Tuesday, December 31, 2013


 Well 2013 is coming to an end...and when I look where we were last year at this time, I can't believe how far we've come.  We were living in the basement, and it wasn't even finished yet!   Our main goal this past year was to finish the porches...and they are almost finished. We were concerned because the temporary porches were falling apart.And they hold up one end of the house!

 Look how much better the porch looks with railings.  We weren't planning on putting rails here, but they just added so much to the look of the porch




Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Porch update

Well we did not finish the porches before the snow started flying.  It is snowing outside right now.  
But we are SO THANKFUL that we got the porches secured, and almost done, before the tornado came through!  We seriously doubt these porches would have held up during the storm.  The winds were around 84 mph in our area. We did finish the painting on all three porches since the last time I posted.  And Dave got the ceiling up on the balcony.
 You can see here the bottom porch still needs a ceiling...
 We started on the railing but had to get more, and a couple of parts had to be ordered.  Each spindle has to be cut down on the top and bottom.  It seems that everything we do, has to have an extra step or two involved to finish the project. 
 I LOVE the way the railing looks.
I like it so much, that we've decided to add it on all of the porches.  The bigger front porch will only have it on the front ends, and in the center there will be steps. 

We did do a "walk-through" in the house the other day, to try and decide what to do next.  I think, after the Holidays, we are going to start on the breezeway.  It's such a small room, we are hoping to put plastic up and warm it up with a little propane heater.  It is VERY cold in the rest of the house.  I am also thankful for insulation and a warm room to live in!
I'm getting excited to start on the upstairs!!!


Saturday, November 2, 2013

Porch painting is finished!

 I'm a little behind in this blog.  We did close on the house on the last day of the contract!  So, we are now down to one house!  WOOHOO!  We are still living in one room in the basement, but I'm OK with it.  I know we will someday be upstairs, and right now I'm still feeling the relief of just having one place to keep up.  I had no idea how much stress we were under until it was all over.  And as long as we are moving forward, I'm good.  No deadlines, just moving forward!

So, we were working on porches the last time I posted...and we still are! 
This is the porch I left you with the last time...and you can see it is very close to being finished.

We decided to get all of the painting done before cold weather set in.

 The upstairs balcony seemed to take a long time to finish painting for some reason.  It was a bit chilly out that day, but we think anything this high off of the ground just takes longer.  Don't know why.

  This porch is right off of the upstairs bedroom that everyone is fighting over!
 Because of this view!  
All of the porches have this view....but only one bedroom has a balcony.
 We had another warm day so Dave took the afternoon off and we got the final porch painted.

 By the time I finished painting all of these cracks and crevices with a brush, I was DONE PAINTING.  Dave did help paint the crevices and cracks as well.  Then he would roll while I finished.  I'm just tired of painting. After all of the columns, bases, caps, and now porches...I'm a little bit tired of it!  I have a couple of Adirondack chairs I need to paint, and I have been putting it off.  Maybe tomorrow.
 When we were painting this last porch, it was a nice sunny, warm day.  And these Asian beetles were bombarding us.
 They were so horrible that they were flying in the paint buckets, and just everywhere.  We couldn't even sit outside they were so bad.
I'm just glad we got the porches painted.  Now Dave can finish the ceilings and upstairs railing and such on nice days to come.


Saturday, October 19, 2013

One porch almost finished

First the good news...and if you follow my other blog, you already know.  The house, and potting shed, passed the VA appraiser, after we scraped, and caulked, and painted.  The contract expires October 24, which is this week.  So we are hoping for a closing date this week, and not another disappointment.  The last contract fell through the week of closing.  Keeping fingers and toes crossed!
 We are back to work on our house we are building, and living in.  I'm hoping the porches will be finished by the time snow flies!  Although, I heard it could fly as soon as Tuesday. I  hope not!  We did paint the decking on the big porch yesterday. 

 I took a paint brush and went through all of the cracks and crevices, while Dave rolled.  He sanded it all first, so it would be smooth to paint (and walk on).  The problem was trying to get comfortable.  I tried sitting, but I had to move to often.  I tried standing but bending over at 55...jeeeeeesh.  And I tried crawling, with knee pads on, but it was still uncomfy.  Oh well...it only took us a couple of hours to paint. 

I think the only thing left to do on this porch is wrapping the front and sides of the decking with aluminum, and the skirting. 

Then we need to finish up these two porches.  After the porches....back inside the house, I hope!  
I'm so ready for a big kitchen!  I dream about it!


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Old house, new house

Update on the old house...
  The house passed inspection! Nothing needs fixed.  YAY!
 The house passed the VA appraiser...
why is there always an however?  
which sits way back here,
in the back of the double lot, 

has to have the windows scraped.  See all of the windows.  18 total...with panes 
(which I shall refer to as pains!)
These windows came from the house, when we replaced them with new windows. The house was built in 1939.  They are old.

