Black and White and Red All Over

What’s black and white and red all over?

Perfectionism is over-rated. That’s the position I’ve decided to (try to…) adopt. Well, explore anyway.

I think I’ll call it “Goof-Up Week.” Yes, I’ve decided to give myself permission to make mistakes. I”ve decided to not beat myself up about them. Will you join me in this celebration of our screw-ups? This week of freedom from having to be PERFECT? Of trying to stop ourselves from feeling like we have project the notion that we’re PERFECT? That it is okay to be a mis-stepper, mis-take maker, goof-upper farmgirl.

<The funny (funny-weird, not funny-haha) thing about this blog post is that I wrote it right before our online service went out for days, causing me to miss my deadline for getting this post up. Lesson learned: life in the country means technical assistance isn’t readily and immediately available. It means learning to wait…accepting and forgiving other people’s imperfections too…>

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  1. Joan says:

    CONGRATULATIONS for enjoying your lovely new (old) home and there is never a goof/mistake or error – all happy happenings. LOVE the stair way idea – a cousin of mine who lives in and old home just did her stair way – she went with the less crisp look of totally white and ebony – muddied the paint just a touch – looks sooo good. I digress – LOVE the bedroom happenings – it will be a most special place for the 2 of you. And now the front WELCOMING – barn red front door!!!! – YES!!! and the planters too – gracious what fun we are having. Oh you will get it looking just totally COUNTRY before long. I do envy you getting to do this. Take care, Live in the moment, God Bless.

  2. Mary Beth Schwarz says:

    Oh I love shades of red too, especially claret and cranberry/burgundy! Where I am right now it is already autumn with chilly mornings, so I am seeing your house decorated for autumn and Halloween. The good thing about the white and black is that it can be changed for the seasons. Red flowers would give you some bright color. A red wreath now could be switched as needed for autumn and then Christmas. Love your stone porch! Sigh…..

  3. Andrea says:

    I’d vote for a red front door–good feng shui, especially if your door faces north. But paint won’t make it face that way if it doesn’t. And tie a red bow on Oreo for good measure. Just something to make you smile for those moments that feel more like tears. Many blessings of good health, abundance and great, great joy to you for this wonderfilled project.

  4. loreta says:

    You are an amazing woman!!!! Love your blog and FB.

  5. Cindy says:

    "Chaos is but order, misunderstood". You, my dear, are perfect in your imperfection! I love it! And I love red! Enjoy your upheaval, for this too shall pass…and all will be made new! How exciting for you! 🙂

  6. Kelly says:

    I’m so excited for you Rebekah!! Go you!! I love the red- so cheerful. I think more red on the porch- maybe the door- would be super cute! I remember when I was in junior high and my mom went on an orange painting craze! We had orange shelves and an orange chest and a bunch of other stuff that she painted orange! It was pretty fun and bright and I still think good for her!
    I love the goof up week- for sure- thanks for the permission slip on that cause I needed it!!!
    I’m really excited for you-and wow- how exciting about those corn cobs!!!
    Kelly in CA

  7. Nicole White says:

    "Take a deep breath and let it go…" or "Good enough- move on" things I say to myself when perfectionism is getting the best of me (I really do not have to clean the grout with a toothpick!)

    I’ve been 2 1/2 weeks in my new home in a new state in suburbia (moved from the county/ small town)- I know how you feel about new adventures.

    Your red, white and black color theme is terrific. Maybe a few red pillows on the white chairs. A wreath with red berries on the black door. I like the black door, it will tie into your black front stairs. Also, how about a few planters or window boxes hanging from the porch railing filled with red geraniums.

    Good luck getting settled. We too still have boxes everywhere and are having our third house guest this week. Yes, boxes and overnight guests miss-matched sheets and not enough towels because we can’t find the box (the movers packed weird and did not label things right). Take a deep breath… good enough.


  8. Candy says:

    Love a red door. From what I’ve heard it use to mean your house was paid for.

  9. Wow! Corncob insulation!
    Love the touches of Red! I am really looking forward to new posts and lots more photos!

  10. April says:

    A red door would be nice. then small touch of red like a planter. I love red doors getting ready to paint my door a dark autumn red. From what i can tell you dont live too far from my home in marion,nc. Welcome to the neighborhood! I love what you are trying to do with your farmhouse enjoy there are probaly lots of surprises just enjoy as an experince.

  11. Kim K says:

    Red front door. Definitely. It’s looking great!!

  12. Patty says:

    Definitely a red door! Always wanted one myself!

    I totally sympathize, I have some of those same issues myself.

