Wednesday, August 29, 2012


It's been another eventful week at Ashton House. During another heat spell last week, our upstairs air conditioner decided to stop working. We have two separate air conditioning units—one for the upstairs and one for the downstairs, so thankfully we were able to just swing out the hide-a-bed and sleep downstairs while my hubby repaired our unit. He has always been very handy, which is almost a necessity when you live in a 125-year old house with aging mechanicals! Instead of having contractors do the work, he prefers to do it himself when can and enjoys the challenge of learning something new. I found this photo of him demolishing the old kitchen when we first moved into the house 8 years ago. Because it was not up to electrical code, we had to remove all the old drywall to make room for the outlets and add insulation. The wall you see in the photo is what we found underneath the drywall! Can you believe that green linoleum on the walls?! The kitchen also had avocado green countertops and the most hideous flooring I have ever seen. Thankfully, my husband installed a cherry hardwood floor over it!

The below photo shows part of that same wall taken shortly after the remodel. Looks much better, don't you think?! When we moved in, the only appliance in the kitchen was the old black dishwasher, which we still have today. My husband and I both believe in using things until they wear out. I keep hoping it does, so I can replace it with stainless steel dishwasher drawers to match the other appliances. Since this photo was taken, we have added a backsplash and handmade window treatments, and repainted the blue walls a softer blue gray shade called "Porch Blue" by Nell Hill. The other odd thing about the kitchen was that none of the windows had frames, so my husband added the wood molding around them. Because the windows are deep, he was able to insert a small shelf so I could have a place to display my African violets, English ginger jars, and other sundries. My favorite part of my kitchen is this area with the apron-front sink that overlooks the adjoining deck.  

One summer, my mom and mom-in-law came to spend a few days with me and made me window treatments and window seat box cushions for my kitchen. Here's my cat Poe enjoying one of the new covers shortly after they were completed. Yes, that black furry blob is a cat!

My husband's mom especially enjoys home dec sewing. We recently learned that my husband's parents are preparing to move back to Iowa to be closer to family. They have sold their ranch home in Nebraska and will move into their new townhome in a community just north of Des Moines next month. We also recently received the sad news of the passing of my husband's 98-year-old grandpa. We feel blessed that he enjoyed such a long life in good health. He outlived two wives, and at the time of his death, he took no maintenance medications. His older sister lived to be 100 and his two younger twin brothers are still alive at 93 years old. Grandpa attended college to study tool and die making. During World War II, the company he worked for was responsible for making turrets for tanks and ships. He loved nature and gardening and owned several acres of forest land near his home. He will be missed. Despite the sadness and grief that accompanies the loss of a loved one, it's hard not to feel incredibly fortunate to have that person in your life for so many years. After all, growing old is not a gift granted to everyone. 


  1. I'm so sorry for your loss. He sounds like he was a wonderful person. My maternal grandmother lived to be 101 and it was indeed a blessing to have her around for so long!

  2. I really like your apron front sink, I never knew that was what they were called. Good to know. Sorry for your loss, but like you said, not everyone is granted that gift of so many years of life. So your Grandpa received a great gift and blessed many lives along the way I'm sure. Have a great day! Gina

  3. I love the story about your kitchen remodel. Sorry to hear of your loss. He sounds wonderful. I agree we are fortunate when our loved ones live a long and healthy life. My grandmother lived to 99. We were blessed to have her as well. Hugs. Mary A

  4. Please tell your husband I am so sorry about losing his grandpa. How wonderful to have a grandpa around so very long, I never got to enjoy having a grandpa. Beautiful kitchen, love those cabinets!

  5. Sorry for the loss of your Grandpa. You were blessed to have him so many years. All my grandparents were gone by the time I was 25 and I still miss them after all these years. It sounds like he left wonderful memories behind for you all to cherish. From what I can see of it, I LOVE your kitchen. Lucky you to have a handy hubby!

  6. Interesting for me to see your home stripped back as here in the UK we build houses entirely differently. I have lot's of photo's of my DH renovating our old homes we lived in. Never happier when he was being a very handyman.
    Sorry for lose but sounds like you have wonderful memories which you can draw strength from.


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