Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

As of today, Jan 1, 2009, we are HALF way through our renovation journey. There's been a lull in the activity due to the holidays, but January will be an exciting month!

We are looking forward to a 2009 filled with progress and prosperity---no pains in the knee or the a**!

Included are some pics of Soph with Tala and a Lucy update! She is 4 1/2 months and sooooo adorable!
Tala turns 2! Jan 11!

We love you!

Laura, Lynn, ans Sophie

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Sorry we haven't been in touch by BLOG!

Since Lynn's surgery, things have been like a really un-cool roller-coaster ride! Looking forward to the surgery was very stressful. The day of surgery was surreal---no word from the doctor for 7 word from hospital staff b/c I was not "family," and no room at the end of the long, strange day! Then, after the surgery, it was like a dream! The day after surgery, Lynn walked better than before it! Yipee! Well, that was until the "OMG" of Day 2 after surgery. Lynn needed blood. Her blood count plummeted and she was in bad shape. After 2 pints, WE ARE UP AGAIN! Singing and walking around on clouds! Lynn was going to be all better!!! And the next day...a dip. But we were well enough to go home! We are up again! All better...Then she began having awful pain in the surgery leg from hip to ankle. After planned and unplanned trips to the ER, a blood clot was ruled out and the final verdict...siatica. Not sure how to spell the awful condition, but I know what it is!!! A literal pain in the ass that radiates to the ankle! We're down again...As of today, she is able to sit up for about 20 minutes without pain. When the pain comes, it's like an avalanche. She has been pretty drugged-up, but we are hoping she is better each day.

For the first time since we've been away from home, I broke down today. I think it's just the stress of seeing Lynn go through all of this (it's been over 2 years!), and I guess just a lack of sleep. We'll get through this. I keep trying to imagine a walk through our neighborhood with Lynn, Sophie, and the seems impossible!

Love to everyone. We'll have more pics soon and hopefully an update from Stacy soon!


Monday, December 22, 2008

Twas 3 Nights Before Christmas and ...we need an update!

The past few weeks have been quite exciting... We had SNOW!

Sophie met a few snow people on Canal Blvd!

The Bell Street garden looked pretty in snow!The rooftops had visible snow the next morning!

We have a shower in Sophie's bathroom! The one-piece would not fir through the door, so we had to get a 2-piece.

Rodney models it for us!

The kitchen is all plumbed...I guess that's a word...

Then there's the fireplace! OMG, the fireplace!!! It is so cool!

Stacy works to get all the old plaster off!
And we also got a black awning over the side door. We have always had a very complicated problem with that door. We hope the awning will help!
Other than all the house stuff, Lynn is on the mend. She is beginning to move around a little. The surgery and hospital stay was long enough! We are hoping this recovery is permanent!
We have a busy holiday planned and we will be wishing everyone well as we end 2008!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Shiny Copper Pipes and Pretty Yellow Wiring...

We are approaching month 2...

We now have new plumbing and wiring in our house. The boys have re-designed the 2 bathrooms and things are clipping along quite nicely.

Lynn went by today for a temporary pause in observation of the reno activity. Her surgery is tomorrow! We are excited and nervous, but are looking forward to a 2009 that is filled with long walks and NO PAIN!!!

The blog will suffer. I should turn it over to Stacy because he not only Blogs, but has a complete website ( Check it out! He is quite talented and all of the writing and photography is Stacy’s.

Don’t give up on us. I will keep as much posted as possible and hopefully, before 2009, I will have more pics to post.

Thanks for keeping in touch,


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Plugging away...

As the weeks roll by, we are all plugging away at our respective jobs. Rodney and Stacy are fixing and creating our dream house. Lynn is preparing herself for her second knee surgery (12/16), Sophie is tolerating us ignoring her hints about Santa gifts, and I am preparing myself, mentally, for the Refrigerator Art Auction (3/29 at the go on sale mid-February). I will shamelessly plug the auction from now until March 28! It is an important event for ISL and I am honored to play a part in making it happen.

