Saturday, March 5, 2016

Winter Scenery

Yesterday morning provided perhaps the most beautiful scenery yet this winter.  And thanks to a new job where that scenery translated into a two hour delay, I had time to put on some boots and enjoy a quiet morning walk through the snow. 

(Did you notice the springhouse is in the picture above?)

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Kitchen Update

I took advantage of a tidy kitchen today to snap some photos so I could update anyone who happens to stumble by my poor neglected blog.  As a (weak) excuse for the lack of posts here, I admit that a full year passed between the first builders grade oak cupboard door coming down and the last white-painted cupboard door being rehung.

So, for a quick review, here's the kitchen in 2009:

In 2011:

In 2013:

And today:

I'm rather proud of the fact that I did about 95% of this work by myself.  Painting helped hide a few imperfections, but all in all I'm quite happy with how everything turned out.  I did have help from my mom who cut all the arched brackets in her shop.  The little arch along the side of the refrigerator was her idea, and it's one of my favorite little details.  

I also had help from my uncle J, who moved an outlet and handled the electrical end of installing the new hood range.  As the earlier pictures show, the microwave used to set on a low shelf just above the stove.  The shelf was so low that it made using the stovetop awkward and dark.  It also seemed to be perpetually covered in grease and every other kind of cooking gunk.  The new hood is a basic model, but I love having the extra light and height when cooking. 

I also love the sink area.  I splurged on a new bridge style faucet and a mini-chandelier that matches the larger chandeliers in the kitchen and dining room.  Mom's brackets show up here at both the top and bottom of the upper cabinets, and I also like the new beadboard backsplash.  The laminate counters were a budget concession, but I'm still much happier with the mottled tan of the new counters than the garish green of the old. 

Like everything else around here, there are still a few details I'd like to tweak (like painting the dark toe-kick areas and adding little arches in front of the toe-kick to give more of a furniture look to the lower cabinets) but for now I'm calling the kitchen good. 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

If I Made a Million Dollars

by Cecilia (age 8 and apparently the future patron saint of old house lovers)

(click the picture to view larger)

Monday, September 30, 2013

The Current Project

The biggest project undertaken here during my blog absence (other than having a baby) has been the kitchen.  Here's what the kitchen looked like when we bought the house almost 4 years ago:

By 2011 we had progessed to this:

That's pretty much how the kitchen stayed until this year.  In January we replaced the sink, faucet and counters.  We also added a dishwasher (a much appreciated Christmas gift from Charles' parents).  In June I began painting and replacing hardware on the cabinets.  Starting with the lower cabinets and going section-by-section, I've made it to this:

It's been slow progress - but it's still progress.  : )  

Friday, September 20, 2013

Fourteen months later...

After a fourteen month absence I'm quite surprised by the number of people who still ask when I'm going to have another post here.  I guess I finally have an answer for them. 

Anyway - fourteen months.  A lot can happen in fourteen months.  Let me see if I can recap some of the highlights:

Purchased and refinished one of the surviving window surrounds from the 1884 Seneca County Courthouse.

Installed reconstructed original window in the springhouse.  (The other one is ready to install, but for now the opening is covered in plastic.)

Refinished one of the original house doors that had been in the shed and hung it on the second door to the former computer room so we could use it as a nursery.

Planted asparagus, rhubarb and red raspberries.  (The raspberries are everbearing and are in their second harvest right now - yum!)

Canned 16 pints of raspberry jam and 13 quarts of homemade spaghetti sauce.  Also froze 12 quarts of homemade freezer salsa, and 16 quarts of diced tomatoes.

Bought an antique corner cupboard for the dining room at an estate auction.  It's the first piece of furniture we own that's roughly the same age as the house.

Painted and replaced hardware on the lower kitchen cabinets.  I'm currently working on painting, adding crown molding and changing hardware on the uppers.

And last but certainly not least - we added Jonathan Paul to the family! 

(Did you catch the hint I snuck in there above?)  The little guy is almost five months old already and is quite the peanut.  After trying early February and late July, I've decided that spring is the best time to have a baby.  Jonathan has loved being outside from the day he was born.  He's also been a pretty good sleeper right from the start.  (Although there's always room for improvement!)

