Thursday, November 5, 2015

November 5 - Heat Wave and Broken Record

Our old house has been decorated for Fall... or Harvest time.  I don't particularly care for Halloween or the ghastly decorations.  Plus, just decorating for "Harvest time" allows you to keep the decorations up all the way to Thanksgiving, and then it's time for Christmas.

Yesterday Grand Rapids hit a record.. 75 degrees on November 4, 2015.  Last year the temperature was in the teens with snow.  Ah yes.. Michigan.  If you don't like the weather, just wait 5 minutes.  We have some urns that still have flowers blooming in them (and they've been neglected pretty bad now for several weeks) and tonight Steve mowed the lawn while I jumped on one of the horses and rode bareback for a few minutes.  This Fall has been beautiful.. sunny and warm.  Not sure what that means in terms of our winter?

Next up... we are re-doing a room upstairs.  It will be quite different from the rest of the house, but it is getting there and will be a quiet contemplative room.

Saturday, October 31, 2015


Finally... a replacement tree for the Magnolia tree we took out this summer due to 'Magnolia Scale'.  We decided on a decorative pear tree which we've had at our previous residence and loved them.  It' looks small now, but it's still a nice sized specimen!  It'll be fun to watch how this tree grows over the years.

The landscape company arrives on a dreary day!

Decorative pear tree planted

We also decided on White Birch trees to flank our new stone pillars at the driveway entrance.  We were able to get these from a local farm/nursery at a very reasonable price and brought them home ourselves.  All the leaves are already gone so they look pretty sparse, but we have no doubt they will look beautiful come Spring.

The driveway entrance before the White Birch trees are planted

We also saved some money by having "our own equipment" for the landscapers to use.  

The landscapers "hand dug" the holes for the trees. 

Yay.. one White Birch in the hole (on the right/West side of driveway)

Yay! Both White Birches in!!

The decorative pear (in front of tractor) and both White Birch trees in the ground.
We have more landscaping to do and much better photos to take, but it is raining again today... so, it'll be another day!  For now, we can relax a little bit.. sometimes rainy days are really great!

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!