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Trying To Get Motivated

Well, y’all, I thought that last week would be my big push forward as far as getting back into projects. That didn’t happen. It has been so hard to focus on paint colors and building projects and headboard designs when I’m so distracted by the news on a daily basis.

After watching the news and getting more discouraged (and frankly, scared), I decided to revisit a post that I made four years ago about home security. I talked about things we could and should do after what we believed to be a break-in scare, and then never really acted on most of it. But I think it’s time for Matt and me to make these things a priority, especially since crime has been increasing in our area in the last couple of months.

I mean, we have the dog. And he’s crazy. And when he sees someone through the door or the windows, he barks, growls, and jumps like a maniac. So I think he’s a pretty good deterrent. 😀

So our next priority is an alarm system. I’ve been researching and comparing systems, and I have to admit that I just don’t know what to do. Comparing the pros and cons of each one just confuses the heck out of me. Right now, I’m leaning towards SimpliSafe, so if any of you have experience with that one, I’d love to hear about it!

And I finally did it…I bought a gun. (For those of you not in the U.S., gun ownership is perfectly legal here, and the right is protected in our Constitution. Six million guns have been sold in the last three months alone, and 40% of those are first-time gun owners, and 40% of those first-time gun owners are women). I know it was controversial when I wrote about it in that post four years ago, and it’s controversial now, and that’s fine. But I’m a law-abiding adult, and I have to do what I have to do. And since I don’t have an able-bodied husband who can defend me if someone were to break in, I have to do it myself.

So I bought a little 9mm (very little to fit my very little hand), and then this last Saturday, I went out to the ranch (i.e., my sister and brother-in-law’s property at the river) and my brother-in-law Bill taught me how to shoot. Y’all, it was SO much fun!! I wish I had done it years earlier and hadn’t let my fear get in the way!

He taught me all about gun safety, how to load them, how to care for them, how to hold them, etc. It was very empowering, and it also removed a lot of the fear I had. I had the opportunity to get very comfortable with the one I bought, and I also had the opportunity to shoot three other handguns (I didn’t like any of those — they were too big for my hand), plus my sister’s 20-gauge shotgun (loved that one!), my sisters pink camo AR-15 (my favorite!), and my brother-in-law’s larger AR-15 (my second favorite!).

It was just a very fun day being out in the country on a beautiful (but very hot) Texas day and learning how to shoot. I definitely needed that. Being away from the TV, away from social media, away from constant news, and surrounded by nothing but open country, trees, water, and cows, is so good for the mind and the body. And I pray to God that the only time I ever have to touch that gun is on the gun range.

So again…SimpliSafe, anyone? If you have that system, let me know what you think about it!

With all of that said and done, hopefully I can peel myself away from the news this week and actually get stuff done. I’m trying to motivate myself by reviewing my “to do” list that I had originally made for this year.

Obviously, there’s no way I can get through this list now. Heck, I doubt that it was possible to begin with, but now after two months working on my mom’s kitchen (which you can see here if you missed it)…

mom's kitchen - 1 - before and after

…and two months of doing nothing home-related while being obsessed with the news and the goings on of the world, there’s just no way I’ll get even close to getting through this list.

So I need to narrow my focus. Obviously, the first thing I need to do is finish the guest bedroom, which still looks like this…

guest bedroom diy closets - 9

Yep, it looks exactly like it did before I started working on my mom’s kitchen. So this needs to be my focus for now until it’s finished. That includes:

  • Install trim on window
  • Clean, stain, and seal the hardwood floor
  • Paint the walls
  • Install crown molding
  • Install baseboards
  • Install a bedroom door
  • Install trim around door
  • Paint the door
  • Make a headboard
  • Build a frame for wall-mounted TV
  • Build or buy a dresser
  • Install chandelier or ceiling fan
  • Built or purchase bedside tables
  • Make a window treatment (Roman shade?)
  • Accessorize to finish

I had originally planned to build a window seat between the closets, but I think I’ll hold off on that for now. Since we’re going to be using this bedroom as our main bedroom as soon as it’s finished, and for the foreseeable future, I don’t want to put anything permanent in front of that window, which would be our only point of egress in case of a fire in the hallway. Since I would not only have to get myself out that window, but also Matt, I would want something there that could be easily moved. So I’ll probably put a little writing desk or a settee there for now, and then add a built-in window seat with storage at some point in the future when we’re no longer using that bedroom ourselves.

After the bedroom, my next priority will be the hallway. It still looks pretty much like this, except that the hardwood flooring is installed now.

hallway during remodel

Actually, I’ll probably work on both areas simultaneously. I’ll do the floors in both areas (along with the home gym) at the same time. And then if I’m doing trim in the bedroom, I may as well install trim in the hallway at the same time. Same goes for painting the walls and ceiling.

So in the hallway, I need to:

  • Sand, stain and seal hardwood flooring
  • Paint stripes on the new wall and touch up areas that were damaged on other walls
  • Re-install crown molding
  • Re-install baseboards
  • Install new doors on the bedrooms
  • Install door trim

And finally, I want to get the home gym finished. It currently looks like this…

home gym during remodel

I know it might not make sense to some that I’d focus on the home gym before I finish my studio, but the exercise equipment that needs to go in this room is currently in the studio. I can’t work freely in the studio until that equipment (which we are currently using, so it can’t go in storage) is out of there, so this room comes first. So in this room, I will…

  • Install hardwood flooring that had to be removed during remodel
  • Refinish hardwood floor
  • Paint the walls
  • Install crown molding
  • Install baseboards
  • Install carpet tiles
  • Install trim around cased opening
  • Install trim on windows
  • Make window treatments (Roman shades?) for the windows
  • Build a frame for wall mounted TV
  • Install lights
  • Install ceiling fan
  • Install TRX
  • Install shelves and storage in closet area

And again, probably a lot of that stuff will be done at the same time I’m doing those things in the other areas. I’ll definitely be refinishing all of the floors at the same time.

So I’ve got seven months, and three areas that I definitely want to finish before the end of the year. I may take a break here and there to do a random side project in another area of the house, but this is the main area that needs my attention.

I’ve got to find motivation, y’all! Hopefully having a very clear vision right here in this post that I can refer to easily will help. Maybe I need to print out these lists and put them on my refrigerator and bathroom mirror to keep me focused and motivated. In fact, I think I will for sure do that.



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  1. You know, when we were starting the lockdown AND had to work from home twice as much to catch up, one of the pieces of advice that stuck with me was moderate your news input. Just check the news once or twice a day, don’t have them on all the time (it’s not like you won’t stay up to date). It will be impossible to focus on other things when there is direct competition with what is stressing you. Best of wishes to you!

    1. I was going to suggest the very same thing. It works for us. Listen to your favorite music during the day, but not music from news radio.

        1. I agree. I’m in the UK and news got to scary and sensationalised so we stopped watching and listening and enjoyed the time at home. With lockdown easing here, we’re almost sad to see the ‘forced’ family time coming to an end.

        1. Me, too! I quit worrying about it. And, Kristi, congrats on your new gun. We have guns in our home (no children) and, even though I live in a relatively ‘safe’ neighborhood, anything could happen. So fortunate to live in a small Texas town that is friendly to all it’s citizens. We hate what is going on now, but thankful we can still be friends no matter what others are doing. Anyone trying to disturb our peaceful life is not welcome, and probably would be run out of town!

