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Category Archives: Blogging

Moonlight Al Fresco

This evening I was a bit disappointed that I got back from town so late.  I wanted to take some pictures of the progress at the house.  It was already past sunset.  I decided to stop anyway and try to take a couple of shots because there was a very bright moon tonight.

I found my way in the dark to the door and walked in the dark up the stairs to take this shot.  The upstairs is basically gone except for a short wall on the east and the west and some larger walls left on the north and the south.

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If the mosquitoes weren’t so bad this evening I might have considered getting a couple of sleeping bags and sleeping out under the stars tonight.

Here are a couple of shots of the guys removing the rafters today.

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Tomorrow should be an exciting day as we see the roof lines starting to take shape.

 

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The Cavalry Has Arrived

It’s been about two months since we finalized the purchase of our project home in Upsala.  Since that time my husband and I have done a lot of small and big projects.  We have been busy building new stairways, removing old stairways and entirely gutting the upstairs down to the studs in preparation for this day.

This is the old stairway that we removed from the center of the home. It was ladder-like in its steepness. We are leaving the door on this end to make a new closet area. The back half of the old stairwell will have drawers in the bottom half and on the top of the drawers will be a place to leave your keys and other miscellaneous items as you enter the back door.

New stairway located on the North wall of home. The photo below shows our plans for the stairway. The basement stairs are directly below the upper stairs. Both the upstairs and basement can be accessed from the garage. We also opened a wall from the kitchen to this new entry way. Improving the overall flow of the house.

We spent a lot of time measuring and mapping out the new location of the stairs before we cut any openings and started building the stairs. We measured and remeasured to make sure we had enough room. Its hard to picture but this old bedroom has become an entryway with stairs to go up or down and out to the garage and out to the backyard. We added another bedroom upstairs to compensate for the loss of one of the two main floor bedrooms.

We gutted the upstairs to get ready for the carpenters to come and add dormers and windows to the second floor. There was very little usable space upstairs due to the low ceiling height and the stairway cutting the space in half due to its location in the center of the home.
The new upstairs will contain a Master Suite complete with walk-in closet, bathroom and office or sitting area at the top of the stairs.

Today our carpenters arrived to start putting our dreams for the property into reality.  Yesterday we finalized the color choices and the floor plans.

I love watching the trucks arrive, unloading  the lumber and the smell of freshly cut wood.  I had a hard time concentrating at work today know that things were happening just up the hill but not within my sight.  At lunchtime we joined the carpenters on the front lawn for  lunch.  They all sat in their lawn chairs with their coolers sitting in front of them and we with our sandwiches and coffee from the convenience store in town.  It was a wonderful place to eat lunch today admiring the work that they had accomplished this morning.

It might not look like much of a change so far but here it is.  They changed the roof line on the garage and framed for the new part of the roof with the car port.  I’m excited to see the roof on the house opened up next week and see all the new roof lines, windows and shingles upstairs.  The new upstairs will have much more room and light than before we started as well as additional bathroom in the home.

The plan with the garage was to change the present lean to style attached garage to a hip roof.  The garage door opening in the background will be moved one stud space to the left and the windows to the top panel and grids placed in the glass.  We are working on plans to make the garage door look more like a set of carriage doors rather than a conventional door.

 

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Happy Easter

This is a photo that I took last year on Easter morning at sunrise. I didn’t get out this morning for a new shot so I am sharing this one again. Hope all of you have a blessed Easter with family and friends.

 
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Posted by on April 8, 2012 in Blogging, Family, Holidays, Inspiration, Photography

 

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A New Vocabulary

One of the main projects besides replacing the roof is moving the stairways to a better location. It is currently in the center of the house and has very steep, narrow steps.

For the past week or two as we refine our plans for the house a new vocabulary has crept into my life. It revolves around the building of stairs.

Who would have thought that there could be so many words that had to do with stairs. There are the usual words like treads or steps.  That I understood, but add stringers, risers, winders, walk line, rise and run, landings, and that is just the beginning. Add to the list newel post, rails, balusters, bullnose, etc.

Tonight we spent our usual evening with our grandson while our daughter attends a college night class. Tonight’s entertainment was the home improvement center where we picked out the supplies we will need to start building the new stairs in the house this week.

Our grandson learned the fine art of picking out the best wood for the project and eagerly helped load it onto the cart. It was a late evening but well worth getting what we needed so we can get right to work on Thursday.

 

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309 Chronicles

 

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Life is an adventure. This our latest. 

We purchased this home on March 20, 2012. Our intention is to fix it up and rent it or sell it. 

As you can see it needs some help. We hope that what we do with it will improve its curb appeal, square footage and the overall flow of the interior.

The great part about this home is the fact that even though it was built in 1947 it was well kept and CLEAN!

 

This past week we have met with the carpenters about replacing the roof, adding a dormer, and changing the roof line on the garage. Everywhere we go we look at homes as we drive by trying to get an idea for a color scheme for the exterior. We are narrowing it down.

This week on Wednesday evening while Dean was at a school board meeting I began demo on the upstairs. We are taking it down to the rafters and studs upstairs. I removed 1960 style paneling from the walls and the insulation. Itchy, itchy, itchy.  The shower felt great when I got home.

Last evening we continued work upstairs. One of the major improvements we are making is moving the interior stairway to the upstairs. It is presently a widow maker. Very steep, narrow stairs. Dean began pulling up floorboards for the location of the new stairway. 

We’re excited about the project and hope that we don’t end up on one of the home improvement shows like “Over Your Head”.  I will be posting more pictures of our project.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Fishing: It’s a Grandpa Thing

Last evening while we were watching grandson Jack we decided to dig a few worms from my garden, grab a fishing pole, headed down to the lake and dropped a line.