  13. Mary Rauch says:

    Would you RECONSIDER painting the steps black. They are so difficult to "see" in dim light, and difficult, therefore, to gauge exactly how deep the step is and "where one stops" and "where one starts". I would never have thought this 20 years ago…..but NOW it is important for our safety at our house.
    Just HAD to say that for your consideration. We don’t want anything to happen to you and yours.

  14. Sheree says:

    Thanks, Rebekah! Now I know what I will find under the same ugly carpeting on my stairs 😉 Can’t wait to rip it out but I don’t want to get too many projects going at the same time. I too am rehabbing a farmhouse in IL. Project this week was hanging antique barn doors so that our barn would no longer look like a plane hanger. After I get some exterior building projects done, maybe I can tackle the staircase when we are hunkered down from the winter snows! Keep the faith. Rome was built or remodeled in a day!

  15. raquel says:

    i commented on the 7 things,please post…did it go through.
    iam currently wanting to move to another town (west wareham,ma from marion,ma) 4 house compound but waiting on $$$$$$.
    i believe in my dream.i want one of the buildings on the property (shack) as my art studio.
    any comment of encouragement welcome. we have 3 college kids/tutitions!!!

  16. Debbie says:

    Hey sister! FARMHOUSE LOVE indeed! We all need a goof up week.. every day I goof up something… Oh well, that’s life!
    Red everything sings to me! Especially mixed with black and white… When we moved 3000 miles across country eleven years ago, I promptly painted our den a deep warm country red and filled with all my personal things… I could go in there, have tea and feel comforted and my homesickness would fade a little too! You are going to have a blast on your farm… keep smiling, have fun and please, make some more messes! hugs!

  17. Kelly Leake says:

    I vote for a red door! A red front door is supposed to bring u good luck:)

  18. Diane Van Horn says:

    Red door, yes please! I love black and white and red. My kitchen and my little camper are those colors. Looking forward to more of your adventures and projects.
    PS How many cans of red paint?

  19. Shery says:

    Dear Rebekah, I, too, love having a lot going on at any given time. I suggest to myself to do otherwise, but the pattern is too ingrained, so, like you, I’ve let myself off the hook and go with what I know.

    LOVE the worn steps, wouldn’t dream of covering them up again. They earned the right to tell their story. Imagine the shoes that walked up and down them … the styles of shoes that changed over the decades. Now, they have dirty red boots happy to be there running up and down them :o)

    LOVE the red. Red is the color of life. ‘Taint no wonder it gives new life to old things.

    Red on your porch? A red door would sure look nice as a backdrop for whatever wreath or door dressing you might choose for the changing seasons. Pumpkins, leaves, gourds & bittersweet would look divine in those concrete planters. And, pumpkin time is just around the corner.

    Your ‘mess’ isn’t messy. It is PROGRESS and beautiful. Your old house is alive again. Oh, it is going to be just Jorgeous.

  20. Marilyn Valentine says:

    Yes, red! I think that’s why I married a Valentine – so red would always be a part of life. Red front door. Yup, I think I just might do that myself.

    I’ve learned that the constant pile of projects (I get bored easily as well) is a form of frustrated perfectionism – if I can’t do it perfectly, I won’t do it at all(right now). That’s also why I have projects with varying time commitments. I took up stamping to balance out quilting. I get the same sense of satisfaction from a card that took 15 minutes to make as I do with a quilt that took 15 months! AND, I feel good because I FINISHED something.

    My new motto: Don’t let "perfection" be the enemy of "good enough."

    Thanks so much…I live vicariously through your farmhouse experience. Just my two cents.

  21. Kristy says:

    I like the front of the house as it is. You can let the idea of red wait until you are positive just what you want to do. Or you can jump in and do something now.

    To start why don’t you put some of the things you’ve already painted red on the porch. Take the wrought iron furniture off and put the old red chairs there. Stand back. Do you like red that close to the front door? Is it welcoming? I think it would be. More red? Add the milk can. Do you need red on the door? Go with seasonal touches-Valentines, patriotic red stars, red and orange leaves and a red and green Christmas wreath.

    The wrought iron would look nice out on the lawn. Or what about using that chair in front of a frivolous vanity in the new bathroom, with a seat cushion tied in with big bows?

    Do not paint the planters red. That would detract from the welcome of the porch, because that would be below eye level as you approach the house. It’s ok to have multi colored plants including red though, because at a distance there would not be solid blocks of red.

    Paint the stair risers a nice clean white but not the treads unless there is new wood on them. Consider red paint not black.

    Remember: Renew (repaint), reuse, re-purpose.

