House Renovations: Week 3

We are in our 3rd week of working on the house and things are changing.  Slowly, but surely, the 3 of us are making some progress.  It may not go really fast, but we are getting there and taking all these progress pics will be fun to go back and look at later.  That’s when the progress will really be seen.  These will be major Before and Afters one day.

My parents are troopers and we are spending about 3 or 4 days a week over there, usually 4 to 5 hours at a time.  I don’t think I mentioned this before, but my dad is quite experienced at renovations.  My dad is a retired Pastor and pastored since my sister and I were born. They were well-loved (and still are) by our small congregation.

But back in their younger years, they bought rental houses and fixed them up and had several at a time that they kept for years and rented out.  He finally sold all of them, getting tired of keeping them up.  So, even though it’s been probably 25 years or so since my dad has done any major renovations, it’s in his blood and he is quite capable of getting the job done.  He did a lot of the building on my first house back in 1985.  I’m so grateful to still have them with me on this one.  This just might be my last house!  I do believe I’ll be quite happy in this one for years to come.


Mom and I worked at pulling up the carpet in the living room this week and got that job done.  She’s been working on removing all the staples from the floor.


Piles of carpet and carpet pad are everywhere.  We will probably rent a dumpster after we tear everything out and just dump it all at once and have them come back and pick it up.


We finished getting out all this carpet as well as that stairway going up so it’s all down to the plywood now.


Dad was taking a break.

024 (2)

This one is down to the bare wood now too.  The only carpet left is in the 3 upstairs bedrooms and that will come out later this week.

tools to remove carpet from stairs

These are the tools I used to get out all the staples and tackstrips.  Tedious work, but it goes pretty fast.

020 (2)

I ripped out the foyer stairs and got them all cleaned up too.

stairs sans carpet

Down to the bare wood.


Another big feat this week was getting out most of those nasty cabinets.  When I say nasty, I mean nasty. You won’t believe how grody those things were in the back.  Apparently, this house had a major roach infestation at some point.  Thankfully, we have only seen dead bugs, 100’s of dead roaches and no live ones, so maybe at some point, someone actually sprayed in here to get rid of them.

removing old cabinets

My dad worked hard figuring out how to pull out the LONG nails (not screws) that were holding these cabinet in the studs.  He finally got it working and managed to get every cabinet off the wall, with some help from mom and I.


Working smart, by having a paint can underneath to rest the cabinets on, we got them down and out of the house.


And let me tell you, it was GROSS what was behind those cabinets. Every single one of them had major dead roaches behind them.  Stuck to the walls, stuck to the ends and backs of the cabinets.  It was SO GROSS!!  I am SO glad I didn’t decide to keep these cabinets.  The fronts and sides are solid wood, but they are pretty trashed anyway with particle board shelves and they are nasty greasy too, but I’m going to recycle the best ones down in the laundryroom.  They are definitely not nice cabinets at all.  Very beat up.


If I had not taken them down, all this filth would have been hidden back there forever and that would make me sick.  Look at all the roach poop left behind.  We will leave the lower cabinets in place for now, cause it is nice to have a working sink in here.  We won’t get to the kitchen cabinets until later in the summer.


Dead carcasses and roach poop! Have you ever seen anything more disgusting in your life?  I don’t think I have.  Who lives like this?? I can’t imagine not caring about your home any more than this, to let roaches take over.  If I need to, I will get the place sprayed again for bugs, but so far, no live ones have been spotted.


We got all of one side down and had one more section to work on the next day.  We left a bucket propped up to hold it in place since it was loosened from the wall.  That stove hood was a greasy mess too!


The entire backsplash, tops of the cabinets and the ceiling fan in here are covered in a layer of grease.  YUCK!  Grease and roach poop.  What a nice combo. 🙂


This whole side of cabinets are down and out of there.  YAY!  Major accomplishment.


Dad was pretty happy to get all of this down and outta here!


We slid them down the back stairs and used a dolly to move them around.  Mom and I washed them down with soap and water to get the worst of the bugs and poop off them.


Using the shop vac and soap and water, they look a little better.  Mom is the clean up lady.  She’s the bomb with a shop vac and broom.  She goes around cleaning up the stuff left behind.  We will save the best ones and use them down in my large laundry room area for storage.  I’ll decide that part later, but we took those inside that doorway there to the downstairs storage room.


