Productive Weekend, just didn’t last long enough

Okay now I inserted the photos before I wrote the blog then found I couldn’t find where to put the blog stuff.  We will see how this works.

Spent yesterday priming some of the siding and then we had to go to town for grocery shopping so I didn’t get as much time in as I wanted.

Today I got up early and got an early start.  Did some more priming and then I did some caulking of the siding and got distracted with the posts.  Porch posts, not blog posts.  I loaded some photos of the posts and what kind of condition they are in.  At first we thought they would be throwaways, but have since revamped that decision.  Posts are really expensive and we have 10 to buy or in this case fix and repair.

Did I mention this is a pay-as-you-go project.  We don’t have the money for 10 new posts, especially Victorian turned posts.  We bought these for $100 a peace at Lowes and they were pre-primed and looked beautiful.  I thought we had gotten a real deal.  I guess you get what you pay for.  Anyway, I put 2 coats of good white semi-gloss acrylic latex paint on them before they were ever installed.  They went through one year before they started pealing and splitting.  The wood must not have been kiln dried and the glue joints began to split.  Cheap glue.  We tried gluing them and clamping them together but the weight of the roof and the bow of the posts didn’t cooperate.

At that point we decided we would just throw them away and go for something more sturdy and not as fancy.  We were priced out of the market of fancy.  So we went and bought ten (10) 4X6 pressure treated posts to replace these posts.  So about a month ago we removed one post and set in the pressure treated post to see how we were going to make these work.

Upon inspection of the removed post, Lynn, my loving husband, devised a plan to repair and make a stronger post.  Well, he began by cutting some 2X4’s down and we have to glue two of the cut pieces together to get the center dimension of  2 3/4″ square.  Upon that square we will glue the 4 sides together.  The 2×4 are kiln dried, straight, and we will end up with a solid 6″ spare Victorian Post.  Oh, I am soooo excited.  We dry-fitted them and it is going to be wonderful.

I have provided pictures of our work table with the first post on it dismantled.  All the C clamps are holding the 2 3/4 square innards of the posts.  I did some scrapping of the old paint but still have more to do along with sanding and prepping for the new finish.

Note:  we did research to see which glue would be the best and most durable to use as these will get lots of weather and we only want to do this once.  We settled on PVA Elmers Type 1.

Note:  we will be priming the post with Kilz Premium Primer.  That is the best.  Stay tuned in the next couple of weeks I should have a finished post.  Lynn thinks that we should not just paint it white but to add some embellishments with some contrasting paints we are using on the house.  Now I get to let my creative juices flow.  The right-brain stuff comes out once in a while.

Second thing that is really exciting is that we will be renting a lift and completing the upper front of the house.  We have one reserved for September and I think between Lynn and I we should be able to make some progress.  Not thrilled about heights, so I guess I will just have to cowboy-up, so to speak.  Going to take some much needed time off from work.  A real working vacation.

Stay tuned for that as we will be installing beautiful stain glass windows in the gables.  A local artist made those for me.  She did an absolutely beautiful job and I am so excited to get them in.  Right now they are in our guest bedroom.  Also, we will be putting up more of the acorn shake shingles, all hand cut and painted, before installing.  It is finally coming together.

Maybe we can get it done for the 20th anniversary of when we broke ground on 9/25/94.  Keep your fingers crossed and remember us in your prayers.

Annie the excited carpenter/painter/sock fairy.


Somewhat productive weekend

Well yesterday I did about 2 hours of painting as we had to go into town for groceries and didn’t want to be gone in the late after noon because the weather has been so hot we wanted to be home to let the dog in, out of the 90+ degree heat.  Finished priming a section.

Today, got out and put the first coat of the white trim.  Helped Lynn put up a few more pieces of siding.  I’m catching up to him.  The heat got to him and had to go inside.  I continued to paint until about 2:45 when the heat started getting to me.  I have all this energy and want to get this done.  Patience is not working for me right now.  Can’t paint in the high heat as the paint does not spreed well.  Will post more photos next week when I get more done.

Ran into a yellow jacket nest.  That tended to slow me down a bit.  Had to bring out the bee spray.  Sorry all you bee lovers, but I just don’t like to be buzzed or stung.  They were given an eviction notice.

Now I guess I need to get some of my domestic duties done.  Like playing the sock fairy and finishing the laundry.  Do some vacuuming (that doesn’t look right)  and plan dinner.  Back to work tomorrow and the house will be on hold for another week.  Ugh.

