Things I Did While NOT At The Flea

I failed you this month…I didn’t make it to the flea market, thus no round up for you. I had school commitments on Friday, and Saturday and Sunday just flew by before I knew it. Melissa has a nice round up, so if you want to peek at the flea through her eyes..check it out here.

So why was I dragging my ass and not taking care of your vicarious shopping needs? It’s Spring people, and that means I get overwhelmed with the one million things that need doing outside this place of ours.

I finished painting inside the treehouse this week, but these are some of the only snaps I have. I planned to take some proper ones yesterday, but the place got trashed with mud over the weekend, and no one wants to see that yuck. Here’s the only picture I took via Instagram after moving some of the stuff back in. Sadly, I think ALL these pics were taken with my phone.

We have turned one wall into the chalkboard panels previously requested.

The Things and I worked at the local state park Saturday morning removing exotic, non-native plants from the forest floor so that there is less wild honeysuckle and more of this.

Then, there was pressure washing to be done, or should I say started. I still have the back decks to do, and that will take ages to finish.

Even though it can be tedious work, I have to admit that pressure washing all that gunk away is a satisfying job. Now I’ll need to go back with some deck stain to touch up some spots once it’s dried out.

I replanted my rootbound and pitiful looking junipers. I found these white planters at Target and am loving how light and easy to move they are…win!

I also started to topdress the pine straw patio, but only after retrenching the sump pump drainage creek. This time we laid plastic down so that we don’t have to retrench it every year. I’m headed to the stoneyard this morning to get more river rock to fill in the deeper creek. It had started flowing all over this end of the yard creating a swampy mudpit, but now we are nicely channeled. You won’t see the plastic when we are done adding more stone.

We also plan to build a proper bridge since the hose access is off to the right, so stepping over the creek is frequently required.

We put together our new Ikea Äpplarö table, and, of course, we have had 2 meals there already.

Sunday was a spectacular day..I snapped the dogwood in bloom before it’s gone.

So, while I missed the flea, we got a lot done, but there’s lots left to do…onward!


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.

Treehouse Update

Safety first kids….er, um, in our case, almost dead last.  At least we got there, right? RIGHT.

The hog panel railings are in, as is the handrail on the looong ladder.

We are debating the pipe finish.  I’m in the camp of letting it rust and age a bit, then clear coat to seal the patina.

So what does this milestone mean?  More than it looks like because now, I feel it’s OK for the Things to have friends come and play in the treehouse.  Without these key safety features, there had to be adult supervision for friends to climb up and check out the progress.

Railings = Freedom!

It wouldn’t be a proper structure without the bucket/pulley dealio, now would it?

Just in time for the weekend.  When their buddies come over, I’ll fill the bucket with their snacks so they can hoist them up for a feeding frenzy.

Treehouse Update

I know, I’ve been super lame-o with posting, but what else is new?  School is finally out and all that craziness leading up to the big LAST DAY had us a bit busy.

We worked really hard over Memorial Day weekend to get the treehouse in sleepover condition, and we did it.  Barely.  This does not mean we are finished by ANY means, but it does mean that you can hang out in there without getting attacked by cicadas and mosquitoes.  The last steps in bug proofing were to screen the ventilation gaps between the roof supports and the dormer over the screened door.

The CC then added weather stripping all around the screened door, and started caulking every. single. join.  Don’t believe me?  Check the fastidiousness of his entomophobic work.

He’s not done yet, but he managed to finish the most important places.  I was rendered speechless when I realized why it was taking him so long to caulk the ventilation area.  Dude is serious.

Come sleepover time, it was a tight squeeze, but all 4 of us managed to get some air mattress space on the floor with just enough clearance for the door to open.  We don’t want to build bunks up here since we’ll have the “sleeping bunker” once the bottom is done.  When it’s just the 2 of them, they have hammocks they can choose to sleep in, or just use for lounging.

We even decided to get a fan going to keep us more comfortable.  We hung it in front of the window to bring in the cooler night air.  When the Things saw our new addition, they said “Cool!  Air conditioning!”  Not quite kiddies, but this is glamping after all.

Given the floor is a bit mucky from all the dirt, despite multiple sweepings, I threw down a canvas drop cloth as some sloppy wall to wall carpeting to keep our stuff clean.

What’s left to do? A lot more than you’d think.

Porch railings.  We have some hog panel left that we will use.  We plan to have a barn door that will slide and lock over the screened one.  We’ll just get some inexpensive hardware from Tractor Supply.

I also plan to re-do the screen door so that it has horizontal slats going all the way up over the dormer to the top.  This is the way it came off the shelf.  Blech.

Add trim around the inside windows, build shelves in between the studs for both structural support and general usefulness.  The CC has to finish that anal caulking…and paint!  LOTS of paint.  Part of me is fine leaving it natural inside, but it will be easier to keep clean if it’s painted.  We won’t start to build the bottom level until it cools off in the fall.  It’s officially sticky out now.  We’re getting there though.


I created a path leading to the front of the treehouse this weekend….it required VERY CAREFUL bushwacking with lots of repellent and immediate showering with copious amounts of tea tree soap.

Until now, we have taken a short cut coming in from the left, but it’s steep there and a bit hazardous when muddy. We are used to it, but our future visitors might be annoyed.  Nothing like biting it on a muddy slope to brighten your day….

I need to cut through the old railroad tie to create an official opening from the main trail, but I’m skeered of chainsaws, so I have to wait for the CC on that one.  I have found my appendages to be quite useful over the years…I know, so selfish.

Treehouse Update

UPDATE:  I was able to get a few better snaps before the rain this morning…so I’ve added them in.

Again, the weather has been impeding our progress quite a bit, and this weekend was no exception. More rain, but we did manage a few steps forward.

There is now a proper roof in place, so we can officially stop worrying what all that rain is doing to our wood underlayment.

I think the only way I can get a decent distance shot of the treehouse roof is going to be to climb on the roof of our main house.  I think I’ll put that off until the final reveal if you don’t mind, so here’s your crummy visual obscured by foliage.  You’re welcome.

Nice clean edge with the flashing in place…oh, and did I mention we installed a skylight?  Here’s how it went down…..

While I would have preferred the cleaner look without them, structurally, the polycarbonate can’t span that long of a distance without supports…it’s too thin, so the CC notched in these aluminum support pieces.  Unobtrusive and functional.


We lined up the skylight with the window to give a sense of continuity. Another reason is simply safety.  When we enclose the bottom area, this side of the treehouse will host the ladder well, so natural light will be needed so you can see your way down into “the bunker.”

We can vouch for the performance of our new roof, as we were in the treehouse when another storm passed through, and we stayed nice and dry.

It may be noisy, but I am really enjoying the sound of rain on a metal roof.  I seriously doubt I would feel the same way in the middle of the night.