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On demand hot water heater, the good, the bad and th- WHY IS THE WATER COLD!?

Living with a whole house on demand hot water heater, how much it costs to run, how easy it is to install and what its like to live with, with well water.
Jun 26 2017 -

Now that its been a couple of years of living with an on demand hot water heater, I wanted to put in my two cents. When we renovated the house I really didn’t want anything to do with a regular hot water heater. A: they take up a ton of room and B: They run out! Seriously, it just seemed to me that common sense would say that heating the water ONLY when you need it would be a lot more economic then paying to keep a huge amount of water hot all of the time. So, how’s that been working out for us? Well, there’s a lot that goes into that answer! Read the rest of the post »

Peonies Gallery: Thank you Grandma for such a lovely gift!

A peonies gallery of my gorgeous peony blooms, pink, white, magenta and other perennial flowers that my Grandma planted over the last fifty years!
Jun 23 2017 -

A Peonies Gallery post and a few other blooms thanks to my Grandma! Along the south side of our 100 year old farm house my Grandma planted a row of peonies several decades ago. As the years went by and the health of my grandparents declined the peonies over grew with grass and were almost lost. I snatched as many as I could find nearly ten years ago and moved them to my mom’s house where they actually flourished until she moved to another home and we moved here to the old farm house. It only seemed right for me to dig them up, once again, and bring them back home where they belonged. Read the rest of the post »

To Grandma’s House we go! (Wednesday Link Party #41)

This link party is all about homemade, homemaking, DIY, recycling, upcycling, before and afters (of rooms, furniture, whatever), build projects, vintage.
Jun 21 2017 -

Oh I am so excited to post my peony gallery on Friday 🙂 We have three different colors this year and the blossoms are so big they can barely keep their heads up lol We have white, bumble gum and magenta! How are your gardens doing so far this year? This link party is all about homemade, homemaking, DIY, recycling, upcycling, before and afters (of rooms, furniture, whatever), build projects, vintage, any kind of creative, frugal, time saving, money saving or green advice, canning and old fashioned recipes. Going back to simpler times, simpler days where we used all that we had and never bought new until there was absolutely no choice. Read the rest of the post »

Kitchen tips: How I’m making meals out of what most people would throw away!

My favorite frugal kitchen tips and how I'm making meals out of what most people would throw away! making chicken broth our of nothing but kitchen scraps!
Jun 19 2017 -

This post is all about my favorite frugal kitchen tips! I save every single glass jar that comes with a decent lid. I can’t help it! Here’s the thing though, I use them CONSTANTLY. A big batch of stock to freeze? I fill up a bunch of jars and stick them in the freezer. Leftover soup? Yup it all goes in jars and gets frozen. One of my old plastic herb shakers finally breaks? Dump that garlic salt in a jar! (My entire seasoning cabinet will eventually be nothing but jars with green Parmesan container lids screwed on them.) Leftover bacon grease? Yup, it goes in a jar so I can use it later. Leftover every other kind of grease? That also goes in a jar and when the jar is full, it gets thrown away. So handy. I’ve also managed to collect 6 glass drinking “bottles” from my favorite organic tea that I spoil myself with from time to time now I always have one full of our water in my car at all times, which helps me avoid the impulse purchase of buying something to drink when I’m in town. Read the rest of the post »

Raccoons, pigeons and squirrels: Our home for the usually scorned

Night time visitors, feeding the raccoons, the squirrels and the pigeons, all are welcome on our farm
Jun 16 2017 -

This is just a little post about the raccoons we are happy to now have visiting us every night. Many of you that follow along on my blog here know that I have a full and complete “do no harm and leave no foot prints behind” policy. I am notorious for informing anyone on our property that if they kill it here I will MAKE them eat it. I don’t have any problem with hunting, raising or harvesting our/your own food and that is whether it is us (or the wild animals we share our farm with) as long is it is taken in necessity, quickly and with the least amount of waste possible. Read the rest of the post »

To Grandma’s House we go! (Wednesday Link Party #40)

This link party is all about homemade, homemaking, DIY, recycling, upcycling, before and afters (of rooms, furniture, whatever), build projects, vintage.
Jun 14 2017 -

This link party is all about homemade, homemaking, DIY, recycling, upcycling, before and afters (of rooms, furniture, whatever), build projects, vintage, any kind of creative, frugal, time saving, money saving or green advice, canning and old fashioned recipes. Going back to simpler times, simpler days where we used all that we had and never bought new until there was absolutely no choice. Read the rest of the post »

Flower boxes: Wood working DIY hanging flower boxes in our master!

