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Showing posts from September, 2013

Dwellings...Our Parade of Ten Homes in Twenty Years

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5. Renovation in Ryde

We are halfway through the parade of homes! It's the biggest renovation project to date and somewhat taxing on our relationship. My husband is fantastic with the whole construction process, I must say, and I am learning quickly. But really, without pressures to try us, we would remain weak and unproductive. So I am thankful for these tests!

Here's what the house looked like when we bought it. Remember, this is the one I wanted to walk away from, but Dale was excited to begin working on it!


If you are looking for a real test of endurance, understanding, and surrender, undertake a large home remodel assignment with strict time limits. Looking back, I almost can't believe all the new schemes I attempted with little or no experience...and two busy toddlers in tow!


It looks positively dangerous to have the littles out there with that heavy equipment nearby. Amie, their cousin, is on the porch with Julian and Jacki, watching the excavator at work. We had th…

Dwellings...Our Parade of Ten Homes in Twenty Years

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4. Off to Ryde

Our next house was located in a little place called Ryde. It was away back in the hills of PA and rather far from civilization. I decided then there is something like being too far from church, family, friends, town, and conveniences. I suppose I am spoiled and all that!

In this photo the house has already been spruced up with a new roof, new paint on the siding, new front door, new windows (I think!), new window trim, and some landscaping!


We only lived in it for about three months. As I mentioned in the previous post, I started looking for a house for really cheap. I found one for about $39,000 and we went to take a look.

I took a tour and changed my mind...too depressing and too much work. I couldn't see how we had what it took to undertake such a large project. Dale, on the other hand, came away from the house with a vast excitement about the potential of the property. He convinced me to give it a try!

But we hit a bump in the road. There were two houses on the …

Dwellings...Our Parade of Ten Homes in Twenty Years

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3. To Buy A House

Welcome to house number three of the parade! Only this time, we find ourselves buying a house quite without planning to do so.


I can't seem to locate many photos of this house, but here is one of the exterior after we added a garage and put new siding and shutters on it. We had ideas about building a second story on top, but it never happened. It was in a lovely country setting and had a few acres to go with it.



Ahem, the colors are interesting, bright, unusual...and I so totally would not do red, white, and blue today! Call it the changing of styles, or call it using what is available. Dale was in the construction business and had a lot of leftover blue siding from a job, so he wanted to use it on our house. I wrapped my brain around it and agreed. But why did I have to put red with it? Live and learn...

Back to why we bought in the first place. It happened like this. We were not even on the market for a house. I saw no possibility of buying our own home in the…

Dwellings...Our Parade of Ten Homes in Twenty Years

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2. Little English Cottage

Welcome to House #2! Our second residence was in the same village as the apartment, we rented it from the same landlords, but it had an altogether sweeter character. To some it may not matter much, but I am attracted to homes with character, beauty, and soul. I mean, it seriously looks like someone cared, and invested a lot of effort and design into this home. It's an adorable little cottage that made me quite happy!


Again, it was actually divided into two apartments. We lived on the first floor and had the garage and basement. Friends of ours rented the upstairs. This was also my first attempt at my own gardening. I planted impatiens out front and they grew beautifully, despite my inexperience. The landlady did have to call me a time or two to remind me to water the plants she had put into the gardens. She really was a patient, motherly lady, teaching this newly married young girl some basics of homemaking!


One primary, life-changing event occurred while …

Dwellings...Our Parade of Ten Homes in Twenty Years

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1. Beginnings

I'm excited to begin a series on our homes. My husband and I are approaching our twentieth wedding anniversary and have lived in ten different homes since we got married back in 1993! This seemed an appropriate season in which to celebrate memories made throughout all those years. Wow! Does is ever bring on an attack of nostalgia.

Dale and I...twenty years ago


Our first home was in a barn converted into apartments. Ours was in the lower middle section. We had one window in the entire apartment...claustrophobia! But we both worked at Weavercraft, so I didn't have to sit there in that confined little space day after day.
There were two small bedrooms, a bath, eat-in kitchen, and the living room. Most of the furnishings were provided, so we bought very little those first two years. It was a happy little place! 

Our little Honda CRX is parked out front. That car has special memories attached to it. The first time I went anywhere with Dale was in that little two-seate…