house post · Uncategorized

House Post: Kitchen Cabinet Pulls

One of my Christmas presents this year is to do a small but impactful upgrade to the kitchen: new cabinet pulls.

You may recall that I’d already stripped the wallpaper and repainted. I also added a dish soap dispenser and swapped the antique microwave for a vent hood. Other than that – not much has changed in the kitchen.

It’s a great kitchen. The cabinets are a touch outdated, but I like wood rather than white cabinets, so I’m inclined to keep them that way. Eventually, we’ll replace the floor and the countertops, but that’s more in the 3-5 year plan.

In the meantime: cabinet pulls. I forgot to take a picture of the current/old ones, because I’m an idiot, but you can see the outline of where it was in the first picture.

The second picture is a potential replacement.




It’s definitely a significant improvement, but I’m not in love with the style. It looks a little too prefab for me.

I know I want something Art Deco-y. I know I can’t spend $25 per pull, much as I might lust after these, from the House of Antique Hardware. (They’re also not the right size; I need 3″ pulls because I have zero interest in messing around with wood filler, etc.)

These are a distinct possibility but I’m not sure I love the rounded look.

This one is also a possibility, but the smallest it comes is 3.5″.


On the off chance that anyone out there enjoys haunting the internet for cabinet pulls in your spare time, here are my requirements:

  • 3″ center to center
  • satin or brushed nickel finish
  • under $10 per
  • art deco styling
2019 goals · Uncategorized

Working on 2019 Goals

I feel like planning has taken over my life lately. We’re strategic planning at work, which has meant months of long conversations. I’ve been trying to address some of my personal life struggles by planning. I’ve been scrutinizing my finances even more. On and on.

I have a LOT of goals for 2019. Many of them won’t be appropriate for this blog, or can’t be public for other reasons.

In short, I’m thinking about things in the following categories:

  • Tristan
  • House
  • Finances
  • Personal
  • Business

So far I’ve got 5-7 sub-goals in each category. About half the goals are already on track (whether savings, earnings, you name it).

In terms of what I’ll report on this blog, I’ve got it down to three areas: Tristan, Other (a mix of things), and Business. Here are some of the goals I’m thinking about in those areas.


  • Get to First Level
  • Set up & run tack swap/sale
  • Take 12 lessons
  • Volunteer at 6 events
  • Get & share 1 video per month of rides


  • Finish house interior work
  • Finish funding emergency fund
  • Pay off vision correction surgery
  • Try 24 new recipes
  • Write 20k on Morgan book


  • Get to 500 sales on Etsy
  • Separate website and social media for business
  • Take accounting class
  • Develop 3 new patterns
  • Have a total of 7-10 items for sale

So, what about you? Are you getting ready for 2019 goals, or have you given up on that game?

black stallion series · book review · Uncategorized

Final Black Stallion Recap

Remember how I asked everyone to vote on the craziest Black Stallion moment of all time, before I succumbed to the plague?

Well, I’m finally back with the results AND a linked list of every single Black Stallion recap, in case you’re trying to avoid your family on this Christmas Eve. (No judgement. Wish I could join you.)

So, drumroll please…

The craziest Black Stallion moment of all time, as voted upon by you, the readers…

…is Alec and the Black at the end of the world, from The Black Stallion Legend.

For me, the jury’s still out on this one: did the world really, truly end at the end of the book? Is that the most brilliant or most depressing way ever to end a 20 book series?

Finally, if you want to re-read that recap, or any of the others, there’s a list below. You can also always find this list on my book reviews page. (For disclosure: that page contains affiliate links to Amazon, if you decide to buy any of the books for your own reading pleasure.)

The Black Stallion. [review]

The Black Stallion Returns. [review]

Son of the Black Stallion. [review]

The Island Stallion. [review]

The Black Stallion and Satan. [review]

The Black Stallion’s Blood Bay Colt. [review]

The Island Stallion’s Fury. [review]

The Black Stallion’s Filly. [review]

The Black Stallion Revolts. [review]

The Black Stallion’s Sulky Colt. [review]

The Island Stallion Races. [review]

The Black Stallion’s Courage. [review]

The Black Stallion Mystery. [review]

The Horse Tamer. [review]

The Black Stallion and Flame. [review]

The Black Stallion Challenged. [review]

The Black Stallion’s Ghost. [review]

The Black Stallion and the Girl. [review]

The Black Stallion Legend. [review]

house post · Uncategorized

House Goal Planning for 2019

I’ll recap the overall house progress of 2018 in a later post, but for now: what do I want to get accomplished in 2019?