  22. Denise says:

    Love love love what you are doing. I, too love red and how it just "pops" anything.
    Go for the red planters and red front door – instant cheerfulness. You can soften by adding different colored flowering pot plants and just change them up according to season or mood. Enjoy your Reno journey. Loving reading your posts. Makes me want a farmhouse of my own too. Love DIY mhelps having a builder for a husband lol God bless x

  23. Rebekah I just came across your blog via goggle (corn cobs in ceiling) because I ripped down the plaster and lath ceiling in our 1740 saltbox dining room and found about 100 corn cobs. Still curious as to the reasoning but I’m guessing rodents?

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Be bold in your actions. All life is an experiment.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson
The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.
~Alan Watts
Last night before my daughter drifted off to sleep, she said, “It’s our one week anniversary here. I’ve had a great week at our new farm…”

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  1. Maureen says:

    You see why I called it a mud room? Best and handiest place in the house some times!

  2. Donna R. says:

    Congratulations! My Carolina "farm" will be a house near the ocean in OBX and I have about 5 years to wait! Sounds lovely and I wish you all the best. Good for you for following your heart.

  3. Teri Schneider says:

    Thanks for the wonderful laugh your adorable dogs provided! I soooooo have felt that way at the end of some days. What I like best about dogs is that they just don’t care if someone sees them pooped out laying on the couch snoring!

  4. Lu Ann says:

    What a wonderful story! Oh, I so envy you and your family -getting back to the "simpler" way of life! Isn’t it funny how we were young we couldn’t wait to leave it, and as we get older we can’t wait to get back there!

    Congratulations! Make lots of wonderful memories with your family!

  5. i am in joyful & hopeful tears after reading your 7 things in 7 days about your move to carolinas.
    this is a dream for me as well but for us it is in pemaquid,me by the ocean. and a home in west wareham by the have inspired me and hopefully we can brave out our dreams.thank you and your husband,in His provision,raquel (marion,ma)

  6. Linda Petersen says:

    Super~cool post! See, it’s all good. Even the fur people are content already!


  7. Bev says:

    Loved this post, Rebekah!!! Thank you so much for the 7 things in 7 days!!! Now that is the stuff of memories!!!And thank you’s for the great quotes!!!

  8. Gaynell Tooley says:

    My 3,800 sq. ft. house is scheduled to be auctioned in 6 weeks, & I haven’t yet found the next place to call home, I’m still looking! I have given away close to 1/2 of what I own, because I intend the next place to be considerably smaller & easier to manage. I can identify with your musings a lot! I know I haven’t dispersed nearly enough, but the further decisions are waiting for when I find "it" & know what I have to work with. My mother referred to me earlier today as "middle-aged", but I have a 43 yr old child, so……. I have come to understand the folly of thinking that life would ever "settle down" into sameness! Wish me luck!!

  9. Oh Rebekah, how happy I am for you and your family. I love love love the pics of the dogs, and I guess I am probably just as happy for them to have such a nice large farm to roam on. They looked very content. lol. Be Blessed and happy days to you and yours on the homestead. Neta

  10. Kiki says:

    I love this…I feel so connected to the words you just wrote! We moved to a rural community to what is now our little family farm on 5 acres from the city 6 years ago and I felt just like you did/do. I am not sure how old your daughter is but have her watch the movie "The Greening of Whitney Brown". My 10 year old loves this movie and it shows how the things we think are important really are not. What’s important is family! Enjoy Rebecca~ Thanks for all your inspiration.

  11. Carol in NC says:

    Yay! And welcome! I was a move in from another state (in the really deep south) and though I sometimes miss the lazy Mississippi River delta and all that goes with it, you know, linen napkins, antique silver, wide verandas, perfect manners, cicadas, and all things Southern both real and imagined, I have embraced this unique mountain heritage as my own. I love (and claim!) the music, the stories, the pure art of the crafts and quilts, their deep knowledge of the healing herbs. If you’ve never read The Education of Little Tree by Forrest Carter you must!!

    My latest endeavor is spinning. Now that I don’t have horses I have so much more free time and I’ve become addicted to my spinning wheel. On my latest trip down south I asked an elderly aunt if she had any memory of a grandmother or great-grandmother spinning. She looked at me blankly then replied, "Well my heavens no. Of course we didn’t spin." Haha.

    Enjoy your new farm, pace yourself and keep us posted!

