My Garden Retreat

My Garden Retreat
photo Gridley Graves for Country Living

Working for Peanuts

 Late Saturday Afternoon, my hubby and I were taking a little break when I decided to open a bag of peanuts.
A protein snack to get us through until dinner.
It was at this moment that my hubby said " I  guess I now work for peanuts!"

"What a deal!" I told him!

While crushing the shells in our hands to get to the nut inside ...we were both quietly admiring all that we had accomplished over the course of the week.
We have really been putting in the hours!
Like the peanuts we were eating...our home was coming out of it's rough exterior revealing the prize inside.

As I have mentioned before...
This will be the first Christmas in 5 years that ALL 4 of our kids will be here AT THE SAME TIME!
We are so excited!
It's also our motivation to get us a little bit further along on the house!

This past week the very last of the lathe and plaster was removed from our living room...WOO WHO!!!!
The rough shell is now gone!
The electrical was ran...
and then the walls were dry-walled.

He then began framing out the tray ceiling!

To give the Living room some architectural interest...The room will have a 32" dropped area around an 8 foot center section.
The center will then be covered in beaded board! This will visually tie the library and living room together
While he worked on the ceiling...I decorated the Christmas tree!

For now it's in the library but it will be moved into the new living room in a few weeks!


I have never had one... even growing up!
We chose a Norwegian Pine and it smells fabulous! It's so beautiful!
I will share more after it gets moved into the Living room.
But for now...
I did get the library painted!

And the ceiling pickled.

Whether you call it pickled or whitewashed...I just love how it looks!

Tomorrow I will finish painting window trim and give the cottage planking in the kitchen a second coat!
By Wednesday I hope to hang the wallpaper in the library and install the Windows treatments.

This will be as far as the Library will get before Christmas. It will be after the new year before we can get the bookcases built and installed.

But I am really pleased at what we have accomplished these last few weeks...Even if we are merely
Working for peanuts
Until next time...


  1. Donna,
    We've never had an artificial tree, growing up in the PacNWest.

    Your home is looking spectacular!

    P R I C E L E S S !

    I'm at work and just popped on for a pleased to see you atop by favorite blog roll!

    (I think I may know how you spent Thanksgiving... So much work since your last post.)

  2. Hi Donna,

    Gosh, you have been sooo busy!!! I showed my hubby all that you guys have done and he is oh so impressed! We also have lathe & plaster... the only wall that went down in replacement for drywall/insulation was the closet wall! lol Kudos to ya'll!!! And congrats on the fresh new tree!!! I LOVE it! :) I'm sure all of your children will appreciate how much work you both have put in, into making your house more a home! :) If that's not a labor of love, I don't know what is! :) Happy Holidays! :)


  3. Working for peanuts is priceless. The work you two are doing is done with love and the enjoyment of doing it yourselves.

    You are doing a fabulous job and the tree looks beautiful in the midst of the remodeling.

    Have a wonderful Christmas holiday season with your 5 kids and their families.


  4. Oh your Christmas tree is very pretty!! I am sure you home when completed will be just as pretty!

  5. Your Christmas Tree is amazing and I can't wait to see everything come together, Because I know it will be stunning...

  6. Your silver and white REAL tree is just beautiful! How special that it is your first in your brand new space! I adore those ceilings and hope to white wash the old ones in our lake cabin next summer. Your home is coming along beautifully and I admire you both for taking on such a big project. It is fun to watch the progress...thanks for sharing! :)

  7. Everything is coming along nicely. I can't wait to see it all done.

    I love your beautiful tree! We haven't had a real tree since our son was diagnosed with asthma, and I really miss that.

    Have a wonderful week!

  8. Lovely!! I'm glad you got your tree, we got the same type but mine is decorated in all color!

  9. Your tree is beautiful. How fun to have your first real tree in your new space.

  10. congratulations on your first real tree!! and all of the work you have been doing on your house! i am so impressed with your diy-ness and energy level.

