Our New Southern Home – Short-Term Goals

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Thank you to all who wrote supportive comments on our Empty House Tour post! You gave…

Okay, okay, just wait. I’m gonna just say it and get it over with, okay?

Y’all1 gave us such a warm welcome to the South, and so many of you gave some great advice for helping with Handan’s allergies.

So let’s jump right in and get to the topic at hand: taming this beast of a house.

Instead of giving you the laundry list of every project we may have up our sleeves, I’m just going to share what’s coming in these first weeks and months. Later in the summer, I’ll write another Goals post with a whole new set of projects (assuming I’ve finished all of these, lol!)

The very first order of business was to have a radon mitigation system installed. When we had the house inspected, we also checked for radon, and while the levels weren’t eyeball-popping, they still warranted mitigation. We were able to get the cost of the system deducted from the home price, and we had the work order lined up before we even moved in. Radon isn’t on many people’s radar, but it probably should be. I’ll have more to say about it next week.

The next critical task was to bring power the the basement, because it barely had any. There were only about 4 light bulbs for the entire basement and no electrical outlets.

My babes-do list would be dead in the water until I could get the basement properly wired.

But….

The house only had a 100 amp breaker box. Almost every modern house these days has 200 amp service coming from the electric company, so we were running at half capacity.

I got a few quotes from local electricians and settled on Mr. Value Electricians. Mark, our electrician, installed a second 100 amp breaker box and wired up the whole basement to code. He also installed ceiling lights and 20 amp outlets for some of my more power-hungry tools.

Let there be light!

Once my power tools arrive on the second POD, I’ll be ready to go!

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The next order of business is the carpet. We’re not opposed to carpet, but all the carpeting on the first floor is trashed – stained, buckled and furniture marks that are probably 20 years in the making. With the house empty, now is the time to pull the trigger: we either get the carpets replaced or we get them torn out and install wood floors.

I’d normally try to leave you in suspense here, but I think you can guess which route we’re going to take!

I’ll post about our new floors soon, but this won’t be a DIY project. It’s far too complicated and way too easy to screw up. We’ve already found a great hardwood flooring company to work with. I have high hopes for the job, and I’ll be sharing that project with you when it’s finished. Here’s a little teaser after they tore up the carpet. Look at all that disgusting crap that was hiding under the carpet pad! Blech! Good riddance!

We’re also getting wood flooring on the front staircase. After estimating the cost to stain the handrails and posts on the stairs, I’ve decided to tackle that job myself. You can read all about that adventure once it happens!

The second major undertaking (and it dwarfs the flooring project) is the kitchen remodel.

Now don’t go and get any funny ideas in your head, madam. I won’t be building cabinets for the kitchen. That ship has sailed, and it’s no longer welcome back to port. There are few tasks as odious and painful as cabinetry. I tip my hat to those who do it professionally, because though my attempts (here, here and here) have yielded acceptable results (by DIY standards), the time, effort and aggravation involved left me a quivering, sputtering wreck.

Besides, have you seen the recent advances in modern cabinetry?

Here I thought it was still all boring drawers bracketed by cheap slides and monotonous cabinets whose only “wow” feature was adjustable shelves.

But Jeezum Crow, madam!

Cabinets these days have the complexity of a Rube Goldberg apparatus! They have hidden drawers within drawers, so you can double your cutlery capacity. They have unfathomable contraptions that miraculously make use of the nether regions of corner cabinets. I can’t begin to comprehend the mad genius it must have taken to invent such a convoluted piece of cabinetry.

They have command centers, inches thick, built into refrigerator enclosures.

Madam, they have appliance garages, for god’s sake! (And you can bet your sweet sassafras I’ll be getting one of those!)

No matter what your appliance or cooking tool, there’s probably a custom drawer, cabinet or insert made to cradle and house it in wooden, soft-close comfort.

But just as great power comes with great responsibility, great technical innovation comes with a great price tag. To be clear – not a great price, but a great, honkin’ big price.

Still, this is our one shot at getting the kitchen of my dreams while the house is still (relatively) empty. Handan made a promise to me years ago that I would have my dream kitchen, but we just never got around to it in the old Navage Patch.

