And the road goes on forever...

Wednesday, August 19, 2015


It is said that the cost of the average sunroom is $22,000. That’s a lot of mul-lah; one we obviously couldn’t afford on our little ranch house if not for the fact that we pretty well designed one in by planning for such a large front porch so the roof trusses, roof itself, supports and decking are already there. To that end, we figure we may just have enough left of our construction loan to get us the windows and door we will need to enclose the space. We’re in the planning stages but it would sure make the deck and spa much more usable and enjoyable this winter. This would technically be a three season room since it would not have a heat source, but would sure make the other seasons more comfortable and wind and bug free. 

This is what my mind envisions; something so comfortable and sumptuous you never want to leave there; peace and tranquility sipping tall, cool drinks; a good book in lap, and of course, the old iron bed to catch a later nap. The iron bed is a must; I have been on the lookout for an antique twin size for quite some time now. I will fill it with lovely patterned homemade pillows for lounging against. We’ve already decided we’d like opening transom windows to let out summer heat and likely bead board knee walls and Pergo floors for easy upkeep. Alas (sigh), we can't have the fireplace or lake view shown here!
I hope to fill it with plants and flowers, old wicker chairs and braided rugs. Ceiling fans will spin overhead on hot days. I found this 90 year old wicker rocker in excellent condition the other day as I was driving by a yard sale. For $41 I made it mine and its begging for some new cushions. I see these all the time on EBay for about $250 so figure I made a steal.
Things have been really busy around here; I can’t even begin to list all the things that have transpired since I last blogged. The gutter guys were out and completed our gutters. There are still things I am painting—most recently working on the back door jamb and frame and that was after completing the door casing. I’ve got more painting going on in the shop where I am working on some lumber which will be used in the basement. Marc got the back porch built and its look was greatly improved when he added the vinyl railing. At first I told him it looked like a cattle chute but as he explains it now, he will add some planter boxes along the tops of the railings which will sit to the outside all around, so I can fill them with flowers and herbs all summer. That will definitely help to add cottage appeal.
We finally were able to quit using the hobby room as a paint staging area so I was able to get it quasi set up. My treadmill takes up so much space there wasn’t much room left! We brought in the free armoire I got at last year’s rummage sale which is intended to hold many of my supplies. It needs another shelf inside which Marc needs to build but is already a huge help in getting things put away. He hung the small wicker shelf I got from this year’s rummage, free also, which I had painted a forest green. You can’t tell in these photos but the walls in this room are a very soft green and the accent colors I am using are darker greens and lilac. The other small three drawer chest I will be painting soon and may accent the drawers with fabric. That was another free find from the apartment dumpster, left behind by someone moving. The wicker chair I got for $20 from last season’s rummage; the pillows were found at Goodwill for a few bucks. The wonderful sewing table is a Pier 1 Craigslist find from 20 miles away that I bought for just $45. The room may be inexpensive but its a thousand dollar view from the work table out the window though!
Another rummage sale score just last week, was this fabulous iron and wicker magazine holder for $2. It will likely eventually go in the sunroom but for now holds some cookbooks in the kitchen. Marc usually doesn’t make too many comments on my scores but he absolutely loves this piece. He is however, happy at all the money I save by not buying retail!
Finally, what has been occupying me daily, is coring, peeling and slicing all the apples that our trees are producing! Here’s a photo of about how many fall in just a day; the cuttings leftover weighed in at 19 lbs. Very shortly however I will be finished, not because the apples are done (the trees STILL appear totally full) but because our freezer is just about full.
Oh yeah; the appraisal went well and we made above and beyond the value we needed for our loan so all is well on that front and it was a great relief to Marc, who now can chose when to finish up all the little details that still need doing. And we did enjoy beer and brats at the shelter volunteer dinner, where I am caught with a mouthful of brownie!

Monday, August 3, 2015

Who's Counting?

Let’s see: Marc now has me staining and varnishing the doors so that’s eight doors x two sides=16 times two coats each=32 but actually they need three coats if there’s time, which equals 48, right? Is my math fuzzy? All I know is that each day I get up and do three more sides and this has gone on for weeks and will continue at least until Saturday. Given we’re working with oil based lacquer each coat takes about eight hours to dry but we’re actually giving it overnight then Marc sands each early the next morning before heading off to work. Then I do the next round. As if that wasn’t enough, I’m also back to spray painting more baseboards which Marc has also just started installing. The bathrooms are just about done!
In between all that painting, we started work on the back stoop this past weekend. Marc had packed home some scrap pieces of Trex decking they had used on one of his projects, no piece which was larger than about four feet long, so he pieced that together for the deck. He’s also trimming the sides with it so about our only expense on this will be vinyl railing and covers for the deck poles and a little lumber.
I’m about to jump on the wagon big time regarding processing our apples, which with recent high winds are dropping from the trees in quick order. Here’s one day’s haul just off the ground which I peeled and cored and froze into two gallon bags today. We’ve been woefully short of our normal rain lately so my mowing duties are in abeyance since it would stress the grass too much to cut it short.
Saturday I took the morning off to quickly hit the small farmer’s market on Waupaca’s downtown square and then was off to the shelter where we held our monthly fundraising committee meeting, where about nine or ten of us “older” gals struggle with ways to raise awareness, more volunteer participation, and the never ending task of raising money to feed the hungry mouths of all the dogs and cats in our care. If you own a pet, or are a pet lover, please consider taking time to drop by your local shelter with a case of food or a bag of litter; those old towels and blankets you no longer need, or even a gallon of bleach and hand soap; believe me, it’s all desperately needed by them. Better yet: stay awhile and participate and put a little joy into a caged animal’s life by giving them just a little bit of your attention and love. Our shelter holds its annual Volunteer Appreciation BBQ Thursday evening which Marc and I plan to attend. Knowing it’s Wisconsin, I suspect beer and brats are on the menu but I’ll try and take pictures to let you know next time for sure!
(PS: The pictured cat, Trouble, was adopted after a relatively short stay of a few months into a loving home with two small girls who absolutely adore him. However, we have many fine cats who have now been with us over a year waiting for their forever home.)