2020 Summer To Do List and Plans for Next Fall and Winter too

May 24 2020
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At the end of 2019 I tackled my Winter to do list and completed a total overhaul of my living room and a makeover for my guest bedroom too. (More about the bedroom coming soon!) Those two spaces were my two biggest items so I’m happy with what I completed – but its time to start thinking about summer already! Which means its time to make some new lists and put a couple of things on the back burner for next winter.

Its time to finish the garage!


Wait… WHY!?

The Basement!


Yep, all of sudden the basement is now at the top of this list as part of the garage is now housing Lodi’s furniture! It makes NO SENSE to try and do any work on the garage until his furniture has a home and it would make even LESS sense to take his furniture down to the basement before its finished so…

… I’ve got a basic plan together in my head and I’ll post it soon.

(This is mandatory by next winter so we can fit both vehicles in the garage not just continue work on it…)

Planning a basement renovation for a hard core hang out spance in the winter time - home theater and place for guests to stay in my basement

After that its all about the garage.

To get to where the garage currently is was a huge accomplishment for this little army of one last spring!

First I had to clean the whole place out, get everything off the walls and then haul yet another pile of crap to the dump. Then I ran power, insulated, covered the walls, installed the doors, put EVERYTHING back where it belongs, made a path, enclosed my stock tank complete with a barn door and I added an “area rug” made of livestock mats on top of it!

I’ll be coming out with an in depth garage plan and update eventually here but the ceiling needs to be completed and insulated, another several loads of crap need to be taken to the dump and finally the bar/buffet/seating area all needs paint, work and layout decisions.

Besides that the deck needs new railings. Currently it has these conduit railings I put up and still really like however they won’t keep a dog on the deck.

(I’m looking at you Ms. Annie who cant restrain herself from the call of horse poop…)

A post revealing my deck, my outside living space and living room, my 700 square foot dance floor, how I built it, designed it and finished it!

So its time for the deck railings to grow up.

2020 Summer To Do List – Deck rails

When I came up with the idea of my conduit railings it had been because steel wire railings were way out of budget at the time. Since then though I am quite excited to find out that the railings I wanted are now affordable!

One thing on my winter to do list that I did not get to was the back hall/doggie door area. Now with Annie moved in this area needs to be open to the rest of the house ALL YEAR – which means heating it next winter – which means it needs to work MUCH better!

Firstly the total crap thrift store door that’s there needs to be replaced with a decent steel exterior door and I’ll make a new doggie door then too.

Creating a safe and cool dog space inside my home with a doggie door where the dogs can be out of the way but still warm with food and saddle blankets

The old electric storage heater that’s out here needs to be tossed. At that point I need to decide where I’ll be installing a new electric heater. (I think I’ll be putting it in the guest bedroom but we’ll see what feels right when we get there.)

The plan to keep this a “doggo spot” is still in action where that gate (or a new gate) will also double as a closet door when its not being used. (Its just too convenient to be able to lock any fur monsters back here if we need to.) As for the closet I have an old wrought iron bed that will fit in there and I’m definitely planning on adding storage shelves too.

Though most of this I had on my to do list already I’m definitely going to be taking this project farther than I had initially considered. Of course this entire hall/dog area also requires a total repainting.

Mentioning what I also didn’t complete on that winter to do list…

I was going to be adding book shelves to the master bedroom but the whole floor really needs to be repainted not to mention there are a couple of projects that I really need to get done first… So I couldn’t in good conscious even put shelves up there yet – so that’s definitely moving to next winter!

I mentioned the main floor bathroom in my winter to do list but even then I was confident I wouldn’t be getting to it… However, its so small, I should just tackle it one night after work…

I could really have it done in just a couple of days and finally just get it off of my list so we’ll see!

2020 Summer To Do List – Outside!

Installing a new screen door on the side of my garage, digging a weedless solar lit path and using pallets to turn my stock tank into an insulated bench!

This is Minnesota after all and there’s only so much time that it isn’t winter!

One necessary project we’re tackling and that you should too is your roof. Start by inspecting it to see what kind of shape it’s in and if there are any leaks. Also, consider its age and how long you’ve had it. Depending upon what you find, you may want to get in touch with a roofing company such as Asset Roofing and Gutters to think about replacing it before winter hits. They’re a roofing company you can trust and that will meet your needs and exceed expectations. A new roof can add value to your home as well as make it aesthetically more pleasing and safer and warmer. It’s a great way to spend your time and money this summer and will help ensure your home holds up through the harsh winter.

My grandma’s flower garden beside the garage (you guys saw it here with my new mulched path last summer) is screaming for a bed of perennial asparagus behind the bench. That’s a lovely little project that is literally planting for the future as we won’t see a real harvest in that case for at least a couple of years.

But asparagus flourishes here like rhubarb and I absolutely LOVE it fresh.

A not-so-lovely little 2020 summer project is the last of the pile of dirt in front of the barn. We’ll fill up the bed of Lodi’s truck and use it against the new flashing on the South and East sides of the house to build up the grade.

There isn’t a lot of dirt left but I’ll be glad to get it gone.

2020 Summer to do list – One more thing…

The dog kennel currently is about 50×150 feet and runs along the front of the house/along the dirt road. It blocks the clouds of dust from traffic all summer and gives some privacy but not as much as it could.

I would like to expand it all of the way to the property line making the dog kennel damn near another 50 feet long making it nearly 10,000 square feet of awesome dog run. AND, less yard to mow AND, more privacy AND, more dust blocking.

It would simply be a WIN WIN.

So that’s the list to be complete by the time we see snow again: Lots of small things besides finishing the basement, garage completion, new railings on the deck, the dog spot upgraded and (hopefully) an expanded dog run.

Ok one more thing…

I know there will ALWAYS be one more thing with me…

But its something I’m really excited about…

LAST BUCKET LIST ITEM: I want the yard plowed under and then seeded entirely in white clover, creeping charlie and dandelions. It will be an ever blooming yard that never needs to be mowed!

MN is taking our local bees, butterflies and wild life so seriously they’re even putting out GRANTS in an attempt to PAY people to do this to their lawns. I’m not bothering applying for a grant – I had every intention of doing this to my yard someday regardless and its really not going to cost much. Getting this done would make me SO HAPPY!

From there, we’ll see how much more time we have before I need to make the 2020/2021 winter to do list lol!

2020 Summer To Do List - A Back Door in need of Serious Replacing! - Becoming an army of two instead of one has got me really excited about all the rest!


  1. nancy
    May 25, 2020 at 12:47 pm

    Sounds like good plans! Always hard to store other people’s stuff when they’re living there. It’s nice you have room for more gardening, etc.

    • May 26, 2020 at 11:22 am

      Thanks Nancy, hope you had a great weekend!

  2. Linda
    July 12, 2020 at 8:18 am

    Hey there,
    I see you are planning to update your deck railings from the conduit to something else. I was looking for an easy diy replacement for my railings when I saw your post. What are you switching to? If it’s cooler than the conduit, I want know now before I start my project! Lol Thanks! Love all your work! I’m a newbie diver and really appreciate your posts.

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