On to the next projects…

One of the hazards of buying a 200 year old house and going from one to six kids in seven years is that as fast as one project gets finished another crops up and pretty soon you realize that your front porch is rotted because you didn’t get around to hanging gutters because you were so busy with your family. Any day now the UPS man is going to fall through the porch and we are going to have a lawsuit on our hands. So now Jonny is replacing the porch. He found a guy who knows concrete and is out of work to come help him pour a concrete slab next week. Once the slab is in place he will be laying flagstone because we just can’t figure out anything easier that would look as good as that. Jonny hasn’t laid flagstone before, but he’ll figure it out I am sure. My dad is really good with flagstone. Too bad he’s in New Mexico. Maybe if he reads this he will forget that he is very very busy and he will fly out to help Jonny.

Jonny is ripping the porch out, board by board, careful not to damage the wood because most of it is still in good shape. It is tongue and groove so he may actually use it to floor my studio. I just want a painted wood floor out there, so this would be a good way to reuse materials. We’ll see.

While Jonny rips out boards the boys dig for treasures in the newly uncovered dirt. So far they have found a marble. Marbles are considered really good finds.
I am sort of ashamed to show this picture of our house because of the shape it is in right now. I promise that old woodstove will be gone in a few days. Well, everything on the porch will be gone, including the porch. Anyway, here’s the plan; tell me what you think. The porch will be flagstone and the wood columns (there are four, you just can’t see the ones on the corners) will be cut off and the bottom few feet replaced with stacked stone columns. Once the porch is finished we will move on to the roof which will be replaced with slate colored metal roofing. Then it is on to the siding and trim which is only several years overdo for staining/painting. The house needs to be pressure washed and then restained in a basic cedar stain. Then we will tackle the gray/lavender trim. I am thinking a deep gray/blue or navy for that. I am sure I will buy a half dozen colors before I get it right.
Yes, we are doing this all ourselves, but hopefully we can finish by next summer.
While the boys are working on the porch, I hang out on a big quilt in the yard with Beatrix and a menagerie of cats. I find it much easier to keep B-Rose happy outdoors and since I am in that messy house season of life I prefer not to be looking at the mess all day. I am able to knit a few stitches while Beatrix plays with high tech toys such as an old tobacco can filled with milk jug lids (treasure in the mail from Aunt Genie).
Seriously, this is a really good way to entertain a baby.Did you notice that Bea has a mohawk? This only adds to strangers assuming she’s a boy. Her hair is not the same color that my other babies’ was. It is more of a strawberry blond, so I wonder what she will end up with?

Oh, and yesterday I put Larkspur’s hair in pigtails for the first time. She is not good about keeping any hairstyle for longer than a few minutes, but she seemed pleased with these and they stayed for a few hours. In fact here she is now whining, “I’m ready for you to give me pigtails” so I am off to do her hair and start the day.



  1. Gill Millington says:

    I live in Wales in the UK and reading about your wonderful life with all of your family is really entertaining, informative and heartwarming.
    Thank you so much for the photos and opening a window on a world I know nothing about.
    Meet you in heaven.

  2. Christine says:

    I lvoe coming and reading about all of your little projects. Your life seems so peaceful. WHichstate do you live in– I would love to move to it! California just doesn't have quite the same feel. 😉

  3. I love your house…. I am such a purist, myself. I'm always ready to "undo" anything that was done out-of-period by the previous owner, but I eschew updating – to Craig's dismay. "No!" We can't put in a shower in the bathroom or connect kitchen and dining room!!! No! I hate to do anything that isn't purely "restorative" or whatever… But you have such good taste, I'll trust you. :)Your days, and your projects seem so idyllic. Seems you might really find something cool under that porch. Make them dig deeper! My boys found a packet of papers from 1917 just cleaning the attic!

  4. You have the greatest family! Bea enjoys the finer things in life and Lark looks lovely in pig tails! She really does. The boys will find buried treasure if they dig long enough, I'm sure. There's got to be some old coins or something under that thing! There must be!! But marbles are pretty nifty too. Did you get that other warmer done?

  5. Your house is really cool and has character. It's weird, but we just did a porch too, new or old things have to be done or redone all the time. We are started on finishing the basement in hopes of increasing the apraisal enough to close again next spring.

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