Monday, July 9, 2012

Ghosts and Gravel/Blog Hop!

...OR....the first "I told ya so, Dan" of the building process. What? I'm the only woman who does that? Get outta here.

Dan is a garage guy. Oh, he is Mr. Mensa business man by day, but by night? He is the garage guy of all garage guys. He has lifts, jacks, air compressors that take 6 men to move, 3 different Snap-On Tool boxes and every single tool known to man. He has a place for every single wrench, every drill bit and every screw driver. He loves his tools so much. It's like the tool becomes part of his DNA as soon as he touches it.  He can feel it in his soul when one is not in the right place, and he goes into shock and wants to call John Walsh and put the missing tool's picture on a milk carton. His father was the same exact way. Every tool was like a diamond.

He cringes at the sight of my "tools". I use butter knives for screw drivers, steak knives for a Phillip's head, and I have been known to use a chunky heeled clog for a hammer. Hey- this gal can improvise.

Our current "man-garage" is 1800 sq. ft. And it is full. He has a motorcycle, dirt bike, a boat, his Jeep, the lift and all the other stuff listed above in our current garage. At one point, he had an experimental airplane shoved in there. Thank God he finally sold that silver coffin. The plan at the new place is to have 3 garages. One for farm equipment, one for his manly man stuff. The other garage will be attached to the house. It will be just for normal people. Except we are not normal.

The small garage was finished a few weeks ago. I told Dan the area he had staked off looked a bit on the small size. "Woman, you let me take care of the garages." Yeah...sometimes, he calls me "woman". Hello, 1860!

Guess what? "Woman" was right. He will be able to put his tractor in the small garage, but that's about it. Oopsie. Hope he never wants a bigger tractor! That would be like trying to squeeze a Squatch foot into a sample sized stiletto.

"Do you have this in a 43 wide?"

I really did feel bad for him. I told him it was an easy mistake to make, and that he will just have to make the "man-garage" even bigger- because he NEEDS it to be bigger.  Make it a garagemahal. Problem solved.

So from now on, I will tell him that it is always best to go bigger. Especially a bigger in-ground pool, a bigger kitchen, a bigger craft/sewing room, and of course, a bigger Wolf range. Because they NEED to be bigger. Size matters. ;)

Today is the 15th anniversary of Dan's father's passing. 15 years. He was only 55 years old when he died. It makes me so sad that Dan's youngest sister's children will never know their Grandfather. He was a good, hard working man who loved his family and his faith. He raised such a wonderful son, and for that, I send a big "Thank you" up to the heavens. I know he is watching the progress on our new place, and I know he is laughing because his son didn't take my advice about the "too small garage".

We now have a driveway!!

Last week, when we were walking the property and looking at the new gravel on the driveway, and the too-small garage, I got a little emotional. I was thinking about Dan's Dad and how I wished he was here to see our new farm. He would have loved it. Tractor Dan asked why I looked like I was going to cry. 

I told him that I was just feeling blessed and thinking about how far we had come. We were 18 year old kids right out of high school when we got married. (sssshhhh....I was preggers, but don't tell anyone) We had 3 children by the time we were 22 years old. I stayed at home with the girls while he worked full time, and then went straight to night college after work. He went to school 4 nights a week and on Saturdays, and received his bachelor's in only 4 years. We were poor as church mice, and at times, prayed for the phone to ring and have someone ask us over to dinner....and they always did. We sacrificed and did without the finer things for MANY years. No vacations, no "name brand" anything, no fancy cars. But we had love and determination, and it worked. 

I told him that I was thinking about his Dad, and how much he would have loved it. "Yeah....let's go", was his response. He doesn't like to think about his Dad being gone, even after all these years. 

I took out my phone and snapped some pictures of the "too small garage" and the new gravel so I could put it into our progress album, and then got into the Jeep to come home. 

