Restoration

Marital Trust

September 3, 2017

I have been painting the barns.  Well, I have been painting as far as I could reach comfortably with a ladder (a tall ladder), a paint sprayer and a can of wasp spray.  All of which did not get the job done, enter My Loving Spouse with a plan.  We attempted the plan yesterday…it didn’t work.

Today, we had a ‘new’ plan.

This plan included my driving our tractor, Blue, while he painted on a ladder…that was in the bucket of Blue.

Seriously, what could go wrong?We carefully went over our signals for when I was to lower the bucket, raise the bucket, move the tractor….not drop the bucket with My Loving Spouse in the bucket!  

Check.

I sat in the tractor careful to do everything exactly right, and thought…this truly is marital trust.  He did a great job painting the white trim.  I did a great job driving the tractor.  Any little white paint marks that dropped onto the barn red, we are pretending is bird poop.We got it done.  It looks great.  More importantly…no husbands were harmed in the painting of this barn.

We are a darned good team…and we are blessed.

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6 Painting Tips

August 4, 2017

I do not really like to paint.  I do, however, like the results painting brings.  I hadn’t planned to paint this summer, but as we know here….plans are often over rated.  I have painted enough this summer to pass on 6 really crucial tips that will make any painting job you tackle better than ever!

  1.  Paint Value  Buy good quality (possibly pricey) paint.  High quality paint makes the job easier and looks better, which is the whole point.  Sherwin Williams and I are pretty much best buds.  I would love it, if they were paying me big sums of money (or even small sums of money) to say that, but they do not really know this blog exists.  Sherwin keeps track of everything I buy, so I can get the same color again when I need it, because if you think that I might keep track, you’d be wrong most of the time.  My Loving Spouse and I had one of our biggest discussions/arguments about the cost of buying paint for the barns for me to paint them this summer.  Decent paint for me to do the painting is not a frivolous expenditure.  Someone/My Loving Spouse was acting (only for a little while) like I was buying myself diamonds or cows or something!
  2. Appropriate tools  Summer time, farm, wasp spray…enough said.
  3. Crisp lines.  Good painting outcomes are always the goal, especially when you don’t really even like to paint.  Getting crisp lines in an old house was always problematic.  My Loving Spouse heard of a new way to get sharp edges and let me tell you they worked!  I zipped to Sherwin’s for some Alabaster White for ceilings, (after all Johanna Gaines loves it), so I figured I could not go wrong.  The room had already been painted green, but we needed to clean up the trim and the ceilings.  My Loving Spouse applied painter’s tape, a bead of caulk, ran his finger down the caulk, painted over the tape and caulk, then pulled the tape off to crisp lines.  We were practically giddy with excitement!
  4. Cleaning paint brushes.   Not everyone will agree with this tip, but let me tell you, it has made my painting life sooooo much easier.  Since I am the one who does most of the painting, making it easier on me is important.  I state this up front, because My Loving Spouse does not actually agree with my use of this tip, but I am standing by it.  The best way to clean your paint brushes effectively is to just throw them away.  No, I am not wasteful, this is just practical.  I cannot get them clean, and it drives me crazy and no, I do not want to learn how.  Remember, I don’t even like to paint.  New paint brushes are a small price to pay to have me do most of the painting around here.  P.S.  I think Sherwin probably doesn’t mind, that I buy new brushes.
  5. Find a Friend  I am blessed by a Sweet Friend with a love of painting.  No, I do not understand it and you can bet, I am not going to make fun of it, because she likes to help me paint!  I don’t like to paint, but I do like spending time with my friend.  I have even spent time painting her fence, because she needed help, and because every job is better when you do it with someone you like.
  6. Pat Yourself On The Back  Painting old barns is a lot like pulling weeds.  No one else will really notice that you’ve done the job.  People (other than you) will only really notice when it needs doing.  Sit back, enjoy your hard work and maybe…buy yourself something special like wine…or a cow.

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Lights, Action!

June 25, 2017

We have lights in THE Bathroom!  Lights as in, one walks into the room and flicks a switch and lights go on!  Not the lights we have had called, do not trip over the extension cord to the power strip, which led to the shop light leaning up against the wall.

