The Refrigerator is In!

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Well, we finally gave up the ghost on the old fridge. After 11 years of hard service, we retired her about 2 weeks ago. And I don't think the poor girl would have made it much longer.

One of Hubby's jobs involves a payout at the end of the year. And this year we decided some of it needed to go to a new refrigerator. In The Ticking Fridge, I talked about what was going on with our refrigerator and what I was looking for in a new one. Well, let us just say I got most of my requirements.

After my search back in November, I knew I wanted to purchase it from one of our local stores. And after some facebook stalking of refrigerators on a page I am in and checking out the Samsung refrigerator I was considering, I knew it was a no to that one. Between a lot of people having issues with their Samsung refrigerators and the lack of functionality on the inside, it was a no.

So that left the GE model.  The problem with that one was it was brand new. Like supposed to be going on display this January or February new. And it was the 19th of January. At the store, we check to see when it would be coming in. February. 9th. If I was lucky. And then we would have to schedule a delivery date. Bugger. Hubby was adamant that we needed a refrigerator before then.  And deep down I knew it too.

We were basically at a starting point again. I knew I didn't want the Samsung. The GE would take a month to get here. In the world of refrigerators, there is a lack of 33" wide and countertop deep options. I could write a whole series on the idiocies of things like that. Like maybe 3 under $2000. The very nice lady, who actually happened to live one county road over some years ago, showed us some display models. They had a model on display that was on sale for the same price as what the GE refrigerator I wanted was going to be. It was the color I was wanting, slate, and the perfect width. It had most of the same options I liked about the other GE. The depth was 37 1/2". Double Bugger. I was a little leery of display models. Display models can be bad or good. Our gas range was a display model and it has been wonderful. My mom bought a display range and it has been a pain.

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After some haggling with the hubby about the depth, we decided to go with the GE display model and a 10-year warranty. And, thankfully, they could deliver it Monday the 22nd. It meant a bit of demo and rebuilding over the weekend, but I knew I could handle it.

When it arrived that Monday the kids were so excited. Tuesday morning Handsome Hank's first words to me were, "Mom, when I got my drink this morning, it was FREEZING!" Safe to say I think we were definitely overdue for a new refrigerator.

 

 

Year: 2018

Recap of 2017: We had a crazy notion. We should flip a house. We had an interesting answered prayer. God said yes you will. And we have been working on it ever since.

So far there are only 2 things I wish we would have done differently. First, I wish we would have been more organized about when we got things done. Let me just say that we could have scheduled projects a little better. Example:  The other thing I wish was hiring someone else to do the drywall. I am really good at it. But I hate it and it messes up my back like crazy.

I also moved this blog to Squarespace. I am loving it despite not being on here for half the year.  I started this blog with a vague notion of monetizing it. I have decided that I am not meant to do it. Between unreliable internet (#rurallife) and the craziness that can be my life it just does not seem realistic. However, I did take steps to blog more using my phone. I will be writing about that in another post.

This year I am not going to set any unrealistic goals. I am not going to make myself type what I do not feel. I am not going to feel guilty for not being on here. I will write what I want when I can. I am busy. I have a life. I have a house to flip.

 

My Christmas List

A lot of bloggers out there are sharing with y'all there top gift ideas for him, her, or kids. But I am not. I mean they come in handy, but seriously sometimes I feel like it is just to create more people not being content with what they have or where they are in life.  I know that is not their intention. Their intention is to be helpful. Which I guess it is. I know I sound very back and forth on this subject. I guess it is because I feel like an adult. I had this silly epiphany the other day. I must have officially reached "adulthood" because what I want for Christmas cannot be wrapped.

The things I want are things that cannot be bought, but they may be given. Things like time, energy, and sleep. Closely followed by a million dollars.  I know epic.

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Time...time to get jobs done around the house. Time to be with family. Sometimes I would just like to pause time. Just pause time, get a million jobs done, and then take a long nap.

So for Christmas this year, I pray that you remember to use what precious time you have in the best way possible...time spent with your loved ones.

