Thursday, April 26, 2012

Getting jacked up & demolishing things.

Little by little progress is being made on the good 'ol porch.  This week dad, Grady, and I have spent our nights demoing, digging, & jacking things up.  (Like, literally using a jack to raise the porch.)  Grady's new favorite phrase is "you have to break it before you fix it, mom".  Hopefully he doesn't think that applies to everything!  :)

Here are a couple of quick shots of the newly raised and now cleaned off porch and the little helper man...just seconds before he pinched his finger in that jack - ouch!  All of the lattice & chicken wire is gone & it seems SO much brighter...I never realized that the lattice blocked that much light!  We've got two and a half holes out of four dug for the footers & are hoping to finish the rest tonight & pour cement by the weekend (although the forecast for tomorrow says rain and Saturday says snow...what?!?).

And just for fun, a before shot for comparison.  You can't see much difference yet, but there is progress being made.  I just realized how much the bushes have grown (overgrown) since we moved in four years ago...yikes!  Might have to do something about that...

Oh, I also made a slight change to my plans...I think I'm going to have dad build me a porch swing instead of the Adirondack chairs for the porch.  How fun would that be?  I think I'll still paint it yellow, & maybe add a cushion in blue ticking and a few bright pillows.  Something like this maybe?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Over the river & through the prairie...and through the prairie...and through the grandma's house we go!

We made the trip down to Omaha again this Easter...although the drive is usually h-e-double hockey sticks-ish (that's heLL-ish for those of you not from the tundra), this time it was even worse on me after my rec volleyball injury last Monday. The PT thinks it's my ACL, but I don't technically see the doctor until next Monday, so we'll see what he says. Yuck.  No matter how long the drive, it's so much fun for Grady once we get down there. He LOVES his cousin Greyson, and enjoys running around with the bigger kids, staying up well past his "bed time", and getting spoiled by Grandma and Grandpa Starzl.

Before we left on Friday we colored eggs at home - Grady is a super serious egg dyer. Although he loves doing it, he rarely smiles until he's all done and showing them off! He was the same way last year...a serious face on him at all times. Funny kid.

We got to Omaha at midnight on Friday and crashed for the night pretty much immediately.  On Saturday, Grady's cousins, great grandparents, and aunts came over to visit and color some more eggs.  Sunday morning, we packed up the car and headed to Amy's house in David City for lunch, an Easter egg hunt, and an entertaining game of "spoons"...which I didn't partake in because of my injury.  (If you saw how this family plays spoons, you'd understand why I didn't play - "spoons" is a contact sport for the Nixon' lie!)  Here are a few photos of the little man enjoying the holiday weekend...



I hope you all had a wonderful Easter holiday!  Grady surprisingly did remember that Jesus died on the cross and that "they rolled a big rock in front"...but he was more impressed (and amused) that the Easter bunny on "Hop" pooped out jelly beans.  :)

Monday, April 2, 2012

the {not so pretty} porch

There's a long and narrow (think 6x14') porch off the back of our house that started out as a hodge podge of things when we moved in, and hasn't been touched much since then.  There are two different tin roofs that have several holes and dents in them, there was one wire "trellis" that I ripped out last summer, and one lattice wall.  There also used to be a speckled gray and black outdoor carpet on it, but that went away last summer too.  Oh, and the front of it sags slightly.  It's a real beauty (see image below).
Disclaimer: This is also before the new roof that we put on in the fall of 2009...this is what the front of the house looked like at the time this picture was taken...yikes!  And on an even scarier note, it used to have pink exterior doors!
 This is what it looks like now, after removing the awnings, shingling, and getting a new front door...
 And this is a Photoshop rendering of what I'm hoping it will look like by the end of the summer: new gray paint color, yellow doors, and new window boxes.  Better, no?!
Anywhoo...back to the back of the house.

This is what I'm toying around with for a layout.  (This sketch is not to scale...just a quick doodle.)  We're planning on creating a screened porch that we can use for eating, entertaining, and relaxation free from mosquitos!)  There's an ugly A/C unit and all of our utilities meters to the south of the porch that I'm planning on hiding with a vertical planter made from an old pallet.  The plan is to build a small bar directly across from the patio doors that will be able to sit all three of us comfortably, and also be used as a buffet when we have guests over.

To the north will be a small sitting/reading/coffee (beer) sipping area with a cute striped rug and a couple of gleaming yellow Adirondacks that I'm hoping to con my dad into building me for my birthday!  I also hope to reuse the "window" boxes that are currently on the porch.

We'll have to tear off the mismatched roof and replace it with a brand new seamless metal roof, replace the siding with some vertical panels, put a new light in, and paint, paint, paint.  I'm thinking that I'll paint the floor a teal-ish color similar to what's on the house now as a little tribute to what will soon be covered in a warm gray.  Here's the mood board I created as inspiration...
1. Pallet Planter Plans from here.
2. Adirondack chairs (hopefully) built by my handy dad.
3. Floor color (inspired by my house and this lovely porch).
4. Bar inspired by a picture on this site. Although I can't find the direct link anymore.
5. Metal roof that I'll get at Menards - probably in "burnished slate".
6. White frame and trim with black door, inspired by this porch. Originally from BH&G.
7. Dash & Albert striped rug, sold here.
8. Totally awesome and inexpensive barn light ($25!) but not sold online, from Menards.
9. Primed siding panels from Menards - painted gray.

The goal is to get the entire project done in time for Grady's third birthday the first weekend in June...and stick within a budget of $500...wish us luck!
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