In February of 2009, my husband and I bought our first home located on a few acres in Johnson, Vermont. We live here with our dog, Ollie, two cats: Elvis and Atticus, six Nigerian Dwarf goats: May, Chutney, Poppy, Juniper, Willow, and Jokers Wild, and about fifteen laying hens. And to top it all off we welcomed our daughter, Isabel, into the world on January 11th, 2011.

We're slowly updating our 1850's farmhouse while steadily working towards a healthy, meaningful, self-sufficient life together.

This blog details our endeavors along with our successes and failures- all in good fun. Thanks for stopping by, hope to see you again soon!


May and I enjoying some sunshine


The Best Trip to Lowes EVER!

Lovingly Posted by Melissa Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Sunday began with a little well-deserved sleeping in.  I got up around 7-7:30 and plopped myself down next to Kyle on the couch.  Today we were making a run to Lowes with our various gift cards that we had been given for Christmas, birthdays, and a couple that I received for being awesome from my health insurance company.  So we started our list.  We needed to get almost a dozen sheets of drywall to finish the guest room and the closet, some drywall mud, tape, a light for the closet, and I wanted to look for a mirror or medicine cabinet for our bathroom upstairs.

The weather wasn't looking all that promising, with showers in the forecast it was going to be quite a gamble to try to haul drywall from Lowes back to our house (a good 40 minute drive) without getting it soaked.  We loaded up a tarp and some ropes, just in case, and headed out.  First stop was Jana's in Jeffersonville where they make the best donuts in the world, for some breakfast.  I can honestly say we only picked up some breakfast sandwiches, no donuts this time...it was a serious test of will as they were the first thing I could smell when we stepped inside.  But, with breakfast in hand, and a full gas tank in the truck, we departed.

Of course, along the way the rain started up.

We got to Lowes and grabbed a couple of their big carts.  I was so excited to see the lack of cars in their parking lot, I almost always have an anxiety attack at Lowes with the quantity of people that are always there.  But we arrived and we probably only saw half a dozen customers the whole time.  We stopped by the drywall aisle to get that out of the way first.  Yes, it was raining, but if we didn't get the drywall we wouldn't be able to get much work done. 

Loading up drywall is my second least favorite home-improvement activity (first belongs to running drain pipes...serious pain in the butt that one).  While there, we picked up bucket # 1,002 of sheetrock mud (that calculation is a little overexaggerated, by the way), some seam tape, and another box of sheetrock screws.  We stopped over in the lighting department to grab an inexpensive wall sconce (I believe it was $17 or something like that) and then headed over to the vanity area to look for a mirror for our bathroom.  We found a nice big medicine cabinet, a little more than we were expecting to spend at $108 but what the heck.  So we headed back to where we left our cart of sheetrock to check out.

Along the way we just couldn't help but think we were forgetting something.  Trips to Lowes always take no less than an hour, and we hadn't even gotten frustrated yet...so something wasn't quite right here.  We stopped to look at router bits for Kyle's new toy that his lovely wife gave him for Christmas, and tried to find some new cartridges for our ventilators (no luck), but nope, couldn't find anything else we needed.  So we headed over to see what the damage was.  Ten sheets of drywall, mud, tape, screws, a wall sconce, medicine cabinet, oh and a couple switch plates came up to $220.  I did my happy dance a bit as I handed over our gift cards- which brought our grand total up to (drumroll please) ZERO!!  WOO HOO!

Thats right folks.  We walked out of there with our goodies with $18 left on one of our gift cards.  I couldn't help but smile as we started loading the sheetrock into the truck.  Of course, after getting the first pair into the bed, I stopped smiling...but hey, thats ok, at least I didn't spend any money on it.  We tied it all down, swaddled in layers of tarp and plastic provided by Lowes, and headed home.  Of course, by the time we got halfway there we were having some serious plastic malfunctions and had to pull over to resecure, as best we could, the protective barrier between our new wall and the persistent precipitation.  To no avail, another ten minutes down the road the plastic pulled up into all the wrong places, leaving the top sheet of our drywall exposed.  Whatever, another ten minutes to get home, there was just nothing to be done with it- it wasn't really raining all that hard afterall- more of just a heavy sprinkle.

We got home, and unloaded the drywall (yippy) into our workshop and headed into the house for some leftover chicken soup.  I was exhausted and it wasn't even noon yet.  We still had a long day of drywalling ahead of us.  But I'll get into that tomorrow.


  1. Donna Mae Says:
  2. free is ALWAYS good...:)

  3. Anonymous Says:
  4. UGH, dry-walling sucks! I know because I've watched my parents do it way back when. :)

    Good luck!

  5. Melissa Says:
  6. Yes, drywalling is definitely not my favorite. But, after almost a year of doing it at least it goes a little quicker and easier! :)

    Thanks for stopping by aldenwicker, its always nice to meet a new face!


  8. Such an adventure. Excellent planning too to end up with just $18 left over. I'd have bought an orchid to take home too. That would have finished it.

    Have a Happy New Year.

  9. Melissa Says:
  10. Hi CF! Ah that WOULD have been a good idea! :) Next time. That room is definitely going to need some plants once we're finished...aren't orchids a little...difficult?

  11. CONEFLOWER Says:
  12. Nope! They are incredibly easy. In fact if you baby them too much they die. Don't water until they dry out is one nice thing. Google them and their care. I have Phalenopsis. They'll even rebloom. One of them has never stopped blooming in almost a year.