The Hills Are Alive!

(This post is especially for Gail and Pattie.  Thank you so much for your concern.  I am hanging in there, and confident of a good result.  Love to both of you!)

We are fast approaching our 1-year anniversary in the mountain house.    In some ways, it feels like we have always been here.   Not living surrounded by tall pines and hemlocks, a bubbling creek, and various wildlife seems unthinkable now.  But on the other hand, when we see pictures of the house as it looked on closing day, we marvel at how much has been accomplished in 11 short months!

The point of this blog entry is a retrospective on the progress we have made on the exterior of the house.  Unfortunately, I was the cog in the wheel that held up the big reveal.  You see, I volunteered to paint the new white garage doors, which were installed in September.   I studied the doors for months, trying to decide what the paint pattern should be.   Naturally, the final decision was a very complex 3-color affair, highlighted by white “x’s” to match the railings on the front porch.  No easy button for me!  Like Emeril Lagasse, I always have to take a simple task and “kick it up a notch”.

In February, I began my project by carefully taping off the “x’s” with painter’s tape.  Of course, the first time the doors were raised and lowered, the tape came off, hanging like limp streamers.   So, I decided to just take the plunge and freehand the job.  Numerous splotches of gray paint later, my once-pristeen white x’s were purposely covered with dark gray paint!  Even with a 2-color palette, the doors caused hours of misery (from kneeling on the driveway to cover the lower parts, teetering on a ladder to cover the upper parts, and swatting at biting flies all the while.)  When I was finally finished, Dad said “they look nice but I don’t know why in the hell you couldn’t have just used 1 color!”  Why indeed!  I am getting to old for all of this nonsense.  My new mantra is Keep It Simple-r, Stupid! (I’ll let you know how long that lasts!)

This spring, we turned our attention to the yard.  I ordered a b-zillion plants, so we are now eagerly waiting for our knock-out roses, hydrangeas, weigelia, snowball, alliums, and lilies to bloom.  Our “lawn” is still all weeds, but when it’s cut, it is all green.  Greg is horrified; he has always been a grass snob…To have a weed-choked backyard is a severe slam to his ego.  However,  he vows to Weed-N-Feed this fall!

We’ve been working like beavers around here because we want the house to be gorgeous for Dad’s 85th birthday in August.  The plan is to do a wing-ding of a celebration for him.  Friends and family from far and wide are invited to come and celebrate this wonderful man’s accomplishments (not the least of which is his great-grandson , Riley!)  If you can be here on August 11th for the big day, please RSVP to

And now for the big reveal .  This is the before…


And this is the after….




About vkroo

I am passionate about writing, as well as design/DIY/decorating. I decided to combine these skills in a blog, that describes the joys and challenges of transforming a shaggy, baggy elephant of a mountian house into a stunning home.
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2 Responses to The Hills Are Alive!

  1. gail says:

    Your description of painting the garage doors reminds me of the “idea (and surprise to my mother) I came up with when I was on summer break from college. To “better” tie the plain white garage into the maroon and white house, I decided to paint all of the garage criss-cross molding maroon and leave only the inner squares white. I’d tape the white, paint the maroon, remove the tape, find maroon on the white, do over again. It was a nightmare and took forever. After I was done, everyone (family, neighbors, friends, MY MOTHER) pretty much said the same thing as your dad.
    Years later, I went back to all white. FYI: Painting white over maroon was also quite the project.

    I think it is absolutely amazing that you have gotten so much done is such a short period of time
    and am looking forward to seeing it first-hand.

    I am especially happy to read of your confidence and positive outlook on what has to be an incredibly frustration situation.


  2. Pattie Duncan says:

    Its about time we got a new blog. Thanks for the update. Let us know the date in Aug. we should be a little less busy then.


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