Smelling the flowers

Omg, it would be my dream to stay there. I love watching the makeover, I hope you post these somewhere in your advertising (stories sell).
Awww, thank you! I have an Instagram account started at [STR Name]. I should have taken pictures of water spilling out of the hot tub heater and our clean up. LOL
Last edited:
So many days have passed since I last wrote in here. The renovations are still happening. The refrigerator, range, and dishwasher will be delivered tomorrow. The microwave won't arrive until Dec. 23rd, and that's if they don't move the date out even further. I'm heading to the house at 4:30 tonight and spending the night. I have my car loaded and ready to go, and I'm driving myself crazy with watching the clock. I am hoping to avoid the snowfall in Madison this evening/overnight, and because I won't be traveling in the morning I should get an earlier start on painting. I have so much painting to do! Three of six of the bedrooms are painted. Two of them had drywall mudding happening the last time I was there, and I'm unsure of their status right now. It would be great if they were ready to be painted this weekend. WP is planning on being there all week next week, and may even bring his and B's kids overnight for some of the week. Tomorrow Bond and S1, and maybe S2, are coming up to help with the never ending task list. I believe they'll focus on hanging the headboards in the bedrooms that are ready, and they will help with painting. I will set up S1 in the game room as that should be the most straightforward. Just cover the floor with a dropcloth and go. The baseboard trim isn't on, and we're shiplapping the ceiling, so easy peasy. I'll be shocked if all of the painting gets done before Xmas. I need to get a date from Stark for the backsplash installation. I scheduled my niece to take photos on the 28th, but I don't think we'll be ready.

I've been ordering like a lunatic from Amazon. A whole house needs so much stuff. I have credit card fatigue. I'm so stressed. I checked comps again this morning and in the summer I can expect to get $1K/night give or take a $100-$150. This winter I should be able to get $300-$500. I am calculating 50% occupancy for the month during the off season.

B came up with a lovely idea for one of the basement bathrooms - put a sauna in its place. I really think I'll do that next fall when I renovate the bathrooms. That would make it a 6 bedroom lakefront house with two fireplaces, three lounges, an indoor hot tub, a game room, two bathrooms, a deck, a screened in patio, a firepit, dock, kayaks, paddle boards, pedal boat, a kickass coffee bar, and a sauna.

I'm so tired right now. Bond had a restless night and kept waking me up. The Therapist is waiting for his COVID test results. Should arrive shortly.
The Therapist's test results were negative. Yay!

I left for [STR Name] Friday evening ahead of a snowstorm, and Bond and S1 were planning on coming up Saturday morning, but the snowstorm delivered more than forecasted, and they spent the day doing snow removal and getting the Tesla unstuck, so they didn't come up until Sunday. I drove out of the storm Friday night and we only got a dusting of snow at the lake house. I had a nice time by myself, ate lots of carbs, and stayed up too late.

I finished painting the 4th bedroom yesterday afternoon. I am always surprised how long it takes me to paint a bedroom. Basically it takes me two days. It takes two+ coats of paint and many touch-ups where the accent wall meets the light color. Plus patching with spackle before starting. They did such a shit job of sheetrocking this house when they built it. I painted a wall in the living room. I'm unhappy with some of the patching, so I'll probably redo the patches and paint it again. It seems like the bigger rooms will go more quickly than the bedrooms. One color, lots of doorways and open spaces with windows and/or sliding doors. S2 is hoping he'll get a chance to make some money painting the game room. He spent his time assisting his dad with the French cleats (to hang the headboards) yesterday and didn't have a chance to paint.

Bond and S2 only got one headboard hung, but they did trim off the excess on the legs on all six headboards, plus they cut the pieces for the French cleats for all of them. They should be able to hang the others quickly now that they know what they are doing and everything is prepared. Like the painting, it's always surprising how long projects take. We have to set the nightstand shelves which is basically two pipes hung level and centered on each side of the bed, and then a board laid across them. Each room needs one or two USB outlets installed. All of the bedrooms get two wall hung articulated industrial lamps on each side of the bed. None of it sounds hard, but I'm sure each task will take a ridiculous amount of time. Bond is the measure, measure, measure kind of person and he will talk out each aspect ad nauseam.

I believe the last two bedrooms will be ready for painting by next weekend. WP and Stark should be there all week working so lots of stuff should be done by the time I see the place at the end of the week. WP picked up shiplap for the game room ceiling and will start on that project asap. The owner's closet will also be done. Hopefully Stark will get the soffit sheetrocked and mudded this week. He's so damn slow, but hopefully he'll accomplish that. There are two toilets and a vanity that need to be placed. Stark will need to redo the flooring where the vanity is going as the new one is open below.