I do believe she intends to make good on her promise down here in our new home in Suwanee!

Though the kitchen will be another “professional” job, there are still related activities that we’ll be doing ourselves. I’ll most likely demo our old cabinets and bring them to the basement. Storage is always welcome, and these cabinets are perfect for storing paints, stains and all sorts of crafty stuff!

I’ll also show you how to install a backsplash when we get around to that part of the project.

Now, of course there will be a thousand other projects we’ll be doing entirely ourselves!

But first I’ll need a functioning workshop, and for that, I’ll need to build myself some workbenches. I’ll share those benches with you as soon as I can make them. I always prefer to build my own. Not only are DIY workbenches way cheaper than store-bought, but I can make them any size and height I like. I like to make some a little higher for working on small projects and one lower for working on furniture projects.

Do you remember the doggie dish drawer I built for Penny and Pepper when we renovated our old laundry room?

Laundry Room Cabinet with Pull-Out Shelves | DIY pull-out shelf | How to make sliding shelves for laundry room cabinet | DIY slide-out shelf and cabinet tutorial | DIY Laundry Room cabinet with Dog Feeding Station | How to install CabinetNow doors | Best paint for cabinets | #TheNavagePatch #diy #Laundry #organization #Cabinet #Tutorial #HowTo #Paintedfurniture #diyfurniture #dogfeedingstation | TheNavagePatch.com

I’ll be doing something similar in this house, but I won’t be building the cabinet. That’ll happen in a few weeks – I need to have it built and ready for the girls when they join us here in June.

Above the girls’ feeding station, I’ll be building and installing a floating shelf. It’s a simple DIY that will look great. I’ll probably make a few more floating shelves for Baris’s Leisure Palace as well.

Speaking of the Leisure Palace, we’ll have a few projects to show you as we get his rooms set up.

In fact, I’ve already painted his ceilings and walls, and that will lead to a total house re-paint by little lonely old Yours Truly. If I thought my days of painting high-ceiling’d rooms were over, well sister, I’ve got another think coming, don’t I? Good thing we bought a new ladder with a wide base and a cool ladder support to go with it! And while I’m painting the living room, I may as well swap out that fan, right?

And while I’m up there (on our scaffold) changing that fan, I may as well change the foyer chandelier, right?

As luck would have it, Handan found a beautiful iron symphony-style three-tiered chandelier to hang in our entry. We bought it secondhand back in February, while Handan was still living in the studio apartment, and it sat in a corner, taking up a large percentage of free floor space until we moved her out of there last weekend. New, those chandeliers go for over $1500. We scored ours for $60. Wooooot!

As we fit out my office (off the foyer and across from the dining room), we’ll have a few projects to show you from there as well.

Okay, let’s step outside, because very soon we’ll be making some changes out there.

First, the door. I told you that Handan has a superstition against black doors, so we will be painting it to a beautiful color we’ve already chosen. I’ll share it with you when I write about it.

Second, we’ll be replacing that single lantern with two of them flanking the door.

And those gargantuan bushes! Yeesh, is there a house back there, somewhere?

Yeah, those need to go. In fact all of the front landscaping needs a little upgrade, so we’ll tackle that this summer, too.

Our window ghost is also in the project queue, but that’s another job that needs to be handled professionally, as that entire huge window (and the two side windows flanking it) need to be replaced with custom glass. No way in hell I’m attempting that myself!

Well, I guess that about covers it for our near-term projects. Seems overwhelming, I know, but we’ll get through it one project at a time.

Stay tuned and stay safe!

The Navage Patch Short Term Goals 2020 Checklist

That’s my one gratuitous “y’all” for y’all.

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80 Comments

  1. Be cautious if planting new landscaping in the middle of summer in the South. In some areas the heat can be too much and it’s less stressing on the plants to wait til early fall. Finger crossed that your area of Georgia isn’t overrun with gnats in the summer like SW Georgia (SOWEGA) is!

