Saying Goodbye to the Old Abode

I have been remiss in my posts. In my defense, I have been very busy.

For the last few months, we have been moving, cleaning, staging, making last minute improvements, putting our house on the market, selling, and closing on our home of 18 years.

After interviewing three realtors, we found Mike Galbally of Saint Louis Finest Homes. He was the only realtor who realized the true value of our home and appreciated the efforts we had made to put it in pristine condition before we sold it. He listed the house, and after one day, we had an offer above asking price.

Joe had inadvertently met the new buyers the night before they submitted their offer and proudly showed them the koi pond he had built. I think that was what really sold them on the home. I will miss the beautiful koi pond, the five koi, and our resident frog. The new owners are thrilled with the pond and the backyard Joe had worked so hard to make. Joe even met with them after the sale to show them the ins and outs of koi pond care. They are a truly awesome couple, and I am happy they are able to call our old home their new home.

Just a few months before we moved out, we remodeled the back porch by tearing out the old bronze aluminum windows and putting in 14 brand new Anderson windows from Home Depot. Originally, we bought the house, the room had garden lattice for the outside wall and wood paneling on the concrete side. At some point a few years ago, we had pulled all that off and put up cement backerboard along the outside wall.

I knew I was going to stucco and go with a look in keeping with the outdoor Tudor style. I had a lot of leftover mortar from my tile job, so I skip troweled that on the three outside walls. It took me a full day, and by the time I finished, my knuckles were raw. But it really did look better already.


Once the stucco had hardened and dried, we decided to tackle the floor. I tell you, I wish I had known about this awesome product before I bought an entire pallet of ceramic tile to do the porch! It is called Lifeproof Vinyl Plank flooring from Home Depot. It has the look of wood yet, unlike laminate, it doesn’t require underlayment, is 100% waterproof, and hides a multitude of sins. Although the instructions on the package say you can use a utility knife to cut it, do yourself a favor and use a saw. It is extremely thick, but I have no doubt it is durable and will withstand the elements and lots of abuse.

For the ceiling, Joe ran furring strips along the plaster ceiling and stapled Armstrong Country Plank ceiling tile from Lowe’s. It looks lovely–we didn’t even paint it. But it was hard to locate and seemed to be something most of the Lowe’s employees knew little about. I would recommend that you buy extra for waste, because it is very, very fragile. We bought too much extra, but I left it all for the new owners, just in case they needed to replace any in the future for any reason.

IMG_20180622_114123148Here is a pic of the original exposed concrete wall and original plaster ceiling.

Joe re-glued new stucco paneling to the exposed concrete wall and trimmed everything out so it looked truly polished.

We hung two new cottage style flush mount ceiling fans.  I won’t recommend the brand here–should have gone with a more expensive brand.

Finally, I painted all the trim, paneling, and stucco. The porch was finally finished–and much cooler during the middle of summer with the new windows. We wished we had done it sooner, because I think we would have spent more time out here!

We had one last task to tend to, and that was to replace the concrete driveway. For that, we called Blake Gamber of Joint Sealing Solutions, a company I had located from

Within minutes after clicking to register with HomeAdvisor, Blake called me. I explained to him that time was of the essence, because we were ready to put our home on the market, and we wanted to make sure the driveway was done correctly and quickly. Within two hours, Blake was out to assess the driveway. We had a quote by the end of the day, and by the end of the week, he and his team were out to replace the driveway. He did such a great job that both my neighbors on either side had their walkways removed (did I say that all our homes were display homes?)

He did a great job, making sure to do everything correctly every step of the way. Best of all, he kept us informed and followed up several times after the job was done for cleanup and to make sure we were satisfied with his work. Kudos to Blake and his team!

Before and after of the driveway job. You can see the growing depression in the old driveway. What a difference a brand new concrete job makes!

Today I droned on about my old home. Really, this post should have been three separate posts, but now that I have great internet and lots of space again, I have been brimming over with inspiration. For that, I apologize.

But I’m so glad we were able to finish all these last minute projects, list the home with a great realtor, and find a qualified buyer who genuinely appreciates the work we put into it. I’m pleased as punch that this family chose this home as their own.

Next post–the ins and outs of the full-time gypsy life and how we chose to resolve it.

Thanks for visiting,


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