Entrance Improvements

Because this house used to be a barn, it has a rather unusual layout. The front door used to be 12 feet further from where it is now, beside the big viewing windows. But that seriously cut into the “living room” space, so it was moved to its current location in the front corner of a stall, and another door was cut from the stall into the main room and 3 steps installed because the main floor is higher.

The problem with that, is the front door looks like the back door of a warehouse, so much so that people have walked around to the back door the first time they visit because it is way more inviting than the front.

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Our landlady is amazing and thinks our ideas are worth paying for, so she forked over the money to pretty up the entire entrance, including labour.

We started by cutting a hole in that door and giving it a window.

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So much better! Now the entry inside has some natural light, whereas before, the only light in there was from a little window in the inside door to the main floor. It was like a dungeon. Ok, it still is like a dungeon, but now you can see what you’re tripping on.

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Next, we needed some kind of shelter over the door, and something to keep rain from dripping on our necks when we walked to the carport, and to keep snow from piling up right where we walk. Extending the carport roof would accomplish that, so that is what we did.

We started by pouring a footing. When I say we I mean Darryl. Unless I say I did it.

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Then we (Darryl) poured a littler footing on top of that, and stuck the metal post bracket into that.

We got the 10 foot 6×6 timbers from a local sawmill, cut fresh for us, for $30 each! One of them is the post, and the other spans the space from the corner of the house to the post, to hold up the extended roof.

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I stained the rafters and the post and beam. Yes, I did it, not Darryl. He had to go to work.

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Darryl put them up. I helped with a couple of the heavier boards here and there when he needed it.

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Then he put up the 2×4’s and tar paper, and finally, the extra metal roofing that matches the existing roof.

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It’s still not totally done. It needs the fascia finished, the front of the post stained, the stubborn piece of siding replaced, and the porch light moved. But we love it and it feels like it’s always been this way.

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Darryl wants to use some extra unfinished siding he found in the barn to finish the underside so you can’t see the tar paper, but the rafters would still be exposed. That would look amazing! But we have other things that need doing first. Like firewood and prepping next year’s garden.

I stuck some things around the door just to make it look a little more finished, but I don’t like it. My log wall is coming along nicely though. It’ll help keep the snow from blowing up against the door. And I think it looks cozy.

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So here it is before…

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And after!

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So much better, don’t you think?

I Painted My Bedroom

The master bedroom is often one of the last priorities when redecorating rooms. Mine is no exception.

When we were painting this house the week before we moved in, we were going to put the master bedroom downstairs in what is now the den. Upstairs had this big, open room with tons of natural light, so we were going to use it for a library, watching movies, homeschooling, toys, and just general hanging out. So I chose a pale yellow for the entire upstairs. I pictured a warm, sunny room to spend cold winter days in.

Then we moved our mattresses into the downstairs room and slept in there once or twice. And hated it.

The room was on the small side for a king sized bed, there wasn’t really room for a dresser so I was going to use the built in cupboards and shelves on one wall, and it would have been really crowded with the baby’s playpen in there. There was no closet. The kids and laundry and shower were all upstairs. Not to mention, the chicken coop was on the other side of the wall, and there was even a window to look in there, so when the girls were laying eggs in the morning, we would be able to hear ever squawk.

So after listing all the reasons it wasn’t going to work, Darryl helped me move the bed, and we took over ⅔ of the big sunny room upstairs. It’s about 12×24 feet. And it has one of the two closets in the house. Did I mention it has it’s own private deck with an amazing view of the lake? No brainer.

There was no wall to separate it from the rest (still no wall), but we put three bookcases side by side and that blocked off all but a doorway. Then we hung curtains behind the bookcases using the cable for the dog run we found outside. And there we stopped.

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The furniture is all mismatched, free stuff. The bedding is from Costco. The rug was bought used for $40. The headboard (which I love) was an old door we bought at a flea market before we got married for $15. It’s a teal/turquoise colour on the other side. I started stripping this side and that’s how far I got, and I like it that way. The lamps were part of a cheap walmart set (and I want to replace them). My bedside table is two old wooden crates stacked up, and Darryl’s is an old filing cabinet with the bottom drawer missing. Needless to say, the room needs help.

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I’ve had the dresser since I was little, and I painted it red because I was going to paint black over that and sand the edges down to the red, but that never happened (probably a good thing). The radio cabinet I love, and want to have refinished one day. The plant is fake. The cradle was made by my Grandpa for me when I was born. It’s not actually crooked. Not sure why it looks that way. The bear rug was a gift from my brother (live or dead animals are always a welcome present. Haha). I did the painting on the canvas, and the chair was given to us. So, as you can see, hardly any money went into this room, and it kinda shows.

So, I’ve got this idea in my head of what I want it to look and feel like, and then Darryl tells me I need to do something to cover the windows so he can sleep part of the day (he does shift work). So I researched blinds and drapes of all types and came to the conclusion that anything that looks nice is going to cost way more than I want to spend, so I came up with this great idea of painting the walls dark and making curtains out of drop cloth, and if we still need to, we can buy the ugly blinds, cause then they’ll be hidden by the curtains.

So I painted the room.

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And that’s as far as I’ve gotten for now. I wanted the colour of the darkest storm cloud, and settled on Rona’s Tungsten. It’s hard to tell exactly what colour it is, cause sometimes it looks dark grey, sometimes blue, and sometimes almost black. I like it. It feels way more cozy.

