Working on the List

Remember I told you a week or so ago that I’m working on a list of things I want to get done before I can retire or cut back working.  This was the list…

1-lawn fixed
2-kitchen lights fixed
3-back garage fixed
4-add shower to main floor bathroom
5-get a new vehicle

Here’s an update on the list…

1-Lawn is closer to being fixed.  Buck is coming home this weekend and he’ll help me finish getting the grass seeded…then it will be up to me to keep it watered.

2-Kitchen Lights fixed…AWESOME news on this front.  They are fixed.  All I need is the bill so I can pay the electricians.

My kitchen was so dark.  Terribly dark.  I complained about the lighting all of the time.  When Kramer and I put the plans together for the kitchen, it was an addition to the house.  We really wanted to keep the old character of the house so thought we didn’t want can lighting.  Here’s the problem.  No one said, “If you don’t have can lighting, your kitchen will be dark.”  They should have because it was.  We were just people and had no idea how dark the kitchen would be.

So…for the six years I have lived here, we struggled with lighting.

At the end of March, I contacted an electrician.  He came and gave me an estimate.  It was higher than I had hoped but…not a lot higher so I decided to just do it.  Fixing the lights was on my list and I really wanted it done.

In the estimate, the electrician said it might be more if the floor joists went in the “wrong” direction.  He asked me I knew how they went….um, no.  So I went on the blog and in the search box I typed in “Kitchen Insulation”.

Oh my…the memories flooded back to all the work we did in the house.  Every step along the way, we did work whenever we could so that we weren’t paying the carpenters for work we could do.  Kramer and I put all the insulation in.  I remember carrying rolls and rolls upstairs.  Here we were working on it in the kitchen.  This is the wall that houses the stove and refrigerator.


The small window is the window over the sink.

This looks to the laundry and garage doors.


Here is my kitchen after they put the lights in on Thursday…Pardon the mess.  I didn’t clean for you as I consider you all family and don’t clean for the family.  The lights aren’t turned on though…


Now they are on…HOLY WOW.  What a difference.  What an amazing difference.  I am completely and totally THRILLED!!


I have to clean the whole kitchen yet.  There is sheetrock dust on everything and everywhere.  They cleaned up some but it needs a full mopping and top to bottom clean.  But…who cares.  The lighting is so good now, I’ll be able to see every speck of dust when I clean it!!  I feel like I’m in a house beautiful home with amazing light.  I’m TOTALLY doing the happy dance over this.  I am kicking myself for waiting so long…and that junk on top of the refrigerator, it has to go.  The can light shines right on it and it looks terrible.

While the electrician was here I had him install a new light over the bathroom vanity.  You might remember I had a new vanity built for the bathroom over the winter.  Well, the light had to go.  My problem was the old light was white and chrome.  It didn’t go with the bathroom anymore.  I looked everywhere for a light but couldn’t find what I needed.  One of my childcare dads is a cabinet maker and he made my vanity.  I asked him what to do.  He told me to find a light and he would build a box that would come out of the wall and the light could be attached to it.

Without the box, the bulbs would shine ON the top of the medicine cabinet, not in front of it where the light was needed.  So…I picked out the light.  It was the light and the “board” the lights are mounted to.  The “board” is mounted onto the box that my childcare dad made.  I love it!!

The “board” is actually a piece of metal but doesn’t look like it all.  He did a GREAT job matching the wood colors.  I’m so pleased with this too.

…and while the electrician was here…I had him do something with outdoor lights to the back of the house.

We intended to put on a deck going out the upper door.  That upper door is to my sewing room.  We have the VERY small stairway with a turn and can’t get furniture up it to the bedrooms so when we built my sewing room, Kramer suggested a door.  We could get the furniture upstairs and he anticipated me letting the dog out if I was upstairs.

A deck hasn’t happened yet.  I should add that to my list too…but lumber prices are terrible and the other things are more of a priority to me…but I wanted some light in the meantime.  There were switches already in place for the lights…just no light fixtures so…

The upper light was added…and there’s a light on the board that is there too.  Now I can flip that on at night and see Rosie when she’s out.  MUCH better.  I really would like a deck but alas.  I have to save more for that to happen.  Buck suggested just a deck with green-treated lumber.  I know it’s super expensive but I think I’m going to hold out and try to save my pennies and get a composite deck.  Truthfully it might never happen in my lifetime but I want to do it right…So I’m going to live with that board there until I can afford the right deck.


For not I am SUPER happy and very content with the lights.  They are exactly what I was looking for and needed.  YAHOO!! Another thing off my list.

Speaking of lists…
Here were the last three items on mine.

3-back garage fixed
4-add shower to main floor bathroom
5-get a new vehicle

3-The back garage is finished.  They finished that up last Friday.


It looks fabulous and I’m so happy with it!!  I’ll try to get a picture from the road so you can see how nice the whole property looks now.  I’m very please with this too.

4-Shower in the bathroom.  I’m a step closer on that.  I designed the shower online.  I’m getting samples soon and hope to order within the next month.

5-New Vehicle
I’m looking.  I stopped at two different dealers and both of the vehicles I had my eye on were listed online but when I got there to actually look at them, they were sold.  It’s okay.  My truck is still working and I’ve spent quite a bit of money lately, but a new vehicle is on the radar.

