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Let’s talk about the house

This not the house at the Wabi-Sabi Ranch.  It's one I passed on a recent bike ride.
This is not the house at the Wabi-Sabi Ranch. It’s one I passed on a recent bike ride.

Home is oneness, home is my original nature.  It is right here, simply in what is.  There is nowhere else I have to go, and nothing else I have to become.

~ Tony Parsons

Window high up in the Great Room
Window high up in the Great Room

I haven’t written about, or shown you much of, the house here at the Wabi-Sabi Ranch.  There are many reasons for that.  Regular readers are already familiar with one of those reasons:  It is the beauty of the outdoors that sold us this house.  The house itself, well, we have a long way to go where that’s concerned.

The house at the Wabi-Sabi Ranch on a beautiful June day.
The front of the house at the Wabi-Sabi Ranch on a beautiful June day.  The garage is behind the house.  The greenhouse, the pavilion, the garden, and the chicken coop are off to the left.  The Weathervane Building is in the back left, behind the garden.

The many adjustments we’ve had to make are also a factor.  Downsizing has meant an almost daily struggle in terms of what to keep and what to release.  It’s getting easier.  There are pieces of furniture I have no trouble releasing, and hope they will serve others as well as they served me.  There are other pieces that I have to take my time with before I arrive at a place where I find myself willing to let go.  And, sometimes, there has to be a compromise because I’m not in this alone.

Looking out the front door.  Be careful if you open the door and stop out onto the porch.  It's mostly safe, but it needs to be replaced.
Looking out the front door. Be careful if you open the door and stop out onto the porch. It’s mostly safe, but it needs to be replaced.  There are mushy spots.

I often think how much easier this all would have been if we’d won the lottery and could afford to have stuffed everything but the bare necessities into storage while we worked on the sorely needed house renovations.  We could have worked one room at a time, sprucing it up and then fitting in the furniture that suits the room, and when all was said and done, shed anything left over.

My new clothesline, one of the coolest I've ever had.  It's similar to an Amish clothesline only we attached it to the garage because we don't have a barn.  I love the pulley system.
My new clothesline, one of the coolest I’ve ever had. It’s similar to an Amish clothesline only we attached it to the garage because we don’t have a barn. I love the pulley system.  The Mennonite dress is a clothespin bag that I’ve had and used for a couple of years.

Day by day, we’re getting there.  A year from now I’ll wonder what all the fuss was about, why I struggled so much with the house.  I don’t feel unwelcome in this house.  We wouldn’t have bought it if I’d felt that way.  It just isn’t home yet, and as you might remember, I was having trouble visualizing it as it will be when we finish working on it.  I’m finally beginning to visualize it as my home, but it’s not quite there yet.  Colors, for instance, are beginning to show themselves.  The idea of rustic as a theme has expanded into different types of rustic throughout the house.  Beach rustic will invade two of the bedrooms, but not the beach rustic I’ve seen on the interior design and decorating sites and magazines.  It will be my idea of beach rustic.

Door details
Door details

I should tell you a little about the house itself.  It was built in 1991 by Mr. B, and we are the second owners of the house.  Mrs. B told me that Mr. B knows every nail in the house because he put every one of them in place.  The house is, as you can see from the photo above, a ranch-style home.  There is a front porch (that needs work), and a back deck (that needs work).

Closer look at the front porch
Closer look at the front porch

There are three bedrooms, one of which is now an office, and two bathrooms (a master bath, and one we call the Duck Dynasty bathroom because it is decorated with ducks).

Here we go.  The back of the house.  This was taken before the new clothesline was installed.
Here we go. The back of the house. This was taken before M installed the new clothesline.  There are all kinds of antennas and satellite dishes scattered about, all but one (the satellite internet) not in use.

I’d like to show you the inside of the house.  I’m thinking I will do it room by room as we work on each one, but there’s nothing wrong with a sneak peek.

Bedroom 3, taken 24 May.
Bedroom 3, taken 24 May.

