My house-building process surprise: IT’S ALL IN MY HEAD!

Not long ago, I watched Still Mine, a Canadian romantic drama based on a true story about an octogenarian farmer who wants to build a house for his ailing wife.
One particular scene stood out for me. It was between a city bureaucrat and the old farmer, Craig Morrison.
City:  Do you have your plans?
Morrison:  Plans for what?
City:  For the house.
Morrison:  I don’t have any plans.
City:  Well, how do you know what you want?
Morrison: I know what I want.
City:  How do you know?
Morrison:  Because it’s in my head, that’s how.
Lately, I’ve found myself identifying with Morrison as I’m trying to finish designing our new house. I thought with a degree in interior design the process would be easy. Wouldn’t you think that?

It hasn’t.


I know what I want


Because it’s in my head, that’s how!


but the challenge is getting it out of my head and onto paper.

I promised to take you along on this journey with me, so let me catch you up . . .


On December 1, we closed on the big, old house in town—the one we renovated and returned to the community over a decade ago—and officially began our gap year adventure while we prepare to build our Finally Farmhouse. You can read our entire renovation story HERE and our adventure plans HERE.
On December 8, we met with our builder’s representative and talked about the process. We also discovered the most gorgeous salvaged windows for our sunroom and greenhouse, but I didn’t have my camera, so you’ll have to wait. I promise . . . they’ll be worth the wait.
On December 18, I emailed an overview of our project to the builder’s rep then turned my thoughts to Christmas travel.
On January 2, while sitting at the laundromat, I received my first call from Nancy, the woman our builder uses to draw up house plans. She had received our project overview and had a list of questions.
As we talked, I realized Renaissance Man and I needed to have a few more discussions before I could answer some of them. And there was a lot more I needed to communicate to her before she could start our drawings. And there were some things I didn’t know.
We scheduled a time to talk again later in the day.


But before we ended our conversation, I’d learned a few things from her that unsettled me. To be completely honest, they overwhelmed me.


I knew from the builder that Nancy lives in a log cabin “in the boonies” in Indiana. But I didn’t know she has no easy access to wi-fi. I didn’t know she does everything by fax rather than email. I didn’t know she only gets texts when she goes into town where there’s a cell signal.
I’m a blogger. In my world, Internet access is as “everyday” as electricity and water. I’ll admit:  I was thrown a curve, and I was frustrated. How was I ever going to communicate via fax? I’d have to print then scan documents—then drive into town to Renaissance Man’s office to use the fax machine. Talk about inconvenient!
When I talked with Nancy later in the day, she explained her process, and it sounded more do-able than I first feared. Not convenient, but do-able. We worked through her pages of questions, and I started my own to-do list.
Since then,

  • I discovered MyFax, an online service that lets me send an EMAIL that gets delivered to Nancy’s fax . . . and lets Nancy send a FAX that comes to my inbox. Hallelujah! (and no, I’m not paid by anyone to say that)
  • Renaissance Man had surgery on January 6 — the day of a Winter storm. And complications (thankfully soon resolved!) that delayed our getting home before bad weather hit.
  • We stayed four nights with our “civilized” friends since our steep, snow-covered driveway in the country proved impassable. Forever grateful for their friendship and open arms!
  • We settled back in at home when the snow melted, did follow-up doctor visits, and prepared Renaissance Man for a trip to Guatemala. No rest for the weary…

And then I returned to working on house plans . . . trying once more to get what’s in my head onto paper.
I’m making progress—when I’m not blogging documenting our house build process.

Before this week is over, I’ll be sending that email (via fax!) to Nancy—if it kills me!

If you’re still reading this, you deserve a peek at more of my inspiration pics. That IS what you were waiting for, isn’t it?  🙂 The ones from Houzz are quick screen shots—so you’ll know where they came from!


Those floors!

Love all of the windows—and dish storage—in this kitchen!

Well on our way to this sunroom . . . Reclaimed windows and beams —check! Salvaged fireplace — check!

Sans fireplace

Trying to decide between traditional farmhouse built-ins or a beautiful French china cabinet I already have. This pic makes me lean toward the gorgeous (and less expensive) option . . .

As I write this, the sunshine just came out for the first time in *forever*. That should boost my creativity! Time to get back to work . . .

What are you doing today? What’s the last project you thought would be easy — but wasn’t?


  1. Bonnie Bee says:

    HOW EXCITING….. cannot wait to see ALL of your dreams & inspirations turn into building PLANS after so many years of anticipation!!!!!! Enjoy the process, my dear friend, you have what it takes to get to the finish line.. so do not even second guess your design abilities for they are many.. Would love to see the final plan set… Glad to hear Renaissance man is back up & going strong… wishing you both a wonderful 2017 filled with many accomplishments, good health & blessings… xxoo

  2. So…. there it was- the kitchen from Houzz that I have bookmarked on my computer as well as my husbands. It is the only home I have bookmarked. I return to it often for inspiration. I love everything about that kitchen and the house. The home is real. It doesn’t have the usual overly staged decorator touch. I realize they used a decorator -But a very good one. Beautiful! Thanks for sharing your journey. Fun! I just know I am going to love it based on your inspiration photos.