Tuesday, June 11, 2013


Seems as if everyone in the family is involved in a big project these days except for me. The "kids" are doing landscaping. It started last December with the cutting down of the giant cedars that had grown as tall as the house and were overwhelming the architecture. (I had a blast decorating for Christmas and am certainly going to miss the cedars for their contributions to the greenery cause.) The roof was also replaced in December.

Now the dilemma seems to be the rock wall. Decisions, decisions.

Quite a pared back landscaping for the front yard without those towering cedars. I don't know what all the plants are. I know that there's Mountain Laurel way in the corner, a hibiscus tree, a rose, and a rescued lilac that is looking pretty shocked. There're also some hollyhocks and lupine.

I'm sure that it will be fun for everyone to watch their new garden grow. A few weeks ago, I was telling the grands how I used to live next door (that house there beyond the drive) and the oldest said, "That's not a nice house like our house." And the youngest chimed in, "Our house is awesome!" And I'd have to agree. It's a great old house in town.


Another project? Window replacements at the Ponderosa. (John)

The other family project? Raising chickens. (My niece)


The other? A complete home remodel starting with the kitchen. (My sister) We've been checking out Houzz projects and looking at Pinterest. There's a glut of information out there so I'd like to narrow this down a bit to tips from people I know and trust. =D What is the one thing you like best about your kitchen and what is one thing you really don't like about your kitchen? Thanks for your help.

Love Vee


  1. Your family is really BUSY this year! Wow!
    I am thinking about my kitchen and deciding that what I like best about it is the view from the window! Not for sale at your local Home Depot. What I like least is that it is quite dark in the summer. The lights are good, but without them it is too dark to work there, even in the sunniest of days. I don't really have enough storage either, and have some remodeling plans, but am holding off until my mind is clearer......

  2. WOW- I am amazed at all these big and REALLY big projects.

    The thing I love best about my kitchen is its natural light being a s/w placement. That was in the building part. The best DECOR thing I like best about it is the fact that I designed the granite for the island to be different than the granite on the countertops - it "grounded" the space better and didn't feel too samey samey because I have a lot of counterspace - also (and this was a costly one) we have seamless granite. I shopped around till I found pieces big enough to handle not having seams and comparing it to my sister's kitchen (bigger than mine) who had to have seams - well, seamless is nicer.

    The thing I like least is that we still haven't changed over to gas cooking, which we both prefer. We have a brand new (bought a year ago) double oven with glass cooktop stove and like it a lot, but it just doesn't heat up or cook as nicely as gas. We may or may not change it, not high priority compared to other projects, but will one day I am sure.

    Good luck to your daughter - and your whole family- on all their projects.

    BTW- it just so happens that on my vacation I just returned from I discovered for the first time what Mountain Laurel is - all the peachy orange were in bloom on the Blue Ridge Parkway drive we took and I couldn't believe how gorgeous it was in bloom naturally all over the place up there.
    I took some nice floral pics I will share one of these days when I have time to go through all the pics, we went more than nuts taking vacay pics, haha.

  3. You all are so busy! I hope the projects get finished and you have a little time to rest.

  4. What a marvelous house!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you for showing it to us.

    Your youngest 'grand' is right. Their house is awesome!!!!!!!

  5. Those are quite some big projects! What I like best about my kitchen is the gas stove. I love cooking with gas. I also love my "lounge" area. What I like least about my kitchen is there is not enough counter space. I need a couple more feet of counter.

  6. I had to make that decision a few years ago to remove some beautiful evergreens the builder had used in the landscape, but it opened up our view and I love that I can add more perennials to the front. Projects...yes, I have a few going on! XOXO

  7. What do we like? That we put in an island, when we did kitchen over, way back in '01. Islands rock!!!

    What we sometimes don't like? Every now and then, when I am in the kitchen with the Chef, we both "need" the sink at the same time.

    Now this would happen more, if I was doing more of the sharing of the cooking. So it might be an issue.....

    In other words, an extra sink somewhere, would be useable. Unlike I always looked on an extra sink... As just being "for show."

    Just a thought... If your sis and her hubby do share a lot, in the kitchen.

  8. Hi Vee
    I have a big kitchen, nice and long but not that wide. It was poorly designed so that is the most important thing to thing of, particularly your working space from sink to fridge to stove. The new granite counter top and huge double sink we put in make my baking days much nicer and there is a huge window at the end overlooking the back yard.
    Enjoy designing a new kitchen for you.

  9. Good morning! How I love a GOOD project! Soo many of them going in your family...Let's see, don't know if I can narrow it down as there are a few things I dislike about my kitchen (need to re-do the whole thing!)..but right at the top I guess would be the counters. I NEED them replaced. And what I like best? Again, I'd have to think as I don't like a lot, haha. I guess it would be view out the window. Enjoy your day Vee!

  10. I love to see new projects in the making and love seeing the before and after! Love the comments by those sweet grandsons of yours, Vee.
    What I like best about my kitchen is my farmhouse sink, so big, and I am making great use of it this year. What I don't like is, I would love to have more cabinet space, however,that is probably every woman's request. ~smile~
    I've been missing your posts, and was about to email you to ask where you have been, and now I know. Good luck to all with their new projects, I spent a lot of time last year at Houzz while remodeling, what a fun place to visit.


