Archive for December, 2008

Farmhouse chair

Here’s the shabby farmhouse chair I mentioned earlier.  Josie and I went to St. Vinnies to look for furniture while Missy shopped for fabric at Jo-Ann, and we found it for $3.  Unfortunately, it’s virtually the only thing in the guest bedroom now that the captain’s bed is gone.*  “Thanks for coming, guests!  Here’s a chair for you to sleep on!  And there’s the floor!”

The empty room will hopefully be rectified soon (very soon, if I really have this special power Jane thinks I have).  We bought a set of full-size iron rails (Craigslist, natch), and as soon as Missy’s current sewing project is finished, she’s going to craft up a fabric-and-button headboard (the kind HGTV loves so much).  At some point I’ll find the kind of vintage white dresser and mirror I’m looking for, and that should polish things off.  Oh, plus a mattress and box spring.  For any guests that might prefer sleeping on a bed than in our farmhouse chair.


*Ironically, the frame looked ridiculously oversized for the room, yet the twin-sized mattress was too small for anyone to sleep on comfortably.  We sold it on Craigslist for twice what we paid for it three years ago.  I assume we’ll need to report that as a capital gain on our 1040.


Read Full Post »


I think I’ve written before that my parents’ house is often a model for ours.  Not design-wise, necessarily (my mom’s taste leans slightly more cottage than ours, although I bought a chair at St. Vincent de Paul yesterday that I have no doubt she’ll try to steal), but in that certain intangible, homey je ne se quois.

My parents’ farmhouse* was originally owned by my father’s grandparents (his grandmother, Josephine, is our daughter’s namesake) in the 1920s, and except for a short period, the house has always been occupied by someone from our family. The original house has been added onto twice,** and I’m not sure Josie’s great-great-grandparents would even recognize it, but for me, there’s a palpable sense of home there.

It seemed only appropriate that our old house should give their old house a little Christmas gift.  So I stripped, sanded, re-assembled and re-finished one of the headers I found while insulating the attic***, then drilled the whole mess for coat hooks.




*They have a real farmhouse.  It’s on a farm and everything.

**All DIY, which is probably where I squirreled away all this construction knowledge that’s been floating up from my subconscious.  I didn’t realize, for example, that I knew what a baffle was until the word slipped out of my mouth.

***There are eight more.  I love my parents, but they only got this one because I knew we’d have enough to finish the rooms that are missing them.

Read Full Post »

Another life, perhaps

Living in a house I love doesn’t mean I have to stop dreaming about other houses, right?  They’re perfectly natural homeowner urges.

For example, I found this 4br brick craftsman on Craigslist this morning (innocently searching for “Craftsman” to find tools).  Marion would be an hour commute right now, but when I get denied tenure in a few years, maybe it’ll still be on the market.  Then we can live the dream – we can plow the second lot for a small organic farm, I can do some freelance writing, Missy can pay our bills by starting a scrapbooking website, and Josie can go to a poorly-funded and crumbling rural school.   Ah, that’s the life.

Beautiful window AC - Stickley?

Beautiful window AC - Stickley?

View of the house from our future llama enclosure

View of the house from our future llama enclosure

Currently decorated in the popular Suburban Eyesore style

Currently decorated in the popular Suburban Eyesore style

Hallway dartboard?   How art noveau!

Hallway dartboard? How art noveau!

I have no idea what's going on here - are they really this proud of the tiny bucks they shot?

I have no idea what's going on here - are they really this proud of the tiny bucks they shot?

Surface-of-the-moon carpet and asbestos ceiling panels!  It's lovely - we'll take it!

Surface-of-the-moon carpet and asbestos ceiling panels?! It's lovely - we'll take it!

Read Full Post »

Heated leather bupkus

When we get a second vehicle, it’s going to be an ’87 Jeep Grand Wagoneer.  Can you imagine how many bags of insulation it could carry home from Lowes?  Hundreds I bet.  And with twenty times the panache of our Elantra.


Read Full Post »

So Linens-n-Things is going out of business, right?  TO-night, in fact, all the stores’ lights are being turned off for good – no more linens, no more n-things.   We were only planning to stop at Bed, Bath & Beyond tonight (orderin’ up a little Christmas present to ourselves, with a 20%-off coupon, natch), but we thought a super-duper-clearance at Linens-n-Things would be worth checking out.

And worth checking out it was.  90% off regular price is a decent clearance sale – 95% off is better – but 99% off?  That’s the kind of markdown that really makes me believe that somebody’s trying to do some clearing.


An orgy of curtains

It was a carnival of savings

A carnival of savings

Read Full Post »

Back to work

One whirlwind tour of northeast Nebraska later, we’re back to work on the house.  Thanks to a number of very generous family members, the car was packed with tools for the return trip (few of which were new, and few of which were Christmas presents).

  • From Brother Kyle: a shiny new wood-handled finish hammer
  • From Dad: a 6″ jointer from his workshop
  • From Uncle Kirk: the previously-mentioned compound miter saw (a 12″ Bosch) that he doesn’t need anymore
  • From Father-in-Law Darrell: a Skil electric handheld sabre-saw that he bought at an auction, hoping I could use
  • From Marrying-my-Sister-in-Law-Next-October Andy, who drew my name in the gift exchange: a 4′ level and a crow-bar

We’re headed to Home Depot for paint and oak shelving tomorrow morning (and not paying for it, thanks to One Project Closer), then to ReStore for more trim to make interior storm windows.  I wish I didn’t have two syllabi to finish this weekend, because the house is calling to me.  “Feeed meee – FEEEEEEEEED MMMMEEEEEEEEEEEEE

Read Full Post »


Awesome Thing Odin: My Uncle Kirk is giving me one of his power compound miter saws!

Awesome Thing Dva: We won one of the $100 Home Depot gift cards at One Project Closer!

Immense thanks to you both, and I promise the gifts will be put to hard work.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »