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Kitchen Work at the Redneck Retreat

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I bet some of you are wondering just how full of stuff was the guest shed since the last four posts were about stuff I am getting moved out of there.  Well, it was really, really full.  So full in fact that I forgot all about some of the things in there, even things that we could use right now if only we remembered that we had them.

In the great shed clean out of 2020  I forgot I had three kitchen upper cabinets that our neighbors in our suburban house gave us five or so years ago.  They are your basic oak front cabinets with particle board on everything except the front oak part. We were gifted one over the stove cabinet, and two 30 inch upper cabinets.

As soon as we unearthed them, I  knew immediately where those puppies needed to go.  They were destined for Redneck Retreat- our little cabin that sits on 130 acres in Newton County, Texas.  Most of the time this property is just the domain of dudes.  From September until January it is filled with hunters who really don’t care what the place looks like as long as the deer stands are wasp and rat free they are happy. The Redneck is a one room cabin with three sets of bunk beds, a queen fold out couch, bathroom, and kitchen… well sort of a kitchen.

The photo above is a picture of the kitchen after my buddy The Social Planner and I cleaned it.  There are no photos of the kitchen before cleaning to protect the innocent. The builder of the cabin was a building contractor. He used materials that others were taking out of their homes and offices to build the cabin. It is an eclectic mix of brass, Formica, scrap wood, cut glass light fixtures along with donated appliances. The building is solid, level and has air conditioning and a wood burning stove so the problems are all related to how it looks.

The outlet and switch covers above are all three on one wall in the kitchen and within three feet of each other. The stove, fridge, and sink work so I guess technically it is a functioning kitchen.  The cabinets, counter tops, appliances, and walls… not so much. I especially like the vent hood that goes nowhere.

With the three found cabinets and an awesome microwave oven my parents gave us that was almost new because of a Hurricane Harvey flood and a total kitchen remodel two years ago.  It was also hanging out in the shed just waiting for a home. We had some time so we headed to the woods to do some work.

Our plan was to

  • Take down the back wall two cabinets and vent hood
  • Take down the cabinets to the left of the sink.
  • Prime and paint the found cabinets
  • Polyurethane three cedar live edge boards for shelves
  • Install the microwave and vent it outdoors to reduce moisture in the cabin
  • Install the cabinets
  • Install cedar shelves

The weather forecast was two days of rain free days followed by three days of rain.   We planned on getting all of the painting and polyurethane done out in our tarp covered space before the rain set in. The weather folks missed the mark.  We got there in the rain, it rained all day, then the next, and the next. We had to get creative to get things dry.  Everything had to be brought inside with heaters on and ceiling fans running in order to get the paint dry enough.

The former doctor office cabinets came down pretty easily.  We filled the front porch with particle board cabinets then moved on to the install of the upper cabinet above the microwave and the microwave that is vented to the outdoors.  It was important that this part get installed first because the other two cabinets would have to be installed around it.  I am ever so thankful for a “Mathy” husband when it came to installing the microwave and cabinet, cutting the holes in the bottom and back then  figuring out the height, then the microwave and venting it through the outside wall all without the template that would have come with the microwave if it were new.

Working and living in a one room cabin was rough folks. Don’t judge the clutter. It was driving me crazy moving stuff around so that we could work. Getting the venting to go outside was a scary.  Mr. Math only missed on the outlet hole and that was because we both forgot to get it cut until we were just about to install the cabinet.  It was a rush job that even though it works, looks a little rough.  Everything else looks perfect in a really imperfect cabinet.

The difference in the wall after the upper cabinets were installed makes me so happy!

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We still have bottom cabinet issues to address like ugly mismatched counter heights, and lack of actual cabinets below really bad Formica counter tops that are pieced together. but wow, it looks so much better on the top half.  I will focus on that for now.

It was a productive week at the Redneck.

I can’t wait to show you the cedar shelves.

I hope you all have had a great weekend.

