattice, designed with gorgeous climbing roses. The artistry and beauty of stained glass is unmistakable—the wonderful opportunity to incorporate a work of art such as this into our life—is nothing short of breathtaking.

Unless you are building a room or home with existing stained glass in mind or designing new stained glass panels to incorporate—the process of adapting existing panes to fit within your current window layout is the epitome of placing the proverbial cart before the horse! However, when you stumble upon a treasure such as this—the puzzle is worth the effort, time and expense. And, at moments—frustration and fear!

The largest of the six panes turned out to be almost a perfect fit for the large window in the entry foyer of The House at Rooster Ridge.

This glass is old—and has warped, becoming wavy and bowed adding to the character. Rather than attempting to install the fragile panes, we attached the vintage panels to the interior of the existing window frame. To create a finished product a secondary mahogany frame was built to encompass the stained glass.

Several reasons were factored into this approach—the panes are still able to be relocated should we ever choose to place them elsewhere. In addition the panes are very fragile and they are buffered from the outside elements by the existing window. The large stain glass pane is taller than the existing window and thus we needed to accept the imperfection of having the top horizontal frame of the exterior window visible. (Changing the size of the exterior window has been added to the wish list!) Sponsors anyone?

It is believed the six panels were in the outside wall of an arboretum in an old mansion in Pennsylvania. Two of the panes opened as french windows while the large center pane remained stationary. Following our philosophy of attempting to honor the original position of vintage pieces we utilized the two french window panes on two existing french doors.

The daily dining table is framed in this stained glass garden—and dining becomes an enriching experience. The amazing colors of the greens and reds are ever-changing with the nuance of light. The white trellis, when illuminated by sunlight creates a glowing milky luminosity.

Across the top is a horizontal transom decorated with a continuation of the traveling vines and flower buds yet to bloom.

The smallest two panels are one foot square transom window panes which needed a home—it was in their honor that two glass-pane french doors were installed. Working backwards, the transom was designed beginning with the stained glass panes. We located retro hardware of the original style transom window operating rods to complete the tribute to a vintage look.

At Rooster Ridge, just as all of humanity, we have struggles—yet we do focus on the opportunity to pause, reflect and try our best to see the world through rose-colored glass!

Symbolism Abounds!


The Lesson of Release

In our world today—and perhaps for all of mankind of every generation—our burdens are many. The adept management of the stress and challenges each of us meet as we journey through life often is the measure of our spiritual condition.

I have yet to discover a permanent consistency—and that in itself might be the most prominent of all challenges. We receive moments, glimmers, tiny openings and hints of peacefulness—spurring us on, encouraging us to forge ahead—to seek more such moments—longer moments.

Let us become grateful for those insights of comfort and serenity as we humbly desire the grace of more to come.

Let us seek peace for ourselves, for others and for all of humanity in every possible way we are able.

I wish you peace,

Jeri

May I share with you an excerpt from;

Lessons from the Trumpet Vine

Written & Illustrated by Jeri L. Glatter

The Lesson of Release

On this day, we ask you to travel with us to the river where you will receive your lesson. This lesson shall become one of the most precious gifts you will receive. You will be taught the lesson of release, the gentle letting go and rinsing away. At the river, you may unburden your soul, as the waters carry away your worries, concerns, hurt, and when necessary, your misdirected ego. There is much that is not within your power. Though you may have love in your heart and good intention, grasping tightly prevents independence and freedom. You must allow for the right of all to practice self-will.

Through our life path, we are brought to the opportunities for growth. The varying topographies of our lives become our teachers. Why do we see truth in the belief that our task is to direct our course, or those courses of others, when we do not create any of those paths? We invite you to come to the river today to wash away your burdens, to learn the lesson of release. Hidden beneath the river, within the bedrock, is where the very first drops of peace are born—as release gives birth to acceptance, and acceptance, dear child, is the parent of peace.


Change—

I have recently developed an early morning custom—a foggy-morning-brain, first-sips-of-coffee-ritual—of reading Twitter! I admit it!

And yes, I also read pages from Lessons from the Trumpet Vine, practice a morning mediation and speak daily affirmations.