We had the lights themselves for quite a while.  We’ve had them so long, that My Loving Spouse forgot what was actually in their box, just sitting upstairs waiting for the wiring to be finished.  I had ordered them online, with My Loving Spouse’s complete agreement at the time of ordering.  Except…we both forgot about one thing…the room is not square.  It is not even a rectangle….in math terms it is a hexagon.  Yep, 6 sides, which makes lighting on the wall (where I wanted it) more difficult.

Enter “One of THE Seattle Cousins”….who was on his anniversary trip…complete with his tool box.He graciously worked all day on our electrical, hooking up light switches, installing the new lights (that everyone thought was wrong), conferring with me about their placement, which meant for the first time in my life, I got to boss him around!  (This nut did not fall far from the Bossy Tree, but being one of the younger cousins, I rarely got to exercise my bossy ‘gift’ with him.)See that short slanted ceiling…yes, that was the bit we forgot about.  With My Loving Spouse off driving, My Cousin put the lights I LOVE where I want them.  This does mean I will have to redraw the plans for the medicine cabinets…oh, well, those plans only exist in my head anyway.I love them!  We had time for dinner, croquet and card games!…and one of my favorite things ever…sitting in the same pew at church with people I love.

Thank you!

…and I am very blessed.

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Imagination

June 5, 2017

It takes a LOT of imagination to tackle restoring an old house.  

We must ‘imagine’ that we will finish someday.

We must ‘imagine’ how it should/could be.  We must ‘imagine’, that we can do it….get it done.

The upstairs bath is coming along….we are almost there!  It is such a treat to our eyes.  We can ‘imagine’ it done.After all, all we need is the glass door, the floor sanded and painted, the window painted, the lights installed, the fan installed, the heater installed, the bead board finished and the medicine cabinets built….that’s all, from where we started…we’re pretty happy with how our imagination works.  Feel free to use your imagination and you’ll see it done.

The Buck-a-roo room is ready for Number One’s Family.Luckily for me, I have a Sweet Girlfriend who like to paint.  She came and helped me put fresh paint on the walls.  Two walls accented with gray the rest a lovely fresh white.  You just need to ‘imagine’ the new red curtains are hanging up as well.  We only had time for one window treatment and as you can see, we opted to install the new room darkening shades so that THE Grandkids nap’s would go well.  A folding cot is set up for THE Grandson, in what is supposed to be the closet….sort of cozy, wouldn’t you say?  Walk-in closet to be or cozy toddler room now?Complete and ready for our little book-worm boy….or perhaps he is a book-cow boy.We are still a few (or a lot) of Advil bottles away from completing all the restoration we imagine here.

However, from our earliest imagination, we hoped to fill and enjoy this farm with our family…and we are indeed blessed.

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Furniture Fix

February 25, 2017

I’m back!  I wondered where I had gone.  I was even a little bit worried, that I might not find me, but I did.  It turns out that painting our home, 18 months ago took a toll.  I have had little desire to work on the house, paint or fix up almost anything, which was a problem as we haven’t finished the restoration here.

However, I am back!  I am so relieved.  When My Loving Spouse gave me the nod, to change out our furniture last week, it was as if, my ‘restoration’ switch was flipped back on.  I found my mojo in my quest to banish the over abundance of brown furniture.  After the streets had thawed, I ran right out to visit my friend Sherwin Williams and painted our bedroom that very night.  It is My Loving Spouse’s favorite color.  It is called, “My wife is happy with it and I did not have to paint it” or you might call it light gray.  Sherwin Williams calls it ‘Granite’.  I call it perfect, especially with my new white dresser.I didn’t stop there.  My Librarian had given me a ‘project’ dresser she never got around to fixing.  It was the perfect size for my ironing table for quilting and it holds my flannel scraps.  It is brown.  It needed some work…Since I had a fresh paintbrush and a can of gray paint, I painted it.I also learned that you can modge podge fabric on to furniture.  I learned the hard way, that when using light fabric, one might want to paint the furniture first as the brown tones do show through the fabric, but for now, I am just filing that into my information bin.  The dresser is so much better than before, it just makes me happy.Most of my life, I have needed to ‘make do’ with what furniture I had.  I was pretty good at ‘making do’ and making those things better.  Being able to buy a few new pieces, and making our beautiful old farm-house with it’s odd shaped rooms, finally feel right makes me…settled, happy, excited, content and very blessed.

