Who needs a dog when…

…you have this every day visitor.



Maybe. Just maybe…

I have been promising an open house for all of you curious peepers for quite awhile. I’ve been quietly mentioning April 7 to a few of you who have asked directly but… I lied. Well, it was not a lie because it was tentatively said with good intentions, but we really want more accomplished before we swing open our doors to everyone, plus it’s supposed to rain this weekend and I want a sunny party.

So… I have been secretly holding a new date. Do I dare say it? I’ll share it if you promise not to hold me to it. It’s just a goal. A hope. A fingers-crossed maybe.

Sunday, May 5. Cinco de Mayo for us Gringos.

The house will be no where near completed. We’ll cringe and explain and stammer when we show you around. You must wear your vision goggles and have faith. It’s a bit raw for us to be living in such a project; like a sore, slightly uncomfortable sunburn to bare to you. Please see the progress and know that more is to come in the next 6-12 months.

So pencil in the date and we’ll see…


p.s. If you can’t make that date or just want to stop by for some tea or a cold beer, just text either of us. We’re happy to open the door for spontaneous visitors.

Progress every day!

We are just a few days shy of our one month anniversary here at the Highway House and things are coming along! Never as fast as we want, but we still step back every now and then and admire how far we’ve come in just a few short weeks. Mike was recently asked how things are progressing and I liked his answer… “Every day we check something off our list.” Yep.

Here are just a few projects that have come together lately. Exciting, but still not quite finished. We’ll get there.

1) We now have a bathroom door to accompany our new toilet and I no longer have to shout “I’m peeing” when I hear Mike walking towards the open room.


2) I borrowed my dad’s truck a couple weeks ago and happily took a load of trash to the dump and returned from the local landscaping yard with a load of dirt that I spread in between the back patio pavers. I first pulled the weeds which only took about an hour, and then I did 4 shovel scoops of dirt into a bucket and spread the dirt and then compacted with water. The dirt ended up costing me about $7 total and the whole project was pretty easy. The dirt makes a big difference in the patio’s appearance and helps greatly to level out the unevenness.  Next up, hopefully this weekend, will be ground cover in-between the pavers. Note: the paver photo is before I pulled the weeds. I’ll share a pic of after once the ground cover goes in.patio

3) We no longer have rickety, ankle-twisting chunks of stacked concrete as our back step. We are getting fancy now with actual concrete steps!

4) And one of the most exciting additions is our custom trellis that my day lovingly made as a gift to us!  It’s massive and he said it took over 800 welds to complete, and it’s going to do an amazing job in camouflaging all of those ridiculous electrical panels on the side of the house. Mike and I picked up a couple vines yesterday and plan to add some hop vines to it as well soon. If you see me outside at night with a flashlight, it’s me singing and talking to the vines so they’ll grow even faster. Grow baby grow!

step trellis

Keeping it real.

Our bathroom is coming together, and today I splurged on very pretty wrapping paper sheets that will become the drawer liners in the vanity! I’m about to get working on that tonight and when I’m done, I plan to share pretty update photos of the bathroom so you can see the progress. But as I was thinking about sharing the pretty, I thought it would be wise to keep it real so you don’t think it’s all peaches and cream over here. It’s not.

My photographer friend Jessamyn stopped by the other day for a quick visit and she remarked on how relieved she was to see me in comfy clothes rather than my put together persona she sees at meetings and events.  I laughed when she mentioned that, but it really got me thinking. I replied that I have 2 looks… and so does our house. Pretty and put together and weary in shambles.  Yes, Mike and I work quickly and yes we tackle projects ambitiously, but the house has so much more so don’t think we’ve conquered the world in 17 days.

We still have boxes and boxes, a laundry room that holds ladders and still no actual laundry appliances, desperately chipping paint on the exterior, weeds, dust, overflowing garbage cans, I now have a cold and did I mention dust?


At the very least, I’m thinking of having a weed pulling/paint party this weekend?  Pulling weeds in the front of the house and just painting the back of the house so we can lounge on the patio and just pretend. You up for the challenge? I’ll take any willing volunteers.

My List

Last month I chatted about lists. (You can read it HERE if you missed it.) I was trying to find my list for that particular post but it mysteriously and temporarily disappeared, but I’m happy to say that I rediscovered it. I cannot stress enough on how making a list of goals, dreams, plans, etc really helped me take one step closer to accomplishing my hopes.  Here is my list I made sometime in 2012 – I think in the summer.

my list

Mike and I sat down and gave priority to about 6 things that we had to have in our lives. I made note of them. These were mine. The items on my list are exactly what we now have, sans pool, but I have not given up on that dream. We have the space and are still working out the logistics. Here is what has happened to date… I wanted either a more urban home or sprawling land. We kind of have both. Time together on this project. My new office is a dream! We have a detached guest cottage that includes a bathroom. Our patio is so pretty and perfectly shady for warm summer days.

What will be on your list?

Donate or Ditch

I’m a very organized person and I’m exceptionally capable at just looking at a space or nook or room and knowing what will fit. I’ve met my match.

On paper we moved from about the same size house. 2 bedroom 1 bath with a detached 1 bedroom with garage storage, etc. But somehow it’s not translating so I’ve been forced to make some new decisions. Our guest room is loaded with boxes and so is our garage, yet our house looks and feels pretty complete. Sigh.

Despite my strong propensity for not collecting, and my massive pre-purge on Craigslist and my yard sale these last 2 months, I’m forced to really hunker down and decide what is important. Do I need 6 salad bowls, 7 bud vases and 11 candle-holders? I like to use the earthen-ware for my macaroni salad; I like to use the glass bowl for Mike’s annual cranberry sauce; I like to use the floral ceramic for a green salad. I mean really!! It’s all too much and just not necessary. I plan to keep 2. I’m fairly certain the earth won’t fall off its axis if I use the same bowl for macaroni and cranberries.

So I’ve made a vow: donate or ditch!

I challenge you to do the same thing. It feels good.

The other challenge I’ve been working on is to donate or ditch the things that I just don’t like. On a daily basis I dig through my pencil cup searching for my 2 favorite pens; passing over the dozen that I don’t like. Do I need 18 pens? No. So yesterday I tossed all the pens and pencils that I always avoid. The same is true with my lingerie drawer, kitchen utensils and pantry.  It feels good.


But… I’m human and I do cling to a few last things that I really don’t need. My CD collection. They’re all imported into iTunes and they’re backed up on some cloud thingy so why do I keep them? I can’t help myself, so I plan to keep them just a little longer. And I justified it by hiding them in a piece of furniture that only gets open once every 3 years because I forget what I put in there. Maybe by 2016 I’ll be ready to let go.