Monday, April 27, 2020

Farmhouse Love Episode #15

I am a wee bit behind on my Farmhouse Love posts. Mainly that's due to several rooms not being 100% finished, and me not wanting to show them until they are perfect. Well, this house has a long road to go, and it is constantly evolving, so I just decided to post what I have and then when/if I make updates, I can share them then.

Our master bedroom is one of the last rooms I chose to paint because people don't see it like they do other rooms in the house. I have been itching to paint it since we moved in, but the same can be said about every other room in this house, so it had to wait for its turn.

Before I show you the rest of the after pictures, I'm going to show you what we started with.

We looked at this house on two separate occasions, a few weeks apart. The first time we came this is what the master bedroom looked like. The owners were obviously in the process of stripping the wallpaper. If I had to date this room, I would say late 80s, early 90s. What do you think?

When we came back the second time, it had fresh paint. 

What we didn't know is that they mostly painted over the wallpaper they weren't able to strip, and even covered some of it with drywall mud. It was a hot mess.

The master bedroom has two closets on opposite sides of the room. This one is mine.

This bay window is nice. On move in day an observant friend noted that this room likely used to be a garage. It makes sense because the floor is concrete and it steps down from the rest of the house. This window was probably where the garage door was.

Here is Peanut Head's closet, with these odd little Hobbit drawers underneath it. The drawers are deep, very heavy, and not equally spaced apart. They make me twitchy.

Therefore, I covered them with drywall.

Now we can scarcely tell they ever existed. 😊

I started painting the ceiling and walls last May, and once we had consistently nice weather,  I dropped the project like a hot potato.

I picked it up again in October, at Peanut Head's insistence. I had been pinning faux brick walls on Pinterest for the last year or more, and Peanut Head went along with my crazy plan. He usually does, even when he thinks I'm cray cray.

We started by putting up these 4' x 8' panels which we found at Lowe's for $35.98 each. We used four panels for this wall, and they were a gigantic pain in the rear end to put up. After reading various tutorials, we went with the suggestion to cut out the half bricks on the ends. It's not a super precise process, so there was a fair amount of cussing involved. Peanut Head has a potty mouth.

Once they were all cut to fit, we slapped them up with some Liquid Nails and drywall screws. Some of the screws were removed once the adhesive dried.

The next step was to come in with drywall mud and a drywall taping knife to apply a German Schmear. It took a few evenings, but not near as long as it took me to retexture all the walls from the bloodbath that removing the wallpaper was.

I will say I was happy to have that nasty green carpet as a drop cloth. I was not careful at all.

Once everything dried, I sealed it all with a coat of watered down white paint. You can use a clear coat, but I was worried it might yellow over time.

Also, I caulked the corners and where the paneling met the ceiling for a cleaner look.

After this wall was done, we ordered carpet. That was in November.

Throughout this past year working on this room, I was always working on something to go with my final vision. One of those things was to make a half dozen or so dog bed covers. The dog beds get stinky and dirty so fast that I wanted to have a quick way to change out clean covers, so I started making very simple covers using this 10-Minute Pillow Cover tutorial. The only change I made was to add an opening for the handle of the dog bed for easier moving.

I'm not ashamed to admit that I've been a pillow cover making fool this past year. After my first cover I was hooked because it's an easy way to change your pillows without having to store a bunch of pillows. Of course we still have more pillows in the house than Peanut Head would like. What is it about men and pillows? I love my pillows.

In the making of so many dog bed covers I decided that I really like fleece for the covers. It's super easy to work with and it still looks nice after washing.

Plus, it's soft like my babies.

This one isn't fleece, but I fell in love with the pattern and the color is the exact shade of yellow that I wanted for my accent color in this room.

I also refinished our dressers and nightstands. This particular dresser was a hand me down, and although I don't love the way it looks, the drawers open and close like butter. It's hard to find good quality dressers with drawers that open and close smoothly.

I painted it with some cabinet paint and put some drawer pulls on it and it's a completely different dresser.

I've started folding all my clothes with the Marie Condo method and I will never go back. It's so easy to find what I'm looking for, and my drawers are never messy. I still think Marie Condo is a little whackadoodle, the way she talks to inanimate objects, but she nailed this folding method.

When Peanut Head goes out of town, or Stinkerbell goes to one of her various Civil Air Patrol camps, I sneak into their drawers and Marie Condo fold everything. They don't appreciate it, but it calms me.

I don't have a before picture, but I painted this dresser and the hardware, distressed it, and added some trim and decorative accents. I've had this dresser since I was in high school. It even survived a house fire back in 1984. It used to have a mirror, but that didn't survive the fire. I've been looking for a mirror for it ever since and I finally found one at a consignment shop.

Isn't it beautiful? It's larger than the dresser itself, and it probably weighs more too, but it's perfect. I didn't change anything about the mirror. I fell in love with it and I painted the dresser to match the mirror.

The previous owners left this shelf unit in my closet when they moved, but it needed a little TLC. Even though it's basically particle board with a laminate coating, it took regular latex paint just fine. A couple coats of paint and some contact paper and I was pretty happy with the result.

