Saturday, January 30, 2010

Floors and Windows

Since we're now under roof, the guys can work during the cold, crappy weather. We've had so much rain there's about 6 inches of mud surrounding the cabin. Jay set up heaters inside and they have been able to get most of the upstairs floor in.

And the upstairs floor is the downstairs ceiling.

Did I mention windows?

They're not in yet.

Today's post by Captain Obvious.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Upsetting the Apple Cart

So the apple cart got upset and then it threw a huge tantrum and screamed at all it's friends. No wait, that was Jay. Things didn't happen in the proper order (the porch wasn't supposed to come down at that specific time, siding wasn't supposed to come off yet, etc), but it did and that's okay, because we took a step back and then a deep breath and then a short time later, when the smoke cleared, we had people back out here beginning to work. In October.

The plan was to build pillars for the foundation, but codes or something require us to put those pillars on concrete pads. All good and well except that those pads have to be in the ground, 18 inches deep, and recall that we live on a gigantic slab of rock.

After about a week and a half of jack-hammering (thank God I have a day job), we had 17 2x2 foot holes for the concrete.

And then early one morning, a day that I happened to be home, the concrete truck arrived. They poured the concrete pad for one bay of the garage...

and then the concrete truck moved around the front of the house, intending to back up to the west side of the house and pour the concrete directly into the holes. Instead, he promptly got stuck, with his front wheel going off down into the pond.

That truck was SERIOUSLY on the verge of tipping over into the pond. Jay tried to wench the truck back up over the small hill he couldn't make it over (in the driver's defense, it was really muddy and slippery that morning)...

That scene wasn't working too well either and my heart couldn't take it anymore so I left. I learned later that they decided to leave the truck where it was and carry the concrete around to the holes in the BobCat bucket. It worked and nobody died. However, with the amount of concrete and gravel left in the front yard, we could probably have poured the second garage bay. Oh and B saved my dogwood tree from the concrete truck back wheels.

Once the concrete dried, some magicians worked their magic with mortar and bricks and we got these:

Once that was done, things started picking up - lumber arrived and I came home one day and the magicians had left me a wood beam foundation.

And they kept coming back and bringing me more glorious things - framing for the walls:


Well, not the snow itself, but they continued working even tho we had snow and it was cold as crap.

In the meantime, the kittens are getting bigger..

And they do mean things to us while we sleep...

In the freezing cold, they put up the walls on the outside and supporting walls and beams on the inside. Not the kittens, the workers.

That's the wall between the kitchen and the mud room.

More walls, the bedroom off the back got framed in and then the roof ...

Recently, they cut the window holes and wrapped it up like a late Christmas present.

And how awesome is this screened in porch going to be?

Then about a week ago, the powers that be said, "Let there be stairs." And lo, they appeared, albeit with temporary treads.

And the beauty of those stairs brought tears of joy to my eyes. And I imagine they brought tears of joy to the eyes of the workers as well, because they no longer have to carry heavy things up a ladder.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Gardening and Other Cerebral Events

Jay tilled my vegetable garden and the berry patch and then when it finally stopped raining, I started going nuts.

I planted yellow squash, zucchini, corn, cucumbers, several different kinds of tomatoes (16 plants in all), 3 different types of peppers, beans, okra, watermelon, cantaloupe, and all kinds of herbs. When I figure out how to get the pictures from my phone onto this computer, I will update this post.

In the berry patch, I planted 25 strawberry plants, 4 blueberry bushes, and some blackberries. I edged the berry patch with tons of flowers, but managed not to get pictures of them. Awesome.

While the garden was going nuts, I became a beekeeper. Jay built me some stands and I got 2 hives. Of course, prior to that, much studying, reading, class taking, etc., ensued.

We also planted an orchard - 6 peach trees, 3 pear trees, 3 sour cherry trees. We'll add more to that this spring. This picture is just the peach trees, but you get the idea.

In July, I started canning and freezing.

We lost Ebony and Sophie in 2009. Sophie went in January - she was around 18 years old. Ebony went in August; he was 20. We absolutely cannot leave this place now, we have pets planted here.

Then we became the proud parents of twins.

After much deliberation, we decided to name them Brother and Sister (because they are) and Jay want to "South Knox it up," so we call them Bubba and Sissy.

And then we bought a canoe:

Earlier in the spring, I received an email from B with these specific instructions: "UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES IS JAY TO REMOVE THE PORCH FROM THE FRONT OF THE CABIN." Jay was itching to do some demo work and B forbade him to remove the porch because they were going to need it for shelter or some such for tools, working out of the weather, etc. Then one day in June, we came home to this:

Can't tell what's going on here? Here's a better picture:

And then Jay's head exploded.

Thursday, January 7, 2010


I have a lot of catching up to do. I only recently began this blog as I did not have the technology to do it earlier. My sweet husband gave me a laptop for my birthday and now I'm hunting and pecking my way thru this whole blogging thing. Not very good at it and mostly boring but bear with me.

We spent the rest of the summer of 2008, and into the fall, cleaning up. And let me mention here that we had plenty of help! There were several huge garbage piles, sink holes, burn piles, etc that needed to go. Eventually we got to this:

Thanksgiving 2008, I got inspired and we had dinner in the cabin.

A lot of things happened in the spring of 2009. We cleaned out the back outbuilding and turned it into my potting shed. Again, tons of help (thanks, Dad!). It went from this:

To this:

And since then Jay has put some windows and shelves in, bricks on the floor, and a layer of gravel. I planted flowers on the side and put a bird bath down there as well.

We moved the greenhouse over here from Fountain City.

And shortly after that, Jay hit it with the lawnmower and knocked it off the foundation.

Jay tilled up two garden spots. One for the veggie garden and one for the berry patch.

We, well mostly Jay and Dad, took the aluminum siding off the cabin.

He took the aluminum to the recycle place and used the money to pay on the layaway for one of his bikes that he no longer has time to ride.

Then he tore the back porch off the cabin.

Jay said, "truck power, baby! Oh yeah!"

Water Line

Temperatures in the 90s + 6 inches of rock approximately 3 inches under the dirt does not equal a good time.

Jay broke several tools and said a few words not suitable for children. Luckily he did not say them in this video.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


The property hadn't been mowed in some time. It's a little over 4 acres and only about 1/3 of it is in the woods. Jay needed some help with that so he borrowed a tractor and set to cutting the fields. This is him in the pond.

And yes, it actually used to be a pond - about 80-ish years ago.

This is Jay in the back 40 - down by what will become the shooting range.

This first mowing event took about 2 days to accomplish. Hindered mainly by the large amount of turtle-dodging that took place. They love it here.

In June, we realized the water line was cut at the driveway - no water anywhere. We decided to run a new water line from the meter, which was on the opposite side of the property, through the pond, across the driveway and to the small house. Easy-peazy. Rent a ditch witch and knock it out in a couple of hours. Once the line to the house is done, we can get really inspired and run a water line to the garage, to the cabin, and on down to the potting shed. HA!

Two days later, Jay was still trying to complete the line to the small house. Turns out we live on a giant slab of rock - part of the Meads Quarry system. So he dug and struggled with the machine and changed directions 72 times. He finished it up with a pick and a rock bar. Good times.

Now we have water to the small house, but that's it. Somewhere I have pictures of all that excitement. Will post those soon.