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Spring is truly here and I have begun remodeling “The Little House”

Apr 14 2017 -
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Oh my gosh you guys I am just bursting at the seems to tell you all about my next project! The Little House! Ok, some back story first. This little 500 square foot place was initially built around 60 years ago by my grandpa for his dad and then my grandma’s dad lived there for awhile too! Since then its gone through several remodels and renovations. Decades after it sat empty my dad and brother added a slab foundation to the back of it that contained a tiny bedroom/closet and bathroom, a well and a septic tank. They also insulated it, sheet rocked it and gave it new shingles and siding. They also poured the basement floor (it was dirt before) and also carpeted it to increase the living space. So many members of my family and friends have called this place home off and on throughout the years and the last ten years my dad lived there after my folks’ divorced. This little place is literally not 200 yards from my front door.

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, and I still believe in happy endings!

A veggie garden with railroad ties, some mystery seeds, new flower boxes and a new remodel project called the little house!

I helped my dad finish his new place and move there last fall and my mom purchased the little house from him. Since then she’s been in a bit of a conundrum on what to do with it. None of us need a guest house but its here, it has a working well and septic so, we might as well fix it up a bit. So, that’s what mom hired me to do! Over the entire month of May here on the blog I’m going to take you guys with me every step of the way as I single-handedly take this rough little bachelor pad and turn it into a sweet little guest house! I’ve taken two weeks off from my day job to do it and, because I won’t give up my weekends to anything but Joe and I and our projects, that means I’m going to have just TEN days to get it all done! Gosh I can’t wait! My whole body is excited to get moving again and do something physical – this whole winter in this office chair was tough!

A veggie garden with railroad ties, some mystery seeds, new flower boxes and a new remodel project called the little house!

Over the last couple of weekends Joe and I have cleaned out the flower garden beside our house and all of our flower beds. He drove in the yard one night with railroad ties for our veggie garden! We also (finally after two years) took the old satellite dish off the roof, lol, what an eye sore and what on earth took us so long to get that done!? We also FINALLY got the last of the tyvek (house wrap) covered up with flashing in our flower garden. I’m ecstatic to report that our rhubarb, tulips and peonies are all coming up. I transplanted the last of the peonies that were still coming up in our dog kennel to the west side of our house to be with the others, I think that’s all of them now! Did you see my post on Monday about my little green house experiment? Last weekend we also built our vegetable garden and it was a good thing too because my green beans are almost three feet tall! So, my little green houses worked even better then I had ever imagined! EVERYTHING came up and I regretted planting more then one seed because almost every single seed grew. So I ended up with basically twice as much of everything then we needed lol Oh well.

A veggie garden with railroad ties, some mystery seeds, new flower boxes and a new remodel project called the little house!

Working in my basement I’ve built a couple of things that I can’t wait to show you. I built a tall garden planter for my aunt (a lot like the one I built for my mom) and I also built flower boxes for our master bedroom windows! LOVE THEM! It is so great to have some green and growing things up there and I just know we’re really going to appreciate it this winter when its -30 degrees outside. Here’s a sneak peak of the flower boxes.

A veggie garden with railroad ties, some mystery seeds, new flower boxes and a new remodel project called the little house!

On May 20th it will be time to take my Milkweed seeds out of the refrigerator (30 days cold starting) and plant them in the flower garden we have beside our house. I will be planting all of my vegetables this weekend in the vegetable garden we built for them, however, I’m going to wait and plant my asparagus with my milkweed in our flower garden on the 20th. The asparagus is SO TINY, when it came up it literally looked like white hairs, SO DELICATE. So, I’m going to leave them in the house to wait for the milkweed, it will probably be good for them and the other veggies I’m planting in a different garden anyway. I also purchased a packet of MN wildflower seeds that I’m going to spread with the milk weed. I want that flower garden beside our house to just bloom and grow like crazy for both the bumble bees, the monarchs and the asparagus for us!

A veggie garden with railroad ties, some mystery seeds, new flower boxes and a new remodel project called the little house!

My aunt handed me a box the other day with a big smile on her face. She saved all of my grandma’s seeds! Some of these are labeled back as far at 1997! I have no idea if any of them or any good anymore and many of them are unlabeled: Mystery Seeds! I’m going to plant most of them because: Of course I am! I can’t wait to see what grows 🙂

A veggie garden with railroad ties, some mystery seeds, new flower boxes and a new remodel project called the little house!

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  1. Amy
    April 16, 2017 at 4:27 pm

    All your garden plans sound great! I have heard that railroad ties aren’t safe for vegetable gardens bc of the chemicals they use in them…just wanted to let you know in case you wanted to research that to be sure. I think some ppl say it’s okay but some say you shouldn’t use them. It would suck to do all the work involved in a garden to have your plants die!

    • April 17, 2017 at 1:02 pm

      Hey Amy, these railroad ties have been sitting outside for over ten years! When I read about them I came to the conclusion that after this much time they no longer pose any threat to us. Thanks!!

  2. Toni
    April 16, 2017 at 7:41 pm

    Wow – you are so talented! I wish you lived next door 🙂
    I remember reading an article in Organic Gardening magazine about using railroad ties – the piece said they leach creosote and other toxins and aren’t recommended in the garden. I never researched that b/c we don’t have any, but I wanted to mention it to you.
    Happy Easter!

    • April 17, 2017 at 1:08 pm

      Thanks Toni for the mention about railroad ties! After a bunch of research (and after talking to my source) we finally decided that because the ties we were buying were REALLY old and had been sitting outside for a LONG time that we were ok to use them. I’ll go into more detail when I post about it! Thanks for coming by!

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