    2. I agree. Watch your local news station. Turn off all celebrity media (Network news, talk shows) shows that just talk about news to get ratings. Find a local Facebook page for you town or county to stay up to date on very local stuff (closing, people in need, etc.). Turn off all negative crap. Don’t read negative Facebook posts. Read a book, listen to music. It doesn’t matter where it came from, the virus is here..it’s deadly..our lives have to change to survive. I am from the south (we are huggers). It kills not to hug family, no to see family. Unfortunately, it will kill to hug them now. I have cousins who have gotten sick (ok now) so I know this is real. I too need to buy a gun for protection since I live alone. It’s scary times. Concentrate on your projects. It’s going to look beautiful When you finish!

  2. Not a believer in guns but you have the right to own one if you want. But why are you so scared now? You can’t kill the virus with a gun…. and from what I see Waco is not a crime ridden town…just wondering 🤷‍♀️

    1. Any time there is an economic downturn, crime rises as people become more desperate and hopeless. That is what I’m seeing here as the local news alerts on my phone have definitely become more frequent and grim over the last six weeks or so.

      1. Kristi, a great place to get real news and encouragement is @prayingmedic on twitter. All news channels are promoting panic, even Fox.

    2. I would like to add that every year, an average of about 200,000 women in the U.S. use guns to defend themselves against attackers. In the overwhelming majority of those situations, the guns are never fired. Simply brandishing the gun is enough to scare off the assailant. Since most women are physically weaker than men, and therefore at a disadvantage against men, and most attacks against women are from men, I think it’s a good way to level the playing field. I believe women who choose to protect themselves with guns should be allowed to do so without being shamed for it, as long as they are law-abiding citizens, have taken all of the required classes, and have their license to carry legally. None of us should be shamed into making ourselves an easy target.

      1. Hi Kristi,
        Love your blog.

        That number you are quoting is not correct and it is also from 1995. I am not here to say you should or should not have a gun. But I am calling out bad scientific data because it is a disservice to everyone. That study you are using has been discredited multiple times.

        I work in public health research trying to determine death rates of many things. We do not collect accurate data at all about gun use to make that claim.

        For example, “attacker”. Does that mean this person was arrested and actually charged with an assault and battery? Does that mean the woman felt threatened and showed her gun but might not have actually been in danger?

        1. Hi Kristi
          Be aware the the other person can be faster than you, more experienced with guns, having the gun on him at the same moment and seeing your gun, this person simply can kill you in self defense. There is nothing good about the guns. You just looking for support from your readers.

          1. I’m seeking neither support nor permission. I’m way past the point of caring what others think of my decisions. I’m going to make the best choice for myself, as you should for yourself.

            1. As I’m sure you have experienced, being a woman of color living in an undeserved community, your chances of being a victim of a crime are definitely higher than if you were a non-woman-of-color living in a middle class community. It sounds like you made a good choice for yourself.

            2. Is the drywall sanded and ready to paint in those three rooms? If so it would make a huge difference to paint the walls first. For the amount of work and dollars expended It makes such a huge difference in the rooms. Maybe that would inspire you to do some of the items on your list.
              And Lord knows, we all need as much colour as we we can get these days.

        2. Thank you for debunking the false data. I don’t know why people don’t fact check. If something sounds too outlandish to be true, it’s usually false!

          1. No one here “debunked” anything. Debunking something requires a lot more than someone stating, “That’s not true.” That’s disagreement, but it’s not debunking.

            Here is a sourced list with all of the studies that have been done throughout the years on defensive uses of guns. People can read these and decide for themselves.

            My own father was attacked in a parking lot by a young man who was intent on harming and mugging him. As they wrestled, my father took his gun out of his pocket, and immediately the dynamics changed. My father didn’t even have to pull the trigger, but as soon as he brandished his gun, his attacker went from bully to scared little boy begging for his life with his hands up as he backed away and then finally turned and ran. Had my father not had a gun in that moment, there’s no telling what that person would have done to him. So I don’t think it’s as uncommon as some would like to think.

            1. Hi Kristi!!

              I think many people get worked up about this because the United States does a poor job keeping legal guns from entering the black market. We do not put enough effort into solving this problem.

              It should be also noted that the federal government has actively been blocked from doing real scientific research in gun ownership, defense , violence., suicide etc. (he Dickey Amendment in 1996).

              It is not the law abiding gun owner we need to worry about. It’s the person who is suicidal or the person that sells gun over the internet to people that don’t get background checked. Why do we allow this?

              It’s the person that buys a stockpile of weapons and then shoots a bunch of people at a country music concert. You can’t buy two ingredients at home depot that can make a bomb without the FBI getting alerted. I can buy 100 guns and that doesn’t raise red flag anywhere?

              I’m not directing this at you. I am just saying that there are some things in our gun laws that seem absurd and we would all benefit from preventing these people from getting guns .

              It would seem that everyone would benefit from a national database that tracks all the guns in the country. Right now, if you commit a violent crime in one state , it is incredibly difficult to know what gun a person owns and from what state. It is ridiculous.

              At the very least we should get rid of the Dickey Amendment and fund real research that is relevant to now.

      2. Just another person chiming in- STOP watching the news. It’s slanted- much is filtered in such a way that it may not be entirely true. Foremost, it’s sole purpose is to get you to continue to watch it! That’s the only way they stay in business. Yes it’s a business. TheY will try to tell us it’s a community service. I don’t believe that!
        Live your life- ❤️
        I’ll step off my soapbox now.

      3. Good for you, Kristi. I also have a gun. Purchased it several years ago, took the required CCW classes, and practiced at the shooting range. As a result, I feel safer knowing that I could defend myself.

      4. I agree Kristi! My S&W has a LASER on it, so hopefully if I ever have to point it at someone, it will give them pause, and me a bulls eye. I live in a rural area and find it comforting to know that I have some protection and don’t need permission from anyone to have such.

    3. We stopped watching all 24 hour cable news completely. Amazing how that helps our moods! Network evening news or PBS is plenty to keep us up to date. We listen to music on the radio or audio books. Everyday we each try to accomplish one thing and slowly we are working through our to do lists. Just watched a very nice movie on Netflix called “Sweet Land” last night and it was delightful. We are doing small things, like painting our accent wall, wall touch ups, taking down art & changing out for other pieces, steamcleaning the carpet- just maintenance crap but it makes us feel better. We rearranged our bedroom after 20 years and its ” bigger”! LOL! We are in our late sixties so plan on sticking around the house for the rest of the year. I have really m issed your adventures so hope you feel safe & can get back to enjoying the joys if life & creativity!!

    4. Do you ever listen to books on Audible while you do your projects?
      I have a theory Kristi that for a lot of us the stay home order was a chance to do our projects , paint rooms , sew, etc . BUT for you your every day is projects and your reaction was to stay still . Everybody has navigated this in their own way .
      I’ve prayed a lot during this situation ( the virus and then the unrest ) . I’ve settled on praying for a city in distress every day . And listening to much less news .
      Also, I do Tapping to keep calm me ( emotional freedom technique ) .
      I pray for your peace of mind and health for you and Matt . 💛

  3. Good for you! You do what you feel you need for your safety. When I moved out of my parents house my dad bought me a 357 revolver. I have never had to use it and I hope I never do but being a single mom at the time, it was nice to know I could defend myself and my daughter if I had to. Looking forward to seeing progress on your spaces!

