Starting from Scratch

Did you get it? Starting from scratch? A chicken scratch reference? Okay. It was a stretch but I laughed. And we really are starting from scratch here. The basement we’ve moved to is small, dark, and almost totally unfinished. But I have plans!


My son and daughter-in-law were nearly as surprised as Mr. C and I were when things finally fell apart financially. We’d worked so hard, for so long to keep our heads above water but the bills for medical treatments kept pouring in and finally we had to admit we had shaved everything to the bone and it wasn’t enough.


Our older son lives in a three bedroom home with his wife and 4 kids. They’re already squeezed. Our daughter and her husband and son live in a townhouse…in a city. No. But our youngest and his family are buying a ten acre farm from our daughter-in-law’s dad! They (bless them forever) instantly told us we should move in with them.

The upstairs of the home has three bedrooms and they have 3 girls. They, of course, occupy the master suite. The two older girls share a room and the baby has her own room. But the basement already had a bedroom built and it is just a matter of fixing up the rest of the space.


Our cozy little bedroom. It’s bigger than just the bed, of course.

Unfortunately, the bathroom is up two flights of stairs which makes it very difficult for me. If you didn’t know, I am disabled and walking can be painful and difficult at times. A bathroom downstairs was first on the list of “must-haves.”

Of course wanting to add a bathroom and being able to afford one are two different matters. We’ll be building the bathroom starting from scratch. There is no water in the basement. The bath will be below grade so we have to use a special type of pump to get everything from down here up to the existing plumbing. Before we even think much about that we have to design the space and purchase materials for the walls, electrical needs, and plumbing requirements.

I had almost despaired of having a bathroom in the basement in my lifetime. But my mother-in-law (whom some of you have read about before) had my back. Mama passed away in September. I’ll write more about that in an upcoming post but the way Mama had my back regarding the bathroom is she left us a small insurance policy we knew nothing about. While not a huge sum it will allow us to put in a pretty nice full bathroom down here! My sister-in-law, Kathy wrote, “Mama is still looking out for you.” when she told us about the policy.

Now we’re measuring and I’m picking out shower stalls and vanities. It’s an exciting thing for us and I’ll keep you apprised of how things are progressing.

As for the rest of the basement, I may have to wait to carry out my plans. My daughter-in-law wants to expand the space. Currently the basement is only under 1/2 the house. The garage is under the upstairs bathrooms and bedrooms. Andi wants to convert the garage into a large living room, bedroom, and bath for us. I love her plans but it will take a lot longer to complete.

Meanwhile, I’m thinking of putting in some inexpensive laminate flooring in the living room and bedroom. As of this writing we have concrete flooring. It is both uncomfortable and very unattractive.

And while I update you on the progress in the basement (pictures of the *shiver* way it looks now to follow) I’ll also try to get back to working on new recipes and the rest of the homestead activities to share.

We’re starting from scratch but an adventure at this stage of my life is just unexpected fun!




Author: Elizabeth

I'm a wife, mom, and grandma (known as Bam) who loves cooking, baking, gardening, and all things that go into making a cozy coop for my brood. I have a disability so you may pick up tips on how to do things when some things just don't work right!

19 thoughts on “Starting from Scratch”

  1. Your bright and sunny outlook under the most challenging conditions are inspiring, to say the least. The way you manage to make people laugh after your mishaps and thru your writings, brilliant!! I stepped on an icy porch, did the splits for the first time ever, and all I could think about was โ€œHow would Mrs C handle this???โ€
    Thank you! Your family is incredible, and please keep us updated!! Pete and Andy, what an amazing son and DIL you have. Living with your grandkids just brings one to tears because thatโ€™s a dream for so many. So happy for you, with the exception of your beloved Corning Ware bowl.
    Enjoy the holidays, and keep the blog coming! You are quite a talented writer, and this fan enjoys every single word!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Lori! I hate to tell you but in high school I did the splits at cheerleading tryouts and fractured my pelvis. I did NOT take it well. LOL
      Living with at least a couple of the grand kids is fabulous and we do get to steal the others from Indiana from time to time. I’m proud to say that, along with her mama and daddy, my newest granddaughter allows me to put her to bed. No one else has that privilege. Spending so much time with her has put me high on her “okay people” list.
      Thanks for reading and stay safe! You have more snow coming!


  2. Oohhh, decorating is always fun! And I see your need for a basement bathroom. Until you wrote about it, I hadn’t even considered that there would need to be a pump to get the water out. O_o Again, I’m sorry that you lost your mother-in-law, but wow, what a nice surprise she had for you. Like your sister-in-law said, she is still looking out for you, and that is so sweet. โค

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I didn’t realize that we’d need a “upflush” system either until I started researching. But one pump will handle the toilet, sink, and shower so that’s great news. Mama…what can I say? She’s always going to be my angel. We just got notified there’s another small policy she took out. I see flooring in my future!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Camie! I’m trying to work up the nerve to post pictures of the basement as it is now. It looks awful. Like a dark, bleak place to live. But it has such potential and, of course, we have the run of the upstairs, too.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. The bathroom is actually going to be partly in the garage and my daughter-in-law is pushing to convert the garage into a new living room and bedroom for us. She has a whim of iron so I’m sure it will happen.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thats good. I know in the past we have made improvements. Then later made another one, and always said, if we had put this here it would have been better now that we added something else. So, I always throw it out there ๐Ÿ™‚ But it sounds like y’all have planned ahead. Smart cookies ๐Ÿ˜‰

        Liked by 1 person

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