Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Grandma’s Painted House

I'm so happy ya'll like the mirror project! I can see Lowes and Home Depot getting some extra business this weekend. How about this...all of you who end up doing the mirror project, let me know by email or leave me a comment and if we get several people doing this in the next month or 6 weeks, we'll have a Mr. Linky party! Won't that be fun?


In case you’re wondering what’s going on with Grandma Eleanor’s little house, well it’s finally been painted inside, as well as pressure washed and the back deck’s been painted and boy, does it look a whole LOT better than it did 5 months ago. It’s taken awhile for Peter to get all the work done by the painters and get it listed with a real estate company, but it’s now on the market. Of course, Grandma doesn’t know this yet. She’s going to have a little hissy fit when she finds out, but it’s just not practical to keep holding onto this house. It’s just a money drain with taxes and insurance and Grandma may very well need the cash out of the house to live on in the coming years. We just don’t know what the future holds, so it seems best to go ahead and sell the house and pocket the profits. With my hubby’s expertise, he can grow the money for her too. IMG_4047

So, we took Grandma Eleanor over there last Sunday afternoon so she could see for herself how far the house had come. Last time she was over there, it looked like THIS…what a mess and I for one, thought it would never be cleaned up again. I sure didn’t want to be the one to tackle it. But, thanks to 1-800-GOT-JUNK, the trash got cleared out of there and the painters spruced it up as well as they could for resale. Grandma still thinks she is going to move all sorts of furniture and stuff over here and that she is going to visit several days a week and even sleep here by herself. It’s just not going to happen. But, how do you explain that to a 90 year old woman? It’s like talking to a kid who wants her way. Oy, as they say! Hubby had to take her keys away from her last summer and you’d have thought we were torturing her. Every chance she gets, she tells people how mean he’s been to her. I’m sure they understand how it is with older people, I hope they do anyway. But, today she was all smiles and couldn’t wait to visit…”her little house”. IMG_4063

This is stepping into the small little porch coming in the frontdoor. IMG_4064

Vintage mailbox on the porch. IMG_4065

Porch door behind the main front door. IMG_4049

Walking into the livingroom. Isn’t it the cutest? This place has so much potential for a young couple or single person who doesn’t need a ton of space. Two bedrooms, 1 bath, small dining room and kitchen. Full basement. With the fresh coat of paint, it sure looks a lot more inviting. There was extra paint left from Grandma's house and I tried this paint color out for my dining room redo, but it turned a strange grayish taupe color and didn't look nearly as pretty in my house. But, I'm going for something really similar to this for my dining room. I'm testing colors now and think I might have a winner.




Looking back towards the frontdoor. Aren’t the floors pretty? This house was built in the early 50’s.


Little dining room right off the living room and kitchen.


Check out the vintage glass doorknobs. IMG_4056

Kitchen is small, but very cottagey.


Quite a few cabinets for a small kitchen. IMG_4058

I love these open shelves above where the fridge would be. IMG_4061

Small hallway going back to the bedrooms and bathroom.


One small bath.


Hallway looking towards one bedroom. IMG_4052

And the other bedroom. Love the old doors. IMG_4062

See Eleanor with the yardstick in her hand. She measured the space where the fridge would go because she wants to order one to have it delivered here….for when she comes over here to stay and visit. Oh, she’s persistent. We just listen and tell her she doesn’t need to buy a fridge. Hubby will probably have to put his foot down AGAIN. It’s hard to be firm with Grandma Eleanor, but she is so determined that she’s coming over here to stay. She’d have all sorts of furniture and stuff brought over if he would let her. She was very appreciative this day for all the leg-work that Peter has done to get this place back in shape. IMG_4055

Here’s the deck all freshly painted. IMG_4059

And the backyard which needs some major cleaning.

So, it’s up for sale, but in this economy it might take awhile. I guess we’ll bring Grandma Eleanor over here to visit when we can and try to appease her. That’s not going to be easy either, when all she wants to do is move in and reminisce about what it was like when she lived there. For some reason, she’s really romanticized it all in her head. The house she and her daughter (Peter's mom) live in now is SO MUCH NICER, but Eleanor just dreams of living back in the matchbox again. But, it’s no place for a 90-year old woman to be by herself and the neighborhood isn’t that great either. What do you do with an old lady who wants her way?

I'm so excited! Early Friday, I will be leaving for Nashville for the Blissdom '09 blogging conference, where I'll be meeting ALL sorts of girls who I've met this last year in blogland. We are going to have a big slumber party and lots of girl talk and I will come back with so much to share! I'll leave a fun post up Friday for ya'll to enjoy while I'm gone. Won't be returning home until Sunday.

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Lisa said...


KeKe said...