    1. My brother in law is a quadriplegic and when their house was broken into in the middle of the night, they felt very defenseless. My sister has since gotten a gun and done lots of practice; we did it with her one day, and it was a fun day! We didn’t grow up around guns, so it was surprising to find that we both liked using one. I still haven’t bought one, but it is still in the back of my mind.

      Can’t wait to see your work as you make your way through the to-do list; it’s always so inspiring to see what you manage to do.

      1. Please try out guns prior to buying one. Just FYI: I found as a female and older, my hand strength was not enough to rack the slide on all but the S&W EZ Shield and even then when I got the 9mm, I could not release the slide and had to go to a .380 S&W EZ. Got mine with a laser so that I would not miss if I had to shoot. I do have a pistol, but felt that just 5 shots might not be enough for safety in these times.

  4. Hello,
    I have the Simply Safe system and love it. Easy to install and easy to use. They are quick to call and check on you if the alarm is tripped. (Or if you accidentally forgot to turn the alarm “off” when you leave home 🙂

  5. Ok, first off I am so happy you have another post up!
    Second, congrats on the gun ownership. It is still controversial (impossible in Jersey) but important to have choices besides a crow bar or bat. Get as comfortable with it as possible, practice at least every weekend and make it feel like an extension of you.
    Third, we live in crazy times, but they are an extension of the Civil Rights Era of the 60’s. You have a platform that has a widespread audience and if you feel the desire to support these movements do not be afraid of backlash from those who are close minded anyway (you won’t miss them if they unfollow you). You would be surprised at how supportive your audience can be about something that so desperately needs to change.

    1. We love our simplisafe safe system! We live downtown in the Pacific Northwest and it has been nothing but reliable. I leave on long work trips and my wife loves the piece of mind. It’s super simple to install AND so easy to use. The monitoring is very dependable and the customer service is great. Here’s a referral link for a free camera if you want it!


  6. It’s good to see you back at work! The first thing I thought when I saw the guest room closets with the window in between was “window seat!” But then I kept reading. That’s a good point to have easy access to the window. I built closets on both sides of a window in our bedroom several years ago, and just last year got around to the window seat. It’s just right now.
    My husband introduced me to shooting when we first started courting. I joke that it was my ability to actually hit the target when skeet shooting, that convinced him to marry me. Actually, I was as surprised as anyone that I was a pretty good shot!

  7. Hi Kristi — 1st TURN OFF THE NEWS, it will only depress you. Nothing you can control. 2nd so glad to hear about you getting a gun. I have been sincerely thinking about it since January so would like to know more about the one you got. I have tiny hands also and am 64. No man to keep me safe so maybe a gun…

    Also i agree completely about the security systems. So confusing but would like to have one. Looking forward to others input.

    Glad you are back. Regarding motivation. Decide to do something for 10 minutes. After you start you will probably keep with it BUT you don’t have to. Just commit to 10 minutes.

    Keep the faith. My church is open again. So glad to worship with others.

    1. Funny thing li.it your exposure to all media is exactly what my pastor preached on this last Sunday. My daughter is a widow of a police office killed in the line of duty 10 years ago and she is a firm believer in limited exposure to media.

  8. I have been looking at Simplisafe myself. It seems like a good foray into home security. I think I want the doorbell camera thing, too. I’ll be interested to see what you do.

    1. Kristi
      So happy you’re back! Equally happy that you are getting a security system and bought a hand gun. I grew up with guns here in Louisiana. For the last 5 years I didnt have one. I sold the revolver I had because it got too heavy. I finally bought a new one and took concealed carry class which was all day fun and very informative about gun laws.
      I am an artist/ teacher. I also sew and quilt a lot. I too have had no mojo to do any of it. It is slowly comeing back. Most of the people on my facebook sewing and art sites are felling the same
      It’s all a shock to our minds
      So hang in there. We are all doing whatever we can to feel safe in our world. I quit watching the news except once a day at noon. Watching at night keeps me awake what iffing all night.
      You have been in my prayers and will continue to be.
      Sandy Keller

  9. Hi Kristi! I feel you, girl! I had to “fast” all negative media…it’s just gotten too much! there is just too much to fact check and then get way to emotionally involved. Now, I’m not going to expose myself to anything that isn’t positive. It’s not that I don’t know this stuff exist, but I’ve got to address it in a way that doesn’t tear/break me down, for my own health and sanity. I hope you are able to break through this funk soon!…Anyway, I’m excited to see how you tackle roman shades!….I’m trying to get back to remodeling my bathrooms and thinking of ideas for my kitchen! starting to get excited!!

  10. Good for you Kristi. I have been thinking of getting a gun also. Don’t have to be licensed here in Florida. The news is very scary and getting rid of the police is ludicrous. I have several friends who have SimpliSafe and they swear by it. Looking forward to following your progress on the house.

    1. Christine, you can own and have a weapon in your home or car in Florida without a license but you have to have a concealed carry license to have it on you anywhere else in Florida. And there’s lots of places you can’t have it even licensed. I am a Floridian and am licensed.

  11. It’s always easiest to say “this would never happen to me.” I live in MN, 15 miles from the looting and arson in Minneapolis and St. Paul. Aside, from the smoke, we thought we were ok. Til “they” attacked our library two miles from us. Not too much damage as the police department is located just across the parking lot! These are crazy times, do what makes you comfortable!

    1. Neat trick how you slipped in “they” rather than using ‘non-whites’. Crazy times, yes. But also the time to open your heart and mind and question your own biases rather than arm up.

      1. Don’t do that to people. You have no idea what she meant by “they,” and rather than asking for a definition and trying to have an open conversation, you automatically assumed the worst, and based on your assumption, you’ve decided that someone you don’t even know and have never met must be a racist. THIS is a major part of our problems in this country today, and it’s wrong. Have a conversation. Ask questions. Stop assuming the worst of people.

        1. I see Kristi, that you addressed this. When I read “they” my first thought was rioters and arsonists to which she referred. Funny how Sal jumped to the “non-white” assumption. You are right that some people assume they know what others are thinking. Glad to have you back. I’m a 66 year old gun owner and love going to the range.

  12. Kristi,

    I am the operations manager for a nationwide DIY alarm company and would happy to provide you with some insight on what to look for and how to evaluate different alarm companies. I am not posting my work email or website, as I am not trying to use your post as an advertisement opportunity.
    If you would like further information, please email me at my personal email below.
    As always, I love following you and am glad to see you online a little more often as we navigate through today’s world. Hang in there!

    1. I think sadly, that our new normal is becoming more violent. I was raised to hunt and use guns from the time I was small. I have defended myself from an intruder in my home and held him until the police arrived who then scolded me for defending myself. No I did not have to shoot him but I would have if he hadn’t stayed right where I found him. Yes I have concealed carry. And I taught my kids to shoot. I know it’s not ideal, but I’m a widow living alone. And I also limit my news watching to the bare minimum. You do what you have to do!

