A little brain dump for your Tuesday...

We've gotten into a terrible habit of eating dinner in front of the TV. We eat in the kitchen too, but there's still too much disarray in there for it to be a nice experience. I have been dreaming of a dining room for ages, so that we can have a place to eat and let Johnnie spread out with her crayons and other important business. We could conceivably go bigger, but I think we'll want to stick to a smaller table -- around 6' long -- if we don't want the space and particularly the walkway to the kitchen and living room to feel too cramped. This table design from Ana White (built by Shanty 2 Chic) costs around $100 in materials and could easily be modified to shorten it a smidge. Though an extension table with leaves would be nice for holidays, it's hard to turn away from this much cheaper option that also suits our house's style. We'll see where we end up.

Ez made some progress over the weekend on the coat closet (left) and powder room (right). He decided to focus on these little areas because he wanted to use up the rest of the planking and drywall we had lying around and getting in the way. Plus, having these walls done means we can do a ton of priming and painting in one massive effort. Right now we're in that middle stage where we're wondering if things are actually looking worse than ever and if we'll ever be able to make it all work, but this is the point where you just have to keep moving forward and see it through.

The powder room or half bath is teeeeeny tiny. It's literally just big enough for a toilet, a sink and a person. As such it's hard to photograph, but here's a shot of the wall where the sink will go.

Our plan at the moment is a slate floor (we have some leftover), staining the wall behind the sink, grabbing an old wall-mount sink from Second Chance and using this old metal mirror:

Meanwhile, I can't get this song out of my head. It's available for free download here as a teaser for Gungor's newest album. Ez and I went to see them live at Ram's Head in Baltimore last year, and the show was unbelievable. I can't wait to listen to the new album start to finish.

And finally, last but not least, let me show you the secret to potty training. These little guys, in addition to loads of patience and all the high fives and cheering you can muster, are getting us over the potty training hump. Pretzels and grapes were child's play compared to these magical incentives.

Whenever she uses the potty, Johnnie shouts in the cutest voice imaginable, "Yay, I did it! Now I get a gummie!" Then she takes great pains to choose the exact one she wants. We still have some work to do, but she's doing much better at staying dry, asking to use the potty on her own (a huge step forward) and being generally interested. I'm trying not to pressure her too much and to go at her pace, and it's encouraging to see progress. 

So that's what's going on this week... Here's hoping for another surge of productivity in the next couple days. Encouragement and inspiration appreciated. 


  1. EK: You have covered an array of topics here.

    I like the table, though’ the chairs are shown on the ends, clearly there is no knee-room for sitting on the ends. That looks like a busy little corner of the house, what with all the plumbing, electrical and HVAC in one spot. I see the time it took for “S” to match the contour of the logs with the planking. I don’t remember you ever describing the doors you’ll use.

    As for the potty training thing, … Gooooo little Johnnie, what a big girl you are!

    1. We actually haven't exactly decided on doors yet... And yes, that corner is quite busy... trying to retrofit this old house with plumbing, HVAC and electric without compromising the structure of the logs was really tough. We had to make a lot of compromises in the design and layout (and are still facing this issue in the kitchen under the stairs), but everything is thankfully up to code and is as hidden and efficient as possible. Not an easy task -- in fact, one of the toughest things about this whole project. It's those hidden things that take up the most time and energy.


Thanks for reading! I love your thoughts, feedback and suggestions. Keep 'em coming!