More Pantry Progress

All the beadboard is up in the pantry!  We just need to paint the other three walls.  Painting the pieces before installation didn’t work out so well.  Maybe I can get some painting done this weekend if my husband doesn’t before that!

Thanksgiving slowed things down!  I fixed a turkey with herb butter and apple cider.  I used an old recipe from Bon Appetit that includes directions on how to make a gravy base.  This is the only gravy I’ve ever made that turns out perfect!  All the herbs and apple cider really give the gravy a great flavor.  I made cranberry sauce with hibiscus tea, but I didn’t really notice any difference in the taste with the hibiscus!  I made a dressing with portobella, shiitake and cremini mushrooms, but I think all the mushrooms made the dish mushy.  I should just stick to oyster dressing.  We really like that, but oysters are SO expensive!  I had sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, and green beans, too.  My mom brought a pecan pie from Cracker Barrel.  I think that was the best pecan pie I ever ate!  The crust was perfect.  I looked at the ingredients – they used lard!  I’m sure that’s why the crust was so good.  My dad made a lot of pies and he always used lard in the crust, and they were so good (except the custard!) if I liked the filling!  I don’t really like pumpkin pie.  Does that sound unamerican??!!  I do like apple pie!  (Our nephew only likes apple pie made with a can of apple pie filling!!  He doesn’t like fresh apples in his pie!)  I finally made a pumpkin pie AFTER Thanksgiving!!

Well, enough about Thanksgiving!  Here are some pictures of the pantry!

Here is the wall with the door. The frame will go on the bare drywall!


This is the long wall.
This is the long wall.
This is the short wall! We have a shelf we’re going to put here for the microwave.


ORC Continued – Pantry Progress

My husband has been priming the beadboard.  He put one wall up and got that painted before I got a hold of the paint brush!  Maybe I can paint the next wall!  The inspector is in one of the pictures!

Introducing Inspector Beagle Z!
We picked Benjamin Moore’s Distant Gray paint for the pantry walls out of the zillions of white paint choices! We’re going to use the same paint for our backsplash in the kitchen. I think this paint color looks good with our Formica 180fx calacatta gold countertops.

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Pantry ORC – Fall 2016 – Week 6

Well!  What can I say??  I missed last week.  I kept thinking I’d get a little more done, but I don’t think I did!  Then I had to go to the ER last Sunday night, and on the way I ran into a deer!  My car was still drivable so we got to the ER without any delay.  My son has been sick for almost all of the last two weeks, but seems to be getting better now.  He needed a breathing treatment and they did a chest x-ray and checked to see if he had the flu.  So he didn’t have pneumonia or the flu – just bronchitis.  Now he has a nebulizer.

EXCUSES!  EXCUSES!  I think this pantry project was just a little too ambitious for me (and my husband!) to do in real time.  I’ll know better next time!  Thanks again to Linda for all her hard work at calling it home.

Here’s the link to all the other bloggers’ ORC reveals:

So this is still a work in progress!  Here are some pictures:

We were ready to paint, but then my husband found out we needed to wait 72 hours! I didn’t read the fine print – always a mistake! The 72 hours weren’t going to be up in time because he had to go and get more beadboard twice since we didn’t have enough. You can tell we really thought this through!
This is where the toilet was. I didn’t clean the floor because we’re going to be tearing out this vinyl and putting in tile.
My husband put the beadboard up on the walls to make sure everything fit and then took everything down so we could get started painting. I guess we’ll be doing that this week. I hope no one else gets sick and I hope I don’t have any more encounters with deer! I hope you’ll check back next weekend to see how much progress we’ve made. Thanks.


Pantry ORC – Fall 2016 – Week 4


I wonder if I’ve made any progress.  I have made some decisions if that counts!  I decided to use a huge shelf that was hanging in the kitchen for the microwave.  My original plan was to use a metal shelf, but I couldn’t find the right size.  My husband took down the shelf.  I think he really likes my idea to put it in the pantry because he hated that shelf!

The shelf was here on the wall. I think the wallpaper actually faded because of the shelf, but we’re getting rid of that anyhow.
Here’s our sub-zero refrigerator (circa 1991). The pantry door is to the left.
Here's another picture of the pantry door. This door bugs me a little because of the colonial style. I just don't think this looks good in a Victorian house.
Here’s another picture of the pantry door. This door bugs me a little because of the colonial style. I just don’t think this looks good in a Victorian house.
This is the wall to the left. My husband took off the trim and the baseboard.
This is the wall to the left (in the pantry).   My husband took off the trim and the baseboard.
THis is the old vinyl floor we're going to tear out of here. I can't wait!
This is the old vinyl floor we’re going to tear out of here. I can’t wait!

I hope we can get a lot done this Saturday.  We’re both off so that should help!!

Now I’m going to see what’s happening with the other bloggers after I link up here:


Pantry ORC – Fall 2016 – Week 3

We talked about what kind of primer to use on the beadboard, but we didn’t buy any yet.  I haven’t done much of anything except take some pictures, and some of them didn’t even turn out.

I’m going to keep this light in the pantry (and add a lightbulb!) because I really like it. I saw a light just like this in someone else’s kitchen!
I’m going to use this cubby hole for storage. I wonder why this wood doesn’t match the trim in the rest of the room!  That’s really odd.
We will be putting a new floor in the pantry. My husband put a new floor in the kitchen with much larger matching tile. We’re just both wondering when he’s going to add the grout! (I’ve said enough about that already, though!)

Here are some jars I got for the pantry. I still need to decide what to put in them!
More jars. These are from Italy, but the freezer jam isn’t! The Amish made the strawberry jam.

