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Plans for the Cabin

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This weekend The Social Planner ( TSP), her hubby Larry, Mr. Math, and I spent the better part of a day cleaning up and making plans for the cabin we are getting.

There were so many more happy surprises on the first “walk through” of this project after the tenants moved out than we did on our Huntsville rental property.   The electrical was done properly.  There is an ingenious system for water in the house even though there is no well or city water. The house is well insulated. The appliances work. They did a good job of moving out without destroying.  Winner, winner chicken dinner.

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(We have a lot of stuff to move along.)

The problems with the interior of the cabin are mainly unfinished projects or space planning issues.

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The kitchen cabinets are unfinished at the bottom.
I would like some that look like this:

Cabinets

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But I wan them washed in barn red.

The top cabinets are warped, laminate-over-particle board office cabinets.  I hate them, but for now we need to make them work.  I will keep an eagle eye out for someone who is getting rid of   real kitchen cabinets and will haunt the ReStore for upper cabinets that will work.  I can be patient.

The wood burning stove sticks out too far from the wall, the cement backer board behind the stove is unfinished, and the stove needs to be painted with high heat black paint.
The dudes are going to move the stove back about six inches and fix the stove-pipe.  We ( The Social Planner and me) are going to paint the stove and I am going to attempt to install plank tile that looks like whitewashed wood vertically over the backer board.  Mr. Math will be my backup in case of disaster.

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(The picture above is of the place with the tenants.  It is cleaned out now, but I did not get a picture that shows the space between the wall and the stove.

Tile


The cabin is not too far from the Alabama Coushatta Reservation, and the area has a strong western cowboy history.  We are going to try our best to honor the area through our decor but with more of a deer camp feel.  We both have quite a bit of western stuff that will be coming in. Our bedding for the six beds will be a mix of plaids, solids, and even  couple of native inspired.  The inspiration from the cabin colors will come from these pictures.

I actually found some bedding really cheap on Amazon.

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A lot of what is going into the house is coming right out of my old lake house “bunk room” and The Social Planner’s stash.  These vintage canisters came from the stash.

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The flowered couch is getting a chocolate-colored slipcover that will make it work for us.  The bonus is that it is washable.  The love seat is going and a vintage vinyl western couch is coming in to join the brown couch. 

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I plan on doing a piece for the wall sort of like this one.

I found this letschipit.com color scheme based on a female cardinal.  It is exactly the colors I see us using.

It is going to be fun making this small space functional and FUN.

The journey continues,

Blessings,

Karen

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Summer Pojects

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Here it is spring break and already I am thinking about our summer projects.

We have three big projects to get done this summer.

1.  We are going to redo our kitchen.  Not a total gut, but repainting the cabinets, replacing the backsplash, new counter top, new farmhouse sink, new light fixture, and wall paint.


The picture above shows the kitchen the day we decided to buy the house.  No more ceiling fan,  a different peninsula light, recessed lighting installed, and a gas stove installed are the only structural changes that have occurred since we bought it.

  • The cabinets are going to be white and we are going to add a shaker style to them by adding to the cabinet faces.

Source: Home Depot

  • I think that the backsplash is going to large subway tile.  I think.  Not sure yet.
  • The counter tops are for sure going to be quartz that looks like marble.

Source: Home Depot

I think we are looking at something like santa margherita lyskamm

  • Once I decide on the backsplash I can get the wall paint color picked out.
  • The sink is going to be a white farmhouse sink.  I am thinking about this one from Home Depot.

  • I haven’t decided for sure about the kitchen light but it is NOT going to be a huge fluorescent fixture.  I really like this one from Home Depot.


2.  We are going to get the guest shed started.  This summer we are going to get the dropped ceiling in, fix the walls, get the plumbing moved and hopefully get the bathroom concrete poured.  I really want it finished this summer but the reality is that if we get that far, we can work on the interior of the building a project at a time.  We may have to have someone do our bathroom.  I am not sure how time will work for us but I want us to have a space for family and friends to come and stay.  I cannot wait for you to see my vision for the guest shed.

The Guest Shed

3.  This project shouldn’t take long, but we really need an outdoor kitchen.  Not want, we need one.  I am not a germophobe but I cannot stand raw fish in my house.  Ever. Like never.  I really don’t love raw chicken in the house, either.  If it is going to get grilled outside, it may as well get prepped outside, too.  This is frankly the first project that needs to get done, so I have a sink to wash dishes in and food prep area when the inside kitchen is under construction. ( Just say no to washing dishes in the bathtub ever again.)