    1. Good to know! Maybe we’ll just get rid of those big beasts to start and plan on replanting in fall. Thanks for the tip, Jay!

          1. And keep in mind you’re not acclimated yet to Southern summer temps. Get your absolutely necessary outdoor items done asap and then adjust your list as you acclimate. It’s a whole ‘nother world in the South! ?

  2. Oh, I love a good remodeling project and y’all have such a lovely canvas to work with! Looking forward to seeing what you’re going to do with the landscaping because those bushes have GOT. TO. GO. I just know the front of the house is just going to POP when you’re done with it.
    My husband would be salivating over that large basement and the possibilities it presents.
    Thank you for sharing your remodel with us. So exciting and inspiring!
    I hope Handan’s allergies abate soon. It’ll take about a year, but local honey is truly your best bet.

    1. I know, Wendy, we can’t wait!! You’re so right about those big bushes. I’m sure 20 years ago they looked just fine, but they just keep getting bigger, and I guess the previous owners just didn’t want to deal with them, lol! We’re already hooked on the local honey – it’s some of the best we’ve ever tasted, too, so that sure helps! 🙂

  3. Thank you Greg for that “footnote”. I as a Native New Englander (now transplanted to Charlottesville Virgina) only use that world in private and rarely. The other southern expression you may fall into is “fixin”. Man I get it, it’s faster and easier to say “I’m fixin to get gas for the lawnmower” than, I’m getting ready to head to Sheetz for gas to fill the lawnmower.” I get it. But I refuse to succumb. Looking forward to your backsplash project as I have one on my to-do list too. Cheers !!

    1. LOLOLOL! I imagine we New Englanders have a whole slew of expressions folks down here love to poke fun at. “Wicked” pops to mind. The farther Northeast you go, the more you’ll find, I’m sure! 😀

  4. And the list grows….Yeah, those overgrown shrubs have got to go–we did the same with our house which had really old overgrown evergreen shrubs all around it. Is that window ghost caused by a bad seal and moisture between the glass layers? Had that too in an original bump-out bay window which we replaced with a picture window and two side double-hungs. I don’t envy you that painting job with those high, high ceilings. Yikes. Be careful on the scaffolding, man.

    1. Yeah, that’s one pane of glass and the seal is blown. That’s a big piece of glass, so no way I’m touching it, lol! Those are 18-foot ceilings. I really thought they were higher – I would have sworn 20, but I measured them to 18 feet. It’s going to be a big job to paint that room (with 2 coats, no less), but hey, it’ll save A TON of money. I imagine a pro would want 20k+ to paint this house. No way, Jose!

      1. Your house will be so beautiful! Congrats on the new adventure.
        I’m in Texas (born and raised on the word y’all), and as far as landscaping, we look to late February through March or late October through November before we do anything. The heat is just insane on the roots and clay-like soil, and the humidity molds everything if we aren’t careful. I think we are the same landscaping zone 8 as Georgia. Have fun with the changes and welcome to the South!

        1. Thank you for the welcome, Mir, and thanks for the tip about replanting. We’ll definitely wait until fall to replant (though we’ll still get those shrubs removed before then)

  5. Greg – do you have a day job? Or maybe with Coronavirus you were laid off, or maybe due to the move you quit. Anyway was just wondering how much time you have to devote to Project: New House. That ick under the carpet has turned me into a hardwood person forever. Who are the dog’s staying with. Really enjoy your posts and echo Bonnie. Enjoy the South.

    1. Hi Carla, The Navage Patch, LLC is my full time job. My time will be split between doing the work, running the household (I’m the chef), taking photos and writing posts. Until the beginning of June, our son and the dogs are staying with my parents back in Glastonbury, CT. We are so fortunate to have lived in the same town as my parents, so Baris had the option to stay behind and finish his school year in the same school. In hindsight, it turned out not to have mattered due to Rona, but we didn’t know that when we made the plan!