What a fantastic job y'all did. It's the perfect little cottage for someone now, and I love the glass knobs. Is that the orginal tile that I see there on the bathroom floor?

Kathi said...

Wondering if Grandma would consider renting her house to me?
I'm looking for a cute little place just like this! Where is it?

Sunday Girl said...

Nice job on the house! It is very cute. From the pictures it sure doesn't look as old as it is. What did you use on the deck? I have to do something with mine.
I feel bad for Eleanor. She probably had some very special times at her little house and has special memories that a new house, no matter how nice, can't give her.

Becky K. said... is so hard. I wonder what I will be like if I live long enough to not feel old but have the body and mind not work together any more....

You have done a great job on the house.

Isn't it funny how paint can look great in one setting and bad in another? Can't wait to see what you chose for the dining room.

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Rhoda, it really looks nice! Love the paint color you selected. It has a nice serene feel, and people can imagine their furnishings in there. They say that you should sell a house furnished, but I know with the situation with Eleanor, that it would be tough to bring some of her things there lest she follow! It's a shame she can't live by herself, but I understand what you all are up against, too. I know you feel the same way. You are doing the best you can for her, and you've done wonders on the house!


Sheila :-)

southerninspiration said...

I guess she just wants her "trip to Bountiful"....have you seen that movie or play? It would probably be nice for her to just come in there and sit (occasionally) in some folding chairs and reminisce......bless her heart.


Lisa~A Cottage To Me said...

What an adorable house. I love that shuttered door in place of a screen door. Looks so fresh and clean with all the work that you've done. How sad, she misses her home. But you are taking the best steps for her. It's hard to see our loved ones aging!

The Charm House said...

This is a cute little house for the perfect couple that just got married! First home... I can just see it!! They would love it!! :)
Gret Job Rhoda!!
Love, Yvette

Anonymous said...

Aww God bless Grandma's heart..bless all y'alls heart, it is a hard thing to have to deal with. The house looks wonderful, y'all did a great job! Have a wonderful trip this weekend and take lots of pictures.



Twice as Nice said...

I can't help but feel sad for Grandma...I know it's for the best but it is so sad.
Love the little house and all the extras it has. Twin just sold her rental house. We were quite surprised because of the economy but I think people are looking for houses in a certain price range and hers was a 2 bedroom also and they had a lot of people looking. Good luck with Grandma's and have a wonderful weekend with all the girls!!!

Anonymous said...

Please be gentle with will be devastating for her to learn you are selling her house...
My prayers are with her and with your family.

Montee said...

That is such a cute house! I would buy it if I were moving to your neck of the woods.

I understand having to deal with grandma. I had to go through the same thing with my grandfather.

Lori said...

That house has good bones. It looks so fresh and move-in ready. Your hubby did a fine job getting it ready for the market.

Anonymous said...

We are dealing with this with my grandmother. She is 93. Thankfully, my parents live next door and my mom has basically moved into my grandmother's house. Try to see grandmother's side. It's another piece of her independence that she is losing and I think that is so very hard for the elderly. I'm sure she does appreciate all you all have done, but if she's like my grandmother, her mind is probably not quite as clear as it used to be. She looks wonderful for 90!!!


Lindy said...

Awwww. That house reminds me of my first house that I owned. I still miss that house. They don't build them the way they used to, do they?

Lazy Mom Leslie said...

Thanks for the udpate on Eleanor's house. It looks great! She is blessed to have you both in her life.

Salmagundi said...

I understand the situation. My Mother in law is 95 and still living alone. She doesn't understand that her situation is changing, and she needs help in taking care of things. Patience is needed for all of us!!!! Sally

Melissa said...

That is just precious!

Anonymous said...

I think all of Grandma's memories probably keep her going. Memories are a wonderful thing and the fact that she can still remember is a very good thing. It sounds like maybe you don't like old houses? It sure is a very cute house and it makes her happy, to bad we have to get old.

Darlene - Our Creative Life said...

Oh ya know I can relate to this!! My mom is telling everyone that her son & daughter are awful, when all we are doing is looking out for her best interest! It definitly is challenging!

Have fun in Nashville at Blissdom. Wish I could have gone to meet you. Oh well, we will be busy working on your rug!

Anonymous said...

I feel bad for Grandma, too. I hope you will be gentle with her also, and try to understand what she will go through when she learns you are selling her house. Please put yourself in her shoes, we will all be old (hopefully) one day.

Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

Hi, to all of you. Yes, I know we are going to be as gentle as we can with the situation. I know she has to be very sad at losing her keys & being able to be mobile & free. I KNOW that must be tough, I imagine I'll be the same way when I get her age too. We are trying to do the best for her that we can. Sometimes older people don't look at the blessings they have, but rather at what they have lost.

