Dust Everywhere

So I had a choice to make this morning, work on N’s bed or my closet for my clothes. Hmm toys out of the living room or my clothes where they belong??? The organize freak is saying clothes, the mom is saying get those toys out of the living room. Guess what? “Mom” won out.

So I spent my day working on N’s bed. Did you know that polyshades {stain & varnish in one} is awesome IF you know you are going to want it that color for eternity AND do not plan on reusing the wood. N’s bed is a loft style bed, we got the plans from The Design Confidential.


It is awesome and easy to make. We had some sturdy 4×4’s already that we decided to reuse. We built it over a year ago and I am just now getting to finish it. I decided to stain & varnish {Kona} it…one problem. Those previously mentioned 4×4’s which were a blessing ended up to be not so great. They had been coated with a polyshade AND multiple coats of floor varnish. Not sure at all what I was thinking. This is what I have removed so far…


Tomorrow I get to run to the hardware store and get more sandpaper { thank God for my new orbital sander} and some varnish for it…and then clean the dust.



Well it has been two weeks since my post on readjusted goals for this year {Blue Funk}. You may have read about the diy-ed wood ledges {On a Ledge} and you will soon hear about the TV shelf…that almost was not. Thank you hubby for your creative thinking and muscles!

My small projects include…
Wood picture ledges for the master bedroom
Finishing our diy-ed TV shelf…you will love!
Finishing trim and painting in N’s room**
Some work on master bedroom…drywall, trim, & paint

Those of you following along know that we had originally planned to put the wood stove on our stone wall…it was not meant to be. Between the time and cost it would take to go through the wall and then up the old chimney we would be grief stricken and cold by February. It is now on the east wall of our living room. We had to get creative then for that new TV stand since it would have to be on stone wall, I think our solution is awesome {I know I just dated myself}.

**N’s room is going to be somewhat easier, the stripes on the last wall would not be level {sigh, old house settling}. N and I decided that we would just paint it one the colors and look for tractor and construction vinyl for that wall. Then just some coats of poly {stain & varnish in one for those wondering} on the trim. I still have not decided how I am going to finish his bed.

We had been bouncing around working on other projects {finishing stone wall & TV stand} but after a recent cold snap Friday where we broke the record low, we decided that focusing on getting the wood stove installed was in the best interest. I would like to note that we have fencing up for the chickens so we should be somewhat set for next spring. We got set back last week by life in general {A Juggler}, but I finally got to the grout for the hearth pad done this morning. It looks amazing! I can seal it tomorrow and the stove should be on it by Friday. SUPER, SUPER Excited!

 If all goes well I may end up adding some furniture refinish projects.

Blue Funk

Sometimes you get in a blue funk and it lasts and lasts. I have been that way for about 2 months, ever since I realized my emergency hospital visit was at a hospital that is out of network…yuck. Not only is the bill outrageous but this knocks out most chances of getting our addition done in the next few years or even the house finished in the next year! I am trying to stay positive but when all your ideas were scaled back from a car dying and then feel like your dreams are totally dashed when you get the hospital bill, it is kind of hard.

Well I am happy to say I am finally on the up about the situation and working on getting small projects done and hopefully somethings accomplished by the end of the year. I have ditched my new year’s resolution of getting house finished and will be happy if I get just a couple major projects and a few small projects done.

I was working on getting the kitchen floor refinished, that meant scraping tar paper and old cracked finish off, sanded, and varnished. I had the hall section of the kitchen scraped up and we were getting a new puppy (and accidents that come with), so I put 3 coats of floor varnish on it!! The rest of it is going to have to wait until next year. (Side note: we put Duffy to sleep in July, he was in pain and stopped taking treats.) The floor looks amazing and I cannot wait to get the rest done!

The big projects I want done this year are the chicken house and the wood stove. I am usually torn each week which project I want the hubby to work on the chicken area or the stove…food or warmth people!  All we had for the Chicken house was the 6×8 platform we had started last winter. It was hard working one handed and nothing above the shoulder but we have the main structure almost finished (needs door made and windows cut out) and started fencing the area in last week. On the wood stove I can be nothing but thrilled!! Last winter in the frigid -40 degree excluding wind chill weather we had I had to look at the disconnected wood stove sitting in my living room. Did I mention I had more than 3 layers on (3 pairs of socks, people) and a blanket and I was still cold in my living room? To make things easier, and possible for the stove to get in this year, we decided to move the stove off the stone wall, read frown-y face. So far we have started on the pipe and are diy-ing a hearth pad. I know that does not sound like a lot but it is.

