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Sometimes the Answer is Not Yet

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This week Mr. Math and I went to look at the home that is for sale to be moved.  He thought it was cute too and was also excited about it.  That thrilled me.  I sometimes run ahead of myself and was worried that I was stepping out where my husband wasn’t willing to go.  He gets me and what I want to do and for that I am grateful.

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As we walked around the house, there were some issues that are going to make moving the house very hard and expensive.

  • There is a concrete foundation wall completely around the perimeter that would have to be demolished before the under the house work could begin because of the design.
  • The porch is not stable and would have to be removed in order to move the house. The porch beams are attached to a concrete porch and the chances of us successfully removing the porch intact to reattach would be slim.
  • The bathroom was added on at a later time than the house was built and would have to come off.
  • The main support beam that runs along the bedroom side of the house has dry rot and would have to be replaced.          Mr. Math checked it out top to bottom. 

All of that information was a bummer, but still potentially doable.  (We still hadn’t given up at that point.) The nail in the coffin on this house for us was that chimney.  Well not exactly the chimney, because I already knew it had a chimney that would have to come out.  It was the dummy who removed that structural wall between the two front rooms that now has the chimney stack holding up the ceiling weight.  The chimney has to go for the house to be moved and in order for the house to be stabilized enough for that to happen.  The interior work required for that to happen would be an unreasonable amount of money and would destroy the flooring in the front room.

  
The brick showing through the Sheetrock

Soooo… the house is not the house is not the one for us.  That doesn’t mean that there isn’t a house for us out there.  I have Craig’s List set to notify me by email everytime a home to be moved is listed.  Today this showed up.  It is cute, and new, and I love the vaulted ceiling, but it is not what I am looking for.

We have decided to “be still” and wait.  I guess my version of being still may not be everyone’s version.  My version is to focus on getting things in order to make another life change so that when the opportunity arises we will be ready.  Yep.  I know you saw this one coming a mile away.  When I tell my friends this life change, no one is surprised.  NO. ONE.  How have I been so personally unaware?

We have decided to put our suburban home on the market, hopefully this spring, if we can get the list of “to do’s” taken care of.   We will be commuters to work which I never wanted to do, but our heart is in the country.  I never, ever, thought I would say that.

My Burb Home

Once our suburban house is sold, we will make the big move to the country.  We will be “one home” owners for the first time in 10 years.    Frankly, that scares me a little lot.  We currently furnish over 4800 square feet.  We have six bedrooms, two living rooms, two dining rooms, four bathrooms, and an office.  Paring down to 2200 square feet means that we will be getting rid of a lot of things and will have decide what stays and what goes.  I am committed to making the hard decisions as we go and letting go of things I do not need or does not have a spot in my home no matter how much I love it.  Things like my beloved mudroom bench, my funky bedroom furniture, and one of my media center dressers.

Finished Mudroom Bench

Hold me to that, friends.

I slept all night for the first time in weeks after thinking this all through and getting this post written.

Thank you all for following along on our mid life journey. 

 In the next six months we will have our first grandchild, put our house on the market and will hopefully make the move to our forever home.  There are plenty of projects ahead for me to keep busy.

Blessings,

Karen

 

Quilt Ladder DIY

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This past weekend I made my version of a quilt ladder so that I could hang my grandmother and great grandmother’s quilts out for display.  I am lucky enough to have a collection of quilts from these amazing women.

I used several sites to get an idea what to do but in the end, I did my own thing. 

The tricky part for me was figuring out how to cut an angle so that the board leaned against the wall and still was flat on the bottom.  I over-thought the whole process.  Mr. Math just took the board and leaned it so that it stuck out against the wall 18 inches.  He then took a straight edge and drew a line where it touched in both places.  No pictures because he was done before I got there it was so fast.

 


I cut the ladder rungs out of 1X4 board.  They were 20 inches long.

 

I am crazy about the laser light on our saw.  
Once the boards were cut I clamped them all together and trimmed the edge to make sure they were exactly equal.

I hate wood that is printed on.  It just adds to the sanding.     The bottom angle of the boards are showing here.

