The Cross House

Site Stats

On December 27, I posted two back-to-back posts. This was my annual year-end report but this year I broke it in two. The first was THE HOUSE and the second was THE ROSS.

I did this as a way of letting readers know that the latter post would be personal. In the post I wrote about my joy over completed work on the Cross House, grief over the loss of two furry, beloved beasts, the significant improvement in my diet and health, and my deep pain over a Trump win.

The post received, I believe, more comment than any previous post and has now been viewed four times as much as THE HOUSE.

But some readers were unhappy to learn of my thoughts and stated that they would stop reading the blog.

When writing the post I was sensitive to this possibility. Thus, I did not offer any criticism of Trump in the post. I also debated just deleting the political portion to avoid causing controversy. The issue was discussed with my friends but they furiously insisted I leave it in.

I often worry what readers will think. This blog is now 2-1/2-years-old and I have learned that for every, say, four people who like X that I did on the Cross House there will be one person who did not. Once, while working on the front porch, a well-dressed older woman walked across the lawn, came right up to me, looked at the newly painted exterior, and said: “I hate the colors.”

I gasped.

She went on: “I like blue houses. You should have painted it blue.”

Still a bit stunned, I replied: “Well, blue would not complement the limestone foundation, the oak doors, or much of the stained-glass.”

She replied without hesitation: “I don’t care. I like blue.”

Then she walked away.

Recently I did a post about refinishing the floors in the parlor and library and in the comments I noted surprise that everybody approved of the stripes! A few days ago though somebody, in another post, stated that they HATED what I did! This actually made me happy because I very much want readers to also feel free to express their thoughts.

I short, I have learned that it is impossible to please everybody. Impossible. So, rather than be paralyzed by concern that somebody might object to something I do with the Cross House, or that I may have different views about X subjects, I have struggled to just let go of all such concerns.

This struggle has been hugely helped by the past week:


I did the “controversial” post on December 27. That day the blog received 2,223 views. The next day the views jumped to 3,188.


This is the last two weeks. The half over to the left is before the controversial post on December 27 (in the center). The half to the right is the last week. At a glance you can tell that viewership increased.


Between December 20 and the 27th the blog received 15,314 views.

Between the 28th and January 3 the blog received 23,764 views.

This is an impressive, kinda amazing jump in views, +8450 in a week.

This would seem to support the idea that while some readers may dislike what I do or write, many other readers are supportive. Indeed, my being honest about the Cross House and my views about life itself seems to attract people.

I think.

I hope!



56 Responses to Site Stats

  1. Don’t let the turkeys get you down! It’s your house (and life), I am grateful you are sharing your experiences!

    Thank YOU!

  2. Ross, you have a beautiful soul. Please keep being your beautifully honest self. You have helped me more than I can say as I have slogged through this recent and likely continuing slough of despond. I offer my hand of support as you have so graciously offered yours. Namaste.

    Oh, and it’s YOUR house. πŸ˜€ YOU get to make the decisions. πŸ˜€ The end.

  3. You’re doing everything exactly right. Any sane person would feel the same about the election, and your showing that you can get up and keep working helps the rest of us immeasurably. You’re not just helping your house. You’re helping all of our houses and all of us.

  4. Ross, I don’t agree with all of your political views and I’m sure you wouldn’t agree with mine… and that’s okay with me! I find you introspective, funny, passionate, and (above all) genuine. I hope this year brings us all more acceptance and more understanding that it’s okay for someone to think, act, say, and just BE different than ourselves. You are entitled to your beliefs, passions, and opinions and you are entitled to share them (especially on your blog… it’s yours)! May 2017 bring you much success, love, and hope – personally and with the beloved House.

  5. Hi Ross. Your blog has become part of my daily lunch break pleasures. I love all the news of the house, and the posts concerned last week were you being yourself. We don’t need to agree or to share the same political views, because each of us is different.

    As a British citizen living overseas I found your post enlightening as it gives a real American view, as opposed to the media view I get mainly.

    So, in short, keep being yourself; keep bringing that lovely house back to her original charm; and keep us, your audience, supporters, and followers enthralled with your engaging style of writing.

  6. No politician/ political party/election is worth losing relationships over. I am determined in this and I wish everyone were. If someone has political views you differ with, you can still have a rewarding relationship with them. Honestly , just agree to disagree and move on. It’s YOUR blog Ross and you can say what you want. Your beautiful humanity is treasured by me and I am sure many others

  7. Ross,

    I also don’t love your floors or agree with you politically, but I love you anyway.