Im not a huge believer in the supernatural, but I know there are some things that are unexplainable. Things do happen. I supposedly at one time lived in a haunted house, although I never witnessed anything out of the ordinary. I believe in angels, and I believe in the opposite as well. When I got home and started looking at my phone pictures, I saw this:

"Who ya gonna call...."
Of course, my intelligent brain took over..."It's just a reflection from the too small garage, dork, no need to call Ghost Hunters". Except there was nothing there...there is no water around, we haven't had rain in weeks. There was no metal in that spot...there was nothing in that area where the "thing" appeared. Kinda spooky, really.

Looks a bit like the ghost of Cousin It, or even Grimace. No, you cannot have my fries, you big purple blob! My Mom, who is the lover of all things freaky, told me it's Dan's Dad, especially since I took this picture right after I was talking about him. Dan just thinks I need a new phone. I don't know who or what it is, but I wasn't scared. If it was a ghost, he better get used to us, because we're not leaving. He better be ready to help me clean the pool, work the garden, and fetch me a cold one! Kidding....kinda. 

The Most Interesting Ghost in the World?
This week, we will be meeting one more time with our architect. He had a few small changes to my plan, so we will be looking at what he came up with. I am almost finished packing things that need to be removed before we list our house, and we should be ready to sell in about 2 weeks. I am also meeting with a cabinet maker to show him ideas for our new kitchen. I will let him know it's ok to "go big or go home".

I'm "hopping" today as well, over at Must Love Junk's blog!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Feels like a Faux Fourth...

Usually my entire house is decked out in all things Americana for the 4th. It's one of my favorite holidays. 

This year is different, as most of my decorations are boxed up for our move. I managed to keep a few things out, because I would feel sacrilegious if I did not have some sort of patriotic decor! It's bare-bones minimum, just enough to keep me from feeling all Benedict Arnold-y.

 Uncle Sam on my Hoosier Cabinet
In addition to the stress of selling and building a home, our 8 year old Beagle, Charlie, had surgery 2 weeks ago. He had bi-lateral ACL repair and is on strict cage rest. This was his 3rd major surgery since October. His first surgery was a ventral slot repair, to fix 2 blown discs. In April, he blew his first ACL and we went with a conservative surgery. We knew that the risk of his other ACL blowing was not a matter of if, but when. We just didn't expect it to be 8 weeks after his first surgery...which ultimately failed. Our vet decided to do both legs at the same time...really no other choice. His recovery has been progressing quite well, albeit slow. Our other dog, Lola, had the same neck surgery in April. We did not know that over the years, jumping off the bed would cause such damage. Charlie was a rescue dog...I lovingly refer to him as the most expensive free dog ever.  

Charlie is NOT a fan of the aqua treadmill!

So, between taking the critters to therapy and doling out meds, and trying to pack AND have meetings about the new house, my seasonal decorating is pretty lame. Pun intended. Not to mention the expense of it all. You try not to add it all up and I realize how blessed we are to have been able to help them heal from what could have been a fatal neck injury. But wozwers, it was pretty pricey. When people see my dogs, I laugh and tell them they are looking at what would have been my future facelift, or blinged out stove. 

But a facelift or blinged out stove won't love me unconditionally. They won't howl for joy when I walk into a room. Oh, and they also won't cover me in their fur or roll in deer poop, but whatevs. It's the least we could do for these little creatures who have nothing but love for us. 

The Fourth of July is their LEAST favorite holiday. The fireworks cause them much distress. They are the same way during thunderstorms. I didn't want to drug them, so we bought a Thundershirt for each of them. LIFE SAVERS, I tell you! (No compensation here, but I just love this product) Charlie would get so upset I really thought he was going to have a heart attack. Lola tried to dig a hole to China in our carpet. Now, they are still concerned, but their anxiety has been reduced by 75%. Not. Even. Kidding. Tractor Dan scoffed at the idea at first, but as soon as the radar looks like it's going to be nasty, he runs to get their shirts. 

