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My Renovation is Actually Happening


When the hermit and I purchased this house, we were full of HGTV renovation dreams.  Could we transform our home from top to bottom within a year or less?  Absolutely.  The sky was the limit.

Oh how cute we were.

I painted and scraped, weeded and re-arranged, but the house would not be tamed.  Sure, little by little it got better.  First our bedroom, the kitchen cupboards, then the dining room and living room all started to conform to my vision.

Check out the Home Tour!

Then we discovered we had more asbestos than previously imagined.

The Renovation Dream Dies

Asbestos removal is expensive and we were forced to put the whole thing on hold.  Suddenly a blog that was supposed to be about home renovation had a lot of posts about gardening, recipes and living well.  (Thanks for sticking with me, BTW.)

Could I have done more over the winter?  Maybe.  But I must confess that my spirits were pretty down about the whole thing.

The Hermit and I regrouped and now we are scheduled to start the asbestos removal later this July, followed by refinishing the floors and gutting/redoing the bathroom.  It feels amazing and terrifying.  5 weeks or more with no bathroom, forced to camp and couch surf like vagabonds?  Bring it on.

Hopes, Dreams, and Fears

I’m worried something will go horribly wrong–read: even more expensive.  I hope we can stick pretty close to the timeline.  I hope we don’t all kill each other while we camp for that long.  Did I mention that neither the Hermit or I have ever camped for more than a week?

Pray for us.

Anyway, I’m holding on to the fact that my house will actually feel clean when I vacuum it.  We’ll no longer have to take what we lovingly refer to as “depression showers.”  (We don’t have an actual shower, so you have to sit in the bathtub or stand up and duck because the shower cord doesn’t reach to your height.)

I’m hoping to keep to my regular posting schedule through all of this, but if you see a little less of me in your inbox, it’s because I’m sanding away at my floors and camping while I wait to have a functional bathroom.  Follow me over on the Shifting Roots Facebook Page, where I’ll be sharing progress videos throughout the whole process.  I’ll also be sharing about our vagabond ways over on Instagram too.

To celebrate, we’ll be throwing an open house when the work is all done.  Tentatively mark your calendars for the September Long Weekend.  I say tentatively, because what renovation ever gets completed on time?

Kristen Raney

Kristen Raney

Kristen is a former farm kid turned urban gardener who owns the popular gardening website, Shifting Roots.  She is obsessed with growing flowers and pushing the limits of what can be grown in her zone 3b garden.  She also loves to grow tomatoes, but oddly enough, dislikes eating them raw.

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Grow roots with us



Hi, I'm Kristen and I help new gardeners learn to grow their own vegetables and beautify their yards. I also share recipes that use all that delicious garden produce. Grab a coffee (and your gardening gloves) and join me for gardening tips, simple recipes, and the occasional DIY, all from the lovely city of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

P.S. First time gardener? You'll want to download the quick start gardening guide below!