Thursday, July 3, 2014

Ceiling and Garlic Harvest

I skimmed through some of the old blog posts trying to find a photo of the living room ceiling as it used to be, just so anyone who sees the photo above and isn't wowed by the existence of some drywall and a finished bead board ceiling, can see what I see.  Wow-wee!  If you remember, when we bought the house the living room ceiling was slightly rumpled looking plaster, as show here, then Brandon pulled it all down, making the big mess shown here, and for months and months it's been exposed boards decorated with old bent nails.  The wall has been open studs decorated with insulation, wires, and old snake skins.  Not any more - it's got dry wall!!

This photo shows the ceiling from a strange upward angle, but in it, you can better see the stripes in the ceiling.  The ceiling fan doesn't have the blades or the light fixture yet, but by the end of the day last Sunday, the ceiling was complete.  Brandon installed a big chunk of it all by himself, but when I started to help him we made much faster progress.  With two ladders and the pneumatic brad nailer, we could tack up the boards as fast as our tired ladder legs could climb.  Drywall ceilings would have been less expensive, but much harder for us to do ourselves.  We also predict that we will not be very good at plastering drywall, and bad seems on a ceiling aren't easily camouflaged like on a wall, where we can hang a painting.  Besides, one of the advantages of having a small house is supposed to be that we can invest in some better quality materials, since we don't have to cover large areas.  At least that's what I've read.  I hope I remember that advantage the next time I see my wimpy bank statement.  

My plan has been to paint the living room ceiling white, like we did in the downstairs bedroom.  But, now that the ceiling is installed, I can't decide if I should paint it.  It looks so pretty just the way it is!  There's a chance that I'm just enamored with the raw wood right now because of the contrast of the new, level, clean, and bright wood with the old mess that was there, and maybe it will wear off and I will think a white ceiling would be better.  I think for now, I'm not going to paint it and see if I change my mind later.  We plan to use the original trim that we took down, and it's already white.  Will white trim look strange against raw wood?  And if I don't paint the ceiling, should I also not paint the stairs?   It's probably a little early to decide, but I can't wait!

After working on the ceiling, Brandon found this lovely toad just outside the door.  If you ever need to know if you your toad is an American toad, or a Fowler's toad (really, both are fellow Americans), just count the warts in the black spots.  Since this toad has less than three in most of his spots, I identified it as an American toad.  

Even after all the ceiling work, and toad identification, Puck and I found some time to harvest the garlic I planted last winter.  The weeds in the garden beds and in the pathways are out of control, so it felt more like rescuing the garlic than harvesting it.  Remembering how cold and dreary it was the day I planted it, it was interesting to me that I harvested it on one of our brightest and hottest days so far this summer.  By the time I got all the garlic from the ground, poor Puck was so hot he had that drooly wide eyed look of a dog that really needs to play with the garden hose to get some relief!  

This bucket is filled with one half of the garlic.  I have a lot of garlic!

A few of the plants of the variety called Susanville developed bulblets in the stems.  Mom noticed this too, when she harvested her garlic.  The other garlic variety, which I don't know the name of, was planted from bulbs saved by mom.  These bulbs were bigger, and have nice long stems with no bulbets, so I'm very pleased to have more bulbs to eat and save for planting.  

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