The Wall.

 

So, way back in March, I wrote a post about resolving the annoying bird problem by fixing my ceiling in my closet.  I also hinted at my next big project.

HA!

Well, needless to say.  I forgot about that promise to fill you in…and I am SURE you have been sitting on the edge of your seat since then!!  I mean, who wouldn’t be???

This is where I left all y’all hanging.  Truly.  CLIFF HANGER.

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Let me fill in the back story here a little bit.

This wall is in the craft room.  It was built when they installed the upstairs furnace by some very creative and talented carpenters.  When I moved into the house, I immediately wanted to remove it. It was very elaborate.  It had a screen door installed to access the furnace “room” and a dropped ceiling.   It was a true work of art and craftsmanship…as you’ll soon see!

However, before I got crazy, I did talk to a furnace guy.

He informed me that the only thing that might be up there would some of the duct work running to the attic.

Crap.

So, the above picture was my trial run.  Before just destroying the wall, I wanted to make I knew exactly what I was getting into!

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Apparently, the only thing all of this “wall” was hiding was a massive amount of dirt and cobwebs!

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This lame little map gives you a SLIGHTLY better idea of the design of this wall and how it affected the room.  The bold line indicates the actually crappy wall.

You would never believe I was an art teacher based on the above image.  Please don’t hold it against me!  lol!

So, with the good news that there was nothing stopping my progress….bring it on!

Out came the sawzall, the shop vac, the drill, crowbars of various sizes….and pretty much anything else I deemed worthy of this demo!

This was the first big change and frankly my favorite!  With this STUPID wall gone, the amount of natural light that now floods the hallway is amazing!  You can really see the dropped ceiling in this picture and how “cave-like” it made the hall.

Now, it might be hard to tell in this grouping, these walls were built from rough OLD stock wood of some sort.  There was a TON of wood used in this little wall, with not real rhyme or reason to it.

Little by little.  Chunk by chunk.   I managed to get 97.3% of it removed and carted outside to the burn pile (no small feat if you know my steps!!)

As with any project around my house, there are always surprises!  I mean, what a perfect place for a hook…just missing the latch!  How about those lag bolts???  I can’t lie, they might end up staying.  They are securing that board into the wall of the house (which is solid brick) and as dad says, “If you take them out, the house might fall down.”

Plus, they would make for a great conversation piece for the rest of EVER!

So, as of today….this is how the room looks…

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Ok, that’s also a total lie…it’s cleaner than that!

I do love the original ceiling color in this room!  Although, it won’t be that color this next time around.  Thank you again to $9.00 mistints….you’ll see hopefully before the end of the year what it will be!

I need to finish a SMALL amount of demo (hence the 97.3% reference above).  Then rebuild enough to frame in a door for the furnace and WA-LAAAAA!!

Just look at all of the light and space I was able to add back to the room!  It was well worth the demo!

Until next time.

Peace out peeps.

checking in.

Hey peeps.

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How ya’ll doing?

So, I have literally NOTHING to write about.  No crazy “animal-in-the-house” stories.  No “this-is-the-insane-project-I-am-into-now” stories.  No “the-dating-world-is-slowly-killing-me” stories.

That’s a lie.  There are always those stories, but truly…it’s a broken record.

So, I just wanted to drop a line and see how everyone is doing?

Reading anything good?

What are you planning in your gardens this season?

Are you working on anything cool?

Do YOU have a fun dating story?!?!

What’s really gonna suck is if NO ONE responds to me.  So, you know you wanna!  lol!

Have a great Monday!  It’s the last day of April and time is FLYING by!  I promise, next post will be more interesting!

Peace out peeps.

Resolutions.

So, shocker….I have something to say on this topic.  I know…right???

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I hate resolutions.  In fact, I never make them.  Every year, I toss around the idea, but never follow through.  What is the point?

Now, I have friends who are religious about their resolutions and I have nothing but admiration and respect for them.  In fact, anyone who can be that dedicated to something.

But, for me, resolutions should not be a once a year even.  Reflection and resolutions should occur throughout the year, even daily.  Because, in my humble experience, things happen from minute to minute that can change your outlook on your life.  Why do you need one holiday to make something happen?  You shouldn’t!

Apparently, I’m not alone either.  One quick Google search proved that there are plenty of people out there, for various reasons, who don’t believe in making resolutions.

