I realize that not everyone is going to get the thrill that I do, when looking at this photo taken at the old farm house on Sunday. What looks like a wonky shaped room on an un-level and broken concrete slab to others, looks to my eyes to be a symbol of progress and a future of laundry bliss! Look at it - it's drywall. Say it with me, "OOoooo....dry waaaalll..."
Not only is there insulation behind the drywall, and electricity behind the insulation, but there is a ceiling made from tongue and grove wood. Brandon found the pallet of wood planks at a Surplus Sales store, and it was obviously someone's rejected boards from a project, but cost less than a hundred dollars, which is a deal. It was one hundred and fifty square feet, and our bathroom/laundry room ceiling is one hundred square feet. By cutting out the busted bits, and piecing the good parts together, we had enough to do the ceiling and even enough left over that I think we can do the pantry too. Sweet score!
After working on drywall in the bathroom, we moved upstairs to work on adding boards to the underside of the roof. We are sistering two-by-six boards to the existing two-by-fours, so we can use six inches of insulation in the ceiling. Brandon worked to create a form so we didn't have to measure angles each time we cut a board, and then he stapled up some string guides so we could get all the boards level-ish.
I don't know if this was an easier job than we expected, or if we are getting better at this carpentry stuff, but we put up twenty-eight eight-foot boards in one evening! Of course, Brandon's new nail gun is partly responsible for our speedy progress. I'm terrified of it, since it sounds like a gun each time a nail goes in a board, and a spark and a shard of metal comes zinging out of it, but it's much better at putting nails in the hard oak the house is made of than we are. In the photo above, you can see Brandon wielding the nail gun. The brace on his forearm is to help with the bad case of tendonitis that he has from spending so much time banging on things for this project. The cure for tendonitis is stretching, and not gripping anything for six to eight weeks. It's hard to build a house without gripping things!
It was very hot in the second floor of the house, even with all the windows open and a fan blowing sawdust in our eyes. We lugged all those boards up the stairs, and with each board to get nailed up, Brandon had to climb up and down the ladder holding the weight of the board in place until I could hand him the nail gun, or a saw to cut roofing nails out of the way. Then down the ladder, pick up the next board, mark it, cut it, and repeat. About three quarters of the way through, when we were getting exhausted, but could see the finish line, Brandon noticed a snake curled up against the chimney where we needed to work. In one of his rare moments of frustration, and faced with a snake extraction, he exclaimed with real feeling, "Oh why is there always a snake?!!" This made me laugh, which made him laugh, and then we both laughed and laughed that there really is always a snake where we need to work, which is a unique problem to have. This snake wasn't Carlos, the big snake, but one of the smaller snakes, so it was only about four feet long. We ended up pulling it to the floor so it could crawl off to the ceiling above the front room, where it belongs.
Before we exhausted ourselves working on the upstairs ceiling, I spent some time outside admiring the foliage. My favorite blooms right now are the milkweed plants that grow behind one of the outbuildings. The flowers are beautifully alien looking, and have a wonderful scent. Each bloom had numerous insects enjoying the nectar too, so I know they are appreciated by more than just me.
I counted at least twenty-five plants, and some were nearly as tall as I am. I want to protect these plants from the mower this year so the seeds will spread. I've read that the monarch butterflies are having a hard time of it these days because people keep their properties too clean and tidy, and there aren't enough milkweed plants to feed the larvae.
Speaking of butterflies, have you ever spent any time watching butterflies with binoculars? I brought the binoculars to the farm to watch the birds, but was even more captivated by the butterflies. I saw at least five different species, and they are fascinating to watch as they fly from blossom to blossom in the meadows.
Because we haven't mowed our fields yet this year, many of the plants other than grass are blooming, and providing butterfly habitat. What looks to be random fluttering of wings, is actually very accurate flying and landing as the butterflies maneuver between the tall grasses and expertly land on blossoms. They are very meticulous and hop from bloom to bloom probing for a drink.
During breaks from butterfly watching and snake wrangling, I made a little progress on the metal kitchen cabinets, including several coats of the color paint.
It's so...colorful! I can't decide if I like it. I mean, I like the color, but I'm struggling to imagine a kitchen with all the cabinets blue-green ("nautical"). Will it be too much? I'm trying to be brave though. Brandon says if we are going to have a funky little kitchen, we might as well have funky cabinets too.