Homestead: garden

Apples and peaches and pears, oh my! 

As many of you know I was pretty disappointed that I didn’t have a chance to plant a garden this year. With all the renovations and late start on owning the house it just never worked out. I had hoped to plant a fall garden; peas, beans, some hardy Brussels sprouts I bought just for the occasion. But as it often times goes it just didn’t happen. Instead my large raised bed in the backyard is filled with weeds and little creatures.

  However,as you may also know, we discovered a few fruit trees here on our property. So far the apple tree is doing ok, the Japanese beetles seem to be enjoying them 😒 And then the pear tree is doing really well. After a little research I discovered you harvest them before you would think. You can’t let them get ripe while on the tree. You let them mature to the right size then pick them and allow them a cooling period. The problem is we don’t actually know what kind they are so we aren’t sure when they will big enough. So we just keep checking them. The kids love taking a walk out to the apple and pear trees 🙂


Tonight we found that our grape vines had quite a few ripe bunches. The plump dark purple fruit is really good, sweet yet sour, but they do have seeds in them. The kids really liked popping them in their mouth and then spitting them out once they got to the seed 😏 oh well!


Etta was very excited about them. We’ll see how hard it is to get those stains out! 

We have a couple of what we think are apricot trees around our property too. The ones outside of the fence don’t really seem to be maturing at all or ripening. They have stayed small and green. But, we found one lone tree by the side of our house that had literally one piece of fruit on it. We believe it may actually be a peach tree. 
 

Once it’s ripe we’ll cut it open and see if we can officially decide what it is. Hopefully it’s good either way 🤗

It’s been fun sort of easing into the idea of having produce growing right outside our door. It makes me all the more excited for having our garden next year!

Hopefully with some studying over the winter I’ll trade my black thumb in for a green one… oh, did I not mention that I kill every plant I touch? 


Ya.. love may grow here, but plants usually dont 😏

Abbey

Uncategorized

Wandering down the rabbit trail…

I don’t know about you but a sure fire way to not start out a day is with a nice big glass of rusty water… I mean sure, iron is a necessity in our diets and is a supplement many pay to take. But, I don’t think this is the best way to get our daily intake.


Having grown up in a town my whole life I’ve always been on City water. There were times the water would occasionally become a little cloudy or taste funny when the fire hydrants were being flushed or there was maintenance work being done. However, I had never seen water like this before! Talk about a gross shock!


Luckily after discovering this we received a phone call from our water “company” saying they were fixing a water pressure issue at the well and that we are under a boil order until further notice… how long that will be I have no idea. That means no showers, no baths, no washing dishes, and no cooking food with water. Oh sure we can technically boil it to use… but I’m not really that desperate yet 😉 I suppose I’ll just have to head over to the local coffee shop for my morning cup of joe tomorrow.

In other news, which is almost as exciting as the rusty water, we Finally got all our junk out of the old house. Whew! I just wish I felt a little more accomplished from this giant task. Instead I’m looking at endless boxes and messes at my new house while my old house is finally in the shape I always dreamt it would be in, bare and ready to start over with! But, no need to be a debby downer. We have one more thing checked off the list!

Due to having very little {alone} time and energy (I promise I’m really not that old yet) we finally gave in and decided to have someone come clean the house to make it perfect for showings. We have also hired a realtor to do all the work for us.  Though there is a potential buyer that wants to see it a second time this week so if that works out we may not have to fork over a ton of money (Fingers crossed!)

In the time that we have spent advertising, cleaning, and fixing up our old house we have known three friends who have sold their homes. Two of which sold in under a week! One friend literally had one showing and then received an offer even though they had not officially put their house on the market yet. She kindly text me, “Don’t hate me, but we accepted an offer on our house today.” Looking back over the last few months I can honestly say God has been at work in my heart. I can’t honestly say I’ve loved every minute of it, but as it always goes it’s been for the best. I was so genuinely happy for this friend that I was shocked by the lack of jealousy or frustration. There was no, “Why not our house? Why isn’t it selling faster!?” But instead I saw the value of us being able to work through everything with time on our side. I’m already stressed out enough as it is, had I been put under a deadline I’m fairly certain I’d have a few “Please forgive me” letters to write. Not only has having this time been good for us for cleaning out all our stuff and working on the new house, but it has forced me to trust that God has it. That He has a plan and there’s literally nothing I can do to get my way. There’s a family out there that will buy our house exactly when they need it. I know this because I’ve been praying for them, and God has given me a peace that it’s going to work out. When? No idea. Tomorrow? that would be awesome! Next month? Next year? We shall see. The Lord will provide either way.

