Cleaning, Putting Up Blinds, and Waiting on the Plumber

Happy President’s Day,

This was a long weekend for me as I took Friday off to get the house inspected and we are good to go when the electrical inspector blesses the house, we can move in.

There are still things that need to be done as not all of the plumbing is finished and hooked up.  We had some issues with a stopped up sewer line.  From my understanding it was a plugged line that could be attributed to how our original line was hooked into the main sewer line 20 years ago when we had the line installed.  We live on 7 acres but it is in the City and has City utilities.  That was just another thing that I can blame on breaking that mirror.  Ugh.  Fixed now though, I hope (the sewer block).  As for the mirror, I bought a new one, that should count for something.  I can’t afford 7 years.  Fixing it should account for 6 years and 11 months, so I am good 🙂  Gotta think positive.

We have to get the water heater strapped down with a drain pan under it and a pressure valve plumbed to the outside.  One more toilet installed.  Two claw-foot tubs installed; the hydro tub with heater installed; two of the vanities to finish and the shower heads installed.  Pretty soon.

Another hurdle is, the cable company says they have to trench in a line to the house.  I guess what we buried is not big enough.  Ka-ching, and that is going to cost us $580!!  As much as Lynn wants to move he won’t move without TV and Internet.  That won’t get put in until March 6th, unless they have an opening before that.

I worked on the house for 3 days, and just took a little break to head to Famous Dave’s for BBQ on Valentines Day.  Ate way too much, but it was delish.

Now for some photos:


Happy Valentines Day, wasn't that sweet, look what the flooring guy left
Happy Valentines Day, wasn’t that sweet, look what the flooring guy left
Living Room carpet down
Living Room carpet down
Another shot with the lights on
Another shot with the lights on
Our little bar sink
Our little bar sink
An added touch of flashing to our upstairs deck
An added touch of flashing to our upstairs deck
Installed blindes in the bath, just waiting on the tub installation
Installed blindes in the bath, just waiting on the tub installation
I though putting in the blinds would be easier before the tub was installed,  That 3 windows, only 41 more to go.
I though putting in the blinds would be easier before the tub was installed, That 3 windows, only 41 more to go.
Moved a few boxes and the dining china cabinets
Moved a few boxes and the dining china cabinets
New retro furniture.  Just kidding, I hope!
New retro furniture. Just kidding, I hope!

This has been a 20 year journey, but it is almost done.  The work around here will be on-going as there is always room for improvement, at least now I will be able to take my time and enjoy the process.  Lynn will finally be able to relax and enjoy the new old house.  It is a culmination of a lot of hard work from both of us though-out the years.

Dreams are possible, you just have to be willing to work hard and keep the vision of what you want to accomplish.  You make your own dreams come true.

I am not done yet, now I have all the undone things that will probably take me another year or two to accomplish.  In between all that, I am looking at seed catalogs, planning a garden and maybe get a chicken or two.

Stay tuned, as I am hoping to turn this blog into a book.  I’ll let you know how that process goes.  I also have a couple of other books in the works.  Gotta keep busy.

Annie, the little busy bee

Busy, Busy, Busy Bee

Happy New Year – Questionable Start For 2015

Well, as I am seeing New Years Day coming to an end, I am hoping that the rest of the year goes better than today.

It’s cold, about 20 degrees outside now and may have got to 25 and at one point.  The sun was shining and calm and actually pretty.  I can tolerate the cold if there is no wind.

Day started out with a bang.  Of course its a holiday, and we have a clogged sewer line.  Lynn thinks there may be tree roots in the line.  Tried to clear it with a snake, but will have to call out the big guns tomorrow.  In the meantime, no laundry gets done, can’t shower and we are using the new house’s facilities.  Not optimal, but workable.  Will be calling the plumber in the morning.  Ugh.  Must have been the mirror I broke a week ago when the shower door fell-out of the shower and hit the medicine cabinet.  It’s a pivot door and not easily fixable.  Put it back in and it fell out again two days ago and hit the vanity and broke the stone top.  Another ugh!!  On to more positive news.