This area for my jewelry isn't finished yet. I want to make an earring holder and I haven't gotten around to it yet.

After the carpet was installed, it took awhile for Peanut Head to start on the trim. Neither one of us was in a hurry as there is always something to be done around here. He even made my closet door look like a little barn door.

We've had these mission style nightstands since the late 90s, and they needed a little refreshing.

I painted them and added new knobs. Each nightstand has nine knobs, so I just went with a cheap contractor's pack of knobs and they look just fine.

This is Peanut Head's closet and it still needs a major overhaul, but he ran out of winter days to work on it. That is not a problem. Ain't no one ever complained of running out of winter in Idaho. He'll get to it next year.

He did make this little hook board to hang his farm pants on instead of laying the nasty, dirty things on the window seat all the time.

It took me awhile to get things hung on the walls. I think that's one of the hardest decisions to make in a room because it takes some playing around with and holes.

Here's our new and improved window seat. You know I bought some pillows for it and made some new covers for them, don't you?

I also ordered cushions from Patio Lane and I love them. They're made with Sunbrella fabric so they won't fade and they have zippers! Now I can take the covers off and wash them. That makes me happy.

The folks at Patio Lane were super nice to work with and they called me when they had questions and to let me know when they shipped. I wasn't paid to say any of that either.

The buffalo check bedding came from Bed, Bath, & Beyond and the grey quilt came from Pottery Barn before it was on sale. I actually got it for my birthday over a year ago, and I stored it in my closet until we had the new carpet installed. Originally I had them switched so the buffalo check quilt was folded at the foot of the bed, but the grey quilt is slippery because the fabric is velvety. We'd be sleeping at night and the buffalo check quilt would just slide right off the bed like it was catching a wave. Not fun in winter.

I made the bed skirt using another Pinterest tutorial, and yes, I made some more pillow covers. Peanut Head complains when he has to take them off the bed at night, but we're not super dependable about making our bed every day, so he doesn't complain that much.

I still need to post about our home gym and our living room which are also mostly finished, so look out for those soon.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Hello Spring

We've had a couple very nice spring days recently. Saturday and Sunday were glorious and I was outside the entire weekend. The sunshine really helped my mood.

Idaho currently has 1,802 confirmed cases of Covid-19. We're hanging in there, not increasing exponentially. We're still under a Stay at Home order until May 1st to slow the spread. We are expecting that things will not just go back to normal. We're going to be fighting this virus throughout this year and into the next until we have a vaccine. People are getting anxious and restless. Many people are in trouble financially.

The girls are not enjoying doing school online. It's boring and difficult to focus, and it's definitely not easier. If anything, it's more difficult. They will not be going back for the remainder of this school year. There are whisperings of universities not opening again until 2021.

It's easy to forget there is a pandemic going on when we don't live in town. We tend to be homebodies anyway, so weekends at least, are very normal for us. We're always working, working, working on the farm, and we tend to not drive into town unless we have to. The big difference for us is that we are now working from home.

We got out for our weekly hike, and this time we went to Craters of the Moon. It's closed to traffic, but you can hike four miles in on a paved road to get to the hiking trail Peanut Head picked.

We did.

Some spots were snow covered, but it was mostly passable. Not like last week.

Once we got to the trail, Baney and I said good-bye to our sweet family and hobbled back to the car.

I'm so glad I didn't go all the way with them. My portion of the hike was 8 miles and they went 13 miles. I went to bed at 8 p.m. that day.

Here's my secret to get Baney to look into the camera when I'm trying to get a selfie with him.

Here's another project I started at the "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie Farm." We have wanted to do something about widening our driveway since we moved into this house because our driveway is not as wide as the garage. That means that when Peanut Head pulls in and out of his side of the garage, he has to drive on part of the lawn. The current driveway was the width of the old garage which is now our master bedroom. I think. I'm speculating, but all the clues point to that explanation. Sort of. There are a lot of things about this house that don't make any sense at all.

Peanut Head used the walking tractor to till most of the grass we need to remove, but we had to do the edges by hand. Well, with a shovel.

This picture is looking out of the garage from inside so you can really see how narrow the driveway is compared to the garage.

Peanut Head is going to level those red pavers as the new edge of the driveway, and we will fill the rest in with gravel. At some point we may cover it with asphalt or concrete, but for now we're going to do this because it's cheap and we already have the gravel.

We were also able to work in another planting area and round out the lawn with another mowing strip. I planted a rose bush for now, but I'd like to add some bulbs as well.

It's not finished, but I'm hoping it will be finished by the time I do my next post. That will depend largely on the weather. Stay tuned.

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Out With the Old and in with the New OCD Easter Bunny

We've had serious problems with our Easter Bunny in the past. I first documented those problems back in 2009 when the Easter Bunny completely failed to come. Then in 2011 Stinky started to ruin the magic with her skepticism. Finally, in 2012 Zoe learned that I am a Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire.

But now, for 2020, I think we've finally found an Easter Bunny we can rely on.

