Our Home

The Bedroom

The Bedroom Re-Do

This is one in a number of posts that I plan to do in the chronicling of our home remodeling projects.  And be fore-warned-there lots of photos in this post.

It kind of started with this…a transom window above the door to the attic.

There are drop ceiling in every room of this house, which we knew we would eventually be removing, at least most of them.  (I love high ceiling!)  One day while coming down the attic stairs,  I glanced up and saw this window above the door-it was hidden away and could not be seen from the bedroom side as it was covered up by the dropped ceiling tiles.  I just had to get this vintage window uncovered and visible.  Well….this is not the only reason we started on the bedroom first….

We were sleeping in the dining room.  (Which we did for 3 months!)

Rather awkward when having guests over.

The first job was to remove what we didn’t want.  There was a closet the full width on one side of the room-this would become the bed alcove and with it removed it would make the room less awkward and easier to navigate around.

Getting ready!  Demolition time….

(This is always a scary time-is this what I really want? Will I like what I thought I would?  Once it is done, it is done! )


Crow bars, hammers and dust.

And some brute force!

This only bedroom is one of the two original rooms in this house.  There was only a ‘front’ room and a ‘back’ room. I have wondered where the original kitchen was-maybe a separate cook house? The foundation below this section of the house is massive cut stones, some of the floor joists are raw tree trunks, the walls are old lath and plaster.  They built houses to last years ago, and it was quite the job to remove the lath and plaster walls.

This is the finished product.  The inner walls and ceiling of the bed alcove were covered in tongue and grove paneling, then we painted and trimmed it in. The paint color is ‘Creamy’ from Sherman Williams.  I was extremely happy with this paint.

The carpet was pulled up, and we were happy to find beautiful original hard wood floors underneath.  We just cleaned and polished them and they were good.

The drop ceiling was then removed.

Tongue and groove wood strips were put up over the old original plaster ceiling.  It covered a number of flaws.


We stained the ceiling wood “Golden Pecan”, also from Sherman Williams.  I wondered if I would like the wood ceiling-I love it!  Love waking up and looking up at the beautiful wood.

The work area, outside on the patio.  After watching the fellas cut for awhile, I felt confident to do some cutting myself.

Some pictures of the lath and plaster walls with layers of old wall paper.

There are deep baseboards in this section of the house. I love them.

Some of the walls were more of a challenge than others-there were places, on the outside walls, that had previous water damage, and while scraping and removing the old wall paper, large areas of plaster came off too.

Here you can see a large hole in the plaster, and also where the drop ceiling came to-older wallpaper above, and newer below.

There was lots of patching to do.



The hole, all patched and sanded.  When the new wallpaper was put up, you could not tell there was a large hole there.

This section of wall, above the door to the hall that leads to the bathroom and closet, was too badly damaged.  This was originally an outside wall also, but in a previous remodel, a door way was opened up in it.  It was so bad that we just put up more tongue and groove wood and painted it to match the trim.  I think that it looks just fine.

There was lots of wallpaper scraping to do.

I did have quite an achievement in working in this room.  I am very afraid of heights, and was afraid to work up so high, but by the time we were done, I was able to climb right up on the scaffolding and work away!  I was determined to get this room done, and was rather proud of myself in conquering my fear of heights.  (At least a little way up!)

I papered the walls in a light sage green fleur-de-lis pattern, also from Sherman Williams.  I am loving the Sherman Williams products, and how convenient the stores are, located in small towns.  There is one in nearby Clarion, so convenient to run to, to spend hours looking through their books.  I also was able to ‘check-out’ 5 wallpaper books to take home and agonize over.  To me, this is one of the hardest parts of remodeling-deciding on what to do!

Me, painting the crown molding.

We debated in whether to keep the old original light fixture, but were somewhat afraid of the old wiring, so went with a new fixture with a vintage look.

The ceiling, the new light, the wallpaper, the crown molding and part of the bed alcove.

Our queen size bed fits nicely in the alcove.

Looking the other direction in the room.  There was another great achievement in moving into this bedroom-we went from a very large bedroom with 2 closets,  from 2 chest of drawers and 1 long, low dresser to just 1 chest of drawers.  Quite a downsize for us!

I have lace curtains for the windows.

