Monday, September 5, 2016

Farmhouse Love Episode 1

Happy Fall Friends! I don't even know how it can be fall and I am still not unpacked. 

When we moved into this place I was immediately itching to change out the kitchen cabinetry hardware, and I'm talking baaaad.

All the hardware was wood and it was filthy, as wood tends to absorb dirt. I knew I wanted to install pulls that I could clean, and this was my first one.

The cabinet doors got plain brushed nickel knobs.

It's so much better now. The old stuff was making me twitchy.

It took me a couple days to do all of them, but it was so worth it. Immediate gratification.

It was also another way for me to put off the really big project that we really have got to tackle before it gets too cold outside for me to use my tile saw.

It's this bathroom. This is the original bathroom in the 1954 part of the house and it is in serious need of some TLC. It sits between the girls' bedrooms, but they haven't been using it for anything besides brushing their teeth and combing their hair because it's scary.

The toilet is of the perpetually flushing kind. If we wanted, we could give Ultimate Swirlies in this toilet.


The vanity is nothing unusual, just old. The sink is rusting and the medicine cabinet inside the mirrored unit is also rusting.

At first glance the tub surround doesn't look horrid, at least once I cleaned it, but upon closer inspection I found some problems.

Like this buckling tile. Once we get to demolition, my favorite part, I get some answers.

Lastly, the flooring really isn't flooring at all. It's a piece of carpet laid over the subfloor, which also needs attention.

Today was "D" Day. After I hauled the gnarly piece of carpet to the trash can, Peanut Head came in and pulled the vanity and toilet for me. And to my surprise, he didn't even exercise his expansive military vocabulary, despite all the banging I heard from the other room. 

As you can see from the picture, I also had a go at the tile above the vanity.

That was my little practice demo. I watched several You Tube videos this morning on removing tile, and I was pumped to get started.

I used a hammer, putty knife, and a pry bar. It was sort of fun, but messy.

I wasn't happy to find there was no cement backer board behind the tile, but honestly, I wasn't surprised either. It was adhered directly to the plaster walls, which is a big no no as there is no moisture barrier between the tile and the wall.

All the plaster has to come out all the way to the studs and we have to rebuild the surround with cement backer board. Well, Peanut Head has to rebuild the surround. I'll watch and make encouraging remarks.

This is why you need cement backer board. The wall with the fixtures was rotted, and the wall that received the bulk of the shower spray was also rotted at the base of the tub surround.

Can  you see the rusted mesh that the plaster adheres to? Nightmare.

That's pretty much all that got done today. I was sweating like a pig and making some very unladylike noises, but it feels good to have this project started.

Tonight is going to be an Aleve night. You young kids don't know what that is yet. Just be thankful for that.

I expect this project is going to take at least a month to complete, and that's probably an optimistic guess. It is soccer and cross country season, and we do have jobs to hold down.

Reality is such a buzz kill.

In other news, we've been adding to our furry friends since we have a little extra room. Meet what I thought was my new Tom Cat, Barnaby Tiberius Jones.

Turns out he's a she, so there were a couple weeks there where I was suffering from a gender identity crisis and just referred to him-her as Catlin Jenner.

Finally I accepted her gender and we agreed to name her Cecilia, or Ce-Ce for short. I can't even tell you how many times we have played Simon & Garfunkel's "Cecilia" as we sing it to Ce-Ce at the top of our lungs.

She thinks we're pretty crazy, but as you might have noticed by her napping posture, she's a pretty laid-back cat.

The chickens still refuse to use their Chicken Swing, although we're not about to give up on them.

We have some new baby Nigerian Dwarf Goats.

They think the girls are their Mamas and they cry for them constantly. It's maddening.

Zoe has been volunteering at the zoo all summer and she fell in love with goats. Go figure.

I have to admit, they are pretty cute. And they eat weeds, although not really all that fast if you ask me.

Zoe has been training them to walk freakishly on two legs. It's disturbing to watch. She's also been teaching them to jump through the course that Gunny used to run through, until she shut him down with that torn ACL.

Poor Old Man.

Sweets the Wonder Horse came to live with us a few weeks ago. His owners didn't have time to ride him and we happen to have two horse crazy girls who will dote on him, for however long he shall live with us.

Here he is having a Spa Day.

And on account of Sweets was being treated so grandly, two more horses that needed some girls to love on them are also staying for an undetermined length of time.

Welcome to the Scott Horse Spa. This is PJ. He's having braids put in today. I don't think he's too keen on the braids, personally, but he does think it feels good having someone play with his hair.

They even braided his little raccoon tail.

All three boys had horsey baths today, shampoo and all. PJ wasn't especially fond of the bath, but he does like the way his braids feel because he can flick them around when he talks like a Valley Girl.

Bo is much more manly and prefers that his picture not be taken while he is sporting the braids. This picture was taken right before Stinkerbell exercised him, which makes me laugh because I think she got more exercise exercising him than he got being exercised.

So as you can see, we are expanding and thriving. I hope to be posting a little more regularly with the progress on the bathroom. This is the stuff I live for. It's so much fun!