All of the money-saving I’ve been doing these last few years is totally worth it to see the improvements.  Seeing things finished makes me want to save and do even more.  You all know the cycle, one thing gets fixed and you want to fix more and more and more.

I have to say, I’ve been working with some pretty terrific guys who have helped along the way.  If you’re in the area I highly recommend:
Alpha Builders
Speltz Electric
Luke Bouska

They are all great to work with…

21 thoughts on “Working on the List

  1. Fran Ontiveros

    The lights make all the difference. It’s almost like having a new cooking space. Good for you, Jo.

    Reply
  2. Brenda in SC

    Jo, I absolutely adore your kitchen. The lights made all the difference in the world! So happy that you are getting thins marked off your list!! I know it makes you feel good. We have a list as well and it seems to be ever growing. We just had to replace our heating and AC unit last week as it was 17 years old. The company said we are lucky it lasted that long. I didn’t feel very lucky when we got the $7,500 bill. There went a big chunk of what we had been saving for remodeling on our 17 year old house. Oh, well!! Life of a home owner!!!
    Happy Mother’s Day to you and your girls and all the readers out there!!! Hugs from SC!!!

    Reply
  3. Barbara Snyder

    Love your kitchen! Glad you are able to get those nagging things off the list. Your garage looks SO nice! God bless your daycare dad; that bath light is the bomb!

    Reply
  4. Julie

    I love can lights, too! When we remodeled our 1905 Queen Anne house last year, that was at the top of our list. What a difference! The rooms look bigger and larger areas are illuminated. The electrician installed the LED energy-saving kind that don’t get hot and fade on and fade off…

    Reply
  5. Linda Lewis

    It’s great that you are getting these projects done so you can enjoy your home. I highly recommend the composite deck. You will love it!

    Reply
  6. Gail

    Great progress – and it’s easy to see why you are so happy!
    Those kitchen lights are awesome – what an improvement. We put can lights in our kitchen a few years ago and it made all the difference. We added some more to the dining room and living room later – they certainly help, especially where there aren’t many windows for natural lighting. Enjoy!

    Reply
  7. Ellie

    Your kitchen and bathroom look great! It feels so good to get these nagging projects finished. Kramer would be so proud that you are moving ahead and getting all these things taken care of. Good for you!

    Reply
  8. Kate

    You have made so much progress! It is so amazing what a few more lights do to an area. You are doing great – saving your pennies and then spending wisely. I hope you are able to find the right vehicle – all in good time.

    Reply
  9. Bernadette

    Wow! What lighting does for a room. It makes your kitchen look more beautiful, and could be in a home and garden magazine. love all your home improvements as well. A good feeling to get those projects done. Enjoy the them.

    Reply
  10. Elle

    YEA for planning the work and working the plan! Nothing more gratifying than getting exactly what you want. Your patience in getting to each item on your list is wonderful. Save, plan, pay cash. (and you’re setting a great example for Kalissa to stick with her plans and goals too!)

    Happy Weekend Jo!

    Reply
  11. Susan the Farm Quilter

    Love all the new lights around your house!!! They all look fabulous! The garage behind the house now looks like a proper part of the property!! The way you plan the things you want to change, save up for them and then pay cash is the same way I was raised and I love it! It does sometimes require patience, but that’s not a bad thing! When you find the right new vehicle, it will just fall in your lap! You have the luxury of time as your truck still works. When we wait on God’s timing, everything just goes so smoothly!

    Reply
  12. Robin

    I read your post this morning and was so excited for you I came back to re-read it. I’ve been frustrated with the lighting in my kitchen so I’m going to show these pictures to my husband. I know it will be messy but I would like to do the same thing. Enjoy the weekend with your family, and Happy Mother’s Day, Jo.

    Reply
  13. Li

    MUCH better kitchen lighting. I just had a deck torn down and rebuilt. $$$. Loving it. We were lucky. They started the first two weeks of November where there was freaky good weather except for one day. Finished up a corner accent I paid extra for a couple of weeks ago. A crane was required to move it into place but was totally worth seeing the entire process. One thing I did not know. Caution. TREX is slippery when wet. But I think I will like no maintenance after 20 years of keeping the old deck finished.

    Reply
  14. Ginny Andersen

    Love the new lighting! It shows off your cabinets wonderfully! We have very similar tastes in styles. I am also very jealous of your red patio furniture. Did you repaint it or did you buy it red? I have wanted something similar forever! So cool!

    Reply
  15. Carolyn Sullivan

    THE lighting is AWESOME! I saw something on line a clear plastic enclosed slide (like for a pool that dogs were going down! It looked like fun for them. In case you don’t get a deck. Cars are being soled fast. Apparently there is a shortage of computer parts for them. They report I heard was that they MIGHT catch up in the fall….. Everything else looks great for you. hang in there.

    Reply
  16. Carmen

    I so know what you mean about the lights. We moved into this house 2-1/2 years ago. The living room has no overhead light. The bedrooms have 1 can light about 8 inches in front of the closets that is supposed to be closet and bedroom light combined. The light in my sewing room is really bad, some parts of the day I can hardly see, even with a lamp. I told hubby just yesterday that we need to get an electrician in to install the boxes, he can put the lights in himself. Congrats on finally being able to see!!

    Reply
  17. Samantha M

    Your lights look great, Jo! And I had to smile at the “I didn’t clean for you because I consider you all family ” – what a lovely thing to say :) Thanks for including us in your family xx

    Reply

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