This was my grandson Jack’s first fishing attempt. Grandpa and Jack got the worm on the hook and threw the line off the dock, watched and waited until the bobber did this …

The above picture is my entry for the Weekly Photo Challenge: Water. I’m multi-tasking instead of posting a separate post for the challenge.

Next Jack had to come and show Grandma his fish.

Jack was a little concerned about his fish. Grandpa asked him if he wanted it back in the water and Jack said “Yes!”

So Jack helped Grandpa put the fish the back in the water.

Then Jack watched as it swam away.

Hope you all have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend.

 

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Weekly Photo Challenge:Spring

 

It may not look like spring to most but here in Minnesota when the snow starts melting during the days and refreezes at night you see a lot of ice that looks like this.

My favorite ice in the springtime was the ice that was along the sidewalks that we would walk on as we walked to school just to hear it crunch.

This morning we woke again to thick fog which also reminds me that it is spring. As hard as you may look across the lake you cannot see the other shore.

Soon the snow will be gone and all that will be remembered is the Sunday afternoon that I went for a walk across the lake in thick fog in search of some signs of spring.

Just couldn’t end without a little bit of green spied just below my livingroom window this afternoon.

 

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Shadow

While out on an afternoon walk near our hotel I took a picture of this palm tree and its shadow. I loved the color of the stripe on the wall and the beautiful blue skies. If only I could figure out a way to have a palm tree in my yard in Minnesota. It would certainly feel much warmer if I could look out my window and see a palm tree with its branches blowing in the wind.

 

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Southern Hospitality is Alive and Well in 2011

This past week my husband and I went on a brief vacation/work trip to Florida. It was our first trip to Florida. My goal for our trip was not to come home weighing more than when I left Minnesota and his was not to get sunburned the first day we arrived and spoil the rest of his trip.  Mission accomplished on both fronts.

Before we left for Florida I let a few of my blogging friends know that we would be in their area last week.  As quick as I let the cat out of the bag I had three emails from bloggers suggesting times and places we could get together if it worked in our schedule.  I thought how fun it would be to meet some of the people I had blogged with over the past year.

Last Monday we spent a delightful day with blogger Nancy &  BFF from http://nrhatch.wordpress.com. When we arrived at their home she had a cooler packed with homemade sweet tea and some snacks for our outing. We spent the an hour checking out the local sites and seeing things I’ve never seen before like the Gumbo Limbo tree.  If I could plant one of them in my Minnesota backyard with hopes of it surviving our cold winters it would be on the top of my list.    

Then we headed off to Anna Maria Island where we feasted on lunch al fresco at Rotten Ralph’s restaurant. It was wonderful eating outdoors with the breezes blowing. The waitress warned us that the winds might blow our chips off our plates.  That never happened. We ate with the sun shining and the conversations flowing. After lunch we headed to the other end of the island and out on one of the piers and watched the pelicans taking off and landing. Entertained by live music on the deck, we watched and listened to our surroundings. It felt wonderful to absorb the warm sunshine.

How many times did I just mention sunshine? I think I have a theme going on…

After visiting the island we headed back to Nancy’s for more conversation on their deck overlooking a waterway that surrounds their home. We observed the local birds coming and going, Spoonbills, Pelicans and many others that I have since forgotten the names.  The one thing I will never forget is the hospitality shown to complete strangers from Minnesota by our new Florida friends and how they made time in their schedules to show us the paradise that surrounds them.

Monday afternoon after we arrived back at our hotel my husband received a call from another car dealer who has a home in Inverness who heard that we were in Florida and he and his wife invited us to their home in Inverness and out to lunch the next day. When we are home in Minnesota there is very little time outside of work for socializing with other car dealers so this was the first time we had been out to eat with this couple. We work within an hour of each other back in Minnesota. The guys had a great time discussing the changes in the used car business and I had fun getting to know his wife and more about their family.

Before we left Minnesota we had dinner plans for Wednesday evening made with two other couples that I have blogged with over the past year.  Joe of http://joeclarksblog.wordpress.com and Tyler of http://sidebarreview.wordpress.com made arrangements for us to meet for dinner in Sanford, FL.  Joe’s wife and Tyler’s husband joined us for dinner. Joe and Tyler picked out Two Blondes and a Shrimp restaurant in Historic Sanford, FL as the place we would meet for dinner. We met around the dinner table and the conversation flowed for hours but ended way too soon. We talked of writing, flying, social networks, taxes, history, friends and family. The food was excellent and the conversation even better.  As I sat listening to each tell their stories in person it was if I had known each of them for a longer time.

As I reflect on the busyness of the past few years, I realize the one thing that we’ve missed in our lives is the time that we used to spend visiting with friends,neighbors and family. We have been in the habit of leaving for work in the morning and then retreating into our homes at the end of the day without much interaction with others except at work. We need to work on the art of hospitality and welcome others into our home. We are missing one of the most important riches in this life if we exclude it and miss the friendships that develop over time in face to face conversations.

We’re back home now in cold Minnesota with 15 inches of new snow in the ground but the inside of our home is warm and welcomes visitors who maypass our way. We’d love to share some of our northern hospitality with those daring enough to venture north.

 

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Curiosity

This evening when we came home I looked up and saw this beautiful moon surrounded by clouds and I am reminded of all the beauty that has been placed on this earth and in the heavens for our enjoyment and wondered why? 

It certainly wouldn’t have to be filled with the extensive number of colors, textures, flora and fauna that cover the earth.  If the world contained any less of anything, would we have noticed or imagined it to be any less spectacular than we know it to be?

 

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