Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Around The House

New Foyer Bannister and Driveway

Hello Everyone!  Today's post could be named, "How We Spent Our Time During The Covid-19 Quarentine."  We have been trying to use our time wisely by accomplishing many tasks around our house that we have had on the "to do" list for a very long time. So, since the Mr. likes to keep busy anyway and we couldn't go out and do other things, he decided to work on creating our new bannister for our foyer. And, I know it sounds like I'm bragging, but I must say he did an incredible job and they look wonderful!! He bought the newels unfinished and then finished them before installing. Then he added the iron balusters to the handrails and steps. Do you remember the picture I showed you from the earlier post that showed what we were trying to emulate for our steps? If you've forgotten, here's a reminder.

I think the Mr. did an excellent job!  It was a lot of work along the way.

We decided that the new bannister looked so good that the foyer needed to be painted!  So everything was covered up for the painting. It always makes me nervous to see him on such a high ladder!

Luckily, he could use an extension wand for parts of the painting. The Mr. is quite particular about how he paints so, as usual, I was the gopher helping with drips, covering items and keeping a watch over him! I also am an excellent taper! I also devised the paper towel roll around the metal chandelier chain. What would he do without me to assist?!  Seriously, though, we are both quite pleased with the results in the foyer. 

Now, I shared in an earlier post the massive job we were having done on our front driveway. Adding a brand new culvert to replace the broken and clogged old one that was over 40 years old. 

But, what I didn't share is that we are also having a gravel driveway installed to the back of our house!  And what a job it has been.  Although the Mr. and I are excited we are also a bit dismayed by how it has changed the footprint of our backyard. Our poor bears are a bit confused as their playground does not look the same!  We are saddened that a couple of trees had to be removed. The Mr. had planned that trees would remain untouched but after talking with our paver, we realized they needed to be removed. 

This guy was hired to take down the trees. I called him Rambo because I could not believe how he put on the equipment, grabbed his chain saw and shinnied up the tree like it was nothing!

He had a huge knife attached to his leg to whack off smaller tree limbs but mostly he used the chainsaw and would cut right down to where he was hanging on the tree. When the sections fell it was quite loud!  So, it's a done deal for the trees and we are sorry for that. 

We did discover, however, that we have a plentiful supply of huge and beautiful rocks on our land and we were able to use our own native stone for the retaining wall and for other uses. The huge slab you see in this pic we chose as a "sitting rock" on the back of the driveway. I'll show you a video of this stone being moved into place. 

It's hard to believe that the slab weighs as much as a car!  I know we will enjoy using it. 

So, at this point, this is what the driveway looks like.  It isn't quite finished as the pavers need to add the finishing stone.  We still have lots of green woods but the look of the backyard has definitely changed.  We just felt that this driveway would be a good idea for us as we age and we can use it for other folks who can't climb stairs easily now.  Plus, bringing groceries into the house just got a whole lot easier! We are going to work on landscaping around the driveway area and the torn up hillside will grow back with greenery. Change is always hard. 

Garden asked to help me with this post.  She says that she can be an "Ace Cat Reporter" just like her Great Aunt Gracie was! 

So, that's the news around our house!  What's going on around your house?  Hope you'll leave a comment and let me know.  I love hearing from you!  And, if you would like to read more about our house renovation, check out my previous series, "The House That Love Built" to read all about our 17 year renovation of our home. 

Until Next Time,


Sharon said...

I so enjoyed this post, Debbie, seeing both your indoor and outdoor projects. The staircase is absolutely beautiful, and your whole foyer could be in a magazine! The area around your house is such a park-like setting, and even though your new driveway cuts into it, from an "outsider's" perspective, it is still beautiful. It was nice to see Garden, and I hope she follows through on becoming an ace cat reporter!

Karen Anderson said...

Your bannisters look just like the inspiration picture! Beautiful job! It looks open and very pretty! You certainly have kept busy! Nice to have that sense of accomplishment and see a job very well done! That little Garden is a precious kitty!

Debbie Styles Life said...

Thanks, Sharon. I can't wait for the day when we feel at ease visiting in person (without masks and six feet!) and you can come over and see it all in person!

Debbie Styles Life said...

Thanks, Karen. We are pleased with the results for sure. I hope you are keeping well and that your Mom is doing well, also. Are you planning to visit North Carolina this summer or are you postponing travel? We still have rising numbers of Covid here which is upsetting to me. If only people here would wear masks! Take care.

Ruth said...

I love following your blog, as I can totally relate. You are so real life experience and daily living which is comforting. The home updates are fabulous both interior and exterior. Keep up the good work. I check in often.

Clearissa said...

We are in the process of redoing ou banister too, but we are not doing it ourself. Let me tell you, you guys saved a lot of money doing it yourselves. You were a great helper. :) And your backyard...wow that was a big job too. You guys have been very productive and it all look great!!!

Debbie Styles Life said...

Thanks, Clearissa! DIY jobs always save money but it takes longer to see the results! Hope your bannister project goes well.

Iris said...

Loved the new bannister - and it's okay for you to brag on him! He did a gret job.

I feel the same way about having trees cut and have had to have that done a number of times in the last 30+ years. I have some of those huge rocks too that can only be moved with heavy equipment. Two benches at my cemetery. They're wonderful.

You've surely been productive during the quarantine and those are things you'll enjoy for a long time.
Grace & Peace,Iris

Karen Anderson said...

Debbie, I've already been to North Carolina, just two weeks ago! I was at Holden Beach with my oldest son's family (includes the three grandsons, the one who lives in the Charlotte area had the shortest drive!!) and we had a wonderful week together! Went by much too fast! We are having "outside visits" with my mom now. They bring her out and we can sit outside and visit. She doesn't like it much, this whole thing made her more reclusive which is not good at all, but we are persisting. My sister and I go together to limit the number of times she needs to come out! Fortunately, the weather is beautiful!

Rienette said...

Looks great ! Hope we get to see it someday in real time.

Joy said...

Oh, my word, you HAVE been so very busy but it all looks simply wonderful. I really love the stairs and as for that drive into your back garden - wow! Give it two or three years and all the 'destruction' will be grown over and it will make such a difference.
Will you plant some perennial bushes/flowers along the side or leave it totally natural?

Debbie Styles Life said...

Thanks, Rienette! Hopefully when all this Covid business is over we can all get together!

Debbie Styles Life said...

Thank you, Joy! We are going to plant grass along the sides first and then we'll see what other plants we might need. My husband bought the topsoil today so we are on our way!

Debbie Styles Life said...

Thank you, Iris, we have been busy!

Debbie Styles Life said...

You are brave to travel, Karen! I'm still not feeling comfortable venturing out too much right now. I hope your family enjoyed Holden Beach!