Oh! So the appliance delivery guys showed up Saturday morning with only the range, no refrigerator or dishwasher. Grr. At the last minute the delivery dates were changed on the fridge and dw and no one informed me. I'm glad the old appliances actually work, but it's so annoying. The mw came in and WP picked it up from the store for me. Now the delivery date for the fridge is January 28th! The dishwasher should arrive by late December. I wouldn't be surprised if this all changed, but right now those are the dates they're giving me.

My brother called me to inform me that my daughter and her BF moved her RV camper onto our parents' farm...without asking. Fuck. Then he lets me know that when he was up there and saw her this Fall that she said that I was "in bed with the [last name of my grandson's family]". Like what the fuck?! I pay her child support to keep her out of prison and because my grandson's family actually needs the money. It benefits his life! I do get to see him, but I haven't seen him since before the pandemic. But he is my grandson and it's good for him and me to see each other. He needs to get all of the love he can get to compensate for a mother that chose drugs over him. I sent her a message and told her off and told her I am done supporting her and not to ask me for money again. If I feel the same way about this in a couple of weeks I am going to change my beneficiaries and remove her. I may put her share all to her son. I'm so mad and so hurt. She doesn't keep a job, I help her all the time with money. I spent $9K trying to reboot her life the year before last, and she criticizes me and basically says I'm an ass kisser and on "their side". Fuck that. I've always wondered where the line would be that she'd cross and I guess I found it.

B got really pissed at Wil over his plans to travel to Boston and then to his family in central PA. He was condescending towards her and basically had an attitude that he knows how to handle the risks regardless of the CDC's recommendations not to travel. In the end he acknowledged his errors, apologized and canceled his travel plans. All is good, but wow, that nearly had huge fallout for our friend group.

I'm so tired today. I slept like a rock last night. I had an early morning appointment for a haircut and had to miss 30 minutes of a work meeting. I am picking up a industrial pipe and wood shelf unit from someone tonight after work and it seems daunting to have to do something at the end of day. My eyes feel grainy and I want a nap.

I miss Franki.
Last edited:
Holy fuck ya'all, Christmas is in 10 days! We have bought zero presents. I sent the #1 son and his family money so they could shop and put in money for my parents' gift, but that's the extent of what I've done. It's been all lake house 24/7 here for weeks. I have zero spoons for Christmas.
Morning visitors right outside our bedroom window this morning. (In Madison)


Progress pictures that WP sent me yesterday. He said the Stark couldn't handle the not so hot job I did on that wall, so he redid it with actual sheetrock mud. Yay!

New vanity in the main floor bathroom and new toilet. The cabinet over the toilet needs to come down and the new mirror and light fixture need to go up, plus things like the toilet paper holder, towel ring, etc. need to be installed.
Busy, busy life happening here and it's all pretty much because of [STR Name] renovations. I had two weeks over the holiday off, and other than returning to Madison for the 24th and 25th, every day was spent at the house working on things. Wil was there almost the entire time, and Bond was there a majority of the time, but did have to return to Madison for kid-related things. The Therapist came up on the 31st and helped paint and stayed through to the 2nd. Bond and S2 and S3, and B and her kids were there from the 31st to the 2nd. We tried to not work on the actual holidays as everyone needed a break, but before they scattered on Saturday, we installed three swings on the upper level, moved a huge arm chair to the basement (where its mate was already), moved a massive, heavy desk to a side of the upper level so we can put the immense LoveSac by the window on that side, hung a new swag lamp, and some other things I can't remember.

