So much of the work we have done thus far on the house has been tearing things down and cleaning things up so that we can start repairing and building things up. It has been frustrating, to say the last.
We often have several projects going at once. Especially in Bud’s case, certain muscles required for one project no longer work and/or need some time to repair and rest. Other times, if it is some repetitive task (the kind that drives ‘creative types’ nuts, but invigorates ‘Type A’s) we ‘artsy-fartsies’ just need to work on something else before we go completely nutso. Sometimes, one project comes to a complete standstill due to a roadblock, needed supplies, or something more important that comes along that has to be done.
One particular project that drove me nuts was working on the attic, which we are making into a loft bedroom. It was PACKED with years worth of mud dobber nests and bug parts. I spent days and days up there cleaning them out! At times, I literally shoveled them out! They were that thick.
Then, I had to vacuum up all of the dust, all the while being cramped up, bent over or on my knees. All of the bug dust was constantly dropping through the floor, to the rooms below. When I cleaned out my nose at the end of the day, it left little mud dots on the wash cloth.
While I was doing that, Bud was busy removing the ceiling/floor, which will be open onto the kitchen below. He also had to remove the wood planks on the floor, and we both worked on putting the insulation in the floor and on the ceiling.
We found a lot of interesting stuff up in the attic.
Much of it had to go to the dump, some of it we kept. We found some really, really OLD books. Some had copyrights of late 1800’s and early 1900’s. While I would have loved to have kept them, I happen to know that the sisters who grew up in the house love books and my conscience was nagging at me. I vacuumed them all, packed them up, and returned them to the Sellers up the way who grew up in this house. Many of the books had names in them, or things written in them by the people who lived in the house. Many of the books had engraved covers like this one below. Isn’t this awesome?
The books were just thrown in an open box. Isn’t it a shame they weren’t taken better care of? I’m sure they are valuable, but think how much more valuable they would be had they been taken care of.
There were things up there in the attic that were so old, they had fossilized! …or mummyfied….or something. At the very least, this one was ‘daid’ and had been for quite some time!
By the way, that is my new stove down there. After having to refuse a commercial stove THREE TIMES due to it being damaged, we finally ordered a different kind of stove. It’s a residential stove, but it was one of the ONLY stoves we could find that does not require electricity. It has a battery pack that causes the spark which ignites the flame. This means that we can not only run the burners on the stove top, but also the oven, should life as we know it end, and we no longer have electricity (…or if we have a bad storm and they don’t restore the power out here in the boonies for two weeks.)
We are still living in a ‘construction zone’ (i.e. there is a constant stream of dust and debris to the point that it’s futile to try to keep it clean, and many projects are not yet complete.) The vent hood above is all stainless, but I decided to leave the white tape paper on it to protect it until we finish with the work in the attic.
Bud put up the Airstone behind the stove. It’s attached by adhesive…not mortar, and it’s very light. Since the house is old, and there is not a whole lot of support underneath the house (you can feel some of the boards ‘give’ as you walk on them,) we needed something besides real brick or stone, as it would be too heavy. We would probably not choose to use the Airstone again, due to the fact that so many of them were broken when we received them.
I finally got my kitchen window in! It was so dark in this room that will be my kitchen. I’ve mentioned before that they old window in that room was so low, that we had to bend down to look out of it. The new window is a nice size. Bud put it in himself! We helped him lift it in place, but he did all of the rest. He had to cut the opening to make it bigger, and then re-build the frame that it would be placed into.
My sink will be right in front of this window! I anticipate many happy years of doing dishes while watching the view out of this window.
In addition to the work on the inside of the house, we put insulation in the ceiling of the loft in the shop/hen house. My sister has come to stay with us for a while, and right now, she is staying in the pantry. The loft outside is our priority because this is where she will eventually stay.
Bud is working to get the wood up on the ceiling. We found some really neat weathered wood, but it is having to be sanded, then measured and cut. Weathered wood is HOT these days, and usually demands a premium price. Bud just happened to find this wood at a mill that is nearby. Some lady ordered it years ago, and then never picked it up. It has just been stacked up outside all this time. The owner of the mill was just happy to unload it and gave us a great price on it. It is oak wood, and is about an inch thick.
Bud bought a planer, and will plane the wood that goes on the floor to make it really smooth. Everything else will have the saw marks. I’m hoping to use this same wood in my kitchen.
It has warmed up a lot here in the Ozarks over the past month, and we have been using the sunny days for some outdoor projects. A post about those things will hopefully be coming soon! I also have updates about our chickens. Our flock is growing by leaps and bounds!