I love my job but need to spend more time on getting the house done.  Maybe take some time off in the next couple of weeks.  Got to burn some vacation time before the end of the year.

Annie the hot hot painter.

Reflections finishing up 1996

Okay it is the spring of 1996.  We are still mending fences taken down from the flood.  Our hardware store did not have water come in overland from the flood, but it did perk (I hope that is the right word) up from the ground.  We had a dirt floor and the water table raised to about 5′ from the floor and took out our heating system.  We had a couple of hours to clear all our inventory out of the basement so we were able to save that.

I worked as the City Clerk of the little town and also as dispatcher, so I spent 16 hour days taking care of the town and Lynn taking care of the Hardware store, so our property and homes weren’t in immediate danger so they were ignored for about 4 months.

As summer came around and things were drying up, we could assess the damage.  We were in the middle of lambing as we had about 30 sheep and 2 prize rams.  We lost all the lambs as they went down stream.  The ewes and rams were okay for the time being.  The best ram ended up dying a few months later as he had ingested a lot of silt from the flood.

Fences repaired.  Now back to the dream house.  Well, yeah…. The dream house would have to wait.  Though the flood did one thing, we were able to tell what the 50 year flood mark would be as it left a water ring around the foundation.  We live in a rural area so we ended up with a lot of silt/top soil from the wheat fields.  FEMA assisted the town residences with clearing flood mud off of the land.  We had approximately 3 feet of silt in the back yard.  That was removed and placed in the area we had designated for the detached garage and Lynn’s shop.  That mud raised the elevations of those areas and was compacted for the garage and shop.  In the event of another flood (and it appears we have them every 30 yrs) we would be above the flood plane.  Hopefully.

Now Lynn ended up with his attention diverted to the garage and shop.  His theory being, we needed a garage so we would have a place to park our car instead of in the drive way.  (Note: it has yet to be parked there). So with the mud compacted and the footings, stem walls, and floors poured for the garage and shop was professionally done.  We framed the garage up as it was just a double garage with a simple roof.  Though we made it about 6 ft deeper than the plans, so we could park the lawn tractors in there.  We tended to tweek the plans to suit our needs.  Now he had that little twinkle in his eyes.  It must be a man thing.  I learned a lot about framing in 1996.

In the meantime, we selected a $12.98 set of plans for a two story garage which had the look of an old-fashioned barn.  Wonderful plans and very detailed.  Now Lynn was in heaven.  We didn’t get the chance to begin on that until the following year.  I will post some photos if I can find them of the outside.  We still have work to be done on that.  More about that later.

So that just about does it for 1996 and we can move on.

Annie the reluctant carpenter.

1996 Reflections

Okay this is where I left off. 

We had the stem walls poured in July of 1995.  But we didn’t get started on the floor that year.  Then in February 1996 we had a large snow fall followed by Chinook winds which began on Tuesday evening and by Wednesday morning the water was at the top of the levee  and threatening to go over.  About 10 a.m. that morning the levee did actually break.

We managed to get the dogs to safety, but the horses and sheep were left to weather the deluge of water.

The water covered all 7 acres but did not rise high enough to get into our small home we were living in.  Unfortunately, it took down all our fences and left a slury of mud when it subsided 3 days later.  We were all evacuated to the Hardware store we owned on Main Street.

When it was all said and done, we actually had a cement pond.  The water went through the crawl space vents I told you about earlier.  And it took several days for the water to subside and pert through the soil.  During the nights it would freeze and in the daytime thaw enough that the sheep would get stuck in the mud.  There were some arial shots in the paper, that showed the outline of our foundation filled with water.

So our immediate focus was diverted from the building of the dream home to securing the animals and recovering from the flood.  Basically 1996 was a lost year on the home.

More detail on the remainder of 1996 in my next post.

Annie, the reluctant carpenter


I was looking back at some old photos that I took when we first started the adventure.  Giving up what little social life we had to get up close and personal with Home Depot.

1995 we had a big hole dug in the middle pasture of our 7 acres.  We wanted to be at  least 200 feet from the highway.  We saw house plans in a plan book off the shelf in a grocery store and our dream started to get a little real.  Lynn was sure that he could build this dream house for me.  I was a little hesitant as the roof line on a 2 story house looked daunting along with all the bay windows.  Which meant angles, lots and lots of angles.  We had picked a Queen Ann Victorian house with a wrap-around porch.

We are talking about us doing most of the work but sub-contracting the foundation and roof, as Lynn doesn’t bounce anymore.  He insisted that he could do it, but that is where I drew the line.

In the summer of 1995 we watched the beginning of the dream come to life.  The footings and stem walls went up.  We had one large ‘cement pond’.  We had to get an elevation certificate as we were located in a flood plane.  This meant that we had to build it above the 100 year flood plane.  So we decided to dig a very large crawl space.  Appx. 4 feet and almost 5 feet when we put the floor joists in.  We built a solid concrete footing, electing to enter from the inside of the house.  We have a problem with critters finding a place to get under the house.  Not happening here.  The reason for the large crawl space is Lynn is claustrophobic.  He can almost stand his 6’2″ body up in there.  The only problem we did no anticipate was the vents being lower than the elevation certificate.  That would become an issue in 1996.

Now the building inspector stated that we had to put reinforcing re-bar every 16 inches for earthquake purposes.  Hmm we did it but reluctantly.  Added expense.  I guarantee the stem wall will remain standing even if the house is shakes off the foundation.

I have attached a few pictures of what we finished in 1995.  The 1996 came in like a lion.  On February 1996 we flooded.  More on that in the next post.  Stay tuned.  I continues to get better.

Weekend work on the dream house

Well, this post was a do-over.  I thought I already did this but now I can’t find the post.  I even downloaded some photos.  So here we go again.  Can you feel I am a frustrated blogger.  Ugh.

Well today, I masked off the area of the porch eaves and area I will be putting primer on.  Began at 9:00 but had to end at noon at it was getting too hot.  The heat doesn’t bode well with paint.  Time consuming work, but a reward when you see the finished product.  There are some posts on the porch that have to be removed and repaired, so if you see those, know that they will be taken care of.  We bought those at Lowes and the glue didn’t hold up.  I personally primed and painted the posts before putting them up.  But our hot dry heat in the summer reeked havoc with them.  I am sure they were imported from China and were assembled with inferior glue.  They were also hollow.  We are taking them apart and cleaning them up and putting a solid core in the middle.  We really can’t afford the price of new posts.  Stay tuned for this little journey.  I did find some photos from when we started the house.  I will scan those in the next coming weeks and post them.

Annie the reluctant carpenter/painter

It’s a good thing I paint better than I blog.  I’ve lost my darn pictures.  I uploaded 4.  Ugh.

Well it is 95 d…

Well it is 95 degrees out right now at 4 p.m.  Got a little prep work done today with scraping and caulking.  Hint:  If the caulk is stiff and hard to squeeze out of the tube, just throw it away, it isn’t worth the effort.  We bought 3 cases of caulk a couple of years ago, and though they have not been opened, they tend to dry out in the tube.  Also be prepared with a wet cloth to wipe up any excess.  Most of the excess ends up on my face or hair or clothes.  I really get into my job.  My house faces South so it get the full sun most of the day.  Our weather is hot and dry, but 95 degrees is still 95 degrees.  I hope to go back out there in a couple of hours and at least get some of the primer painted.

I am using Premium Kilz, it is the best thing on the market, and believe me I have tried many different kinds.  It is soap and water clean-up off the brushes, but I just suggest that you purchase brushes that you will just use a couple of times and toss.  The Premium Kilz really sticks to things including your skin.  But it is so worth it.  The Dream House does not hope paint well on the wood surfaces and that is the only thing that lasts.  It will cost you a little more but its well worth it.

Still need to load some more pictures in from the beginning.

Looking forward to the weekend

Okay, this will be another weekend for working on the house.  The carpentry is on hold until I can find a contract person to do piece work.  I need the exterior second story on the house worked on and I really don’t want to do the work as I am not comfortable with heights.  We began this house in 1995.  That is when we contracted the cement stem walls.  We are almost done with the outside.  It is a 3500 sqft victorian with a wrap around porch.  My dream home.  I have to settle for painting this weekend and that will only be early in the morning or late in the evening as the temperatures will be in the high 90’s.

I will post some pictures from the beginning to where we are now.  It is quite a tale.

I still need work on this blog site.  So if this is a little rough, it has know where to go but up.

Stay tuned

Annie the novice carpenter.