My Arkansas House

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My husband and I have begun renovations on a century old house in Arkansas. I am hoping to document the progress here with before and after photos along with my observations on the process.  There is so much to do. So, so much!  Realistically, we will probably never finish it all, but it will be interesting to see what we can accomplish with the resources and time we have at our disposal.

I will also include my attempts to tame an unruly yard, which has been left to its own devices for far too long. I have never done much gardening before so now that I am retired, I have the time and even the inclination to give it a go. I have 3 cats and a dog that will get their moment in the sun and I’m certain to include ramblings about other topics such as family and hobbies as well. Please feel free to follow along with me if you feel so inclined.

Cornices

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The room I refer to as the front room is really the formal living room. We have had it filled with furniture and boxes since we moved into the house. Some time back I decided that it had been that way long enough and it was time to get it sorted, so I started going through boxes. As I got to the point where I had cleared the front wall, I decided to do something about the window coverings. I am easily sidetracked.

In their day, long, long, ago, these window coverings must have been fabulous; however, that day has long since passed. They needed to go!

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I took everything down except the shade and the curtain rod. I disposed of all the fabric and decided to recover the cornice boards. I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on fabric because I knew that eventually, I would completely redecorate the room. I looked around my sewing room for some type of fabric to use, finally noticing some curtains that I had used in my home in Texas. These curtains were in a yard sale pile I had started due to the fact that they were too short for the windows in this house.

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I had never done anything like this before,  so I looked online for ideas. Many people suggested putting batting under the fabric, but since that was not done on them before,  I decided to forego it this time too. I purchased a staple gun and staples at the local Walmart.

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I pulled out all the remaining staples from the cornice boards. Next, I pressed the curtains to get out any creases from being folded, and then cut the fabric and stapled it onto the  boards.

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I had the sheers already. I really like the simplicity of them now.

More on this room later.

Princess Room Update

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The original post about the “Princess Room” can be viewed here.

The closet organizer is no closer to being finished than it was in my previous post, but the painted closet doors now reside inside the closet, not in the pool room downstairs.

I recently found photos of this room with the platform still in place, as I had described previously, so I wanted to share them.

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Not really a “Princess Room” anymore.

 

Laundry Room

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I wish I had pictures of the laundry room when we bought this house, but they were lost when a hard drive failed. It’s hard to remember what it really looked like. I truly wish I had them for comparison.I don’t even remember what color the flooring was since it was replaced so early on. It had linoleum flooring and you could almost fall through the floor at the back door due to a roof leak that had damaged the subfloor (particle board). It was dark and dreary, to say the least.

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Walls are as they were when the home was purchased. Door and floors are new.

 

The room has been a work in progress since we purchased the house. Pretty much everything had to go. My husband replaced the subfloor (with 3/4″ plywood) and laid wood look porcelain tile.

He also replaced the door to the backyard with a new one with a window with built in blinds. The previous door had no window in it and there is no window in the room, which added to the dreariness. Letting in some natural light made a huge difference!

The walls were paneling on the top half with a wallpaper border at the top of that and they were wallpapered at the bottom. There were more flowered stencils on the ceiling and a light fixture that made it hard for tall people to pass safely under due to the low ceiling in the room. In fact, the ceiling fixture was broken and for a long time,  we used a floor lamp for lighting. The ceiling now has recessed lights which are perfect for the low ceiling height.

There were dark cabinets above the washer/dryer and a floor to ceiling cabinet/closet along one wall. It was only a few inches deep and had pegboard on the wall to hang brooms, mops, etc.

I  purchased a new upright freezer that was destined for the laundry room, which meant that the laundry room remodel needed to be finished up.

 

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The freezer was hooked up in the utility area off the kitchen. You could almost open the door all the way.

 

We had a new outlet installed in the laundry room where we had planned to put the freezer, one with a bigger breaker to handle it. When we finally placed the freezer in the room, we realized it would just fit on the wall beside the washer and dryer, so we placed it there instead. Oh well.

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The room is still a work in progress. Half is finished, the other end still needs finishing drywall work, painting, and trim. It’s getting there, slowly…

 

 

Last Year’s Resolutions

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I decided to discuss my New Year resolutions from last year and update my progress. My goals were:

  • Lose some weight
  • Move more
  • Really get serious about limiting my salt intake

The first goal was to lose some weight, which I did. As of today, I have lost a total of 58 lbs. I had lost 60, but then came “The Holidays” which added about 2 back. That is a little over a pound a week. I still have about 15 pounds to go.