So, here’s to a glorious New Year’s!  Do what you want and what is best for you at this time in your life!  That could change next week and you should be ready to adapt accordingly.  Life if about change.  Give and take.  Being about to bend and flex.  Here’s to YOU!!!

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Stay safe out there tonight!

Peace out peeps.

Buttoning up the Old Place.

Hey peeps!

So, I haven’t died.  But it is the holiday season.  Between preparing for the holidays, making stuff and working on the house, every minute seems to just evaporate.  It’s unbelievable!

Since I moved into the house, I have been researching and reading a lot about interior storm windows and what to do with these old windows of mine.  Primarily since last winter when I took this video and realized that I might have an issue with some of the windows in the house. Or I had a real poweful ghost.  No wonder the orchid died.

 

Shockingly, the most common advice to owners of historic homes to KEEP the original windows whenever possible!!!  I know, it seems odd.  But many research studies have been done that with proper repairs and use of storm windows, the original windows can be just as efficient as a modern thermopane.  Not to mention, you get to continue to enjoy the beauty of the historic window and not add to your carbon footprint by throwing the old ones away. After I decided that I wanted to try to save the windows, I found this AMAZING company called Indow Window and I was blown away!

I fell in love.  Head over heels.

They will build a custom fit interior storm window for your historic homes.  They even have a design that will reduce sound by 76% in your home!  Sign me up!! But then they came back to me with a quote and needless to say, the sound proofing version I was interested in came back at $500 a window.  So, yep…slightly out of my current budget.

This let me to digging around…and I found so many people who were in similar situations! After lots of searching, this was what I liked the best.

With their video as a guide, I started making my own storm windows about 6 weeks ago.  I have been working on them here and there and I am proud to say the entire downstairs is done.  Which means, only 15 more windows to go!  lol!

So, my process….

Because I am such an awesome planner, when I went to Lowe’s, I was so excited about starting this project that I purchased a ton of material and then realized that I had to figure out how to fit in my poor little car.

No worries!  I was able to shift and drive safely!

Once home, I set up and started to work out the template I wanted to use.  I have access to all of the fun tools they used in the video,  but not at my house.  So, I modified the frames to the tools that I had accessible.

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I initially set up and was working on them outside, but it has definitely gotten chilly enough that I had to move the factory line into the Girl Cave.

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The process goes like this.

I build the wood frames.  Apply the pull tabs.  Line the edge with the weather proofing foam.  Once I finish those steps, I take the frame to the actual window and fit it in.  Then once it’s in place, I apply the plastic to the frame and finish trimming it out the plastic and using the hair dryer on it.

I have to say that so far, I really am impressed with them.  They take a minimal amount of time and they are a fairly low-cost project.  Since one of the goals of them is to be reusable, hopefully, they will buy me enough time until I can get the fancy ones.  I even feel like they help muffle the sound from the road.  Which makes me feel very optimistic when I can get to the point of putting the Indow Windows or something similar in.

So, for those of you looking to amp up the weather proofing in your home, you might want to consider this project!  There are tons of videos and articles on windows!  I will keep you posted on my utility bills for the future and if I see an improvement!

Peace out peeps.

Mini Pallet Recap!

Oh. My. Goodness.

In the last 48 hours here in Ohio, I have felt the first signs of Fall.  The crispness in the air, the golden leaves laying on the grass, the first head cold of the season, the snakes moving into the dining room…

So, last night, I slept almost 9 hours.  Whether it was because it was finally perfect sleeping weather or the fact that I was literally exhausted, it was wonderful!

Last Sunday, I hosted a great mini-pallet painting class at the house.  I really can’t express to anyone, besides my ever-patient mother, how stressful having the classes can be.  Between prepping for the class, cleaning house, making food and then teaching….there are MANY moments I wonder if it is worth it.

But then, everyone shows up, the laughter begins, the creativity starts and it’s just wonderful to see everyone have so much fun making things!

With being back to school for the last couple of weeks, prepping for the class was even more challenging!  But, it all got done and I think they turned out great!

I started by cutting apart pallets to make these mini-pallet canvases to paint.  It was a labor of love to say the least.  But just like everything else, once I got the first few made, they were pretty easy to put together.