  • All interior cosmetic work done: all wallpaper stripped, all holes filled in, all walls painted. That means the sun room front bedroom, and the room we call the kitchen nook.
  • Next phase of work planned out: exterior paint, bathrooms, kitchen upgrades.
  • Landscaping figured out: clean up back lot, deal with shrubs/trees in front yard, put actual effort into yard work.
  • Regrading projects around the foundation, so we avoid the small leaks that we’ve suffered from.
  • Purge/cleanout of unnecessary things, possibly to culminate in a yard sale this summer.
  • Stretch goals will be some woodworking: refinishing a coffee table, possibly re-upholstering.

It is, however, starting to feel like we’re finishing something big and resting a bit. We’re more into the nice-to-have rather than the must-have. Which is great.


Still Here

Well, Tristan and I are both still alive. I’ve taken an unplanned hiatus from blogging because a) I have been ridiculously sick for weeks now and b) the holiday rush at Bel Joeor Metier has been knocking me flat.

Which. THANK YOU for everyone who has placed orders – whether for their blogger Secret Santa, their barn friends, or themselves. It blows me away that people like what I make and that they want to support me.

Thanks to that holiday push, I was able to write a check for Tristan’s surprise pergolide refill last week with only a twinge of grumpiness – and no existential money panic.

Though I have been so miserably sick, Tristan is fat and happy and comfortable, and that’s really all I ask for.

I’ve been doing some 2019 goal planning, and will write about that soon. Tristan is also officially barefoot again, so I’ll write about that – and our hopes/dreams/plans for keeping him that way.

2018 goals · Uncategorized

2018 Goals Update: November

Last monthly update of the year; I’ll next update in early January with my final overview.

Original Goals Post

January Goals Post
February Goals Post
March Goals Post
April Goals Post (didn’t happen)
May Goals Post
June Goals Post
July Goals Post
August Goals Post
September Goals Post
October Goals Post

Horse Goals

1. Take 6 lessons through the year. – 6/6 done, and check!
2. Ride 3 new-to-me horses. – check!
3. Research 3 different retirement situations. – check!
4. Write retirement budget for Tristan. – check!
5. Reach goals for horse-specific income stream. (Primarily through Etsy shop.) –  November was my best month ever; Black Friday was absolutely nuts. It gave me a good taste of what a month that entirely supports my horse habit would look like.
Stretch: 6. Read and review 12 books about riding on the blog. – 12/12 and done thanks to the Black Stallion books!

Financial Goals

1. Fully fund Tristan’s savings account (to $1,500) –
2. 50% fund my overall emergency fund savings account (to $7,500) – Thanks to a variety of things including obsessive economizing, this is back on track!
3. Track every purchase made in 2018. – Most of November went well. The wheels came off around Thanksgiving.
4. Create 30 day wait list for any purchase over $25 (excluding groceries & emergencies). – November’s went really well, on to December.
5. Pay off 50% of energy improvement debt. – projected to hit 57% at the end of the year and I’m ok with this; it’s an extremely low-interest loan with a small monthly payment
6. Stretch: 75% fund my overall emergency fund savings account (to $11,250) – nope.

House Goals

1. Finish dining room (finish wallpaper, skimcoat lower half, plaster upper half, paint). –check!
2. Finish garage in basement (finish strappingput up drywall, plaster drywall, paint floor, clean out). – sigh.
3. Finish living room (strip wallpaperplaster, repaint). – yeah all my plans to finish this fell apart in the face of spending the last 10 days of November hacking up my lungs
4. Develop plan & budget for preserving mud room mural.
5. Build second raised bed, start seedlings indoors, can/process results of garden. – check!
6. Stretch: Finish breakfast nook room (strip wallpaper, plaster, figure out heating, repaint)