Festive, but Simple 4th of July Tablescape

This post was updated just in time for July 4th, 2020.

July the 4th is one of many fun times to live on the lake as we celebrate Independence Day! We typically have family visit for several days, so we create great memories of swimming, boating, fishing, eating, telling family stories (that are more exaggerated each year), and a lot of laughter.

So back to my tablescape . . .

Continue reading “Festive, but Simple 4th of July Tablescape”

How to Build a Brick Paver Patio

Our son-in-law Keith started building a brick paver patio and asked for a little advice from Neal. We were delighted to help Keith and Emmy a few days with their patio. Keith worked really hard on this project and the results are worth it! Continue reading “How to Build a Brick Paver Patio”

How to Paint an American Flag

This post was originally published in 2019 and has been recently updated.

Several years ago, Neal and I finished constructing the closet on our dock. Neal and I purchased treated lumber at Home Depot to construct our dock closet. It is always challenging to calculate how much lumber you need for these types of projects. We were almost finished with the closet . . . but then we ran out of lumber. It was hot and we were waaaay too tired to go get more lumber. We live about 17 miles from Home Depot. But we got an idea! We used some leftover thin pieces of treated wood to make an American flag. This is an example of reframing a negative into a positive!

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How to Build an Exterior Barn Door

This blog post describes the process we used to build a barn door for our dock closet; however, the same steps apply to building a barn door for any room in your house. The only difference is that we used treated wood and plywood.

If you don’t want to build a barn door,, the largest sliding barn door manufacturer in America located in Collegeville, PA is a great source for barn doors.

Here is our dock closet before building/installing our barn door. Neal purchased all of our supplies from Home Depot.


    • treated (if exterior) plywood the size of the door
    • 8 (may need more or less depending on the size of your door) 1×6 treated boards
    • Gorilla glue
    • Deckmate screws (the length depends on the combined thickness of your boards and plywood)
    • barn door hardware
  • Tools:
    • set of saw horses
    • tape measurer
    • chalk reel
    • circular saw
    • miter saw
    • table saw
    • square
    • 2 long clamps
    • 2 small clamps
    • Drill
    • Starrett protractor
    • Long level (optional)
    • planer
    • sander or sandpaper

Note: This material/tool list does not include the door trim.

We started by measuring this treated plywood and cutting it the size we need. It will be the frame for the door. The height will be 84 inches and the width will be 42 inches. Continue reading “How to Build an Exterior Barn Door”