Things we accomplished:
  1. shuffleboard moved into the game room (with help from the neighbor, the real estate selling agent and his son (I called him to see if he knew of anyone I could hire to help move it, and he volunteered himself and his adult son), Wil and Bond)
  2. shiplap installed on ceiling in game room (WP)
  3. backsplash grouted (Stark)
  4. WP installed two electric baseboard heaters and thermostat in game room
  5. WP and Stark cleaned up the work site, moved a lot into the owner's closet and took some back to Madison
  6. all headboards installed with French cleats to hang them to wall (Wil and Bond)
  7. all mattresses installed into bed bug bags (Wil and Bond)
  8. cleaned, wiped sheetrock dust off of furniture, mopped, cleaned bedrooms, made up beds with bedding, etc. (me)
  9. laid rug pad and rug out in main floor living room (me)
  10. shuffleboard assembled by Wil, The Therapist, Bond, B, and myself)
  11. Connect 4 game installed on wall (Wil and Bond and me)
  12. futon couch assembled in game room (Wil and Bond)
  13. last of the bedrooms painted (me)
  14. game room painted (me)
  15. family room in lower level painted (needs 2nd coat in some places still) (me)
  16. night tables and pipe fastening clamps installed in each bedroom (Wil)
  17. power outlets with USBs installed in each bedroom (Wil and Bond)
  18. light fixture installed in main floor bathroom (Wil)
  19. assembled media cabinet (Wil)
  20. set up ping pong table (me)
  21. removed old refrigerator from lower level and transported to front of house (up the hill) to be hauled to dump by WP on Wednesday (Therapist and Bond)
  22. hauled an ass load of cardboard and packing materials from the LL to front of house (up the hill) to be hauled to dump by WP on Wednesday (Wil)
  23. removed a 90's bathroom cabinet from the main level bathroom (Wil)
  24. mounted two coat trees and a mirror (Wil and Bond)
For funsies, Bond and S2 shoveled our neighbor's skating rink bigger so it's huge and S2 attempted to learn how to skate. B's oldest child went ice fishing both days and caught a couple of fish. We watched the full season of Letterkenny and caught Wil up to where he started in middle of Shittz Creek. We had epic battles with these little slingshot chickens. Super fun with the open space over the main level from the upper level.

B raved about all of the furniture I selected for the house. She thinks everything is super comfortable and this morning she suggested I start a side hustle of renovation and home decor. 🤣 S2 asked me why we didn't have the super comfortable reclining couches at the house in Madison. I told him to speak to his father. LOL

Everyone, individually, mentioned how comfortable the house is and how relaxing it is to be there. I hope rental guests feel the same. :)

The skeeball game should be arriving this week. Squee! I've decided to order a bathroom vanity with dual sinks for one of the LL bathrooms. The other bathroom will be converted to a sauna next fall, so no sense in changing it now. I'm also trying to find suitable fans for the vaulted ceiling to replace the old ones that have fake wicker inserts.
Last edited:
I ordered what I hope is (nearly) the last of the "must haves" for the house today; 84" double sink bathroom vanity, towel hooks and towel bars, toilet paper roll holder, toddler plates, cups, and flatware. (I held off on mattress pads and sheets for the Pack and Play, because I want to examine it first to see what condition its in. I also waited to order a high chair.) To continue, pint glasses, an electric griddle, stemless wine glasses, little prep bowls with lids because Wil kept telling me we needed them for [STR Name], Stevia sweetener and Turbinado cane sugar packets for the coffee bar, a wine bottle opener and stoppers. I really hope I'm close to the end of purchasing things for the lake house. I'm so stressed and fatigued over spending money. Oh, geez. I just remembered that we still need to decide upon ceiling fans, so add two ceiling fans to the neverending list.

I thought I mentioned it but I can't see it above; my sister-in-law and likely my nephew both have COVID.
Last edited:
WP and Stark are back at [STR Name] to finish up some things. This morning WP installed the new heater in the hot tub and then filled it. It isn't leaking other than a couple of drips which he hopes he can sort out and stop. That right there is a huge victory! He hasn't been able to figure out how to turn something on. I'm hoping Bond may know. He's at B's right now and I told WP to give him a call.

WP is going to box in the PVC pipes for the radon evacuator. Hopefully it'll accomplish two things; reduce fan noise, and hide it. He's also going to take a load of stuff to the dump. That makes me super excited. LOL

Stark is adding silicone along the granite where it meets up with other surfaces. He's also picking up white plates and their corresponding outlets/switches for the kitchen and getting them changed out.

I haven't heard from Franki in ages. I miss her and feel guilty for not reaching out to her. Life has been so busy and I don't have enough spoons to manage much more than I am right now.

Wil relayed something that has stuck with me. He said that about a month ago, B messaged him saying that when her kids are out of the house he should move in with her rather than Bond and me, and that she could never live with us. What he wanted to know was which end was it that she could not live here. I let him know that would be entirely on her end, as both Bond and me would like her to live with us. He mentioned that he thought she would be hard to live with, which I wholly agree with. Some of the reasons I am guessing she feels like this might be as simple as her three cats and the differences in how we decorate. When I shared this with Bond he said that if she were to live here, she'd need her own floor as we've discussed before. I wonder though if there is more to it than that.

My brother reports that his wife and our nephew are feeling better and that they both got dressed today. :)
Last edited:
It's been a while since I felt like writing here. As you can imagine a lot has happened in the last three weeks. I set an opening date for my vacation rental and I am getting really concerned that we're not going to make it. I have an inspection scheduled for the 2nd for state licensing as a temporary lodging house which is what short term rentals/vacation rentals are classified as in Wisconsin. It's such an antiquated term and I kind of love it for that.

