Best Of

Pictures of the grueling and often ugly process.

Before - the plates sneered at us from the safety of the previous owner’s protection.

Continue reading “The Excorcism of Ghost Plates” »

This…is our plan for the study.

study design

Continue reading “The study formerly known as front guest bedroom” »

A house needs constant maintenance. And it wears on you. So when you can get a fix done in a few minutes (see disclaimer at end of post), it’s a relief.

One of our cabinets in the butler’s pantry had this sticky latch.

sticky latch

You can see in the picture that it does not spring out the way it is supposed to (it’s stuck in the open position). It also gets stuck the other way, when the latch is closed and it practically takes a wrench to open it.

Continue reading “5 Minute Fix *” »

You’re renovating an old house with your spouse or significant other, you fabulous do-it-yourselfers! You’ve missed a few deadlines, and actual costs are exceeding your budget, which you’ve already stretched to the breaking point. You and your significant other devote all your spare time on the house, talking about it, working on it with each other. It’s late, and you’ve put together and taken apart the pedestal sink three times, and your love-of-your-life is not listening to you. You have power tools and very sharp implements at your disposal…Sound familiar? Anyone who’s undergone a major renovation with their loved ones understands the stresses involved and how it can strain your relationship. And if you’re one of those couples who chirp: “We never fought. With each passing day of home renovations, we’re more passionately in love…” Please keep your comments to yourself. We don’t want to hear about it.

We definitely have our moments, like the time I found myself arguing about why we need a dumpster while demolishing two bathrooms, or the time Tig changed his mind about the front bedroom when I originally wanted it to be the study. The biggest differences usually are related to our work-styles. I’m a spreadsheet gal; if I had project management software, I’d probably use it for our home renovations, complete with Gant charts. Tig likes to make cryptic notes on little sheets of paper, especially since he broke his phone which also served as his digital organizer.

Despite our differences, we’ve managed to make a go of fixing our home, and would like to share a few strategies here. We don’t have it figured out, and it goes without saying that each house and person is so unique that what works for us may not work for you. So humor us as we pontificate on love, remuddling, and the meaning of life:

Continue reading “Love Among the Ruins - Part One” »

One unforeseen problem with white picket fence posts…

…they’re perfect landing pads for birds.

bird poop on new fence

Continue reading “Poop Goes in the Potty” »

We are gathered here today to pay tribute to the broken tools and other casualties during our home renovations.


The oldest broken tool in our history of remuddling is our sledgehammer (above). This tool was left behind by the previous owners, and I broke it while smashing our cast iron bathtub. Now this sad remnant lives in our basement. I can’t bring myself to throw it away - maybe we’ll use it as a doorstop.

Continue reading “Memorial for Broken Tools and Other Casualties” »

 July 6, 2011

These are the walls we patiently scraped, mended with spackle and painted.

The bathroom we gutted, and bathed with open walls and studs
(and a copper tube spigot, and a pair of pliers).

The crystal chandelier which graced our meals and blessings.

The corner of my bedroom where my son was born in a wild roar.

The garden my daughter rifled through for strawberries and snowpeas,
barely containing her delight.

This was our home, imprinted with our laughter, cries, and sharp words,
but always curated with love.

Now, the corners and bookshelves grasp at empty air, abandoned beds feel cool to the touch.

The walls that once glowed buttercream have dimmed.

I wait for the pull of nostalgia every time we leave. Perhaps the heart of our home has stowed away with us.

In June of 2011, we moved our family of four onto a small sailboat, sv Wildest Dream. You can join us on our journey in our tiny waterfront home here.

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