Bless this home

When our church moved out of its storefront location into a free-standing building our pastor invited us to come in and write blessings, Bible verses and prayers on the floor before the tile was installed.

I remember kneeling near what would become a modest indoor waterfall and writing a prayer for some of my dearest family and friends who didn’t yet know Jesus. They didn’t know that he was sent to earth to cover our sins, the sins that keep us from heaven. They’d hear of him sure, but they didn’t trust him. They thought you could get to heaven by doing good works and being a “good person.”

At least two of them have come to trust Jesus, I’m still praying for the others.



I loved the idea of blessing a place. When the Mister remodeled our sunroom at the home we live in, I wrote blessings on the floor for us and anyone who enters our home. That sunroom is easily our favorite room in the house and it’s were visitors gravitate to and relax in. Many have told me how peaceful it is in there.

I knew I wanted to do the same thing at the investment property. Beyond the drama we’ve discovered that went on in this house , I wanted to really bless the new owners, and all who step foot in there.

So, as people stopped by to check it out, or to lend a hand, I asked them share their favorite verse or write a blessing or prayer.

We saw at least one contractor read a verse. Here are the ones we’ve gathered so far.

My prayer for all who enter.
A friend’s verse, the one we saw a contractor read.
This verse is close to my friend’s heart. It was one of the first he learned when he started trusting in jesus.
Probably the most popular verse in the Bible. It pretty much sums it up! This is in a child’s room.
And so is this one. Another awesome verse to lean into.




sometimes people think christians are stuffy and can’t have fun. I thought this Was perfect For the kitchen.
A pryaer for the master bedroom.
Another prayer for the master bedroom. And for me too!

 

I hope this post has blessed you in some way today. If it has, please share it.

Now it’s your turn. What blessing, verse or prayer would you share?



How to remove carpet, hillbilly style

It ain’t your daddy’s method, or maybe it is.

This is your how-to guide on how to remove carpet that is glued to a cement floor the hillbilly way.

Tools you’ll need:

  • Boxcutter
  • Tow rope
  • Chain
  • Pickup truck (any brand will do, we prefer Chevy, mama prefers Dodge-I have no idea why)

Now just watch this short, easy-to-follow video to see how it’s done.

I’d love to hear about your carpet removal ventures and which brand of pickup truck you prefer!



No hillbillies were injured in the filming of this video.

Look at what I can do!

Regular readers of this blog know that I like to do things fast and I don’t go near the edges. If you’re new to the blog, you can click here or here to see what I’m talking about.

So, what I’m about to say is going to blow your mind!

Are you ready?




That’s my hand, pictured at the top! Trimming! With actual paint and without tape or an edger!

I know, right!??!!

And I’m good at it.

Here’s the even weirder part:
I like it!
It’s fun!
It relaxes me!
I’m an edging maniac!

How did that happen?

Has anyone else experienced such a huge change in a work habit, almost over night? I’d love to hear about it!



Seven years bad luck? Ha!

Editor’s note: I added more at the very end.

When I arrived at the house yesterday I found pieces of a broken mirror littering the garage floor.

“What happened here?”

“I forgot there was a mirror on the back of a door and I dropped it.”

“Good thing we’re not superstitious.”

I used to be, then I became a Christian, started reading my Bible and tossed all the superstitions out the window. Much like I used to toss salt over my shoulder when I spilled it.

My interest in superstitions began as a young girl. I remember walking to the local library and checking out books on the subject, learning as much as I could.



There were the wishes:

  • I made my parents honk when going through a tunnel while I placed my hand on the car ceiling and made a wish.
  • When I saw a white horse in a field I’d lick my thumb, make a fist, wrap my other hand around it and make a wish.
  • Of course there was the turkey bone at Thanksgiving.
  • And the birthday cake!

There was luck:

  • I’d never walk under a ladder or cross the path of a black cat.
  • While walking down the sidewalk I wouldn’t dare step on a crack, unless I was mad at my mom. Sorry mom!
  • How many pennies did I not pick up because they were tails up? If they were heads up they would quickly find their way into my left shoe.
  • If someone gave me knives for a gift I’d have to pay them for them. Usually a quarter.
  • Oh, and the hairy arms. My childhood BFF Janice said if I had hairy arms I’d be rich.
  • And I no longer believe talking about something good will jinx it, much to the frustration of my bestie Deb.

I realize that some of our readers will think that Christianity is a superstition. I used to feel that way too. But now, years later, I’ve seen how Jesus has worked in my life and the lives of others. My life changed drastically when I started trusting in Him.

So I say bring on the black cats, the ladders, the broken mirrors and let’s talk about hopes and dreams. I’m not afraid!

I’d love to hear about the superstitions you’ve experienced over the years!





One last thing, this Sunday’s Easter. If you don’t have a church that you attend, consider finding one this week.




My friend Tammy notes some more on our Facebook page! How in the world did I forget these?

  • Knocking on wood.
  • Bad things happen in threes.
  • Wishing upon the first star of the night.
  • Sports rituals.
  • When the clasp of a necklace moves to the front, make a wish as you put it back in place.
  • Holding your breath as you pass a cemetery or go over a bridge.

Easy Cranberry, Almond Biscotti

As promised in a previous post, here’s a step-by-step of how to make Gale’s famous Cranberry, Almond Biscotti.

This is one of my favorite go-to snacks for my family. It’s not loaded down with sugar and shortening, it lasts nearly a week and it satisfies our sweet tooth.

As with most yummy things, start with butter, 4 tablespoons this time. It’s best if it’s at room temperature.

Add one cup of sugar.





Cream the two together.

Add two teaspoons of almond extract.

And 3 eggs.

Mix it all up.

In a separate bowl dump in 3 cups of flour.





Add in 2 teaspoons of baking powder,

and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.





Mix it up with a whisk.

Then add it to the wet mixture in three batches, mixing it up in between.

Until it looks like this:

Measure out 3/4 cup of dried cranberries,

and 3/4 cup of slivered almonds.



Wait, those aren’t slivered, those are whole almonds! I know. I’m cheap, I mean frugal. So I chopped them.

Add them to your batter and mix them up.





Sprinkle a clean surface with flour.

Drop the batter on the flour.

Smooth it out and cut it into two separate halves.

Then roll each half in into a 3″ by 12″ log.

Sprinkle with sugar, decorator’s sugar, if you have it. And gently press the sugar into the mixture.

Bake at 350 on a cookie sheet that is lined with parchment paper.

After about 25 minutes check them to see if they are ready. Your knife should come out clean. If not, put them back in a for a few minutes and check them again.

Once they are ready, put them on a cooling rack.





Once they are completely cool, cut them in 1″ slices.

Place them back on the lined cookie sheet and pop them back in the oven for 8 minutes. Then, take them out again, turn them over and put them back in for 8 more minutes.

That’s it! Biscotti’s that easy!

 

 

 



It’s all about the relationship

When our friends Curt and Erin offered to help, we told them “no.” After all, while we hope that this house makes an incredible new home for a family, the bottom line is we hope to make some money on it. We couldn’t dare take help from friends when we’re in it for the profit. We wouldn’t want to jeopardize that relationship.

“I’m confused,” she said. “We could spend an enjoyable evening or afternoon visiting with you while we work on the house.”

They showed up with pizza and gloves and set to work.



And it clicked. It wasn’t necessarily about the task at hand. It was all about relationship.

Relationship is why our friends Matt and Deb helped us install the floor in the home we live in. And it’s why we helped them with the floor in their old home. It’s why we made umpteen trips to Goodwill when they downsized and handed them the keys to our truck.

Relationship is why Curt tore out the tile in the bathroom for us. It’s why Todd and Matt painted all of those edges. They know I don’t do edges!

 

Relationship is why Lori picked up the wallpaper steamer and helped peel some for a little while. And it’s why we painted Lori’s bedroom three years ago.

Relationship is why Jen and Erin worked on that fireplace. And I still don’t know if I’m going to like this whitewashed looked. But, we’re only one coat in so we’ll see.

Relationship is why Crystal came out and took pictures, then asked her architect friend if we could tear out that wall.

It’s not about the money at all.

