Facelift could refer to any number of projects we have going on at the house, but this time we are referring to our digital lives. We’ve decided to update our name to Vinton Manor instead of Jacks-Manning Farm. The house goes by both names, but we felt like Jacks-Manning Farm might be confusing since we aren’t actually a farm.  In addition, as we look into the history of the house and its occupants, the family name is actually Jack, as in Capt. Robert Y. Jack, who the house was built for. 

So, now you can find us in all the same places, but with a slightly different name!

Here at WordPress: vintonmanor.wordpress.com

On Facebook: www.facebook.com/VintonManor

And on Twitter: twitter.com/VintonManor

You can also still reach us directly by email.

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Man Lifting


I was slightly annoyed by this one big branch that stretched out to block the view of the house from the driveway. Afterall, we lost so many trees and branches, why did this ONE branch stick around?

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We are working …


Here’s a shot of the Widow’s peak before they rebuilt it.

We are working with very limited cell and internet service at our tiny apartment home in town, so updates may be somewhat infrequent for awhile, but luckily, work goes on!

Yesterday’s heavy rain put a damper on the work party, but today, we carry on! The HVAC guys were here Monday to install a big dehumidifier in the basement to help with the moisture issues and they have been installing mini-splits in the bedrooms this week.  The plaster guy came back to take another look at the place since his quote was from May and we’ve changed a couple things here and there.  The roofers took the day off to let things dry out, but the widow’s peak has been rebuilt and primed and the metal roof over the porch is all ready for some paint! The heavy rain yesterday showed us where we still have some issues with the roof that need to be addressed.  One day we will be leak free!

On the MI home front, we thought we might be close to making a deal after a month and a half of back and forth with buyers.  Unfortunately the deal fell through, but that may have been the best considering the way the offer was going.  So, we continue to wait for the right family to come along and love that house as much as we did.  We even buried St. Joseph in the yard to help sell it thanks to my wonderful friend Teresa who dragged her family over there to take care of a couple of things for us.  I’m looking forward to coming back and sharing good news on that house soon!


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Busy, busy here!

On Sunday, the girls and I moved into a tiny apartment in town so that we weren’t driving two hours a day for Ellie’s school and so we could hopefully have more time to work on the house and still have family time.

On Monday, Ellie had her first day of preschool!  The electricians came in the morning and installed the meter socket and new panel, connected them and ran the service wire to the old panel to connect them.

The roofing company came and started scraping the metal roof over the front porches. They also started deconstructing the widow’s peak to rebuild it.

The HVAC guys also came yesterday! We paid for the equipment for the second and third floors so it can be ordered. Installation should start on Monday.

Today, the inspector came and passed our electric work for the new panel! Now the power company can come next week to move the service to the new panel/meter. The roofers should be back to prime the metal roof and fix the metal roof on the widow’s peak with standing seam roof. Then they will rebuild the railings.

It’s exciting to see so much getting done!

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Labor Day

So many things getting done and so many things happening.  It’s an exciting time! Plus, summer is winding down, and while I like summer, I LOVE fall.  We’re excited to see what the area has to offer us this fall.  🙂

As for progress on the house:

We are really trying to be patient while we wait to hear back from the roofer, the electrician and the HVAC guys.  It’s especially hard when they say that will get back to you end of day, tomorrow, end of week, and all those things have passed!

In the meantime, we finished digging the trench and laid the conduit for the electrical and telephone before filling it back in ahead of the rain. While they were at it, they also pulled out the giant over grown bushes that were against the South side of the porch and cleared out the little ones in front of the same porch.  Rich says the house looks naked now, but I see it as a clean canvas!

We also moved the water tank, patched the floor and built a wall in the basement for the new electrical panel.  Rich is also in the process of removing the drop ceiling in the kitchen to gain access to all the bathroom plumbing on the second floor.  We are still working on getting a permit for the plumbing work that needs to be done.

We have a busy weekend ahead of us, so I’ll be back for another update soon.  As usual, I’ll put more pictures up on the Facebook page where there is more space for pictures when I get a chance.  

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For Janice

I was going to come here tonight and tell you about all the good stuff we’ve been up to, but I’ve decided to tell you about my friend Janice instead…

Janice is in the fight of her life. At the end of August she was diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer which has also traveled to her liver. Before they could even begin treatments, she has been hospitalized for a pulmonary embolism and will remain in the hospital for at least a week while they treat the clots and manage her pain and decide how to proceed with her treatment plan.

Janice is a sweet woman and a loving mother to her 3-year old son. At the end of May she gave birth to a precious baby girl who is just 3 months old.  She is a member of the moms’ group I was in when we lived in MI. It breaks my heart that we are so far away from her right now, but I know she is in good hands with the amazing, loving women who are out there.

If you are interested in following her story, I’ve included links below to the Caring Bridge website and the Facebook Group they have started for her. If you live in the Kalamazoo/Portage area, there are also Dine & Donate dates set up to help the family.  And if you could, please take a minute or two to think about Janice and her family, or a say a little prayer, or how ever you want to do it.  Every little bit helps.

Caring Bridge Website

Brewing up a Cure for Janice (Facebook)

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Bug eyes


This strange little guy was hanging out in the sand box yesterday. I’ve never seen a caterpillar quite like that before. Not sure what kind it is. 🙂 It was actually really hard for me to a good picture of it. Apparently I can’t stay still for 5 seconds.

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