Unbelievably, it has been six years since we bought the Red House. Needless to say we still have quite a bit of work to be done but hopefully now that we got rid of our house on Long Island (as well as a huge mortgage payment), we will have more time and money to put into the Red House renovation.
I have quite a list of projects I would like to be completed by the end of the year. Not being a total pessimist, I’m hoping we get at least half of them accomplished.
This past spring we finally got a new roof for the main part of the house. The shingles on the house were so old that while I thought they would simply have flown off at the touch of the tool the roofing guys were using to remove them, instead they held on as tight as can be so stripping the roof down to the rafters was a struggle.
Here’s our shingle delivery as well as the start of the project.
We also ordered a granite counter top to finish our kitchen island. I’m reluctant to admit that the one piece of granite cost more than it did to install all of our kitchen counter tops! Even before we got our kitchen counters installed last summer, we survived nearly 4 years with a handy metal cart we inherited from our son. It served us well.
We also covered some kid’s cushions we got at Ikea with some red fabric to make the benches and backs of the benches pop a little more in a kitchen that’s primarily black and white. While neither of us can sew, we figured out a way to wrap the fabric around the foam cushion with some heavy cardboard. For now the fabric is in place although Lynn swears whenever he sits on the bench a staple is pinching his ass! (I think he’s imagining being pinched but whatever.)
This is what the cushions looked like before and our finished dining nook. (We had originally wanted a German “Stube” and even bought some church pews to try and make benches but the pews were too long and curved and simply didn’t fit.)
I’m reluctant to admit that we are currently in the process of hiring contractor #3. I promised myself that he will be the last one we work with and since he’s affiliated with a big box store that will replace him if he fails or bows out of the project, I’m pretty confident that at least this way the house renovation will eventually be finished.
Ironically, the project he is working on first was at the bottom of the list. What happened is as follows. If you remember, last fall we were left with a master bathroom that wasn’t finished, ditto for some odds and ends in the kitchen and a room that is totally gutted that I want to turn into a closet. These were the three projects I wanted to be finished ASAP.
As a reminder here’s a shot of the bathroom that can’t seem to get done!
But, big box store management wasn’t keen on finishing a project that someone else had started citing liability issues. They did, however, offer to work on the downstairs bathroom/laundry room since nothing had been started there. That is how the last Red House renovation project suddenly got bumped up to be the first Red House renovation project for the summer of 2016.
We start in less than 3 weeks.
Lynn has spent the past few days working on the main staircase into the house. The plaster was torn off (actually it looked like someone at one point simply put their fist through it – the previous owners perhaps knowing they were being foreclosed on?). He thought about sheet-rocking the wall but the angle was so strange and the moulding a bit weird, too, that we decided to try and put up some wainscoting.
In the meantime, I’ve had a family of rabbits on the property who have managed to get into my garden and have eaten all of my green beans, peas and even my broccoli! They were good natured enough to leave me the Romaine, beets, carrots, cauliflower as well as the tomatoes. They also apparently don’t like garlic since my scapes were quite pretty and artistically shaped.
Although the weather has been beautiful, both the field and the garden desperately need some rain. We have a timer set up in the house that waters the garden every two days for about 20 minutes and that seems to be enough to keep my flowers looking particularly colorful this year.
Food-wise – I will be grilling this summer and frequenting as many farmer’s markets as possible. I’ve already made some delicious salads from the lettuce in the garden and pick the asparagus to throw in a pasta dish whenever I see a stalk peeking out from the ground. When the tomatoes are ready, I know they will be perfect with some burrata or oven roasted with a piece of fish.
Oh yeah, just as I was finishing this story, our counter arrived. It’s absolutely gorgeous! And perfect to roll out dough if I want to make pizza or Christmas cookies or Hungarian Kolach! Hint: Kids time to come visit Mom and Dad! Even though I hate baking, I love that they eat everything I bake.