Spiffing It All Up

Spiffing It Up


Our move from our little house in Belton to our 1893 Victorian in the city last year was absolutely insane. I had squirreled away furniture from both grandmother’s houses, filled a half basement and the 1,100 square foot main level with furniture, books, and waaaay too many crafts.


We signed on the 6th of February and that gave us just three weeks to move what turned out to be about 4,000 square feet (or more) of stuff. And here we were, doing this in winter! And despite literally two months of prepping, packing and stripping our lives down to the bare minimum, it was still a Herculean effort to get it all done. I think I could have constructed a bigger house in the suburbs just in all the boxes I had filled, emptied and sometimes filled again.

It was no wonder I lost fourteen pounds in three weeks. I barely slept. It was work, unpack, load up, clean, pack, move, unload, unpack, work … the days just blurred together. I was absolutely exhausted, sick with a bad cold during part of it, and running on empty for most of February, March and into April. I swear to you that I am NEVER moving AGAIN!


Now I can’t recall if I painted the molding, but I know I scrubbed the grout tile floor in the kitchen on my hands and knees for hours, trying to turn the blackness back to its original cream color. We installed that tile floor ourselves when E was just an infant. What a project that was!

In any case, one of the first things I noticed that needed fixing in the old house now that is vacant, were painting touch up on the molding and doing something about the yucky grout on the kitchen floor.

I first tried scrubbing it. That helped turn it from black to a medium gray … a small improvement, but still, ewww!

So I had seen something on Hometalk or Pinterest about a product that you could use to renew the look of your grout. It is called Grout ReNew and it is part paint, part sealant, not too expensive and easily available at local home improvement stores. So we went to Home Depot and I found the perfect color, Sandstone, which brought out the more beige tones in the tile.


It was an easy application. Just shake up the bottle and squeeze out some on a paint palette. My palette ended up being a square of cardboard. Using a small, angled craft brush, I simply painted the product onto the grout. Any overage onto the tile later cleaned up with a scrubbie and my handy dandy steam mop. It took about five hours from start to finish, but boy oh boy is it worth it.

I took plenty of before and after photos with my fancy pants smartphone. Said smartphone apparently has smartly deleted said photos. I took pictures today and so there are only the after photos. But I love how it looks!

Yesterday I went through with the Cornerstone color and touched up a ton of doorway moldings and baseboards. Sooo much better. Not perfect, but certainly better.


We have both worked on trenching out the sump pump (okay, I dug like three feet of it and my hubby dug thirty … but still) and bought the PVC pipe to connect it all. The water will now flow far away and down from the house, hopefully stopping the constant flooding into the neighbor’s yard that also apparently killed our two beautiful forsythia bushes. We still need to add drainpipe extensions to the corners where there had been rain barrels. I’m not sure how long the rain has been digging deep holes into the corners near the foundation, but we need to stop the erosion before it affects the integrity of the basement.


There are still some minor fixes … removing the basement sink, smoke alarm checks, finishing the mowing now that everything is poisoned with weed and feed.

Yes, you heard me. We actually bought weed and feed. I’m simply unwilling to fight the will of the suburbanites. And I won’t ever be living there again, so…


Iris Blooming Just in Time for Mother’s Day


I was unable to locate my bearded scented iris (truly a rare one, I never knew anyone else who had them but me), but these transplants from last year definitely came through for us this year.

And just in time for Mother’s Day!

Wishing you all a fabulous Mother’s Day!

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