Prather House Tour

This old house here in North Dakota, is respectfully referred to (by the locals) as "The Prather House".  When I am introduced to someone new, they say, "This is Renee from Texas.  She bought the Prather house".  My new last name is "from Texas" and my identity is owner of the Prather House.  The other day we were at the clinic listening intently while a sweet nurse named Suzy read and explained some blood tests.  She interrupted herself to look up and say, "You bought the Prather House." Then she continued with her explanation.

The Prather House, was once owned by the wealthiest family in town, but when we bought it, it was in need of some serious love.  It was built in the early 1900's by a family who owned the lumber yard . 

We've cleaned, polished, painted and gathered up enough furniture to do a photo shoot and show you a few before and after pictures.

Sooooo....... Hang on for your virtual tour of the Prather House!

The entry had a beautiful never painted staircase, red carpet and pea green paint from another decade.



Here's the room painted Benjamin Moore brandy cream, carpet removed and decorated with a little furniture and some prints from Goodwill and a few other places!
The sign says,

This living room scared me the most, because it's where the smoker hung out.

Living Room BEFORE

We washed it with vinegar, scrubbed with Scrubbing Bubbles, primed and painted with Benjamin Moore hillsborough beige. The wall colors probably aren't totally accurate.

Living Room AFTER

We found the couch and chairs at a great closeout price, the lamps were cheap cheap (like me) with rebates, and the tables came from Salvation Army.
You can't tell from the picture, but it has a cove ceiling

The guest bedroom was dark blue with a lovely floral border. 

Guest Bedroom BEFORE

Guest Bedroom AFTER

The walls are - guess what - Benjamin Moore bar harbor beige.  Mr. Moore was our paint of choice because that's what is sold here at Hegstad Furniture.  It worked great!  The bed was given to us by a fellow Texas who flew south for the winter.  We've actually had a few guests stay in the room!

This vintage print, is of a howling coyote sitting at the edge of the North Dakota Badlands. 
The candle sticks came from the Wise Penny.

The other bedroom was brown - top to bottom - ugly, UGLY.

Master Bedroom BEFORE

And the closet was the same lively green as the stairwell.

We again chose Mr. Moore's bar harbor beige for the walls, and WHITE for the ceiling.

Master Bedroom AFTER

The headboard was given to us.  I painted it to match the previously pink, now painted black rummage sale table and chests.  Did that make any sense?

The steeple picture is a blow-up of a photo I made last fall.  I found the abandoned church in a ghost town.  Poster Brain enlarged it and mailed it to me.  The lovely turquoise lamp came from a church thrift store that's open one afternoon a week - only in the summer.

The dining room was dark with wallpaper above the plate rail. 

Dining Room BEFORE

I saved the wallpaper and lightened it up with Benny Mo hillsborough beige!

Here's the antique table, odds and ends of chairs,  vintage table cloth,
and crafty little candelabra I made from old punch bowl cups and candle holder.

The other end of the dining room is my secret place
(as in she who dwells in the secret place of the Most High,
shall abide in the shadow of the ALMIGHTY
Psalm 91:1)

This is my favorite spot,
just beneath my vintage commemorative church plate collection.

Since Blogger thinks I've used too many pictures,
AND the other rooms are not quite ready to show,
I'll save the rest of the tour until later.

Thanks for joining me!



Psalm 91 Revisited

A few posts ago, I blogged about my Texas home girls' Bible Study - Psalm 91.  I've been studying along with them (from a far land) and wishing I was there.  It's been a great study.

Last week I was reading the Daily Chronological Bible, in yet another attempt to read the Bible through in a year, and came upon Psalm 91.  It was placed chronologically between Deuteronomy and Joshua.  That surprised me because I had always given David credit for all of Psalms.

The Israelites had just come to the end of their 40 year wilderness experience. Moses had died.  Joshua was their new leader.  God said, "It's time to cross into the land I've been promising you." --- "You've circled this mountain long enough".

Just imagine being one of those people who had been in the desert all those years - being led by God (cloud by day and fire by night) every step of the way - drinking water that poured out of a rock, that they didn't have to draw from a well, eating the food of angels (manna) that they didn't have to hunt for, work for, shop for, or cook (yeah!).  Their sandals didn't wear out.  Their robes weren't threadbare.  They had learned how to worship God and the 10 rules for highly successful living.  They were about to be on their own, stepping into a new way of living.

Imagine standing at the Jordan River in sight of the land flowing with milk and honey, houses and cities that you were to go in and take as your own, and hearing God say: 

(Missouri River - North Dakota)

"If you will stay in MY presence, say that you trust ME, say that I am your refuge, hold on to ME for dear life, and call on ME - then you will live in MY shadow, be protected from traps, arrows, lions, snakes, disease, disaster, fear, and evil. MY angels will be with you wherever you go. I will answer when you call, text, or message, and I will give you a long satisfying life."

