Tag Archive | old house

Golden years

general idea.jpeg

The upstairs kitchen still has a way to go, but you can see progress.We’ve had a flurry of activity again lately – nothing like out-of-town houseguests to get you cooking with gas (though the stove is not hooked up yet).

Wow, long time between posts. We’ve had lots going on, including John’s Medicare birthday last week, and I’ve been doing lots and lots of writing elsewhere. I’ve also been spending lots of time with little Luke. He adores our quartzite kitchen floor and wanted to know, quite seriously, “How did you get these bricks so straight?”

Maybe I’m just a proud Lolly, but that seems a pretty astute question for a 3-year-old.


This is a long shot of the upstairs living room, looking west from the kitchen. That’s the new couch that’s been sitting under plastic since delivery.

We’re getting close to finishing on this level. Of course we still have the upstairs loft bedroom and bath to go, but we plan to have Thanksgiving here this year. On this floor, that is.

But I’ll have to wrest the holiday from Mother. I may be 60, but I’m a southern girl, and in the south, Mama has holidays until she gives them up. She’ll be so thrilled with the kitchen being done that she’ll happily concede this year, though.

New windows.jpeg

Here you can see more of John’s handiwork – he’s down to just that last window frame! In 100+ year-0ld houses, nothing is plumb, so framing windows is no easy task. And this is the spot where the oval mid-century Danish dining set will sit.

All the leather furniture required cleaning and conditioning, even the brand new stuff – construction dust is hell.

new couch.jpeg

And here’s a close up of the new floor-sample couch we scored at Ferguson’s in Benton, along with John’s gorgeous cocktail/coffee table. We hope before long he’s taking orders for fine furniture, but he and Lee are still working on the New Deal Studios and Gallery building, so not quite yet. (Maybe is someone was really desperate for something …)

April is a month full of family birthdays – most still with us and a couple with us in spirit. Silas turned 3, John turned 65 and his sister, Kitty, 68 on the same day. April 15 was my grandmother’s birthday. Yesterday our sweet Marie-Noelle caught up with Liz – six weeks or so separate their 36ness. The 24th was my grandfather’s birthday (and also the day my daddy died 34 years ago).

Birthday shirt.jpeg

John let me take his pic in his Star Wars T-shirt Annabelle and Luke picked out for him. Pretty cute for an old guy, huh? And sweet Tessie loves to have her photo taken. She’ll be 11 in May.

Very soon, if all goes as planned, we’ll have some major news that I’ll share. In other important events, John and Liz leave soon for Nepal to climb to the base camp at Mt. Everest, a hike John made 43 years ago. Brent and I will hold down the fort with the three kiddos – I’m getting shots in both shoulders next week to prepare me for more strenuous activity.

We may be old, but we like it. Life is good. John told me a couple of nights ago that he’s looking forward to our golden years.

Young John.jpeg

John with his darling niece, Lissette, after he returned from his first trip to Nepal and other parts east. My kind of guy then, my kind of guy now. 

Our house

When you live in a construction project for eight years, it’s easy to think nothing’s happening. But that’s not true; our house has lots of changes all the time.

A glimpse of the upstairs foyer with new paint and refinished railing.

And it’s a very nice house, even though some people think we’re nuts. Other people ask what’s happening with it and seem truly interested (morbidly curious?), so I thought maybe it was time to do a photo update and brag on my super-talented husband a bit.

Inside the shower stall in the upstairs guest bathroom. John did the tile work.

Once upon a time I was a pretty big help to John on the construction end — one of the many things we bonded over, initially, was our love of remodeling, painting, etc., and I could even float sheetrock — but January 2006 came, destroyed my rotator cuffs and changed our lives a bit.

My puny shoulders had been hanging by a thread for years from overexertion in the weight room, but an unconscious student whom I caught and lowered to the floor finished them off. Go figure.

One surgery in March and one in December left me highly functional as far as range of motion goes, but extremely handicapped when it comes to repetitive motion. So now if I paint, I have to rest for days. If I clean blinds, I’m out of commission for weeks.  Again, go figure.

Sometimes ironing hurts. And I actually like to iron.

All that’s to reinforce that John’s gotten rather a bum deal as far as having a partner in construction, as least since our beloved and missed Tom Goodwin broke on through to the other side.

I pick colors, I paint, I advise, I kiss the (one-man) crew, but my guy is stuck with the heavy-duty duties.

He really is an artist. But don’t take my word for it – see for yourself.

The hubster also made the oak top and cherry slats (notice the gorgeous curves) on the tub surround.

So, I painted the cranberry — whoopdedoo. John made the sink cabinet. The charcoal gray is primer, but it’s actually quite pretty, too.

New French door to Laura’s office — the old ones were just too far gone to salvage, but the new ones look great.