Thursday, October 17, 2013
What a blast, to upload these photos taken morning after morning, in varying light and glorious autumnal skies, to see the transformation of our shabby tired-looking house into a spiffy new barn. Before and After Remodeling was getting busy with it.
Everybody liked this vining red mandevilla, and Aaron painted primer carefully around her
as foreman Craig looked on.
I didn't realize I have such a penchant for hot colors until we painted the house red. This tangerine hibiscus makes my heart sing. Against barn red, hm. They're fighting with each other.
Maybe I'll pull her out a little farther from the siding. This is why we love container gardening. It's movable color, movable beauty.
In addition to having the house re-sided and painted, we were replacing nine windows. These windows had been shot for years. The seals were all broken, and they were permanently fogged when we bought the house in 1992. You couldn't see nuffin' out of them. They also had ugly metal dividers down the middle of the view that you couldn't see in the first place, which made it all even more discouraging.
I countered this by making the inside view as terrific as I could.
Foggy windows, fabulous orchids.
When time came to put the new windows in, I insisted on being present, to be the one to move the orchid collection out of the way, the one to put the plants back in their precise places. You know, because some like more sun than others, and some like to be cooler and shadier, and only Mother knows those things. Or cares.
Donny and Jessica, if I seem fussy about those orchids, which look like piles of straplike leaves now when they're dormant, this is why. They're well worth getting all fussy about. Obviously, orchids like fussy people like me to fuss over them.
So I moved all the orchids onto the bed to wait for the new windows to go in. One already had--see the window in the right corner?
We hit our only major snag with an inattentive Lowe's employee who somehow managed to turn our order for single-pane crank-out windows into dopey dual pane slot windows. Seven times over. I walked into the bedroom to find this. My view was bisected by a six-inch divider, the window split into two narrow portals. Ummm, no. Nonononono noooo. That's the kind of window you put in an institution where you don't want people crawling out of them and escaping over the fence in their backless gowns. Why would anyone, especially nature freaks, want a huge metal panel smack down the middle of their view? Ack! Send them back! Begone!
This mess-up by Lowe's would result in almost a month's delay in window installation. Rats. But these things happen in any big project. I took it in stride; I think Donny was a lot more worked up about it than I was. And there was plenty for the Before and After crew to do in the meantime.
There was a hiatus while we worked at the Midwest Birding Symposium in mid-September. A lot happened while we were gone. We drove up the driveway on Sunday afternoon, holding our collective breath, to find this...aieee!!
Wow. Just wow. What a huge difference the horizontal Hardie board makes on the old part of the house. Running it all the way to the ground was definitely the right move. At long last, the two pieces of our intentionally crazy house are pulled together into one.
The other thing that jumped out at me when the house was finally transformed was the golden arbor vitae on the corner near the front door. Man, it looks so beautiful against the red. It looks like we planned it, to set off the house. I just thought it was pretty so I bought it and planted it when it was about six inches tall. But now it's all grown up with a brick-red foil to glow against, and it sings. So does the Japanese maple on the far left, which happens to be a bonsai that I planted out in the yard. It's about 30 years old, just like the ones in my collection, but it's 100 times bigger than they are. That's what a little root room will do for you.
The Bacon approves. More on The Bacon to come. He liked being part of this project!