Category Archives: Construction

The Color Purple

My garden changes almost weekly, it seems.  In the Spring the first flowers to bloom are the daffodils in bright yellows and pinks.   Now we are in the purple faze of the garden.

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I think these are flowers that came back from wild seeds I planted last year.  Dame’s rocket or phlox, I’m not sure.

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Clematis on our back deck.  It was floundering on the back of my shop so we moved it last year and is thanking us with all these blooms this year.

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Salvia and Irises.  Two of my favorite flowers for needing very little care.

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Not all my irises are purple.  This picture does not do this beauty justice.

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Irises come back every year prettier than ever and they seem to double in size.  I have to divided these clumps this year.

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Dogs grow in my garden too.  Molly Marshmallow is free to roam all through my flowers.  I call the back garden the dogs’ garden.  Surprisingly, my flowers are none the worse for wear with the dogs rooting through them for moles.

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Yes, Molly, that’s why you always have a bone to chew so you won’t chew my flowers!

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Last week my upstairs bathroom looked like this.

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Now it’s beginning to take shape.  The quartz cabinet top and new faucet still need to be installed.  But, I get to take my tub baths again. Oh, how I missed them.

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Love these new lights. They are so bright I told the contractor I could get a tan while in my bathroom.

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Just wanted to share a wonderful book I just finished, The Practice House by Laura McNeal.  I hated for it to end.  It tells about the dust bowl in the 1930’s and one family’s troubles and triumphs during that time.  It’s also about an immigrant from Scotland who becomes an important part of this family in more ways than one.   I got it free on Kindle Unlimited.  I love Kindle Unlimited.  I have read books by authors I might not have ever read if I had to buy every book and I have found some pretty good authors.   I don’t know how they make money on their books by being on Kindle Unlimited, but I am glad they are.

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This weekend is Mother’s Day.  My children and I are not getting together this weekend, but are planning a trip to Cincinnati.  I have noticed on Mother’s Day, the restaurants are all so busy and you have to wait for seats and I thought we could celebrate another day.  After all, every day should be mother’s day.  We should show respect and love our mothers every day.  I miss my mother even though she has been gone many years.  We never stop needing our mothers.  Some days I wish I could talk to her and get her opinion on something.   I know I will see her one day and look forward to that.  I hope she knows I am sorry for all the problems I caused her when I was a teen-ager.  I was sort of a rebellious child and gave her a few grey hairs while I was growing up, but I always knew she loved me.   God bless you, Mom.  I miss you.  Happy Mother’s Day.

If you have a mother, have lost your mother, been a mother or had someone who mothered you, Happy Mother’s Day.  Bye.

 

 

Discombobulated

I like the word discombobulate.  It is a great descriptive word for what I am feeling right now.  We are in the midst of remodeling our upstairs bathroom and it looked like this after yesterday’s demolition.

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Some interesting wallpaper was behind the paint.

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When I first saw this, I thought it was a tiled wall, but it’s tile wallpaper.

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Then there was this floral wallpaper.  I have seen this same wallpaper during other remodeling in this old house.

Whenever we are in the middle of a renovation, I get, well, discombobulated.  Frustrated.  Disconcerted.  The whole house is in a turmoil.  I don’t know what to do with myself.   I know it will all get done. I know I will love the end result, but right now, I feel, unnerved.

Add to that I am going on a trip I had not been planning a week ago.  A friend asked me to go somewhere with her nine hours away, which will involve two overnight stays in motels.   I am excited about it, but as with everything in my life, everything comes at once.  David and I had planned to go to a lacrosse game one of our grandsons was playing in and the next day go to see my sister and brother-in-law for a visit. Plus, our church is having a special week of Bible conference starting Sunday, which I was looking forward to and will miss one night.  All this is happening on the same weekend.   But I chose to go on this trip and I will be telling you about it soon.

I hear them pounding on the walls upstairs and I am thinking I need to get ready for my trip, so I hope you all have a nice weekend.  Bye.

Calm Before the Storm

We have lived in our old house for almost 40 years now and there has hardly been a year where we have not done something to it like removing wallpaper, putting up wallpaper, removing wallpaper, painting, stripping woodwork, replacing woodwork, putting down tile floors, removing tile floors, ripping out old floors, putting down new wood floors, replacing windows, adding a bedroom and bathroom/laundry room, putting on a deck, ripping down the deck, building a bigger deck, building a brand new front porch(which, to this date, is our most favorite thing we have ever done to this house) and multiple paintings of every room in the house.  David says our walls are at least one inch thicker because of all the paint I have slapped on them for the last 40 years.  One year, when our children still lived at home and the neighborhood kids would come over, one little girl asked me one time, “Are you always painting?”  I had to confess to her that I love to paint and yes, I was always painting something.

