October: Remodeling, Gardening, Sewing, Decorating & Organizing

We did a little bit of everything this month at the Big White House on the Hill.

The most impressive or at least the most long-lasting has to be the MR’s ripping out the girls’ shower upstairs and starting the big bathroom remodel. After removing the washer and dryer last month, he tore out the old shower, added a new shelf and began hanging cement board. That brought us to the fun part–decision time. We had to figure out what tile we wanted and just how to hang it. The MR vetoed running the tile all the way to the ceiling (something about safety issues and a pile of work), and we settled on a lovely pattern. Since we chose ceramic tile, which is harder than stone, the MR went out and bought a new tile saw. This saw makes cleaner cuts, and doesn’t spray him with a ton of water, but it has left a dense layer of dust all over the upstairs. Good thing replacing the carpet was already in our plans.

So basically, the shower has gone through quite the change over the past few weeks.

Shower Collage

The MR is about half way done on the two side walls, but we’re loving the look so far. As you can see, the tile is much darker than my rendition. I don’t know if I just had the wrong color in my head or whether it looked a lot lighter in the bright light of downstairs than it does in the bathroom with just one small window. I promise you more photos when all the tile is up. Once the slanted section of wall behind the shower is freshly painted, it will look much more interesting than the drab white it is now. We still have a long way to go, but it’s coming along.

While the MR was making a mess and then rebuilding upstairs, I was adding a little fall spirit downstairs. While I don’t want to make the house really theme-y, I think it’s nice to add a touch of the season here and there, so I redid the mantel, made a fall table centerpiece, and added some cozy touches.

Fall Collage

I love the apples on the table and the gourds on the mantel. They add something real to the mix without having to be replaced constantly. It’s a good thing the dahlias have been prolific this fall; I’m on my fourth bouquet. Cocoa has taken a liking to the little plush pumpkin, so I had to move it up out of harms way.

I gave a shirt that I liked the looks of but hated on me a second chance at life by turning it into a cute pillow for the guest bedroom.

Pillow and Shams

The garden is winding down, but it still continues to produce. Every time I go out to pull the old vines, I find something new. We had our first hard frost on Monday, so we may be reaching the end, but I have hoops for a tunnel cloches on order. Maybe after six months the lettuce will get big enough to eat. (I did pick one head of lettuce, but I’m a little bitter and so was the lettuce.) While the cantaloupe were a success, the watermelon were a bit of a bust.

Melon Collage

The first cantaloupe was a bit underripe, so I let the rest sit on the counter for a bit and gave a bunch away. Somehow, they got lost among the 40 pounds of apples I was dealing with and two of them went bad, but the last one was tasty. The watermelon on the otherhand weren’t quite ripe. They were still sweet, just a little off colorwise. Maybe the smaller, icebox watermelons would be a better choice next year, or I could just be dreaming.

I do know next year will be a better year since it can’t be much worse. I sent off four small samples of dirt to the King Conservation District. In a few weeks, i should get an email detailing what ails my soil. We have differences of opinion on how helpful this will be, but I have faith it’ll at least point us in the right direction. And next year, our soil will be in much better shape.

Each season comes with its own challenges. Now that the sun is lower in the sky, on a sunny day, it beams in all day long. That means it’s around 85-degrees inside when it’s only 50-degrees outside. Apparently, ladybugs really like the sunshine and the heat. I bought a Ladybug Buster from Gardeners Supply, and the MR did some caulking around Sweet Miss’ heating unit. I’m hoping the march of the ladybugs will be a thing of the past in her room. I’ll just keep sweeping them up in the great room.

And finally, I spent some time in the kitchen and gave a few sack lunch tips and organizing ideas. I encouraged you to streamline your system, and make it as simple as possible. Baby Girl’s gluten-free bread was a headache to make when the special flours and supplies where in a jumble. Putting the flours in mason jars and clearly labeling everything keeps me organized and sane. I know if we’re out of garbanzo bean flour–the jar is empty. And I’m not buying bag after bag of white rice flour, because I think we’re out… Well, maybe I have to check the cupboard before I go shopping, but that’s another problem.

GF Clean Up Collage

A little organization can go a long ways to making your life easier.

Contrary to popular belief, not everything makes it into the blog. We had one sleepless night due to mice marching in the support beam over our bed. Since then, the MR has caught seven mice trying to make a home with us and added foam to all the cracks and crevices around the foundation. We’ve attended seven of the nine volleyball matches this month, and found a chiropractor in Oregon when Sweet Miss threw out her back. Our three fragile outdoor plants have come inside and promptly lost most of their leaves. We’ve tried our hand at homemade, gluten-free ravioli twice, and chased four deer up the driveway on a sunny Sunday afternoon.

I’ve taken photos of 25 potholders made out of old t-shirts that I’m toying with the idea of selling on Etsy. I spend Wednesday mornings with a great group of women at Bible study, and Thursdays, I get to pray with other moms for our high school and its students and teachers. Tuesdays I’ve been making new friends at knitting group and enjoying learning about all that’s going on in our town. It’s been a good fall full of ups and downs and little trials. But God is good, and I have a good life.

Hoping October sunshine smiled on you.

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2 thoughts on “October: Remodeling, Gardening, Sewing, Decorating & Organizing

  1. October was wonderful in Branson, MO with the changing of the leaves, and the trip to your MR’s sister’s home was fantastically beautiful in the Ozark and Boston Mountains of MO and Arkansas. We have attended several 7th grade volleyball games, and last night was the tournament, which was spectacular with volleys, but sadly our team lost the final game. We then rushed back to go trick-or-treating in the neighborhood. The young grandson got to go through 2 neighborhoods (1 while waiting at a friends for us to return from the game) and filled up 2 stacks for the evening. It was a great day, as I finished all Papa’s and my Christmas shopping for the TX family!!!!!

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