Friday, April 19, 2019

New porch lights

We did hang these new porch lights. 

So much better than these yellow ones. 

Now if it will just not rain on Saturday. 

Ps. We ordered new windows this week. We will get them in two or three weeks and start replacing them one or two at a time. Hooray for easy to clean windows and lower humidity inside because they don’t leak!! 

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Porch - slow going

We haven’t really done much because it has rained or we have had plans the last two
Saturdays. Until the porch roof is fixed we can finish the rest of the porch. Oh well. It is getting lots of use.  And we did cut down the big Camilla that was in the way of traffic and ugly. We left the little ones at it’s base and hope to shape them into something better.  You can see where we cleaned out the floor beds and sort of made an estimated start of a path (we will get stepping stones eventually). And we moved the fire pit! Which just flows so much better now and is out of the way from the boys running down the hill. 

I’m loving my grill right off the porch. It is just turned around now so I don’t have to walk out th door of the porch and in the yard. I don’t even need shoes now. And the old
Doorway is the perfect size for the grill pad. Otherwise that piece of concrete looks a bit out of place. 

In other news, the weather has been gorgeous on days not named Saturday. 

And we have spent plenty of time outside walking around the zoo and park. 

And some trails nearby. 

And climbing trees. 

Yay for spring and 50-60 degree weather! It is my favorite. 

Tuesday, April 09, 2019

Planter boxes and mud

Today we bought tomatoes and peppers for half the boxes. They are color coded with the popsicle sticks. Yellow for cherry tomatoes, red for tomatoes, green for peppers.  The other halves have some garlic that had sprouted over the winter (so why not try to grow it) and some wildflowers (a mix, black eyed Susans, and zinnias). The boys and I planted those last week. Their endurance in gardening is about as much as filling the boxes with dirt. They are enthusiastic, but lacking in endurance. They have to start somewhere. 

We spend most of all day outside. The weather recently has been amazing. I should take them to a park or the zoo or the trails, but they have so much fun running around in the yard and digging in the dirt. 

They are usually covered in dirt by the end of the day and they leave muddy footprints all over the house. Oh well. It is good for their immune systems. 

But this is why the mudroom is the first big project on the list. Maybe next summer... Maybe. This year it is reroof the porch and replace the windows. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Back porch update #3

I didn't do any of the work this weekend on the porch. But the walls are gone. Thursday night I stepped off a kitchen chair the wrong way and all my weight came down on my right ankle which was sideways. It swelled up a lot, but after a few days of resting it and keeping it mostly up, it seems to be on the mend. 

Here is where the planter boxes will be. The wood for them is sitting on the porch waiting for this weekend! The boys have been waiting since Christmas for this. The older two received real tools and we told them this would be one of their projects. My dad helped Martin build that birdhouse for his birthday. 

Unfortunately we won't be able to open the roof up and have exposed beams. They built the porch oddly, like everything we get into in our house. There are four layers of the ceiling before you get to the rafters. It just doesn't make sense to tear that much stuff out. So it stays... For now. 

It feels so much better out there! We are going to paint everything and finish the posts more decorative. Jared is working on repairing the roof and rotting soffit. And the light we get it the back room now is incredible! I don't need a lamp to read anymore. Hooray hooray for natural light!!!

A little before and after

It is going to look a little top heavy without the top being opened up too. What is that giant roof sections doing balanced on those tiny poles?  But it is better that before. And we will actually use it now. Hopefully when we paint it and finish the posts it will add some weight to the bottom half. 

Oh yeah. It needs new lightning fixtures too. I wanted to tear of the old ones and use that switch as a ceiling fan with the open ceiling. Now we aren't sure yet. That will be one of the last changes. Functional this first. 

Friday, March 15, 2019

Porch inspiration

This is the photo I sent Jared that finally convinced both of us to take the walls off the porch.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Porch update -day 2

So much light!!

I can't wait for a warmer day to be able to sit in the shade while the boys run around. It is a chilly 40°F today and I'm out basking in the sun to warm up. 

So much light!! 

Monday, March 11, 2019

House (yard) project

For two years we have debated the gate of the porch. We never use it. When the boys are in the yard I can't see them from the porch and the exit is on the wrong side to be convenient. Oh, and one corner is rotting so we have to take that wall down and either rebuild it or leave it open. 

And it just ends up being a place to store our stroller and trash that needs to go to the dump. A friend gave us porch furniture this year and we still haven't used it. 

My vote is to tear the walls and low ceiling down, but leave the roof. Expose the rafters. Hang the lights back up and maybe a ceiling fan.  Another project this spring is to put planter boxes (raised beds) around the the ugly septic lids (next to James in the picture on the right). And if we tore down the walls of the porch we could spill out to pick tomatoes and peppers and herbs from the raised beds. The fire pit is in front on the septic lids and eventually we could tie it into the porch and raised beds and make the area all flow as one. 

So it was the first beautiful day of March and the boys got tools for christmas and I let them have at it.  We almost finished the first wall today (I know, it is the shortest one, but you have to start somewhere). Next up, to take my lights down and see what is in that ceiling. Please, don't have any squirrels or racoons living up there. 

There you have it. The fun projects for the spring. The other one is replace all the windows in the house, which isn't quite as exciting. 

Saturday, February 09, 2019

Quilt - finished

How is it February?  I think I missed the entire month of January.  And I just realized that I never posted a picture of my finished quilt.  What a cliff-hanger. 

Here it is!  My brother and his wife were staying down the street at my parent's house the week of Christmas.  So we had to go hide in the back yard on Christmas eve to snap a few pictures of the quilt.  It was cold.  And I forgot to get a picture of the back. 

(and there is my foot and fingertips)
I've never done a sampler quilt before. It was a lot of fun mixing and matching.  And towards the end it was super mathematical/patterny.  I loved it.  I did a lot of figuring out how to use a bunch of scraps up and how to make sure all the blocks were balanced and had a bit of each color. It was a super fun experiment, but also exhausting.  I don't think I'll be making a quilt again in just a month for a while.   But it was fun to quilt again. I miss just sewing for fun.   

(oh look, there is my arm)

I ended up wrapping the seat covers in the old peach crate.  Did I tell you all about my cool peach crates? I bought a bunch from a farm that my siblings used to work for and I have all sorts of cool ideas for how to use them. They are really neat. 

And here is my little brother and his lovely wife opening their quilt. I'm kind of in love with this quilt.  Which is a good thing since I used up almost all of my favorite cream dot fabric on it.  The rest of the fabrics that I used are interesting, but I would have never picked any of them off the bolt.  Some of them are down-right ugly.  But that is the great thing about quilting - together they all look incredible.  

(my parents ordered the quilt on the wall off of eBay - I didn't make it)