No obvious signs of the Christmas spirit

It’s just the two of us here, Bob and me.  Christmas is neither bought nor made, decorations are nil due to mass reconstruction on my craft room, whose contents BTW, have currently taken over the living room.  No tree, no trimmings here…  Oh wait, does the wreath on the door count?

The project was supposed to be easy-peasy:  Paint, hang shelves, pull up the old carpet and lay out new vinyl floor.  (insert sound of car crash here)

Nothing is ever easy when it comes to repairs in this house.

It was supposed to be easy, oh wait, I think I am repeating myself.  But it was supposed to be easy…

You know, like roll back the carpet, vacuum the floor and roll out the new vinyl.


There was the carpet and pad, the old vinyl floor, the old 8 inch glued down tiles, and then it was the 4 by 8 ft piece of 3/4 inch rotten, smelly plywood that had to be lifted and replaced first.

My 13.5  X 9.25 future quilting/sewing space.  The pictures on the wall are photos of how I want my space to look…  I’ve a long way to go and they help keep me motivated.

It is all supposed to be done and moved back before Dec. 25th so I CAN decorate.   We’ll see!  In the meantime, I have my Christmas music to keep me motivated and in the spirit of the season.  I want this project DONE.  😉


Oh yeah, and  did I forget to mention the six holes I punched into the wall with a wonder-bar when I took out these?

A pair of sorta cute, but totally non practical corner shelves.


NOTE:   After  our best friends left to go back to California, I had given myself a week to enjoy our clean and tidy living space, then it was back to work!  I have made much progress since the picture above.  I hope to be posting completion pictures by this Friday, or Monday!  STAY TUNED!  😉

Repairs to the Farmlet

When we moved here three years ago, I walked in and could feel the love in this house.  The previous Lady of the Farmlet and her husband had been working so hard to make this a home for their family of five beautiful children.

Then, much to their joy, they got the dairy farm they had been wanting to get for so long and had to move.  Let me hear you say it dear friends… “Awww!”

Well, let me back up a bit, I had taken a red-eye flight on a Friday to get here and look for a new home for us to move into at the end of my contract with Pomona Unified.  My real estate agent Sarah George, met me at the airport and had me lined up to see about 8 houses in a 200 mile view-a-thon ending with the house across the street from the Farmlet.   After looking at all those homes I felt somewhat like Goldilocks and/or Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz…

“Too big, too small, those neighbors must be related to the dukes of hazard, too run down, are we kidding, they want that much for this dump?”  My head was spinning folks, and I was tired.

So we had just looked at the house across the street and it was one of the “too small” variety in the kitchen department.  A great home, but I could not cook in that kitchen.  I just knew!  So we walked out the door and there it was.  The for sale sign on The Farmlet.

Sara and I walked over and inquired about the cost, square footage, land size, etc.  It certainly wasn’t as big as the other properties we’d seen, but the floor plan was more to my liking and the kitchen/dining area was simply put, palatial!  (I guess when you have five children you really need room to move in the kitchen.)

Like I said, I could feel the love when I walked in.  I was also looking at the home with the eye of someone who would have a budget to refine the rough edges post-haste!  But, then of course, the economy quashed my plans by making it impossible to find work as a teacher here. (Bygones.  Really!)

Well, we had made sure when we moved that, no matter what, we would have a roof over our heads.  We used the equity from the sale of the old house in California to pay cash for the Farmlet AND to pay off all of our previous debts incurred there.  It was a clean slate.  A blessing in the making.

So, although we would be able to live on Bob’s salary, we would not be able to just jump in and spend money like water to make all the rough edges go away overnight.  One of the major, and most expensive, overhauls had to be done the first year.  A new HVAC system needed to be installed.  You can imagine that was expensive.

Hence, three years later we are finally able to start patching, painting, and fixing!  Now about that new HVAC system…

Removing the old system and putting in the new one meant that there were some issues in the hallway.

Like a hole in the wall that went through to the bedroom closet, and then right down under the house!

Granted there was a grill here for the return, and…

a galvanized housing to connect this hole in the floor to the one in the wall…

Now, we didn’t have the money to pay someone else to do this, nor do we have the skill to fix the bracing, or young enough bones to go crawling under the house with the spiders to do that job.  So this meant we had to come up with another plan.

Our plan?  Lay in some plywood cut to fit the whole floor surface of the closet, then put the shoe molding back in around the edges.  Now, laying the same shoe on its side with the rolled edge facing out, and voila, a nice smooth edge facing out.  We painted the new floor on the inside of the closet with several coats exterior grade paint to allow a more durable finish.


My camera was behaving very badly, but you get the idea.

We also had to patch the other side of this hall because we took out the old gas wall heater.  This wall was is a nightmare.   Many moons ago there was a pot-bellied stove in this hall, and the stack was attached to the chimney that ran right up and out the roof ( inside the wall here).  Well this is what we had…

The weight from the wall heater was pulling the wall board out and away from the studs in the wall! 

And now!

I’m pleased…

Of course, there was one problem that will not go away with any amount of patching.

The arrow is pointing to a giant lump in the wall (and its shadow on the door casement)  and friends, there is no amount of plaster that will make that go away. It is the flange that the old stovepipe fit into, and it is firmly attached to the crumbling brick stack in the wall.

The old chimney is collapsing within the wall and will have to be removed… but that is a project for another day.

Next stop?  The guest bedroom!  This room should be much easier and faster, clean, patch, sand, paint done!  This should be a three-day project instead of two weeks.  It is taking a bit longer due to unforeseen electrical issues, but we’re getting there…  Then I can move the furniture in!


(Can you find the kitty in this picture?)

I have to finish unloading (read getting rid of) all the stuff that we’d stored and accumulated in the now empty spare room.

Why do I feel like an episode of HoArders?



People who live in areas with red clay soil,  and own kitties who “knock” at the door,  should NOT have white  doors on their house.

While white doors may look lovely, the fact is evident,  that they are magnets for ugly paw prints.   No matter how often you clean them, well, eventually the grime just stains and won’t come off!

Unpainted back door!  GAAACK!

After three years of battling the never ending grunge I finally decided on a different plan.


Newly painted front door

I think the color works both aesthetically and functionally.    I will still have to wipe it down, but at least it won’t show the stains anymore!

So, I guess I’ll be painting the back door next!