Another Weekend Bites the Dust

Well another week of construction ended Friday, and the weekend flew by.  The weekend was not as productive as the week, so I will take you through the week first.

The construction on the outside concluded on Thursday with just a few more (80) shakes to finish.  Meaning I under estimated and we were short.  Back to the scroll saw and back to painting the shingles.  So I was pretty busy.  I’ll rest in December 😦

Told Gabriel (Construction Foreman) that I would have them done by Monday.  Um, I didn’t quite make it.  I have 70 cut, primed, and one coat of the red trim.  What is left is to finish them is: one more coat of red paint then two coats of the sage green.  Maybe Wednesday

Although the weekend was busy, it was by no means uneventful.  While I was becoming a master scroll sawer, (I know it’s not a real word) Lynn was changing the sprinklers in the front pasture and happened down the drive way in front of the house and noticed a wet spot.  As we have had wind for 2 straight days and no rain since Friday, the driveway was dry except for THAT spot.  That spot was approximately where Lynn had buried the water line to the house about 15 years ago when we began hooking up the water.  Well to make a long story short, I believe that we have a busted water pipe.  So Lynn turned off the water and we will have to speak to the plumber.  Well what can I say, just another thing to deal with.  I’ll rest in December.

Sunday:  Lynn was mowing the grass while I was in the house priming the shakes, when I heard a banging on the porch.  Of course I was plugged into my I-Pod listening to an audio book, totally ignoring my phone and someone was beating on the porch.  Looking out, Lynn was sitting on the edge of the porch, ticked at me because I hadn’t answered my phone.  Not only ticked but had a big cut across the palm of his hand.  He managed to run over the electric cord and had it wound around the blade on the mower and when he tried to take it off he cut his hand.  Could have been a whole lot worse as he is on blood thinner.  So, I then became his nurse and bandaged his palm, kissed the bo-bo and the rest of the weekend went with out a hitch.  At least the last 6 hours.  Oh, and he fixed the extension cord so he could keep the irrigation well running.  That’s my Lynn

Will post more pictures next week.

Meeting with the electrician tomorrow morning for a walk through of the house.  Eye yi yi, I hope Gabriel is in a good mood tomorrow.  🙂

Moving out up!!!

Annie, scroll-saw operator, painter and nurse!


End of Week One – I’m Impressed

This is the first week having the contractor on site.  Amazing what strong healthy people can get accomplished.  Especially when they know what they’re doing.  The front of the house is almost done, and the east side of the house is complete.  I am loving it.  It appears that they will work on the back of the house this week.  S & K Mountain Construction is amazing.

East side of the house.  Kitchen side on 6-22-14
East side of the house. Kitchen side on 6-22-14

Looks like I have a whole lot of painting to do.  That is my job.  Did a little this weekend under the front porch.  More pictures on that later.  Spent yesterday putting a second coat of white under the eves of the front porch.  That is coming along really slow.

Today I spent the morning cleaning up some of the rooms inside, waiting for the sun to move around to the east side of the house.  The contractors has a mess that they came into with the house.  They did an amazing job cleaning it up.  I was just going over some of the rooms that we still had stuff in that needed to be moved to the shop.  We left a mess for them to come into.  But is is coming along better now.

In the afternoon, I taped off some of the eves and put on a coat of primer.  Some of them had actually been primed and painted but the primer didn’t hold up.  That was before I found the Kilz Primer.  I won’t use anything else, now that I have tested it on the posts and on the shop trim.  The placement of our house faces south and that is the extreme weather side.  We get strong winds and rain coming out of the south and it is very hard to get paint to adhere to the wood.  Over the last 25 years I have had the occasion to try many primers and Kilz is the only one that has held up.


Front finished except for the shakes on the gables 6-22-14
Front finished except for the shakes on the gables 6-22-14
Front of the house on 6-22-14
Front of the house on 6-22-14

One of the things I am going to have to work on is the posts.  Remember they have to be taken apart and a solid core put inside and then glued together and sanded, bondo, and more sanding, then priming and painting.  They are very labor intensive, but that is what happens when you think you are getting a bargain and you are just buying something cheaply made.  The glue didn’t hold up and they began coming apart.  That is when we found they were also hollow.  They are much stronger when redone.  That means I have to set up an area where I can work on them.  Which means that I will be venturing into my husband’s man-cave.  But first I need to clear a path, into this sacred space to be able to set up my saw horse table.  Ugh, that will take a weekend in itself.  Stay tuned.


Back of the house.  Will probably be completed this week.
Back of the house. Will probably be completed this week.

I will take some photos of the inside of the house next week.  This way we will have some before and after photos to record this amazing journey.

Annie, the painting wizard.



Some equipment on site. It’s really happening


Took the day off to do some much needed chores.  Meeting with another flooring provider to get estimates.  Spent a couple of hours going over the house plans and selecting carpet, laminate, vinyl planking, tile, and granite.  The only thing lacking was a bigger budget.  Wanted to take it all home with me.  Having to pare down so many needs to a set budget, is trying.

One of the things that you have to do in selecting these items is visualize how it will all fit together.  I have had almost 20 years to visualize what I wanted, but never had the chance to look at samples.  Just never thought I was going to get to this stage.  It is quite overwhelming, in a good way.  On many of the things we are going to have to take the cheaper option and replace with something a little better later.

I came home and picked up the dear husband (DH) and went grocery shopping so that I would have the weekend to finish painting the cedar shakes.  I am estimating that we will need approximately 170 to finish the one bay and then complete the other bay.

Remember the beautiful stain glass windows that Sallie made for me.  They will be putting the second window in and I can’t wait to see it.  I will search my gallery and post it.

