barns.

So, in case y’all didn’t know, I love historic barns. There is a barn on the property. It is one of the biggest reasons why I pursued the place.

I love it.

It breaks my heart daily.

Way back when I started this blog, one of my very first posts was about the barn actually. You can stroll down memory lane here.

The good and bad news is that not much has changed, at least with my barn.

Now, the neighbors are a different story.

One neighbor has gone above and beyond to preserve their gorgeous gambrel roof barn. Last summer they primed and painted the entire thing. I see it every time I go outside and it is a truly inspirational barn and I give all credit to the family who is fighting to keep it up!

Another neighbor however, just slightly further up the hill in the same direction has recently broken my heart. I could hardly believe when I saw a barn removal company in their driveway. The barn was OLD and had a newer roof and metal siding covering the gem beneath. Within days, the sheeting was pulled and within two weeks, she was gone. Only the stone foundation remains along with a huge pile of debris.

What this all boils down to is that it truly kills me to see barns fall down (trust me, I am fully aware how close mine is to giving up the ghost) or to see them sold and moved. I know, I know….they are being repurposed and loved and salvaged, but it still makes me sad.

What brings this up you ask?? Well, on Sunday, I was out working on the pesky grapevines and was scared half to death with a stranger pulling in and asking to take pictures of the barn. I can’t blame him. I have used it as the subject of some amazing photos myself. However, I did chuckle to myself as he was setting up thinking, “No worries, I have been letting it rot to the perfect level of patina for you to photograph!”

Secondly, my lovely and wonderful neighbors stopped by later that afternoon and we were chatting about my barn and some of the neighboring barns. It brought to my attention how blessed I am to see no less than 4-5 barns from the property throughout the course of the seasons. For this, I am very blessed and lucky!

Plus the buzzards love it and have become part of my life.

Now, to wrap up. In my original post, I ended with a list of things I was doing to help save the old girl. So, because I am who I am….might as well wrap this one up the same way. No worries, not much has changed. Still waiting for a miracle on a wing and a prayer.

  1. Continue to save nickels, dimes and dollars. It would help immensely if roofs and furnaces would quit dying on me.
  2. LOTTO BABY!!! LOTTO!!
  3. I stopped drinking Diet Coke, so guess that is out.
  4. I ended the Go Fund Me Campaign and to the people who donated, I love your souls….and you are friends and companions and I could not keep asking you. No offense, I was hoping for a Warren Buffet type to see it and, well ya know…hand me a wad of cash. Greedy and horrible, right? But I am honest!
  5. Ellen. I actually had dwindled in my writing of the superstar. However, I might have to ping her an email this week…
  6. Back to the damn nickels and dimes…

So, have a beautiful Tuesday friends.

By the way! If you reading this internationally, please comment!!! I see you! I want to say hi!

Hell, if you’re reading it at all, comment!! lol!

Peace out peeps.

the wall, pt. 2

This is such a sad commentary on my life, but is so the reality of the world I live in!

Last June, I wrote a blog on the wall in the craft room. Little did I have ANY idea back when I wrote that, it would be 10 months later before I would even think about touching that project again! But alas, this is the life I lead.

So, last week was my Spring Break and I had HUGE goals about getting that craft room entirely done. Painted, new wall built and everything sorted and purged/donated that I didn’t want any longer.

Here’s the lofty goals.

I started pretty strong, truly. I did. But I immediately ran into an engineering problem with the wall. Remember those big lag bolts on the original framing boards??

Well, I had already decided that much of that original framing was going to stay and that I was going to work it into the new design. The problem however was that I could not securely attach the new framing for the new doors into that same exterior wall.

I had to call in reinforcements. Ohhhhh Daaaaaaddddd….

So, after a couple of attempts…and some heavy equipment (heavier than I own!), I have framing that is secure. However, it happened right at the end of my break, so that corner is NOT done! But this is where it stands…sort of….today!

So, I mean, it is definitely progress…just not where I had hoped it would be at this point.

Then there was the OTHER issue with this project. The amount of patching required was INSANE!!! I know that at one point, there was a family renting the house and that they had like 456 kids living there. Well, it would seem that a few of them really liked to play with BB guns in the house. The amount of holes and patching (that had been hidden by some seriously ugly wallpaper, was crazy. Literally, two days of patching and sanding, along with 2 tubs of patch.

