Before & After- Deck Side

This is what the deck side of our house looked like when we moved here in 1998.

First change out was the stairwell window. The porch you see to the right in this photo has been enclosed and is now our family room with french doors onto the deck.

Dear built a temporary platform to be able to hoist the window up and get it set into the opening.

Next he built the deck in anticipation of Josh and Laura’s rehearsal dinner in August of 2001.

The deck got an extension sometime after 2001 so we could reach the garage from the house on decking. The house got a facelift with new horizontal siding.


Our deck covers changed over the years, too. These two are serving us very well currently. This photo shows the extended deck and the difference between the horizontal siding and vertical siding to the left of the deck.

tri tip patio 033

overgrown yard 035

Here’s a shot that shows the house with the completed horizontal siding.

One more addition this summer is this privacy fence we put in.

Here’s a view from our house without the privacy fence.

And this is the view with the privacy fence.

We really are enjoying this new privacy fence. It gives this whole area a more finished feel and we aren’t totally open to the surrounding neighbors anymore.

Some reflections…

Our two sons born almost exactly 2 years apart were married 14 years apart, one in 2001 and the other in 2015. So our 3 kids were married in 2001, 2011, and 2015.

July 2015 was a tough month for me. It was as if someone had let the air out of my tires. I’m happy to say that I’m getting back to my old self now in August!

I also have to admit that summer is probably one of my least favorite seasons. Even though I was born and raised in Southern California enjoying the beaches and spreading coco butter on my body to sunburn tan, sitting in the sun does not give me pleasure anymore. I enjoy the sunshine while sitting in the shade or under an umbrella. These days my favorite time at the beach is in the winter.

How’s your summer going?

Before and After

This is what the front of our house looked like when we moved in way back in October of 1998. This photo is from March of 2000. This next photo was taken this week and shows the changes we’ve made. I’ll be posting the different sides of the house and how they looked before and what we’ve done over the last fifteen years to update this old house.

Same door, new windows, and new siding. The planter is filled with new plants, too. I’ll be showing the process of Dear working around the house little by little to make more improvements over the years.

This part of our front walk used to lead to a porch that we enclosed to make a family room instead.

This was what the front walk and porch looked like before we enclosed the area.

The other side of the porch before we enclosed it.

This is what it looks like today.

The process of enclosing the porch/deck.

When we first moved we had signed a one year lease to rent and a month after we moved in the owner said he had to put the home on the market to sell it. We were tired of moving (long story) so we made an offer to buy the property and the rest is history.

I’m beginning to feel the “squeeze” of things I need to organize in my brain for the upcoming wedding and hosting some out of town family here at this old house. Posting and visiting might be a little random. I will be participating less in weekly memes until Julyish!

We are cooling down today in the Seattle area. That makes it nicer to work outside. My relaxing time these days is sitting with my feet up watching Women’s World Cup Soccer games. Watching soccer is my “happy place”.

What’s New…

…in my zoo!

Speaking of new…Happy Rosh Hashana to all our Jewish friends. The Jewish New Year begins this evening and ends September 18th. L ‘Shana Tova!

I finally put away my red, white and blue. My fall bins are ready to come down from the attic. I was at Target and saw these fall tin wall pieces and they were priced right for me…

I subbed out my plates for the tin pumpkins and pear for the Fall season. That might just be a tall skinny pumpkin but we’re calling it a pear after our pear bounty here.  At Christmas time I’ll add something new again.

Here’s a closer view of the pumpkin. These pieces were $2.50 each.

On Saturday Dear and I went to Cabela’s in Tulalip and while he was spending his gift card from the kids I found this table top tripod for myself. I’ll be using it for my food photos.

I bought this crown shelf piece to incorporate with my Christmas and Easter decor celebrating Christ as my King.

My hydrangeas are fading but still beautiful to my eye.

The maple leaves are falling and before we know it the lawn will be totally covered! Look at all that clover in my grass…

Later on Saturday the work continued on the siding with Josh helping again. I made a big pot of chili for the workers to enjoy when they were done.

