The Two Chairs and The Porch

Finally getting around to showing you guys the Fall improvements we have made here at the house! Last time we chatted it was all about two chairs and you guys ignoring my horrible porch flooring. A new screen door really managed to amp up our curb appeal and made the shoddy floor stick out like a sore thumb. 

Like I mentioned before, we didn't have room in the budget for a whole new floor this time around. But I'm not one to just wait and wait and let things fall down around my ears. Something had to be done.

Because this does not look welcoming or safe or secure, or pretty, does it?

So I proposed this simple three step solution to my husband. Not because he is mean, or ignorant, or hard to get along with or cheap-wait he is cheap. Because he simply doesn't notice these types things, or think of simple solutions for them. 

3 Step Plan
1. Buy a new piece of plywood to replace old rotten, dangerous, looks like H#%^ piece. 
2. Paint existing and new plywood with leftover paint in the basement-the same paint on the foundation of house. 
3. Install a metal threshold to help moisture not infiltrate new plywood. 

Because I don't always know all the details that go into projects it ended up being maybe like 4 or 5 steps. Caulk was applied around all edges, pieces of wood had to be trimmed, and we ended up doing a little painting on the steps. BUT, at the end of it all, it was so worth it. Check us out! 

I mean, seriously, clean, fresh, and safe! When the foundation was painted they did not edge the steps well at all...annoying. So we just made a 3 inch border on the steps and ta-dah! It supposed to be that way...right? 

It's not the forever fix, it's not perfect. But it doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful.
Plywood: Around $20
Caulk: Around $15
Threshold: Around $10
Paint: FREE! I love leftovers!
My Husband saying "You know, you were right, it looks SO much better": PRICELESS!

Oh and look! Hark! There are my metal chairs all delightful and PINK! Thanks for the input but in the end those apple blossom colors against the house just did me in. I had to choose pink. I don't think I'll be doing much porchin' for a while now but I'm thinking next Spring I'll invest in a dark wicker loveseat and coffee table. Add some tan and green pillows and it won't be cutesy or chintzy at all, maybe even chic. Yeah right. 

So that's our front porch these days. Our first impression. And I feel pretty dang good about it. And that's a nice feeling. To have a pretty place to come home to. Thankful. Until we meet again. 



A Tale of Two Chairs

Hello there! 

Remember that one time we were renovating a house and we had the whole "Do we patch the spot where the floor furnace was or not?" question.  And you guys helped me decide to gently ask my husband to spend two of his days patching and feathering in pieces to make it look whole again. He really thanks you for that. I do too. It actually turned out fantastic, it was the right call. 

And even though I've totally sucked at showing you guys the fruits of our labor, as it's been so.slow.going. But at the same time we have been trying to movesofast. I've just lacked inspiration and motivation the last 5 months or so. You know because my brain was melting and all from the summer heat. 

Sorry, I'm just not quite ready to let my no air conditioning pity party end. But now that it's officially Fall, I've made soup twice, and I have cozy socks on I've got my groove back and today I need ya'lls opinions again! 

Now that I'm about to ask, though I'm seeing how weird it is that it's Fall and I'm asking your opinions on my front porch...

Anyway, last Friday my Mom and I went junking. Millie and Jerrel were there too but they were more interested in Pedro the antique wiener dog. Which I can't blame them, he is cute and classic. We headed over to Lemon Street Antiques, one of my favorite spots. I grew up with Gina's daughter Frankie, who is still one of my favorite ladies in the land. I love going to see Gina, her junk, and her dreamy house. It's like my own houses' cool aunt. Mission craftsman with a front porch you just want to curl up on. Anyway we were mainly looking for some new fixtures for my mom's boutique, things to switch it up a bit, but some chairs caught my eye and so they came home with me. 

I've been wanting some matching furniture for the front porch and in typical Jessica fashion I've been indecisive and cheap. But I'm glad I've waited for these babies! I've never seen any like them. They don't fold but they look like it and are in great shape ready for paint. So what color?! 