This is the view looking into the living room.

The view looking into the connecting hall to the closet.  There is a step up landing with the door to stairs up to the attic on the left.

The radiator is on the right on this landing.  Did I tell you that I love, love love our radiator heat?  Yes, I do!

The large walk-in closet.  It has no window, and I wanted to paint it white to brighten it up some, but hubby nixed my idea.  I love it, and it is serving us well.  Still working on downsizing all the clothes.  I am using a trick that I read about-turn all the clothes on hangers the wrong direction, every time you wear something, turn the hanger around the correct direction, at the end of the year, whatever is on a hanger still turned the wrong direction get rid of! It has already helped me get rid of stuff.


This is taken from the bathroom, looking into the little hallway between the bedroom, on the right and closet, on the left.  It will be painted ‘Creamy’ also, the carpet will stay.  I am thinking a small chest of drawers, or something like it, for linen storage, as there is no linen closet in this house.

The end result is that I am very happy with this bedroom remodel.  I am very thankful for strong, able husband and sons that are willing to work and help out.

Remodeling is slow going, at least for us do-it-yourselfers.  When ever I get discouraged at how slow things are changing around here, I just go in and admire my lovely bedroom.

Thanks for reading.

Seek the Lord and his Strength,

seek his face continually.

1 Chronicles 16:11

Our Home

Front Entry Tile

Entry Tile

We moved, after 26 years of living in a church owned parsonage, into out own home last fall.  It was quite a change for us, one of them being that we can do with this house whatever we wanted!  And I was, and still am, anxious to make many remodeling changes to this house.  This house was built in the late 1800s-it is very well built, and has been well loved and cared for, but it is very dated.  Think lots of dark wood paneling-it has to go!  Where to start?  Well, we started with the bedroom, because we needed a place to sleep but that is a post for another day. We soon found out how long remodeling projects take, when you are doing most of the labor yourself and with volunteers (My poor children just groan when ever they hear me say-‘You know what I’d like to do with this house?”  They know that they will likely be recruited to ‘help’!) I was foolishly thinking that the living room would be done by last Christmas, for all the family to be here, but after the bedroom remodel, and how long that took, I am setting my sights on this coming Christmas!  It still has not been started-we have 6 months yet-will the living room be done by then?!  We will see!

The entry way tile was really the 2nd. project, but here it is.  I couldn’t find the photos of the finished project, so this will have to do.

But, back to Christmas….Whenever my children ask me what I want for a gift,  I reply that I would rather have them help me or do something for me rather than be given a gift.  And when you don’t have much money for a gift, labor is a good substitute!  Son Gabriel, gave me the Christmas gift of the labor of new entry way tile.

Now, our entry/front door is at the front of our house, but is rarely used.  The front of our house faces the street where our address is, but no vehicle traffic is allowed on this street.  It has been turned from the railroad bed (I am still a mite confused about the railway and the road-did they share the same space?!)  into a walking/biking trail.  As a result, this door is little used, but I still wanted tile where you step into the house.

This entry way area was a front porch that had been enclosed and is now the sun room/sewing room. ( I am loving this room as my sewing area, lots of bright light from the big windows and lots to watch on the trail. Will share photos later.)

There was carpet-part of the carpet was removed, and the tile laid.

This photo shows all of the tender plants that need over wintered-I am always so glad to have then go back outside where they belong!  They are space hogs and I can barely keep them alive till the next spring.  The boards leaned against the window are the trim boards placed to block anyone from walking on the tile till it was done.

I am loving my new tile entry way.  Thank you Gabe!  What a lovely Christmas gift!


Proverbs 16:9

The mind of man plans his way,

but the Lord directs his steps.

Our Home

Our New Home

Our Home

Be it ever so humble, there is no place like home

Today, I will be sharing our new home with you.  This new home was not at all what I was planning and dreaming on.  I had my heart set on a small farm or farmette, or least a little bit of land to have a big garden and have animals on.  We were in negotiations on a nice little 13 acre farm, with farmhouse, barn, pond, lots of cleared pasture.  It was between our daughter’s place and son’s place, about 1/2 mile from each.  Perfect, I thought.  The wheels in my mind were spinning on what I could do with it.  This would be more than I could have asked for.  But the Lord had other plans for us, the negotiations for the farm fell through and the deal was off.  I was broken hearted and cried for days, but we had  prayed for whatever God wanted for us… so no ‘farm’ for me.

