- and the winner is…
Ok. I don’t do a lot of product recommendations so when I do, it’s because I really think the item is outstanding. My leather sofa was in need of some serious attention. It looked dry and sad and I was sort of falling out of love with it. In the past I’ve tried to condition it every 6 months to maintain it’s youthful allure, but to very little avail. I might as well have been applying Oil of Olay. My sofa needed botox. Or surgery. Or something.
Enter Leather Honey. This stuff is thick and sticky and messy just like it’s name implies. I coated my cushions and sofa in it and then left them to cure overnight. Leather Honey does not mess around- immediately I could tell it was something different from all the disappointing creams and lotions of my past. It was penetrating and healing and sealing. And after 12 hours of relaxing, my sofa looked amazing. I wish I had taken photos. I didn’t know it was going to be this dramatic! Just imagine your sofa looks like Mick Jagger and then overnight turns into Taylor Swift.
I haven’t tried it for these uses yet, but it’s also wonderful for leather shoes, purses, etc.
And just when you thought things couldn’t get more exciting- we have a give-away!
So if you’d like to take part, just share with a friend/on social media and comment to let us know you did, then we’ll add your name to a random drawing for an 8oz bottle of Leather Honey.
I will be making these for Aileen the invisa-sis when she comes. I put this meal together the other day when I wanted to use the jar containing peanut sauce for Valiant’s piggy bank, and thus needed to get rid of it. Paired with Butterflies and edemame, it felt like a Asian street food extravaganza!
One bunch each: cilantro, mint, basil, chopped quite fine
1/2 large English cucumber, julienned
handful bean sprouts
1-2 chicken breasts cut into bite-sized pieces and fried in olive oil in a pan
rice stick noodles or rice vermicelli ( I did not have any so I used cooked angle hair pasta)
bib lettuce or butter lettuce
mae ploy sauce
Cook or soak noodles (depending on if you are using real rice noodles or cheating with angel hair). To julienne the cucumber I use a tool Mom gave me once- makes it a breeze. I’m sure you can find them everywhere. Mix everything but the lettuce and sauces together. Set aside in a bowl.
You can either buy or make the peanut sauce. I always have mae ploy sauce around as it makes almost every Asian dish better- it’s a red sauce available in all asian food stores and a lot of regular grocery stores too. Put each in a dish for dipping and wash/dry the lettuce.
At the table fill a piece of lettuce with the chicken mixture and dip in each sauce- pretty amazing and pretty simple.
1 tin of canned crab
1 pkg cream cheese
1 pkg wonton wrappers
The simplicity of these belies their addictive qualities. Well, ok, it’s carbs and fat fried in fat, so it’s bound to be amazing. Mix the crab and cream cheese together, put a dollop on a wonton wrapper, wet the edges of the wrapper with water and seal them together, then fry in vegetable oil in a pan (or a deep fryer if you have it) till brown.
I won’t insult you here- just steam them and toss with salt.
And you have a feast!
At first I was going to try to make an indoor tent like any one of the myriad of lovely teepees I’ve seen pinned, but when I mentioned it to Tim, he said what Valiant really needed for his birthday was a bank. Well, three actually. One for tithe, one for saving, and one for spending. After hunting around for bit in search of some adorable bank that he would like to clink his coins into, and realizing that it probably wouldn’t arrive in time for his birthday, I finally decided just to make one.
I started with three jars I liked the look of, all with metal tops that don’t flex– in my case: horseradish, garlic and peanut sauce containers. I first washed them and soaked them in bleach. Why is it that the cutest little jars I could find were also holding such pungent stuff??
After removing the labels wit Goo-Gone and having Tim cut a quarter-size hole in the tops of the lids,
I took three Schleich-like animals and painted them and the jar caps with liquid gold leaf.
(Keep in mind if you use this type of paint you will need mineral spirits to clean up with).
Then I used stamps to make little labels of my own designating “Church”, “Saving” and “Spending”.