Beautiful Stain Glass windows for the two gables made by Artisan Glass.
Beautiful Stain Glass windows for the two gables made by Artisan Glass.

At 6 o’clock  this morning I heard the heavy fork lift coming down the drive and yesterday the construction trailer was brought on site.  It’s really happening.  Paint me a happy girl 🙂


Cut (with a scroll saw), sanded, primed, trimmed and painted cedar shakes and am only half-way done.  I will be done tomorrow.  Ive got a fan blowing on them to help them dry.  They will be ready for the construction guys on Monday.  Yeah, they are coming.  It became almost a reality when I signed the construction contracts on Thursday.  More of a reality when I came up the driveway and saw the construction trailer parked there and then it really hit when I saw the large forklift drive up around 6 a.m. Friday.  That is why the big rush to get my (little bitty) part of the job finished so they have the shakes ready for Monday morning.  I will be doing all the painting (except the foyer – just looking up that high give me vertigo), on the outside and then moving into the inside.  And, yes that means that I get to rent the lift again.  🙂 But that is further down the line.  One thing at a time.


Meet S&K Mountain Construction.  They came very highly recommended and they (I've only met two) have come to help make our dream house a reality.
Meet S&K Mountain Construction. They came very highly recommended and they (I’ve only met two) have come to help make our dream house a reality.

They have the “can do” attitude and that is what you want to hear.  I am a little embarrassed by the novice carpentry they will be trying to adapt to, and the way it really should have been done.  I’m afraid the “not being square,” will probably the best part of our construction.  Now for the fork lift:  Now that is a fork lift!!!

Any red-blooded man would love to drive that little jewel.
Any red-blooded man would love to drive that little jewel.

More news to come this week.  I will try not to overwhelm you with my excitement.  We could actually move in this year.  Oh yeah, and I will be putting our little house on the market, so if you know of anyone that would be interested in a 100 year-old 3 bedroom 2 bath on an acre of land, send them my way.

Annie, wearing a big-ole-smile 🙂



Here we go, almost beginning, slow but sure

A status update is in order since I haven’t been blogging lately.  The house is ever on my mind.  And I can almost see the wee light at the end of the tunnel.

Met with the contractor and the project manager on Thursday.  Have an appointment with the banker on Monday.  Submitted my application for a building permit to finish what was started almost 20 years ago.

With Lynn’s illness and my full-time job, there isn’t a lot of time to devote to the house.  It has been an adventure to say the least.  There have been many ups and downs and I wouldn’t have given up the experience for anything.

This past year has humbled Lynn and I,  and taught us that sometimes we “can’t” do it all and we need to recognize that.  When we selected the plans for this house it was the one I loved.  We were 20 years younger.  Lynn had a “can-do” attitude and thought he would be able to tackle it with no problem.  I on the other hand was mortified by the complexity of the plans.  It was Victorian, and it was big, and it was my dream home.  But I was not sure that we could do something of that magnitude, but Lynn assured me that he could do it.  He said we could save on labor costs if we did most of the work ourselves.  And I would have to say that we have saved a lot but it has been a long slow road.  If you asked if I had to do it over again, knowing what I know now, would I do it?  I would probably say no.  I still love the home, and it is my dream home.  But the strain it has put on Lynn’s health just knowing that it is out there unfinished, has helped in making the decision to move forward and just get it done.

Now we are hopeful and excited all at the same time.  There are still things that I will be doing in the painting department and Lynn will be the overseer and adding his 2 cents worth when called upon.  Hopefully, he can find time to do some of the things he enjoys.

Yesterday and today I have been sanding priming and painting some of the cedar shingles to finish the second gable.  The first plan of action is to get it weather tight.  So I believe the exterior will be the first thing on the agenda.  I will take pictures of the inside and outside as things progress along.  I believe I will be amazed at the speed that things will get done.  Lynn has been cutting the shingles on a jig saw and sanding the edges, then I take over.  A team effort.

Love the palm sander.  It fits in a lady's hand just right.  Belt sanders, now they are another story.
Love the palm sander. It fits in a lady’s hand just right. Belt sanders, now they are another story.

Sitting in the shade on the back porch helps these weary old bones.

I am priming the shingles with, you guessed it, Kilz Premium Primer.  They have convinced me that nothing else works better.  I’m only painting on the area that will be exposed.  Then I put 2 coats of red trim around the edges, and finish it off with two coats of sage green paint.  It is a slow process, but when it’s done, it’s done.  I am sure that this will be the only time that these shakes will have this detail.  Upon repainting in the future, I believe the red trim will not be done.  But, whoever knows?

P1010691  A little red trim

I will let you know the count when it is all done.  I just don’t want the craftsmen waiting on me.  So I gotta get a good start.

I am really getting excited about this, so I hope you will all stay tune and see us to the end of this journey.

Second bunch primed
Second bunch primed
1st Gable.  Second one if "under construction"
1st Gable. Second one if “under construction”

The biggest thing that has helped us get this far, is the desire to build with our own hands and achieve our dream.  Everything takes work, sometimes a lot of hard work, but it is worth it.  Not just in building your dream home, but in anything and everything you do.  Make sure that whatever you do, you are proud to put your name on it.  That is my philosophy.  What ever I do, work or home, I try to do the best I can.  I would rather have someone show me how to do something and teach me how, than to do it for me.  There are times when you need to have it done, but my mother taught me that women can do much more than just sewing and cooking.  I learn from her example.  Um, she wasn’t much with a needle, but she sure could cook.

As we progress, I will name the contractors and follow along with their progress.  This will only be done with their permission.  We can all learn from these craftsmen.  I will keep you updated on some of the features that we pick out and some unique things that we will be doing.

Thanks for reading my blog.

Annie, the reluctant carpenter 🙂