Mending Walls

This week at Windomere is really starting to shape up. We green tagged electrical and plumbing rough-in. That means that walls can be patched and cracks can be mended. This is an important step before painting and cabinet install. We also received the replacement front door. You can see that and the progress on the wall’s in this week’s video.


Small Progress at Windomere

This week at the Windomere duplex was electrical updating. Not much to see there, but we did get the door installed for the water heater code issue (described in last week’s video). Thanks to Miranda for the video work…it allowed Val and I to both talk to about the work that is happening. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone.



Sometimes it Gets Worse Before it Gets Better

Today at the Windomere duplex, we found out that changes in building codes are forcing us to make some unexpected updates. Of course that’s always safer, but it may delay the project a few days. And there’s the added expense. On the bright side, the video below shows the awesome old wallpaper in the kitchen.

We’re both hoping things get smoother next week.

The Big Change at the Duplex

So it’s not Wednesday, but I wanted to show you this before the work started in this room today. This is the big bedroom at Windomere and we are adding a bathroom. Val will give you a quick tour and tell you more about the coming bath addition.


Emily Ruth’s Camper Renovation

My family is happiest outdoors. Some of our favorite memories since we have had children were made camping. Chris and I were toying around with the idea of buying a camper and over a year ago I saved a google search for a vintage Steury. I wanted a Steury because they are rare and known for their excellent quality. And they’re insanely cute. Just look at this ad from the 70s.


Several popped up over that year but they were out of our budget or they were in really bad shape. Then, right before the 4th of July weekend, my dream camper came on the market in Cedar Falls, Iowa at Camping World and I knew we had to have it. I called immediately and then at 3am the next morning my eldest son and I drove 14 hours to Iowa to buy it.

It was in incredible shape for its age,  with great details but it definitely needed some love. Here is a picture of the gold flecked floor:


Here is a close up picture of the original upholstery and the most adorable sleeping baby ever.


We started renovating the camper by seriously cleaning the upholstery and preserving what we could. We replaced the beds because I couldn’t see any of us sleeping well on 40-year-old mattresses and we kept the covering to repair the couches and make pillows.


The original hard wood was great but the camper – which has three full size beds, a closet, a kitchen and a dining room – felt very small. So, we painted the wood white and it immediately felt more open. The original pulls dulled over the years so we painted them gold to match the floor. The camper had an original ice box, adorable and avocado-colored, which we replaced with a new refrigerator that we covered with avocado contact paper to look like the original.

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We couldn’t be happier with the renovation and we have already begun making memories in the camper. Next up, she really needs a name. Any suggestions?



Pumpkin-Spiced Everything!

Welcome to Texans favorite season: fall! That’s right, while the northern states celebrate the end of winter with something called “Spring” (meh), we here in the south lose our collective minds when the heat breaks. And who can blame us? We finally get to walk outside again. Walk. Outside. Without frying. We get to wear clothes that may not be sweat-soaked by 10am. We can actually order warm beverages. 

In celebration, there are events almost every day of October.  Here are a few favorites to kick things off.

October 1–Kessler Pumpkin Patch

10am-4pm at Kessler United Methodist Church, 1215 Turner Ave, Dallas, 75208

Games, rides, and bounce house for kids. Pumpkins galore for purchase and awesome photos. Marketplace and food for all.

October 15-16–Oak Cliff Fall Home Tour

noon-6pm, various locations. $20.

For architecture and interior design lovers…this annual tour gives a peek into private home throughout Oak Cliff.

October 21–Rosemont Boo Bash

4:30-7:30 at Rosemont Elementary 

Fall festival supporting Rosemont Elementary, with face-painting, booths and fun for all ages.

now through Nov 23–Autumn at the Arboretum, 

Dallas Arboretum, 8525 Garland Rd, Dallas, 75218

Dozens of events, and great fall color, make this a must this month.


Making Sense Takes Work


I know this is a weird time. I live in Dallas. As in #wearedallas #onedallas and #prayfordallas. That Dallas.

For the last three days, I’ve ghosted on FB, IG, Snap. I needed time to process the violence from last Thursday night. What I did instead, was talk. I talked to friends, neighbors, acquaintances. I asked “what needs to be done to make a real difference?” Then I listened. Some people feel lost. And some have strong ideas. Great ideas for real change. Here’s what I’ve learned in 3 days.

First and foremost, action is called for.  Some I heard from said “yeah, but nothing works.” To that I respond, did you try EVERYTHING? Sure, not each action will get the response you want. But for me, I can’t stomach living a life where I sit on the sidelines because I might fail. I would rather work the rest of my days for any small amount of change to say I tried. To say “I gave my hours and my passion and my life in the name of all that is good in the world.” Don’t give in to fear and hate and disillusionment. You’re better than that. I know you are.

So what action is best? What can one person do?

The truth is, I have no idea what YOU should do. Just do the thing that calls out to you…that thing that makes your gut rumble.  If you need a place to get started, here are 5 heavy hitters that could make for real change in the US.

Policy: If to you, these attacks seem like an issue with guns and you want direct impact, start here: or here: Two strong forces for real change in the gun laws of America.

Education: You see this as a class issue…how about equal education for all. Get moving with Head Start in your area, or Girls Inc, or one of the hundreds of other educational non-profits that are out there, doing good. EVERY or

Parks: Wha?!? you ask. Yes…parks. There is so little that is free in our city (and yours too, most likely). Parks are a great equalizer. All people can enjoy them. They also give us a place to gather in times of joy and grief. In Dallas, we have a giant expanse which holds the Trinity River, that may become a well-used park one day. for a national non-profit or help on starting your park.

Prisons: Our prison system is becoming privately-operated. And if you didn’t know that, this is your announcement. Incarceration is a big, profitable business. Like any other business, prisons require “customers” and “growth models”. Guess where the customers come from. Our nation’s poorest and least-educated. 

And the number one way to take action: try ignoring your phone/computer/tablet/gizmo for just 30 minutes a day. That alone is over 100 hours a year. You can make a difference with that!  Sure, if you’re a blogger, blog on. If you’re a social media star, be that, do that. But if you’re like me, a normal put-your-shoes-on-and-go-to-work Joe, get in action.




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