How to build wood working DIY do it yourself hanging flower and planter boxes for your windows or anywhere with sisal rope
Jun 12 2017 -

This post is about how I built hanging flower boxes for our master bedroom! So this past winter I kinda went stir crazy with cabin fever. There really isn’t any explanation for it as we had an actually VERY short winter for us. But that doesn’t change the fact that I really did have a tough time personally. I just got so tired of the daily grind and the gray and the white and the never-seeing-the-sun and the every day being the same. Ugh. So, it occurred to me that maybe something green and growing in our master bedroom might just help brighten my winter days a little bit. So, I got to planning my flower boxes! Read the rest of the post »

New site design: Please bear with me while I work out the kinks!

Memorial day weekend at Grandma's House DIY, old barn watching a storm come in, blooming lilacs, farm spring photo gallery 2017
Jun 09 2017 -

Hey guys! I am so excited to have FINALLY finished coding our new site design! Many of you know that I’ve been a website designer for many many years (though I’m basically retired) I still enjoy designing WordPress templates from time to time and, goodness knows, being able to code has given me a jump here in blog land. But it also handicaps me in a way as well because, you see, I’ve been working on this new site design for over six months! When you’re able to code and truly start from scratch it is very easy to get kinda paralyzed and after working myself down to two complete designs I needed a good month to step away and not look at them anymore. Read the rest of the post »

To Grandma’s House we go! (Wednesday Link Party #39)

This link party is all about homemade, homemaking, DIY, recycling, upcycling, before and afters (of rooms, furniture, whatever), build projects, vintage.
Jun 07 2017 -

So summer has come with a bang to northern MN – we went from highs in the 40s to highs in the 80s in just a matter of days! Though my husband does not appreciate the heat at all I love it enough for the both of us. Welcome to the To Grandma’s House we go Link Party! This link party is all about homemade, homemaking, DIY, recycling, upcycling, before and afters (of rooms, furniture, whatever), build projects, vintage, any kind of creative, frugal, time saving, money saving or green advice, canning and old fashioned recipes. Going back to simpler times, simpler days where we used all that we had and never bought new until there was absolutely no choice. Read the rest of the post »

The Little House: Is finally complete! Before and after of the entire remodel!

After two weeks and $3,000 the little house remodel is finally complete! Come see the before and afters pics and how we did it fully diy!
Jun 05 2017 -

I am so excited to finally show you guys the before and after of the entire little house remodel! It took me about fifteen days in total to get this place up to snuff and around $3,000 to complete it. I had a serious plan and took a few hits when that plan collided with reality – I also tried a new product (styrofoam ceiling tiles!) for the ceiling in the main room and in the bathroom. I also purchased the most expensive plywood I have ever purchased (nearly $100 for a sheet!) that my husband helped me cut and get into place in the kitchen for the counter tops. Read the rest of the post »

Gallery: Memorial Day Weekend 2017

Memorial day weekend at Grandma's House DIY, old barn watching a storm come in, blooming lilacs, farm spring photo gallery 2017
Jun 02 2017 -

Joe and I both had a three day weekend over this last memorial day and Saturday was absolutely perfect. Over 70s in the sun it felt hot but the breeze was the cool promise of storms coming. We worked on our wood pile all morning together, him cutting and me splitting. We don’t cut down live trees and almost our entire pile right now was given to us by neighbors. The gift of heat in northern Minnesota where the temperatures can fall well into the minus thirties and beyond. We heat entirely with wood and, though it may seem early in the year to be worrying about next winter, quite frankly, it is never too early. It is the best kind of work, physical and very real in this age of digital everything. We take breaks periodically and sit together, bodies hot and sweaty, covered in saw dust and the smell of pine and oak, tamarack and elm. Read the rest of the post »

To Grandma’s House we go! (Wednesday Link Party #38)

This link party is all about homemade, homemaking, DIY, recycling, upcycling, before and afters (of rooms, furniture, whatever), build projects, vintage.
May 31 2017 -