This is just the START of the patching of holes. I even found the evidence of BB’s in one of the cracks of the flooring.

There was also some decent plaster damage that needed attention.

So, because I love a good cliffhanger….this will be the second one I am leaving you with on this particular project…I am going to leave you with this picture!

I want to say that this project is at a solid 75% of completion….but I am going to save the rest of the pics for the big reveal post! I am hoping it won’t be another 10 months before I finish that furnace corner, but there are no promises!

This weekend is predicted to have 70 degree weather on Sunday, so my butt will be OUTSIDE starting on those grapevines and garden! Dear lord, I hope they are correct, I NEED to feel some warmth after this winter!

Peace out peeps.

if I had a kid, chapter 2

A long, long time ago, in a land far, far away….called the internet….I wrote a blog post about “if I had a kid”. The concept was that I would use this title to share little tidbits of wisdom that I have come to value throughout my life journey.

The first one was about showering.

Probably a good thing I haven’t had kids.

However, if you’re dying to read it, here ya go…click away! lol!

Anyway, today’s contribution is hopefully a little more deep that keeping up with basic hygiene. I want to take a moment to dig into something super important to me, which is taking a moment to realize that every single person around you is going through a laundry list of stressful items that are playing on their souls every damn day.

Putting it shortly.

Walk a mile in someone else’s shoes.

I myself am so guilty of getting caught up in my own drama (even though I work so hard to cut drama out left and right!). It is SO easy to let your life become all consuming. To the point where you come across that person while your in a store, or a restaurant and you snap at them. The innocent victim. You have not idea what’s going on with them and frankly vice versa.

At the end of the day, we are ALL bogged down with too much stress. We are ALL doing the very best we can to keep our boats from sinking. We are ALL juggling mental, physical and emotional health battles.

However, I believe taking those moments to breathe, step back….reassess and just remember, we are all human. We are ALL in this mess together. So, here is a quick list of some of the things that I have to remind myself to do sometimes that might help someone have a better day.

  • be kind
  • let them chose what is for dinner
  • practice a random act of kindness
  • hold the door for someone
  • make them a cup of tea or coffee
  • when they ask for a ride, give it
  • smile at strangers (they might think you’re creepy, but they might smile back, ya never know!)
  • crack a joke and get someone laughing
  • check in on people
  • don’t go out of your way to be a jerk
  • actually comment on their social media instead of the distant “like” button
  • call them (especially if they actually like to talk on the phone)
  • compliments are always a solid choice, especially when they are legit
  • park farther away and let someone else get a closer spot
  • be patient with people
  • do not lose your mind over a piece of limp lettuce on a sandwich on the poor cashier
  • thank people, thank them a lot
  • prizes, everyone loves prizes
  • fill up your brother’s car when he lets you borrow it
  • clean up the dog crap
  • if they need a hug, give it…it won’t kill ya
  • put things in perspective
  • let someone have control of the tv remote
  • empathically listen when they are talking, there doesn’t always need to be a fix
  • when someone trusts you, don’t break it

Now, some of these might seem super specific, they are! lol! Some of these are examples of what some of my friends have gone through this week alone.

So, take a moment, breath…you got this! So do your friends….but we all need each other.

Next post….the finished Tunisian scarf! I know you are just tingling with anticipation.

Peace out peeps.

#DoSomethingForNothing

Mornin’ darlings!

Recently, I was faced with some heating issues at the old house. Nothing too seriously and eventually (when the weather breaks) fixable. However, it did leave me in the midst of the Great Polar Vortex with no heat. I stayed in the house for 24 hours with supplemental heat before the decision was made to winterize the house and move out until the worst was over.

straight up…first world problems and I was a baby.

However, in that small window of time, I had a lot of time to think….and stress. Now, mind you, the house was maintaining at about 45-50 degrees! I personally found this amazingly impressive since we were being hit with wind chills of -20 to -25.

just a wee bit of frost going on

Back to the point.

I could not help but think of the homeless who were out suffering in the arctic temps. Northeast Ohio isn’t any more or less special than the rest of the country in this regard. In Akron, there has been a bit of a battle between the city and a private resident who has been using his property to provide shelter for the local homeless. The biggest point made from the entire argument is that there is a huge problem when people are living homelessly for prolonged periods and we as a society move right on by.

