Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Sometimes bigger IS better...

Y'all know that being a homeowner is a big deal for me. I still get a little weepy when I think about it. (Of course, my children think I get a little weepy about EVERYTHING!)

When asked for gift suggestions this year, I responded that I prefer that people purchase things for me that they think I would like. When pressed, I admitted that I really wanted an 8' step ladder because I have 12' high ceilings and I was tired of having to borrow my dad's extremely heavy ladder. My family also knows that I love shopping at Lowe's and Home Depot. I wander up and down the aisles looking at everything - even things I cannot identify! When I lived in Seattle, we renovated several houses for re-sale (flips). I love working with my hands almost as much as I like quilting!

Well, I am now the proud owner of this

I was almost as excited about bringing this home as I was when I closed on the house. Getting it into the basement was an adventure (Thanks, Chad!) but I think I know how to maneuver it up and down the steps so now I have to decide what project to take on first!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


I received a form from the county yesterday. Apparently where I live in the county I can apply for "homestead status". I TOLD you I lived in the country! I am just wondering now if this means I can get a goat and raise chickens in the backyard?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

At last

The rain finally stopped so I went out to take some photos. Here is slide show of some of the pictures I took yesterday and last night.

I finally put the last ornament on the tree. The only thing missing is the angel at the top. My son will arrive on December 23rd with his family. He loves the angel and it is one of his Christmas memories. She is not exactly beautiful but she says "Christmas" to him. She is also tied very strongly to my Christmas memories. My parents bought her when we lived in Japan. My mother gave her to me after my children were born so she has been part of my Christmases since I was 4.

I collect Holy Families and Nativities. I have water globes, music boxes, carved pieces, wooden pieces, and more. The one under the tree is the oldest. Baby Jesus will not be placed in the creche until Christmas Eve.

On top of the hutch are two Santa faces painted on gourds. My very talented nephew, Josh, painted them for me. I hope that he will paint more for me.

I will have more photos to post tomorrow. Have a happy Sunday!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Stand by

I have (mostly) finished my Christmas decorating. There are still a few little things. I am just so happy that I don't have to keep running up and down the basement stairs! There are a few things that I haven't found so my search will continue.

It is so cold here I could not force myself to go outside and take any pics. It is supposed to warm up by Wednesday (with the arrival of rain) and I will take some pictures to post.

Friday, November 28, 2008

You know you live in the country when...

This morning I opened the front door to look up and down the street. Since the garbage wasn't picked up yesterday and I don't know how holiday schedules work with them, I was checking to see if anyone had their cans at the curb. It was about 6am or so. As I looked directly across the street, I saw a chicken running up the sidewalk.

And THAT is how you know you live in the country!!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

First snow day!

We had some snow on Thursday night. It wasn't a lot but it was still pretty to see coming down. I took this photo of my backyard
From Little Nest
Now you can see how little my yard is!

I drive through farmland on my way to work. I took a few photos of the landscape on my drive. If I had not been moving at the time, I think they would have been much better. Something tells me that the traffic behind me would not have been amused!
From Little Nest

From Little Nest

It snowed again yesterday off and on but there was no accumulation. I do love snow and they are predicting much more this year than we have had in the past few years. I say "Let it snow!!"

Monday, November 10, 2008

There's a mouse in my house!

Most times, for me, the benefits of being single outweigh the negatives. This is not one of those times. I desperately want someone else to take care of this problem! Yesterday when putting away my little George Foreman grill, I discovered something on the shelf that had not been there when I took it out the night before...mouse droppings. In that cabinet, I also have a basket in which I keep things like packages of salad dressing, cocoa mix, marinades, etc. There were little slivers of paper with foil on one side. My mouse apparently craves chocolate. The only packages torn open were two of instant cocoa mix. I cleaned up the mess, took all of my packaged goods out of the cabinet and found new homes for them in upper cabinets. Gracie started sitting at the cabinet door watching and sticking a paw up occasionally between the cabinet bottom and the toe kick. I couldn't decide if I should open the cabinet door and let her handle the problem or not. My kind of luck she would torture the mouse and then bring it up to my bedroom and place it on the bed as an offering. Eeeewwwuuueee!

I am shopping for little mousetraps this afternoon. I don't like the idea of doing this but I am not going to share my home with mice. The next icky thing will be actually catching the mouse and then the disposal. I think I need to have my brother on standby. (This will probably cost me a case of beer!)

