Repurposed Woodwork



Repurposed Vintage Woodwork


I am a fortunate woman.  I have a husband who is willing to make items for me (usually…..after a space of time).  He is even willing to use old things and help me repurpose them into something else. I think he might be willing to do this because he likes the thought of making things that are useful and don’t cost a bunch.

My recipe box is a case in point.  It started out life as a baseboard in a home that was later abandoned. After getting permission from the owner, my husband and I removed some of the woodwork and hauled it home.

Some of the woodwork has been repurposed and used in our upstairs bedrooms. I love the old wood work. I love the wide old boards and the ornate corners and all the beautiful details those craftsmen of years past put into it.

Every so often I see a project on Pinterest or in a shop that I really really like. The price often deters me from purchasing. My brain, having a little conversation with itself, also deters me from purchasing.

Me:     Wow!  Isn’t that just so cool!
Me 2:  Yeah that is cool…..what does it cost?
Me:     (looking at price tag) Whoa!!! No wonder it is so cool.
Me 2:  Hmmmmm…… I bet I have stuff to make that in the schoolhouse.
Me:     Yeah, you might be right.
Me 2:  Of course I’m right.
Me:     Think the husband can be talked into making this?
Me 2:  Maybe…… Get a picture or make a drawing.

At this point I am hoping there are more of you out there who hold conversation with yourself. It would be a comfort to know I am not alone in this!

Upon arriving home (full of enthusiasm); I show my idea to my husband. He gets a rather pained expression (sometimes) but is usually a pretty good sport about it. It is fun to venture to the schoolhouse that is on our place and dig through stacks of architectural salvage to see what I can use for that particular project. It kind of makes me feel like a cross between American Pickers and Indiana Jones.

My recipe box was quite simple to make.  It only required a small amount of old baseboard.  I looked for the painted ones that were beginning to peel and had the old green paint showing underneath.  My husband cut it for me and assembled it and then I proceeded to paint the raw edges to match the peeling portions.

I painted the inside with leftover paint from other projects. I did seal it with some polyurethane varnish as I am not sure about that old paint. I put two layers of the varnish on to thoroughly seal it and keep it from peeling any further.

I then dug through my ribbon stash to dress up the outside. I also put little rubbery self adhesive things on the bottom corners.  We made my Recipe box  big enough to hold the 4×6 sized recipe cards and is a great replacement for the cardboard box I had been using to hold my recipes.

There is something quite satisfying about taking what others would toss and turning it into something useful again.  It gives the joy of seeing something worn and used turned into something of value once again. It has the feel of redemption about it.

That recipe box is like a small life lesson just sitting on my countertop. Without using any words it is a reminder that there is value in a life that is worn, weary and seemingly at it’s end.  There is a beauty in the life well-lived and repurposed. There is value and redemption when grace is extended.

“He who works with his hands is a laborer.
He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman.
He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist.”
Francis of Assisi

Simpler Times


Due to having too many things going on; this post is a day late. Also due to lack of planning on my part this post is a day late! I decided to take a look at the pictures on my external hard drive and see if I could find some inspiration for a post. I did find some that reminded me of stories my husband tells of simpler times.

When my husband was a kid he did not have an indoor bathroom until he was in grade school. When he first told me this back when we were dating (this is a long way back!) I did not believe him. As a plumber’s daughter I guess I assumed everyone my age had indoor plumbing……not so.

I finally saw a photo of his home. He and two of his brothers were sitting on their front porch. Imagine my surprise when I realized that the exact location where they were perched on the steps was where the bathroom was now located. For a long time I heard, “I told you so.”

His oldest brother now lives on the home place.   A few years back he offered the outhouse to my husband. My husband was thrilled and a few days after the offer was made, we were headed down the road with a trailer, to go retrieve this heirloom.

At this time, that heirloom is standing behind a shed on our yard. We have yet to decide where to give it a permanent location. I would love to put it near my garden. I am thinking that might be a handy place to have an outhouse. People have asked me if I am going to repurpose it as a garden shed.  I don’t think I will. I already have a summer kitchen for that use.

I would really like to give it a new life for it’s original purpose. Yes…..I would like to seetwo-holer-outhouse this two-holer outhouse, functional once again. My husband likes to ask me if I am trying to create my own “pioneer village” in our back yard. I think he sees the summer kitchen and chicken coop and thinks I have a pretty good start.

Maybe he is right. Maybe I am just liking the idea of old buildings put back to use. Maybe I just like the idea of what those little buildings represent…….a simpler time. A time back before indoor plumbing. Or a time when every farm had a summer kitchen for those hot muggy summer days; when a farm wife did not want to heat up her house cooking for the family.

I love the thought of how self-sufficient those early farmers were. Their big gardens, full pantries, milk cows and windmills to pump water kind of fascinate me. I know they worked hard as everything was done manually. No automatic washers, no garden tillers, no riding lawn mowers just to name a few things.

To be honest, I would hate to have to use this outhouse in the wintertime. That part does not fascinate me at all! I also would not relish having to share my space with the spiders and other critters that always seem to inhabit outdoor sheds.

I think for my husband this little white building represents the wonderful innocent years of his childhood. The good memories stand out and what a blessing that is. His stories mirror those my grandparents have told.

From the stories I have heard from my grandparents, they worked hard but they also had  wonderful times. I think they learned how very important family and neighbors were. I think they realized that the important thing in life was relationships and it was easier to do life; if you did it with the people you loved.

May your life be filled with people you can count on and  may you be blessed with memories that bring you joy. And may something as simple as an outhouse bring a smile to your face.

 Anmol Andore

Read more:

The Lost is Found


Sometimes a snowstorm has a silver lining. Sometimes….though not always.

The past two days, our area has had snow, wind and cold. They tell us that we have anywhere from eight to ten inches of snow on the ground in our area.  I believe them!  I shoveled a trail for the girls today so they could get from their coop, to an open front shed where they love to take dust baths.

For the last couple days the weathermen had been warning us that this system was going to be coming through. Yesterday morning we decided we should believe them and did some prep work in anticipation of the storm.

We filled buckets with corn so I can easily get to them for feeding the chickens. My husband made sure we had adequate wood for the wood stove. We also always fill gallon jugs with water just in case the electric would happen to go out. The pump in our well will not function without electricity.

My husband had things in his pickup he needed for these tasks. While he was digging behind the pickup seat he started to laugh and shake his head. I asked what he was laughing about and in response he reached behind the seat and pulled out a box…..the missing candy canes!!!!

For those of you who have been reading my blog you may remember the post I did on the Missing Candy Canes.   In that post I told you I was very sure we would find those candy canes at some odd random moment. Yesterday was that odd random moment.

Perhaps I should try pawn this one off to brilliant planning. That somehow we just knew they should stay back there till there was a snowstorm. You know……just in case we were stranded in the middle of nowhere and we needed to have emergency rations? Maybe we should just shove them back behind the seat…..just in case.

I am afraid if we chose that plan we would probably never find them again. ( Kind of like lightening striking twice in the same place.) I think perhaps we should just eat them and enjoy them before they become really old. Is there an expiration date on candy canes?

I am just happy we found them.  I was beginning to doubt I had ever purchased them. I was also starting to think they had maybe not made it into our grocery bag? My faith in our minds has been restored. (Big sigh of relief!)

What have you been searching for?  What have you put in such a safe place that you cannot find it? Does it make you  little bonkers wondering about that item? I have a feeling I am not alone in this. At least I hope I am not alone in that… is always more comforting to have company with stuff like that.


“The only thing faster than the speed of thought is the speed of forgetfulness.
Good thing we have other people to help us remember.”
Vera Nazarian,
The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration

I Am One

Love Never Fails.jpg

So much hate, so much destruction brought on by hate, so much hate inspired by fear. We wonder what we can change the world and then we realize we can’t.  So we wonder what we should do …… at least I wonder.

Out of that wondering came the thought that I am only one person and how does one person successfully affect the world. How does one person change things for the better? How does one person make everyone feel like they matter?  And then I realize one person can’t; but God can.


I am One
I am one woman
I have one voice
I am not a million in a march
I am not a thousand, a hundred, ten or even two
I am one.
I am not famous or noteworthy
I am only one
I cannot make someone care ….. but I can care
I cannot force someone to have compassion….but I can have compassion
I can reach out to those who don’t agree with me.
I cannot make them reach back….but I can still reach out.
I can pray for those who choose a different path than me
I cannot change them….it is not mine to change….only to pray
I can have faith, I can have hope
I can love in the face of hate
I am one voice
I am one woman
I am one
And God will make it enough.


And that is all I have. 1 Corinthians just says it so much better than I can.


13 If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13
New International Version (NIV)


Gratitude Moments

The People's House.JPG

Today was not one of those days that I felt overworked. I probably should have worked harder today; but I did not. Today I chose to sit in front of the television set and watch history, once again, take place in my country.

Just like four years ago I could not seem to tear myself away from the set as I watched the traditions and pageantry that make up our presidential inaugurations. I have always loved history and being able to watch it is truly a gift. (It was also fun to watch as I had been to D.C. just this past July with my sister.)

I am not going to veer into a political discussion on this post. I am going to say that today was just a day for being grateful. I am grateful for the country that is the United States.  I am grateful for those who protect and serve us. Having three nephews in the military probably makes me extra thankful to those men and women. Having had a grandpa and and an uncle who were the town cops (as we called them) still makes me grateful to those who serve in that way.

I am grateful that I live where I do… the country….on a farm….near lots of small towns. The people in this area are the salt of the earth, maybe not all of them, but the ones that I know; truly are. They are plain-spoken, giving when it is needed, and holding you accountable when called for.

I was going to start this post writing about how grateful I was for the chicken wellies I received from my sister last April. For some reason it did not start out that way.  (Did you ever have a post that kind of took on a life of it’s own?… this one did!) Anyway….back to the boots. Way back in April I wrote a post about those chicken covered boots.

When the weather gets warmer on a winter day, on the farm it translates into a sea of water and mud on the yard. So yes, I was ever so grateful for those wonderful yellow, chicken covered boots. Those boots are the best things for keeping my feet from exposure to the elements…namely the above-mentioned water and mud.

I was also grateful for the memories those boots bring. When I received those boots this past spring, I Chicken Welliesfigured when I wore them it would bring thoughts of my sister…. and they do! They bring thoughts of her generosity and her smile when she gave them to me. They also bring back memories of the great time we had in Washington D.C. Anytime I put those boots on;  they make me smile. Even sliding through the mud to feed my chickens today; those boots brightened the day.

I hope you were gifted with a gratitude moment in your day today. I hope you had at least one thing that brought a smile to your face and lightened your spirit. I pray there is something as simple as boots to keep your feet dry, that turn your day around and make you feel blessed.

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.
It turns what we have into enough, and more.
It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity.
It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.
Melody Beattie

Read more at:





Enjoy the Day

Sparkling Trees.JPG

What a difference one day makes on the weather in our area. Today was an absolutely beautiful day……yesterday morning not so beautiful. We woke up yesterday to a yard that resembled an ice skating rink.

My husband was highly amused at me when I was ready to venture outside yesterday to let the girls out of the coop. I don’t think he actually realized how incredibly slick it was out there. Our standing joke is that we might fall and break a hip….realistically we aren’t kids anymore; so that isn’t too funny!

I first went out with the ice chipper gizmo that we have. I opened the door and tried chopping through the ice layer that was on the driveway so I would have somewhere to step without sliding.  I quickly discovered that was not a good technique.

I was starting to think I might have to crawl out there or somehow sled my way over to the coop. (Now there is a visual image!) After a little brainstorming I decided to try using the ashes that had come out of the wood stove just that morning. They were still hot so I found a tin can to scoop them out with.

I am here to report that using hot wood ashes on ice is a great way to go!  It kind of sizzled it’s way into the ice layer and gave a very nice path to walk on. The only downside was the tin can I was using to spread the ashes kept getting pretty toasty. I was pretty tickled with my ingenuity! Even my husband was slightly impressed with how well that worked.

Our trees hung onto their ice coating till this morning. Once the sun started hitting them it looked like it was raining under the trees. Huge drops of water and bits of ice kept sparkling in the sun as they dropped to the ground. There was something exquisite about a rain shower that resembled diamonds.

By this afternoon you needed boots to get across the yard as the ice had turned to mud.  I think this might just be a really early foretaste of what spring will look like on the farmyard. It was wonderful to be outside and not have your fingertips get so cold they hurt.

The day just seemed to be issuing an invitation to venture out and see what it had to offer. That was an offer to good to pass up. My husband spent the day catching up on outdoor chores that had been put aside on the cold winter days. I also did some catching up with chicken chores. I must confess to several (okay more than several) long pauses spent just stopping and enjoying the day.

Today was a gift in it’s own way. It was a small vacation from the gray, cold that is winter. It was a promise of the seasons to come.  I know it will not last.  I know that winter is still here and will grace us with snow and more icy blasts before giving way to the warmth of spring. But for today, I will take the sunshine and the promise of days that smell of growing things and warm spring breezes.

“Despite the forecast, live like it’s spring.”
Lilly Pulitzer








Running the Race


I have a son who runs marathons. I am very sure he did not inherit that skill from me and his father doesn’t claim it either. He must be a throwback to some ancestor who did not look at running as a chore. To be honest, the only time my husband and I run is when we are chasing a critter who has escaped. (Fortunately those days are mostly in the past!)

You should also know that it is pretty hard to run and mutter under your breath (about the escaped critter) at the same time. Truthfully it is hard to breathe when running (at least for me). Breathing becomes more of an action like say……sucking wind.

Anyway…..this son has now signed up for a race in July called the Leadville Silver Rush 50 Run. This is like running 50 miles!  I am not sure if I should be impressed or wonder about his sanity.

When he posted this on Facebook I had a niece who was incredulous and asked: “You’re going to run 50 miles? All at once? You’re nuts!”
Son’s response: “No no…..that’s crazy. It’s more like 50 one-mile runs… after the other.”
(He may or may not have gotten his somewhat twisted sense of humor from me…..but I am not totally sure I should admit to that.)

I am not sure what it all takes to train for that type of a road race. I have a feeling the training for both life and a marathon race might be somewhat the same.I do know that running the race of life requires great dedication and perseverance.

We need people to hold us accountable in our training….to make sure that we are indeed training. For me that is people who ask how my spiritual walk is going. It is a blessing when they really want an honest answer and are honest, without judgement, in return.

I also know that to run the life race we need those who will encourage us when the road gets rough and seems all uphill. We need those same people when our feet begin to blister and our lungs are burning like fire and it seems we cannot go one more step.

I believe God puts those people in our paths for just those times. He puts them there to cheer us on, to be a witness to the path that we have been given in this life….to share in our joys, pick us up and dust us off when we fall, and to make sure we stay on the trail and reach the finish line.

I know I will not be running a marathon like my son does. He does, however, inspire me to run the race of life with perseverance. He gives me a great example of the dedication it takes to stick with it. When I cheer him on at a race, it is a great visual of the crowd of witnesses that surround us and cheer us on in this race of life.

It is a blessing this thing called life. The people we encounter and those who inspire us are blessings upon blessings.  The seen and the unseen crowd of witnesses who cheer us on.

since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith,
let us strip off every weight that slows us down,
especially the sin that so easily trips us up.
And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.

Hebrew 12:1
New Living Translation