How was your memorial day weekend? We had a delightful Saturday, the weather was perfect and Joe and I spent the morning together cutting up and splitting wood for next winter. I am always surprised by how gratifying the work is, I love us both coming together on breaks sweaty and covered in saw dust. I am also reminded during the work just how much I truly do love wood, its so beautiful and every piece is so unique. The weather turned on us after that and we watched it hale, downpour and blow seriously over Sunday and Monday. But it was nice to have a excuse (especially this time of the year!) to sit inside and, the universe knows, we needed the rain badly. Welcome to the To Grandma’s House we go Link Party! This link party is all about homemade, homemaking, DIY, recycling, upcycling, before and afters (of rooms, furniture, whatever), build projects, vintage, any kind of creative, frugal, time saving, money saving or green advice, canning and old fashioned recipes. Going back to simpler times, simpler days where we used all that we had and never bought new until there was absolutely no choice. Read the rest of the post »

The Little House: Wood working DIY mahogany counter tops out of plywood!

How to install a mahogany plywood counter tops do it yourself with plywood, poly acyrlic, sanding and a skill saw, beautiful diy inexpensive wood kitchen countertops!
May 29 2017 -

This is a tutorial on how I built the mahogany counter tops in the little house out of plywood. I was in a real pickle when it came to what I wanted to do with the counters in the little house. Normally I probably would have just run to Menards (or Lowes or Home Depot) and purchased stock laminate counter tops that they have on hand. But because I chose to put cabinets back to back I had a span of 48×60 inches to cover so if we wanted laminate counter tops they would have to be custom ordered and thus: too much a splurge for this little house. A big part of me wanted to just use barnwood like I did for the kitchen backsplash but I knew my mom would hate that and if she ever lived here she deserves the flattest smoothest counter that she could ever want. So, I was in a pickle. Read the rest of the post »

Stunning inspiration via Pinterest: Bathrooms to get lost in

The final reveal of our master bathroom with double slipper bathtub, buffet vanity and dark hardwood floors
May 26 2017 -

For those of you that follow me via Pinterest my very favorite board is my DIY Inspiration Board. This is the one where I let myself pin literally whatever I love when it comes to rooms. This is the board where all of the pins (at least for me) come right out of my dreams, like places from a fairy tale. My own home is a little less frilly, a little less boho, a little more subtle as I simply do not yet have the salt to be quite so bold. However, I am getting there, for every gorgeous place I pin, I am definitely becoming more bold and reaching for the true beauty of places like these that make my heart sing. Read the rest of the post »

To Grandma’s House we go! (Wednesday Link Party #37)

This link party is all about homemade, homemaking, DIY, recycling, upcycling, before and afters (of rooms, furniture, whatever), build projects, vintage.
May 24 2017 -

Well the weather here has proven once again that we do, indeed, live in northern Minnesota. The frosts, sleeting and nightmare wind we’ve been having has left my little seedlings in my garden looking incredibly sad and me incredibly guilty for getting them outside too soon. Life is always such a learning process and I had known I was taking a risk but I have lots of seeds so I can always replant! Welcome to the To Grandma’s House we go Link Party! This link party is all about homemade, homemaking, DIY, recycling, upcycling, before and afters (of rooms, furniture, whatever), build projects, vintage, any kind of creative, frugal, time saving, money saving or green advice, canning and old fashioned recipes. Going back to simpler times, simpler days where we used all that we had and never bought new until there was absolutely no choice. Read the rest of the post »

The Little House: Covering up a very ugly ceiling with Styrofoam ceiling tiles

Easy to install Styrofoam do it yourself ceiling tiles over an ugly ceiling, how to
May 22 2017 -

After you got past the horrific glare of the very pink foam insulation covered walls (and that EVERY THING was covered in spray foam) the next worst was probably the ceiling in the main room. This old place at one point was sheetrocked and professionally taped and mudded – the problem is they did not sheet rock the ceiling. Nope, that’s not sheet rock, its some kind of very old particle wood. After it was taped and mudded then acoustic ceiling tiles were stapled to the ceiling. I will never forget my sister-in-law telling me the story of how they went to the basement one night (to go to bed when they lived here over a decade ago) when a tremendous crash and insanity happened above them. Was it a break in? Did a tornado come through? What on earth could have made so much noise?! Read the rest of the post »

Free House Plan: Little Lake Cabin!

