Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Delayed Post

Why the delay, you might be wondering?  I really couldn't tell you.  My guess is that I've put off posting these pictures for  four days because of some deep psychological sense of denial that this last week even happened.  Maybe it is because last week made me so tired that the thought of post pictures would make me remember how tired and sore I was.  Tim is trying to talk me into going back up this weekend and doing some more work.  I think I'd rather do the hard work that completely overwhelms me here at home...  I think I need some ice cream now!  With lots of choclate!

Bedroom upstairs during plaster removal.

Same bedroom, different angle.

Ceiling of that bedroom.  Ceilings are very traumatic for me.  Not so much physically, since we packed the hardhat this time.  Much more psychologically damaging.

Smallest Bedroom ceiling and chimney.

Smallest bedroom closet.

Smallest bedroom wall and ceiling.
Really not bad... considering...

Hallway upstairs, looking into the smallest bedroom.
Left wall came down.  There is a chimney behind that wall and its difficult to see where the plaster on the backside of that chimney (on lath) has buckled.

Ceiling in stairwell.  Was looking for shortcuts here.  Maybe we don't need to insulate the exterior wall.  Then we had a propane leak from the ancient 500 gallon tank that sits beyond this window.  They guy who fixed it told us he used to fill it.  He usually filled it once a month during the winter.  At today's prices, that would be a heating bill of $1000.00 a month.  My new mantra, while I knock plaster off of walls is "$1000.00 a month, $1000.00 a month!"  The only shortcut here will be $1000.00 a month!

Upstairs bathroom.  The thing in the upper corner over the toilet says Ideal Watercloset.  I need to do some more research to find out more.

The Happy Dance after dropping the plaster in the third upstairs bedroom.  This was the first upstairs room that we completed.  We danced after the second bedroom.  After the third one, we didn't dance anymore.  I think we were conserving energy for life preserving functions as we finished knocking plaster down upstairs and cleaned it all up, then went downstairs and knocked most everything that needed to come down downstairs.  Need to finish and clean it up.  Then pretend that it never happened so I can can resume my normal sleeping habits once again.

No more pictures. 

Something Fishy is Going On!

Today was an exhausting day in the garden.  However, we have some great raised rows and plantings to show for it!  This is the new strawberry patch.  We've planted 75 plants.  They will not produce this year because here, we need more growing time.  Spring comes a lot later here than it does in California!  We will pinch off any blooms and allow the plants to get established.  They will also put off runners so we should have a very full patch next June!

Here is the garden plot.  We are raising rows here as well.  Last year I raised a few of my rows and the plants produced so much better than those that were planted on flat parts of the garden.  With all of the rain, we should have planted rice last year, but instead most of our garden drowned!  I think we would have made a killing!!  It'd certainly be a novelty crop here!  The potatoes, peas, lettuce and onions have been planted.  We planted Candy onions and Red Candy Apple onions.  They do really well and are such good onions!  I hope they do well and aren't in too late this year because we are most definitely hungry for some garden food!

So as I'm cleaning things up, I turn around and find that all of my kids have crawled onto the apple cart with their fishing poles.  They think they've earned it!  And I'd sure be a meanie if I said they hadn't!

Upon arriving on the north side of the farm we are greeted by Juliet, our goat who thinks she is a puppy dog!
She wants to get in on the action as well.  She started baaaaing out orders from the moment we arrived and did so until she got bored and went back to the pen that she snuck out of and left poor Uncle Doug crying all by himself.

Sigh!  Getting so sleepy sitting in the sun and listening the birds and the water.  But alas, the catching wasn't great.  Avery's fish wasn't big enough to keep so its time to go home, make some dinner and check everyone for ticks!

Monday, April 11, 2011


We went to the north side of the farm to see about moving the cow, Gladis, and Stanley, the horse, into a new pasture with tall green grass!  Can't believe how quickly the grass is growing already.  Things weren't terribly chaotic, although Gladis did attempt to run away again.  She didn't get very far because she didn't have a sidekick to go with her.  You should have heard her bellowing around the yard and you should have seen her jumping around and swinging her head around in her disappointment!  She finally submitted, however, and joined Stanley, who wasted no time going to work on the yummy green grass!

On our way home we happened by Joe's place.  I was there to talk to him about my chickens, who are in need of a new home now that we are back and forth between here and Nebraska.  When I pulled into the yard he told me he had something to show us.  He brought us through the barn where one of his giant work horses was eating a snack, and into a back pasture where he had three mama sheep who all lambed this morning.  There were eight little babies to ooh and aaah over!  A set of twins and a set of triplets, to be precise!

