About Me

Welcome to Renovating the Past, a blog all about living a better life and building a better world through repurposing, reusing and restyling.  I hope everyone can find something valuable to help them make the world a better place day by day. Especially in these times of the CoVid 19 pandemic, we are all looking for ways to do things differently. We need more things to do at home to keep us busy. And many of us – me included – are looking for ways to do things on a tighter budget. So, take a look around to find ideas and strategies that will fit your life. 


I am a native born Texan who was raised by a father and mother who believed in living frugally and taking care of the environment. So, when I grew up, I learned to keep the highways clean by not throwing out trash. Yep, for sure, our (old) car may have had empty chip bags on the floor, but no trash went out the car window. 

My brother and I grew up with no air conditioning – and let me tell you, in south Texas, we got plenty hot almost year round.  And we didn’t ever experience that magical “new car” smell since we always rode around in clunkers. Eating out? Never.  Well, once a year when we visited relatives in San Antonio, our high point was going to Dairy Queen for a chili cheese dog. I still love those things even though I can’t eat them any more!!! 

But, growing up this way wasn’t bad.  We lived out in the country and we had a lot of freedom to explore our world. But, most importantly, we learned how to be frugal. So, we learned those “old-fashioned” things like cooking and sewing, home repairs, builidng, remodeling, house painting, growing a garden and repurposing. Heck, we even grew up in fun days when we got to dig around at the dump looking for treasures that could be repurposed.

Flash forward many years and I find a renewed interest in all those things that I learned early on. I am absolutely intriqued and so encouraged by this new generation of young adults who are very interested in budgeting, living debt free, renovating, repurposing and generally living on less – but living full, rich lives. These young adults offer so much hope for our country today. 

As for me, well, I am now retired now. Sort of. In other iterations of my life, I was a high school teacher, K-12 counselor and online educational technology college professor. Not all at the same time! But I am so happy to have the time to live in another phase of my life by moving way way way out to the country. Living now in East Texas, daily I re-learn and remember about gardening, minimalist living, remodeling, refurbishing – and even that new thing called insteading. All those things I wanted to do when working, but never seemed to find time.

After retiring, we bought the house and a little piece of land from a defunct chicken farm and have been discovering what living in the country really means.  It’s not exactly like that old series Green Acres (yes, that ages me!!!!!!). But some days I feel like I am one mile from Hooterville.  And I can’t figure out how to get the cow out of my backyard and back to her home across the road. At other times, like today, I so enjoy looking out the window at bright sunshine hitting the trees after weeks of rain and overcast skies.  I enjoy seeing the wind lazily blowing the flag and the horses across the street catching some rays.

In the process of renovating the chicken farm manager’s little home, I decided to start blogging to share my adventures. Stripping down a little 50’s frame house on a very tight budget, I have learned much about minimalist and budget living. Mainly I learned how important it is to declutter, declutter and then declutter to enjoy a smaller living area and a richer life. 

Thus, in this blog I share what I learned early in life and what I am learning now – and I hope you find information that will help you as you learn to live a more purposeful life.  


Now, I don’t think of myself as an expert. But, I have learned a thing or two through the years. Most importantly, I have learned that individuals are more capable of doing amazing things that they never thought they could accomplish. I know that if you are working to become more resourceful by doing more yourself, YOU CAN DO IT! With all the information available on the Internet, we can all do so much more than we ever thought possible. 

So, I want to share what I have learned with you and I hope you share your successes with me!  Here’s to doing more!

If you ever need a hand or have any questions, feel free to leave them below or on any of my posts and I will be more than happy to help you out.

All the best,

Renovating the Past

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