I stained everything before assembly.  It was the smartest thing I have done in a while.  I was able to get an even coat on everything that way.

Mr.Math measured and predrilled the holes for the rungs on one board.   He then clamped the two long boards together and drove the screws in so that they put a hole on the other board.

  

  

He is a genius!  That made sure the rings were level.

We started the top rung 3 inches down from the top then down every 12 inches.


  
  

I really didn’t expect to get it finished so quickly so I did not have all of my quilts for the rack.  It is going to be awesome to have those memories around me.

Thanks for following on our journey to turn our 1980’s home into our forever home.

Blessings,

Karen

My Dream to Buy an Old Home

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I am about to share something with you all that is probably going to convince those of you who weren’t sure yet, that I am in fact totally insane.  

It has been my dream for years to buy and old home and restore it. (Old homes in Texas are not the same as old homes on the East Coast.  75 years old is an old home.) I always thought we would buy a historic home (100 year old) and bring it back to life when we retired, but providence (or Providence Acres) had other plans.  It looks like we are going to end up on 15 beautiful acres that we love with a 1980 ranch home to mess around with.

The yearning to own and restore and old home has remained even though I love our spot on JJ Lane.  My buddy, The Social Planner, knew my dream and came over with news when we arrived Friday night.  She had seen an old home that needs to be moved not too far from us.  Saturday morning she and I headed out to check the place out. 

  
The land around the house is being cleared. It appears the home was buried in the woods around it for a while.  I was smitten with the front porch.  My guess is that this home was built in the 1940’s.
  

Beadboard barrel ceiling with side lights.
   

The inside…well, let’s just say it would probably scare most folk off. (The sane ones, anyway)
 

The Sheetrock has been removed and only the shiplap is showing.
  

The front bedroom above is a nice size the windows and the hardwood flooring is still there.  All the rest of the room and the bath down the little hall have been gutted.  I saw potential.
   

The kitchen is a mess.  
  

At some point the kitchen was remodeled and a tile kitchen counter was added.  

 

The sun room on the back has beautiful beadboard and a bank of Windows across the back.
   
 

Someone has removed the wall between the two rooms in the front of the house and I am not sure how long that temporary support is going to hold.  There is also a brick chimney on top of the house that would have to go.  The pipe in the wall leads to the chimney.
   

The back bedroom has some shiplap that is 18 inches wide.  Termites ate the Sheetrock paper but didn’t seem to touch the wood.  The lines you see are termite tunnels. 
 

Someone has removed every door and the frames are stacked in the front room.
   

The front door is still there, which I love.

All that sheet rock removal helps to see the structure of the house which is solid.  The old girl is even still level with no sloping rooms.
 

I have no idea if moving this house is possible, if it is feasible, if it is financially possible, or even if this house is worth saving, but it has sparked a renewed desire to have a home to restore.  We have a lot of checking to do before we even make an offer.  My heart will not break if it doesn’t work out.

This may be an opportunity for us.  We live near where the new Houston Area Boy Scout camp is getting built.  They are anticipating 1000 boys a weekend yearly up here with at least that many for weeks during the summer.  That means lots of parents driving up.  We think that a bed and breakfast VRBO or Air BnB type home will be in demand when the Boy Scouts desend. 

Right now we are prayerfully considering adding a cottage along with The Guest Shed for guests.  This may not work out and it probably would be cheaper to build new, but I can dream. Between us and The Social Planner and her hubby I think we could manage.  Especially once I retire.  My buddy has a stash of supplies as big as mine and would enjoy the process as me.

Either way, I will let you know what we decide. 

On a happy note Mr. Math got his tractor Saturday.  He found an 8 year old tractor online with 102 hours on the engine for a great deal and he is thrilled.  

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

I love hearing from you.

Blessings,

Karen

Estate Sale Bedside Tables

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Last weekend I visited a great estate sale.  The sale was for a young family that has moved from their starter home into an awesome custom built home that one day soon I will give you a tour of.  The ceiling in the family room alone is worth the virtual visit.  I get sidetracked when I think about that 18 foot grey coffered ceiling with white molding…

Back to her estate sale.