I digress...Rodney and Stacy are working very hard to make our house functional, safe, and beautiful. Everyday, Stacy checks in and gives us an update on what new "treasures" they've found and how we get rid of them. Old houses hold the craftsmanship or stupidity of every previous dweller. In our case, it appears, Curly, Larry, and Moe once owned an electrical business and used our house as a training ground...the only difference between our house and a Three Stooges episode is our house isn't funny! Stacy and Rodney are great and almost 6 weeks into this, we are all still happy!

Lynn...her surgery is nearing, as is her pain and anxiety about it! She had to stop anti-inflammatory meds and most pain meds. By the weekend, she should be in major pain. One of the nurses I work with suggested a nerve block! I wish it were that easy. We are at the point that we (she) does not want another procedure...even one that might take pain away! Please keep her in your thoughts. As I did last time, I will try to email or text everyone after surgery.

Sophie is one the fence this year...she still believes, but I think she knows that Santa gifts are somehow connected to how much money her parents have. So many people have told us that she is pulling her leg, but we think she is still on the side of believing or being really, really not sure! We want her to believe, like us, until you have gray hair...if I have broken any bubbles or shattered dreams, I am talking about the Tooth Fairy...Oh. wait! She's real, too! Her name is Flossy!

Me. Fridge Art is pretty much my life from Jan. 1 until it happens. I am very passionate about this activity for many reasons. I love art, I love ISL, and I absolutely LOVE hosting a party-so Fridge Art is my very perfect social event. This year we have some lofty goals. I only hope we can reach them...people keep bringing up the recession and how no one has money. It's kind of a wet towel-reality, but I am choosing to ignore it. We will be OK.

Don't forget, Sunday, March 29, food, music, fun, and all to help ISL. Please join us!

I may not write for a while due to Lynn's surgery, but I will be back soon.


Sunday, December 7, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

We have a little 4 foot tree in Sophie's room. It is cool because it has fiber optic tips and it glows in her room after the sun goes down. Sophie made a "tree" on the door to our closet. We are putting our Christmas cards inside of it...Festive!!
Sophie made name signs for our stockings. Our real stockings are packed away at Bell St.

Of course, we needed a moose. Sophie has one that sings (really badly) and sort of dances.
That's all for now. We hope everyone is getting ready for the holiday season that is fast approaching.

Friday, December 5, 2008

The ugly pink chair...

My mom had this ugly, pink-crushed velvet, Channel Back, Queen Anne antique chair. Lynn and I always knew it had great potential as an awesome chair!

After 16 years of talking about it, we had it re-covered in animal print. Yes, an animal print...leopard, even! My Mom would have loved it! We do!

My mom used to sit in it at our house. It was the only comfortable chair for her. Her knees would not allow her to sit in a lower chair or a sofa. We wanted to keep it, but the pink color just did not go anywhere we put it. It has lived in the living room of the Bell Street house, quite happily, in the corner untilo about 8 weeks ago...we went to Faubacher's on Oak Street. Just unbelievable! This piece of furniture will live on as long as there is someone to sit in it!

The beauty of old things...they can always become new again!

It was going to live at our neighbor's, Annie and Dennis, for a few months, but then we realized that Lynn needed a chair for PT after her surgery. It's perfect! And will be a great addition to our old-new house!

It's just awesome!


Pipes, wires, and termites, Oh, My!

Stacy and Rodney have finally finished fishing out all of the rotted, spliced wires from the attic and under the house. The plumbing is all gone and now they work to re-create it all-newer and safer!

It's amazing, when you are in an old house, you are the recipient of every previous owner/occupant that fixed a pipe with crazy glue, spliced an electrical wire using duct tape, and seemingly had little regard for their own safety or the safety of others...

Stacy said that we were a fire waiting to happen! Amazing!

We are so, so blessed to be able to have this work done to make our house better and safer. Lynn and I, as I've said before, always, always want to leave a place better than we found it...and this time, it is for keeps. We hope to never, ever leave our little Bell Street Side-Hall Shotgun...ever.

We want to share many meals, many laughs, many, many good conversations in our home with our friends and family. We are on our way and we are so excited! Still! Impatient...but excited!


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Oy! What a mess!

Not the Bell Street house...just "us" in general.

Tonight, after hours of homework, we are all settled. Lynn and I share a banter about the renovation, while Sophie silently hopes for our Christmas decorations to appear in our temporary space...not going to happen.