After getting all of the YUCK off first.  YUCK, I’ll say it again.  SO disgusting. Those roaches had a regular roach motel going behind there.


So, it was time to get back to the board and batten.  We finished the top 2 rows of that around the room and we’ll finish up the battens later this week.  It’s going to look SO good.


Dad and daughter hands.  He still likes to hammer those nails into a stud. My manicures are not at the top of the list these days.


I took my nail set and drove them in.


Hammer and nail set.


And now all those holes need is a little caulk and they will be ready to paint.  I’ll get the nail gun back out to pop in those battens.  Love my nail gun!


If I can’t afford to get a new stove at the end of this kitchen reno, I can use the one that is there for awhile.


The top looks bad, apparently the folks who lived here cooked some major meals on top of the stove and heated up that back burner all the time.  It’s gross too!  I can clean it up and use it for awhile though if I have to.  And surprisingly, inside the oven is really clean.  Guess they didn’t bake.


There’s an old refrigerator left too, which really comes in handy while we are over here working.  So glad to have it!  And if I can’t get the stainless steel fridge of my dreams, I’ll use this one until I can afford one.  This one will end up in the garage eventually. I love having an extra fridge for overflow.

So, that’s the end of week 3 of the house reno!  We are making some big progress.  We should soon be ready to start painting trim.  That will be the next big job on the list.  After the rest of the carpet comes out, we will get ready to prime the stained trim with oil-based primer. Then 2 coats of trim paint.  Then, we’ll be ready to paint the walls.  I will be so excited to see the trim and walls get painted.  That’s going to be a HUGE change!

In fact, I think I will have a blogger party! So many of you have offered to come and help, so stay tuned, I think I’ll take you up on that.  I’ll announce a Saturday in the next few weeks and if you’d like to come out and help us paint, I would love that.  We’ll feed you something and have a fun painting party.  Anyone in the area who’d like to join us, let me know! 

Today is a fun day! So excited to be invited by Shaw Floors to a special day of touring the HGTV Green Home down south of Atlanta, in Serenbe.  Hoping I get to take pics inside to share with all of you, I know this will be a very special event!

The lucky winner of the $100 Lowes giftcard giveaway is here!   And pssstt!  There will be another $100 giveaway this month too, so stay tuned for that. 

- Rhoda


  1. I wish I lived closer! I would love to help paint. Your story has really been a blessing to me; you have done a great job of making lemonade out of lemons! Thanks for the inspiration, and keep the progress pictures coming.

    Lori in Richmond, VA

  2. You are so blessed to have such great parents/contractors!

    Very excited to watch your progress.

  3. mikki madden says:

    Aren’t the changes fun? I am so looking forward to your afters. I have the same stove, and I use Shaklee pot cleaner on the top. It is non abrasive and cleans it like a charm. You can order that online.
    I saw the neatest thing the other day, someone had used the plastic tin ceiling tiles over their dishwasher to make it look like stainless steel. I wonder if it would work on your white frig. They sell it as backsplash in the kitchen department in Lowes. i know this because I used it in the smoke color as backsplash in my kitchen as well as in the copper color on 3 of the walls in our basement kitchen area. It’s super easy to apply, looks like the real stuff, even up close, and is veary affordable. If you are going to eventually move hat frig to another area, it might be worth the DIY job just to see the changes. You could also spray the frig handles to look stainless – voila – “new” frig at a fraction of the cost!

  4. Judy Clark says:

    OMG! When you told me about thoses roaches the other day, I couldn’t imagine, but a picture is worth a thousand words. Thank goodness you took down those cabinets. Thank God those roaches are gone! Call Danny at Dixie Exterminators – you can use my name. We don’t want any of those nasty bugs coming back into your home. Paul and I will come over and help you paint, I hope the paint party is on a Saturday.

  5. Wow! It’s neat to see your progress. The best picture is Dad and daughter hands. ; )

  6. Oh my…you are brave to tackle that one. Gross doesn’t even come close. My only concern for you and your folks, roaches can carry disease…I would consider wearing masks and gloves while working around that nasty stuff. I cannot believe how much you have gotten accomplished in such a short time!

  7. If I lived closer I would help you. The 3 of you work so hard and I know it will be worth it in the end, but I just wish you had more people to help you.

  8. I love, love, love watching your progress. You 3 are the hardest workers I know. Those cabinets were disgusting! Are you going with open shelving or are you going to replace them with new cabinets? Keep up the good work. It’s fun to watch. How close are you to Charlotte, NC? I love to paint.

