Year Five

Hard to believe. So much has happened in the past five years. The difference in having children aged 4 and 9,  who are now 9 and 14 – it boggles my mind. They were babies when we moved to this city, and now they are big boys, helping with projects and more present in many ways, yet more distant in others. I have not been here much this year, perhaps because of the subconscious awareness of how little time I feel I have left with them?  Another five years and my nest will be half empty!

I always debate whether to keep the site going at this time of year….When I started Modfrugal 5 years ago, Instagram didn’t exist and Twitter was only 2 years old. So much about how we communicate and connect with each other has changed, and sometimes I feel like this site is a dinosaur. My main source of sharing is still through Instagram (@modfrugal), but I will keep it since some things just need a little more detail than 140 characters and a single photo can provide…despite the fact that few people seem to have the time to read blogs anymore.

While the renovations are so few and far between now, there’s still work to be done, but the timeline is just more ambiguous. We are still dying to redo our master bath, so much so that in our desperation for a good warm soak, we rigged up a makeshift bathtub on the back deck last Summer! I only now realized I never posted about it. A stock tank from Tractor Supply, and a little plumbing savvy brought us a hot water soaking tub on the edge of the forest.

modfrugal stock tank bathtub modfrugal stock tank bathtub

modfrugal stock tank bathtub modfrugal stock tank bathtubmodfrugal stock tank bathtub modfrugal stock tank bathtub

Now if we can just get something like this going inside! Winter is when you crave a hot soak the most, but going out there in the freezing cold with an uninsulated tub has not drawn me out yet this season.

After 2 trips to the Atlanta Ikea, we finally got the pantry installed – it was the project that seemed to hang over us for the past 5 years, and once we got started, it dragged on for most of the last 9 months as well.

For the most part though, we spent as much of this past year outside that we possibly could, enjoying what we have managed to accomplish so far. Lots of al fresco dinners, family bike rides, movie nights, and lots of deck time. Several camping trips (and how we pack it all in) and local excursions Tims Ford, Cumberland Caverns/Bluegrass Underground, Land Between the Lakes, Fall Creek Falls, Cashiers/Highlands, that Fall Creek Falls Do-Over and Cataloochee, kept us on the road this year, with the exception of my quick jaunt to Palm Springs.  We are still committed to checking out at least 1-2 Tennessee State Parks a year, so that trend will not wane.

The rest of our projects were mostly maintenance based like re-staining all the decking and revamping the butterfly chairs.

As for screen time – I finally gave this site a makeover, and started a new site, A-Frame Living. Plus, I am still very involved at Thing One’s school, which will be Thing Two’s school next year and there is a website redesign there in my near future as well. Phew!

We’ll see what 2014 brings! One thing I do know is that a sale will happen. I need to make room in the garage for us to set up a corner for a mini pottery studio, so some things need to go and I’m in a paring down and minimizing phase right now – which is good news for anyone wanting to shop. I just have to figure out where and when.

For those who still come visit over here now and then – thanks for saying hi! I know how busy we all are and I appreciate the effort it takes to engage in media these days. I have the best readers who send wonderful emails and share their projects with me. Let’s see what we can get done this year – I can’t wait, and hope to see you around the interwebs!



Year Four

I can hardly believe I just typed that. Four years?! It seems impossible, but there it is. We have been in this house 4 years now, and my little corner of the interwebs has hit the four year mark today.

New readers wanting to play a quick bit of catch up can see previous recaps for Year One, Year Two, and Year Three.

This was the year of getting small things done. Not a lot of big and involved projects = less posting. Sorry about that, but you don’t really want me to show up for nothing, right?

Smaller DIY jobs like a new outdoor movie screen, painting the treehouse, dealing with a drainage problem, protecting the firewood, as well as smaller scale craftiness like a the troll brothers, wooden garland, Dr. Who ornaments, and easy nonslip rug adaptations. I had yet another chance to rehab some chrome with soda, and I knocked out some other vintage chair rehabs here and here.

I closed the e-bay store since I was swamped with other things, and having only 3 items in the shop at a time didn’t make sense for the fee structure of a storefront. I’m still selling things here and there, but from my personal account. I’m always going to be selling items on the side, but I’m looking forward to getting deeper into my ceramics this year…maybe I’ll even have some pieces to sell, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves!

The only major job that got done was the very satisfying accomplishment of the half bath. I can finally stop apologizing to guests about the state of the facilities. I think as I do some revamping around the site, I’ll add the half bath to the tour of before and nows.

We traveled a bit this year.  Colorado, Smoky Mountains, Maine and England. And we enjoyed being home quite a bit too. Especially the back deck in early summer. We think we have given up on creating a ground level patio off of this area due to the ground slope and drainage, and will eventually build another lower deck. Maybe in the fall, maybe next year?

I did a little guesting around the internet last year…with Tabitha of Life À la Mode (here), Gabrielle of Design Mom (here), – outtakes from the DM tour (here) and with Jamie of Owl Really (here). It was a thrill, and an honor to participate in each and every one of them.

I still hit up the flea market every chance I get, and I still love sharing those trips with you. I ADORE hitting far away flea markets with internet friends, don’t you? When I see the title of a post on the Rose Bowl Flea, I settle in with the popcorn…it’s just one of those things.

Huge thanks to all of you, new and old, who take the time to stop in and share your thoughts. I’m always thrilled to hear from you, even if it’s to tell me to get off my ass and “Post the new sink pics already!” I will try to do better in 2013 with timeliness, my volunteer schedule made that really hard this year, but now that I have gotten the hang of those responsibilities, I think I can manage it all better.  For those impatient with my pitiful posting, you know where to find me……you’ll always get the goods first on Instagram.

Thanks again, and let’s kick off 2013 and do this kitchen thing…OK? I have a fun update on that front coming soon….


Photo taken at Brandy’s house on the 4th of July…so much fun!!


Year Three

As promised, I’ll try and summarize what happened around the ranch this past year and see where we’re headed for 2012.

Recaps for previous years here:  Year One, Year Two

Around the house:

We got rid of the dining room chair rail.

I built a temporary patio/firepit.

I made an ass for myself.

Hosted a huge Halloween Party.

We’re always switching things around in the furniture department.

I seemed to cook a lot of food this year.

We contemplated chickens, but opted instead for a puppy.

I talked about my bedroom wishes (NOT THOSE) but didn’t follow up. I did indeed buy that Home Depot drop cloth after all, so now my mattress on the floor issue is gone.  Yay for $30 solutions! I also got new night tables off Craigslist I never showed you.

Otto has decided he must be the supermodel of all my interior shots….every time I’d try and take a photo, he’d settle himself right into the shot.

Yes, that is the Monopoly Man trophy you see. I NEVER win, but managed to pull one out over the holidays so it’s finally my turn to proudly house the trophy…until I lose the next game.



We had a big travel year, and while in New England, I had my heart broken at Brimfield. I seem to have better luck within my budget on my local flea excursions.

We hit up the local Rennaisance Fayre.

Had a big sale.

Doesn’t look like we got a whole lot done compared to past years.  But it felt like a busy year…oh yeah, WE BUILT A TREEHOUSE!!!!  And it took a long time.

We still haven’t painted the interior, and are beginning to wonder if we really need to. I realized after the leaves fell that I could finally get some decent shots of it so you can see how it relates to the house a bit better.

In summer, the treehouse is almost completely obscured by foliage….but now, it’s quite naked!

The sleeping bunker/level two building plans are on hold to address some more pressing needs around the ranch.  Namely a pantry, to keep the dog out of the foodstuffs, and if all goes well, a real bathtub.  I always thought we’d do the half bath first, but the lack of proper bathtub in the house is starting to become more and more important to both of us.  The CC has been playing soccer on weekends and as he limps home stiff and sore…he’s starting to want a good soak as badly as I do.  Time and money will tell.  I’ve been pinning ideas for it here.