After affixing the labels I used some super glue to attach an animal to each lid.
I’ve decided to try to make a habit of celebrating birthdays by giving the boys their choice of an activity or place to go as well as letting them choose dinner/birthday dessert. Valiant is a little young for the concept. When I asked what he wanted for his birthday, without hesitation he said a butterfly. When I inquired further into what type of butterfly he didn’t have very many specifics. As for a birthday meal, he first asked ” what are my options?” When I suggested different things like pizza and so forth, he finally settled on “oatmeal”.
With that to start with, I got to work.
We had never been to the butterfly house at the Smithsonian, and since Tuesdays it is free, we went this week and stood in line with a bunch of tourists at the entrance to the Natural History Museum half an hour before it opened in order to get our free, timed tickets to the exhibit. At 1100 Tim cabbed down and joined us for a walk through the butterfly house. When the guide found out it was part of Valiant’s birthday gift she helped land two butterflies on him which is what he was hoping for more than anything.
He might look a little scared here but in fact Valiant was just trying his hardest to be quiet and still so the butterflies would stay.
They also happen to have an IMAX movie about the Monarch butterflies running at the museum right now so we bought tickets to that for the evening of his birthday.
As to the oatmeal…. I have decided to do breakfast for dinner as his birthday meal. I mean, I couldn’t really see sitting down to oatmeal– but a full-on breakfast could be great.
I felt a little like the Tailor of Gloucestershire laying out the boys Easter outfits tonight. I am trying to make Easter the biggest celebration of our year for them– that’s the goal– but I’m glad that I have a few years before things really start to settle in their memory, because starting great traditions takes time I’m realizing. Right now I am just thankful for store-bought cinnamon rolls.
Here’s what did get done this year:
1. I bought some Easter candy early (and even unwrapped the Peeps because I like them best when they are dried out!)
2. We got baby chicks to raise
3. Put together an abbreviated egg hunt (church starts at 9:15, plus they’re not very aggressive finders yet… Actually those are just excuses. I don’t really want to be personally responsible for consuming my weight in hard-boiled eggs and I didn’t get around to buying plastic ones. So it’s really more of a treasure hunt for their Easter basket– which if you must know is actually just a serving bowl filled with all their loot. I didn’t get around to the basket either.)
4. Bought the boys a little gift– this year it’s flashlight/lanterns (I mail-ordered some really great ones but I’m pretty sure they were stolen off my front porch, so I went with the ones for $1.99 at the hardware store at the last minute. I don’t think they’ll care. It does bother me just a little that I provided a thief with two excellent flashlights though….)
5. Dyed eggs (Ok not very well… a friend and I forgot that you’re supposed to use vinegar instead of water for the dye which meant we had extremely pastel eggs… this is what I mean about improving this with each year)
Rather than dye eggs, Atlas chose to eat them. Shell and all.
These were the sorriest looking bunch of Easter eggs I have ever had a hand in making. The brown marks are due to the fact that once we realized we were missing that pungent smell of dying eggs– that we forgot the vinegar– we also discovered my friend had only balsamic vinegar to use. I think it was only fitting that as soon as we got home Atlas pulled the whole carton of them off the counter and smashed every one. The boys however thought they were amazing and proceeded to eat about six for breakfast the next morning.
6. Went to a Good Friday service as well as a kid’s program– we’ve been reading through the chapters on the Passover and Christ’s death/resurrection in the Jesus Story Bible so hopefully more than the candy will stick in their brains.
7. Made the boys Easter outfits
I have never been much good at following a pattern so I tend to make my own out of brown paper
8. We’ll have lunch with Grandma J after services. I’m assuming the boys will probably polish off their life-size chocolate bunnies, not eat lunch and crash in short order; but I think feasting to a toddler looks a lot more like a candy rabbit than it does a ham, so we’ll just let that one go.
No I have not turned into a sports enthusiast. I refer here to our foray into chicken farming. In the city.