    I think you’re overly concerned about the “historic narrative”. I have a friend that jumped all over me because the new nickel plated hinges came with Phillips screws and not slotted.

    I made a face at him and installed them anyway.

    You’re doing a great job and I enjoy reading of your accomplishments.

      • Well, that’s what they came with. Do I get points for using polished nickel hinges as original? If correct screws and finishes weren’t almost impossible to find, I would have them. I am learning to pick my battles.

        I do love what you’re doing.

        • I was just teasing. My love for you remains undiminished. I mean, how could I not love a guy who restored a 1920s monitor refrigerator for use???????

  8. As a Canadian, I can sympathise with your view of the election but I can also understand the anger and frustration which led to the results. While this is an old house blog, there is also room for other things and opinions. Betsy put it best saying “If someone has political views you differ with, you can still have a rewarding relationship with them.”

    By the way, I don’t like your striped floors πŸ™‚

    • Hi Frank.

      I, too, fully understand the anger and frustration about my government. I feel exactly the same way.

      But I have zero confidence that the results will make things better, although I understand that 20% of my fellow citizens will vehemently disagree.

      Only time will tell which of us is correct.

      Only time.

  9. You were true to who you are and how you feel without being hateful, and who you are is why many of us passionately follow you…and The Cross House!

  10. I don’t necessarily side or agree with your political views, but I enjoy who you are as a person, even if I don’t know you personally. It’s really not just the Cross House, although I’m definitely obsessed with the house itself. Your genuine heart and thoughts are why I read religiously, although I only comment periodically. So while I may not always agree, I believe in acceptance and love are more important and you seem to be the same. That’s why I keep coming back. Oh and I’m head over heels in love with that house.

    Additional note: I wrote this before reading other comments, but I see others hold you in a very high regard as well. Be true to who you are and you will find happiness in your friends. Even if some are just online. πŸ™‚

  11. I think that it is healthy that you express your concerns and frustrations on restoration with like minded individuals. It helps re-enforce a decision or compromise after listening to input with people who are or have had to make these decisions.

    I have learned so much from your generous sharing of information, even to the point of drilling a new hole in my belt because I too have lost some weight. (I wonder if that is old house related?)

    Keep doing what you’re doing and if someone wants to be negative, oh well, you have a project to finish.

  12. Hello, Ross. I am an obsessed fan of old homes and old house living. We do not see eye-to-eye politically, and I don’t like the striped floor very much. The striped floors I have seen are different. The ones I have seen have much narrower stripes. I don’t believe you are going to preservation hell for moving that doorway for kitchen access. I think I would, too. I am missing several doors. One was a passage door between two bedrooms. It was turned into a cheap, unfinished closet. I cannot find 5 panel doors in the configuration found in my house, let alone in chestnut. So that passageway is not likely to return.

    Regarding politics, I don’t take other folks opinions to heart. Let alone the opinions of celebrities.

    My wish for you is that your entire exterior will be painted and restored, and your walls closed in with real plaster and the kitchen will be operable. Amen.

  13. Hi, Ross. Well, I did appreciate every aspect of the political post as I feel the same (for what it’s worth), but haven’t been able to put my feelings into words. You did this for me and I thank you. As for the Cross House, were I in your neck of the woods, I’d be helping you scrape and prep! (I suck at painting!)

    Like so many have said before, I devour every post! Carry on, dear man. May 2017 bring you many happy wonders and good surprises. And above all, joy.

  14. I didn’t read all of your personal post. I come here to read about your wonderful old house experiences, and I’m sick of politics. I read up to where the politics started and then checked out. I like it that as a rule you keep your blog house-oriented and not personal. Also, I don’t like your striped floors, but I love you, differences and all, and I didn’t want to be a downer, so I just didn’t comment. But since you say above, “his actually made me happy because I very much want readers to also feel free to express their thoughts.” well, there ya go! πŸ™‚

  15. Whether we have the same views or opinions is not really a big deal to me. I enjoy restoration and the honest voice on your blog. Honestly, I don’t know much about restoration and am learning the nuances and challenges involved by reading about the Cross House. Thanks for blogging and being you.

  16. After the furniture and rugs are in the rooms with the floors of different shades, the stripes won’t show up so vividly, the contrast will show but not as a checkerboard effect. Is this not true?

    • Yes, quite true. Once the rooms are furnished, and area rugs down, the striped floors will recede and become an accent rather than dominant feature.