  11. You have a lot of different major projects lined up for the summer in your family. I love seeing that! Your 'kids' house looks so much better without the cedar trees. It is a beautiful house and needs to be seen. The rock wall should look amazing when it's finished. To answer your question about our own kitchens, I like our coconut white cabinets in our kitchen. Since we couldn't change the footprint of it, I would prefer a bit larger space with more countertop but I have gotten by with that same space for 36 years. If your sister can move walls for the kitchen she really wants then do it! We put a display shelf over the kitchen window/sink area but didn't put in an electrical outlet to plug in twinkle lights at Christmas time. (I use battery ones) Our floor is porcelain and has in-floor heating. The best!! A pantry is a must whether it's just great cupboard space or a separate 'room'. I have a long list of jobs for our house but haven't done a thing about them yet. :( Can't get a certain someone motivated so I'm not. Are you getting rain there today? We're to get a soaking again today and tomorrow. I don't know where it's all going to go as the ground is so saturated now. Have a great day Vee!

  12. This home like the Green Gables from Anne Shirley's Avonlea. Beautiful! Hugs from Slowakei: Csilla

  13. I love their house...major landscaping changes like these can be so much fun..especially the results of all the work...about the kitchen...I love my windows and that it is an all white kitchen...do NOT like that it is separate from the rest of the house..no opening into family room.....
    Love, Mona

  14. Your "kids'" house is so charming...I love it! And I think they're doing a great job with the landscaping!

    One thing I like about my kitchen? The farmhouse sink! It is luxurious to have a sink big enough to wash large pots or a frying pan with a long handle. I find it easy to clean too. Caveat: If you're tall, it is hard on the back to lean over an undermount sink. But I have an automatic dishwasher, so I don't have to wash lots of dishes. (I also have a non-automatic dishwasher who washes dishes if she is home. I dry.)
    I have also loved my painted cabinets and under-the-cabinet lighting...but now I have broken the rules and named more than one thing. Oops.

    One thing I really don't like? Because we were working with a pre-existing space, and there was only one place to put the refrigerator, I have one cabinet and one drawer that will not open all the way. Arrrgggh.

  15. I love their house. I agree it needs to be seen. Landscape grows so fast. We have our trimmed every year but eventually it is gonna have to go and start all over. I love my kitchen. The bay windows give good light where I like to paint but would like an island but no room for it. HH and I am easy to please, nothing that takes a lot of work for us.LOL

  16. That is an awesome house and I love that big star!
    Well the thing I like best about my kitchen is the abundance of cabinets, large pull out drawers under the island and stove top where I can see everything as I pull out the drawer and don't have to dig to the back of a cabinet. A tall narrower cabinet that has dividers in it that I can put large platters in and cookie sheets, etc. One large sink undivided that everything fits in to wash like large cookie sheets, platters, etc. I know this is more than one thing...but I'm old and forgot the instructions already...

  17. Again - gotta get up to Maine before I die. You know - thirty or forty years away. So pretty.

  18. Busy days! You better be careful or you may be asked to help! I think it is fun to pour up a glass of iced tea and watch OTHER people work!
    Those are some BIG houses!!!

  19. Their house looks great!

    I love having a good workspace in my kitchen either an old farmtable or an island.


  20. You have a busy summer ahead! I know you'll need to supervise many of these projects! heehee! In the condo...I LOVE the island! A great place to lay everything out at lunch and fix your plate. I like the nice big pantry, too. What I don't like...never enough cabinets. Sweet hugs!

  21. Hi Vee, That is an awesome house for sure, and I love the new plants.
    We downsized drastically and I really miss a gas range. I do enjoy a large window that allows us to enjoy nature, though.
    Wishing you a great day.

  22. isn't it fun to live vicariously through OTHER
    people's remodels. Lord, please spare me
    from one of my own!

  23. Hi Vee,

    I love seeing the outcome of hard work...its great to stand back and say Awww!!!
    The kids have a lovely home so grand...
    What I love about my kitchen is that its big and has a gas stove, what I don't like is the cabinets...I much prefer white or cream cabinets and we have oak. The cabinets were custom made right before be moved in by the previous owners. Although they were brand new and I was the fist to use them. I really don't like them. I have tried to make them work by addeding glass, but alas I must keep them since it would be to costing to replace and Gary does not want me to paint them. Oh well...(are you sorry your asked) LOL LOL :)
    Have a sweet day, sending hugs~Elizabeth

  24. I wish I had a good project going. I need to start something, but I can't think what I want to do.
    As to my kitchen, well, my favorite thing about it is the that it is bright. Before we did the redo earlier in the year, it was dark and gloomy to me. I like the white cabinets with dark counters. The thing I don't like is that my microwave isn't built in and also I wish I had more drawers and fewer cabinets.

    I do remember how fun it was to look for inspiration on houzz and pinterest.

  25. My absolute favorite things in my kitchen:

    The picture window sized window over the kitchen table that looks into the trees and garden.
    My Insta-hot tap. How did I ever raise a family without boiling hot water on tap? Makes cooking faster and I can sterilize things in a flash with no chemicals. Love, love, love it!