And yes, I do love older houses! That's not it at all. She moved out of this house about 6 or 7 years ago & now lives in a nicer, newer home with no upkeep like this one requires. It's just time to sell it & let it go.

And yes, I totally know that it's going to be hard for her. What else can you do, but try to explain things. But older people don't always listen & are not always reasonable. That's all I'm sayin!

Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

Oh, and it's not that she hasn't heard the plan to sell the house, she has! It's just that she wants to wait a few months. But, with things the way they are, it will probably take months anyway to sell it. It's listed at $125K & houses in this neighborhood were going for more than that a couple years ago & houses that had more updates done than this one. And yes, her mind isn't nearly as sharp as it was, even 4 years ago when I first met her.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes small cottages are just the this one! It is so cozy!! I would think someone would want to buy this one really quick.


Joanna said...

Turned out great, her house is so cute and quaint! Perfect for a starter home or small family. I love the charm with the glass door knobs and such.

I love that paint color!

Happy To Be/ Gl♥ria said...

Love Grandma house girl..and you know my Mama did the same thing even when she knew she could't live alone...all she wanted to do was move back home...hope it sells quick for you...Loved that mirror project you did and the whole bathroom..have fun with your Blogging buddies...hugs and smiles Gl♥ria

Sandy said...

I'm getting in tomorrow Rhoda - so looking forward to meeting you! Also love this quaint house - love all the white - really fresh looking! Hugs!

Anonymous said...

Oh her home is so cute! Your hubby did a great job!

Blondie's Journal said...


What a great fix-up job! Everything looks so fresh & clean, I bet you will have it sold in no time!

Grandma Eleanor looks wonderful for her age (and pretty sharp minded ;-)

Can't wait to hear about the blogland slumber party! Wish I were there!!


Susie from Bienvenue said...

Bless her little heart. You just wanna hug her,smile. My Maw Maw lived to be 100 1/2 yrs old. She was able to live in her home until the day she passed. My Aunt lived right nextdoor so that made all the difference. We did have ladies come a sit with her during the night though. She didnt think too much of that but she did allow it. Hehe... I think that yall are doing just great taking her back to let her see. Firm but loving... one day we will all be there..hopefully~
Have my bags pack..Im ready!

Shell in your Pocket said... cute!
-sandy toe

Kris said...

The house is so cute and has such potential. I love the vintage appeal of the kitchen and bath. The floors are beautiful. I could live there and have fun making it a cozy cottage. I hope it finds buyers that appreciate the charm it offers.

Happy Hump Day


Runner Mom said...

The house and your husband's grandma are darlin'! I'll keep y'all in my prayers as you proceed with the home.

Y'all have fun in Nashville! Don't forget the Opry Mills Outlets!


Anonymous said...

The house looks fabulous! What a great starter home it would be! Y'all did a wonderful job sprucing things up! Say a prayer, and give it to the Lord! That's all you can do.
Enjoy your time in Nashville at your "slumber party" at Blissdom...wish I could go too!

Anonymous said...

Such a sweet cottage, Rhoda ... I love the deco-style bathtub! What is the framed-in section on the kitchen wall, to the right of the stove? Is it a bulletin board or was there a window there once upon a time or ???

Grandma Eleanor looks great, and it's so wonderful to see anyone that age who walks unassisted. Both of my parents, both sets of grandparents, and also my in-laws lost the ability to walk several years before they died, simply due to lack of exercise ... walking is definitely a *use it or lose it* ability. None of them were fat or lazy, just typical super-busy adults with no time for (or interest in) exercise. And my inlaws live (mom in law is still living, father in law died on Halloween after 94 great years, 67 of them married to my MIL) on one of the steepest hills in Los Angeles, where it's truly a steep downhill/uphill hike to the mailbox and back, less than 30 feet from the front door. Not a friendly area for walking :o) And so typical of many parts of California, where we actually have to get into our cars and drive someplace (safe, flat, etc.) to take a walk. Pretty crazy, huh?

'Nuff rambling, time to get back into the kitchen and pick up a paintbrush. Have a great time in Nashville and be sure to go honky-tonkin' for me!


Anonymous said...

Eleanor is adorable! And so is her home. You're right. It's PERFECT for a young couple!

We're redecorating here...painting walls, ceilings and trim. Want to neutralize this place a bit more. I find myself drawn to more neutral interiors these days. It's a far change from my old ways (beleive me!).

Today I handed down a cute little secretary desk/hutch to my niece, the decorator, that she will shabby chic-ify... now I need a home for Mom's oriental panel. None of the girls wanted it.

Have fun in Nashville!

Anonymous said...

It's a sweet little house Rhoda. I hope someone finds this cottage and loves it.

Eleanor is cute. I totally understand independent ladies of a certain age!

Lynda said...