Psalm 91
1 Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
3 Surely he will save you
from the fowler’s snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
4 He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
5 You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.
7 A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
8 You will only observe with your eyes
and see the punishment of the wicked.
9 If you say, “The LORD is my refuge,”
and you make the Most High your dwelling,
10 no harm will overtake you,
no disaster will come near your tent.
11 For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;
12 they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread on the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
14 “Because he loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
15 He will call on me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.”

Lord, let us not fail to see YOUR provision when we are in a wilderness.
And let us hang on to YOUR promises when we have left the wilderness.

HE loves you so much.


Turn North

There's a couple of guardian angels
 in our North Dakota front yard.
They were here when we moved in.
We know where they came from,
but they don't tell us how they ended up here.

Like us. 
The locals know where we came from
they just don't understand .
how it is that we are here in North Dakota -
1400 miles away from home -
leaving one border and coming to the other.
He tells them:

"We lived in same place for 40 years,
not 10 miles from where each of us grew up,
working at the same place
Doing the same thing
Never going anywhere
Never doing anything.
(Doesn't that sound pitiful?)
It was time for a change.
We got an opportunity to come to North Dakota,
so here we are on our great northern adventure."

Then I found this scripture
or maybe it found me.
 I could hardly wait to show him.

"Here," I said.
  "Read the highlighted scripture.
Read it out loud."

 You have circled this mountain long enough.
 Now turn north.
(Deuteronomy 2:2 NASB)

That's what we were doing!
Circling the same mountain
for FORTY years!

Well there aren't any mountains to circle
at our Texas home,
but we were still doing the same thing.

 I'm not trying
to read something into the scripture that's not there.
I know it was God telling Moses
that the 40 years of wilderness wanderings were over
and it was time to move into
to the land that had been promised to them.

But it really did make me laugh.
It was just fun to read those words
and see how they sounded like our story.

For the LORD your God has blessed you in all that you have done;
He has known your wanderings through this great wilderness.
 These forty (emphasis mine) years the LORD your God has been with you;
you have not lacked a thing.”
(Deuteronomy 2:7 NASB)

We were blessed there
and we are blessed here.
We are blessed coming and going.
And we don't deserve any of it.
Isn't God fun?

But we still wonder
 how these guys
ended up here.


Be All There

Driving from the airport into the White Earth Valley
was a Kodak moment -
one that would have to stay locked in our memories
because the camera was still tightly wedged in the suitcase.

The rolling prairies had a patchy dusting of snow
and the clouds reflected pastel pink, blue and yellow
from the setting sun.

Deep peaceful quiet, then,

"This sure is a crazy life we're living."
"Yep, sure is."

It really is!

When I walked into the house,
I was pleased to see that it hadn't turned into a messy bachelor pad.

The sticky note on the fridge caught my eye:

"Wherever you are, be all there."
Jim Elliot

I had just spent 33 packed days in Texas.
I filled my days with daughter, grand kids, friends, and family.
I heard about vacations, weddings, babies, and broken hearts.
I worshipped with my church, attended a much needed retreat,
and studied Psalm 91 with girlfriends.
Oh, and the dreaded taxes.

I experienced a Texas snowstorm,
a Texas sandstorm,
and temperatures anywhere from 30 to 80.

Wherever you are
Be all there.

I took a photography class

and learned to capture motion

 and stop motion.


Now if I could just stop time

or maybe just the erosion of time.

I said goodbye to an investment
that had turned into a labor of love
then into peaceful retreat
then back into an investment.

Wherever you are
Be all there.

 I saw hope that there was survival even in dry times.

Yesterday morning I watched the full moon disappear among lighted oil wells
 on the West Texas Prairie
that the same moon was leaving the oil fields
of the North Dakota Prairie,
where we would be in a few hours.

Wherever you are
be all there.

Be all there
even when we don't like it?
situations galore

even when things were better in the past?
even when we dream of a better future?

Wherever you are
be all there.

The Apostle Paul,
 tells us from prison:
"I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation,
 whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want."
(Philippians 4:12)

1 Timothy 6:6 says:
"Godliness with contentment is great gain."

Just so you know,
there have been plenty of times in my life
when I wasn't all there.
Times when my brain was somewhere else.
But for now,
I choose to be
ALL here.

I've already made contact with some northern girlfriends.
I know there's a dinner at the church,
a Lenten service,
the last night of the Heaven Bible Study tomorrow
and the Made to Crave study next week.

The temperature is 14 this morning.
I think I'll bundle up for a little trip in the fresh snow 
to the post office and the store.

Wherever you are
be ALL there.

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