The first room we’ll be be tackling will be Bedroom 3.  It will become the Beach Bedroom, a room that I hope my granddaughters will enjoy sometime in the future.  Cabinets that are slated for this room are currently being used in the kitchen.  M and I decided that it would be easiest to start in the Beach Bedroom so we can move the cabinets before we have the kitchen work done sometime in the fall.

Here's a brighter view of Bedroom 3, the future Beach Bedroom, taken on the 21 May.  A little messier than that first shot which was taken three days after this.
Here’s a brighter view of Bedroom 3, the future Beach Bedroom, taken on 21 May. A little messier than that first shot which was taken three days after this.

One of the challenges will be wallpaper and wallpaper borders.  Mrs. B, it seems, loved both.  Fortunately, we don’t have to start out with a wallpaper challenge because the future Beach Bedroom has neither.

New neighbor
New neighbor

There are no plans to buy new furniture or decorative items or anything of the sort.  With the exception of the kitchen (which needs new cabinets and counter tops), we will be repurposing things we’ve found around the property or things we’ve picked up at flea markets or yard sales.  I even have some exciting (to me) plans for one of the windows we found outside, the painted frame wonderfully weathered and distressed.

Padding the nest
Padding the nest

Well, that’s about it from the Wabi-Sabi Ranch for today.  Thank you so much for stopping by.  I was supposed to be spending the weekend with family, but the best laid plans have gone awry (in the form of a cold which I do not want to pass on to the older members of the family).  I’ll be staying home, taking care of myself.  Now that the storms have passed, the air and heat have cleared and the weather is delightful.  I might be able to spend some time sitting on the dock, watching the tide come in or go out.  What are your plans for the weekend?  Rest?  Play?  Work?  All three?

June 2013 007a

Be good, be kind, be loving.  Just Be.  🙂

The Couple
The Couple
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Author:

Robin is a photographer, artist, writer, wife, sometime poet, mom, grandma, daughter, sister, friend, and occasional traveler currently living on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. She finished a 365 commitment to get outside every day in 2011, and has turned it into a lifelong commitment taking one or more walks each day. Robin will continue to share her walks through her words and images on Breezes at Dawn. Older posts can be found at Life in the Bogs, her previous blog. Robin and her husband are in the midst of renovating the house and property they refer to as the Wabi-Sabi Ranch, 35 acres that include marsh, a dock on a tidal creek, meadows, and woodlands. Every day brings new discoveries.

43 thoughts on “Let’s talk about the house

  1. Love your house!! And I love the rustic taste you have in decorating — I have no idea how to decorate that way and make it look “right,” but I love the look. If you’re like me, fixing things and decorating is never done — about the time everything is done to everybody’s liking the first fixes that were done are starting to get old, lol, but that’s the fun of it! Looking forward to watching your work in progress!

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    1. Thank you, Becky. 🙂 To be honest, I’m not big on decorating and would take a minimalist approach if I lived on my own (less to clean and dust that way!). But I do like some of the decorating process — picking out colors, painting, that sort of thing. That’s the fun part to me. I think I could easily live without furniture. Just throw some pillows on the floor. lol!

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    1. Thank you, Mike. It’s a good house in many ways. It has good bones and it’s incredibly solid (as I found out when the storms blew through the other day). 🙂

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  2. Thank you for the tour of your new house, Robin – what wonderful possibilities you have. We’re still working on our house, 13 years later 🙂 I left a small clay pot unplanted; it now has a robin nesting in it. Nice to see your neighbors 🙂

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  3. Hi. I am looking forward to hearing about your projects. It looks like a perfectly fine house to me. Fairly new too. I agree about the wish to renovate an empty house. We built our house 33 years ago and didn’t finish everything. Filled up with all my stuff, it is hard to do something like putting down a finished floor. I also love the white house you saw on your explorations. Jane PS got an interesting bit of mail today, so excited!!!!!

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    1. I’m excited too, Jane! I think your letter must be the first to arrive. Yay! 🙂
      The house is a good house in many ways. The original owners were unable to take care of it for the past few years, and that’s why it needs so much work.