  9. Try Krud Kutter to clean your stove. When we had rentals (we sold them, too, thank goodness), that is what I used to clean the stoves and refrigerators after the renters left. It works really well. You should be able to find it at Lowe’s or (Home Depot).

  10. OH GAL, Roach funk, that is just (forgive my Southern Californian) GNARLY!! I feel your pain. When we bought our home in Virginia, almost 7 years ago, it had sat empty for a year prior and had renters in it before that, we found some pretty FOUL problems as well! Theirs nothing like doing a reno yourself, it’s tough but hang in there!! Oh and your mom and dad are AWESOME…I hope my hubby and i are just like them when we gain a little more maturity! What a Blessing!

  11. the salvage collection says:

    holy progress! you all must sleep well at night! it’s such fun to see your accomplishments with this overhaul, even if it’s de-roaching the kitchen!

  12. What a job! Your parents are real troopers and hard workers. I know you are so glad to have their help. Hey, I think I live a couple of hours away from you (driving time) so if the paint party works out at a time that I am not at my paying job, I would love to come over.

  13. Rhoda, I am so excited to see what you do with the floor and stairs in the living room. What a blessing to have your parents there helping out! I so wish I could make it down for your paint party, but I live all the way in PA (unless you make it the Saturday after Haven, in which case many of us will already be in Atlanta.) 🙂

  14. You and your parents are amazing! I can hardly believe all you’ve done already. Of course I would love to come and help, any time, anything, even roach poop. 🙂

  15. Your making great progress! What fabulous parents you have.

    Yuck roaches!! I’ve never seen such yuck! This house sure needed you to bring it back to life! It’s going to be amazing and beautiful.

  16. You’re an amazing, inexhaustible inspiration! Seeing your mom and dad, I understand it. Bless you and them.

  17. your parents are FANTASTIC!! i got giddy this morning when i saw your blog post was on your new home. i’m surprised how exciting this is for me. can’t wait to see what you all tackle next!

  18. Thank the Lord for your precious mom and dad. They are awesome!

  19. Thank you for more details about your parents. Totally in love with them.

    They are a big story, ironically, tucked sideways into your story.

    Disgusting how the previous owners lived.

    Jealous of your nail gun.

    Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

  20. Vicki Crowe says:

    Your work is very inspiring, in many dimensions. Family coming together to show just what a few people can accomplish and the fact that AnyONE with determination and a little cash CAN have a nice, clean place to live. It doesn’t have to cost millions of dollars to have “the pursuit of happiness” here in America. Just some elbow grease, some encouragement, and some family love. This is one home you’ll be so proud of and it’s going to be gorgeous, not only from your creativity and craftiness, but from those precious memories you are making with your mom and dad! No one can ever take those away! I’m enjoying watching the progress. Thank you for letting us share in your joy!

  21. Susan Rod says:

    What a wonderful start to your new home. You and your parents are a great team. The picture of you and your father’s hands is priceless.

    I would love to help you. I live in Cumming, if that is close to you. Just give a shout out. I’ll even bring a dessert.

  22. Joyce Ackley says:

    Rhoda, I am just amazed at how much your dad is able to accomplish! Seriously, some men years younger do not have the skill and expertise, or the energy to tackle those big jobs. Your mom is amazing, too. How wonderful that you have them to help you with your house.

    The roach mess is gross – you got that right!! I’m glad you decided to remove the cabinets. That mess could have made you sick – literally. Now everything will be all fresh and clean, and you know it. Who would have thought such filth lurked behind cabinets like that?

    You are making such good progress. It’s a treat to watch it all come together. So happy for you.

  23. Eeew! I know you’re so glad to get that nastiness out!!

    Just a thought–I work for a waste company that delivers and picks up large garbage bins like you’ll need. You might be able to find a company in your area who will just charge a flat fee and won’t charge for the amount of time you keep the dumpster. My boss is a super great guy who will let homeowners keep the bins for more than the allotted 1-month time. (I’m in Athens–not sure how close that is to where you are. If you’re interested, let me know and I’ll get you contact information!)

  24. What an amazing trio the 3 of you make!! Your Mom is in great shape to get on her hands and knees and pull out staples!

    Rhoda, a blogger paint party sounds like fun but I would just have the painters prime….lots of people are crummy painters and I would hate for you to have to spend time redoing others work.

