Monthly Archives: April 2014


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.

Beautiful Kitty

Just thought I would show you the beautiful kitty my grandchildren have.  She really is a cutie.   A precious, fluffy, feline.  No cat can match her.  It’s hard to describe how pretty she is.  Are you anxious to see her?  Well, here’s her picture.






Please, don’t be scared.  She just needed to be shaved and she’s not too happy about it.  Poor kitty.  Bye.











Porches, Patterns and Pooches

Crazy week.  When you think life is crazy, it sometimes gets crazier.  Last week I thought the building of the porch was weeks away.  All of a sudden it started Tuesday.  Not the building, the knocking down.   I barely had time to feel bad about it.  Yesterday morning, Wednesday, I slept right through the builders and David knocking the bricks down with sledge hammers.  The men said David was like a mad man slinging his sledge hammer.  I looked out our front door and there was a big gap where the front of the porch use to be.  Now is not the time to back out of this project.



David looks like the unibomber with his black hoodie and his sledge hammer.  Oops, hope the government doesn’t read this.  Just kidding, government.  He had way too much fun tearing down the bricks.  See the old siding behind him?  Clapboard.  Probably the original siding of the house.  Also we discovered the original porch was only half as large as it is now.  And our new porch will be much larger.  Fourteen feet by twenty-five and a half feet larger.  The pillars are still standing for now, but they won’t be much longer.  It has poured rain today and suppose to tomorrow.  Be nice for the weekend, then rain again.  Of course, now that we have started a building project.  We have holes in our  walls where new switchplates and outlets go.  We have cracks in the livingroom walls from the old porch coming off.  Dave and I will have much patching and painting to do after this is all over.  I have found when you start a project, you always end up having more work than you planned to do even when you hire someone to do the work. Understand?


This is the roof of our porch.  Later this will be all gone and a new roof and exposed rafters will be here.  We will be able to sit on the porch when it is raining and listen to the rain hit the metal roof.  Maybe I should put a bed out here.





Mom, do my nostrils match??  Bonnie, we are not talking about your nostrils right now.  But, um, they do look a little funny.  Plastic surgery, maybe?



“Look at me and my ball!  Look at me and my ball!”

Belle, I know I haven’t played ball with you today.  You are going to have some little boys to play with you this weekend so you better rest up.

I escape to my shop while the builders are doing their thing.  I was looking for a certain pattern, but as I was looking, it was like walking down pattern memory lane.  Here are just a few of my vintage patterns.



I sewed a lot for my daughter while she was growing up or at least until she decided she liked “store bought” clothes better than Mom’s handmade ones.  I made her a long dress from this pattern in a pink cotton fabric.  Ran ribbon around the sleeves and through the eyelet in the chest area.



My daughter looked every bit as sweet as this girl in the picture.


Back when Little House on the Prairie was popular, this pattern came out and I made my daughter a dress out of calico with an eyelet trim like the plaid dress on the cover.



I may have that dress somewhere.  I saved a few of my daughter’s dresses because I just couldn’t stand to part with them.






One year one of my boys dressed as a clown for Halloween and I made the costume.  I remember it was a really fun costume to make.  Glad I still have the pattern.



I can’t believe I even tried making men’s and boys’ clothes.  I used this pattern to make one of my sons this outfit.  I don’t know if I still have the pattern or not, but one time I made my younger son slacks with a vest to match and he wore it to school and he came home and told me his teacher didn’t believe him when he said his mother made his outfit.



Back in the day when bell bottoms were the rage, I made David a pair.  Just like the white ones in the picture.  He wore them, too.  A lot.


I’ve been noticing bell bottoms are coming back.  They call them boot cut, but some of the pants’ bottoms are very flared, just like bell bottoms.  I use to wear bell bottoms.  I was a flower child.(without the drugs.)  Never have tried illegal drugs.  Never had a hankering to.



I loved this pattern.  I made my daughter a cute blue calico outfit like the center picture.  She looked so cute.



One day, when my daughter was in kindergarten, she came home and said, “Mommy, I am going to be a butterfly in the school play.”  My mind started racing. You mothers know what I am talking about.  Was I suppose to make the costume?  My daughter nodded, yes.  Oh, no.  My mother happened to be visiting and we rushed to JoAnn’s and looked through all the patterns and found this one.  Perfect.  I made the butterfly costume and people actually gasped when my daughter came on stage with her long, blonde hair, rosy cheeks, in a pink leotard and her beautiful, butterfly wings.  It was a wonderful moment and I can still see her.

My children sprang things like that on me all the time.  Once my younger son came home and said he had to dress like Thomas Edison.  How did Thomas Edison dress, anyway?  We got together what I thought was a fairly decent outfit.  What I didn’t know, because I was never told anything, (still not) but my son was the star of the show, The Electric Sunshine Man.  He had a huge speaking part and had to sing solos and I didn’t have a clue.  Thankfully, one of the mothers video taped it and gave me a copy and I still have it.  I just sat there in stunned disbelief that he had learned all those lines and I didn’t know he was doing it. Really, I was awake during their growing up years, but my children constantly surprised me.  Still do.



Just wanted to show you a catalog I got in the mail the other day.  I usually order clothes from this company, but they also sell other things.



I love this cherub sleeping in what looks like a larger angel’s wing.  How adorable is that?



They sell bedding to die for, but since this complete ensemble would probably cost about five hundred dollars, I won’t be getting it.



If I were a rich old maiden lady living all alone in a mansion, I would have stuff like this all around me.  I just love this romantic looking stuff, but David, not so much.  I have my girly room and that is fine with me.  But really, don’t you love these things?

Spring seems to be upon us although she was playing coy for quite some time and now she is throwing temper tantrums with thunderstorms, heavy rains and tonight, tornado watches.  But that’s Spring for you.  But have you noticed how green the grass is getting and that the daffodils are finally blooming?  Even the ones I have had to transplant look like they will bloom this year.



A bud on the weeping cherry tree is telling me that soon Spring is going to burst forth in all her glory.

It appears I am going to have a houseful of grandchildren this weekend for an overnight so I must rest up tonight, because once they get here it’ll be gang busters.

Here’s to porches, pooches, patterns and the promise of Spring.  Bye.