        1. Jeez that’s rude!
          The last time I checked running a household was work. If Greg did the exact same things in someone else’s house he’d be housekeeper/chef/maintenance ops/stylist and whatever else and be getting paid for all of it. Not to mention that the blog may earn in it’s own right.
          Greg, I’m glad you and Handan have the opportunity to live life your way. Looking forward to all the posts. I love reading them even if I can’t use most of them cos your huge lovely house could swallow mine whole and spit out the bits without any effort. My little place is probably the size of you master bathroom!

        2. Hi No Name, thanks for your brilliant insight into my life. Let me try to break it down for you. I’m a woodworker, I’m a furniture restorer, I’m a handyman, I’m a designer, I’m a photographer, I’m a writer, I’m a chef. I work 7 days a week most weeks. I am the sole proprietor of a Limited Liability Corporation. I make money. Do you want to know what I don’t do? Probably not, but I’ll tell you anyway. I don’t punch a time clock. I don’t have to listen to an asshole boss. I don’t sit in a cubicle. I don’t sit in traffic. In fact, I have no commute whatsoever. I don’t need to play office politics. I don’t need to beg for time off. I don’t need to worry about sick days, should I need them. And I am beholden to absolutely no one but myself. So tell me again, No Name, how I don’t work, and please tell me how much better your job is than mine, because I’m all ears, my friend.

          1. Go Greg!!! I’ve always thought you worked harder than most of us. You have major skills, and I love your posts. They’re beautifully written and I always am so excited to see a new entry. pffffbbbbttt to “no name” (and no class)

          2. ? I spontaneously clapped when I read this! ??

            Many people have no clue how much time and effort goes into the work that you do. They look at a blog/website and think of it as some words and a few pictures – and have the “heck, I can do that” mentality. However, there is A LOT of work behind the scenes – especially websites like Navage Patch that make it LOOK easy.

            Your response (and reading the story of you and Handan getting together – seriously, that should be made into a movie!!) is the reason I – and MANY others – enjoy your posts. They are real, well thought out, and give both the humor and the difficulties in life! Thank you for choosing this “job”!!! Cheers!

          3. Well said Greg, what a rude person! As someone who had to give up full time work to care for my sick mother, which meant i was daynurse, night nurse, escort to hospital appointments, launderer, cook, cleaner, gardner, etc i used to bite my tongue when people who should have known better would say – ‘you don’t work now then?’ Arrrrrgh!!!

  6. I’m loving your posts. I can hardly wait to see your completed work. I’m originally from Georgia, now living in Virginia. Well, let’s just say This is where I ended up. I’m married to a retired Marine Officer and this is where he got a job after retirement. You have to go where the jobs are. Currently, my one singular job in life is to get back to Georgia as fast as I can (it’s still about four years out, sigh….) I hope you come to love Georgia as much as its natives. We are a loving, hospitable bunch. And one can never have too “Bless your heart”s or warm hugs. Well, no hugs right now, sigh again.
    Alas, I digress. I’m so looking forward to the before and afters!
    Y’all be safe!

    1. Thank you, Terri! We already love it here so much. Our neighbors are great, the neighborhood is awesome, and so far every Southerner we’ve encountered has been a model example of “Southern Hospitality.” We only wish we made this move years ago! 🙂

  7. Phew! That’s a list for ya! Sending you energy to get it all done. Thanks for coming back – you are my muse! best wishes to all (or y’all)

  8. Greg, don’t forget the inclusive all y’all. And yonder, you’re supposed to know where that is by the way. Oh, and be careful with the Bless your little heart, still not sure about the usage, but I got the stink eye one time. Don’t know about GA but here in Bama folks don’t take pictures, they make them. And you mash the gas peddle. And they will carry you somewhere instead of take you. Don’t worry my Yankee friend, you’ll be Southern before you know it, and won’t even realize it. Your parents will notice it before you do.

    Melita aka Southern Yankee

  9. I’m with everyone else; did not know what was missing till y’all went live again! So glad you’re back! I do look forward to watching your house turn into your home. I know too well that some things are just left to the pros, I so get that. The house is a perfect setup for perfection. I can see so many aspects, like the kitchen being unbelievably stunning when your vision is realized! (I’m a classically trained chef, retired now!) looking forward to watching your adventures again! Be blessed, Hope

    1. Oooooh, you’re going to love the kitchen, Hope! Those months that Handan was copped up alone in her little Atlanta studio were not wasted! She has designed a killer kitchen for me. I can’t wait to see it come to life!

