42. Tackling the mudroom

This wonderful warm weekend I discovered that it’s not just the sun I miss during winter; I also miss being outside without coat, hat, mittens, and boots!

Wait! What’s that yellow glow? It’s the Sun!

It was really warm this weekend. Like 65 degrees warm! The sun was out occasionally, peeking through the clouds, but mostly it was gray. I didn’t mind. We turned the heat off in the cottage, and opened the doors. Henry went in and out and was happy. I went in and out and was happy. We even had a bonfire on Saturday night (just a small one) and it was warm enough to stand outside next to it WITHOUT jackets! Mother Earth Farm –the garden center next to the cottage (How wonderful is that statement!) has the countdown on their sign — 10 weeks until spring!Bonfire in January
Mr. H.C. was rebuilding the last window down in his workshop (and kind of grouchy about it) so I was on my own. But he actually gave me permission to start destroying the mudroom. Demo, as it is known in the trades, is a blast, and usually he gets to do it; but with the door open, and my crowbar in hand, I started taking off the cedar shakes that are were the “walls” of the mudroom. (Probably he was grouchy because he wasn’t wielding the crowbar!)

One of the mudroom walls covered in cedar shakes

One of the mudroom walls covered in cedar shakes

I know you are going to ask why we would begin messing up ANOTHER room in the cottage before we are even half-finished with the kitchen… Well, you see, the mudroom is attached to the kitchen. In fact, it is the Entryway to the kitchen. And the doors that we are going to put between the two rooms have to go in NEXT. So the doorway/wall between the rooms had to be taken down, so we can rebuild it to fit our new beautiful French doors that we got for $70 last fall. (You can see them  here in post 16. The Color of Apples .) They aren’t quite the same size as the old sliding glass doors, so building the frame for these doors is the next project.

Let me tell you — taking down and rebuilding is a S-L-O-W process! It took me all day and I didn’t quite get all the shakes off. I was trying to be careful because we might want to reuse them for something. Don’t you think a chicken coop sided in natural cedar shakes would be poulet heaven?

I found this rustic chicken coop sided in cedar shakes at www.theartofdoingstuff.com. I fell in love with it and even pinned it to one of my pinterest boards.

I found this rustic chicken coop sided in cedar shakes at www.theartofdoingstuff.com/chicken-coop-inspiration/
I fell in love with it and even pinned it to one of my pinterest boards.

20130112-232710.jpgAfter Mr. H.C. primed the last window, he came up to help. His mood visibly improved once I shared my crowbars. I understand. Windows have gotten me in a funk before as well. (See post 29. Being Thankful for Failure Takes a Better Man than I.)

The downside of the warm weather and demo-ing a mudroom were ladybugs and stink bugs. They were everywhere. Behind the cedar, under the cedar, in groups, single, falling from the ceiling, crawling on the floor… We thought it was just because we were taking off old cedar that had been there for thirty years, but it turns out this warm weekend brought out the stinkbugs in Everyone’s houses, not just ours. We ended the satisfying weekend with only two splinters, several boxes of acceptable-to-reuse cedar shakes, and almost-bare mudroom walls.
IMG_1111

Yep, the walls ain’t pretty!

On to Door #2!

27. Door # 1 : The Price is Right

When Joe and Clara remodeled the cottage in the 70s (see 1. The Story of Apple Hill Cottage) they put in 5 (five!) sets of sliding glass doors — one at every entrance except the basement — and 2 (two!) opening into the kitchen. Correction:  there were 2 (two!) going into the kitchen; now there are 0 (none!)

It was a very gratifying weekend. We had spent months dithering about the front entrance door. There is one good point to sliding glass doors and that is: glass. They let in light. This is a very good attribute if the room is dark and has only one other window. We didn’t want to lose the light; and there were 4 (four!) giant panels of glass to turn into real doors.

A door such as this would be lovely. Yes? This door is on clearance from Door Emporium; the clearance price is $1995 plus shipping of $150.

Entry doors tell the story of your house in ten words or less. Grand or simple, painted or wood, leaded glass or rough hewn, windowless or all glass, they are the topic sentence in Chapter One.  Everyone who comes into your house goes through those doors, and most will form an opinion of their character as they walk through. Are they ostentatious (Faulkner) or humble (Emily Dickinson)? Do they have style (T.S. Eliot)? Can you see through into the bright, cheery house (Alcott), or is the door stark and unfriendly (Poe)?

I wanted a good, old-fashioned, Wendell Berry kind of door. But those old farmhouse doors don’t let in much light, plus we had a six-foot doorway to fill. I kept finding all these lovely old doors at the Restore places, and Michael kept telling me they were interior doors. “But can’t we use them as exterior doors???” I would ask. The short answer was No. Michael’s concern was for the seal. Keep out winter. Keep out water. Keep out critters.

New entry doors are pricey. Very pricey. Pella wouldn’t even sell us a wood entry door unless we were installing it with six feet of protective porch and a roof. (Not to mention that their wood doors are in the Three Thousand Dollar range…) So when Michael called from the Restore saying he had found an entry door, I said, “Send me a picture…”

But before he sent me the picture, he told me the price: $189 + tax. Free delivery. (That would be us wearing delivery hats.) So, I can compromise. It is a metal door; but it has lots of windows and not so much metal. And it can be painted. Sold.

Yep, free delivery. Did I mention heavy?

The old (the doors, not Henry) …

and the new!

The sun was beginning to set by the time the lock and handles were in place. We were delighted just to be able to turn the knob (the knob is on the inside) and open the door!


And when we left on Monday, we locked the door just as if we lived in a real house. Those Price is Right contestants don’t have any thing on us — such excitement behind Door # 1! We were so excited on Sunday night that we ripped out the other sliding glass door that goes into the kitchen as well.

On to Door # 2…

 

Post Script: As I was publishing this post, my wonderful husband came back from Home Depot with perfect matching trim for adding horizontal muntins to the plain sidelights of the door.  Add $5 to the cost of the door; but the new look of it? Priceless!