window |ˈwindō|noun
an opening in the wall or roof of a building or vehicle that is fitted with glass or other transparent material in a frame to admit light or air and allow people to see out.

It is the view that begs for a window to appreciate it.  Without the window, there is no view.  There is no light.  Without light there is only a dim reflection of what is.  Darkness remains without windows to allow light.  Light always offers clarity.

If I imagine for a second what a home would be without a window, I would suddenly feel closed in and trapped.  The window helps connect me to my outdoor surroundings.  I have had many views out various windows in the span of my life.  Some views were glorious while others were not.

Views of busy roads and neighborhoods.  Those were views I did not like as well.  Living in town, the windows not only gave a view to the outdoors but also a public view of the inside of our home, including our activities, to all the passers by.

I have had the prettiest views of blue skies, laundry on the line, trees, and pastures that are dotted with livestock.  I can say I like those kinds of views most of all.  I like feeling connected to the land.  Most homes are equipped with a window above the kitchen sink.  That is because when you stand by a sink for an extended period of time washing dishes, you enjoy having the light and the view it gives to you.  I love looking out my kitchen window to see a random butterfly or bird land on a branch near the window.  It is lovely and it makes the chore of washing all the more joyous.

This week, my handyman/husband is replacing all the old rotted out windows.  If only they were not single paned windows.  If only they were energy efficient and sound.  They are so charming!  I love old windows with panes separated by painted wood.  BUT, they have to go.  I am hoping to re-purpose the old windows as works of decorative art someday.

Mark popped out the old windows and the tin that was covering the sills.  The sills were the home to thousands of fire ants or termites!!!  He took his air compressor and blew them all away and also had to remove the sill board as well.  It was completely rotted out.  He walked out to the old barn and found a better board to put in its place.  With a zing of the saw blade and a few knocks from his hammer, we had a new sill to brace our new window. 

It is cheaper to buy window replacements than to buy windows for newly constructed homes.  He had to look high and low for the exact replacement size which was not easy.  Some windows have grills (simulated panes) and others do not.  We are remodeling on the cheap so we have to take whatever we can find that is either free or at a bargain.

At times like this my husband shakes his head and says his all too common phrase, "Really, this house should be bulldozed over, but I will just have to make it work."  It is pretty amazing to me how he can make everything work in such a crooked architecture to start with.  He had to measure and try to level the boards in order to make the window actually fit in its new place. 

He would tap smaller pieces of wood to fill in gaps and pull the area into level.  Sometimes it required pounding nails into crooked boards that were sagging from time.  Other times he has to carve out wood where it is bulging.  He never needs a manual to get the job done.  Somehow, he just knows what to do.  He may take his hat off and scratch his head while he exacts his plan in his mind, but all the same, he makes everything fall into place just as it should.

A new window, with a view of a barn and pasture!  Soon the barn will come down and it will open the view even more.  How exciting!
We have been enjoying some "date nights" going to hardware stores and also stores that sell second hand building supplies at half the price.  We picked out a couple nice doors that have windows.  Here is the progress in our kitchen.  We have a new door, a door that actually has a door knob.  The old door was about 1 foot shorter than a normal door and I can't tell you the times I have seen tall men smash their heads as they walked through the threshold.  A conventional d
oor opening will alleviate that problem!
This past week, Mark was able to add on our mudroom/laundry room.  It is actually a really large room.  He said he will be attaching a zip line for me to hang out my wash on sunny days!
Here is a view inside the laundry room.  He found the window at the junk yard, free of charge.  He was able to place the door as well.  It is really coming together.  I will have a great view of the creek out that window while I do my washing.  I am excited about using my old wringer washer again.
Inside the living room area, he has framed in a large full bathroom.  Someone gave us a vanity to use and a toilet.  We had to replace one window and thankfully, we found an old dresser mirror on the property that we can use for the mirror above the sink.  I love finding things that are useful.
Here is the view inside the bathroom.  There will be plenty of room.
Here is the girl's bedroom.  They just love the rustic old wooden wall.  It used to have a 20 foot ceiling, if you can believe it.  Mark framed it in so as to make a storage room above.  With no basement, a storage room is necessary.  I need a place to store winter clothes, extra blankets, and some keepsake items.
This is the view from the third floor.  You can see the dropped ceiling to the left and the floor boards where the new storage area will be.
Here is our new bedroom.  We have to replace these old single pane patio door windows along the wall.  Bugs are able to creep freely in and out along the cracks around openings of windows.  It is that bad!  I would not exaggerate that one!  He will be placing two windows in each place where the long patio doors presently exist.  Our room will not be very big, but it will have some nice views.  You can actually hear the rustling of the creek if you open the window.

