Weekly Photo Challenge: Split-Second Story

Weekly Photo Challenge: Split-Second Storyhouse demo

We sat, truck idling, windshield wipers flapping, watching in horror and fascination as the big machine went to take yet another bite of out of our old house.

There it all was.

The expanding road that forced the move, and the remains of our first house. It’s paltry insulation rests among the shingles we put on ourselves. The front door that never closed well enough to lock properly falls out the side as my favorite red shutters fall off the front. The bay window still stands as the remaining peony gets crushed under the mess. An un-grounded kitchen outlet lays exposed as my handmade curtains hide just beyond the window.

That was this morning. Tonight, it’s gone.

Nothing but memories now.

The Tour – Part 4

Continued from The Tour – Part 3

Oh you wanted to come in the house?

So sorry, please come on in!

Jane and Clara are all set having a snack at the table so I can give you a quick tour without too many interruptions.

So, here we go.

You just entered through the blue door and are standing just inside the kitchen.

You just entered through the blue door and are standing just inside the kitchen.

The house is a saltbox style with post and beam construction. If you walk on over to the other side of the living room you can see more of the beams. We met the man who built the place and he told us all about where he got the building supplies from. Some was reclaimed wood, other beams he picked up at lumber mills  and some things came from auctions.  It was fun to hear all about it but since it’s not your house I’ll spare you the details unless you really want to know.

The table with the girls at it is in the far corner of the picture and you are now standing in front of the back door.

The table with the girls at it is in the far corner of the picture and you are now standing in front of the back door.

Over this way is the way back to our bedroom.

Still standing by the back door you've now turned and looked the opposite direction. The hall way with the awesome built in bookshelves to your left takes you to the front door.

Still standing by the back door you’ve now turned and looked the opposite direction. The hall way with the awesome built in bookshelves to your left takes you to the front door.

Here is the office, or as John likes to say, the antechamber to our private quarters. (We’ve never had a “master” bedroom can you tell?) Sadly it’s my current least favorite room. It’s become the dumping ground for stuff from the move and the closet behind you as well as the space behind the door is full of boxes. I have visions of a new, smaller desk, a space for sewing and a closet full of craft supplies…. someday.houseAnd here we have the bedroom and in case you need it (since I left you standing at the door for a month) the bathroom is just through that door.

Doors from left to right: office, bathroom, closet.

Doors from left to right: office, bathroom, closet.

The other door is the biggest closet I have ever owned. There is enough floor space in there to hold just about all our dirty clothes without them spilling into the room- it’s huge I tell you! Oh- yeah, the bathroom is papered in maps.

I have no idea how to get a picture of a bathroom. It's your basic bathroom, toilet, shower, sink and lots of maps.

I have no idea how to get a picture of a bathroom. It’s your basic bathroom, toilet, shower, sink and lots of maps.

I thought it was funky when we moved in but it’s really growing on me.

Now turn around and you’ll see one of my favorite features – the greenhouse.

Yeah, I have a greenhouse attached to my bedroom, it's pretty awesome.

Yeah, I have a greenhouse attached to my bedroom, it’s pretty awesome.

Admittedly I’ve yet to do much with it but I’ve got ideas and plans. I’ve only got a few plants in it at the moment (basil in November anyone?) mostly I’m just enjoying the sunshine and warmth on these cool sunny days we are having. That’s it for the downstairs. Come on up and see the rest.

stairwell

Heading up the stairs the back door is behind you again. (Also our back door is probably technically the front of the house but since everyone comes in the back of the house we call it the front… just in case you were wondering.)

We are still working on filling the display shelves. The teacups are a small part of my great grandma’s collection that I never thought I’d have a place to put out where they’d be out of reach of paws and sticky fingers but I think we’ve found it here!

Through here is Clara and Jane’s room.

It's a nice big room with a nice big closet and in ceiling radiant heat. Which is odd but cozy.

It’s a nice big room with a nice big closet and in ceiling radiant heat. Which is odd but cozy.

Then over here we have the upstairs bathroom. I can’t decide if I love having a spot for the girls to smear toothpaste around that’s not where I brush my teeth or if I just really hate having two bathrooms to take care of. Either way I love the tub and the girls have been getting bathroom cleaning lessons so that should help with the toothpaste issue!

Clara and Jane's room is on the other side of the stairs, Ivy's room is a sharp right just outside the bathroom door.

Clara and Jane’s room is on the other side of the stairs, Ivy’s room is a sharp right just outside the bathroom door.

And then we have Ivy’s room.

Ivy's room is much smaller, but still has a closet and crawl space access!

Ivy’s room is much smaller, but still has a closet and crawl space access!

That’s it!

Lets go check on the girls. If we can convince them to go play I’ve got brownies and Diet Coke here in the kitchen that we can share while we wait for Ivy to get home from school…

The counter on the left is the same counter that is in the foreground of the first picture.

The counter on the left is the same counter that is in the foreground of the first picture.

Thanks for coming over for a virtual tour!