It's Stinkerbell. Last night she came into my bedroom with the Easter baskets in tow. She proceeded to fill the baskets with grass and then she went to my super secret hiding spot in my closet and pulled out all the Easter goodies. Too many of them. Peanut Head goes a little overboard when he buys candy. 😉

I didn't stop her because why? I'm always frantically putting the baskets together last minute anyway, and she looked like she wanted this thing to go off without a hitch. So okay, knock yourself out, Sister.

"I'm not going to put the jelly beans in the grass like you always do, Mom. That's gross."

Really? That's the way the Easter Bunny has always done it, but whatever, this is her gig now.

I sort of love the way that she put the jelly beans in their own baggies. 💕

So today is Easter. It's not a normal Easter, obviously, but it's by no means a bad Easter. We aren't having our usual friends over because of the Shelter in Place, but it's okay. We're together and that's what matters. I have a ham in the oven, and we're just keeping it low key.

We've been sheltered in place for three weeks now, going out only for supplies. Idaho had 1,407 confirmed cases of Covid-19 as of the end of the day yesterday.

We went to Sam's Club yesterday to pick up goat cheese. Stinkerbell is turning 17 this week and she requested a cheesecake for her birthday instead of the usual chocolate cake. I have an awesome recipe for cheesecake with a lemon shortbread crust using goat cheese as well as the usual cream cheese. It might sound weird, but it is AMAZING.

So we grabbed the goat cheese at Sam's Club and we were walking away when we saw this gigondo bottle of hand sanitizer, locked down with a cable to the sink unit. That's how bad the crazies have gotten I guess.

Yesterday I read an article in the CNN Business section titled "Walmart CEO says we're in the 'hair color" phase of panic buying." No lie. I have been seeing and hearing a lot of commercials for hair color, and it's about that time when people are starting to need their grooming appointments.

I can already see it in the Zoom work meetings. We're all devolving from perfectly presentable people into Muppets. Men are growing facial hair and people are willingly exposing their poor fashion choices. We're all covered in dog hair and we don't care. Not only will 2020 be remembed for the Great Toilet Paper Shortage, but also the No Dress Code Enforced period. I'm still wearing jeans everyday, but I feel like I could be on a slippery slope. Like, I don't even have enough sweatpants to properly capitalize on this opportunity.

I know that some of the online meeting platforms have a feature where you can blur out the background, but we need one that will blur us out and bring the background sharply into focus. Can the IT guys get on that?

In other news, Spring has moodily arrived. We had a few really nice days this week and I accidentally took a few longer than normal lunches. This was my hibernating strawberry patch.

This is it after my long lunch hour removing the mulch. My next task here is to move them to the new beds that Peanut Head made for them.

Right here. It's not happening for a few days because Spring is having a fit right now and I'm a weather wimp.

Peanut Head has been rearranging planting beds so he can fit some more in the garden. I feel like we might actually be ready to plant on time this year instead of last minute like our pants are on fire. 

Oh, that's another thing. Seed companies are overwhelmed and they can't keep up with the demand. It seems everyone wants to plant a garden this year. You can't complain about that. Gardens are awesome.

Baney likes to hang out with me when I'm working outside. I like how he's using one of my bricks as a pillow. Hey, I'm just glad he's not in my lap. He's a very needy baby.

We went on our second hike for Zoe's now online hiking class. I need to see if I can get a credit for this class because it is going to kill me. I am not the woman I once was.

This time we went hiking in Pocatello, and as you can tell by this parking lot picture, we were the only people there. I'm sure it had nothing to do with the fact that the trail was snowed in hither and tither.

I know that here everything looks great and the day is sunny and beautiful.

An actual sign with directions. Already this is better than last week's hike.

The trail is very obvious and we did not have to squint our eyes to decide which way it was supposed to go next. "Is it here, or there? Is it anywhere?"

Best of all, it wasn't too terribly steep too quickly.

We did make Baney pack his own water this time. The slacker.

And then I stopped taking pictures. Because we started running into sections of trail which were covered by snow. And I am not a graceful person. I fell down, on my butt, in the snow, 87 times. Perhaps you are thinking no big deal? In places the snow was more than a foot deep, so I could not just stand up. Being no longer the woman I once was, I had to roll over onto my hands and knees and slowly, awkwardly, right myself. Sometimes only to fall again.

While my family was laughing. Mostly trying not to laugh, but you know how you can see it in their eyes.

One time Stinky fell and she was all "Mom! See, I fell too!" [don't you feel better because I also suck at this?]

Here's the thing though, her one time was 87 to the zero power compared to my falling. It did not make me feel better.

Peanut Head kept insisting that it would get better up ahead. It did not.

I took this picture because this is where I sat down and said I was not going any further dammit, unless it was back the way I came. As you can see it was only 3.25 miles after an hour and 45 minutes, much of it horizontal, but also at the end of my rope.

I took this picture because this is where I filed for divorce. I'm going to miss that man. He is such a handy guy.

I sort of love this picture because it shows that Stinky was tired from the hike. I felt a little bit validated. Never mind that she was running circles around me.

Also, Peanut Head partook of the Aleve with me that night. I still love him.