Browsed by
Tag: houseblog

rewind: find the kind sign

rewind: find the kind sign

wow, it feels like i haven’t blogged in 39,589,503 years, since so much has happened in the news world. quitting facebook just means more doomscrolling on twitter for me, but at least i don’t have to look at the stupid stuff that people i know are posting. i can blissfully imagine they live the perfect lib/hippie life.

speaking of the lib/hippie life! my “be kind” sign was stolen last weekend, along with the biden signs from the two houses in my neighborhood that had them out in their yard. apparently being kind is a partisan, liberal viewpoint. go figure.

(i mean, i did figure that when i was totally nervous about sticking it out at the end of my driveway in the middle of trump country. but seriously, a rebuttal of “how can anyone be against kindness?!?!?” would always work with any kindness naysayers.)

anyway, my sign was stolen saturday night, and i was understandably annoyed! i actually spent money on my sign, unlike all those DT signs and flags that just get thrown off the trump train for anyone to display. so i decided to file a police complaint. i ended up emailing the avon PD general email address.


I’m not sure if this is something you’d like reported or not, but I had a yard sign stolen last night (Saturday, Oct. 3-Sunday Oct. 3) at 15594 Parkwood Circle. Mine was rather non-political and only said “Be Kind”, but I did notice all the democratic candidate signs in my neighborhood are also missing.
Let me know if you need anything else or if there is something you recommend I do if I replace the sign.
Thank you!
then, since i live outside of avon proper and in the township, they sent it to the stearns county sheriff’s office, along with a note that said my theft coincides with several other complaints. here’s what the sheriff’s office had to say (can i just say that sheriff is a weird word and i can never remember if it’s two Rs or two Fs).
Thank you for the email Kate.   Obviously this election season has been like no other.  {With that we have seen campaign sign theft at levels I have not seen in my almost 30 years.  It started out as even between the two parties to begin with but in recent weeks has tipped considerably to democratic signs being taken or vandalized.}  Regardless, with your sign, frankly I would suggest putting a new one up after November 3rd.  If you are concerned it might be taken again you could always think about putting up a game camera close to the area and hope it captures an image of the thieves.

(bracketed section is my big takeaway from his email.)

what’s funny about his game camera recommendation was that that was my first thought when trying to catch thieves, and i thought, i bet that’s what’s recommended to me. and, it turns out, game cams are relatively cheap compared to the camera doorbell that i thought of for a useful, second option.

all that to say, i have two more signs coming to me in the mail.

while i wait, i’m trying to think of ways to deter theft. add a sticker that says “stealing isn’t kind”? cover the thing in spray glue and glitter so it’s gross and tacky? spray it with capsaicin? spray glue, glitter, AND capsaicin? actually get a camera out there to catch the thieves? take my sister’s advice and put a motion-activated screaming halloween thing in the tree above it?

or just let it be and let it speak for itself?

but really, if you need to steal a be kind sign to make you feel better about voting for your guy come november, maybe it’s time to reassess and take a look inward.

in which i paint my cabinets and say “good enough”

in which i paint my cabinets and say “good enough”

when a famous* DIYer comes to visit you, you need to do some DIY, amirite?

i initially asked liz to come visit me to help with something on my roof and go for a run int he woods. then she she stuck the bug in my head to paint my cabinets, even sending me a link to an easy, no-sanding recipe for success. at first i was hesitant – so much work. but the allure of having a helper (nate is no help. he’s more hindrance in home projects) was too much.

so i read the info about how to do this, then made a commitment by taking off my cabinet doors. first, a couple before pics.

my kitchen was classic mid-90s maple. when i moved in, the hardware was gold, if that gives you an idea of how awesomely stuck in the 90s my house was. the hardware change out helped, but the maple is so overwhelming. so, like i said, i took off the doors and committed to a change.

tips for door removal:

  • use some painters tape to number the doors and cabinets. i numbered my lower doors, lettered the upper doors, and roman numeraled the drawers.
  • put the hardware for each section in a baggie and place it in the cabinet/drawer.
  • don’t make a big deal out of not getting the doors exactly even when putting them back on – i’m not a professional cabinet hanger, and neither are you. i doubt anyone will notice.