  • A sink station with a stainless  steel sink and faucet out of our hoard. The top needs to be tile topped to make it more weather resistant.

Source: Studio C

We have electricity and water at the corner of the space so adding the sink right outside the deck and cabinets along the wall makes sense.

  • Counter space with cabinets underneath and around the grill. One set of wall cabinets for things like grill spray, oven mitts, and BBQ tools.  We are going to use treated lumber for a shell, then clad it all in reclaimed cedar and tin.
  • Open the deck rail and extend the deck so that it is more comfortable for guests and has the smoker readily available. Also replace the wood parts on the smoker.


I didn’t make the deck look nice for pictures today.  Mr. Math was on the tractor today but has promised to get it all cleaned up for our next get together so soon enough it will get power washed, scrubbed down and organized.

The projects sound daunting but we can do it.  We also aren’t afraid to get help it it is too much.  We are going to hire out the quartz counter tops and may have to hire help to get the decking done.

Little Cabin in the Woods

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What have we gotten ourselves into now? Well, it is something that has been in the works for a while will be ours the first of April.  We are going to have a little 720 square foot of one large interior space cabin plus a bathroom. It will be for hunting and a getaway in deep far east Texas. It is located on almost 100 acres of piney woods with a clear, sandy bottomed creek, a pond under construction, cut trails, and rolling hills.


The cabin is solid and functional, it just isn’t very cute on the inside.  Yet.  All of the pictures below are of the house when occupied by tenants.


There is work to do in the kitchen.  Lots of work.

Something doesn’t seem safe about this picture.

When we visited, the one main room open space of the cabin was a mishmash of stuff. The living space is a jumble of assorted furniture items.  The fridge in the main room when there is already one in the kitchen…No idea.

The bunk beds are built of two by fours and are attached to the walls.  They are staying although we plan on reorganizing them.



I am not sure why the fun noodles are on the ladders.  Hmmm.

The bathroom will be pretty quick to get fixed up.  Someone did a great job on the shower and the vanity is fine.  It all just needs finishing.

The bathroom has a separate space for the toilet with a door, but it needs a little organization of the space, and better storage solutions.

There is no well here so water is pumped into a tank for use and there is a rainwater collection system completely around the house that we will be revamping a little bit to make it more functional.

The exterior has a great porch,

Oh that porch.  Once it is cleared of miscellaneous office furniture and debris we are going to have a great outdoor space.


Office furniture may not be my choice for furniture, but I do like the swing at the end and the screen door.

The carport…


Well, lets just say that an upgrade is planned for it.   It will be a great place to park four wheelers and provide cover for the grill when we are coooking outside.

I will bet that more than one of you are seeing this and thinking we have lost our minds.  It is hard to look past the mess and clutter but this will be a great place to hunt and disconnect.  We are planning on sharing the space with our friends.

We are planning on getting started in April.

My buddy, The Social Planner and I have plans for this place and you are going to be along for the ride.  The men who are excited for a place to hang out and hunt, and we ladies who just want it to be cute and clean. We and our kids are going to be busy for a bit getting it ready but it is going to be a great place.


I can’t wait to show you what The Social Planner and I have collected, mostly right out of our own homes, for the place.

Welcome to the deer camp.

Thanks for following along and feel free to offer suggestions.

Blessings,

Karen

Raised Bed Urban Gardening

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My son, his wife, and our precious granddaughter live in our rental property in Huntsville. It is a decent sized corner city lot but in addition to the house on the lot there is a garage apartment. The back yard is almost always in the shade because of the two story unit and mature trees that surround the yard.


In spite of living in the city and not having a great space for a garden, the kids want a garden.  The best plan for them is a raised bed in the side yard.

Using all reclaimed material and deck screws Mr. Math was able to whip this raised bed together in about an hour.

We are hoarders of reclaimed wood and corrugated tin.  I know we have a problem but we plan on putting a ton of it to use this summer.

The tin we used for this project was actually left by the former home owner.  He was a bit of a hoarder, too.


The cedar 4 X 4 posts were given to us years ago when our friends replaced their lakehouse porch posts. They were solid except for the bottom where they stayed wet.


The rest of the wood came from a dock that was torn out near us.  The wood is in great shape.


The pile above was where we collected the wood.

Mr. Math has a special circular saw blade that cuts metal.  It makes short work from cutting corrugated tin.  It actually took him longer to change out the saw blade than to cut the metal.

