A Late Start This Spring, But Moving Forward


Well today’s weather was cold and windy.  On these days I tend to hide in the house, but decided I had too much to do to hide away.

Remember my two month project last spring that went on for about 7 months?  The back porch?  Yep that one.  Well I didn’t get it finished then and really didn’t want to work on it this spring either, but I can’t stand to leave things undone.  Didn’t get all the railings on, nor the fan, nor the light, nor the ceiling installed.  Unfortunately, no little sprites or fairies finished it either, this winter, so it is left to Annie the novice carpenter.

Decided to tackle the railings.  Discovered as I was shutting the project down for the winter, that I had made a few mistakes on installing the railing.  Lynn said he would never have noticed if I hadn’t told him.  But I knew, and I couldn’t let it go.  Not that it is perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but didn’t even measure up to my lowly standards.  So I had to take off two of the railings and put them on correctly.

What was the first thing I did, in the first 5 minutes?  Hit my d*** finger with the hammer!!  I hate short nails.  I hit it a good one too.  Said a few words that would have made a sailor blush.  Man, that baby throbs still and it looks like it is going to be black, or have a huge blood blister.  Klutz, that what I am.  Not only should I not play with power tools, I need to stay away from hammers and hammers on ladders.  If it is within 10 feet of me, I will get hurt.  Moving forward.

One of the things I did remember today, after hitting my finger, was the little tricks it took me 7 months to learn last season.  Like pre-drilling, or punching a starter hole with a longer nail.   Better late, than never, as I still have a few digits that are not throbbing.

Didn’t quite get it done still, but should be able to finish up in about an hour tomorrow, then it will be ready for primer and paint.  Maybe pictures tomorrow.

Oh, and by the way, we will be contracting out the rest of the Dream House, and could have it done by Christmas.   I am still overwhelmed with all the decisions I will need to make in the future.  Over the last 15+ years, the decisions didn’t need to be made in a hurry, now that will change.  Wish me luck, and I will keep you updated.

The hammer won.


Well today did not go as planned, but that’s the way it usually goes.  Awoke to rain and wind.  So much for finishing the porch today.  That job will have to be done later this week or next weekend.

So what to do with all my excess energy today.  I have oodles of indoor projects, so it was just a matter of getting to it.

Guest room.  That is a project that I started about a month ago.  Having company in about 2 weeks so that project can’t be put off.  Painting an old chest of drawers that Lynn said he bought 51 years ago.  How does he remember those thing.  It is a kind of blond wood, and not very attractive.  Tried stripping the dresser that went with it and that didn’t go too well, so I have decided to paint it with white paint and re-use the decorative knobs.  First I primed all the drawers and the chest, then I have one of two coats of semi-gloss white.  Looking good.  Will post a photo when I get it finished.  Also, the porch when I get the railings done.

I have curtains to make and hang then that room will be almost done.

The weather here is awful now with 22 mph winds.  The weather station said that this week will be warmer and clear of course during the week when I have to work.  Ugh, that is something of which I can’t control, so I just move ahead.  It all needs doing, so it doesn’t really matter in what order it gets done.

Oh, and the update on my finger.  That baby is red and swollen.  That, I do have a picture of:

Annie, the reluctant carpenter.

Dresser before Drawers primed, and one coat of paint.  Need one more coat.



A Busy Week so Far

Decided to hit the ground running this week.  Had a lot of stops for estimates and passed out a few sets of plans.  Have gone to 2 flooring companies.  Asked for a revised cabinet estimate.  Sent an email to the contractor that we are interested in working with, asking to expand the initial estimate to include more work that I know Lynn is not well enough to do.

This has been a difficult decision for Lynn and myself.  It has brought to the forefront Lynn’s limitations.  That is something that is very hard for a proud man, like Lynn, to face.  I’m hoping that he can look past that and see that in going this route, he will get to actually live in our Dream Home.

I tasked him with gathering all the documentations that will be needed by the bank.  He had gathered it all together and gave it to me last night.  Wahoo that is one thing I can check off the list.

Decisions, decisions.  I have seen so many styles of doors, cabinets, laminate flooring, carpeting, faucets, tubs, toilets, smoke alarms and a multitude of other little things that I can’t imagine.

The thing that is scaring me to death is whether I will qualify for the mortgage through the bank.  Cross your fingers and say some little prayers for us.

As much as I want to get this project done, taking on a large mortgage is a little daunting.  I will be smart about it and if it is out of our planned budget, we will continue as we have been doing.

In the meantime I will continue to do clean-up work inside, cut and paint more cedar shakes, work on the posts and do a little painting.  Oh, and there are fences to be mended, a dog to groom, not to mention all the domestic duties (I hate doing) and flower beds to be weeded.  Ho hum, stay tuned for another update later this week.

Annie, the General Contractor 🙂




Bitting the Bullet to Finish the House


Lynn and I have come to the decision that we are no longer able to work on the house.  His health won’t allow him, and going it alone doesn’t work for me.  Our original plan was to build it ourselves and, therefore, be mortgage free when we retired.  Best laid plans of mice and men.  Now we  just  readjustment our plans.

There are still things that I will have to do, and it is going to be a long hard summer.

We have started getting bids and I will be speaking to the bank next week.

In the meantime, I will be camping out at Home Depot and various internet sites to get the lighting, plumbing fixtures, flooring, doors and a multitude of other things we will need.  I am checking with 2 heating and cooling companies and I have a cabinet estimate that will need revising.

Then there is always the worry that I won’t qualify for the budget that will be needed to complete the house.

Stay tuned, more tomorrow.


Well since I wrote yesterday, Lynn and I spent the better part of 2 hours on Saturday and I went back alone today.  I am a bit overwhelmed.  Trying to organize and get all the estimates I need together before I go to the bank.  I think I will need to spend next week getting more organized.  After reviewing the contractor’s estimate, Lynn and I were not on the same page, so I will need to contact the contractor and get some revisions.  It is so hard for him to accept that he can’t do it all.  Nor can I.

Stay tuned, I will be updating regularly and let you know how it is going.

Annie, the overwhelmed novice carpenter.