Friday, February 9, 2024

An Addition For Our House In East Texas

How is everyone?
I hope you are well.

When we bought our East Texas house three and a half years ago, it jump started our talk of retirement and what we wanted to do and where we would want to live. We kept referring to our country experience  as our five year plan. Five years seemed a long way off. In no time at all we find ourselves 18 months out from Bill's retirement and decision time is nearing. There have been ups and downs in the last 3.5 years. 

We are a little split on the issue of retiring to the country. 
Bill is all set to live in East Texas. I'm a little unsure for several reasons. 
I've been dealing with back issues for about two years. Where I'd thought I was a bit invincible, I'm now a bit more reticent about my abilities to do all that I will able to do to maintain our house and property. 
What about doctors? They are further away but there is good medical care near by. 

I worried about making friends in a new community. We need a new church. I'm pretty shy and it takes me a while to form deep relationships. Is it wise to leave our family and friends? 

There are other concerns too but for this post's sake, I'll hop to the last reason. We have quite a few things that we've collected over the years and this house simply won't fit them all no matter how I try to mentally figure it out. 
Bill decided late last summer that we needed to add on to this house in order for me to overcome the downsizing hurdle. Thus began the process of figuring out what we need, what we want, and how to gain those things in this house and in a manner that looks authentic to the house.  
We called in a friend of ours who has a house plan business.  

Our extreme heat from last summer, caused me to realize that our darling screened in porch is just not practical. We need a room that works for all four seasons, not just 2.5. The ceiling is not insulated so the porch felt like an oven first thing in the morning until late in the evening. Bill was going to have to tear our the ceiling in order to insulate. Even though I love the space, it was the tipping point for me. I was ready to say that we should convert it to a four season room. We began to chat about enclosing the carport as well in order to have a larger room for more seating and another dining area. 

In September our friends came out to have a look so that they could begin drawing up some plans. Bill felt very strongly that we needed a bigger bathroom. The primary bath is basically a hallway. He also wanted another closet so that we don't have to share. I wanted a storage room for craft supplies and decor. 
Bill thought we should move the laundry to an addition so that we could convert the existing laundry room into a butler's pantry for my plethora of dishes. 

We got the first set of plans late last fall and immediately noticed that the new bathroom and closet were bigger than the current primary bedroom. By tearing out the existing closet and shower we could make our bedroom a little bit bigger so that it's in proportion to the bathroom. We can use the new area for a dressing area or a little reading nook with bookshelves. 

We sent those changes back and waited for plans that included the electrical and outside elevation. 
We received those plans two weeks ago. It seemed like there were too many windows so I decided to measure all of our furniture so that Bill could make little cutouts to scale. We had fun placing our favorites in various spots. It helped decide which windows needed to be removed in order to fit our larger case goods. 

 Currently, we are waiting for final plans that will include the electrical, elevation, and plumbing. 

Our next door neighbor does concrete. He has already given us a preliminary bid for the work. 
We also have our plumber, roofer, electrician and HVAC guy. We will need to have our flooring guy figure out the floors as well. While these vinyl plank floors are great for a weekend home, they do look a little fake. We need a framer and drywall guy and a painter to do the texture. 

 I've gone back and forth about whether this is the right thing to do given some of the reasons that I've stated above. I'm not really looking forward the building process. 
We've been praying about all of  this. 
 A few weeks ago, Bill decided to step across the street because he heard them building their house. 
He met two couples, they invited us to church which is 1/4 mile away. We've hit it off and
we also love the church. It seems that all the doors are opening and God is leading us to a place we can call home. 

Embarking on retirement feels a little like becoming engaged and waiting on the wedding or waiting for the arrival of a child. 
It's a happy time but it can also be stressful. Once I realized that it is a major life change, I've given myself permission to be uncertain of what the future holds but trusting that the Lord has directed our path so faithfully that He will direct our path now. 
"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11. 
Have a great day. Thanks for sticking around. 
There will be more about this as we have new information and pictures. 

Friday, January 26, 2024

Vintage Valentine's Day Decor

Hello, Friends,
How are you? I hope you are well. I have not fallen off of the face of the earth but it has been a long while since my last post. 

