We are SO IN THE HOME STRETCH! Yeehaw. I wish I had one of those fancy DONE stickers that I could go around and slap on stuff. Feels so good to say it when projects are done. Woot!

Hank and I each (the boys have them, too) have certain and particular things we’d like to see changed around the property, or things that we’d like to make sure are incorporated in the renovation. For instance, he was insistent on a big farm sink (which I LOVE, but didn’t have to be insistent about because he would have died on that hill to get one), and I am pretty proud of my new stand-alone tub (wasn’t sure that one would make budget, but after a good, long search, I found one that fit both the space and our budget).

One of my particulars was widening the pathway between our back deck and our little barn. It wasn’t balanced. And it was too narrow. I also have an aside. :) One of my all-time favorite coming-of-age movies is Stealing Beauty. It’s set in Italy, and all of the villas have crushed fine pathways. So there you have it. I wanted a wide, crushed fine pathway to have a little bit of Italy on our small farm. Weird, I know, but there you go.

So I widened it. I pulled out one side of landscaping ties and widened the walkway by about a foot, then dug out the ground to make it even. After we (mostly Hank) dug out and moved the existing red rocks and flagstone to our raised bed garden and fire pit areas, we added weed barrier to the new exposed area and had 10 tons of crushed fine delivered. We spent that day hauling and moving baby rock, and voila, hello Italy.

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Here’s a before and after looking toward the barn:

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A before and after looking toward the back deck:

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It’s totally Italian now.

Actually, I call it my Zen garden. I rake the rock level at least once a week. It’s my new meditation.

Next project that is very nearly finished? The office. I won’t show you all of it yet, because we still have to tie in the electric. We have our equipment plugged into an extension cord and are a fully functioning work space…during the day. The boys love it for homework time. The first time Ewan saw it set up he sighed and said with a grin, “It’s like HOME!”


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It’s pretty sweet.

And now for our in-progress of the house.

Exterior paint colors:

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Before and after of the front of the house:

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Remember the east side of the old dog kennel area?

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We’ve done a ton of work here. Kennels and runs were removed, fencing, weeds…we still are working on the back fence. We’ll remove all of the boards that can be salvaged and cut them down to reattach them as a shorter fence. Hank also bleached the pea gravel, turned it, then bleached it again. (We’d like to get a dog within the next few weeks and wanted to make sure to kill any Parvo virus that might be in the rock, just in case.) After bleaching the pea gravel, he sprayed on an odor-kill solution, turned the rock, then applied a second treatment.

Our new sitting area is coming along. Hank has painted the barn red and will add a corrugated steel surround around the bottom, and perhaps next year sometime I’d like to add a low, floating deck under this overhang.

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Now to the interior of the house. The walls have been painted (Benjamin Moore, Revere Pewter) a lovely color that sometimes looks grey, sometimes taupe, and sometimes almost a little greenish-grey, depending on the time of day and lighting. Most of our trim is in and all doors have been hung.

The guest bedroom (this room will eventually have hardwood floors, but for now will painted and sealed):

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The dining room, before and now. New windows, paint, primer, trim:

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The west end of the kitchen, with new window and the second island:

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The kitchen cabinets are in and hardwood is patched in and extended:

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Before and after of kitchen, looking toward dining room:

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Before and after of butler’s pantry:

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The new door leading out of the new master bathroom:

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And finally, some shots of outside. This area was completely overgrown with juniper that had creeped through and over the fence – so much so that we couldn’t see that Aspen tree.

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(I need Hank to cut the jutting branch with the chainsaw. While I can use the chainsaw, it’s hard for me to start.)

A secondary spot for homework:

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Phil, our guardian yard gnome:

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And signs of change on the farm (as though we weren’t making enough changes on our own. :) ). Our beautiful apple tree in the front yard.

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Last week, our countertops were installed; this week, our hardwood floors have been stained and are receiving their finish coats. If things stay on schedule, we may be moving in FOR REAL this weekend. Can you believe it?