A New Home

I guess since we have mentioned it to the family I can tell y'all. We want a new a home. But we do not want to move. We want to stay in our quiet little corner in the country. Originally, we thought to build an addition. Then we end up with an awkward layout (which would drive me insane), more square footage than we need, and still have a very poor foundation. And part of me would be sad to see our gorgeous barns slowly fall apart while the house got bigger.

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I love the character of our tiny farmhouse, but I hate the frosty winter chill the kitchen and upstairs take on during the winter. Despite enormous amounts of insulation and straw bales around the foundation. Ultimately the worst thing about the house is the foundation...and that the laundry area is in the basement. Three of the four seasons I can handle that both the kid's rooms are not even a 10' x 10'. And one day soon the tiny stairs going to our room from the bathroom are going to cause issues when the kids reach teenage-hood.

We came to a point this last fall that maybe our best bet was to demolish the house and put a new one in its place. Living in a camper on the farm while we build. In some ways, it breaks my heart thinking about demolishing the original farmhouse after we (extended family too) have put so much money and time into it. But I felt in a weird way we were going to do a new house for ourselves.

The idea of building new came to a crashing halt when we found out to build a standard grade home with little customization would be $150 a square foot. We are talking carpet people...shudder. I hate carpet. The first thing I think of with carpet is having to clean up kid vomit and dog accidents. Yuck.  I am going to be honest, I got real LOW. And some people, read hubby, starting getting upset at me for not being grateful. I am grateful. Our farmhouse keeps us safe and dry. And with the woodstove, we stay warm. And it is extremely affordable...but it is small and hard. And sometimes when we have storms I would be more grateful if it had a SAFE basement.

I feel like I am coming full circle. When we (pre-wedding) started looking at farmhouses, we came across a place with a gorgeous barn. A barn made for converting to a home. But the hubby, in his lack of construction skills days, could not see it. Fortunately, we landed on our secluded little farm with some of the best neighbors you could ask for. A place where my grandfather on multiple occasions said if he were 25 years younger he would pick up and start over. This is coming from a man who was living on his father's farm and was always about family.

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When we first moved in, in the back of my head was the thought that big, old, beautiful, bank barn would make a really nice house. But soon babies, emergency hospital trips, and other life blurred that thought into the recesses of my brain. Then about 5 years ago hubby made the comment (now really handy in the construction area) that the barn would make a pretty awesome home. I seriously wanted to throw the hammer in my hand at him. I didn't. 

Well in the last week my bummed out brain got it in her head that maybe God has a plan for us to build a new home here. Maybe it is not where and what I thought. And maybe, just maybe, it is out of the barn. A girl can hope.

The Ticking Fridge

I have a time bomb in my kitchen. It starts ticking at random and then thunks. I hope it does not explode...sigh. Or catch on fire. Which could actually happen since I smelled overheated electrical the one time.  Seriously though, my refrigerator is making death rattles. It ticks and it thunks. After fixing the freezer 3 times from defrosting into the lower half I think the fridge is done. I spent what little energy (head colds with body aches suck) cleaning out the freezer portion yesterday morning. Fun fun fun.  The tell was the soggy bananas. Thankfully stuff towards the back was still solid and I do not keep meat in it.  So today I am starting my official hunt for a new refrigerator.

In my dreams, I would be looking at a gorgeous fridge with vintage flair. Or one with the option to have cabinet panels. Sigh. Nope for my immediate future. I will be lucky if I get my somewhat attainable french door style. That is if I do not compromise on wanting something that does not stick out a foot into the room.

So here is what I am looking for in a new refrigerator.

  • french door
  • easily fit into a 36" wide space
  • no overall depth deeper than 31.5"
  • no fancy stuff

Simple right? Nope. I am trying to stay as close to $1000 as possible. So the french door that I want may become just bottom freezer. I may lose out on cubic ft and I may end up having water and ice dispenser which I know will not work with our nasty water and cause fights between Princess Pea and Handsome Hank. I really do not care what color. Although I would like to stay away from black. These 2 are the ones I am looking at because they fit the space.