With Easter nearing it occurred to me that we might be entering Spring although there are no visible signs. If you are anywhere in the contiguous United States you probably know what I mean. I got a text from Aileen showing large flakes of snow falling outside her apartment window and texted her back something thoughtful like “Ha. You’re screwed.” That was just days before I awoke to my own Spring snowfall here on the East Coast.
Nevertheless, I have Spring fever. I am wearing flip-flops today and shivering as I write this. Never one to keep a plant alive longer that a couple weeks, I have filled my kitchen with living plants. I dare them to die. I am feverishly planning my assault on the dirt in my backyard, drawing up war-plans on my dining room table- rows of marching peonies, snowball bushes, fruit trees, an arbor scaled by wisteria, and chickens. A yardful of chickens pecking and scratching around- but we have a small yard so that means about three.
It was really Tim’s idea but it sort of became my obsession after a visit to my Aunt Beth’s way out in the country and a conversation with her farmer-neighbor who had just picked up some chicks at the feed store. A trip to the feed store later, I was in possession of everything I needed to start raising baby pullets in our attic- except the chicks. Not wanting to make an impulse buy I went home and started researching every variety of bird available. I even put together my dream team of hens which included a Silver Laced Polish, a white Sultan and a Partridge Silkie Bantam. The problem was my dream team would not be ready until August based on hatching schedules, so in the end I made a return trip to the feed store and picked up several Silver Laced Wyandottes.
Silver Laced Polish (which are just haute couture in my book)
White Sultan (also stunning with sweet temperaments)
Partridge Silkie Bantam (minis and the lap-dogs of the chicken world)
Silver Laced Wyandotte (good layers, cold tolerant, mild mannered, don’t mind being cooped up)
I have a relationship with a fellow chicken-owner and he says one of his rookie White Silkie Bantams will be a free agent in April. I’m going to try to sign her so I’ll be that much closer to my dream team come summer.
Valiant was at first convinced that Penny and Atlas would be good names. When I told him it might be confusing to have two Atlas’ he warmed to the idea of Murvy and Curvy. Eventually they became Henny and Penny.
We made a block maze to see if they could find each other. They did, although Penny did most of the crying and Henny did most of the searching.
They seemed a little bewildered by the hard empty expanses in the kitchen.
We are planning a long over-due girls’ trip for the end of April and after much debate over dates/locations, we have finally settled on New York City. Now I’ve done many posts that include New York City but I’m not sure that I have ever posted a Big Apple bucket list. It seems a little cliche- as though I am some sort of authority on the city and could add anything that a billion people haven’t covered in a million blogs, but here it goes. Selfishly, the point is, I would like to have readers include their favorites in comments so we don’t miss a thing!
Places to Go:
The Plaza- on a cold day a friend (Laya) encouraged going there for hot toddies. Haven’t done this yet, so it’s still on my list.
ABC Carpet and Home- I have always seen this place in my design magazines and was not disappointed when I finally went. It’s magical to go from floor to floor of this enormous building drinking in each new gorgeous theme.
Eataly- I list this under places to go because it can’t simply be boiled down to a place to eat. It’s much more of an experience than that. Imagine a huge covered market that contains several different restaurants and coffee shops, not divided by actual walls but by different menus, interspersed with isles of food like an Italian grocery.
The Highline- an elevated park built on a 1.45-mile section of the former New York Central Railroad. I think this is a little over-rated. People (mostly New Yorkers probably) rave about this place and I think it’s worth a walk-through. Building a park on an old rail-road is cool but probably less cool to people from areas of the country where you could buy that park and 15 thousand acres to go with it for about $10.
Tenement Museum: could be fun. I was there pregnant, in the freezing cold which made me feel like a poor immigrant so my memories are somewhat tinted by that. It is historically interesting though you will probably have a tour-guide who tries to make you think that life was incredibly awful back in the day for new folks coming to America (i.e., and better now that the soft bigotry of low expectations reigns).