Well, we think we are almost done remodeling.  This year we are completely gutting the upstairs bathroom except for the big, old tub, which I love to soak in and having new walls put up, new wiring, new light fixtures, new plumbing, new cabinet and sink, faucets and new flooring put in.  We are also finishing up getting all our windows replaced. It has taken several years, but they will be done this year. Yippee!  Except for our hall window which I love because it slides up into the wall and they cannot find one like it to replace it, so it’s staying.

So today I cleaned the downstairs really well because I know for the next few weeks, my house is going to be tracked in, dust will fall as the plaster walls come out and total chaos will reign for a time.  I’m not good with chaos, but thankfully our contractor is not one of those who takes his time doing a job. He comes in, keeps his men working  until the job is complete.   At least he has in the past and I have no reason to think he has changed.  David has said we have him on retainer because he has worked on our house so much.  We still have one bathroom to go and I don’t know if we will get that done this year.  He and his men are very nice to work with and are very respectful of other’s property.   I worry about my tub getting scratched, but I have been assured they will lay something in it to protect it.   All the tilework around the tub is going to be replaced.  I have wanted to have that done for years.  No amount of scrubbing can make that tile look good, so brand new, sparkling white tile is going up around my old tub and my old tub will be so thankful! And after all the dust has settled and everything is done I will repaint the bathroom myself. I have the colors all picked out  We purchased this really big, old mirror to place above the cabinet.  Now I am wondering if I really want to see that much of me when I get out of the bathtub!   Right now we just have a little medicine cabinet in the wall.  One I am going to keep because it is vintage.  Probably put in the bathroom in the 1950’s.

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So, here are pictures of the bathroom as it is now. A very nondescript little room. But it has served its purpose well for these last few decades.  I have bathed my  children and grandchildren in the big, old tub.  I have waited impatiently outside its door for teen-agers to get done doing whatever teen-agers take forever to do.  I have been so sick in this bathroom, I’ve wanted to die.  I have spent hours soaking in the tub.  I like showers, but a good soak in a bathroom is bliss to me, especially when my muscles are screaming in pain, which they seem to do more often these days.  Yes, it’s been a good little bathroom and deserves to be remodeled and brought into the twenty-first century. Or as far into the twenty-first century as I am willing to go.

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The tub. One would think I would have prettied things up a little before taking this picture, but, well, this is how the bathroom looks most of the time.   I am planning to be neater in the new bathroom.

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We did replace the commode years ago.  The old one had been there since the 1950’s.  But we are getting a newer, more high tech one.  Thank you for looking at my toilet.  I am sure it’s been the highlight of your day!

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Yes, we are keeping this little drawer by the bathtub which has absolutely nothing in it.  And, yes, I do buy shampoo a lot and don’t use up the bottles.

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I love this corner cabinet, but there is nothing you can do with this corner with it there.  So, it’s going.  I’m going to look at antique stores for a storage cabinet of some kind to replace it. Who knows what I will find in the dark, back corners of this cupboard when I take everything out.  It kind of makes me sad it’s going.  Is that crazy, or what?  I tend to hold onto things.  Does anyone want a nice corner cabinet? Let me know before next Wednesday.

I painted this bathroom several times.   The last time was many years ago and my, then, daughter-in-law put the wallpaper border up for me. I have always loved this wallpaper.  I will be sad to see that go too.  I still am friends with my daughter-in-love although she is not technically related to me any longer.  And she is a great mother to my grandchildren.

So, I will be taking pictures of the remodel.  I hope I won’t be screaming in agony as the old bathroom goes.   Who gets attached to a bathroom, anyway?   There is a lot of history between me and this bathroom.   And the people who live in our house down the road will be glad that the bathroom doesn’t date to the 1950’s.  I hope that won’t happen for a long time.  Bye.

 

Windows, Chickens and Flowers, Oh, My

Been busy around the old house the past few days, or is it weeks?  I’m not sure, time is flying so fast.  I have to keep my shirttails tucked in to keep them from flying, time is going so fast. Did I say time is going fast?   In my Bible study this week I learned that time is not going, it’s coming.  There is something really big coming our way.  The Bible speaks of her time coming, his time coming, the time came.  I find that fascinating.   I don’t really worry about time.  We all have a certain amount of it on this earth and we should make the best of it and give God the glory and love one another.  That is really all we can do.  We cannot change the weather.  We cannot change time.  We really don’t have control of much of anything when you really think about it, but if you put it all in God’s hands, it will all work out for the good(to those who love Him.)

Whew, I didn’t mean to get all theological on you, but that’s how I am.  Things have been happening around here.  We called our ever faithful contractor to replace more windows.  This house has so many windows and they all have been in the house since about the fifties, I believe, so one by one we have been replacing them with brand new insulated, double paned windows  when we save up the money.  This time we replaced our big window in our dining room.  Our contractor said we saved the hardest window for almost last.  It had to be rebuilt, repainted and replaced.

