please stand by-

So- I’m finding a “rhythm”

to my newly learned nursing skills, and,
spend so much time at the hospital –I should be put on salary.
I now know my way around that HUGE place, AND even the tv channels.

But with Knowledge comes Power
and I’m much more confident in all I’ve suddenly had to learn & do.
THAT has been calming in many ways.

And mom is doing “better”___!

And as things progress and we settle in to some sort of “schedule,”
I think I can start to fit some projects into my days—for sanity’s sake!

There’s PEACE in those projects, y’know!

Christmas decorating!

But 1st comes some Christmas decor!


W e l l- maybe the 1st project might be to REarrange
this top 20 Christmas movie list—

#4 is my favorite and a seasonal MUST!

I disagree with their order!


quite. literally.

I spent the summer in such a frenzied pace.
Brandon’s house reno AND my mother wasn’t feeling well,
so I was chasing her back and forth to Dr’s appointments.

The projects were progressingmom wasn’t.

And we now know why.  Cancer.  Bladder cancer.  Very serious,
life-threatening –the Dr said to drive home just how serious the situation is.
How those words just shake you to your core.

You picked the wrong broad!BLADDER CANCER

Oh, she’ll finish this fight.  While still in the hospital, all sassy with the nurses, equating the hospital gowns to insurance—you only THINK you’re covered.
She’ll win!

So- I have a new job-
taking the best care of my mother,

’cause cancer can’t have her!

This fight is on!

She’s not ready to goand we’re certainly not ready to let her.
I know you’ll understand~ postings are going to be sporadic. . .
I hope you’ll include my mother in your thoughts and prayers. 


fighting cancer-fighting cancer-

Oh yes– you  C A N  go!

Adding Shiplap to the back hall!

THIS is where I left you
with Shiplap closing in the stair & back door wall.

*Walls had issues-
this was an easy repair!

Since then–

the former FRONT door replaced this door for more privacy and security, and the door casing was restored.

Brandon and I hung the new handrails we created from some more of the galvanized pipes, elbows, nubs, and flanges!

And I hung the 
wire hook rack & antique mirror his mother gave him!

the Back Hall/Entry

Brandon loves the whole Industrial vibe, so the galvanized pipes are used playfully in several ways.  The shelf brackets in the kitchen, for the handrails, and also in several light fixtures throughout the house!

But be warnedthe parts are NOT cheap!  We spent a good bit of time comparing the sizes of pipe and the galvanized vs black pipe just to keep the costs down to something reasonable!
*Plus- one store wanted $8 for a flange but another charged $4 for the same thing!  So the numerous parts needed came from numerous stores.  CRAZY.

the Galvanized Pipe handrails the Galvanized Pipe handrails

the Galvanized Pipe handrails

And here’s the fun turn
we created to wrap
the end of the wall!
There’s also a 2ft rail leading up into the kitchen.

Hmmm- maybe we need to wrap
the Shiplap around the corner too!

It’s totally him!

The steps will be dealt with in the basement renovations–
and hopefully we can get that awful textured paint off to expose the cool chimney brick!


the Galvanized Pipe handrails


Did we SCARE you?


Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!

-a whole family of Pandas!

-at the Pumpkin Patch!This was Sunday during an
EARLY Halloween celebration!
Our plan was to make the ATV our Panda Express, but my big brother messed us up by putting the chains on the tires already for winter—stupid brother.

But Saturday-

I took my au pair from South Africa
to visit a Pumpkin Patch-
the corn maze was closed, awwww.
I think we actually had more fun goofing around taking pictures!

-at the Pumpkin Patch!


-at the Pumpkin Patch!

Some aMAZing selections!
-at the Pumpkin Patch!


-at the Pumpkin Patch!

At the Pumpkin Patch! At the Pumpkin Patch!

At the Pumpkin Patch!


See what I mean~fun!

But, dang-

I sure wish I’d bought this pumpkin.



Happy Halloween


cut out for the floating shelves and brackets-Hey

remember those
holes in the
back hallway walls

Well- I added some cleating to both holes and sealed them back up!

And you see I’d already started painting back there- the grays we used elsewhere weren’t doing it for us so we went Chocolate!
–Uh, huh–and then I started CRAVING something chocolate—
a Hershey’s bar, ice cream,
a milkshake–chocolate martini!  Just SOMETHING CHOCOLATE!

Chocolate is ALWAYS a good idea!

So let me back up just a bit and show you what we started with.

An open stairwell.  When the basement eventually gets finished, walls will be erected to define spaces.  From down stairs, looking at the steps- the right side will become the mechanical-storage area.  The left side is laundry AND possibly a future kitchenette COMBO.

an open stairwell--

an open stairwell--

It’s a very cool basement with LOTS of future potential!

the basement layout-
closing in the right side of the satirwell-The initial focus is just to close in that right section.

I framed in and hung plywood to close in the open space- up to the chimney.  THAT we’d like to keep exposed!  And figure out a way to clean back to the raw brick!

