Posted by: Brenda Kula | October 24, 2008

Planning, planning…

Robert, who is finishing up the remodeling of my house, is painting the back bedroom today. He has all the floors laid except for the smallest bedroom. I now have only one floor that’s cement!

Out in the yard he is pondering his planning of the French doors and patio. Part of an overall plan for the whole yard. Of course I have my camera in tow.

Hey, Robert. Smile. Yeah, yeah. I’ll make you a pot of coffee.

Remember last Sunday I weeded my neighbor’s flower gardens across the front and side of her house? Well, now I have poison ivy. Can’t believe I’ve managed to go 51 years and hardly even remember to wear gloves (which I did this time), and never get poison ivy. I couldn’t get any comfort last night. So I went out in the yard and cut off a small chunk of that gigantic aloe vera plant and squeezed it into the redness. It felt good. So I itch all over.

Kind of taking a break on raking the leaves with this itching going on. And oh, are the leaves piling up!

I love how this flower starts in these perfectly rounded little buds.

You will see doors and open space in this area soon. The design is what he is contemplating.

And here in this space. Trying to decide which side opens to a patio. And perhaps having the new French doors in the above area ones that we don’t open, as there is a flower bed with a nicely rounded brick edging he doesn’t really want to interrupt. Likely original to the house. I just dug it out of layers of other brick paths last year. Still thinking it over… Maybe the patio area with seating would be better opening up in the photo below, he says, as we could always build a porch roof there. And not have to rearrange much vegetation already in place. Any thoughts to add to his?

I’m not very good on the architectural aspects, so I leave that to him. We are trying to make it look as natural as possible. After all, it is a certified wildlife habitat. It just may have a grill on the patio! And new pathways that curve.

Oops! Abi just peed in my lap. Have to go change my clothes. Remember, she gets Lasix every morning for her heart.

I’m back.

It’s a little cool to sit out here. Probably warm up in the afternoon though.

My next door neighbor once gave me the angel vase below with a rose plant in it. I planted the rose, and now have rocks in the back. You know me and rocks. Kind of odd, a pretty white angel with rocks. Oh well.



  1. Okay, I am a visual person, can you draw a simple plan so I can see what I am looking at in relation to the other photos. The first photo with windows, is that the bkfst nook? And the second where there are no windows, is that the den? And where are the 2 spaces in relation to each other? I have to SEE it in my mind. (OH, I hear Robert groaning “great, another woman adding her two cents)
    I am still frantically searching high and low for my camera….. I am as lost as it is.

  2. OK. I see that photo 1 and photo 2 are at right angles to one another. Which way do the windows face?

  3. Bummer about the poison ivy! I’m always afraid of getting it when I work outside. I used to get it off my hubby’s clothes when I would do his laundry (he worked for a surveyor – lots of time in the woods) He would never even know he had been around it and I would be itching like mad!

  4. Oh that poison ivy! I get if I just look at it. Hope it heals fast. Get some of that Tecnu soap at Wal-Mart. It works.

  5. Wow your pictures are so good. I’ve never had poison ivy so I don’t know any tricks. I have heard that the doctor can give shots now if it gets too bad.

  6. Lovely picture of the grasshopper Brenda….. Is it a grasshopper? I suddenly thought it might be something else that you have over there and we don’t have over here – liked we don’t have poisen ivy

  7. Oh Brenda,
    I have missed so much of your wonderful blog! Your home, quilts and garden are all exquisite! I feel I have once again returned home to a wonderful place. The area you live in is so beautiful. We too have our share of poison ivy and it is not fun. Sorry, I hope it heals fast!
    I linked you and your knowledge to my blog today. Thanks for answering my question and thanks for sharing all your gorgeous pictures, thoughts and talents with us.

  8. Awww I feel bad for you and that poison ivy , must itch like the dickens,I never had it before so I am no help at all.Love the pics,I am sure it will all look wonderful when its all finished.Your so lucky to have this done but I know you will enjoy it as you love the outdoor so much.

  9. How awful, poison ivy. Although I’ve never had it I can just imagine you itch!! Hope it goes away soon. I love your pictures. I always feel like I can reach in and touch them and they would be real!!

  10. I love the anenome flowers too. They are beautiful. I hope the poison ivy clears up fast for you!

  11. Brenda .. your home is going to be awesome when it is finished .. a truly lovely retreat girl !
    That is awful about the poison ivy .. it can drive you nuts ! .. poor Abby .. hope she is feeling better ? .. maybe having a towel on your lap for the “just in case” possibility ?
    That is a stunning picture of the grasshopper ? and I also love how anemone start out as such hard looking balls to those beautiful flowers !!

  12. Wonderful photos Brenda!

    I’m sorry about the poison ivy, and hope it heals fast. Definitely try that soap Tina recommended. I’ve heard it works great, although fortunately I’ve never gotten a rash from poison ivy. . . yet.

    I agree with Robert – definitely go with the windowless wall for your new French doors and patio. It’s the perfect spot!

  13. Hi Brenda, Have your tried calamine? We have so much poison ivy around here and I try to be so careful. One year I got it on my neck and for the life of me couldn’t figure how I got it there. The dr. ask me if I had a dog and did I love on him and hug him? Yep…I sure did. Bingo…that’s how you got the awful rash. The oils were on his coat.

    A house remodel… exciting. Have a wonderful weekend. ~ Lynn

    P.S. I still can’t get to your blog from your comment.

  14. Good morning, Brenda! How did you ever get Robert to allow you take his picture. 🙂 hee hee

    I was looking at your photography…say…have you ever given any thought to selling or having your photography published? Your photography really is superb! I mean that! Dang! 🙂

    Happt Saturday to you!


  15. I am so sorry you got the awful PI rash! It hit me that way, too. I went on steroids. Now I wash my hands with comet cleanser! The expensive tube product did work but in small areas of rash…when the whole body is involved…it is another thing altogether!

    The grasshopper photo is excellent!


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