Oh Look, We’re Aliiiiivvveeee!!!

In fact, we have been this whole time! Crazy, right?!

So, I’m going to try a wee experiment: I’m hoping to see how committed I can be to a project that doesn’t rely so heavily on my imagination. (Sorry, writing blog, it’s not you, it’s me. No really, it is. Shh, we’ll talk about this later.) Plus, it’s a bit of an outlet for my other plan, which is to spend a few hours a week trying to make the house into more of an awesome home for us. If you want something done, you gotta do it yourself, am-I-right?

So, we’ve had the house for 5 1/2 years now and lots of things have happened, but not to the house, unfortunately. The driveway less much less gravel, the little blue powder room has a new faucet, there’s hardwood floor in the master closet and what is my office. Oh, and paint! I’ve got the ugly walls on the downstairs painted, but there is still all kinds of ugly upstairs. I’m working on the kid’s bathroom but I’ll probably write about that project another time since I’m still not done with it.

I’ve made my projects list (and I’m adding to it often) and I’m planning on the best time and methods of completion, so now I just need to commit to adding things on here. Can I do that? Huh, I guess we’ll see.

A Little Bit of This, And a Little Bit of That

Mornin’ everyone!

As promised, here is a new post for you! I wanted to catch you up on all I’ve been doing, but to be perfectly honest, I’ve been doing lots of little bits of much bigger projects. So, even though I have no awesome before and after photos of things, I can just touch on what I’ve been messing with and what I still need to do in order to cross the task off my To Do list. Let’s start our tour inside, shall we?

The Kitchen

The kitchen area really consists of three rooms: the kitchen, dining room, and what I call the family room. All three rooms have the same cabinetry, which is a nice quality wood cabinet. I imagine they looked awesome when they were installed 20 years ago. Now, they are a bit worn with quite a few scratches, and we’re even missing two drawers. (In addition to 20 years of wear and tear, a mischievous child carved his, er, their name into one of the drawer fronts.) One of the first things I wanted to do was change out the hardware. I wasn’t really digging the wood-on-wood handles and knobs, so I finally broke down and changed them with some awesome antique brass hardware that matches the front door hardware.

The amount of cabinets and drawers in this area is astounding (as well as daunting; cleaning them is a multi-day chore). Even though we’ve had the house for three months now, I still have not gotten to cleaning all of them out. In my defense, I’m almost done, but not quite. I never really thought about what 20 years of dust, food, and random stuff accumulated at the bottom of a stack of drawers might look like, but now I know. It was pretty obvious that neither of the previous owners actually took the drawers out to clean behind them. In the entertainment center, I found a Sarah McLachlan cd, and in the kitchen, an unopened bag of seaweed cracker snack things. (I would not have touched those things had they been fresh, but my guess is they were closer to 15-20 years old, and they did not look yummy.) But, the most exciting thing I found was blueprints in the dining room. None of them seem to be complete, and they are certainly  not the exact same plan as what was ultimately built, but they did answer some of our questions, i.e. what the heck is that weird enclosure thing next to the fire place in the middle of the house? Answer: iguana enclosure. Unfortunately, it doesn’t give us non-iguana owners any inkling of what to do with it.


One of the other big To Do’s in the kitchen is getting an oven door. The Viking range that is in the house is awesome, but the gaping hole in the front is not. We will be getting another rack for the larger oven (because cooking one pizza at a time is just not cool), and a new control panel so we can actually see which knob does what instead of guessing.

Activity in the Rest of the House

We were talking about maybe replacing the carpet in the two bedrooms downstairs early next year. Then Jeremy bought a UV light, and upon seeing how disgusting all of the carpet is, we have decided to replace all the carpet now. We’ve already picked out the carpets, even letting the kids pick out their own (and yes, the girls chose purple… sigh). We still have a couple of weeks before the carpet will be installed, and in the mean time, I will be focusing on PAINT!

Jeremy is a servant to the gods of white walls, but alas, I am not. We found a rug for the office with multiple shades of blue making up a nice wave design, and I’ve decided that I will pull my paint colors from that. Matching the colors on the rug to the colors on those silly little paper paint samples has not been easy, but I have acquired a nice fan deck, and my time is running out. If all goes well, the paint will start to go up on the walls this weekend. It is going to be a lot of work, but the reward of not having to see the previous owner’s horrid paint choices will be well worth it.



