Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Log Heresy

If you are a log home strict constructionist, a pine purist, a.... a....   stickler for ... sticks, you may shudder at this next bit of information. 

We're covering up some of the logs.  And it's mostly my fault.

I wanted to have non-log walls in the bathrooms.  Sooo...  I convinced The Husband to put up drywall against the logs to make the walls of the bathrooms.  I just want surfaces that will do well in the damp, often unsanitary environment of the bathroom.  (And yes, I clean my bathrooms! But they are where you do your nastiest business!)    Because of my heresy, The Hubs is having to do some builder gymnastics to create the desired effect.   Here's the first step (the first VERY PAINFUL step, I was told very pointedly.  ahem.):

And if all the logs were [nearly] equal in diameter, which many log home companies provide, it wouldn't have been nearly as painful for The Hubs and FIL.  But, since we are doing this the real  hard way, the logs stick out or are recessed like crazy.  Trying to get all the studs even and plumb and level and whatnot was a .... challenge.  But, Amazing Bob and Jim were up to it!  

However, the kitchen might just finish them off.

FIL Jim trying to stave off annoyance during our ever-lengthening kitchen configuration discussion. 

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Walls! More walls!

Beautiful day Saturday spent at The Lake.  Lunch with the in-laws and I got to wander in my new house and take pix of the second (!) framed wall!    Looky here:

The wall on the left separates the dining room from the first floor bedroom (which will eventually be the guest room, so start planning your visit now!)  The wall on the right separates the bathroom from the hallway.


Friday, March 26, 2010

The house, inside and out

Bob and I spent and hour and 1/2 this morning wrangling over the arrangement of the kitchen.  Sure, sure, we had the whole thing drawn out on graph paper, but when The Husband stood in the space and started to map out walls....  well, he decided our grand ideas were full of poopy. 

So.   We switched around this and we switched around that (in our minds' eyes), and we used boards and boxes as stand-ins for refrigerators and countertops....  and we finally FINALLY! came up with a workable plan.  It means a smaller coat closet in the entryway, but we think it will all work out.  Eh - we'll see. 

I actually remembered my camera, and took inside and outside pix. 

Doesn't look any different than last time I showed you, eh?

And inside:

Awwww, yeah.  See my wall? 

Almost looks like we're making progress, right?  Yeah, baby.   Look at my wall. 

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

We interrupt this sugarin' season....

.... to bring you this update on the log house:

Bob called me on the phone to say:  "I took a chainsaw to the wall of the house."

No preface.  No context.  Just:  "I took a chainsaw to the wall of the house."

Okay, I'll bite.   "On purpose?"


So he comes home with this picture of the slot he cut in the log wall for the interior wall he's framing up now.   He could have said, "I started framing up the interior walls, sweet honey wife of mine; I cut a slot in the log wall and I'll bring you a picture for the blog. (By the way, have I told you how beautiful you are?)"  But no.  He opens the conversation with, "I took a chainsaw to the wall of our house."   Bob, Bob, Bob....  don't you know I'm *thiiiiis* close to the edge as it is?   I'm just barely hangin' on for my handcrafted log house in the woods so I can withdraw from society, wear prairie skirts and bring a second wife into the family to do the vacuuming. 

Yes, I know I'm weird.  I'm also fascinated with the show Big Love. 

Where was I?  Oh yes.  Interior walls!  Isn't this exciting?! 

I know it looks like a board on the floor.  Well, it is a board on the floor.  But it's also the sill plate... base plate....  something that becomes the base of a framed up interior wall.  Bob told me not to post it because it was boring and not blog-worthy.  *snort*  He obviously has a higher standard for this blog than I do.  Plus, it's the beginning of a WALL.  A real, honest-to-goodness interior wall!  There's no stopping us now, baby!  Next:  a staircase!   Woo-hoo!

Sorry.  Did I get weird again?

Blame it on the overdose of Girl Scout cookies.  Or spring.  That works too. 

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Sunday Post

Hymns are balm to my soul. Poetry and music joined.  Today's hymn is over 230 years old, and it both soothes and convicts me, as any hymn ought.  Today was a strange church service for me.  The long-serving Pastor of our church is retiring and today was the 'farewell liturgy.'  And I do use the term 'liturgy' very loosly, since we aren't high church.  I've never out-lasted a Pastor in a church I've attended.  I've moved so much and attended so many houses of worship that I'm gone before the Pastor is.  This is a wholly new experience for me, and for The Husband, who is at the first meeting of the Pastoral Search Committee right now. 