First. Pay no mind to my sad flowers, we got frost this morning and I think it's time for them to go. Moving on to pumpkins. Second. Pay no mind to our porch flooring. We are working on a low-cost, low time investment solution for now as the real fix is lower on the priority list. Hopefully next week I'll have our solution to share with you.

Back to the chairs.

Cream-classic, understated, won't take away from the architecture of our house or the design of the chairs....they may get lost though.

Dark Green-Hunter or of the Jade variety. Our roof has green shingles and I love how it plays off the lighter green of our house. So I thought these chairs would be nice to bring that down.

Pink...Light, light pink. I have pink in my door mat and I thought HEY I could paint these pink! Jerrel has already said I can never have a pink house (Thirteen going on Thirty style) so maybe I can have pink porch chairs. I'm actually leaning towards the pink. The accent color on our moulding is purpley maroon so I think it would be a nice compliment.

See what I mean. The Pink?!

Your thoughts are appreciated and I will show you when they are done.

EnJoy the weekend!



A Summer Update

Oh hey. Hi! 

It's September Hallelu! Hallelu! It's been a minute or two since I've written. So I thought I'd give you a Summer update full of pictures and witty comments. 

Waaaayyy back in May I baked a pie. That was the last time I turned on my oven the entire summer, until last week when we had a cold front go through. Because when you live without Air Conditioning you don't do much and you certainly don't bake. 

Blueberry cream pie. It was a nice way to say goodbye to the oven for the summer.

We also took a trip to Halsey for our vacation. It was fantastic and relaxing.

Millie had loads of fun with her favorite big people and I had fun watching them and hanging out at the river. 

We took a nature hike that started off strong and photogenic.

Got us to the tower so we could look at the 360 view of the National Forrest in the middle of the Nebraska Sandhills. It's kinda a crazy sight.

We came home to our Broody hen that I wrote about many moons ago. We ended up finding some fertilized eggs from a friend. Stuck 'em under Gail and she diligently sat for the 20 odd days to hatch the babies out!

Came home to one baby chick too. Within the next 48 hrs we had four more! 

Gail's mothering instincts seemed so strong, so I decided to trust her with her babies and the other birds. I'm so glad I did. It all went fantastically and now we have more chickens, some to lay eggs and some eat. It's been a great experience.

We also decided to have a firework stand in our garage. Well Evan and Jerrel did. It was kinda, sorta a bucket list thing for them. It was a great time spent together and we had fun blowing some left overs up too.

Although I will say I will NEVER spend the 4th of July or the 3rd of July for that matter, in town. It was way too noisy for this country girl. Like anxious duck and cover kind of noisy. Not fun. We left town both nights and took reprieve at our parents houses.

We also were again reminded of where all Millie's strangeness and odd tendencies come from. Those Uncles.

Remember when I said we didn't have Air Conditioning? Well in case you forgot WE DON'T HAVE AIR CONDITIONING. But I'll probably bring that up again later. Anyway the weather man said it was going to be hot, like 110 degrees. So we decided to go camping. Because the camper HAS AIR CONDITIONING. Some thought we were crazy. We knew we were genius.   

We had four days of relaxation and time together it was great and we slept like babies.

We have enjoyed many a popsicle for snack to cool off and they are fun to make!

Cool breezes finally found us and Jerrel suggested I made cookies. I felt bad for the man who's wife wont cook, or bake, or move from the fan. So I made cookies.

We've ate some good summer food and enjoyed our garden. It was a lot to take on, moving, unpacking, getting a garden in. But we've done it and done it pretty well considering!

More time at the lake and I love watching my girl take the world in. Her vocabulary has expounded and she will try to say anything now. Somethings I wish she wouldn't. And now that she is verbally expressing herself I am constantly amazed at her comprehension of the world around her. She is so very bright and shiny. Or something like that.

I've also been reading more. Keeping up on my New Years resolution.

And back to the garden. I started my plants before we moved. Moved them gingerly. And carefully and hesitantly planted them in the ground. They took off! The 8 plants look like a jungle and are producing well. They taste so good. Best part of summer, the 'maters.

