Preparing for winter

Oct 07 2015
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So we’ve been in the house almost two months now and have just begun preparing for winter. The first two weeks in the house are basically a blur – we scrambled and worked constantly right up to the literal day before the wedding. I was utterly determined to get the majority of the kitchen cabinets built and the majority of our kitchen put together before the big day when everyone would be walking through. I was literally painting those very cabinets and finishing them up the day before we got married! But, it was worth it. Here are a few of the cabinets right after I finished building them. I took a day off from work and finished all of the cabinets in the pictures below using nothing but 2x4s and scrap 1x4s. You can see in the photos that though they were not yet trimmed out and painted, we were so ecstatic to have them that as soon as Joe got home and saw all my hard work we immediately started unpacking! Also, in the photos you can see here that Joe and I had also just completed the kitchen countertops using oak we found out in the barn. (Nothing in these photos are done yet, the countertops still needed to be sanded and oiled and all of the doors needed to be built and painted etc. I will post pictures of it all finished soon!)

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!

hand made kitchen cabinets @GrandmasHousDIY

UPDATE: Click here to see my newly finished office!

My office became “bin city” – once we unpacked and unloaded – it was my office that became the dumping ground for everything that needed a place and there was no time to get my office together before the wedding. I am VERY happy to report that that was a project I’ve been tackling over the past month now and finally have my office resembling something of an actual “office” and, once I get it a little better, I’ll post some photos! We retrieved my computer and two filing cabinets and one of two desks that was still at mom’s house and then we retrieved the second desk that matched the first which I painted and then finally I was able to unload into my office! With that done everything finally felt a lot better. The big day was when I finally emptied the last bin! Or, put into the garage the bins with stuff in them that don’t belong in the house! The truth is though, I only seem to have a lot to report because I haven’t posted about us since the big move 🙂 Honestly, once the wedding day came to an end, I collapsed: emotionally, physically, I just collapsed and it was a good two weeks before I was able to see the light of day again. Of course, after fifteen months of pushing, pushing, pushing to get the house done even in my exhaustion I still felt like I should have been working on it. Joe looked at my the day after the wedding, after we had spent the last eight hours on the couch watching lord of the rings, and said, “I feel like we should be doing something.” lol no kidding! We’re nuts!

mastiff and a fire @GrandmasHousDIY

I blinked and fall was here, the end of the longest and shortest summer of my life. Not long after the wedding I began doing things in the house that nourished me so deeply I barely have words for it. Things that I know I will be doing every year, every fall, for the rest of our lives. I started prepping endless vegetables given to us by friends whose gardens were too bountiful this year for several households to accommodate. I started chopping, cleaning, freezing, preparing us and our home for the winter to come. Joe excitedly welcomed Bow Season (deer hunting) and immediately brought home a deer for us that required cleaning, prepping and freezing. Such good work. So grateful! So much beautiful food to nourish us and our lives and even more to come! When we were delivered yet another bag of tomatoes I both groaned fully and exclaimed happily all at the same time. A fire was started for the first time since we moved in, Joe tackled the project of storing and bringing in more wood for us, our dog (Diesel) has embraced the awesome wonder of rolling in fall leaves on our daily walks and we’ve added jackets and sweaters to our daily wardrobe. Certainly it is the very best time of the year to be anywhere, but especially here in northern Minnesota 🙂

mastiff and hydrangeas @GrandmasHousDIY

So, the list still remains, updated three thousand and five times since we started on the renovation of my grandma’s house. Most pressing right now is getting our interior doors done! Have I been saying that for months now? Yup. Call it procrastination… I guess. I have two doors with one side painted and done and I am terrified to flip them over to the do the other side for fear of marking up my new beautiful paint…. After the interior doors the next thing on my list is the last of the kitchen cabinets. I still have to build the large cabinet over the refrigerator and then the narrow rolling pantry I will be putting beside it. Joe has already bought me all of the wood I need for this endeavor I just need the time and the fortitude to finally build them. We brought in an old set of upper cabinets my grandpa made for above their washer and dryer and put them above our own washer/dryer combo not ten feet from where we took them out of the house. I painted them, fixed their doors as best I could and the storage is fabulous! I find it hard to work in the house now that it is so nice and clean, its hard to mess it up but I am running out of time when it comes to our weather holding and I want to be able to build all of this stuff outside! So, next post will hopefully be about our finally completed kitchen! Wish us luck!

preparing for winter @GrandmasHousDIY

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Kathy Milliken

Love reading your blog!


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