Chelsea Market, The Met, Guggenheim, Central Park, Soho shops…
Mom will definitely want to make a pilgrimage to Redeemer. She teeters on the edge of idolatry when it comes to Tim Keller so I just hope she isn’t devastated if he isn’t preaching that day.
Places to Eat:
I was exposed to Norma’s on my last all-girl trip to NYC which may or may not turn out to be a good thing. The food is amazing, the service is 5 star but you may have to choose between shoes for your children and 4th smoothie-of-the-day. It’s a little spendy but well worth it.
Waverly Inn: Tim and I went here on a day-trip when we didn’t do much of anything and hung out in the warmth of their glass-domed courtyard having brunch and sipping our hot drinks. I sort of reveled in not being a tourist that day.
Upstairs (that’s the name of the place) at the Kimberly hotel if you want a roof-top brunch with a view (recommendation of The Mari-Scarlet)
The Ace Hotel: I would like to grab coffee here. The last time I went I just gawked.
Prune: Mom has written about Blood Bones Butter so I am wondering if she will want to go to this restaurant.
Tim treated me to a trip to NYC specifically for the AD Home Design Show. We left the boys with Grandma (thank you!) and spent the night in in the city. I’d read about the show in my magazines and was curious to see what it was all about.
The Cherry Blossoms were debuting early this year and Central Park was floating on them.
Even display windows were full of blossoms.
The AD show, held at Pier 94, basically consisted of three elements: the Dining by Design section where designers put together different table settings representative of their distinct styles, the MADE section with display booths of different artisans and their items, and the main section which was devoted to larger companies (think Farrow and Ball paint, La Cornue ranges, Michael Gold and Bob Williams, etc).
There was a section in the main hall for individual complimentary consultations with designers from the top 100 design firms selected by AD.
There were also several seminars a day– we walked in on one featuring Barry Dixon (a DC area local) and several other designers.
By a fluke, we were able to get a 15minute walk-in consultation with a designer and I plied him with questions about wallpaper, cabinet colors, and all sorts of other queries I’ve had as we plan our fourth home renovation.
Dining by Design
I have to admit I took that line from a website called “Homicide Watch DC”. I’m glad that there’s attention given to the death of every person in our city who “counts”, but what about those who don’t? And why don’t we ever talk about the fact that abortion is our own form of ethnic cleansing, especially in a city where race tensions typically run so hot and no-one is afraid to call any number of things “racism”.
It’s hard to believe that stopping the massacre of unborn children is a disputed issue in this country. It’s impossible to understand how simply mentioning it could somehow be offensive. It reminds me of a White Stripes song:
“I guess you have to have a problem if you want to invent a contraption
First you cause a train wreck, then they put me in traction
first came an action and then a reaction
But you can’t switch em’ round for your own satisfaction
Well, you burnt my house down then got mad at my reaction
Well, in every complicated situation of a human relation
Makin’ sense of it all takes a whole lot of concentration
Well you can’t blame a baby for her pregnant ma
And if there’s one of these unavoidable laws
It’s that you just can’t take the effect and make it the cause”
Valiant, Atlas and I were among the hundreds of thousands of wing-nuts who turned out in sub-freezing temperatures on the National Mall to force the recognition of America’s on-going holocaust. It was a pretty sobering event.
While Mom et al were doing hand to hand combat with a crazed lumberjack, we were having the perfect Christmas tree cutting experience, complete with snowfall.
Last night I was up with Atlas who was repeatedly vomiting from midnight to 4 or 5am. As soon as he managed to drift off to sleep he (and I) would be jerked awake as he dry heaved, struggling to catch his breath. Tim made a speedy exit to the guest room while I turned our bedroom into the sick ward, and tiptoed around the boys’ room trying not to wake Valiant as I shoveled bedding into a towel and disinfected the crib.
This morning as I attempted to give Atlas some Gatorade he again threw up all over me, himself and our bed. Enter Valiant, who has been in the process of potty training for several months now, walking rather delicately, having just filled his pants and gotten poop on the floor.
