Wow! I had a lot of help again this weekend. Last weekend I had my parents and my mother-in-law up to the house to help. This weekend my parents came again. My mom took the boys back to our apartment while my dad and I stayed two nights at the house and knocked multiple things off of my to-do list.

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I finished all of the window sills except for the one in the attic. Since it’s still insulation and plastic on the walls up there, I’m not too worried about that one yet.

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I had finished the boys’ room’s flooring by myself, but then when my dad showed up to help we were able to finish the hallway, laundry closet, and the other bedroom. That’s as far as I want to take the flooring until my builder gets the tongue and groove pine ceiling done in the great room. I don’t want his scaffolding rolling around on my nice new flooring. Plus – the front door he installed has a major leak. Thank goodness all this rain coming through showed us the leak before I had put the flooring down over there. I’d have been one mad chica if my flooring got ruined by a leak.

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The bathroom got a bit of an overhaul, too. I mortared the crack between the shower base and the wall. Then I painted on a waterproof membrane. Two coats later, the walls were a nasty, dark shade of green. Ugh! The stuff is so ugly – I can’t wait to tile the walls now. My dad helped me get all of the floor tiles cut and arranged. Actually, I did the cutting because it was a very WET process and I only had one poncho. It’s usually not as messy, but there were a lot of finicky cuts that I had to take the water guard off for.

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I waited 24 hours after the tiles were mortared down, then grouted them. They look pretty good. Everything is flat, and the small imperfections that I noticed before the grout were covered up by it. A few of the whole tiles got moved around while I was mortaring, so the pictures look a tad different.

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My mom came up with the boys and got started on the ceiling planks. I decided to go with a clear coat to bring out the natural beauty of the pine. There are A LOT of planks to coat. She got it started, then my dad and I knocked out a bunch more. They are taking a long time to dry, so we had to start lining them up on the wall instead of on the floor. I’ll wait 24 hours, then stack them up and line up new ones. Those are all short planks. The builder has several sizes, with some up to 16′ or so in length. I have no idea where I’ll put those long suckers to dry. Our house isn’t that big!

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While my dad cleaned up our basement, I worked on getting some shelves in the linen closet behind the wood stove. I still have a lot to do, but it’s a start.

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The final improvement was a simple one. I added a cast iron hen to the wood stove. She gets filled with water and steam comes out of small cracks in her feathers to add humidity to the air. The water goes fast. I filled it several times over the course of two days.

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The septic was half-finished this weekend as well. My plumber forgot to bring extra diesel, so his machine died halfway through burying the tank. Hopefully he’ll be back tomorrow to finish that and get the drain field set.

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I never said thank you to all of the people who have helped me. To my parents and my mother-in-law who drove a long way to help – THANK YOU! I appreciate all of the support, even if it’s just watching the kids so I can work uninterrupted. I really appreciate it.

And, of course, I have to thank my husband for all of the sacrifices he has made to make this venture possible. He’s been in Afghanistan for a year working his tailfeathers off in order to finance the land and house. I hope when he comes back for good next spring he’ll approve of all of the progress we’ve made and love this house as much as I do. We love you and miss you, honey!

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