  10. Great to have you back. Living in England what I know of the US (I avoid the news) comes from my friend in New York, Pen Pals (Snail mail) across the South who address me as “Miss Lucy” will you become Mr Greg and Miss Handen? Don’t know what Baris would be at his age.
    Take care, stay safe, well and sane 🙂

    1. Hi Lucy, you are a wise woman to avoid the news – nothing good comes from it! We were Mr Greg and Mrs Handan in Afghanistan and India…we’ll see if it happens again!

  11. I’ve missed y’all! So glad to see The Navage Patch is back! Take it a little bit easy until you get used to the heat and humidity. And be sure to keep a close eye on the pups – it could be rough on them to acclimate.

  12. Wow, you guys have hit the ground running. I love it. Looking forward to all your project posts. They always give me ideas and the courage to at least think about tackling one of them.
    Blessings to you as you settle into your new home and neighborhood. I hope you have great neighbors. Health and safety to all of you.

    1. Thank you so much, Dorothy! We sure have hit the ground running, and there’s no break in sight! But that’s okay, because everything we do here is a story for the blog 🙂

  13. Love your new house. You are going to have plenty of projects to keep you busy for quite a while. I’m a transplant from Ohio to South Carolina for many, many years. Love the South! A word of caution about yard work: be on the lookout for the dreaded Fire Ant! I’ve been fighting them for years where I now live. They pack a really mean bite.
    Can’t wait to see the transformation of your new home.

    1. Oh yeah, I’ve seen videos on those little buggers – nasty little things! I’ll be careful when I dig in the yard!

  14. Greg: Obviously Carla hasn’t been with you guys from the start. She needs to get with the program and read your adventures. I’m looking forward to seeing your plans for the work benches. I moved in with my daughter and son-in-law and we’re building a new house with a huge in-law suite in the basement. My son-in-law told me I wouldn’t need to bring my tools.. He made me get rid of a few things but the minute the house is finished, my first stop will be Lowe’s. I will have a big craft room so I’ll need a work bench. Don’t work too hard and stay safe.

    1. LOL, yeah, she may have missed those stories, Gail. Hopefully, she’ll find that About Us section and get caught up! 😉 I hope to have those bench plans ready soon!

  15. Thank you for bringing us all along on your journey and keep writing! It gives us all a break from the day-to-day sameness that life has become. And, of course, watching someone else work themselves into a frazzle can be almost like you’re doing it yourself, only without the fatigue…..and the expense…..and the frustration. So thank you to the two of you for “taking one for the team!” Truly, I love reading your blog and vicariously living the process.

    1. LOL, it’s our pleasure to take one for the team, Jan! I’ll keep writing as long as these chubby fingers have life in them! 😀

  16. Two reasons I love your blog is not only the awesome ideas that you and Handan come up with, but I love your humor. I think you were a Southern in a previous life because your not uptight about life. Can’t wait for kitchen backsplash tutorial and when you are through replacing the fan and foyer light I need you to bring that tall ladder to replace my foyer light fixture which is about 1/2 as tall as yours. Everyone is afraid of heights around here ?‍♀️

    1. Also try to incorporate one Southern slang word a week. I wish my three dogs would eat side by side like yours. We have upcoming kitchen remodel and I love your dog feeders but we have to stand guard while ours eat so the Golden Retriever won’t run the other 2 out of there bowls. But I guess we can’t have everything LOL

  17. Hi Greg ..
    So nice to see you all again.
    Yes those southern expressions will grow on you! I still have a couple from my mother who was from the south…decades and decades ago,tho I am connecticut born and northwest for the past 40 years!
    On kitchen plans,I think you are so wise to leave it to the professionals who do this every day. One less headache. My hubs decided to go with a handyman instead of installers..and I am still biting my tongue. 3 years later I can see the “ good enoughs” and it makes me a little frustrated and angry. Because a so so job …down the line can become a bigger problem than doing it right. Plus the time! I think you are very wise to let installer guys do their job. Less frustrating. Save $ somewhere else!
    Say hello to lightning bugs for me. I haven’t seen any since I left connecticut in ‘62! Or smelled lily of the valley at night coming through the windows.( In humid days,before a/c and fragrant dryer sheets!?)
    Looking forward to more fun and games at the na vage patch!