  26. I'm stopping by again! I mentioned you on my post just now! Hope you can come by and visit! HUGS!

  27. Great projects. I love the old house! In my kitchen, I love my island. It is big - about 8 feet long and very functional. Also lots of plugs. A kitchen can't have enough plugs. The thing I don't like is that our pantry closet isn't near the kitchen. Oddly, it is through the family room in a hallway near the back bedroom and it isn't very big. If I designed this house, I would have a nice large pantry in or near the kitchen. Good luck with all the projects!

  28. Ambitious projects taking place in your corner. I do think the removal of the cedars was a good move as that beautiful house is now more visible.
    A complete home remodel sounds like a fun project for you and your sister, although I know it can be a bit daunting to make all of those decisions.
    As for my own kitchen, I think besides the fact that it is bright and cheerful, I like the island. It is great for food prep, laundry folding and I often use it for setting out the appetizers and also the buffet. I set it up so that people can grab a plate, make their way around it and continue on into the dining room.
    As for the least favorite, I don't like the finish on my white cupboards (like a shrink wrap) and although I like the brightness they offer, I might consider more of a real wood antiqued white if I were doing it over again (the white tends to show every spill).

  29. Wow, everyone is busy! LOVE the looks of those big old houses. (Not so practical for those of us getting a bit older every day. LOL) I like the old fashioned cupboards in my kitchen. They're a tad bigger than the newer ones. I also love the old white (with gold flecks) Formica. I have never gotten tired of it. If it gets stained, all it takes to clean it is some lemon juice or a rag dampened with bleach. Two suggestions: don't put the washer and dryer in the kitchen (noisy & messy), and hopefully the kitchen isn't the hallway between two parts of the house. If an island is put in the kitchen, check for appliance door clearances. You wouldn't believe how many houses I've been in where one cannot get around open appliance doors or even open the appliance doors all the way!

  30. Wow, and I thought we were busy! I hope you share photos of everyone's projects, especially the kitchen remodel. I'm wanting to remodel ours, but that will be a later project.

  31. Well, you're certainly going to have lots of blogging material in the days and weeks ahead, LOL!

  32. Popping in to visit...I just can't stay from blogdom very long!

    I agree with your grandson, their house is awesome!

    What I love most about my kitchen is the view. We redid our kitchen several years ago and I still like it, but I do think I had more cabinet space with the old cabinets. So, if I could do it over, I'd try to squeeze in some more storage space. You can never have enough.

    Good luck with all your projects. We've barely scratched the surface of our plans. Someone I know refuses to hire work done that he thinks he can do himself. Well, most things. I did get him, with a lot of coercion, to hire the roofing done on our 2 buildings last year. I'm glad that is done, at least.

  33. Sounds like some real fun! Not to mention a lot of hard work and elbow grease. The house looks beautiful. I love my kitchen... especially love that we have upgraded all the white to stainless appliances and it makes me smile! I like my big center island best of all.

    Can't wait to see the pictures! It will be a busy summer for your family.

  34. Tis the season for projects! I love the open look of the house without the cedar trees. Soon the new plants will grow up and look like they've always been there.
    In my kitchen, I love the lower cabinet that is designed to slide baking sheets into. I have two of them (cabinets, not baking sheets). One I use for the baking sheets and various cutting boards, the other for all my glass baking pans of various sizes. Oh, I have three of them - I use another for my muffin and pizza pans and wooden trays.
    What I don't like is its size. It's efficient for one person, but I could do with a little more floor space, especially if someone else is there with me. Either the oven door or the dishwasher door can be opened, but not both of them.

  35. It seems we all need to have a project! It will be fun to watch the new landscaping grow. And I agree...it's a great old house.

    What I like best about my kitchen? The big window with a view...it's light and bright. Worst? I have a u-shaped kitchen which is great for working in...but not great at all for a crowd.

  36. I love windows over the kitchen sink.
    I've come to realize that I don't like islands in the kitchen.

    1. Interesting...how much counter space do you have without the island?

  37. Vee
    It is a beautiful old house.
    It's perfect for raising children in
    and so sweet the boys already are
    taking pride in it.

  38. All caught up! Your son and DIL's house is gorgeous! I love the wonderful white clapboard New England look of it.

    I love my new kitchen --it is finally large enough to accommodate all my cooking supplies and pots and pans and dishes, and it has a nice size pantry in it that stores all my staples, etc. I also love the wood floor after many years of ceramic tile floor in my old house. I would have liked a ceiling fan over the kitchen table and more color. Those things i can hopefully change one day. ;)

  39. I too love a window over the sink. My kitchen is not very fancy, but it's the nicest one I've ever had. It's a U-shape with the sink at the bottom of the U. One arm of the U is a long counter, with a taller bar counter behind it (which I like because it somewhat hides the mess). I love that long counter of uninterrupted workspace (with plugs). What I like least is that the stove is right next to the refrigerator. But that's how the house was, and without a major remodel it's going to have to stay that way. It's really not been a problem, but just not ideal.


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