Category Archives: The Adventure

Tales from our travels

Catching up by phone

First of all I’d like to say “Thank you” for continuing to visit this little corner of the internet!! My posts seem to get farther and farther apart – somewhat because our life seems pretty mundane these days but mostly because it’s easier not to write a post than it is to write one! Just trying to keep it real here, friends! Since it’s been a couple of weeks since I last wrote, I thought I’d just look through my phone to see what I thought was interesting enough to document. And in that looking back I realized I’ve done a really poor job of photo-documenting some of the really important stuff!
So work – SOWER work that is!
We ladies have been largely working with housekeeping – making beds and getting rooms ready for guests. No pictures of that, but surely you can imagine the whole bed-making process. =) On the Fourth we were pulled into the kitchen, and that was super fun!
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Did you catch the whole red-white-and-blue theme of our attire?? Always working on getting in the spirit! It wasn’t all work, though and we did enjoy a yummy chicken BBQ
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and later in the day sported our matching (though you probably can’t see them) flag earrings!
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The guys have been busy working on that walk-in room.
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Framing approved and on to the insulation

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Insulation approved and on to the drywall….
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The drywall has passed inspection and hopefully sometime this week they will actually be able to start constructing the walk-in!! (I’m home alone this lovely Saturday morning, and I’m pretty sure that Gary is down tapin’ and muddin’ that drywall!)
So in a nutshell – this SOWER project has gone by in a flash, and with just one week to go, it will be sad to see our co-workers head off.
In Non-Work news, we took a little road trip last weekend up to the cabin (YIPPEE!!!!) for our annual Dwinell Cabin Association meeting. This is where I really fell down in photo-documenting it! No pictures of the cabin, no big group picture, no pictures of the friends we got to see along the way. Ugh. BUT – regardless of my sad photo taking, there were a couple of pictures on the phone from the weekend.
Like the produce at the Farmer’s Market in Ludlow, VT
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or the beautiful VT highway, with its lovely lack of traffic –
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or a candid shot from our meeting.
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What I failed to take pictures of are all the sweet moments we spent with friends and family. But maybe it’s just that I was too busy enjoying the time to get out the camera. Yep, I know that’s the case! Those wonderful memories are best stored in our hearts anyway, right?

Well, in the interest of getting something accomplished today, I’d best hit the ‘publish’ button on this.  I did just return from tracking down my sweet hubby, and sure enough –
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he’s been playing in the mud!

Thanks for stopping by!
Steph
 

Finally!

We weren’t sure we’d ever get here!! As our Waco Reno project stretched from April to May to June – we didn’t know when we’d be able to finally get to our summer SOWER project – Montrose Bible Conference. But here we are, and I’m happy to report that for the first time in a long time I’ve spent the last four days doing pretty much nuttin’. No alarms, no paint brushes, no trips to Lowes. We’ve been hanging around home, taking care of long-ignored house chores, doing a bit of sewing, and catching up on old episodes of Big Valley and Laramie. Ahhhh……

Back to SOWER work tomorrow! Yippee!! We’re working with two other couples so it should be a fun month. The guys will be working on the construction of a new walk-in freezer
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(Yep, there’s lots of steps to go to make it a reality!)
and we ladies will be helping out with housekeeping and kitchen work. I’m pretty experienced in that – and I’m pretty happy no one has mentioned the word “paint”.
Phew.

Have a blessed week, everyone!
Steph

Wrapping up the Reno

In all fairness, this wasn’t a traditional ‘renovation’. No walls were moved, no windows replaced and no floors were ripped up.  The really important part of this reno is invisible to the naked eye, since it is all inside the walls or in the attic.
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But as to the parts that you CAN see – I thought I’d share a couple of “before” and “afters” before I share some other Really Big News!
Closets aren’t the most exciting spaces in any house, but I really enjoyed rehabbing these two spaces right down to the shiplap!
Hall Closet before:
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Hall Closet after:
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Upstairs attic before –
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and After –
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Then there were the two bathrooms. In all honestly they both could’ve used an big update. But that wasn’t really in the cards (or budget!). So with the first floor bath we painted and changed up the mirror just a bit and basically shined the place up!
Here it is before we started –
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And here it is After (Photo by the realtor’s photographer!)
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The upstairs bathroom had all sorts of complications – a claw foot tub, a green ceiling, louvered doors on the closet….it really was just more than I could wrap my head around. So I took down the shower curtain, gave everything a good cleaning and shine and called it a day. When I saw the photo from the photographer, I was very pleased!! Still needs to be updated, but it really didn’t look too bad!
Upstairs bath
Our other big – and last to get done – project were the stairs to the second floor. The carpet had been removed years ago, and there was just never a good time to deal with refinishing or painting those stairs.
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We put it off until the end because there STILL wasn’t a good time to tie up those stairs. So there was a pretty hard push at the end to get three coats of paint and then three coast of polyurethane on those steps. But when it was all said and done – we were very pleased!
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Oh – and the shed!! We can’t take credit for the actual painting of the shed (the house painters did that!), but my how pleased we are with the change it made!
Before –
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After –
Shed Painted

HERE’S a link to the listing with all the photographs that were taken by the realtor’s photographer. Even I was like – this is MY house?????

