Friday, February 07, 2014

The Final Chapter

Nov '01-  Feb '14

There is not much more I can say about the FREE Dog that I haven't said before.
(FREE Dog Chapters 1-12)

Irresistable as a pup.

She was truly unique.

Never the snuggly dog we imagined. But clever, caring and strong and beautiful.
And in her old age - she mellowed.

She got sweeter and friendlier.
And rather calm.


She got as close to being cuddly with the kids as she could manage.

Rest easy sweet girl.

 (note some pics are missing...working on that)


Thursday, December 12, 2013

live a little

put down your phones.
WATCH your life
with your OWN eyes.

if something magical happens
TELL the story
again and again
for years to come*

you will tell it better than any video
because you took the time to LIVE it.

*this method also allows for healthy embellishment.

Monday, December 09, 2013

It's all in my head

I write a blog post in my head almost every day.

Why they don't seem to make it here elludes me.

Thursday, September 05, 2013


Sensing a theme here?

But no, I am not referring to rolled up grass.
Nor do I mean it as 'fool' or 'idiot', or maybe I do...

It's my own personal acronym.
You've heard of SAD... that Seasonal Affective Disorder,
well this is Seasonally Overwhelmed Disorder.

I get this way in the spring and the fall. In fact... I've blogged this before.

When the seasons change there is much to do.
And for some ridiculous reason I get all anxiety stricken.
Like OMG I need to wash the windows, plant some grass, wax the car, take in the screens, get a new storm door, wash the floors, tidy the garage, test the snowthrower, do the laundry, change the oil, lose some weight, find the missing house key, wash the dishes, organize my sock drawer, clean the oven...

and on and on it goes.

Why o why did I also decide this was the time of year to cut back on my wine consumption.

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

I have no one to blame but myself

I am making an effort to getting back to documenting life (and renovations) here at the brick house by the marsh.

I wanted to write something current. Very current.
I sat and pondered.
Whats happening... let's see... whats happening right now. This week.

Not the giant front yard project to begin next week.
Not the plumbing project to begin asap in the basement.
Right now.
And what popped into my head ?

Yes. Grass.

Technically the lack thereof.

Somehow... after moving away from a lawn the size of a small ranch.

Maintaining large, diverse grassy areas. A pleasure to stroll.
sunny parts
shady parts

even outside of the fence there was GRASS

so much grass

somehow I have managed to utterly destroy this tiny little backyard.

There was neglect.
There was arrogance.
There were rookie mistakes.

And now there is crabgrass and dead grass and weeds and ...utter despair.

I simply cannot get myself to upload a picture of it.
ohhh the horror.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

oh right...the fireplace

sorry got distracted...

The original fireplace surround (using the word original loosely- I think the 'actual original' was just brick) was a brown tile circa early 70's Brady Bunch era I would guess.
The fireplace screen had little swirly iron branches with acorns and maple leaves - not very beachy.

(note in the picture below the diamond placed tiles in front are not part of the hearth...we were just checking colors... didn't seem to have a better 'before' picture)

We replaced the tile with beachy seaglass and used some of the marble from the foyer to tie it together and break up the field of tiny tiles.
To save some money my clever wife took the original screen apart - removing all the forest-y details.
and gave it some fresh paint (yes..more silver paint. I believe the can is still not yet empty... more on that  to come).

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The end is in sight

Whenever I say to friends we are nearing the end of our renovations, they just sort of smile and nod.

But really just about the only thing we haven't changed here is the bricks. So the end will come.

This house was like an onion. A big stinky onion. As we peeled away the layers of filth we found ...well more filth and lots of things just done plain wrong.
While removing all evidence of several previous owners and poorly done renovations we have tried to retain any features original to the house (this will be evident when i post about the first floor bath).

So nearing the last items to be changed were the tile in the foyer and the tiled fireplace surround.

So the foyer:

We actually started with the stairs.

The newel post was that same dark cherry stain that was slathered on all the wood throughout the house, and the spindles were black iron, and frankly we hated the whole thing. Granted they went really well with all the dark, dank mobster decor - but we needed to lighten things up.

I tried to get the spindles out to replace them - but without dismantling then entire railing it was a no go.

Not a problem for my artsy and ever patient wife. She painted the newel posts white...ahh so much white here- crisp and clean, and the spindles she did in bright silver (remember this... the silver... because she has more paint left and you know what that means...)
still old foyer tile here...
With a brush. Whew.
I have no patience for tedious tasks...

In the top photo you can just see a small portion of the old tile in the foyer. It was white marble.
Ok ..kind of plain - not hideous..but .. yes... we hated that too.

Had to go.
So here is where we ended up.
weird little hole... odd.

Here is where we really ended up:
It's marble - yes we replace marble with marble.

Our marble - a beachy, warm marble has a soft matt finish - we added tiny glass mosaic inlays.
I adore this tile. It feels delicious under your feet. It makes the foyer feel clean and inviting.

Next the fireplace....