Ain’t No Sunshine

Pause for a little serenade from Bill Withers…

Just as the song says, there ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone. “She” in this situation would be my aunt because she is the one responsible for the very large, very literal sunshine painted on her old bedroom wall.

Auntie has gone to stay, and now, so has the sunshine.


Along with the ginormous sunshine, there’s was teeny-weeny horse – see him? My Aunt is quite the artist.


I found this paint color in our basement when I was poking around the other day. It was a color my dad had acquired from one of the many blue light special deals he finds. It’s BM’s Cedar Key. It’s a soft tan/gray… and I’m in love with it.
I’m trying not to paint every room in our house straight up gray and I wanted this room to be a little softer/cozier but still go with the rest of the house. (It looks more gray in the picture than it does in real life.)
So, it was pretty much the color I had picked out for this room in my head. What an awesome coincidence to find it in my basement from forever ago…? Once again, thanks dad. You’re the best.


I’m completely getting ahead of myself with this post btw… the stain isn’t even dry yet. We still need to do touch ups and poly it but I couldn’t wait to slap some pictures up here.




The Smokeless Monster

In August of 2012, we installed our brand-spankin-new gasification wood boiler. These were exciting times for us because we had finally escaped the evil grip of #2.

This is what our basement looked like when we were slaves to the oil company:

In November of 2011 – our furnace AND our oil tank both failed inspection and needed to be replaced. The nicest thing they could have done was to die at the same time, and so they did. We all knew it was time for them to go. So, we borrowed an old furnace from camp to help us limp through that winter and in March of 2012, we made the long haul to Lebanon, PA and brought home our little humungo bundle of joy.

Meet The Smokeless Monster:

She looks a lot better in the basement than she did in the garage.



Among our failed heating system, I forgot to mention our failed chimney. It was essential that we build a new chimney before we used our boiler. So, with a HUGE amount of help from Clint, Adam, and Wes – our old chimney was torn down and the new one was installed in one weekend.





This was the same weekend that JC’s sisters were visiting. So, While the boys put up the chimney, I got some quality time with our niece and nephew and my favorite sis-in-laws. Which basically consisted of lounging around on the grass and chasing the ducks & chickens 🙂






And we lived warmly ever after…

Saddle Up

Here’s a little ditty about installing our hardwood floors: JC and I checked out Lowes and Home Depot for the best price/quality of flooring options. We knew that this area has a high traffic volume and we wanted these floors to last forever so we went for the real deal – solid wood.

We chose Bruce – Oak Saddle as our brand/color of choice. The Oak Saddle in the store was ridiculously expensive, I was bummed because it was my favorite but after doing some searching online, we found the same floors for half the price (woot!) we scooped up 19 boxes and crossed our fingers that the color was the same.

One week later, we got a call from Estes and got to skip out early from work so we could get home and unload our pretty, pretty floor boards.

But, wait… I’m getting ahead of myself. For the sake of remembering those ugly old carpets, let’s take a look back one more time…
Gone… Oh – Hi, Nuisey and furniture.
That floor was installed by my grandfather, it’s actually some sort of sticky tile that looks like wood. He had nailed it down in places where it started to peel up. I actually had a few people compliment our “new floors” while we lived like this for a few weeks. Hah! Please… but in their defense, it was dark and we don’t have lights in those rooms. So, I guess it’s understandable.

Here’s a peek at the dining room with a little less linoleum:

Then came the fun part, eeeek!! This was seriously the best. We opened a couple of boxes at a time and grabbed the prettiest pieces to use. I loved it, all the boards were different and they fit together like puzzle pieces.

My favorite part was sliding the pieces into place, nailing them together was a fun little bonus. Yes, I’m barefoot. Yes, it was a stupid move. Just don’t tell my mom.

We had some late night helpers, Adam and Sam. They were real troopers, I think Sam enjoyed it as much as I did. We worked in teams, Sam & Kaylene vs JC & Adam. We dominated that installation like it was our job.

