Two Years In

10438414_10152723236349052_7317886946634339210_nToday officially marks two years we’ve been in this house, in our little piece of the Low Country. Oddly enough, just this weekend, we pulled out the scrapbook of the day we first saw this place and compared some of the before and afters- live and in person. We’ve done so much, yet there’s still so much to be done.

The house was so overgrown with all sorts of plants with no real rhyme or reason we take pride in the hard work, sweat and blood that we’ve put into the outside by ourselves! It’s been no easy task, but we’ve polished it up and made it shine. The neighbors always go by and say “good job” “keep it up” kinda makes it worth it. Sometimes I feel like an outsider because anyone else would have ripped it ALL out and started over (including the house) but we saw potential and are doing it at our pace.

I’ll be getting together some much needed posts about our progress, but I couldn’t let today go by without celebrating.

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Chimney Sweep

“Now I know how Mary Poppins’ chimney guy felt like” said my darling husband today after he climbed out of the fireplace. Since we are never going to light a fire in this thing, he stuffed some R-19 insulation up in there to further protect the house. 

Black soot just kept falling out!!!! Hunks of burnt wood, pieces of the mortar and who knows what else. Needless to say it was probably the longest shower of his life. 

The good news is the attic is foamed and COOLER! Y’all, it was 80 degrees out and my attic was the same temp as the house. We’re looking forward to the flooring going in soon, some shelving units and then the rea fun begins…. Clearing out the dungeon. 


It’s deceptively small looking. I can actually stand in the long side of the attic (all 5’11” of me) so it’s going to be a great space. Did it do the job of keeping the house cooler? Well, the first floor is COLD now, but when you walk up the stairs, you still are hit with a 5-10 degree difference. Each step towards making the house more efficient is a step in the right direction. 

Categories: Attic, Fireplace, home renovation, The Money Pit | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

Aliens In My Attic

Men in spaces suits are in my attic making a LOT of noise. Stuff is falling between all the places not sufficiently caulked and secure- like all around the oh not so straight and level fireplace- and other wall joints. All in the hopes of a cooler summer.

IMG_7866We decided while the weather took a little break from the 90 degree heat we had a few weeks ago that today was the day to rid the attic of ALL insulation. This includes not only the nasty foil backed stuff you cant even touch with gloves on in fear of later touching those gloves to your eye, but also the odd unknown substance they called insulation in the 1950’s that looks a little like a rat made a nest out of mulch! Seriously, what IS that stuff?

A while back, my dear husband went into the attic to retrieve an old door he saw up there for me. I had great plans for this door that was going to save some money, so of course he went up into the hot box to get it for me. Key lessons in this adventure he was about to have is:

1- don’t wear flip flops into an un-floored attic
2- sometimes saving a few dollars on the front end isn’t worth it in the long run
3- it’s good to have a contractor around when you make more of a mess than you planned

This was the final straw- all of that junk was coming out and we are flooring the attic!

Today, two men dressed in space suites are up there with a hose sucking up all that loose junk and dispensing it into a very large truck. The intentions are good, the vacuuming thing, but I fear that the neighbors aren’t going to enjoy this process. The truck isn’t very air tight and there’s gunk flying all over! Needless to say the whole neighborhood needs car washes today.


The attic is all empty and ready for tomorrow’s foam installation! I can’t wait to go up into the attic in the summer heat and not feel like a sauna.

Categories: Attic, home renovation, The Money Pit | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Well Shut The Front Door

I have come to really enjoy Lowes return policy and the ease of doing so with the My Lowes card! They store all of your purchases in the computer under your account so when you have to return something small, like a light bulb that didn’t work, or even something big like a door. 

Or FOUR custom ordered doors, say. 

Yes, tomorrow I am headed back to return the other two bedroom doors as they are three inches too short. Who would have thunk it!? It’s a standard door!!!! So, ELEVEN months into the bathroom renovation and we still don’t have a bathroom door. We’re getting quite use to it and it’s a good excuse not to have to invite people over! I am kind of missing that though, I’ve always thought of my house as a good place to stop by when you’re in the neighborhood. It’s a good thing the four of us living upstairs are not shy people! 

Another boo to the door situation is now I don’t think we’re going to be getting the transome windows above the bedroom doors like I wanted. Maybe I’ll talk the hubs into some new wonderful light fixtures instead….

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NEVER use an oil based varnish over a surface you don’t want to yellow! Let’s say you put two beautiful coats of a white wash pickling over your fresh poplar carsiding and, being in a bathroom especially you want to seal it from the elements, you take the advice of a local hardware salesman (instead of a paint supply expert) and get an oil based varnish. IF YOU DO THIS in the morning it will look like a chain smoker was in there all night!!!!! You will be sanding until all evidence of the bad advice is gone!!!! AND if you are an inexperienced sander without a palm sander and you use daddy’s belt sander, not only will you not be able to get into the grooves with it you will leave all kids of blemishes behind, making your contractor cringe at the hard work he spent hours picking just the right boards, measuring, cutting and hanging!!!!!!

So, take my advice and use a waterborne polyurethane varnish.

Just sayin’……

Peace out

Categories: bathroom, diy, home renovation | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

Don’t Rain On My Parade

It’s raining, it’s pouring….. in my NEW BATHROOM! There’s a tropical storm brewing out in the ocean and we’re praying that it doesn’t come to shore real soon. Out of every place it could leak, it picks the middle of the new bathroom to come in. So, in 100 degree heat we climbed around the attic and placed a bin under the major dripping, but of course its running down the beams to other areas that you can’t really put a bucket. Plumber coming in the morning to look and hopefully fix. The funny thing is that (well, not really funny haha) the leak is real close to the spot we had “repaired” when we bought not even a year ago, but that company can’t come for another week- not good enough. You’re fired. It also rains in, right where they “fixed” the last leak, onto my stove through the exhaust pipe. While we were walking around in the attic I couldn’t help but think of this scene from The Money Pit:

tom hanks I just feel too closely related to this movie.

At least it wasn’t poring in like last week! That was amazing, the concrete block walls in the “basement” were bleeding. The storm windows upstairs weren’t down and we believe that was a source of entry- as you can imagine they are now down securely in place- the windows that have them anyways. In our VERY near future I see new windows, doors and a roof.

On a happier note- the glass block is coming tomorrow for the bathroom!!!!

Categories: home renovation, The Money Pit | Tags: , , | 4 Comments

Fresh Face

This week I finally got enough courage to take on the soot spitting fireplace! I’m pleased with the turnout. I originally thought it would be less “painted ” look and more of a “white-wash” look, but the grout on the top was done by the messiest mason I’ve ever come across! So, to hide the mess I pretty much had to gop the mixture on. It’s was a 50:50 water and latex paint mix. I couldn’t find my black exterior interior paint so I use the brown that I had on hand and because my house is filled with more cool colors I think the brown looks better. Now if DaddyO could get here and make me the built ins on either side it would [almost] be a done living room. Well, phase 1 any how. 😁

Categories: diy, home renovation, living room | Tags: , , | 2 Comments


if you are going to white pickle your walls, make sure you use a NON-YELLOWING VARNISH. Now, I love my neighborhood Royal Ace Hardware to pieces but the guy in the paint department steamed me wrong this time. After two coats of the white pickling (which looked reeeeeealllllllyyyyy good) you still need to seal the wood. So, on goes one coat of the oil based varnish…… Next morning it looked like a smoker had been in there all night! Yellow!!!!! Aaaaaaggggg. 

Luckily it was only in a small section of the room, however, I realized as I was sweating through my mask and protective eye gear that I am not the worlds best belt sander! I’m to the point of ripping it down and starting over, all the while chanting to myself “this will not get the best of me!”

As you can guess, I’m off to the paint supply tomorrow to research a non-yellowing sealer! 

Categories: diy, home renovation, Pickling wood | 1 Comment

Fat Burning?

I must be in fat burning! We’ve gotten more projects done in the past two weeks than we have in the 9 months we’ve lived here, well, close. We’re back on “plan” again, headed toward Optimal Health and nothing short of a health failure is stopping us. It feels so good to take your health and your future into your own hands. By the grace of God we’ve been given another chance to open our eyes and realize that these bodies are not our own, they are His, His temple, and we’re just borrowing them for the 1% of our life that is spent on Earth. How do you treat the things you borrow from a friend? Do you let it rust and deteriorate or do you give it back in good condition? Well, I’m not going to let this body be a disgrace to my God. I know it will be a struggle and I will NOT be perfect, I will fall short because I am human, but by golly I’m going to give it a Harvard try. (I didn’t go to Harvard- but I hear that’s a good standard to shoot for!)

I can’t wait to show you all the bathroom. I AM IN LOVE with the walls!!!!!!

Categories: home renovation, weight loss | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Warnings- To Obey Or Not To Obey

This is happening today:  

I’m testing the pickling technique on this beautiful poplar wood carsiding that is gracing the walls of my new bathroom! Half the family says seal it and leave it natural, the other half days white-wash it. My contractor and I say try pickling- so I’m going to demo all three. 

In the past I’ve only used latex and water based paints, so paint thinner and I are not aquatinted yet. Neither am I and the oil based products of the world, so of course, like a good girl, I read all the directions first. Here’s the warning that has me unsure today: 

“Waste soaked with this product may spontaneously combust”!?!?! Seriously??? Like, without a match or spark? “Dispose in a water-filled metal container?” So, just chucking into the big garbage can outside isn’t gonna work??? What’s a girl to do???

Categories: bathroom, diy, home renovation, Pickling wood | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

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