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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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Murphy Bed

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You know that Lowe’s commercial where the announcer says “How to install a washer and dryer with one finger” then the lady points her finger and says to the installer…” A little to the left please”? According to Mr. Math, that is how our next, if there is a next, Murphy Bed will be installed.

We are better than average woodworkers, who aren’t afraid to take on a project, but this particular project was a challenge.  It took a lot of work, a couple of “do-overs”, and challenged our following written directions skills.  Our first clue was when the instructions came in THREE separate booklets.

Mr. Math started on the project one weekend, worked on it every night for at least an hour, then finished it on Sunday afternoon of the second weekend.  All together I would guess he had about 15 hours of work involved and another two hours of watching the included video and reading the manuals.

  There was a lot of gluing and clamping then waiting involved.
    He brought everything to our week day house so he could work then moved it all back to assemble.  Everything had to have blue tape with what it was in order to get it assembled correctly.
  

The kit we ordered included all metal hardware. 
  

The plywood base for the bed was too flimsy for Mr. Math.  We ripped it out and are putting in a more rigid base.

          

Here is the cabinet assembled and the wall board ready to go.  This flat board is attached to the studs.

    

A stud using a stud finder. ūüėÄ

  

Open without hydrolic rods installed.

  

Closed.  We still need to install the handles so Me. Math installed a string that allows us to pull it down.

Down with hydrolics installed and mattress in place. 

Am I sorry we did this ourselves? No.  It is quality construction that will last us a lifetime.  We now have a room that can serve more that one use. It cost us more that I anticipated (all in it was about $600.)  This is not a project for beginners. It required some skill and lots of tools.

   
   
Next step will be painting the room, painting the cabinet. installing the rest of the floor, decorating, and gettin leaves done for the expand-o- matic.  This will end up being my favorite room in the house.  

After Christmas we will get busy on the details.

Thanks for following along on our journey.

Blessings,

Karen

2015 San Jacinto Home Tour

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Sunday afternoon was one of those days that should be bottled and sold. ¬†The weather was glorious in the Texas Piney Woods. ¬†Sunny, low humidity, and temperatures in the high 60’s. ¬†I look forward to the San Jacinto home tour every year and this year my buddy the Social Planer made it an event.

We started at her beautiful home with soup and desserts to fortify us on our adventure then off to our first stop on Happy Trails Ln.


The home was beautiful especially considering the owner had just moved back in a month ago.


  
I especially liked the 12 days of Christmas stitched pictures on the curtains and the mismatched chairs.  The bedroom is so large there is a dining table in the room.  It was too crowded for photos.

The second home was literally right up the road and belonged to the daughter of the first owner.  The home was beautiful but I especially loved the stained glass windows that the master was designed around.


  
  


There was a sweet little girl room.

Our next stop was Thee Evergreen Church.

This little country chapel was built with lumber from the site a hundred years ago.


  
  
  



Ship lap, beautiful stained glass, pews that were made on site when the chapel was constructed.  Swoon.

Our next stop, wow. A beautiful 10,000 square foot log home that is a site to behold.


  
  
The exterior was so large I literally had to take the pictures in sections.


Oiled rocking chairs on the front porch.


  
The owner is a master quilter and her work greets you at the front door.  Oh, and yes, that is a taxidermied cougar hanging out in the rafters.



The tree has to be 12 foot tall.  It is covered with a large Father Christmas topper.  It was stunning.

 The kitchen was a dream. There was a copper  sink that I loved.



My buddy, Carol, was the docent in the master bedroom.


The shoe section of the closet.  It was a site to behold.  Imagine deciding which shoes to wear.

Oh my goodness!  That back yard. 

Outdoor bar.


Separate kitchen.

Outdoor man room.



Horse shoes in the pool surround.


   

A slide in the waterfall.


We grudgingly left this beautiful home for a sweet little church in the woods.


  

Those beautiful green windows cast a beautiful glow.



Lights are original to when the building was electrified.


A church member commissioned the painting in the 1950’s.



Original wavy glass.



The tour was fun.  Another chance to see how beautiful our community is.

Thanks for following along with us.

Blessings,

Karen

Recessed Lighting in a Ranch House

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I am so very excited to show you guys the recessed lighting in our home.  When we bought the home there were a few non-negotiable items that would be changed for me before I was willing to sign on the dotted line.