I Spent the day putting stain on some of the step parts in the foyer of the dream house.  It came out a little darker than I planned, but will look good nonetheless.  I need to put some wax on it after the they have dried some.  Using Min Wax Stain and the color is Honey.  Looks like dark walnut to me.  What do you think?

Protecting my floor and walls.  The staining begins

Protecting my floor and walls. The staining begins

On my way up
On my way up
Pieced that I have stained.  Didn't make it to the posts at this time.
Pieced that I have stained. Didn’t make it to the posts at this time.
Another view
Another view
Cleaned up some of the prep work.
Cleaned up some of the prep work.
Trying to visualize the finished results.  There will be white balustrades.
Trying to visualize the finished results. There will be white balustrades.

After my humongous electric bill, the heating contractor is coming out tomorrow to put on the heat-pump thermostats and we should see a difference.  So we have been operating on an inefficient electric heat furnace.  This is going to take awhile to get back on my feet from that sticker shock.

Have to keep telling myself that this journey is going to be through shortly.  At least the main part.  I was looking at the fence that needs repairing and a stable that needs painting and a lawn to put in.  Where is chocolate when I need it….

With that all being said, I am a very happy and grateful person.  I grumble, but I am very fortunate to live in this beautiful area.  I am in good health, have a roof over my head and food in my belly, so I’m really not complaining.

Family and friends are all that really matters, everything else is just that, things.

Happy New Year from

Annie, the grubby stair stainer. 🙂



Happy 4th of July Weekend

A three day weekend.  Don’t we all look forward to those?  Well it has been such a long time since I have just done nothing on the weekend.  It appears it will be a little bit longer.  So let me fill you in on how this 3 day weekend progressed.

Friday, a day off, yeah.  Got up late about 7:30 and went grocer shopping.  First things first.  When we came home about noon I went over to get the shakes finished for the house.  Have one more coat of the red around the edges, then two coats of the sage green.  It’s warm but tolerable.  That took most of the day.  70 shakes are done.  I hope that is enough.

Wanted to get to painting the house, but decided to primer some of the railings on the porch of the house we are living in.  It needs to go on the market as soon as possible.  Which means that I need to get the back porch finished.  Just some painting then we need to put the ceiling in.   Geez, no rest this weekend.

Saturday, the 4th of July.  I may be driven to get these things done on my days off, but Lynn is having cabin fever so we need to take some leisure time.  On the three holidays of the summer; Memorial Day; 4th of July; and Labor Day, we like to go to Sumpter Oregon to a city wide yard/flea market.  It is an old mining town about 27 miles from Baker City.  Lynn still isn’t getting around very well and has lots of pain in his back and legs.  But, if nothing else, he gets to go on a road trip.  About 170 miles from home.  Beautiful day, a little warm but not too bad.  Our treasures weren’t much.  I found a foot stool for $20 and we bought a couple of baseball type caps.  Although we did enjoy a very nice early dinner at the Sumpter Junction Restaurant on the way back.

Sunday.  Got up about 7:30 again, turning into a lazy hillbilly sleeping in that late.  It is going to be in the mid 90’s this afternoon, so not a time for working in the heat.  First things first.  Need to get that post in the paddock reset and the gates hung.  That is the post which was knocked over when we had some work done this winter.  We had a busted pvc irrigation pipe break in our pasture in the same hole.  It was attached to that post.  Fixed the pipe earlier in the spring, but hadn’t gotten back to resetting that post.  It’s a large 10 ft. post (railroad tie).  We did get that set, but Lynn just wasn’t doing well so we didn’t get the gates repaired and hung.  Maybe later.