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Here it is taken out.  Nice breeze today.

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We have a nice view.  Well, when the trucks and ladders aren’t there.

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Reframing it. These men are pros.  They have worked together for years and work like a well oiled machine.  They almost know what the other one is going to say before he says it.

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New windows at last!  I was a little afraid that by replacing these windows we would lose some of the old woodwork around it and change the look, but now that they are in, it looks just the same, except we don’t have those awful, old, ugly storm windows on them any longer.  They will be so much easier to clean.

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I couldn’t wait to get some curtains hung.  See my new ladder.  It’s mine.  I picked it out and I will be the one using it for painting walls.  It’s sturdy, not like our old wooden one that rocked when I climbed on it and swayed with each movement.   This one stands strong and firm and I love it.  Really.

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I am using lace curtains this Summer, but I have bought new insulated checked curtains for this Autumn and Winter.

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After the windows were in, I painted our dining room.  A soft grey.  Sometimes it looks cream colored and other times really grey depending on the light.  I like it.  I was getting tired of the yellow walls that I really loved when I painted them a few years ago.  I’m fickle like that.  David and I went to Hobby Lobby this morning because we(I) wanted to get some flowers to put in my chicken feeder that I received as a Christmas gift last year.

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Remember when I wrote about this surprise gift that appeared on our front porch?  I didn’t know what it was or who it was from.

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It was this really nice, antique chicken feeder.  I told my friend who gave it to me that I was going to design a room around it, and I have.  Here it is, Shannon.  Look what you made me do.

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I sent away for these chicken posters.  The flowers I found at Hobby Lobby had feathers in them!  How appropriate.  Now the feeder sits in all its glory.  I love how this turned out.  Hanging the pictures was fun(not.)  David measured and measured and measured again and one of the pictures kept looking lower than the other.  I measure things with my eye and kept telling him they were not level with each other.  He measured and measured and measured again and finally decided our lopsided old house was the problem so he let?! me eyeball the pictures and we finally got them almost level.  As a friend use to tell me, “You will never notice it on a galloping horse.”

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I love these pictures.

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He could be the husband of one of my barred rock hens.  Wish I could have a rooster.

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We rehung this picture our daughter gave us last Christmas.  Kind of goes with the theme of farm and chickens.

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I have been picking these the last couple of weeks.  My favorite flower.  The peony.

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I have tried to get a little of this in, but haven’t got much done on the doll quilts lately.  I am hand quilting them as I get them pieced.

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I saw this purse on a blog, I wish I could remember which one and got on Fat Quarter Shop and ordered the pattern.  The Abby Bag.  I hope I can find time to make it.  Of course, I will have to make my granddaughter, Abby, one some time.

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Just finished reading this for the second time.  I got this book either at an auction or an antique store.  It’s about a woman who was left behind at her family’s cabin in Alaska one winter when her husband couldn’t get back to get her.  She went through many trials and tribulations like being in a landslide and breaking her arm and hurting her leg right off the bat.  Besides that, she was expecting a baby and had to deal with that and give birth all by herself.  It is a true story and when I read it, I realized I don’t have it hard at all, although I would really love to live in Alaska.

Maybe hard times is what hones us and makes us stronger.  To live a life of ease and relaxation all the time would be a complete bore to me.  I like action and hard work and doing things myself even if they don’t always turn out so well.   Anyway, if you ever get to read this book, I think you would enjoy it.  It was also made into a movie.  I’d like to find it.  I saw it a long time ago.

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Just wanted to show you something my Sunday school children made last Sunday.  They did all the cutting out and gluing and putting on stickers and I brought home the squares and tied them all together and will take it back to show them next Sunday.  We should do as the words say, “Love one another.”  Bye.

 

One Day at a Time

You just have to take one day at a time or things get out of hand.  If I take the time to think about tomorrow, I start getting tired because today is not finished yet.  One day passes after another and suddenly you look up and a week, a month, a year has passed and you wonder where it went.   Time is going faster.  I truly believe it is.  What do you think?

I am blessed that my days are full.  I have something to look forward to and work to accomplish.  What would life be without work?  Work is invigorating.   I love work.  I learned a good  work ethic from my mother and father who were certainly not afraid to work.

We are having more new windows installed this Spring.   Today the contractor came and nothing was happening so I went outside and the contractor was looking at windows that were not going to fit.  I felt for him.  His day was not starting out very well, but I just knew it would all work out.  They were special order windows, too, so he was worried that the lumberyard would not take them back.  I told him I would pray for him.   He left and later in the morning he came back with a smile upon his face.  The lumberyard had taken them back and ordered the larger windows and gave us the discount we had gotten on the first windows.   Anyway, we got one window replaced in our livingroom and tomorrow they are replacing one in my shop.  We only have seven more windows to replace.  Next year.  This old house may get done one day.  I tell David we are sure making a nice house for the next owners.

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This is the first sunrise I have seen in a long time.  I am a late sleeper and miss these beautiful scenes.  I had to get up to let the contractors in so up I got.

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Remember last post I told about the lady who sent me all the material?  There were pieces like this already made for a large Dresden Plate.

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Piles of pieces for Dresden Plate blocks.

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Such cute fabric.

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This fabric had chickens on it.  Yay.  I will cut some of my fabric and put it with her fabric and make a Dresden Plate quilt.  But first, I have three other quilts I have to finish.  I am trying to get some of my quilts done.  Quilts that have been laying around for months and some even years.  I also am making doll quilts to use up my little pieces of fabric.  I may sell some, I don’t know.  Just love piecing them and all the cute fabrics I am using in them.

The garden is looking so pretty.  Every morning there are new surprises.

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The flowering crabapple is glorious.

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I can see it from my front window.

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Or sitting on my front porch.  See the lilac bush?  It is loaded with lilacs and smells heavenly.

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A new snowball bush I planted on the north side of the porch.

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Planted three azaleas like these.

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I looked out my back door and saw what looked like a little tree, but it’s really a columbine.  Don’t know how it grew like this, but it is interesting.

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Can’t you almost smell these right from the screen?

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I bring in big bouquets of these and the house smells so good!

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The azalea that I didn’t think would grow here.

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Isn’t God good?  Look at this beautiful bunch of lilacs.

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This little solar hen lights the garden at night.

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Meanwhile, Molly sits in her chair and guards the backyard.

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No one gets this seat but her.  I love this dog.  She is getting sweeter every day.  Not as many Tasmanian Devil antics where she would suddenly start biting.  She loves being with me. And I love being with her.  I love just sitting and petting her.  I knew she would make a good companion.   David and I saw a huge Mastiff at Rural King yesterday.  I just saw it out of the corner of my eye and jumped and David laughed.  I thought someone was leading a pony through Rural King.  I pet her and she was so gentle.  “This is my next dog,” I told David who I had told only a few months ago that Molly would be our last big dog.  Ha.  I knew that wouldn’t last long.

Here’s to new windows, quilting, Spring bouquets and sweet dogs.  Bye.

 

It All Started With a Picture

Several months or years ago, I’m not sure, time goes by so quickly, I saw this picture in a magazine.  I think it was Country Living or Southern Living.

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I fell in love with the porch on this house.  The stone pillars, the railings, the metal roof.  We already have a metal roof on our house which we love so this just looked like something that would go with our house.

I filed the picture away for future reference.  At that time, a new porch wasn’t even on our agenda.  Then one day David said our old porch was pulling the walls outward in our living room, causing cracks in the wall and it was going to have to go.  “How soon?” I asked.  “Sooner rather than later,” he replied.  So began our adventure into porch building.

We called our favorite contractor, Claude Wright Jr. and asked him to give us an estimate on adding a porch and on replacing more of our old windows.  We got the estimate, I almost passed out and then we invited him over to talk.

He, David and I sat around our dining room table discussing what needed to be done.  ” Maybe we could save some money by not having the pillars across the front,” David suggested.  My heart sunk clear to my feet.  The pillars are what I loved about the picture in the first place.  “No,” I said.  “Those pillars have been a dream of mine for a long time.”   After some more discussion, we decided to bite the bullet and go for it.  After all, we will probably live in this house for the rest of our lives if we are blessed.  I’m not planning any moves, anyway.

Thinking I had lots of time to move the flowers in front of our old porch, David then asked, “How soon can you start?”   “Next week,” Claude said.  Yikes.  I had just a few days to move a lot of flowers.  So we said go for it and the fun began.

David and I spent a couple of days digging up and replanting dozens of flowers.  He measured how far out the new porch would come so that we would be sure to get the flowers all out of the way.  I have a little magnolia tree I have been babying for a couple of years and this is the first year it had blooms on it.  I put a fence around it.  I cringed for that little tree the entire building process, but the builders were very careful about working around it even though they had to squeeze around it at times.

Soon it was going like gang busters.  The old porch was torn down.  My house was dusty.  The new porch went up. My house got dustier. Then we had a roof, railings, a new tongue and groove floor, wide steps and finally the stone pillars. Hey, so I didn’t dust for a few weeks.  The men worked together like clock work.  They each knew their job and did it quickly and efficiently.  Wiring was done.  We even got a couple of extra outlets put in while the walls were open.  Men came to install new gutters.  It was a busy time around the old Craig house.  I had to watch what I was wearing because I never knew when a man would be working right outside a window.  Reminds me of a show I use to watch, The Gilmore Girls, where Lorelie Gilmore was having some construction work done on her house and one day she came out of the shower stark naked and found a construction guy standing in the hallway.  I did not want that happening to me.

It took about a month, but the work was finally all completed.  The dust settled. It’s still settling.  I could not wait to start landscaping. I had been purchasing perennials here and there wherever I went and had them waiting to go in the ground.  I spent the next few days staining the floor and steps, planting the perennials, replanting some of the flowers I had had to move, decorating the porch, and hanging new hanging baskets.

Want to see the finished project?  You don’t?  I’m sorry, I am going to show it to you anyway.

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First you are welcomed by my little chicken welcome sign.

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Come up the wide steps.  See the walk David put in all by himself?  He planned it and he did all the work.  I love it.  He’s quite a man.  Flower beds on either side.  On the left use to be grass.  I got rid of more grass.  Yay.  I hate to mow.

 

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David’s and my rockers.  His is the one with padding.  I don’t need padding.

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David used left over lumber and built this little table to put our drinks upon.  It’s really heavy.  Took us both to carry it up here. I stained it the same color as the railings.

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I put a table and chairs on the porch so we could eat outside.  Have we ate outside yet?  Nope.

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I brought this little chair and pillow that were in the grandchildren’s Adirondack room down and put it in the corner.  So, we don’t really have a cabin.  I can pretend.

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What’s a porch without some flowers?

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I placed humming bird feeders all around.  The little rascals sometimes zoom right over our heads as they fly through the porch.

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David placed our fountain in front of the porch so we could sit and listen to it gurgle and splash.  The birds like to drink from it also.  We saw one like this in Nashville years ago, but when we went to buy one, no one had any so I went on the internet and found this one.  We have been using it for years.  It looks like stone, but it isn’t.  We have had people go up and touch it thinking it was stone.  Our grandchildren, when they were little, ,liked to slap their hand on the fountain and make a splash.  Where did those little ones go?

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We bought this wind spinner online.  When it spins it looks like a rainbow.

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David built this bench from a leftover piece of the old porch and some cement blocks and I painted it.

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We hung our not glass, stained glass window in our new front window.

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I planted annuals in a piece of the old porch.

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This use to be one of our dining room chairs that had seen better days.  I painted it lavender and set it in the garden.

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So this is the ta-da moment.  The porch I had dreamed of and kept that picture for.  It’s everything and more that I could ever want.  David and I spend a lot of time sitting out here and talking and watching the world go by.  Why don’t you join us?

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It’s almost impossible for me to write a blog and not include flowers.  I can’t remember what the yellow one is called, but the lavender one is called speedwell.  Kind of looks like salvia to me.

Summer is reading time(although I read all the time).  But, anyway, I have a couple of books that I would recommend for reading  For my Christian friends out there and those who would like to know more about the Christ I serve there is this book by Max Lucado.

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It’s a wonderful book about Jesus.  There is a description of Jesus that I have never heard about before.  I don’t know where Mr. Lucado got the information, but read the book and see how he describes Jesus’ appearance.

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There’s a wonderful series on Netflix called All Creatures Great and Small.  It is based on books by this author, James Herriot.  This book is about some of the dogs he treated in his veterinary practice and their wild, wacky and sometimes odd owners. I have laughed out loud at some of his stories.  All true, with names changed to protect the innocent.

Hope you are having a wonderful summer.  Take some time to smell the flowers and read a book. Enjoy it.  It will be gone before you know it.  Bye.

Seasonal Snippets

It’s been a very busy month.  By busy I mean planting, cleaning, building, sewing, walking, and visiting among other things.  Summer is building up to be very busy also.    Every Summer we look at the three long months ahead and think of all the time we’ll have and then things start to be planned and before we know it, Summer is over. Right now we have a graduation party, a wedding, a trip to Chicago, visiting relatives and a Sunday school party planned.   I would like to have a candlelight dinner on our new porch, but haven’t got the plans all together for that yet.  I’d love to have a ladies’ day camp at my house where all my friends could come to spend the day, without children, and swim, sun, hot tub and eat yummy food all day.  Doesn’t that sound like fun?  I’d love to have all you girls come enjoy the day with me.

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I am going to talk about our new porch for a minute.  I know you are thinking, “blah, blah, blah, that’s all she talks about.  Her new porch. Boring.”  I know, but I just love my new porch so much.  David and I go out every day and look around and tell each other how much we love it.  The stone mason got the stone laid last week despite that it rained every single day.

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We had cloudbursts after cloudbursts.  The garden loved it, but it made it hard to lay stone as the cement couldn’t set in the rain.

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The stone masons made themselves a little tent to work under.  I felt so bad for them as I stood inside my nice, dry house and watched them work.  They are truly artists at their work.  The pillars came out even more beautiful than I ever could have imagined.   I am so glad we decided to do them as we were a little afraid of the cost.  Since we plan to live in this house the rest of our lives, I think we made the right decision.

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David had had his eye on these rocking chairs we saw at Sam’s Club and he finally decided to go buy them.  They were the last two they had so I think we were meant to have them.  They are so comfortable and made of teak so they will fade to a grey.  We have originally become old, I said. Two old folks sitting and rocking on their front porch.  I would love to put a bed out there also.  To sleep under a metal roof while a soft rain is falling upon it sounds like bliss to me.  I fell asleep on our swing in our back yard yesterday and when I opened my eyes, there was a carpenter bee right in front of my eyes.  So close that when I swatted at it, I hit it.   I wondered just how long it had been flying around my head and looking at my nostrils as a place to call home!  Yikes!

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I love the way the shadows fall upon the porch.  It’s just a magical place, I have to tell you.  I know it’s just a porch, but it just makes you feel good to sit out there.

I have been having a wonderful time landscaping around the porch.  I had purchased a lot of perennials that I was just itching to get into the ground.  I spent a couple of days planting.

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This little patch of flowers are on the left side of the steps.

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We dug up some more yard for another bed.  The less grass I have to mow the better I like it.  I have planted these plants and sowed zinnia and cleome around them  I also planted some hollyhock bulbs, but I am not sure they will grow.  I have decided buying prepackaged bulbs from certain stores are not the healthiest of bulbs.  I bought garlic bulbs from one particular store a couple of years ago and not one grew.

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Now you know I have to have something about chickens in my garden.  I found this cute garden stake at Rural King, one of my favorite stores.  It has a little bell that really rings.

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I’ve planted and planted. Did I really need to buy eight packets of sunflower seeds?  Really??  I managed to find places to plant them, but my garden is getting packed full.  This is an old lawn spreader that I painted pink and planted with annuals.  A movable flower pot!

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I never tire of seeing the perennials bloom every year.  The irises, poppies and peonies are beautiful right now.  Peonies are probably my very favorite flower.  The poppies were started from David’s grandmother’s garden.  She always had a beautiful garden in her backyard.  I can still see it in my mind’s eye.

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Peonies make such a beautiful bouquet.  If I were getting married again, I would want to get married when the peonies are in bloom so that I could have them in my wedding bouquet.

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Two of my favorite colors together.

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Even the white ones are gorgeous.

Meanwhile, David has been working hard to get things ready for summer.

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Want to come swim in our pool?  What’s that?  You say it’s green?  This is what it looks like every year when we(meaning David) takes the cover off.  Then the real work begins.

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David spends many hours cleaning, flushing and checking the chemicals.  It’s hard to believe that soon this green pool will be a beautiful, clear blue ready for swimming.  Our grandkids are coming over this weekend, so hope the pool will be ready.

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We needed a new walkway to our porch and David spent a day working on it.  It was his plan and I must say it turned out really well.  I will show you the ta-da moment on another post as I forgot to take pictures of the finished project.

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Doesn’t he have a nicely tanned head?  Working outside in the sunshine will do that.

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Over a year ago, when our new porch was just a figment of our imaginations, we bought this stained glass picture to hang in our front window.  We didn’t want to put it up until it would be in the shade as my stained glass pictures in my shop windows faded after years in the sun.  I love this with all the different birds on it.

Less you think I have forgotten all about the chooks, I haven’t.

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They are so happy to have ground where they can take their dust baths again.  Here they are in front of one of the dog houses.  There’s Freedom getting ready to run.  She always runs when she sees me despite the fact I spent weeks nursing her back to health last year.  Ungrateful chicken.

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Here she is thinking she has escaped me, but I cut her off at the pass.

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Dorcas, or is it Beatrice, is friendlier to me and will come right up to me and let me pick her up.  She’s such a pretty girl.

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Even though Freedom is afraid of me, she keeps her eye on me.  She will follow me all around the coop, but as soon as I go to pet her she’s off to the races again.

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Of course laying season is picking up.  Sometimes I will find as many as four eggs in one nest.  Chickens like communal laying, I guess.  We give a lot of eggs away.  They are good, organic, free range chicken eggs and taste like butter.  I have eaten more eggs this year than I think I have all my life.  Egg salad is a mainstay at the Craig house.

Well, hope you are enjoying the weather and getting outdoors and giving God the praise for His glorious creation. Bye.

 

Of Bugs, Bruises, Blossoms and Boys

Each day fades away into the next and life here at our little plot of ground is moving on.  David and I say almost every day, “Where did the day go?”   I really thought when you were retired or at least semi-retired the days would be long and lazy.   But then, I don’t think either of us would like that too much.  David says if we don’t have something to do, I’ll think of something.  Don’t want to be bored, don’t you know.