  13. Good for you!
    I grew up on a farm where firearms were a necessity for safety against wild animals (and knowing it was nearby was helpful when confronted by a theif we startled in one of the outbuildings. Just because you have it, doesn’t mean you have to use it!) In a lot of areas of life, fear can be lessened with education and experience. I’m glad you’re taking another step toward doing what you need to in order to protect both Matt and yourself.

    And as far as the news? Can you put yourself on a news diet? Maybe just check in once a week or so? I stopped watching it a few years ago because I didn’t like the stress it was bringing to my life. Now if something huge happens in the world, I catch wind of it on Facebook or in everyday conversation, and go investigate for myself. So I don’t ever feel like I’m exactly hiding under a rock, but I’m mentally living out in nature away from the constant bickering. 😉👌

    1. These days, it seems human are far more dangerous that “wild animals!” I can think of only a few wild animals that are inherently dangerous.

  14. I have to agree with some of the others Kristi…limit the amount of news – some of it NOT true, some of it ONE persons opinion, some of it sensationalized. BUT, the biggest thing is it sucks time and energy from you that stops you from doing the things you need or love to do. Pick your favorite news program and watch that in the evening then turn it off! Enjoy your day without the constant stress producing bombardment of “news.” Congratulations on the gun purchase. I think it is smart, and if my husband doesn’t get one, I will. I already took the course. I don’t like the idea of being a sitting target for someone – at least if they are in my home, they will leave…one way or the other. In your case it also protects your husband…good for you. Looking forward to hearing/seeing your projects move along. I know once you start, it will get more exciting for you.

  15. Kristi, please try to limit your time watching the news. I don’t watch it anymore and feel so much better. I see a bit of news on my computer so I’m not completely clueless. I just keep busy. Good luck to you and your projects. I love your blog.

  16. To get excited about finishing those rooms you will need to come up with a happy inspiration. Perhaps in the home gym? You came up with lots of fun ideas for that room. Maybe fun colors and pattern will be just the thing to jump start your creativity.

  17. Kristi,
    My wife and I love our Simplisafe system. We live on a ground floor apartment in the downtown area and have felt so much piece of mind. It’s super easy to install and use. The customer service is incredible too. As a customer, I can give you a referral for a free camera. Just let me know!

  18. I have Simpli Safe and I love it. First was the price. I got a package deal that included two door sensors, fourteen window sensors, a panic button (for my bedroom), a keypad and a camera (which I haven’t installed yet). It was under $400. You can get the components a’la carte if you need to add more than the package deal includes. I installed it all by myself in under a half hour. You can d/l the software to your phone for text notifications and also to use as a second keypad to turn the system on and off. I use that to turn my system off when I’ve been away and so I don’t have to worry about getting to the main keypad when I have to carry packages in from the car. The monthly charge is way lower than most of the other systems I checked on. You can either pay for basic (about $15) or the all inclusive (about $25) which includes cloud storage for the camera. Anyway, I love mine and wouldn’t hesitate to say it’s the best home security system out there.

  19. I am unsubscribing. I want out of the room that seems to be full of people with guns who seem to need to protect themselves but who are not wearing masks to protect others.

    1. Bye, bye! Just know that I would protect many others with my gun, if need be. I’m sure Kristi would, too. Seems there are many judgmental people on this post. Judge not…..lest ye be judged.

    2. Pretty broad characterization of people you haven’t even met or even vocalized that they don’t wear masks. You know what assuming means. Good riddance!

    3. How in the world do you know that no one is wearing masks? That’s not even the topic of conversation, so you’re getting upset over your own assumption. You seem like a terribly unreasonable person.

      But my blog isn’t an airport. There’s no need to announce your departure.

      1. The blog is not an airport comment made me laugh out loud! I love your creativity and can do spirit, Kristi. I hope you get your motivation back soon. You do such a beautiful job on your home that I always love it even though it’s not my style. I also think your mom’s kitchen is gorgeous.

      2. 😀
        I thank you for your blog, it has stirred my creative side back into life and I really had missed that for so many years.

        As for the people removing themselves from your readership, it is a matter of cutting off their noses to spite their faces.

        Hilarious! There is sO much unwarranted self righteousness from people nowadays! Where I grew up the old-timers used to say “The smeller is the feller”!

      3. I subscribed to your blog a long time ago, but don’t check in often enough. I so agree, you were smart to get a gun, and especially, to learn how to use it. A bit of advice from someone who grew up shooting, is to keep going to the the ranch/range and practice shooting on a regular basis. You need to feel super-comfortable using a handgun. And I laughed out loud, reading your comment to the woman who announced her departure. Who needs that??? Who would dispute your desire to never be a victim? I had a Smith and Wesson when living in Portland, Oregon. I was always very careful with it, I took the concealed/Carry class, and some refresher classes on shooting. I was once accosted when coming home between 11PM and midnight by a man who came up from behind me in my driveway. I didn’t have my gun with me. I put my arm straight out, in his face, with palm towards him, and said “Get away from me.” His reply was something like “You’re not very nice.” I put my arm out again, same manner, and said, “You’re right. I’m not nice, and I mean it, Get Back!” He retreated, I got inside my door and fell on the floor, a shaking mass of jello! I have no idea what would have happened to me, had he pursued his malevolent intentions. Always better to be armed. If I was still in Portland, and because I lived in inner SE Portland, I probably would have a loaded shotgun at each of my home’s windows. Better safe, better to be prepared to NOT be a victim.

    4. In my community it’s rare to meet someone who does NOT own a firearm. I sincerely hope you never need to protect yourself.

    5. Janet Whitfield, I have gun, or more, in every room of my home. I also have a mask in every color of the rainbow. I love people, but I will shoot to kill anyone breaking into my home, or anyone trying to hurt those I love. Most likely, if I do, I will be wearing a mask. Yes, I am one of “those” too. What color is my skin, Janet?

  20. I’m glad you’re back. I missed you! I get all excited when I see a new post from you!
    We live out in the country and have 2 German Shepherds and many guns……all loaded and ready! You GO girl!!!

  21. Glad you made it through the week! It has just been a whole lot of too much negative lately. Trying to find some peace for my own sanity! Keep on keeping on!

  22. Frankly, if you don’t start posting what this is supposed to be about-decorating- , I really find no need to continue following you! It’s sad…I’ve been following you for years.

      1. What I used to get from you is inspiration, ideas, and incredible “outside the box” decorating. Too bad it’s all gone now.

        I’m so tired of hearing about your lack of motivation, along with all your moaning and groaning! If I want news, I’ll watch the news. If I want editorials, I’ll read the New York Times.

        1. You know what I’m tired of? Ungrateful and entitled people like yourself for whom I’ve been providing FREE CONTENT, FREE decorating ideas, and FREE DIY tutorials for twelve years now, and who clearly don’t give a damn about me personally and refuse to offer me any kind of grace or latitude to express ON MY OWN BLOG the fact that I’m having a hard time right now, and instead just want to me to shut up and keep handing out the free stuff to keep you entertained.

          I think you know what you can do with your entitled and ungrateful attitude, but if you need instructions, I’ll be happy to assist.

        2. You seem to think that Kristi should be an emotionless robot/computer. Is everyone in your world just around to amuse you? Humans do have emotions and are allowed to vent. I find it great that she feels safe enough to share her feelings with us. If you don’t like her post for the day just don’t read it…easy peasy!