So that's us this summer in a nutshell. I'll be back here more, now that it's cooler and we don't feel like we are being baked alive. I'll be updating on the house, the homestead, the toddler, and all kinds of other exciting things a'happenin'

Thanks for catching up!



On Our 3rd Anniversary

Every year when our anniversary rolls around I go through our wedding pictures. Each and every one. Oooing and awwing over the moments captured in time. It's funny though, each year different photos speak to me. Something to do with the stages we are currently in or the moments the photos represent. This year this simple stunning black and white spoke, loud and clear. 

Spoke of the simple, Biblical vows we recited and the way we held on to each other that day. The sunlight shining down and the frigid wind that blew the skirt of my dress and made me scoot closer to Jerrel in my silk gown. The drape of the shawl he lovingly made for me and the silly suitcase that wouldn't stay open. And you can't seem him but Tim, our pastor is there. Captivating us with yet another message, but this one maybe the most important we had heard from him yet. 

That one little picture says all that. Who knew. 

And now here we are. 

Not near as dolled up. Not quite as fresh. But just as happy and thankful to be in this place today, with him. Each year is together is to be celebrated, so Happy Anniversary to the one who's love, patience, and devotion to us and our family seems to know no bounds.

Here's to another year with you.



Chicken Lady--Our First Experience with Broodiness

So we have a bit of a chicken situation in the hen house. 

When we got hens maybe you remember me mentioning that I was reading this fantastic book by Harvey Ussery. In the book I skimmed everything. Wanting to be totally, utterly, mildly informed on the livestock that was entering the premises. But my knowledge and memory has waned over the last year, in the day to day doings of feeding, gathering, cleaning, and giggling at these silly birds and their antics. Over the last few weeks though, something has changed and it's left me scratching my head. 


It's when your hen is ready to sit. She wants to be a momma. She's ready to rock and roll. There's just one problem. We don't have a rooster. And as you know, it takes two to tango. Well I hope you know that. If you don't...go talk to your mother. 

It all started with my wicked chicken Doris, spending an awful lot of time in one nesting box. I just kept collecting eggs, snatching them from her because, well, she let me. Then Doris gave up. Next in line was Gail. Then SHE started spending time in the nesting box. She stopped coming out for kitchen scraps. Then she started pecking at us when we reached in for eggs. When we would open the nesting box she was in this deep trance like state, kinda like when the hens are roosted for the night. Very zen...until you bothered her. Broody. Crud. 

She's stopped laying, doesn't have eggs, and we just keep hoping she will break of it. Last night Jerrel suggested I get my Chicken Bible out and read up on what Harvey had to say. So I did and I learned a few things. 

  • Many chickens today don't go broody. The breading selection process doesn't see broody as a desirable trait. It's a job that can be done by an incubator and broody hens don't lay after a certain point so they aren't being productive in the industry's eye. So today, generally, hens just don't go broody, they have "forgotten" how. 
Say what you want about factory farming and mass production but when a creature of Creation "forgets" to do something that is vital to the continuing of the species...that's sad. And a little scary. 


  • She will usually only go broody once a year. 

  • You know she's broody when she won't move from nest and when she is "unfriendly" when you try to take eggs. Bingo. 

  • You can break broodiness by moving her to a different area, away from her flock, without bedding. 

We had been leaving her alone. We thought surely with the move she will break it herself. That kind of upheaval can't continue the cycle, right? But what did Gail do? She went right back into her nesting box. Dang. 

Harvey's suggestion is going to happen now. So I'm off to make some kind of chicken pen with a dog carrier because it's what I got. Some kind of set up that when my husband comes home he will say, "What in the world..." Because obviously my girl Gail has a serious hankering to be a momma but I've got nothing for her, she's got nothing for her. But I appreciate her broodiness now. It's nice to know she's still got it. 



The Craftsman-Kitchen Roundup

I'm trying to play a bit of catchup with you. Originally Jerrel had set the moving date to April 23rd. I played around with that in my head. Thought about how we live as a family and then kindly said that I wasn't sure it was going to work for the family. 

We had a friendly discussion and came to the date of May 7th together and said "Ok, lets do this." That was two weeks ago and much has happened since, so here's some updates. 

