Category Archives: New House

The Garage Project

This weekend was the day to start the work on the back garage.  For you who have been reading the blog since 2014 when we took an old foreclosure house and made it our own this is old news but for those of you haven’t, here’s the back story.

In August of 2013 we bought an old foreclosure house.  It was a single lot house.  There was no garage attached.  We wanted to remodel and attach a garage to it.  The problem, the lot wasn’t large enough to allow a garage to be attached to the right side.

There was a lot next door.  On that lot was this garage.  Although a decent garage, we wanted an attached garage.  This one wasn’t big enough for pickups to park in and at the time, we had a pick up and a suburban so neither would fit inside.

As I said, the garage was in pretty good shape.

There was no house on the property, just this garage.

We ended up buying the lot next door for $8500-garage included.  We poured this slab of cement….

Kramer, my husband, devised a plan to pick the garage up and move it to be housed on the cement pad we had laid at the back of the property.

Read the story HERE.

Well the garage has been so handy to have and well worth the work to move it.  We keep our lawn mower, tiller, seasonal stuff and when Kramer was still living, he kept fixer-up antiques in it.

Well the summer before last, we had hail damage to the roof and ended up with a settlement from insurance.  The plan last year was to shingle it but Kramer got sick and died leaving the garage on hold.  I talked with the kids about it and Buck, with some help, decided that they would tackle the shingling…and I decided rather than paint it, I’d have our carpenters come and side it.

Well Saturday Karl and Buck worked on the garage….

Karl did stop for an impromptu tea party.  You can see Carver in the photo was not having a good time.  Scotty had something he wanted….

But as the saying around here goes, “he got happy in the pants he got sad in”.

Saturday was a family day…Kalissa and the boys were here, Georgia was here (Kelli sleeping upstairs as she worked the night shift the previous night), Buck along with Lucy and Scotty as well as me and Karl.

The kids spent all of the day Saturday outside.  ALL OF IT!!  I didn’t get a lot of pictures taken as in between watching kids, I was picking up the shingles.

Saturday the weather was nice.  It got hot in the afternoon for a few hours but we got some cloud cover later so it wasn’t so taxing to the boys on the roof of the garage.

Sunday, the weather was terrible.  It was cold.  The boys were in sweatshirts.  There was a light drizzle that at one point turned to sleet for a bit.

Craig came and helped.  It was so nice of him.  Who wants to volunteer to work in those conditions.

In the tree behind the boys that you see in the picture, an owl sat all day long.  Buck said if his arm was three feet longer he would have been able to touch it.  The owl just sat there and slept while the boys worked.  Oh my…he must be a sound sleeper.

While the boys were outside on Sunday, Bucks kids and I stayed in the house.  It was too cold to be outside.  In the past, Lucy hasn’t thought much of me.  A year ago when Kramer was still here us, we had tried so hard to get her to warm up and be okay with us…she never was.  Although it made me sad, I was okay with it and didn’t push myself on her.  I hoped a time would come that I might be okay…and it’s slowly gotten better and now, she actually likes me.  I’m thrilled.  I’m so glad I was patient.

I ended up braiding her hair.  She doesn’t get her hair braided normally so it was a big change for her….Here she is checking herself out in the mirror.

Isn’t she the cutest??

I had lots of fun with Scotty too.  He’s such a builder….
He just loves the different toys I have.
I’ve always felt a little sad that I don’t see Lucy and Scotty so much.  This weekend was finally a chance to make a great connection that we all enjoyed.  I sat on the couch to watch a movie with Scotty and Lucy and they both crawled up on my lap.   Lucy has a habit of putting her fingers in her mouth.  We’ve been trying to break that….

So I told her…”no fingers in your mouth-just show me your teeth”.  So her finger went in her mouth to show me her teeth.  Oh that girl.
Then she finally smiled.
Although it a silly smile.

I had the best weekend with the kids.  I couldn’t have asked for a better time.

To top it all off…we were all confused with how we were going to get rid of the shingles.  The landfill, as far as we knew, was closed to regular traffic.  The neighbor across the road had a roll off dumpster at their house.  I ended up asking if they would let us put them in there.  Of course I offered to pay…They said yes..and told me not to worry about paying for it.  YAHOO!!  I was so happy.  Buck and Karl helped get them all thrown in so that completely finished.  I was thinking I was going to have to fill a garbage can of them each week and set them out until they were gone.  What a relief.  I have great neighbors!!  THANKS GUYS.

As for the next step on the garage.  I’m on the carpenter’s list.  The hope is to be here before snow flies.  I’m content with that.  Little by little projects keep getting done.

My Stairs: Sandless Wood Refinishing

I told you a bit ago about my steps going upstairs….They were still not finished.