  11. What a beautiful tree and your home is coming along very nicely Donna!! Wish I had your energy!! :)

  12. Awwwwwwwww.... I loved this post. It is wonderful fun watching your house come together... I just love it. And, your tree is beyond beautiful. I love seeing it there in your new home. It's glorious! What a happy thing to see what ya'll are doing, and now your whole family will be together too... this is really good stuff...


  13. You work real good for those that ceiling!!

  14. You really haven't had a real tree before Donna? Well you certainly deserve one my friend and it is beautiful! So is everything you guys have been accomplishing in your house. I am in love with the lights you have chosen for your kitchen and your island is amazing! I am getting so excited about all you guys have done...and if I am this excited, I can't even imagine how you are feeling Donna.
    I am fascinated about how you mix your own paint.
    I love the ceiling in the library. Amazing is all I can say.
    You know I love you too...

  15. You and hubby are doing a fabulous job; I love following along to see what lovely things shaping up at your home--it will be gorgeous--I already love it now. That tree is beautiful!

  16. Always enjoy seeing your progress photos - the christmas tree looks fabulous! How fun to have all the kids for Christmas this year.

  17. Oh you can't beat a real tree ! the smell is wonderful and always reminds me of Christmas when I was a child. Your room is coming along very nicely the ceiling ...looks great ! enjoy your peanuts ! Gail x

  18. Sounds like your gonna have a great holiday! Nothing better than having the kids around!

    Your tree is lovely!


  19. Oh Sweet, it is gorgeous!!! It looks beautiful - I love all the white and silver!
    You guys rock!
    So glad you are happy with everything.
    Have a wonderful week

  20. You work day and night, and it looks great, I especially adore the ceiling.. by the time christmas rolls around you will need a break. Make the kids cook christmas dinner!

  21. I love that the tree was already up. That's great. Hope you get everything done you wanted to, and hope this a the best holiday for you and yours.

  22. Donna, All the hard work you are doing, with the love and help of your husband,will mean so much when finished. You both can take great pride in your achievements. Love the tree. Smiles, Susie

  23. I must have missed this post. Wow you are working hard over there! Peanuts or not, that hubs is a good guy huh? It looks great Donna!! The tree is gorgeous too! I have always had a real tree and am now thinking I want a fake one!!!! hahaha! So funny! I was wondering how everything was going~looks like it is getting there quickly now that the ugly part is done. The ceiling looks great with the pickle. Now come over to my house and help me do my office!

  24. Hey, peanuts seems like a pretty good trade for all the work he is doing! WoW ya'll have really been busy,it is looking really good.
    Oh I am so glad you got a real tree, it turned out beautiful.

  25. Donna,

    Your tree is fabulous! Congrats.

    Hope you have a nice weekend.

  26. It is looking just great!! You have really accomplished so much and I am enjoying following along. Real trees are so wonderful especially because the fragrance.

  27. Love the beaded board ceiling. I would love to have that added to my kitchen ceiling. Your tree is fabulous. We switched back to a real one this year. Used to have them and then of course got an artificial one and then another. My artificial ones are so tall they are just too hard to decorate so we got a shorter real one. You two are diy'ers like we were when we built our house 16 years ago and lots of do overs since.

  28. I love how it looks too and your tree is gorgeous! I am totally getting a real tree this year!! xo

  29. Donna, This is doing to be the best Christmas for you EVER!!! This post was full of so many exciting things!!!!
    This is the FIRST year in my life I have an artificial tree! It is silver and I do love it... but , I am thinking we will go get a real tree this weekend and I will move the silver tree somewhere else.
    All of our sons will be here Christmas this year too and that is the best isn't it!
    OH! Thank you for your comment on the class reunion. I was a wreck!
    Don't let anything stop you from a good time!
    Hugs and have a pretty day!

  30. Love that tree sitting within your construction :) does not surprise me in how peacefully beautiful you have made it all look :)

    Merry Christmas

  31. I stumbled across your blog as I was searching for book page ideas. It was fate I tell ya!!! I am so in love with every nook and cranny of your house. I want to load up your Christmas tree and take it to my house. Thank you so much for sharing you talent.


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~Donna Reyné