Lastly, I will show you our master bathroom all framed in already!  We could have had an enormous bedroom but we decided to add a bathroom in that extra space.  I am happy we did, because in the middle of the night, I will not like having to climb down the precarious, cobbled together steps to find the bathroom. 

We will be placing our claw-foot bathtub, an antique dresser that will be converted into a sink, a toilet, and a stand up shower.  It will be very functional, yet old fashioned looking.

All this progress makes it all the more exciting.  You can see things taking shape and begin to visualize life within each space.  There will be plenty of memories to be made in our new home and new views that we will enjoy from our new windows.

"Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise:
be thankful unto him, and bless his name."
Psalm 100:4

Just for a reminder…

Tea Time Talk Show Tuesday Upcoming Schedule:

Tuesday, May 1, 2018  at 10 am CST will feature Co-Host Owen Newman

  • The following Tuesday will be featuring Owen Newman from the hills of TN talking about homesteading and the simple life.  He has a lot of wisdom and experience living with less and making the most of each and every resource they are given.  If you have any specific questions, please leave a comment below or send us an email or message on facebook from the keeper of the homestead page.  

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14 thoughts on “New Views

  1. Erin, I just love it! I love seeing your new home take shape and I can relate to many of the repairs/renovations,especially with the crooked house. We had an older farmhouse that was very small but man, was that house crooked! I miss it. 🙂
    This is a bit personal, and you surely don’t have to answer me (if I had your email address, I would have emailed you!) but how can y’all afford the building materials while living in your current home, feed your family, etc? That is what we had a hard time doing when we lived in our farmhouse. So many projects that needed doing but we couldn’t seem to find the money to do them sometimes!

    • It has not been easy, I will say. But the Lord is providing. Many of the supplies have been given, which is such a blessing to our family. Being a homesteader pays off greatly, we always have plenty of food that we raised and canned up. There seems to never be a shortage of anything! We are so thankful! It is sure an adventure that we will always remember.

  2. Wow, Erin! This home is going to be amazing! It’s wonderful that your husband can do so many things. My daughter-in-law is married to a man like this. He is making their home so nice with all the added touches and hard work.

  3. Beautiful Mrs Harrison! Thanks for sharing. I am sureark knows this, but don’t they say if you see termites in one spot it is likely they are in others? I would make sure I sprayed everywhere while all the wood is exposed… Just a thought. Miss you guys.

  4. Thank you for the wonderful update! I love seeing your progress! We built our home 10 years ago so I completely understand everything you’re going through and experience. YES! The Lord provides!
    Blessings to you all!

  5. I love it!! I especially love the girls’ room 🙂 And I can’t wait to see your finished bathroom. Thank you so much for sharing!!!!

  6. I loved seeing your update. My hubby is much like yours and can do amazing renovations which I am so thankful for as our old farmhouse needed them when we moved here. I do have a question: is your new home going to be connected to the electricity? I only ask because you mentioned your old washer.
    I enjoy seeing your updates and the pictures of your property are beautiful!
    P.S. We are rewatching your homesteading Dvds and thoroughly enjoying them again! 🙂

  7. How talented Mark is, he doing a wonderful job of the renovations. So much love and hard work is going into your new home, it is a pleasure to see all that is being done. It also gives me hope that one day my home may be finished, but my husband also works full time, so I have to be patient! We are lucky to have amazing views not as pretty as yours but the sunsets are a gift from God.
    Blessing to you, Diane x

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