I haven’t made the curtains yet, cause I need two drop cloths and they only had one when I went to buy them, and haven’t gotten another one yet cause they’re $50 (gasp, even though that’s cheap for covering two windows!), and the ones they got in are a different texture (ugh). Hopefully I can find the same one somewhere, or I’ll have to switch textures. But the room is darker. Hehe.

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And it’s far from finished.

I should just put up some art, cause if I do move it, the nail holes won’t show. I was kinda waiting till The Wall is built, but I just now decided I’m not waiting any longer.

I like the way gold looks with the dark grey, and I found a pair of brass lamps at the share shed, so I replaced the lamps. Now I need new shades. And bedside tables. And a rug. And bedding. And a tufted bench at the foot of the bed. And a huge mirror.

And I suppose some curtains would be good too.

 

Anniversary Photo 2016

Here it is!

This year’s anniversary photo! Enjoy!

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Darryl is holding a flapping chicken, Sadie is holding Donna Trump the duck, Chad is holding one of the kittens, I’m holding Justice, obviously, and Tirzah is eyeing something. Maybe the cat.

Always a good time. This photo is also posted in the sidebar with the previous ones if you want to look back. I’m sure glad I started doing this 10 years ago!

Hey There

I’m back again after many moons to give you a very general update.

I often think there’s nothing left to blog about, until I go back and look at photos from the last YEAR and, oh my goodness, there’s so many things I could write about!

Like Tirzah turning 2. My favourite age. They’re so cute!

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Or the puppies we sold. (Don’t let your dogs have puppies in winter! Lesson learned. We also sold their dad, and their mom disappeared one day and never came back. We think she tangled with a bear and lost. We are still dog-less.)

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But those puppies were nice enough to buy us a dishwasher.

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And help buy this black beauty in time for my birthday. Happy Birthday to me!

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Then Chad turned 5.

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We took the kids to the Wildlife Park.

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Sadie had a huge seizure and we were flown to Children’s Hospital for a few days. She’s fine.

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Then she turned 7. I need a time machine.

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Our ducks finally hatched some eggs. One duckling is tufted. I named it Trump.

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We added another farmhand to the roster: Justice Margaret. 8lbs.

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Several family members came to visit.

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We spent some time at our little private beach. I worked hard on my tan.

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We sold our milk cow, Moola. We miss her milk (and ice cream).

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We went “camping” in a cabin at our friend’s ranch in buckshnuck and had a great time. Cause that’s what you can do when you don’t have a cow to milk.

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Our two cats had 6 kittens between them. Now we’re back down to one cat.

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We had this huge crazy storm…

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…that blew our car shelter across the vacant 10 acre property next to us and into the next neighbour’s yard.

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Sadie won a few ribbons at the fair for her artwork and a photo.

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And I found out I have the best banana bread in town.

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And the cutest duck.

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We picked sweet corn and ate it raw right off the cob. And froze a bunch too.

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Chad was finally ready for me to cut his hair.

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I think the prospect of no more knots in his hair convinced him.

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And that takes us to mid-september. I have more coming! Promise!

 

 

A Few Inside Pictures

Not all of my house is camera ready at the same time, unfortunately. I really wish it was, but with three smalls who love rearranging their stuff, and mine, on a regular basis, it gets difficult to keep up.  So these pictures were not all taken recently, but not much has changed, other than being a lot messier now.

This is the “library”.

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We call it that cause it contains the majority of our books.  It’s also my sewing room and the kids play there too, which causes all sorts of organizational nightmares.

This is the other side, opposite the bookshelves.  The cupboards hold my vast fabric stash. Ha! Not really.  I also have a couple of bins under the sewing table on the other wall, which I neglected to take a picture of at the time, probably because it was an embarrassing mess. Now it’s even worse.

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This room really needs in intervention.  I caught it on a good day.  My sewing table is buried under stuff under the window, and the opposite wall has a bookshelf with the kid’s books and some of their treasures, and their play kitchen beside it.  And a couple of huge picture frames leaning against the wall.

This room serves mostly as a storage facility and hallway to the master bedroom, and the bookshelves serve as our wall until we get around to building one.  Too bad that’s waaaaaay at the bottom of our priority list right now.

This room is much better.

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I’ve never had a guest room that looked this nice.  Scratch that.  I’ve never had a guest room.  We squeeze all the kids into one room so that I can have one room in the house that always looks good.  And it’s not even finished.  The walls need another coat of paint, but we were just using up the leftovers from the entire upstairs and the colour is going to change anyway.  The blinds were whipped together using some curtains I already had and didn’t need anywhere else.  I just cut them to fit the window and sewed a hundred little rings on the back to make roman blinds, cause the sun beats in all afternoon and turns the room into a sauna.  They’re not the right colour, but they work.

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And the headboard I built way back when I was still a teenager is getting put to use!  And I just noticed it’s backwards.  The curtains are just sheets that I opened the ends of the top hem on and slid them onto the rods.  Easiest and cheapest curtains ever.  One day I will get around to showing you how I made the curtain rods for the entire downstairs for less than the cost of one curtain rod.

There’s also a dresser with a whole empty drawer!  This mirror was a share shed find that I spray painted with some leftover paint.  The clay bowl and pitcher were also from the share shed, unfinished.  I did the painting behind it.

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And here’s a little glimpse of my bathroom.  I took this one just to show the shower curtain I found after a few months of looking for one I liked.  It was only $11 from Jysk, which is in another town.  I had to get a friend to pick it up while she was there.

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That’s it for now.  I have a few pictures of the dining room, but they’re scattered around and need to be uploaded here first.

And right now, Sadie needs me to find her reader cause if she finds it, she doesn’t have to do the laundry.  Muahaha.  Motivation comes in many forms.