Front Porch Appeal Newsletter

A Time of Times: Issue #109 April 2020

What better time to enjoy your porch
Find Contentment from Your Porch
Our kind Facebook friend, Roseanne Johnson Southard, puts it this way,
    "I live in an urban FRONT Porch community where we can observe dog walkers and families taking a stroll, and runners staying in shape and bicyclists with or without a particular destination. We see cars passing, including the scofflaws who ignore speed limits, and see law enforcement participating in parades to honor a birthday or wedding.

    Neighbors chat from porch-to-porch, and wave from the sidewalk. Our Front Porches are how we stay in touch with life, in leisure or in time of crisis. In fact, in the Germantown area of Louisville, Front Porches have ALWAYS been 'our way of life'."
These days are different for most of us in this world. But we know there's solace and contentment to be found on our porches. So with that said, we thank you for being here with us and we're happy for the topics in this edition of Front Porch Appeal.

What's In This Issue

  • The View from Gail's Porch
  • Decorating Your Porch with a Theme
  • DIY Project: An Excellent Way to Prevent Falls
  • Mother's Day 2020 - What a Different Year
  • Cuteness Overload
  • This Porch Shelter Could Save Your Life
  • Ideas for Kids During This Time at Home
  • Are You Motivated to Change Your Life?
  • Love from Us to You
  • Thank You As Always
  • May You Have a Porch in Your Life

The View from Gail's Porch

porch with gable roof

Our friend Gail has a lovely view from her front porch. We appreciate how she has her porch spruced up this time of the year and are delighted she showed us.

How about a few more small porch ideas.

Decorating Your Porch with a Theme

joni's back door decorated with a black and white theme and pops of color
Our friend Joni makes decorating look easy
Joni's style is simple - I like to call it modern vintage. She has a way of using the same basic design throughout her house but then ramping it up with different textures and pops of colors. She does the same on her porches as we show you here.

Joni always includes points of interest like the adorable "Well, hello there!" door mat.

joni's door next to her garage is decorated with a black and white theme and pops of color

Even in spaces that we would often consider purely functional, Joni adds beauty and spots of interest like the trendy welcome sign. Who wouldn't feel welcome here? As her doormat says, "There's no place like home."

Please go here for more spring decorating ideas.

joni's front door decorated with a black and white theme and pops of color

And here's Joni's front porch. Do you see how she carries the black and white checked theme from one place to the next? It's quite smashing, if we say so ourselves. Beautifully done.

DIY Project: An Excellent Way to Prevent Falls

If you purchase an item through affiliate links within our content, we will earn a commission at no cost to you. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. See our disclosure policy.

Friends, we repeat ourselves often, but you can fall with even just one porch step. And maybe it isn't you falling, but a guest who is visiting.

Please help to prevent falls on porch stairs by installing handrails on your porch steps or stoop steps to prevent nasty injuries. Don't be lulled into a false sense of security believing that they are not needed for just two or three steps; it only takes on misstep to fall. We like this DIY handrail quite well and notice that our readers are liking them too.

InstantRail Adjustable Handrail (Amazon affiliate link)

Happybuy DIY porch railings
Our readers also love these DIY railings from Happybuy (Amazon affiliate link)
These DIY railings available online come in various configurations from one and two steps to three, four or five steps. Amazon affiliate link
You just need to shop around to see what's best for your particular need.

Mother's Day 2020 - What a Different Year

porch table ready for mother's day celebration

Mother's Day is a most special day to honor and celebrate the moms in our lives. Will it be different this year in the pandemic? Many of us will be staying at home, but being the resourceful people we all are, it won't stop us from celebrating. It just might be in different ways.

As a nation, we are incredibly fortunate to have multiple ways to stay in touch with our families - phone calls, facetime, zoom, safe-distance drive-bys, letters and cards sent in the mail, or celebrating safely in our yards.

If you're a mom, we salute you and thank you for all the TLC you bring to your family.

Please Look at These Gift Suggestions for Moms

If you find yourself wondering what to get mom, here are a few ideas we think you'll appreciate.

If ordering online, we recommend to order early as delays are prevalent right now. As an Amazon associate, we earn from qualifying purchases but at no cost to you.

There's a series of these sweet devotional books, including one from the porch

My friend Rosemary loves this Nochey Dia oil
for the fragrance and the way it leaves her skin feeling

These clean scents are: clean skin, clean air, warm cotton, clean blossom and clean skin

Cuteness Overload

picket fence in front of adorable home with porch

We just wanted you to see the cuteness of this adorable yellow cottage. Our friend, Amy, took this photo and we appreciate her sharing it with us.

If you're thinking of downsizing, then a small cottage might be perfect. Please enjoy these small cottage house plans.

This Porch Shelter Could Save Your Life

We had a close encounter with a tornado outbreak recently which was devastating to many in our local area. More outbreaks have have done likewise to many in the U.S. in the last few weeks.

We discovered this idea for a storm shelter called a Safe Porch not long ago and want to share it again especially for those in areas prone to tornadoes.