    1. Hi Bernice! I feel like we’ve learned enough now to know which jobs to do ourselves, which jobs to hire out and which jobs can be some sort of mix between the two. We’re saving money where we can, doing as much as we can and gladly accepting (and paying for) help with the rest! 🙂

  18. Yay! Projects! You have a beautiful home and it will be more beautiful as you make it yours! Living in Alberta what I know of the southern US is the food so you will have to let us know what you add to your repertoire. Really interested in all of your project list. We are just leafing out up here so the kind of landscape you are working with is not my usual. You have so many options for plantings – how will you choose?? Have fun

    1. Thanks, Chris! I haven’t given much thought to planting yet, but my mind is always on food! I can’t wait to get my kitchen set up and my grill fired up so I can start exploring some local cuisine!

  19. This is going to be a fun ride…hold your hats & don’t stand up!! The “South” welcomes yo’al! The Virginiansl

    1. The house I list in my divorce had a 22′ vaulted ceiling in the living room and the fan we installed had a long “stem” that it hung from. It made the fan more efficient and much easier to access when it needed cleaning. Just something to consider. I know they look cool close to the ceiling, but why have a fan if it doesn’t do anything, right?

      1. If this is your “forever” home, maybe consider installing it on a track you can raise & lower electronically. You won’t always be able to climb ladders & scaffolding!

  20. Don’t want to throw cold water on your plan to paint your front door, but here goes. I hope you checked with your HOA about the front door especially if all the doors are black in your neighborhood. They may be the reason. Just check with them first, especially if you go with red, they may be seeing red if you didn’t get it approved first. That goes for anything you may want to change on the outside of the house. Sometimes the paperwork they give you describing dos and don’t are vague. Be safe!! Love the new house! Alabama Mama

  21. Hey Greg! Taking on that house DOES sound like an overwhelming number of DIYs!!! You will become even MORE of an inspiration! Do you wake up every single morning raring to go ? You must! And…….what’s a ghost window? Thanks for your blog! I love it!

    1. Hi Constance, I usually wake up each morning wondering where night went, lol! Our ghost window is a ghost -shaped condensation mark in the big window over our front door. The seal is ruptured and a great big condensation spot has developed.

  22. Wow. All I can say is ……wow. beautiful house and I know you’ll make it even more beautiful.

  23. I think the ONLY time you are going to get to sit down and rest is when you are typing up your blog posts! What a list! In both of the kitchens I have lived with, the husband(s) were smart enough to let me plan what I wanted as I was the cook. My fairly small kitchen of 30 years is never going to be big enough! First husband was NOT a carpenter and our standard saying was, “You can’t see it from the living room.” Also, “Bury me over the septic tank” as we never planned on moving again! Good luck with all of your projects. I expect them to be “wicked cunning” (very cute/nice), (Maine-isms).

    1. I think you’re right, Kathy – it’s been non-stop since we got in here, and I really haven’t even had the chance to do a project yet! “Bury me over the septic tank” LOLOL!

  24. What a beautiful house!
    I just found your blog a little while ago, and I love your story telling!
    My suggestion to you would be to get rid of every square inch of carpeting in the house while you can. Handan’s allergies will be MUCH better. Remember that air conditioning and heating just blow the crap that you found under the carpets all around the whole house.
    Hardwood is wonderful, but pricey (here). We put good quality cushion floor in the craft room, kitchen, and the kids rooms. Lino is like cupboards, Not the same as Mama’s. My craft room has textured sandstone patchwork, and the kitchen is like Italian tiles.

    1. Thank you, Joanne! We will absolutely be ridding the house of carpet. First floor first, then eventually the second floor. Can’t beat a wood floor!

