… one day at a time. Those who follow this little blog know that I’ve been working on the bedroom lately. Our little cottage is around 675 sq. ft. The bedroom after taking down wall between two tiny bedrooms is now 8 ft. 9 inches by 23 ft. The smaller bedroom had been storage. Stuff left over from being in business, personal stuff, stuff from the attic because we had emptied it so that DH could take out old insulation, and he put in thick pink insulation and a new plywood floor, two to three years ago, ended up being in this tiny space. Being artistic and always having more than one project going at any given time, and not knowing what to do with stuff, the stuff just kept accumulating. We had had ups and downs and worked at living life one day at a time. It’s all any of us can do. Life throws us curve balls, things that hurt, things that try to destroy us, try to destroy our faith. But you keep plugging away.
We’ve basically lived on a shoestring our whole married life. We had low times financially and we had better times. We always wanted to work with our hands and that’s what we did. We were in picture framing for awhile, but a recession happened in ‘76 and we couldn’t hold on. We went hungry, we hibernated, then we got the urge to pick up and start again. We had yard sales, then set up at a local flea market for 15 years, had a booth in an antique mall, then had our own little antique shop for 8 years. Our landlord decided he wanted our shop for himself, and wouldn’t renew our lease and gave us 30 days to get out. We found a shop in the next town, but it wasn’t the same, we were alone, where as the area we had been in was known for all the antique shops there in a three block area, it’s still there to this day. (The landlord didn’t last but a couple of years in our old shop.)
The new shop we moved to ended up having a huge leak onto our stuff after the landlord had told us he had fixed the roof and it would never leak again. Then we found out that the road was going to be worked on and that would take a year or more, so we decided to get the heck out of Dodge. We decided to auction everything off, which was heartbreaking, and it was all gone in one day. We were depressed, but in time we started to feel free again and relieved to not have to be under that pressure of having your own business. We worked for two years for a wealthy couple on the intra-coastal as a ‘handy couple’.
My DH had done antique restoration for us and for other shop owners and one day a friend of ours who still had a shop where we had been, called and said someone wanted to know who he used for antique restoration, so had given the guy our phone #. The guy called and came out to our house and lo and behold, he had bought from us when we had our shop. DH did do antique restoration for him, and then the guy asked DH if he thought I would like to run his shop when he wasn’t there. DH said yes, because I had missed having our shop, but he would ask me and we would let him know. Well, he asked, I said yes, and I’ve been there for 16 years now.
DH retired from doing restoration work, and I’m wondering now if the cancer wasn’t already growing and making him not feel good. He did work for neighbors on their houses, and worked on projects here. His being a ‘jack of almost all trades’ saved us LOTS of money through the years. We did the work ourselves, except for concrete work on out buildings.
Anyway, to get back to the bedroom. Yesterday morning I went out to my shed to look at what I needed to do to be able to bring the small desk from there into the bedroom, and started clearing out some stuff there, when all of a sudden I felt, wait a minute, I don’t have to do this now. It was horribly hot, humid and there was too much to accomplish in a day or even two. I was really starting to get depressed with the house being a wreck from having things stacked all over while I went through stuff, sorted into keep, throw away, give away and sell. Our ‘accumulation’ took years to ‘accumulate’, I can’t go through it all and have a perfectly redone little cottage over night, it’s going to take time. I wasn’t taking care of my gardens, I wasn’t creating any more needleworks. WAIT A MINUTE !!! What is wrong with this picture? I got nudged to just clear the second shelf unit that I ‘was going to move out to my shed, and refill the shelves with what I wanted to hang onto until I decide what to do with it. Some is artwork for sale and I don’t want to put it out where bugs might eat it.
I worked on that all day yesterday and was bushed but satisfied with my days progress. I look at all the posts of lovely put together homes and want to just crawl in a hole. I’ve shown parts of our cottage and have enjoyed all of your comments, but I never showed the ugly, who would. I’m going to show it now, the before, the now that is during, and later I will show the after. I eventually want to have the bead board paneling on all the walls. IN TIME. It doesn’t all have to be done yesterday.
I am still a new widow, I need to relax more. I had a good sob when looking at the pics to post here. I’m now doing the work of two, and it’s a new way of living. It makes me really feel for young widows with children. I’ve read some of their stories and am amazed at how they go on as best they can. God gives us the strength we need no matter what our situation is.
Ok, here are the photos. There are some that will cause ‘gasps’.
I posted the desk area I worked on recently and will repost the pics here so that you can get an idea of how I want the whole room to look when finished. This is looking north into the storage space. As you can see, we just had a path way to the back door.
This is the wall to the left/east which has the bathroom on the other side. The plumbing of shower had leaked so we had taken the wall boards off the wall to look at the problem. The pipes are behind that beige piece of furniture.
I put up a sheet of the particle board bead board paneling and hung pantings. I love it.
Here is the back door, with closet space behind curtains on either side. The little oil paintings were done by DH’s grandmother and his grandfather did the pine needle work around them. Pine needles collected on this property. This was their house before they passed away, before we came home from Spain.
Now, we have some of the ugly. I am truly embarrassed to even show it, but it’s to inspire others out there to take ugly areas and transform them the best you can with what you have.
I bought 4 three drawer Sterilite units on wheels for $10 each and changed them into three 4 drawer units to raise it to the height I wanted for the old enamel table top that we had. You can see the old gray linoleum flooring. Talk about ugly. We laid down oak looking laminate in the kitchen, living room and hallway, and I have the flooring stacked in the workshop to lay in this room. We were going to camp out in the caravan while we emptied this room so that we could redo the walls and do the flooring, but alas, God had other plans and called DH to his heavenly home.
Here is the two overloaded shelf units with stuff stacked in front too. Good grief!
Here this space is as of this morning. On the top shelf of the metal shelf unit is an antique wall clock that I want to hang again. We bought it in Spain from a little elderly lady who was selling it out of her house. It’s too heavy and awkward for me to lift off the shelf by myself, so I’ll need BIL’s help the next time he comes down to work on a project.
This is our sleeping area. I’ve since changed the curtain arrangement on the windows, but the rest is the same. We ‘found’ the head and foot boards in Spain, we think they are Spanish colonial in style, dumped on the side of the road. They are made of beech, I stained them dark on our balcony with a little utility brush. It’s a double size.
This is our dresser, which we paid $150 for many years ago and I wanted to keep it instead of putting it in our little antique shop because it went well with our bed. They both have similar wooden turnings that I love.
So, there you have another glimpse into Plum Cottage. The living is simple, there has been much love, laughter and some tears and this little place holds lots of memories for this girl named ‘FlowerLady’ by her DH.
Home is where your heart is. No matter how big, small, finished, unfinished, do what you can with it and be thankful. So many in the world have a lot less and feel blessed with what they have.
I made forward progress and now feel like I can catch my breath for a bit. I can see things better, I appreciate things more and am ever so grateful for the love DH and I had.
This has turned out long and I hope I didn’t put you all to sleep.
That’s it for now. I’ve still more to do, but there’s always tomorrow, and when it comes I’ll do what I can and do my best to not stress about the rest. Life is too short for that.
Love and hugs and God’s blessings for you all ~ FlowerLady