(not the little red apple thing next to the sink – canning season means fruitfly overload, and they were super annoying.)

then i stopped menards to pick the items needed for my painting project:

  • fancy cabinet paint (i bought $50/gallon dutchboy semi-gloss cabinet paint)
  • primer
  • deglosser
  • paint sprayer
  • a $13 edging paintbrush

i thought i needed two gallons of paint and ended up spending $300. oy. expensive project. good thing menards had their rebate going on.

so, liz showed up and we got to work on saturday. the prep work is the WORST. anyone who’s painted anything knows it’s the worst.

  1. cleaning. before liz showed up, i started spraying all my cabinet doors with 409 to degrease them, then wiped them off. liz cleaned off all the indoor surfaces with dishsoap and a non-abrasive scrubby.
  2. deglossing. the source i used as a basis for this project said this should take the place of sanding. except, the directions were pretty sparse, and the couple videos i watched about deglossing just wiped down the surface. i’m not sure if it actually worked or not, but we deglossed all the surfaces.
  3. sanding. as a precaution, we lightly sanded all the doors. we figured these were going to be the high-touch pieces and needed a little more help with the paint sticking. we just stuck with deglossing the indoor surfaces.
  4. between each step, all the doors needed to be wiped off.
  5. threw some dropcloth down on the garage floor and elevated all the doors on dixie cups (this was a good tip).

at this point, i was already exhausted and over painting my cabinets and wanted to give up. but you can’t just put sanded doors back on the cabinets and call it good. so it was time to paint.

it’s at this point i realized a grave mistake i had made. when perusing the paint sprayers, i picked the one that said it was good for small projects.

(a wagner control spray)

this is not a small project.

it took me 2 hours to spray primer on one side of all the doors. UGH.

that was enough of that. liz was still priming the indoors, but i told her to quit because it was break time. meaning, time for a 4-mile run in the woods. not much of a break, but at least it wasn’t painting related. we got back from the run, then headed into st. cloud where we went to menards and got the big-girl sprayer.

this wagner boasted 8X faster than a paintbrush. that sad first one didn’t even say it was faster than a paintbrush. i actually think it was slower than a paintbrush.

after scarfing down some 5 guys, i headed out to try out my new 8X SPRAYER and ho boy did it ever deliver. i did the first coat of cabinet paint in TWENTY MINUTES.

so, notes on paint sprayers:

  • don’t skimp
  • wear a mask when spraying
  • wear your earmuffs you wear for mowing the lawn or snowblowing. your ears will be grateful

after my coat was done, i went in to help liz finish up the first coat of paint on the inside surfaces. i have to admit, i am a horrible painter, and liz can attest to that. i get paint where it shouldn’t be, i am no good at edging, and i splatter everywhere. but we got through it. man, cabinet contents are messy. at least mine are.

then, mercifully, we called it quits at about 11. i had a beer and passed out.

the next morning, we did the second coat indoors, because i knew the backs of the doors would be a piece of cake with my awesome sprayer. we finished up in about 2 hours. after liz left, i primed and painted the backs.

tonight, i hung all the doors back on the cabinets, which took me about 2 hours to do. like i said, i’m not a professional cabinet installer, so the doors are slightly uneven and at this point i don’t even care, because


i polyurethaned the sides of the cabinets next to the stove and above the sink where my liquor cabinet lives. use water-based! i made the mistake of using oil-based for my side buffet and it turned yellow.

so, what else needs to be done?

  • a couple touchups on the doors where i banged them while trying to get them back on. life needs a control-Z
  • i need to spraypaint my stove hood. at least it’s not 80s almond color and sort of blends in, but i’ll need to change it sometime. while i’m at it, i’m going to look into wiring my under-cabinet lights with it. (for some reason, electrical projects are much easier for me to handle than big paint projects.)
  • i’m going to paint my walls a less vibrant color. i’m thinking a grey-blue or grey-green. i’m hoping to get that done in the next month.
  • and MAN my FLOOR is AWFUL. (that spot is a burn mark from the previous owner.) i might leave that to a professional and do my entire kitchen and weird dining/office area.

i also ended up using just one gallon of primer and paint and was able to return them, along with a couple other things, and saved myself $100 on paint, which is what i had spent on my fancy sprayer, but oh well. at least i saved a crapton of time. i’m going to try to sell the weeny sprayer to some unsuspecting craigslist killer.

let’s take another look, just because.