Be sure to check out the other bloggers participating in the one room challenge at

ORC- Fall 2016 – Week 2

I actually have some “during” pictures.  I started to peel off the wallpaper in the half bath.  The top half came off pretty easily.  My husband had to use the steamer on the bottom half.  Before he got too far, he asked me what I was going to do with the walls.  Then I remembered I wanted to put up beadboard.  I had forgotten all about that!  So he decided we didn’t need to take off the wallpaper.  I thought maybe taking off the wallpaper was the right thing to do, but he doesn’t think this is necessary.  Nothing seems moldy so I guess that’s okay.  I want wooden shelves and brackets.  The beadboard will be painted white and the shelves and brackets will be painted yellow.

I wish I had room for another sink, but I don’t.  I want to put the microwave in the pantry where the sink is.  I need more counter space in the kitchen.  Before and during pictures are supposed to be bad, right?!  These are absolutely terrible.  (I really need to find my camera charger!)

Thanks to Linda for hosting the ORC.  You can see the other participants’ ORC projects by using this link:

I never did like this sink. Too modern! This pedestal sink is also the cheapest one there is.
I never did like this sink. Too modern! This pedestal sink is also the cheapest one there is.



One Room Challenge – Fall 2016 – Week 1

I’ve decided to change a half bath into a pantry!  We have a powder room off the kitchen under some stairs.  I want to use the space for a pantry.  We have another bathroom on the first floor with a shower.  I asked the appraiser about this when we refinanced, and she said since we have three other bathrooms, getting rid of one would not decrease the value of our home.  Besides, who wants to clean four toilets?  That’s what I say!  Here are a few before photos of the half bath.  I’ll take some more for Week 2.




The NEW Front Parlor

img_4836My husband painted the parlor.  The walls are now pumpkin patch.  That’s Benjamin Moore’s terracotta, I guess.  Here are a few pictures taken at night.  I’ll take some during the daytime and post them later.


This is the bay window that juts out at an odd angle.  Just another example of Queen Anne Victorians’ asymmetry.  I don’t think there’s any symmetry to the parlor at all!  There’s my great-grandfather on the right.  (He’s in the picture!)  His doctor in Ireland told him to move to America because he had asthma.  He moved to Pittsburgh around 1921 and worked in the steel mills.  He never had any more trouble with asthma!

The Front Parlor

After a long hiatus I hadn’t planned, I’ve decided to do another blog post! The summer really flew by.  August was really busy.  I really got tired of the old wallpaper in our parlor quite a while back and tore the old stuff off the walls.  Unfortunately, the backing stayed put!  I thought I would cover up the seams with some temporary wallpaper border, so I got some and started to put that up.  I didn’t get very far with that project.  I decided the border was too expensive when I discovered I didn’t have enough, so I bought some ribbon and thumb tacks.  I never put any ribbon up.  My husband didn’t seem too impressed with the whole idea.  So we had to look at the ugly seams for a long time, but at least the old, blah herringbone wallpaper was gone!

Just lately, my husband decided to steam off the wallpaper backing.  After stripping off grasscloth upstairs in the library, he was dreading this job, but surprisingly everything went well.  This time the stuff came off quite easily and also quite quickly.  The parlor is smaller and there are two doors, six windows, and two doorways!  Here are some pictures:

You can see a little bit of the wallpaper border behind the lamp.



img_4801I couldn’t find any pictures of the parlor with the old wallpaper, but the same stuff is in our vestibule, which is currently a storage (really a junk!) closet.  When I get that cleaned out, I’ll post a picture.img_4802

We’re trying to pick out some paint.  We want terracotta.  We got several swatches at the Benjamin Moore dealer and think we’ll try pumpkin patch.

Roses and FIRST

I thought my rose bush had died, but I guess I was just impatient.  Maybe the roses bloomed late because we had a cold spring!

ROSES finally!


More Roses!
And another rose!
And BEFORE, when I thought my rose bush was dead!
And BEFORE, when I thought my rose bush was dead!

I haven’t done a blog post in awhile.  I was busy at my very part-time job!  AND we went to the FIRST National Conference in San Diego, California last week.  FIRST stands for the Foundation for Ichthyosis & Related Skin Types.  To learn (more) about ichthyosis, you can go to and you can also find out how amazing FIRST is!  The reason why I put “more” in parentheses is because I had never heard of ichthyosis until our son was diagnosed with the disease when he was about six months old.

His pediatric dermatologist said he was a diagnostical dilemma!  We never found out about FIRST until he was around eight years old!  His grandma found FIRST on the internet.  They have a national conference every two years.  We went to the conferences in Denver in 2012 and Indianapolis in 2014.  That first(!) FIRST conference in Denver really helped us a lot.  My son saw kids who had worse cases of ichthyosis, and I was able to let go of some guilt.

His pediatricians never seemed to think he was getting enough nourishment when he was a baby.  He was born in 2003 and in 2008 (I think), a doctor published a study about children with ichthyosis that found they don’t grow as fast as other children.  A lot of the kids at the conference do look small for their age.  I know I’m really off-topic here!  Anyway, we had a great time in San Diego.  I’ll post some pictures in another blog post.

Ichthyosis is a rare disease.  If your child has a rare disease, I would encourage you to find out if there is an organization that offers support to children and their parents.  If your child could be around other children with the same disease, that would be so helpful.

We’re planning to go to North Carolina in July.  I need to locate our camera charger.  I get so frustrated with technology!  All these batteries and chargers, etc. – just more stuff to lose!