We have 10 acres to clean up, and the previous owners were kind enough to leave us lots to do. From a barn with stalls full of junk sitting on a foot of animal poop, to piles of concrete around the house, we have our work cut out for us. It’s finally October, and we will begin the task of trimming the trees to get any branches the recommended four feet off the ground, and really defining the 30 foot fire break around the house and propane tank. I have my work cut out for me in the multiple gardens that are currently around the house. I’ve mostly cleared the planter in the front of the house, and I’ve begun clearing most of the rocks, dead plants, and pieces of concrete away from the gardens behind the house. There are a few trees in the back that I have not been able to officially identify, except for one, a Santa Rosa Plum (nom nom nom). Unfortunately, it doesn’t look too happy (and I can only assume it’s because plum trees don’t typically thrive in desert climates), but I am hopeful I can keep it alive and get it to a happy place.


The plum tree is the one in the middle. The tree on the left looks to have dark buds of some sort, but we’ll have to wait and see what it is up to. There is another tree off to the right of this picture that is already changing to a nice Autumn yellow. I am not sure what to do with this whole area in the back, but I’m thinking about maybe getting some nice gravel and/or paving stones.

The garden on the side of the house will be completely taken out to make room for either a deck or a nice large patio area that will hopefully go in next year. The vegetable garden is a mess currently, and we are still bouncing ideas back and forth. What ever we decide to do, we will have to clear the whole thing and start fresh.

Stuff We Are Planning To Do

A big project we are talking about is a complete renovation of the laundry room. I am hoping (but not expecting) to get it done in the next six months or so, but as long as the room we have is still fully functional, then there is no huge rush. Another project we want done is in the upstairs, adding a door to the bathroom, french doors to the bed room, and pushing the furnace room wall back to incorporate the silly aquarium area in the master bathroom. I am also anticipating a complete master bathroom renovation sometime in the next few years or so, but it is definitely not on the table now, and won’t be for a while. (However, I am still thinking about it.  🙂  )

The two rooms I am most excited to get to work in are naturally the two least important in the house: the living room and the lounge/library/my office. In the living room, we are planning on replacing the wold wood burning stove, and I plan to have fun decorating it. Also, this is the room where my piano will be, when I get an piano. The lounge is one of the rooms in the master suite, sharing the double sided fireplace with Jeremy’s office. I want to put in floor to ceiling shelving and somehow incorporate a desk in it for me. In order to get the shelves in, the wet bar will have to come out. (Removing a wet bar just feels so wrong, but I get more comfort from looking at shelves stocked full of my favorite books than an ugly, oddly placed blob of cabinets and green granite.) The couch and tv we currently have in CA will go up here when we move in full time, and hopefully soon after that the room upstairs will be a little slice of heaven for me.


Basically, we have a lot going on. I have been working on this post for almost a week, and I’m still not particularly happy with it, but I need to get moving on my tasks I’ve set for this weekend. I am so excited to start slapping paint on the walls, and yet so very nervous because I’ve never painted walls before.

Wish me luck as I venture into the unknown land of paint, and Jeremy luck as he enters the land of antenna installation!

Yes, we are slackers, but you probably already knew that…

Howdy all, Adrienne here.

Three months ago we created this blog thinking it would be a great place for us to share not only our new house with others, but also to share the blood, sweat, and tears that we put into it to make it into our forever home. Since then, we’ve shared a whole lotta nothin’. Let me apologize for our silence. Life has been very busy indeed!

We have been making quiet a few improvements to the property, and we will be making an extra effort to document what we’re doing and posting about it here. Now that the weather is getting more Winter-like, we’ll be spending more time indoors, and hopefully some of that time will be spent typing dutifully away.

We are excited to share what we’ve done and what we still have yet to do. We are looking forward to any ideas you may have on various things (because I still have no earthly idea what to do with the iguana enclosure), and yes, we even want you to tell us when we are doing something wrong. This is our first house, and even though Jeremy and I are geniuses who can hop, chew gum, and install a ceiling fan all at the same time, while counting backwards from 100 in Swahili, we are bound to do something weird and/or just plain wrong.