Best things for our dogs since peanut butter!
Our 4th will be pretty laid back, with Charlie still on cage rest.  

We will calm the dogs down as our neighbors shoot off fireworks, and maybe have my parents & the kids over to throw a few burgers on the grill. I know they are going to be underwhelmed at my decor for the 4th, but I will promise to make up for it next year.  

Have a safe and happy 4th!

linking up at Common Ground's Patriotic Party!
and at The Farmhouse Porch's Cowgirl Up!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Pizza and Laundry

Oh, what a day I had yesterday! My Mom said her friend Bill had some corner cabinets for me to look at for our new kitchen, so I picked her up and we went to his shop. My Mom owned an antique store for 30 years, and held estate sales and auctions, and Bill used to work a lot of her sales. He now has a great shop of his own, with just about everything you can think of.

The corner cabinets were a bust, but I bought several things I was thrilled about! 

This hanging scale- I bought it for a song, I tell you, a song! This will be perfect in our new kitchen. Unfortunately, it's going to go into a box tonight. Probably not a good idea to be buying a bunch of stuff as we pack everything up & get ready to list our current house for sale. Whatevs.

Love the chippy enamel!

A cute framed tapestry...I need to lighten up the frame with some chalk paint. Probably not a good idea to go into paint mode as we get ready to sell our house. Whatevs.  

So sweet!

An adorable McCoy speckled turkey pitcher/wash bowl. I'm moving to a former turkey farm, so I HAD to buy it! Plus, it was 10 bucks- wouldn't you have gobbled grabbed it?  

Love this! 

And my "What in the heck am I going to do with THIS" purchase. A cast iron laundry stove that was part of a local historical landmark. HAD. TO. BUY. IT.  

Back story on the laundry stove- My Mom held an auction for our local "Pizza King"/friend of the family back in the early 1990's. He was selling his mansion and the contents. It was a fabulous auction, with antiques that were Sotheby's worthy. I couldn't afford to buy much of anything back then, but I managed to snag some kitchen utensils and some linens. Our local "Pizza King" is quite the philanthropist, but his pizza is THE BEST. In fact, his is the ONLY pizza I will eat 'round these parts. Cannot tell you how many dates I went on at his place, or how many pizzas I have eaten. I'm brand loyal like that.

Bill (also a friend of our "Pizza King") had the stove in the back of his shop. I spied it and fell in love with it. When he told me the history of the piece, that sealed the deal. It was an original laundry stove from "Laurel Court" that the "Pizza King" saved when the home was undergoing renovations.    

Laurel Court

"Laurel Court was built for Peter G. Thomson, founder of The Champion Coated Paper Company. Started in 1902 and completed in 1907, it is one of America’s best surviving examples of the opulent homes built during the “gilded age”.  

Upon its completion, Laurel Court was described as "the most sumptuous and palatial in this part of the country….finished with all good taste can command." Laurel Court, located in the Cincinnati community of College Hill, was built on an estate of approximately 23 acres, on the highest point in Hamilton County (greater Cincinnati). 

Laurel Court is a beaux-arts structure designed by architect James Gamble Rogers. Modeled in the style of the Petite Trianon in Versailles France, Laurel Court stands today as one of the finest residences in America, and one of many notable works of James Gamble Rogers. Its stately chiseled granite exterior, and elegant interior finishes, display the skills of the artisans who created this distinguished residence. 

Today, the main house, cottages, and carriage house rest on 7.5 acres of land, enhanced by a French garden, Japanese garden, a classical wisteria-covered pergola, and many statues and fountains. Laurel Court was listed on the National Historic Register in 1979."

My little laundry stove isn't worth a ton of money, but it's priceless to me. It's part of our local history, and well, it just makes me smile. My Mom thinks I should keep it in our screened in porch and use it as a planter. Nope. I'm somehow going to make it into a table. Now I just have to learn how to weld.... 

linking up with Shabby Nest's Frugal Friday 

and French Country Cottage's Feathered Nest Friday 

and Debbiedoos Newbie Party

Friday, June 22, 2012

Were you raised in a barn?