I told you that I was considering getting a “sandless company” to come in and redo them.

Well I wrote a post about it and had pretty much decided that I was going to do it.  The blog post was scheduled for a few days away from the time I wrote it.

I called the company and told them to come and do the stairs.  They were available to come do it three days later.  On the day my blog posted, the guys were here doing the stairs.  In the comment section a blog reader wrote and said I wouldn’t like it.  Well what can I say…she’s mostly right…well Let me explain…. Continue reading

Fun Happenings at the House

For those of you new here on the blog I’m going to do a quick recap before I tell everyone the latest news with the house.  Kramer and I bought a foreclosure house back in August of 2013.  Here it is…

I was ready for us to own our own home and with Kramer being a stubborn and insisting that we live close to the farm and with him being super cheap, this was the best I could get him to commit to.  Seriously…  $24,000 was the amount I could get him to put into the house..and that’s what we got it for.
We ripped off the back 1/3 of the house.  You can see the part that juts out here.  From there, all across the back is what came off.  Check out this blog post to see why we took that part off.

As crappy as the house looked from the outside, it was the woodwork we fell in love with.

House-13We also liked that the house was very open inside.  Most old houses aren’t.

We bought the lot next to the house for $8000.  We needed it to be able to add this garage.

We hired an architect and he came up with a plan and we modified it a bit to come up with this.  We also added on a kitchen, laundry and bathroom along with a larger entry way.

Work on the house didn’t start until the following year.

We not so patiently waited for plumbers and electricians and other workers.

From the outside our house looks awesome…

the inside, needs work.  We moved in before most people would have.  Lots of things aren’t done…even five years later.  We were okay with that.  Kramer liked projects…for the most part I did too. June of 2019 Kramer died and I’m left with projects I don’t know quite know how to tackle.  My stairs going to the upstairs, is the biggest eye sore.

Ick..right??  I’ve been living with them for five years and decided, it’s time.  I’ve been waiting to get the gumption to do it.  All I could see ahead is hours on my hands and knees sanding and pulling nails.  That didn’t sound fun at all.  Then I heard of a place that refinishes without sanding.  I saw that he had redone the floors of a Facebook friend of mine.  It looked good.  Hmm.  That sounded interesting to me.  I wondered if he did stairs.  I got up the nerve and asked.


I talked to the guy and he’s going to be coming.  I’m so excited!!  I feel the price is reasonable…I’m so thrilled!!  Saving my time and my knees is so exciting and beyond that, it will be professionally done!  YAHOO!!

That leads me to another problem.  When we moved here, I had only one icky beat up newel cap.

Kramer had bought a turning lathe with the intention of making two but that didn’t happen.  So I started looking online.  I found a guy on Ebay that makes them.  That’s awesome.  I’m checking with the local woodworking place here in town before I order from him.  I’m so excited…

Did I say how excited I am??  I AM!!!

Fixing the stairs is actually going to happen.  I have other projects planned for the house over the next coming year.  I’m so happy that I finally will get some more things done.  I’m hoping someday the inside of the house will look as nice as the outside.

If you’re up to follow along for some more remodeling projects, stay tuned!

Organizing My Space

I’ve slowly been making a few changes around the kitchen and laundry room.  It all started after one day in town when I overheard some ladies talking about their kitchen and counter space.  That got me thinking about my own space.  I’ve been living here at the house for almost five years.

When we moved in we didn’t have all the cabinets in the laundry room or shelving in the closets.  When we did get them, I just put the leftover stuff in them and didn’t really think much about it.

Well now that Kramer passed away in June and I have more “reign” of the house and know that things will be put away where I want them, I’ve rethought a few things.  I’ve also been playing a few personal rules over in my head…
1-make things as convenient as possible for usage
2-use my head and save my feet
3-touch things only once if possible

In light of that…the dishwasher pods got moved out of the laundry room and into the kitchen.  They are in the flour canister now.  No steps needed to get a pod.

I’ve made a few more small changes like this…See my Instant Pot.  That used to be on the counter and the Air Fryer was here.  Well I use the Instant Pot ALL THE TIME.  I use the Air Fryer occasionally.  The Instant Pot was on the counter and to get more counter space I decided the Air Fryer was getting kicked out and the Instant Pot was going to live here now.

I love my little eclectic spot.

I’m not sure what that red drawered thing is but that’s where I keep the silverware.

The label on it says, “The Queen Gas Stove”.

I bought it YEARS ago.  We were first married and it was one of the first auctions I went to.  It’s sat on a counter in whatever kitchen I was in at the time and has been our silverware drawer.  Yes…I love Pioneer Woman dishes…See? Continue reading