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Our Outdoor Kitchen Adventure 

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If you check in with me on Facebook, then you know we have been working on an outdoor kitchen in preparation for our full-time indoor kitchen to be out of commission.  Mr. Math has worked hard on the kitchen but with teaching summer school and my new and much more demanding job, it was a slow start.  Just about the time we were making progress, sub tropical Cindy rolled through and the tropical moisture has hung around.  We are getting rain daily.  Our yard is beautiful, especially for end of June, but painting and carpentry outside has been a challenge.  I am happy to report we now have running water, a sink that drains properly, a galvanized metal counter and a storage cabinet that has sealed rusty metal as inserts n our outdoor kitchen.

A glorious sink outside.  This will be a place for the dudes to clean up when they are working on machines, cleaning fish, and smoking meat.  Yay for me!  No more nasty stuff coming inside.

The counter top will look weathered with time and when I am happy with the finish it will be sealed.  The backsplash is the same material.  I am not sure it is finished.  I think it may need more screws to smooth it down.

We are grandparents now and it is funny the things that worry us that we might not have worried about before.  Like sharp corners.  They are all covered with corner piece.

The cabinets are painted with Behr Circus which is a soft, rusty, red.  It blends well with the redwood stained picnic table.

I love those corrugated tin inserts.  The tin is from Mr. Math’s family farm.  It is at least 60 years old, but my guess is it is older.  It all got coated with polyurethane before being installed to seal it.

Here is what is finished.  We couldn’t finish the shelf underneath because we ran out of 1X6 boards but it will be quick work.  I am going to stain and seal the boards.  I am thinking that the drain needs to painted either silver or black.

The porch will be great once we are through but right now it is a mess.

The slate top is not done and the trim work needs to be finished around it but it is going to look great.  Stone sealer will keep out the yuck.

This is going to be a great spot to hang out, entertain friends, and cook.  I am looking forward to getting this one finished.

Thanks for following along on our journey.

Blessings,

Karen

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Weekend Update

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It was another busy weekend here at Providence Acres.  We had family over, we made a trip to see my sweet daddy for Father’s Day, we picked a pile of peas, tomatoes, squash, peppers, and kale.  I now have a freezer full of produce for later.  

We also made progress on the outdoor kitchen.  This is a low budget, heavy use project so, we were way more concerned with functionality than aesthetics.  It will be stained barn red and will look better, but honestly not having the dudes run in the house to use my sink to clean fish, wash nasty hands, or drip meat juices makes my heart sing.   The timing of this project is crucial because my inside kitchen is about to be under renovation and I will never wash dishes in the bathtub again.  Two homes we lived in required me to do dishes on my knees at some point and I am over that.  Forever.

Mr. Math built the sink base out of treated 3/4 inch plywood and 4X4 posts.  The stainless double sink was a side of the road find.  We bought the cheapest faucet they had at Home Depot that had a spray attachment.

It took us over an hour in HD to puzzle out the plumbing but the sink now drains 55 feet away so the fish water won’t be gross smelling when we are sitting on the deck.

The counters are this sheet metal.  It took two sheets to clad the counter.

So far, we have the metal roof extension, counter clad in metal, deck power washed, drain in, and plumbing for water worked out.  We didn’t get the right water connection but it should go quickly. 


Next will be to add cabinets up on the deck that will back up to the sink and will be backed and topped in metal.  We are also going to be adding a very small hot water heater.  

I am so excited that my farmhouse sink and faucet arrived from Overstock safe and sound.  


The quartz has been selected.  Zodiaq concrete.  


The backsplash will be this awesome herringbone marble.


Mr. Math is going to redo the cabinets so that they look like white shaker style.  

Next week I will be so super busy that I will be out of commission but soon I hope to have pictures of a finished outdoor kitchen all staged and looking nice.

Have a wonderful week,

Blessings,

Karen

A Little Update

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I promise I haven’t fallen off the face of the earth.  Really, I am still alive and kicking.  Right after I wrote to you that I missed you and was back, there was another turn in my road.  I was offered the opportunity to be Director of Elementary Instruction for the fast growing district I have worked for the past four years.  Crazy.  It has taken all my extra minutes just to catch up.  You see, for the past 10 years my focus has been secondary and or advanced students.  I have had terms to learn, programs to get up to speed on, research to read, and plans to make.

I am excited for this opportunity and expect this to be my last stop in public education before  retiring, but I would have said that about my last position too, so what do I know.

In the next week, I will have a few posts that include our outdoor kitchen (which had to be finished first), the kitchen renovation that is imminent, and what is up at our little cabin in the woods.

I spent a few moments this evening looking longingly at my shop.  I must make time to get back to what feeds my creative side.

I hope all is well in your lives,

Blessings,

Karen

Hair Pin Leg Winfall

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I have a thing for mid century stuff.  I particularly like hairpin legs.  I never really cared for the Formica topped version of the 1950’s atomic, futuristic, sharp angled tables but I love the bent metal legs mixed with natural elements.