I cannot tell you how many times my Mother yelled that at me when I was a kid. And I usually answered, "No, but I wish I was!" While I was terrified (still am) of farm animals, I loved barns. Living in the city made barns seem so quaint, almost romantic. I loved the rustic beams and the weathered wood, the gooseneck lights, the sliding barn doors...
My first barn  
You know you had one!
I played with that thing all the time. I would put the rooster, dog and pig in the upstairs of the barn and made sure the sliding doors were shut tight. I'd have the horse and the cow pull that plastic farmer in his little tractor all around my shag carpet fields. And of course, I'd put my finger inside the barn door and press on that "Moooooooo" button. Non-stop.
 So now, Im all grown up and Im going to have a real barn and farmhouse of my own!

Bicentennial Ohio Barn, down the street from our new place- isn't it gorgeous?

And do you know what I need for my barn and my new farmhouse? 
(no, not plastic roosters, plastic farmers or a door that goes, "MOOOOOOO") 


Barn Light Electric is an American company located in Titusville, Florida, and their products are manufactured in America. That's a biggie for Tractor Dan! You know, because we're American.

I cannot even tell you how excited I was when I saw this post on Urban Farmgirl's Blog. In addition to stalking her blog for great ideas, I found out about this: 

Barn Light's Online Giveaway 2012! 






1. Head on over to Barn Light Electric's website, and start your wish list. Which lights would you choose for your home?   

2. Next, put your choices on your own blog, with links, if possible.

3. At the bottom of your blog post, include the directions for entering the contest, along with the rules. Easy peasy.
4. Once your blog post is up, you must email your blog link to  to be qualified to win. The contest ends July 2nd, 2012.

 And now, on to MY choices!!  

Above my island, 2 of these beauties, please!
Barn Light Schoolhouse Pendant

Above my kitchen table
Triple Warehouse Diffuser Chandy

Above my sink, 2 please! 
Barn Light Radial Wave Flute Pendant

For the hallway off kitchen & bedrooms: 
Barn Light Radial Shade Sconce

 Which lights would you choose from Barn Light Electric?

