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I’ve loved every second since we moved to “the country” last year.  Caring for our livestock (What? Chickens are livestock), starting the garden, walking our woods, harvesting apples, mowing with the boy, feeding hand-split wood into our stove on a snowy day… it’s all been grand.

Of course, that’s me talking.  If you ask the Wife, she’d likely point to a few gripes.  Today’s post highlights one of those, just so you don’t think everything is Norman frickin’ Rockwell all the time over here.

Sigh…

Mice.

We’ve had mice.  Not an enormous infestation by any stretch, but in the last year we’ve caught several and have “detected” a couple others that have obviously gone to that great big cheese wheel in the sky.

After asking the neighbors what’s up, they chuckle, shrug, and say it’s part of the life and we better get used to a little scratching in the walls each year when the temperature drops. Of course that doesn’t make Joanna feel any better.

So out of love for my woman, and no desire to co-exist with Minnie long term, I cashed out bookoo bucks for an exterminator service to take a walk around and put us on a pest control program.  I then fixed some small issues like door weather stripping and set out a few commercial traps.  For months we thought our furry little friends had moved on to greener pastures.

Then a few nights ago, we heard it again.

Scratching.

Jo was not pleased.  I was not pleased.

This. Meant. War. 

I decided $#!t needed to get real. Only the heaviest duty, homemade, redneck looking mouse trap would do.  (Yes, I admit it, with darkness falling at 4:30 PM and the ground covered with snow, I’m sometimes looking for projects.)  Take this, Mousey!

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Our primary problem area is an outside water closet that houses the furnace, water softener, hot water heater, etc.  I’m betting it’s too easy for them to come in where the well pipes enter from underground and I’m not sure how to seal it off, so I wanted something that could catch multiple critters at once if needed. The beauty of this setup is it can keep on keeping on without needing to be reset after one little guy loses his battle with Mr. Snappy while his buds scurry away.

Plus it was free since we had all the materials needed, thanks in part to a perma-stocked mini fridge. Want a Midwestern Mouse Terminator of your own?  Read on.

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I started this post way before it was due so let’s just begin by giving me a virtual high five okay?

High Five RW

See see?  A five.  And it’s high.  Way high.  Okay not that high, but it’s still pretty funny amiright?

Now that I’m done patting myself on the back I’ll just get right into the good stuff.  If you recall (of course you all recall, you’re all loyal die hard readers after all) Thrift Gift Facelift is a fun little exchange Supermom and I started to get our creative juices flowing, dust off our DIY skills and maybe even make some useful things for around the ol’ homestead.  We gift each other a thrifted, found or even no longer wanted item and then we remake it into something fabulous.  So far I think we’ve both done pretty well.  Pretty darn well.  Actually we both really rock at this.

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There I go tooting my own horn again.

This month Supermom gifted me a pile of old silverware she was planning on donating to Goodwill.  There were a few other pieces in the mix, mostly knives, but I only photographed the ones I had plans for.

Silverware RW

Three forks and two spoons.

I knew what I wanted to do with them right away.  I didn’t know how I was going to accomplish my plan exactly, but I could see the finished product in my head clear as day.

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We’ve been doing a little DIY around the old homestead lately.

And by “we” I mean The Husband.  But although he’s been doing the actual “work” part, I have been an integral cog in the process.  The shopping process.

That’s right, I can shop for a ceiling fan with the best of them.

It all started a few months back when my niece and nephew were visiting for the weekend and my niece tugged on the ceiling fan pull in the guest room and out it came.

Old Fan Up RW

See see, only one pull cord.

There is no switch for the ceiling fan on the wall.  You turn the lights and fan on and off solely with the pulls.  So while the fan still worked, the light was stuck in an off position.  This resulted in two months of garage task lighting clipped to the headboard to provide some much needed light.  Despite the fact we don’t have overnight guests all that often, the guest room doubles as my art and sewing studio so it actually gets a bit of use.

The husband also spent a week sleeping in the guest room after The Destroyer ate an entire loaf of artisan bread and licked clean a package of raw chicken and threw up 40 times in the span of four days.  Being pregnant and pretty dang tired I made them both sleep in there so I could get some sleep.  On the off chance this lovely story scares you away from ever staying with us, I promise we covered the wood floors with an old tarp so believe it or not the room stayed pretty clean that week.  I’ve shared too much now haven’t I?    

But I’ve segued.

We checked at Lowes and found we could replace a part and potentially fix the ceiling fan, but I put a bug in The Husband’s ear about just replacing the whole thing.  He’d have to take it apart to fix it anyway, it might be a good time to spruce.  No, an excellent time to spruce!  In my opinion replacing light fixtures is one of the best ways to update a house.  And let’s face it, our house needs some updating.

After months of wearing him down with talk of how the ceiling fan was the very last update that needed done in the guest room before declaring it officially done, The Husband agreed to replace it for me.  WOOOOO HOOOOO!

Now I just had to find the right one at the right price.

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I haven’t been in much of a chatty mood lately.

My favorite sandals busted on me in Target’s parking lot.

photo (3) RW

I got some new ones.

photo (6) RW

My Foodie Pen Pals box arrived and it’s a good one.

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I was going to go with a Milli Vanilli inspired title, but I guess the wife’s “Toddler Radio” Pandora station won out.  It’s been wearing me down… wearing me down in a glittery, high pitched, Sillies-Shaking-Out, psychological torture type of way.  Who knew psychological torture usually involved ukelele accompaniment?

But back on topic.  Yes, I’m here again to wow you with yet another of my Homestead Adventures.

I assembled a Rain Barrel.

