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Craft/ Guest Room Update

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Over the holidays we got a little done on the craft/ guest room.  We aren’t finished with the room, but I am excited with how it is turning out.  I love that this room really will have two functions.

The Guest Room

It is a guest room when the Murphy Bed is down and the Expando-Matic is closed.



See my zinc mirror?  It found a great home after I changed offices and lost space at work.

I am planning an accent wall inside the Murphy Bed.


The quilt 0n top was made by my great grandmother.  I just picked up the turquoise suitcase for fifty cents at a resale shop.  I had to show it off.


The shelves that hold my globes collected over the years are made from left over plywood from the Murphy Bed build and brackets from Lowe’s.  The yellow clock has a story.  My dad was getting rid of the clock frame so I snagged it.   The shutter was out of my stash.  It got a coat of paint and will be my idea board.

The Craft Room

When the Murphy Bed is up and the Expando-Matic is pulled out I have six glorious feet of craft space.  The most unfinished function of the room is the craft part.  I need the leaves for the epansion built, some things installed, and the closet redesigned.

It is going to be awesome.





I am a lucky girl.

Here are some closer shots of the walls.  The Texas map was rescued from the trash.  Someone used permanent marker on it, the frame was broken and the bottom was messed up.  It was perfect for me.  I got the market off with hairspray in case you didn’t know that trick.


  
  
The room is coming together.

Thanks for following our journey to make our ranch into our forever home.

Blessings,

Karen

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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. 😀

  

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

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.

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    No overhead lighting in the family room.

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    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

    Scrap Wood Accent Wall

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    This past weekend I was sick.  I mean seriously, down for the count, don’t want to move, kind of sick.  Even though I was sick my sweet husband did get one of my projects done.

    We had a bunch of leftover bits and pieces of v groove pine that was left over from our still not finished whitewashed mudroom wall. (No pictures yet because it is going to be stinkin awesome.)

    It was my plan to get all the trim primed and painted on the wall and get the bathroom walls painted, but no such luck.

    Mr. Math had planned to replace the toilet already.  We are seriously tall folks and that was one low potty.  While it was out, I wanted to put in an accent wall from those leftovers.  

    He cut the 27 rows to length based on the scraps and installed them.

    He was a champ, because that really wasn’t his plan for the day.

       
     
    It all got a good coat of walnut stain.  No pictures of that. I would have had to crawl.

    The wall tuned out great.  For those, like me,who think that the potty space is nasty, you will note that shine on the boards.  The wall got three coats of satin polyurethane.  I want to be able to clean that wall.

       
     
    The trim is a 1X2.  

    Here it is with the new toilet installed.

       
       
    The walls are going to be painted Behr Pacific Mist which is a light bluish green.

    Doesn’t the floor look awesome in there?  A little better than carpet…

    I plan on adding white shelves to the wall once the paining is all done.  

    Progress is progress, even if it isn’t what I thought we would get done.

    Week 5 Progress

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    Knowing company is coming can motivate a person to get busy on their home.  Knowing several of those guests are active elementary and junior high students really motivates me to get the house de cluttered and ready for the crowd.

    Here is the weekend progress:

    1.  The Guest Room is now presentable.  There are still areas that need touch ups.

    • The walls got painted.
    • A set of donated shuttered got painted and hung on the wall.
    • At
    • Art, a mirror, and a window got hung.
    • New curtain rod.

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    2.  This awesome light now hangs where the light I lovingly called the pool table light was over the bar.

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    Before

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    The awesome after.

    3.  A section of the bathroom now is under way.  The mirror will be framed with rustic wood and the bathroom cabinets will be painted white. The rest of the bathroom needs to be painted still.  The color is a pale bluish green.  Never judge a color until the old paint is out of the way.  Look at them together… yuck.

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    Before

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    During… did you notice the name of the bathroom hardware?  I did not until I edited the picture.

    You have to wait to see the bathroom.  Sorry.  I want you to see the full effect once it is done.

    We also did some really boring but necessary things like mow, organize closets, and unpack boxes.