So while Atlas slept off his rough night, Valiant and I made a barn out of the raisin box from breakfast, covering it with brown paper, using Washi Tape for a flower boarder and window trim and topping it with a glitter-snow roof. Then I covered the coffee table in more paper, drew roads and streams on it and pulled out some farm animals from Great Grandpa Leroy. And that was enough to keep him occupied for a couple hours.
Meanwhile I am trying to shrink my laundry pile using my doll-house size washer and dryer.
But since this is a blog post, here are some photos which, if viewed without the text, could be rather misleading. (although the observant person might notice that it’s about noon and Valiant is still in his bed-time shirt with only underwear on his bottom)
Sound disgusting? I assure you it is not. This is a recipe from Mom and our family cookbook but I add salmon to make it an entire meal instead of a side dish. Vegetable, protein, dairy– we are in survival mode in our household lately, so dishes like this come in handy. And my kids will actually eat it!
10 oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed
pinch of salt (if this scares you, just add 1/4tsp)
1/2 lb cottage cheese
1/2 lb monterey jack cheese cut into small pieces
1/2 c sour cream
1 c flour
1-1.5lbs salmon uncooked, cut into bite sizes
1/2 c butter
Drain thawed spinach and mix with remaining ingredients except butter. Melt butter in the bottom of a 9×13 pan and pour spinach mixture into it, bake at 350 for 45min.
I dont always use monterey jack cheese, be creative. It just needs to melt well (and obviously not be something like Velveeta)
Once a year we get a break from real life and escape to a little village full of tiny white cabins just a few miles down the road from my in-laws for a week of cousins, grandparents, aunts and uncles, someone else cooking and cleaning up, all the ice cream you can eat, dunk tanks, slip n slides on a giant scale, rock piles and toy trucks, evening entertainment for the kids, morning and evening bible teaching for the adults– all surrounded by corn fields and giant trees.
It’s the perfect retreat for just about anyone, but especially two boys being raised in the city. We can’t wait till next year!
I mentioned the Christians in Nigeria in my last post. The press in general is, of course, silent on this issue. The only reason I actually know that Muslims in Northern Nigeria have made it a kill-zone for Christians is because of an organization I support called International Christian Concern. If you want to read about real persecution you can find it here.
(And if you, like me, are skeptical of a lot non-profits and their effectiveness, check out their financial information).
I was doing a little reading the other day and read through an article that a pastor’s wife wrote about why you should be glad if you (or in her case, her husband) is slandered. It got me thinking about persecution in general and I decided to write this little reminder to myself.
(First of all, let me clarify– I don’t think that slander and persecution are the same thing (although she seemed to). Slander is what we endure if we say something another person disagrees with and they twist our words and impute us with a guilt that is not ours. Persecution is what the Christians in Nigeria are undergoing right now. There is some difference.)
I don’t know the specifics of her case but I know in my own circumstances it can be very comforting to assume I am being persecuted when in fact I am getting negative feedback from people who think I am 0ff-course or out of line. Now granted, that feedback can be done lovingly or it can be an angry-backlash sort of way. She quoted the usual verses about being persecuted (Matthew 5:11-12, 1 Peter 4:14). I took the time to look up the verses in Matthew and Peter and also to read them in context. The Matthew passage is part of the Sermon on the Mount, of course, and the verses preceding vs 11 where Christ talks about being blessed for being persecuted for His sake are, interestingly, chock full of encouragements to peacemakers, the merciful, the meek, the poor in spirit…. not really virtues that shine out from the times I can think of when I may have been slandered. Further, it’s interesting to note in the verses following the 1 Peter 4:14 passage that it says specifically “let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler”. It’s pretty clear that meddlers, people who stir up controversy unnecessarily, are not blessed for their suffering– in fact, they are put in the same sentence as murderers, thieves and evildooers!