    1. Simple Safe is tops in my book. I lived in a sketchy area In Ohio and my friends recommended this. For 500$ I got the base unit, 2 cameras, the water sensor( which screamed at me when my disposal leaked👍) and a temperature monitor in case the furnace failed. ( as a kid ours failed while we were in Fla and we had to come home early to busted pipes) . I added the monitoring service for 25$/mo. The best part is all this is individual so you can get what’s right for your house/situation.

  23. Got my first gun during after the ’89 earthquake when I realized the police were all busy elsewhere and I was the only protection I had for my son. I like a shot gun for in home use: less penetration through walls and less need for accuracy (and the sound is quite a deterrent, as well), but a handgun is good to have as well. Guns are tools, nothing else. You want something scary, look at chainsaws! Yikes. Anyway, glad to see lots of reasonable gun comments. And really, really happy to see a new post from you! Here’s to fresh motivation! I hope it’s contagious!!!

  24. I have several guns in my house and I have a SimpliSafe Alarm System. I have had guns all my life and I’m fine if people don’t understand why a 75-year-old woman feels the need to protect herself if necessary. I love my SimpliSafe Alarm System. It was so easy to install and customer service is great. Carry on, Kristi, you got this!!!

  25. hi to all of you and i too am glad you are back … by the way , Mom’s kitchen looks wonderful , we have redone ours and it is just so cool and fun and not wasting money on new cabinet boxes is exactly what we have done …. well i would like to say this is a time of change , a time of the entire world around us changing , many things are converging , and yes, i too, have felt a bit afraid and unsure , so you and the others do what you need to , to feel safe but i would like to add , if you do not mind, that all of this is written in God’s word and we who believe in our savior Jesus Christ will see this change and be in it a bit yet if we believe in the gospel … 1 Corinthians 15: 1-4 ,then 1 Thess. 4: 14 – 18 . KJV … for we, believers in Christ are not appointed to wrath . Please take this and let in be all comfort to you as it is to me . Bless each and everyone of you .

    1. Hi Florence – yes this is scriptural but since we have no idea when Christ will return it could be in 2 days or 200 years. We definitely need to keep a focus on him. But I think he also wants us to use our brain. A security system and a gun are using your brain, IMO.

  26. Hi Kristi. I’ve been away from most of my social media accounts and home projects as well with Covid 19 and country unrest of late. It is understandable when we have to hunker down and take care of ourselves and our loved ones in order to remain focused. That being said, your decision to pare down the expectations you had in accomplishing so much in 2020 is to be expected and solid. I look forward to being here more frequently to read and comment on your progress. Hang in there! We are supporting you 100 percent!

  27. Good afternoon from Tennessee! We purchased a RING system for our house and are well pleased with it. There are no window sensors, so if that’s something you want, you can quit reading now :-). For simple protection that does a good job of picking up motion in it’s range, RING is very good (range can be adjusted). They were relatively inexpensive and the full yearly protection package is inexpensive as well. As for the gun, you’ve got the right to protect you, your family and your property.

  28. So glad you’re back Kristi. I agree with the others about limiting your news, which lately isn’t “news” as much as scare-mongering. So much of the media, including social media, is filled with hate, intolerance, and mis-information (yes, even from “reputable” news sources). I recently unfriended EVERYONE on Facebook & Instagram & only follow groups/bloggers/businesses that bring me joy (e.g. those that feed my sewing & decorating passions). I can’t tell you how much it has helped my attitude and mental health. And, although I prefer your DIY posts, I appreciate your thoughtful commentary and questions without inserting a political bias.

  29. Your blog is my escape from the ugly in the world (and has been for many years). I hope you have some pretty to share soon!

  30. I found myself getting very wound up over the pandemic in March – I live on the east coast and travel to see family in Texas. Not seeing them in person is hard. Zoom came to my rescue.

    Listening to the radio and watching TV News plain made me anxious. Finally I got my news mostly from The Wall Street Journal. They didn’t hype things and their writing was calm. WSJ has/had a section on the virus that was well researched too. I’m still worried but being careful and getting projects done.

  31. Before you invest in a security system ask the police department to walk you through what happens when your security system sounds an alert.
    I can only give you my experience as a police dispatcher for twenty years.
    By the time our police department got the call from the security company and the call was dispatched and an officer arrived the burglar was already gone. That being said……over 90 % of the calls were false alarms. A lot of money is spent on a false sense of security. Your dog is your very best alarm.
    Burglars do not want to deal with a dog and will move on to their next target.
    If you do decide on a security system ask them if they have proof of the turn around time between them getting the alarm and it actually being dispatched by the police in your area. Some areas the alarm may not be a priority one dispatch if the alarm company did not speak to anyone at the house. Each area of the country is different so checking with your local police department should help and they may even be able to send someone out to advise you on what you could do security wise without having to spend money on a system.

    1. Thank you for sharing this insight. I’ve considered different systems in the past but never thought to ask about dispatch priority.

      1. I have had hardwired security and simply safe. For the ease and money, Simply safe is the way to go. I agree with the comment about response times, it can vary and by the time the security company contacts you then they send police, the threat will be gone. When you first install you will accidentally set it off, they will respond FAST, but after that it takes much longer for them call. A dog and a gun are The best deterrent. Put a big dog bowl of water on the porch! A security sign and fake camera are extra measures you can take also. If you have lived there that long and had no problems you most likely won’t.
        I haven’t watched the news for months! I don’t miss it and feel a lot less stress!

    2. That is really good advice! A dog will deter anyone who wants to sneak in and steal stuff. Big dogs are even better. They are always loaded and never lose power in a storm! In 2008, in the last recession, I bought my first German Shepherd from a wonderful breeder that raises them for police and protection competition. Certainly I thought of protection as well as companionship. I now have another one from the same breeder and no one would dream of coming in our house uninvited. Just as a side note, I also learned how to shoot at our farm, and am pretty good at it, the dog needs to stay very calm at the noise of it. I live in the east. We used to have Valentines Day parties at the gun range where we rented a Thompson machine gun and learned to shoot it! It was easy and fun!

      1. A Tommy gun! Did you feel like a 1920s mobster? 😀 I’d love to try one of those. I doubt there’s a place in Waco where I could shoot one. I’d probably have to go to Dallas.

  32. Hi Kristi – here’s your North Dakota fan club Checking in.

    (1) Turn OFF the *** TV.

    (I left out 17 very descriptive and truthful adjectives here.)

    (2) Turn off the *** *** social media, all of it, and use that time For your real life, in your real home.

    (I left out 23 very descriptive and truthful adjectives here.)

    A 15 minute recap of news headlines will give you all you need

    Do you really need to see a report of Group A being awful Group B 127 tunes?

    A timed 30 (or 40 or 90) minute session will hook you up with people you want to exchange messages with.

    Total immersion on “social” becomes anti-social. Our wonderful computers, phones, etc. are tools to use for our lives They should not control our lives.

    You’re a good woman; you do good things. It’s wonderful we have a means to communicate.

    Now, go saw something, Pound some nails. Swirl some paint around – and razzle-dazzle us the next time you post.