  17. I love you, Ross; I find you to be charming, witty, and brutally honest – keep it coming. And yes, I, too – am totally obsessed and hopelessly addicted to this blog.

    As an aside: I’ve been offered a position in Fort Worth, TX and I’m considering buying this house.

    …I’m having all sorts of fantasies of returning the interior to the HEIGHT of Second Empire DECADENCE.

    • Wow! What a cool 1876 house!

      For me, I would feel compelled to remove the circa-1915 porch which DOMINATES the exterior!

  18. I don’t like politics. Primarily because it causes so much fighting.

    I don’t agree with all of your opinions.

    I don’t like your kitchen plans.

    But, that’s just a difference of opinion. The world would be rather boring if we all had the same opinions and likes. Diversity is what it’s all about.

    You know what I love? I love that your blog has personality. It reads like a story, not a text book. It has a voice inside my head, and it’s not one of those robot voices. And this is achieved by you putting yourself into your writing. The words come alive and speak. I have looked at many, many other blogs, I’ve read a few posts and never returned again, simply because the writing bored me. Good quality, easy to see pictures really help too. I like just scrolling through and seeing everything, rather than having to click on thumbnails, just to see a poor picture.

    I love that we get to know you, while getting to know the house, the kitties, the folks around you, and all kinds of other things.

    I love the striped floors.

    • I just love your comment. Thank you.

      And thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

      BIG hug.

      Oh, and you like the infamous striped floors! EXTRA POINTS you get!

  19. Hello everybody!

    With regret, I have not responded to as many comments as I normally would. This is a reflection of a lack of time.

    Please though know that I am deeply, deeply, DEEPLY touched by the many kind words.

    I am also touched with the honesty. Even the critical honesty. I don’t like the damn striped floors!

    I want to wrap you all, and I mean all, into a giant group hug!

  20. There will always be someone, somewhere, that doesn’t like what you have to say, your political views, or how you choose to decorate your house. Personally, there’s a reason I’ve kept coming back to your blog damn near every day since you got it up and running, and I’m sure many of your dilligent followers could probably say the same. We all get to live vicariously through your experiences and your progress with the house. People ALL OVER THE WORLD come to YOUR little blog to read about YOUR *enormous* pile of a house! How cool is that! Keep doing exactly what you’ve been doing Ross. We adore you almost as much as we adore the Cross House.

    Oh, and since you brought it up, I mean, I suppose the wide stripes are “ok”. I like that you found a subtle way to tip your hat towards some modernity. However, what bugs the EVERLIVING CRAP out of me about them is that the stripes line up with neither the edges of the big pocket door, nor the angles on the bay! It bothers my brain, man!!

    • Cody! You have no idea how how much I labored over having the stripes line up with X.

      It proved impossible.

      I discovered that the pair of pocket doors between the parlor and library did NOT align with the parlor bay window! I had no idea till then! The more I tried to “fake” the issue the worse things looked! ARGH!

      However, I calmed down upon realizing that once the rooms are furnished, and with area rugs on the floors, any alignment issues will SO not be noticeable.

      Oh, and thanks for your other thoughts. You are sweet!

      By the way, are you THE Cody who worked so hard to save this house?

  21. I’ve avoided American politics as much as I possibly can. I have an opinion…but it’s a Canadian one…so not of much use.

    I love your floor.

    I love your exterior color choices.

    I have a friend who bought a house that had TWENTY extant French doors hiding in the basement. Each got reglazed, refinished, and rehung. I had the fun of participating.

    If I was your neighbor I’d be at Cross House every day after work just for the joy of it.

    Happy New Year, and don’t mind the neighsayers!!

  22. Hi Ross et al.

    I’m loving all the comments and think it’s time for that group hug as we enter 2017! I agree with Cody, we all live vicariously through this blog, as well as learn for our own restorations. Looking forward to seeing more of the Cross House in this year.
    Since we’re on topic, I like the striped floors, and would have spent hours trying to line them up before accepting that with rugs etc, no one will be that bothered because they’ll be seeing it as one spectacular whole.

    • Dear Colin,

      FIRST: Yes, group hug!!!!!!!!

      SECOND: I can assure you that Handsome Justin and I about lost our minds trying to align the striped floors. If we got X condition right, Y condition proved a disaster. And Z and Q and K. And B.

      I have 40 years experience as a interior designer and have learned that MOST things do not look right until the whole is finished. And I am highly confident that the striped floors will, in the end, prove fabulous. I am quite excited, actually!

      Of course, I might be proved wrong!

