Well... it started.
I haven't forgotten about writing here; it's just been
a little cray cray to say the very least.
Some of may remember the post where I shared the fact that our house
was rotting away?
Thought I'd share the nitty gritty truth of it all and our progress.
So... remember we dug all the big hydrangeas up that were planted up against the back
wall of our house? Then started taking the OLD rock off to reveal the damage.
We were so close to falling right through our living room floor it wasn't even funny.
A year or so ago, Myguy bought a whole bunch of bottle jacks and crawled under the house
and started trying to jack the floor back up to the falling away wall. It was a temporary
fix but we had to wait until we could afford to do something to really fix it.
We were held together with bottle jacks, spray foam and angel wings; I'm sure of it.
Anyways... if you want to see what's been going on... keep reading.
Our chimney was also messed up... and to do things in proper order we
needed to have it redone first so the day came to empty the living room and
be ready for the rock guys.
Myguy took the little mantle off the wall for safe keeping.
I'll share more about it later.
The rock guys came and it wasn't long and they had the floor cut out.
The floor was so gross.
They strengthened things around their area and set about to
start pouring a concrete slab for the new hearth.
You can see one of the mannnny bottle jacks under there.
At the end of the days when the rock guys finished working; they were
always so good
to cover things up really well.
They were really nice guys and worked so hard.
Remember I have a heart rock collection?
I asked if they could put one of our hearts in the hearth and
they said sure!
See the heart?
They also made us two little shelves out of rock for
a mantle since we will be using a woodstove and didn't want
anything wooden around our stove pipe.
We really like how it turned out.
When the inside was done, they started outside.
It really didn't take them that long at all.
I'm still amazed.
A couple two - three years ago we put tin on half of our roof. Only
half because the chimney needed to happen.
This coming Spring the plan is to finish the other half
now that it's all done.
This is Myguy up there patching with tar and sealing things to hopefully get us by
Here's our finished rockwork before the next phase.
Funny how good the floor looks in appearance but really
the support underneath was a wreck.
Back outside-- what a dang disaster.
You can see the pretty chimney... next to our decrepit wall.
We had a good weekend... started cleaning up all the leftover rock.. which was ALOT...
and got ready for phase two.
(Notice the new cat?)
Then came the carpenters ... who bless their hearts... bravely jumped in the middle of our mess.
They took our laminate floor out and tried to save it all and did a really good job at that.
We're so glad the new rock hearth is all on a strong foundation.
See all that white gunk on the boards... there was this thick mildew and mold all over.
They said they were really surprised we'd not gotten sick.
They told us they'd seen things this bad before but... It was reallllllllly bad.
They made huge piles of debris out in the yard where they cut and hauled rotten gunk out.
Our son Trent said, "Momma, they should be hauling old boards out not sawdust." And really
much of it was just that; almost more like a mildewed mulch?
After they left the first day I was pretty well mortified.
I walked in and the floor was cut out to the dirt under the house and there was
only... only... did I say only a tarp tossed over it... that didn't even fit.
And Anything... could have gotten in.
See that hole in the wall... the daylight? Holes like that were just left wide open.
Really freaked me out and at dusk I was out there trying to cover areas with boards,
and rocks and anything I could find.
When Muyguy got home and saw how exposed things were; he went to the shop and got
plywood and began covering things up better.
Still; that night... I could barely sleep.
I kept wondering if a snake or snakes got in the house. Holes were so big that a possum ... skunk..
anything my imagination could conjure up.. could get in.
Oh- speaking of anything... that same week... THREE cats showed up together at our house.
Drop offs I guess.
Mike walked into the living room at one point and kept seeing a cat head pop up under the tarp.
(see what I mean) annnnything. could. fit. if. a. cat. could. fit.
I was mostly worried about snakes. We have poisonous snakes here and I once
opened a kitchen cabinet to find a huge snake in it.
--Still not over it.
The end of the next day it looked like this... with holes covered up...
I know I know... it's all hideous.
Tell me something I don't know! Don't click off...