This evening we will be loading up our hens and taking them over to Joe's.  We'll be buying eggs from them this year.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Celebrating Four Years!!

Our four week old Grace Angelica!

At eight weeks old!  She is already growing up so fast!

Aww!  I just love it!  Her first birthday and she is still almost as bald as the day she was born!  I just loved to kiss on her velvety head!  She's looking at pictures with 'Woofie.'

Here she is opening her birthday presents.  She's a natural!

Ooopsie!  She emptied the tissues in the bathroom at a hotel we stayed at! 

Summer 2009 and she's already got the whole world in her hands!

Spring 2010!

January 2011!

 My baby girl is growing so fast!  She absolutely loved having happy birthday sung to her!

And she was so excited to blow out her candles!

We enjoyed eating her rainbow cupcakes!!

You have an exciting year ahead of you!  Still so many firsts to experience and a wonderful world to explore!  We love you Gracie Anne!!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Why Chris and Richard Said to Pack Hard Hats

Our friends, the Jacobson's, were so kind to have us over and show us some of their projects from their old house renovation!  It was so helpful!  One of the things they recommended was to use hard hats.  We have some!  I just completely forgot to pack them!  I don't think I will forget them again!

The plaster is usually only 1/4 to 1/2 inch (at least in our house) but the piece that hit me in the head was 3-4 inches thick!  I've got a cut and bruise to prove it!

Gone Camping!

We didn't do the kind of camping that one would think of when you hear someone say they are camping for a couple of days!  But technically we did camp - we pitched a tent... inside our old house... 

I really appreciate my pioneer mothers.  We still had it so much better - so many more conveniences than they could ever imagine, even though it was the next day before we had running water, and a flushing toilet (Tim brought the handy dandy emergency hassock - aka porta potty)!   I also cooked in a microwave....  If it's any consolation, I did have plenty of dirty children to show for our experience!

Once we arrived at the house, we dove right into work!  These are the before and during photos of the 'sitting room.'  What would you call it?  It has two big pocket doors, and its the room you enter into first.  We needed to get the very aged rug off of the floor.  Callan was my big helper and Gracie Anne and Avery got into the fun as well.


We did it!  But a bunch of the foam has stuck to the wood floor.  We have just the tool and have spent Friday and Saturday scraping here and there.  Most of the foam is gone.  I'll post a photo later.  The floor is in pretty good shape!

Kitchen - wow! what a work out!

Lathe to come of later!  Callan was my handy dandy helper again!  What a great worker.  Here is a picture of us, after the kitchen demolition.  This kind of work is not beautiful!!  I'm going to see about picking up some swim goggles for eye protection.  My safety goggles were worthless!  And after getting clonked on the head with a big piece of plaster, I will definitely not forget to throw in a few hard hats!  We have more plaster to knock down!

You might be thinking Callan and I did all of the work.  We didn't!  Tim and Mason were down in the basement working their magic on the plumbing.  See that split in the valve fitting?  That is nothing!  There are splits all over in the plumbing!  We now have water down in the basement though! 


The bathroom underway.  You can see where Tim removed the potty.  It was cracked.  A lesson to us all to NEVER leave a house with running water unheated in winter...

Ahhhh - the tub!  Can't wait to take a bubble bath in there!

I'm always thankful for Sundays!  I love the sabbath day and if it weren't for that day, we would end up working ourselves into the ground!  This hard work is worth it in the end and that is what we kept in our minds as we tired.  Another thing that helped along the way were the suprises we found!  First, in the kitchen, I was certain the bottom layer of linoleum was eternally glued to the floor, but after getting one of the cabinet bases out of the kitchen I grabbed all three layers of linoleum and they lifted right up! What I found underneath the linoleum were newspapers from 1945!  I had so much fun reading about the ladies' fashions and how the US was doing in WW II! 

This is fun too.  This was left behind in the kitchen.  I think it has charm if I can look far enough past all the dust and dirt!  Look what it says on the side!  So fun!  One of the first pay phones!!

This was really exciting!  I took a back full of garbage that was left behind out to the dumpster we've rented, but the bag tore on my way out.  I poked through to find this old speller!  I grabbed a couple of really old measuring cups too before making it to the dumpster!

This was such a find!  The window screens are really rusted and dirty on the outside.  On the inside, the tops of the windows were covered.  Wish you were here to hear my shout of excitement when I tore down the old curtains to find the beautiful geometric pattern on the tops of my windows.  Now I'm on the hunt for a window treatment that will show those off!