With this, her 11th Christmas, she is feeling a bit neglected. I guess it's may fault...all the holiday decorations...all over the place...all the time!!! Gawd! Who needs 100 Santa's or 10 rubbermaid bins of elves and bears and know, we have to have moose stuff just to aggravate my brother! Who needs lighted-garland and shiny ornaments and even a nativity set (quite nice for heathens)...who needs my collection of snow-globes or Mr. Bingle???? (Jingle, Jangle, Jingle) I guess the 10 year old does...and so do we!

We miss our house and even though our "home" is here, all around us, we miss some of it, too.

Monday, December 1, 2008


Today we offer a picture of Rodney creating a new kitchen window sill…and for my buddy, Erin, a gratuitous picture of Stacy…with a Cheshire cat grin, in a very manly pose!

Sophie has a framed-closet!!!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Monday we get our babies back!

Our pets have been boarded for almost 2 weeks! Tomorrow we will get them back! Zoe

Ke Ke and Ko Ko

We are sooo happy that we will see them soon!
As our 1 month anniversary out of the house is here, having them back home is a great way to celebrate!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Update: Month 1

As our first month of work comes to an end... missing walls...
missing floors...

and a heap of electrical wires...
We are so grateful for the work that has been done! It is a grand mess, but it is moving us closer and closer to our "dream" house!
Stacy and Rodney have expectedly encountered the unexcpected! We need all new electricity, all new plumbing, new walls, and all the fixins'! We are still on time with our timelines and as hard as these guys work, I wouldn't be surprised if we remain on-schedule ( and I'm crossing fingers and toes that it may even be earlier!).
We were able to go through all of our attic junk and organize it all! All of our attic contents were taken down to re-do the electrical and for insulation. We were able to make a few Bridge House runs, go through some old memories from my mom and dad, see Sophie's baby treasures, realize how many pictures need to go into albulms, and finally organize some of our Beverly Garden stuff that we moved to Bell street, but never unpacked!
With my life, January-March revolving around Fridge Art, being out of our house will be difficult...but we will survive. Lynn and Sophie have become very used to my craziness around this activity that is so important to me.
This past week, we were at our third house and we did OK! We all miss being home very much! As our first month comes to an end, we are homesick and hopeful and still very excited!

Thankful 11/29/08

Bella is 8!!! today!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Giving Thanks!

What we are thankful for...

  • A happy kid
  • A wonderful family
  • Our family of friends
  • Our pets
  • Each other

What's going on???

All of the work now is under-house and in the attic. There is a heap of electrical wires (a fire waiting to happen) that have been pulled out and all of the plumbing is gone!

Not much else to report at this time.

We hope everyone is having a great Thanksgiving week and spending time with the people that we are most thanksful for.

L>L> and Sophie

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Excitement and lots of changes...

If you know the book, If you give a mouse a cookie, you know that if you give a mouse a cookie, the next thing you know is he'll get thirsty and want a glass of milk, he'll spill the milk and need a napkin, etc.

I think this is how renovating an old house works, as well. If you decide to renovate a room, you'll have to do 2 b/c you'll have to tear down walls...if you want to change out a pipe, you'll have to change the know!

Anyway, because mice like cookies, we are getting all new electrical wiring, plumbing, walls, etc...

Stacy and Rodney are working very hard! They are beyond "on schedule." We are very excited! I am impatient so I have to stay away! This process definitely takes patience!

All is good...well, great!

Hopefully, I'll take pictures of the new pipes and wiring...ooooohhh! Exciting stuff!

Also, Kimberly came through with a great price on our quartz for the counter-tops! We are clipping along just fine!


Saturday, November 15, 2008

We bought CABINETS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Kimberly uses 3 calculators, a spread sheet, and an on-call accountant to figure out how much our cabinet order will cost. Then, there was the waiting for the Brinks truck to be available to take the check and all the was sort of like buying my first car, except a few dollars more expensive. My first car was a Plymouth Arrow (you remember..."Me and my arrow, taking the high road..."). It was silver and very cool and it cost $1600.00!Kimberly smiles after we write the check! Heh! Heh! If the whole "showroom" and tape measure thing is a ruse, Kimberly may be in Costa Rica as you are reading this!!? But seriously, Kimberly is so professional and thoughtful in her work. We were so lucky to have her help us make our new kitchen be the perfect kitchen for us.

