"To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion; to be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not rich; to listen to stars and birds, babes and sages, with open heart; to study hard; to think quietly, act frankly, talk gently, await occasions, hurry never; in a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common."
~William Henry Channing

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Remodel Update #2

While waiting on the funds for a new toilet, we decided to install the new window. It's 36x38. We got it for $18 because someone had tried to install it, couldn't, then returned it to the store. It wasn't damaged, just dirty and covered in sheetrock dust. It goes in our bedroom.

my desk, stuck in a dark corner
window will go here, bringing in light, a cross breeze and the beautiful view of the timber behind the house */excited/*

notched for the header

making room

Chloe was very confused by the hole in the wall
Look at that beautiful view! I can see the timber from my desk and pretend that we live in the country.

Kitty approved.

It is incredible to wake to the chirps of robins and brown thrashers. There is an owl back in the timber who keeps me company all through the day. At night, the frogs in the run-off creek sing me to sleep. Amazing the peace that just one open window can bring.

Insulating, sheetrock and paint will wait until we tackle the entire bedroom. We have to finish our bathroom and gut the kid's bathroom first so finishing probably won't happen until fall but definitely before winter.

While it's frustrating having to progress so slowly, it has given us time to think through our steps many times before committing, making that first cut. We've been saved from possible mistakes that would have cost us more money and time in the long run.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Remodel Update #1

Once we made the decision to remodel our mobile home instead of chasing the illusive farmhouse dream, the ball started rolling downhill. We started finding all kinds of good deals on things we'll need for this project.

Dh's fellow employees know of our projects and keep their eyes open for clearances and deals that will help us. We found two matching doors at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore - a solid core for the bathroom, $20, and a hollow core for the closet, just $10. In one weeks time, we bought a brand new but discontinued $160 bathtub for $37, a new 36 x 38 window for $18, and 7 slightly damaged sheets of green sheetrock (mold resistant for bathrooms) for $1 each.

My color choices have changed a little. I'm looking at a dark teal for the trim and cabinets, still going for the pale tan on the walls. The vinyl I'd like looks like this:

Below are highlights from the 7 days we've spent working on our project:
removing the old doors & frame
removing the old sheetrock & insulation
all clean, ready for new insulation
ready for new sheetrock
re-purposed sheetrock from this <-- clickie="" font="" project="">
fresh wall between bathroom & new closet
beautiful solid core door from ReStore, $20
closet ceiling
beautiful hollow core door from ReStore, $10. you can kinda see the new ceiling light
giant mirror over the sink
came out easier than we though because of a pliable plastic backing

removing the sink base and tower
our red-neck pedestal sink
sheetrock and insulation removed
new floor
new insulation and green sheetrock. this was the most damage
tub is just sitting in place until we're ready, had to get it out of the living room
removing the old wool insulation from the ceiling and trying to make sense of the electric flow

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Right Where We Are

We've lived in this mobile home since August 1998... wow, that's a long time. This isn't where I wanted to raise my girls. My home is a big old farmhouse sitting on ten acres, with trees, a huge garden and some chickens and goats.
This was supposed to be the home in which I raised my girls.
It was a long, painful lesson (because I'm fatally stubborn) but I have accepted that my farmhouse dream is dead. It died with my father in April 1998 but I've been dragging it's corpse around hoping and praying for it's resurrection. We have tried so many times to get out of this mobile home but we seem to be stuck, trapped behind a durasteel wall, able to see what we want from life but not having the tools to break out and make our dreams come true. January 2014 I buried that dead, desiccated thing. My girls don't have much time left at home, my youngest will be 12 in just a few weeks. I want them to see what we can do with what we've got. Instead of raising chickens and being self-sustaining, we are going to teach them to Do Your Best Right Where You Are. Here, right here, in this mobile home, in this mobile home park, is where we Are and we are going to continue to do our best at Life.

~**~ ~**~ ~**~
Mobile homes are not built to last 100 years like farmhouses. They aren't built to last ten. And they aren't meant to raise rowdy children in (farmhouses are but...) It started breaking down after about 1 1/2 years, cosmetically at first: cabinet fronts falling apart, doors separating. After about six years it started it's structural decline. After ten years, the furnace and air conditioning went and more serious problems developed. Now the floors are warped, half of the electrical doesn't work, the windows are separating. I could go on for pages and pages. Mobile homes are good for old people and single people, not families with kids-- at least not the make/model that we bought.