Free house plan of a 1,000 square foot small cabin home with two bedrooms and two bathrooms and an enormous living space with a huge country kitchen.
May 19 2017 -

When it comes to my specific spot on the map in Minnesota when folks talk about going “up north” or to their “lake cabin” or up “to the woods” well, that’s where we live. There really isn’t any “going up to the cabin” for Joe and I, that would just be silly, we literally live where a lot of people think of as a “vacation destination” of course it rarely feels like that! But, it is the truth, everywhere from us and north is pretty much it tourist central and national forests. We live close to a little town of only about 3,000 people but, in the summertime, it is estimated our population here explodes to over 10,000!! A lot of folks don’t live here year around and we even have a certain amount of businesses here that aren’t even OPEN year around. A lot of people who work in “the cities” dream of moving up to where we are someday and that’s what this little free house plan is devoted to: The Lake Cabin! Read the rest of the post »

To Grandma’s House we go! (Wednesday Link Party #36)

This link party is all about homemade, homemaking, DIY, recycling, upcycling, before and afters (of rooms, furniture, whatever), build projects, vintage.
May 17 2017 -

Happy Mother’s day to all you mom’s out there of both the human and fur-baby kind! My mom and I spent all of Monday together playing hooky from work and walking through modular homes just for the fun of it! Welcome to the To Grandma’s House we go Link Party! This link party is all about homemade, homemaking, DIY, recycling, upcycling, before and afters (of rooms, furniture, whatever), build projects, vintage, any kind of creative, frugal, time saving, money saving or green advice, canning and old fashioned recipes. Going back to simpler times, simpler days where we used all that we had and never bought new until there was absolutely no choice. Read the rest of the post »

The Little House: When a remodel timeline meets with reality

When a remodel plan meets reality during the little house renovation and remodeling, diy, do it yourself, how to organize and work through problems
May 15 2017 -

On April 10th I got up and, for the the first time in a VERY long time, I did not put on my “nice” clothes and head to my day job. Instead, I dug out my “work” clothes (torn up and stained jeans etc.) and, after a cup of coffee, I didn’t even have to get in my car to go to “work” that day, I just walked over to The Little House to begin the remodel. To quote my last post about this (to bring you up to speed on the place): “On the lot beside us this little place (all of 500 square feet) has gone through many “renovations” since my Grandpa built it. It was built for my Grandpa’s dad and then it also housed my Grandma’s dad for awhile. Way back then it didn’t have running water and was as simple as you can imagine: just a 300 square foot box with a dirt floor basement beneath it. Literally decades later my dad and brother dug a septic, a well and added a bathroom, a closet and a bedroom, insulated it, sheet rocked it and gave it new siding and shingles and added a little kitchen. They also poured concrete in the basement and carpeted the floor down there to increase the living space. Read the rest of the post »

Planting and spring on the farm in northern Minnesota

Spring in northern MN planting the garden, receiving flowers for no reason, loving each other
May 12 2017 -

A long long long time ago I was dating someone who sent me flowers one day when I was at work. A friend/co-worker came by (who knew the whole story) and said, “Oh what lovely I’m-sorry-I-was-an-ass-flowers!” And I remember thinking in that moment (as I threw those roses in the trash) that not only was I now a fully single gal but also that I had no interest in getting flowers ever again in my life for that reason. I wanted to get flowers for no reason other then I had someone who loved me. All of these things went through my mind last week when a dozen roses showed up and a note from Joe that simply said, “I love you.” Yup, No-reason-except-that-I-thought-of-you-flowers is absolutely how I roll and, fortunately, it is also how my husband rolls 🙂 Read the rest of the post »

To Grandma’s House we go! (Wednesday Link Party #35)

This link party is all about homemade, homemaking, DIY, recycling, upcycling, before and afters (of rooms, furniture, whatever), build projects, vintage.
May 10 2017 -