*she COULD be famous if she’d blog abut her DIY escapades.

home reno!

home reno!

almost a year ago, nate and i bought our house. one of the perks of buying a house built in 1997 is that you got a sweet corner desk for the family computer.
and while it’s been working for the past year to hold some random stuff and the microwave, it was time to say goodbye to the desk. it jsut wasn’t functional for nate and me (or anyone this time and age, frankly).
i went to menards and bought a couple wall cabinets, sanded them down, and painted them. also found a cabinet on facebook marketplace that was about 5 inches shorter than the wall width, which was ok since i wasn’t going to move my outlets. sanded that bad boy was well and painted it. i’m not sure i’m sold on cabinet paint, but it is what it is.
took out the corner cabinet, sanded down some of the wall, and painted it to match the rest of the kitchen.
then charlie came up this weekend to help hang the cabinets.
got everything squared away (literally), and it looks SO much better. much more functional, too. the only thing that i would like is a better way to deal with the outlets, but that requires either paying someone to move some electrical or learning electrical myself.*
tomorrow i’m replacing the fences so it’s not so dark over there and just have to patch up a few paint nicks and figure out if i need some trim along the shelves. not entirely worried about it though.
next up is to paint the rest of my kitchen cabinets. and replace the floor. yuck!
*actually, i should take intro to electrical at work. and intro to plumbing. i get free credits!

houseblog update!

houseblog update!

here’s a politiblog break! (i am ready to be done with this election, but i am also REALLY looking forward to the next debate OMG)

  1. pained the kitchen today! it was a really dark purple, so i had to get some primer to cover up the overwhelming purple color before painting it. it looks so much better, and you actually notice the backsplash now.
  2. i got some peach paint for the entryway, which i’m now kind of regretting since the door, trim, and flooring in front of the door is all kind of peachy. oh well. i’ll paint and see what happens. 
  3. HAMMOCK TIME (srsly, that hammock was worth it)
  4. hung some pictures! that’s exciting. 
  5. installed a ceiling fan in the bedroom to help air circulation. that’s always such a pain to do, but it was worth it.
  6. READY FOR FALL DECOR (gonna happen this week)


well hello there!

well hello there!

there was a week wait list to get internet at our new house *eyeroll*
i feel like i’ve been away too long, but not much has happened. of course we moved, and of course i like to unpack everything all at once, so now all the boxes are unpacked. i think the only thing left to put together is the table, which might end up looking a little awkward in its space. oh well. 
BUT, here’s what’s been done so far:

  1. hardware replaced in kitchen and bathroom. i actually feel halfway decent about the cupboards now.
  2. fridge ordered and arriving on saturday!
  3. stove ordered and arriving mid october!
  4. new grill
  5. ceiling fan purchased for bedroom
  6. new toilet seat (ugh the old one was too pointy)
  7. hammock hung! (WOO!)
  8. a couple apples eaten
  9. and of course, internet finally installed

gotta install that fan and replace the hideous ceiling fan in the dining/office with something (anything) else. the trees are nice. the isolation is nice. i like it!