Tala had a good time "helping" as we finalized the cabinet order...She was so funny all day. She is imitating everything! She has her daddy's sense of humor!The Cabinets are so nice! We hope that they help maintain the integrity of the original house. The pulls are not shown because they looked crappy in the pictures on the Armstrong site.

Rutledge Cabinet. Mocha finish on maple.

you can view it at As we have said over and over again...there will be a party in our new "old" house...if you are a blog will know when it will be!



Friday, November 14, 2008

KIMBERLY to the rescue!

The long hallway is now part of the open space that will be the dining room-kitchen. We are thinking, with Stacy's suggestion, to open up the living room as well...we'll see! Kimberly came over to get some difinitive measurements for the kitchen!!! I can't really tell you how excited I am about the kitchen! I still can't see it, but I know it's there!!!

Kimberly re-designed the space and Lynn and I both really love the re-design. I know that you all will, too!

We are really so lucky to have so many people working together to make this all happen so smoothly!

Finally, the window guy came by to make arrangements for the last window in the house to be replaced.
Onward and upward!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Not much to share as work moves under cover...

Rodney and Stacy are so cute! They are trying to reassure us that work is continuing, but will not be as glamorous over the next several weeks! Is that so sweet? They are concerned that we will think that they've stopped work if we don't continue to see walls coming down!

Lots of excitement, but for the next several weeks, you photo buffs will have to wait. The paparazzi is temporarily closed until further notice. I don't even think we'll post the most recent visual of the "open floorplan."

We want to wish everyone a happy turkey day with family and friends. We love you and appreciate you!



Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Look into the light...or LET THE SUN SHINE IN!!!

The temporary wall in some way impedes the view (especially in pictures...however, it is spectacular! The very large support beam was being constructed and going up possibly today.
This is the view from the KITCHEN!!!!

Another view of the temp wall and Lynn reacting to the view!
We are also excited because on another leg of our journey, we are once again within (and a little under) our budget!
We were able to shop for our bathroom stuff (showers, faucets, toilets, etc) and for both bathrooms, we are $4 under budget!
We are very, very proud that we are able to control our usually expensive taste in stuff for the house.
We also went to the Bank (awesome)( ) today on the way to get Sophie and Haiden from school. For $75 we will have our mantle (pretty sure original to the house-square,hand-forged-blacksmith-looking nails) stripped! can't wait to see what is under all that white paint!
Framing is well underway, but over the next few weeks, things may get and electrical is not nearly as exciting as DEMOLITION!

Monday, November 10, 2008

No photos...broken incredible view!!!

Sorry to report that there are no photos attached! The camera was not working!

Lynn went by the house this afternoon and...(drumroll)...the side-hall wall is DOWN!!!!!! The view to the windows is breathtaking...Lynn took a picture w/ her cell phone.

Will try to post pictures soon!


Thursday, November 6, 2008


Rodney and Stacy The Dynamic Duo!!! Rodney and Stacy are so awesome. Their skill and vision and ability to make something new out of something very old, while respecting and maintaining the integrity of the space is so incredible to me, to us.

The best birthday gift to me today was the EXPOSED fireplace...completely exposed! It is beautiful and looks so ready for the BIG stove! I hope everyone is hungry, b/c in a few months, a whole lotta cooking will be happening! That will really be the best gift ever, to cook for everyone again!

One of the coolest findings, besides the old high school ring, was the old wallpaper on the barge board. There were 2 layers of paper, one 19th century, the other, early 20th century. The walls under the paper were covered in burlap. To think that the earliest residents of the house had the barge board and a layer of burlap between them and the elements...

There were also graffiti marks on the newer paper. Drawings and scribbles in paper. The word, "mama" and a bird were the most discernable.

The bird

Our old closet.

Our old bathroom.

This large hole above the window was to vent the wood burning stove 100 years ago.

The fireplace on the dining room side.

What will tomorrow bring?!