Blessings,

Karen

Mersman Drum Table Troubles

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We have a cat named Chloe. She is a 17 year old, grumpy cat who works hard to make sure we all know that she is queen of the house. She only eats soft food ( extra gravy variety only) and cat treats. Chloe hisses at everyone, and she would probably smoke and drink whiskey if she could figure out how to make that happen. Her feeding time is somewhere between 4:30 and 5:00 a.m. We either have to get up, give her a clean bowl, fresh water, and food or she will stand in the hallway and yowl until we do.

The picture above is the best shot I could get of her. She was making another attempt to get up on the table after I had run her off twice.

I was given a 1950’s mahogany Mersman drum table with a damaged top and today I am going to tell you the tale of the table. The photo below is not mine but is similarly to how the table looked when I got it. The only exception is that my table had a large stain on the tabletop.

By now you may be wondering what a table and our old grumpy cat have in common. Well, I named this table Chloe. Does that give you an idea how much trouble this table was?

In my quest to get my stash of unloved furniture moved along I started work on the drum table. Everything except the top of the table was in great shape. I have no idea what in the world was spilled on the table but it soaked in and the top couldn’t be saved. Even after sanding, painting ( primer then paint) and polyurethaning the top the darn stain bled through. I had to get out the serious primer to knock it down. It took two coats of primer. That was when I knew this table would be trouble.

It took three coats of paint to get the top smooth. I spray painted the feet and drawer pulls old gold so I decided to try stenciling roses on the top. Finally I added a coat of poly to seal it…again.

She turned out pretty didn’t she?

I have been pretty spoiled selling my furniture up here. Nothing has been posted more than a day or two. The piece took a while to sell. There were two no shows, then I got sick the morning that a real live owner was coming to get it. I had to let the buyer know I would have to deliver it for them once I felt better. My son volunteered to take it to the new owner but it wouldn’t fit in the back of his car.

The final, and I do mean final straw was the delivery. The table tipped over on the way. I stopped the car and checked the paint. Thankfully there wasn’t any damage to the paint job so I continued on. When I delivered the piece to a sweet older couple, this was laying in the back of the suv.

That darn table.

Drum table 1, me 0.

I literally gave the table to the couple for free and walked away.

Bye Chloe.

Ever have one of those projects?

I hope you week has been amazing.

Blessings,

Karen

Cedar Shutters for the Rent House

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Our Rental property has come a long way since we bought it three and a half years ago.

We bought the property in Huntsville, Texas which is a college town near where we live. It was a hot mess. The 1950 bungalow was deemed uninhabitable by the city due to electrical and gas leak problems and in general it was gross and/or really ugly. There was a garage apartment on the site as well that was rented but we couldn’t check that out too much what with the two growling pit bulls and guns inside and visible. We looked past the ugly and at the potential for two income properties. It has been quite a journey but the house is now a sweet little quirky place with hardwood flooring and surprisingly the garage apartment only needed deep cleaning, paint, a new fridge and a/c. We are even more fortunate that our son’s family rents the house so we get the bonus of getting to see our sweet granddaughters frequently. Win-win.

I really like the paint color we chose for the exterior. It is Sherwin Williams Slate Tile. The yellow door was totally not my idea but I love it. My daughter in law chose the yellow and suggested we stain the handrail you see that isn’t stained in the photo above. I was planning on painting it white until she suggested that we stain it.

The paint and new roof look great but I have always thought the house needed more pizazz. My daughter in law shared a picture of a blue house with stained wood shutters and I knew that was what it was missing.

A friend gave us some reclaimed cedar that Mr. Math cut down to 1 X 4’s then ran them through the planer and finally cut to length. He stained it with a cedar stain and I loved it. They were simple, plain, and I think a little elegant.

The results were dramatic. For the cost of screws and stain the look of the house looks more finished. We will continue to add wood accents like the stair rails as they are needed.

The photos aren’t perfect because frankly the yard is not ready for prime time. With all the rain and mild temperatures we have had it is weedy.

I still have a few projects that I want to do to the exterior. There is an exterior door that needs to be covered and I know exactly what I want it to look like. We will be possibly adding an additional driveway if we can get the permit, we will be painting and patching the porch concrete, and one the swing comes down porch railings will be going up.

What do you think of the shutters?

We love hearing from you.

Blessings,

Karen