The Red Building

January 20, 2005

Sometimes I get overwhelmed with all the projects we still have left to do here. I start to wish we had a newer house with less maintenance. And closets. And another room. And neighbors with kids. Sometimes we even look at other houses…

Isn’t it easy to have “the grass is greener” mentality? We’re trained to have it.

But then I think about what we would be leaving behind. There are so many wonderful things about the Shady Acre. I’ve decided to focus on some of these things in upcoming posts, just to remind myself to be content.

Our park-like yard is at the top of the list–that’s no surprise. But among the things that I do love about this place, there’s one that’s less obvious. It’s our red building.

When we first looked at this place (in August 2004), I had to explore the old garage and the red building. To my delight, they were full of junk. Good junk. One of the first things I asked Johanna was if the contents of buildings came with the house. The answer was yes.

It was full of treasures: doors, windows, frames, an old cooler, a metal fertilizer, a bucket of old door knobs and other hardware, and more. Over the years, I’ve added a few things and taken out a few to use in projects.

I wanted to take some more interior shots, but Tice kept following me in there, and even though I’m pretty laid back about dirt, rat poop is a whole different animal. Uh, literally. Below are some shots from the inside from 2008.

(You can click here to see what I did with a couple of those old corbels.)

This oval frame is just waiting for something wonderful. I even have the glass that fits the frame.


I’m pretty sure the red building was once used as a chicken house. Since we’ve lived here, it has served many purposes.

-Our chicken eggs laid their first eggs under it. I had to remove some screws in the metal skirting so I could reach into the corner to get the eggs.

-It helped save Ava from a hawk one Sunday afternoon. Harper ran out there yelling at the predator, and it gave Ava just enough of a chance to dive under the building through some broken boards. She escaped with some cuts and shaken nerves. Yes, she is one tough bird. (You might remember her other survival story from here.)

-It has served as a background for pictures a few times. I had thought about taking our Christmas card pictures against it this year, but then the leaves were so pretty that I decided I wanted them as our background. Maybe we’ll use it this year. I took the picture below in 2006 of my brother and sis-in-law. They weren’t married at that time, and I think that might have been her first visit to Brenham.

-Of course, it has been used for storage, but only for my stuff. Harper won’t go in there, because he’s afraid of rats. Like, really afraid. Not that I like rats, but I’m not afraid of them. I’ve had some epic battles with rodents in that building. I have a BB gun with a laser sight just for this purpose. What? Does that make me a redneck? I was just trying to be environmentally conscious and avoid using poison. Well, and it’s kind of fun to hunt rats with a BB gun. Hopefully I won’t shoot my eye out.

Don’t tell Harper I showed you this picture…

Ha ha! Now, try to pretend you never saw that!

Luckily, I haven’t seen or heard any rats out there in the last year or so. As much as I would like to take complete credit for that, I’m guessing we have snakes to thank…

What is it about old hardware and flaking red paint? Be-a-uti-ful.

If we were to move, what would become of all my stored junk–I mean treasures? It’s not exactly the kind of stuff I could talk Harper into packing up and moving to a new house. I know I’m weird, but these are things I think about.

Have a great weekend! I hope I get to go enjoy this beautiful weather we’re having. Maybe I should go buy a can of red paint for my old friend.




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4 Responses to The Red Building

  1. M. K. Smith says:

    The pic of you, the gun and the dead rat is awesome! Should have been published with the “Chicks with Guns” article!

  2. Amanda Fathauer says:

    In the words of my precious daughter ” ew groooosss, it’s gross!!!” (the rats, not the building)

  3. Robyn Farmer says:

    I’m loving the pic of you holding the gun. I’m scared to death of them and you make it look so casual and awesome.

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