Sunday Night Recap…

Dixie Chick has discovered that she actually LIKES the kittens.  Unlike Luna who basically hates them and is a crab apple whenever they cross her path.  But Dixie, she likes to cuddle with them and hang out on the warm blankies by the kerosene heater in the kitchen.  It’s pretty cool… she is like a Auntie to them.  I even caught her cleaning Duke’s face.  She’s always been a real standoffish and scaredy cat, so this is a huge thing for her to finally cozy up to another feline.  Or four.  Yes, we still have four of the five kittens.  I kind of think we might be stuck with them.  After all, our sign says Free Kittens and these dorks are pretty much getting as big as their mom!  We’ve been encouraging them to go outside a lot more, and they are getting good at it.  They hang out in the mud room and screen porch pretty much all day long.  I like that.  We have way too many kitties in the house right now, so having them in “daycare” helps to keep the kitten mischief down to a low roar!!!

Our courtyard stacked wall flower bed project is complete!  I wish I had a full courtyard shot to show you all, but I didn’t get one.  I will try this week (if it stops raining!)  But you can sort of imagine it all.  We put a nice 3 foot or so bed along the front of the courtyard picket fence, and have leaves and some composted barn hay in there already.  I’m going to be bringing in a bit of chickenpoop compost as well, so that it can sit and cook all winter long.  Can not hardly wait to get some beautiful flowers in there, because we really missed having our beautiful flowers blooming all around us.

Just about where I am raking, but in the front of the fence, is where we’d like to put a pretty little Japanese maple tree in the spring. Away from the screen porch a bit, in that corner.  Not a huge one, but a nice little miniature one.  The girls love the Oriental touch and I suspect that we might be getting a little stone pagoda as well!  It will go nicely with my Japanese Iris and some of the beautiful hostas we have here and there.  Going to dig up anything that is out in the middle yard because that is where the critters have pretty much eating all pretty things down to a dirt.  The courtyard will be our little sanctuary for our plant friends…

Miss Julia is being supervised by Cody…  it’s kind of funny, but he’s just part of the family.  He followed me into the screen porch and mud room a few days ago and about scared the daylights out of me when he whinnied with delight at seeing the bunnies.  I am not sure why, but he really likes to smell the bunnies in their hutch.  He’s such a goof, I just love him to pieces.  He was helping us stack the concrete walls and inspecting all of Maggie’s holiday decorating.  He’s very careful not to step on anyone or get in their way.  And I just love that he’s SO stable, so calm.  He just loves activity in the yards and has to be where the action is.  He never throws his weight around and is just so easy going…. it’s easy to have a pony hanging around with you when it’s Cody Pony!!!

Our friends Bill and Shirley, gave Maggie two big tubs of holiday lights and a nativity family as well as some other big plastic things and she spent most the day making things very festive.  She mostly decorated the courtyard fences and some of the trees, and set up the nativity in a little alcove on the side of the house.  We were afraid of people stealing our baby Jesus!!!  Yes, sad but true, but apparently, the infant is a must have item for hooligans.  I think her spot is perfect… I’ll have to take a picture of the whole get-up in a bit, this week…

We also got the wall done in the back of the courtyard, all along the house.  Didn’t get a picture… haha… I was WORKING!  (I know hard to believe… haha…  well it was my birthday this Friday and I spent most of the day enjoying all the hard labor going on here at the homestead!   We were toting concrete, making walls and shopping and then all the drywall was going on in the house!!!  It was grand central station!  At one point there were 8 people here and it was great fun!  Miss Julia and the girls surprised me something big by making me a HOMEMADE Saunders Bumpy Cake!!!  If you are at all from the Detroit/Michigan area, you know this wonderful cake… and it is my FAV…. well, they conspired and made one and it was BETTER than the store one!  Honest to gosh!  I am thinking that we need to make another one this week… it is gone and I am so sad!!!

The girls got me a flat electric griddle and a smallish chicken roaster pan…  a covered graniteware old fashioned one!  I love them both…  you see, I love breakfast.  It’s my favorite meal.  I like bacon and eggs, pancakes, sausage, french toast, you name it.  It’s my favorite thing and I just love to cook a nice big farm breakfast for the girls before we go and work hard.  It sticks with you for hours!   But it takes me so long to make a stack of pancakes using one little skillet.   Now I’m going to be able to make a whole mess of flapjacks in no time flat!!!  Can’t wait to give it a whirl….  and my roaster!  Yeah!  Since we have been getting our own chickens back as whole roasting birds (cheaper and well, just cool to cook and use for several meals…)  I have been sort of doing my birds make-shift, in a cake pan with foil tenting and such, and it’s just been a little, well, wasteful and not so easy.  I have been moaning about having a nice little chicken roaster that I can use and will keep the birds nice and moist as they cook…  and my girls remembered!  Can’t wait till Wednesday and we will be cooking another chicken for sure!  (Monday is lasagna and Tuesday is a town day, so we tend to eat out..)


But the very best gift of the weekend has been the living room redo start!!!  Our living room was rough.  We knew it, it was going to have to wait until we had the moola saved up to start working on it and do it right.  Maggie had painted the dark paneling with one of our $5 mistint paint gallons, but still, with the ceiling just bare, dark wood and the nasty carpeting, and yucky falling down wall trim, it was rough.

This is what it looked like before…

The walls were partially done in 70’s peeling paneling and then in rough wood lathe strips.  The old ceiling fell down one day when we first moved in, while we were eating lunch in the dining room.  It was weird.  So that was all dark and nasty, just wood lathe and peeling old paper.   The room was dark, depressing and rarely used.

Ratchet is helping the girls move the furniture out of the room in prep for the drywall!

He’s very helpful you know.