    1. Glad you are back. Yes, to the gun and have one in your car always too. Yes, to security system. I have the old fashioned type installed by builder on every door and window and option to turn on motion detector inside. I also installed a video doorbell. Love it ! My house is the first in a small circle of patio homes with mostly older residents. I had 2 to 5 random callers a month, painters, lawn maintenance, etc, etc. . With the doorbell, almost never does anybody unexpected walk up to door. The depression with current state of things is real. Improvement projects help. Getting in fresh air helps.

  33. I am grateful to get another blog post from you. Thank you for pushing forward, it helps us all do the same. Stay safe and healthy.

  34. Often, the best motivation just comes from doing it. Like writers waiting for “inspiration”. Inspiration comes after they make themselves start writing. Don’t let emotional whims dictate your accomplishments. That’s always been my experience, anyway.

    Turn off the TV. It’s really just one or two important stories you can catch up on once a week. The rest is just repetition to insanity.

    Hope to see some DIY work from you soon. I’ve been missing it lately.

  35. Someone mentioned installing the RING security camera. Don’t get the battery powered one for your doorbell! The battery hardly holds a charge for a day, and the door bell no longer rings. A lot of people get the battery RING because they can be easily installed by the homeowner. We hired an electrician, anyway, and he later explained why we should have gotten the electric powered one. So now we are buying the electric one AND have to pay to have the electrician back.

  36. I hope you find your peace! Things will be ok.

    I am surprised that you are feeling scared and discouraged. I actually feel like things are finally starting to turn around…business are opening, so many people are coming together.

    Here in NYC we had the looting issues but we all came together and it is much better now. The streets are like one big mask wearing unity party everyday. ..music , dancing. Everyone is out on their stoops talking. There is so much less traffic we can use the streets. lol Chin up! 😉

  37. Sorry that you feel so unsafe in your own home now. That’s no a fun feeling. As someone who’s putting herself out in a public forum, an alarm system is probably a good idea.

    Two comments:
    1. I have a tendency to become depressed and have to be careful what I do to prevent that. Part of that is limiting news exposure especially during heavy news times. I watch the evening news and skip the 24/7 “news” channels. That way I know what’s happening without getting too overwhelmed about it. The 24/7 news isn’t really news anyway – it’s infotainment. They keep harping on the same stuff mainly to make you afraid/anxious etc so you’ll keep watching.

    2. You didn’t mention it but I hope when you are practicing with any gun that you are wearing ear protection. If you are you’ll be happy for it later!

    1. I learned a BIG lesson about ear protection!!! I was wearing ear protection, but as I was about to fire the first shot of the AR-15, my brother-in-law was coaching me along. I couldn’t hear him with the ear protection on, so I slipped it off of one ear. Then when I was ready to fire, I forgot to place it back over my ear! HOLY COW!! That thing was so loud! My ear is STILL ringing today. Then I made that same mistake with the shotgun! I hope to goodness the ringing will go away. It seems to be getting better gradually, but I’m so shocked that two days later, it’s still not back to normal.

    2. I also want to clarify that I don’t feel unsafe in my home, but I’d just rather be prepared. There has definitely been an uptick in crime in this area (central Texas in general, not just Waco) but there have been two really scary incidents pretty close to our house. One was an armed home invasion, and I’m not sure if the other was armed, but they tied up and assaulted the homeowners. I’d just like to give myself a fighting chance should our house ever be the target of such an awful incident. I’m not expecting it, and I don’t live in fear of it, but I do have peace of mind knowing I’m not a sitting duck for an armed (or unarmed, but stronger) assailant.

      1. That is terrifying. If there is more than one guy (always guys!) you need two dogs. If you learned to work them, they are faster than guns. This calls for Simpli Safe, which doesn’t protect against home invasions. A system that calls the police is the one you want for that if the dogs are not the solution. I have noticed that everyone is much friendlier when I walk them : )

      2. I am not discounting the seriousness of this , but home invasions are rare and usually are targeting the person for a particular reason.

        I can tell you, I know of one home invasion personally where the lady was tied up and threatened with a gun. It was her abusive husband’s “friend” and it was her own gun. He had moved out and then had someone threaten her after she filed for divorce. She was lucky. He knew her entire routine etc… He’s in jail now.

        If it is the central Texas home invasion from February the one guy was friends with one of the victims older brothers.

  38. I was just thinking about you this morning then opened up my mail this afternoon and there you were!! So glad to have you back. Kristi, something I’ve read in the Bible so many times but only a couple weeks ago caught what it was actually saying, 2 Timothy 1:7 says God hasn’t given us the Spirit of fear. So fear is actually a spirit. (Yes I’m very glad you got the gun.) But even with protection of a gun fear can come upon you. If that happens I believe we should ask the Lord to replace that spirit of fear with His spirit of peace and protection. Now can’t wait to see what you build next!!

  39. My brother and I had simplisave installed in my mom’s house when my dad died right before Thanksgiving. My mom has been so pleased! She feels very safe. My brother installed it, and said it was very easy to do. She accidentally set it off once, and even though when Simplisafe called she told them she was ok, the sheriff’s deputy showed up anyway. Said he wanted to meet her so he would know who the owner was should she need help in the future. She has commented several times that she feels so safe. We are paying for it to be monitored.

  40. I, personally don’t like guns and don’t want one in my home but I understand if others do. I can understand keeping a hand gun in your home for protection but can’t, for the life of me, understand the need for any civilian to own a semi automatic rifle (AR-15). They may be fun to shoot in a field but are certainly not appropriate for hunting or necessary for protecting a home.

    1. Almost all handguns and rifles sold today are semi-automatic. That’s what mine is. An AR-15 is simply a rifle that looks scary. If it were made of wood, it would be less intimidating. But because it’s generally made of black metal, plastic and rubber parts, it looks scary.

      I do agree that they’re not appropriate for hunting, though. But the reason is because unless you’re a superior shot with a rifle, you’re more likely to maim the animal rather than kill it. For that reason, many states have made it illegal to hunt with an AR-15 and require a weapon that shoots larger bullets or a shotgun with the appropriate ammunition for what you’re hunting (birdshot or buckshot). They don’t want a bunch of maimed animals running around the woods, so they’ve banned AR-15s. An AR-15 may be appropriate for hunting small animals like rabbits, though.

      I’ll say that if I absolutely had to choose between getting shot with an AR-15 and a shotgun with birdshot or buckshot, I’d take my chance with the AR-15 hands down any day. Each squeeze of the trigger on an AR-15 shots one projectile, and it’s a rather small bullet (half the mass of the bullet that my 9mm handgun shoots). One squeeze of the trigger on a shotgun shoots anywhere between six and nine projectiles. So you shoot an AR-15 at an assailant and squeeze the trigger three times, you’ve shot three projectiles (i.e. you’ve put three holes in your assailant). You point a shotgun at an assailant and pull the trigger three times, you’ve shot anywhere between 18 and 27 projectiles (i.e., you’ve put between 18 and 27 holes in your assailant). AR-15s get a bad rap just because they look scary, but a shotgun will tear you up a whole lot more.

  41. I would like to suggest lessons for self defense. A gun won’t help you if you are caught unaware but self defense tactics will. Then you have all the bases covered.