Chicago was nationally reported on for the issues they were facing and the amazing good samaritans who stepped up to help. Hats off to you Candice Payne for everything you did and are now doing to help! Not to mention, the city of Chicago for using their transit buses and mobile warming centers. Now that is thinking creatively!

Then, I was watching the Netflix documentary The Story of Us with Morgan Freeman, and one of the episodes talked about a gentleman in the UK who goes around and gives homeless people free haircuts. In the process of his generosity, he developed the #DoSomethingForNothing. Joshua Coombes, you also sir…are a saint.

Morgan Freeman watches as Hair Stylist, Joshua Coombes, gives homeless man, Stuart Durkin, a free haircut. (National Geographic/Maria Bohe)

Do you ever feel like the universe is throwing signs in your face? Like hello you dumb ass, wake up and pay attention?

Enough rambling, get to the point girl.

In the past, I have donated goods I have made to the homeless. Truthfully, it is when I have items that have not sold and need be rotated through to make room for new stock. Mainly, because I am addicted to crochet and will ALWAYS be making stuff until my little fingers fall right off.

I seriously feel bad just saying that. They were discards. I know they helped people. I do. I just recently donated two trash bags of scarves to the homeless around the school where I work. I know the people who received them probably greatly valued them, especially during the Polar Vortex.

One piece was missing though. The personal connection.

So, my goal for the winter of 2019-2020 is this. I want to make 20 beautiful, warm and snuggly scarves/hats/blankets and I want to personally donate them and shake the hands of the recipients. I want them to know that I see them and they are not just the underbelly of society to me.

I do feel like it is a pathetically small thing. So small. But it’s a start. Who knows where it will grow. However, hopefully my teeny-tiny step will spark a little flame in someone around me…because the world needs more love. It definitely can’t hurt, right??

So, thoughts? Opinions? Inspirations?

Peace out peeps.

Welp.

Well, would you look at that.  It is almost December!!

So, I have a question for everyone….what’s everyone stance on Christmas decorations?? Specifically Christmas trees.

Not holiday trees either.

I am not hugely religious, but I have a wicked old-school traditional streak that runs through me.  It’s hard to modify the name of one my of favorite things ever.

I personally am addicted to Christmas trees.

I just returned back to school from my Thanksgiving break.  Over the course of my 5 day (really actually only 4 days…) I managed to decorate a total of 5 trees, 4 of which were at my house.  Friends and I were discussing it this morning and it is kinda crazy.  I don’t have holiday parties, I don’t really entertain…but I LOVE the house being decorated and enjoying the lights!

In years past, I would spend Black Friday decorating the house.  However, I knew that with everything, I should start to break it into chunks.  The themes of these two are “Ice Queen” &  “Thin Blue Line”.

img_20181120_182238

Then the big one got done!  I found my new little tree stand at my fav Hobby Lobby.  Don’t be like Momma D. and point out that the plaid doesn’t line up in this picture!

Love you Momma D.!

img_20181120_204529

Just for the record….this is the kind of chaos that ensues when I decorate…plus you can see the little kitchen tree, even though it’s not done!

img_20181122_174825

Then throw in Momma D’s tree for more fun!  Excuse the look on my face, it was after Turkey Dinner and I had a sore throat and was TIRED!

I even have two little trees in my classroom!  I can’t get away from them.  One of my life mantras is to do all the things that make your heart happy and Christmas trees make my heart happy!

So, do me a favor peeps!  Share your pics!  Add your comments!

Most of all, do what makes your heart happy!

Peace out peeps.

 

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.

IMG_20180304_145802078.jpg

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!

IMG_20180304_145818706

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

Maker:0x4c,Date:2018-1-13,Ver:4,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar01,E-Y

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…

IMG_20180318_160423317_HDR

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.

another day. another closet.

Well, hello everyone!

Missed y’all.  I know, it doesn’t seem like it, because I just fall off the face of the earth for weeks at a time.  But yet, I am here…doing well…and I hope you’re all doing well also!

Since I moved into the house, I have had this little bird issue.  Starlings.  Oy.

So annoying.

Because the eaves have not been repaired yet, (I know, right??  It’s like what the hell have I been doing!) the starlings love to build their nests in there.  I do not understand why they can’t just be happy with the barn, but oh well.  However, since they build in the eaves, each spring I have had an instance with birds in the house.  I can’t lie, each time has shaved at least a year off of my life.

I knew where they were coming in.  There is a hole in my closet, rather WAS a hole in my closet.  However, I thought they were going up into the attic and then down through the hole in my closet.  Well, a couple of weeks ago, I had the morning from hell and had two of them in the house.  The worst part was, I had already been in EACH of the rooms they were in.  So, when I strolled nonchalantly back in those rooms as part of my normal morning routine, I was scared to death.

Here is a little video of it.  I apologize for the swearing in advance.

 

After that fun little morning, I decided it was time to tackle the hole.

See, what was alarming was I had known there was the hole that I could see.  But there was this nasty shelf in the way.  Until I demolished that, I had no idea that you could actually see daylight.  The birds were not actually ever making it into the attic.  If they missed their nest by a couple of inches, they were instantly in the house.

The good news, I noticed my room was quieter once the ceiling was fixed!  Which brings me to an entirely different topic…

Do any of you living in old homes (that are being restored) find themselves compromising living standards that most normal people would balk about??

Anywho…back on track.

With a new piece of drywall securely in place (and now with the new roof, leaks are gone and the eaves will hopefully be done this summer, so that will be the end of this mess) and me sporting one of my fav Christmas presents from the best bro ever!  I was ready to paint and put it back together.

 

Another fabulous mistint find for $9.00 and some shoe organization and WHAM!! No, the irony is NOT lost on me that when the house was built, the inhabitants were probably lucky to have one pair of shoes and now I am using this closet just for shoes.

That has been an ongoing collection….don’t judge.

I have also decided to paint the craft room closet this color instead of the bright blue/green…because I have enough left and I like it better.  I really hate that damn blue/green mishap from the original stair project… read here if you’re brave enough to relive that hot mess.

In other news….hint, hint to the next big project….

IMG_20180304_145802078.jpg

I love doing my own stunts.

No birds were hurt in this post.  Every single one made it out alive.

Have a fabulous week and remember….be kind.  It ain’t worth the drama to be any other way.

Peace out peeps.

 

Winter Break.

Good morning!

So, about three weeks ago, I started my winter break.  A family friend posed the question to Momma D., “So, what is Lyndsey going to get into over break this time??”

The answer is simple…absolutely nothing.

Well, my version of nothing.  I still managed to tackle a fairly decent To Do list.  I started with finally putting some attention into the craft room closet.  It was in desperate need of some repair work and a coat of paint.

Funny story.

Being the frugal person I am, I totally thought I had a gallon of white paint leftover from something.  I was so excited!  I’ll finish it up on that silly closet! So, I get all of the repair work done and I am ready to paint.  I dig out the gallon and crack it open ready to go….it’s a solid block of paint.  I guess leaving it in the garage to freeze wasn’t a good idea.

Oops.

So, remember back when I tried painting the hallway the first time and that horrible jade/teal weird color.  Yep, you guessed it!

After much patching, painting and some new shelves….I am pretty pleased with how it turned out.  Obviously, it could always be better.  But this is a definite improvement.

 

The other big project I have been working on over the last couple of months is a kitchen island.

Mind you, this idea stemmed from wanting a dishwasher and this seemed to be the easiest solution.  Back in July, I set up the ironing board with one of my doors laying across it to see if I liked the “concept”.

My dad officially thought I lost my mind.

Seven months later, I have got a pretty good thing going.  It’s still not done, knowing that I need to finish trimming it out and finish the “storage” side.  But I can’t lie, I am in love.

The best part is, remember this piece of wood?

IMG_20161002_172534813

That came from this scary basement?

IMG_20161002_110454003

Well, officially….that piece of wood has become my kitchen island.  This is the progress so far.

IMG_20180105_182059559.jpg

Once it is completely done with trim and everything, I hope to write a blog post about just this project.  But I was too excited to not share the progress thus far!

Ok friends, stay warm out there!

Peace out peeps.

Damn.

I crack myself up.