Official Rules for Barnyard Electric Company Give-away

Official Giveaway Rules
Our one (1) $1,000.00, one (1) $500.00 (USD), and one (1) $250.00 (USD) Barn Light Electric Gift Certificate Giveaway ("Giveaway") is sponsored by Barn Light Electric Company (owner and operator of, 3405 South Washington Avenue Titusville, Florida 32780.
ELIGIBILITY: To enter, you must be age 18 or older. Anyone else may enter, however, additional shipping rates will apply if shipping outside the continental United States. Employees, partners and vendors of Barn Light Electric Company and their immediate family members are not eligible to enter. We will disqualify any entries that we believe are generated by scripts and other automated technology. All prizes will be awarded. No substitutions including for cash are permitted. Winners will be responsible and liable for any and all taxes, duties or fees on the value of their prize.
TO ENTER: Please follow our provided rules to enter:
  1. Look around online at Barn Light Electric and pick lights you’d love to own
  2. Feature your lighting picks on your personal blog, and link to the lights if you can!
  3. Copy/Paste these rules at the bottom of your blog article
  4. Once your personal post is up, you must email your blog link to: to be qualified to win – the contest ends July 2nd, 2012
  5. Don’t have a blog? Find out how you can enter by visiting our website or read these Official Rules
For those that do not have a blog but wish to enter, please email the following information to
  1. First & Last Name
  2. Mailing Address
  3. City, State, Zip
  4. Valid Email Address
An email from the entrant including their blog link must be sent to in order to become an official entry. You are allowed ONLY ONE ENTRY PER PERSON. Duplicate entries will be discarded. Entries are open from 06/04/2012 at 12:00 am EST to 07/02/2012 at 11:59 pm PST. Entries generated by script, macro or other automated means are void. Normal time, toll, connection and usage rates, if any, charged by your Internet service provider will apply. All entries become the property of the Barn Light Electric Company. By submitting your entry, you will be agreeing that your email and any other information collected in connection with the Giveaway may be used by Barn Light Electric Company in accordance with Barn Light Electric Company's Privacy Policy and may be shared with Barn Light Electric Company's affiliated business entities. All entries must include the entrants valid email address. The email address provided and used by online entrants will be the identity of the entrant and, if selected for a prize, the identity of the winner. We expressly reserve the right to disqualify any entries that we believe in good faith are generated by an automated program or via scripts. By participating, all entrants agree to abide by these Official Giveaway Rules.
WINNERS: After the entry period, three winners will be chosen at random. One (1) $1,000.00, one (1) $500.00 (USD), and one (1) $250.00 Barn Light Electric Gift Certificate will be awarded to each winner. In the event of a dispute regarding the identity of the person submitting the entry, the entry will be deemed to be submitted by the person in whose name the e-mail account is registered. The Giveaway will be conducted under the supervision of Barn Light Electric Company. The decisions of Barn Light Electric Company are final and binding in all matters relating to this Giveaway. The three winners will be notified by email to the email address provided in the entry. Upon notification and prize acceptance, one (1) $1,000.00, one (1) $500.00 winner, and one $250.00 winner will receive an electronic gift certificate redeemable only at Winner's selection of product can be ordered online or via phone. It is the winner’s responsibility to confirm the order is correct upon receiving the electronic Invoice from Barn Light Electric Company. The amount of the gift certificate can be used towards shipping costs if located within the continental United States, however, additional shipping rates will apply if shipping outside the continental United States. Winners will be responsible and liable for any and all taxes, fees and duties on the value of their prize. If an entrant is found to be ineligible, an alternate winner may also be selected from the pool of eligible entries. Each entry submitted in response to the Giveaway and in accordance with the rules will constitute an official entry. Winners will be announced on or around July 6th, 2012.
GENERAL CONDITIONS AND RELEASES: An entrant or winner may be disqualified from the Giveaway if he or she fails to comply with each provision of these Official Giveaway Rules, as determined in the sole discretion of Barn Light Electric Company. Participation in the Giveaway is at entrant's own risk. Barn Light Electric Company shall make its best efforts to include all valid entrants into the contest. Barn Light Electric Company shall not be responsible for unintentionally excluding valid entrants from the possible winners and also shall not be responsible if valid entrants are not received due to communication errors relating to the internet, email, computer or telephone network failures, human error such as a Barn Light Electric Company employee accidentally not including the entrant in the random drawing, or for any other reason. Barn Light Electric Company does not make any, and hereby disclaims any and all, representations or warranties of any kind regarding any prize. By entering, an entrant agrees to release and hold harmless Barn Light Electric Company and its respective partners, sponsors, subsidiaries and affiliated entities, directors, officers, employees, attorneys, agents, and representatives from any damage, injury, death, loss, claim, action, demand, or other liability (collectively, "Claims") that may arise from their acceptance, possession and/or use of any prize or their participation in this promotion, or from any misuse or malfunction of any prize awarded, regardless of whether such Claims, or knowledge of the facts constituting such Claims, exist at the time of entry or arise at any time thereafter. Any person attempting to defraud or in any way tamper with this Giveaway will be ineligible for prizes and may be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Barn Light Electric Company reserves the right to modify these Official Contest Rules in any way or at any time. Barn Light Electric Company reserves the right, in their sole discretion, to cancel or suspend this Giveaway should viruses, bugs or other causes beyond their control corrupt the administration, security or proper play of the Giveaway. In the event of cancellation or suspension, Barn Light Electric Company shall promptly post a notice on their online Giveaway page to such effect.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Cement ponds and Blood Suckers

Tomorrow we will be meeting with our architect & surveyor at the property to go over our house placement, and we will be staking the house! I am so excited! No Vampires will be harmed in the process, I promise. 