Last fall, just a week after the farm deal fell through, we signed papers for this house.  It had been on the market for almost 3 years, the original price was drastically reduced and we bought it the next day.  Things happened so fast that it made my head spin!  I only remember walking through it casually, not paying a whole lot of attention, and bang!  it was ours!  Wait, wait!  I need to look at this house again!  It took a number of walk thrus to finally sink in-this is our house.  This is where I will be living.

This house is in town…in town?  Yes, in town- street lights, close neighbors, weekly trash pick-up…I am still wondering how I got in town!  (But I am finding that there are advantages to living in town!)

These are only the outside views, I will be posting before, during, and after photos of the interior as we do upgrading and remodeling.  Fun!(?)



West side view of house-front door and cellar doors.

Our location is confusing.

The house is perched upon high ground, at the top of a massive stone wall with steps going down to the street/’trail’.  The ‘street’ (where our physical address is) in front of the house, used to be the railroad bed.  I do not know if this road was ever used for vehicle or horse and buggy traffic.   The trains no longer run through our town.  I sadly miss the trains, but am glad they are not roaring right in front of my house!   The ties and rails have all been pulled up and the railway has been turned into the Redbank Trail-a lovely stonebed trail for walking, biking and horse riding.

I love all the stone work.  The wall is made of massive stones and runs in front of all the houses the length of this road/trail.  I have a beautiful high view of the goings on along the trail.

The walking trail is very popular, and there is much activity on it.  It does not get boring watching the walkers,  runners and bikers.

Side Yard

 This is the area where I am planning to put my raised bed vegetable garden.

The same side yard, looking up to the patio area.

The trellis entry from the side yard to the back porch.

The back porch is a beautiful flagstone patio area.  It is always shaded and such a nice place in the heat of summer.

The back entry door.  This is the most used door.

Back Yard

We have a wonderful covered patio area.  All of the wooden porch furniture came with the house.  It is a great place for family gatherings!  The grandchildren love to bring their bikes and ride on the trail.

This is the view of our house from the back street-the only street that gives access to the house.  You cannot see our house from here-the building that you see just to the left of the patio is a separate office building that we plan to eventually turn into a guest cottage.  It is in need of much repair and we only use it for storage right now. (This was the town’s tax collectors office.)

Sign post that the tax collector used.  I am thinking a Margie’s Garden sign would look nice here!  I am planning on selling my perennial plants from my house.

The long sidewalk from the carport/garage down to the house.


A view from the yard up to the carport.

There is a 2 car parking area and a 1 car enclosed garage.  Can you try and guess which car gets the prime location of parking in the garage?


View of the carport and garage from the street.  This is very confusing to anyone who is not familiar with this area.  We have to try and tell guests our address, but the street address you cannot drive on-you have to come in on the street above us and walk down to the house.  This street is more of an ally than a street-only one lane.

The back of the old Redbank Mill is in full view of our place.  I love the Mill.  Lots of spilled grain from unloading and loading=lots of birds and lots of cats.

We are packed into quite a tight neighborhood-our youngest son’s house is just 2 houses away-this white house you see at the end. Very convenient for visiting back and forth!  We so enjoy it.

We have a balcony!

And an outhouse!

I call our home my Hobbit Hole.  The house is very hidden away-you can only see it from the walking trail side, and then it sits up very high.   To get to the house,  you have to walk down the long side walk and into the shaded patio area to enter .  The house is very dark inside (think lots of dark wood paneling-I will be changing that!) ,it has some narrow doorways, and you kind of wind your way around some of the areas.  And I feel like I am in a hobbit hole.  But since I am such an introvert, love to spend time alone, and to be hidden away, this house suits me just fine!


You are welcome to visit anytime!

Stay, Stay at home, my heart, and rest.

Homekeeping hearts are happiest.

Henry Longfellow, 1882

Matthew 10:12, 13

12 And when ye come into an house, salute it.

13 And if the house be worthy,

let your peace come upon it;

but if it be not worthy, 

let your peace return to you.

Would you like to guess the car parked in the garage?