I do think that there is a time and a place for controversy, planting your flag, dying on your hill, etc, and then there are thousands and THOUSANDS of other areas where (to quote Peter 4 again) “above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins”. Taking the Bible on the whole, it appears that the times when we are assured of being blessed for our suffering/persecution are those times when we are standing up for the gospel and Christ. Pretty simple test: were you sharing the good news of Christ’s salvation? It doesn’t really mention those times when we are defending ideas that we hold dear but that other faithful Christians might not.
Which does not make me a peace and happiness, butterflies and rainbows Christian, by the way. In fact, I have a very good stomach for controversy and love a good argument, in case you haven’t guessed! Which is why I have to keep myself in check constantly (or perhaps I should give credit to my husband here). Going at someone with a metaphorical 2×4 is the easiest thing in the world (at least for me). Especially when I know they are in the wrong, there is nothing that gets me more worked up. The much harder thing to do, the harder “fight” you might say, in reality is to deny that desire and instead to cover another’s sin.
And if covering the sin is not the thing to be done, then, the Bible talks to that as well. Now if we want to get good and mad most of us will cite the places in the Bible where Jesus made himself a whip and literally drove the money changers out of the temple or where the Israelites waged war against the people living in the land of Canaan. That’s all well and true, but I don’t think that what those passages are driving at is how to convert a money changer or how to show a Canaanite their error. The purpose of those passages is to show GOD’s holiness and HIS intolerance of sin. In several places Satan is referred to as the accuser (see Rev 12:10). As a general rule, I think it’s safe to say that satanic characteristics are not ones that we should espouse. I remember hearing a very good sermon on this (David and Bathsheba from the series: The Life of David 2009 by Dr. Timothy J. Keller ) where the pastor basically encouraged Christians to approach sin the way Nathan did with David. In other words, we should not accuse in a manner that inclines the other person to dig their heels in and sink deeper into sin, but we should approach it lovingly, almost winsomely. When Nathan came to David, he did so in such a way that David’s own mouth accused himself. David identified the sin, all Nathan had to do was bring God’s word. We should want to see a sinner turn from their sin, and if this is truly our motivation, we should use the means most effective for doing it. The result, of course, in Davids case was Psalm 51.
Now that’s effective.
This past weekend my mother in law brought a large box of blueberries down from Pennsylvania for me. I look forward to the blueberries coming into season each year because it is the only time when I can eat them with abandon, shoving handful after handful into my mouth. Plus, when it’s a good batch these ones taste a thousand times better than the small, anemic, sour-ish or flabby, flat, flavorless ones you get at the store the rest of the year. These are HUGE and bursting with flavor, tangy sweet and almost floral. My goal is to eat as many fresh berries as possible until the remaining ones absolutely have to go into the freezer before they go bad. In a last ditch effort to use them before freezing I found this recipe a couple of years ago and was completely enamored. I have tried it with frozen berries and it just isn’t the same- use fresh if at all possible!
What you end up with is a breakfast or dessert (lunch, in my case) that tastes the way you always wished a blueberry muffin would. The smell of blueberry muffins lies and promises a mouthful of tangy, juicy, sweet blueberries and buttery muffin, and all I ever get is a spongy amalgamation of muffin and berry together, the flavor pretty flat and sweet. Toss out the muffin recipes! These are better by far. Buttery, flaky, cookie-like crust, that’s dense- almost gooey toward the center, crumbly on top, with a tangy, sweet, flavorful berry center.
You must try them!
I mentioned last time that we were selling the first house we bought in DC. Fear not, there is another project in the works. The walls and ceilings have already begun to come down, but here are the before pictures. I’ll update as we go along.
I’m sure our neighbors will appreciate when this house begins to look a little more cared for.
Here we are, standing in the front doorway. I swear I have thought twice about removing that mechanical chair.
Getting my little Irish twins up and down the stairs is such a breeze with it! If it’s any indication of how far Tim has come in giving me control of the interior design, when I mentioned it to him, he said “you can do whatever you like.” I thought he’d be harder to convince. On the other hand, hauling those two around is what keeps me skinny so I guess I’ll shelve the idea.