    I think LOWES should buy you a new stove….look at all the advertising they are getting on your blog!!!

    The roaches are beyond gross, thank god you took down those cabinets. It’s so much fun watching the inprogress pics, I’m glad your not just showing the afters, this is much more of a learning experience.

    • Rhoda, I am worried for you about the crummy painters, too. I moved into a condo that was very poorly painted by the previous owner. My painter says she “slobbered” paint all over the place. LOL

  25. Your parents are precious. What sweet memories you are making with them.

  26. Janelle says:

    I look at your blog every morning looking for the house updates. I love your style and can’t wait to see it when it’s done. Your Mom and Dad are amazing!

  27. Theresa says:

    Rhoda, I am amazed at the progress you and parents have made on the house. Love the picture of your hand and Daddy’s hand, this shows love. I think all your fans are falling in love with your parents, they are precious, such hard working people. It is inspiring to hear all the people offering to help with painting, we hear all the bad in the world, but need to know about these wonderful good people. I live in a small town where many people help friends or neighbors. Thanks for sharing the project and pictures, it gives us ideas and steps to take for remodeling. Middle Georgia Fan

  28. Thank you Rhoda for the Week 3 update! You are definitely making progress! I just love how you have your parents with you on your journey – it keeps them forever young!

  29. Rhoda, you guys are doing an awesome job! That is tiring back breaking work, but it already looks better! It’s going to be so cute when you get it all finished up! What amazing parents you have! There is such satisfaction in taking something ugly,tired and worn out and turning it into a fabulous home. I’ve been doing that myself and I love it! Can’t wait to see what you do next!

  30. Wow! Y’all have made great progress for 3 weeks. I remember the tedious work of pulling out staples in our house too! The house is going to be amazing and you’re a lucky girl to have such a devoted dad. Love the pics of y’alls hands together. 🙂

  31. Great progress. Your parents are amazing. I think you should frame the photo of the daughter/father hands to hang in your home and get your mom’s hand in one, too. All three hands would be awesome.

  32. Hooray for you!!!! I am really enjoying watching this as your place is SO similar to mine – really. I think we might have had the same builder as I think I am pretty darn close to you – 15-20 mins maybe (Acworth/Kennesaw area). The layout of your house is the same as several in our neighborhood and our kitchen/bathroom cabinets, counters, fireplace, trim and more is virtually identical. We gutted and re did our kitchen/dining room in 2010 and still have a lot of work to go. Check out the picture of our demo of the cabinets to see how similar they are! That was a beast of a project! Let me know when you are doing your Saturday session and I’ll try to come.

  33. Love to see the progress on your house!!!! I live close and can come help paint!!( Acworth!)

  34. Rhoda-
    I worked as a public health nurse about 25 years ago, right out of nursing school, and couldn’t believe how some people lived. I was young and fresh-faced, and pretty innocent, and I remember just being astounded at how FILTHY some of the homes were that I went into. Many of the homes had roaches EVERYWHERE (!!!), fleas, piles of dog poop….I kid you not. I just simply could not comprehend how people could live that way. (Of course, that gets into an entire other discussion of how welfare programs tend to destroy a person’s work ethic, but that’s another topic!). To this day I am very leery of buying anything at a garage sale or thrift store that could harbor roaches. I never want that kind of a problem in my own home!

    Your mom and dad seem like wonderful people, and their love for you touches my heart in a deep way. I love these updates and hope you’ll continue to post as often as you can. Hang in there!!

  35. Great progress. It is great to see family helping out. I will follow along.


  36. Lots of work, but I love reading how you are taking it step by step. How great is it that your parents are helping you. When I was younger, my parents too fixed up rental houses and I have such fond memories of helping them clean while they worked side by side.

  37. Connie McCallum says:

    WOW you guys are really working hard. Such progress! You are right the painting will make a world of difference. I would love to come help. Just give a shout out when you have set the date!

  38. Sharon Avinger says:

    Love watching these progress pictures, Rhoda! You and your sweet parents are really work horses. God bless you all and I wish you the very best. Can’t wait until you reach the decorating stage and can hit the yard sales again!

  39. Rhoda, I just wanted to let you know how blessed you are to have your parents, and for them to work with you in renovating your house!!!

  40. Wow, you’ve got the best contractor and assistant! What a team you all are.
    I can’t wait to see all the work you will do. You know it will be a real show place!

  41. Patricia says:

    Your home will be amazing when finished ! And I still can’t get over your parents – they are something else ! God Bless them !!

  42. Paula B. says:

    So much progress already, yay. Love the picture of the two hands…

  43. Arlene Grimm says:

    You all have really done a lot Rhoda!! Wish I lived near you, I would love to come and help out but since I do not, I will be cheering you on from Alabama!!

  44. Wow, that is some serious progress! Our last house had the nasty kitchen cabinets also. As an addition both bathrooms had nasty cabinets. All had to be removed and replaced. Ugh. At some point in time the cabinetry had been very nice but because of neglect it was not salvageable and glad we tore it out.

  45. Yikes, Rhoda! At least you are making some great progress. So gross to think someone was living with all those critters. Eww!!

    -Erin Spain
    DIY On the Cheap

  46. Love to see your progress!! That roach debris is honestly one of the grossest things I’ve seen…. I flipped a house that had a roach problem but nothing like that!

    If I lived in your area I would totally come help paint. Dallas may be too far though 🙂

  47. The photo of you and your dad’s hands is precious, and I really like the idea someone else had about taking a photo of all 3 of your hands. Your parents are AMAZING!

  48. I love seeing the progress! You are so fortunate to still have both of your parents. They are such a blessing to you in so many ways. Wish I was close enough and I’d help you paint! I love to paint!

  49. A Mr. Clean Magic Eraser should get that cook top back to almost new! It works like a charm for us.

  50. Count me in for painting! Thank goodness I didn’t volunteer for cabinet tear down … you are very brave taking care of all that roach crap (no pun intended)! 🙂

    Your parents are amazing! How lucky for you to have such hard working handy parents! See you soon!

  51. Hi. So glad to see your progress thus far. You have all been so busy! I can relate. I probably don’t help ‘as much’ as your parents, but my husband has been doing the same remodel on our 1979 home we bought 4 years ago. It’s sometimes slow but always steady!!! Great work! One of your favorite followers: Judy

  52. Can’t wait to see the finished product! You are so blessed to have your parents helping you!

  53. Great progress! Love all of your pictures with your story-telling. 🙂 Your parents are amazing people and such a great Blessing to you! I know your heart is full of love for them. Your new home will be full of wonderful memories! Keep those updates and photos coming. (Wish I lived closer to join in on your painting party. I’ll be there in thought!)
    Susan A.

  54. Anna Jane says:

    I agree with you about the YUCKY roach infestation. I know you know, but if they were that bad behind the cabinets, what about inside the stove and refrigerator? I’d put them on that dolly and turn them over to check. Compressed air is a great way to blow the dirt away from places hard to reach.
    Great job on the reno. Cant wait to see the finished project.

  55. What awesome progress y’all are making!! Thnx for all the updates….I look forward to seeing it all come together! I just love your sweet parents…how very blessed you are to still have them & especially in such great health!! Blessings!!

  56. I just love your updates!! 🙂 The thought of that filth is disgusting! I can just imagine what some people unknowingly live in. 🙁 Thank goodness you were able to remove the cabinets. I’m sure you are already able to invision your new kitchen layout. Great idea to have a “painting” party too! Hope lots of folks come out. 🙂

  57. Sadly roaches love electricity! I’d totally trash the stove and the fridge..even if you can only get a replacement on craigslist!!

    I’d love a life history of your partents!! Oh I love them! What sweet darling people!!

  58. I’d love to come help paint, I love a good paint party! Just say when and if I can make the date I’ll be there!

  59. Debbie V. says:

    Loving the updates – keep them coming! How wonderful it is that you still have your parents and are able to work on this project together. Everything looks great so far!

  60. I’ve seen this kind of roach mess a few times, there is nothing new under the sun. Hawaii has tons of roaches and old buildings. Your parents and you have already done so much to get rid of the mess!

  61. Pam Miner says:

    I just want to say thank you so much for sharing everything going on in your house…i am so happy for you and will pray the lord will bless you with a stove and ref. Bless you Pam

  62. Valerie J. says:

    This is so exciting! Not the roaches part but how it is coming along so quickly. Good job to you and your great team!

  63. Woo Hoo! Look at you workin’ like a Wo-Man! LOL! I agree with the others the Father and daughter hands picture is definitely a keeper! You are all doing an amazing job. Thank you so much for sharing all the progress pictures. YOU are making us women proud to be women. We are strong and invincible! Physically and emotionally! I am pulling up carpet tomorrow at my Lake House. I will think of all of you!
    ~Nancy from OHIO

  64. Paula Lusk says:

    My gosh Rhoda, you three made a great team! It is sure a lot of work (been there, done that) but you will be so happy to have your own home to change up whenever you get the urge. Happy for you. Blessings Paula

  65. Rhoda……all the ripping out and tearing down looks great….and isn’t that just the way our Heavenly Father does it too, so he can add the new! The pic of your hand next to your daddy’s made me get tears in my eyes…..How so very blessed you are to have such dedicated parents to help you!!! Keep up the good work….I know it will be beautiful when finished! Blessings, Cate

  66. Wow! You really are blessed to have not run into any live roaches yet. They give me goosebumps.
    I just love seeing the pictures of you and your parents working together. The one of yours and your dad’s hands should be framed. You are very fortunate to have them helping you… and all this wonderful time to get to spend with them.
    I wish I could come help you paint. If my little was a little older I would consider driving over from B’ham but I can’t leave her yet because I am still nursing. I’m looking forward to seeing everything else you have planned for the house.

  67. Victoria says:

    Oh wow, Rhoda! You and your dad and mom are the A-Team of getting a house cleaned out and cleaned up! It looks so much better already! Love watching the progress and how the Lord provides every little thing you need! Love it!

  68. Sherill says:

    I haven’t read everyone’s comments, but I think it’s funny that you mentioned that you have had a ton of offers to help you…I was planning on extending my hand at helping you. I live in the Atlanta area and would love to help in anyway I can (I was the one that spent a year renovating an 1860 Victorian down in the Hampton area:) If you want to email me personally I offer my services to you. I look forward to the progress so we can see it on your blog…the more the merrier!

  69. Becky in SC says:

    Roach poop!!…you kill me!!….HA!!! Never really thought of it…but I guess they poop too! 😀
    I love, love, love all the progress pictures! Keep ’em coming!
    ♥ Becky in SC ♥

  70. Just happened upon your blog and I am so excited to see your renovations!!

  71. Rhoda,

    What an incredible job you have done! I am so glad you took down those cabinets and rid the world of a little more roach poop! I know the house is smiling!


  72. That was gross! 🙂 SOOOO glad you are starting with a fresh, CLEAN slate! I’m sure it’s going to be gorgeous when you are done!
    The picture that stuck out to me most is the pic of you and your dad’s hands together. That is precious. Someday you will look back on that and cherish it. How many of us have pictures of a parent’s hands and our own hands together? It has so much meaning behind it. I lost my mom in June and when I think of her, I always picture her hands. Sorry to get off topic and sappy…..hold onto that picture!

  73. What wonderful parents you have! Thank you so much for sharing all of this with us!

  74. Angela Day says:

    Hi again Rhoda, I’ve been following your blog for a few years now, you were actually kind enough to reply to a question I had about your sister’s dining room hutch! Anyway, I can relate to you and your parents, I am also blessed with a wonderful Mom and Dad. My father is 84, still roars around everywhere, and Mom turns 80 on the 25th of May! They run circles around me! Dad helped my install hardwood floors in my home 3 years ago, and my Mom just helped my repaint my living room and kitchen! Nothing is ever too much trouble for them and they love to help out ! Anyway, I love your blog, your are a courageous woman, and I wish all good things for you!

  75. Oh, Rhoda, I cam’t tell you how exciting it is for me to watch this happening! I get a little choked up whenever I think of it. It’s just makes me so happy to see you doing this! And your parents helping, too, that is just so lovely.

    You know what else I love? I love that when we see pictures of you these days, you look really happy. When you smile, your eyes are smiling, too. There was a while there (even back to before the big changes) when it didn’t seem like that was true. It warms my heart to see that. You’ve always been tough and you never complain, and it just makes me believe in the powers that be — that things work in good ways — to see you making this come true for yourself.



  76. Rhoda: I would love to come help you. I live in Canton GA. Your home looks better every day!


  77. Libby Lusk says:

    I’m loving this reno.I am so happy that you have a home to fix up.You do such a good job helping others.I’m sure this one will be beautiful!

  78. You are an inspiration! Really, thank you for sharing your story & all the hard work you & your parents are doing. You make me feel like I could do anything after seeing you persevere. I’m excited to see what you do with your house & I so with I could come & help paint too.