  12. bonnie ellis says:

    Rebecah: I just start to giggle when you talk about creepy, crawly things. It’s just part of farm life. Have fun girl and enjoy the outdoors, your daughter and your new farm. Bonnie

  13. carol branum says:

    Hi Becka,You have water in your creek,we have no water in ours here in MO.It did rain today for the first time in months,and was cool all day today.Enjoy your farm,creepy crawlys and all,it is still worth it!We had our hay baled this past week,it looks beautiful out in the field,looking at fresh new hay is one of my favorite things.The air smelled wonderful after the rain,the mixture of the newly cut hay,and smell of the rain was wonderful!Have a nice week,carol branum,lamar MO.

  14. Joan says:

    HOOOT HOOOT RAY!!!! and CONGRATULATIONS!!!! Like most anything new in ones life, if one starts the experience with and open mind and heart, one will make it the best experience EVER. Thanks for the sniggers and grins – oh yes the mucky along the stream and having to watch for the snakes – oh no, I used to have a big ole plank I would take with when I went walking to go to the stream – Granddaddy drilled a hole in one end strung with a sturdy rope – so I could pull the plank along – when I found THE spot I’d lay the plank down to walk on and not get in the muck. I am so proud of you though and what a love you have for your daughter that you wouldn’t let a little muck stop your experience – ahhhh memories. God Bless

  15. sharon says:

    Welcome Home! It’s sounds like this is the adventure you were dreaming of. I look forward to hearing how things progress.

    I had to take a moment to say thank you for the list. I am moving in just a few weeks and I honestly hadn’t even thought about #1. I had thought about packing a box with my bedding to go over with me before the move, but I never thought about including a few essentials for myself. Great idea.

    I have been struggling with # 5 myself. No matter how many times I purge my posessions and belongings I still find I have too much stuff. I am an avid reader and collector of books, authors, etc. 11 years ago when I moved from California back home to Maine I reduced my books from 6 books cases to 4. 3 years ago I reduced it from 4 to 3 book cases and with this move I am going from 3 to 2. I have reached the point where I am now culling books from my shelves that I have allowed to define me. I brought them to a book store that buys back used books and the clerks were raving about my books and wanted to save them for themselves. As they crowed over each one, I was wishing I could bring it back home to live on my shelves, but I realized it wasn’t fair to the books. Yes, I loved them but to be honest some of them have not been read or used in 10 to 20 years. It was time they found new homes with people who would use them. Looking at the empty holes on my book cases as I get ready to pack I find myself missing them, but know that I made the right choice. Hopefully you can find a way to give new life to the things you love and no longer need or have room for.

    I know I am looking forward to this new phase of my life.

  16. What a great post 😉 🙂 I remember when my dad and I moved, we got rid of so much stuff…and I still have a lot, so I"m actually going to have a yard sale this weekend 🙂 🙂

    OH, and the night before we officially moved from Oregon to California, we had everything packed. We were antsy to get out, so we literally just left our apartment…got in the truck and drove to a motel and stayed there for the night before moving. That was awesome…and it was really nice to be out of our old place.

    I’m so happy for you that you have this great new farm to live on. What a blessing 🙂 Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California, Heather 🙂

  17. Tana Lewis says:

    So glad you are where you have always longed for. Sounds like it is going well and will only get better.
    So very happy for you.

  18. Debbie says:

    Happy many blessed FARM days to you and your little family including the fur kids! I’m overjoyed for the whole gang. It’s gonna be awesome to watch life unfold for all of you… Do I hear JT playing in the background? I thought so….Dry those tears girl… You are finally HOME!!!
    Deb ( your beach bloggin sis )

  19. Diane Van Horn says:

    I am so happy for you and your family! Sounds like heaven. Isn’t it amazing to unplug for awhile, very cleansing. The same goes for uncluttering and simplifying. Enjoy your new farm life. I look forward to more posts about your adventures.

  20. Judy in ME says:

    My husband an I moved over the border to ME about 10 years ago now. When we moved ,just from NH, we too purged lots of things. (actually an amazing amount of stuff). Our mantra for our new way of living was…"a pound in, a pound out". Moving is tough, and we never wanted to have to sort through, give up the stuff we wanted, so now we are just very careful about what comes into our possession … A pound in a pound out makes one think before they acquire. Is it working? I’ll never tell.

  21. I have lived in Western North Carolina a year now and I sure do envy your creek. I love following your move and I agree with all the post numbers you spoke of. I used to always put my bed linens and some clothing in my dryer but we sold that before we moved here. Our rental house has one for us.

    I wish I owned the property but I am a lot older than you . My daughter is grown but you are living your dream in a good time.
    Thanks for sharing, I adore your adventures! Smiles, Cyndi

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