I decided that I needed to get the back yard of the house that we are going to sell trimmed and watered.  It is Kinzie’s playground.  Our beautiful collie.  The back yard has 1 pear (Bartlett); 1 plum; 5 apple trees; and some champagne grapes.  There are also some elderberry plants too.   This year it appears we are going to have a bumper crop of all of them.  Got them sprayed early for the coddling moths which decimates them, so we may actually get to eat some this year.  We also have two very large black walnut trees back there that need trimming.  Have to build up the courage to use the chain saw again.  But at least I can get the clean-up work done, if I take lots of water breaks and not overdo it.

Then there are the domestic duties.  A bit overwhelmed.  But when I see progress it is all worth it.

And I promised some photos of the inside of the house.  It is all skeleton at the moment but that is part of the transformation that I want to show you.  The plumbers were here working this week and have some hot and cold pex type lines coming from underneath.  The electrician was also there and has started roughing in the electrical.  It’s good that they can work inside some this week as the inside of the house is a little cooler than outside and I do have a fan in there for them to use.

The entryway looking in from the front door
The entryway (foyer) looking in from the front door


Looking down the stairs.
Looking down the stairs.
The kitchen and dining room and the pantry
The kitchen and dining room and the pantry

Annie, Playing the back yard.

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.


Practicing for Spring

Sadie and I November 2011
Sadie and I November 2011
Just a little more and the dormer is finished
Just a little more and the dormer is finished


Scenery going toward Walla Walla.  Taken about 2005
Scenery going toward Walla Walla. Taken about 2005

Good Afternoon,

Well, I haven’t been working on this blog in awhile, doing research on my second blog  I am doing research for a book I want to write.  Having never wrote a book before, is a bit of a challenge.  Blogging is my practice medium, so to speak.

Yesterday, the hubby and I went to the TriCities to a home and garden show at the Trac.  It was a lot of fun and made me enthusiastic about the work we are planning in the spring.  The weather is still too cold for working outside or in the house as we have no heat, so I have to settle for planning.  We spoke with a geothermal heating contractor and we will be sending them the plans on our house to see what the cost would be to go that direction.  I would love to have radiant heat in the down stairs, but that may be a little more than our budget can handle.  I would like to get some feedback on anyone’s recommendation positive or negative to geothermal.  We are looking at possibly digging down 8 feet rather than using a well, as our well is only about 55-60 feet.  Unfortunately at 8 feet we will probably be in river rock, and we have a high water table.  Maybe we could only go down 5 feet.  24″ is the frost line.

We also spoke with an insulation contractor and I would like to have some of the foam insulation installed especially in the vaulted ceilings.  He spoke about putting in 2 inches against the outside walls then traditional R19 fiberglass batting  on top of that.  Hadn’t thought of that before.  I would like to hear any feedback from people that have used foam insulation.

Of course there was the landscaping.  It was to die for.  I want a beautiful lawn with all kinds of flowers.  So of the examples they had with water features and sunken fire pits were wonderful.  They had stamped concrete features that were out of this world, and out of my price range.  Oh, to win the lottery!!  Hmm, I guess I would have to play to win.

We also saw some iron work gates and balustrades, which we could use on our front porch in a white finish between the posts.  Remember my posts?  Well it is hard enough to keep them painted and looking nice on the weather side (front) of the house, these ornate iron balustrades just might be the ticket.  I’m sure they wouldn’t be cheap, but may be worth the extra cost, but that way down the road.  Just dreaming 🙂

Lynn has been cutting some more of the shake shingles for our other dormer.  Cutting and sanding, then when the weather is above 50 degrees I will begin painting again.  I would really like to get this house done so we could actually live in it.

Then there is all the clean-up on the yard in the house we are living in.  The winter winds have brought down some limbs and trimming the old trees in the orchard, plus cleaning out the flower beds.  Ugh, I am tired just thinking about it.  “I’ll think about that tomorrow”, as Scarlet would say.

But to be truthful, I am excited for the spring weather.  My favorite time of the year.

Take care and I will blog more later

Annie, the reluctant carpenter