At the sale I collected four great items that will be coming up soon and checked out.  My buddy, The Social Planner (TSP) did pretty well, too.  As we walked out,  TSP spotted stuff in the garage.  I have to admit, I reluctantly headed in.  I had already blown my budget ($20.00) and it was raining.  Even if I found something, it was going to have to be small because I had already rounded up Mr. Math for a large item pickup and there was no way I was interested in interrupting his mowing again.

I noticed two 1970’s side tables, but frankly I was ready to go and the were moldy. (Wooden furniture that stays in a humid area sometimes gets a white mold on it.)  I really didn’t give the pair another thought until we got home.  TSP pointed out that they would go with my 70’s headboard, and that when I am ready to move up to the country full time whoever wants the headboard will probably want side tables, too.  No way am I parting with the table in the picture below because my dad saved it for me.

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She was right…as always.  We headed back to the estate sale and asked about the tables.  $5.00 for the pair.  It is hard to pass up two tables at $2.50 each. They came home with me.

Here are pictures after they were cleaned up enough to come inside the house.  I used paint thinner, Goof Off, and Fantastic on them just to make sure the mold was gone, the stickers on top were removed, and the gummy varnish was gone.



  

Aren’t they beautiful?  Seriously, they were sturdy, they had all the hardware, and have closed storage which our current tables don’t have.  We are messy folk so closed storage is good.

I happened into a Walmart looking for blue tape one evening.  Along the way, I spotted something new to me.  Walmart carries chalk paint now.  What?  Did my eyes deceive me?  16 ounces of chalk paint for less than $6.00.  I had to give it a try.   I bought two bottles of Parisian Grey and anticipated opening it up this weekend.  I am not much of a chalk paint fan.  It is crazy expensive usually, I like polyurethane on top of my stuff and the idea of not using primer seems crazy to me but I figured, what did I have to lose?

After cleaning them with everything but the kitchen sink, I removed the cabinet doors and got busy.

One coat and I was impressed.  It is a great option for painting inside.  The paint is thick so it is a little less messy.  It is water based so I could clean up easily.  The whole no priming thing sort of freaked me  out.  It took three coats for me to be satisfied, and I did not like the brush strokes left after each coat, but sanding lightly minimized the brush strokes.


  

After getting them all painted, I distressed the edges lightly then waxed it all with clear wax.  To get both of these done completely I only used one 16 ounce bottle of paint.  I was impressed how far the paint went.

This time I decided to put the tarnished brass hardware back on, just as I found it.  I like the look.  

Don’t judge the bedroom right now.  I have curtain issues, blind issues, harry dog concerns, and bedding problems this winter.    I do however love the quilt my buddy crocheted for me as a Christmas present.  Those colors will be coming to this room soon.

  

For those of you, like me, who don’t always have the time to shop in Walmart, they do have online options for the paint.  I always choose site to store option because shipping is free.  I pick up my items at customer service.  In and out quickly and no one gets hurt.

I am not going to say that I am now fully in the chalk painting camp.  I still think using a sprayer to put quality latex paint on a project gives the most smooth finish, but this will for sure be my winter/inside choice.  I did not like sanding, and I for sure did not like waxing.  I must have done something wrong because it took hours to get the wax to look right.

I am definitely going to try it again to see if I get better.

Thank you for following along on our journey.  This past week was the one year anniversary of the day we put our beloved Star Hill on the market so we could buy this place.  It is hard to imagine that in the three years I have been blogging we have sold two homes and purchased two others.  Are we crazy?

It is nice to know we have settled on our forever home.  Now, back to work making it wonderful.

 

Blessings,

Karen

Making a Coffee Bar

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My kids love coffee, hot chocolate, and hot tea.  I like it all too, but I really love the idea of having everything that our guests need set up away from the kitchen when breakfast/ evening meal prep is underway.

