Warm glow

Summer starts out like this, all green and crazy and rolling in the grass.


Then before you know it, you’re wondering where it went.


You might even want to hide under a pillow.


But then, you remember how much fun it was, finally learning to swim, even if you forget to close your mouth most of the time. Especially when chasing ducks.


And you remember all the projects, big and small, and the big goal of moving to a small house, and it’s all good.


Today, friend P came over to help K cut some trees, move some rocks, and make the driveway work better. S cut a ton of shrubs – in honor of her dad’s birthday, she completely took out an overgrown forsythia (his least favorite plant), then built some rock walls too.


About half of the stairs had been overgrown, and the entrance is much nicer now. K and P widened the driveway and move back the rock wall. S found some lilies and hostas hiding under the forsythia, and moved them behind the new driveway stones.


And as the new bathroom curtains (a scarf, halved) blow in the breeze…


Someone reminds you how pretty it is in winter. This will be our first full winter here, and now the race is on to get everything buckled down and ready. More to come.


Smaller house, bigger couch

All along, one of our mantras has been “smaller house, bigger couch”. Our current, old futon couch has been too small for years, not particularly comfortable, and just tired. So, it’s definitely not coming here. We wanted a larger couch – preferably one like this or this – because we have always all piled on at the end of the evening – people, cats, dog(s) – and never have any room. We need more couch space!

Given tight financial straits as we head into the home stretch of the house swap, combined with a few design questions still lingering, we have not been ready to fork over a small fortune for a big couch. Enter the daybed. We tossed around ideas like a pallet daybed (love some of these!), but then found the perfect solution across the street. At a neighbor’s yard sale, a very cool ’60s vintage fold-up guest bed. Price was right at only $5, and we literally wheeled it across the street until we could move it here. So when we moved in last week, we assembled the foldup bed, the twin boxspring and mattress (only used a couple times) from one of our old guest rooms, and viola! Big couch in a small house.

However, it still looked like a bed. After many unsuccessful tries at finding a chic, affordable daybed cover – and then after finding one, realizing that this mattress is a twin XL for some reason, so none will fit! – we had to make our own cover. Much fabric shopping, and I found two giant 100% cotton tablecloths in a clearance rack for $10 each. Sold. So we sewed it all up on Friday. Bonus: keeping many of the finished edges intact meant a lot less sewing. It really took less than a couple of hours in total. Plus, we moved the sewing machine and a few accoutrements, so that’s now done too.

A few vignettes

We have pretty much moved in to the cabin. Since the big house is still on the market, we are moving slowly, but now we’re staying here most of the time. As you can guess, that means a lot of progress has been made but we haven’t been posting very much again  (sorry)! Here are a few vignettes as we’ve been setting things up and getting situated.


we got this planter on a road trip in Canada in 2010.


my vintage Italian light shades, updated with new wire and hardware by Snake Head Vintage (find on Etsy). we have three of these gorgeous glass shades.


it has been hot. lake time!


the closet is pretty well set up.


more of the walk-in closet. of course, my tool belt is hanging out here.


kj’s barn door! a floor model door with variety glass types makes a nice closet door.

No blog = lots of work

Plenty has happened in the last two weeks, but we’ve been too busy to write much about it. With at least one setback per item, we are just glad to be somewhat on track. Here’s the run-down:

1. Installed most of the kitchen. A few tweaks still needed (and some larger items too), but it’s coming together nicely.

2. Finished all the bathroom plumbing, fixtures, cabinets, etc. The shower fan/light just went in, and we are still trimming out the shower stall, but it’s nearly done. One part that’s not done is our final light fixture – see photos!

3. Installed a new well pump. Yep, the day after all the plumbing fixtures went in, we had no water whatsoever. Since the well driller didn’t put any depths on the well cap, we’ve been dreading the idea that this is a shallow, terrible well needing re-drilling. Replacing the pump was a somewhat costly way to find out what we have for a well. Turned out to be good news – 184′ deep, and we hit water at about 20′, meaning we had about 150′ of water standing in the well! There wasn’t much biofilm, and after a shock treatment, flush, and about 10 days of use, we are getting it tested tomorrow to see if it’s drinkable. Fingers crossed – but at least it’s running again!

4. Went to Van Halen. Yeah! Best part of the week, for sure.



5. Finished caulking all of the bottoms of logs to the floor! This is a time-sensitive job and you have to wait a while after the floor urethane dries. Then, two weeks until we can urethane the logs themselves. We are halfway through that wait, then we can urethane and move in some furniture!


6. Killed the Queen. There are no photos of this one (you can thank me later – it was GROSS!). Our carpenter ant nest finally succumbed to treatment, and we showed up the day after the last blog post to find a disgusting, gross mess of dead ants and all the pupae they tried to move all over the floor. There is only room for one Queen in that house. This has been a battle, and we won.