If you turn slightly to the left, there is the wide opening to the living room.
The living room has a fake fireplace which I’d say was charming except that it’s FAKE– that dark space below the mantle is just the wall painted. Plus, it makes arranging furniture a pain since there are doorways on either wall and windows on the remaining wall… I’m thinking it needs to go. The opening to the right goes into the dining room- there are pocket doors hidden away between the walls.
The dining room is huge! with a doorway into the kitchen- we plan to knock down this wall and open up the space between these rooms. We also plan to add a powder room and a closet against the west wall.
Right now the opening to the kitchen is tiny.
There is a cool, original kitchen cabinet built into the wall directly ahead. To the left is the door leading to the basement- the stairway has to be moved in order to take down the wall, so we plan to rebuild a descending staircase underneath the ascending one at the entry to the house.
Just past the basement stairway on the left is this pantry, which diminishes the overall size of the kitchen considerably. It has to go too.
With all that space devoted to stairs and pantry, the actual kitchen is not very large. We plan to change that!
The kitchen- wouldn’t you love to work in this place? I’ve been living in something similar for the past two years and I am over it!
You’re standing in the kitchen, now head back towards the dining room….
Past the pantry, staircase and through the dining room…
…Walk from the dining room into the living room….
Ascend the stairs…
… now turn around and face the front of the house. You can see the doorways into three of the bedrooms and one leading to the attic.
The smallest bedroom, located over the front door, is this one. We’ll keep it even though it is small– I figure it will work well as a nursery or study.
The bedroom to the right will be the boys’. It has two large windows and lots of light.
There’s clearly been some water damage and I’m curious to see what’s under the fake parquet flooring.
The room has one small-ish closet and a door into the next bedroom. We plan to close off this door and make the space into another closet.
If you walk through that doorway right now before we close it off, you enter the largest bedroom in the house. The square footprint on the floor was from the king size bed that was in here. Since this is the middle bedroom and we plan to have a master suite at the back of the house, some of it’s size will have to be sacrificed to make space for the extra bathroom and laundry facilities we need to include in the floor plan.
It will be a loss but the room is unnecessarily large for a guest bedroom (by DC standards! I know it looks small to the rest of you).
Right next door is the only bathroom in the house– obviously this will be completely re-worked. There are many charming things about an old house. Disgusting bathrooms and kitchens are not one of them.
If you keep going down the narrow hall past the bathroom you enter the back bedroom which will eventually become the master bedroom.
It’s not a large room but it opens onto the back porch that overlooks the yard and it’s far away from the street noise at the front of the house.
We plan to enlarge the space by a couple feet but the major improvements will be quadrupling the closet space and adding a bathroom.
Now if you go back down the hall and open the door leading to the attic these steep stairs are what you see.
Right now the space is full of boxes, vintage hats and clothes a couple wardrobes, costume jewelry, a birdcage, an old tv, and many many other things.
It doesn’t look like much now, but I envision maybe having a couch with a fold-out bed for extra guest capacity and a tv up here at some point– a family room of sorts where it doesn’t matter if the toys get picked up each day.
And best of all, some storage space at the back where the ceiling gets really low so that out of season clothes, snow boards, suitcases and christmas decorations don’t have to live under my bed.
Now alternately, if you take that staircase from the kitchen down into the basement… and are careful not to break your ankle on the rotten bottom step…
… you’ll enter a completly unfinished space just begging to be used. This is looking towards the front of the house.
And this is looking towards the back.
If you keep walking back and under the staircase, this is what you see.
There is currently a bathroom down here and a wash sink
Although I doubt you’d want to use them.
Now the last thing to see is the back yard and back of the house.
It’s a remarkably deep yard by Hill standards.
And even has a “two car” garage (if you drive a horse and carriage).
I’ve spent hours working out the floor plan for the house- wanting to keep the historical beauty intact while also making it more functional for modern living. Keep checking in for updates!