My House and “The Buoy House”

I’ve been working pretty hard the last couple of weeks. Because I have a difficult time keeping my workspace tidy, I asked my husband right before New Years if we could switch spaces. He has had his very orderly study in our spare bedroom, while I’ve had my disaster site in an open area just off our entryway. I asked if he would mind switching so I could close the door on my space when it gets out of control. He was agreeable, but before I could do anything our daughter got wind of the plan and asked if she could switch her bedroom into the room my husband had been using. It is slightly larger than her room. I said, “Sure. Why not?”

So I moved my stuff to her old bedroom and she moved her old bedroom to my husband’s old study and my husband is now where I used to be.

Shuffling tons of stuff around is so easy, I decided to make it a little more complicated by painting EVERYTHING beforehand. Ha!

So my husband’s new study (and the adjacent hallway) is painted “Cottage Hill,” a lovely shade of green by Behr. Our daughter’s new bedroom is painted “Amber Moon,” a warm yellow, also by Behr. And my new study is painted “Watery,” a really pleasing blue from Behr’s Cottage collection of colors. Actually, all three colors are from the collection. I like them because they are colorful without being aggressively so. All the trim work throughout the three rooms has been painted with Behr’s Ultra Pure White in Hi Gloss enamel. That was a task all its own, because a number of years ago, I got the clever idea to paint our trim BLACK. I’d seen it done on a number of Pinterest boards and it looked very sharp.

Not everything on Pinterest is advisable.

Three to four coats later, I have beautiful white trim. The paint has a primer built in, but that black is a bear to cover completely.

This evening I took a break to go to the Surfside Beach Chili Cook Off with my husband. By the time we got there, it was starting to slow down, but there were still some artists and craftsmen offering their creations. We wandered into a little booth run by an artist and I fell in love with one of her paintings: The Buoy House. I love the theme, the colors, the stories to be found in all the interesting details. There was a less expensive print of the original painting, but it was smaller and just didn’t have the same effect on me.

Guess what my sweet husband got me for an early birthday gift?

The artist, Kathryne Brayton Lieser, and me with my new acquisition!
Had it hanging over my desk within 30 minutes of arriving home! 

Here are a few photos of the painting projects I’ve been working on since December 30:

This is my study (my desk is behind me in this shot).
I got the clever idea to paint the recessed panels of the doors Garden Rose White (also a Behr color). I really like the little bit of contrast to dress things up and provide some interest.
My husband’s new study — since taking this photo he has replaced that chair in the corner with his Morris chair and ottoman.
The other side of his study. He is a neat and organized person, so whenever visitors walk by, it will look just like this. It NEVER looked like this when I was in this space.
This is my daughter’s new bedroom “in process” – the walls have already been painted, but you can see the black trim I had to cover.
Almost done. The trim is painted glossy Ultra Pure White now and so much prettier than the black! In a few days we will be getting an IKEA daybed that has three drawers for storage. We are going halves on it for her birthday.

Last, but not least, and certainly not final — the backseat of my car is FULL of boxes of things I will be donating to the Salvation Army. In the midst of the shuffling and painting, I thought it couldn’t possibly hurt to do a little purging. It’s difficult to make the decision to let go, but even moving the stuff to my car was freeing. I can’t even imagine what it will feel like when I drive away with an empty backseat.

Coincidence? I think not!

There’s a cliche that goes something like this: “The devil is in the details.” When googling the quote I discovered there’s also a version that states “God is in the details,” and today I found this to be exceptionally true.

A few months ago, a dear friend, Sonja, called me to ask for details regarding the house we were preparing for sale. A young woman had come into the office where she works, along with her mother, and in the course of their conversation my friend discovered the young woman was looking to buy a house in Alvin. I remember my first reaction was, “Oh, we are NOT ready!” So with the disclaimer that we still had a good bit of work to do, I gave her the address to pass along to those who inquired.

With so much left to do on the house, I didn’t really think about it anymore. My sister and I kept working on the house and finally listed it with the realtor. We had a false start the day before the house actually went on the market — a young couple expressed interest in it, but in the course of walking through the house, a problem was discovered with the brick walls: they were a little loose with age! We immediately contacted masonry companies for repair quotes and hired a company to secure the walls around the entire house. We were relieved that the repair was not horribly expensive, but still well done. By the time the work was done, however, the young couple had moved on to another house.

I don’t really know the order in which things happened after that — my sister had more contact with the realtor during the sales process than I did. But I do know that in a very short period of time, we had two offers made on the house. One was our listing price and the other was several thousand dollars less. We were thrilled to have two offers and it didn’t take long to agree to the best offer. After inspections, some minor repairs were indicated and we offered a repair allowance which was accepted and we had a deal.