We have just the spot in our home for a coffee bar and we have just the materials to make a rustic coffee bar based on inspiration from The Summery Umbrella.  I purchased windows last winter at an epic garage sale for $2.00 each.  I brought our stash of reclaimed cedar planks and the storage buildings contain more random wood.

reclaimed fencing

We used the windows as the basis for the front of the cabinet.  When we laid out the windows it was obvious that they would have to go into the cabinet horizontal instead of vertical like My Summery Umbrella was able to do.  The vintage windows  are large and heavy and with them hung horizontally, the cabinet will still be slightly taller than counter height.  The length of the bar is 90 inches.  It is 12 inches wide and made from cedar we took off our old lake house, Star Hill that we have stored and moved.  We really do like our reclaimed wood.

The next step was building the skeleton.  We had enough reclaimed wood but a mistake meant we needed two new 2×4’s.

We got a new toy recently…a planer.  Oh my goodness, Mr. Math got a good deal on Craig’s List but I was skeptical.  I did not know how much I would love it.  It makes all my mismatched thicknesses of reclaimed wood play nice with each other and knocks the sanding down to just finish sanding in minutes.  We planed two 12 inch wide planks for the top and sides.

Any time you work with reclaimed wood and supplies it means you have to do a lot of trial and error.  It feels sort of like we are playing a game of Tetris.

We used outdoor gate hinges and black iron handles for a couple of reasons;  the windows are stinkin’ heavy and I liked how the black looked against the white and reclaimed cedar.

The display area will be filled with my pitchers, milk glass, and vintage cookware.  I didn’t have everything  up at the house but I put what I had in for you to get an idea.

We already used it as a serving counter on New Year’s Eve.

The coffee bar is going to serve a lot of purposes when we have a crowd.  Having 90 inches of serving space away from the kitchen counters will be great.

Let’s face it, most of the time it is going to be a drink station.

Left overs from New Year’s Eve.

An all sorts of drinks station. (You have no idea how hard I had to look to scrounge up the drinks above!)

Mainly it will be a coffee/ tea bar, because that is who we are.

  


Here it is in our daily life.  It will be a cluttered mess so my kitchen doesn’t have to be full of stuff.   I am going to love this piece.  It is narrow and provides room for the front door to open, it provides me 7 and a half feet of additional counter surface, and it looks like it belongs in our house.  Be still my heart.

The house is coming along.  I am proud of the progress we are making as we make Providence Acres our forever home.

Mr. Math and I are both thrilled to share our journey with you as we go.  Thank you for the kind words you share. 

Blessings,

Karen

Craft/ Guest Room Update

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Over the holidays we got a little done on the craft/ guest room.  We aren’t done, but I am excited with how it is turning out.  I love that this room really will have two functions.  

The Guest Room

It is a guest room when the Murphy Bed is down and the Expando-Matic is closed. 

  
   
See my zinc mirror?  It found a great home after I changed offices and lost space at work.

I am planning an accent wall inside the Murphy Bed.  

 
The quilt 0n top was made by my great grandmother.  I just picked up the turquoise suitcase for fifty cents at a resale shop.  I had to show it off.

  
The shelves that hold my globes collected over the years are made from left over plywood from the Murphy Bed build and brackets from Lowe’s.  The yellow clock has a story.  My dad was getting rid of the clock frame so I snagged it.   The shutter was out of my stash.  It got a coat of paint and will be my idea board.  

The Craft Room

When the Murphy Bed is up and the Expando-Matic is pulled out I have six glorious feet of craft space.  The most unfinished function of the room is the craft part.  I need the leaves for the epansion built, some things installed, and the closet redesigned. 

It is going to be awesome.

  
  
  
  
I am a lucky girl.

Here are some closer shots of the walls.  The Texas map was rescued from the trash.  Someone used permanent marker on it, the frame was broken and the bottom was messed up.  It was perfect for me.  I got the market off with hairspray in case you didn’t know that trick.

   
    
   
The room is coming together.

Thanks for following our journey to make our ranch into our forever home.

Blessings,

Karen

2015 in review

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The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 96,000 times in 2015. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 4 days for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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