Wednesday, July 30, 2008

general update

I realize that I haven't written in over a week and something should be done about that. Well, I am just writing tonight to let you know that everything is going along as planned. Since I wrote last week they have finished the rough framing of the inside, the sheeting on the outside including the roof and the rough plumbing is in the basement.

We also have celebrated a birthday, gotten 13 projects to the county fair receiving 12 ribbons and been swimming in our "swimmin' hole" many times.

Tomorrow and Friday the roof goes on. Next week Todd and my dad (yes, he agreed to come back after a long recovery period from May) will do siding. I think the real fun will begin then as the inside of the house develops into all we vision. We may even get the well hooked up after Wednesday when they pour the basement.

I will work on pictures later.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Our first Swim!

Even more exciting than the bedrooms being framed today was our first swim in the pond! The children begged and begged to "get wet" knowing what that really meant I told them we could do that after dinner so Daddy wouldn't miss out. Before the dishes were done they were in their suits and ready to go.

Todd got in mostly to check the depth. He walked all over, it was fun to watch his face as he found drop offs. He got his 18' measuring stick and found "the hole" in the south east corner about 10 feet off the current water edge just beyond Josie's head in the above picture. It is about 12 feet. the pond could get more than six more feet deep in the spring.
The children had a blast. Of course they are all fish.
For whatever reason the children thought Todd had said that they all have to wear life jackets. I didn't think this was necessary since the older 3 are strong swimmers. So the test to go in without a life jacket is to swim from one side to another. The feat was easily managed by the older 3, so they shed the PFD's fast. Mary will have to wear one until she is a little less spontaneous.Tabitha was a little unsure as she lost her balance easily at the drop offs she also got cold before everyone else so she and I took off for a solar warmed bath/shower. I hope they all sleep well.

House progress

We have a second floor! Yesterday they got the floor of the second floor on. Today the exterior walls and more than half of the interior walls are up. It does not appear as big as I thought it might appear, but we still don't have a roof.

We walked all around inside the house this evening. The children were excited to see their rooms, especially Daniel. Mary's room doesn't have walls yet so she wasn't too sure about it, but enjoyed knowing that she could see people coming up the driveway.
Daniel's picture of his room


coat closet, pantry, on other of these is the master suite

taken from door of MBR into closet and bath

Like I said the interior views look like 2x4 forests, but I thought it might give an idea of the progress being made.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

inside walls

I thought a picture wouldn't quite do justice to the inside walls. In 2 dimensions it just looks like a forest of 2 x 4s. I did enjoy walking though my bedroom, dreaming of stocking my closets and placing my sewing machine in a very sunny corner of the laundry room. Right now they are putting the floor of the upstairs on--wow, is it up high. I asked one of the framers as he was balancing on the floor joists how many time he has fallen off of a house. He told me now was not a good time to talk about it.

The pond level is almost up to the top bigger rock in the previous pictures. I guess I need to place more landmarks as it continues to fill up. I have been told that 19" apart up the slop will be six inches in depth so maybe I will take my tape measure instead for using my feet to measure, or someone with smaller feet.

I have clothes on the line again today. I enjoy having fresh scented clothes, but my timing isn't always very good. Last Friday I was late in getting things up and they didn't get dry before bed time. The next day as we were finishing lunch it started to sprinkle so I rushed to get everything off the line. I think today will be better. The sun has been out most of the day and for the first time in a week we have a slight breeze. I figure only about 5 days of clothing will fit on my clothes line so we go to the laundromat more often than the children like. It really only takes less than an house from leaving the driveway to returning, but we often get distracted on the way home by flea markets, parks, garage sales, and country drives.

PS I got distracted by the plumber, a walk to the fridge for dinner fixin's, and dark clouds approaching fast from the west. I called the girls to help get the clothes off the line before they got wet. They ran things to the barn as I unpinned the last towel from the line just in time to keep everything dry.

Friday, July 18, 2008

We have walls!

Today Randy's crew got the front and back walls and a couple interior walls up. I found two things that need attention and left notes in crayon (the only available marking tool). Other than that it is getting exciting to see the plans I have been staring at for over a year become 3D.Front of house--windows from l to r living room, entry (door), master bedroom, master bath

Back of house--windows from l to r laundry/sewing room, kitchen, dining room

view out at kitchen sink

view out dining room door (there will be a deck there some day--next year I hope.

view out laundry/sewing room

view out front living room

view from pond side of house

Pond level as of this evening the rock sticking out of the water is the second one we placed. By the way I have been told each rock represents about 7 inches of depth--thank you those who did the math--for the rest of you I didn't double check either.

These last 2 pictures were on the camera (I had let Gabbi take it to take pictures of the pond) I enjoyed them I thought you might also.

He must have wanted a turn as the photographer not the subject..this is his "I didn't get my way look."

Thursday, July 17, 2008

New dress

This actually has nothing to do with living in a barn or building a house, but I like to post my sewing projects at the Sense and Sensibility Forum so I just cut and pasted this. When given the opportunity to complete something I will share my projects here also.

My first vintage dress for me! My actual first dress made from an original vintage (1950) pattern was for my DD and I still haven't gotten a picture of it. It turned out lovely.

I needed several summer dresses and love the simple lines and waist slimming look of the early 50's. I had collected a few old patterns off of eBay. It isn't easy to find my size in things from "back then". I guess the 50's was before America got fat. I did get a few I really liked. I only got one dress sewn before we moved.

