Monday, February 28, 2011


The original back door was in pretty bad shape, having been 
 exposed to 80 years of Colorado weather and numerous dogs.

The window was a piece of plexi glass that was framed and being held in the door frame with wing nut type hardware. We knew we could not go into winter with this door.

We happened to have another wood door inside that was a perfect match and still had its original wavy glass intact.  So while my husband planed the door and jam to account for some minor settling of the door frame ,  I took that opportunity to strip the hinges of decades of paint and grime. 

                            The project took the two of us only a couple of hours and cost us nothing.
 This spring I plan to apply a fresh coat of paint both inside and out.- Michelle

P.S. The back door window at -35 degrees! 

Wednesday, February 16, 2011



This was the backyard May 2010.
( before we bought it )

Saturday Morning...

Michelle -"This thing has to come off before it falls off and kills a kid!"

Brian -"Sooo,  that's what I'm doing this weekend?  I wanted to go for a hike "

Michelle - "You can,  after we get this shouldn't take too long"

Michelle - "The kids can help,  it will be fun!"

Yes, folks, that's the four year old pushing over the rotted
support posts. 

Michelle - " Ta da!,  look at all the light we've brought into the house!  Now wasn't that fun?" 
              Brian - "Yep"

                                                                    Sunday Evening...

                                                         Brian - "Can I go for a hike now?"  
                                                         Michelle - "Yep"

Monday, February 14, 2011


1/2 of the original garage door

Shortly after moving in, the original wood  garage door fell off its track that was attached to the ceiling...then the track itself came apart.  It didn't take us long to come up with the idea of cutting the door in half (vertically), reversing it, and attaching hinges to the outer sides and rehanging them as carriage doors. 

sanded, stained, and new hardware

I have always dreamed of having wood carriage doors on a garage but knew how costly they could be. We spent $50 on heavy duty gate hinges and bolts, which I painted black.  We already had paint, dark stain and scrap 1x4. We reused the original garage door handles.  Reusing existing materials has been and continues to be a recurring theme in our renovation. This project took a full weekend with the two of us cutting, sanding and staining. 

The doors turned out beautifully and we couldn't be more pleased. -Michelle    

P.S.  The picture below was taken the other day and I can see now that when Spring arrives I need to apply one more coat of stain to the center board. 

Monday, February 7, 2011


Our goal this past summer was to expose the front yard to more sunlight.  My husband trimmed up the branches on the two large blue spruce trees that flank the house, and removed some large limbs from the two trees at the foot of the driveway.  Yes, that is my husband in the tree and yes the ladder is in the back of our truck tied to the tree!...don't try this at home people!

We removed the brush around the foundation and edged the walkway, what a difference that little job made. Looks better already!

When we bought the house the "hedge" was 8' to 10' tall and a mass of random bushes and small trees. Not really a hedge more like bushes gone wild!

  Deer enjoying our trimmings.

We trimmed the "hedge" three times ( thank you Jessica for the second trim) before removing it entirely.

We ended the summer with lots of light and new grass. Our plan is to plant a proper hedge at some point in the future. Our neighbors across the street came over to introduce themselves and said  " In all the years we have lived here we have never seen the front of that house".  -Michelle

Friday, February 4, 2011



                         July 2010 the house officially became ours. That day was a story of its own...


The morning of closing day my husband had driven to an  isolated camp ground about 2 hours from here to accompany his mother, sister and the children back into town.  They were to babysit our youngest son who was sick with the flu while my husband and I met with the sellers to sign the final papers on the house and get the keys. Instead...I received a frantic call from my sister in law who proceeded to tell me that her mother had driven off the road and rolled her Toyota 4Runner and pop up camper down a hillside just moments after leaving the campground !  ( One should keep their eyes on the narrow twisting road, and leave the sunroof alone!) Needless to say none of them would be in town anytime soon, as they would have to wait for emergency vehicles and a tow truck . So with that I walked to the title company, sick child in tow, not knowing the exact condition of my mother in law.  What should have been the happiest day of my life had  turned into utter chaos.  I signed all the papers (alone) with a sleeping child curled up at my feet underneath the conference table. All I could think about was how everyone else was doing. After closing, I made my way to the hospital where I found my mother in law a little banged up and bruised, but ok. Later that afternoon after everything calmed down, with the mother in law settled and propped on the couch and several different accounts of the accident told by all the little witnesses, my husband and I walked the two blocks from our rental to our new house and sat on our new living room floor and shared a bottle of champagne!