Fall is falling, and every day we can see just a little bit more color in the leaves. We took a drive to town the other day, and the leaves are getting downright ‘photo-worthy’ (and so many pictures of ‘the path,’ too, Grannie)…only I didn’t have my camera with me. I don’t think we are near peak yet. We are planning on taking a drive to go look at the leaves sometime soon. (Ahhhh….the country life…where you can take a drive just to look at the leaves!)
It has been interesting to learn ‘life’ here in the Ozarks as the seasons come marching through. All of the sudden one day, we started hearing this horrible sound that sounded like someone was shooting at our roof! It was loud! (…and very disconcerting at night!) It turns out that it was the acorns, and hickory nuts falling from the tree and hitting our metal roof. They hit so hard that it almost sounds like they are being thrown down!
The nights have been down in the mid 40’s, lately, and we have been using the wood stove. There is a definitely a learning curve to it, but what they say is true…there is nothing like the heat from a wood stove.
Bud really likes to drink spiced apple cider when it’s cold outside, and I discovered a short cut. Heat up some apple cider and then steep a ‘Chai Tea’ tea bag in it until it’s as strong as you like it. Mmmm…and it smells heavenly!
We had to refuse the delivery of our stove for the third time! We paid for the fancy ‘white glove delivery’ since the thing weighed over 400 pounds, otherwise, they would have left it on the curb. The stove, itself, actually looked good (the previous two had lots of scratches or dents), but this time, they actually got it into the house, and neither the legs, nor the castors could be attached. There was some kind of problem that the screws did not fit the holes. We couldn’t take the stove with no legs or no castors because there was no way Bud could ‘jerry rig’ a 400 pound stove! We were so frustrated that we cancelled the order. Now, we are back at square one.
For those of you who don’t know, you can no longer buy a regular residential gas/propane stove that does not require electricity. In 2012, there was some law passed that you cannot have a standing pilot light in a residential home. Most of the new gas stoves have electronic ignition, and are dependent upon electricity to cycle the oven off and on to keep it at a constant temperature (the way I understand it.) There is one company that makes a ‘battery spark ignition’, but we’ve heard some not so great reviews about them, so we are leery of them. Otherwise, we’ll have to go with another company that sells commercial stoves.
We are continuing to work on the house, and we are making progress! Since we have no garage, Bud’s workshop has been the back porch. He put up a tarp to protect the saws from the rain. He covers them up with a shower curtain when he is not using them. He can’t use them at all when it’s raining for fear of electrocuting himself.
Bud needs a workshop…and the hens need a real hen house before winter sets in…so….we are building a workshop/hen house which will have a loft upstairs. Actually, we have hired the preacher of the Mennonite church who has a construction business. They are doing the outside; we will have to finish the inside and put the electricity in afterwards. That is saving us a lot of money.
It is being built where the old rotten hen house was. Bud single-handedly tore the old hen house down board by board.
The left side will be the hen house, the right side will be the workshop. The middle portion will have a dirt floor. The floor will start at the top of the concrete, so I’m not sure if they are going to fill the middle portion with dirt, or if we will have to do that. There will be a loft above the bottom floor, which we hope to use for guests to sleep in, a prayer loft, or an ‘I-need-to-get-away-by-myself-for-a-while’ room.
We are continuing to work on the inside. I have to say, that Bud has done most of the work. I ‘support’ him by handing him things, holding things, etc. Bud has been working really hard on the ‘Air Stone’ on the wall behind the wood stove. It looks great! We chose to use Air Stone, because we didn’t know if the floor could support the weight of real stones or bricks. This stuff is really light! It is put on like tile, rather than with mortar between the bricks. The top half is not yet finished, so I took a picture cutting that part out. I’ll take better pictures when it’s all said and done.
I can’t say that I would recommend the Air Stone. I’m the one who opened the boxes, laid them out and organized them, and the packaging was appalling! It was not cushioned at all. The ‘bricks’ were laid out on a cardboard sheet and wrapped in plastic. Each package was just laid on it’s side, butting against each other with no cushion between them, underneath them, or on top of them. The boxes were crushed, too. Most packages within the boxes had at least 2-4 broken ‘bricks’. Amazingly, Bud was able to use them, and you can’t tell they are broken unless you look really close. There were also many that were chipped, and the color is only a veneer on the top layer. I’m so proud of Bud! He never ceases to amaze me with the skills he pulls out of his sleeve.
I finally finished painting the walls with Shellac, and they are redeemed, I think. They look a lot better in my humble opinion.
The ceiling has plywood that has been painted dark brown. That needs to be taken down, and we need to decide what we are going to replace it with. We can’t leave the exposed planks up there because there is apparently years worth of old mud dobber nests, spider webs, bug pieces, etc. that are constantly falling down out from the ceiling in the rooms that just have the exposed planks for the ceiling. We are hoping that the living room will soon be finished enough that we can move our living room furniture in! The only thing left for that room will be replacing some floor boards that are rotten, painting the trim around the windows, and hanging some curtains and pictures.
Since this post is getting so lengthy, I’ll wait for the next post to update you on Helen and the chicks. I’ve had trouble getting good pictures of them because they move so fast!
Oh, one more thing. To my family and friends–we finally cut off our cell phone service, so you will have to call our home land line, now, if you want to talk to us on the phone. We can’t get cell phone service our here, and the only time we were using our cell phones was to text each other when we were in town running errands:
Kara: Honey, where are you?
Bud: I’m on the aisle with the nuts.
Kara: Which aisle? I see NUTS on every aisle here at Walmart!
Important stuff. We are thinking that we might eventually get prepaid phones for emergencies such as the above instance.
Hope you all are enjoying the ‘breath of Fall’ in the air!