My father-in-law had the idea to make a counter by the stovetop. I decided to add some architectural details to the piece. I hadn't been able to get anywhere to shop for old spindles so new had to do. I did my best to make them distressed. My husband was less than impressed.

"I'm going to give you a nice shiny new kitchen and you are going to beat up these spindles."

Hey man, you knew what you were getting when you married me.

I stained them with Antique Walnut, painted them the white of my trim, then sanded them to my liking. He rigged up the peg system himself to install and it works pretty dang well.

I think it turned out cute and I have a basket that will fit perfectly in that little niche for my oven mitts. Clever huh! 

Now I'm trying to decide if I should do shelving or just hang some art. 

Check out my stove too! Isn't it pretty! GE Artistry Series. Retro look right?! I love the white. I'm pretty sure I would go crazy trying to keep stainless clean. Everything is all hooked up and ready to rock and roll.

Millie is thrilled to have the countertops in so she has a place to "Sit!" Plus the sink is working now too so that's an added bonus. 

My darling child. Girl has 'tude. 

Pretty Pantry. Still probably my favorite space. 

Ignore the curly light in the fixture. I have Edison bulbs to put in them. 

I mean...that kitchen looks functional. Like how did that happen? When did that happen? What's happening to this house. TRANSFORMATION! 


And it's still not totally done! 

I'll leave you today with a picture of butcher block. Because I love it.

Catch ya later. Next up is photos of mud, mud, and more mud. Because we love our plaster walls and are treating them with the respect they deserve. Even though it's probably the worst job of the whole deal.

My husband is the best.



We Needed A Break

We have set a moving date. Saturday May 7th. Like next Saturday. Am I packed? Kinda. Am I ready? Sorta. I'm coming to terms with the fact that if we get moved we get a little of our life back. We will be in the same house together most of the time. Millie can see her Daddy much like she used to. She can play in her backyard with him and her Chester dog. I can ask Jerrel to take out the trash without feeling like I'm asking too much of him. Because now, when he comes home to me, he just looks like he is ready to crash. 

So the last two weeks have been full of late nights and early mornings, compound joint dust, holy compound joint dust, paint and more paint. One more room to paint and then we can clean. For days, weeks or maybe even months. The other night I could read my husband needed a break. Or maybe the fact he said "When we move can I take a break?" gave me a hint that he needed a few hours to relax and recharge. His parents house is always a good place to do so. 

They live far out where it's quiet, have a lovely view, and nice covered patio. The weather was great so we headed out. 

I know my mother-in-law will wish I didn't share this picture of her "beautiful lawn" as she puts it but I love how the sun is hitting those dandy lions. And you know some people see weeds others see wishes. I'm going with wishes right now and you should too Sandy!

The evening wasn't totally without house stuff. I made myself a cup of tea and finalized paint colors by the fire pit. 

My husband spend a little bit making the latest yard-long Menards list which included fencing supplies and a reminder to pick up kayaks-that's right KAYAKS. We are so ready to be out in the sunshine at the lake with our girl.

Uncle jake came home and Millie had to put up with his terrorizing for a little bit. I guess it's character building. 

Naturally, Chester acted like he hadn't had attention for weeks. Wait...maybe he's actually being realistic this time. Poor guy is ready for his life to be back to normal too. Painting and paw prints don't mix so he has been missing out on the house action the last week. 

In retaliation for his neglect he found something dead to roll in and smelled horrendous this night. Then I couldn't let him in the house because he smelled so good job Chester you made your own life more miserable. 

Seriously, worst smell ever. 

Finally, PawPaw pulled up and everyone was home and accounted for. Then the real party could start. Smores.

Seeing this little smile let us know that it was ok to cut the night early this time. Our girl needed us, her Grandma, PawPaw, and yes even Uncle Jake to have some fun together. We left recharged with a belly full of Smores and smelling smoky but slept sound and ready for the next day full of house projects. 