OK – enough “before” and “afters”. The whole house was quite transformed, even without any walls being moved or rooms being redesigned. The “Coming Soon” sign when up last Wednesday and it was supposed to be officially listed on Tuesday (19th). By special permission an out of town buyer came to see in on Friday night. His realtor had another couple interested in it so they took an early look also. By Saturday morning, three days before it was officially listed, we had a full asking price/no contingencies offer. We signed the papers on Monday (after we put a final coat of polyurethane on those stairs!), and baring any unforeseen complications, settlement is scheduled for early August. Our heads are kinda spinning right now – but one thing we are doing is packing up and moving on out!! Pennsylvania (with a stop in Ohio to hug some grandkids (and their parents!)) here we come!!
Thanks for coming along on this Waco Reno journey!
Steph

Sorry – here’s one more of the front of the house…..
Before –
After –

Big Week in Waco

I can’t say it was a big week in Waco for everyone, but it was a big week for us at the Waco Reno!

  • We made big progress on the electric upgrade front. After passing our Temporary Final Inspection (who knew there was such a thing), the electric company came and actually moved the service to the new meter and breaker box.
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    This was a really big step forward because it not only meant that we (who am I kidding here – there is no WE in the electric department. It’s all Gary!) could move forward with finishing up the whole upgrade, but we now had enough power to run the central A/C.  (And in central Texas in June, that’s a very good thing!)  By the middle of the week, the Final Final was Finally Done!!! Yippee!! It was a long road getting here, but the house is all up to code!
  • The house painting is moving right along! It was several weeks of getting it ready to paint (they started before I left for my Girls’ Week smorgasbord) so it was wonderful to see the paint arrive Untitledand the color going on!
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    I’m going to wait until it’s all done to share a the “big reveal”, but here’s a quick preview of the porch
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    I’m really excited about how it’s coming out!  They should be done by mid-week. =)
  • The insulation guy and the gutter guy will be here by the end of the week, and that will be the end of the contract work we have scheduled.  That also means that the rest of the work will fall to us.
  • We signed with a realtor and set a target date of June 19th to have it all photographed and listed on the MLS. Yikes!! That’s just over a week to get all the finishing touches done, along with getting all of OUR stuff (mostly tools and supplies) out of the house.
  • I believe that to the best of our ability, the second floor is done. The walls and trim have all been painted. All the doors work (not always a given in a 100 year old house), the windows have been washed, and floors (though not perfect by any means) are as clean as I can get them.   If you have a couple of minutes – here’s a little video tour of the second floor!

So the next ten days will pretty busy too!! But I do believe we can see the end of the tunnel much more clearly now!

Thanks for stopping by!

Steph

Trains and Planes and Automobiles

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Were you ever part of a progressive dinner? You remember them – you went to the Jones for appetizers, the Smith’s for the main course, and then the Johnson’s for dessert. This year for our traditional Girls’ Week we set out on a grand progressive road trip! For me the pre-appetizer started with actually GETTING to Pennsylvania (since we seem to be in an endless renovation loop here in Waco), and spending a bit of time with my sister Joie. From there we headed on to our main appetizer –  Vermont!

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“We’re coming, Elna!”

We rested a day in Bradford with Elna, worshiping with her and getting in a quick Cabin-Fix,
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before we piled in the car to head for our main course – our Canadian Family in Cobourg, Ontario.
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That’s our step-mom (Jo-Jo) and her two daughters (Susan and Sally)on the left. (Elna is not taking the picture – sadly she  was back at the house suffering with a nasty cold.)

Apart from Elna’s cold, we had a perfectly lovely time! We stayed at our step-brother’s home (who was not able to make the ‘party’) which is less than a block from Lake Ontario.
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That’s the view from his front step!
And right at the end of the street….
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Our dear Jo-Jo was in the process of making a move from her sweet Cobourg home to an apartment in Toronto to be nearer to her kids, grands and greats, so it worked well that we weren’t underfoot at her house all the time. We were so delighted that her daughters, Susan and Sally, were able to come for two days and together we helped get some of her items ready for the move.
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Some of those lovely ironstone dishes may or may not have crossed the border back to the US with us.  Just sayin’.
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Of course it wasn’t all work. There was lots of laughter too, as we caught up with each other’s lives and shared memories of Dad. On our last afternoon there, after a quick storm cleared the air, Jo-Jo took us on a lovely drive through the countryside and eventually looping back  to the lake shore. This is such a beautiful area!
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It was a delight spending time with family we don’t get to see very often, and our time there passed quickly.
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(Our official GW19 photo – Elna was finally feeling better!)

Friday morning we sisters were back in the car, and heading back to the USA for our ‘dessert’ course – our final weekend in Bradford.  Although we slept at Elna’s house, most of our time was spent at the Cabin (of course!). There is nothing like the Cabin in the springtime!
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Ahhhhhhh……
Monday morning Joie and I were on our way back to Pennsylvania, and Tuesday I did the whole train-plane-automobile combo to get me back Waco. (Where I had my second dessert – being back home with my honey!)

This indeed was a Girls’ Week to remember!
So many miles (over 5000 total for me), but oh so many smiles (countless!).

If you’d like to see a few more pictures of our adventure you can check ’em out HERE (for the GW19 pix) or HERE (for the Cabin shots!)