This past weekend I walked a 5K MS walk with my daughter and her family and some of her friends.  One who grew up and spent as much time at our house as she did her own at times and we took on a vacation with us to Mammoth Caves.  She now has three children, one as tall as she, and I am feeling old.

The day started out with thunder and lightening and heavy downpours of rain.  But by the time of the walk, the sun shone through and we walked all over our town for 3.1 miles.  It was nice seeing some of the gardens and the older homes that are kept up so nicely.  My grandsons made it the entire walk without one complaint.  I told them they would get ice cream if they walked the entire walk, so after a lunch of pizza, we went over to the local Dairy Queen and got them ice cream.  It was a fun day.

We see our two youngest grandsons more often because they live closer than our other grandchildren.  I would love to see the others more, but they have busy lives too.

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These boys enjoy entertaining us.  We went with them and their parents to a walking and biking trail in Nashville.  It’s about a mile round trip walk.  The boys took their bicycles and practiced riding.  One had just gotten his training wheels off.

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Their father, in the picture, took a fishing pole and caught two fish while we were walking.  Pretty big ones, but he threw them back.

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A few days ago, we saw bug webs in our crabapple tree and David took his blow torch and burned them out.  He said as many dropped from the tree as got burnt up.  And guess where they traveled?  Right to our new porch.  We were sitting out there and started to see worm after worm crawling up the pillars.  Ugly little things that would rear their little ugly heads and wiggle around.   Suddenly, I felt a tickle on my ankle and looked down and there was one of those worms crawling up my leg!  I let out a scream and swatted it off and squashed it.  David and I called them silk worms, but our daughter said she looked them up and they are tent worms.  They do make little tent like webs in the trees around here.

Speaking of legs, oh, I didn’t?  Oh, well.  I have gotten two big bruises on my shins the last couple of weeks.

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This one I haven’t a clue how I got it.  I am always bumping into things while working outside.  This one was a doozy, but didn’t hurt.

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This one on the other leg, however, hurt like the dickens and I know exactly how I got it.  I tripped on a step at our daughter’s house.  I was thinking there were just two steps, but there were three and I went down like a sack of potatoes.  The only thing I could think of when it happened was ” Get the donuts! Get the Donuts.”  I had baked muffin donuts for my grandsons and had been carrying them when I fell.  They have two big dogs that were jumping all around me and I was afraid they would grab the donuts.  All was saved and I survived until the next time I bruise myself which could be any day now.

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Mother’s Day was quiet and nice.  I got this gardenia from my older son.  A Yankee candle gardenia candle came with it.  Gardenias do not survive outside in our winters so I will have to  bring it inside when it gets cold.  I have planted it in a bigger pot and it will get bigger and hopefully bloom this summer.

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David put  new shutters on our upstairs windows this morning.   While he was doing that, the stone masons were putting the stone on our pillars.  I’m really liking how it looks.

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It’s been a month, but we can see the light at the end of the tunnel with the porch building.  It should be done this week unless it rains every day like it is forecasted(okay, I know this is not a word) right now.  We had some thunder and rain this afternoon.

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I’m loving these hanging baskets I got at Smith’s Gardens.

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The snowball bush is loaded with snowballs.   It’s the best it’s ever bloomed since we planted it.

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This Gerbera daisy is so pretty and bright.  This is a wonderful flower that I over winter in my shop and get it out in Spring and it’s just as pretty for another year.

 

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The old fashioned Irises are blooming madly and have spread over much of the yard.

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Then there is the mulch.  The Brown mulch.

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And the black mulch.  Eighty bags in all.  I will spread most of this myself and by the time I am done I will be able to bench press a cast iron skillet.  Ha.  Really, though, I do find I can lift things much easier after hefting this many mulch bags around.

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I guess I won’t be lolling on our front porch any time soon. Won’t look like this either.  Bye.

 

Not Enough Time

Where did April go?  For that matter, where is May going on such a quick clip?  Slow down a little bit, May.  I would like to enjoy you for a while.

It’s been a very busy Spring, but in a good way.  Easter came and went and was a joyous day full of life and blessing and fun.

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My older son gave me these tulips which I have already planted in the garden.

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My daughter and son-in-law gave me these flowers.  They lasted almost two weeks.

Then I looked up and the month was gone and I still hadn’t planted many of my flowers.  I’ve been collecting flowers as I see them from here, there and beyond.  I seem to have a color scheme going which makes me happy.   I went up to Smith’s Gardens in Taylorsville this morning and got my flower fix for the day.  If you have never been to this cute little shop, you should go there sometime.  So many cute garden ideas and so many beautiful flowers and they are healthy and well kept unlike the flowers you find at certain stores I will not mention, but there is flowercide going on at some stores because their flowers are dying from thirst.

