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Monday, April 29, 2013

Birthday Boy, Socks and Weekend House Projects

Our dear Steveio has turned... gasp... FIFTY FIVE YEARS OLD!

All of the kids and grandtots came last Saturday for his birthday party.  The poor birthday guy had to work, plus he was LATE coming home from some meetings ---  so the kids were lined up at the porch windows, looking at each car driving past the house.  "Where is Grandpa?  Where is the Tracker?" they kept asking us!

 See why my porch windows are all smeared up with fingerprints????

He finally pulled in to be greeeted by their cheers and shouts.  Soon we had them all piled in our laps...  little Mason had enough of photo posing, they had just come from a photographer for their family pics, and he said enough was enough!   So I stuffed a bottle in and held on tight.  Then Clayton started fussing that he didn't have a bottle (he is now only using a cup)  so pretty soon we had to turn them loose!

The kids had a blast playing with the toys, we took a walk to the park, and later they were running around the house up and down and all around.  It feels so good to have a house full of wee ones laughter, shouts and screams.

We grilled out burgers and brats, and finished off with a chocolate chip mint ice cream cake for the birthday boy.   He officially can now retire after working his butt off for the state for 35 years--- but he is enjoying his new transfer job at High Cliff State Park.  Guess he will hang around for a while as we enjoy our new house in Chilton.

Seems strange that only one year ago we were selling the house up on the river in Oconto.  I hope the new people are as happy in that home as we are in ours!

Also, on Monday--- I trekked back up to Oconto area to go the library in Oconto Falls.  Twice a year we gather there to share sock machine knitting tips and tricks and swap and share.  Most of us have antique old sockknitting machines.  There is a company now making new ones from the old patents from the Gearhart company.  Here is their link: Earlbacher Gearhart Company

I brought along the extra machine I had for sale.  This gal Tracy came all the way from the U.P. of Michigan, hoping someone had one for sale.  Sure enough---- she bought mine!   Look how happy she is!   I gave her a hand's on lesson right there.  Soon she was cranking yarn and even turned a heel... twice!

We had a show-and-tell time--- and each of us shared something we had done. 
It was a nice day to get out and about, 
plus I made a fellow sock-cranker happy with a new machine to play on.  

The rest of the week flew by and before we knew it, the weekend had arrived.  The weather has finally warmed up in Wisconsin to daytime temps in the 70's.  WOW!   We had opened the windows and let in fresh air.  I scrubbed some of the screens and we got some house projects done. 

The trees all got the dead branches trimmed off
We raked the yard and collected the pine cones from the tree up front
Steve cleaned all of the rain gutters from old leaves
We planted some hydrangea, lilac and transplanted some perennials
We moved some bird feeders to a better viewing spot by the dining room windows
We mounted my new scrollwork rack for the garden hose  
Steve got the water lines hooked up to the washing machine and laundry sink 
and started nailing up the trim I had stained.  

That was all the "little stuff" that we got done on Saturday.  On Sunday we got up and had cinnamon muffins and coffee out on our sunny porch.  Ahhh the sun coming up in the east streams into the porch with golden warmth.   This is what we were waiting for...  springtime on our porch! 

See? We don't work so hard ALL of the time!

I got on a baking bug--- and bought some granny smith apples the other day.  I figured it was time for an apple pie!   Oh my the house smelled sooooo good! I sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on the top crust for added flavor.  

I missed my little baking buddy Chelsea who loves to make the apples go "round and round" on the peeler device.   Allegra likes baking chocolate chip cookies so she can eat the chips.  Jameson likes making rice crispie bars with sprinkles.  Wonder what Clayton and Mason will like to make?  They are now both one year old and time to learn how to bake with Granmuddah Pfun---

Sunday morning after muffines, Steve went to to Waupaca to help his dad with a few things.... so I got out my buckets of Cabots solid colored stain (looks like paint but don't chip, flake or peel like paint)  and started on the back stairs.  They had never been painted or stained, so it was like starting with a new project.   The wood was quite weathered, so it took three coats to cover it all up.  Those spindles take a long time and I worked on it on and off all afternoon.  Sure made a difference!

 BEFORE                                                                            AFTER 

I have to still touch up the upper rails on the shaker porch so they get spruced up too. 

Another project we worked on over the weekend was working on the front flower beds.  In my last blog, I had posted where Steve cut down all of the overgrown cedar shrubs and we exposed the lovely cut-out trellis work trim under the porch.  How pretty! 

