Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Fly, Birdie, Fly!

Can you even SEE this house now that the trees are leafed out?

The changing of the seasons is definitely amazing.  I have lived through 56 spring times, and the “unfolding of the green” always captivates me.

The world just knows what it is supposed to do when it is supposed to do it.

No one has to tell the trees to leaf out – they just do.

And as for the title of this post ---well, that’s another story!

I was in the kitchen scrubbing cupboards (oh, so many cupboards!) when I heard a banging commotion coming from one of the upstairs bedrooms.

There was a storm getting ready to rage outside, was a wild wind whipping a bedroom door shut?  What WAS that sound?

Click to play:

I have NO IDEA where this poor bird came from, but It was flying as hard at the windows as it could, fluttering its wings, trying to get out.  It only took a second of encouragement once I opened the window and he (or she?) was off and away.

I'm taking this as a good luck confirmation to spread my own wings and soar!

It took a moment for MY heart to stop fluttering, and I was back to the task at hand:



I know this won't seem exciting to anyone, but it is amazing what a bit of elbow grease and magic erasers can achieve! Before photo on left.

There will be some paint touch ups as well, but for the most part things are looking better than I first thought. Really.  These cabinets are cleaning up nicely.

Several have told me they “LIKE” the shabby chic or primitive look of worn down paint showing wood – and it is in keeping with the time period of the house, but I still want to start out this venture with no fingernail gouges on the woodwork.  

We will touch up, spruce up, freshen up without having to redo the whole kitchen.

And the more I worked with and around these knobs, the more I don’t mind them – I just think they need the little decorative circle shaped back plates that go behind them to keep fingernails from re-gouging the paint.  I’ll be on the look out for those.  

28 knobs in the kitchen, 12 more for the baths – that’s a whole lot of back plates needed!


Looking MUCH better!

There are places in the pine where the knots in the wood show through, and I guess that “also” is a thing to make things look original and vintage.  At first glace to me they look like stains! So what do I know about this kind of d├ęcor thing?


Just watching cattle…

I brought a couple of old cabin rockers up to the back porch yesterday.  As the rain began to fall I sat and watched the cattle roam down by the creek.  Talk about blissful! Oh how I love this green landscape.


Menacing sky and dogwood tree.


Yep, it’s coming in!


The old mill remains I talked about in yesterday’s video.

There was a run to town (25 miles) to get more copies of the house and post office keys made.  There was still an hour to play, so I headed over to the antique mall –bad Bonnie, bad Bonnie!  

I found a table for the front foyer for only $35.00.  It’s BIG – round, perfect!  No photo of that, forgot to take one, but there was also this:


hand crocheted!  Only $12.00.


It’s going on the round entry table.  It’s going to be fabulous.  And that is today’s job – I’ve gathered some things from the cabin and will be heading that way as soon as this posts – I’m on my way home to get ready for tomorrow’s trip to New Hampshire (So excited to see those gals again!) and I pass right by the retreat house on my way home.


Some stitching happened!

No machine sewing though – just handwork, feet up, movie on.  But I tell you what, after all that scrubbing, my right hand and forearm were so tired and sore they were rebelling the motion of holding the needle.  I gave up.  I will finish this next time.  There is only half a sleeve to go, but I just couldn’t stitch further.

It’s still gently raining – the sound of rain falling on the metal roof of the cabin, and birds chirping happily in the trees outside is so simply blissful that I really don’t want to leave.

But I must!


Quiltville Quote of the Day!

Vintage quilt found in Washington.

Using the word NO when it is needed does not make you an unkind person.

It means you know your limits, and that you are able to take care of yourself.

This is what I needed to remind myself of today for SO many reasons.

I am learning to say no.

With a smile.

Have a lovely Wednesday, everyone!


  1. Love the before and after of the cabinet doors. Great idea for the circular back plates to keep fingernails from gouging. I like seeing photos of the house when the storm is rolling in. Glad you found time to sit on the back porch while raining to watch the cows. You are right, no is a complete sentence and doesn't require further explanation. No is enough. Boundries, so few are set and when they are finally, some folks don't like it. I think it telling when you tell a person no and see how they either respond or react! Hugs for a great Wednesday! Allison in Plano

    1. Thank you, I love that! NO is a complete sentence and doesn't require further explanation. No is enough.

    2. Repainting might not even need to be done with the back plates.

  2. What a joy to go on this adventure with you. Safe travels Bonnie.

  3. You might be able to find a local craftsperson to make the back plates for your knobs.. kinda fun

  4. You did one heck of a good job on those cupboards, Bonnie. I can imagine how peaceful it was to sit and gaze at the lush green hillside and the cows! A slice of heaven

  5. Just a little FYI. If the backplates (which is a great idea) is too thick, the screw from the knob won't be long enough to go to the back of the door. Ask me how I know, hehe! You may have to take a knob with you on your travels to hunt for that. But I bet you could find a metal smith who could do a lovely job for you. Love the house!! Sharon in Colorado (I'll see you in the fall here)

  6. Your bird/ghost reminded me of when we were hearing 'strange' sounds upstairs but couldn't find anything when we'd look. It was in a small room - with two windows and an open closet and a door in the ceiling that went to an 'attic' space. Well, there was a small crack in that ceiling 'door' and we eventually figured out that a bat had crawled through that hole and was flying around the room trying to get back out. My hubby waited until it was sleeping, took a pillowcase & scooped it up and took it out to the backyard and laid it in the bushes. All I could think of was that poor bat waking up and wondering how the heck it had got there lol

  7. Heartwarming post; settling in brings peace and contentment, wishing you all that and more!

  8. So if backplates would make the screw too short, would it be too weird to use hexies??

    1. I think it would be fabulous! Cut hexies out of thin plastic and cover with fabric, add a center hole to attach them under the pulls. Maybe coat the fabric with that decoupage stuff (was it called Mod Podge?) to make them easy to clean.