These pictures were all taken two months ago when I started this tour. We do have a few more pictures on the walls, a few more boxes unpacked and things are looking a bit more like home. You’ll just have to come see the changes in person if you are curious what it looks like now. It’ll be fun I’ve even got real brownies and Diet Coke!

house

A picture from this week, taken from near the front door.

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If you missed the outside tour you can find it here:

The Tour – Part 1

The Tour – Part 2

The Tour – Part 3

The Tour – Part 1

We moved.

We unpacked (mostly).

It is time for the virtual tour.

I wouldn’t want you to miss anything so lets start at the very beginning…

As you head up the driveway turn and look behind you, past the mailbox, across the field you will see a little grey house in the distance. mailboxWave and say goodbye, that’s our old house and it won’t be around much longer!

When you have said your proper farewells head up the long driveway.

down the driveway

This crew is walking down the driveway toward the road.

The orchard that you are passing, (along with the driveway) is not ours but our new neighbors and the barn you will drive by is where their 100-year-old cider press resides.barn

Note: If you are virtually (or actually) visiting in the winter please reflect on how happy we are to live far off the road rather than curse the length of our driveway which we hear has drifting problems.

Once you make it to the top of the hill, watch out for girls on wheels! Ivy bike

While the new place has it’s own small orchard, as well as a woods, yard with lots of gardens. a house and a garage to explore the girls are most enamored by the driveway.

The driveway.

The driveway which is on the opposite side of the garage as the house. The driveway which has western exposure, no shade, no lawn, just a nice chunk of pavement that resembles an oven in the late afternoon. The driveway is not everyone’s favorite part of the new house.

But, after a month of having a paved driveway even the littlest girl can now go faster than my focus!

Jane scooting

And the others are doing tricks – Look, no hands!

Clara tricycle - no handsIf you can manage to park your vehicle out of the way of the circus on wheels you will no doubt be pressed into watching a full “show” of the best and current tricks.  After managing to extract yourself from that situation (and before you protest remember the oven factor) ask Clara to show you the house. Then try to keep up as she runs past our two car garage (that only has room for cars in it in my dreams) and heads towards home… garage(and part 2)

We Need Ice Cream!

This morning we bought this house:new house
YAY!

This afternoon I was in a moving funk.

UGH!

I’m sure it was brought on by the conflicting emotions of the day.

The excitement of the new house.

The dread of leaving the old place.

The bored children.

The underlying panic every time I look at the amount of packing and moving that still needs to be done.

UGH!

I’ve decided there is only one cure for such a problem.

Packing can wait we are going out to celebrate with ice cream!

YAY!

A Line Drawn

It’s official, the line has been drawn and it’s no proverbial line in the sand this time.

For months we have been fretting about the proposed plans to the highway we live on. Widening lanes, adding paved shoulders, better drainage, wider right of ways, it all sounded fine, until we looked at the plans. The plans that showed our house sitting on it’s own tiny peninsula of land in the right of way. After discussions, tears, e-mails, phone calls, public information meetings, hope, despair, plan changes, and septic system explorations, we were offered the option of moving the right of way line through the house. This option, the option we have chosen, comes with demolition plans, relocation specialists, appraisals, options to move or rebuild, moving reimbursements and more hope for our living location than we’ve had in a long time.

What it does not come with is hope for our house.house with wreath

And while everyone who has ever lent a hand and helped with one of the many projects and updates we’ve worked on has cheered when they found out that our house will be reduced to a large pile of toothpicks I can’t help but be sad.

It’s true that our home has at times been a nightmare to work on, a hundred years of different owners fixing problems in their own “unique” ways. But the work we have put into the many upgrades that we’ve made- the almost finished projects that are doomed to stay that way – the ideas and plans only half realized of making our home just exactly how we want it – abandoned and unfinished- not for someone else to pick up and carry on – but to turn to rubble…

I find it hard to smile with the rest of them.

I know this is the right decision, I may be teary eyed at the prospective changes but the thought of leaving our house where it is is much worse. Soon we’ll have more meetings and e-mails, phone calls and appraisals, offers, and decisions and we’ll know the direction our lives will be headed. My mind will stop spinning in furious circles and I’ll be able to start to plan for our new home, where ever it may be.  The excitement will build and it will be easier to close the door on this one.

But now, right now, as we wait and decide, I feel we have failed to finish what we’ve started and more than a little homeless.

When Life Gives You Lemons… Get a Saw.

It doesn’t happen very often but every now and then I’m seized with a sudden urge that- THINGS MUST CHANGE NOW.  It wasn’t until a few years ago that I noticed the not so coincidental fact that those random room changes happened right when I felt that the rest of life was spiraling out of control.

Today it wasn’t until I had the saw in hand and was cutting a hole in my living room wall that I realized that perhaps my manic need to move the stereo into a separate in-wall shelf of it’s own and then rearrange the furniture accordingly had something to do with the rest of my day/week.

Tonight I’m feeling better, my couch is on a new wall and I have an in-wall-out-of-sticky-finger-range-stereo.

I’ve also learned something.

Know your target and beyond should also be a rule for falling drywall.

So, next time I get the urge to cut a hole in my wall I’m going to try not to drop the chunk of drywall on Clara’s head.