Monday, September 21, 2009

I married a gearhead

We didn't go to the land this weekend. It rained all day Saturday and would have kept me from going and since I usually have such short labors Jeff decided to stay home with me and not risk missing it. Welp, no baby came but Jeff did get to play, I mean work on his baby. Would you like to see it?

Isn't it precious??? He's so proud of this baby he wants me to show you plenty of pictures of it, so hang on!

He's building it from scratch (can't you tell?) He made the frame himself, the body came from a 1951? ford pickup, the grill thing is from a 1931 ford and the motor is out of a van...

Look, it even has bucket seats! Would you believe there's an actual name for this style of car? What would you call it? A rat rod? How did you know??? That's exactly what they're called. Can't imagine why though. heh heh

Jeff had a lot of fun and I had really enjoyed having him around the house all weekend. He's been working very hard eight days a weeks since mid July so I'm glad he got a break to play with his favorite hobby. It won't hold five kids when it's finished but it will get Jeff and me to a little weekend get away someday!

I'm not sure when we'll get back to the house project. Hopefully not too much longer and don't worry, Jeff's taste in cars is no reflection of my (or his) taste in houses!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Munching away at the budget

Instead of working on the house this past weekend, Jeff had to spend time (and money) on the Suburban. What little we can occasionally save (and then some) is always getting eaten up by something. Isn't that how life goes though? So, what do we do when our house money gets nibbled on here and there by cars and such? Tighten the belt if possible and pray it all works out in the end. That would never work for some people but it really does boil down to walking by faith which is right where we should be no matter how much money is or isn't in the bank!

As Jeff started to fix the problem he was aware of he then found another problem, then another! He turned into a real dirty fella by the time he got it all worked out. Look at the back of his head! I sure am thankful he could fix it all.

Changing the subject...tonight was very rewarding! We had a completely home grown meal. Rabbit and spaghetti squash with watermelon for dessert. How fun is that??? I'm not the biggest watermelon fan normally but the heirloom "moon and stars" watermelons we grew are sooo good!

I half heartedly attempted gardening one other time about five or six years ago and it was a big flop. I literally only got two pea pods out of the whole deal. This year I read up a little on gardening and we put some extra effort into the actual dirt to prepare it and that's just about it. I watered some when it didn't rain and occasionally weeded with my hula hoe, my favorite tool and an absolute must have for the home gardener. I'm pregnant and could weed the whole garden in about five to ten minutes mostly one handed with that tool. The garden isn't especially small's about 22'x26'. So if you've ever considered gardening, go for it! It's not too hard and it's very rewarding. (It's a money saver too!!!)

Friday, September 11, 2009

Change of Plans

Several posts ago I showed you all the "livable" phase floor plan that's our first goal. Well, it's changed a little since then. Jeff gave me a deadline for deciding on a permanent floor plan and I'm pretty sure I've finally got it. My deadline was to get it figured out before he starts the framing which would be tomorrow except the ol' Suburban broke down and needs attention from Jeff's magic, mechanic hands! Have I told you I'm pretty sure he can do, fix, build, etc. anything? It's a HUGE blessing too because we're, as usual, broke!

Back to the floor plans. I want to share with you how/why we came up with the basic design we did. First of all, it's 20'x40'. We chose a depth of 20' because we can easily use regular lumber for the floor joists rather than the expensive engineered lumber usually required to span greater lengths. Then we settled on 40' wide because that gave us the smallest, hence the least expensive, amount of space we would need to be comfortable including a second floor. That, and 40 is divisible by 8. The sheet goods come in 4'x8' which means less cutting to fit and less waste. The total square footage when done will be approximately 1250 square feet. I know that seems small for a family our size but plenty of bigger families have survived in smaller houses for generations and generations! We really want out of debt more than we want a "big enough" house. We have plans for future add-ons if/when the need and the money line up.

Now, I know I said I'd use a scanner next time I shared floor plan pictures with you all but I didn't preplan this post and I'm not feeling patient enough to wait a few days to have it scanned so here's what I've come up with...

I know...get out the magnifying glass. Does this picture even make sense to anyone but me??? Sometimes I wonder. The door at the bottom of the picture is the front door which opens up to the living room and the ladder style stairs. The only interior walls to begin with will be around the bathroom which is in the upper right hand corner. Next to the bedroom (lower right) is a small walk in closet and laundry closet. I think the rest of it looks pretty understandable. Now to show you what a nerd I can be when it comes to this sort of thing...