The second goal was to move more. That was pretty vague, but I was pretty sedentary. It still surprises me when my Fitbit reminds me that I still have 250/250steps left for the current hour with 10 minutes remaining in the hour. That means I have been sitting at my computer for almost an hour without moving. On January 23, 2015, when I posted my original resolutions, I stated,  “I haven’t attained anywhere near the 10,000 steps a day yet, my average is 4357.” I remember thinking that I would never be able to get that many steps each day, but somewhere along the way I just decided that I would. It was like a lightbulb moment. I realized that it was a decision I was making, either I would or I wouldn’t, it was that simple. Since then, I have reached that goal almost every day. I have even had over 20,000 steps on occasion. My total steps for the year were 3,347,000! That’s 1,382.08 miles. I also climbed 3672 flights of stairs.

My third goal was to get serious about limiting my salt intake. This one was really harder than you might think. I have tried, but I think I could do a lot better. I guess I will just have to carry it over to 2017.

I don’t plan on making any new resolutions this year. I’ll just keep working on the ones I made last year.

Happy New Years!

Noel Is Gone

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Noel was put to sleep on Halloween morning. No more suffering for our sweet pup. It was so hard to see her deteriorating before our eyes. I think of her a hundred times a day as I go about my routine tasks. I miss her terribly.

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Brand new Christmas puppy.

 

 

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After her first grooming.

 

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Fun in her first snow.

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Farewell, my little friend.

When Your Pet is Losing Her Battle

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One of our cats showing her support.

 

October has been a tough month for me. Our family pet, Noel, has been slowly losing her battle with congestive heart failure. We got her in December of 2003. She is almost 13 years old. She has had increasing dosages of medicine to reduce the fluid buildup. She hates taking it. She is to the stage where she can no longer keep food down. Her appetite is nearly nonexistent. When we took her to the vet on Monday, he said she might make it through the week. This is so very hard.

Entryway Flooring

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I may get myself in over my head here, but I have removed the old carpeting from the entryway and I plan to refinish the old  hardwood floors.

I did it in stages. I removed the carpet by the stairs, down the entryway, about halfway. I took out the carpet and old padding and then the tack boards around the walls. Then I pulled all the staples that had been used on the padding. When I started on the other end I had to contend with that 12′ piece of sheetrock, moving it from side to side.

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Eventually, I had it all out.

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You can see that the carpet continued into the pool room, (the front room as well), but’s that’s for another time.

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That sheetrock is the main thing keeping me from continuing with this project. I have to find a new home for it before I can rent a sander. It may be a while before I update you on this project, but I’m really happy to be rid of that musty old carpet!

 

Entryway Day 4

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2016-08-19-14-03-40My husband moved the huge dresser down to the wall I had already painted so I could go ahead and get started on the last section of the entryway wall. The 12′ sheet of drywall was still there too, leaning against the wall on the opposite side.

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There were wallpaper cutouts to be removed on this wall as well, so that’s what I got started on first. I washed down the wall to get rid of any of the remaining wallpaper remover gel after they were scraped off. After that, I added the spackling compound to any holes and sanded them before painting.

I added two coats of paint.

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I had purchased a small can of door and trim paint that I used on the small closet door and the outside stair trim that had never been finished.

Oh, and the huge dresser was finally hauled off, but the drywall remains. Baby steps!

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Sunday Scones

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I recently traveled to Houston and did a bit of shopping at World Market. I spotted a scone pan that I thought would be great for cornbread as well. In the food section I found a chocolate chip scone mix that I decided to try .

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These were really easy to make and tasty too.

After returning home I looked online for recipes and found one I decided to give a try. My son said he thought these were even better than the mix.

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The left over batter was cooked on this cookie sheet.

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These are the scones I made from scratch.

 

Entryway Day 3

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Wall after first coat of paint. The  nail spots that I used spackling compound on really showed.

I located some fine grit sandpaper and did some sanding on the nail holes.

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Then I used a paint roller to paint the 2nd coat of paint on the wall.

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Wall after sanding nail holes and applying second coat of paint.

Much better!

My husband changed out the two light switches by the front door from almond to white, and I added a new cover that I had on hand from the upstairs remodel.

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Now I have to get rid of the huge dresser, sheetrock, and other miscellaneous items located in the entryway. so I can repeat the process on the opposite wall. This could take a while.