The bed is 4 feet wide and 8 feet long. We used a full width of tin to make the sides. That is a little higher than normal but we wanted it to be high enough to sit on the edge.



Mr. Math cut the posts to length then attached the 4 foot section to the posts first, then the long pieces and added a post at four feet on the long sides.


Next he added the reclaimed wood to the top edge.  We did not put any of the dock wood where it would come in contact with the soil.  We aren’t too keen on treated wood coming in contact with food.  This wood has had a lot of exposure to water and sun so we are not too worried about sitting on it and I plan on sealing it with marine varnish.


Mr. Math used two by six boards on the top to make the ledge that he attached directly to the cedar 4 X 4 ‘s. Can I just say how impressed with his mitered corners? He does good work.  We put the rusty metal inside for this project.  The house isn’t as rustic as ours and would have looked a little funny, but our next project will be all about the rusty metal.


Scrap cedar covers the sharp edges at the corners.  When it gets installed another board will co around the exterior bottom but this puppy is heavy so that piece can wait. ( By the way, did you notice how good Mr. Math’s shop looks?  He did a great job getting it organized. My shop is next on the list for a good clean up,and storage.)

I will post pictures when it is installed.  Landscape fabric at the bottom, then a little hay that has been outside and is no longer useful for feed, then garden soil.

They plan on tomatoes, peppers, beans, squash and who knows what else.

Thanks for following along on our adventures.

Blessings,

Karen

Downsizing Realities

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We are going through the big D and I don’t mean Dallas.  While we would never consider divorcing each other (who would have us after 35 years of bad habits?)  We are decluttering.  I look at Pinterst and it appears online that decluttering, organizing, and purging are super easy.  It makes everyone feel better, can be accomplished in a weekend and then your life is golden.

Here in my Reality Land,  that has not been our experience.  We are sill figuring out the whole less is more thing.  Two years ago we had 4350 square feet of living space divided between two homes with two sets of most things.  We had two kitchens, six bedrooms, four bathrooms, and a two garages.  We had a ton of stuff we were used to having around us.

Now we have one galley style kitchen, three bedrooms (one is really a craft room), two bathrooms, no totally weather proof garage, and a total of just under 1700 square feet here at Providence Acres.  I hope you understand I am not complaining.  We know we are blessed to have a nice home and we chose to move to the country and downsize.  We longed for it.  We dreamed of it. We sacrificed to be able to make this move.

When we moved into Providence Acres we realized that in our almost 34 years of marriage we accumulated a lot of duplicates.

We actually had nine, yes 9, measuring cups.  Here are 7 of them on display. Considering I am not much of a cook, that is an impressive number.

For our two heads we had 10 hair brushes.

In my vanity there were nine sets of nail clippers.

I was too overwhelmed to count the reading glasses and sun glasses, but it is a large amount.

Looking at all that stuff,  it might seem  like thinning the heard on stuff like this would be easy but in fact it took time to decide what we kept and what we got rid of. 

We now are the proud owners of about 10% of the stuff you see in the pictures above.

The work didn’t stop in the kitchen and laundry room.

Our closet was ( is  and probably always will be) the biggest storage issue in our home.  We had an expansive 14 foot long double rack closet  with six additional single rack storage at each end, and a whole wall of built in shelving at my end in our  suburban home master bedroom. It was glorious.

I had room for things that I didn’t even like, but thought they might be good to keep.  Oh how I miss you, 14 foot closet of wonderfulness.  

My 1980’s bi-fold door closet has six feet of storage but honestly only about 5 feet is usable space. Five disfunctional feet that you can’t get to without knocking stuff off.


We haven’t gotten rid of enough clothes, shoes, scarves, and coats yet, but the back of my car was filled several times for trips to Goodwill.

Annnd I took over the guest room closet with dress clothes. Oh, and the winter coats are in the craft room closet.

When I retire I pinky promise to get rid of more, but now I need basically two wardrobes. Work and weekend.

My goal for the summer is to make hard decisions about the furniture in storage.  I am going to either fix it, paint it, reimagine it, or let it go.  There is a huge online sale in my future.

The downsizing will continue but we have made a dent in our stuff.  

Next week I will let you peek into our hoard of furniture, but not yet.  It is scary.

Thanks for following along.

Blessings,

Karen

Never Say Never

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Well, here I am. Back again with my hat in my hand. Can we still be friends? I hope so. After taking some time to regroup I found that I missed writing. I missed telling our story as unremarkable as it is. I missed you.
So, I am back.
My time away certainly gave me time to reflect on my writing. Before my break the blog was really making me crazy trying to meet self-imposed timelines so that I could post something.
Today I am just going to catch you up on what has been going on, if that is okay with you.

The Property

We are so lucky. We get to live on 15 beautiful acres with great neighbors and a beautiful view. I have worked really hard to stop focusing on what needs to be changed or improved and tried to focus on what we have. It isn’t always easy, but I am forcing myself to stop and feed the catfish. (My version of stop and smell the roses.)
Since I last shared anything with you, we have taken quite a bit of time cleaning up the property (and by we I mean 98% of the was done by Mr. Math with 2% coming from me picking up limbs and pointing to where I want things to go). Mr. Math planted three blueberry bushes, several blackberry bushes, a ton, and I do mean a ton of crepe myrtles, about twenty mayhaw, wild plum, and crabapple saplings, five large pecan trees and a peach tree. It is a never ending job. Right now the yard is shaggy but too wet to mow.
We have had a relatively wet and mild winter and even though our road took a beating, everything is green and beautiful here.


The House

We really have not done a ton to the inside of our house since my last post. We have changed out the mismatched window coverings in the main room for 2 inch blinds. I got them at ReStore for $5.00 each. Check out your local ReStore if you have one. It is an organization I believe in and they have great deals. I could not believe my luck finding exactly the size I needed for the four windows.
Mr. Math also built a barn door that fits our 36 inch wide bathroom door opening. (FYI a 36 inch door does not work as a barn door for a 36 inch opening if you want privacy. Lesson learned.) I have not finished making the door look old, but it is going to be great. The hardware is from Home Depot and even though it is more expensive than Tractor Supply’s barn door hangers, I like it in our bedroom.
Furniture

A friend recently cleared out a rental house and I scored big on getting a load of furniture.

So far I have finished this piece. It is great in our family room.

My craft room is overflowing with French Provincial night stands from the stuff above. I am not sure I can save them all but the parts will be reused.

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In our living room I am working on a dining set that will go in the guest shed. It is beating me up right now.
I have collected some great pieces since I last wrote a post and I am looking forward to some really fun projects.
This spring and summer I will be very busy. I can’t wait to fill you in on our big projects we have planned for spring, summer and fall.
Thanks for following along on our journey. After this quick update I do have a few posts on the way to let you know what is coming up and projects that are underway.
Blessings,
Karen

Rodeo Season

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I seasonally decorate our ranch house In the country.  I am sure you know what I mean about seasons.  I decorate the house for all the major holidays: Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentines Day, Easter, 4th of July, and Rodeo.

What? You haven’t heard of rodeo season?  It is an event here in the greater Houston area.  Kids dress up at school, we go to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, and connect with our cowboy roots.  We have already been once Saturday to see the rodeo and Alan Jackson and are headed back tonight for more rodeo and Sam Hunt.

I am no cowgirl.  I just got my first ever pair of cowboy boots for my birthday but in our little neck of the woods, rodeo is a big deal.  The Spanish Trail, one of the trail rides that travels  into Houston and coverages at Memorial Park before the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, originates very near our home.

Our house always has a bit of  a western vibe ( cattle roamed the acreage less than 10 years ago) but we crank it up a notch here around rodeo season. I thought you might enjoy seeing our mudroom bench and our dining tables decked out for rodeo.

Our live edge cedar bench  and mudroom are my favorite thing we have added to the house so far.


The boots? The hats? One pair are mine. And of course everyone here needs rubber boots. My daughter in law gave me these rubber cow print cowboy boots. I’ve also seen some cool cowgirl boots on King Ranch’s website.  They have a really cool shop set up at the rodeo, too.

Our two tables are fun places to decorate.  We love having friends and family over and those two tables aren’t enough for everyone. I have few over 30 more than once.

The buffet was one of our first purchases as a married couple.  It has traveled with us to seven of our eight homes. The salt glazed pitcher on top was rescued by my grandmother under a house they bought more than sixty years ago. The flag graced my veteran father in law’s casket and is a treasure to us.

Faux cowhide on our bench is a nod to our ranch home.

Our breakfast table has a Texas theme.  Thank goodness those placemats wash.  They get some action.  The galvanized jug in the center with silk bluebonnet  is new from Michael’s .  It looks great with our amazing coffee bar in the background.


I love, love, love our coffee bar and the shelves. It makes my clutter look like a collection.  That is my story and I am sticking to it.


Make sure you notice that our one cow, Bessie, made an appearance.

I love hearing from you.  Happy Monday!

Happy trails,

Karen