Tag Archives: Remodel

While We’ve Been Gone – Let’s Catch Up

I’ve spent the last several days reading back blog posts in a reader list that I have lovingly titled “My blogging buds.”  There are lots of you that I have followed since I started this little endeavor, and as I said last week, blogging relationships are very real.  And just like when you haven’t spoken with someone in a while, I’ve learned that there have been some changes in the lives of my blogosphere friends – some good, some heartbreaking.  So I thought I’d take a minute to bring you up to speed on what’s been going on with us in the year I’ve been away from my blog.

The Encore

We’ve created quite a little encore business.  Hubs travels out-of-town for two short trips a month and returns to write related reports.  He’s only away from home for one night in all this.  The beauty of the gig is two-fold:  He earns airline points like a crazy man, and those projects allow us to take on smaller, more rewarding architectural contracts – the kind that make his heart sing.  I’m the administrative support of the operation, and have cultivated some administrative side hustles on my own.

Now we are learning to balance just the right amount of projects to keep our minds active and engaged, while maintaining the spirit of retirement.  It almost got away from us.  But we’re figuring it out.

The Voyages

In the last year, we’ve been fortunate to take some very cool trips, from St. Louis to Seattle to Hawaii.  We’ve also discovered that we love packing a picnic lunch, getting the dog in the back seat of the truck, and taking off to explore the beauty of Idaho.  Hubs loves to wander US Forest Service roads, and our new motto is, “I wonder where that goes!”  I’ll share the voyages in more detail in upcoming posts.  And you know those, “How Many States Have You Visited?” maps that show up on Facebook?  Well, we’ve decided to start over, only counting those states we’ve visited together!  We’ve only been to 16 together ~ we’ve got lots more to experience!

Idaho River

The Nest

Remember when we decided to sell our property, and instead we completed the Retirement Remodel, making our current home function the way we love?  Well, we’re preparing to embark on “Phase 2,” during which we will add an art studio and shop for hubs.  It’s funny, because this morning, as I was reading Pat’s post over at Retirement Transitions, she pointed out that her idea of de-cluttering was quite different from her husband’s.  And while I realize that a shop will only encourage MY hubs to acquire even more “tools,” it is his love of classic cars that wins out.  We’re all about designing a place for him to pursue his passions (both art and cars) from this place where we will spend our retirement years.


Our wanderlust continues to be strong.  I’m always planning one or two trips in the future.  Remember those mileage points?  Now I’m trying to figure out where we would like to escape, should “Snowmageddon” hit our city again this year as it did last year.  Don’t want to go anywhere too “floody, earthquakey, firey, or hurricaney!”  I’m open to suggestions!


We are both pretty voracious readers, and I have nearly completed my Good Reads Challenge of 40 books this year.  I particularly enjoyed:

Hey, I’ve got a good idea – why don’t you find me over on Good Reads (Lynn Jeffers) and then I can see what you’re reading! (Don’t be alarmed by the shorter, straightened hair…it was a moment!)


I have undertaken a rather huge quilting project.  A teacher friend had the parts and pieces of a Grandmother’s Flower Garden quilt, which had been started by her grandmother as a wedding gift.  Unfortunately, her grandmother passed away before it was completed.  My friend asked for my help.  So I am currently hand piecing and hand quilting fabrics from this 1930’s quilt.  Her grandma pieced and quilted everything by hand.  To do less would fail to honor the quilt…

The Ordinary

As fall is upon us, I find that I’m in a bit of a “cocooning” spirit.  I’ve been canning peaches and pears, and will work on applesauce over the weekend – I love the smell of cinnamon and cloves in the house.  The Roxy girl continues to delight us, even if she is occasionally naughty.

Cute Roxy

We are thankful everyday that we have the opportunity to share this voyage.  So that’s about it…we’re sort of caught up.  And now my mind is reeling with future posts and additional goodies to share.  Stay tuned!



Retirement Remodel – Preparing to Retire in Place

A while back, I shared that hubs and I had decided during our Minimalist Epiphany to sell a plot of land we had purchased.  We realized that having more – a bigger house, more land, more stuff – was just not going to work for us.  Plans change, we adapt.

Which prompted for us the following conversation:

What were we running to?
What were we wanting to achieve by moving?
What do we need to do to this place to make it work for us?

We decided that our current home of almost 30 years has a great deal going for it.  We have wonderful neighbors and a great sense of community.  We are within 5 minutes of almost anything we need.  We can be downtown and to most cultural events in 15 minutes.  We can be to the airport in 7 minutes.

In the past 10 years, we’ve done some minor remodeling that makes our home even more comfortable.  New appliances and filtered water in the kitchen, a master bath remodel (complete with grab handles in the shower) – all items that we love and don’t really want to leave.

And so it begins…

We decided that we need just a tiny bit more space – just enough to seat our guests more comfortably around the table.  A few more square feet to be able to invite in some friends.

And remember when I said that if you marry an architect, you should use him at least once in your life?

3 sided patio

Well, a week ago, we started converting our three sided patio into a type of three-season room.  It will have new tile, and a giant 24 foot bi-fold glass door which will allow us to have an elegant patio in the summer, while continuing to utilize the space during the winter. New sliding and French doors, and updated insulation will make the house more energy efficient.

Heart on the beam
(New steel beam to hold up the big-assed door!)

Eventually, we hope to put up a garage/shop for hubs, where he can play with his cars and hobbies while reducing the amount of lawn to be cared for.

We are making these decisions with the intent of staying in this house for the foreseeable future – until the day that health or physical demands make it necessary for us to move.  We’re not looking at our remodel as an investment strategy, or as a preparation for a flip.  The changes we are making will not pay off at resale – we don’t care! Our decisions are based on our desire to have our home function the way we like and to serve us for as long as is possible.  I’ll try to keep you posted on our progress!