So much has happened . . .

Where did the year go?  Such a busy year with so many changes and I haven’t managed to post anything since February. Really have nothing to offer as an explanation – just didn’t make the time.

I do want to catch up on the high points and maybe the low points too.  I will start with a real big high point, the biggest high point of all the year – I have a new grandson.  He was born on December 6th and is 8 lb 4 oz of sweetness.  The best part has been watching his big sister (8-year-old) fall totally in love with him.




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Forever Friends

Last night I had a fun dinner out with two of my friends. We met at our traditional spot, Cracker Barrel. We talked, caught up on our lives, cried a little bit and laughed a lot. Could be we had a bit too much fun and laughter. One of the waitresses saw us outside and said we need to come back often, that we had more fun and enjoyed our evening more than anyone in the restaurant. It was a great evening.

Known these two ladies for 30+ years. There used to be 4 of us, but 7 years ago we lost our friend. We miss her.

Funny how conversations change over time. Years ago it was all about what our kids did in school, schedules for Brownies, ball games and carpools. Now we discuss multi-vitamins and the aches and pains that come with growing older. Talk of our children moves into stories about our wonderful grandkids. Can’t go into everything, what happens at Cracker Barrel stays at Cracker Barrel.

I am so thankful for “old” friends!

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Our Old House Renovation: Tiling the Master Bath

The installer started with the tile “rug” and worked out from that point.

Installer started with the tile "rug"

Installer started with the tile “rug”

He did not use those little tile spacers, he would just get down on the floor and eyeball the line. I have a thing with lines and to find someone who is as particular about lines as I am was impressive.
The floor

The floor

106_1707 He built the frame for the whirlpool tub.

Working on the shower

Working on the shower

Because of his regular job schedule (3 days on, 3 days off), our installer only could come to our house on his days off. Because of the size of the bathroom and all of the steps involved in tile installation, this job took weeks to complete. Towards the first of December, he finished the tile in the master bathroom.

The finished shower stall

The finished shower stall

We had the shower niche placed in the kneewall. Eventually we will have glass doors and sides added to the shower.

The shower niche

The shower niche

The floor

The floor

Tile completed around whirlpool tub

Tile completed around whirlpool tub

The master bath really gave us a fit trying to plan it all so seeing the tile & the placement of shower,tub, etc. come together (like we imagined) was a big relief. Still a lot of work to do in the bathroom but great progress.

Categories: Home Renovation, journal, Old House Renovation, old houses, Our House with the Red Roof | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Our Old House Renovation: Tile Prep Work

Before picture.  You can see little spot of blue color that I tried out.

Before picture. You can see little spot of blue color that I tried out.

Bathroom walls are painted and we are ready for our tile

Bathroom walls are painted and we are ready for our tile

First thing to do before tiling was to paint the bathroom. We chose Sherwin Williams Nantucket Dunes for the color. I tried to get away from beige walls with beige tiles but just couldn’t find the right combination.
We left the spot for our vanity unpainted.
An old buffet will be repurposed as our vanity

An old buffet will be repurposed as our vanity

Before our installer began we had to figure out exactly how we wanted the tile to be put down. We had a sketch that we were using but we needed to see how it would actually look. So we started with the bathroom “rug”. We placed the tiles in front of our vanity to get the size and spacing right.

Our design consultant

Our design consultant


Our tile installer started his job by putting down cement boards on the floors and the shower wall. The shower stall got a water-resistant barrier and sealer.

Shower stall is prepped and ready

Shower stall is prepped and ready

Backerboard is down, bring on the tile

Backerboard is down, bring on the tile

Categories: Home Renovation, Old Home, Old House Renovation, Our House with the Red Roof | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Picking Out Tile

In September we pretty much had made up our minds about how the master bathroom would be arranged. Then came the hunt for an installer. We settled on a local man who had good references.

Lots of boxes of tile

Stacked up and ready to go

Almost since we purchased the house, we had been looking at tile. On most trips to Lowe’s or Home Depot, we would look at tile. We also checked out the local tile companies. Some of our plans at the beginning would end up being too expensive so we had to scale things back. Then toward the end of October we were to the point that we needed to actually buy tile. Should have been an easy job because we had looked so much but it was hard narrowing down all the possibilities. Do you have any idea how many versions of beige tiles are out there? We finally chose a 12″ beige tile for the floor with a smaller mosaic in browns and blues to make a tile “rug”. The center of the rug would be made using a 6″ version of the floor tile. The shower would be created by using the same three tiles.The mosaic tiles we purchased were not recommended for use on the floor because they could scratch or be cracked under heavy weight. I decided to take the risk because I liked the tiles. I figured they would get “gentle” use (socks or slippers) in the bathroom. As for as the breaking under heavy weight, I made my husband a promise not to bring home an elephant as a pet.
Forklift loading tile

Forklift loading tile

Decision made, we have our tile . . .
Lots of work piled up in a corner

Lots of work piled up in a corner

Categories: Home Renovation, Old Home, Old House Renovation, Our House with the Red Roof | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Our Old House Renovation: We have lights

For the first time in years, this 100+ year old house has electricity. An exciting morning.

Look at all the lovely lights

Look at all the lovely lights

Electrician has some work to do, just one big glitch-don’t think I can learn to live with turning on upstairs bathroom light and exhaust fan on from bedroom.  A couple of other minor details to fix but all in all, he did a good job.

Lighting the night for the 1st time in 30+ years

Lighting the night for the 1st time in 30+ years

As it got dark, my husband and I turned on porch lights, interior lights, pretty much all the lights we could turn on and went around the house looking at each side and thru the windows. I know I have been looking forward to the day we got electricity for a long time – it was so nice to see the lights.

We were not the only ones to feel that way. People who were driving by would just stop and stare at the house. Lots of interest in our old house renovation.

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Electricity coming soon. . . I hope

The last time our old house was occupied was in the mid 70’s. We have electricity in our carriage house (workshop) which comes in real handy to run power tools by way of a temporary pole. We use extensions cords that plug in the temporary pole to get power to the house. But I am really looking forward to the real thing – the thought of just switching on a light switch and lights makes me real happy. I am grateful for the temporary pole even if it is leaning a wee bit to the side.

Temporary pole with line marked to new pole location

Temporary pole with line marked to new pole location

Before Christmas a representative from the power company came out to discuss the service we wanted. My husband told them we wanted to have our electrical line buried and they said not to expect anything until after Christmas (which we expected). Another person came out to mark the spot where the new pole would be installed and mark the path the electrical line would take from the pole to the house.

Little flags mark path to house that trencher will take

Little flags mark path to house that trencher will take

On January 3rd a crew cleared the location for the pole.


And on January 9th, our new electrical pole was installed.

My husband needed to trench a new line from the house to the workshop so the electrician disconnected the line from the temporary pole that supplied power to our workshop. So things are a bit more inconvenient right now with no power to the workshop but that’s what extension cords are for. But it shouldn’t be too much longer, the power company came out today and trenched the line from the new pole to the house.


Categories: Home Renovation, Old House Renovation, old houses, Our House with the Red Roof | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

A New Year, A New Calendar


A calendar filled with cardinals, one of my favorites

I always loved the first day of a new year.  Putting away the calendar from the prior year and starting fresh with a calendar filled with clean new pages.  Yes I still love calendars.  It is a big deal to decide on what will hang on my kitchen wall for the year to come.  Will it be a gardening calendar, a travel calendar,  a bird calendar or a funny one?  This is a ritual I am not ready to part with.

The year to come is filled with possibilities.   What fun things will be entered onto the blank pages – how many trips will we take?  Hoping this year will bring good memories and everyone will stay healthy and happy.


One of my many calendars

When the kids were little, I entered a lot of the day by day activities onto the calendar.  Looking back I see a lot of doctor appointments and baseball games.  Some years I did a better job recording events, other years have lots of blank pages.  I tried to keep up with my granddaughters progress on my calendar.  Was fun to look back to entries for her Dad when he was her age and try to see any similarities.  Then as my Mom’s condition changed, a lot of the calendars were filled with her appointments.  Last year’s calendar shows a lot of the progress made on our old home renovation.


Who knew what this calendar would start?

We were married in 1974 and the oldest calendar I found is for 1975.  One thing I noticed is that the calendars have gotten bigger over the years.

Every calendar I bought is stored in a drawer in our buffet.  I purchased quite a few while on vacations  to the Smokey Mountains, Vermont, Skyline Drive, Mackinac Island, Hawaii, etc. Lots of bird or calendars that feature gardens and plants are in my collection.  One year I purchased a calendar that featured barns (a bit random but they were nice looking barns).

Need to get to the store and pick out this years calendar.  Best thing is they are half-price now.

Categories: Family, journal | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

Need to catch up

The last weeks have been a mixture of sadness and activity.  I have had the best of intentions to post but things and time got the best of me.  Hopefully I will be able to do some serious catching up on our house renovation in the coming days.

The sadness comes from the loss of my brother-in-law.  His death was not unexpected but that does not make it any easier for his family and friends to handle.  Rain was forecast on the day of his funeral and did it rain.  The graveside was cool and miserable but I have never been so moved by a service.  The military honor guard stood without moving as rain pelted down-this was a downpour with the wind blowing so hard, the rain was hitting you sideways.  They were totally soaked and water dripping from their caps as they folded the flag.   But they did not miss a beat, they handled their job with total respect for the deceased and his family.   The following funeral service showed how much the pastor and church felt about my brother-in-law.

We got back from the funeral in time for our son to have surgery.  Probably not a big thing but anytime someone has surgery, you tend to worry.  He is on the mend now with the typical ups and downs.

Then of course, there was Thanksgiving.  We had a great meal with my son and daughter-in-law and our sweet little granddaughter.  Enjoyed the day totally.

I have spent way too much time getting ready for a Christmas Craft show.  The show was on Saturday and Sunday and I did not even make enough to cover my booth fee.   I am trying to not let it get me down, but it is a bit hard to do. The positives were that I learned a lot and totally enjoyed the other crafters that I got to talk to.  Most of them were totally disappointed with the crowds and their sales so I wasn’t the only one.

Today after I stop running my mouth on this computer, I am headed to the town where we have our other house.  The garden club has a project where families remember their deceased relatives by placing a plaque below the trees that line the main street. The ceremony to light the trees is tonight.  About 200 people (hopefully) will show up in the town park, sing some songs, someone will read the names that are on the plaques, and refreshments will be served in the Women’s Club.  We will have hot apple cider and cookies.  So I will pack up the car and the dog and off I go.

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Beautiful Memories

One year ago my daughter married her Prince Charming.  The entire weekend was filled with family, friends and fun.  The only sadness came from the few of our loved relatives who couldn’t be with us.  Charleston, SC and the Aquarium were the perfect backdrop  for  this day.  The wedding was outside with a view of the harbor and bridge in the background with a full moon.  Perfect day with lots of memories.  Happy Anniversary!

I need to remember another Prince Charming.  I was just a little girl and to me my sister’s boyfriend/husband to be was a fairy tale prince come to life.  He was so handsome in his uniform.  During their 52 years of marriage, I realized that he wasn’t really a fairy tale prince but probably the smartest man I had the privilege of knowing.  He was always kind and caring.  We lost him on Friday.  Love you Frank and I will miss you.

Life goes on.

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