If you decide to take on a daunting task and you’re friends offer to help, say yes.  You may find more blessings than elbow grease.



Landscape tips to get the most out of selling your home

Editor’s note: We’re excited to have expert guest writer for this post!

By Joe Turpin, Fralich’s Landscape

For most homeowners, selling a home requires touching up the paint and minor cosmetic work inside the house.  What most homeowners don’t think about however is that the first thing any potential homebuyer sees is the exterior entrance to the house.

Here are some tips to help make your curb appeal, more appealing.

Clean-up

The easiest way to tidy up your curb appeal and maximize your dollars is by cleaning up the existing landscape.

Tidy up all plant material by pruning and cutting out any dead branches.

Power-wash decks and walks (just be careful that you don’t strip paint or gouge hardscape surfaces).

Putting down pre-emergent in early spring will help control weeds. Pre-emergent stops weeds from germinating.  Note: DO NOT USE IT if you’re trying to re-seed your lawn.

Remove any dead or overgrown plants. These will make the property look like it has been neglected.



Mulch, mulch, mulch. Fresh mulch has the same effect as new paint. It will liven and clean up your landscape beds.

Make sure you look up while cleaning, messy gutters and chipping paint can ruin the cleanest of landscapes.

Remove Yard Art

Keep your landscape as simple as possible.  Try to remove any yard decorations and novelties.  Buyers tend to go off of their first impression, what may be cute or chic to you may make your landscape look cluttered.

Draw the eye to the entry way

Having had several years in design, the first thing I think about when working on a front yard landscape is the direction of movement your eye takes to the front door.   Subconsciously, when the eye is drawn to the front door, the house seems more inviting.

The easiest method to achieve this is by using the plants from tall to short and repetitive plantings or hedges to move the eye to the door.  You can also use landscape lighting to highlight the front door at night. Yes, potential buyers will drive by your home at night. (See Landscape Lighting Below).

Add color and interest

Adding decorative pots with colorful annuals can really make an impact in the front yard without breaking the bank.  Be sure to give yourself enough time to allow plants to grow before listing.  Add a slow release fertilizer to the soil to increase plant size and remember to water regularly.

Lawn Maintenance

Make sure you keep the lawn mowed and somewhat weed free.  An unkempt lawn will give the appearance of a poorly maintained home.  The easiest method to remove weeds is to use a hose attachment pre-mixed lawn spray.  Most big box stores carry this and it is fairly simple to use.  Expect the weeds to start to disappear after a week.

If your yard is mostly weeds, be ready to grow grass.  Start by killing the weeds first.  You will want to wait at least a week to let the residual weed killer to wear off.



If you are near a rental store, a slice seeder is the best method to reseed your yard.  The slice seeder will put grooves into the yard and drop the seed.  This will keep you from needing to use straw.  Apply a turf starting fertilizer to push the new growth.

Pro-tip:  Most landscape companies use a mixture of bluegrass and rye grass.  Bluegrass takes 2 weeks to germinate so the rye grass is mixed in to establish a lawn faster until the bluegrass takes over.

Landscape Lighting

Adding exterior lighting to the landscape will give a sense of a security to your for potential buyers.  You can also use the lights to highlight the front door and draw buyers to the door at night.  Be sure to use low voltage lighting or led rather than bright fixtures.  The ultimate goal is to highlight the landscape not showcase it like a billboard.

Use landscape lights to highlight areas of interest such as ornamental trees, line pathways for visibility at night and add security by lighting dark areas around windows and back yard access.



Joseph R. Turpin is a student of Landscape Architecture with 10 years of design experience, 15 years of landscape experience and is a current designer for Fralich’s Landscape of Greenfield, Indiana.

Aaron Fralich is the owner of Fralich’s Landscape with 10 years experience in the landscape industry with a background in Agriculture

Connect with Fralich’s Landscape: www.fralichlandscape.com,  317-477-0405, www.facebook.com/fralichs

Connect with 317MulchIt: www.317mulchit.com, 317-685-2448, www.facebook.com/317mulchit

 

Picture Credits:  all pictures are free to use from the Pixabay website or stock photos from Fralich’s Landscape.