Have You Got Religion?

I think the answer had better be yes...

Earlier this week, I had the privilege of touring the abandoned Spring Valley AME Church. I have admired this humble country church as I have driven past it for the past 20 years or so.....always wondering who owned it, what would become of it....and wouldn't it be so charming if someone would just take a chance and fix it up??

Imagine my surprise when I passed it a week or so ago, and saw a "For Sale" sign posted right out front. I couldn't wait to talk to my business partner and see if she would be game to take a look. What would we do with the building?? I don't know....we can figure that out later, don't you think??

It is always a good start to a showing when the first thing Victor asks me while getting out of his truck is: "You want to tear that down, right??"......

We kicked around a few ideas as we looked at the property. With all of the development going on around it, we all felt that the former church could make an absolutely charming coffee or breakfast place...

Alas, it was not in the cards. I knew that there was a good chance that the old frame building would not be in any kind of shape for rehab after all of the years of neglect.  Victor confirmed that the foundation would have to be rebuilt, amid other expensive obstacles to the restoration--so a project that was already outside the scope of what we normally "do" fell victim to a fatal blow--we have made the decision to not proceed with making an offer. It makes me sad, but I still hold out hope that someone will have a vision for the property that does not include razing the building....

We have to have faith, right?


Today the papers were signed and it is official! Our project house that has been sitting so pretty for so long will have someone new to love her. We are so excited!

I was there today going over the paperwork and working out some details....had to snap a few pictures.

I am so proud of the work I did on this house. If you missed it before, you can see a lot of it here and here.

It seems strange that I won't be able just to pop over just to say "hi" and enjoy all of the pretty sun-filled rooms..... but what a happy ending for what was once a forlorn little cape cod so down on her luck.


I Am Not Perfect--Shocking, I know!

As you may already know, over the Labor Day weekend, my dear cousins came to visit for the holiday weekend. We had a blast!! For four days our household occupancy doubled, the dishwasher ran two times a day,  and people could be found sleeping in every nook and cranny of our humble old house. We enjoyed a family kickball game, coffee on the deck in the morning, a group outing to Auburn Heights, and a visit with our Grandma.....


One morning during their visit Cousin Emily turned to me and said: "You know, cuz, your house really is perfectly ordered chaos."




I have to admit my ears perked up with the word "perfect." The less aware, woefully unevolved part of myself that lurks in the back alleys of my mind still likes to torment me with delusions of perfection.


Then, after I got over that--swatted the thought away like an annoying fly--I heard the rest of what she said, and realized it was indeed the highest compliment I could have hoped for.  

She was expressing her admiration for how things seemed to have a place and purpose in our house, even when daily life is swirling around causing intermittent messes and commotion. Really, all of us live with chaos, but being able to have a sense of order underneath it all is how we can cope and thrive.


Perfection is an unobtainable, burdensome idea. Besides, if I were perfect, or my house was, then there wouldn't be a need to grow, change, or learn new things.  And while trying to attain perfection, I would be creating an environment full of stress and struggle, so toxic to the peace and balance that I long for.


It wouldn't be perfect at all.


I like learning new things and improving myself. I like being an imperfect work in progress.  Accepting that my house is one too is a blessing full of possibilities.

All Finished! (*whew*) Our Brick Cape Cod Gets Her Big Debut

Just this week, after many months of hard work, careful planning, and many answered prayers, our little project house was put on the market! WOOOO HOOOO!

I am very excited to show you some of the before and after pictures today!!

I know you remember her forlorn facade from before:

But take a look at her NOW!

As you can see there are now welcoming front steps with a rail at each side (you can read more about that in this post), a new roof where a blue tarp used to be, and beautiful colorful landscaping. Her front is so pretty and clean now too, due to fresh paint, a set of shutters, and a nice light scrubbing with the power washer. (If you are wondering what happened to that funny white siding/strange addition, you can read about that here)

Throughout this process there have been pleasant surprises, bitter tears, grumbles of frustration, shouts of joy, expensive shopping trips, slips and falls (don't ask), and now...... a wonderful result.

When we first viewed our little house, there were lots of things to weigh out and lots of things that needed attention. First the roof was replaced.  When we were no longer open to the elements and without heat, it was time to focus on the existing kitchen. The cramped and dark room lacked a dishwasher and and needed updating throughout. Older appliances and an awkward layout also didn't seem like it was going to make anyone feel at home...

Not to mention the cramped doorway that led to the dining room.

A totally redesigned kitchen with quartz countertops, new hardwood floors, all new appliances and cabinets, and a repositioned larger doorway make a huge difference.

Pretty, bright, and sparkly!

The living room had a fireplace, but it lacked a mantel shelf, had cracked and crumbling tile at the hearth, and was surrounded by dark knotty pine panelling.

With paint, beautiful carpentry work, a new stone slab, and staging for the upcoming showings, it looks like a whole new room:

The dining room also needed a little pick-me-up.  This is how it looked before.

And now it has a clean look that welcomes buyers to envision using the space to sit down for soup and a sandwich or to have an elegant meal with guests.

The final room I will show you for today is the Master Bedroom. It originally had been painted with bright pink paint in one area, and blue and white stripes in the dormer space.

Now with beautiful neutrals, new carpeting, and the right furniture and accessories, a buyer can see all the potential this room has to be a restful retreat.

I will be back very soon to show you the rest of the redesigned spaces!

What do you think? Do you like the look of our freshened up cottage?