Category Archives: New House

Home Improvements

I have new home improvements on the horizon.  I’m so excited.

When we bought the house back in August of 2013 it was a mess.  It was a foreclosure house that needed a lot of help. We tore off 1/3 of the house and added on a lot.  It wasn’t a rags to riches story as we ran out of money and the riches didn’t happen.

It was totally okay as my husband kept on doing the home improvements until his passing in 2019.  At that time, I paid off the house and have been slowly doing some of the improvements that he never got to.

Last year I got the back unattached garage shingled and sided.  This year I got the bathroom on the main floor fixed.  I’m so happy with those improvements.

Now it’s time to start working towards the next goal.  I want to finish the back deck on the house.

Here is a picture of how it currently looks.  (Mess courtesy of grandkids).  What you see is what we added to the house.  The bottom door goes into my kitchen.  The upper door goes into my sewing room.  We had to put that door there as there was no way to get our big antique furniture up the stairs as the turn at the stair landing is too narrow and tight.  There is really no way to get things upstairs except for that outer door.

So…that’s why the big beam is there to attach a deck to.  It’s been like that since we built the house.  What an eye sore!


At the time we finished the rest of the house, as I said, we were out of money and out of any energy it would take to tackle the project.

After Kramer died I made a list of projects that I wanted to get done.  As soon as one is done, I start planning for the next.  I figure it’s the only way I’ll get them done.  On my list of projects to do, this is next.  So…now it’s time for me to tackle this and get the deck put on.

Kalissa suggested I contact a local gal and see if she could draw up plans.  She did and I’ve been pouring over them trying to see what might work and what I liked.


Heidi came to my house.  She took some pictures and measurements and then listened to me as far as what I might be interested in.

I listed these things as what I wanted… Continue reading

Labor Exchange

The farmers aren’t in the field around here.  Even the farmers who are first to plant aren’t in the field.  It’s the talk of everyone.  Ground temperatures need to be around 50 degrees for corn to germinate.  The ground can’t warm when overnight temperatures are still dipping to below freezing and on top of that, we’ve been getting regular rain and the fields are simply too wet.

That left Craig, our daughter Kalissa’s husband, with some free time this past Sunday.  He offered to come over and help me do a few things.  So, he helped me hang this mirror.  Hanging a mirror is something I am able to do but this was an old mirror and those are often heavy so I decided as long as he was here, I’d get him to help me.


You might remember that I bought this mirror at the thrift store for $15.  Right above this dresser is where I thought I wanted it and I think it’s perfect.  It looks great with the headboard on this bed.

The dresser below the mirror was also a thrift store find from the same thrift store.  I bought that many years ago and Kramer, my husband, refinished it.  It was the first project he did.  I was so impressed.  I think I paid $40 for the dresser at the time.

The headboard and the wardrobe in this room were all auction finds.

I just LOVE old furniture.  We have a mix of walnut and oak wood but I don’t mind.  I love all of the pieces.


I have a small collection of… Continue reading

My Floors

I’ve been working on the floors in my house.

My old fashion hardwood floors have been getting more and more and more beaten up as time goes on.  The childcare and grandkids have been so hard on them.  It’s totally okay but something needed to be done with them to get them looking better again.

I saw a product on Instagram.  It was in a reel there and the person had said his floors were so thirsty and was applying this to them.  I looked locally but couldn’t find the product so ended up finding it on Amazon.  You can find it HERE.


Sadly my can came dented.  It didn’t really matter.  All that mattered was, would it work?

I gave it a try…

Here you can see where I applied it and where I didn’t.


It took about four hours to dry and looked like this after it was dry… Continue reading

The Craig and Jo Show…

It’s been a long time since I’ve done a blog post called the Craig and Jo show. For anyone new here, Craig is my son-in-law, married to my daughter Kalissa.  Craig is a great guy.  He honestly is like a son to me and we’re super close.  He is handy and happily, he doesn’t mind helping me.

Craig used to work as a mechanic at a farm implement dealer.  After my husband Kramer died, he ended up switching jobs and started working for the same farmer Kramer did.  Craigs hours have changed dramatically and he isn’t around to do some of the jobs he used to.  That’s one reason why there aren’t as many Craig and Jo Show posts.

That’s totally okay.  I have fewer jobs to do.  But still, some jobs still add up.

Craig was here the other day…Kalissa was home sleeping after the overnight shift and Craig asked me if there were some jobs he could do for me.  Well…why yes.  There were.

Craig rolled up his sleeves and said, “Well let’s get them done.”

Oh, my word.  Joy to this girl’s heart!!!

Here are the little jobs Craig tackled.

I have a bathroom in the basement.  It’s not finished.  When Kramer was still living we hired someone to put texture on the walls and paint it.  The person did a horrible job.  He didn’t put any texture behind the toilet and the paint job in the the bathroom is embarrassing.  No joke…a 12 year old who has never painted before could do that well.  The guy didn’t even paint behind the toilet.  For real…no joke.

Well that has always bothered me.  So Craig took the back of the toilet off and he textured that area.  Now I need to go through and paint the walls.  But I’m so happy.  The project is one step further along just by having the texture on the wall.  I’m hoping I can get this painted before Christmas.  The bathroom is small and it shouldn’t take long.


Previously Craig had done some other work in the bathroom.  He put up the wainscotting on the lower wall.  That jut out is there because of plumbing.  We thought the wainscotting and shelf would look good.  I’m debating on whether to paint it or leave it as is.  The walls are going to be painted gray.

Kramer put the built in here.  It has doors and it’s on our plan to get them installed and trim put in around the cabinet.  The bathroom is super small that the cabinet space is needed.


Craig also painted trim to go here.


Next… Continue reading