Category Archives: Construction

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.




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.


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.



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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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


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.




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


Then there is the mulch.  The Brown mulch.



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.


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.


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


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.


Lots of lavenders with some pink thrown in.


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.


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.


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, 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.


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.


Another view of it.


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


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.



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.


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.


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.


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


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


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.


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.


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


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.


See, he even had a halo.

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






Rafter boards were being painted and nailed on it.


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


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.


Grandchildren came to watch the building.


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


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


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


A big, wide deck replaced the little porch.


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


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.





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

And then there was light.


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


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


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.




If you have ever built anything or had some remodeling done, you know you come to a place where you think it will never be done.

We have a great contractor and things are going along smoothly and quite faster than I thought they would, but still, I am in that place where I don’t think it will ever be finished.  They put a new window in the living room yesterday and it is beautiful(if windows can be beautiful.) We have lived with old windows for thirty some years.  They have those awful metal storm windows that have to be taken out before you can clean the windows. They are ugly and useless because I don’t think they kept out the winter winds very well.  Our new windows are so much easier to clean. They are sealed and insulated so no winter winds should get by them.  There was a mess on the floor  after they put in the window, so I cleaned it and washed the floor with Murphy’s Oil Soap and went outside to stain and paint.  When I came in later that afternoon, the floor was covered with dust and plaster again. Oh, well.  I guess I won’t clean until the porch is done. Plus there are two more windows to replace. This old house has a lot of windows and we are replacing them as we can afford to.  We have about nine more to replace after these.  They will have to wait another year.

We are at the point in remodeling where I always get where I think everything is a mess and dirty and unorganized and I get rather impatient for the job to be finished so I can set things back in order.  Yesterday  I stained lattice and painted facia boards and rafter boards.  Our contractor showed me the boards Tuesday and I asked when he would be needing them and he said, “As soon as possible.”  Oh, no. I said, ” Good Lord, give me strength.”  And He did.  Well, I got to work and painted the rest of the day until seven o’clock and got them painted with only one coat to go on one side and I did it the next morning.  When you are doing sweat equity, you sweat sometime.  I also got a sun burn on my arms.

When the porch is done and when I get it stained and the front of the house stained and when I get the landscaping done around the porch that I have planned, and when I get our garden planted and when I get our living room walls patched and painted and when I clean the house completely of all the dust and dirt and when we get new porch furniture and hanging baskets, then David and I will sit on our new porch and enjoy the chance to rest.  You’re invited to come sit with us.  Bye.

Pictures next post.  I’m too tired.

A Blessed Weekend

We celebrated Easter today. Being a Christian, this is one of the most important days of the year.  Our Savior rose from the dead over two thousand years ago and lives today.  One day we will see Him again.  Easter isn’t about colored eggs, the Easter bunny or baskets of candy. Those are fun, but it’s not what Easter is all about.  It’s about a risen Savior who came to earth to live and He died on the cross for every one of us in the world. He loves us that much.    He arose from the dead and sits at the right hand of God, His Father, and one day He will come again to gather his church and judge us all.  Our church choir sang an amazing cantata today and it was wonderful to be in church this morning.  Wish you could have heard it.

We had a family get together today also.  I always enjoy having family around.  We took pictures.



Two of our three children were here.  Am I getting shorter or are my children still growing?





Three of our grandchildren and our daughter-in-love were here.



This is our daughter and her family.   Shoes were optional.  Now I know why I wanted these big wide steps.  For picture taking!

We had an Easter egg hunt after dinner.  There were one hundred and three eggs to find, plus a golden egg with money inside.  Grandkids always like candy and money.


The smaller boys got to hunt in a special area.  They wouldn’t have a chance with their bigger cousin standing there.


Then they all hunted the rest of the eggs.  It didn’t take them long to find all but two of them.

It was a fun day and a tiring day.  Not a half hour after everyone had left David and I both fell asleep.  Him in his recliner and me on the couch and I slept for two solid hours.  Not saying we were worn out or anything, but we were tired.

The building of our porch is going gung ho.


This big truck parked across the street with our lumber.




With this vehicle, it was easy to unload the lumber to our yard.



The steps looked like this just a couple of days ago.



The cedar siding is going up on the house. I am going to stain this.



Piles of lumber still sit on the porch for the railings and the rest of the siding.  My little magnolia tree has made it through all the tearing down and building up.  It opened its flowers fully this morning, just in time for Easter.


David is already enjoying the porch.  We hope many memories will be made as they were on the old porch.   Come and sit a spell with us sometime.  Bye.

The Amazing Disappearing Contractor

Yesterday we had this……



Today, we have this…..



Yesterday the roofers came.  They came in like a swarm of bees and began working.



They worked quickly and efficiently and within an hour and a half, we had a roof over our porch.



You can’t see this very well, but one of the roofers, a young guy, was wearing shorts and a T-shirt!  It was cold outside yesterday and everyone else was wearing sweatshirts and hats.

We didn’t know our contractor could do magic tricks, but yesterday, while sawing the porch steps, he performed a disappearing act.  While I was snapping pictures, he did it.  These pictures are not altered or changed in any way.  This is what happened.














Gone!  He disappeared in a cloud of cement dust.  Bet your contractor can’t do that.



I’ll leave you with a smile from sweet Belle.  Bye.

Is It Spring?

Woke up to it snowing again.  Weathermen said it would only be a light dusting and would melt off quickly. I have a half inch of snow on my deck.  I swept it off and down the steps to my shop and by the time I got to my shop, I looked back and it was all covered in that white stuff again.

I feel sorry for the workmen who are working on our porch right now.  Out in the cold, shoveling all the dirt that was underneath the old porch and hauling the dirt away or spreading around.    Meanwhile, I am in my warm house, drinking a cup of tea and looking out at them.

