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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

 

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

Weekend Home Tour

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i love to visit model homes. Near my sister in law’s house they have 7 model homes open for touring.  It was a muddy, stormy Sunday afternoon so she and I headed out to walk through the homes.  This builder’s homes are well built and are part of a 55+ neighborhood.  Today you get to see the first two. 

I have never seen this designer/ builder’s work, and I really enjoyed getting to see their ideas.  They had the most creative ceilings I have ever seen.  My favorite home happened to be the first home we visited. 

The very first room was… Navy and coral with a rustic, modern vibe.  I can honestly say it was the only room I could see myself in,  but I did take away some ideas.

We didn’t plan on going so excuse the iPhone photos. 

House One

I loved this house.

The front bedroom was so cool.  I really liked the china cabinet and the matching crib springs.  The stripes wet navy, burlap, and a cream color.  The art was stenciled canvas.   

 

Loved the coral tailored cloth on the night stands. 

     

Here is the rest of the house:

  The master was a little too fussy for me.  The side tables were way too full and the picture above the bed was too much.  The mosaic tile panels are throughout all the homes.

       

I had to ask myself if that design in the shower would get old?

I loved the zinc topped hammerd table.  

    

  I liked  the wood squares on the laundry wall.    

I loved the wood flooring!

  

House Two

This house was totally not my style but still fun to look at and even in this house there were elements I really liked.  I called this the mirror house.

  

Imagine dusting all those mirror frames.

  

A wall of mirrors in a 55+ guest bedroom? 

      

I really liked this piece.  

Loved the formal dining table.

     

I like the light fixture but two breakfast tables?

   

  

The backsplash was fun.

      

Oh my, the master was sensory overload. Tile and beam ceiling, tile insets on the wall, mirror edged headboard…

 

I did like the slate look ceramic tile.

Welcome to Our Little Corner of the World

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If you are new to The Weekend Country Girl, Welcome!  If you are one of my long-time friends, please indulge me as I introduce myself to the newcomers. My blog has literally doubled in readership over the last month.

My name is Karen and I am not a professional blogger or furniture repurposer.  This blog and my projects are my hobby.  I am a professional educator in a suburb of Houston.  I am a high school principal who loves her job, works crazy hours, and has a lot of stress in her daily life.  On the weekends, and any other chance I get, I head to the small town of Coldspring, where I wear sweat pants, go thrift store shopping, and work out in the Garagemahal.  I am a happy chick  when I am covered in paint or sawdust on the weekend.  Come visit if you ever in the area.  For real.

I am happily married to the love of my life, Mr. Math, who is a small town farm boy from Troy, Texas.  We have been married for 33 years and have two great kids.  I am lucky enough that both of my parents are still with us and active.

Both kids are married to wonderful spouses and live a long way from us.  We miss all four of them terribly.

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We also have a rescue dog named Lumi.  She keeps me humble and reminds me that I am not in charge of the world.

lumi running

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If this photo looks like a school yearbook photo, that is because it is!  Does it take you back to high school?

Here we are in the first ever selfie I took of us.  It was on our Christmas cruise this year.

If you are new to my site it is probably because of my recent post about a corrugated tin wall on Remodleaholic, or the Facebook post on their site about our super simple buffet table for the deck, or because of my mudroom bench.  That bench has been my most popular post, ever.    Whatever the reason, I am thrilled to have you here.

Finished Mudroom Bench

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I started blogging as a way to show my friends and family what we were up to at our little cabin in the piney woods near Lake Livingston. We are both cheapskates frugalistas who would rather figure out how to do something ourselves than pay someone a crazy amount of money to do the work for us.  Buying a second home eight years ago was a stretch for us financially so we really had to figure out how to furnish a home on the cheap.  I never envisioned that my blog would be read by anyone who did not know me personally, in fact, I remember when I had my first post with 50 page views.  Man, I thought I was something else.

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Along the way I have learned a few things about blogging (okay, not so much here), design, and how to re-imagine furniture but who I am has not changed.  This site is still just a hobby and way to show my friends what we are up to and to get input.  ( I really do want your input when I ask for opinions. )

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Beverage station from sewing cabinet.

finished red headboard bench

Bench from headboard and footboard.

green sofa table

Buffet table from dining table legs and re-claimed wood.

