Uncovering chimneys and re-opening the laundry room door…

_DSC4035This room will be a play room for the kids.  It flanks the living room on the first floor, is spacious and has great light from large deep windows.

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We decided to keep two of the three chimneys and to use them as architectural features in the rooms by removing the plaster finish.  This will be done in four different rooms throughout the house.

The holes from years of stove pipes feeding into the chimneys will be filled with replacement bricks, the mortar will be repaired between the bricks, the remaining plaster will be carefully removed, and the the bricks sealed for a more vibrant color and clean, dust free surface.

_DSC4079Above shows a doorway in the dining room that had been filled closed off with built in shelves.  The controls for old security system were placed in this space.  Christopher re-opened this doorway so we can use it to enter what will be our laundry room.  A wall between the bathroom and the laundry room will be moved about a foot as well since it splits the doorway a bit right now.

A path to the back door…

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Making progress.  Christopher started working on this area by cutting down two trees that were very close to the house and too large for the space.  He continued by chopping the tall weeds and I followed behind moving rocks to one pile and unearthing portions of the sidewalk.  There’s plenty more to do, but it feels good to have a clear path to the back door!

A new garden plot!

It’s just 4’x20′ so far, but it includes two different kinds of peppers, leeks, brussel sprouts, and chives.  Another plot will be added parallel to this one for tomatoes and green beans and fall spinach and swiss chard.

We also have basil and other herbs in pots ready to be moved to the house.

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Oliver and Effie collected worms for fishing and beyond the gate Magnus planted pumpkins and sweet corn.

We also discovered an old root cellar near the foundation of a fallen barn.  It’s a bit scary right now and likely unsafe, but a fun part of the property’s history.

Gotta start somewhere…

Yesterday was our first day of work at our new house.

We started with the outside partly because it will get out of hand fast if we don’t and partly because we are still trying to decide the best place to begin on the house itself.

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There is a small pasture across the driveway that the kids enthusiastically call their “meadow”.  As Christopher worked to tame the edges of the meadow, Oliver explored its middle.

At one point Oliver came running out into the yard yelling something and kind of giggling.  He had gotten too close to a baby bird and was chased away by its mamma and several other nearby birds!  This interaction delighted him.  It was perfect for a kid whose self-given nick name is “Turtle Boy” after the host of Animal Planet’s “Call of the Wildman“!

Oliver and I walked back in together to photograph the baby.  It was vigorous and determined as clung to whatever it could find in the sea of grass.

By the end of the day the lawn was mowed and the tall grasses looked like they had been steam rolled to the ground.

Progress was made, but it is hard to tell. 🙂

So excited!

Six months ago Christopher and I found a house that we just could not walk away from.  Well as Christopher puts it, “I knew you [me] would not consider any other house after seeing that one!” 🙂  He’s right about that!

It had been on the market for a while, but we were not looking for a new house… yet.  The photos included with its listing were a little intimidating showing the house covered with vines and bushes and with pieces of its porches and windows leaning against its stone walls.  BUT it is stone and it is historic (built in 1859) and it is simply beautiful resting on the top of a hill overlooking several scenic rolling fields.

5160 Carpenter Rd, Reading, MI 49274

It’s name is “Antique Stone Hope”.  At least that is what is written on a set of architectural drawings from the 1930’s  It was built by one of the original settlers in the area, Moses Willets.  A cemetery by the same name is just around the corner.

So here we are looking forward to a grand new adventure.  Can’t wait to breath some life back into this sleeping beauty!

FirstDayAtNewHouse