I learned this week that I will not be able to include use of the hot tub in the rental, which is a big bummer. Wisconsin has some pretty stringent rules governing that unfortunately. I am lowering my prices by $100/night as a result. We will have to add straps with locking buckles to secure it. We can use it when we're there at least. I got in it Saturday night when I had the house to myself and damn, it's wonderful. It's a big hot tub. I'm such a dork - I didn't look at the control panel closely and I didn't see the button for turning the lights on. Next time for sure!

I mentioned in an earlier post that I decided to buy a vanity for one of the lower level bathrooms; we picked it up on the 23rd, with intentions of getting the old countertop with sinks demo'd and the new vanity installed. However, we had a couple of setbacks.

1.) the pallet jack damaged one of the sections (it has three sections)
2.) the plumbing requirements were above Bond and Wil's level

The guys were able to save the day regarding the vanity damage by glueing the break in the wood and clamping it until it dried. You'd never know it was there now. Home Depot credited me $253 back onto my credit card as compensation, so that was good. We really couldn't afford the time of reordering, so I was really glad that they could fix it. Thankfully Wil had clamps along!

We have a plumber coming to look at the pipe situation tomorrow (Wednesday). It's very likely that he'll be able to make the changes right then and there. WP and Stark will be up there later in the week to finish up the remaining things on the punch list. Unfortunately, this late in the game vanity change is causing Stark to redo things he had already completed. I feel bad about it, but that's how it goes. There is one flooring panel that will need to be replaced, and I'm not sure how he's going to do it seeing as they click into one another. He'll also have to redo the vinyl base on that side of the room, but that's pretty simple.

Wil is coming back to help this weekend. Hopefully he and Bond can get the vanity hung, sinks installed, lights installed, and I can get the wall painted, and then we can get the mirrors up. I really need this to happen.

I ordered a three compartment dispenser for the main floor bathroom shower, so that needs to be installed, too. Oh, I also had the lady who made the shelf nightstands make me 6 28.5" long shelves for over the toilets (two shelves over each toilet.) I will pick them up on my way north and the guys will need to install the brackets for them this weekend.

I have a 3 day weekend coming up, starting Friday, so I'll be heading to the house Thursday night, I think. I have painting to finish and I would like to get all of the bedrooms made up properly, and I need to clean. I still have things to haul out of the house, too. I can't believe how much work this has all been.

Monday, the 1st, the fireplace inserts are getting done. Finally. Woot! Tuesday, the 2nd, the inspection happens, the refrigerator and dishwasher get delivered, the driveway project (hey all, I decided we needed to widen the driveway on the scary hill) gets a layer of 3-6" rocks added to what they've already done, and the new 65" TV should be delivered. (I'm going to need that hung asap - maybe Bond will come up that day, too.) I'm going to be there for all of this, mainly because I need to meet with the county inspector.

Wednesday evening my niece is arriving at the house. She'll spend the night and take photos the next day. She's a professional photographer. Her family and their friends who are in their pod will arrive that night for the weekend. So, they are officially my first guests! :)

Last Saturday the arborist our neighbor recommended (a friend of his) came to scout the property. He's going to take down 9 trees (actually, I think he's also taking down some smaller scrubby ones, too). For a cash job he's charging $4K. I'm so relieved that it's not double that amount. It cost me $2,650 for the one tree that was against the garage, so I was really worried. He said he'll have the work done before spring thaw.

On Sunday I interviewed two cleaners. The one I am leaning towards as my primary cleaner is going to do a test cleaning on Monday, the 8th. I am considering having the other cleaner come on the 3rd before my niece arrives.

On a personal level, things are okay. I'm still dealing with hurts over old things with B that continue to affect our relationship. Once I get this house launched I'm going to delve into the topic with her. Wish me luck. Bond has been snappy/curt on and off for weeks. I believe it's related to the stress of getting [STR Name] done. I get the feeling that he's sick of working every weekend. I will be glad for all of our sakes when we're past the renovations.

B put her back out Sunday evening. It's really bad. She went to the chiro yesterday and is going back again tomorrow. I hope she hasn't herniated a disc. Tonight is date night so I'll get to see her. We're ordering food and going to her place. I feel so badly for her. I know full well how much pain she's experiencing.

