by Martha Ackerman
Monroe County Beacon Publisher
The 2011 Monroe Central Football Moms Tour of Homes will feature an interesting array of houses and two businesses. If you like antiques, crafts and handmade quilts, this is the tour you won't want to miss on Sunday, Oct. 2, 1-5 p.m. Homes open to tour-goers this year are: the home of Bert and Ed 'Razz' Rensi, Barbara Schumacher, Jeffrey Woodell, Brianna and Brian McConnell and Janet Podeszwa plus Woodys and Sawblossom Stables. The following is a glimpse inside each home. You'll have to go on the tour to see the rest of these wonderful homes. Tickets will be available at the Monroe Central Fieldhouse, at the McConnell home and at Woodys.
Even old farm buildings, like this one owned by Barbara Schumacher, can be preserved and renovated with just a little work and a coat of paint. Homes such as this can be seen on the Monroe County annual Tour of Homes.
Janet Podeszwa has done extensive landscaping around her modular home. The little outside seating area and groomed lawn dotted with tall grasses and flowering trees is an open invitation to sit down and relax.
Barbara Schumacher changes the entire theme of her house approximately every two months. In addition, she is extremely organized and actually invites visitors to open her closet and cupboard doors and admire her superb organizational skills.
This is the exterior of the McConnell home. The remnants of the original barn structure, such as the typical barn-style roof before the additions to the home, have been kept.
The mantle of Bert Rensi’s stone fireplace is made from a log found in the barn of their previous home. A shelf was added to form the mantle. The Rensi’s found the picture above the mantle in the attic of Bert’s mother’s home
Tucked away on a corner lot adjacent to the Monroe Memorial Park's softball field is the home of Bert and Ed Rensi. This will be the spotlight on the tour for those who love antiques. The Rensis bought this home at 305 Home Avenue in 1969 but rented it until 1977 when they began remodeling. The stone fireplace has a mantle that is made from a log found in the barn of their previous home. A shelf was added to form the mantle. Above the mantle is a picture that was found in the attic of Bert's mother's home. Antiques abound throughout the home. In the great room, a corner features things from Ed's childhood a beautiful little dress framed to preserve it, little stockings and photos. On an antique dresser, items from Bert's family are displayed a place setting from her mother, each of the children received a place setting; and family pictures. Bert came from a family of 14. Her father passed away when he was 42, which left her mother to raise the large family alone. This room has more antiques and a pew from St. Sylvester Church. In the back sunroom a quilt sits in the frames as Bert works at her leisure. She also enjoys Swedish weaving, which can be found in some of the rooms along with the beautiful quilts. As you move up the stairs, to the right, displayed on the wall is a tapestry from St. Sylvester's old convent. The antiques, the quilts, family photos and the antique chandeliers reflect the family-oriented owners.
Many changes have been made since the home of Barbara Schumacher was last on a tour in 2007. The old farm buildings still stand behind the home that Barbara and Roger Schumacher built on his parents' homeplace, located on State Route 26, near the fairgrounds. With the help of neighbor Kathy Singleton, the buildings create a story of their own. The old chicken house is painted, decorated with a rooster and other outdoor decorations. Likewise, the old smoke house is identified with a pig. The front building is used for storage. The wrap-around porch with its fall decorations makes visitors feel the warmth that is within. Creativity abounds in every niche and cranny. An owl collection on the stone mantle along with the fall decor bring life to the room. Barbara wanted a red washer and dryer but couldn't find them, so she used contact paper to decorate her 17-year-old Maytag appliances. The window treatment over the appliances is embroidered with the days of the week. The center of the valance was taken from the front of an old sweatshirt. There are crows in the dining room, stars in the kitchen, beautiful hardwood flooring, old family photos and a covered patio with a little decorative pond to the left, which was added by son Roger as a birthday gift to his mother. As you stroll through this home, look closely because there is so much to see and lots of great ideas to take home.
Family-that seems to be the common thread on this tour.
Moving on to the home of Jeffrey Woodell at 49404 State Route 800N; it's the big house on the hill. The home is a 'diamond in the rough,' a work in progress. Woodell purchased the home along with the family business, Woodys, located in Malaga. Jeffrey lives in the east wing which will be open to tour goers. Tim and Tiffany, who are expecting their first child, occupy the west wing. "The house is large enough that we're out of each other's hair. We have actually texted ourselves to meet in the kitchen or the living room," said Jeffrey.
"It's a challenge," added Jeffrey. The great room has 22 foot ceilings and is large but inviting with its blend of family antiques and Americana decor. It's obvious that members of this family are huge Buckeye fans. The pool room, which features a bar, is decorated in the gray and red of OSU. Jeffrey's bedroom suite is large with a gas fireplace in the adjoining bathroom. Imagine sitting in the tub relaxing while watching the mesmerizing flicker of the fireplace as it warms the room. The woodwork is all solid oak. The kitchen features a stand alone breakfast bar and beautiful cabinets. The sliding door opens to the stone patio, pond, gazebo, swimming pool and upper deck just made for relaxing and enjoying the beautiful Monroe County landscape.
