Love shack, baby love shack

Ever since we bought our little country bungalow ten or so years ago, I have wanted to update a little outdoor building I refer to as my plant shack.

I’ve loved my little plant shack from the very beginning. I’m not sure why. It should have been torn down, it was so ramshackle. I guess I fell in love with the idea of having a grown-up place to play – a place I could call my own.

So, Brian and I have looked at it for years, wondering if it was salvageable or if it should be torn down. It always took a back seat to the gazillion other projects we worked on in our spare time. And, during all that time, I dreamed about all the fun stuff I would do if I ever had my very own woman cave.

So, for 10 years, even though there were no walls on this building, I kept my plant supplies, gardening supplies, pots and tools stored on the shelves.

One year, Brian wrapped the building in heavy plastic (as a temporary solution) and I overwintered a myriad of plants in there. The plastic walls lasted only a year and did not keep out the cold temperatures as much as I would have liked, so in subsequent years, I dragged all of my plants inside my tiny house again for wintering.

But, then, just last week Brian finished a job several days early and had a few free days to work around the house. He suggested that he could begin the work on my plant house or finish cutting out some overgrown brush and stumps in our front yard.

Well, we all know what I wanted to do.

First, I emptied out the old hen house of all the old windows we had been saving, sorting them according to size and quality. These will be the new walls of my plant house.  Pictured above is about half of out stash! Then, I moved all the contents of my plant shack to the now empty hen house for temporary storage.

In the “before” photo above, you can see the tin roof and covered porch. And, in the photo below, the concrete floor. This is where we begin.

(Oh, yes, and Sam Dog wanted to get in on the picture, too! He’s such a ham.)

So, after two days, here is what we have to show you.

Oh, yeah, baby, I’m already loving it and everything it represents! My very own charming, shabby chic, funky junky love  plant shack!

Soon, very soon!



A house gets painted

I know you’re probably wondering why I haven’t written for so long.  Funny thing is that I think about writing everyday and sometimes even feel guilty because I cannot. I’ve got lots of ideas to write about too. I can easily say I’m never at a loss for words.

The thing is that Brian and I are in the middle of our busiest season right now.  His BIG project is painting the exterior of our house. This project is long overdue and Brian continues to spend his time prepping – scraping, grinding, replacing wood, re-glazing windows, replacing windows, patching stucco, priming.

I, on the other hand, get to do all the other stuff we do in the spring, all by myself, like the back breaking hand tilling of the vegetable garden, planting vegetables, planting annuals, spring cleaning the house, pruning bushes, and any assignment Brian doles out that will help him keep our hugest project moving forward.

I spent this past weekend, scraping paint off the front porch floor.  This is less exciting than watching paint dry, and my hands are sore. AND, since I’m not done, I get to do this again next weekend.

My job is to scrape off the green paint and then the grey paint so that we have a good clean surface to repaint again.

The ultimate look we are going for is an English Country Cottage. Hopefully, in the next several weeks we will finish. And, then we can move on to some of the other 50 gazillion projects on our to-do list.

Living simply is a lot of hard work!

What have you been up to?



The Fridge

I reckon it’s been about 2 months ago now that our refrigerator broke. To make a long story short, a technician came, diagnosed the problem, ordered parts, and the parts arrived several days later, but due to scheduling conflicts between me and the technician, the repair service got scheduled for 2 weeks later, and then, on the day he was to come, he didn’t show up, and I found out this piece of news when the day was half over and I had already missed most of my work day, that he had called in sick and there was no replacement to cover for him, so the repair appointment was rescheduled for one week later after we resolved our scheduling conflicts once again, and I arranged another day off,  and lo and behold, he came that time, on time, too, but then determined the fridge couldn’t be fixed after all, so he took the parts away, promised a refund via the mail, provided a $500 off coupon only good at Sears, which we went to on that Friday night, where we found a great fridge, bought it, and are awaiting the earliest delivery date available – one month to the day from when we bought it (gasps for air). During all this time, without a working fridge in the house, we used our second fridge, the beer fridge, located in the workshop, which was very inconvenient. Picture yourself, if you will, walking out your back door, going over to your neighbor’s house, walking into their kitchen, getting butter from the fridge, and then making the return trip back to your house, and you can begin to understand what a pain in the ass this was, and after three weeks of doing that to discover that the new fridge would not arrive for 30 more days, well, I told Brian I couldn’t do it anymore, would he bring the old fridge from the workshop and put it on the back deck, so at least, it would be a shorter trip, but it is still a pain in the ass, and we are still weeks away from resolving the fridge dilemma. And, that is all I’m going to say about that.


Recently, my co-worker, work partner, the one who covered my job for me and me for her, submitted her resignation so she could work full-time for her husband’s company. We determined that I could handle the additional duties and we had about 6 weeks to train me before she departed. In theory, it was plenty of time. But then, consider that both of us worked four day workweeks. (She took a day off every week and I took a day off every week, but we never took the same day off as we covered each other’s jobs.) So, then we were down to 18 work days for me to learn her duties. Then, of course, I missed two additional days during that time for refrigerator service and she missed several additional days with a tooth problem and subsequent root canal. Her last day at the office was April 30, so since then, I’ve been on my own. I expect it will get easier as soon as I figure out what in the hell I am doing.


Spring is always a busy season for us, what with five acres and an old fixer-upper house and summer being generally too hot to do major outdoor work projects. As soon as the winter weather breaks we get outside and get busy. We’ll be on that track until sometime in July when the heat beats us to a pulp. One big project is almost done – new columns for the front porch. This is one project that has been on our list for seven years, but, you can see by the pictures that we couldn’t put it off anymore. We were getting very afraid the porch roof was going to collapse! We couldn’t find replacement columns in the style we wanted, so Brian built them himself. As soon as he gets them painted, I’ll post the pictures.