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After a few solid hours working in the new and improved Girl Cave, I was well on my way to being ready for class.

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Now, for the heart attack of this story.

At the time I was wrapping up, it was about 10 pm.  I headed in the house determined to knock one or two more things off of my To Do list.  So, I quickly decided I would water the plants (sometimes remembering to do that can be harder than you think!).  Got my watering can, headed into the dining room.

To find this bastard.  **Warning…there is one cuss word.**

So, needless to say, after beating the poor thing to death with a flip flop.  I called it a day!  lol!

Anyway, back to the class.  Everyone did an amazing job!  It was the first time that I offered for everyone to make something they would prefer (instead of me selecting the theme).  It was great!  Plus, this way, I knew for sure that everyone would be able to take home something they would really enjoy to have in their home.

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Although I like to pretend my dining room is more formal and fancy…I love seeing it covered with creativity.

Now, you’re probably wondering why it’s so dark?  Because not only was it one of the hottest days of the summer (and there have been PLENTY) but we lost power after a storm rolled through.

These women were such troopers.  It was sticky and hot and dark.  They were rock stars!

Just look at what we made!

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Because of the loss of power, I wasn’t able to get a group picture…but here are some of the other gems!

Plus, this darling!  She had a bonus day…she even lost a tooth while she was at class!IMG_20160828_175507281

She also won the award for the most paintbrushes used.

Ever.

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Overall, I couldn’t be happier.

No worries, I have already started planning the next class.  Not to mention, I still have people interested in doing another pallet class…so it looks like the work will go on!

More to come…

Fall wrap up is on full swing…so be patient with my lack of blogging.  I am sure by the time December rolls around, I’ll be driving you crazy again with all of my random thoughts on life.

Peace out peeps!

 

 

Storm Cellar, Phase 1

Good evening fine folks!

Oh my Lord….what a fast summer!  It has been jam packed with so many projects, I hardly know where to start to share with everyone.  But, I am going to do my best to recap the summer in a way that actually makes sense…lots of things were overlapping and are still being wrapped up, so this could get sketchy! Hang in there!

With so much going on, let’s just remind ourselves of this fact, the work in a 160 year old home is never done.

Ever.

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So, this photo was taken June 7th.  At this very moment, I was preparing to unveil what could be the worst nightmare of my life.  But as it turns out, it was only a minor nightmare.

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Under the 3 layers of plywood and rubber mats, this was my storm cellar entrance. Definitely not what I had hoped for.  I felt pretty defeated at this moment, because I had no clue how exactly to fix it.  But I did know that it was going to be a grueling amount of hard work.

So, I called in a favor to a friend of my dad’s.  He was the only person I could think of who would have ANY idea on how to fix this.

Introduce to the play, Mr. T.

What a character!

If I were writing a script, I don’t think I could have imagined a person like Mr. T.  The best way to describe him is as follows…

He is a true force of nature, with perseverance, intellect, culture and loyalty…all mixed together to form 71 years of more experiences and stories of a fully lived life than any person I have ever met.

All of this put together just means that every work day was awesome…and fun!

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Without boring you with all of the minor details, I am going to share with you some of the cooler pictures of this process.  It involved cutting and shaping both old and new stones, lots of physics and crushed limestone, all coming together to put the jigsaw puzzle back together.

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On Day 2, we started to disassemble the other wall and cleaning out the bottom of the pit.  It was also the first time we had the basement door open.

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The mass cleaning of the basement has started…but that might have to be another post of it’s own!  lol!

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Mr. T invented this super cool contraption out of an Adjusta-Post and a jack from an old VW.  “Big Bertha” as we fondly named her, played a vital roll in pushing specific stones set lower in the well back into place.  This was kind of tricky because when the house was built, the foundation walls, the storm cellar walls and steps were all dove-tailed and integrated together as they built it.  So, naturally, if you start messing with one piece of the puzzle…other pieces are bound to move!

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So, very slowly…we reconstructed the walls.

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One of the coolest finds in this process was finding this top piece.  Over the years, it is what started the collapse of the wall.  It fell into the well first and broke in the process.  However, we were able to piece it back together based on this amazing detail on the back of it.  Notice that the original craftsman finished the face of the stone in two different textures.  The bulkier texture was designed to be underground and never seen, helping to anchor the stone into place.  The finer detail was meant to show off a little and can be found on the rest of the foundation stones.