  42. …you can also get a fake alarm keypad. I have glass in my front door like you, if someone peers in and sees the “alarm set” light that’s another deterrent. Most break ins happen during the day, but if you (or the dog) go in and out a lot it can be a pain to constantly turn off and on

  43. I’m not a gun person, they terrify me (and yes, I have tried shooting before) but I don’t object to others owning them, as long as locks and safes are used. My girls had to grow up knowing four friends who were killed before 7th grade by accidental shootings, and that is something no one should have to explain to their child. Having said that, we have a police detective (female) living next door who is married to an EMT, and they have a six yr. old girl that they are teaching to shoot a rifle. Not my thing, but I feel if anyone can teach about safe guns, it’s them!
    Now, as your house projects go, yes, you need to pull away from any forms of news, so you can reset your mind. I too find it hard to try getting back to normal, but I also know I was feeling more and more anxious. It suddenly occurred to me that it was the constant barrage of news (that I could do nothing about!) that was making me feel that way. So tune out, maybe play classical music for a change, and try to get started on NORMAL!

    1. Argh.. that is rough. My kid’s friends mom killed herself with her husband’s gun .. he was a cop.

      It’s funny how you can feel anxious but not place the source . We are great at blaming it on the wrong thing though .. like the customer service person … lol

  44. Your mom’s kitchen looks amazing. I bet she loves it. And I’m jealous of that window in your home gym. I usually work out with the blinds closed or in a windowless room. Your open window just seems so dreamy to have in there. (Not in the heat of the summer but the rest of the time anyway.)

  45. I totally understand your alarm from watching the news lately. My solution has been to TURN IT OFF!! I don’t watch or listen to all the bad things that are happening right now. The media LOVES all the turmoil and they just keep fanning the flames. We are very well stocked with our guns and ammo (we have been for a long time). I’m glad you got a gun! Hopefully, you’ll never need to use it but it’s great to have just in case. Also- make sure you take a class to learn how to correctly use your gun. Wishing you the best and remember- this too shall pass. I remember all the turmoil and uncertainty in the 60’s, what a wild ride that decade was!

  46. I love your blog-and list. But please try to finish the front yard and living room WHEN YOU ARE BORED. I am 75 and have been around guns and hunters my whole life. Don’t ever give up your right to be armed and protected.

  47. Kristi, I have three words for you… YOU GO, GIRL! Seriously, your projects will still be waiting for you when you are ready. You need to take whatever time you need for you. And we will all still be here waiting for you, too! xo

  48. We’re very pleased with SimpliSafe. A nice thing is that they recently upgraded their system and replaced our older one at no charge! We only had to return the old one..not a big deal. I think someone posted that they don’t contact police, and that’s incorrect–they do!

  49. Kristi, I haven’t read any other comments. I just want to say I’m really happy that you are being a responsible gun owner and have taken the time to educate yourself on how to properly use a fire arm. Regardless of a person’s opinions of firearms, I think everyone should agree that if you are going to own them, you should educate yourself.

    I hope your list gets you motivated or you find whatever you need to get yourself motivated to get back to doing what you love. Such a tough time in the world for everyone!

  50. You asked one question “If you have Simplisafe let me know if you like it”. And you got so much judgement about the gun and wAtching the news. WOW. What gives people the right to tell other people how to live their life. Scroll on people scroll on, you’re not the boss of anyone. So aggravating.

  51. I live way out in the country. If I’m expecting you, I’ll meet you at the door with a smile. If I’m not expecting you, then I’ll meet you on the porch with my shotgun. We do what we must to feel safe.

  52. Kristi,
    Glad to see a new post! We love our SimpliSafe system. When our 98 lb. German Shepherd died we set up the SimpliSafe System, and have been very happy, although we still miss our girl every day. We have the glass breaking sensors because we have glass in our front and back doors and of course we have windows. I was wondering how well they would work and found out last weekend when I was down in my bedroom getting ready and the alarm was still set to “Home” and it went off. My husband and I both went to the alarm and he asked me what I did. I didn’t do anything but he was pouring cocoa puffs into a metal measuring cup right in front of one of the glass breaking sensors and it detected it. They do let you check your alarm during a testing phase. We have a 105 decibel siren, which is an extra piece. They have a lot of stuff to choose from so you can customize. We did have to register it with our city here in Arizona for a small fee. As for your gun purchase, good for you!! I am an instructor for a women’s shooting club, and I help train women to shoot. Be informed, be safe and make sure you have plenty of hollow points!! Take care

  53. We have CPI and love it. They installed the cameras, doorbell camera, and the alarm pad and inside detectors. I think it is great. It also has emergency buttons to push in case of fire or medical. I found that I am much happier not watching and listening to the news very much. It is too distressing, too depressing and it was dragging me down. So I listen to music while I work. It has been a big help mentally. I have heard that on TV also to stop so much social media and all the negative TV stuff. People were getting suicidal just day in day out all day long all the time. So music is my friend. I’ll occasionally watch it, but I am not obsessing over it like I was.

  54. Locally on a HOA, for reasons to not be bullied (and to hopefully not become one). We had a series of individuals driving slowly thru, going thru unsecured cars and breaking in a few. So we got to learn a lot of things. Dogs are super good deterrents. Cameras (even IR ones) can bring false security, they sometimes catch data to review after the fact. There is a “neighbors app” hosted by Ring. It’s that’s a lot less social, and local cops are connected to it. You don’t need to have a camera to use it also get an idea of what a Ring camera could catch. We do use a Wyze camera as a baby camera and like them. Our local Fire department will do walk thrus by appointment to give suggestions, see if your PD will do the same.

    Don’t store the gun in the car, or at least have it’s security not visible, People will break into cars for a gun. My car was tossed during a volunteer role near a Superbowl… they took nothing (even though my purse was in it) that parking deck was close to the stadium (which you couldn’t bring guns into). I’m okay with gun ownership if you can secure it, to not arm the bad guys. That’s an easier said than done, but something to consider now you got one.

  55. My mom was widowed in 1968 when she was 28 and I was 8. She was 3 weeks pregnant with my sister at the time. My dad had been in the Marines, fighting on the front lines in Korea. He grew up on a farm, and used to go hunting with my mom’s father and brothers, so I know at some point there were guns in our house. I only saw one once, when my dad was cleaning it. After he died, she got rid of them all. She told me that she was more concerned about an accidental shooting. So, widow with two young daughters. No guns. We lived about 16 miles south of San Francisco, and we never locked our front door. What we did have was dobermans. My mother bred and showed them for about 40 years. Everyone was afraid to come into our house. Mom was actually a pretty good shot too, as she demonstrated when we were out camping with my grandpa (also a good shot) on his 360 acres of timber property and my uncles were target shooting. She was the eldest of nine, with three brothers between her and her first sister. As has been stated, dogs are effective deterrents.

    We have a SimpliSafe system on the house we have gutted and are doing a DIY Reno on, since it’s an hour and a half from where we live and often vacant. We have an alarm on the house we live in, but we disconnected it years ago, when the window sensors started tripping at random times. The sheriffs in our neighborhood require alarm permits and charge for more than one visit. I think it’s about $150 for the second visit. All of the houses in our little subdivision were built by the same contractor and had the same unmonitored hardwired system installed. My neighbor’s used to go off all the time. It got so people ignored it. I haven’t heard it or any others years, so I suspect others disabled theirs as well. We do have a ring camera on our front door, backdoor and gates at both houses. We also have a wifi connected Schlage lock on the front and back doors. It notifies you when it’s been unlocked and locked. I really love the keyless locks.