Progress is good to watch…

We are still promised many dry days and Dear is encouraged with the extra time to finish the siding before the rains come!

When our Saturday was almost done we got one of those dreaded calls that my dad had to call 911 because my mom was very disoriented and didn’t know what end was up. Family met my dad and mom at the hospital and the doctors think she had a TIA event. They kept her overnight and are doing more tests today. I’m happy to be flying down to Southern California next Saturday so I can visit with my mom and dad in person.

So…what’s new in your zoo!?

Working Together…

…was a great gift Dear got for his birthday this year.

Dear has been working on a portion of this old house replacing the siding. He has found many interesting flaws in previous work that he had to repair.

Every job can go a lot easier with the right tools. This handy dandy tool called Gecko makes it simple to space each row of siding perfectly.

Sunday on Dear’s birthday Josh and Laura came over for the afternoon. Josh helped his dad with the siding. Laura and I worked on the meal we would have together when the work was done. The work went quickly with two workers.

A few more rows to go and this side of the house will be all done.

We are pleased with the horizontal siding compared to the vertical. It will be a while before it’s completely done and painted.

After the work was done for the day we had a meal together and this Pear Tart was Dear’s birthday cake this year. Everyone gave it a thumbs up. I’ll be posting the recipe on the Mennonite Girls Can Cook blog in October. The kids all got together and gave Dear a generous gift card to Cabella’s. He’ll be spending it soon.

The birthday dinner setting.

Thank you Josh and Laura for the gift of “help” that you shared with us.

I’m happy to report that all my pears have been taken care of. I washed and cut the final bunch today. I made 3 pear desserts, some pear sauce, a pear topping for pancakes, a batch of sugared pears went into my Smirntopf. Dear took a couple dozen to work to share. Josh and Laura took a dozen home to use. I still need to come up with one more recipe to use up the prepared sliced pears. And yes, I’m still restraining myself! Fall Women’s Bible Study starts today and I’m looking forward to it.

Today is 9/11 and I’m still remembering that day. I’ll leave you with this photo from the Sounders game on Saturday…

Praying for our nation and for our Armed Forces with a shout out to our Marine son-in-law, our Border Patrol Agents, and all our first responders. May God protect you all from evil.

Summer Vacation #1

After our 3 day escape to Eastern Washington Dear decided to do this on his remaining days off…

He removed the old siding. Added new plywood where needed along with new tar paper. He hopes to get to the new siding installation this weekend.

You always find unexpected things when you work on an older house. The job is never straight forward. I’m glad he’s still smiling.

In the meantime I’m finding other things to enjoy like these flowers at Country Village in Bothell.

I’m not sure how much I’ll be sharing here during the rest of August. I’m contemplating a break for now. If something interesting happens I might post.

Dear has another week off at the end of August. I’m hoping he gets this siding project done before then. It just depends on the weather during upcoming weekends.

Do you still have vacation to look forward to?

Garage ~ Before and After

Through the seasons here is what our garage/shop looks like from the house.

Since it will be quite a while until we are able to re-side the garage, we decided to paint it the same color of our house. There still is 1/2 of our house that needs new siding and to be painted, too.

Last week Dear finished the side of the garage that faces my kitchen window.

On the morning of the 4th the wall was dry and ready for the new metal art to go up.

We’re enjoying the new view from our kitchen window when we look out at the garage. This weekend more painting is on the schedule and the weather is cooperating.

Sprucing It Up…

Gotta love a guy that will paint for you after he’s put in a full day of hard work in the office. Did I mention he was dodging rain drops?

It wasn’t raining hard enough to bother the newly painted wall since it’s pretty well protected by the overhang.

I also bought a few more plants to add to the deck. The planters that could also be used as large candle holders were on clearance at 75% off.

This white hydrangea was calling my name, too. I have to decide now where to plant it. I was happy that the weather cooperated for me this morning and I was able to get the lawn mowed. We’re promised rain again on Tuesday and then they say we could have good weather for the 4th.

Tuesday is shopping day for the food for our 4th of July barbecue.