But, the hymn - and the Him -  provides continuity for the congregation, and for me:

And Can It Be that I Should Gain

1. And can it be that I should gain

an interest in the Savior's blood!
Died he for me? who caused his pain!
For me? who him to death pursued?
Amazing love! How can it be
that thou, my God, shouldst die for me?
Amazing love! How can it be
that thou, my God, shouldst die for me?
3. He left his Father's throne above
(so free, so infinite his grace!),
emptied himself of all but love,
and bled for Adam's helpless race.
'Tis mercy all, immense and free,
for O my God, it found out me!
'Tis mercy all, immense and free,
for O my God, it found out me!

Text: Charles Wesley, 1707-1788
Music: Thomas Campbell
Hear it here

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Ribbons and bubbles

Bob picked up Little G from school yesterday and took him out to The Lake to help with the sap collection.  Boy, it's a-runnin'.  More than 400 gallons collected this week (which is a lot for a backyard operation).   And, since my workshop in Saranac Lake ended early, I stopped by The Lake to see how the manly men were getting along. 
Here's a primer, in case you aren't acquainted with the process:
Tree -> galvanized metal sap bucket -> plastic five-gallon pail -> galvanized metal sap holding tank -> evaporator -> strainer -> bottle -> my belly

But here's what I really wanted to show you:

Grandpa (usually known as The FIL or 'Jim' around here), explaining to Little G how he'll know when the sap is done boiling and has become syrup.  The temperature, the rough amount of time, the way it ribbons off the scoop, the big bubbles on the surface...     And our boy, (who is usually completely wild and inattentive) is riveted.  
"I love the way it smells.  Smell the steam, Mama."

I think someone is going to be a syrup-maker.

Friday, March 12, 2010

He enjoys this too much

The Husband sent me these pictures with the following captions:

"Good tree, good tree"

"Syrup for the grandchildren.  Or - awwww... a baby."

(Please ignore Bob's gross coat sleeve.  He insists that work clothes are allowed to be utterly nasty. I've been known to freak out and pitch torn, threadbare flannel shirts before.)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Drip, drip, drip.... mmmmm

drip.....  drip...  Drip.... DRIP....

*do you hear that?*

That's right, baby!   It's the sap a-runnin'!

Mmmmm....   gonna be maple syrup soon! 

Saturday, March 6, 2010

No! Chickens! Bob!

In a previous post, I promised an explanation of my sudden outburst about chickens and goats.  Well, here goes....

It all started when we lived in a townhouse in the suburbs of Dee-Cee, with a fenced-in postage-stamp back yard that The Husband used to mow (very occasionally) with a weed-whacker.  Exhibit one:

The Hubs hates to mow.  He finds shorn grass to be a waste of space.  (Me?  I love neat lawns, but I'm a townie.)   He announced one day that he had the answer to all of our lawn-care woes:  a goat.   The goat would eat the grass, keeping it at a respectable height, and we could rent it out and make a little money.  Because SURELY suburbanites would want a goat to chow on their lawns while they're at their high-powered jobs all day.  No?  Well, when we move north, then, by golly....

We are now north.  We will soon (did I say "soon?"  sorry.  soon-er or later) be moving out to The Lake where it will be perfect for a goat. Says he.  *snort*   (says me.)    I usually choose to ignore this bit of uncharacteristic craziness from The Husband.   And then?  About a year ago, he cooked up another idea, in addition to the goat.   Chickens.   And my father is encouraging him.  He's even considering it himself!  What is this madness?!

Now, let me back up and clarify.  I think Small Pines and others are fab-o for raising chickens in the back yard.  Philosophically I'm in agreement with the whole idea.  I would love the fresh, I-know-whence-they-come eggs.  I wouldn't mind scattering some feed once or twice a day.

But livestock is hard work.  (And hard work and I aren't currently on speaking terms.)  You have to provide for livestock when you leave for longer than a day.  You have to get out of bed when you're sick and tend them.  You have to muck out their living areas.  You have to be sure to live upwind of them.  You either have to plan to eat them or be prepared to care for them when they're past their benefit to you.  And I have taken a firm stand against my involvement in any part of the slaughtering process.   Not that I object to livestock being slaughtered.  I just don't like to be in the presence of offal.  Call me delicate.  Just not fond of entrails.

Therefore, I'm heartily encouraging my father in his backyard chicken-raising scheme, much as I encourage his gardening

And Bob?  NO CHICKENS!!!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Progress and Perspective, part 9

More Progress and Perspective:

January 2008

January 2009

January 2010