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An antique horse weathervane and glass globe lightning rod!
I was so excited that I’d finally budgeted for Jack to get a new suit and had made plans to take him to the store with the girls and pick out something. But as usual, plans change. The night before, I stumbled across an ad on Craigslist for a house and barn the owner was deconstructing. He had lights, windows, flooring, vanities, siding, etc for sale.
I’ve got more doors, trim and baseboard than I know what to do with!
We’re always on the prowl for inexpensive home improvement materials, so I casually contacted the man, discussed a meeting time and Jack, the girls and I drove out after dinner.
Stocking up on winter project home improvement supplies!
The once regal farmhouse and barn were in shambles when we arrived. The owner, Ed, had sold the house to an impending warehouse being built in the area (Indy is seriously warehouse central) and though he was hoping to live the rest of his life in the house, plans changed for him too. He was gone for two weeks after the close of his house and when he returned, he found the house looted and ransacked.
The antique weathervane Jack pulled down for me.
Though he was frustrated people had wrecked his once-beautiful home and taken what they wanted–windows, doors, copper wire and pipe, cabinets and appliances–he was very generous with us. By the time we arrived, he assumed there wouldn’t be much left than anyone would want. We toured the home and barn and after handing over $50, Ed shook our hands, told us to take whatever we wanted and that he wasn’t coming back. It was too sad.
Spray paint and some new cushions and this table and chairs are as good as new!

Already, we’ve made three trips to load up the truck. To the untrained eye, the house looked like a total loss. To us, it was like a shopping spree. So far, we’ve nabbed, trim, baseboard, windows, interior doors, landscaping pavers, lumber, fireplace inserts, patio furniture and the antique horse weathervane and lightning rod.

It took about 20 minutes but he managed to make it to the top without breaking his neck. Phew!

Without a ladder, Jack managed to scale the barn’s tin roof to get the weathervane for me. He literally used two crowbars to rip apart the tin roof and scrambled to the top. I can’t make this stuff up. If that’s not love, I don’t know what is.


We’ve even had a few friends join us for an outing. Instead of thinking we’re nuts for wanting to salvage the filthy, beat up house, they helped load up the truck and pointed out good finds that we’d overlooked.

Grabbing one of the fireplace inserts.

Some of the material we’ll sell (and definitely recoup the money we’d spent in the first place) but a lot of the materials will be used in our house, grateful that the opportunity presented itself, that it was a worthwhile use of our time, the girls were pretty patient and helpful and that Ed was generous. We’ve learned the lesson time and time again that a little effort and getting our hands dirty will save us money in the long run.

Jack bought the girls a slurpee for being good.
Jack’s suit will have to wait a little longer.

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True stories of raising children, remodeling, braving the elements and plotting out life, all while living on a humble acreage in central Indiana.

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