The Safe Porch is ideal not only for mobile and manufactured home but almost any home as well. It can be installed as a porch, an extension of your deck, or place in your patio or other location around your home.

a porch is the only remaining structure after this tornado
For want of a porch
SafePorch installed as a front porch on mobile home
SafePorch installed as a front porch on a mobile home
SafePorch constructed next to back deck on home
This SafePorch as a deck extension

SafePorch installed to create a patio area
SafePorch as a patio or landscape integration
SafePorch access is easy to reach
Imagine convenient and easy storm shelter access from your deck or patio
Attractive polyurea floor coating
Incorporate your SafePorch into your screened porch
For more details, learn more about this ingenious life-saving shelter.

Ideas for Kids During This Time at Home

Keeping children busy in a productive way can be a challenge. How about these ideas?
  • Our son and his wife shared a project they created for our grand kids. We think you will enjoy this idea that we call the The Virtual Restaurant Project.

    In a series of steps, each child creates a menu for their virtual restaurant, finds the best location for the restaurant in their city based on traffic flow and other criteria. Then they determine the cost of the food and equipment and lastly build the restaurant from Legos. From this they are learning not only about business, but also math and economics - all while using their creativity and having fun.
  • Kid-friendly Gardening: Kids love to get dirty so why not get them involved in planting a garden and helping with landscaping.

  • Millie gardening

  • Learn to Draw: Another fun idea is for kids to learn to draw characters. Tutorials are abundant on Youtube. Then have them create and write a short story using their drawings.
  • Piano Lessons Don't Need to Stop: Our grandson Henry takes piano lessons from a great teacher in his neighborhood. While staying at home, he and his teacher are continuing lessons online. Henry is recording his music and his teacher is providing feedback to him. No lessons are lost.
How are you spending your time? Hopefully by the time things return to quasi-normal, we can look back upon these days as time well-spent. Mary and I have stayed busy with our hobbies.

Below is one of my latest woodworking projects, a gift for a dear friend, and Mary has been busy illustrating her forthcoming book.

Dave's Beautiful Handiwork

Memento box for dear friend

Are You Motivated to Change Your Life?

Mary and Dave at kitchen table

That's the sentence I read at my desk in 2008 and my answer was a resounding "yes". In fact, we were both motivated.

Dave and I are grateful for the business we created twelve years ago - writing about porches and sharing porch ideas. Not only has it given us the opportunity to work on something we love, but it also provides an extra layer of financial peace, especially in times like this.

We started our business from our kitchen table and please imagine this, if you will ...

- It was in the middle of winter.
- We did not have a porch.
- We didn't even have any pictures of porches, yet we didn't give up.

As Tony Robbins says, "We lacked resources but we didn't lack resourcefulness." :-)

That attitude has carried us far and if you're looking for that extra layer of peace, financial peace, we know of a way to start planting those seeds. AND you don't need to be techy.

If you'd like to create something of your own like we did, please drop us a note here.

Love from Us to You

calm waters to wish you a peaceful heart
Take time to focus on something beautiful for your heart
These days are different.
For some of us, the rhythm of life hasn't changed drastically, but for others it's a tremendous change with challenging circumstances.

How has the quarantine affected you?
Can you take it in stride or has it impacted your daily routine to the degree that it messes with your spirit and your outlook?

No matter what, Dave and I hope to leave you with a message that will renew your heart with a good outlook on life.

While things may never return to the exact same normal as before, so much is being learned from all of this. You may have learned little things about yourself. Things you appreciate or things you do not appreciate. For me, I totally appreciate this unprecedented gift of time.

Seldom do Dave and I get bored as we both have hobbies and projects that we love to do. But we realize the struggle is real for so many though - loss of income, children at home with no breaks, less freedom to do the things we wish. We hope you can find some glad in these circumstances. Where you can, find respite in everyday things: time on your porch, a nice meal, moments to pause and enjoy the fresh air.

Thank You as Always

dreamy spring flowers
Dreamy spring flowers
There's a little story here and it's one that makes us chuckle. See those gorgeous pink flowers in the photo above? They are called "showy evening primrose" flowers.

A few years ago I saw them in flower beds and so wished that I could have some also. So, when I came across them in our garden store, I was quick to plant some in our front porch garden. And oh my, how beautiful they were!

And every year, how beautiful they continue to be in the springtime.

But what I didn't know about these flowers is their hardiness and ability to proliferate. We now have hundreds of them shooting up in our garden. They are out of control, but their beauty is undeniable and sharing is always an option.

It kind of reminds me of the current quarantine we are in. What we wished for in busier days we now have - more time to do the things we like, more family time, fewer appointments. But we also find ourselves perhaps eating more than normal, or exercising less or being out of sorts because we no longer have the same structure to our day.

We will be thinning the evening primrose in our garden and continue using this quiet time to accomplish good things. May you be safe and well during this unusual period in our history. May you enjoy time on your porch. What better time.

May Your Have a Porch in Your Life

beautiful porch with rocking chairs

May you have a porch in your life - either on your home or in your heart. See you next time! Till then, please take good care of yourself. This photo is courtesy of our friends at Tucker Hill in McKinney, Texas.

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You're invited to be part of our Facebook community. We share ideas with one another for decorating and using our porches. We are blessed with over 17,000 followers and would love to count you among them.

Mary and Dave Please enjoy browsing past issues of our newsletters right here. Take a few moments of chill time.

Happy porch sitting from your friends,

Mary and Dave

Life is short. Enjoy your porch.

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