Red Dirt Farm and Studio

Living a creative life artist farmer dreamer

So many of you have asked – thank you for your interest, but yes, it’s been a bit of a sore subject, leaving me at a loss for words, or words that could be repeated in polite company.  It was, so to speak the straw that broke the camels back and left me in a downward spiral of darkness.



I never thought I would have an artificial Christmas tree, but this is the year.  Before Mr. Cottage had his surgery I purchased one at a local hardware store.  I knew there wasn’t any way I would be able to handle getting and putting up a real tree by myself this year.  So the decision was made ahead of his surgery to have an artificial one purchased and ready to go.

  I’m one of those overzealous people who like to put up a tree before I have finished digesting my Thanksgiving dinner.

I love decorating for the holidays, but this year there is just too much going on, so decorating was done at a minimal.

Artificial trees have come a long way and I do think it looks nice.  But it doesn’t feel right to me.  It doesn’t speak to my soul and it doesn’t have that Christmas scent.

Then, this happened.

Yep, two days in and the lights went out in the midsection of the tree.  I fiddled with it best I could.










One day about a month ago, I was reading my horoscope as I do each day.  There in print it said, I needed to take a deep breath and realized that this was just a moment in time, and it would all pass.  I have been repeating that mantra in my head often, ok sometimes hourly – these past few weeks.


We are in a routine now of nothing is normal, but we are getting by.

I haven’t slept since September.

I take Mr. Cottage to Physical Therapy 3 times a week.  He is progressing nicely and we are quite pleased.  Seems therapy always falls over the lunch hour and so afterward we go out to eat.  This is a bit of a treat to help me out and lighten my load a wee bit.  It also allows Mr. Cottage to get out of the house for a little while, somewhere other than therapy.  Most days I have a bigger lunch than I am used to and don’t want to eat by dinner time, so I skip that meal.  Often, I bring home left-overs which I have the next day for lunch.  But, I’m starting to get tired of prepared food.

  This is just a moment in time.

Lately, when I do cook, there have been a lot of one-pot meals.  Cabbage and potatoes one night and beef pot roast another.

Oh, and wine breaks with the humidifier going with Tea tree oil for the zen spa experience.


Everyone should try decorating with a bathroom vanity on their front porch.  A new design trend I’m starting – you saw it here first.


It’s grey and dreary out, the temperatures aren’t that low, but it feels raw.  A little snow is expected during the night.


Here are a few pictures of our new unfinished master bathroom.  The vintage curtains I purchased over 20 years ago, just waiting to use them all this time and yes, I am completely decorating my bathroom around them.  The rug was put down to cover up the mosaic floor inlay which was supposed to be the star of the tile work  – a disaster, which didn’t turn out so good – don’t get me started.  It looks ok in the photos, not so much in person.

  Oh and peel and stick wallpaper, which may or not be used behind the vanity.  I’m not scared to mix bold colors and patterns, but I don’t think this will work with the curtains.


Yes, I’ve put off writing about it, and I guess I’ll tell you in as nice a way as I can, ’cause my momma told me if you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say anything.

We are once again working on our house renovation, yes the renovation that is going on now, dare I say four years or is it five?

Anyway, without going into a lot of details, our efforts were derailed this past summer in the worst kind of nightmarish way.  The kind of renovation horror you hear about, hope never happens to you and then when it does, you don’t know how to handle it.  It could have been resolved by us going to court, a process that we simply felt we could not bare going through because of so much other stuff on our plates.

  We walked away with a huge financial loss and me feeling completely unhinged.

The company that we hired to tile our three bathrooms in the new addition, let us down.

They were here for 3 months. THREE MONTHS!  At the end of that three-month period, none of the three bathrooms were usable.  And so, since mid-summer things have been in a holding pattern.  I actually have lost count of the number of times the tile work has been laid down and then jack-hammered out.  The work was of poor quality, except for one bathroom.  In all the bathrooms the grout was mixed incorrectly and consequently, it all failed, leaving gaps and holes, leaving all the showers not waterproof.  The marble tile was not sealed correctly before grouting, which discolored and ruined tile.  The shower floors were not poured correctly before tiling, resulting in uneven surfaces, and standing water that would not drain.   One floor was sealed before being cleaned, trapping dirt, debris not to mention pet hair in the sealant.  The floor looks permanently dirty.

Then there is a list of damage that was done to our property while they were here working.  I’ve got to stop now.

This is just a moment in time.


We hired a new company, this week they started demolishing the previously done work.

With every bit of my being, I do not want to go through this again.  I’m hoping for a positive outcome and that I will have some patience and self-control, after all, this is just a moment in time.


Oh and Snowball doesn’t like the disruption.  Trust me, we don’t want Snowball to be unhappy.



Thanks for stopping by.