    -from Arkansas-

  79. You and your parents continue to be an inspiration. Thanks

  80. Barbara says:

    Love, love the reno. Taking something ugly and making it beautiful. You are recycling an old house — how environmental is that?? FYI–Have you checked out the Sears second store in Atlanta. We got some appliances for our lake house for a REALLY GREAT deal. Been several years and everything is still working perfectly.

  81. Oh you poor woman with the roach leavings everywhere. I think I would have been physically sick. So glad you had your parents there with you; they are pretty spry folks. I confess to a greasy range hood, I have never found anything that will stay there long enough for me to clean that allowed my allergic, asthmatic lungs to work. But roach leavings, YUK!!!! I used to sell Tupperware when my now adult kids were small, what made me leave was doing a party where there was garbage on the stairs (3 family home) and roaches…..definitely among the creatures I can’t imagine why God created :-).

  82. Hi Rhoda

    Great progress on the house! You are so blessed to have your wonderful parents! Let me know when you plan your paint party, lots of experience! It’s more fun when you have friends helping. My schedule is crazy, still trying to see if I can get to Haven. Looking forward to seeing the photos of the HGTV Green Home. I hope to get there to see it.

    (and I had to skip by the pictures of the bugs and what they left behind…)

  83. Sharon in Chicago says:

    Rhoda — congrats on all the progress! The best part, though, is the tangible wat your parents are showing their love for and faith in you. And that picture of your and your dad’s hands? You need to enlarge it and frame it for him for Fathers Day (make a frame from reclaimed wood from the house or leftovers from the board & batten).

  84. Catherine says:

    you and your parents are inspiring! Wishing you all the best for the next renovating sessions.

  85. Dear Rhoda, Your story is so inspirational. Bless you and your parents. It is so fun to see your progress and hear the excitement in your postings. I too did a lot of fix up on an old house in my day. I know how much hard work it is, but the feeling of joy when it comes together is priceless. Thanks for sharing with all of us.

  86. Wow….what an inspiration y’all are getting so much done. I’m just around the corner (well in Marietta) and would love to help with a blogger work day one Saturday. Hope the date you chose works for me….have several weddings and a son graduating this May. If not, hope to hear an update at Haven:)

  87. Hi Rhoda……..Everything is looking so much better! I know it will be a delight for the eyes when you are done………hope all is well in your life!

  88. Aww, you are your parents are amazing! You are creating a beautiful home together and wonderful memories! Maybe I can make it over to paint 🙂

  89. Rhoda! I am so very happy for you! You are like the Phoenix rising out of the ashes to build a new life for yourself! You know that you really should write a book about this experience! You are an inspiration to us all! I think that this will turn out to be your best home ever….created with love and care and hope every step of the way with loving hands! Have a wonderful week and Happy Mother’s Day {early}! Angie xo

  90. Linda@Coastal Charm says:

    All your hard work is really going to pay off…it’s going to look soooo good my friend. It is hard to believe how some people live…being in the real estate business we see it all:)


  91. Rhoda, what a difference, you are so blessed to have your folks still be able to help out..and yuck to the roach motel..glad you took all the cabinets out. I so wished I lived closeby to help with the painting party but will be sure to watch from afar! Good job, girl!


  92. You all are doing a great job! The best thing to tackle that stove top is a small paint scraper with a brand new razor blade in it. Once you have gotten as much off as you can with that, use the ceramic top cleaner that is sold at Sears (I’ve tried them all and this is the best). Another consideration for the frig is tape off all the gaskets and back panel, take it to a body shop and have it sprayed black to match the stove for now.

  93. Rhoda you are cracking me up over the roach poop. As disgusting as it is, I really had a good laugh reading this 🙂 hehe. Your mom and dad are SOOOO cute! I wish I lived closer b/c I would love to be there helping you. Oh the laughs I think we would have! Keep up the good work. You are building your dream with your two precious parents. You are blessed to have this opportunity with them 🙂

  94. Ew! I think I’d have ran for the hills until it was done. I have a sensitive stomach. lol We have slugs in our house, drives us mental…!

  95. I stumbled onto your blog by accident. Your story is so inspiring. The picture of you and your dad’s hands brought tears to my eyes. Enjoy every memory you are making with your parents. Their love for you and the Lord shines through every photo. And like another comment left, I too wish I lived closer because I would love to lend a hand with the reno. I’m looking forward to seeing this house transformed.

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