I went on a sewing retreat in mid May. Everyone else was working on quilts, but I had finished my quilt top and really wanted a new summer dress so I work on this. I was the youngest lady there. A number of the ladies thought they remembered the pattern. It was a delightful weekend. They even measured the hem for me and did a better job than my DH does.

Any how...I made a few alterations--lengthened the bodice in the front and widened the bodice-- not quite the correct way so the boat neck is a bit wide--without trying it on first. The length was good, but it was too big around. I made the proper adjustments. Then I fought with the sleeve facings. I could not figure out why it was being so difficult. They I realized I was putting them in upside down. Other than that is went together very smoothly and I love the look. I am happy to say it is getting a little big in the belly since the distance from the bedroom (barn) past the coffee pot (other side of house) to breakfast (camper) is more than I would walk before nap time on days we didn't leave the old house.

Note the (knock-off crocs) they are like slippers around here.

It's been a long few days so I have rambled and the pictures aren't the greatestI look tired to me. Just remember I have been sweating almost all day along wiht my normal duties. Now you know more about sewing passion. If things ever slow down around here I will get out the machine one of those quilters gifted me with (if you want the while story on that you will have to ask, my fingers are getting tired) I will be able to create more.

Pond Level

It was another doosey today with lots of heat and humidity.

The framing crew started early to try to beat the heat. When we got home from a nice visit to our old neighbors' pool this afternoon they had the first floor (OSB) in and the back wall built but not up (it is lying on the floor just like so many things that don't belong on the floor). It will be up tomorrow I am sure.

The rain we got last night did not do any visible damage. I didn't even see any erosion marks from the rain going down hill from the house to the pond.

So the pond is up almost over the first rock. The rocks are evenly space up the bank of the pond. If I thought about it long enough I could figure out how many vertical feet it is. The grade there is down 1 foot out 3 feet. The rocks are spaced about 22 inches apart. So math whizzes how far is it from rock to rock in vertical depth.

This is the first picture I took (Tuesday 7-15 evening) with the measuring rocks for reference.

More Pond

When the digger guy (Craig) first got here Tuesday morning he spent the first 45 minutes moving water out of the pond so he could continue. He said he took 4 feet out and dumped it in the woods. You couldn't really see it because the dead leaves floated on the water and it drained quickly.

Here Craig is digging the deepest part of the pond. His scooper reaches 28 feet and he went that far. Of course some material (as they call it) fell back in, but he tried.

They worked from before 9 AM until about 6 PM. They got the entire place ready for topsoil, graded the driveway, burried all the remaing stumps and finished the pond.

For whatever reason I didn't get a picture of the front of the house. Now it feel like i live in a sandbox. above is the view from the camper door. Below is a closer view of the daylight basement.

Below is the view from the edge of the house where a big window will be.

While we were waiting for them to finish the children found the big scoop, the one used to move dirt (he also had a scoop that had teeth for digging) and played in it. It is big.

Todd, not convinced of the actual depth of the pond went digging around to find it out. I was hoping to get a picture of him falling in but he never reall ydid. The stick is 18 feet and I was taking the picture from the top edge of the pond. The deepest he got it under was about six feet.

Over the next few days I will post pictures of the pond filling up. Gabbi and I placed soem rocks to measure the depth. Over night the water got up to a foot form the ledge. After 36 hours it was about the level of the ledge. Today (Thursday AM) it is almost to the first rock.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


These are later than I had planned because of a number of things including the heat/humidity and some miscommunications that have left a bad taste in my mouth (mood). I do have a ton of pictures so it may be awhile until they are all up.

Anyhow watching the dirt movers was really neat. In fact our family entertainment Monday night was watching them dig.I am glad Kirk cancelled guitar lessons--thanks Kirk. The Gushow guys were super nice and very careful around the children. Having the BIG machines roll around--they drive those things as if they were sports cars--did take a toll on my nerves. I had to know where everyone was at all times. And yelling for them was not an option because of the noise.

When Sophie was done protecting us from the bulldozer (she barked at it on and off). She challenged the digger to miss her as she investigated the water.

Monday they didn't start until noon, but they didn't stop until after 8:00 PM. They had the pond 25% done and a bunch of dirt around the house.

They also helped lift the center support bean for the house into place

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Progress as of Friday 7/11

Well, they tell me things are going move fast from here--at least until the framing is done--so I will try to keep this updated better, we will see as the demands of my other job (mommy) wax and wane with the children's attitudes and ability to entertain themselves safely.

Todd cleared a path from near the house to the barn to run electricity to the barn when we get it for the house.

The basement walls are finished. Here is the daylight/walkout side of the basement.

Saturday, July 12, 2008


All of the big trees that had to come down for the pond are down. The pond site looks like a clear cut site and makes me sad. But Randy W. says it looks good for what needs to be done next.

A lot of the wood was cut down by a neighbor and a friend that heats with wood. Todd did a few, then more after purchasing the chainsaw I promised him for Father's Day last year. Monday the excavators will be back out to bury the rest of the stumps.

I have found the ring/growth patterns in the trees interesting and thought I would share some.

This was one of the biggest to come down. Gabbi and I counted the rings in the biggest section and came up with 55.

Here is our collection of log big enough to do something with. We have talked about having them milled then using them for furniture or having trim work for the house made. We also have a number of chunks for my dad to make things with. It would be nice if each of the children had something made from wood from "the property". I have a few things made by my dad and grandfather from wood harvested from a maple tree that used to be in the front yard of the house I grew up in.