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Lots of lavenders with some pink thrown in.

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More lavenders and a pink hydrangea with some bright yellow Asiatic lilies for spark.  I am waiting for the stone mason to do our pillars before I plant around the porch.

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The stone came yesterday and maybe by the weekend we will have our porch completed.   Well, except for all the staining I have to do.  I did get the railings stained this week and I love the color I finally picked.  DSCN7828

Our snowball bush which came from David’s Grandmother’s garden is full of flowers ready to pop.  I wish she could see it.  Maybe she can.

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We have had some beautiful Spring sunsets.  The days go so quickly.  This life is but a whisper and then, it is gone, so make the most of each day.

I  bought some more fabric online this week.  This is absolutely, positively the last fabric I am going to buy until Fall, or maybe not!   Really, I think the website, Fabric.com is stalking me because every time I get online on certain pages there are pictures of fabric from their website luring me back to look at more.

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I’ve had my eye on this fabric for quite some time and finally thought I had better get some before it’s all gone.  I love it and plan to make a skirt from it.

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Another view of it.

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Polka dot blouse, anyone?  I think that is what I will use this for.

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I can’t say what I am using this for, but I have plans.

Back to flowers.  I can’t not show you a few of the plants I have ready to stick in the ground.

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I found this columbine at Rural King.  When I went back to get another one, they were already all gone.  Get it when you see it or it’s gone.  At least that’s what always seems to happen to me.

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Digitalis or Foxglove.  This is a perennial and I think it seeds itself, so I am hoping for lots of these in the garden in the years to come.

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This is a picture on a box of  hollyhock roots I bought.  Mom always had hollyhocks by her bedroom window.  It’s an old fashion flower that looks good in a cottage garden which is what I am trying to plant.

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A miniature fir tree that was just too cute to leave behind.

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The lilacs came and went just like that.  Poof.  I barely had time to cut a bouquet to bring into the house.

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I feel like I just wrote about rhubarb, but it’s been a year and we have it coming up again and I made the first pie.  It didn’t last long.

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I had never made a sugar cream pie, but it sounded good so I made one of those too.  An older lady, in the church I went to when I was a girl, made the best sugar cream pies in town.  When there was a bake sale, everyone came early in hopes of getting one of her pies.  I have her recipe, but this isn’t it as she used real cream and I used evaported milk because that was all I had on hand at the time.  My pie didn’t turn out half bad.

Had to stop for a few minutes.  Sand being delivered for the pillars.  Their cart wouldn’t raise up because their battery had died, so I had to hunt up some jumper cables.  Grandkids, there’s a pile of sand in our drive right now that you would love to play in.

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I will leave you with a picture of our flowering crap tree that is always beautiful.  It’s flowers are all gone and David and I saw worm bags on it.  He’s going to take a blow torch to them.  We have silk worms everywhere.  Or at least, that is what we call them. They creep me out because they show up everywhere and rise up like little snakes.  Ugh. Bye.

 

 

 

Once

Once there was a little brown house.  A comfortable, modest, little brown house.  It had a nice little porch on its front.

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Well, it use to have a nice little porch on its front.  The family would sit on the porch and watch the world go by.  Children would watch the trains as they sped down the tracks.  Visitors would come through its front door.

Then, an angelic contractor came and transformed the little house.

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See, he even had a halo.

The little house didn’t know what was happening to it.  Windows were being removed.

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Rafter boards were being painted and nailed on it.

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New, airtight windows were installed.  Windows that would keep out the cold, winter air.

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The little brown house was beginning to feel that maybe, just maybe it wouldn’t  be the little plain Jane, little brown house any longer.

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Grandchildren came to watch the building.

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Grandchildren who have played on this porch and watched the trains go by.

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Old men stalked in the shadows.  Wait a minute, that’s David. He owns the little brown house.

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Nice, wide, wooden steps replaced the cement steps that had been there for decades.

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A big, wide deck replaced the little porch.

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Birds liked the new porch so much, they began to set up housekeeping, not knowing that their nests would have to go.  Poor birds.

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There’s a nice birdhouse you birds could live in.  In fact, there are several birdhouses to choose from.  The big house belongs to people.

While the little house was transforming, the garden was changing too.

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Rhododendrons, lilacs, redbuds and tulips were making the garden look so pretty.

And then there was light.

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Two of these.  One on each side of the front door.

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And a fan. Oh, joy, a fan.  The little house’s porch would always have a breeze if needed.

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Now the little brown house sits and awaits a new coat of stain and rocks around its posts.  It can’t wait.  One day soon it will be the pretty little house it was meant to be.  Bye.