Jan 30, 2010


It's so cold here today! I know the whole east coast is getting ridiculous weather...

I spend the night at a cousin's house. We had a great time, and the kids enjoyed it too. Too bad that when I came home, I was locked out of the house. My key fits the back door- I tired it before I left- but I didn't lock it and acutally try the key. So it slide into the lock, but doesn't turn it. Great. It's about zero degrees out, not counting the windchill, I can't get in...

So I tried my key in three other doors and it fits NONE of them. My husband is out of town, so I called his Dad, and he came out. He was able to pop one of the locks. Thank goodness. Turns out the other extra keys we have here (left in a drawer by the previous owners) don't open any doors either. So, I can't lock my house right now. Great.

And how's your weekend going?

Jan 27, 2010

Too Good To Miss!

Some of us out here are eagerly awaiting the up and coming new magazine Flea Market Style. The blog is hosting an amazing giveaway! First, leave a comment and win this beauty: <---- look over.

Blog about it, and be eligible for an advertising spot on their blog!! Woo hoo. Seriously, this is just icing on the cake.

Then, hop on over to Where Women Create and check out the latest post on Wendy Imbornoni. She is a talented photographer with a special group of subjects. Leave a comment, and you'll be eligible to win a copy of the book Where Women Create and a book mark.

Hugs- Lee

Jan 25, 2010

Some Sorta Window Treatment... er... Covering?

Decorating is hard for me. I love to look at magazines, and generally know what I like. But in the past, once I have landed somewhere and down some initial decorating- that's usually it. The other thing is- no matter how drawn I am to shabby, mussy, foofy stuff, I just can't do it. CANNOT. I love it, but can't pick it out. My style tends to be very streamlined and tailored. (Do you hear that Mom? Tailored. Those of you who know my Mom, know that she is very tailored. I got it from her.)

So, I have been scouting the internet for images that I like. Window treatments are hard, and our windows are so darned big (= $$$). I don't want to have anything made yet, because we hope to do the kitchen over in the next 6 months. I love this kitchen:

I love these curtains, but would need four panels for my big window ( a whopping 102 inches cross).

find this at French Larkspur

The window over the sink... I kept going for valances, but it just wasn't working. I decided that a swag of white burlap would look great. The J. fabric store in Pa. has all the colors of burlap in stock. Maine does not. So, I went with broadcloth- just like sheets. I draped it, stapled it, and viola- curtains. And the rolled up crocheted doilies for some added interest (for now anyway, I have lots of other ideas).

Now, I know, I know, simple- very simple. But you have to understand, this is BIG for me. Drapey, wrinkly fabric? Me? Well, it works for now. And the softness eases all the hard lines of the cabinets.

Next, our new chandelier over the kitchen table. Actually it's a pot rack. Not what I really wanted, but hubby kept going back to it. So I compromised. I think I'll hang some funky ephemera from it, like Kristen Robinson's wedding shade (I'll have to go find a picture of it). I don't know. But it's SURE better than what we started with.
the old one
Notice the walnut stained beams are now white. Much better.

Anyone want a brass, tennis-racket-cover looking light fixture? It's out in the barn!

Hugs- Lee

Jan 21, 2010

A Little Peek

Let me start be saying that the kitchen isn't finished yet. We still have knobs and pulls to buy, fabric and curtains to find, and clean up some of the painted edges. But- here's a look at what we had:
Very weird placement of the refrigerator, jammed at the end of the kitchen. It was very dark, cramped and dingy.
The nasty, dirty, water-damaged window stills. They will have to be replaced with double-paned windows at some point.
The very tight, dark corner that housed the double ovens. Also the bone yard!

And what we did:

The corner is gone, you can see the plywood on the floor that marks the footprint of where it was.
Now there is more room around the ovens.
We removed a large, over 6 foot piece of cabinet, slid the refrigerator in, and hung two cabinets we brought with us from PA. The countertop isn't quite this yellow, either.
The window trim got a fresh coat of white. The open cabinet on the bottom was a row of totally broken drawers. I will make a curtain for it.

The cabinet color is called Blue Twilight. The lighter color around the window is called Azure Snow. It is also on the island, and around another window at the end of the kitchen. I may use this for the next kitchen cabinets. I like it better thatn the darker blue- too "Williamsburg blue" for me. It seems like a lot of work for a room that will (hopefully) be gutted in about 6 months, but I needed it to feel fresher and cleaner, and put my own stamp on it. Today we hope to go buy a light fixture for over the table, some pots lights for over the sink, and maybe some fabric. I am not much of a sewer, but I think I can make some simple curtains for now.

What do you think? HUGS- Lee

Jan 20, 2010

Snow again.

We have over a foot on the ground, and it's still snowing. I feel like I'm in Narnia.