Actually, he’s very depressed and bummed at the moment.  Evee is in heat and we have the two separated for the time being.  Would like to have gotten one or both fixed, but well, that is still in the plans for soon!  But in the meanwhile, poor Ratchy is bummed to the max.  He HATES being separated from his woman, and whines nearly all the time.  They get a few minutes of very supervised play time when they pass in the day, one coming out of their crate and the other going in…  and he just barks and whines and plays with her like he hasn’t seen her for years!  He lays in front of Jessy’s door, knowing that his true love is in there, in her crate, chewing good bones and such.  Soon…  she’s nearly done and starting to snap at him if he is the least bit forward instead of flirting shamelessly with him, so I’m hoping maybe end of the week or so, things will be back to normal!!!!

Now, I’ve done a WEE bit of drywall, mostly repairing spots, that kind of thing.  And I’m normally not to afraid to tackle bigger projects, but I will admit, this is abit more than I am ready to do.  I just don’t have the knowledge, tools and experience to do it nice.  So when I learned that our wonderful neighbors knew how, specifically Jr. who does a lot of this for a living, I knew who would be our contractor for this job!

I’m all for doing things ourselves and finding crafty and unique solutions to things, but I also know when it’s nice to have something done right and properly.  So it’s why we have waited almost 9 months to tackle this room.  Wanted to save up and make it happen right.  And Jr. and his crew have got it done!!!

He borrowed this very clever contraption that helps you to get the pieces up on the ceilings and walls without needing 4 guys.  Jeremy, his son, was his only hanging helper and they got that board up on the ceiling in no time!  It was fantastic to watch the first day as the demo work and framing got done and then the boards went up!  Oh my gosh… the room looks SOOOOO much nicer and lighter, it was amazing.

We are looking for a pair of French doors to go in that opening right in the middle of the picture… to separate the living room from the parlor, which we are going to be making into a craft studio!!!   We decided that we did not need two living rooms, basically, and that we love doing our crafts of all kinds… from Maggie’s woodworking and signs, to sewing, quilting, beading, painting and scrapbooking!  Having a nice big room devoted to all things creative will be so much fun and we will use it EVERYDAY instead of those random occasions that we have sit down parlor guests… haha… which is, ah, never?  The living room will be beautiful and functional, and the studio will be fun and creative!  And doors between the two will keep the dust and fun in the studio, as well as a way to keep from not heating the studio if we don’t want to.

Day two and three were all the mud work and sanding!  Haha, we have dust everywhere!  Even with plastic on the doorways, it still creeps in all over.  But doesn’t the room look fantastic??  The white ceiling and walls just makes it look HUGE and bright in there!  The girls and I have been standing in there and just marveling on how beautiful and welcoming it already feels!  Tomorrow we need to vacuum the last of the dust from the walls and then wipe them with tack rags to get it all nice and dust free.  On Tuesday, we’re going to get our primer and wall color and we will get start on Wednesday, hopefully!  We have on electrical box that has to be moved, but really, the whole drywall experience in there is complete!  Next weekend, Jr is going to get the ceilings repaired in the art studio and in Jessy’s bedroom alcove!  She will be happy to have ceiling instead of plastic over yucky wood lathe strips!!!

Jr. is white as a ghost from all the sanding!  There was dust everywhere!  Even the black kitties were white!  Haha… just kidding, but it was fun to have to wipe up everything in the house, good excuse to dust!

I just can not get over how much nicer it looks with just the drywall up and mudded, can’t wait to see it painted and new carpeting installed.  We’re going to have it professionally installed because in the past, our own methods were just, well, a little on the rough side.  Since this is going to be our only room really, with carpeting, we think it would be best to get it done right.  We’ve been shopping a bit and I think there are some good deals to be had on carpet, pad and installation.

One step at a time!  We cut up one layer of the yucky old carpet and it’s going to going out in our garden as weed block between the rows!  It’s great for that…  eventually breaks down, but in the meanwhile, really stops those weeds and such!  And it keeps you out of the mud!  We left the bottom layer for now, until we get done painting.  Curious to see what might be under there.  If we do find decent wood floors, we MIGHT sand and refinish them, and go with a nice area rug in the middle…  guess that is a wait and see sort of thing.  The floors in the studio are not very nice, so I suspect these in the living room are pretty much the same… but you just never know!

I’m hoping that by the next weekend, we will have the painting done and the studio and Jessy’s ceilings repaired.  That will leave us with only the kitchen ceiling to repair!!!  Yahoooo!    But that is not scheduled anytime soon, because we have a little leak when it rains REALLY hard, and we need to correct that before we invest in new ceilings!  We think it’s coming in under a vent pipe… as the roof is all very new.  And it only leaks when it is raining HARD…  I suspect the wind is forcing it in and under that little weak spot.  Will be getting a few estimates on that because we are not roof people!  And we want that fixed correctly, so that we don’t have anymore ceiling damage!!!

Well, today, was a bit of a slower, restful day.  The girls and I went out to lunch and did a little shopping, looking around and window shopping some ideas for the living room.  I think we have settled on a beautiful pale green for the walls, very light and yet a bit modern and pretty.  White on the ceiling, to help bring in as much light as possible since the room is in the middle of the house and has no direct window light.  We originally wanted a pale yellow, but over and over we kept being attracted to these sagey light greens and I think that means, its what we want!  Can’t wait to get the paint on Tuesday and get painting!!!

What a wonderful weekend filled with projects, fun and friends!!!!!


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About Mobymom

the banjo player for Deepwater Bluegrass, and the editor of as well as the main graphic designer of the Westvon Publishing empire. She is a renaissance woman of many talents and has two lovely daughters and a rehab mobile home homestead to raise.

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