I don’t know about you guys but we have finally welcomed some very lovely and sunny weather and the real truth that spring has come with summer not far behind! Finally got my garden planted now I just hope my seedlings survive lol Welcome to the To Grandma’s House we go Link Party! This link party is all about homemade, homemaking, DIY, recycling, upcycling, before and afters (of rooms, furniture, whatever), build projects, vintage, any kind of creative, frugal, time saving, money saving or green advice, canning and old fashioned recipes. Going back to simpler times, simpler days where we used all that we had and never bought new until there was absolutely no choice. Read the rest of the post »

The Little House: A remodel plan and timeline, getting organized

When a remodel plan meets reality during the little house renovation and remodeling, diy, do it yourself, how to organize and work through problems
May 08 2017 -

If you’ve been hanging out here over the last couple of weeks then you know that my mom hired me to tackle the remodel of “the little house”. On the lot beside us this little place (all of 500 square feet) has gone through many “renovations” since my Grandpa built it. It was built for my Grandpa’s dad and then it also housed my Grandma’s dad for awhile. Way back then it didn’t have running water and was as simple as you can imagine: just a 300 square foot box with a dirt floor basement beneath it. Literally decades later my dad and brother dug a septic, a well and added a bathroom, a closet and a bedroom, insulated it, sheet rocked it and gave it new siding and shingles and added a little kitchen. They also poured concrete in the basement and carpeted the floor down there to increase the living space. I remember several friends and family living here on and off over the years (including my brother when he was first married) and then my dad lived here for the last ten years after my folks’ divorced. Read the rest of the post »

Hometalk: Green recipes you have to try right now!

Natural and green recipes for those places around our homes that we all struggle with! Weed killer, mosquito repellent, surface spray, bug, degreaser
May 05 2017 -

Many a time in trying to live a more natural life I have run into instances where the “natural” way might not even work at all. Do we live with the mosquito bites or do we slather our bodies in toxic chemicals? Do we live with pulling weeds the old fashioned way forever and forever or do we give in and finally just buy some round up for a couple of places in our yards? Oftentimes “convenience” is one very tempting mistress no matter how terrible we know it may be for us and the environment so here are a few (tried and true!) natural and green recipes for those places around our homes that we all struggle with! Read the rest of the post »

To Grandma’s House we go! (Wednesday Link Party #34)

This link party is all about homemade, homemaking, DIY, recycling, upcycling, before and afters (of rooms, furniture, whatever), build projects, vintage.
May 03 2017 -

I think I’m going to risk it and say: Spring is here! Maybe… hopefully… I really think so! So this will be the third time I’ve declared that spring is here and (hopefully) this won’t be the third time I’ve been proven wrong by snow 😉 This is also the third time I’ve said that I’m planting my garden this weekend lol! But they do say that the third time is the charm! Welcome to the To Grandma’s House we go Link Party! This link party is all about homemade, homemaking, DIY, recycling, upcycling, before and afters (of rooms, furniture, whatever), build projects, vintage, any kind of creative, frugal, time saving, money saving or green advice, canning and old fashioned recipes. Going back to simpler times, simpler days where we used all that we had and never bought new until there was absolutely no choice. Read the rest of the post »

How to DIY Build a small garden with railroad ties & the dangers of creosote.

A new vegetable garden made of railroad ties and how I made the gate and put a fence around it. Balancing the choice of toxic railroad ties for a garden.
May 01 2017 -

I’m going to jump right in here and talk about creosote and the dangers of railroad ties immediately because I know that’s going to be the center of the conversation because just about everyone has heard that railroad ties are toxic. But how toxic? And at what extent is what we’re hearing fear mongering and panic? And why, on earth, if there is any question at all, did I choose to use them around my vegetable garden? You all know me and know that I ere on the side of caution when it comes to our health. (Milk could actually be bad for us? I’m never bringing it in our home again. Possible toxic substances in dryer sheets? Never using them again.) The list for me goes on and on and on. Our health ALWAYS holds priority for me. So, why did I choose to use possibly toxic railroad ties around our vegetable garden? Read the rest of the post »

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Everything you see here on this blog the author has chosen to do so entirely at her own risk. And that is: risk to herself and risk to whatever she may be working on/her home and her own wallet. The author assumes absolutely no liability if you choose to follow in her foot steps and attempt anything you see on this website yourself. The author strongly urges you to do your due dilligence before attempting anything of a diy nature at home.

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