Jan 15, 2010

The Bone Yard

Turns out the afore-mentioned squirrel had a sibling, which died in the wall in the kitchen. When Chris began taking down the cabinets, he ended up having to pull the soffit down. Then, because the ovens were jammed into the corner of the kitchen, we decided to tak the weird corner out- which was just the back side of a closet. A closet we never used because it had a really BAD smell. We thought the smell was mouse urine, and had planned to rip everything out the there anyway.
So, as soon as Chris knocked a hole into the bottom of the drywall, dead animal smell poured out. It was awful. Obviously, the poor critter I'd heard in the wall the week or two before had died. We put our respirators on and opened the whole corner.
The bottom was about 4 inches deep in bones, some tiny and old, some still in a decaying body. Ick. I was sad for all of the animals that had suffered in that wall. They came in the hole in the ceiling, and once in the smooth drywall, couldn't get out.

We opened it up into the closet, and removed all drywall and studs. The smell had permeated everything.

Now it's re-done, but missing the stupid corner. Chris had drywalled everything in, and we sanded and primed the cabinets yesterday. Don't you want to know waht colors I picked??

More to come, and hopefully not bones!!

hugs, Lee

Jan 9, 2010

It's Started

We started digging into the kitchen yesterday. We planned to remove cabinets to the right of the refrigerator, so that we could flip it back against the wall.

Turns out everything was attached- nothing came apart easily... of course.

The cabinets above the refrigerator and along the wall must have been custom built- they are ALL one BIG piece.

So they came out. Lots of nastiness above the cabinets- but it is a farm house, right? Check out the hole in the upper left corner of the ceiling above the spot where the refrigerator was- it was chewed through. I'm thinking probably a chipmunk or squirrel- we even found the remains of a acorn on top of the shelves. **turns out it was a small squirrel, which got caught in the trap**

Next- cut the bottom cabinets, move the refrigerator out of the wall, and dig into the corner near the ovens. We also bought some lovely track lights for the ceiling. There just isn't enough light in there- the walls tend to stay dark. I atually like the lights, but they may not be permanent.

If you have any suggestion for lighting, send me a link.
hugs- Lee

Jan 5, 2010

It Ain't Pretty

OK- a few random thoughts, then some photos.

We bought a snowblower yesterday. **cracking up** it probably won't snow for the rest of the winter! NOT.

Cold and snow- hmmmmmmm- 2 feet since 12/8. OK already, I get that I'm living in Maine. Can we have a break for awhile?

I met my neighbors, really great people. V. is our local bus driver for the kids. R. works in trucking, and he's plowed us out twice. Go R!! V. has lived next door for the past 20 years. She has known all of the owners and filled us in a little. There's been a chimney fire here. great. The pipes burst. even better. The last use of the house was a group home for 6 teenaged boys, all deemed unadoptable. How sad. And how cool. The person who ran the house really loved it, and made some great progress with the boys. How in the world are people so cruel to these children, all of whom were abused in some way? Sad, very sad.

Which leads me to the next part- and be forewarned.... the bathrooms. You guessed it. We have three full baths upstairs, and one half-bath on the first floor. Nothing in this house has been updated recently- I mean, the place was owned by the State- do I have to say anything else? And the place was filthy. Apparently the boys were responsible for keeping the house clean, as part of their life skills and becoming independent. See where I'm going with this?? yeah.

This is the half bath downstairs. The shower is made of metal- like a camp shower. Just removing the dark shower curtain made a huge difference. The sink leaked, but is fixed now.

Anyway, when we moved in, the tubs and sinks and toilets (I thought) were given a good scrub. But we soon figured out that the blue bathroom had no seat, and the sink leaked. It also has a funky smell, so we just closed the door. The yellow bathroom, which we all use upstairs, has a fairly new toilet and faucet, but that's about it. I mean, you gotta love yellow formica countertops. And silvery blue wallpaper.

What's with the shape of the vanities- they're all the same.

We finally got a new toilet seat for the blue bathroom, which just sat for a week or two. So I decided I was going to change it out. I noticed that it was really grungy around the screw/clip that holds the seat on the bowl. It looked like putty. I thought "Did they putty this thing on- how pathetic." That would have been a good thing, 'casue it wasn't putty. You guessed it, it was dried urine caked on, layers and layers, of god-knows how many years. It was utterly revolting, and coming from me- and it takes a lot to gross me out- that's saying a lot. I actually had to use a scraper on it. And the pieces that I scraped into the toilet- yep, it reconstituted. UGH.

So then I decided that I'd better go check the yellow bathroom. And it was the same. Awful. Evidently the house wasn't cleaned after it emptied out. I'm posting the pictures here- you have been warned!!

Grunginess under the wallpaper. Disgusting corners in the linoleum.
rusting baseboards.

ta daaaaa!
So, I bought stock in bleach this week. I have never used so much in my life, and I've only made a tiny dent. A. Tiny. Dent.

hugs- Lee

Jan 1, 2010

Happy New Year

I have no resolution- I refuse!!

Happy New Year to all of my friends and family!