Twitter is my morning treat, it is my version of checking in with those who are traveling alongside me on this journey of life! Although I am aware the representation is a small sliver of the human population—I always find thoughts to ponder.

This morning, I noticed many were speaking (tweeting) about change—and not the kind of change that jingles in the bottom of your bag or pocket—annoyingly—until of course you require one of those precious discs of metal. At that moment, for some unknown reason, it magically disappears! Seemingly hiding in fabric crevices and becoming embedded with fabric-lint and tissue-fuzz. Perhaps it is, where is wishes to be—hmmmm self-actualized quarters.

Maybe the onset of Spring yesterday triggered the awakenings and yearnings—for an improvement, or movement—or change. With that bit of fodder, I chose to read The Lesson of Change from Lessons from the Trumpet Vine, hoping for insight as well as being gently reminded of the lesson which was so lovingly graced to me.

With my utmost respect and desire to serve the highest good, I wish to share with you an excerpt:

Lessons from the Trumpet Vine

Written & Illustrated by; Jeri L. Glatter

The Lesson of Change

Our lesson for today rests in the quiet of motionlessness. We wish to speak to you of change. True change is the transformation of thought, habit, action, or belief. You currently believe that change is filled with motion and action. On the contrary, true change—everlasting change—requires the stillness of mind, body, and soul. Change occurs in our most quiet moments, as we reach into our beings and become the observers. We must study ourselves and examine our intention, along with the significance of that intention. And in those moments of quiet contemplation rather than doing, we must view ourselves with wide, honest eyes.

Change does not live upon our tongue nor in the steps we take. True change is a motionless transcending of self. Only later, once transformation has occurred, do we demonstrate our change through action. Those who exhibit change through action will only experience that change as long as the fuel runs. That false version of change is propelled by self-will, determination, or outside influences. True change, lasting change, must first be achieved through stillness. We must sit quietly, in contemplation, self observance, and reflection, with stillness inside of us. We must allow our minds to view the map of our intention, which directs our actions. Upon review of this, we will see where we have misguided motives and we will know ourselves on the most honest of levels.


Welcome

The following is an excerpt from the chapter entitled Welcome from my book Lessons from the Trumpet Vine. This writing is one of the earliest entries. I was just beginning to understand the communication and insight I would receive from the spiritual guidance I had been seeking with such earnestness. We were getting to know one another, or more correctly, I was being gently unveiled to their magnificence—they knew every aspect of my soul, my darkest moments and my most precious droplets of hope.

With my heartfelt love,

Jeri

Lessons from the Trumpet Vine

Written & Illustrated by Jeri L. Glatter

Welcome

All will flow smoothly in the stream, as the waters of your intention flow with the universe, to serve the highest good. This is not to say there will not be struggles. Boulders also live in the stream, but as you now move in a purposeful direction, you will overcome. You will not drown. At times, you will rush over fields of rocks with a magnificent velocity. Do not believe that you are creating those moments, nor should you attach any grandiosity, for this ability to rise above such obstacles is a gift which carries you. Learn to enjoy those moments and be thankful, but do not come to expect them. They too require effort.

At times, you will need to adjust your course, as you will be blocked by the largest of boulders. With that will come the understanding that there is much that is not within your power to move or change. At other times, you will need to flow quietly within the hidden current beneath the surface. This will teach you humility and grace. Much practice and time will be required to learn how to discern the appropriate action. This lesson will travel with you for your lifetime. You must come to the village each day. Your absence will create a dam, preventing the flow of the stream. Do not allow that. We ask you to keep the flow in constant motion. As life is ever–changing, so shall you be.

Each day you must exercise the ability to let go of the outcome of your work. This will be one of your most difficult challenges. The result is not yours to design, and this understanding requires an act of faith. You must let go of your plans and your view of what your life could be. You must trust, and work, and visit the village daily with an open heart and an open mind. View the need to know the effect of your work as an unwanted boulder blocking your flow. Use the momentum of your faith to push the boulder aside. Each push will make you stronger and more capable, until one day the boulder will rest on the river side.