  9. I think the back plate idea is just genius! You will keep the integrity of the old and add to the charm with the back plates and possibly spend less money! Win Win. You are just awesome and this project is you through and through.

  10. Won’t it be wonderful when you won’t have to leave the place you love to travel to teach...everyone can just come to you! I’m so excited for you!!! Can see you retiring at the cabin and never leaving Virginia!

  11. How awesome! Quiltville Inn is wonderful. You have to feel like the luckiest girl on the planet. The cabinets look great, love those magic erasers.

  12. do you have an attic area that might have a small exposed area to the inside of the house? the bird might have got in through there - or if you had the door open for a period of time while you were bringing in cleaning supplies the bird might have gotten in? a mystery - a flue on a fireplace chimney open? we had bird come in that way once

  13. The bird may have come down a chimney Bonnie. Maybe caps will work?

  14. Try libertyhardware.com for the backplate they have 2 in oil rubber bronze one if found the other is a quartefoil. The have links to their retailers.

  15. This place is going to be great...only wish I lived closer...Calif is a little bit away! Not fond of the shabby chic stuff myself. My husband and I just bought some new bedroom furniture, as we empty nest...it arrived with a "brushed antique" look...looked to me like it had just come from Grandmas attic...we sent it back. No way am I going to pay for new furniture made to look old! If I want old, I buy it that way, if I want new, I want it to look new!! I love that you can see the cows wandering...so pastural.

  16. My kitchen, when I moved in, had knobs that I too did not like. 72 of them ! Glad that yours are growing on you... I also have had the bird problem. Our house was built in 1905 with not too air-tight of an attic.

  17. Your bird made me laugh! I have had blackbirds come in through a chimney and magpies through the attic (and into my quilting room!). Definitely fun to try to get 3 young magpies out of a room (that had no windows without screens), down a long flight of stairs and out the back door when they are trying to learn how to fly. You certainly have another little slice of heaven in Virginia...beautiful, peaceful and fabulous neighbors (cows!).

  18. SO true, No, is a complete sentence. I've found if I give anything more than No, it's as if that means it's open to compromise.

  19. The photo with the cows and the creek and the rain and the grass -- it all looks like Ireland to me. Very lush and beautiful. I am happy for you!
    Rosanne in Albuquerque (but I was raised in VA!)

  20. now if we could only remember what we learn [saying no is not mean, and really makes our yes a yes!], then that would be even better!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  21. I really like Calico quilters idea of a stiffened Heidi or block. You choose the size,color+shape. Excellent idea for a Quilt Inn.** OK,I'll share too. In our DE house I had just fallen asleep after working nights at the hospital. Our 2cats were 1 yr.old and curled on the bed too. Suddenly they start acting like they were possesed.They were running back+forth across the bed+me! Jumping up high, then falling back down on the bed or me! No way could anyone sleep through this, so up I get following their eyes to find a BIG BLACK BIRD flying around my room out in the hall around other rooms upstairs. A very rude awakening indeed. Had to go to the basement to get a broom. All our old Windows were locked and sealed with plastic for winter since they leaked a lot! I put my robe on, opened the front door wide + kept the storm door open. The male Siamese thought he caught it, poor bird was playing dead so the cat would not sink his teeth deeper. While walking down the steps he must have thought the bird was dead or stroked so he put it on the step to get a better hold. Bird said no way and was flying around the downstairs. Between the 3 of us the bird left out the front door.Made sure the cats were in so the bird could sit somewhere and think about what happened. I called hubs at work and DEMANDED TO KNOW WHY HE WOULD LEAVE AFTER LETTING A BIG BLACK BIRD IN THE HOUSE on and on. He kept laughing while I was screaming how did it get in the house. Remember all windows were winterized. To this day he says it came thru the dryer vent into the dryer but he didn't see it when he got something out to get dressed. How can a big Bird get into a dryer??? I still do not know why that bird flew up 2 sets of stairs I'm sure chased by cats. I took me a long time to relax after that! Sorry to keep you so long. Have a safe trip.
    P.S. Even today, more than 40yrs later he is sticking to the dryer vent story.

  22. OMG! Cindy D and The Calico Quilter have nailed it. Scrappy hexies as back plates in the kitchen. Wouldn't that be lovely!!!! And make a statement about the retreat house!

  23. You sound so happy. Such a good sound!

  24. I am so happy for you. Finding this ole' house is wonderful and I envy you all the discovery and the fun of decorating and furnishing. Bless you, Bonnie, for saving this house. Don't you just wish it could speak and tell you it's story?

  25. Yay little bird freeee! 2 days ago I saw a little baby starling in the greenhouse - it had been hot and I thought it had probably panicked and knocked into the windows. I picked it up and it did it's level best to squeeze my fingers in it's beak. It flew into the next garden only to be pounced on by predatory bird! I felt awful. That evening another baby starling flew into our patio window with a thud and I rushed out to help (meanwhile husband suggested it was probably too late) and found it on the patio on its back. I gently turned it over and it scuttled into the bushes! Phew! Some you lose, some you win!

    Meanwhile back in the U S of A - that's super crochet! Well hunted! ;)

  26. Everything looks so great. Learning to say no is no easy feat is it? One I need to get better at myself. I’m finding that people are pretty reasonable when your response is “sorry, but just can’t “. Afterall, your super hero cape does need to be laundered every once in awhile. Safe journeys.


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