Sunday, September 27, 2009

The porch disaster

I don't believe I've ever shared the story of our porch disaster. This is a long one...I hope I don't bore you!

In the early summer of 2008, many of the lights in our house went out. Thinking that maybe we just tripped the breaker, my husband went down into the basement to investigate. No matter what he tried, the lights kept going out. We knew it was time to call in our electrician.
Enter electrician and about 3 days of trying to find the problem. (Our house was built in 1933. The basement was somewhat finished by the previous home owners and as a result, he had to break into the ceiling to see where the wires were going.) Anyway, that big mess being considered, he found the problem. I guess when they built the house the wiring went outside under the porch.(?) I don't understand the whole problem, but this was something that sent our electrician into a complete panic. He was amazed that we didn't have a fire because these wires were lying on concrete and sparking. The blessing in all of this was that there was a crack in our porch so whenever it rained the rain would drip through the porch and keep the sparking wires at bay. (Can you even believe this?)

The electrician fixes the problem, and now it's time to call our mason. Being that we love the character of our old home, we're really upset because we don't want to ruin the integrity of this original porch. We were able to keep the old brick base and the mason just broke up the old concrete and repoured new concrete. Until.....he found that the wooden sill that holds up the front wall of the house was rotted. (Oh I can still see from my front window the look on the faces of the mason workers when they found that rotted sill. I KNEW something was wrong out there, I just knew it.)
Time to call our contractor. He had to come and replace the sill before the concrete could be poured.

In order for the contractor to replace the sill, the front of the house had to be jacked up. Go ahead, jack a house from 1933 and see what happens to the plaster wall inside!

Oh yeah, you knew it...BIG cracks! (OK, let me admit, I was angry over this but kind of glad too. I knew the wall would have to be repaired and with that a new paint job. Good riddance to that bright green!)
Needless to say, after this whole big rolling disaster we were quite literally out of money. We had to leave the porch as is with no railings. (which I found annoying)
This summer, my husband and I decided to take on the stress of do-it-yourself-ers and added white vinyl railings to the porch. It was not entirely a horrible project keeping in mind of course that nothing can ever be level or square in a house this old!
So this is what we look like now:

It still amazes me today how a few lights going out in the house led to all of that. Such are the joys of the old home I guess!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Look what I made!

I'm not much of a crafter. Ok, maybe I was a scrapbooker for 10+ years but when it comes to projects, I'm definitely challenged. I'm not quite sure what drug I was under the influence of when I decided to make a fall pennant flag for my fireplace. (lol) Being craft challenged is one thing, but thinking I could actually sew something had to put me in the certifiably crazy category! To understand you would have to see how long it takes me to sew a button on a shirt. Believe me, women have given birth in less time!

Anyway, I wanted a fall pennant and I excitedly stalked etsy looking for one. I found many of them, but I really wished I could have one in the fabric I selected. Enter my big idea. I took a trip to Joann Fabrics, selected several fall looking fabrics, made a template, cut and then sewed each flag by hand. Of course, I did this by hand because a) I don't have a sewing machine and b) I wouldn't know what to do with a sewing machine if I had one. I must be truthful, I did enlist the help of my mom to sew the binding on. She has a sewing machine and I was terrified of sewing that part by hand. So without further adieu, here it is:

Not too shabby for a girl who can't sew, huh? It's not perfection, but I'm still shocked I pulled it off at all.
Here I am, off to share this over at Twice Remembered which is actually quite funny because never had I imagined I'd ever be able to share anything for Make your Monday! (That is unless I can't figure out how to link this whole thing up. Did I mention I'm computer challenged as well? LOL)
Have a great week!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

A little fall decorating

So I did, in fact, start decorating for fall. Just a tiny bit right now. My mantle...

I haven't done too much yet because I'm also busy frying eggplant and making sauce. What is it with eggplant anyway? I always have the thought of making eggplant parmigiana, but I can't stop eating it as I'm frying it so that it never actually makes it to the sauce & cheese stage because it's half gone! I have no control over it. It just leaps from the pan into my mouth...honest :)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Homestyle Quiz

The other day, over at LeAnn's blog, SIMPLY DANDY, I took this quiz. Never in a million years would I have thought my decorating style to be "Country Classic." Oddly enough, by the description, it's pretty dead on accurate. Here it is:

Gina, you are a Country Classic
You have a naturally refined sensibility with an appreciation for tradition and history. You value beauty, craftsmanship, and family heirlooms, but you like to open things up with pretty, easy-going pieces like painted wood or distressed furniture, lovely florals and other patterns, and bunches of fresh flowers that give your home a breezy, relaxed feeling. You love unique finds, have a thrifty, creative side, and can make these things work together.

You value comfort. Your home is a warm and open friendly place, and you feel happiest when everyone is cared for and relaxed in your space. Elements like pillows, throws, overstuffed furniture, and good lighting set the mood. You may also enjoy layering different fabrics or mixing patterns to create a cozy effect.

Who knew?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Back to school and feeling blue

The kids started school yesterday and instead of rejoicing as many other moms are doing, I'm actually feeling blue. Back to school for me means back to work. So long to the lazy days of summer, nesting and moving furniture and accessories all around the house, cooking and baking and just relaxing in the pool with my kids. So long to almost daily shopping trips to find that perfect "something". So long to "hey, if I don't finish this today, there's always tomorrow!"
So now that I'm back to work and getting into fall mode, I'm finally thinking about decorating for fall. I've seen so many beautiful and inspiring blog posts about fall decor, I'm practically salivating and looking forward to the weekend so that I can let loose and decorate. How about you? Are you ready for fall? Have you decorated yet?

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Despite the best decorating intentions

About a year ago, I decided that I could no longer tolerate having a centerpiece on my kitchen table. I found that my kids were constantly eating or playing at the table and I was constantly having to remove the centerpiece. After going through this routine several times a day, I thought it best to save myself the aggravation and nix said centerpiece altogether. Now in all honesty, it wasn't just about moving said centerpiece a gazillion times a day. I also noticed that whatever the centerpiece, it would somehow become compromised. For example, if it was floral in nature, I would find that flowers had mysteriously been removed. If it was some sort of tiny faux fruit, I would come upon a heavy barrage of fruit flying through the air in some sort of dodge Believe me, if there was some way to destroy my centerpiece, my two kids were definitely all about it. (Despite my constant pleas to leave it alone!)
So today, I had a tempting thought. I had just finished cleaning my kitchen to a shine, and thought that maybe, just maybe, since the kids will be back to school on Tuesday, I could pull out a nice centerpiece for the kitchen table. I went downstairs to my supply cabinet and pulled out this red wire bowl. I always loved it and decided to add some faux yellow pears. (Do I really need to tell you that one pear in my collection had a stem pulled and was dangling? Hmmm...I wonder how that happened.) Anyway, I displayed my red wire bowl with the pears and stepped back, pleased with the overall look.
I then went to get in the shower. Ten wonderfully refreshing minutes later, I returned to the kitchen to find this:

Ugh!!! How is this possible? In ten minutes while I showered, my son decided to use my centerpiece as some sort of war apparatus for his Lego Star Wars Clone Wars characters! I admit it, I did get a laugh out of it, but why, oh why, won't they leave my centerpieces alone?

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