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This project was completed start to finish during nap time, while the Wife was out shopping for yoga pants.  Not just any yoga pants.  A fancier type of yoga pants she wouldn’t feel weird wearing out of the house.  It is the official SAHM uniform and it’s time she dressed appropriately.  At least that’s how everything was explained to me.

Such is our exciting lives.

Wait… what was I talking about?  Oh yeah, back on topic…

I assembled a Rain Barrel.

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A buddy of mine had “a guy” that got him food grade 55-gallon drums dirt cheap last year.  I bought quite a few, moved them with us, and am finally getting around to installing them at the new house.

This particular barrel is assembled from a kit I received taking part in a workshop hosted by our local Parks Department.

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Coming off the January Blog a Day Challenge and the Young House Love Thrift Store Challenge last month combined with reading this post by Ashley and this post by Kim, one notable thing has occurred to me as of late.  I’ve been playing it safe.

With design and with my blog.

Let’s start with design.  As you know, we’ve recently moved into a home I’d like to spruce everywhere.  I’ve completed three rooms now in Sweetey Petey’s room, the dining room and the living room.

I haven’t blogged about Sweetey Petey’s room because ultimately I decided that was his space and not my place to share.  Besides, after getting a Land of Nod catalog in the mail it turns out we are just plain miserly.  Every inch of his room is NOT fully coordinated with mismatched but somehow still matched items that all totaled cost more than my car.  And I’m talking the new car people, not the old car.

As far as Sweetey Petey’s room goes, suffice it to say I painted his new room a slightly brighter shade of his old room.  Updated but kinda the same too.  I told myself it was the logical choice.  His sheets, his changing table cover, his chair, all his stuff still matches.  Practical.  Safe.

I am seriously considering painting a whale on his wall so I might share that once it’s done.  Daring, huh?

I did blog about the dining room and shared how I painted half the walls the same color as the old dining room.  The exact same color.  How’s that for safe?  Same pictures on the wall too.  Same table.  Same hutch.  Same wobbly chairs.

Now comes the third room I’ve finished, the living room.

Midwestern LR RW

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14. December 2012 · 9 comments · Categories: House · Tags:

I’m having a hard time concentrating on this post as I just found out a close friend’s daughter was admitted to the hospital for trouble breathing.  So before I go any further, if we could all think some good thoughts and send them Supermom’s way that would be great.

Good thoughts.

Good thoughts.

Good thoughts.

My dining room suddenly feels very trivial, but I promised to finish up so finish up I will.  Then I will go about my silent worrying for little Superchild.

I called my dining room “Grandma” yesterday, mostly because there’s a lot of stuff of our Grandmothers in there.

This hutch was my Grandma’s.

I have a matching table that is currently in our breakfast nook in the kitchen.  Neither piece is in the best condition and I wouldn’t necessarily have picked them out if I were decorating from scratch.  Honestly, I have them because my Grandmother was entering a care facility and I was already paying a mover to bring me a bedroom dresser and it wasn’t any extra to bring these too.  And I needed a hutch.  The hutch houses lots of old and interesting kitchen gadgets from both our grandmothers that I am planning on using as photography props.

The glass jar collection on top belonged to Mike’s grandmother who passed a year ago.

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13. December 2012 · 15 comments · Categories: House · Tags: , ,

For those of you who like house stuff, I am going to regale you with the amazing makeover of the dining room in the new house.

For those of you who just like food, well . . . this is the freaking dining room so food gets eaten there.  Theoretically speaking of course, since we eat our meals in the breakfast nook of the kitchen.

Also, I painted the room Anjou Pear by Sherwin Williams.

Which is a food.  I know the title of this post says Copen Blue but since that’s not a food item, let’s just skip it for now till I have you all reeled in then we’ll get to that part.

First up, for reference, the dining room in the old house.

Oh hey, look at that.  Anjou Pear.  Yes, this is a post about a makeover and yes I did paint the new dining room the same as the old dining room.  At least part of it.  I firmly believe in sprucing up a home every so often, a.k.a if you haven’t spruced your home since the Cleveland Browns last won the Superbowl, it’s time for a change.  Like perhaps rooting for a winning sports team.  In all fairness though, the dining room at the old house was one of the last rooms I painted so the color is still fresh in my opinion.  Besides, I love it.  Love it, love it, LOVE IT!

Those were not my original curtains as I removed a lovely striped pair before we put the house on the market so I could keep them.  They’ll be making an appearance in the breakfast nook someday.  These brown curtains were in Sweetey’s Petey’s room before we swapped them out for blackout curtains.

Out with the old, in with the new-ish. Here’s the dining room in our new pad as seen from the living room.

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20. July 2012 · 18 comments · Categories: Midwestern Life · Tags:

This post will be a little short on pictures and a little long on the serious. I know. I’m not typically a serious person. It might be a little short on words too because I’m beat.

So, I painted the kitchen Thursday. Twice. That’s a lot of work for me because I don’t half-ass home improvement. I carefully patch all spots, vigorously sand, wipe down all walls and tape off, smoothing each edge individually. Then I paint and I always paint twice. Ugh. It’s a lot of work.

Today I have to paint the trim on four doors and, if I have enough paint, the doors themselves. Then Saturday I have to scrub every inch of the kitchen and lemon oil all the cabinets. And that’s just the kitchen.

Why so much? Why all at once?

Well, we are perhaps getting close to moving and preparing the house quickly in case we need to put it on the market. Don’t worry, I’m not leaving the Midwest. I’m not even leaving the general area.

But, like most things, it comes with the good and the bad.

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