This year, I felt like pulling out the Valentine's Day shoe box. Typically, I don't do a lot. I decorated for the kids when they were little and I decorated for the blogging world when I was immersed in that. As we thought about moving permanently to the smaller house in the country, I'd purged a lot of my seasonal decor because we wouldn't have room for it but we (initiated by Bill) have decided to add on to that house. It will still be smaller than our house in town but it's not going too small. We should have all the space we will need by enclosing the back porch and carport and by adding on a small addition. This has taken away a lot of the pressure I felt to minimize my accessories, so I've been thrifting and crafting which feeds my creativity. 

The white mailbox was a Christmas decoration. It holds poetry from my husband. He writes coffee poetry and leaves in front of the coffee maker. I've tied them up in lace and ribbon. 

The little dog below belonged to my mom. The blocks belonged to Bill. 

It's been gloomy for days which makes photos difficult.  It's a break from our long hot summer so I'll take it. 

The garden room cabinet got a few little displays. 

Whitman's Candy boxes this year seemed classic looking so I picked up the small one to use as decoration. I found the larger size at another store so I got that too. 
I'll probably keep these to use from year to year. 

I shopped the house for anything sweet, romantic, or vintage inspired. 

My baby plate hasn't been on display in years but I held on to it. My mom was the original thrifter, so it probably wasn't new when she bought it. I think it's from the 30s but I could be wrong about that. 

I saw a fabric envelope on Etsy and decided to try to make my own. I made two trying to perfect the technique. 

Really, it needs a piece of cardboard sandwiched in between the fabric layers but I wasn't about to undo it. The little vintage Valentines with the bears were from my antique store. They were from two different individuals but they match perfectly. 

 I found a miniature house kit at the thrift store for 75% off after Christmas. 
$3.75 seemed like a lot of fun for very little money.  

The church was easy to put together. I did it during the arctic blast. 
The red convertible was Bill's when he was a kid. I came across it in his box in the garage. Such a fun little display for Valentine's Day. I kept humming, "Going to the chapel and I'm going to get married." The doors are glued open so that fairy lights could be tucked inside. The heart banner can be easily pulled off and replaced with something for Easter. 

I've collected vintage valentines over the years but some are from my baby book. 
My mom was great about saving ephemera for us. 

This kitty from my aunt and uncle is just precious. 
I was born in 1959. Ice cream chairs from the turn of the last century must have been trending when this card was printed. I think it's so sweet. I just lost my aunt last summer. 

The kitchen cubbie came from Target ages ago. It had numbers to label each slot but I took those off and sanded it down. 

The little cottage was a CVS Christmas item. A pink roof and wreath transitions it into a Target Dollar Spot dupe. 
I love the gingham dog and calico kitty in a valentine from my grandparents. 

A cyclamen from Christmas is about to re-bloom. It will add some winter cheer. 

When I unearthed the valentines from my baby scrap book, I found The Betty Crocker coupons. They were tucked into a note of congratulations. My mom must have been collecting these as we had the Queen Bess silverplate and the Twin Star stainless. Rather than tuck them back into my scrapbook, I popped them in behind a cookie cutter. 

The baking theme continues in the opposite corner. 

I'd given away most of my cookie cutters and my heart pans but I was able to snag the appropriate accoutrements at the antique mall and at the grocery store. 

I'm embracing tiny cabinets and cubbies. 
An old wooden cabinet in our laundry room is a sweet place for a couple of vintage cuties. 

The tiny phone was mine as a child. It has been tucked away in my craft closet. The pink just looked so darling with the cards that I popped it in the cabinet.  It's called The Princess Phone. It used to light up. 

Red transferware is a great backdrop to all of our displays. 

My mother's Japanese bisque doll was missing her arms. In a flash of insight, I knew I should make her cloth arms. I've seen her labeled as a flapper doll, frozen Charlotte or a Kewpie doll so I'm not sure what she was called originally. The porcelain couple was a thrifted find years ago for $3.00. 

Paired with a red and white checked lunch box and mug they are perfectly at home for Valentine's Day.  

That is about it for now. 
I'll pop on here again to give you an update on our other house. We have enclosed a porch before but we have never done an addition so it's all new to us. All that information deserves a post of its own. 
I hope you got a little vintage Valentine's Day inspiration. I had fun putting my displays together.