I have gone blithely through my life, a successful woman, content and confident in my word-nerdiness without knowing the word 'soffit.' Until now. Do YOU know what a soffit is? No. Don't answer that. Because if you are like 'DUH, Log Girl! Everyone knows what a SOFFIT is!' I'll feel dumb. (How's that for channeling 1986?) Like, whatever.
A soffit, for your information, is the ... well... covering sort of ... thing.. boards. Erg. I now bring you a word from our builder: "it's the boarding or paneling that covers up the underside of the roof that sticks out past the wall. If you didn't have soffiting, bats, bees and squirrels could fly or climb up your wall and get into your house through the underside of the roof."
Er- yeah. That. Thanks, honey.
This is what it looks like:
For you eagle-eyed kids, yes that is a gable end being filled in. Thank you for asking.
It's turned into a beautiful -if cool- North Country fall day. While I made a batch of no-bake cookies to take to the Sunday School picnic, The Husband has been working on the house. Seems like a fair division of labor to me. He just took this picture with his phone and sent it to me.
I thought that nothing could make my father happier than gardening. I was wrong. Witnessing him sharing his garden with his grandchildren was just.... well, I'm speechless. And that's saying something.
My generation has found outlet in blaming trauma in youth for a myriad of bad choices in adulthood. I have no excuse. My childhood was idyllic. Because I refuse to manufacture issues in order to join in on the moaning about a bad childhood, I am starting a campaign to air my clean laundry. Because I don't buy that your life has to be perfect to talk about the good stuff. You just have to pay more attention to the good than the bad, and it'll thereby be more prominent. I had a great childhood. So did The Husband. (Except middle school. Don't ask him about middle school). The Husband and I both love our parents, and we're not afraid to say it. Thus, this ode to consistent, loving parenting. (please excuse this foray into uncharacteristic sweetness and light -- it doesn't often overtake the crankiness. you can expect cranky to reappear momentarily)
I have always appreciated my in-laws. They are truly like second parents to me. But when my FIL spends his Labor Day painting a clear coat on the roof overhang of our new house? *sniff*
You know how everyone has crazy mother-in-law stories? Not it. I adore my MIL. My Mother-in-law frequently does grandbaby duty when I've flown the coop at some out-of-town gig and The Husband insists on being productive on a Saturday. For example, even after being on-call all week (including the Monday holiday), she loved on her rambunctious, wild, perpetually hungry, highly-active grandbabies last weekend while I was in Syracuse. Because just TRY and stop The Husband and FIL if it's a nice day. Something about a soffit.
Now I turn your attention to my own dear parental units. I've already borne witness to my mother's log-scrubbing prowess, as well as her love of family adventure. She also frequently does grandbaby duty, even wrangling my children overnight two weekends ago when Bob and I went to Burlington, VT for some R&R. My father is fixin' to retire next Easter and is going to single-handedly feed the entire North Country with his garden. After living in town for 18 years, my folks moved out to the country last fall and so my ecstatic father went nuts with his year-one garden. He used to garden when we lived in Central NY, but has had to confine himself to tomato plants in pots and galvanized tubs of lettuce on the porch roof while they lived in town on a small, shady lot. This summer though? Insane. And he's got plans for expansion. There are times when I wish I'd inherited at least SOME of his horticultural skill. And then I wonder why I'll ever need to garden. We couldn't eat all the cukes, squash, beans and lettuce he gave us this year! And this was his "trial" garden!
So there. We have great parents and we don't care who knows it. It's a high standard for us as we seek to raise our ragamuffins. And about the only way we're exceeding those standards is in dressing our kids.
Cool clothing was just not a priority for either set of parents. But, if that's the worst we can say about our upbringing? Yeah. Exactly.
Scrubbing the logs began in earnest today. My mother the intrepid log-washer helped The Husband get to work with the mild bleach solution while I..... took pictures. (AND wrangled kids, I'll have you know!) Apparently my aversion to manual labor doesn't come from my mother. Who gives up their day off to wash logs? I mean, besides The Husband.
We're experimenting with washing the logs. They've been exposed to the elements and an ongoing construction site for several years now, with no protection, and hoo-boy! do they look it. Some are dirty, some have a cute little fungal thing going on, and the ones nearest the ground have begun to look a little green. Eww.
It didn't occur to us that we'd need to clean the logs once they were part of our house, but a friend who built a log home counseled us in this matter. She and her husband cleaned theirs after the windows were installed and advised against that... The mild bleach solution didn't seem so mild without a ton of ventilation! So, since we don't have (many) windows installed and the gable ends are still open, we are striking while the iron's hot. Er... breezy.
My father-in-law is trying out this process on one particularly heinously yucky log. (It's the one on the bottom). I don't have a 'before' picture for comparison, unfortunately. He used a shop broom and a mild bleach solution and scrubbed half of the length of the log. After observing the result for a few days, he finished the rest of the log. It seems to be working just fine. We'll not go to that effort for all the outside of the logs, and most of the interior surfaces will not need scrubbing either. We're hoping to be able to do a much less labor-intensive washing for most of the area.
It's getting cooler here in the North Country, and so we're going to have to get this done soon, so we don't create another giant ice rink inside the house. Because you know I'm moving in as soon as that second floor and staircase are in!