I make mistakes, I am a terrible photographer who can’t take a good shot indoors to this day, I have a hot temper that gets me in trouble more than I like and I get my feelings hurt when people are mean.

I love a variety of styles, I like mixing painted wood with stain. I think every room should have one piece of furniture or accent that makes folks smile when they walk in the room.

Happy Camper green end table

mid century

western dresser

Funky Dresser

We are hoping and praying right now that we can sell our beloved Star Hill so that we can buy 15 acres in Coldspring with several buildings that will be our retirement home.   I hope you follow along on our journey into mid-life and beyond.

barn and pond

Thanks for finding this blog and welcome to our little corner of the world.

Blessings,

Karen

Selling Star Hill

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Well, we are taking the plunge.  Star Hill, our near the lake cabin in Coldspring, Texas is going on the market. We planned to meet with a Realtor Sunday to discuss selling our near the lake house, Star Hill. She actually could not come because she broke her leg, but we will be putting the house on the market very soon. I decided to do all the research I could in her absence to make sure we are ready to sell this place and buy the property we are dreaming about near our lake house.

Having someone you don’t know walk through a place you poured blood, sweat, tears and time into when selling your home is hard. Being judged on your effort is hard. Loving the place and wanting whoever buys the house to love it, too is our hope.

After doing the research on getting a home sold quickly and trusting my gut I have composed a to do list.

Exterior:

Get concrete work completed on porch.

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Paint porch rails. ( The dog is not for sale.  Every time I get out the camera she manages to jump into the shot. )

Clean out flower bed, trim bushes, get leaves up.

Fix deck boards and popped nails then paint deck with sprayer.

Star Hill in January

Garagemahal:

Clear porch of items except patio set.

Move cedar from my cedar windfall to boat storage.

Finish outstanding projects. I have three that need to get knocked out on the first dry-warmish day.

Clean, clean, clean.

inside the garagemahal

Interior:

Continue to declutter. It will probably mean moving some furniture to storage. The cedar cabinet provides great storage but it makes the guest room feel small. The Western Dresser can go to storage, one of the night stands in the front bedroom. The shelving unit in the back closet along with the skis can go.

We have a large list but can get it knocked out if motivated-and we are motivated.

We plan to list the home with a realtor the first of March but we honestly hope it sells sooner by owner.

I would love your input on the list and suggestions from those of you who have sold second homes.

Here are some shots of the house this weekend.

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Master Bedroom

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Exterior

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Front Room

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Blessings,

Karen

Wishing, Hoping, Praying and Dreaming

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This year I become eligible for retirement. Wow! How in the world did that happen? Time has flown by. I will not be retiring this year, but the realization that I could retire is causing my husband and me to give some serious thought to our future. We are both healthy, active, and still full of dreams and plans. There are places we want to visit, things we want to learn, and goals we want to accomplish.

Our biggest decision for the past few years is where to live. We decided two years ago to move to a new school district and community. We know for sure that was a great decision, but at the same time we don’t plan on living in that community after retirement.

My husband and I met in college, and we weren’t from the same part of Texas. Neither of us feels a strong pull to our home towns. We both have friends where we grew up, I have family still in the city I grew up in, but it feels like I am visiting when we go back.

A lot of prayer and self reflection on our parts has helped us to know that our adopted weekend community is home for us.

I am positive that our sweet “near the lake” house, Star Hill, is not our forever home. A week or two is about as long as I can be confined here in the winter. I need a studio and workshop. My creative side cries out for a space to have projects out, to experiment, to think. I also would like to sell more furniture in my retirement. Hubby wants a tractor, a garden, woods to walk in, a pond and outdoor projects.

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A Busy Weekend at Star HillStar Hill in Spring

Star Hill

Cutting Down Trees at Star Hill

The Garagemahal

We believe we may have found just the place. 15 acres, with a workshop, a creek, a barn, wooded trails, very near our friends, a garden plot, a greenhouse, a small pond, and several other outbuildings that I would really enjoy doing some neat things with. I am not crazy about the house, but it is solid. well cared for   and has a ton of potential. It will take work and money but it can become the house I see in my mind’s eye.