My small projects include…

Wood picture ledges for the master bedroom

Finishing our diy-ed TV shelf…you will love!

Finishing trim and painting in N’s room

Some work on master bedroom…drywall, trim, & paint

…there are definitely more projects I would love to get done, but this way I will be ecstatic if I get more than that done!


A Quickie…

…cleanup. So after the lovely time we had Friday…




…and found out our septic was froze, lovely, we had another lovely mess on the kitchen floor.


This is a pretty clean version of the nasty condition my floor was in, it was pretty much black. Now I did not have the time or energy for an intense, hands and knees floor scrubbing so I had to mop it.
In these dirty conditions I use a 2 bucket system. One with clean soapy water and the other with rinse water.


You can tell the rinse water on the right, it’s filthy. The 2 bucket system allows for you to not have to get fresh soapy water as often, I only had to change it once. The rinse water I dumped/changed quite a bit. Simple steps; mop/scrub an area, rinse, remop the same area, rinse, and move to a new area.
My floor now looks like this…


…a vast improvement from what it looked like earlier.
On a side note, you are probably wondering what we are using for a toilet right now. This is it…


…we are planning on constructing a composting toilet. That may be a tutorial coming soon !

All Froze Up…

So its been an interesting few weeks. One of the worst things that has happened is the septic freezing…yes our septic has froze. Not much I can say about this but let’s pray for an early thaw!!!
Called on a price for a john, since it does not seem like its going to warm up soon. Also considering a outhouse or composting toilet…we shall see.


Frustration knows no bounds right now…

Why? I am trying to find a good stain color, shade, what have you, for the stairs AND hardwood flooring that will go in the kitchen this year and eventually the whole house. I love dark wood but my kitchen cabinets are already dark (Black Cherry), most of the trim in the house is dark, and then I have older pieces of furniture that range from light walnut/pecan shade to red mahogany. My husband does not want to go too dark, and I agree it may make our house feel even smaller that it actually is. I do not want to go so light that it looks like blond or unstained wood.

I have tried almost all the colors at the one store that we think would be good, and that leaves 3 other places. A farm store, a hardware store and another lumber/hardware store. Most though already have the same brands I have looked at. I know I can custom tint a color, but that seems questionable and probably not the greatest idea since I have nothing to take and say I want this color.

This is what I got so far…

stain lights to med

None of these are tripping my trigger if you know what I mean. I would love for it to looked aged or distressed. The worst part is one may look good in the stairs but it looks horrible in the rest of the house and vice verse. The hubby does not like the idea of me layering different shades of stains and my DIY vinegar stain since he says its “unpredictable”. I tried my vinegar stain anyway, it does not look good at all. What I am really liking the idea of now is distressing the stairs with chains and such then taking tubed gel stain in an extremely dark stain and filling those little crevices with that and then staining the stairs with 2 different stains fading one into the other so it looks more aged…the hubby is probably not going to like this…

Oh Cripes…

So apparently I forgot all about unfinished car siding having a beveled edge.
I do not like a beveled edge on flooring, especially when its 1/4″ deep and about 1/2″ wide. What we bought will not work. Bummer.

Now we have to rethink the stairs AND the future kitchen flooring…such is a life.

Brake, Brake…BRAKE!

Why is it winter must mean we need to work on stopping? As I write this we are working on our beloved 97′ Dodge Ram’s brakes. We keep this baby because out in the country you need a good solid truck with awesome 4 wheel drive.

The irony of this situation is not that this is the second January in a row where we have had to work on one of our vehicles brakes. The irony is that the pneumatic drill (we bought for this sort of thing) and the big jack are at home. Meaning we are working on the truck in a big building heated by a Protemp 175,000 BTU heater which is about 40 minutes round trip from home.


This is what our kids did while we are furiously working to un-sieze the brakes. Luckily we had one thing going for us, the Chilton manual for repairing it was in the truck!

After all is said and done, ultimate irony…the brakes were fine. Not sure if the brake fluid was low or what. In the words of my grandpa…“such is life.”