DIY, Interiors

Lines Written in Early Spring: 1930’s House Remodel Update

I was thinking yesterday about how wonderful it is to live in a part of the world that experiences all four seasons. There’s something rapturous and poetic about coming out of a long, dark winter and seeing buds on trees, hyacinths breaking up out of the ground and birds coming back through on their way north. Yesterday morning we had two Mallard ducks drop down into our backyard pond, paddle around and case the joint. I think they were either looking for nesting grounds, or on their way further north to their nesting ground. I even had a brief (minuscule) moment of insanity where I thought that I could be someone who had geese. The designer Lauren Liess has geese, why couldn’t I have geese? There are many many reasons that I remembered before I opened my mouth.

Last weekend I took a shovel to our vegetable garden. Last year, I’d managed to poison the ground with too much Home Depot mushroom compost. Everything I planted ended up looking like it was trying to grow on an industrial waste site. I was almost done shoveling out the tainted dirt when I uncovered a bundle of grass and leaves that had been buried. I hate to tell you but I attacked the bundle with my shovel to break it up and two little bodies flew out of it – little fur covered bodies… After screaming hysterically for what felt like a full minute, dragging Dave and Sylvia over to take a look, we determined they were baby bunnies who’s eyes weren’t open yet!

Baby bunnies in our garden

All this week we’ve been checking on them and they appear to be doing great! It’s ironic that I’m hosting two bunnies in the middle of my little protected garden patch. I decided today that I’m just going to have to plant around them if they’re still there. They look like they’re about big enough to leave on their own now. We have two big dogs who are completely oblivious to the babies in their midst. I read online that rabbits will frequently put their nest in a yard with big dogs to keep the raccoons, skunks and opossums out. Another thing we learned is that you can pick up the babies and return them to their nest. Mother rabbits will still return to feed them even if a human has handled them and rabbits aren’t strong enough to pick up their babies on their own and return them to a nest that a human Godzilla has unwittingly destroyed.

The work for our addition started this week! I don’t think I ever shared photos of our home stripped of it’s asbestos siding on the blog before. It made it looks smaller and also, weirdly, better.

This happened in early February, right before we had an extreme cold spell and a tremendous amount of snow…. Great timing for everyone involved.

It’s interesting to see the different eras of siding. The original, 1930’s siding is on the left and you can see the lines of the original home which must have been an incredibly small house. Clearly the front door was in the center of the windows there. The 1940’s/50’s addition is on the right with a later entryway tacked onto the home in the front.

I love that you can see the original home.

I wanted to keep the 1970’s era front door, but the sidelight attached to it was completely rotted and, evidently, it’s cost prohibitive to try to save the door and put in a new sidelight. I’m not sure why this is so and, to be honest, I didn’t fight that hard because the door, while cute, had some issues. We donated the door and trashed the sidelight. The sidelight turned to dust as it was removed – it was that rotten.

For a few hours, our home looked like a tornado had gone at it.
Now the door just looks odd next to the three ages of siding. I’ve also had multiple men (sub-contractors) tell me, “Now, you might want to consider a new porch light…” Ya think??!!

I’m a little worried the door looks too “farmhouse”, but I think once the rest of it comes together it will read Cottage! and not Modern Farmhouse! but we’ll see. I’m a little obsessed over a window covering for the glass on the door. I love flat lace panels, but they aren’t as ubiquitous as I thought they would be. The gathered panels are everywhere, but it’s harder to find a piece of flat lace and I don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on it. I’ll keep you posted on that front.

Footers freshly poured. This is also when I realized the addition wouldn’t be a sprawling wing. The size was inflating in my mind each day that went by without progress. In my head, I was envisioning having to purchase a jumbo sized sofa to fill the living room. It’s good to scale that back a little.

Changes, new life, and allergies – that sums up my spring so far. I hope yours is going well!

I heard a thousand blended notes, 
While in a grove I sat reclined, 
In that sweet mood when pleasant thoughts 
Bring sad thoughts to the mind. 

To her fair works did Nature link 
The human soul that through me ran; 
And much it grieved my heart to think 
What man has made of man. 

Through primrose tufts, in that green bower, 
The periwinkle trailed its wreaths; 
And ’tis my faith that every flower 
Enjoys the air it breathes. 

The birds around me hopped and played, 
Their thoughts I cannot measure:— 
But the least motion which they made 
It seemed a thrill of pleasure. 

The budding twigs spread out their fan, 
To catch the breezy air; 
And I must think, do all I can, 
That there was pleasure there. 

If this belief from heaven be sent, 
If such be Nature’s holy plan, 
Have I not reason to lament 
What man has made of man?

From “Lines Written in Early Spring” by William Wordsworth

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