Life Goes On Bro
La-la how the life goes on…
My cooking range arrived today and we had to refuse the delivery for the second time. This one, like the first one, was damaged. This time, there were very noticeable scratches on the sides of it. They were etched into the stainless steel, too…not just superficial scratches. There were so many, and they were so unsightly, that we couldn’t justify keeping it. The delivery guys felt very bad for us. It was in no way their fault, because we watched them unpack the box, and the scratches were already there.
I think Bud was more disappointed than me. He was disappointed for me. I love that he is this way, but honestly, I try not to get excited about things that are yet to be, until they are in the here and now. That way, there is no disappointment.
I have done just fine with my awesome camp stove. I love my camp stove! I love it so much, that we searched for a regular cooking range that had as many BTU’s as this camp stove, and it was difficult to find. As it turned out, we ended up ordering a commercial range, not only for the BTU capacity, but because it was the only one we could find that requires no electricity at all. Many gas ranges require electricity for the pilot starter or for lighting the oven. We’ve been told that when the electricity goes out here, it can be off for weeks at a time. We are so far out in the boonies, that this area is usually the last place in which outages are repaired, so we want to be prepared.
We have had our second ‘cool snap’ of the season. There is a breath of Fall in the air. The leaves are just starting to think about turning. It has been so nice! It has been in the high 40’s at night, and getting into the low to mid 70’s during the day.
I can’t begin to tell you just how excited I am that I will actually get to experience a real Autumn with real Autumn leaves, and I can’t wait to take pictures of it all. I love the cooler fall weather here. We have to wear jackets in the evenings!
We have been working hard to prepare the area where our wood stove will go. We built a ‘pad’ for it. I helped a little with laying the tile this time, and did the grouting. Bud did all of the tile-cutting and most of the laying of the tile. I helped enough that it felt like we did it together. We are pleased with how it came out. It looks a little purple-y and blue in this picture, but it is really shades of gray.
That is hardi-board behind the stove. We needed something on that wall to cover up all of the soot stains where the roof had been leaking around the chimney. We have plans to put faux stone behind it. Bud didn’t think that the floor would sustain the weight of real stone, so we were happy to find the ‘Air-Stone’. It will also cover the old brick chimney, too. The distributor has been out of it for the longest time. We finally ordered it (free shipping) but unfortunately, they were out of the corner pieces. You have to start with the corner pieces, so that project can’t begin until they arrive.
The place we bought our wood stove from highly recommended that we have the chimney lined to make it more fire retardant. They spent a morning, well into the early afternoon doing that, and installing our new wood stove. They also put a new whirlybooger on top of the chimney to prevent squirrels and birds from making nests inside it.
We put Polyurethane on the floor in the living room, and it has made all the difference in the world. We used Tung Oil on the pantry floor. We weren’t sure with our ‘rustic look’ if the Polyurethane would look okay, but I really like how it makes the floor look polished. I went back and did the pantry floor with the Polyurethane, too.
The floor is not stained at all. It is just a dark wood-red oak. Both the Tung Oil and the Polyurethane make it look darker. We certainly do not want the walls that dark. The house is dark as it is. Mrs. Mennonite said they used Shellac on their walls and they are gorgeous (and not too dark). I started in painting the walls with Shellac, and it’s lighter than the floors and it still reflects light.
If it doesn’t look good when it’s all said and done, we’re still considering lighter colored wood paneling in the living room. The ceiling in this room will need to be taken down. There is all manner of crud between the ceiling and those boards up there. We want to get that out, in hopes of getting rid of the musty smell in here. We also want something lighter in color up there to open up the room.
The boards around the windows will be removed and replaced, and at that point, I can make some curtains for that room. Right now, what is up there is just old curtains and sheets that are tacked up there. Hopefully, we should be able to move our living room furniture in soon.
The room is so much cozier with our wood stove. I love it! The price of the cheap source of fuel in our backyard, is a lot of heavy labor! We were talking this morning about how there is not only a ‘learning curve’ here in our new life (with learning how to light wood stoves, clean them up, etc.) but it’s also a whole new set of responsibilities. I cringe at the thought of Bud having to split wood. I told him I would try to do some. If we both break down, The Matriarch of the Mennonites said she has a log splitter that we can use.
Bud went through the woods and marked all of the dead trees with a pink ribbon. He said he needed to mark them now, because after all of the leaves fall off, they will all look dead.
He took me up there to show me some things he found that I might want to take pictures of.
There were some pretty flowers in the shade of the woods which Bud found. They were very pretty, but none of my pictures of them came out.
Later that day, Bud cut down his first tree with the chainsaw. It was a dead one. Bud and I thank the Lord every day for His protection of us and our animals, and we ask Him each day to continue. I could hear the chainsaw way back in the woods as I was mowing. The chainsaw scares me. I kept saying prayers that the Lord would keep Bud safe and I resisted the temptation to walk back there and tell him to ‘be careful’ …but I almost did it numerous times. I was thinking about doing it constantly. Shortly after I finished mowing and turned the mower off, I heard a tree fall and the crash to the ground was terrifying!
The tree was HUGE. I quickly tried to count the rings, and it looked to be about 30 years old. Bud cut it into small pieces, and I went back there and helped him load them into the wagon, brought them back, and stacked them onto the porch.
Grace followed us every inch of the way. Sometimes I wonder if she thinks she is our dog.
Speaking of dogs…
I regret to report that Daisy (the dog) took leave. Bud said that she had ‘The Wanderlust.’ She would stay on the porch during the day, seemingly trying so hard to please us. We would try to coax her off the porch to no avail. She would go up the hill into the woods behind the house to do her business when her bowels and bladder were at the bursting point, and then come right back. She was obviously trained. When we put a leash on her, she was eagerly ready to go walking, but seemed put out with us that we couldn’t go as fast as she wanted to go. The road goes up the hill on both sides. Not conducive for old people to do at dog-pace. We pooped out and Daisy was disgusted with us.
Neighbors called us three nights (each time, a different neighbor) to let us know she had wandered over there in the middle of the night. We would go pick her up and she would look so happy to see us and would whimper and whine and wag her tail when she saw us. One time, I think I saw a tear in her eye. A neighbor suggested that we try to re-train her. He let us borrow a huge crate to keep Daisy in at night. She willingly got in at night on her own and never complained about it, however, the second morning after being crated, she took off for good.
I had put up signs with her picture at either end of the road with the words, “Found Dog” with our phone number, and we never had a single call. I can only surmise that she wasn’t really happy here, or, as Bud says, she just had ‘The Wanderlust’. She was obviously trained, and I’m pretty sure she was trained to hunt. She wanted to do something…we were just never sure what. The only animal we ever saw her get excited about and run after was a deer, and Bud says that it’s illegal to hunt that way with a dog. I’m praying that she found her way home, or that she found a new home with kind owners where she is happy. I wonder if she thinks about us or misses us, however, life goes on…