Seriously, I have NO idea where time goes.  I am also painfully aware that almost every post references this point.  But geez….it’s OCTOBER!!!!

Well, I have been a busy little bee.  I am back in school (which greatly affects my project time…waiting to win the lotto!) and have been utilizing every Sunday for the last 6 weeks or so to wrap up projects at the house.  We have been in a moderate drought here in NE Ohio, which although is terrible for vegetation, has been wonderful for painting on the house!

As of this past Sunday, I THINK I am done with all of the outside painting.

**Minus cleaning one window and putting a second coat on one door. **

I added a few extra projects…so overall, I am thrilled where the 2017 work season is ending up!

One of the addon projects was painting the exterior of the laundry room. This is the newest part of the house, built sometime around 1910 and was definitely an eye sore.

IMG_20170924_095310846

There are definitely lotto dreams for this little room, but for the time being, it just needed a little makeover!

IMG_20170924_122543907

Sometime this summer, dad also donated me his fav stool.  I ALMOST feel guilty, but I love that little thing and it comes in so handy!  It’s been in the family for YEARS.  I grew up remembering Gramps using it in the shop.

_20140612_191330

Honestly, I still can’t believe Dad parted with it.  I don’t think he would appreciate me sharing this pic, but it’s one of my favs.  Mom, don’t tell!

Anywho, I digress.  So, the exterior is all painted.  This isn’t the most current pic, but you get the idea.  The rain moved in and I haven’t been able to snap a better pic.  That upstairs window is painted now too,  you’ll have to take my word for it!

.IMG_20171002_185409716 (1)

I also managed to cram a crapload of Fall decor into my overused, tired Mazda to decorate for the season.  Hands down the best car I have ever owned.

So, thank you again for reading along the journey!  It’s been crazy.  But with the darkness setting in and winter coming…I hope to write a little more!

IMG_20170917_174250023

Peace out peeps.

A new hat.

After 160 years, my old girl got a new hat.

Now, it might not have been the hat some of you would have chosen.  But it is a new hat, that doesn’t leak and makes my insurance company happy and met my budget.  So, therefore, peanut gallery…hush.

On this past Monday, all hands were on deck from the most wonderful roofing company ever.  They started really early and I was shocked at how fast the progress went.

I was very sad to see the slate go.  But no worries, they were able to save me quite a few pieces and I plan on doing something wonderful with them.  Once again, peanut gallery…the slate was literally was at a point where it was crumbling before it was even came off the roof.

Also, if I win the Powerball, I will have a slate roof put back on ASAP.

IMG_20170813_191010482_HDR

 

Out of all of the slate on the roof, this was my favorite side.  No idea why, but this was the only portion of the entire main roof that had this slate on it in this style.  It’s also a great picture, because that chimney and lightening rod are gone now too!

IMG_20170814_074301872_HDR

The big start!

IMG_20170814_092009999_TOP

This was one of the coolest things I learned through the process.  How when they built the house how they laid the planking for the roof.  Overall everything was in really good shape under the slate!  ALWAYS GOOD NEWS!

IMG_20170814_114507147

I was like a kid in a candy store watching all the fun progress throughout the first day!  I gave the driver a lot of credit, he backed up the really steep driveway on my very busy road!

IMG_20170815_070555883

This was the morning of Day 2, you can see the main roof is finished!  I can’t lie, putting the accent strip in was a big debate.  But now that  it’s  done, I LOVE it!  It’s just enough of a throwback to how the slate had a pattern in it.  Also, my roofer, “A”, was kind enough to point out that they were even going to make sure they were the same all the way around.

Gee, thanks!

IMG_20170815_184811797

By the end of Day 2, all of the work was done.  The laundry room on the back also has a new roof (including it’s own sexy little strip that you can only see from the door in the hallway upstairs) and the biggest change was the front porch that magically disappeared.

Peanut gallery…it will be restored…and this time correctly…and hopefully on both sides!

So, all in all, another big week around here.

My first day with kiddos is next Wednesday and the big goal is to have the windows 100% done before that point.  I can’t say how thrilled I am that I hadn’t just finished and cleaned all of those windows before they took the slate off.  I would have cried watching all of the dust float all over my clean windows.  So, now scrap and clean and finish up windows and the big projects for 2017 will be done!!

Peace out peeps.