 

Now let me be perfectly translucent and real, I am not walking around with a big smile on my face and dancing around singing, “Every little thing is gonna be alright!” I wish I was… but I’m still a work in progress. Instead I’m snapping at my kids, being sarcastic with my husband, huffing and puffing my way through the day because I haven’t gotten anything done and I’m sick of it. Our hearts are such messes, it’s a wonder Jesus doesn’t just throw His hands up and cry, “There’s too much! And she’s not even willing to part with half of it! I’m so done!”

Clutter, it seems to be the theme this year. Random crap in my home and random sin in my heart. At least I have the King of the World willing to sit down with me to sort through the mess inside of me. Now all I need is an army of angels to help organize my house 😉

Abbey

Random Thoughts


*Spoiler alert* this post is not a house update, it’s more of a life and change of heart update. Prepare for rambling 😉

Today I went back to our old house to pick up a few more things and clean for a showing we have tomorrow. 

When I first walked in the door I was appalled by the amount of Froot Loops and crumbs that had worked their way out from behind the couch due to all the shifting around. That along with random odds and ends that were clearly left behind by children. Needless to say I’m glad I went back to vacuum and pick up!

As I worked from room to room I carried a box with me to fill up with all the things we left behind. The box filled up within minutes! I was astounded! And frustrated! What was all this crap?! I wish I could say it was all toys and kids stuff, but alas it wasn’t. 

The crazy thing is we’ve lived in our new home for a week and the only things I knew that we forgot and needed were some clothes, silverware, measuring spoons, and some mail. Everything else was forgotten and so far not needed! And as I looked around I didn’t really see anything that was a necessity. Maybe a box of coats? Some fabric softener? 

The idea of taking these random over flowing boxes back to our new house stressed me out to no end. And for what? So we could have an abundance of Stuff?

Stuff we didn’t need, stuff we didn’t realize was missing, stuff my family was doing just fine without. 

I really wanted to just hire someone to come clean out my house. Someone that wouldn’t get emotionally attached to the stuff or wonder if they may eventually need all the stuff. That or just burn the house down (common sense tells me not to do that since we need it to sell…) 

Either way I have decided something has to be done. We don’t need all this. I don’t need the headache of finding a place for it. 

What if we started living simpler? What if we made what we have work until it didn’t instead of having multiple things for one situation? What if we stopped letting the things rule our life and take up our time? 

I want to simplify. I want to spend less time cleaning and picking up stuff that really doesn’t have a place in our home. 

I’m not sure what the steps are to do this. I don’t even know how far I’ll go with it. 

However, if this move has taught me anything it’s I don’t ever want to have to pack up a bunch of junk again and then find even more junk to box up. It’s maddening!

Abbey

Renovate · Update

On the Homestead


We are finally here! We have officially moved in! 

There are still a few odds and ends at the old house.. dirty clothes, random dishes, the entire contents of our back storage room in the basement 😬 Seriously, how do we accumulate so much Stuff?! And that’s  just it, it’s stuff. I don’t even know what all is still over there but so far we’re doing just fine with what we have. I think a garage sale is in order!

Now I won’t be selling off our silverware or dirty clothes (thank you very much.) there are a few things I can feel the void from. Plastic forks and cups don’t seem to fit the bill for us. And I’ve basically been wearing the same clothes on rotation this week which may not sound bad except we haven’t gotten our washer and drier working quite yet so my clothes aren’t exactly clean… but it’s not like I’ve been going out in public anyways 😉 

Though we’ve been living here for a week we still have a few things that need to be fixed and done pretty quickly… such as hanging up the tv instead of resting it on the love seat 

Not exactly child proof.

Also I somehow managed to misplace all the hardware for Etta’s bed so she’s been sleeping on the floor… 

Thankfully she doesn’t seem to mind. 

It’s definitely a work in progress but we’re here!

I don’t know what it is, but this house already feels like home. We’re still figuring things out and discovering a new daily routine now that the TV is no longer front and center. Mornings are a little different around here, but I like it! Some how we seem to just work in this house and in this place. Maybe because we made it ours long before moving in. Or maybe we were just really meant for country life. 

Either way we’ve settled in quite nicely! 

The girls are still struggling a bit with sleeping in the same room. If one cries the other cries… sometimes this goes on for a while. But they’re learning 😊

I’ve come to the conclusion that this year we’re just going to focus on the inside of the house and start all the fun stuff outside next year.

Jay still says he will open the pool and wants chickens this year.. I’m not opposed to this but I’m pretty sure he doesn’t realize it’s the end of July already! 

Let’s do a quick overview of what we need to do to be “done” with the renovations:

▪️finish painting baseboards 

▪️paint behind built in bookcases

▪️paint far back dining room wall

▪️ make shiplap wall

▪️paint kitchen 

▪️hang up shelves and picture

Once we’ve finished all that I’ll do a post to show you all the things that will be future projects, because let’s face it, we didn’t get to redo everything this time around! 

We’re on an adventure and so far it looks like it’s going to be a good one! 

Abbey

Uncategorized

Step by Step Hardwood Floors with oil finish

I’ve had quite a few people ask (and a few just look at me with a blank expression) what we mean by putting in hardwood floors with an oil finish. Most people opt for vinyl flooring, prefinished wood planks that you staple down, or the ever popular hardwood floors with a polyurethane finish.

Jason and I have always loved real hardwood floors. We knew we didn’t want vinyl even though in our current home we have some Very convincing vinyl. Every person that has walked through our home has thought they were real hardwood floors! You would think that would convince us to just do that… except that we want something that if it is damaged can easily be repaired without having to take it all out, or a big section at the very least (See oil finish below.)  “We” also didn’t want prefinished hardwood because for the most part they are all just a thin layer of the wood and then a core.

Notice the “we?” Well Jason was the one that was a little more picky about this. I personally found some hickory prefinished flooring that I loved! But he is all about the wood grain looking natural  and the floors being solid wood. Ok babe, you can have your real hardwood floors… but I get to keep the slightly purple, “Too light for you” grey paint throughout the house 😉 Honestly I think the hickory we chose was the best option and will last for forever!

So, why the oil finish instead of the polyurethane?  My reason, I didn’t want super shiny floors. Little footprints really show up on those beautiful sparkly floors… and I have 6 of those little feet running around, plus the occasional four muddy paws when the dog gets in on “accident.” Jason’s reason (Which is also my reason) if the floors get scratched (bahahaha, If! Read, little feet and paws above.) we can easily repair each area instead of having to refinish everything.

Say, Desmond ran his rusty old tonka dump truck through the hall and made a huge scuff mark! Throw some oil on it and buff it!

Of course doing that will not fill in any scratches etc. but we are all for the slightly distressed, old farmhouse look. That’s reason number three for why we chose to do the floors this way. If we really needed to we could sand it down too. 

Now that I have bored you with all our deep methodical plans (did I mention Jay is an engineer and super logical?) here is the process we took to make the gorgeous floors!

  1. Obviously tear out existing flooring, for us this was carpet which meant we also got to pull out thousands of staples. (YAY!)
  2.  Clean up any debris that may make your flooring not lay flat.
  3. Begin laying the flooring down and stapling each piece as you do. (No, a desk stapler obviously wont work here. You have to use a giant staple gun that has an air compressor. It’s so hefty that you have to hit it with a mallet to get the staple to actually go into the floor. I personally tried it and it took some oomph!)
  4. Cut pieces to fit around things such as air ducts, doorways, or random fireplace stone. This is what ends up taking much of the time. It can be Very tedious, good job babe!
  5. once you get to the opposite end of the room you will notice you can no longer use the staple gun. Now you get to nail it down as discreetly as possible (Oh what fun!) You may have to fill the holes with wood putty if you’re super picky 😉
  6. Step back and admire your work… but not for too long because you have five other areas to repeat this process in!
  7. Mop any dust and debris from the floors so it doesn’t get ground in when sanding. We had so much drywall dust on the living room floor that it took a good 45 minutes to really get it clean, Yeesh!
  8. SAND! You’ll need to rent a giant sander for this. Even with something a “little” larger than your usual rotary sander it could take hours to get the First round of sanding done! Then you get to do it at least two more times. Again, good job babe! The amount of dust from one round of sanding is Crazy!
  9. Once you finish up all the sanding you have to vacuum every square inch, wipe it all down with tack cloth, and wipe it again with the special raw wood cleaner. It takes hours to get all the settled dust cleaned up. But you don’t want it getting stuck in the finish.
  10. Finally- apply the oil finish. It’s a process of using a buffer to put the oil on then going back over it five minutes later to make it shine.We have officially finished the floors!! They have to cure for 24 hours but are now ready to be walked on, played on, and lived on 😊Next up, moving in!!
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Keep on keeping on

You can make plans and have an idea of how things are going to go… but that doesn’t mean things will actually go that way. 

We had hoped to get all the floors sanded Saturday so we could put the finish on today (Sunday) but the sanding took Jay literally 9 hours on Sat.  before he called it quits. So today we ended up spending another 7+ hours vacuuming, moping, and sanding some more. I have a more detailed post about the floors coming up, but let me just say it is not a quick job! Please don’t remind us that there is such a thing as a prefinished wood floor 😉😭

Anyways, I helped with all the clean up and filling the nail holes around the edges of each room. I let Jay do the sanding with the huge sander but finished all the corners with our small rotary sander. Let’s just say I may be permanently hunched over.

I patched a few spots that needed paint on the walls and made sure the comfy couch in the basement didn’t float away.. that was a very important job.

Since the sanding takes FOREVER I also painted a new ottoman I purchased on VarageSale. I was SO excited about this piece. The lady had it custom made years ago for more than $400 and it was in Amazing condition! I got it for $50! It will be the perfect foot rest/ coffee table for the fireplace room!

Before


In progress


I of course need to do some touch up and then the wax finish, but it looks exactly how I was hoping it would 😊

Truth be told I am so over renovations. I mean I really love this kind of stuff but I’m ready to move in to the house and relax for a little bit. Who knows when that will actually be, but we’re closer.

Random Thoughts · Uncategorized

Love 


Let me paint you a little mental picture;

Imagine, if you will, a young 19 year old girl coming home for the first time to a one room apartment that cost $375/ month (for good reason) with her brand new 22 year old husband. A girl who thought she had it all figured out and knew what to expect… man can we humans be arrogant and stupid!  This girl knew that marriage would be hard at times, and she knew that they didn’t have much but that material things didn’t matter.

But then real life hit and she realized that hard times meant hard feelings and personal struggles. She struggled to find happiness during the lonely days when her husband worked the typical 8-5 job while she finished up her 2 hour cleaning job that she only had 3 days a week. She was too nervous to drive the stick shift car they owned, and rarely got out of the apartment unless she had to go to the store or work. She felt like she was constantly searching for fulfillment and when she didn’t get it she often times found some small reason to blame it on her husband.

Fast forward a year or so and you’d find this girl still searching. She has a new job working in an office, and a new place to call home. She and her husband are doing pretty well for themselves and she even got her own (automatic) car, though it wasn’t the one she wanted (😭🙄) But even with all these things she still wasn’t always happy. She begged for a puppy and got it. She begged for a new house and got it. Eventually she begged for a baby and got it 😉

As she matured over the years and mellowed out (thank goodness for Zoloft!) she realized only Jesus could truly fulfill her and that the ups and downs of life weren’t what our hopes are suppose to be in. Those things only disappoint.

However, despite realizing this and this being 100% true, she also realized that there was one other steady, and trustworthy thing in her life- her husband.

He was there when she went crazy from life changes and hormones. He was there when her mom got extremely sick and passed away. He was there when she questioned who God was and what she believed. He was there when she felt physically awful and mentally insane. He put up with her silliness, her tears, her rage, her put downs and ridiculous accusations. He calmly listened to her go on and on about how hard her life was and offered ways to fix it. He gave her breaks when she needed them, and smothered her when she was lonely 😉

Now as we all know, no man is perfect. To paint this picture with a perfect man would be a lie. But he comes pretty darn close. Sure he does get frustrated and angry at times, but those times are so rare and fleeting. He may have the personality of a hermit that would much rather live in the middle of no where and live off wild game and foraged foods and have no human contact (his words, not mine.) but he has never left when it got hard or became too much.

July 16th is Jay and I’s wedding anniversary. 7 years! To some that seems like a long time, to others hardly any time at all. It’s amazing how much we have changed and grown in that amount of time! I have learned to trust him and he has learned that my craziness usually stems from fear. We work along side each other, fight, laugh, sit quietly and dream endlessly.

It may sound cliche to say, but I don’t care. Jason is my best friend. I am So thankful for him and all he puts up with! His grace and kindness spills over into his parenting and he is such an example of Christ.

The past couple of months have had their  trying times. I tend to get grumpy when tired and overworked. But after 7 years I know I can talk to my husband about anything and know I am safe.

Our first year of marriage was probably our roughest. I held everything in, I argued with him in my head and got offended over stuff he didn’t actually say. Thankfully we stuck with it and learned how to communicate. We still mess up sometimes and still end up arguing, but it’s never with fear of an end or with hatred.

I am so thankful for my man! Happy anniversary babe! I love you!

Abbey

Renovate · Uncategorized

Light at the end of the tunnel!

We are getting So close to being done! And I don’t mean done with the house over all… that will probably take us the next 30 years (🎉) But, we are almost to the point where we can move in!!

Jay finished painting the ceiling which looks Amazing! I seriously can’t even tell that there were walls around the living room!


The living room is finished, minus the fireplace


AND today I painted the trim and walls in the dinning room so they’re almost done!


Given the condition the wall is in (nail holes, larger holes, glue) we have decided to do ship lap on the large wall in the dinning room rather than painting that Annoying beadboard and patching everything. That’s an added project but it can be done after the floors and even after we move in if need be. Today I went ahead and did one coat of the grey paint on that wall so that the gaps show that color instead of the lovely salmon shade it was originally.  I’m super excited to see it when it’s done!

Our hope is to sand the floors on Saturday, then put the finish on and buff them on Sunday.

Next week is VBS at our church and I am helping out. It’s going to be crazy busy in the evenings so we’re really hoping to finish up this weekend! 🙏🏻

Des and Etta are very excited for VBS though. Hopefully it will be a fun time in the middle of all the crazy 😊

Abbey

Renovate · Uncategorized

Check list

Alright, let’s see where we are!

✔️purchase house

✔️tear down 2 walls

✔️ tear out carpet through out house

✔️rewire lights and sockets

✔️ put in new lights

✔️ paint Desmond’s room

✔️ paint girl’s room

✔️ take out wallpaper

✔️paint master bedroom

✔️put down hardwood floors

✔️paint hallway

✔️get drywall and ceiling patched

⚪️ paint ceiling in living room

⚪️ paint living room

⚪️ paint dinning room

⚪️ sand hardwood floors 2xs

⚪️ oil finish on floors

⚪️ buff floors

⚪️ move in!!

It sounds like we have a lot left to do but really the floors are the last big project. Well, that and packing up our current house 😬

But it’s really coming together and I am loving the outcome! The dry Waller made it so you couldn’t even tell there were once walls enclosing the fireplace room! Once it’s all painted it will really look like it had always been that way!

Yes, we kept the popcorn ceiling and even had it patched. I know, I know, everyone hates popcorn ceiling… but you know what I hate? Wasting time and money on something I don’t really plan on staring at all the time 😀 and honestly I don’t see what the big deal is. Sure I wouldn’t purposely put it in, but it’s not That bad!
Ry is pretty happy that she can finally get down on the floors since before there was gross old carpet then dangerous sharp staples everywhere. Now there’s just a lot of dust 😉


Jay just nailed in the final piece today 😊🙌🏻

We are So close to moving in! Let the adventure keep on going!

Abbey

Random Thoughts · Renovate

Holiday weekend 

It has almost been a month since we first started this adventure! It’s crazy how fast it’s gone by and how much we have gotten done (and how much there is left to do!) For the first time since taking ownership of our new house we had a relaxing afternoon with family on the back deck to celebrate Independence Day. My dad told me he thought we were crazy to host a party on top of everything else. But, like I told him, it was actually really nice to do something that was just fun on our new property. It’s been all about work the last few weeks and so it was great to be reminded that this will be an awesome home and entertaining space! Besides, when it’s family we don’t get stressed out or go too crazy 😊

We had a cookout for lunch, along with the kids playing in the sprinkle and everyone taking a turn shooting Jay’s air rifle… because that’s what you do when you own land in the country 😂


The kids took late naps while jay stayed behind to finish putting in floors in the master bedroom and I just relaxed 😊


Later in the evening we headed out to my sisters house for more 4th of July fun!


The kids had so much fun!
That was all on the 3rd. On the 4th my dad watched the kids so jay and I could do more work. I painted some baseboard and pulled out staples (will it ever end?) Jason put down more floors. He got a good portion of the living room done! Around the fireplace took quite a while but he’s almost done with it! We’re getting closer!!


It’s starting to look like a house again! There’s a light at the end of the tunnel!

Abbey