Preparing our table for family meals and happy times!

Oct 23 2015
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The way the light shines into our new home in the mornings is truly something to behold now that fall has come to us. When you’re this far north there is a quality to the sunshine this time of the year that takes a turn, where the shadows (practically all day) are always long and deep and the sunlight is cold and blinding. My dad called me the other day to complain that he waited two hours one afternoon for the sun to go down so he could safely back his trailer up to his house, he gave up and saved it for the morning, the blinding factor was so extreme that he had to call just to tell me all about it. Of course I already knew. I have three hours of day light now when I get home from work but the shadows are so deep at that point and so extreme that I really only have about one hour of work (at best) in the garage until I have to reach for some artificial light. I have been planning a complete kitchen reveal (like I’ve been planning complete room reveals since we began this renovation and I started this blog) but there is a part of me that also wants badly to document the house as it is RIGHT NOW. In all of its mess and disarray, with the table covered in god-only-knows, with closet doors (or curtains or whatever) still to be finished and hung, I wanted to share this picture of the house anyway, because this is my heart right now and there is no place I love more.

UPDATE: December 15th, 2017. Joe and I are now divorced. I will not be deleting blog posts like this one as it is still a diary to some extent of my past and that still matters to me. I wish I had been more honest about how things were going to you guys here on the blog… I thought things would get better. There was always something: once this happens then he won’t be so angry… But, eventually, he ran out of excuses and I had to face my reality that I was wrong about Joe in every way possible. Grandma’s house is completely mine so now it can actually become what I dreamed it would be on all those late nights alone when I was renovating it. Happiness does not always come the way we expect it to (sometimes it even takes a broken heart to get us there) but I still believe in happy endings!

Life @GrandmasHousDIY

You can see I took this picture still in the process of finishing the cabinet above the refrigerator. You can check out the post on how I built all of our kitchen cabinets here, if you’re interested. You’ve probably seen our lovely little island many times by now, it remains one of my very favorite projects, we literally stand at it every single day. (Especially now with winter approaching, we stand at the island and warm our butts in front of the fire!) Soon, we will have stools, so that we may sit at it! Tools remain on just about every surface – though I really try to corral them to our laundry room where our air compressor still lives. It is not odd for me to have to move several things off the counter before I start dinner: a hammer, a box of screws, our impact driver and a measuring tape or two, usually. We have been fortunate to have been given so much produce this year (as I mentioned in our last blog post) we managed to eat all of the beats, most of the turnips (eeew, not real fond of turnips personally but I so appreciate having them anyway!) and now we have moved on to attempting to consume lots and lots of squash. In the bag by the island a friend of ours gave us a whole pile of potatoes, we are, indeed, very blessed.

Life @GrandmasHousDIY

Morning mediation for Diesel and I (Diesel is the big dog who seems to get into most pictures around here) consists of coffee and facebook for me and sitting in the sun for him after breakfast and his morning romp outside. He seems incredibly content and, for that, I am grateful. He is on a diet (for those of you that might inquire) and we’re going for daily walks now after I get off work from my day job for at least as long as the weather lasts. I am very relieved that he is happy here as, like most pet parents, I worry about him more then I do about much of anything else. Grandma’s old flower garden gave us over a dozen different types of flowers this year and the little white ones below were its last gift during the final count down to winter. With fall here I transplanted all of the peonies that came up at random in a few places in the yard. I put them with the other peonies I transplanted from my mom’s old place (which also came from here) hopefully, in a year or two, we’ll have a solid fence of their glorious, huge blooms.

Life @GrandmasHousDIY

With the weather turning I have had to do a lot of my work inside. Cabinet doors I would have normally painted in the yard or in the garage got a spot on top of towels in our entryway. So, we lived with our entryway a mess until I finally got them complete. Nobody seems to mind or care except for me, I don’t like clutter and I hate unfinished projects. And, we have a lot of unfinished projects! Less then we did last week, just like the week before that and the week before that for the last 17 months of our lives. Every week I hack away a little bit more though I am not as focused as I was, I also want to live here, not just work here anymore. With my painting of the cabinet doors in the entryway I took the opportunity to finally put the three coats of poly on our table that has been needing it SO badly! What happened was that during its time in storage (both here and elsewhere) my old oak table got a horrible scratch in the top of it after I had already stripped and refinished it. Ugh. So, not being able to handle the scratch, I literally stopped us in mid tracks while we were moving it, sanded the top down and put a new coat of stain on it in all of about four minutes. It came into the house then and has been a constant heart attack for me every time anything was put on it. It needed a clear coat to protect it really badly!! So, I had my opportunity so I lavished our beautiful old table and finally finished it.

Life @GrandmasHousDIY

So, now our table is ready for all that we could possibly throw at it. No more place mats for us or even the need for coasters. You can see, if you look close at the picture, that the poly was wet when I took the shot and certain areas were already drying. It was a semi gloss poly so the table ended up far less shiny then the picture suggests but I couldn’t help but snap a few shots of just how beautiful it looked! I am over the moon imagining the upcoming holidays, us around this table, playing games, laughing, being family and living this life that we worked so hard for and are so blessed to have!

Thank you for stopping by guys! Coming next week I’ll post a tutorial about a simple shelf I made for beside the microwave, all about how I decided to use old windows for cabinet doors (and how they turned out!) and I few more before and afters I can’t wait to share too!

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4 Comments on "Preparing our table for family meals and happy times!"

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Carol Dammer

Tarah we are so very impressed with all you and your hubby have done with Arvid and Charlottes house. Now it is your’s and Joe’s. Your Grandparents would certainly love all of the updates and changes. I can not wait to see it in person. We will plan a trip to see you when it is convenient for you. Would love to keep in touch! Blessings to you all! From the Dammer’s….Carol and Merlyn.

Hi there – am enjoying your blog and your enthusiasm so much! You are doing a great job and are generous in sharing your path. I know this is kind of dumb, but have you read the book “Leota’s Garden”. I love that book – just finished it. If you are reader you will love how the garden played a major role in a woman’s life. You remind me of one of the characters that is a lovely young woman. It’s a Christian book and the story line is really good. Sorry, just had to share that. I love your… Read more »


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