Monday, July 11, 2016


Whew! What a month it has been. On June 10th we closed on the house we sold and the house we bought, and we've been going non-stop ever since. I'm not kidding. There is SO much to do, and we can scarcely see an end in sight.

We've run into lots of problems, as is pretty typical when you buy a home that's older, and Peanut Head has been mightily exercising his extensive Marine Corps vocabulary each time he discovers another jerry-rigged electrical or plumbing issue.

He's the one with the mad skillz for fixing things though. Meanwhile I've been busy cleaning and unpacking. It seems like we will never be done.

All that aside, I've been wanting to get on here and post some pictures of the new place. That and we have family and friends hounding us for "Pictures Please!

I haven't wanted to stop to take and post pictures, so the days have been slipping away from me. 

That and we didn't have internet for most of the first couple of weeks. The girls are taking online classes, and we ran through our super-sized cell data plan in the first week and we didn't have a back-up plan. Yikes!

Here are a couple pictures of the front of the house. The original house was built in 1954 and it has been added on to since then. 

The biggest reason we made this move was for the property. 

We have almost ten acres, which is plenty of room for a large garden, a couple horses and goats, and lots of room for us and our creatures to run around.

But with land, come chores.

Lots and lots of chores.

And then some more chores.

I don't think these two have ever worked so hard in their lives.

It has been very rewarding to watch. I have giggled a few times, and it's all I can do to keep myself from yelling to them as they work, "Suckas!"

I don't know why I've restrained myself. It's a little out of character. Probably because I've been too busy myself.

It became apparent pretty quickly that the tennies these suburbanites came equipped with just weren't cutting it, so we had to get some new boots for them to do their massive amounts of chores in.

Don't feel sorry for these punks though.

They still have plenty of time to play on this awesome tire swing that was left behind.

And this super cool tree house. 

They are truly in Heaven!

As I mentioned, the original house has a newer add-on, which is approximately ten years old and doubled the square footage of the original house. 

The original house was a two-bedroom, one bathroom farm house. It does have two bedrooms in the basement as well, but I don't think they should really count because there is no bathroom in the basement and the ceilings are so low that it's really only fit for Hobbits.

Or two girls who own 18,756 plastic horses and their accompanying paraphernalia.

The new addition consists of a very large kitchen (happy dance), a long, skinny family room, mud room, 3/4 master bathroom, den, and master bedroom.

I know. That "3/4 master bathroom" sounds like an oxymoron, doesn't it?

In this house we have more square footage on the main floor than we had on the main floor and basement combined in our last house.

However, I can say without a doubt that the original part of this house was built much better than the add-on. I'm sure that's a combination of the fact that houses just aren't built the way they used to be built, and the original owner/builder was a contractor himself.

It's solid and it has beautiful crown moulding. Plus, it just has that old house charm.

This is that long, skinny family room I mentioned.

Within the first few days of moving in, we met two sons of the original builder that had grown up in the original house. It was very cool to hear about the history of the property and how it has evolved over the years.

Let's take a look at some of the original house.

This picture was taken standing between the new kitchen and family room, looking up into the original dining room.

This is standing at the entrance to the dining room and looking through it to the front door and the original living room.

This was the original kitchen, if you can imagine! It's teeny, tiny, and it makes the perfect little office. I cannot wait to paint and personalize this adorable space.

This was taken at the other end of the original dining room, looking towards the new addition.

This is the original living room. It's a nice size.

I adore the custom crown moulding.

This picture was taken from the front door, looking into the house.

Just this last week I had enough unpacked that I felt like I could start hanging some things on the walls. This was the very first thing to go up.

Can you tell that I've been inspired by Joanna Gaines' love of funky letters?

I had some problems getting these letters up on account of this pesky "R" here. It must weigh five pounds, and I couldn't find a stud to save my life.

I tried and tried, and I even got out my cheater glasses and read the fine print directions on Peanut Head's fancy Stud Finder, but I Could. Not. Find. A stud.

After the first two holes I set my hammer aside to wait patiently for Peanut Head to get home and save the day.

Meanwhile, Stinkerbell did a little decorating of her own.

That little snot.

You may recall that in my last post I mentioned that the Bunnery Sergeant was experiencing some hip problems? Well, we took him to the vet and found that he had a torn ACL.

It was either send him to the farm for real, or have him go under the knife. You can see what our choice was.

Because it wasn't enough that I was a one-armed T-Rex in my post shoulder surgery sling, Gunny Man had his surgery four days before the big move. Although his staples have long since been removed, he is still hobbling around on three legs. He seems to be just as happy as he always was though, so we're not going to complain.

However, I dare say that we have been hemorrhaging money and I'm ready for that to stop.

I have more pictures that I could post but a) I don't want to overwhelm you, and b) I want to save some of them for the before and after pictures that are sure to start soon. I'm itching to start painting and decorating this place and I cannot wait to share it all with you.

In the meantime, these pictures will have to hold you over until then. I hope you're having a fantastic summer! Thanks for dropping by to catch up.