Monday, August 18, 2014

Remodeling For Fun

Anyone who has been blessed with a home to live in has certainly given thought to how they might make changes to their living space. Now that I have said that, I wonder if maybe that is too broad of a statement. I will narrow things down a bit. In every one of the homes I have been blessed to live in, I have imagined changes I could make to enhance the house's functionality or the yard's beauty.

As a child unaware of the actual structure of a house, I imagined a secret passage way in my closet that took up the vertical space between walls and the first floor. Of course, I read The Hiding Place. The Secret Garden. There was a brief time that I was sure we could make a room in the ceiling space over the living room. A crawl space door from my sister's room would lead us in.

Couch cushion forts were made at Grandma and Grandpa's. Just as fast the floral patterned tunnels were built, they were lain flat again to make six square trampolines for jumping across the rec room floor.

Until we were given lego sets with directions for building castles and Robin Hood's treehouse lair, the medium sized flat rectangle pieces were the coveted item to start with. If you had one, you could use it for the floor of your house, or the upstairs of your house or the roof of your house. Sometimes, we built houses and then as an afterthought, added two sets of wheels underneath; it's a camper now! which is really still a house of sorts.

One summer, I spent a few days building a fort out of piled up leaves. Fresh leaves were picked and layered stack on stack in the spaces between trees. An adult I don't remember came along and asked the neighbor boy and I to stop "playing in the berm" so we left our leaf house unfinished. I had to go home and ask what a berm was.

When I was older, a friend of mine and I built a shelter in the woods by lashing long sticks horizontally from tree to tree and then leaning brush and branches against them to form four square walls. A pocket knife and twine provided hours of entertainment as we constructed a tree house on the ground.

None of those childhood building experiences prepared me for the most difficult and frustrating part of a grown up remodeling project. Some might say it's the delays, or the uncovering of previous owner's previous remodeling blunders that you now have to right. Some might say it's the expense or the decisions that are hard to make.

I say, for this project, it is the dust.  

After I'm done cleaning it up again, off of the new floors, off of the children, out of my food and my glass of iced coffee, I hope to return and post pictures of the end result. And once we decide about the countertops and finish the floors and go back to the hardware store three times, the end result will be glorious!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Beach House 2014

We made our way to the beach house again this summer to spend time with Bob's family.

I didn't take nearly as many pictures as I wanted to, nor did I get a true sampling of all the people who were there.

Reuben was sick which preoccupied much of my energy and then Reuben needed a trip to the ER which kind of made me wish we could go home and start our vacation over when he was well again.

In the end, a significant portion of our family enjoyed the peaceful surroundings and family interactions that is the beach house.

 Something that worked really well this year was to have our big boys sleep in a tent in the yard. I think they woke up early and went to bed late but they got to be outside in the cool quiet with the deer and their books.

 All around, our beach house trip was a win and another reason that summer can be okay.