House update.

24 Sep

I painted the front room blue. Now, before you think I’m super crazy, it’s a blue I pulled from the fabric wall just past the kitchen. (Wait, what? Fabric wall. Did you know you can turn fabric into wallpaper by applying it to the wall with liquid starch? Suuuuper easy and effective.) So I pulled a blue from the fabric and painted a couple walls in the front room/dining room that blue. And you know what? We like it. I also spruced up the rest of the walls with white, covering the dirty cream that was there to begin. There was also the matter of dying the existing curtains and painting the rods black as a manner of updating.  (Empty house photos are from the house listing.)

And now for the big one. The kitchen island. The project I’ve been waiting for since we moved in and lived with the silly oddly-shaped island with built-in indoor grill. We shopped around for cabinets and found that Klearvue cabinets from Menards fit our budget best. They’re cabinets you (*ahem* Dave) assemble yourself with bunches of options for combos. We also knew we wanted butcher block and – again- after shopping around, ordered a piece of butcher block actually marketed as a workshop table top.  It saved us hundreds of dollars (even more so because Dave was able to pick it up from a local warehouse to avoid shipping costs) and came in just the right size. And so a couple weekends ago, we demolished (and found a newspaper clipping from 1981) and assembled.


We have the toe kicks left to do and the shiplap to paint and more stools arrive tomorrow but it is usable and we are in love. Our neighbors stopped over the other night to see it and mentioned how – despite the island itself being huge – 3 x 8 feet – it actually makes our kitchen look bigger to be rid of the kidney bean formica island.

This past weekend we welcomed Dave’s sister and her family – two adults and three kids. We had to pull in extra stools but we all ate meals around the island. It was lovely. We also went to the Milwaukee County Zoo where we especially lingered with the flamingos, tiger, and elephants (real and shrubbery).


Goodbye, summer. You’ve been great.

7 Sep

No post since the end of July? Uffda.

Things have been a bit crazy.

Let me catch you up on our whereabouts.

I mowed the lawn bunches of times. We fell in love with a cauliflower rice stir fry mix from Costco and have ate it three times in the last two weeks. Our bedroom has been (and still is) a disaster. I’ve binge-watched Veronica Mars whenever I’ve had a chance. More significantly —

I volunteered at the ELCA Churchwide Assembly in Milwaukee for a couple days in August. I got to see some of my favorite SEMN synod friends who invited me to worship with them as if I had never left. 

We camped. We pulled the camper to Waupaca where we were able to stay AND also attend our niece’s birthday party in Stevens Point.  We had a wonderful weekend, weather-wise. Coffee on our campsite deck. Playground fun and s’mores when Dave’s sister and kids came to visit one evening. Sleeping with the windows open. A great visit with my Aunt Janice on the way home. All around lovely. We do love camping.

Four days later, we packed the car (+ dog) and headed for North Carolina to visit Dave’s brother and family. They have a backyard oasis complete with pool so we chilled (literally) there for a couple days (picture #4 below). We also set out to do some exploring in Greensboro and Roanoke (pictures #5 + 6). Super fun. Emmett met his cousin, mini golden doodle Marty, (picture #1) and had loads of fun playing in the backyard. Emmett also explored his first two arcades. We’ll definitely be back.

Let’s see … what else?

Oh, right. I GOT A JOB. Maybe you’ve been wondering what I’ve been up to, not working and all. It was the agreement that upon moving I would take my own little sabbatical. I left church pretty tired and, really, I didn’t know the extent of how tired until I had said goodbye to Austin. This past summer was all about taking the dog for walks, spending time with Dave exploring our new place, and progressing projects around the house. But, alas, summer came to an end and it was time. I had applied for a few positions – mostly non-profits, a few I really hoped I’d at least get an interview – with no luck.

