House Tour–Main Floor

I just remembered I haven’t shown you any photos of the log house we lived in.  Some other time.  I want to show you the inside of this house and the way it looked BEFORE we moved in and changed everything.  The landlady bought paint so we could give it a facelift, and we chose a soft white for the whole main floor, since we liked it basically the way it was.  Most of these pictures were taken after we painted the main floor.  At least, the den, kitchen and sitting area.

This is the only picture I have of the entry.  It used to be a stall, but someone framed it in and poured a concrete floor.  One wall is still rough sawn boards.  To the right of the bench is an alcove about 12×5 feet.  We use it for a pantry.  The entry is at ground level and you climb a few steps to the main level.



That’s Chad’s uniform, by the way.  All summer long.  Diaper (or undies), and maybe a shirt.  He has a great tan.

In the photo below, the door to the entry is just to the left of the stairs.  This was taken when we went to look at the place so it has the landlady’s stuff in it.  There’s a long, skinny “closet” to the right of the stairs, then the door to the right of that is a bathroom/utility room with the pressure tank and hot water tank.  Desperately needs help.


Looking down that short hall you see the back door leading to the covered deck spanning the entire back of the house.  It gets morning sun.


To the right of the back entry is the dining room with the world’s nastiest chandelier.  The window overlooks the back deck.  Sorry about the horrible photos.  This is a ploy to make the “after” photos look incredibly amazing.


This is the den, to the right of the dining room.  It used to be an office and it has built in cupboards and shelves to the ceiling on one wall.  It used to have an exterior door, which was simply sealed shut before running siding over the outside.  Not sure why.  The wall on the far side looks like it was added later cause it overlaps the edge of the window a teeny bit.  The horizontal window on the right looks into the chicken coop.  Yes, you heard that right.  There’s a 12×5 foot “room” you can access through the sliding barn door on the outside.  It was used as a tool storage shed, but it was an easy conversion to coop by adding a few nest boxes and a roost.


The den also has these great old oak floors that need a bit of refinishing one day.  This room was going to be our bedroom, and it’s where our bed went when we moved things inside, but we slept in there a couple of nights and decided to move it upstairs.  The two bedrooms upstairs are not big enough for a king size bed.  But you’ll have to wait and see where we put it.  Hee hee.


From the bottom of the stairs, this is the kitchen.  The den is on the left.  The kitchen is smallish (compared to the log house!), but charming.  Behind the wood stove is the range with a short counter beside it.  The sink is opposite the windows.


Speaking of windows…


They’re big!  This was once the viewing area for the indoor arena that was attached to it.  Apparently, the people who built the place took the arena with them and rebuilt it at their new place.  Now it has a covered carport attached to the front.  Big enough for 3 cars.  Here’s another interesting window.


This window looks from the kitchen into the real live stall in the front corner of the house.  It’s now the milking parlour.

Here’s another view of the kitchen.  That’s the dining room window on the left.  I put a big mirror over the sink and with the huge windows behind me, it’s like looking out the window when I’m standing at the sink.


This kitchen has proven challenging to organize.  In the log house, we had 4 big drawers instead of cabinets on the island, and after enjoying them, I’m not enjoying these cabinets.  Big and roomy, but so much wasted space and hard to access anything in the back half, and you still have to bend over to access stuff at the front.  After a month and moving a couple things around to better locations, it still feels disorganized and always seems to be messy.  No dishwasher might have something to do with that.  Ahem.  There’s lots of room for pots next to the stove, but I might end up hanging them instead.


Here’s a horrible picture of the last corner, the sitting area.  It’s not really big enough for your typical living room furniture.  The landlady had a couple of leather chairs facing the wood stove.  I’d like to do that too but with 3 chairs.  Only problem is, 3 leather chairs of the quality I’d like to make it worthwhile buying them is out of our current budget.  I’m not about to spend good money on chairs that are merely functional.  They’d better look good and be comfortable too.   I’ll show you what we’re doing in the meantime…in another post.  :)  That white cabinet is an old (antique?) shelf that holds mason jars nicely.  We moved it to the pantry area in the entry.


That’s the main floor.  Next post: Upstairs!


We Moved 3 Times In 6 Months

So it went kinda like this.

Move #1

Left the mobile home and moved to the log home in March.  Spent 5.5 wonderful months there.

Move #2

Left log home and moved to a camper (thanks to some new friends!) in mid-August (cause that’s when we had to be out of the log home).  Put all our stuff in the barn at our new place and camped in the yard for 2 weeks until the landlady moved out.  Then camped an extra week to begin painting inside.  A blessing, really.  We haven’t been able to camp in the 2 years since we got a cow (Also a blessing to paint since she had 7 cats and 3 dogs).

Move #3

Left camper and moved into the house!  We brought our stuff over from the barn bit by bit using a dolly and the kids’ wagon.  We’re still moving stuff over.

