Tuesday, November 12, 2019

November 12, 2019

When you live in a small space, you need things that will do dual duty.  I am keeping this is mind as I am helping to create my daughter's furniture pieces that will do things that she needs them to do.  One thing I came up with is a side table for two chairs.  I made it out of a metal trash can that I found on sale for $1 at the thrift store.  I repainted it and topped it with a marble plant stand top that I was not using and painted a thin line of silver around the bottom so you can't tell too much that the white colors did not match.  This enables there to be storage on the inside for my daughter's crochet work.

There wasn't room for a coat closet in her small house, but she needed a place to hang coats with the cold weather setting in.  I created a coat rack out of the leftover footboard from the same bed we made her front porch swing out of using the headboard.    For the hooks, I bent some old spoons around a pipe clamp that I had clamped down to the workbench.  Zero dollars spent.  I tried to transfer the letters to the board with polycrylic, but it didn't work well so I ended up have to hand paint them.

Another thing I worked on for her house were some gnomes as a Christmas decoration.  I bought the bottom half of a Christmas tree for $2 at a thrift store and paid about $2.50 for some felt.  My daughter gave me the pacifier that they gave her for the baby when they were in the hospital.  A great way to keep a memento. . .

Lastly, we went to a church homecoming so I found a way to bring our homegrown beef, sausage, eggs, and some horseradish and pansies.

Monday, October 21, 2019

October 21, 2019

New chapter in our lives.  We have mostly turned the house over to Leah and Jake, with a few things left to finish and move over there.  We have been getting back to our poor neglected farm, but we have accomplished alot this last month on their house.  Mostly we were glad to welcome into the world our first grandchild, and pass all of the final inspections and get the Certificate of Occupancy, so he could have his first home. 

 Our daughter credits painting the polyurethane on the floor of the baby's room with bringing on labor.  I then used the palm sander to sand the master bedroom, followed by polyurethane.

 In order to pass our plumbing and mechanical finals, we had to get the mini split running.  After we installed it, we got a professional to check the lines for leaks and put in the refrigerant.  It was so good to see it working as a source of heat and cool.  We also had to install the kitchen sink.  We used the old cast iron sink that was in the house and undermounted it under butcher block countertop that we had stained gray and added a few coats of polyurethane that were sanded in between. 

 We had to get the bath tub water tight, which meant finishing up the tiling around the tub.  It turned out beautiful.  Just some trimming left to do in the bathroom. 

One of the things we were flagged on for the plumbing final was that we did not have access to the laundry area studor vent.  Apparently you are supposed to check them occasionally and change the vent if needed.  I used old progress pictures to find it, cut out a hole and put a piece of window screen we had (painted white) and bought a small frame for about a dollar to fix it.  We were also told we had to have a locking door on the bathroom.  The door cost $15 from the restore, but we paid $21 for the knob. 

Some of the finishing work including painting the bedroom furniture in gray and white.  This old French provincial dresser that we found for a bargain of $35 turned out really nice.  It had one piece of drawer trim broken off, which I replaced with a small dowel I found at Hobby Lobby for under fifty cents.  Here it is clamped down while the glue dries.

One of the final things the building inspector requested was the house numbers.  We found this metal tray at a thrift store for $2.87 that I loved the shape of.  I then painted it and the house numbers on it and hung it with a command strip.  I have been warned that the command strip might not last long, but we will see.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

September 25, 2019

Today's blog is dedicated to two of my favorite people.  Sharon Cheek and Leah Turner.

Sharon Cheek is appropriately listed on Eastern Randolph High School's website as "Support Staff,"  as I think she is here to support the whole world.  She is a gift to us all.  She has such a positive attitude, that I can't help but hug her every time I see her and hope some of her positivity will rub off.  She is that one in a million angel that has served as a guide and support to foster too many students to success than I can name,  without thinking of herself.  Thank you Lord for Sharon Cheek., and please know that we need her in this world for a long time to come.    Sharon is watching the updates on this house and I am updating today because of her request.  However, I wouldn't be surprised if she asked to see them just because she is supporting me and helping me continue to maintain a positive attitude as we are trying to help my daughter and her husband in their quest for affordable housing.  I hope she knows how much we all love her.

Leah Turner is my daughter for whom we are working on this house for her and her husband, Jake.  She is such a feisty, independent and hard working person.  Just yesterday, on her due date, she was priming the walls of her soon to be master bedroom that Jake had helped to sand.  She is tracking everything spent on this house so she can pay it back and is quite up front with telling us when she thinks something is not necessary.  She told me to stop spending when we reached the budget limit, which happened yesterday.  Crossing fingers that we can find "just enough" to get things finished and get the inspections completed so she can start enjoying her house.  Passing the final electrical inspection yesterday led the charge.  Leah was happy to go shopping for light bulbs and call the power company, although she doesn't like the money spending part.  Now on to the plumbing, mechanical and building final inspections.