So today we met at the title company in Pearland to sign all the papers. We found out for certain that our buyers were twin sisters, one of whom had been the young woman who inquired about our house when talking to our friend, Sonja! They were absolutely delightful young ladies — hardworking nurses who’ve been raised with a view to the future. In visiting with their mother, who came with them, we learned at the age of 24, they decided they wanted to invest in a home, rather than throwing hardearned money away on rent. And here’s the crazy, “oh my gosh, it is such a tiny, tiny world” bit of the story.

We exchanged our stories — where we were from and what we did. I mentioned I live near Lake Jackson, the mother mentioned her son worked at Brazosport College. I said, “Oh! I teach photography there in the Community Education department!” She gasped and exclaimed, “My oldest daughter is in your class!” I asked if her name was Angela, and “Yes, yes it is!”

So several months ago, this very sweet young lady called me to ask about what kind of camera she needed and told me how much she was looking forward to the class. Several months ago, her mother and one sister walked into my friend’s office and mentioned they were looking for a house to buy in Alvin. And today we discovered all these paths that seemed completely separate were actually very close indeed.

I would definitely say God is in the details. I take a great deal of joy in knowing these sweet young ladies, fellow Christians, will be making their home and memories in our childhood home. I am pleased that such good people will be the new neighbors of the neighbors we have been so fond of for so many years. 

I think our mother would be so happy. I know she would. I know I am.


Our house was listed with the realtor by the end of the day on Friday. I posted photos on FB, shared them with everyone I knew, many of whom shared them with their friends, and our realtor listed the house on HAR, Zillow, and Trulia. There is a sign in the front yard. Something must be working — two potential buyers saw the house yesterday, one of whom went back for a second look today, and a third potential buyer looked at the house later in the afternoon.

We are hopeful!

House for Sale

Over the last several months, anyone who’s stumbled across my little blog here knows my sister and I have been preparing our childhood home to be sold. It’s been difficult, but we have managed to keep each other going and the day has finally arrived. The house is going on the market later today!

I couldn’t wait that long, though, and so I did my own listing (complete with our realtor’s contact information) on Facebook. Now I’m going to share with you!

House for Sale

Considering neither of us has ever tackled a project this large or expensive, I think we did a pretty good job all the way around. Yeppers! Now let’s get this thing SOLD!


I am really proud of how everything turned out. The house is listed with Regina Harris – Gary Greene Realtors for $169,900. She can be reached at (281) 777-5449! 😀

Getting Closer

Updates on the house are getting closer and closer to being done. Today we stopped by to disconnect the dishwasher (discovered a manufacturing defect after it was installed – they are bringing a replacement tomorrow). The laminate flooring has been put in. Unfortunately I was a bit distracted by other things and failed to get any photos. I’m going back tomorrow to paint, so after we run the vacuum and dust, I’ll get some shots. In the meantime, here are a few of the progress that’s been made, beginning with some “before” shots:

Kitchen cabinets in the early stages of updating. My original thought was “clean ’em good and give ’em a good lemon oil polishing.” Fortunately, my sister, the visionary, prevailed.
The front bathroom.

We hired someone to paint the cabinets with a sprayer. It was a lot faster and the finish was better than if we’d tried to paint them with brushes. We think it was worth the investment in giving the cabinets an updated, fresher look.

Before and after. Notice the “fur down” has been removed. I was a chicken — worried about what might be back there. Again, my sister had the courage to say, “Well, I guess we’ll find out!” It’s more apparent in the following photograph, but see that strip of molding around the top of the painted cabinets? That was around the top of the fur down. Angie carefully removed it and saved it so it could be reattached to the cabinets and painted. She rocks!
I just can’t get over how beautiful everything is turning out! Angie chose the paint colors, formica, and hardware, and did a great job. My contribution was choosing the tile for the backsplash!
Sink still needs to be set and faucet installed, but isn’t it looking good???
Brand-new appliances: Whirlpool double oven, smooth surface cooktop and range hood.
12 x 24 floor tiles also used in the shower. Love ’em!
See the accent tile in the shower? There is also a shampoo/conditioner niche in the wall that features that tile. I couldn’t walk in there when I took this photo, so I’ll have to show it later!
Tile backsplash carried over from accent tile in shower,
Finally, the front bathroom had been retiled several years ago, but Angie found a box of leftover tiles in the garage. We were able to use them to have this backsplash done in the front bathroom! A nice touch!

So that’s it for now. I am really please to see my childhood home receive the update it’s needed for so long, and I’m hoping whomever buys our home enjoys the updates and makes a lot of good memories here.