Breathless Updates!

Tomorrow, I am anticipating in the mail a chip of the original exterior wall color of the Cross House! I will then have this computer matched, and after much ado, will finally know exactly what the color was.

I am breathless with anticipation and a tingly excitement!

Today, Groh & Sons Roofers told me that they will soon start on the round tower!!!!!!!!

Also today, Groh mostly finished the octagon tower:



I really wish I, too, owned a bucket truck.



Done! Round tower next! Then the porch roof! I am breathless with anticipation! The rear extension is done, as is the porte-cochère.



The big north gable is now painted!!!!!!!! Of course, there is too much scaffolding in the way to really see it, but I am nonetheless breathless with excitement! The upper portion of the scaffolding will be removed soon.



I think old houses get restored through spurts of Great Effort…and a great many baby steps. This is the BIG window in the parlor, facing the main porch. The glass had zero glazing. It has been held in place with small blocks of wood, as seen on top. For two years this vexed me. So, three days ago I decided that at the end of each work day I could not stop until I gazed one strip. Just one strip Tomorrow, I will finish the glazing, and am breathless with anticipation. When the glazing dries, it will be painted black. One less thing on the scary big checklist.



Young Brian was interested in working on the Cross House. So, I put him to work refinishing the pockets doors between the parlor and entry. The side facing the parlor has a faux wood original finish, matching the faux finish on the parlor trim. The side facing the entry has, to my surprise, no faux finish, but is rather oak.



Actual oak! This is the only non-faux finish I have found in the house to date, and I am breathless to have the doors refinished, re-installed, and gliding effortlessly upon their newly restored track/wheels.






  1. David on May 11, 2016 at 7:42 pm

    Hi Ross, just a friendly reminder that you should remember to look in the roof of the porch to find out what kind of lights the porch were. You seem very busy the last few days/weeks so I wouldn’t want you to forget since you sounded very excited in the porch lighting post.

    • David on May 11, 2016 at 7:43 pm

      *The porch had

  2. Brian on May 11, 2016 at 10:04 pm

    I don’t think that door is the only wood without the faux wood paint. Today I was staring blankly at the columns in the nook with the telephone closet, and wondered whether whoever coated every piece of wood in the house with shellac half- or full-assed doing so. Turns out that they didn’t try very hard, and on the columns near the wall you can clearly see the original finish, and it definitely looked more like plain oak than the faux painted wood.

  3. katie kofemug on July 2, 2016 at 1:54 pm

    I’ve been reading and vicariously enjoying your adventures in restoration. The satisfaction of adding up those baby steps and giant leaps must be enormous, and yeah, I can literally feel you ticking off the To Do List with a combination of the Great Roar and Really? Is it actually “done”? There are two things I just have to say.

    #1 – that is a Genie Telescopic Boom Lift, not truck. You also had an Articulated Boom Lift in one of your photos – loverly inventions and ever so worth putting on your wish list for someday. A Boom Truck is considerably different and would torment your yard with the much larger tires/ space requirements, something your wise roofers obviously know.

    #2 – This is Your Home. It began as someone else’s Home. Yes, it has become so much more but the *thing* that makes the details worth preserving, is the fact it was a Home full of all the drama and adventure, joy and sorrow, goofy moments and grief. Yes, it spent times housing travelers, students and tenants, but they too were Living there. The emotional awareness this Home has for you and vice versa cannot be defined in terms of historical accuracy or décor; look how it spoke to you even when it was suffering from want. It is in the awareness you continue to demonstrate regarding the fact it was and is a Home on a street where people lived, love and laughed. Being slightly ‘off color’ in a piece of glass or a shade of trim will not make it Less of a Home, but, imho, Moreso. Please don’t allow Evil Ross to deprive you of that certainty and when he does … poke him in the shoulder and tell him to “hushup.” 😀

    You have created an amazing document not only of process but of philosophy for Home Lovers to come [and I sure hope someone is backing this blog up for you!]. Being quite content in my modest tract house from the 50s after years of trailer living so I could raise my children and actually feed them; my personal restoration process has involved believing this home is really ours, truly the shelter, sanctuary and security my family has craved for so long. Perhaps, one of my children suggested, that is why I am enjoying reading your adventures so very much. It isn’t the size, or the number of rooms, or the color of the outer walls that makes this Home so very precious for us, or Cross House for you. It is the sense that we are welcome and thereby can be welcoming.

    I wish you continued blessings and joyous adventures from the Old Biddy in Bama.

    • Cindi M on February 5, 2017 at 5:29 pm

      So right, Katie, so true.

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