House Update: Catch Up-Walls, Floors, Cabinets, Countertops, Hinges

WOW. Whoops. Whoa. It's been a while and for that I'm sorry. A house update just hasn't been on the schedule. Caulking, filling, sanding, PAINTING, STAINING, installing, and everything else under the sun has been on the schedule. Plus my Macbook has been on the fritz and I've been mourning the whole situation. Something is up with my screen. Be it a lightbulb, a wiring issue, I'm not sure but either way I'm typing this to you my friend from a very dimly lit screen, ruining my So you are welcome. Alright so I'm going to try to make this brief and catch you up as best as I can.

I don't have a shopping problem I promise. What I have is a house problem.

I ended up ordering...all? My lighting from Amazon. Oh, all but two pendents. I spend a lot of time in the recliner during nap time still and Amazon had so many great options and I saved a TON of money. This stack cost us around $200. That's a deal! All had great reviews and we are really liking them so far.

I plan to do a run down of most of our fixtures and new things once things have settled in. Just for your informational purposes and so you can know this type of project CAN be done on a budget.

This little one. Oh, she is a trooper. I love her, dusty feet and all. She helps, she plays, she helps, she whines, she watches, she eats. She's spent a little too much of her Spring inside for my liking, but thanks to Grandmas, Grandpas, Uncles, and friends she has gotten out and about.

Remember that patch? Well I got the pleasure of ripping that up and I felt a little like a 7 year old trying to do something adults do. But I got it figured out and Jerrel got to work feathering in pieces.
It took a day and a half to get it right.

I am so impressed though! He did spectacular. I'm really curious if there is something he CAN'T do. The internet and youtube has been our friend as well as a plethora of knowledge from family. But Jerrels' execution of the tasks is so incredible. 

Finally it came time to paint. I've been having a quite a few blocks in the decorating area. I think the blank canvas overwhelms me a little. I don't know where the inspiration for having a blue-green kitchen came from and honestly for a little while I thought I was going to have to repaint. It was much more color than I pictured and not really like anything I had pinned or saved...but I picked the paint color pictured. I was so confused. But as we have worked along I think I can live with it, make it work, and even enjoy it. 

Then came the floors. The glorious floors. 

All sanded down, the house smelled delicious. Woodsy and warm. They were perfect. They looked brand new. I didn't even notice the walls anymore.

And that patch? What patch? Hey Jerrel, you are awesome! Thanks to everyone who told us to just feather it in. Do it right the first time. Seems to be well worth the results. 

What a relief it was to have such a large clean surface. 

I mean seriously?! So very pretty. So they have been stained and are beautiful. I'll have to get another picture of them. They are covered up and a little dusty...again these days. Oh the joy of a remodel. 

My do it all husband got the rest of the hinges off the cabinets and designated me to be hinge cleaner. 

Let me get on my soapbox for a moment:
Take hardware off whatever you are painting. Just do it. It's lazy not to, it makes your project look shoddy. It also really torks people off, like me, when I have to spend hours of my day doing menial tasks like this only to uncover the most beautiful antique hardware that was WORTH taking off and enjoying in it's ORIGINAL STATE. Even if your hardware isn't old, just do the job right the first time. And if you have painted hardware take the time to clean it up. 

Stepping off soapbox. 

All I used was boiling water, a fine wire brush, toothbrush, and a wash cloth. I soaked the hinges in the boiling water for various times, anywhere from 1 hr to 12hr. It all just peeled off and I used the wire brush to get the rest. Really pretty easy. Just time consuming. 

My perfectionist father painted our four base cabinets and they turned out perfect! Duh. So next came our butcher block countertops. This is how DIY-ers steady the countertop for cutting. By sitting on one end.

Life skills. Valuable life skills. Love our crazy haired little helper.

And finally my sink. It's the IKEA farmhouse sink. My husband drove to Denver in a day for it. I told him that was frivolous and that I could just pick a different one. He said no. He rocks. Next time I chat with you I should have a mostly done kitchen. Which seems unbelievable.

So there you have it. The quick version of the last month or so. Jerrel says we are moving in soon. I say we need a couple more weeks. We will see who wins. Or who stays at the house. Alone. With the dog... Either way I've got packing to tend to so I'll leave you to your Friday. Thanks for hanging in there with me!