Friday, November 7, 2008

A little glimpse of my town

I walked over to vote on Tuesday. Since I had my camera in my bag, I took a few shots along the way. We have little alley ways behind the houses. They are very narrow and I am sure were better suited to horse and buggy than pickup trucks and SUVs. I want to learn more of the history of the town and more about the buildings. I love how Federal period houses stand next to log houses. I love that there are stone homes from the late 1700s standing next to farm style twin houses that were built in the early 1900s. I am CRAZY about the barns and sheds all along the alleys.

Next time I am out and about, I will take more pictures because there is SO much more to see!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Back to Lowes

It was crazy windy here yesterday and I made another discovery. I need weather stripping at exterior doors. There was no apparent air movement around my windows (thank goodness) but there was a steady stream of air coming in around the latch side of the front door. That's a pretty simple fix so I know at least one place I will be shopping on Saturday.

I have gotten so much mail since I moved into the house! Coupons, advertisements for everything I could possibly need for a house, refinance offers, etc. And the phone calls! I get calls every day from some mortgage company or the other that wants to help me lower my mortgage payments or from companies that want to sell me insurance to pay off my mortgage in the event that something catastrophic occurs to me. I just keep the answering machine on all the time and scan my calls. Guess I need to re-register on the "Do Not Call" list!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Baseboard heat

Now that it has gotten to the point where the smoke alarms don't go off every time the heat turns on downstairs, I have learned that I dislike baseboard electric heat for another reason.

Heat on the first floor (where it actually is cold) is rising up the stairwells and heating the rest of the house. Downstairs it continues to be chilly.

I can close the door to the studio so it would not go to the third floor but I am in a quandary as to how to keep some of the heat on the first floor. I HATE the look of ceiling fans but with a 12' ceiling, maybe it wouldn't be too bad if I had one in the living room. At least it would be pushing the heat back to the floor as it circulated up the walls and across the ceiling. Or maybe I could have a small ceiling fan installed at the top of the first stairway...

Anyone else have this problem? Any suggestions?

Monday, October 13, 2008

Home Dec Sewing

Back in the day, I used to do a lot of clothes sewing and home dec sewing. Now that I quilt, it is just about all that I want to do.

I needed pillows for the wicker chairs on my front porch so I decided to make slipcovers for a couple of old pillows that I wasn't using any longer. I found the absolute perfect fabric at Joann's. It has several shades of red and yellow and somewhere in the mix, the exact color that matches my house siding AND the exact color that matches the trim are found.

From Front Porch

(Doesn't my wicker chair look sad? I need to get some spray paint!)

I looked at a couple of pillow cover tutorials but none had the crisp edging all around the pillow that I was looking for so I kind of "winged" it. Since I really like how they look, I am going to make covers for several pillows on my couch that need a little freshening.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

A give away at The Restyled Home!

There is a lovely give away over at The Restyled Home. Linda is giving away copies of this book and Homestore gift cards!

The author - Matthew Mead

OOOhhhh - eye candy!

Matthew's book looks wonderful! Even if you don't win a copy, you can purchase it at lots of book stores all over the US. Here's a link to his website:

Check out Linda's blog and see about getting yourself a book or a gift card!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Need some advice...

When the former owner gutted the first floor of my house, he took out the wall between the living room and dining room. For some totally bizarre reason, he decided to leave the original beam exposed because he thought it was "cool". Well, the exposed beam is driving me crazy mostly because he did such a poor job of trimming it out. My brother wants to put some sort of bead board around it to cover it. I want to box it in with drywall and it will just look like there is an "I" beam in the middle of the room. Thoughts?

Next is the shape of the rooms.

From House photos

I can understand why he took down the wall to open everything up and move light through the space. The problem is that this gives the space a "shotgun" feel and I think it needs something to break up the view going from living room to dining room. Should I put a wall back up with a large opening from LR to DR?...and if I do that tying it to the beam overhead makes the LR & DR the same size. The benefit of the wall would be that I could put my hutch against it making the walking (and sitting space) around the table better. How horrible would a wall of fabric be behind the wing chair? Too Christopher Lowell?

I have looked at decorated shotgun style rooms and nothing looks right to me. I am usually pretty good about picturing something in my mind and then executing the idea but this really has me stumped.

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!!

Friday, September 26, 2008

The joys of living in "the country"...

I live in a very small town (population of 2600 in the 2000 census) that was established in 1762. George Washington really DID sleep here! It has many beautiful old homes, narrow streets, barns in the middle of the town, etc. The town is in the midst of farmland...mostly farmed by Mennonite and Amish folk. It is very beautiful and green all around where I live. Why is it so green?

Cows...lots of cows...and lots of cow manure. In the spring and in the fall, the farmers spray the fields with some sort of manure "tea". The smell is pretty horrific. Not as bad as living near the mushroom houses on the other side of the county but pretty smelly nonetheless.

The other day, I noticed a nasty smell in the house. My first thought was the litter box. Then I realized that I recognized the smell. Farmers are spraying. Oh, my goodness! Guess it is too late now to re-think my house purchase!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Finally - Photos!

First let me say that my photography is horrible. The "before" photos were taken on Sept. 12th and the "after" were taken last night. I still have things to do but there has been a vast improvement.

I have to update my photo of the outside of the house. I love my little porch! I will do that with my next post.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Well, I was gonna show you pictures...

Blogger is not cooperating with me tonight. I have some photos of the own little disaster area...but Blogger won't let me upload.

I made huge strides this weekend, however, there is so much more to do. It has been hotter than blue blazes so I took many breaks. Temps are forecast to drop tomorrow so I hope I will manage to get lots done over the next few days. I did hang quilts and other decor on the walls. I am not excited about the furniture arrangement so I am going to consult my personal decorator (sister Julie) and get some input from her.

Sorry about the lack of photos. I also want to update the picture on the sidebar on my blog but until all the boxes are off the front porch, it really looks like Ma and Pa Kettle have moved in!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Just a quick "Whooo hooo!"

Guess what I just discovered? Free internet access at my house!!! I am about 1 block from the library and they don't have any restrictions on their WIFI access so I am typing on my laptop in my living room. Later I am going to carry my laptop to the studio and see if I have access from there. If I do, I may give some serious thought to dropping my Verizon DSL account.

Back to unpacking...

Friday, August 29, 2008

Notes from the Homeowner!

It's mine...all mine! My parents met me at the house late yesterday afternoon, we opened a bottle of champagne and started moving stuff into kitchen cupboards.

I have discovered a few things that totally escaped me to this point - there are no RJ11 jacks just RJ45 so that was a surprise. There are no towel bars in the bathroom. There are no door stoppers anywhere which I discovered when I shoved open my bedroom door (little, tiny dent in the wallboard!) I also noticed that the paint job on the trim is pretty shabby so I see some painting in my very near future.

I have enticed my brother into coming over on Sunday to help me hang shelves in the sewing studio. I can do it by myself but it will go so much faster with help. I will also tap into his expertise on a couple of other projects. Thankfully, he is easily tempted with a case of Corona!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


For those of you who don't read my other blogs, the news on the house is that I didn't make settlement today. The beam is not sound so the owner is fixing the problem tonight. It will be inspected again tomorrow, the certificate will be signed and I will make settlement at 2pm. My "packing party" is tonight so I am thinking that a glass or two of wine is necessary. ONE MORE DAY!!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Things that make you go "Huh?"

Two days BEFORE closing, the underwriter requested a structural engineer inspect the beam under the house that had been treated for wood borers. 2 days...

If the engineer finds that there is a problem with the beam supporting the floor joists, I will not close tomorrow. If we don't close by Friday, I will have to pay a months interest on the house when I close AND another month's rent on my apartment.

Guess who isn't happy?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

I am NEVER buying another house!

I am supposed to close a week from tomorrow. I just now found out that I still don't have a loan. The paperwork still hasn't gone to PHFHA. 1 week from tomorrow, people! Does this stuff happen to everyone? It supposedly will take 2 days for the underwriter to review and then it goes to PHFHA...which means they won't get it until NEXT MONDAY!

Everyone keeps telling me to relax...not to easy. Oh, good grief!
If it were just that easy I would be doing it!

Friday, August 15, 2008

12 days and counting

I have a new loan officer. Yes, this late in the game. It's a really long story so I will cut to the bottom line...I LOVE my new loan officer! Everything is good. Everything is a "go"! I honestly am starting to relax.

Now, if I just didn't have to pack!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

One decision made

This is the pendant that I have decided on for the kitchen. One large one like this for the center and then 3 small ones to illuminate the sink and counters. You can't tell from the photo but the glass part of shade is faceted. It has an "old" feel to it without being too country. For the dining room, I have a brass chandelier that I pulled out of my son's trash can. It didn't go with their decor so they replaced it. I don't like the look of the shiny brass so I am going to paint it white and antique it. This should be interesting!