i’ve come to the realization that any house nate and i buy will have issues attached. (or, so far).
when we bought our house in st. joe, it was bank owned and they required a bank quote through them before we put together a purchase agreement. (which, looking back, is that legal?) we didn’t have to go through the bank, but we did need to meet with them and go through the process again.
when we purchased our house in st. charles, there was a government shutdown, and our rural development loan took an extra three weeks to process. thanks to this, we couldn’t technically close on the house until the government opened again, which was about two-three weeks after our original close date. thankfully, the house was contractor owned and he let us move in early (we had to be out of our apartment).
this time, my goodness. everything is good on our end as far as our loan and ready to go. the house we’re selling though, omg. the lender didn’t send in the rural development loan until the day before scheduled closing (normally they like a couple weeks). thankfully it came back the next day, but it was selected for a random audit! then that went through about 5 hours before MY scheduled house closing up here, but the lender needed it to go through quality control first. if this were a local bank instead of a national bank, it might’ve made it. but it was a national bank and they don’t like to do things out of order.
so, now, we’re waiting on the lender of the st. charles house buyer to get the money to the title company so they can close so we can get our loan and we can close.
hopefully this will be the last time we do this for a while, so i guess i’ll deal for now.

where did summer go?

where did summer go?

my house in st. charles is almost empty, and on wednesday, we pack up the uhaul and head north. today, nate and i each drove up a vehicle full of stuff to drop in the storage unit. 
it’s been a long four months, and i’d like to know: where did my summer go?
it’s hard to ignore the fields of corn on my drive. when i left in may, they were barely shoots of green out of the earth. today the leaves were starting to tinge yellow, a message that harvest season will be here soon. 
the trees were just budding out in may, turning the brilliant shades of green, yellow, and light-orange that springtime trees do before heading into the dark, full green of summertime. today, they were starting to pull back from summertime green, starting to once again showing their true colors. if you’d asked me if the trees were spring of fall based on color alone, i mightn’t’ve been able to tell you. 
there is just a hint of fall in the air, though you wouldn’t know it from today’s weather. generally though, the nights are a bit cooler and the next week’s forecast looks set to be truly septemberish.
i’m sad i missed summer, in a way. but i’m looking forward to being in one place for fall, and especially a place resplendent in yellow aspen and trees reflecting off the lakes. and in my backyard 😀

house list

house list

Roof contractors Kansas city mo will work with your budget to make sure you get the affordable, reliable, and prompt home repair you need when an emergency strikes.
houseblog is overwhelming!
anyway, here are things i know i want to do right away:
faucets – bathroom and kitchen
replace the cabinet hardware
replace the light fixtures in the kitchen?
put in a ceiling fan in master bedroom
replace light fixture in guest room (i have one at home i’m bringing)
replace ceiling fan in dining area?
take out the 90s-era family desk!
now, not sure how much of that i’ll be able to do, but goodness i need to get rid of that electric coil stove ASAP.

offer accepted!

offer accepted!

after a dual-offer scenario (*eyeroll*), nate and i got the house we wanted in avon in the country. next up is the inspection and appraisal, which may or may not go well. we’ll see what happens. 
anyway, we have a closing date set for sept. 9, which is the day after our house in st. charles closes**. that means that hopefully we can just rent a uhaul once! woohoo! 
of course, after we heard about the two offers thing, i jumped to the immediate conclusion that we weren’t going to get this house, and so nate and i started looking at other houses in the area. we found a farmhouse and couple outbuildings on almost 9 acres just south of where i’m staying now that would have been fine had this one not gone through. 
the house was 100 years old though, and even though it’s recently been remodeled, you do have to wonder how efficient it would be. i asked my dad* after purchasing my last house about age in homes, and he said given his druthers, he’d almost always choose the newer home as being more efficient, even after remodels. 
so i have that going for me.
* he knows construction!
**the contingency is off that house, which is a relief. i thought that guy was going to back out. although he does get my wall-mounted speakers, which is super annoying. grrr.



yesterday jane came with me to look at a couple houses. two of them had two completely different feelings to them. one of the houses was secluded and wooded. it could’ve been like i was up north at a cabin. the second house was on a lake, and not quite so secluded. but the lot was large, and the lake was there. it was like being in the new london lake country. both appealed to me. both were great. i can’t decide what i like better!
my realtor asked what my deal was with lakes – why would i want to live on a lake? she knew i grew up on a farm(ish), so what’s with the lake? i looked at jane, and said “well, we graduated from new london-spicer…”
“oh! say no more.” 
tonight i’m looking at another lake home. property taxes are killer. *sigh*
Screen Shot 2016-07-27 at 5.26.39 PM

%d bloggers like this: