One of the first things that came to mind when we decided to renovate the kitchen was a farmhouse sink. It had been a dream of mine from long ago for the future house. I mean long ago since we lived in a mobile home that we purchased when we first got married. Yes, I said mobile home. It was our first home together. It was new. We bought 3 acres and planted it out on a hilltop in God's Country. We raised our children there for 6 years until we got enough money to buy a house. After that we rented it out for a while. It didn't take us long to figure out that most people don't respect your property like you do. We then sold the house and sold the land back to the company that we bought it from. We made a small profit off of the land and that helped us get started in our new home. This was way back when all I ever dreamed about was white kitchens and solid white fluffy rooms. The word "farmhouse" was not a thing. Painted furniture was not heard of here in the South. The only trace of painted furniture was leftover remnants of what was left behind by the 70's bad glazing trends. I would see beautifully painted antiques on Ebay under the name "Red Barn Antiques". For years I told Paul that is what we needed to do. I was thinking the Ebay thing of course. No way did I ever think anyone around here would want painted furniture. I was alone in my world of painted furniture as far as Southern Alabama was concerned. I just thought that white looked clean and comfortable. I knew that if things were white I could tell if they were dirty. That was the life I wanted with 4 kids. Call me crazy but that was the direction I was heading in. It wasn't until many years later, that I started doing it for others.
We closed on our new house the week of Katrina. After she went through we immediately started painting and renovating. I can still remember one of the first days that Paul came home from work and peeked through the sidelights of the front door. He said, "You painted the bricks?" in utter horror. I could hear him from outside with the door shut. That was the brick fireplace of course. It didn't take me long to conform him into my way of thinking. When we purchased this house, it had linoleum flooring in the kitchen. It was coming up and would actually stick to your feet when you walk through the kitchen. I would almost give anything to have before pictures of this house. We had mustard daisy wallpaper in the kitchen. Peacocks from the dinning room to the foyer. Almost every inch of this house was plastered in 70's wallpaper. Yellow shag carpet graced every square foot of flooring that did't have linoleum with the exception of parkay wood flooring in the foyer. We picked out new tile and got it laid in the kitchen. New appliance came little at a time. Many years later we removed the old shag carpet and replaced with heart pine. This has been a slow renovation. When I say slow, I mean a 15 year renovation. We still have one room left to floor. Our room of course. This new kitchen renovation, by the way was not a planned happening. This is our second kitchen renovation here. It came about because our tile started cracking. Come to find out our joist were giving way. There was no underlayment under the house and it caused the joist to rot. Our house is build on a crawlspace. When you have a house on a crawlspace, you should have a moisture barrier on top of the ground to prevent ground moisture from coming up and rotting the wood under your house. It was just something we assumed was done before we bought the house. This house was built in the 70's. Not sure if the previous owners did not know or if they were just not aware this should have been done. Something I will never do again is buy a house that is not on a concrete slab.
So in December of 2019 we decided to bust up our tile flooring and see what we were looking at. When we discovered that our joist were rotting we were faced with no choice but to replace them ourselves. What could have been a 25-$30,000 professional job was not an option for us. Not only was this not in our budget, it is something that Paul just does't do. He does't hire help. (Insert eye roll emoji here). I knew this was about to be a long process but I was not up for the flooring of my house to be open to nothing more than a tarp for the next month. At times I thought this would never end. Some nights I was scared that may be a possum would sneak in. If I heard the faintest sound I would yell squirrel. So you say, quit complaining and help the poor boy. I did. I did indeed. I crawled under the house and helped lay the underlayment. I scrubbed mold on the wood subfloors laying on my back. I helped and did everything I could to lessen the burden on him. To my surprise there was barely a living thing under the house. No spiders and super clean with the exception of a little mold. Together we did it. We finished replacing the joist and sealed up our floors. We decided to continue the heart pine into the kitchen. Our goal was to finish this house off to the best of our ability for the new owners whether it be our children or someone we don't know. Did I mention that before breaking open the kitchen flooring in December of 2019, we purchased 15 acres to build our forever home on? Nah, I left that out. Well, we did. It still sits there today as it did when we purchased it in Feb 2018. To be fair, when we purchased, I had no intention of rushing to build. We planned on focusing on our business and building when we got around to it. That does't bother me at all. I have drawn out the floor plan for that house square foot by square foot and when we get to it we get to it. If we should decide not to that doesn't bother me either. Although the property has absolutely stunning views, my heart has always been to build in Union Church which is the northern part of Grand Bay. The Dawes Road or Jeff Hamilton Road area would be perfection. I missed my opportunity a few years back when a 10 acre plot came up for sale at $110,000. I was too late when I called. It was already pending. Property in that area of Grand Bay rarely becomes available. Most is family farm land and gets passed from one generation to the next. Being that we have a horse and will be building a barn, we would have to have at least 10 acres. We have agreed that if the opportunity arrises in that area we will sell the 15 acres that we have. Hence, I'm not in a rush to build.