Monday, March 29, 2010

Spring is nature's way of saying, "Let's party". -Robin Williams

Thanks Dave Rolston! For those of you who don't know Dave, he is an amazing landscape architect. Check him out at He is also from Iowa so he has got to be a great guy! Anyway, today he gave us our preliminary landscape plan. We haven't had a chance to really study it yet but I love his concepts. Granted, we will be doing the yard in phases but it will be another adventure for us. And if you are wondering if our crew showed up for work this morning...that would be a negative. On top of that, their phone has been disconnected.....hmmmmmm! I will keep you updated on that issue. Off to Round Top Flea market tomorrow! Will post some pics of our adventures there. Have a great week! If you want a larger view of the landscape plan just click on the picture.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

No Turning Back

We came home from a few days in Savannah and were so excited to see the progress on the house. We had great friends watching out for us and the house in our absence so we had full confidence that the house would still be in one piece upon our return.....and it was, so to speak! But the emotions that flooded over us as we observed the demolition, took me by surprise. There are pipes and wires literally hanging out of the walls, floors and ceilings. If you are standing in the master bathroom, you can look through the floor and see the foyer down below. We are talking layers of floors and ceilings gone. I could start to see the layers of the house's history revealed through three linoleums on the kitchen floor and several layers of wallpaper in the master bath. But as fun as it was to see it all, fear started to creep in as I wondered if all of this could ever be put back together so that this would be a "home" for our family. Bob on the other hand didn't experience fear, but his mind just started in overdrive as he started to triage the situation. I have heard that the demolition is the easy part but I have my doubts. This crew didn't know what they were getting into when they started this project. They are an inspiration to me. It didn't matter how hard the work was, they just kept at it. Actually, I hope they will still show up tomorrow morning! I have posted a few before and present pictures so you can kind of get an idea of where we are.

The master closet. All of the built in closets and drawers have been taken out. This area will eventually house our washer and dryer along with our clothes.

The master closet before demolition.

The kitchen looking into the dining room. No wall, no island, no anything!

The kitchen "before". Same view as above....looking from the kitchen towards the dining room.

The bathroom "then".

The bathroom "now".

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Spring in Savannah

Here are just a few of the pictures from Savannah today. This is a wonderful city, so rich in history and charm. We toured a couple of old cemeteries today. A few pics in the cemetery are below as well as the live oak trees with the intriguing spanish moss. We also toured the Mercer House. This is the house made famous in the book and movie Midnight In The Garden Of Good And Evil. Actually my favorite part of the tour was the sunken garden in the courtyard. Unfortunately they don't allow photos and I have been online trying to find a picture of it. I would love to have one at the new house! Friday we will go on the Savannah Home and Garden tour.....can't wait to get ideas. More pics later! There has been alot going on at the house but since we are not there, we will all have to wait a few days to see the progress! Our good friends Bill and Todd are supervising the project...Thanks guys! We know it is in good hands!

Above is the lane where Forrest ran with his leg Forrest run!! It is actually the Wormsloe Plantation.

Uncle Delfino

This is Uncle Delfino...or as we have come to call him, "The Monday Morning Wrecking Crew".! It is a funny story and I wish Bob could tell it because he is a great story teller. Anyway, last Monday we were scheduled to have the demolition crew show up and start taking the kitchen and bathrooms apart. Bob shows up at the house at 8am to let the crew in. No trucks parked but there is a man out on the curb with his yellow bike and his multicolored plastic shopping bag. Bob went into the house and a few minutes later, Uncle Delfino and his Nephew Andy came in and Bob was introduced to the "ONE man wrecking crew"! He was all we had for demolition for the day. That's what we thought anyway, until about 8pm when five others showed up to help with the process. Andy leaves....Uncle stays... he doesn't speak a word of English! But he seems to understand Bob's sign language because he did a great job for us.

This is Uncle Delfino's bike. It is actually a nice mode of transportation.

We are beginning to see "space"! "Space" is good when you are renovating!

This is concrete plaster over a heavy metal mesh. This is what took the place of regular wall board. It's no wonder the house is so solid.

Another kitchen shot.

The hallway upstairs becomes a dumping ground for "things" being removed from the master bath. Nice....

What is left of the vanity in the master bath. See the water on the floor?.......we narrowly averted flood #3!

