A New House Exterior

After living in this little house for six years, the exterior has finally been redone!

The house was lined with aluminum siding when we bought it, and everything was painted white except the sad looking shutters which were way too small for the windows. The paint on the siding was flaking off and the shutters were getting really faded.  One of the shutters had actually come partially unhinged and would bang on the side of the house during storms, like we were living in some sort of haunted house!

It took a long time to decide whether to paint the siding, restore the original wood, or buy new siding. Because the original wood was covered in lead paint, and we don’t really like the look of most vinyl sidings, we finally decided to just paint the aluminum siding. We decided on a light grey for the color after considering a variety of greens and teals.

After power washing off the old paint, the house looked like a tin can!

This picture shows how bad the old paint job was looking, and the spot where the siding was torn off to see what the original wood looked like.

The doors were painted mint green, and the flimsy old storm doors were replaced with sturdier ones in contrasting black.

The next step was to replace the windows. The windows were original to the house but not worth saving. Mold was growing on them, they were very hard to open and in the winter they let in so much cold air that sitting on the couch in front of the windows was like sitting in front of an open freezer.

However, we didn’t really like the look of generic replacement windows with the grids on the inside of the glass because they don’t show up very well and they look less authentic. We decided to go with the more pricey option of buying windows with exteriors grids, which look a lot closer to the type of windows that would have been original to the house. The windows we choose had black exterior grids to contrast with the house, and inside the house the grids are white.

The trim around the house was painted white, to make the grey color stand out.

The final step was to replace the porch that was falling apart.

I didn’t think the old porch looked that ugly until I compare it with the new one. The skinny columns were replaced with three big columns that have a little bit of decoration around the top and the railing is more robust and sturdy.

 It took most of the spring and summer to get it all done and schedule with the contractors. The most stressful part was getting the windows put in and having to move the cats around to different rooms, keeping them in crates so they wouldn’t escape.  I can hardly believe it is finally all done. We’ve been dreaming about re-doing the outside of the house ever since we decided to buy it so it’s nice to finally be proud of how our house looks. And I love having windows that actually work!

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Cat Photos Friday: Ghoul Kittens

My sister adopted two kittens that look like little skeleton ghouls!  This guy above is Kevin with the pants, and his sister pictured below is Maisie the party goblin.

They’re so cute and playful and friendly. It’s so much fun to go and visit them!  They are living at my Mom’s house with her three cats, so it’s a big cat party over there right now.

The Beach in a Dream

Little beach towns always feel like a magical, altered reality type of place to me. A place far away from regular boring life, where time almost stands still. When thinking back, months later on that short little week spent spent at the beach, it almost feels like a dream. I think these Polaroids capture that feeling.

These Polaroids were taken with the Polaroid OneStep 2 and film.

The Trail to Oatman

The last day in the desert led us to the little town of Oatman, which is nestled high up in the mountains between Arizona and California. I didn’t realize the drive to get there would be so scenic.
We left the red rocky landscape behind us and headed towards these jagged rocky ridges. We had to stop every few minutes to get out and take in the views.
I could have spent a long time wandering around and discovering strange desert things.  Like this interesting desert shrine.  Or that forgotten car.
But our flight home was that evening so we had to hurry back to Las Vegas.

This part of Arizona made me want to visit California even more than ever.  Maybe because we were so close, it was just beyond this mountain ridge!  The landscape in this part of the country is so dramatic.

The town of Oatman is home to a bunch of friendly Burros.  As we got close to the town, Burros started to appear along the hills. I couldn’t wait to get to the town to see even more!

Weekly Journal: Beach, Mountains and the Hospital

We spent a week at my favorite beach.  It was a lot of fun, but for some reason not quite as fun as past trips have been.  Nothing was particularly wrong, but I guess every trip can’t be the best ever. Right after our return, we had to go spend a weekend in Asheville to help out some family members. We got to stay at an Aunt’s mountain house with a lovely back porch view and her cute cat.

The weekend in the mountains was really peaceful and relaxing, and Asheville is a fun city to explore. We decided we should go more often.

My wrist is still messed up from work. I work for a giant hospital but in a separate building a few miles away, and each week I get to wander around the maze of the main hospital to get my wrist looked at.  I really had to resist the urge to buy myself this whale balloon while waiting for my prescription one day.

Cape Lookout

One of my favorite places to be is on Cape Lookout island. It is part of the barrier islands that line the coast of North Carolina called the Outer Banks. Cape Lookout can only be accessed by ferry and no one has lived here since the early 1900s when the island was taken by the government and turned into a national park.

The Cape Lookout lighthouse stands tall above the seas and once provided a helpful warning to sailors along the treacherous jagged shores which were referred to as the graveyard of the Atlantic. Hundreds of ships crashed into the crazy shore line of North Carolina until all the lighthouses were constructed.

The clear blue crystal water can be seen by climbing to the top of the lighthouse. Out of all of the lighthouses I have climbed, no view has compared to this one.

Seeing all the little islands and sandbars standing out against the blue water makes me think I’m someplace tropical.

Cape Lookout is known as one of the best places to find shells. My first time here I came home with over ten giant conch shells.  I still don’t really know what to do with them all, but there they sit, out in the yard, a reminder of my favorite place.

I also like how uninhabited it is. It’s always possible to find a spot on the beach where not another person is in sight.

As soon as I leave, I start dreaming of when I can come back.

Chloride Ghost Town

In north western Arizona, about an hour and a half outside of Las Vegas, is the little almost forgotten town of Chloride.

Chloride was once a busy mining town with over 5000 residents, but over the years that number steadily declined to around just a few hundred and Chloride was on it’s way to becoming a ghost town. For whatever reason though, this town was never completely abandoned and still has a couple stores, a restaurant and a motel.

It’s a picturesque dusty little town, full of eclectic desert character. We stopped at the general store for some snacks to fuel us on our way to the Grand Canyon.

Chloride was a fun place to stop.  I’d love to spend more time there exploring one day.