Anyway, it's time to give this old girl a makeover. We're starting and the back end and working our way toward the middle. Then starting at the other side and working to the middle, with the final rooms for remodel being the kitchen and living room. I'm going to post our progress here. It will be a slow process because we are doing this project "cash only". The plan is to take advantage of Craigs List and the Habitat for Humanity Re-Store, garage sales and local specials. It's going to be fun and exciting. The only thing missing is the land we want to move the house onto, still praying for that to come but the remodel cannot wait.

We will be repairing the floors, rewiring, replacing windows, re-insulating the walls & ceiling & undercarriage, and flattening the ceilings as we go through each room. We will also be installing baseboard heaters and direct wiring air conditioners in most rooms. 

When we are finished we will have a mobile home that has the feel of a real house.
The Master Bathroom is our starting point.

Our rough plan.

Hubby started the demo before I could get the before shot so he stuck all the pieces back in for me to get this.
Bye bye broken garden tub.

This will be the new master closet. We will be putting up a wall and opening the closet into the bedroom (on the left side of photo)

This bathroom had two out-swing doors that opened into the master bedroom. We will be framing it into one door that opens into the bathroom.
 We are putting 3/4 plywood over the subfloor, then vinyl like this:

The walls will be painted the palest tan from the above flooring.

We will build the cabinet & tower. They will be painted dark brown with a white countertop.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Going to Try Getting Back into This Thing

2013 was quite a year of adjustments for us. We ended a long seven years of truck driving. I was able to return to my role of full-time wife and mom. Just when things were leveling out my oldest daughter was stuck by a car while walking to a job interview. Both bones in her lower right leg broke just under the knee, her right arm was dislocated, chipped bones now float in the shoulder socket and elbow. She lived. The baby she had just found out she was carrying, lived. But things are much different now. The nerves in her arm are very slow to recover, leaving it unable to lift itself up. She cannot flex her foot, as if to raise from an accelerator pedal. The bones in her leg are pinned but not healing. She lives with us now, on a cot in the corner of the living room. She uses a wheelchair and can get around pretty well in it. Her children live with the other grandparents, who have a much bigger house than us. Adjustments.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Gardening, Construction, and Babies -- Oh My.....

We had to completely rebuild the front garden this year. We decided that bricks would be a better choice than 2x10s.
trying our hand at herbs this year- sage in the blue bucket; then live-forevers and a blueberry bush

live plants at this end: tomatoes, green & red peppers, more herbs. seeds at the other end: green beans, peas, carrots, cabbage, zucchini
In the holes of the bricks, we planted nasturtium seeds and live marigolds for pest control.
we wanted watermelon here by the faucet but put cantaloupe instead
the pool garden doesn't get as much sun now that we have neighbors so we only put in a few zucchini plants. the cabbage from last year is still holding on, so we left it alone.
 The day after we put our live plants in the ground, we got this: 
snow in May, go figure
The food plants survived but the marigolds didn't make it. Luckily, they're very cheap.

We hope to put another garden, about 3 1/2 by 5, in the back by our shed, before mid-June. 

I've wanted to rearrange the living room for a long while, and now that my hubby is home every evening, we have been able to make that happen. 

remove the 16 year old, original carpet
very scary
the subfloor isn't too bad
it can wait a little while, until we find a good cover. I've developed allergies so I don't want carpet.

 Then, building the new entertainment center:
we've had this entertainment center (lower part) for about eighteen years. we used a 4x8 sheet of 1/2" plywood to make it bigger.
like this. then turned it to divide the living room from the kitchen.
this remaining piece was cut to end the cabinet so anything that spills on the counter won't end up on the computer table.

after. with hubby working back at Lowes, he's watching for paint for the wood and the clearance flooring for something that will work. until then, the round rug covers most of the subfloor.

My oldest daughter started working at Walmart here in town. She commutes 30 minutes each way. Weeelllll, because we are most convenient and there are so many "mommies" in this one household, we are the designated babysitters.
you can keep a 3 yo busy for a solid hour with colored vinegar and baking soda
"here. see?"
playing together
grandbabies are God's reward to us for all we go through to raise our kids