If you should come to my house right now, you would see that my house is rather dusty.  It is because things like this on going on.


Sawing cement blocks and they are going to have to saw the old porch steps because David tried a sledge hammer on them the other day and it just bounced off.  Bub says the older cement gets, the harder it becomes.


The foundations for the rock pillars were laid.



Stone will be put around these.



The old cement floor of the porch had to be jack hammered and then began the digging up of all the dirt that was underneath.




The wood awaits beside the house for the new porch.  It’s so exciting.  Years ago David, our daughter, and I went to Monterey, California to visit our son who was in the Air Force and was out there at language school learning Russian.  We took a day trip up to San Francisco and stopped at the Winchester House along the way. The Winchester House belonged to the man who invented the Winchester rifle.  When his wife became a widow, she began to believe that the ghosts of all the people who were killed by Winchester rifles were coming to haunt her house.  So the building of a very weird house began.  She had carpenters hired year round to keep adding to her house.  She had windows in floors, doors and stair steps to nowhere.  She was afraid that if she stopped building, the ghosts would come.

I would like to be like her only in the case of getting things built all the time.  I love to watch the process of a project coming together, especially when it is something I have envisioned coming to fruition.  I always thought I would have loved to buy old houses and have them brought back to their former glory.

I have seen our old house go from a 1950’s model into a 2014 model, but still keep its old look.  It’s been a labor of love and I know I will never stop work on it until I no longer can.  I have a lot of painting and staining to do after the carpenters leave.  That makes me happy.  I love to paint.  That’s something else I probably would have loved to do. Be a painting contractor.  I have painted every one of the rooms in our house two, three and four times.  I read a magazine article one time where a woman who loved to paint said that if her husband would allow her, she would paint her house every year.  I am kind of that way.   David knows exactly where I will go as soon as we go to Lowes.  The paint department.   My only problem is choosing colors.  I have made some big boo boos  through the years like our Pepto Bismal colored bedroom one time.   Right now, I like all the colors in all our rooms, but I am going to change the living room color after all the carpentry work is done and all the cracks are filled.



But Spring is slowly coming into the garden.  We have many different types of daffodils.












Remember in the Walt Disney version of Alice in Wonderland where the flowers sang and talked?  This daffodil reminds me of them.

Other things are blooming or getting ready to burst forth.



A bush cherry.  I actually didn’t plant this one.  The birds did from seed from another bush in the yard. They do such great gardening for me sometimes.



Baby lilacs that will be much bigger and smell so good in just a few days.



I can’t remember what this plant is called, but it also is getting ready to bloom.   Its leaves stayed green all winter.

I can’t wait to landscape around the porch when it is finished.  I have already bought a pink flowering almond bush.  The one I have now didn’t do too well through the winter and is in the path of the destruction and not faring too well.  It might come back with some pruning and tender loving care.



Bonnie, what is that white stuff on your nose?




“I’m just gonna bite someone if they don’t play with me!”

Oh, no you won’t, Belle.

Here’s to Spring snows and flowers that bloom anyway.  Bye.





Like the phoenix which rose from the ashes, our new porch is rising from the ground up.  I am sitting here listening to the pounding of hammers and the pulling off of siding and then, sudden quiet.  What is going on?  I go out every so often and snap a picture and talk to Bub, the contractor, and then try to go about my business pretending there are not four or five men completely changing the appearance of my house.



Here it is before the beautiful, old pillars are taken down. David is pretending to push one over and it really is about to fall in this picture and I wish he was not standing so closely to it, but, boys will be boys.


Then they dug these gigantic holes(where my flowers use to be.)



They then put cement in them.  The pillars will rest on this foundation.  How firm a foundation.


The pillars were set in place and then the rafters were built.  I love to watch the process.  These men certainly know what they are doing.


Just a picture to show that the porch is going across the whole front of the house.  It looks gigantic in person.  More than I even expected.  They are making it so sturdy, it should last another one hundred years.



The rafters going up. Isn’t the sky so blue?  I am loving these Spring days.



The daffodils are blooming all over the yard.  Even the ones I had to transplant a few days ago are doing well.  All that rain we had for a couple of days helped them.  Thank you, God.


Maybe we shouldn’t put a roof over this.  Then we could see the sky.



I took this picture this morning just as the sun was coming up.  DSCN7690

Meanwhile, in other parts of the land, the sandbox is going to become a flower box.  I’m going to fill this with Miracle Grow planting soil and grow zinnias in it.



Bub’s old wheel barrow has seen a lot of mileage.  If you ever need remodeling done, Claude Wright, Jr. is the one to call.  He gets the job done in record time and his workmen do excellent work.  He built our addition to our house almost thirty years ago.  He was a young pup then, like us and it was one of his first projects.  It’s stood the test of time and he has replaced the windows so it will last another thirty years or more.


Just another view.  That’s a whirly-gig we bought at Rural King.  When the wind blows just right it spins like crazy.


We opened the hot tub last weekend and the grandkids enjoyed it.


Who is that scary looking man watching them?  Just David in his hoodie.


These are parts of the pillars we tore down.  I am going to paint these and use them to put pots of flowers upon.  Or to be grammatically correct, I will use them on which to put flower pots.


This one I will paint also and put dirt inside it and sow seeds. David said when we move this, we better put it where it will stay forever because it is heavy.


Before I go, just wanted to show you a cute pillowcase a friend made for me.  I love it.



She got this fabric at JoAnn’s and it is so cute.  Now I can dream of chickens on my chicken pillowcase.  Flowered chickens.

Here’s to builders, blue skies and blooming chickens.  Bye.