Sunday, November 3, 2013

Making Progress on the Downstairs Bedroom

I'm struggling to type right now because I have a blood blister on the middle finger of my right hand.  Right on the tip, so every time I hit a key with that finger I get a little reminder that I literally scrubbed the walls until my fingers bled.  Well, actually, I stupidly scrubbed a nail poking out of the wall and gave my self the blister.  But still, I have battle scars from my war with dirt on the downstairs bedroom walls at the farm house.  I won, for now.  

Our work today was focused on the downstairs bedroom, with the goal of finishing one room in the house to a livable condition so we can more easily spend the night when we choose.  Also, I would just like to have one room that is finished so we can walk into it and remind ourselves that the house will not always be a dirty tool strewn rubble pile.  With that goal in mind, I spent the morning playing outside.  Hey, someone has to appreciate the fall foliage on the tiny trees we planted this spring.  The photo at the top of the page shows the most lovely tree on the farm right now.  It's an oak tree I never really noticed before, but it has the most beautiful bronze leaves, so it's getting all the attention.    

The pear tree is still trying to be the center of attention though.  The recent storm blew down most of the remaining pears, and they are scattered all over in front of the house.  When we saw them Brandon sarcastically said "hey, I have an idea, why don't we fill buckets with pears and take them home so they can rot on the front porch?"   Smarty pants.  I'm determined to do something with the buckets of pears I have already taken home, but I didn't collect any more since I'm already feeling pear processing pressure.  I ate as many as I could though, but it didn't even put a dent in them.  

Brandon spent the morning laying floor boards in the bedroom.  Notice there is no sub-floor, like modern houses.  The only thing between us and the dirt is a skinny piece pine (or new poplar) flooring.  We decided that if other folks lived with it like this, then so could we.  I guess we will figure out soon enough if this isn't a good thing.  I researched insulating the floor, and from what I read, it seems that it really don't help much for heat retention since heat rises.  Good, one less thing to do.  

To get the piece to fit in with the existing boards, Brandon got to play with his hand planers.  

I like these tools because they a quiet and make pretty wood curls, unlike his other tools that are loud and make dust.  


I've been keeping an eye on the only butterfly milkweed plant that was growing on the farm because I new that any day now the seed pods would be mature, and I could harvest them and try to grow more plants from the seeds.  Today was my lucky day.  The flowers are a brilliant orange, and butterflies really do like them.  Even the seeds are neat, with those cool white fuzz balls that let them blow on the wind.  

I found many places where the deer have been sleeping in the brush.  I don't know if you can make out the squashed grass in the photo, but it's shaped like a curled up deer.  Gardening here may be very challenging.  

For lunch we made our own version of Spanish tapas, and sat amidst the fallen pears while we experimented with combinations of all the snack type foods I brought.  We decided that corn chips with salsa, sardines, avocado, and green olive were the best, and it has lots of the healthy fats everyone is talking about these days.  I love it when super foods combine.   

The most disappointing part of the day was when we realized that some of the ceiling boards we were so pleased to finally finish installing were beginning to warp.  We discussed taking the whole thing down, or not painting it so we could take it down later without investing the time or money to paint it.  But, Brandon managed to use nails to get the worst of the warping under control, and unless it gets worse I don't think it will be noticeable and we will leave it up.  Probably not use this material anywhere else in the house though.  

Maybe my putty knife was a little large for spackling nail holes?  

It was dark by the time we had the ceiling and molding painted with primer, and we don't have lights installed so we were working by clamp light, which cast strange shadows.  When we see it by the light of day we will probably see all the places we missed!  

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