I’m done with moving for a while now.  We have way too much stuff, yet I don’t know what I can get rid of.  The bulky things are tools and tool boxes, a wood stove, saddles, canning and food processing equipment, a kids carseat, a canoe and a dismantled plastic shed, to name a few.  When you add farm equipment to household goods, it adds at least 25% to the bulk.

Due to the unique characteristics of this house, we’ve moved a few things around already that didn’t work for us they way we thought they would.  I’ll get into some of that another time though.  The house is constantly changing before our eyes (and our hands, since we’re doing all the work), and it’s usually in a state of chaos with dishes piling up, toys scattered across the floor and painting supplies on every surface.  But it’s slowly coming into focus and we’re getting projects crossed off the list.  Darryl had 2 weeks off work cause his boss wanted a vacation, so we’ve been tackling as many projects as we can stand and we’ve made significant progress.

I’m excited to show you what we’ve done!  SOON!  There’s only a couple rooms that we can call done, even though I’m not done decorating them yet. I’m not unpacking any decor until the painting is done and the furniture arrangements are working for us.  So I have no pictures on the walls yet, except for a couple of mirrors and a stuffed pheasant.

And in case you’re wondering, we’re renting this place for at least a year and 8 months (hopefully more), and our landlady bought us all the paint and supplies we needed (except the dining room paint) and reduced our rent to help compensate us for painting her entire house.  She let us paint whatever colours we wanted and she’s going to let us build a wall upstairs when we decide we want another project (or more privacy in our bedroom–whichever comes first).



Our campsite.  The kids slept in the tent the whole time and loved it!



More about the house next time.

Anniversary Photo #8

I guess it’s that time of year again.  Time to gather the troops and round up animals and hopefully get a shot of everyone looking at the camera at the same time.

Here’s our 8th Anniversary Photo!

Finally a different background.  I will tell you all about this house in another post.  It’s VERY unique (God does answer prayer), and on 11 acres right on a lake!  You may notice the real live STALL in the bottom right corner.  Yep, it used to be a barn, and it’s having trouble letting go of the past.

The car….

The car isn’t there because it’s been in the shop for a month getting a new fuel tank and pump.  It’s back now.

Another thing you can’t see in the photo is the pile of empty and full boxes and other random junk that’s conveniently hiding behind us, almost like it was planned that way.

So there you have it.  Big changes this past year.  This crazy life gets better all the time!


We Moved! Part 5

Sadie found a best friend less than a week after the move. She’s 3 and very articulate and energetic. Her parents are very nice and go to Luke and Steph’s church too. Chad is turning 3 on April 7th. We invited anyone with children to come out to the playground with us to celebrate. Four families showed up bearing gifts for a little boy they barely knew. It was windy and fairly cold, yet the playground was well populated with children. Only the die-hard people of our old city would dare to venture out in that sort of weather.

Five weeks after moving, the winter is finally giving up. Now that the acres of dirt outnumber the acres of snow, I am thoroughly convinced there was close to three feet of snow when we moved here. I’m so used to snow melting into water and running off whatever hill it’s on, turning driveways to mud and creating temporary ponds, it’s strange that the snow can literally disappear before my eyes without a trace. No runoff creating gullies and gathering in any low spot it can find. Snow that I swear was there this morning is gone this afternoon. I think it’s the wind. The ice sublimates and blows away with the wind, skipping the liquid stage altogether. Not completely though. There’s a little pond by the lagoon that will probably disappear once it truly warms up. Two ducks stopped there this morning.

All these moving posts were sent from the library because our house isn’t in cell range, and we haven’t gotten internet yet.  We’re limited to dialup or satellite, so we’ll probably get satellite next month.  Weekends are for catching up on emails when we come into town.  But I think the internet fast has been good for us.  I didn’t realize how much time I wasted online and how much useless information gets posted on facebook.  I’m almost cured of that major time waster.

We Moved! Part 4

There was only one thing I lost in the move, that I know of anyway. Sadie’s basket of socks and underwear and tights mysteriously disappeared and 3 pairs of her dress shoes were gone. We bought her another pair of dress shoes and some socks and undies after she had to wear her runners with her dress to church. Then last week, while organizing the linen closet a bit more, I found them! I don’t know how I missed them before. They were right in the book where I recorded all the box numbers and contents, but I must have kept skipping over that one. It was perfect timing too because her bathing suit was also in there and we took the kids swimming on the weekend.

Everything else was pretty easy to find using my system. I have a book where I record box numbers and a quick rundown of what’s in each one and what room it goes in. I wrote numbers on the top and all 4 sides of the boxes, then used coloured dot stickers on the top. I taped up matching, large coloured paper dots in the entry with the room names written on them so our wonderful helpers could see what room each box went in. It worked great! About 95% of the boxes ended up where they should. I had 131 boxes numbered in the book. Darryl numbered his tool and auto parts boxes starting at 500 so we knew they were his, but he didn’t record what was in his boxes. He didn’t have too many though.