As for which outlet I should choose to sell my finds? There’s pros and cons to all of them and if I can manage it, a hybrid of the options might be best.  Maybe an Etsy shop for smalls and E-bay for big pieces? We’ll see…I’ve actually been pretty busy this winter redoing some dining chair sets for other people.  Once I get my last set finished and out the’s time to start selling again.  Hope everyone is looking forward to a good 2012…I love the optimism January’s clean slate can bring.

Year Two

Today marks the birthday, blogiversary, whatever you call this thing that we feel the need to measure in increments of time. Two years… already?  Apparently so!  Last year’s recaps are here and here.

Hmmmm… 2010.  This year was vastly different from the last, and I guess we’ll just wait and see what going to 11 does.  This year’s biggest project was completing the next phase of landscaping…front steps and back decks specifically.  The tour of the exterior gives a feel for the sequence of things that seemed to drag on, mostly due to our crazyass weather this year.  The city flooded, which caused us to lose a treatment plant, thus water shortages.  It was a difficult Spring for a lot of Nashvillians.  We were VERY lucky.  We still had a home.

At the end of 2009, I still couldn’t get in my front door, despite having some nice new concrete steps up from the driveway…

But we got that done in 2010….

With some big jobs done outside, it was time to start focusing on making it a home inside….read FURNITURE.  2010 was just getting this place starting to feel like it goes together.  I’ve updated the Tour a bit to show where we are on the main rooms. For example..the living room last year….

was very different than it is now….

I moved in with a mix of Mid Century and Deco furniture that seemed to work well in my previous 1912 home, but, notsomuch here.  It was time to cycle out some old pieces and get in some things that seemed to suit the house..and me better.

With that in mind, I faced a challenge with ModFruGal this year.  When you move inside and start decorating, it’s a lot more personal!  Sharing exterior projects doesn’t hold the same amount of dread that showing your living room to the internet does!

Thankfully, that fear has eased over the year, mainly because I have awesome readers I NEVER thought I’d have, so seriously, THANK YOU for making this a fun, and less terrifying endeavor.  There was a certain comfort in thinking that no one was reading, then boom! There you were, and you surprised me by how supportive you were..and are.  While renovations and growing pains are not everyone’s thang, I’m glad it’s your thang, and you can keep me company while I get this place groovin’.  I don’t call it the Regal Beagle anymore because all the green carpet, maroon walls, and general decor malaise is almost gone! Almost.

So let’s knock out some more projects in 2011, whaddya say?  I can predict one thing for sure for this year…there will be concrete. The CC got something for Christmas that he’s wanted for a few years..well, ever since we did this.

Pour, baby, pour!!!!

Stay tuned, it’s almost time for the annual list reconciliation…..


It’s my bloggiversary, or blog birthday!  I’m still not really believing that it’s been a year since my first meager post of the mailbox.  A recap of the year is here.

I need to thank my friends Jim and Susan, who told me when they first saw the Regal Beagle,  “You need to blog about all this stuff!”

I completely dismissed the idea at first, but they pointed out that I might actually have fun with it…and it could be useful to some readers…even if only themselves!  A few weeks was done. Thanks for the vote of confidence guys!

So what’s cooking for year 2 of ModFruGal?  Anybody’s guess.  The 2010 To Do List has many more entries to come, and there will likely be a LOT more DIY by yours truly since our renovation budget this year is very different from last year’s. There will be better photos (I hope) and it only took me most of the year to realize that, no matter how many plug-ins you try to make them better…galleries suck all the way around.

I have both a Flickr and a Tumblr account I’ve never touched, so maybe that will actually happen….I need to educate myself further on this popular media that likes removing vowels…it’s all a factor of time isn’t it?

This little blog will be getting a smattering of Botox, nothing major, but a little cosmetic update for the new year…I’ll let you know when we’re up, so you can jump out of your reader to check it out.

Well, enjoy a little blast from the past and thanks for reading.

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