A “Grand” Coincidence

Wow — I’m beat!!!  I think all my creative juices were used up during my last post (The Lone ‘Sand’er).  Plus, all the prep work and painting I’ve been doing these last couple of weeks, as well as the party planning for my not-so-much-a-baby girl’s 11th birthday, has left me plum-tuckered out.  Sorry folks, but today’s post is going to be pretty straight forward…nothing fancy…pretty ho-hum…you might as well just stop reading right now.

WAIT!!!  Totally kidding…I want you to stay…please stay!  How else would you find out how luck played a hand in the naming of this blog.

After all, I’m sure you’ve all been wondering why I decided to call my blog A GRAND REVIVAL.  In fact, I’d make a small wager that a few of you have lost some sleep over it.  Well, no more waiting in agony; here is the official story.  The inspiration behind my blog’s name ultimately came from my love of playing around with words and their meanings.  That, and I had a little nod from Lady Luck (oooh…exciting…bet you’re glad you’re still reading, right?)

Can you spot the lucky four leaf clover???

In naming my blog, I actually came up with the name in a backwards kind of fashion.  Let me explain…

The official story behind choosing the term REVIVAL

I wanted a name that reflected this blog’s purpose: providing a humorous look at the adventures (and misadventures) of transforming my slightly neglected century old home as well as inspiring others to breathe a little life back into their homes.  As I dusted off booted up my trusty thesaurus, I decided to research words such as renewal, renovation, and restoration.  It wasn’t long before one particular synonym popped out of the computer screen and slapped me on the face…


According to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary , the definition of REVIVAL is as follows:

revival (noun)
1 : an act or instance of reviving: the state of being revived: as
a : renewed attention to or interest in something
b: a new presentation or publication of something old
c (1) : a period of renewed religious interest (2) : an often highly emotional evangelistic meeting or series of meetings


This blog has very little to do with renewing my “religious interest” (though, come to think of it, this process is lifting my spirits), nor will it contain anything to do with “highly emotional evangelistic” meetings (well, alright, trying to convince my husband and kids that they should trust my home renovation and decorating ideas does bring out the preacher in me, lol).  What A GRAND REVIVAL does have a lot to do with, however, is bringing “renewed attention” to my century home (and to my personal interests and passions), and making a “new presentation…of something old” (something old being my house; not me, silly).

So, you ask, how does Lady Luck figure into all of this?  Well, after some basic research into the style of my home, a discovery was made: our cute little cottage-like home, stuck between two huge gorgeous red-brick houses, was one of the most common styles of residential architecture built in Ontario prior to 1950 (by the way,  my family lives in Ontario, Canada).  And, as luck would have it, our home is commonly referred to as a Gothic REVIVAL Cottage.  Pretty awesome, huh?

Upon hearing the word Gothic, many of you may think of Goth subculture — long black coats, black nail polish, and lots of black eye-liner and lipstick.  Liam, my 7-year-old, immediately thought of vampires and all-things-spooky.  I, on the other hand, think of flying buttresses (I’ve always loved this term) and old, ornate, spooky-looking churches and cathedrals like the ones below.

Gothic Revival Chapel at Clumber Park, Nottinghampshire, England

York Minster Cathedral, York, England

While our house is in no way as old or ornate as the places of worship shown above, it is still slightly spooky-looking.

Take a look…

Our 1 and 1/2 story Gothic Revival Cottage, circa 1890.  No Ghosts to date — PHEW!

Okay, so my house isn’t actually that spooky.  However, due to the fact that our house is approx. 122 years old, it took a long time to convince me that our house wasn’t haunted!  I figure that most owners might have lived an average of 10 years in this house; that would equal roughly a dozen or more families that could have lived here since the house was built.  That’s a lot of people who have lived within these walls — I’m sure at least one of them kicked the bucket here.  Ahhhh…okay, I’m going to stop talking about this now…I totally get spooked easily.  Whoa, I’m suddenly remembering when Michael, Lily, and I stayed in a 500-year-old hunting castle that belongs to Michael’s aunt and uncle in Holland — I seriously didn’t sleep a wink the whole night!  Here it is below:

Kasteel de Berkt, Heesch, Netherlands

So…do any of you have houses with spooky, suspicious activity???

But I digress…

Gothic Revival Architecture often features arched windows, distinct gables, and ornate trim.  Unfortunately, the previous owners of our home had their role in taking away some of the Gothic elements of the house.  Like most Gothic Revival Cottages, our house in its heyday would likely have had a front door, arched windows, and perhaps a front porch with ornate trim.

Perhaps a little something like this beauty…

Here is a link to a great resource that I used in researching my home’s architectural style.  There are lots of great photos of Gothic Revival buildings and better examples of Gothic Revival Cottages.  It is worth taking a look at for anyone interested in Gothic Revival style, or the history of architecture in Ontario.

So, there you have it: the reason(s) why I chose REVIVAL as part of my blog’s name.

And now…drum roll please…

The official story behind choosing the term GRAND

This story is short, but sweet.  I choose to use the term GRAND because we live in a small town in Ontario that has the Grand River running through it.  It seemed like a natural fit — I wanted to give the utmost importance to reviving and breathing life back into my home; therefore, my home’s transformation needed to be GRAND in scale and scope.  My AHA! moment came rather quickly…and A GRAND REVIVAL was born.  Hooray!!!

Here are a couple of pictures I took of the mighty Grand River near our home.  Enjoy!

Ain’t coincidence grand???  See you next week!

Images of clovers and churches found here.  Image of Gothic Revival Cottage found here.  Image of Kasteel de Berkt found here.


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