We are organizing our thoughts, and our pictures, and hopefully there will be a few posts going up in the next few days. If not, feel free to call Jeremy and complain, because if you were to complain to me, I would just blame him anyway. Isn’t that what wives are for?

Have a fantastic Sunday evening everyone!

Welcome to Jackalope Hollow Ranch!


Jackalope Hollow Ranch (Adrienne has a thing for jackalopes) is a 10.5 acre property in the Virginia City Highlands area, which is in the Virginia Range mountains above Reno. This blog will serve to document our process of setting up and improving the house and the property, our mistakes along the way, and our successes (I hope). We bought the property in June of 2013, and it has:

  • 4,034 square feet of living area
  • three bedrooms
  • a play room
  • one master bathroom suite with a sauna, jacuzzi, and steam shower
  • one shared bathroom for the two downstairs rooms
  • one half-bathroom
  • a very spacious kitchen
  • a three car attached garage

On the property, we also have:

  • a large horse barn with 3 horse stalls, two other stalls, a storage room, and a large central work area
  • a chicken coop
  • a hay shed
  • a large rectangular horse corral
  • a small circular horse corral
  • a large garden area (which is in dire need of work)
  • 10.5 acres of mostly sagebrush, piñon pines, and rocks
  • a driveway of more than 1,000 feet

Let’s take a look around the property…

From above, the property looks like this:

Aerial photo of the property

You can see the house in the bottom left corner, with the barn and outbuildings off to the right, and a long driveway with a bend in it. Near the top there’s a large rectangular horse corral, and there’s a smaller circular one at the bend of the driveway.

Coming up the driveway you’d see the front of the house:


The front of the house is dominated by a large stonework facade, and a bay window looking into the dining room. To the right, there’s a three car garage.

Just inside the front door there is more stonework:


This stone central pillar is a major feature of both floors of the house, and has a double-sided fireplace downstairs, another upstairs, and has several bookcases on either side. Also in the stonework is a rather strange thing which you can see to the right on the first floor: I believe it was supposed to be a living enclosure for some sort of animal. Maybe  a reptile or bird?

There is hardwood flooring throughout most of the house (except the kids bedrooms and playroom, and part of the master suite). It’s in pretty rough shape in the main kitchen area especially, so it will take some work to make it really shine.

To the right from the front door, we’ll find the kitchen:


It has two large islands with granite slabs, tons of counter space and cabinets, and a commercial 48-inch range (which is missing one of its doors). It also has some kind of weird features: the space under the microwave is a dedicated space for a commercial stand mixer, and there is a space inside the door next to it for another double oven (which is now missing, but we don’t need it anyway).

Turning to the right slightly is the washing up area and the dining area:


The dining area has a nice chandelier and there’s a large bay window.

To the left from the front door is the sitting room:


This is just a big open area with a wood burning stove in the corner. It will be awesome for reading a book on a cold winter day.

Heading upstairs to the master suite, which more-or-less consumes the entire 2nd story:


The central stonework from downstairs continues into the upstairs area, which is open to below via a very large area with a railing. The wood floors continue upstairs as well. The portion on this side of stonework is the “lounge” and has a nice cabinet and mini-fridge:


The master suite is on the other side, and has a large wood-floored room with a balcony, a large bathroom, a sauna, a walk-in shower, and a jetted jacuzzi tub (which is currently broken). It also has a separate toilet room with a toilet and a urinal (have you ever seen one in a house?!).

The jacuzzi and shower (behind the glass block):


The vanity and the sauna peeking out (the door you can see there):


The toilet room, with urinal:


Enough with the indoors, though, we didn’t buy this house to spend all our time inside…

Outside, we have a large horse barn and chicken coop:


Here’s a closer shot of the chicken coop:


And the inside of the barn from the front:


And looking over into the stalls:


Even though we don’t have horses of our own, and probably won’t for a long time…


Wild horses roam the entire Virginia Range and come onto our property all the time. These three were munching on our property when we got back from Reno one day.

We look forward to many future posts about our various projects, the house, the land, and everything we learn along the way. This is a learning adventure, and a long one, and we know we’ll make some mistakes along the way. We’d love to hear from you if you have any ideas or questions, and feel free to come by and give us a hand!

Jeremy and Adrienne