The photo above showed my screen when I searched Google Images for hairpin legs.
Two times in the last month hairpin legs fell into my lap thanks to The Social Planner.

At an estate sale my buddy, The Social Planner found this set of four coffee table legs.  It was Sunday afternoon.  They were getting ready to wrap up.  I am not sure they knew what they were.  I got them for $2.00.  For the set.  .50 per leg.

The coffee table legs are going to get a slab of cedar for a petite coffee table in the guest shed.  It is under construction now.



The next set, my buddy found in a trash pile at our little cabin in the woods!  There are three table height legs which isn’t that unusual. It was common to have three legs in hairpin tables.  I wish I had a picture of her climbing into the pile to get them out.  The photo below shows a three legged table off Etsy from Winespirations.   I wish I had a wine barrel lid, but I think I will have something even cooler if I am just patient.


See the giant fallen tree below? Mr. Math is going to cut a section of this tree (called a cookie) for me to put on top of theses legs.  The diameter of the trunk is 34 inches. I am not sure where it will end up when finished.  I may be selling this particular table.  It is going to be a fun project.


I sprayed all of the legs with a rust arresting spray paint then flat black paint.  The will last forever if they aren’t allowed to rust.


Above is the difference between the legs once they are cleaned up and sprayed.

This is going to be a long process with lots of coats of poly, but I am looking forward to have something to do each evening that is pretty mindless.  My life is about to have another twist in the road that even I did not see coming.  More later.  For now, the weather here is beautiful, the garden is growing, and it is dry enough to paint outside.  Now if only the gale force winds would stop.  Oh well, we can’t have it all.

Didn’t Mr. Math do a stellar job on the south pasture this weekend?  It looks like a golf course.

I hope you had a great weekend. 

Thank you for following along on our journey.  

I love hearing from you,

Karen

The Guest Shed

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One of the reasons we bought this beautiful property we live on is so that we can share it with our families and friends. We have done what we could with our home to allow for more overnight guests.  We have a sleeper sofa, a Murphy bed in the craft room, a queen bed and a a crib in the guest room.  The house holds a lot of folks.  More than once it has held 20 + young men.  (We stayed with friends those weekends… that was too much of a good thing.)

As our family and friends have come to visit we have realized that we need a separate space for visitors.  I even see us heading out to the guest house when our friends with a lot of kids or when both of our kids come with their families because we are early risers and noisy.  We also have an early riser dog. She is noisier than we are.

 This is my idea for a guest house:

I call her the guest shed.  I have dreamed about redoing her since 2015 although the colors have changed, I still want that mid century vibe.

The previous owner used this space as his woodworking shop and “man cave”.  He installed a sink, hardwood flooring reclaimed from a gymnasium, and cabinets.  He also built a wood burning stove that is the craziest looking thing ever.  


It needs a good coat of high heat paint. ( Can you tell he was a welder? )

 We are going to add a bathroom to the space, move the sink location, set up a kitchenette.   More on the bathroom later.

The vibe is going to be mid century-kitsch. The walls are going to be a really pale turquoise, there will be plenty of red and white.  Think light, bright and airy.  


I have collected some fun mid century furniture and a mint condition chrome UFO light.  The light was still in the original box, unopened.  I am smitten.  When it is on the pin holes look like UFO lights- yay for mid century atomic.  That bulb thing on the light is a pulley to adjust the height of the light.  There is a frosted glass light diffuser that attaches to the bottom of the light. 

I picked the light and two mid century walnut framed low slung chairs up at a garage sale for $2.00 each. No lie.  $6.00 dollars total.   ( Here is the post about the finds at the garage sale.)


At that same garage sale I got a porcelain cast iron sink to use in the kitchen.  ($5.00). The sink is stained and there are a few worn places but overall it is in great shape.  It is getting a coat or three of epoxy.


 I also have picked up a vintage kitchen upper cabinet set that are getting painted white. 


Before I can get started we need to replace the shop board along the back wall that is all full of holes for tools and paint the walls then install a drop ceiling. 


 This is what we are planning to use.


After the dropped ceiling is in, I am going to use the same stuff we used on our garage apartment to restore the floor without making it look brand new.

I have a double modified to be a queen sized iron bed going in along with the funky dresser and a chrome 1950’s table and chairs that are currently kicking my hiney.  Mr. Math did a much better job than me, but the back of them still isn’t done. Soon I will share what we learned from this process.  There were lessons learned!


I am so excited about this fun, funky, kitschy, bright space we plan on working on this summer.   It is going to make me happy to just walk in.  As soon as it is all finished I think we are thinking putting it on air bnb when we don’t need it for guests.  With the huge Houston area Boy Scouts camp going in down the road I think there will be a need for parents who want to stay nearby. 

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.

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

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