Day 2… it was hot, we were ready to be done, but the long hours were totally worth it. Who doesn’t like a giant puzzle made of pretty oak? JC, that’s who. He was less than thrilled by day 2 of the project. Here he is before the frustration of tight quarters and weird corners sets in:

Inching towards the weird corners… and JC’s mini anxiety attack.

Day 3 we finished up all the edges near the wall where we couldn’t use the nail gun.

This has been the sweetest, most anticipated, hardest, most fun to achieve project to date. We are more than satisfied with the results:

Makes you want to slide down there in your socks, doesn’t it?

Magenta Madness

It was high time for that pink rug to hit the road. It was extremely outdated and way past its prime, if it ever had a prime…? I know one thing, without the rose wallpaper, the carpet just looked lonely and out-of-place.

We were pretty pumped to tear it up so we set the date: Big Trash Day. This would be our first experience with big trash day in our town and we had plenty to contribute, namely one pink carpet:

What we discovered under the carpet and foam padding was an unfinished wood floor in perfected condition. It was preserved by the carpet all these years, just waiting to be unveiled, sanded, and stained. And that’s exactly what we did.

First, we sanded it down and removed all the staples that held the foam into place.


Then the both of us stained it together. This was my first time staining, I was surprised at how “a little goes a long way”. The total cost of this project was $7.00.




Not bad considering this is where we were just months before:

It’s fun making our house pretty. I’ll be back with pictures of our newly installed wood floors. Mmmm.


Covering A Multitude of Sins

We’ve been debating for a while on what we should do about our dining room walls. Removing the wallpaper proved to be very destructive. The glue from the wallpaper clung to the old drywall and ripped it down to the chalky stuff in some places. By the time we finished tearing it all off, the walls were left gouged and bumpy. What a mess.


We contemplated multiple solutions… from wainescoting to completely replacing the drywall. After a lot of research and mild arguments, we settled on paintable wallpaper. It was the fastest most affordable fix and didn’t require any demo. We also don’t mind the existing bead board so we figured we should stick with what works for us.

On my search for the right textured wallpaper, I came across a comment from a happy customer in the review section “this stuff covers a multitude of sins”. I burst out a happy little giggle and ordered 2 rolls – covering a multitude of sins is exactly what our walls needed.

As soon as it came, I had it slapped up on the walls in less than an hour.

Much better! I didn’t even mind the white so it stayed like that for a few weeks. Anything is better than ripped drywall and aqua lead based paint.

List, List, List.

After seeing YHL’s Listy McListerson post last Friday, it inspired me to make a list of our own; J & K style. Here’s a brainstorming list of things that I just pulled off the top of my head in no particular order.

To Do Indoor:
Paint the kitchen cabinets for quick fix then replace within a few years
Replace all of the flooring on the first floor (in May!)
Fix/finish the spare bedroom; floors, paint, add trim.
Add miscellaneous trim to different area’s of the house
Turn the entry way into a functional space with a pantry and storage
Tear down upper cabinets on outer kitchen wall to create a “message center” with wall hanging storage and a wipe board/cork board
Paint the basement walls and floors
Move the boiler into the basement
Install baseboards
Build a work area in the basement
Fix/finish the bathroom hole in the wall
Paint the bathroom in a color that doesn’t make the off-white shower look dingy :/

Long Term Indoor:
Build on a master bedroom/bathroom
Turn the basement into a mini apartment

To Do Outdoor:
Stack the wood on the bank and in the basement
Cut down the weird sparse trees
Figure out how/what to plant that will make the front yard look welcoming
Rip up the moss that has taken over our bank by the driveway
Plant something that will creep like crazy and choke out the weeds on our bank by the road

Long Term Outdoor:
Pave the driveway
Build a deck
Install solar panels

Furnishings to save up for:
Area rugs; Lounge, Living Room, Dining Room, Office, Bedrooms, Kitchen
Club Chairs
A HUGE Coffee Table
Pedestal side table between the lounge chairs
Wall mounted lamps on either side of the window in the lounge
A new mattress… we desperately need a new mattress