And then Thursday happened. I had an interview to be an elementary special education paraprofessional in a local school district and they hired me on the spot. (School has started, alas. They need their slots filled!) It’s part-time (9-3) and a good fit (fingers crossed) for this fall. Starting Monday, Emmett won’t get his lunch-time walk as I hang out with elementary schoolers instead of him. Sorry, bud.

Let’s throw a craft show in there too, shall we? I’ve been sewing up a storm because today I had my first show of the fall. It was just down the road at a pumpkin patch that was hosting a watermelon festival. (Follow? Me neither.) It was my first outdoor show and besides being a bit sunburned and suuuuper tired, we had a good day.  (Can you believe the adorable BOO pillow didn’t sell? I thought it’d be the first to go!)


And so that, my friends, is why I haven’t been great at blogging.

Chances of it improving in the weeks to come? Slim. Starting a job, demolishing a kitchen island (It’s almost new-kitchen-island time! New-kitchen-island time! Everything is ready to go, waiting in our garage. We just need to be home for a weekend!), prepping for a weekend of visitors with whom we will visit the Milwaukee Zoo, another craft show around the corner …

I guess I’ll see you when I see you. *shrugging emoji*

Visitors are fun.

26 Jul

We had visitors a few weeks ago. Dave’s sister & kids, along with his parents, came to stay with us for a night. We played outside. We ate pizza. We visited the lighthouse and the park. There was a movie projected on the ceiling while laying on an air mattress and there were water beads. It was fun to show them around and let them explore the place we now call home.

Top left: Sidewalk chalk.
Top right: The nephews enjoy Dave’s latest game.

Bottom left: Niece E. crafting in the sunroom. A gal after my own heart.
Bottom right: Enjoying a snack while at the park.

House updates.

25 Jul

Please be warned that what you’re about to see may shock you. It may hurt your eyes. You may feel dizzy. This is what the stairway to our basement looks like now, in addition to much of the basement floor —IMG_7882

It’s been Dave’s dream to have black light bowling alley carpet in his pinball lair. This is his dream come true. After they finished installing the carpet, Dave was just giddy. He continues work with lighting and electrical and then – hopefully soon – the arcade will materialize.

On the first floor of the house, this is the current state of our full bathroom. The new vanity and counter is in the garage; tile is stacked in the hall. Light fixture and faucet arriving this week. Here we go!IMG_7934


Emmett adventures.

24 Jul

Emmett’s had bunches of fun lately. We’ll begin with his destructive side.

Many week ago now, Emmett and I got home from our typical lunchtime walk. I fixed myself lunch and sat down to eat up. The windows were open and both of our ears perk up to a ruckus outside. Emmett takes off at doggy speed; I follow at human speed. I come to the front door to find this —

IMG_7885Emmett had literally jumped through the screen door. To be fair, the screen was old and already pushed out. Apparently, Emmett had no trouble finding a new route outside where he found another dog – IN HIS YARD – running away from his owner up the street. It took a moment before I was able to grab Emmett but, thankfully, both dogs – as they frolicked around each other – didn’t leave the yard. Inside we went and to Ace Hardware went the screen door to be repaired.

On a less destructive note, Emmett has a new ride. Dave and I had always joked about getting a bike trailer – you know, the ones made for kids – for Emmett to ride around in while we went for bike rides. Lo and behold, a bike trailer – one actually designed for dogs – popped up on the Facebook marketplace. On a whim, not knowing if he would even like it, I jumped on it and had it in the back of my car by that evening.

There was an adjustment period but now HE LOVES IT. He is most certainly living his best life, head hanging out, breeze in his mustache. We find ourselves on many more bike rides now.

We camped this last weekend in Edgerton. It was super hot so we basically hung out in the air conditioned camper and in air conditioned relatives’ houses. We did go to A&W for the classic drive-up eating experience where Emmett got ice cream. ICE CREAM. We also went to my friend Krissy’s house for a pool party. He decided to jump in and then was terrified. Can you see how he is almost on top of Dave out of fear? (We think he might like swimming if he has a way out of the water. Not so much in a pool.)

