Thursday, July 23, 2015

Front Porch .. Just a Few Final Touches Left

Our front porch is done for all intensive purposes!

The porch now feels very solid and it's level.   The board & batten is up and painted, and the new ceiling and LED light fixtures are installed.   The railings are "maintenance free" plastic (yay, no more chipping, scraping or painting) and are now legal height ... which does appear more proportionate to the house.



Steve did all of the finish work himself... and he did a fabulous job!  When he puts his mind to something, by golly.. he gets it done!  He is now working on the stone foundation which will also be on the front porch (same stone that is on the pillar project).  The stone will give it a really nice "grounded" look.  

The stone has been started around the perimeter of the porch.

Steve even put a little "elf door" on the West side of the porch so someone can get down there if needed.  The ceiling is a knotty pine which we really like.  The pine lightens the porch up and really gives it an updated look and feel.  The LED lights are in the ceiling and will have a dimmer installed on them shortly.

We will also be getting a new storm door for the front porch.  It will be full glass (exchangeable for full screen in the summer time) with a dark green perimeter.. which should make it stand out nice against the white board & batten.  The storm door is on order from Menard's.  Have I mentioned that we have VIP status at Menard's?

Next will be an area rug, plants and a few decorations to give it the final finishing touch.  

This house now has two great places to sit and enjoy the outside.. on the North side of the house (this front porch) and the South side of the house (covered patio). I think it's time to relax! 

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Peas Please

We've been having stir-fry snow peas for the last couple nights... they are so delicious when done on the stove top with some olive oil, butter, pepper and kosher salt.  Excuse the substandard photos.. they were taken with my camera phone!

This year we cut a cattle panel to the height of the peas (actually it could have even been a little taller).  These things work GREAT!  I've not staked peas with this kind of success before, so I will continue this process in the future.  The cattle panels that we've incorporated into the garden have worked just wonderful (using them for tomatoes and tomatillos too).  They are easy to put in the ground and easy to store.  Just my kind of garden stakes.

The peas just grab right on to the cattle panels and it is so much easier to not only pick the peas but to even see them!  They get more sun this way and seem to be thriving.  Very pleased that we implemented this!  

After picking peas.. I walked over to where some zinnias are planted.  It's a matter of days before we have some nice colorful flowers in the garden.

And lastly... a clematis' I planted two years ago is just going wherever it wants to this year, and apparently it is trying to get into the garden!  The clematis is planted on the outside of the garden, but has found it's way into the garden and is climbing up over the door to the garden.  Now the funny thing is you can still open and shut this garden door without damaging the clematis.  It makes for a very unique door.  

Monday, June 22, 2015

Unveiling...the Finished Deck/Patio

Our back deck/patio is finally finished!  We enjoy our new Natural Light Patio Cover like you wouldn't believe!  We spend so much time out there ... it really has allowed us to relax a little more in the warmer months and take a break from the many chores and projects that are always happening around here!

Sometimes we even feel guilty for the luxurious comfort we experience underneath our Natural Light Patio Cover and on our very comfortable resin wicker patio furniture.  And sometimes when you're out there relaxing with a book or magazine... you fall asleep.   Shhhhhhh....... don't tell anyone!

Another GREAT element that we've added to our patio cover are curtains.  We had a heck of a time trying to figure out how to install them without damaging the structure too much.  Well, after an online search, we found the perfect solution... curtain channel tracks.  We found them at  They were light-weight, came quickly and we a breeze to install.  And best of all... they are so professional looking!  We LOVE them!

And for someone that likes to change things up frequently, they are wonderful because they allow me to easily "unclip" and "clip" new curtains up in no time!  I have two sets of curtains... one is of mosquito netting (shown in these photos) and the other curtains are made of paint drop clothes.. yup, that's right.  They have a nice soft vintage feel to them,... and add a nice touch of rustic and casual elegance to the deck.  Both sets of curtains were very inexpensive.  They are the first sets.. so I may upgrade to "Sunbrella Fabric" curtains in the future (homemade of course).. but I don't see that happening anytime too soon.

In the meantime, we'll continue to enjoy the heck out of this new patio.
Pass the lemonade please.....