Bite me
  Yes. I adore Vampires. The True Blood Vampires, not the bats. 

"There's a sucker born every minute"- PT Barnum
We met with the EPA people regarding the septic tank system/placement back in January. Who knew it was so complicated? All these rules for our umm...errr....poop. And "leach field"?? I had no idea what that meant. I was thinking it had something to do with "The African Queen", but I was wrong. Equally nasty, though, are they not? The leaching & the leeching, not Bogie. 

"One thing in the world I hate: leeches. Filthy little devils."- Charlie Allnut 
I had to really keep an eye on Tractor Dan with this particular part of the building process. You see, I have been promised an in-ground pool for almost 15 years now. Aaand....still no cement pond here. When he told me last year that he was thinking about buying property & building in the country, I told him I had 2 conditions he had to agree to before I would even consider this idea. One, an in-ground pool had to be in BEFORE he moved me out to God's country. Two, a finished basement. He's good with the finished basement, but really does not want a pool. Too. Bad. We NEED a pool. We will be having grandchildren at some point, and how can I be the favorite Grandma without a pool? 

He thinks our imaginary grandchildren will be fine with just having a pond at Grandma & Grandpa's. Except he forgot about the part where I hate ponds. I will not swim in a body of water with critters. Plus, the bottom of the pond feels all mushy, like I'm stepping in fish poop. Gross!! And there could be real leeches in there! I don't like fishing either, because I will not touch worms, so the pond thing is out for me.
Our non-cement pond

I was afraid Dan would pull a fast one on me and tell me that the septic tank placement or leach field would prohibit an in-ground pool. So, I went to that "crappy" meeting last January, in the bitter cold, and kept reminding the architect & EPA dude to make sure they kept our future in-ground pool in mind. I'm tricky smart like that...I think...
I don't want a huge in-ground pool, just big enough for myself and a few pool boys  grandkids. Of course, once again, my idea of "big enough" is very different than the old man's. 
He would be happy with this:
Or this: 
Or even this:


While I would be happy with this: 

Or this: 

Or even this: 

We finally decided on a pool size. It will be just right. Like this:  

I cannot even wait to have a pool! By next summer, I will be enjoying it, in all its chlorinated glory. Lounging, laughing, and enjoying some adult beverages- oh my...cannot wait! Now I just have to get my girls going on the grandkids thing. They need to get moving. Imaginary Granny's not getting any younger, and neither are their eggs. 

I'd love advice or opinions about selecting our new cement pond! So many things to learn about & consider! Covers, cleaners, chemicals, lighting, slides, diving boards, steps, filters,ropes,'s a bit overwhelming. Just don't tell the old man I said that.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Hydrangea Love

My Hydrangea garden hydrangea garden is perfect this year. It figures...I finally get it down to an art, and I'm moving. It's taken me almost 4 years to get the soil ph just right. That makes me sound like a farmer, right? Nah. All you do is throw some aluminum sulfate into the dirt, give them some water, and watch them turn blue. These are "Endless Summer Hydrangeas", and I enjoy their cuttings all summer long.

Hydrangeas + ironstone pitcher = LOVE.

 I really wish I could dig a few bushes up and transplant them in our new garden. Since have no idea where our new garden will be located, I don't think that will be possible. Plus, I am afraid digging them up could kill them.  

My Peonies
Hydrangeas are my absolute favorite flower. Coming in a very close second are Peonies...they were spectacular in my garden this year, too. Actually, everything in my garden this year has been gorgeous. My hostas look like they are on steroids! I think it is because we had a very mild winter here in southern Ohio.

Holy Hostas, Batman!