Now the search is on for a Windsor chair for the dining room. I have one antique that has been passed down in the family and I KNOW I can't afford to buy even a good reproduction. I am thinking maybe a pseudo-Windsor chair that come in a honey oak finish that I could paint. Know what I mean?

What I really need is a good yard sale in my area. They do the community yard sales in May and I don't think I want to wait that long!

Sunday, August 10, 2008


The appraisal for the house is set for tomorrow (Monday). I spoke to my loan officer on Friday and the last thing I have to do before closing is pay my house insurance and send a copy of the receipt to the bank. I know the house is FHA compliant so the only hurdle is the appraisal and I am feeling pretty confident that that will not be an issue.

I am packing boxes like a crazy woman. Why do I have all this stuff?!? I have a file cabinet full of paper that I have not looked at since I left Seattle nearly six years ago. I don't have the time now to sort through everything but that will be a priority after I move. (I have a shredder and I am not afraid to use it!)

When I speak to my sons, they inquire about the packing situation. Yes, boys...I promise it will be done before you get here!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Finally - photos!!

I finally was able to get into the house and see the finished product! There are lots of things that I am going to have to change...almost immediately after purchasing...however, for the most part, I am pretty happy. The big room with the railing in the slide show is the studio. There are doors leading to storage under the eaves on both sides of the room (hence the little doors!) I think they must not have had any small baseboard heaters in stock since there are huge ones installed everywhere. I am going to have to take those out and put short ones under the windows or my furniture will never fit. There is a shot looking from the living room through the lower floor. In that you can barely see the kitchen chandelier which does not go with the decidedly modern blue pendant lights. I love the carpet. It is a couple of shades of beige/tan and is one of the new short shags. My sister had it installed in her family room about 2 years ago and really likes it. Thankfully, there are ceiling fans in all the rooms upstairs and in the kitchen. Since it doesn't have central air, I am going to try to locate air conditioners in windows that are not "obvious" - like the dining room window, the window in the studio and probably one in the little bedroom in the back of the house. I don't like to see units on the front of a house.

The appraisal will probably be at the end of the week. I hope he likes it!!

Monday, August 4, 2008

It's just one surprise after the other...

Well, I went over to the house on Sunday just to see what had been completed since I last looked. Unfortunately, the seller wasn't there so I had to peer into the windows. The lights in the kitchen are up and I am not happy. The center light is glass and copper and I like it very much. The pendant lights to illuminate the kitchen counters are brushed silver with cobalt blue art glass. Is it just me or IS THIS NOT THE MOST BIZARRE COMBINATION? Good grief! I also could see that the electric baseboard heaters have been installed. I asked specifically where the one in the kitchen would be placed. I was assured there were two small ones that would be under the side windows. Oh no, that's not where they are. There is one large unit centered on the wall between the windows...exactly where my dry sink is supposed to go. I could not see where they are in the dining room or living room. I swear, if they are not under windows in those rooms I will lose my mind! Now I have to hire an electrician to come in, move whatever units are not placed correctly and then get my brother to replace baseboards. I will also have to purchase pendant lights for the kitchen and have those installed.

Warning to all - NEVER buy a house until it is finished unless your contract specifies that changes cannot be made without your permission. Oh,'s just money...

Friday, August 1, 2008

It's always something...

Well, the appraiser went over to look at the house on Wednesday. Unfortunately, the seller has not completed some items that are heating! I have an appointment for settlement on August 27th. We absolutely have to settle by the 29th because I do not want to pay an entire month of interest on the house AND make a partial rent payment.

The loan officer told me that there is no reason to believe it won't appraise at the price I offered as the appraiser would have alerted her to that after he looked at the house. That makes me happy but I really won't feel secure until I know all the little stuff has been finished so that I can move in!

I know the seller will be there this weekend so I am going over to take a look myself. I am dying to see the kitchen with all the appliances, cabinets and lighting finally installed!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


to my first post on my new blog! I am still in a state of limbo waiting to close on my little house. Closing is set for August 27th at 2pm. I imagine that at 4pm I will be unloading the first of many, many boxes! Thankfully I have two wonderful sons that are coming the weekend following Labor Day to help me move furniture and get everything else out of my apartment.

The thought of packing up all my belongings is daunting, however, I have done it before. Hopefully, this is the last time for a very long time!!