Progress Has Been Made

In my last blog about “The House I Didn’t want to buy” we were still working on the main floor apartment. I was convinced that it was wiser to start at the top. After all, that’s where all the water was coming from.  I wanted to avoid that area because I knew that’s where the majority of the work is. In some places, the plaster was literally falling off the walls. We started in the worse room. The Bathroom had to be totally gutted. It had been leaking from the bathtub and from the toilet. Much of the floor under the toilet needed to be replaced. It was really nasty. But now, except for a few final touches, it’s finished.  On to the kitchen.

This is what we started with.

This is the finished bathroom.  Just needs final touches.

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Exciting News

Yikes, it’s been months since my last blog. Excuses, ahh?, tourist season, house reno, the call of the Black Hills. To be honest, the stress of the reno next door had me in a bit of a funk. Now I’m back to the old me. But even in my funk, progress was made on the project. When I last reported on the “House I didn’t Want to Buy” we were working on the main floor. Since then we moved our work upstairs because “water flows to the lowest level.” There were so many leaks from the upper bathroom. I was convinced (by others) that we had to start at the top. But before we moved up, the lower bathroom was totally gutted and all mold removed.

I tried to avoid the upstairs unit because it needs so much more work than the main level. That bathroom was also moldy, and just plain nasty. Also, the plaster is literally crumbling off the walls in most of the rooms, including the stairwell. Since my last blog much of that plaster has been knocked and sheet rock hung. Best of all, except for some minor touches, that bathroom is complete. We are also well into the kitchen reno. I promise to post pictures next week. I will now be blogging on a regular basis.

But first my exciting news. Since the concept of  the B&B, I had planned to open a store in my basement. Last year, I got a pretty good start, but was waylaid with the purchase of “The House I didn’t Want To Buy”. Recently, I have been invited to join the “Younique Finds” family. Younique Finds is a store on Mt. Rushmore Road that I frequented quite often, and have gotten to know the owner. Long story short, she is expanding upstairs and offered me one of the rooms to sell my treasures. I’m excited. While I still plan to open my basement store eventually,  I’m thankful to Jen for the opportunity to expedite that plan. Now I have a good excuse to GO SHOPPING.

#B&B #vintage store #new adventure #expanding
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Took A Much Needed Break

All work, no play…. This post isn’t about the reno, or the B&B. My cargo van, Daisy and I took a trip to Austin TX to visit family. Had a great time visiting my kids, but the true reason for the trip was to see the next generation (grandchildren).

The first leg was with my daughter Kimberley. We had “girls day” with Lilah.

Also watched her hunt eggs at school.

Next was to my son Sean’s house. It’s a beautiful house in a great country like setting. I loved the sounds, but what I love best is …

RYAN. Just look at that face. What a joy. Loved the cuddles but I really enjoyed watching him play. He has such an active mind.

I got home yesterday. This is what greeted me.

Also, weeds, lawn needs to be mowed, spring cleaning before tourist season, oh and the reno. Better get to work.

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Kitchen Vision

This kitchen is so small, it needs to be opened up. After all, no one wants to be secluded in the kitchen alone, not to mention, there isn’t lots of room for anyone else. The answer was to open it into the dining room. The wall has been reframed, and electrician called. I will also be removing the back door. It isn’t needed. That gives me room for a pantry and a fridge.

Can you see my vision?

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Bathroom Demo Main Floor

OMG  The bathroom was ugly to begin with. From the nasty plastic behind the tub, to the brown faux wood on the bottom half, but at least, it had a new ceiling, and fresh flooring. The slum lords family, who live out of state, hired one of the previous owners friends.  It was his job to get the house ready to sell. This friend also has rentals.

We started with the walls. The more we pealed back, the worse it got. There were four layers of moldy sheet rock and plaster. Evidently, when the bathroom above had a leak, (which was evidently often) the owner just slapped new sheet rock on top. Also the bathroom never had proper ventilation.  We removed part of the (new) ceiling so that a ventilation system could be installed. I assumed that the new ceiling had been installed properly. Sadly, no. The friend (which I will call slum lord #2) just put new sheet rock on top of a layer of moldy lath and plaster and a layer of sheet rock. It had to stripped all the way back to the beams. Before it can be put back together, all the leaks from above need to be dealt with.

I’ve decided to replace the original door with a barn door.  The inside swing just took up too much floor space. Now I’ll be able to put in a proper vanity. The door frame had to be altered. Because of this, I pealed back some of the new flooring. Guess what, more stinking mold. #2 had done the same to the floor as the ceiling. Just slapped new floor on old moldy flooring. The bathroom is now gutted. I originally planned to keep the bathtub, but decided to replace it. Now I have to deal with what is above.

IMG_0213 BeforeIMG_0222Before


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Demo Started

Within a couple of days after the purchase of this house, the work began.  The kitchen cabinets were so nasty, they had to go. I knew that the kitchen needed a total gut. Then I got the bright idea, why don’t I open it up into the dining room.  I figured that there was probably a pipe to deal with along with some wiring. What I didn’t count on was that the wiring was knob and tube. That meant, call the electrician. I already planned to have the fuse panels updated, but this had to be dealt with first.

My design ideas amounts to extra work along with $$ but when it’s finished, I know it will be worth it. Stick with me to see the end result.


Thank you Colton Newton. Without your help, this wouldn’t be possible.



And there it is, knob and tube. Of course, this isn’t the only place I found it. demo5

I can already see how this is going to open up the kitchen.

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Check Out What I’m Working With

I closed escrow New Years Eve Day. Within a couple days, my nephew Colton and I started working on this house. After my last blog, I got several requests for more pics. This post will be a few before pictures just so that you can see what I bought. I will catch you up to where we are now, and where this journey takes us. These are pictures of the main floor only. I don’t even want to think about the upstairs apartment yet.

Living Room/Dining Room

Into the Kitchen


Master Bedroom

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The House I Didn’t Want To Buy

The house next door to my B&B has always been a problem. The owner lived on the main floor, and rented out the upper unit. He owned several other properties in town, basically he was a slum lord, also a hoarder. The property was always an eye sore. Because the rental was poorly maintained, the renters were always a problem. They entered next to my house. It was always an embarrassment to my B&B. There was a time that house was on my vision board, but as years passed I had changed my mind.
Last year the owner passed away. I was approached by his family asking me if I wanted to buy it. At first I told them no, but by the time they left, I convinced myself that I did. I was afraid that if anyone else bought it, and rented it as is, my problems would continue. I can’t tell you how many times I changed my mind until I actually signed the purchase agreement. My son and nephew kept convincing me that I couldn’t take a chance. Also, I own the house on the other side of my B&B. That gives me the whole end cap of this block.
The house needs so much work. Stay with me through my journey as I turn this eye sore into the beauty she truly is underneath.

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Rhubarb Preserves

Sunday in Rapid City was nasty, cold, so I decided to accomplish two tasks. First was to clean out my freezer, second was to use the rhubarb I had been saving. My dear friend (now past) gave me the best recipe for the preserves. Naturally the main ingredient is rhubarb. It also includes pineapple and walnuts. Thank you Lynn Mayer, I miss you.

It took me all day, but I ended up with 28 small jars and 18 large. I’ll serve some to my B&B guests, sell some in my (soon to be opened) store. Of course some will go to friends and family. I think it’s very tasty. I hope they do too. Safe travels and remember “Always book direct. ”

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