Our New Old House

1918 Bungalow


Archive for the ‘Clear Lake house’ Category

Let’s Play a Game! Round 3: Twist and Shout

The cute red plastic screw on this device caught my eye. But what is the purpose of this little contraption? Leave your comments below!



Let’s Play a Game! Round 2: Heavy Metal

This mystery item seems to be made of solid iron. Stamped across the back is the message: “Pat App For.” Being the smarty-pants that I am, I figured out that means “Patent Applied For.” But my smarty-pants must be smarty-shorts because I have no idea what this is.

Leave a comment below and help me figure out what else I could use this for besides a doorstop!



Let’s Play a Game! Round 1: Get a Grip

Last weekend we cleaned out the garage at the Clear Lake house and came across some strange and interesting things that we couldn’t identify. Maybe you can help! Let’s play a game… What is it?

Check out the photos, leave your guess in the comments section below, and check back next Monday for another mystery item!






It’s a jungle out there.

This summer finds us cutting lots of trees and shrubs down at both of our new old houses. In Des Moines Brandon cut down the shrubs in front of our porch. They’d overgrown the space provided and I wasn’t able to trim them back far enough to be able to use the sidewalk. I’m going to replace them with rose bushes.

(With bushes, and snow)

(Bush free and summery)

We did a similar job at our house in Clear Lake. The shrubs in front of our porch there were getting dead spots and were kind of preventing us from keeping the rest of the area around the house clean, so we decided to cut them out too.




Obviously, we have more clean-up to do now that the bushes are gone. We’re going to dig out the stumps and clear all the weeds out, then plant some new flowers there.

In the back yard in Des Moines we’ve got a bunch of trees that were volunteer saplings many years ago and have now grown to be total pests. We’re gathering quotes this week to see what it will cost to have them removed, as well as what it will take to have the big catalpa tree between our house and the neighbor’s taken out. I’ve got a good recommendation for what kind of tree to replace it with, so that will be a big change coming up sometime.

And while I’m talking about future plans I might as well list out some other things we have coming in the (hopefully) near future.

  • Reshingle the roof
  • Repair the front steps
  • Tear out sidewalk blocks & have a new one poured
  • Paint the back wall of the house
  • One more coat of paint on the rest of the house
  • Build a shed on the old garage slab

Phew! That’s a long list. Better get to work then!

Our New Old House is coming up roses!

Well, two to be exact, and one’s actually at our OTHER new old house. But you want pictures, so here you go.

This is a small rose bush I planted last spring. It didn’t bloom then, but this year it mustered up enough energy to give me one beautiful red bud. I haven’t done as well as I should at keeping pests off it, so unfortunately the flower got eaten by a grasshopper soon after this picture was taken, but I did get a good sniff of the blossom and it was magnificent! Think of old fashioned rose perfume.


The second rose bush is at our house in Clear Lake. My grandparents built the house in the 60s and at some point planted this rose bush. I have no idea how old this rose bush is, but it’s been around as long as I can remember, and when we bought the house, it was still going strong. It’s had rough years and this year I was worried about it, but with a little care and pruning it came back like it always does. I’m so proud of this little rose bush! And caring for it is one of the ways I continue to feel connected to my grandparents. These flowers have a creamy, almost vanilla scent, kind of like butter cream frosting.


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