OK...this is way out of the realm of house renovation but this is where we were last night! I LOVE Paula Deen. Bob and I are in Savannah with my dear friend Nan and her hubby Bob. We just HAD to find Lady and Sons and get our fill of buttery Southern food. Fried chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans, black eyed peas, collard greens, ho cakes and biscuits....followed by the best brownie! Where did "ho" cakes come from anyway? I'm not really a southern girl, although I love southern if any of you know the answer to that, let me know! FYI...I didn't really order Chicken Pot Pie on top of everything else, I just wanted to let you know how proud she is of hers! Having a great time here and will post a couple of local pictures later tonight!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

March Madness

This may not be the March Madness that we are accustomed to watching this time of year, but this is definitely March and this is madness! Yesterday was cold with a few flakes here and there but this is what we woke up to this morning! I would expect this in the midwest but here in Dallas? It is so beautiful though and I am thankful for it. It is one of the things I miss about Iowa and Colorado so this winter has been a treat for us. Our current cottage always looks beautiful in the snow! Enjoy!

Saturday, March 20, 2010


March 20 in Dallas. It was 70 yesterday and 36 and snow flurries today...go figure! We love spring in Texas. So we are off for another hunt today.
You know we are all about uncovering covered treasures hidden within this house. Well, today we wanted to reclaim a window in the kitchen and explore the possibility of uncovering the butler pantry door. We have been working with a architect on the plans for the kitchen. He kept this unknown window covered but for those of you who know me...I love windows and lots of natural light in a house. It just seems a shame and a waste to leave part of the original house is what we found!!

This is what the space looked like from the outside. Why would anyone do this?

Bob is just starting the process of tearing out the existing built in cupboards.

It was remotely like giving finally see the first peek of what is there! Notice I said "remotely"!

He uncovered it from the inside and then started on the outside.

This is what it now looks like! It is an amazing 8 pane window...and a casement window too!! What a treasure!

Here is the window...and the man! Way to go Bob!

This is the covering over the alleged door. We don't even know if they left the door between these boards and the interior wall but we are hoping they have. We are not even sure what to do with this doorway, but we know that if we reclaim it, it would add to the historocity of the house. In the 20's, there was a driveway on that side of the house and we believe the door was used by the butler since it led into the butler's pantry. It may be possible to reclaim it from the outside for the visual effect, but encase it on the interior wall of the kitchen. It just doesn't work with the new kitchen plan. We will think on this one.

Bob took his circular saw and cut a 12x24 hole in the existing wall.....and there it is! Green to match the new window. We can tell it is just like the back door but that is all we had time for today. Tomorrow we will go after it as well as the chimney. Stay tuned.....lots of changes this week! Have a great one!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Stagnation are all probably wondering what has happened to the house! Well..I am rediscovering there are periods of flurry and periods of stagnation when you take on a project of this magnitude. We are coming through the latter. We have actually had some progress but nothing that is picture worthy. Lots of sewer lines, electrical and roof repairs. Not the fun stuff but the necessary stuff. I did go out and purchased a new camera today. My son Jeff suggested I use one that takes panoramic views so you can really see the whole room as it evolves. So now I will try to figure out how to use it. I am not very techy.!! Tomorrow I need to have my final decisions on the appliances. This has really been the most stressful part of the whole project to date. I have been to three stores and read all I can read on Consumer Reports. I still don't know which ones to choose. There are some really cool ovens and stove tops out there. One of them actually has a "culinary center" option that will bake your cookies light, medium or dark and crunchy! Tempting!! So...I promise a picture or two this weekend. Maybe we will have a few hours to work on uncovering the chimney! Enjoy the rest of the week!

Thursday, March 11, 2010


There are 2 beautiful chimneys seen on our new roof. One is to the fabulous fireplace in the living room....the other one took a little detective work. It seems at one time there may have been a second fireplace in the kitchen nook but has since been covered by drywall and concrete. We had no idea what we would find behind those walls but we did know that if we could expose that brick it could add such charm to the kitchen and the eating nook. I have always loved the look of old exposed brick walls.. Sooo....Bob got off a little early today and headed over there in his scrubs and went to work! 70 minutes later, this is what was exposed. It is enough to get us excited about what it will look like as more is uncovered. Will take a few more pics this weekend. Have a great Friday....the weekend is almost here!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


Since there are not alot of visible changes in the house and several have asked about more pictures of the doors, that will be the post for today. They are some of our favorite things. Some are doors, others are details on the doors. We have great doors and a couple of pretty ugly doors! The walls were finished today and look fabulous! What a change! Demolition of the kitchen and bathrooms should start next week. Tomorrow is appliance one voiced any opinion on brands so I think I am on my own! Have a great day!