Taking the house my mom grew up in, the farm my grandparents shared for over fifty years and making it a home for us to grow old in.

70 degrees in November and basement updates!

We’re having weather temperatures here in November the likes of which have rarely been seen. This is northern Minnesota, any calendar you buy for this state I guarantee the picture for the month of November has snow on the ground. This last weekend it hit 70 degrees! Weirdly it has made Joe and I both antsy, bored and almost crabby. What is it we actually want to be doing? No idea. But I think its the weather messing with our heads. Is it spring? Should I be planting seeds? I certainly need to be doing something if its spring! I have to admit that this just isn’t normal no matter how much I love it, I worked myself into a total stupor on Saturday and could barely walk by the time supper came around and yet I still felt bored and antsy like I couldn’t sit!

November in northern Minnesota and two sinks installed in the basement

It was Joe’s idea to have a bon fire Saturday evening and it was perfect. There was no wind, no clouds, nothing but an endless stream of Canada geese flying over head. My mom stopped by and enjoyed the fire with us for awhile as it cooled off and remarked, “It could be 90 degrees colder then this.” She’s right. I remember plenty of Novembers hitting -20 degrees outside. With a little ibuprofen, a good supper and a couple of strong drinks I was able to cuddle up by the fire with my man and enjoy our time alone together. Most of the time it feels like such a precious thing.

November in northern Minnesota and two sinks installed in the basement

The weekend before Joe helped me install the five thousand pound ancient and incredible cast iron sink in the basement bathroom after I had finished the counter top for it. (You can see more about that in my earlier post: Covering walls with pallet wood: The basement bathroom renovation.) I also installed the kitchen sink down there that weekend after I finished the counter top for that. Then, all last week, with Joe working out of town, I spent the majority of my nights tacking on the last of pallet wood on the walls and cleaning cleaning cleaning. Both sinks (as you can see from the pics), my mom’s old refrigerator and my grandma’s old stove were utterly and completely disgustingly filthy. Everything had survived the renovation with us and had been shifted from one room to another and then finally the garage for months collecting everything from mold (in every color of the rainbow) and dirt. I still need to tackle cleaning the shower/tub down there but I was sick of it at that point so I bought a case of beer, plugged in the refrigerator and dubbed it “Our beer ‘fridge”. I went ahead Thursday night and built a shelf as well.

November in northern Minnesota and two sinks installed in the basement
November in northern Minnesota and two sinks installed in the basement

The shelf unit was as simple as simple gets when it came to construction. I had spotted and kept safe two sets of large bifold closet doors that my grandpa had saved and removed the hardware from out in the barn. They were big and just perfect for shelves so I basically just built two ladders out of some leftover 2x6s I had to support them on either side. I wanted the shelf to be BIG and RUGGED. Tools weigh a lot, I didn’t want to have to worry about stability. I also didn’t want to attach the shelves to the wall at all just in case I want to move it at some point – I am still struggling to come up with an efficient floor plan for this basement. Last week I basically threw in the towel and just decided to bring all of my sh*t down here and then figure it out. Hence why I ran my poor feet right off on Saturday: I hauled every last thing I own out of the garage and down to the basement and put it all on that shelf.

November in northern Minnesota and two sinks installed in the basement

With all of my stuff out of the garage, for the first time, Joe now has a place for all of his tools too! (Not to mention his hunting and fishing gear etc.) I am so excited for him! We had six upper kitchen cabinets and two lowers that I got for free years ago that we ended up not using in the house so I gave them to him. We hung and installed them, creating a massive tool bench out in the garage with an insane amount of storage and darn it if I’m not a tad jealous 😉 To create the bench we put a lower cabinet on either end and screwed down a eight foot by two foot long closet door Grandpa had made our of 3/4″ plywood. It made a perfect “counter top” and turned out really cool.

In the pile of stuff I hauled to the basement there were two sound systems and a big stereo/cd player I’ve had since I was 15. I have been in a conundrum on what to do with them so it only seemed right to hang them all up in the basement. Folks, I could have a dance club down there now. OH. MY. GOSH. The amazing sound! Anyone who knows me knows that I have music playing constantly, whether working on the house or in my car, music is ALWAYS on. It was so amazing I sat down in the middle of the basement and just listened to a few of my favorite songs and, I’m not joking, it was almost a religious experience, I cried! WOW. All I can do is apologize to my husband and be very glad we don’t have close neighbors because it is going to be on ALL. OF. THE. TIME. And I am most certainly going to need to get some seating down there!

So, what’s left? Ok I need to get and install a toilet in the bathroom and finish and hang a door for it as well as a door for the utility room. I STILL need to fix the staircase but I put my table saw together last night so that should help me with the stairs by a lot. Joe helped me hang the kitchen cabinets but I still have a small counter top to build before all of the kitchen is finished and I am planning on sanding down the wood counter tops I built down here and staining and sealing them. Also, I had an idea: I have these extremely heavy rubber mats for livestock in a pile behind our garage that I’m thinking on bringing down here and covering the majority of the floor with because: Concrete is hard on the back AND they’re going to waste otherwise. And, of course, I also need to go THROUGH all of my tools and get to organizing etc.

How’s the weather where you’re at?! Is it as crazy warm as it is here?!

November in northern Minnesota and two sinks installed in the basementMake money by shopping online by using Ebates!

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2 Comments

  1. November 11, 2016 at 3:02 am

    Getting all you stuff together so you can see it is great. Looking forward to your next post. Music in place, sinks in, great storage shelves.
    Joy

    • November 11, 2016 at 5:58 pm

      Thanks Joy, it is definitely one step at a time but its finally starting to come together!

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