Renovating the 100 year old farm house my mom grew up in – making it a place for us to grow old in.

Now it is 36 degrees outside and raining, what a lovely spring we’re having. The weekend before this last one we should have been able to burn but it was just ridiculously windy (and still is). There was no way we could burn anything so our wood pile is becoming epic and (when I say epic) I mean half the height of the house. It hurts nothing for that big pile of wood to just sit there and wait to burn but something about its presence makes me feel like we’re getting behind. In all honesty if it doesn’t get burned this summer Joe and I will have a huge pile of wood to burn and help keep the house warm this winter – but it still makes me feel like I’m getting behind. Of course we’re not behind at all, this last weekend Joe and I attacked the 2nd floor and finished gutting it! Can I get a WOOPWOOP!? Pictures of the tear down will be coming soon but for right now here is the updated picture of the front yard after the cleaning crew (mom and I) came through and shoveled out the debris from our last attack of the house.

What is left to gut you ask? The front entryway/dining room of the house needs to lose its ceiling and the wall between it and the wood shed/mud room. From there there are a couple of other things. We need to finish pulling out the rest of the paneling on the inside wall of the screened in porch but we can’t because it’s full of cabinets and furniture right now so that has to wait until we have our new garage up for storage – taking that paneling down might take all of twenty minutes… There is a wall that needs to move in the basement as well (I don’t know if I would really call that demo though…) in the basement but we can’t clear the work benches (and other stuff) out of there yet until we get that garage up either… So we are very close to being done with demolition!! I can’t wait to start putting this place back together, I literally lay in bed at night and put up walls in my head before I fall asleep. It is very close to time to call my brother and get our new garage up!


I know I keep promising to post full before and after posts about the furniture I’ve been working on! Sorry, they will come soon as I have finally finished the dresser from hell and my future entertainment center! For now here is the piece that I attacked this past week – it is an old dresser/storage unit that my grandparents’ made for me when I was 8 years old all the way back in 1994. My mother (and I) are going to be moving out of my child hood home by June 1st so we’ve begun the clearing out and packing trip of our lifetimes. It is the house that we have both lived in the longest in our entire lives (22 years!) so there’s a lot we’re going through however, my brother and his family will be moving into it so it all feels right.

Mom is downsizing into a much much much smaller home (and is very excited about it) so she has begun adopting my reuse and give away and only buy as a last resort principles. She’s getting rid of two ancient and massive television sets along with the two enormous and 90’s style entertainment centers and I don’t blame her one bit. She is very excited at the prospect of getting a flat screen tv when she moves (probably her only purchase besides storage bins) but she then realized she won’t have an entertainment center for it. Mom and I are dividing up everything like a couple of people getting a divorce. Our dialogue has been as follows – “Do you want that? I’ll take that. You can have that. I never want to move or see that again. I have a spot for that. What are we going to do with all the kitchen stuff?! Mom, you take what you want, then I’ll take out of what’s left and we’ll see from there. Sounds good.” (It’s okay to laugh we both agree and think that it is very funny.)

I’m trying desperately to get our new garage up by the time the big move happens on June 1st so I have a spot to store things until we get Grandma’s house done this fall as I already literally have everything I need to furnish the whole house! Anyway, when Mom mentioned the entertainment center predicament my mind automatically hopped to the piece of furniture above that neither one of us could think of a use for and she thought that it would be awesome and asked if I would refinish it for her. Why yes, Mom, I would love to! The top was not solid wood :-/ and it was water damaged (particle board covered in wood veneer – all bubbly and icky but smooth now after some sanding) so I had to paint it despite the fact the rest of it was solid pine. I put castors on it and will be getting the coat of sealant on it soon (I can’t use sealant when it’s below freezing outside, Minnesota, come on, please warm up!!!!!) it will be a nice shiny black when it’s all said and done and I will post a separate blog post here all about it. Very cool side note: on the bottom of one of the drawers my grandparents wrote “For Tarah – 1994 – Love Arvid and Charlotte!” How cool is that?!

Also I had another funny coincidence moment the other day. I wanted a little desk for in my Guest bedroom and I had even gone so far as to have drawn out plans for one as I figured I would have enough wood scraps to make one from scratch. I had completely forgotten about the little desk my grandparents’ had made for me years ago that I had banished from my room last fall and had (almost) thrown away. It’s the perfect size. I also happen to have a bedside table with no home and no use and I also happened to need one for my guest room so now its got a desk, a bedside table, a full size bed (with head and foot board) and a dresser! It is amazing how things work out, I can’t wait to paint them all – this is gonna be fun!

(Did I just say fun?! lol I am SOOOOO tired and SORE! My mom convinced me to just come home after work instead of going to the house the other day and I just sat for two hours on the couch – it was Heaven!)


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