Thursday, October 8, 2015

The (New) Front Door

 Since first walking through the entrance of this house, I was in love with the original door hanging, complete with old wavy glass.  As with all old doors, the glass was single pane and on our particular door, nothing hung square.  As the years have passed, and we endured drafty cold air coming through winter after winter, Justus begged me to let us get a new front door.  I stubbornly refused to even entertain the idea, asking him instead to try as best he could to insulate the area around the door.  (I'm sorry to admit to this, but sometimes this meant stuffing dish rags and socks in the door when nothing else would help.) 


 I found this old picture of our original door.  :-)  Unfortunately, to help mitigate the draft and to protect the original glass, a storm door needed to be hung.  The concrete porch floor is not level, and in order for the storm door to open, the storm door had to be hung a couple inches off the ground, thus still letting in an unfortunate draft.

After four years of feeling a constant cold draft every time we stepped foot in our living room, I finally relented about replacing our old door with a more efficient one.  I suppose I should mention at this point that we also decided to invest in a new, more efficient HVAC unit as our heating bill was steadily climbing! 

My poor husband - although I agreed to replace the front door, I absolutely insisted on placing a special order for a door that looked as close to the original as possible.  We paid way too much for this special order door (it seemed like to us, anyway) and waited three months for it to come in (and it was even made in our home state!), but I was so happy with it when it arrived. 


 Justus tore off the trim on a Friday night and got everything ready to go for the next day. 


Now, typically I don't feel like I help a lot with projects like this, but on this particular day, my mom kept our girls and I was on hand to assist Justus.  It's a good thing too, because putting in a door, and getting it perfectly square, required a lot of effort.  It was a freezing day, and I remember wearing a big jacket and gloves the entire time.  It took us EIGHT hours working together to get this door in perfectly square and level!  I cannot tell you how many times we had to take it down and move it around.  And I cannot tell you how many necks were craned as cars drove by... likely thinking, what are these crazy people up to now?  Putting in a door on a freezing cold February day?  (At least the sun was shining!) 


 Replacing the front door, and replacing our HVAC unit, were both considerable expenses, but we haven't regretted either purchase.  It has made our home much more comfortable, and much more efficient.  I'm happy to report that our heating bill went drastically down and we were able to enjoy sitting in our living room the rest of the winter.  :-)

Every time I open and close the door, the sound of the seals tightly closing is music to my ears.

 I also spent way too long searching... and searching... for the perfect door hardware.  I wanted something that complemented the year of our house and the style of the door.  One day I'll replace the light fixtures to match.  (Again!)  ;-)


 Justus felt like I should type, "Currently hanging from our front door, is a basket full of blonde hair."  He's too much!  I happen to love the wheat!  (Laughing out loud...)

One day soon (maybe in the next three years - ha!), we hope to pour new concrete steps and spend some more time working on the exterior.  We've been gone so much the past several weeks, but this next week we're tearing out the downstairs bathroom floor and getting back to indoor house projects.  

 Here's the interior view of the new door.  I left the door its primed yellow color for a long time, waiting for inspiration to strike on the perfect color to paint.  First I painted it the darker gray on the exterior (too dark), then white (too light), before deciding this light gray was just right.  

And that's the story behind the new front door... just another project to cross off the list.  ;-)

Hope you are having wonderful Fall days! 

Exterior Door Paint Color: Benjamin Moore Amherst Gray
Interior Door Paint Color: Benjamin Moore Titanium
Door Hardware: Weslock Molten Bronze Tramore Sideplate Lock with Wexford Knob; Single Cylinder with Keylock Knob/Lever in Oil Rubbed Bronze.  Purchased from here:

Thursday, September 24, 2015

This Egg Washing Business

 This past summer I've had so much fun watching Rosetta go through her little routine of washing eggs.  It's one of those little moments I've wanted to capture and remember forever because it's so precious.  


 As part of the girls' daily chores... wait, scratch that... as part of the girls' daily chores when we aren't really busy and we actually stick to our daily chore list, the girls help take care of the chickens.  Jillian is old enough now to fill the water and feed troughs, and Rosetta gathers the eggs and washes them.  She has a routine she always follows of setting up a little assembly station, which consists of her egg basket, a bowl full of soapy water, and a towel that she organizes outside.



 With hands full of soapy water, I don't really think they consider this a "chore".  ;-)  But we take this egg washing business serious here! 

Ever inquisitive, the chickens always come over to see what we are up to. 


 I've actually been on the hunt for a cute egg basket for ages now.  We've been using an old basket I picked up somewhere for $1 in the meantime.  At Wal-Mart (who knew?) recently though, I found the perfect egg basket for under $5.  This wire basket was in the craft section and was originally brown, which wasn't a problem for me...  I just came home and spray painted it white.  I love it so much, I might go back and buy a few more because it's the perfect size to store so many things in the house.  :-)

 I've been hanging onto those last days of summer, but Fall has arrived and soon we'll be walking on crunchy leaves in the cool air.  Eating pumpkin muffins with warm drinks.  Soup for dinner, and maybe lunch too.  Taking advantage of the sun in the afternoon.  Searching for the perfect pumpkins and decorating the porch with mums.  Savoring new fall memories. 

 Happy Fall! 

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Kitchen Scenes

 This week when I should have been packing, doing laundry, or any of the many more important things on my to-do list, you could find me in my kitchen... organizing shelves and cabinets.  I called Justus at work and asked if there was something wrong with me, that every time I know I have to leave our home for a few days, I go into nesting mode.  It's not that I don't enjoy going away for a few days, because I do, but there's nothing quite like home, is there? 


Our home is so imperfect on so many levels.  There are what seems like a never-ending list of things that need to be done to improve this little place of ours, and there are days I wouldn't mind moving to a brand new house where I didn't have to think about painting, or tearing down wallpaper (and to think those are just the easy things on the list) .  And yet... I love this old house.  And whenever I need a little grounding, I just come into my kitchen, the heart of our home, where the light floods the room in abundance.  I wash dishes, I cook, I organize a shelf or two, and I realize I have so, so much to be thankful for.  It doesn't take long for everything to be put into perspective once again.  

 I think one of the best things about having a small kitchen it that it has forced me to only keep those items that are most useful and most loved.  I never come home with anything for my kitchen that I haven't already thought through in my head where its home will be.  My house truly isn't the most organized, but I do like to keep the kitchen very tidy, and have a particular place for every item.  This helps so much when it comes to putting meals on each day, from food prep to grocery shopping to doing the dishes.   

 We have a little hidden storage, which I use for those items I don't find as pretty to display, like pots, pans, storage containers, small appliances, and food items.  What I've discovered in the time that I've had open shelving, is that it is best to display items there that you use very frequently, otherwise they will get dusty and dirty.  Sometime I can show you how I store everything if you'd like, but the pictures may not be very pretty.  ;-)


I'm thankful for moments when I realize how lucky I am to have a refrigerator where sweet drawings are proudly displayed, and that I have a beautiful, perfectly imperfect kitchen where I can cook meals for my family. Don't you agree that the most beautiful homes are those that are well loved and well lived in?  Oh yes, much to be thankful for...
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