    Then… the fun started.

    5 kids and their parents showed up.  They played, they explored, they fished, they ate s’mores, they went tubing, jet skiing, they threw the frisbee for the dog, they played nines, the ate… A Lot.  Those kids can flat eat.

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    We were sad to see them go.

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    This week I am going to give you our tricks for feeding a crowd and a few hints for Christmas presents if you have outdoor space.

    Happy belated Labor Day to all of us who get up every day and go to work.

    Have a great week.

    Blessings,

    Karen

      How to Install a Barn Door

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    I love barn doors.  They solve the problem of swing out doors in small spaces, can be made to fit odd sizes, are easier to install than a pocket door and they look cool.  I love them so much that soon we will have three.  One on the giant bran door that allows us to close off a section of our suburban home when we have guests.

       
     
    The wood in the barn door above came from my husband’s family barn.

    We will soon be putting a barn door over the opening to our mudroom.  It will be open most of the time but can be closed off.

      
    And finally, we installed a door on barn door hardware last weekend.

    Our master bathroom at Provdence didn’t have a door.  That bugged me.  

    A lot. 

    The opening was 36 inches wide so o immediately thought of a door we have had for 16 years or so.  I bought it for $20.00 at a community garage sale.  It was an unfinished, solid wood pine exterior door that I stained and used as my  daughter’s headboard.  It then became our headboard.   I knew it would work as our bathroom door and best of all, it wouldn’t cost us anything.

    The reason there wasn’t a door on the bathroom was that there just wasn’t room for a swig out or in 36 inch door.  A pocket door should have been installed there 30 years ago when the home was built.

    The best solution for the door was a solution I had already used before on an odd opening, a barn door.

    I bought the hardware from Tractor Supply. 

    The rails come in two styles, a rounded bottom rail and a square bottom style. 

    We like the square style.

      The roller kit we buy comes with everything needed to attach the door to the rail.     

        
      

    We are probably going to eventually paint the rail and hardware black, but right now it is about getting a bathroom door. Fast.

      

    This particular door is heavy. Mr. Math had to make sure the door stays securely attached. The bolts go complexly through the door and are tightened down.
      

    I recommend phoning a friend to hang the door.  Our frien, Larry saved the day.

      

    I don’t have a picture of the first step.  Hang a 1 x 4 into the studs above the opening.  This allows for the door to move across the door facing.  The next step is to hang the rail.  You have to buy the hangers separately.  We bought 3 to hold up our 6′ 8″ rail.
        

    The hangers are adjustable by twisting the nuts on the bolts.
        
       

    I am so happy to have a door.  

    I hope you all have a wonderful week.

    Blessings,

    Karen

    Providence

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    Dictionary.com has this as one definition for providence:  3.  a manifestation of divine care or direction.

    Right now I believe Mr. Math and I are in the big middle of providence. 

    I feel like I need to share a little about our journey selling our lake house and buying our new place. Please indulge me as I share a little about our journey.  It has been quite a ride since early spring when we started this trip.

    We had not planned on selling Star Hill.

    Star Hill in January

    We loved that quirky kit house, warts and all.  It was our weekend home for over eight years.  Star Hill was finally to the point that the work that needed doing was maintenance.  It would need a roof, and it was time for a new central air conditioner but nothing super labor intensive for us.  We would have hired that work out.  The only reason we would have ever considered selling  the place was if a place came up for sale we couldn’t pass up near where our friends retired.  It happened.

    Acreage, across the street from our friends, on a creek, with a pond, and s-e-v-e-n out buildings for all of my treasures came up for sale by owner.   My buddy, The Social Planner, let us and several other folks who she thought might be interested know it would be going on the market.  Immediately I started preparing Mr. Math not to get his hopes up.  I begged him not to fall in love with the idea until we had all the facts.

    1. Could we afford such beautiful property?
    2. Could we sell Star Hill fast enough and for enough to make purchasing the home possible?
    3. Was something seriously wrong with the place?  Why were they selling so suddenly?

    After meeting with the couple and getting a tour of the place we just knew.  This place was meant to be ours.  I can’t explain it still.  It was nothing like I thought we would buy as we prepare for retirement.  I always thought we would get a historic home in Huntsville, Texas and restore it.  A small lot, near downtown, where we could enjoy living in a college town. We had even looked at some homes, but none of them moved us like this property did.

    1. The couple were asking a price that was more than fair.  It appraised well over what we paid for the home.
    2. We were able to sell Star Hill rather quickly and were able to get what we needed to make the purchase not only possible, but well within our means.
    3. We had the home and property inspected by the toughest inspector we could find.  This guy wore us out at Star Hill.  He went over the home and property with a fine toothed comb and provided us with a pretty lengthy punch list, but nothing unexpected for a home built in the 1980’s. Septic is fine, well is fine, home is solid, roof and central air still has life in them.  I honestly still don’t know why the couple put this place on the market.

    I just told you all this not to brag, because we honestly don’t feel we had anything to do with this purchase, but to tell you  that I am 100% positive that it was providence that we were able to purchase this property.  At every turn we have seen God’s hand in our owning this particular home.  We wake up smiling every morning we are there and we drop into bed, exhausted.  At this point we have painted about half the interior, moved in, put up a wall, taken down wallpaper border, installed curtains, and removed carpet.

    Don’t be fooled by this post, I am still scared.  The home is far from perfect, and we know we are going to have our work cut out for ourselves.  On top of keeping up with 15 acres, we will have a ton of work on the house and buildings.

    As we have been on this journey we have had some amazing things happen.  Here are a few of the things that have just happened this summer.

    •  Our brand new suburban neighbors, who we just met, came over to let us know that they were buying a trailer. They didn’t even know we were buying a place.  They wanted to let us know we could use it whenever we needed it. The trailer is awesome.  We have really used it to get all of our stuff moved.
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    • The foundation expert we brought in, from the same company who looked at the property eight years ago, did not recommend and foundation work be done.  He feels that the house has stablized and while it will always move on the type soil we have, we need a foundation sprinkler system, not foundation work.  We had set aside a huge chunk of our budget to fix the foundation based on information from the previous homeowners.   We are thrilled to say a foundation sprinkler system is in our future.
    • The Social planner needed the carpet we were ripping out and helped us remove it.  Not putting all of that carpet into a landfill made me feel so much better.  
    • A family member offered us a huge riding lawn mower, with 16 hours use  on it along with a leaf sweeper.  It needs a little repair but wow, it is going to be awesome.  It is going to save us so much mowing time with two riding mowers running.
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    • Another family member is selling their home and gave us a ton of stuff for our home including a like-new king sized mattress, box spring, and frame from their guest room.
    • Behr paint went on sale, $10.00 a gallon off, the very week we went to buy paint.  That is the first time it has been marked down so much.  Usually th sale is $5.00 off.

    It has seriously felt like everything I start worrying about gets fixed as soon as it comes to my mind.  I am the worrier of the two of us.

    We are committed to opening our home to family and friends.  We have been blessed by this home and want it to be a get away for others who are looking for a place of peace, recharging, and refuge.  Our doors will be open often.

    So far we have hosted a ton of family and friends and right now, as I write my son has 20 or more college students at the house for a retreat.  Even with raw concrete floors, and walls under construction, we knew we could not say no when asked.

    Thank you all for following along on our journey.  Each and every one of you will be welcomed into our home if you ever want to visit.  Oh, and help us name the place.  We are struggling to give it a name.

    Here are some recent outside photos of the property.  I am waiting until we are a little further along to show you what the inside is looking like.  

    IMG_8023 back yard 2 back yard driveway fishing at pond 

    We drove up last night to find our wonderful neighbors letting their grandson fish in our pond.  He caught the first fish since our purchase!  I am just sad we missed it.

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    IMG_8029 IMG_8030 IMG_8032 pond south pasture
        
     
    We love hearing from you. Come visit us. 

    Blessings,

    Karen

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