XO Kim

22 thoughts on “Farmhouse Renovation – A Moment in Time

  1. Debra Esposito says:

    Oh my, the Christmas tree would do me in, then tile work story! I can’t imagine going through all that time and expense. I would have loved to have my son, who is a tile mason, redo the work for you. He actually works for a company that goes into NEW homes and fixes all the mistakes that are made by the builders. It is so hard to find quality craftsmen these days. I hope all works out well for you and that your husband’s recovery goes smoothly. Merry Christmas.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Debra I let the lights going out on the tree really upset me. Then I got mad at myself for allowing such a small thing to make me crazy. So I repeated my mantra several times and that’s that. I bet your son stays busy, our new contractor says he does the same thing. It is a shame that our skilled crafts have gone by the wayside as they say. Thank you for the well wishes. All the best of the season to you. Xo kim


  2. says:

    Kimmie — You know how the tile work unhinged you? To save others from being unhinged, you should go on Yelp and review them. If you want “satisfaction,” you should file with your State’s business professional department and the Better Business Bureau. It sounds to me like they simply didn’t have the skills to do the job.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Miss Linda wise and sound advice. No I wouldn’t want anyone else to go through this. Having a bunch of unhinged people running around wouldn’t be a good thing. LOL. XO Kim

      Liked by 1 person

      1. says:

        No, we do not need anymore unhinged people running around. Very scary.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Pam Kaufman says:

    I am so sorry to hear about your remodel nightmare! Hopefully the new contractors will be better. I do agree with another commenter that you should at least file a complaint regarding the old contractor so others are forewarned but that is for you to decide. It’s hard when we get overwhelmed with problem after problem and I truly hope you have seen the last of them for a long, long time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Pam so far our experience with the new contractor is off to a much better start. I think you hit the nail on the head, we have been so overwhelmed with so many issues not just the bad tile work we kind of reached that point of too much to deal properly with each situation. Moving forward… XO Kim


  4. lindasschaub says:

    Dear Kim – Remodeling is always an adventure but yours looks to be a nightmare. Even Snowball is clucking about it. And did the Christmas tree lights have to be uncooperative too? Perhaps I can help you salvage Christmas … the tree lights portion anyway. I heard about this gizmo last year and it is available at Target and a fancier model is at Walmart. I couldn’t remember the name of it, so I just Googled “gizmo to help fix Christmas tree lights” … bingo, here it is (of course available at Amazon too). Merry Christmas in spit of it all!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, Linda – you crack me up! Gizmo indeed! So here’s the thing, I put the lights on the tree, it didn’t come prewired, which I specifically purchased that kind of tree for that very concern of the lights going out! Irony. Of course, I tested each strand of lights before I put them on. Those lights are pretty old and they don’t owe me anything and I guess they don’t warrant purchasing the Gizmo – but I surely would if the lights were attached to the tree and this happened. I’m thinking it is once again a new decorating trend I have started! Thanks for the link. xo kim


  5. DA Squires says:

    OH MY. This is such a long, sad tale… I don’t know how you have coped with everything that has come your way, Kim. The xmas tree photo somehow perfectly captures the feeling of things being at sixes and sevens… but that you are moving forward again w/ the tile rehab is very positive, and your husband’s progress is such good news…and it is the Christmas season : ) Sending prayers that the New Year begins a new chapter filled with good things… it is rare to find a country guild filled with warmth and heart, and Red Dirt Farm is such a place. xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Debbie – I don’t feel as though I have coped very well at all. But, I’m coming through it and I do see light… Several times when Charles mentioned moving forward with the work, I said why bother and I truly meant it. I was so discouraged, I simply didn’t care about moving forward and making progress. I’m feeling better and that I am able to cope with stuff a little better. I guess I just needed some time to just be. xo kim


  6. Your story is exactly why I stopped renovating my house…..I’d rather live with old kitchen cupboards and an out of date bathroom than go through that….I had enough nightmares just doing the outside of the house…..I hope your husband is feeling better.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Joan – Oh my there are too many of us that have had bad experiences. I guess we felt a little embarrassment that this happened to us – Mr. Cottage is a contractor (HVAC) he deals with this industry all the time and we thought we had made a good decision to go with the company that we did. I must say, this has been the story from the very beginning of this project, not one thing went according to plan, except the new roof we put on. Sad but true, and I agree with you, I don’t ever want to go through this again. Thanks for popping in. xo kim

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh, Kim! Your post certainly puts our not having hot water for the past week in perspective! Thank you for that. Sending you much love and patience for this season. Yes, this too shall pass!
    xoxo, Kristin

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Kristin – so nice to hear from you. I’m so sorry to hear about your hot water loss – few things are intolerable as no hot water, especially this time of the year. I hope everything is back to normal soon. Wishing you your family all the best, xo kim


  8. Debra says:

    Yep it sure is stressful to have other people work on your home. I hope Snowball can de-stress!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello, my friend, it is stressful, I just keep repeating my mantra and praying! Snowball will just find something else to fuss about -’cause that’s what she does! LOL xo kim


  9. kaddietucker says:

    I went through a similar situation on putting a roof over my patio…took the 3rd contractor we hired to stop the leaks. Grrrrr…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh my gosh – 3??!! Sorry to hear about that Kaddie – seems there are a lot of renovation horror stories out there. We have friends that have been dealing with a leaking basement for well, years actually! Happy happy to you. xo kim

      Liked by 1 person

      1. kaddietucker says:

        And happy happy back to you, Kim. 😊


  10. Annie says:

    Oh my! A moment in time that seems somewhat frozen for 4 or 5 years and it seems your shoulders have been bearing a large part of the burden. You and I are living in a little bit of a parallel universe but just reading the trials you’re facing helps me take a deep breath. Thanks for that. (Smiled seeing a chick claiming the doggie bed as her own)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Annie – sorry you’re in that quirky parallel place. Sigh, we aren’t alone, we all got something, right. Sometimes it helps to know that, and then other times not so much. That was Poppie in the dog bed, one of the other house chickens. She is so sweet and gentle… xo kim

      Liked by 1 person

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