At Woodys, tour-goers may purchase a quick lunch of soup, sandwiches and salad which will be available that day or order from the menu. Woodys, featured a few weeks ago in the Beacon, has added to the decor a caricature of the owners Jeffrey Woodell, his mother Cindy Stephen, his brother Tim Woodell and Tim's wife Tiffany.
Woodys opens Sundays at noon; Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, 4 p.m. until midnight; Thursday and Friday, 4 p.m. to 2:30 a.m.; and Saturday, noon to 2:30 a.m. It offers a full menu, legal beverages and a pool room featuring movie posters which are changed by the season. On various nights, patrons can enjoy music by a DJ and karaoke. Football is the name of the game on Sundays and Monday nights.
The scenic drive on SR145 to Lewisville can be taken to the home of Bryan and Brianna McConnell, which is converted from a barn. The huge, original beams add interest to the home that has truly been transformed. The house was converted from a barn in 2000. The barn originally was part of the farm owned by Tom and Rosalee Christy, but Bruner Land Co. purchased it and divided it in two parts. The house was purchased in 2006 by Brian and Sharyn Crum, Brianna's parents; and then in 2007, Bryan and Brianna purchased the property. The house consists of the original two-room structure which still has the original wood beams that were refurbished twice from another barn and church. What is now the upstairs was the hay loft. These homeowners reflect their choice of modern living with a country feel. The kitchen features white cabinets, which were purchased and assembled by Bryan. The clear glass and black print table and modern artwork adds interest to the decor. The windows in the kitchen are reflective of window boxes with the inside and outside windows accommodating the thick walls of the previous block barn. A new master bedroom and bath is found up the open stairs. This room is large and the bathroom features mosaic glass tile, a claw foot tub, walk-in shower, solid bamboo flooring, light sconces and a chandelier. Son Carter's room has an Amish-made log bed, his own bathroom, and overlooks the field where horses graze. All the work on the home with the exception of drywall and molding work has been done by the Crum and McConnell families.
Transportation will be provided to the Sawblossom Stables, which has seven stalls, a tack room, wash rack for the horses and a two story apartment where Brianna's sister Amanda Crum lives. In 2005 Brian and Sharyn purchased the trusses for the structure but had to search for a place to build the facility. The property search ended in Lewisville but the property was extremely hilly. After much excavating, the shell of the structure was erected by the Crum family. When Bryan and Brianna purchased the property, they undertook the cumbersome task of finishing the facility and later adding the apartment.
According to Bryan, the couple took $100 from each paycheck and bought 19 boards until they had built all the stalls. He added that Brianna was pregnant at the time but helped him hang each board. The one side of the indoor arena is lined with siding taken from the outside. "We always try to recycle when we can," said Brianna's mother, Sharyn Cline. "Brianna and Amanda have always shown horses and this is the type of facility that is used by professional trainers, an arena that can be used year-round," said Sharyn. This was a dream of Brianna, Amanda, Sharyn and the late Polly Cline. That dream has been fulfilled. Sawblossom Stables is now offering full and partial board, riding lessons and carriage and wagon services with the Clydesdales which will be showcased in the indoor arena during the tour.
The two-story, 20x20 apartment attached to the facility is small but cozy. It features a living room and kitchen combination on the lower floor and a bedroom and bathroom on the second floor. Of course, the main decor involves horses and lots of "recycling" ideas. The apartment can be accessed from a private outside entrance or from the barn aisle way.
The home of Janet Podeszwa is located at 46825 Yoho Road. This homeowner's love of gardening and the outdoors is quite evident as you see the extensive landscaping around the home. The little outside seating area and groomed lawn dotted with tall grasses and flowering trees is an open invitation to sit down and relax. The small outbuilding blends with the landscaping. The modular home is decorated in antiques, Longaberger baskets and family pictures in ornate frames tucked here and there. Two glass door cabinets hold antique and other treasured glassware. The master bedroom features a beautiful quilt, hat boxes on an antique chest and lace curtains. The small sitting room serves as a computer room and is decorated in shades of green. The second bedroom features red, white and blue decor.
This fall tour should afford visitors the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful scenery Monroe County has to offer as well as a glimpse into the lifestyles of its residents.
For more pictures from the Tour of Homes, visit cu.timesleaderonline.com.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Due to circumstances beyond our control, the Woodell home will not be on the Monroe County Football Moms Tour of Homes on Sunday, Oct. 2. We regret any inconvience this may cause.