Strawberry picking.

1 Jul

IMG_7872I went strawberry picking today.

What am I going to do with the berries? No idea, really. But it felt right to jump in the car this morning and drive to the nearest pick-your-own patch.  My local weather app said the rain would’t start until the afternoon but the sky grew darker as I drove. I still managed to pick a fairly full box before the rain began.

Strawberry picking is just one of those things I love to do. Summer doesn’t feel right if it doesn’t happen. It’s most likely because I grew up doing it. I remember going with my friend, Lynn, when we were in high school. I’d bring the berries home and make strawberry pies and freezer jam until the counters were full. I remember once, before I was able to drive, when my Grandma Vera was sick and unable to pick herself, she drove me to the patch and sat in the car while I picked her ice cream buckets of berries for her. I’m pretty sure the jam-making drive came from her.

I’m okay with that. Dave is too. I’ve finally convinced him that strawberry rhubarb jam is something to be revered and enjoyed. Perhaps another batch is in my future.

I can do hard things.

24 Jun

I saw a sticker with those words and it’s a good reminder. (My new favorite Etsy shop has it.) I’ve done a couple hard things lately.  Here are two:

I push mowed the lawn. Now, you might be thinking, what’s hard about that? Maybe it’s not so much hard  but new. I’ve never push mowed before. (Gasp.) Once, while in college, I worked for the grounds crew, I got sent off with a classmate named Adam to push mow a Luther property in town. He attempted to teach me how to work the mower and – I don’t quite remember why or how – but I failed. And he suggested I wait for him to finish by sitting in the truck. That is the extent of my push mowing.

Don’t misunderstand – I have mowed lawns before. It’s just been for large lawns with riding lawn mowers. But our lot in Wind Point can be mowed just fine with a push mower and that’s what Dave has. A couple weekends ago, Dave was out of town and the lawn desperately needed mowing. Desperately. I placed a call for a phone tutorial and then – wait for it – I push mowed the lawn. I did it. And the neighbor across the street yelled over to tell me it looked great!IMG_7813

Second: I recovered camper cushions. I’d been putting it off for forever because – well – zippers. I don’t have much experience with zippers and they are scary for this sew-er. With our first camping trip planned for last weekend and, you know, currently being unemployed, I decided it had to be tackled. A youtube video later, I was on my way and zippers aren’t so scary anymore. It felt wonderful to get the gross standard brown cushion covers off (photo on right) and add some color. AND I had just enough fabric left to make a matching shower curtain. (Another new thing: button holes. Never have I ever sewed a button hole until the shower curtain. Verdict: kind of fun.) Next up: new dinette table.

We gave the cushions their first spin this past weekend. We pulled the camper to Stevens Point where we snagged the very last (first-come, first-serve, not-reservable) campsite at a county park. This specific park was the destination as it’s just a short drive from Dave’s sister and her family, as well as his visiting parents. We had a lovely weekend in the camper with lots of family time to boot.

Kitchen update.

10 Jun

I feel like we are finally getting a grip on the kitchen. A full kitchen remodel is a couple years down the road for us but we’re making some cosmetic and practical changes to help use and enjoy the space as it is now.


(The wallpaper is subtle but it’s there – covering every. single. kitchen wall surface.) The wallpaper was stripped and the glue remained. The glue was the tricky part. Three different methods were employed, along with sanding, repairing, and a whole lot of elbow grease. A couple coats of primer. Paint (lemongrass green) above the cabinets and the full wall. Today REMOVABLE wallpaper was added as a temporary, economical backsplash/accent.

Next up: update outlets and wall switches, decor, and a new kitchen island will soon follow. As cool (not) as it is to have an indoor grill installed on the island and a circle on the other end, the current island is simply not practical.  *clapping hands emoji* We’re getting there!

Home improvement updates.

15 May

I haven’t shared a whole lot of details here yet but our house needs help. Projects that will make it all the more lovely inside and out.  And those projects are my life now. (Until I get a job of some sort. Projects + daily walk to the lake with the dog = my life.) Here are the current project stats —

When we first looked at the house and put an offer in to purchase, it was the end of winter. We could see that the backyard had some landscaping but we weren’t sure what exactly. As spring has (finally) arrived, we have learned that – OH MY YES – it has landscaping. Bulbs, hostas GALORE, and all sorts of questionable plants cover the garden areas. My mom came to stay last weekend and helped us get a lot of the garden under control – raking, weeding, and lots of “I wonder what that is”/”Why would they put that there?”  It was a great start; I continue to spend a little time outside each day to make a bit more progress.

There is wallpaper; I’ve told you this. The wallpaper in the kitchen came off no problem; we had that done the first weekend.  There was still the matter of the entry hall and guest bathroom. (Plus two bedrooms but those are projects for down the road.) My younger brother’s other, Jenny, is in the continuous 48 for a brief stay; she came over last weekend to help too. She VOLUNTARILY peeled wallpaper. (Round of applause.) She peeled the hallway and the bathroom which was awesome. Now, today, I attempt to remove glue from the hallway, whose wallpaper left a particular thick residue. (Can you see the discoloration below on the left photo? It’s glue that needs to go.) All the more closer to a coat of primer in all these places and PAINT! What a difference that will make. (See the super cool yellow shower in the bathroom? Totally keeping that. Everything else will go but that, my vintage loving friends, will stay.)

Other projects?
One block wall of the basement is covered in dry-lock; many more walls to go.
My sewing room is close to organized.
I’ve been to Home Depot and Menards more times in the past three weeks than I have in the last year … and there are many more trips to go because we’re home improvement people now. So far it’s exciting and only slightly overwhelming.

Ask me what I think in three months (or next week) and my answer may differ.


We’re in.

9 May

IMG_7750We closed on our lovely home on Friday. As TJ on Gilmore Girls would proclaim, “I’m in esss-ga-row!” (He didn’t really know what it meant but he shouted it a million times in a single episode. If you’re a GG fan, you might know what I’m talking about. If you’re not, simply move on. It’s really not important.)

We moved in the things we had in our vehicles, including but not limited to: a dog, an air mattress, cleaning supplies, and five pinball games. (These pinballs got a priority ride in Dave’s trailer; they are too nice to be trusted to movers, you know.) Throughout the weekend, we —

+ welcomed our first visitors
+ toured the village of Wind Point
+ made the first of many home improvement store runs
+ put contact paper in the cupboards
+ tried the pizza place just down the road
+ slept on an air mattress
+ stripped the wallpaper in the kitchen
+ tried a new coffee shop
+ readied a straw bale garden
+ met a few neighbors
+ began to dream about what our first big project would be to undertake
(Answer: master bath.)

Then Monday morning, the boxes happened. A semi rolled up with our favorite moving men and here’s how it went down: They would load boxes/furniture/what have you on their dollies, roll it into the house, look at Dave or I and we’d tell them where to put it. I literally sat at the kitchen island for the morning and pointed. Oh, the boxes. And the paper. As I began to unpack the kitchen that afternoon, everything was wrapped in paper. Everything.

A cord. Wrapped in paper.
A rubber spatula. Wrapped in paper.
Plastic glasses. Wrapped in paper.

The same routine happened on Tuesday with the second semi of garage items and pinball games. They rolled the pinball games to the basement and then asked us what we would like them to unbox. Simply to get some boxes and PAPER out of the house, we had them unbox a couple rooms. Obviously, they don’t put anything away because they don’t know where it goes (Goodness, I don’t know where it goes yet either.) but it was helpful to not have to do the unwrapping. To give you an idea, here’s the current state of my sewing room —


That is a project for another day.

More house posts to come!

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