A little about the fridge we have now. It sturdy little workhorse that bought at Menards before we got married on sale for $400. This one at Menards is very similar and its price is at $849. Sigh, definitely more than we originally spent. "Upgrading" the refrigerator is something I have wanted to do, but at Christmas time just does not sound like the most fun time to buy an appliance.

Flipping: Not for the faint of heart!

So last year we had started this crazy notion of flipping a house. And this past April we had a crazy weird answer to prayer. So the hunt for a flip house began. We saw some pretty interesting things. Mold, rolling floors, and bedrooms that acted as hallways. Then our realtor, who is like family to the family, suggested we stop at a house he had in mind. It was not your typical flip house. No disastrous problems. Everything that needed to be done, the hubby and I could handle.

The price was more than what I was willing to spend on it though. We put in a verbal offer to the sellers, they were not too excited and said no. We kept looking but nothing really struck us as gold. About a month later we were back at the realtors suggested house. Would the sellers be interested in our price this time? Maybe so we gave it to them again, with an as-is after inspections. This time they accepted our offer. However, the inspections brought up a big ouchie. The cast pipe for the sewer was caved in. And they were not sure if it was in the yard ($500 fix) or in the road ($5,000 fix). We kind of backed off. They were not thrilled about taking less because of the sewer pipe and I was not thrilled about staying with our offer and possibly paying out the nose for something that is not pretty even if you could see it. Thankfully our realtor is awesome and they said they would rather fix it and then sell it. Yay for us because the fix involved the road!

So here we are working on our little flip house since August. I will do a before and after post for each room when we get done. But so far we have replaced the roof, some windows, most the electrical, and most the lighting. It sounds like we have come a long way, but I feel like we have barely done anything!

Snow

Today marks the first official snow of this season!!! I am beyond excited. To me, snow has a purifying effect. A shimmering blanket...a soft purity that calms the world.

A few years back I started really trying to take good photos of the farm when it is coated with the glorious white gold. And I stumbled onto the idea of using one each year as a Christmas card. Last year time and money got away from me. This year it is going to happen. Sometimes I think to myself that I should make a collection and sell them. But a girl only gets so much snow in a season.

Country Blessed

We are so blessed to live in the country. Although sometimes I feel the urge to live in some late 1800's home with gorgeous architecture and original woodwork. In some original small town with a cute lot and iron fence. But then I think about how amazing it is to just crank my surround sound volume up and finish inside business done to some old George Strait or new Jon Pardi. No fear of annoying neighbors with the dog that barks at the drop of a leaf. Or the rooster's crow at the most inappropriate hour of the morning. Moving would mean leaving some of the best neighbors a person could have. And the very area my grandfather said he would pick up everything and leave his grandfather's farm if he was younger. That last fact alone can break any resolve I have for moving.

I have been having a hard time lately. I yearn, need, crave to get this house done and the addition started. It doesn't help when I get this awesome idea or feature to add to the house. I have to remind myself to wait on God's timing. Even if it means never finishing this house or getting the addition.

So this year I am scaling back. Scaling back on a number of gardens; veggie and flower. Planning and planting smarter. I have decided to skip planting most veggies this year and focusing on planting perennials like chives, peppermint, raspberries, etc. Things that my family will see the fruits of for years.

Adding some much-needed organization to the garage and barn. So I can find that garden tool when I need it. Or build something for the farm quicker and easier and not stumbling over things while doing it. So far my favorite changes are the almost organized garage and the started tool storage in the barn.

Adding some much-needed organization to the garage and barn. So I can find that garden tool when I need it. Or build something for the farm quicker and easier and not stumbling over things while doing it. So far my favorite changes are the somewhat organized garage and the started tool storage in the barn.

The picture on the right is just a simple way to hang your tools using some 2x4's, screws, and nails. On the left is a simple shelf using more 2x4s. I used Ana White's garage shelving plan as a guideline to add the extra shelving.

What changes are you bringing to this spring?

