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I have spent four days now painting, and all I have to show for it are two primed walls.

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The builder has been MIA for the past few days. He’s going through a lot with his father being sick, so I haven’t pushed him. The back wall and part of the front wall (that you can see on the left in the picture) still need siding, so I won’t be able to finish priming everything yet. Tomorrow I plan on taking the boys up to the land with me so I can prime the other gable end.

I’m starting to get really good at painting, and at going up and down the ladder without my heart in my throat. Today I hardly got any primer in my mouth at all! For some reason, I tend to paint with my mouth open and tongue out. Maybe I get better traction that way? Who knows. I’m glad I kept my trap shut, though, because the yellow jackets are out en masse. I lost track of how many I bludgeoned to death against the side of the house. It made me think about this additive they sell in Menard’s for paint – kills any bugs who land on the painted surface on contact. Sounded neat, until I remembered that we’ll be getting back into beekeeping. I don’t want to kill our hard-working buzzy ladies, so I’ll have to find a different way to control these pesky wasps. Any suggestions?

After I was done painting for the day, I climbed up into the house to take some pictures of the interior.

The nook where our wood stove will rest. All ready for me to install the hearth.

The nook where our wood stove will rest. All ready for me to install the hearth.

The water tank in the basement.

The water tank in the basement.

Our new safe. Hmm... can you tell where we bought it? Haha! It's all set up and ready to use.

Our new safe. Hmm… can you tell where we bought it? Haha! It’s all set up and ready to use.

The stairs to the basement are in. The builder won't put the finished treads on until he's done being messy.

The stairs to the basement are in. The builder won’t put the finished treads on until he’s done being messy.

Now that the stairs are finished, I’m going to start trying to move some of these boxes full of lights, fans, and other house-related items into the basement. All that storage space is certainly going to come in handy.

That’s what we’ll be hearing when the next rain storm rolls through. I love the sound of rain on a metal roof.

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We’ll also hear the gentle pitter patter of rain hitting our siding. One entire side of the house is complete with siding! Gung ho for adventure, I climbed right up on my ladder first thing this morning and started priming the wall. Unfortunately, as you can tell from the picture, our little ladder that could… couldn’t. I think it’s time to get a new, taller ladder. 23′ from ground to peak is going to be fun to paint! Right? Well, that’s what I keep telling myself, but I’m not quite sure I believe me yet.

That's one gallon of primer.

That’s one gallon of primer.

And... one and a half gallons of primer.

And… one and a half gallons of primer.

After I got myself all covered in paint flecks, I decided I wasn’t dirty enough. So I started clearing the land where our garden will be.

My husband stitched together three pictures that I took of the future garden area to make a panoramic. Thanks, hun!

My husband stitched together three pictures that I took of the future garden area to make a panoramic. Thanks, hun!

Then, dirty and bedraggled, and with my arms feeling like rubber, I figured I still had an ounce of strength left for one last task: getting the mineral lick up for the deer. See it? It’s just to the right of the peach tree that died of mysterious causes this summer. The poor tree. I think it was because I put it right in the front where the wind blows strongest. I’ve heard since that peaches like a bit of shelter from the wind. Duly noted, and I’ll plant future ones in the back of the orchard. Anyway, this is a view from our front door. I should easily be able to make that shot with my irons. No scope for this lady. I’m kind of a show off like that.

 

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The past couple days I worked on the chicken coop a bit more and took a couple deliveries. As you can see, I finished the trim and cleared some of the construction debris away from the back of the coop. Yes, I see the slight sag in the roof. We did a bit of cobbling above the door when we didn’t have long enough wood. I’ll be fixing that soon. Easy peasy, just haven’t made time for it with everything else going on.

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Our refrigerator and range – my new kitchen wenches. They will serve me well, I think. Unfortunately, the house isn’t to the point where we can install them, so they are calling the chicken coop home for now.

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And our other ladies, the wood stove and gun safe, are also up at the land waiting to be unpacked for their debut.

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Today the house was officially closed up. When I got there this morning, our builder was working on getting the gable ends framed, sheathed, and sealed. Tomorrow he is supposed to install doors and start on the siding. Progress – I love it!

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When I left, he was working on the eastern gable. He’s so good at this. Cuts right the first time, then when he puts it up there he’s got it perfectly aligned. Makes what we did on the chicken coop look extremely amateurish. Oh well. We’ll do better on our next building project. The coop doesn’t look bad, I think. As a matter of fact, it has a bit more color now. What do you think of the new, darker shades? I like. I like a lot.

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I had to throw in the zoomed out shot. My husband was complaining that I didn’t show the back of the coop enough. There it is, honey! It’ll look a lot better when I have time (and decent weather!) to get the rest of the fence posts dug and set. A little trim around the window and door will help, too.

Today I didn’t do much up at the land. I finished the hardware cloth on the south end of the gable. Then I spent over an hour weed whacking to knock down the growth around the coop. Maybe if I can get the trim and painting done before I start working on the house, I will have time to put up the fencing and a couple of gates.

One more thing to add before I call this post good – my builder made reparations for the pear tree he ran over. He said he felt bad and immediately jumped down to see if he could salvage it. He asked how much it was worth. I told him two years ago we paid $29 for it. He gave me $60. I thanked him. It’s really hard for me to confront people I’m not familiar with when I feel they have wronged me. It was a relief to have him react so kindly. Huge change from how I’ve been treated by certain family members of late when I try to bring up a difficult subject. (You know who you are. Still waiting for you both to grow a conscience…)

So that’s it for today. Tomorrow I will be running down to Green Bay to pick up our woodstove and run some errands. Maybe look at gun safes again if I have enough time. I’ll drop those off at the house tomorrow evening, then Friday I’ll be up there waiting for our appliances to show up. Again. Yeah, they were supposed to be delivered today, but someone screwed up and sent them to the apartment instead of the house site. A phone call straightened it out, but they can’t try to deliver again until Friday. Really hope they can get their truck up our curvy hill. *eep*

Toodles!

We got back from our long drive to lower Michigan for a family reunion to find more progress on the house. Beautiful!

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It looks like our builder kept himself busy all weekend. All of the windows are in, and the roof has sheathing and tar paper. For all that excitement, a bit of disappointment followed in quick order. Remember that pear tree that I so lovingly uncovered and restaked after the digger buried it in fill dirt from the house? Well, the large rocks I put around it weren’t enough to save it from the big, bad machinery. A four year old tree, probably one winter away from its first blossoms and fruits… and now it will never produce for us.

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That tree will be missed. Maybe this means I can order some more fruit trees for the orchard. What do you think, dear hubby? *wink wink* Can I please use this tragedy on top of the loss of one cherry and one peach tree earlier this year in order to get, say, a dozen new trees? While I’m in the asking mode, can I also get some strawberries, cranberries, gooseberries, currants, rhubarb, grapes, and raspberries? I know, I’m an incorrigible fruit addict.

While we were up there, we decided to release our five-lined skink, Heidi. He’ll be busy burrowing for the winter now, after gorging on only the finest grasshopper legs and cricket abdomens courtesy of our eldest son all summer long. Check out the barbed tail on him. When I caught him initially, I accidentally pinched his tail near the end. It turned black and part of it fell off, but part stayed on. The new tail grew out below the old part, giving him a look reminiscent of one of Hagrid’s magical creatures in the Harry Potter series. We’ll keep an eye out for that unique tail when we’re out catching critters to fill the terrarium next summer! Sweet dreams and pleasant hibernation, Heidi!

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As of 7:00pm, the roof trusses are officially UP! While the builder was waiting for his crew to help him with the trusses, he finished getting the sheathing done around the exterior of the house. Still has to get some of the wrap up, but I’m impressed with how fast this is going now that he’s finally up here like clockwork. Look! It’s a house!

The next step is getting the roof materials up. We’ll have a bronze metal roof. I’m dying to know what it will look like when it’s finished. The pictures of the product looked gorgeous! And to go with the bronze roof, we are in the process of choosing paint colors for the house. What do you think?

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Me? i’m partial to the lighter one. It matches the tones in some of the trees and greenery around our house. The other one is nice, but I really don’t want to go too green and end up looking like Packer fanatics. Whatever color we go for, I think we’ll do white or off-white for the trim color. And I’m thinking a dark, chocolate brown for the door. The colors we decide upon will grace the chicken coop first as a test run. Menard’s doesn’t do test cans for exterior paints, or I’d already be painting the walls in several shades to see what I like best. Maybe it’s time to try the little local hardware stores for paint?

While the builder was doing his thing, I continued to work on the chicken coop. Here is where I got today.

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The coop now has two doors! I had purchased a $5 damaged door from Menard’s the other day, thinking I’d be able to use it as the back door, but altering the frame proved beyond my capability while alone. So I spent another $20 on materials and made one. Fits like a glove. Not sure why the top corner is blocked in the picture. I did pretty good getting it all evenly spaced so it doesn’t rub when it opens and closes. Two doors from a woman who has never in her life made a door before. Not too shabby!

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I also trimmed the front door and added some hardware to it to make it more user-friendly. There’s an eye-hook to keep the top propped open. There are also two latches to keep each section shut tight. Two handles make for fewer slivers when trying to open the doors. That reminds me… I need to bring a sander with me one of these times!

Excitement abounds up at our land! You won’t hear much from me after tomorrow because I’ll be heading to Michigan for the weekend, but check back on Monday for another update! Have a great weekend!

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