My Coneflowers
I have all sorts of visions for my landscaping at the new place, but I need to keep in mind the term"low maintenance". Right? Yeeeaaaaahhhhh. Whatever...I like to dream BIG.

What we have now...

What I want it to look like!

Or this! 

Or even this!
 But, it will probably look like this: least for a few years. I will start my garden off small, until I can determine the amounts of sun/shade, and what kind of soil the property contains. Rumor has it that the property was once a turkey farm. Im not sure if turkey poop enriches the soil or not, but we shall see! A friend of ours asked if we would restore the farm and once again raise turkeys....Ummm, no. Turkeys are for my Thanksgiving dinner, stuffed with cornbread stuffing and served with a few sides of family fights green beans, yams & corn pudding- NOT for me to wrangle.

I will peck your eyes out!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

I'm an architect

When I found out last year that we would be building a new home, I immediately started looking at online house plans. I looked at house plans every single day. I'm talking so many house plans that I now consider myself to be an architect.

Of course, Tractor Dan's idea of the house in which we will grow old was very different than mine. 

Dan's dream home looked a little like this:  
photo from Tumbleweed Homes

Mine looked like this:  

photo from

I can hear you right now. "SQUEEEEEE!!!" Of course, my choice is perfect....if we lived in The Hamptons, or had eleventy billion dollars. He won that round, I had to look for another house plan.

Every time I emailed him and attached a new "perfect" house plan, he shot me down with one of the following replies: 

"Too big" 

"Too stupid" 

"Too gaudy" 

"WTF is a gathering room, and what are we supposed to be gathering?" 

"We don't need a morning room, you hate morning." 

"We don't need all those bedrooms, that will make the kids think they can move back home."  

"Butler's pantry? You have a butler?" 

"What is wrong with you?" 

I had to remember that our kids are gone, that we don't need that much room, and how hard it will be for the maid me to clean when I am old. So, I downsized. A lot. I also took into consideration the issues my parents are having with their house at their ages, so we will not have those same issues years from now. Thinking ahead....a foreign concept to me.

We are going to make all the doorways handicapped accessible, just in case. It's easier to make a door frame wider while building a house than it is to rip it out and make it smaller after it has been built. It will have an open floor plan, including a high-end kitchen with all the bells and whistles. Yeah, I am already working on that last one. How can he say no?

We will have only one bath tub for my future super-cute grandchildren, and walk-in showers for the other bathrooms. The showers will be stone, with no glass doors. I've never been fond of glass shower doors or shower curtains. And, not having a shower curtain will prevent this:

See, I'm thinking psycho ahead!

The house will have a walkout basement with a master suite, a small kitchen and a living area, in case our parents have to move in with us. (God help me baby Jesus.) It will also be nice for out of town guests.  

Dan wanted me to scrap the formal dining room. Not. Gonna. Happen. I use my dining room three times a year a lot, and I am not about to part with my dining room set. I won that round. Yay, me!!
The house will be a very open ranch, with only 2 bedrooms on the first floor. We want to keep the house, basement included, under 4000 sq. ft.

I told you I was an architect!

The exterior of the house will be a combination of these homes. Dan wants it to "be appropriate" for the property, whatever that means. We both like the southern farmhouse/low country look, so it will be interesting to see our architect's rendering. 
photo from Pinterest/Martha Stewart Living
photo from southern living house plans

photo from Pinterest/inspiredhomedesign

Tractor Dan wants a large screened-in porch on the back of the house, so he can watch the sunset. I want a large front porch, so I can watch the critters destroy my hostas and hydrangeas. I can already see myself knitting and sipping lemonade, as I rock in one of those old-timey rocking chairs. Except I don't knit, and probably should not be trusted with sharp pointy sticks. Realistically, I will be rocking away, throwing back a few martinis as I bitch about having crappy wireless out in the boondocks. Old ladies need the Facecrack!