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The barn and the pond.

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The side yard.  The garden plot is in the back of this cleared plot of land.  Water is run to the garden area.

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My favorite area.  The shop is the small building and the outbuildings here will make a perfect paint and furniture area.  both have wood burning stoves in them.

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The house.  The greenhouse is visible behind the house.

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The outbuildings.  There are some very interesting buildings that I could really have fun with.

The property will come on the market this spring. In order to purchase this property we will have to sell Star Hill. That means we will have to focus on getting all of those “one day” projects done. We will be making sure that this place we love is ready for her close up. We are already praying that a family will buy the place who can love this place as much as we do and will create new memories in this home.

Look for lots of projects that are focused on the house and the property in the next few months. We have things to learn like concrete work and more of Hubby’s favorite: plumbing. (Ha!)

We plan on keeping our home in the burbs for several more years until we both retire so even this new spot will be our weekend home for a while.

I have a few projects in the Garagemahal I have already either sold or promised to someone. Other than that we will be keeping furniture projects to a minimum as we focus on clearing out, fixing up, and moving forward.

We ask you to pray with us that if this property is meant to be ours, everything will work out. If not, that we will have peace and direction in our journey.

Thank you all for continuing with us on another chapter of our journey.

I hope you have a wonderful new year. I would love to hear from you.

Blessings,

Karen

The Waiting Place

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Before I take a break from the Internet during the holidays, I wanted to share this post. I actually wrote this blog post while on a work trip to Santa Fe and have been holding on to the post because I wanted to make sure I was ready to share this much about myself. I also didn’t want to sound “lame”.

I decided that I am ready for you all to see my nearing-retirement age, what am I going to do with myself, angst. After the holiday break I will be sharing our dreams (well one dream anyway) and what we are doing to chase that dream.

One of my favorite Dr. Seuss books is Oh the Places You’ll Go.  I read it every year to graduating seniors as they head off to amazing places like work, college or the military. I have given it as graduation gifts, too. I put a link to John Lithgow reading the story if you have never heard it before.  I hope you take a few moments to listen to the very wise words of Theodore Geisel- Dr. Seuss.

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Right now, in this moment in my life I am in ” the waiting place.”  You know,  that place that according to Dr. Seuss:

And IF you go in, should you turn left or right…
or right-and-three-quarters? Or, maybe, not quite?
Or go around back and sneak in from behind?
Simple it’s not, I’m afraid you will find,
for a mind-maker-upper to make up his mind.

You can get so confused
that you’ll start in to race
down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace
and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space,
headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.
The Waiting Place…

…for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go
or a bus to come, or a plane to go
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
or waiting around for a Yes or a No
or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting.

Waiting for the fish to bite
or waiting for wind to fly a kite
or waiting around for Friday night
or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake
or a pot to boil, or a Better Break
or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants
or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.
Everyone is just waiting.

Am I alone in the waiting place? Sometimes I feel like I am, but I suspect I am not the only one.

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While I write this, I am waiting for a session to begin at a conference. (Fitting, right?) I am waiting for my daughter and son in law to come in at Christmas, waiting for summer when my son and daughter in law return from out of country, waiting for the next chapter in my life… and frankly I am not even sure what that next chapter is or when it will begin.

Life is change. Change is hard. It is a good thing we are tough! 😊

I am lucky enough to be in a good job, with a healthy family, and almost enough resources to do what I want to do. I sometimes wish I had a crystal ball, but I think half the fun is figuring out what the next step is on the journey.

How about you? What are you waiting for?

I would love to hear from you.

I will be taking a break from blogging until January. I hope you have a wonderful holiday break, you can rest, and that you are able to sped time with family and friends.

Blessings,

Karen

P.S.   I found another blogger who wrote about the same topic.  Funny thing is they have a 2 year old.  Oh, and they offered suggestions on what to do when in the Waiting Place.  I am happy to report that I am already following his suggestions. Your can read their blog Here

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