What an adorable cottage! I can see why 'Grandma' wants to 'visit'...God bless her.

paintergal said...

Grandma Eleanor's house is a jewel waiting for someone special to find. It's just the kind of house I like!
What happened to all her treasures that were inside?

Bo said...

Grandma Eleanor's house looks so cute...the floors alone should sell it...bless her heart to have to find out it's being sold...or should I say bless Peter's heart for having to tell her... ;-) Bo

Anonymous said...

Oh what a sweet home! Sigh. Maybe the next caretakers will call it "Eleanor Cottage". She will always be a part of it.


Helen said...

Well .... this little house is precious ... I love the floors, the fireplace, the kitchen AND the beautiful baseboards & the deck too. Good job! I love the idea of calling it "Eleanor Cottage" as Daisy suggests.

Melissa's Thoughts said...

I love this house. My favorite thing are the doorknobs. You have done a fantabulous job.

niartist said...

Another great job, Rhoda! Very nice, Those doorknobs are super great!

Tommie Jo said...

What a cute place and so much potential! It is hard to let family homes go...I till wish my great grandmothers house was in our family. And my grandmothers. Memories~

Kristen said...

I remember my mother doing this very same thing with my grandma Peggy (she came to live with us when I was 12) and it was SO hard. No one wants to give up their independence but really it's the best thing to do. Don't we all romanticize the past to some degree? Poor Eleanor but I am also feeling for you, it must be difficult for you and your husband as well!

ps...hoping someone sweet moves in that will let her visit. Grandma Peggy was able to go back and visit her home several times before she died and she was always so pleased that someone was loving the property and her place of memories as much as she did!

midnight macaroons said...

I love this house. It makes me want to move to Alabama. You did a great job. Ms. Eleanor looks like a very sweet woman. You did a fantastic job.

Anonymous said...

Bless Peter and Eleanor! We are going thru similar times with my mother in law, but it is made even more complicated by the distance and her precious second husband, who refuses to let us 'dictate' his life... I keep telling my children to do what's best for me when the time comes and don't let me make them feel bad.

Linda@ Lime in the Coconut said...

Awww. Grandma Eleanor really pulled on my heart strings! Did you see Grand Torino? Somehow, I was reminded of it (house not in a great neighborhood anymore, older guy not willing to leave it)

Have a great weekend!

Elle Jay Bee said...

Poor Grandma Eleanor. I don't blame her for being so nostalgic. The house looks great!!

You are right: it wouls make a beautiful little cottage for a single person or couple with no children.

Good luck selling it!

Alisa Lucas-Brown said...

What a transformation! You have done a great job! What a cute starter home or retiree nest for some lucky couple. :-)
Oh by the way, my husband was reading your blog the other night and just loved your post about the mirror makeover. He is all set to go to Lowe's to get the supplies to make over some very boring mirrors in two of our baths. So thanks for the inspiration and if you host a Mr. Linky party, count us in! ;-)

Jennifer said...

what cute little house! you just can't get charm like that anymore. I love all of the old doors and hardware. here's to hoping an ambitious young couple will move in and bring it up to it's potential!

and Grandma Eleanor sounds like quite the handful! I hope I'm still going that strong when I'm 90! haha.

Anonymous said...


Dealing with the elderly is so difficult. I'm doing that, now, with my parents. And, we'll be there all too soon . . . if we live long enough.

Getting old and losing control of one's life must be so hard. I'm not looking forward to it.

I think it is human nature to want options and to be able to make decisions about one's life. When we stop planning for the future, the grim reaper is knockin' on the door. Aunt Eleanor looks like she's got some life left in her.


Anonymous said...

Being in my 60's I'm facing getting to be one of the older ones...

I'm on grandma side in this issue

My son in law's great grandmother
who just passed away this past year lived by herself in her own home until she was 103 years old.

She was there until she suddenly lost her sight. She had to go live with her children. She mourned living her old life and passed away soon afterwards.

I doubt if I will live as long as she did...but I keep telling my kids if it comes to living in a nursing home to just shoot me first.

My heart goes out to your grandmother.


Anonymous said...

It must be so hard for her to leave her home, just as it is for you and your husband to make the hard decisions on her behalf.

She probably hasn't "romanticized" her past in her head, we all tend to remember the better memories as time passes and that is probably a good thing.

To her, this isn't a "matchbox", but the home where so much of her living of this lifetime happened. It is a treasurebox of memories for her. It is important that we, the younger generation caring for our elders enjoying their last days here, to do our best to remember and respect that.

simple~needs said...

i love the little home!!! its oh so cute and ya know, i would let her come visit.. :)
i can see the place all decorated.. it would be stunning.
give grandma a hug and let her know we all love her. it is so hard to have to deal with family as they get older..
hugs, kim