  25. Wow, Greg. Quite the undertaking you are beginning. What are you going to do next week when you finish? As a DIYer I can see all the work involved in you beautiful new house. We retired to a little house near Mountain Home, Ar. and love our little house . During the quarantine so far I’ve had 13 new replacement windows installed and the house painted. The deck will have to wait until fall, when we return from campground hosting in the Santa FE National Forest of New Mexico. I’ll have to buy some extra sanitizer for our “Put’n’Take” for this summer. That Honey-Do list will just get bigger. Enjoy your new home, and take time to explore the area.

    1. Hi Jeffrey, good to see you again here! I’m glad your Put n Take is still up and running. As of my move from CT, ours was closed, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it stayed that way. Each year, they’ve been putting more and more restrictions on it, and this virus is just the excuse they’ve been looking for to shut it down for good. “For you own safety” of course. *eye roll*

  26. Congratulations on your new home!!! I cannot wait to read the new posts on your projects that are ahead.

    I am so happy I found your site. We have been renovating our home (which has led to an uptick in drinking and cussing) and it’s great to see your ideas and commiserate with your posts! Though, I have learned the hard way not to read your posts while drinking liquids – since there have been times they end up exiting out my nose from spontaneous laughter!!

    Those bushes reminded me of the evil “Devil’s Garden” we had when we first moved in (and are still dealing with). We had spruce topiary plants in front that were more like velcro made from needles. The wounds from their removal disappeared after a week or so. Our advice – leather sleeves!

    Enjoy your new digs and may you all be healthy and happy!! Cheers!

    1. We’re glad you found us, too, MizzMo! Hopefully we’ll be digging out the Devil’s Garden soon, as long as we get the nod from The Exalted Ones 😀 You’re so right about the leather sleeves – at least for Handan. Those bushes give her an awful rash!

  27. Welcome to the south! We’re your neighbors just over the Alabama line. 🙂 Love, love, LOVE the new house and can’t wait to see the transformation. I’ve been reading The Navage Patch since last fall, and can’t get enough. It’s especially inspiring now when we are knee deep in quarantine projects in our own home. The latest of which was painting our kitchen cabinets. (Whew! That one was a doozie!) Keep up the good work and please don’t ever stop sending out the killer content we crave. We love your work!

  28. I agree about temperatures when doing yard work in the summer. We live in Texas and usually do ours early in the morning or failing that evening. Also be aware when tackling the bushes that there are more snakes here in the south than up north, and that they are more active longer. Copperheads in particular are very aggressive, so be wary about putting unprotected hands or feet into places you cant see well.

    1. That’s good advice, Jenny – especially for Handan. She’s totally chicken when it comes to snakes. I’ll be sure to be the one who sticks his hands in the bushes first! 🙂

  29. Wow! That’s some gargantuan task you have to tackle fitting out your beautiful new home, but it will be worth it. I’m so excited to see your projects in the making and completed, I would love to have wooden floors, carpet is a dust collecter and a pain to clean if something is spilled, i’m sure at least four of the bungalows in our street would fit in your enormous basement. I am in the process of redecorating my bedroom, my darling Tony gave the walls a lick of paint twelve years ago, when i came out of hospital very depressed after a mini stroke it hasn’t been touched since. So to keep myself sane through lockdown i am creating my fairytale forest bedroom, i may be 59 on 4th of July but i’m still a little girl at heart 🙂 I have been going through my collection of ‘ooh i’ll find a use for that some day’ and and my craft materials making fairy swings, seats, houses etc when it comes to collecting objects, i’m Wales answer to Handan but with a lot less space to store my treasures 🙂

    1. Hi Catherine! It is a big task, but we’re plugging along and tackling it bit by bit each day. Sooner or later, we’ll get the big stuff done, and that’ll give us time to focus on smaller crafts. I like your fairytale bedroom idea. Let us know how it turns out!

  30. You guys, I have been missing lots of chapters here. A move and a new house!! Congratulations on your new life, I wish you all the best! That gorgeous humungous house should keep you busy for years to come!!