Browsing Archives for Farmhouse & Garden

Decorating the Dining Room

March 1st, 2008

It really is time for me to start turning this house into a home, yet for some reason, I just can’t seem to get up for it. What I really need to do is to staple a paint brush to my hand and finish the four or five paint projects that taunt me every day, all day long, as I mindlessly shuffle around the house. But before I paint, I need to finish unpacking and attempt to organize the two dozen boxes full of crap still in the basement. But before I organize the crap, I need to catch up on the laundry. But before I do laundry I need to pay bills, clean bathrooms, get groceries, return phone calls, check e-mail and blog. Wait… no…I think I’ll blog first. Anyway, I feel like I am about three years behind, and with Thanksgiving approaching, I’d better get my act together. So I hitched up my sagging lame ass pants and started with the dining room.

My father-in-law Joe made these plate racks for me several years ago. They used to flank a large window in our dining room two houses ago, when the country doctor was in residency. When we moved, there was no spot for them, so they have been in storage for six years. Sorry plate racks – but I have a spot for you now.

Speaking of plate racks, I chose this chandelier from all the other chandeliers in the entire universe for one reason and one reason only.

So that I could bedeck it with seasonal flora and fauna throughout the year. Well maybe not fauna, that might be a little weird…even for me. Hmmmm…worth considering though.

So here we have bedecked chandelier, and empty plate racks.

Time to dig out all my old plates. Oh dear! – it would appear that the old house had a lot of green and pink going on. I am more into golds and reds these days. May have to do some old plate shopping in the near future.

But these will do for now.

Halfway House

February 29th, 2008

We seem to be stuck in this strange in between place. A half finished house. A house with three almost, but not quite, finished rooms. All bedrooms.

A house where the end seems to be in site and yet is not arriving.

I have unpacked everything I can and there are still boxes everywhere full of things I can’t unpack because there is no place to put things. No cabinets, no closets, no pantry, no shelves. It is deflating. For three weeks there was so much hub bub. So many spasmodical spasms. Painting and packing and cleaning, and moving, and now there is just wait. Wait wait wait wait. It has made me question the entire project. Why did we do this? Why didn’t we just stay in our old house?

I have started to wonder if we could sell this house. Maybe we should buy a house in town. There are a few really neat old houses in town for sale. Houses I would have loved to buy two years ago. One of them is my favorite house in town. And it going up for auction in two weeks. I could move in and put all my stuff away immediately! I wonder if I could sell this house in two weeks?

I mean hey it is 5:20 in the morning and I have been up since 3:20 am. I can’t sleep. Surely there is a name for this disorder. Post traumatic construction spastic little miss whiney whine whine seizure disorder.

I just want to make some curtains! And buy a new bedside lamp! I just want to hang some pictures and figure out how to solve the troubling hall paint color.

But I am stuck in this weird purgatory of stuckness. I can not proceed until others proceed. So I linger. Every day fading a little more. Everyday dying a little more. Every day a little less untill…until…untill… Does untill have one “l’s” or two?

P.S. please do not try to cheer me up you all too chipper blog readers of the universe. I am happy in my bleakness. I prefer it this way. Bleak is my favorite color. Maybe I should re-paint the hallway in bleak.

A switch from boring to bleak.

I would much rather be bleak than boring.


After writing the above post – I wearily climbed the stairs around 6 am to try and go back to sleep for a few hours. It was then I noticed this strange reddish haze coming thru the windows. What in the world…? Aliens? Terrorist attack? Pesticide? Fungicide? Armageddon???

Holy Crap – Sunrise!!! I haven’t seen one of these in years. Gosh maybe we should hang around a while. It might be worth the trouble.

Stairway To Heaven

February 29th, 2008

Dennis has been working on the railing for the stairs that go to the loft in the boy’s back bedroom.

It is turning out better than I ever could have imagined.

I say that not because I am some sort of puffed up over confident egotist. Although at times… well…nevermind. I say it because the loft and subsequent stairs were a last minute addition to the house. We have such a ridiculously steep roof and there was all this left over space. So we decided to put a loft up there for a playroom. Then we had to decide how to access it. We thought about a sort of secret ladder in the closet (which I still think would have been fun) but it seemed sort of difficult to access and hard to come down, which makes you wonder if it would ever actually get used – so eventually we decided to put in the stairs.

Staircases, as you may know, come with an enormous bill. The treads, the risers, the labor, the wood, the railing, the newels, the balusters, the posts. It goes on and on – so for a last minute addition it doesn’t come cheap.

As a result, I tried to make these stairs as cheap as I could. The cheapest way would have been to carpet them. But I just didn’t want carpeted stairs in this spot. Therefore, we thought we might just paint the risers and treads and Dennis thought he would trim out the space where the stairs meet the sheet rock. But finally we decided to cover the “rough” stairs in pine boards and let them overhang the sheet rock a bit and trim out the cricks and cracks that are left behind.

I bought paint grade balusters and newels from L.J. Smith. The paint grade option has a much lower price tag than a hardwood species like oak or walnut. The newels are nicely primed so we probably won’t need to add another coat. The hand rail and balusters however will need to either be painted or stained. I am really leaning to paint – even though stain would be much less maintenance.