Don't confuse my use of the word "nerd" with smart. It's nothing smart at all so maybe I should use the word "dork." I go so far as to make little paper cut out pieces of furniture to match my real furniture and then laminate them so I can play, I mean figure out if a floor plan will actually work the way we need it to. I start, however with a pad of graph paper. I LOVE graph paper!!! I have one pad half filled with plans and sketches of this one little house. It's so grungy with everything from dirt and grass stains to tea stains and sticky kid prints, I'm embarrassed for anyone to see it. It goes out to the land with me every weekend which maybe explains it's dirtiness.

Once I get it how I like it on graph paper I then move on to a big sheet of vellum paper and drag out the T squares. With the thickness of the walls drawn into the final draft, the actual amount of floor space shrinks up a bit so it can require a few more small changes as I'm drawing it up.

I don't have drawings of what the second floor will look like finished because that's still up in the air. Our future additions will be decks, front and back, a master suite on the back and a new living room on the front. We'll then move the dining area to where the old living room is so it will be nice and big. Someday I hope to have a lot of grand kids coming back with my grown children and their spouses for big Thanksgiving dinners and such. Won't that be fun?!!

Speaking of fall feasts. My fall garden produce, a.k.a. pumpkins, have turned out to be a lot of work so guess what I'll be working on this afternoon again. Mmmhmm. Look what else I got from my garden.

From five seeds I got about six or seven spaghetti squashes (my favorite!!) and from five seeds I got three watermelons, one of which was completely devoured a few nights ago by some little critter thugs!!!

I hope everyone has a nice weekend and I hope I have a baby!!!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

We gotta lotta punkins

About two weeks ago the kids and I picked all of our little Sugar Pie pumpkins and cow peas. We shelled the peas, which were dried on the vine, right away and made a huge mess on the living room floor doing it. We loved it though. It felt so old timey! Now I need a pressure cooker so we can eat 'em. Yum!

I planted 5 pumpkin seeds and got 15 pumpkins out of them. Not bad although I expected more. I'm happy with the turn out though. I'll be doing good to get them all processed. The pumpkins have had their curing time, whatever that means, and are ready to be chopped, baked and pureed. Sooo, since I didn't have the baby last night like I planned, I guess I'll take care of the pumpkins today instead of a cute little squishy baby. The poor child is probably holding out on being born till I have a name picked out. Maybe Jeff and I should look into that tonight over a pan of pumpkin squares.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Floor's almost done!

We had a nice, long, busy weekend. Little Evie turned two on Saturday and we had my parents and sister over for some cake and ice cream Friday evening. Evie's favorite song to sing is Happy Birthday but when we all sang it to her she curled up in Jeff's lap and cried. That's what you do when you're a two year old female. Work those tears and puppy eyes to get a little more attention. Actually, she really is very shy, she'll tell you so herself.

Saturday, Jeff and JJ got started on the radiant floor heating system which, of coarse, turns out to be another slow process. It requires notching the wood (about 800 notches) then laying pex tubing into those notches. They broke it into four sections or "zones" and covered it in 4x8 sheets of advantech flooring. The sections of tubing will run from the hot water heater and back to heat the house from the floor up.

Jeff went back on Sunday and worked by himself (poor guy) while the kids and I stayed behind to get everything ready for this baby that's coming soon. I'm ready for it so maybe tonight!!! (A girl can dream, can't she???)

Then yesterday, Labor Day, Jeff and JJ were back at it again. We were all there that time including three of JJ's kids and my parents. The kids had a blast running around nonstop (oh, to have that kind of energy.) Jeff and JJ, on the other hand, were whupped! Every part of the process required that they walk sideways completely bent over. They were, and probably still are, pretty sore. All the pipe is laid and half the advantech is down so the worst is over.

And speaking of advantech, (a brand of osb) that will also be our actual floor when we move in. Isn't it pretty??? It's pretty smooth to the touch and I think it will actually look nice once we paint it. I can't decide what color though. Probably something medium to light because our furniture is mostly dark. Then there are endless possibilities for painting patterns on the floor. We've probably all seen the usual large diamond pattern (love it!) but who knows what I'll actually do. Maybe nothing. Maybe all white to keep it simple and cottagy., too many little dirty feet running through the house all day. I've had painted wood floors before and it can be a lot of work to keep them looking clean. Anybody have any good ideas for me?
Well, it's late and I'm tired so I think I'll go to bed (and hopefully wake up in the middle of the night in labor!!!)
Coming soon...walls! Yippee!!!