125. Mudroom Redo Redux Redoux

I’ve written about the mudroom before. Several times.

The mudroom has issues. Several issues.

Each time we’ve thought to tackle it, one of those issues has stopped us dead.

mudroom floor cracks

    The floor for instance: Made of two concrete slabs, there’s not much of a foundation (if any). Just see the huge crack down the center. The sinking of the floor made it very un-level — a four inch difference from one side to the other!

wires and ceiling in mudroom

    The ceiling for instance: It leaks. Despite spot fixing and new insulation, the ceiling still leaks by the chimney. Mr. H.C. thinks it is the flashing, but the probable truth is It needs a new roof. But we aren’t ready to put on a new roof until we decide some serious architectural issues.

Chimney in mudroom

    The chimney for instance: It is old and ugly and needs relining. $$$. We had a company come to give us an estimate — $3000 for just the chimney liner, not counting the stove pipe needed to hook up the wood stove.

 
ugly chimney and panel box in mudroom

    The walls for instance: There is a floor-to-ceiling electric panel/wiring mess on the kitchen side wall. Not only is it inconvenient to have by the chimney, it is UGLY. And there’s no moving the panel box. (Hiding wires is hard!) The rest of the walls are a mismatched amalgam of siding, cement block, and plywood.

Mudroom door and windows

    The whole room for instance: It is the main entrance to the cottage and the door opens into the prevailing winds. Many times the wind just grabs the door from your hands. Did I mention we live on a ridge? It is called Apple Hill, after all. Consequently the whole room is cold; and since it goes directly into our beautiful new kitchen (where we hang out a lot!) it makes the kitchen cold too.

So what’s a pair of rehabbers to do?

Put it off!
Right.
We did that.
Twice.

IMG_5473Mr. H.C. was just itching to get the wood stove hooked up into that chimney, but the contractor guy in him couldn’t bear to pay someone else big bucks for something he thought he could do. So we ordered chimney liners online from Woodland Direct for less than half the price and did it ourselves. (Well, Mr. H.C. did it himself, and I just helped guide the stove pipe into the new liner.) And once that old stove got hooked up and we could feel how warm that room was with wonderful wood heat, there was no stopping at the issues.

 
Mr. H.C. leveling the mudroom floorWe had planned to put down concrete over concrete to level the floor and then some concrete board over the concrete to keep any cracks from showing up in a couple of years. But the cement board idea didn’t work, so we just laid a new layer of concrete. The laying/grouting/sealing of the tile did not go smoothly; I won’t go into details, but it certainly looks beautiful to us. (Did I mention we chose to do this project during the coldest week of the winter?)

mudroom wallOne wall is finished with an old pine hutch top that has been repainted and repurposed into a mudroom staple — shelves and hooks for jackets. I painted it Blooming Grove green to bring the kitchen color out into the adjoining mudroom. The walls behind the wood stove are now covered in metal studs and Hardiebacker board (fire-resistant for the walls next to the wood stove) and some sort of tile will go over it. Soapstone is the material of choice, but $$$ matter. We’ve gone shopping at the big box stores and found nothing of interest, and we’ve had a long dry spell at our favorite Restores.

We have a long way to go still, but we’ve come a long way for a room that had such issues. And I have to show you one more photo series — a shot of the kitchen floor we took up, and why we chose this particular pattern for the mudroom floor.


When I wrote the very first post for Apple Hill Cottage, I talked about trying to respectfully honor those who lived in it before, as well as making it our own.

I think Joe and Clara would approve.

124. 2,015 Little Blessings

My word for 2015 is content.

I struggle with contentment,

though I shouldn’t.

I have everything I need.

except I need a better car, a new blender, new sliding glass doors for the bedroom…

More than enough.

yes, I sure don’t need more junk; we don’t have room for what we have.

My cup runneth over.

yet still I yearn.

