Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Flowers or Weeds? and Ceiling Progress

When we arrived at the farm for a workday on Saturday, the first thing I noticed was how the recent rain added a foggy haze to objects in the distance, and the droplets on the petals made the blue of the chicory flowers stand out against the mist.  Chicory is lovely.  

As we were exiting our truck, and Brandon began to load himself with tools and materials he brought to work with, I pointed out the blue chicory and white queen Anne's lace blooms around the outhouse.  Aren't they pretty?  Brandon glanced over and asked "you mean all those weeds?".  

I'm pretty sure Brandon doesn't even know that both of these plants are from Europe, so they are in fact weeds in the truest sense.  Not only didn't we plant them, they aren't even native to our county.  But still, if we are going to be invaded by nonnative weeds, at least we can enjoy the flowers, right?  If we wanted, we could eat them.  Chicory leaves are supposed to have lots of vitamins, and queen Anne's lace is wild carrot.  

I guess these flowers are too common this time of year to get much appreciation from Brandon.  After he's spent hours mowing acres of them down, he probably doesn't view them as anything special.  Queen Anne's lace also happens to bloom around the same time chiggers become more prevalent, so we tend to associate it with the time of year when being in the weeds means being itchy.  

We didn't have to worry about chiggers though, because we spent the whole day working inside the house. One of the walls upstairs is mostly insulated, and over half has drywall.  Progress!  

The hardest and messiest job we did on Saturday was to put fiberglass insulation in one half of the upstairs ceiling.  Who needs chiggers when we can get plenty itchy with fiberglass!  Before we added the insulation, we stapled up these foam pieces that are supposed to direct any moisture that builds up between the insulation and roof, due to temperature change, toward the eaves.  We read different reviews and some people said they worked, and others said they were a waste.  It cost a dollar to do each space between the boards, which is just cheap enough that we decided to do it, but if it had been the least bit more expensive we probably would have skipped it since we aren't convinced it does anything.  

In the photo above, which I took while standing near the top of the staircase, you can see the insulation along the slanted roof, that will now be our ceiling.  The horizontal boards that span the room below the insulation is what the drywall used to be attached to to create the ceiling of the room.  This resulted in a ceiling that was so low, Brandon's head nearly touched, and we thought it felt quite oppressive.  The benefit of the low ceiling would be energy efficiency, but hopefully by insulating the walls and the new high ceiling we haven't sacrificed efficiency.  

By Sunday evening, this is the progress we made on adding the boards to the ceiling over the insulation.  We spent quite a bit of time debating our approach, and working on the best way to handle the ceiling boards in relation to the now exposed horizontal boards, but I think in the end, it's going to be visually interesting architecture, having the boards exposed and the ceiling above them.   I least I hope so, because this is definitely not the easiest or least expensive approach.  


MA said...

I can picture that space above the beams full of dried herbs and flowers.

rain said...

Oh, that would be cool. I may have to find some neat hooks to install just for that reason!

donny_walrus said...

Chicory is one of the most stunning flowers in my opinion. Very nice with Queen Anne's Lace and red clover.

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