Now, because it’s getting late and I fear I could bore you….and another episode of Grey’s just ended on Netflix…I will end Phase 1 here!  No worries…Phase 2 and 3 are right around the corner.  Next scheduled work date for the storm cellar is August 5th, so no worries…you won’t have to wait long!

Peace out peeps.

As Promised.

This past weekend, I promised that the next couple of blogs would be more about the house than my personal perspectives…oh you know… about things like cicadas.

So, as promised.  Here ya go!

At some point in time, the house had shutters on it.  But obviously after this picture was taken.

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When I moved in, most of the shutters were gone.  The few that were left were in less than spectacular condition.  In fact, there was only one window that actually had both shutters still left!  Basically, it looks like Halloween around here all year long.

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The long term goal is to put the shutters back on the house at some point in the future. But on the priority list around here, repairing the shutters is about 5,781 on the list of things to do.

In the interim however, the shutters are coming in handy, at least the pieces that have fallen off the house that I managed to collect.

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With the assistance of this gorgeous antique, dilapidated shutter, I am going to find the new door colors.

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For those of you who are feeling froggy…which color would you pick for these big, old 9 foot tall doors??  Feel free to leave your vote in the comment section!

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I’ll let you know next week which one was the winner!

Peace out peeps.

Too Little. Too Late

Morning everyone…

This post is a bit of a PSA.

As we are all fully aware, we are given a very limited piece of time to enjoy this world (when you compare it to the timeline of all existence).  It’s so easy to slip into a groove.  To get busy.  To cut corners.  To take advantage.  To just try and survive.

This week, I had a personal event that occurred that really made me realize how much some things are not worth it.  Every day should be spent happy.  I mean, I am not talking drunk at a party, laughing your pants off happy (that would be really hard on your liver).  But I am talking about the kind of happy that when you go to bed at night you can review the day and think…”Yep, not too shabby.”

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Happiness seems so elusive at times.  But I believe it’s because we strive for things that are predetermined by the world around us.

Thank you Pinterest.

But in reality…Your happiness can only be determined by YOU!  I think there are few steps to help you get to it, which I pretty much have to remind myself of on a daily basis.

Set REALISTIC goals.

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Bringing some of my teaching wisdom in here!

Sounds easy, huh?  It’s not.  We all want MORE.  It’s monster living inside us that is fed constantly from a sensory overload of EVERYTHING, EVERYWHERE we go.  So, step back. Reassess your goals and make sure you are setting yourself up for success.

This is not new crap, we know it.  We just forget it, because the machine of life can take over.

Don’t be the “Too little, too late” person.

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Whatever you do…don’t become the  “Too little, too late” person.  When we cut those corners, cheat time or people, we become THAT person.  The person who will regret those choices.

So, take the time to…

Love those in your life.

Show them they are important.

Tell them before it’s too late.

Make yourself a priority.

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Really, I have to say this??  But yes, I do.  Be you!  Speak up for yourself.  As a woman, I feel like we make a LOT of concessions for the betterment of those around us.  But, it is ok to take a stand for ourselves.  So, be ok and PROUD of the fact that you have a voice.

With that being said, don’t be an ass…lol!

Find the silver lining.

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Even on the worst days, there are silver linings.  You just need to pause.  Sometimes finding that one thing that can make you smile is all it takes to push through.  So, look for it.

So, it’s Friday.  Enjoy it.  Take a moment for yourself.  Make someone feel the value they are to you.  Breath in every moment…because it’s just a blip on your timeline.

Peace out peeps.

 

 

First Solo Canning Attempt

To some of you…that might not sound hard….but for me…it caused a great deal of anxiety.  What if I forget how to much to put in?  Or to wipe the rims?  Or if I process too long?  Or all the jars explode because I didn’t keep them hot enough….blah blah blah.

So, I tackled making a Rhubarb-Orange Jam.  I was so excited about this, because I have an AMAZING patch of rhubarb….well at least according to everyone who has seen it.

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Being a first time rhubarb owner, I have since cut the flowers off, but I was kinda curious to see what they would look like!