And the thing is, we scraped the windows before we put the house on the market! I said I would paint them, and the realtor said they don't need painted, just scraped.  WE ALREADY DID!  Here's the thing...it's not paint that needs removed.  It's the caulking.
 And once you remove the caulking, the windows fall out. See the cracked window below? (bottom right) That happened while removing paint and caulking.  So starting today, and who knows for how long...I will stop
painting doors
canning apples
cleaning house
working beehives
and I'll be spending my time removing caulk, paint, and adding caulk and paint.  And who knows if these buyers are even gardeners.  For all I know, they'll never use the greenhouse.   I'm trying to stay positive peeps, but I'm not sleeping well, and I'm tired.  Beyond tired. 
 This greenhouse/potting shed is a magical place.  I love it.  Here are a few pictures I took in the spring.  I have some gorgeous pics of this place.

 Private Charleston garden with a vintage Kokomo bricks.
 Roses that grow in the "Charleston garden" on the South side of the potting shed.  This area is a little nook, and it's warmer because it's so enclosed, so even though the roses are a zone 6 and we live in zone 5, they have lived and flourished there for years.
 Looking out of the garden green house.
 I know there is no use in complaining, but can I say something here.....why yes you can Cindy, it's your blog!  Yup, these windows have lead paint on them.  And amazingly enough, every window in this ENTIRE NEIGHBORHOOD has or had lead paint on them.  These houses were built in the 1920's to the 1940's.  They used lead paint back then.  Most of these people built these houses, lived in them their entire lives, they raised kids in them, and most of the original owners are still alive!  They are in their 90's! Hells bells, their kids are still alive!
My brother worked in a lead factory for years...  
I'm just saying.......

 Potting shed love...
Oh, did you hear me mention VA appraiser.  Yup.  VA loan.  And of all times our government is shut down.  I asked our realtor how this will affect our loan and he said we should be ok.  He thinks we will still be on target for closing.  He did say, it might take a little longer to get a piece of information we might need, if the person with that information is on furlough.  How embarrassing.  My husband and I are building a house and we get a long better than our government!
Oh, but here's a funny story that will lighten the mood.  So, back in April when we were scraping the windows and they were falling apart, Dave said, I will never build another thing with these types of windows.  They do not weather well.  And we have some stashed at the house that he said I could not bring with me.  "Just Sell them!"  he said.  So, I put a few in garage sales that we had, but our house had a lot of windows.  So, I've been secretly, one by one, moving them to our new house, and tucking them away here and there.  There is something on Pinterest I want to make.  ( I tried to download it but can't get it to work.)  Anyway, the other night Dave says, I know what we could do...we could just replace the windows in the greenhouse with the ones in the garage, that we haven't done anything with yet.  They haven't been in the weather for all of these years, so they are still in good condition.  Ruh Roh.....I had to fess up!  They are no longer in the old garage.  They are squirreled away here and there, at our new place! 
So, at the new place....Still on the porches...
Dave is putting up the ceiling....what a huge decision this has been.  
Things you don't even think of....See the decking...running lengthwise...so logically you would think the ceiling needs to run lengthwise.  Well, this type of ceiling (vinyl bead board) doesn't come in long enough strips to run it lengthwise, on this porch.  And it isn't made to overlap or but up against each other, end to end like that.  So we would have had to divide the porch up with something so the pieces would fit.  And of course, this vinyl bead board has to be ordered. 
Then we talked about going with wood, because you can butt wood up against each other, but...

 you can't use wood on this bottom porch ceiling. 
  Rain and snow will get on it and rot it.  And I want them to match.  I didn't think vinyl on one ceiling and wood on the others would look good.


So we ran the ceiling one way, and the porch the other.  Guess what....after looking at a lot of pictures on the internet, it seems there is no right way to do it.  They are all done every which way!
 And it all looks good.

And see the aluminum pieces wrapped all around the porch...those are bent with this great big machine that my Shug borrowed.
He has to bend every single piece with this aluminum break, to make them fit.

And a couple of days ago, he had to get on the roof.

Since the family joke used to be that we had our own room at the emergency room, I was very nervous about him getting on the roof.  Not to mention he has been having a lot of foot pain.  (Achilles tendinitis-he went to the doc)

I don't know if you can see in the pic below...how the roof seems to be coming apart, right under Dave's hand.  He had to nail it back down.  Only he didn't see it until he got on the roof.  So I had to go get the nails and hammer...I took the screen out of that window and handed them through it.

I didn't tell him about this soffitt...in the corner...see it hanging down.  (sigh)
Ok, I know, long post.  Gotta go finish painting garage doors so I can get to other house,
 and start grouting and scraping and painting, oh my!