Fall in Tennessee | Chasing Waterfalls

Home on the Range: A House Progress Report

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It’s been a month tomorrow since we returned from Bahamas (which I still have to tell you about, but all in good time). A month of me being in home, no flights, minimal car travel, time to catch up on my fall TV. And if you know me, you know how excited I get for new fall TV. Plus, I’ve had some quality time with my fur niece.

Charlee the Golden Doodle

Let’s just pause for a moment to admire how cute she is. Doodles are the best!

But to say it’s all been completely relaxing is an understatement.

In short, we started the refinance process for our old Victorian home, which means we’re in go mode now more than ever. It’s a good thing, sure (I think?), but it’s also weird to have a deadline after three years of renovating on our own timeline.

Our Victorian Home | Painting our old Queen Anne house.

The good news is that we finally hired someone to finish out the siding—for two years, it’s only been halfway done thanks to our last crew quitting (or rather, failing to show up) mid-job—and now, our house is naked, fully exposed to the elements, until they start putting the new wood on tomorrow.

We also had a squirrel, erm, situation and had to initiate an eviction. I mean, it’s not the first time, so who’s surprised?
Ridding your house of squirrels

After we went up into our haunted attic to investigate, we found the little buggers had been gnawing clean through our wires! We’re lucky they didn’t start a fire. We’d been pretty reasonable landlords up until now—we’ve ignored them the last couple winters as they clawed around above our master bedroom—but this was it: We had to kick them to the curb.

The problem is that this house is large and not super easy to seal. So we (being SVV) concocted a temporary solution: To plug all the cracks, we balled up aluminum foil and stuffed it in every last crevice.

How to Get Rid of Squirrels in the Attic
How to Get Rid of Squirrels in the Attic

I don’t want to jinx us, but it’s been three weeks now and not a single noise from above (*knocks wood*), so here’s to hoping they’ve found new digs.

In the meantime, we’ve also been working on smaller projects. Four of our Nashville friends came down a few weeks ago to help us paint the porch. We got an entire first coat of white on in the few hours they were all here, and it’s amazing what a difference that makes.

Our Victorian Home | Painting our old Queen Anne house.
Our Victorian Home | Painting our old Queen Anne house.

Our Victorian Home | Painting our old Queen Anne house.

Some of our house guests were more helpful than others. But at least they’re all super cute, every last one of them!

Our Victorian Home | Painting our old Queen Anne house.

Our Victorian Home | Painting our old Queen Anne house.
Our Victorian Home | Painting our old Queen Anne house.

The next day, SVV and Brian scampered up the cupola and threw on a coat of primer there, as well. I’m thankful Brian was there to hold the ladder, as I’m not sure I have steady enough a hand for this kind of manual labor!

Our Victorian Home | Painting our old Queen Anne house.

Painting is our therapy, and this is the fun part (I think), though ultimately, it’s been a tough time for exterior renovations given that every weekend we’ve had at home has been plagued by rain. Up until yesterday, when the mercury plummeted to the 40s from 70 on Thursday, the weather has been mild, too, so it’s a shame rain has put a literal damper in our plans.

But we persevere! Having friends jump-start the porch process was definitely a big help, and—weather permitting—when the siding is done, we’ll start to paint. We’ve already stocked up on supplies, trading our usual Benjamin Moore for Sherwin-Williams Emerald Exterior line that SVV, a former painter, has been lusting over for some time.


This past weekend, because it was too nippy for paint to dry and we’re clearly not capable of taking a day off, we took a sledgehammer to the terracotta that forms our backyard. We’re really hoping to do something like this patchwork patio if we can find enough remnant tile to make a cool pattern. Input welcomed! As usual, we’re doing it as budget as possible.

Our Victorian Home | Painting our old Queen Anne house.

And of course, let’s not forget the Mission Stone + Tile master bathroom project we semi-completed. If you missed that post, you can read all about it here.

We’ve also had a month of visitors. After our quartet of local friends went home, my BFF Lemon came to town. It was a pretty lazy four-day weekend in which we ate at all the restaurants in Nashville, shopped at all the shops, and headed up to our alma mater, Sewanee, for brunch at the new inn.

Brunch at Sewanee Inn

The day she left to go home to Texas, Roy and Crystal—two of SVV’s nearest and dearest—arrived from California via Alabama and stayed with us for nearly a week.

Fall in Tennessee | Chasing Waterfalls

I had a pretty deadline-heavy week, but Crystal coaxed me into the great outdoors for a brain break.

Fall in Tennessee | Chasing Waterfalls
Fall in Tennessee | Chasing Waterfalls

Fall in Tennessee | Chasing Waterfalls

Because when it’s 70 in mid-November and you live down the street from a waterfall such as this one, you have no choice but to mingle with Mother Nature.

Fall in Tennessee | Chasing Waterfalls

Let’s just say, our little Maltese water dog wasn’t hating it. She may be tiny, but she’s also mighty and would spend all days in the Great Outdoors if we let her.
Fall in Tennessee | Chasing Waterfalls

As for the rest of the fall and into the winter, other than a four-night jaunt to Washington over Christmas to see friends, we’re here for the long haul, and it’s a nice feeling knowing I have plenty of time at home to catch up on work, both personal (house) and professional (writing).

I also have about eight years’ worth of posts to reformat on this blog. For those of you who have reached out saying certain categories on my Topics page are empty, first, thank you (I need all the error-spotting help I can get) and, second, make no mistake: That’s because I haven’t had time yet to go back through and re-categorize everything. But I’m slowly working through the posts, page by page, in my downtime and if you can’t find something specific you’re looking for in the meantime, just leave me a comment (or shoot me a note) and I’ll help you find it. I’m still obsessed with my now two-months-old redesign but it’s definitely been a whole lot of work on our part, as well, given the massive archive I’ve accumulated over the past decade!

Fall in Tennessee | Chasing Waterfalls

But enough about me. Do tell me how fall has been treating you so far?

  • November 25, 2015

    So many cute dogs! I need to take pointers from you in regards to dog photography, because my little Norwich Terrier always ends up looking like a scruffy little thing 🙂

    • December 18, 2015

      Ha! I think a fast lens is key. And don’t let her fool you, Ella is six pounds of scruff 😉

  • November 27, 2015

    What a beautiful home and a lovely dog. This really is a nice place to have a family. You nailed it in beautifying the place.

    • December 18, 2015

      Thank you, Marie! I love traveling, but I love having a comfortable home base even more =)

  • December 1, 2015

    Wow! Somehow I missed that you live in that beautiful old house. Colonial style construction here in Thailand is quite different because of the climate.

    Your house is gorgeous!

    • December 18, 2015

      Thank you, Yok! It is definitely not your standard house. It was built in 1899 and is one of the only remaining Queen Anne Victorians in the area, which is all the more reason for us to restore it to its former glory!

  • December 18, 2015

    Beautiful home and lovely photos! I’m taking notes on it all!

    • December 18, 2015

      Thank you, Kim! Nice to have you =)

  • December 23, 2015

    Cute dogs!!! I like the Maltese.. reminds me of my Maltese who already crossed the rainbow bridge 5 years ago. 🙁

  • January 1, 2016

    Cool dogs, cute baby, breathtaking house… your life is perfect! I’m so inlove with your Maltese 🙂

  • February 1, 2016

    I truly love your house Kristin ! 🙂

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