    I don’t watch cable news, though I have cable. I don’t watch tv much at all. I do subscribe to our local paper and two national newspapers digitally. When we downsize into the house we are renovating, I may not even put in a tv. I think not having one helps with mental health. The other thing that helps is staying off social media, especially the Nextdoor site. I have a Facebook, but only because my sister works for them. My 32 year old daughter doesn’t have any social media. She seems pretty well adjusted. My 27 year old son has Facebook and Instagram, but doesn’t use them.

  56. Kristi, I completely stopped watching and reading the news. It seems that the media wants us to stay in a state of anxiety and fear. They sensationalize a lot. I’m not saying that what is going on is not important BUT I do know that our LORD does not want us to stay in a state of fear. You have more important things to do with your time. Your blog is such a bright spot in your readers’ days.

  57. I don’t watch the news. I don’t use social media other than Pinterest. It stressed me out. We’ve had SimpliSafe for over 6 years and love it. It’s the first line of defense. Second is trained handgun/shotgun usage. Bravo on learning. 👏🏻 I’m licensed and carry 99% of the time. I’ll go “mama-bear-extreme” if the need arises. 😉

  58. From an actual scientific study (10 years old, but likely still valid) :
    RESULTS. After adjustment, individuals in possession of a gun were 4.46 (P < .05) times more likely to be shot in an assault than those not in possession. Among gun assaults where the victim had at least some chance to resist, this adjusted odds ratio increased to 5.45 (P < .05).

    CONCLUSIONS. On average, guns did not protect those who possessed them from being shot in an assault. Although successful defensive gun uses occur each year, the probability of success may be low for civilian gun users in urban areas. Such users should reconsider their possession of guns or, at least, understand that regular possession necessitates careful safety countermeasures.

    Personally I don't care if you have a gun, but you should be aware that people who live in homes with guns are more likely to be killed by a gun. I happen to live in Massachusetts where gun laws are strict and therefore very few people are killed by guns ! Voila!

    Also – I simply have never understood why people get news alerts on their phone! What is the point other than to increase your stress level, which seems to be a major issue for you???? Can you offer any insight?

    1. Yes, I’ve read that study. I encourage everyone to read that study, and I mean the ENTIRE study beyond the “conclusion” paragraph. Read the whole things, including the methodology, from beginning to end. I’ll link it here.


      And bonus points for anyone who can read that study and then come back here, explain the methodology in simple layman’s terms in a few short sentences, and then explain to me and everyone else WHY that methodology makes any sense. My personal opinion is that it’s one of the most absurd and convoluted “studies” I’ve ever read in my life (but again, it’s linked above so that others can make that determination for themselves).

      In my humble opinion, the only accurate way to “study” this topic is with a simple survey study conducted using a very large sample of legal firearms owners. Why only legal? Because illegal guns are most often used by criminals who, by definition, are involved in criminal behavior (gangs, drugs, etc.) that naturally puts them at higher risk for assault and homicide death. A simple survey study conducted on a large number of legal gun owners to answer questions about gun use and assault just seems obvious. And for those legal gun owners who died during an assault, a medical examiner/detective would easily fill out a quick form for those. But the methodology in the “study” linked above is just so bizarre to me. Just in the comments on this blog post, there are legal firearms owners who have used firearms as defense and lived to tell about it. But I do understand that the “conclusion” paragraph is very convenient and compelling for people who don’t like guns and are looking for confirmation bias.

      As far as news alerts, I signed up for local news alerts because I was only hearing national news and was never aware of things going on in my own city.

  59. Kristi, your feelings are absolutely normal. We’re all going through a huge range of emotions and all of them are very real! I want to share, though…that I came very near a dangerous brink when 9/11 happened. I watched and read every scrap of news I could find, worked myself into a very real dither, and ended up in first, my doctor’s office…and then, a therapist’s chair for over a year (which was a blessing, let me tell you. I highly recommend therapy to MOST people…to work through all of the things! But only if you find a good therapist that gels with YOU!). As for the gun…I figured a good law-abiding Texan would have already had one! So I’m just surprised you didn’t! I have had that amazing day on the farm using nature for my gun-range. And it can be cathartic! I am glad that you are learning good gun safety. Keep up your practice and familiarity with your gun! One thing I learned through my post 9/11 trauma…turn off the news! Keep up with headlines (I am sure you get enough of those with social media) and read deeper if you see something you want more details on…but having a constant stream of the news on is only guaranteed to keep you stressed out. And you can’t do anything about most of it! So it just makes you feel frustrated! But I know something you can do something about…getting your spaces in order. And you already know how that can take the weight off your chest. Having that temporary Master bedroom space as a retreat for you and Matt…will make you sleep better at night. As for SimpliSafe…the local radio station I listen to in the morning (The Home of the Bob & Tom Show in Indy) all rave about it and have used it. They talk about it being easy to install yourself (sounds right up your alley) and to move if you need to move it. And you can have multiple cameras and see them remotely. So it sound great!

  60. Hi Kristi,

    I’ve had SimpliSafe for the last 5 years and highly recommend them. Excellent service and response time. They replaced a unit quickly and at no cost when it had a connection problem a couple of years ago. I have a basic system but I’ve seen Vlogs of others (April Wilkerson) who have full systems and they say they’re very happy with Simplisafe. They are certainly more affordable than others.

    I feel your pain. Motivation is hard to maintain when doing years long projects! I’ve been renovating my small home for the last 4 1/2 years and find my enthusiasm waning. I am just finishing up a bathroom revamp I began a year ago. I can’t wait to move on.

  61. I have Simply Safe and it is very easy to set up, and to use. I have had no issues, however my cat does set off the motion sensor sometimes. They will call you and you can give them a “safe” pin number and they will ignore it. Just note that you cannot set it for home and then go in and out. If you set it for home, you must be in for the night. The motion sensors only work when you set it for away. Also you need to check with your police / Sheriff as some communities charge you if it goes off and it is a nuisance call.

  62. Don’t listen to the haters and liberals – I’m glad you bought yourself a gun and learned to use it safely and correctly. My husband and I *finally* got around to getting our Concealed Handgun Licenses last year here in TX. I ended up buying a small handgun for myself… and then a BIGGER handgun for myself within a few months. I love my big S&W ‘hand cannon’ as my husband calls it (it’s bigger than his – ha! But really not that big) Keep up the shooting and practicing – I know that we need to do that again soon ourselves. Like you said, it’s not about using it, but knowing how. We want to get an AR next, but most are out of stock everywhere, local and online.

    I love your mom’s new kitchen – it looks fantastic – can’t wait to see the rest of your house progressing!

  63. Thought I would share what we found regarding security systems: We have a locally monitored security system in our home, but have been looking at systems for our elderly parents that live far from us. Simply Safe is good but requires their monitoring service to use their phone app (no option to self-monitor with the app). Wyze Sense is extremely cost-effective and self-monitored (they offer cost-effective cloud storage for camera video), Ring equipment is more costly but can be either self-monitored or for a cost-effective monthly fee they offer monitoring and cloud storage. We went with Wyze Sense for one parent who lives in a sleepy little rural town, and Ring for the other parents that live in a suburb of Las Vegas (since they already had a Ring doorbell and they wanted a monitored service). Hope this helps!