So, the crazy late nights and constant projects of 2009 and 2010 are long gone, but the Einsel House remains a work in progress.  To those who have persistently encouraged me to keep the blog alive - thank you.  I can't promise anything, but I will at least try not to take any more fourteen month absences.  : )

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Good Old Summertime

The last few days have been classic summer.  On Sunday we had a family reunion and then I took the kids on the local preservation society's annual garden tour.  I thought the kids' patience would last through maybe four or so gardens, but they wanted to see all eight.  I've got some great kids!  Then for supper last night I enjoyed a big plate of sauted zucchini, red onion and tomato with some lemon pepper seasoning.  Mmmmm!  And the zucchini came from my own little garden:

I'm putting all those salvaged bricks to good use!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A Sunday Stroll

The heat of the day was starting to pass and it seemed like a lovely evening for a walk, so I told Charles the route I planned to take and I set off.  I'd walked most of my planned route before.  But then Charles had dropped the kids and I off on the creek road and we walked back home. Tonight I was by myself and I decided to make the route into a loop.  It only meant adding one last section of road at the end of the walk.  So...

A glance back at the house from the end of the drive.
0.2 miles - a brief stop to visit a few graves in the Primitive Baptist Cemetery, including Elder Lewis Seitz who married the Einsel House's first owners, Noah and Rebecca Rhinehart (he was also Rebecca's uncle)

0.4 miles - peeking out behind those pine trees is another 1840's stone house

0.8 miles - the setting sun shining through clouds

1.1 miles - crossing Silver Creek, site of the first mill in this township

1.3 miles - turning left onto a township road, this is the longest stretch ahead of me

1.8-2 miles - I enjoy a few black raspberries growing along the side of the road

2.2 miles - turn right onto the Creek Road (this is the best part of the walk!)

2.4 miles - passing a wheat field during harvest
2.8 miles - Honey Creek through the trees

3 miles - This brick house always makes me smile.  I think it's the little 'eyebrow' peaks on the porch roof that do it.

3 miles - Old bridge across the road from the brick house.  The lane across the bridge leads to a barn and a pasture with a flock of sheep.

3.2 miles - a second old bridge crossing the creek

3.4 miles - This is an early log cabin, the original log walls are exposed under the front porch

3.6 miles - another right turn, back onto our own road.  It's been a nice walk, but the Einsel House is straight ahead and I'm ready to relax and enjoy a glass of water.

3.7 miles - a largish, dark colored dog at the house that's about three telephone poles ahead of me starts to bark.  I say a silent prayer that the dog is tied.

3.71 miles - the large, aggressively barking dog leaves the house and begins coming toward the road.  Slowing my pace, I say a silent prayer that there is one of those invisible fence systems along the side of the road.

3.72 miles - the large, very intimidating dog walks right up to the white line at the edge of the road.  Damn.  Nobody puts an invisible fence on the other side of the road.

Still 3.72 miles - The dog and I are both holding our ground, still more than two telephone poles apart.  Regretting the decision not to bring my cell phone with me, I decide to pass the dog by making a wide circle through the soybean field beside me.

3.73 miles - The dog is still barking angrily.  I'm about twenty feet or so into the field when it finally decides to cross the road and heads toward me through the soybeans.  Damn, damn, damn.  I'm no longer worried about getting back home, I'm just worried about getting away from this dog.  Resisting the urge to run, I begin to speed walk through the field. At the moment I really don't care that I'm now heading farther away from home, just as long as I'm getting farther away from that dog.

After a few seconds I glance over my shoulder.  The dog has stopped about 10 feet into the field.  He's still watching me and barking angrily.  Breathing a sigh of relief (but not slowing my pace) I continue walking through the field.

about 4 miles - I reach the other side of the soybean field and come out back on the creek road.  Regretting again the decision not to bring along my cell phone (or even some bottled water), I resign myself to the walk ahead of me.

4.2 miles - back past the early log cabin

4.4 miles - back past the second iron bridge

4.6 miles - back past the first iron bridge

4.6 miles - The eyebrow porch watches me walk past again.

5.2 miles - Even when I'm tired and thirsty, I still have to admit that I love the smell of freshly harvested wheat

5.4 miles - A left turn back onto the township road, but I forget to document it with a picture. 

5.6-5.8 miles -  I'm initially hopeful as I pass the section of raspberries growing along the ditch, but realize quickly that I picked them pretty clean my first time by. 

6.2 miles - I'm almost back to our road.  A right turn and just over another mile and I'll be home.   I hear a car coming up behind me, so I step off the side of the road.

But the car keeps slowing down.

I turn around and see my husband with the passenger window rolled down - "It seemed like you were gone quite a while, so I thought I'd come check on you."

God bless you, honey!