Two things here— you can see how the chimney is tipped, so I had to cut the stud to fit.  AND, I added shims where the wall and plywood meet–I’ll explain shortly.

We’re closing THIS wall in with more Shiplap!  We ripped more panel board to 10″ wide.  It will be the fastest, easiest, and LAZiest way to fix wall & holes!

Panel boards were ripped to
10″ × 8ft strips.

No more coved flooring! Baseboard is coming.I did start at the ceiling to lead with a full height board.
I drew lines on/down the wall at 10″ heights, measured every row and wrote each measurement ON the wall for efficiency.
THAT gave the angle for each board to be cut and fit to the sloped ceiling.

I cut out the cove in the flooring since we’ll apply base board to finish.

Adding Shiplap to the back hall!

WHAT wall issues?  Did the wall have issues?


When I got down to the bottom boards (at the floor), I used shims to ease the Shiplap boards over the 2 levels.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t get the plywood to line up flat WITH the existing wall–but this worked out so the Shiplap boards hung relatively flat.

There were only 3 rows longer than 8ft, so I had to figure out
where the best seam lines would go to not look terribly awkward.

I guess I forgot to mention that I PREsanded & PREpainted each board before hanging–I sure didn’t want to paint and cut in over/in that steep stairwell!

Adding Shiplap to the back hall!

THIS guy could only go SO long without some frisbee-time,
so it took longer than I planned for this “quick” job!

TRYING to work in the back hall-

But he finally tired, and I finally finished!

TRYING to work in the back hall-

Adding Shiplap to the back hall!

I closed in the door wall too,
and we added handrails-

which I’ll share next
with the other finishes!



dealing with the window-A standard window
in the shower.


We explored several ways to either get rid of it,
minimize it, or alter it.


And now deferred.

But—it still had to be addressed and cleaned up.

We found period-style tile to REframe it.  Then, I scraped the paint & caulking crap from all those edges (big mess), removed the frosted window plastic, and cleaned the windows and frames thoroughly.

Although~ that plastic covering really wasn’t a bad privacy solution.  So I used a Frosted window spray paint from Krylon to etch the glass and restore that privacy idea in a more permanent way.

I also repainted the sashes in a glossy white CABINET PAINT!

finding the RIGHT tile to go around the window

dealing with the bathroom SHOWER window

I used one of the very expensive and “highly rated” painter’s tapes for this tedious window painting task.  I was conscientious to prep those frames really good -and- not paint too heavily at the taped edges, so I painted 3 LIGHTER coats with a 4th in a few areas.  I was relieved when the tape pulled clean and no paint came off with it!

The window had about 40’ish hours to dry before I could “frost” the glass.
I taped off the newly painted sashes, careful not to rub in down too much.  I hung plastic over just about everything around the window to protect things from over-spray.  I sprayed 3 light coats and immediately pulled the tape!

. . . and LOOK WHAT HAPPENED!   ~I hate tape.

I hate painter's tape!

I REpainted -by hand- with a crisp sash brush.

And now, I’ll just finish here-

-with a few broader views of The New Bathroom.
My new phone has a panoramic setting –which I love!–
it just tends to distort things when your subject is too close in range.

But it sure gives a bigger vision of how things look now!


BRANDON's new Bathroom!

BRANDON's new Bathroom!

-a towel rack in the shower!

*All the paint has been touched up–
don’t know what happened to those pics!

BRANDON's new Bathroom!

BRANDON's new Bathroom!

buying PREcut Butcher blockWe bought the smallest Butcher block
off the rack slab available,

but even that was much bigger
than we needed.

So I made some shelving for the bathroom—extra storage is ALWAYS appreciated, right?

*There was still a big enough piece to make a cutting board for the kitchen!
We got our money’s worth here!

the NOT-SO-FUN wall to work on...

The Floating Shelves

The shelving became an extra so there was unfortunately no advanced preparation for it.  Since the back hall needed work too and shared a common wall with the bathroom—
there was
 actually a simple solution!

A section of wall had been previously cut open exposing the plumbing (no idea why), so it certainly wasn’t going to hurt anyone’s feelings to cut ANOTHER hole for shelving.

BUT- I made sure this hole was clean cut to restore that section afterwards!  The existing hole would need to be closed in by other means.

Yes–we were already playing with paint colors for that area!

cut out for the floating shelves and brackets-
I pre-drilled holes from the bathroom side for the exact placement of the shelves.  Then measured over from both outside walls to land roughly where I needed to make that cut out—does that make sense to you?

The pre-drilled holes were now visible and showed exactly where to install the brackets!  I only had to push them through the holes and screw into place.

rigging the brackets/bracing for the floating shelves-

Back on the bathroom wall side– I measured for the holes I would need to drill into the back of the shelves.  I used a spade paddle bit– it would be more aggressive to make those deep holes.

drilling the holes to hang the shelves-

Then it was as simple as slipping the shelves into the bracketset voilà!

-the floating shelves!

Don’t they make a nice EXTRA in this room?!?

I love that everything is simple and cleancut!


the NEW bathroom!