I realized after I wrote Our Story that it really didn’t tell you guys much about who we are or what this blog is focused on. There is nothing I love more then making something new and usable again that someone else would have thrown out or torn down. I’ve become so hard core in this fact that now when I see new things I don’t even like them. There’s no character there, no pride, no workmanship. Literally hell to me would be living in suburbia where all the houses look the same and there is no amount of “money worth” or “price tags” that could ever make me feel any different. Of course this isn’t true of all new things . . . when I showed Joe the new faucet and sink I had bought for our house he asked really sweetly, “Could those go in our master bathroom?” (The other sinks and faucets were antiques I had pulled out of one of our sheds.) And that was when I realized that I had become so hard core that something that was actually new felt really special to Joe. Sorry baby, lol.

I’ve always loved homes and architecture and I have literally spent hundreds of hours on my computer designing homes from the ground up using this program: Home Designer Suite 2016. I’m the girl that just drives around looking at houses for the fun of it but, until I faced that garage full of furniture left to me by my grandparents, I hadn’t yet truly found my passion. I loved the work – from the stripping, to the sanding to the final finish coat, I just loved it. I also come by all of this naturally as my grandparents’ retired to wood working after farming and that’s when the barn became their wood shop. Stanchions, once housing cows, were filled with oak and pine – they built everything from hutches to dressers to cabinets and benches, there was nothing my grandparents’ couldn’t build and they loved it.

You’ve probably already noticed that saving money, recycling, doing it ourselves and using what we already have is what we’re all about around here. Though I may just prefer an old buffet for my vanity the truth is that the cost savings is enormous! We built all of our kitchen cabinets and I don’t know if I would have had it any other way even if we could have afforded to buy new. After all the work we put into this house and after hand making so much, I think new kitchen cabinets would just not have seemed right. It has just always seemed wrong to buy something when I could build it, or replace something when we could use something we already had and that’s just how I’ve always been.

When I first started refinishing our old furniture I was often met with, “How do you know how to do that?” But what they really meant was, “Why would you want to when you can just go and buy one?” It seems like most folks just call someone when they need something done or just go buy a replacement and never once considered (or ever wanted) to do it themselves. I’m the opposite, I hate to call anyone and to have to pay someone to do it is about the worst case scenario in my life. I don’t like strangers in my home but, even worse, having to trust them to make the same decisions I would for the safety of my family is just something I find very hard to do. If we can do it instead then why wouldn’t we? And I’ve found there really isn’t anything Joe and I can’t do if we want it bad enough.

I know I give the impression that I’m not far from quitting my job, having eighteen kids and wearing house dresses every day but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Yes, Joe and I are firm believers in home made and growing (or harvesting) our food ourselves but that doesn’t mean we fear technology or don’t take full advantage of it. Neither one of us would have any interest whatsoever in turning back the clock and having to live without hot water, electricity or birth control, no thank you. About what it really comes down to is that we both hate being reliant on anyone or anything else and we both hate bills. I believe actually that with the help of technology we could leave a far better planet then the one we were born in. It’s just too bad that that wasn’t our goal as a society to begin with, imagine how far we would be with alternative energies if that was the case.

Joe and I both plan on dying in this home so all of our decisions are for the long term. We chose the most expensive insulation option of spray foam because we knew that it would pay for itself eventually. We plan on also looking into solar or wind power within the next couple of years because I would rather be paying that off then paying the electric company indefinitely. The big picture for us is simple: eliminate our bills and become self reliant. This blog, every post about our decisions and lives is about saving money by doing it ourselves, reusing and re-purposing so that, eventually, we can be working to live rather then working to work. I finally found the man of my dreams dammit, I want to spend more then two hours a day with him!

So that’s who we are and what this blog is all about! Self reliance, do it yourself, refinishing old furniture, re-purposing old pieces or building it from scratch instead of buying new and saving money every step of the way! Hopefully some of our ideas can help you with your own projects and save you some money along the way too! Trust me, if we can do it you can can too!