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Killing Time + Flipping Houses

Y'all probably thought I was dead unless you follow me on Instagram. Well, I am not, April Fools! I mentioned on my insta a while back that we may be flipping a house. And we will, in God's timing. Right now we just seem to be killing time til we find the right house to flip.

Honestly, it has only been about 2 weeks since this whole house flipping came down. But let's go back a bit farther hmm? So the last post was Valentine's day. It has been a while, not my longest track record but hey, we have been busy. Catch up time! We have... looked at houses, finished houses, and looked at more houses. I have looked at a lot of houses in the last month and a half. I have also decided that I put a lot of weight on while working on the in-law's house. Constant carbs are not my friend.

Let me break it down to ya...we finished the ORIGINAL work at the in-law's house. That means...6 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, the kitchen, the dining room, mud room, and large living area got new flooring, paint and trim. Whew! That was fun. And we thought that would be it, but, papa-in-law decided that the living area in the basement needed an overhaul too. I want to point out that he was adamant about NOT doing that area originally. Oh well, that will be our "summer heat" job.

Then we helped Sister-in-law #7 find her and her new hubby a house. This involved looking at some interesting houses that included quirky characteristics like knob and tube wiring {gorgeous but too much work for them}, a kitchen sink that was in front and above the window sill of a brick house, and a house that literally leaned to the right. They finally loved onto a beautiful old 2 story with lots of original woodwork. In a good part of town. It needs some work but nothing they can't handle and we won't help them with.

 

 

I am going to get really personal here. In the middle of all this, we were struggling. While it was amazing to bless hubby's parents in the way that we did, it did put a strain on our a budget. A lot. I entered March with a lot of prayers. Between my heart problems and some possible wrong choices early in our marriage, we have a few big bills every year. And it has been hard to save for them. 3 of our big bills are due this month, one of them is the 2nd biggest out of the whole year. And we had little to no money saved for them. Like I said a lot of prayers. Well, it all came to a head when I talked to a family member the one day. After they made a comment a reacted rather shortly. They were suggesting we could buy a house and fix it up and rent it out or sell it. Honestly, I thought this person knew we were struggling. Out of that phone call started the whole shebang of flipping houses. A prayer the next morning and an answer that evening synched it. We were supposed to flip houses in a specific way. Now we have not found a house to flip but we are actively looking. AND those prayers have brought the hubby a raise and an interesting angle at helping hubby's dad...construction. It's no shock if you know my father-in-law that he has a lot of property {some people think we have money because of this} and he decided after all that work on his home that we could do some of the jobs to his commercial buildings. Let's just say at a wage that is more than both his 2 jobs combined! He is also paying me to do some of the more finish work like painting and such. We have spent about a week working in one office and we have made enough and more to pay the big bill this month. If I was a crier, I would cry. But I am not so am just beyond extremely grateful to the Father and hubby's father and praising them both.

And now I am going to go out and enjoy this sunny 1st day of April and put some 2nd hand cabinets up in the garage and complete some much-needed farm spring cleaning.

September...already?

September...what happened to August?

I cannot belive it is halfway through September already. I feel like I fell off the face of the earth...or at last here. If you follow me on instagram, twitter or facebook you have been able to keep up. If not go check them out. But let me get you up to date.

So August, August was fun filled. It started with a trip to northern Wisconsin.

Apostle Island Cruise
Apostle Island Cruise
Sunset on the Lake
Sunset on the Lake
Hayward Lake
Hayward Lake

Then we had family + fair fun.

Nieces!
Nieces!
lets fly!
lets fly!

And then work hit us. Hard. We started 1800+ square feet of new flooring, some new trim and lots of painting.

Protecting the new flooring while I prime.
Protecting the new flooring while I prime.
Laying some of the new flooring down!
Laying some of the new flooring down!
Priming the pink bedroom
Priming the pink bedroom

Tomorrow the hubby and I will be married 10 years. That means we have been working on the farmhouse for 10 years and 7 months. I think I need to go work on a project so we might get the farmhouse done by our 15th anniversary!