      • First: Yay. Everyone move in for the hug!

        Second: I share your pain. In my own house (an Edwardian tenenment flat, not quite as glam as a 3-storey Queen Anne), it took days to get the floor right in my kitchen which is kind of pie-shaped since the building is built on a sweeping curve. Eventually we gave up, and I chose to have the boards line up with the window mullion and therefore on entering the room the eye was drawn in, but before reaching that decision I was tempted to hurl the boards out the damn window and lay linoleum, huh!

        Fear not: when your home is finished, it is all going to come together in one fantastic whole, starting when one draws up in the porte cochere and finishing when sitting on the porch after the Grand Tour.

        • I love love love this imagery:

          “starting when one draws up in the porte cochere and finishing when sitting on the porch after the Grand Tour.”

          In the early 1980s I lived in a NYC tenement. You would be scandalized how I abused it.

          My only excuse is that I was terribly young.

  23. Hi Ross. I should have added to the image that we’d be sitting on the porch with either a cocktail or an iced tea (not sure which is preferrable in Kansas!).

    Living in New York just once is a dream of mine. It would either be in a tenement since I love the quirkiness of the narrow layout (railroad is the term I think ) or in the upper parts of the state with many acres of rolling hills! For now I wait til I finish my stint in the Middle East so I can use the wedge of tax free cash to finish my renovation in Glasgow.

    I doubt you abused your tenement, in fact I bet it looked fab once you were finished with it.

  24. It seems what I would like to say to you, Ross, has been said many times in previous comments to this posting. I hope all of us lift your spirits and frequently put a smile on your face or even laugh. You are not alone. I’m sending a big hug back to you. Looking forward to what 2017 brings to you, the Cross House, and your blog.

  25. Big hug from FL. Inspired by your writing, but hampered by a lack of talent, I undertook a few small projects around the house, one of which involved some painting that had been started but never finished. One half of the household decided to put the paint tray on the floor while they took a bathroom break. It was at that moment I realized that we had not completed step 1 of the painting process- Crate the dogs! This half of the household was in hysterics laughing and the other half was in much less amused hysterics. Thankfully, I’ve yet to encounter a canine catastrophe that I couldn’t fix.

    I’m hopeful that 2017 will be a better year, in spite of the political headwinds.

  26. I just want to say a huge THANK YOU for addressing politics on your blog. I read a number of restoration/DIY blogs and 95% of their year end posts this year have been something to the affect of “THIS YEAR HAS BEEN THE MOST AMAZING YEAR FOR ME”. As someone who is very interested in politics and trying to work to make sure this year does not become the year we very specifically started down a path to world destruction (and I wish I thought that I were being overdramatic), I am so thankful for you (and a few other sites) that have been willing to admit that everything feels awful for you. Makes me feel a little less alone in this landscape of racism, sexism, homophobia, etc…

    • And thank you!

      I have written 665 posts and only 5 have been political. Most can be found under the OTHER COOL THINGS category which is somewhat hidden.

      I understand that most readers are here for the cool old house so I endeavor to be respectful of this. Considering how obsessed I am with politics my restraint is commendable!

  27. I meant to respond to that post – maybe I’ll have time to unpack it this weekend. I’ll say that my least favorite thing about your blog is that it makes me feel guilty about some of what I’ve done.

    And although I didn’t dislike the plain floors nearly as much as you did, I really like your solution. Especially because you got an interestingly modern look without using faddish and overrated stain colors.

    And as for hecklers on the blog and elsewhere, the blue paint lady is hilarious. I wrote 2 political posts although I took one down (If you want to read the deleted post I can make that happen) and had just one heckler. We had a very brief exchange in which she complained that she wants my blog to be an escape from politics, which was also funny since she chose to sanctimoniously comment that “all lives matter” instead of just ignoring.

  28. No blushing required, it is a heavy burden to carry, particularly in my case when one realizes that saying nothing would have been a whole lot easier.



    1. adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.
    2. the state of being whole, entire, or undiminished: to preserve the integrity of the empire.
    3. a sound, unimpaired, or perfect condition: the integrity of a ship’s hull.

    The first two pretty much sum up what your expressions of your hopes, dreams, and opinions on your blog say to me about you. I was also born in 1957 so I highly doubt that any of us can say that definition three applies. One doesn’t have to agree with another’s principles to recognizethat they have them and stick to them, but I think I might share most of yours.

Leave a Response

Your email address will NEVER be made public or shared, and you may use a screen name if you wish.