26 July, 2014

Counting down

It's usually about now that I start posting beautiful photos of the house in readiness for leaving.  We will have one more night in the house, and drive back down to CT tomorrow before flying back to SG on Tuesday.  The time has gone far too quickly and I could easily do with another month or so to finish all the things I started/wanted to do.
 We took Remi down to Brattleboro Thursday of last week for him to catch the train back to Connecticut.  It's a much nicer drive for us (and Brattleboro is such a great little town) and this train stops in CT, but it's slow...about 5 hours.  One train comes per day; it's very old school, but Remi has caught it a few times now and doesn't mind.

We spent a great day in Bratt and bought some art work, lots of second hand records, a few CDs and DVDs, and unfortunately I couldn't fit in the nice vintage ladder I saw.

Matt also took me out to dinner at the wonderful SoLo, which is just up the road from us (and not country just up the road, we can literally walk to and from it), while Kit and Ella hung out with our neighbours playing the game of the summer, Skipbo.
 We've been so lucky this year because both of their lovely daughters are home this year for summer.  We didn't get to see Hayley once last summer! And we LOVE her!!!  She's got a part in a musical up here, so here's hoping she can do it again next year.
 We've caught up a few times with our friends with the gorgeous twins.  They came around for dinner, and I made a splash blowing raspberries on Luc and Camille's tummies....  Here they are in readiness.  I love these two (and their parents) and I'm so happy that Estelle is flying out to Singapore in just a few weeks to see her parents with the twins, so I will get to see them again soon!

My new ladder enabled me to finish painting one side of the house, completely (yay).  Two dormer windows and the top trim down.  I can take photos, but it really doesn't look that impressive.  Especially as I didn't paint the storm windows because.....dadadadadadaDA....we are getting new windows put in!  Yep, when we come back in December, we should have a nicely insulated house with new (Vinyl) windows.  I've been in two minds about how to do the windows.  I kind of feel like we should have nice wooden ones like the originals with the weighted sashes etc.  But the reality is that it is an old draughty house (at present) and having some nice tight windows (that open and don't fall down one your arm nearly breaking it as you are trying to replace the storm window with mosquito wire every year) is just more important.  They are being installed in about 6 weeks time, so I'm having to pull down ALL the curtains at the moment and will have to put them all up again when we get back in winter time.  It's quite exciting.  We are also getting 2 storm doors put on doors that don't have them at the moment and one replaced.

Unfortunately as I worked around with my ladder, I got back to the front bay window to discover that there'd been some water damage at the front where I painted 3 summers ago.  Whah WAH!  So I had to start scraping all that back again to paint.  I'm not sure if it's the flashing over the window (in lieu of roofing) that's leaking, although it all looks good, or whether the water is somehow coming in through one of the storm windows.  It's kind of a wait and see once we get new windows thing...so I'm not in a screaming rush to get up there and paint again, although I may have to putty up some of the holes and rotting wood this morning before we leave to help it through the winter.

In between all that, I had this little win.  One of the things that's really fun up here is that people put their unwanted stuff out the front of their house with "free" signs.  It's easier than doing yard sales or craigslist.  The place up the road had been putting out a bunch of stuff and we got a couple of old chairs for the back room ( a wicker one, and one of those ugly boomerang shaped gaming chairs which is up in the boys' room).  I'd seen this little stool put out and thought it had potential, but left it for a few days as it had been out in the rain.  It was covered in a light blue velvet and was even puffier.  It was faded and drawn on and pretty daggy looking.  But it had nice legs.    Initially I didn't think I had anything to cover it with, but when going through the blanket box and giving everything a wash, I discovered this old tablecloth?/throw?  that I've had for years.  So I started to rip the thing apart.  I had to put new webbing on it (I found some straps around the house and used those) and some garden hessian/burlap for the base, I reused one piece of foam from the original which didn't smell too musty, some wadding I'd pulled out of an old pillow and some quilt batting I had for the padding, then I cut a piece of drop cloth canvas and stapled that over the padding to keep it all nice and tight.  About then, my stapler broke, but fortunately I could manage the rest with out it.  I had some furniture tacks and and lots of these external tacks left over from a previous project, so I was able to finish covering the whole thing with the throw fabric.  I also sanded and oiled the legs. I love it.  It looks even better in person, and it goes so well in that room.  Please ignore the giant salmon pink rooster chair...I have a plan for that one day.
 And then suddenly on this happened.  Remember how I said I'd given up on trying to get the tree trunk out, and was calling someone in?  Well they came on Tuesday, with this piece of equipment.
 And did this.  

They were here for a day in total.  The guy ripped apart the yard with the big digger and generally shaped the land.  And fixed our drainage problem.  None of those photos show very well what's been done...partly because he also piled rocks to be used for a rock wall around the place, and a huge pile of earth.  So now we just have to wait and see what they do with the wall...as in wait a WHOLE year to see.  NERVE WRACKING!!!  

And while the sound of ripping and digging was going on out side, we were having ALL kinds of plumbing issues inside.  A call to the plumber on Monday was only answered on Friday, so in the meantime we just got started ourselves.  Matt spent a day trying to fix a leaky toilet....mostly done.  Still a little leaky, but at least it flushes.  And we had to rip the back off the island in the kitchen to get to the sink to fix it.
 We've actually left it like this.  This island is so badly designed, so we want someone to come in and take it back 6 inches with an openable back.  At least now we can push the stools in to get past them...although it looks a little ugly.  AND the taps work.  YAY.  The ones in the bathroom have a bucket under them.  The problem we think is that there's too much silt from the well getting in to the system, so we need to have a filter put in.

It's hard for a control freak like me to be leaving behind all these problems and issues...until next time.  Which will be Christmas time.  It's fun filling our wardrobes with our winter clothes in readiness though.

But the hardest thing for me is just leaving behind this place.  I can't begin to describe how much I love it here.  It's not just the house.  It's everything...made even more special by having these people next door who we love.
I will miss this so much!

Right, NOW I must crack on and finish what I can before we leave.  Next post will be from SG, in the heat....sigh.


  1. All looks like far too big a project for this old bloke, but good to see you enjoy it so much. Shame it is going to be such a cold time when you are next there instead of a proper Xmas.
    Dad, (yes always an Aussie bloke)

  2. I love reading about it all and hope to visit there again one day. Safe travels mum xxx


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