Since we’re anticipating another move at the end of the summer, we kept the collapsed empty boxes (since this house is sooo much bigger and we have the space!) Soon (maybe today!) I will go through the book and cross off all the numbers of the empty boxes so I know what has been unpacked. The empty boxes need to be stacked nicely anyway. :)

Speaking of moving again, we have a lead on a house with acreage and a barn that will be available to rent when we move out of here. Hmmm…coincidence? I think not. We haven’t seen it yet and don’t know much more about it except that it’s about halfway back towards town. We’d still prefer to stay out here because this area is GORGEOUS, so we’re going to try getting in touch with the owner of the piece of land we would love to buy just down the street from us with 3 mobile homes on it and a caretaker living in one of them. That would be an easy move. I could ride my horse over in 10 minutes. That place is 320 acres of mostly open hay fields, all fenced and cross-fenced, with a big shop, barns, corrals, sheds, etc. It was on the market last winter and my family considered buying it together. It looks even better in person, in the winter! Two people we talked to in the first week after we moved here said it’s a beautiful property. We can’t afford it on our own right now, though it is a great price, but we’ll see what happens.

We Moved! Part 3

For the most part, our move was pretty stress free. The most agonizing part was arranging transportation for the horse and cow. My brother Luke was a huge help and arranged for a truck and a trailer that he drove down and back, but securing those came down to the wire. As in, the morning they were leaving to drive down to help us, they had to find and borrow another truck. Aside from that, there were only minor things to deal with, like driving to another town an hour away to get our moving truck, and not having room for our canoe or BBQ. Two things we rarely use anyway. We’ll get them another time.

The animals loaded great. We put the cow in the front of the 3 horse stock trailer, and Banner in next, then the chickens and some hay. I think Banner loaded so well cause he watched his buddy load into a trailer two days before and was hoping to join him. The chickens were in the dog kennel, and Kai was in the back of Luke’s truck, which had a canopy.

The whole drive, which normally takes 5.5-6 hours, took us 8.5. We stopped for fuel on the Westside for Luke’s truck and a Starbucks run, then stopped at the Canadian Tire gas station in town for fuel for the moving truck, then stopped almost at the next town cause the foot on the horse trailer was barely clearing the pavement and dragging over the smallest bump. The guys went on to the next Canadian Tire store, and I met them there after feeding Tirzah. Darryl bought a new receiver and that fixed the problem. The next stop was in the next, and last, major town for a bathroom break, and then it was on to the boring part of the trip with only two more stops in tiny blips on the map for fuel or baby feeding. The moving van set the pace at a leisurely 80 kms/hr, which I’m guessing is why it took so long. Steph rode with me for the last leg of the journey and we stopped for chicken feed at the feed store. The guy at the counter was really friendly. I asked when they closed and he said 5:30. It was 5:37. “And we’re still here!” The debit machine was really slow and he said they had dialup and that the debit machine at the McDonald’s was so fast! My introduction to our small town. After the feed store, I dropped Steph off at a friend’s house (she was stopping at her mom’s for a pot of chili and driving out with her friend) and continued on by myself. The guys had already gone ahead to get there hopefully before dark. I knew the route fairly well just from looking at Google maps, but Steph drew a map for me anyway. It was dusk when I arrived. The driveway was blocked by a couple of trucks, including the landlord’s, who said hi as he left. He would have helped, but wasn’t feeling well. While the guys were outside doing who knows what, I sat on the hearth and fed Tirzah again, while Sadie and Chad ran around the big open living room in the partial darkness (no lamps yet). Then with a little direction from me, our helpers (all friends of Luke and Steph) began unloading the moving truck. Some details are a little blurry, but I think it took about 2 hours to unload everything. With the front door open the whole time, it got really cold in the house, and by the time everyone was gone, Darryl and I collapsed on the couches downstairs by the wood stove for a few minutes. I had to take a hot shower to warm up completely. The wood stove wasn’t warming the house up fast enough so we turned on the propane furnace for the night and we’ve been sweating in here every night since then. Except the few times we remembered to open the bedroom window for a while before going to bed.

That first week the temperature dropped down to minus 20 with snow blowing in sideways. Moola was hiding out beside the house instead of eating her hay, and she got a touch of mastitis from the stress of moving, so we put a horse blanket on her and she was much happier. By Sunday, the weather warmed up to plus 10 or something. Nice enough that I went riding for the first time in 9 months. The roads were bare, and there were people out walking on this remote road 25 minutes from a small town. One lady said she’d lived here for 35 years. Another couple have been here 30 years and said this winter was abnormal with a lot more snow and colder temperatures. There was over 2 feet of snow in our yard when we got here. One month later, we’ve had many more days of snow blowing in sideways and few days of sunshine, but the snow is only a foot deep now, and the driveway and road is bare. There’s a ring of dirt around every tree and stumps are showing up we never knew were there. Last week me and the kids went for a walk around the property, exploring the aspen grove below the house. I could walk on top of the crusted snow up until the end of our walk, when I started falling through in a few places. The snow was up to my knees. I guess it doesn’t get much sun in the trees down there.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 50 other followers