I still have half a jar of modge podge….I wonder what I should do with it?

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Unfold The Map

September 2, 2016

There are certain times in one’s life, where quitting is just not an option.  When the garden hose attached with the sewer unplugger is stuck in the waste pipe one is trying to unstick…yes, that would be just one of those times.  My Loving Spouse crawls under the house.  My instructions are to jam the hose up and down so he can hear where it is stuck.  Basic plumbing at its finest.septic patOh, yes, we are a formidable team.  He learns a lot while he is down ‘there’, mostly that he’ll never be the one replacing the main sewer line and we add that to the list called, “When our ship comes in”.

Luckily for us, we who do not quit, we do get the hose out.  Bad news is that the line is still plugged.  We develop a new plan of attack, called ‘go at it from the other end’.  This means digging up the Clean Out lid.  One would think this would be easy, because

1. We’ve done it before.

2.  We have a map.

We measure and dig a bit and learn a valuable life lesson…maps work best when completely unfolded…PicMonkey CollageWe do find THE lid.  We open it up.  We decide to completely go British at this time…have a cup of tea or (jam, biscuits and coffee.)spetic jamThe only ones sort of excited that we had to dig up the septic clean out hole seems to be the chickens.spectic chxWe reorganize and rent some serious plumbing equipment.  This takes multiple available ‘hands’ or  feet as it were as Number Two’s job seems to be to step on the control that runs the line.  My Loving Spouse handles the line that digs in the pipe.  I mostly stand back and say stuff like, ‘Well done!’  Grateful to not be hanging on to anything that has been inside our pipes.PicMonkey Collage (1)At this time someone drives into our yard to ask if we are selling hay.  Now, nothing says, ‘We’ve got hay for sale’ like having one’s back-end sticking out of your septic clean out trap.  There were a lot of items this person could have asked if we did, but selling hay was not actually on the list.

The hay buyer is redirected.

The rental sewer unsticker is returned after having done the job.

We’re back in love with our wonderful old house.  The pipes are running freely.  We’ve all showered and smell good, instead of all just smell.

Life is good and we are blessed.

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What A Difference a Door Makes

The Half (Done) Attic Bathroom got a huge boost this week!  Dear John, Dear John’s Wife and Turk the City Dog spent a week here ‘camping’ in their Scamp trailer.  This is our family.  Dear John, I call my brother.  My parents gave me a brother John and when Number One Son married Number One […]

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Hot & Cold

A Christmas treat came early for Number Two Son this year!  We returned to work on the ‘half’ (done) bath in the attic.  Our goal…hot and cold running water!  Woo hoo!  After 4 trips to the hardware store…(Note to Southern California…the snow on the wreath?  Yes, it is real.) As the school-house sink stands out […]

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Our Yellow Farm House

Today the sky was blue, the clouds puffy and high and the weather was just delightful.  As I washed the white rail fence, I thought…it is time to share our home.  It is like me.  In other words it is ‘perfectly imperfect’, as some railings are still needing to be installed.  It is however, a […]

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This Is It!

This is it!  This is the day, the last weekend in August and I was sure yesterday that I would finally be able to do our big ‘reveal’.  I’d be showing you this old house all painted and pretty…all done!  Not more cat pictures…Not more cow pictures…although the little girls are growing so well and […]

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Prime Team X

I imagine you dear readers might be tired of hearing about our painting the house, and all I can say is…so am I.  It could be a bit like hearing about someone running a marathon and they are telling you about each sweat drop and ankle strain…except…something really cool happened.  The X Team arrived.  Seriously!These sweet […]

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The Brown and White House

I am calling ‘it’! Done! The paint prep-unpainting-scraping-the-house-to-eternity-and-back is over.  I am calling ‘it’!  Like calling a game when one team has clearly beaten another team or when it is too dark to play anymore or when you’ve been doing it for 5 weeks and you cannot scrape another paint chip.  The prep is officially […]

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