Monday, October 16, 2017

Kathleen and Caroline Visit

About a month ago I got a text from Kathleen asking if she and Caroline could come and visit during Caroline's fall break.  I told her that we would love to have them but in the spirit of full disclosure I sent her all the things we had going on...

It was homecoming weekend for Grace so she would be gone all of Friday and some of Saturday
My in-laws are here in the cottage so they would have to share the pull-out in our TV room
We would all have to share Harris' bathroom as ours would be gone
The house is completely torn apart with zip walls everywhere

When she responded that they were all fine with that, plans were made and I grabbed them from the airport on Friday!  We had a really wonderful visit and I'm so glad they came even though things weren't "perfect."  In the end, Grace being gone gave Caroline and Harris time to connect with the older kids so it worked out perfectly!  I so appreciate the effort that Kathleen always makes to come visit and I'm already looking forward to the next time!

Friday, October 13, 2017

Behind the Walls

The demo is finished upstairs and it's been really interesting to see what is behind the walls of this old house.  They discovered timber framing with wooden pegs and mortise and tenon joinery.

I love that they etched roman numerals in the wood so that they could be sure to match them up.

We joked that they used live edges back before it was the trend that it is today in furniture!

As I mentioned on instagram, even though we are covering the framing up with walls again I love knowing what is behind those walls and I also rest easy knowing that it's sturdy and solid!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Renovation- Phase 3!

We haven't had a closet since we moved to Frog's Hollow.  The previous owner used a bedroom for her closet but it was down the stairs and not at all convenient to our bedroom.  Plus, we made it into a TV room so that was no longer an option for us.

Our current bathroom is much more the size of a closet so we decided to switch our bathroom and an extra bedroom.  Now, our bedroom will be next to our bathroom (with access without walking down the hall) and the closet will be accessible from the bathroom.  I'm sure that doesn't make a bit of sense but, honestly, I've typed it out every which way and it's really hard to describe no matter what!  Suffice it to say, it's a pretty major undertaking!

We felt a little bad at first about taking apart the bathroom as it is because it looked okay and seemed to be in pretty good condition.  However, we realized pretty quickly that it didn't work for us and that there were issues that needed to be addressed.

The bedroom where we are moving the bathroom to is very charming and I'm envisioning a sort of English country "undone" bathroom.  There is a fireplace (not currently working) with two small closets on either side and lovely pumpkin pine floors that we are working to keep.  For a bathroom there is plenty of floor space but with three windows, the closets and fireplace, two radiators and two doorways, wall space is at a premium!

Thursday, October 5, 2017

A Tree Swing

I'm a big fan of tree swings.  Not only are they charming to look at but they are fun to use as well! Last spring we put one in a tree by the farm lane and I was reminded to document it when I spotted Grace swinging while waiting for a friend this past weekend.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Renovation Update

I thought I would do a little update on the trials and tribulations of our kitchen addition.  The framing is done and I have a confession...  after the framing was complete I had a good couple of days of complete panic. You see, it looks like we just stuck a rather large box on the back of the house!

We have put so very much time, effort and thought into this renovation, including how we can best stay true to the house while also making sure it works for our family (and those that come after us).  I am all for staying historically accurate in a home but if it no longer works for the modern family then it is really just a museum and not a home.  If we were staying historically accurate, we would have gone with our original plan of adding a small mudroom addition to the side of the house. However, this would have been more expensive and we would have had to shoe horn in a kitchen to the existing space.  A contractor once reminded me that we are not the first family to renovate and that even back in the 1800's homeowners were renovating and changing houses to suit their needs.

I am confident that the inside of the kitchen is going to be wonderful but the boxiness of the outside was really throwing me off.  After having a nervous meltdown and consulting with both the contractor and the architect (who it never once occurred to me would let us put up an ugly addition) I am now feeling better.  Apparently, this is the worst that the addition will ever look.  Siding, trim, roof and windows will make a huge difference I'm told, as will landscaping.

We did have our first change order in that after seeing this big, blank wall I decided that we needed another window.  So we are losing a wall cabinet in the kitchen to add one more window.  I think it's a great trade off and will help with the outside.

Also, this was an oops.  We have two small windows on either side of the range and when they framed them in we discovered that our view was of the post that holds up the back door overhang.  So that will need to be fixed.

So there we are.  A few trials and a few tribulations (the view from the kitchen sink is pretty wonderful!).

Thursday, September 28, 2017

The Shirley Meneice Conference

If even five years ago anyone had told me that I would be attending a horticultural conference, I wouldn't have believed them.  However, that is exactly what I've been doing for the past four days.  I am a member of the Garden Club of America and my club asked if I would like to attend the Shirley Meneice conference and I jumped at the chance.  Any opportunity to learn more and explore a new place is a good opportunity in my opinion.

This years conference was in Omaha, Nebraska and focused on the prairies of the Great Plains.  We had wonderful speakers, fascinating workshops and I met lovely new friends!

We wandered the Henry Doorly Zoo, learned about restoring prairies at The Glacier Creek Preserve and took workshops at Lauritzen Gardens.

Once again, I have been reminded of the importance of preserving our most precious resources. While the prairies may not be as grand and show stopping as mountains and canyons, they are awe inspiring in their beauty in more subtle and nuanced ways.  And they too are in peril.  These fragile ecosystems are under assault from farming and development but there are people out there working to preserve, protect and renew the prairies of our middle states!
Meet Lucy, she's trained to sniff out invasive weeds!  Amazing.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

The Dahlias

Most of my garden is in the drunk stage where everything is a little out of control and falling over! However, the dahlias are shining and really just coming into their own!  I love these flowers that come in just as it seems the summer is over.

Somehow, I've ended up with a lot of yellows and oranges, which is great for the season, but I usually tend towards pinks!  The color change has been wonderful though and I've enjoyed the arrangements.

The much beloved Cafe au lait.  Even with one of it's petals eaten it still is beautiful!

Can you spot the bee?

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