Not only for things

but for emotional peace

Not only for me

but for the people I love

Not only for this life —

I yearn for God.

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In order to stop all this yearning, I’m keeping track of my blessings again this year. He has given me. So much.

2,015 blessings for 2015 = 167.9 blessings per month = 5.5 blessings per day = the practice of contentment for what I have been given.
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January

  1. A beautiful sunrise on the first day of 2015.
  2. The ability to look at the sunrise from my bed, thank God for its beauty, and close my eyes again.
  3. The one day of the year when we can lounge in bed with coffee and biscotti and not feel guilty.
  4. First fire in the stove in the mudroom.
  5. A delicious dinner of pork Bo-ssam lettuce wraps.
  6. Starting and ending the first day of the new year in prayer.
  7. Easy cookies to make from a jar — a Christmas present from my sister.
  8. Time to work on my blog.
  9. Time to get needed work accomplished.
  10. Leftovers so I don’t have to cook.
  11. Making arrangements to volunteer at a new place in a new year.
  12. A thank you card from our sponsored child in Rancho Los Amigos. He’s handsome and growing up.
  13. The money to spend on a sponsored child.
  14. A warmish day, with dots of blue sky and No Snow!
  15. A beautiful aura around a large, bright moon.

This is the beginning of my blessings project for 2015. You can see it up there on my home page under 2,015 Blessings. I’m only publicizing it with this post for encouragement. Your encouragement. I’ve been blessed (?) with a personality that is more pessimistic than optimistic, tending toward depression rather than enthusiasm — especially in the winter. This is my way of change — to express joy and contentment for the little everyday blessings.

I don’t care if you read my page; it’s for me anyway. But I do want to encourage you to do your own “resolutions” or changes for God’s glory, not your own. Are you trying to lose weight? Do it for his glory, not yours. Are you trying to organize your life? Do it for his glory, not yours. Are you trying to work on your marriage? Improve your prayer life? Exercise more? Do it all for his glory, not yours, and …

…before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.” –Philippians 4:6-7 The Message.

123. 15 for ’15

This is my annual New Year’s post with additions for 2015. Happy New Year everyone. Thank you for reading, commenting, and sharing my little space in cyberspace.

There are two kinds of people in the world:

1. those who would go to Times Square for New Year’s Eve, and those who couldn’t be paid enough to go…

Sunrise from our bedroom windows

Sunrise from our bedroom windows

2. those who go out for New Year’s Eve, and those who stay home…Beaujolais in crystal

3. those who would rehab an old vacant house, and those who would look for a new one instead…Peeling paint

4. Cat-lovers and Dog-lovers…Henry bugging Michael

5. Savers and Pitchers…pottery pitcher

6. Dreamers and Doers…priming the cottage

7. those who love city streets, and those who love dirt roads…
Joe's sign

8. those who stay, and those who go…
vacant lawn chairs

9. those who love snow, and those who, uhmm… don’t…Snow on porch

10. those who take naps, and those who feel superior to those who take naps…Henry the cat

11. those who believe and those who scoff…Cross

12. those who look up and those who look down…Clouds and trees

13. those who eat their fruits and vegetables, and those who eat their meat’n potatoes…groundhog eating apple

14. those whose glass is half-empty and those whose glass is half-full…

Crystal goblet at Christmas

15. those who work for pay and those who work for love; and those who are blessed to do both at the same time…

Mr. H.C's truck

Mr. H.C’s truck

At different times in our lives, we can be any of these.
Me? I have been all these people–a city lover, a country girl, a scoffer, a believer, an optimist, a pessimist, a cat-lover, a dog-lover, a dreamer, a doer…(Though I would have to be paid a lot of cash to go to Times Square on New Year’s Eve.)
Can we remember this?
Can we remember that our differences make this beautiful world what it is?
Can we let go of our prejudices, our prides, our preconceptions, our (fill in the blank here)… and love each other?

May grace and peace be yours in abundance in 2015.