... I wasn't barking at any of you... I'm
sorry if that sounded sarcastic but ... I put it out there -- that
snappy tone is right where we were at the time.
(okay me more than Myguy but... he held his own pretty good)
As I sit staring at this photo right now remembering these days-
I remember how I fought the desire to run and get a bucket of hot soapy bleach
water to scrub the outside of our house where those hydrangea bushes had grown
These stains bothered me so much.
Oh what a blind Pharisee I was... worrying so much about the outside of my cup.
Funny how verses come to us isn't it? And it was so true.
Even now I'm ashamed for anyone to even see all this mess.
But it's truth right here.
So help me God.
This place was a mess..
and so was I.
Much as I hated all those ugly boards
If you only knew how good it actually felt to have those bandaid boards
covering up our gaping holes.
It was all a mess yes... but day after day
things were and are still getting better.
Mildew and rot were being removed and
new treated joists were put in... --new floorboards and
mildew was carried out to be burned and everything under our house
got sprayed and a new moisture barrier put down.
Thank you sweet Jesus.
The carpenters helped us so much and even managed to save our laminate flooring
and they put that all back in. The trim boards too.
Things were definitely lookin up.
When they finished all of that ...
we then started to tackle this.
This wall would get cut out and a reading nook added with a bigger new window
that faces the garden and shabby olde potting shed.
The pinterest inspiration photo was printed and hung on a nail.
Don't you just love Pinterest?
Thank you Pinterest and people who will share your stories and photos to inspire others!
Back to a nook.
First a foundation was poured.
Yep... right out in the mud and muck. We still
have to get the air conditioner slab moved a little and more concrete poured in one
spot but... that'll be another story and different day.
There was a chance of rain later and they covered up the concrete with this
little rain guard. I could just picture one of the new cats or all three jumping into the concrete. So then I set about trying to catch them all and kept
them in carriers until it set up.
Can you believe three cats at one time showed up?
I've said it before and it's true-
it's a crazy cat lady starter kit right here.
Don't judge me for giving them warm milk.
It just felt like the right thing to do.
Naming them might have been wrong but
that sorta happened too.
Let's just worry about all of this later.
After the concrete set up next day, the workers built the walls and boxed it in.
The roof of it is shingled because after Spring, like I said;
on that whole side of the house; the roof will get raised and new tin will go on
to match the other side. Then new rustic siding will be after that.
one step at a time...
The new nook is in the dry... - the wall cut out and a new outlet put inside where the shelves will go.
The holdup now is the window. It had to be custom ordered and takes two weeks
to be ready. Two lonnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnng
weeks with life amuck. Since we had to wait on the window; the Carpenters left to go do work for another customer
until it comes in. Then hopefully in one day they will come back... put the window in,
and the rest of the temporary siding. Then build a bench
in this nook with four shelves all on one side and trim it out in very rustic rough cut wood.
That's the plan.
One week from today the window should be here.
That's two days before Thanksgiving.
So I'm not holding my breath.
-- learning Patience.
:) And happily I can report we've not seen even one little critter in our house.
I do still turn the lights on though if I have to run to the bathroom after dark;
just in case.
Meanwhile... out back yet another project has been happening.
Remember a storm came and blew half our old barn down last Summer?
Over Summer; Myguy cleaned up the entire pile of our old barn and we set up a new coop; then
began dreaming what kind of barn to rebuild.
He started bringing dump truck loads of dirt home from our other shop
and planned out where he wanted to build up a pad to rebuild.
He's hauled so many loads in and our son Tony has put
countless hours in helping to make it all a reality.
So amid workers in and out of the inside of our house;
all of this was also going on out behind our house.
We knew the new barn would be made out of metal since that's the business they're in;
but we also want it to be rustic too.
It would have a small hay loft and two side sheds-
One side for the tractor and feed room and the other side for stalls.
Day after day... it came to be.
Tony made a ladder to go up into the loft but thought it would be a good
idea to also have stairs off the back. Our new chicken coop building was right in the
way of everything.
So that all had to be moved again as well.
First the outside "Fort Knox" pen came down.
Then the coop building relocated....