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So, I went to cutting.  I have to admit, I am still kind of nervous about cutting too much of it.  But from what I have been told, it’s pretty forgiving.  I have dry packed some for the freezer, made this one batch of jam and a delicious crunch on Mother’s Day.  I have a couple of other recipes I think I might try…so, I would like to think that that is a good start for year 1!

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One interesting conversation the Fam and I had over Mother’s Day dinner was about the leaves.  Who was the lucky duck who got to find out that they are poisonous??  Do you ever wonder things like that?

We do.

We even go so far as to having a conversation (including a potential dare) about how much you would have to ingest before it would ACTUALLY be a problem.  No worries, the parental units didn’t let the 35 ad 37 year old children make such a juvenile dare.

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Cut and cleaned, ready to start.

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It looked so pretty I couldn’t resist!!  The recipe itself was super easy.  But I did learn my first valuable lesson.  Pectin is important.  I mean, I made it work, but it took a LOT longer to cook down.  Second important lesson, make sure you have enough sugar in the house when you are making jam.

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My mom bought me this canning set at least 2 years ago and I am ashamed to admit that I just now was cracking it open.  But the good news….it’s open!  Let the canning season commence!

All my jars popped.  Nothing broke.  No second degree burns.

To boot…the stuff is pretty tasty!

I call that a winning success!!

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With the potential of how much canning I could do this planting season, I am now looking for a hutch of some sort to start storing the cans in, since my basement  is still a mess at this point.  But in the future, I hope to have storage down there for my mini grocery store!

Before I leave this post…a. HUGE thank you to my Momma for teaching me how to can and always being there to help me when I start my escapades.  She is truly a remarkable woman.

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FYI…she is going to hate me for posting this.  So, while we’re at it…

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Might as well make my brother mad too.

I have the best family ever.  No worries…pictures of dad will be coming too!  No one is safe from my documentation of my life!

P.S.  If you have any amazing rhubarb recipes, please share!!

Peace out peeps.

Wine Cork Recap

Hey everyone!

So, we had another great class last Sunday (holy crap, I can’t believe it’s been almost a week already!) making lots of fun stuff out of wine corks!  I wanted to take a moment and share some of the photos.

I was so excited because it was a nice day out and we were able to get all the doors open on the house…which was a nice change from being cooped up all winter.

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I’m really looking forward to enjoying more fresh air in the house in the next couple of months.

Granted, I’m saying that now, before it is July and 90 degrees and I’m dying of heat. Oh yeah…no AC in this old bad boy of a house.  At least not yet. Hee hee hee!

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We had a small turn out…which is something I am struggling with, but more on that later.

The cork fun was great.  Minus trying to hot glue corks to glass.  Which, I will throw out to you…anyone have an experience in this area?  When I found this craft, it recommended using the E600 craft glue.  So, being the prepared, planning type person I am…gave it a try.  I HATED it.  I did not realize that it took 42 days to set up.  Literally… 42 days.

Well, that’s not gonna work.

Especially since these classes are designed to be completed in one afternoon.  So, out came my trusty 1982 hot glue gun.

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Let’s just talk about that glue gun for a second.

It is unregulated.

It’s a rebel.

It’s dangerous.

Needless to say, we have a lot in common.

All of that translates to… small children should DEFINITELY never get anywhere near it.  Like they shouldn’t even be in the same house.  Maybe even the same zip code.  Many adults should be wary.  Brave adults should be prepared to loose a layer of skin.  There is your warning.  You’re welcome.

On my samples, it worked great!  So, I thought that the hot glue option was the answer to all of my prayers (well, many of them at the immediate moment).   I thought for sure I was prepared and good to go for the class.  Quickly figured out that the low-temp glue guns are crap. Here I am trying to be safe and all…pointless.  The low-temp guns were not beefy enough for this project.  So, for those who wanted to try it, out came the unregulated glue gun.  This is Holly.  She still had function of two of her fingers at this point.  She even seems happy!

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Everyone had fun…no one was seriously injured…so in my book….that’s a WIN!

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I really had a blast and I love sharing my hobby with these wonderful people!

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So, off to go plan the next class….looks like the next one will be a painting class!  Watch the Facebook  page for more info!  I’m excited, I have a fun idea for what we can paint!

Lots going on outside at the house, can’t wait to share pics!  Plus, I’m down to something like 18 days left of school…so soon, it will be full time work at the house!  Get ready!!!

Peace out peeps.