Today was quite busy and we got a lot done.  First of all, I went to the house this morning determined to follow the saying "Life is short, eat dessert first."  So I spent my morning painting a Star Wars mural on the nursery wall as Star Wars is their chosen theme.  Leah and Jake arrived and brought me my forgotten phone AND food!  What would I do without them to take care of me?

Then, Duke Energy arrived.  Wow!!!!  We have been working on getting electricity for three months!  So glad they gave us a wire to the house and turned it on.  It is so nice to be able to turn on the lights!

Leah was so busy today.  First, she finished priming the master bedroom walls, she also sanded the floors in the baby's room, and she put up a saying on the wall which will be above the crib.  Go Leah!

John arrived after work, and he and I finished the back siding.  John mostly worked on the roof of the bathroom and I was down cutting the pieces and turning my fingers into swiss cheese as the pieces were all cut to a slant leaving sharp points.    John finished putting in the last piece by headlight.  So glad that is done!

Last but certainly not least.  While driving by the pond, I caught in the corner of my eye that the spider lillies my mom gave me were finally blooming!  John made the comment that he had been too busy this summer for them to get lawn mower disease. . .

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

September 11, 2019

What a busy month!  We finished framing in the closet and the last of the framing and passed our framing rough-in with the help of Paul and Linda Turner.

We passed all of our plumbing rough-in inspection as we held pressure, didn't leak and the inspector liked the looks of our pipe configuration (FINALLY!!!!!,  OH MY GOODNESS!!!!! ) Thanks so much to Ed and Amy for coming to help and inspire us.  We also had put in our hot water heater.  And Leah and I passed our mechanical inspection by putting in the dryer vent, the bathroom vent and the mini split.

Leah and I got in the wall insulation and passed the insulation inspection (John has had to go back to work as school is in!)

As we are running out of time, we hired a company to put in insulation in the roof and crawl space (honestly, it was cheaper than we could buy the insulation), and we got our neighbors to put in the dry wall, since neither John, nor I, nor Leah is extremely talented in this area.  Thanks Don and Sean!

Leah and I figured out a tile pattern and laid them while John was cutting tiles.  The tiles Leah and Jake picked out are beautiful!  Then we grouted them.

Now we are working on putting in beadboard, toilet and sink, as well as the upper back siding on the house.

We are also working on furniture.  We bought six shield back chairs for $50, repaired, painted and reupholstered them with $12 worth of fabric.  What a difference sanding and two coats of paint make!

I finished the bathroom vanity light fixture.  We are not sure what we might want to do about the glass globes in the future, but in the meantime and did a royal blue marble effect on the inside of the globes.

Jake and Leah put together the crib, and Leah painted the crib and changing table.  It looks so much better in black!  I can't wait to show you the plans Leah has for the baby nursery!  Can't wait!

Homesteading, you ask?  Well time and money can only be spent once I guess.  I did manage to make some fig preserves out of some figs my husband managed to find the time to pick. . .

Friday, August 2, 2019

August 2, 2019

Today was an exciting day!!  We got water!!  Danny came out from the town and turned it on for us, and was patient enough to turn it off and on while we worked out the leaks.  Thanks so much Danny!  And  a big thanks to Arnold also, as he uncovered the fact that we already had a 3/4" line and didn't have to dig one.  I love small towns!  The people are so helpful and friendly. 

Additionally today we went to the landfill, went to Lowe's, completed the electrical requirements from the real electrical inspector that got into town and came to do our rough-in inspection (but he apparently called in sick today and therefore didn't show up all day.)

Leah and I finished painting the final coat of paint on some of the trim, with her painting off of the ladder, and me painting on the ladder (she is into her 8th month of pregnancy.)

John and Jake worked on removing the shingles and tar paper from the bathroom roof, as once we worked on some things requested by the electrical inspector, we noticed we could see sunlight through that roof.  Here are pictures of Jake learning to remove nails and shingles with a flat shovel, and John instructing and sweeping the roof so as to not leave anything on it that might be slippery.

July 29, 2019

Well, we have done lots of work on the house mostly.  We have removed siding, insulated, sheathed, housewrapped, and put on vinyl siding, changed out windows, door, and electrical.  We called Duke Energy and they (yes the same ones that told us we could get electricity if we were not required to permit) told us they could not give us electricity unless we get the county to inspect it and put an orange sticker on the box.    According to our reading of the codes, if we bought it, were doing all the work, were not adding any heated or cooled square footage, we should not have to permit it.  However, we needed electricity so we got a permit.  Then the guy who was standing in for the regular inspector came out and told us he would not sign off on our electrical because we also needed a building permit, plumbing and hvac permit and a more expensive electrical permit.  What do you do?  We went and got the other permits. . .Now we have lots of inspectors to satisfy. . .But life is still good.