I don't know why we didn't think of this to start with?
It's close to the rabbit pen and now all the feed for the small animals
is in one place. It's also around the gardens where I spend so much time in Summer.
We still lack building a new Fort Knox outdoor pen for them but for now
they're all safe and happy.
Over the weekend while the guys had a different welding job to do,
I started cleaning up all the debris piles from the house.
We have a very large burn pile out in the back pasture so ...
I had a lot of time to get better at using the front end loader.
Must say I really enjoyed not having people in the house working...
and just being alone... going trip after trip across the pasture.
As time has permitted,
the welding crew has continued our barn raisin.
Myguy has kept hauling dirt and
Tony got things leveled up to pour concrete.
We're so grateful for the help our son Tony has given.
He's worked so hard.
It doesn't seem that long ago that I took photos of our old barn
And now this ... well it's almost surreal.
I just love walking out on the back porch at dusk and seeing
the silhouette of a barn once again.
In the old barn we only had concrete inside the feed room.
We wanted to keep that so we just made it a little bigger.
On the other side of the barn; a concrete pad was poured for two stalls.
We also needed wiring and lights.
Last night Myguy and I got home really late and turned all the lights on
in the barn to see what it looked like in the dark. We even climbed the ladder
and went up into the loft. There are two nice lights up there as well. It was
so bright and illuminated.
(illuminated)- my one word for 2017
Things are coming together!
Soon tin will go up on the sides and rustic wood siding
on the front.
As time goes on I'll share the progress.
Back inside; once
the living room floor was sound again; I started cleaning.
I washed all the walls with vinegar. I did that for
any mildew mold stuff still lurking. Then I
scrubbed baseboards. We were glad they were reused but
definitely needed paint again. Have you ever tried to match white paint?
We had one old can of paint leftover from our coffee colored walls.
I shook the tar out of it and although it kind of stunk,
I touched up around the rockwork where mud was slung.
Then touched up all the other places that needed it.
We'd been looking for a new stove and finally got time to run to Fort Smith.
We found this stove at Southerlands and loved it but it was really expensive.
Went to some other places and then Home Depot and they had the exact stove we loved
and it was the last one and way cheaper! Myguy discovered that it was missing the ash
drawer and asked if they would knock more money off because of it and they did! Another
hundred bucks! He knew they could build one that would fit perfectly at the fab shop so
it was a huge blessing. We drove back to Southerlands and measured the ash drawer.
Myguy bought stove pipe there and we ran into a lady who was also buying stove pipe.
Her husband had died just four months earlier. We ended up talking a long time, and when we
parted ways; I hugged her and told her I would be praying for her.
I will never forget her or how our paths crossed that day.
You just never know yall.
While in Fort Smith we also found two small loveseats that we brought
home. Our other old couch is out on the burn pile.
It was fake leather and had started peeling like a dang orange.
I fell in love with the udder madness settee.
And Myguy was sure he would be very happy plopped in the
brown double recliner couch. We got two matching cow pillows
to tie things together. They're goose down and at least one will likely line a nest inside the book nook in time to come.
At five bells last night Myguy called me to be ready-
he was coming to get me and make a flyin trip to Missouri.
He'd already called Menards where he just happened to see the very shiplap
I'd been dreaming of. We don't have a Menards by us but when he was
working up in Hollister he saw distressed white shiplap like I showed him in a picture.
I'd never been to a Menards before... oh my wow.
We had such a fun trip up there and back.
And seriously ... this is LOVE yall.
This is more romantic than any pile of diamonds or bushel of roses.
Thank you Lord for my hunk of husband.
And this is today.
Things are falling into place.
There's still much to do... but -
The shiplap is all carried in and waiting near the wall that it will go on.
First wiring needs to happen for the tv to go on that wall.
Everything just takes time.
Knowing our floor is safe again and is no longer held
together with bottle jacks, and spray foam is such a relief.
I believe it's still held together with angel wings though.
I'm so thankful for God's provision.
And I thank you friends for being patient with my absence.
Now you know what's been going on.
Thank you for sharing in life
here at the shabby olde potting shed.