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Hi all! Welcome back to my continuing journey of Beating the Winter Blues.  I started this series last year and just picked up back up last week talking about the importance of hobbies.


This week I’m going to talk about projects and goals. These are a little different than hobbies because they are usually a one time deal (get ’em done and move on). Something big that you and your family are going to take on during those cold dark months that you might not have the inclination or time to do when it’s actually nice outside.  Personally I find working on the house during the winter months extremely satisfying. Plus you spend a lot more time inside the house than usual (at least that’s the case for us) so why not have it the way you want it.


So here is the list of my/our winter projects on our little homestead. Perhaps this will inspire you to tackle something in your house! Or maybe it’s just therapeutic for me and you poor folks get to read my ramblings about walls and pantries. Either way, here goes:


Ugly Ugly Wallpaper

wallpaper  Wallpaper2


When we first looked around the house, back when we were pondering renting it, the wallpaper wall stuck out so bad! Now it’s not just because it’s wallpaper. The previous tenant had birds and they were hanging off the walls, pooping all over it and ripping it to shreds. We knew it had to go! But this is a MUCH bigger project than we anticipated. First taking down wallpaper in general is just no fun. Everyone who has ever done it can attest to that! Second, when a few pieces started coming off we saw what could be a potential problem. We are not entirely certain the wall is finished underneath (see photo below), which would mean mudding, sanding and priming before we could even paint. And this is a stairwell that is well over 12 feet tall so painting was going to be a pain in the butt anyway. Sigh. But as I mentioned, ugly ugly ugly. It’s just gotta go.


Wallpaper Mess

That just looks like plaster under there doesn’t it?


Bye Bye Walmart Pantry

Those of you who have been following me for years know that our previous place had a teeny tiny kitchen. And when I say teeny tiny I’m not exaggerating. My husband and I were constantly bumping into each other. And if I was doing a major job in there, like canning, the whole place was off limits due to the size. With the small size came next to no cabinet/storage space. So we purchased a fairly inexpensive plywood Walmart special pantry for extra storage space.




While it served it’s purpose it just doesn’t really work in the new space. Plus I’m a dreamer and just look at what I’m dreaming about…


DreamPantry  Mason Jar Idea


Doesn’t that just make you swoon? I just LOVE the idea of open shelving and Pinterest is an evil evil beast when you are up at 3am with a tiny monkey version of yourself.  The first goal of the shelves would be a mason jar storage system for my many spices. Right now I use these awful plastic buckets which are supposed to be organized alphabetically, but it’s still annoying to find what I’m looking for when I’m cooking/baking. Plus my spices are sitting in plastic bags which I really don’t like. Then at least a few shelves will be dedicated to things like quinoa, grains, flour etc.


While the wallpaper is indeed ugly this might be a higher priority to me.


Get the Barn/Coop Ready


The barn - The area where Run B used to exist is to the right of the barn

    The barn – The area where Run B used to exist is to the right of the barn

Chicken Run A - in good shape and even has a few perches

Chicken Run A – in good shape and even has a few perches


Last but certainly not least is the barn/coop. We plan to get our first batch of chicks in late winter/early spring and we want the barn/coop and runs to be ready.  While the chicks won’t be outside for many weeks, the garden will be the high priority in the spring so we might as well work on something homestead related during the cold months while it’s an option.


The barn is divided into two coops. Each coop has a little doorway for the chickens to get out to a run. The problem is that run A is much better than run B (which is actually non-existent… the area is the the right of the barn in the photo above), but coop B is much better than coop A. Instead of rebuilding the whole thing (which we can’t really afford right now), we are just going to open up the entire area inside the barn and make it into one large coop. Eventually when we have new birds or if we decide to raise another type of animal (quail are on the list) we can redo everything, but the quick and easy solution is to just open up the whole area.


So that’s our list of winter projects. What do you plan to do this winter to help beat the winter blues? I’d love to hear about your projects!


In good health,