I talked to Franki and her kids' relationships are all on the rocks. I feel for her. On a more fun note, she got Smatch to start remodeling the kitchen. He didn't want to do it. Said he was fine with it, and she said she wasn't and he could either spend the money now to do it, or when he dies she'll hire someone to do it, so he may as well do it now when he can enjoy it (and save the money of paying someone else to do it. ) He got up the next morning and started working on it. Bwahahahaha! :LOL::LOL::LOL:
Last edited:
The plumber and gas person (same company, but different areas of service) are at the lake house this morning. Fingers crossed that the plumber will be able to complete the work for the bathroom and we'll be able to get the wall repaired and vanity hung this weekend.

B's back pain is lightening up. She is at a chiro appt right now. I hope she's well on her way to getting past this. ♥️ We ordered Mexican last night from our favorite restaurant, which was delicious, and then watched several episodes of Breaking Bad. Bond and B have both seen it, but I haven't and they're totally on board with watching it again. :) I'm already enjoying it and they keep telling me that it gets better and better. I believe it, because I know it was hugely popular when it was running.

Franki texted last night about our canned lights in the kitchen and then we chatted about other things. Her daughter (psychiatrist that works in a mental health setting) got her first shot for the covid vaccine this week. I'm happy for anyone who is lucky enough to get vaccinated.

I slept like a champ last night! I got an 86 and a star. Bond had to wake me 30 minutes past our alarm time. Good grief! It was lovely. LOL
I have nothing to say other than I am anxious about the house and the timeline. I can't focus on my job and that's not good. My brain is consumed with [STR Name].

I hope your day is going well.
Last edited:
I hope you're able to work through the distractions and anxiety Petunia. I know i don't post much but youve been on my watch list for years now. That didnt come across creepy at all. 😣 Ok all i meant is I like reading about your life and hooe things settle :)
I hope you're able to work through the distractions and anxiety Petunia. I know i don't post much but youve been on my watch list for years now. That didnt come across creepy at all. 😣 Ok all i meant is I like reading about your life and hooe things settle :)
Thank you, starlight! That's really kind of you and it's nice to know.
We worked our asses off this past weekend/week! Yesterday we had the home inspection and passed, so today I am creating the listing on Airbnb. Woot!
If you're interested, here is the Airbnb link to [STR Name]. Professional photos coming soon. My niece who is a professional photographer will be doing the photos. In exchange she and her family stayed there this past weekend. They loved it! I got lots of good feedback and some suggestions on ways to improve things. Overall, they thought it was pretty plush. :) I was really nervous when she was on her way there. I didn't feel like everything was perfect and it felt rushed, but it all turned out good. I drove up there yesterday when they left to do some work and discovered that the cleaner hadn't swept, vacuumed, mopped the lower level basement floors. I was so upset with her. I talked to her today and she apologized and hadn't realized how much having her daughter there affected her concentration. The stuff she did before she picked up her daughter was excellent. I'm glad we talked, because I was about to write her off. Wednesday the other cleaner will do her test cleaning. She was going to do it today, but tomorrow WP is working on the fireplaces and he's messy, so I'm glad she's flexible enough to switch cleaning days from today to Wednesday.

My first official guests check in at 4:00 pm on Wednesday. I'm a bit nervous, but not overly so. I got another inquiry for later in the month and I hope they follow through and book.

I'm trying to set the house up on multiple listing sites and set up OwnerRez so I can sync calendars and such. It's a bit overwhelming. I am also working on getting setup with Houfy so I can have a direct booking site. I need to get a merchant account to take CC payments on OwnerRez to handle the direct bookings. I also need to add a rental agreement.

While I was busy at [STR Name] I missed out (again) on throwing boiling water into the air and playing with bubbles in the frigid air. :( I don't know why, but I've missed it everytime that B and Bond have done this. B says maybe we'll do it Tuesday night. Our cold weather snap seems to be here for a hella long time!
It's gorgeous!! I don't know when I would ever get out to Wisconsin, but I would stay there in a heartbeat. All your hard work shows.
I love it! Like Jenny I am nowhere near Wisconsin, but if this was down at the beach where I usually rent houses I'd be on it SO fast.
It's gorgeous!! I don't know when I would ever get out to Wisconsin, but I would stay there in a heartbeat. All your hard work shows.
Thank you!
I love it! Like Jenny I am nowhere near Wisconsin, but if this was down at the beach where I usually rent houses I'd be on it SO fast.
Awww, thanks! It's nice to hear that both of you would be interested if it were in your vacationing area. :)
You've created a beautiful vacation home, Petunia. I am within a 12 hour drive and would absolutely consider vacationing here except I usually go south. I'll keep it in mind though :)