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  4. I sympathise most sincerely about the cold, Robin, mine has still to relinquish it’s hold, coughing still, though it’s dry and hardly any need, but for some reason the thing seems to like my company. 😉 Loving the peek viewing of the house, and of course, lots of work, but then we all like to put our own stamp on our homes. Loving the new little neighbour too, though his n’ hers home is much smaller, design is the key methinks !! …As you say, day by day you’re getting there, small steps but the journey begins. .. Happy new trails, xPenx

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  5. Hey, no fair! The wrens at your place actually USE the wren pot! Ours keep building (and abandoning) nests in my tools….
    Love the photos of the house…Hubby bought the one we live in nearly 30 years ago, and there are still renovation projects to be finished…inside AND out 😀

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    1. I was surprised to see them using it, Marie. It’s been sitting on the deck, and I was wondering where to put it when I saw the first of the wrens fly in with some grass. That took care of that decision. 🙂

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  6. If I am not mistaken, the birds in your last post are Carolina wrens, the “Jimmy and Judy” birds that I spoke about in a post a few months ago! Listen sometime and see if you can hear them calling each others’ names. 😉 Love the photos of the house.

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    1. Thank you, Karma. And yes, they are Carolina Wrens. I’d forgotten your post about Jimmy and Judy, and the bird calls. Thank you for the reminder. 🙂

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  7. it´s a beautiful house!!! it always amazes me how different the concept of space is in different countries. If you saw what we call a big apartment, you wouldn´t believe it because it´s less than the third of the size!! The house I´ve bought has a bathroom where there is no space for a bathtub and I´m getting crazy thinking about how to make it bigger with no space available, that´s my challenge!! but we know that home is where we are … in time your house will feel like it!! have a nice weekend!!

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  8. Oh so this is the house! Thank you for showing it to us. It looks like it has potential, Robin, although it can be discouraging when there’s so much work to do. Our house is over 30 years old now and we could put $20,000 back into it without blinking our eyes. Unfortunately, did you say something about a lottery win? *grin*

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    1. lol, Kathy! A lottery win would be helpful. It’s too bad I forget to play. 🙂 The money part of the equation can be almost as overwhelming as the work itself. But we’re finding ways to do what we want on a budget. It’s a challenge, and sometimes a fun challenge at that.

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  9. I have HUGE plans for this weekend Robin, I intend getting right through my ironing pile!

    Your new home looks very inviting and I can see how you can work with the basics and repair and decoate it to your liking. I’ve been trying to work out what the outer walls are made of, it looks like shingles of some sort. Was there an older home on the property at one stage? I can’t remember if you have told us that, but I’m thinking about the family who belong to the graveyard, and I know that it’s not Mr and Mrs B. Take care. 🙂

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    1. Well, you know how I feel about ironing, Joanne. 😀 Good for you, taking it on.

      The outer walls are actually vinyl made to look like cedar shingles. Cedar shingles are typical for this area. I was surprised to find it’s vinyl because it looks so much like the real thing. Even our homeowner’s insurance people had to be convinced it’s vinyl (I don’t know why but cedar shingles would have increased our premium a little). As for an older home on the property, I’m not sure. There’s evidence of something. We’ve found bricks, and parts of a wall, but someone mentioned that back in the days when people had family cemeteries on their own land, they usually put them a long distance from the house if they could. I know this was once farmland, but have no idea how big the original plot of land was or where the original house might have been. The bricks and stuff we’ve found might have been part of something else (perhaps another out building or Mr. B might have picked up cheap fill “dirt” that had bricks in it).

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  10. Hello Robin. I have been away from blogging for a few weeks and missed the fact that you were moving from Ohio. Aren’t all these changes that many of us are going through exciting. I look forward to reading more about what you are doing to the house and property. 🙂

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Comments are delightful and always appreciated. I will respond when I can (life is keeping me busy!), and/or come around to visit you at your place soon. Thank you!

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