Saturday night we picked up scalloped cement edging for the flowerbeds.  It only came in beige, red or grey cement.  So we bought the grey cement ones and I stained it all white to match the house.  My handy dandy saw horses were set out front as I stained 6 pieces at a time.  

 Whew... I look awful in this pic, but it was 8 a.m. and my hair was up in a clip.

I had 20 straight pieces and three curved ones to do to get enough to go across the front and also around the side a ways. Each one was pretty heavy... and Steve helped me place each on into place.  I think it looks so nice and neat trimmed up that way.

I am going to stain the sides of the porch steps too.  And maybe add some hunter green highlights here and there to the trim on the front of the house as a third color. 

Now if it only warms up enough to plant some hostas and other flowers in the newly made flower bed?   The side of the house is already planted with bulbs and other perennials... Coming up are tons of tulips, daffodils and Glory of the Snows tiny blue flowers.   I even hung out the humming bird feeder, hoping to attract some when they come north.   

While we were digging up the front flower bed, we ran across this tiny St. Joseph statue.  The previous owners' daughter told us they had put one in somewhere, in hopes of it helping to sell the house...  and it worked because we bought the house!  

During my years as a real estate broker, I had heard many times about burying a statue to help sell a house.  

This is the legend:   
Known in the Catholic faith as the Patron Saint of the home, Saint Joseph has been prayed to for centuries by those who wish to sell their house. Earthly father of Jesus, Joseph was made a Patron Saint because he taught Jesus to be a carpenter and made sure that he was always well housed. Interestingly, a ritual of faith developed long ago that involves burying a statue of Saint Joseph in the yard in order to sell a home. This tradition is continued by many people today in hopes of selling their home quickly and at a profitable price.  

How the Tradition Began:

  • The tradition of burying a Saint Joseph statue began in Europe around 1515 A.D. Nuns at a cloister needed to expand their lands. They began by burying medals imprinted with the image of Saint Joseph into the ground. Their prayers were heard, and within a short time they received their request. It is unclear how the use of Saint Joseph medals evolved into the use of Saint Joseph statues.

I am going to send the statue now to a fellow RVer who is trying to sell their home.  
Perhaps it will work for them... it did for this house! 

Last night Steve finished up the hookups for the laundry sink and washing machine in the new laundry room.  I will snap pics of it for the next blog.  He started nailing up the trim last night--- but I was so worn out from the day, I told him to STOP!   It was time to curl up and relax (and watch "Revenge" for the rest of the evening)  Whew.  I think we need another vacation????



  1. Very nice blog posting this morn'n. Would be interesting to follow the foot steps of that "patron saint". Who knows, that little feller could become a celebrity.

  2. You were even keeping that poor "Old Man" working on his birthday? I guess that's what is keeping him so young... ;c)

    Your new house is looking mighty fine!

  3. Karen, your outside is shaping up so nice - love the painted porch and the scalloped painted edgings for your flower beds - little things like that sure perk up a place that already is looking great. Those little grands lined up looking out the windows for their grandpa & the pic of you two holding them on the couch - just too cute!
    Connie in PA

  4. You guys have endless energy and ideas and skills! Your house is gorgeous, inside and out.

    I've heard of the St. Joseph statue legend, too. I hope it works for the RVers trying to sell. Who knows, maybe St. Joseph will travel around the country helping all the potential full-timers sell their homes so they can start out in their new lifestyle. :)

  5. You two are always busy doing something. The outside of the house is shaping up nicely. It will look even better once you get those plants in the flowerbed at the front. Wish we had some of your nice weather, not sure when we will be able to do any yard work at the campground.



  6. I KNOW YOU NEED ANOTHER VACATION !!!! You two win the prize for being able to start and finish the " TO DO " lists ....... What an example you are for the rest of us ..... I speak for myself !!!


  7. PS..... Forgot to mention... I have relied on St Joseph for help sell a house... He is faithful and must take the job seriously ......it worked....
    Almost forgot until you mentioned it, I have him buried at a home I currently own but am renting .... It was for sale for a short time then the real estate down turn arrived so the home has been rented ....I guess St Joseph is resting until I get the For Sale sign out again !!!!!!

  8. Seems like yesterday you were getting your first grandchild, holy mackerel, now you have a bunch!!!!!
    Love your new house, so much character!


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