  1.  We needed a mud room.   We need a spot for the messy stuff to stop and hang out before it wanders into the living space and makes me cranky.  Right now we are about 75% complete with the mud room.  The wall is up, the lights are moved, holes in the ceiling are patched,and the trim is done.  We still need to add the bench, the back wall cabinets and the coat hooks.  I am guessing that most will be done this spring.  If it stops raining on the weekends.  I cannot wait for you to see it.  It is glorious.
  2. The kitchen needs a makeover.  Right now that is on hold until summer except we are getting the propane hooked up and a gas stove soon.
  3. New flooring.  The carpet had to go.  This one is DONE!
  4. Recessed lighting in all the main rooms of the home. All. Of. Them.  The 1980’s ranch home has 8 foot ceilings, which are fine unless you have lived in homes for the last 20 years with high ceilings like we have.  The previous owners installed energy saving windows which are great, except they are tinted and the filtered light is not as bright as I would have wished.  There are fewer windows than our last home had.  There were no overhead lights in the main rooms of the home.   The home is situated on the lot with the main room on the west side of the house which should provide lots of afternoon light but we have huge trees in our back yard that I love but they block the light to the family room. Finally, adding the mudroom meant blocking the main rooms of half the windows.  Add it all up and the home felt dark and dreary to me.  I dreaded winter coming because the home was going to be so dark during the rainy, cloudy winters we have in the Texas Piney Woods.

Before you all get started looking at the pictures, I took all of them using my iPad and at roughly the same time of day because I wanted you to see the difference in the lighting.

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    The photo above shows the two windows that are now blocked by the mudroom wall and the area that is now our dining room along with the only two ceiling lights we had when we moved in.  You can also see the last of the cream colored carpet and what a zoo it is at our humble abode.

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    Why yes that is a huge, ugly ceiling fan in the kitchen.

    IMG_0954

    No overhead lighting in the family room.

    IMG_0953

    The door was sheet-rocked over in order to have this dining room.  The one ceiling light was over the table in the center of the room that makes no sense now that we have a functioning front door.

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    More views with no lights.  Oh and the

    Enter recessed lighting.  I knew for certain that I wanted recessed lights in the house.  Mr. Math was not so sold on the lighting because I am pretty sure he is at least 1/4 vampire but I stood firm on this issue.  I must have light.  I believe I am part plant.

    He really panicked when I let him know how many lights I was thinking about.  25 recessed lights spread out over our kitchen, front entry, mud room, dining room, and family room.   The roof is pretty low and the wiring was suspect in the house so we hired this one out.

    The first step was to figure out where all the lights would go.  This involved a pole with rolled up blue tape on it to stick everywhere I thought a light would go.  I had been to this awesome site: recessedlighting.com  They tell you everything you need to know about how many, where, what kind to buy… the whole ball of wax.

    I had my buddy, The Social Planner over for backup because I knew when showed Mr. Math (A.K.A. Count Dracula) how many lights were going up he would be less than excited.

     

    Once the placement was made, we had the electrician come to give us an estimate for the cost and time frame.  After he came and let us know what to get it was time for to purchase the lights.  All 23 of them (we re-used two lights for the mudroom.)  The retrofit led recessed lights were close to $30.00 each.

    The next step was to have the electrician come and start the install process.  It took three Saturdays to get all the holes cut, wires run, light installed in the ceilings,switches installed in the walls along with bringing our attic wiring up to code, removing  the kitchen ceiling fan box and installing two outlets.  The difference in the rooms is amazing.  The lights make the rooms feel bright and cheery without overpowering the space, they seem  to make the rooms look more up to date as well.

     

    We just had our first rainy-all-weekend trip after the lights and I can tell you it would be impossible for me to be more thrilled.  They are amazing.

    The lights are 3 inches and are hardly noticeable when off. The photo above is before the ceiling touch ups.

    Here is a photo of the moved light and the beginning of the ceiling repair.


    Above you can see the recessed lights with the ceiling lights off and on.

    We added lights over the dining table too, but the Edison bulbs didn’t photograph well so they are off.  The wire hanging down is straightening out.

    Thanks for taking the time to follow along on our journey.

    Blessings,

    Karen

    The Guest Bath Makeover

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    Well, the guest bath is now 85% complete so I thought I better show you guys something we have almost ready to check off the list.

    We have a huge guest bathroom. It was designed with a wheelchair in mind.  It is perfect for a house that will have lots of guests over the years.

    So far we replaced both lights, installed a place to hang clothes, towels, and extra supplies, we changed out the floor and replaced all the hardware.  There is a new towel bar, toilet paper holder and even a new toilet. The walls got a coat of light bluish green Behr Pacific  Mist. We replaced all the towels and shower curtain with white linens.

       
        
        
        
     Not yet completed is that all the trim and cabinets needs to be painted white, floating shelves need to be built and painted white for in front of the wood wall and I need to make a curtain for the window.

    It will have to wait for now because we are a few weeks from Christmas and need a Murphy bed built. 

    And a hall painted.

    And 2″ blinds installed.

    And a tree put up.

    And Christmas lights.

    The kids will all be at least coming by over the holiday and we need to be ready.  Fingers crossed.