3rd Post Primed and Riding Mower fixed

At least the weekend ended on a good note.  Remember the mower was in pieces when we quit for the day yesterday?  Well, we got that fixed after about 2 hours of taking the mower deck off, removing the blades, broke a few bolts, crawling around on the ground on our knees, but we managed to get it done.  Yes, I helped.  Even though I hate all things mechanical, but I sure do like it when the weeds are mowed down.  In between times when Lynn ran to the hardware store, and when he was doing things where he didn’t need my help, I worked on the post.

The “Post.”  That would be the post that we glued up toward the end of last year.  Well I spent 2 days sanding, filling holes with Bondo, sanding again, more Bondo, sanding again.  Got the picture?  Its not perfect, but it will do.  Ending the evening painting on the primer coat.  Kilz Premium Primer.  The only kind I will use.  Note to self – Google Bondo and see if there is a hardener that dries slower and gives you a little more time to apply it.  I have about 3 – 4 minutes before it sets up.  I do all things slow, so this is a challenge.

Why do I use Bondo and not wood filler?  I thought you might be wondering about that.  I tried wood filler and wood putty and neither held up outdoors in the weather.  It was harder to apply and harder to work with.  I figured they use Bondo on cars and they are almost always in the outdoors.

The mower has new blades, it has been greased, has a new starter, and it should be good for another year before we have to replace it.  Because Momma is broke and we will just have to make do.

Have to get 3 more 4X6 posts to hold up the porch roof so we can remove a couple more posts.  That will probably get done during the long Holiday weekend.  Have to have 12 more 2X4’s to cut and make solid cores in the post.  History of the posts is noted in previous posts from about 2 years ago.  I have 6 more post’s to do.  It’s a lot of work, but they will not be flawless, but they will look good and be stronger than before.

Big sigh 🙂  This weekend is coming to an end.  Need to jump in the shower then kick back and watch a little bit of TV, then off to bed.  Then we get to do this all over again.

Now for a few photos:

This is the French doors leading out to the upper deck looking north over the back pastures
This is the French doors leading out to the upper deck looking north over the back pastures
Handy dandy weed wacker.  Momma's toy.  RIP :(
Handy dandy weed wacker. Momma’s toy. RIP 😦
This is the bonus room with pocket 10 light French doors
This is the bonus room with pocket 10 light French doors

Now I bid you all Goodnight.

Annie, The gopher and mechanical assistance

All Things Mechanical

This has not been one of my most productive weeks.  Blew the engine up on my weed whacker last Sunday.  Lynn has been working on the riding lawn mower for over a week now, and it hasn’t run good in about a month.  The weeds are a growing.  Took the deck off and broke the screws off, had to put on a starter and other assorted thing.  It is in pieces until tomorrow, hopefully.

Oh, and flood insurance has reared its ugly head again.  With the appraisal came the inclusion of the outbuildings.  A detached garage, Lynn’s shop, the stable, and the pole building.  Well, get this, we have to do an elevation certificate on each building, and then purchase flood insurance.  So I have the surveyor scheduled for Tuesday, and I haven’t a clue how much this is going to cost.  I just paid $2000 on the house alone.  Haven’t a clue where that money is coming from.  I guess I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it.

On a better note.  I am starting to work on finishing the posts that had to be repaired on the front porch.  I just won’t look at the 7 acres that are in dyer need of mowing, with weeds galore.  This place has never looked so bad.  But that will just have to get done later.

Back to the post.  I have been using the palm sander and scrapping the old paint and applying Bondo.  That is some neat stuff.  Have to get a little creative, but that is the part I like.  I will be spending the whole day on it tomorrow and possibly begin on another one.  That is my task for the rest of the week.  So, I will not be spending much time on the computer.

I feel like I am juggling, just to keep all the balls in the air.  Never going to get it all done.   Yes I can, yes I can, oh yes I can.

Update:  The appraisal didn’t come back as high as I had hoped, but it is enough for the Bank and that is what is important.

The house is moving along.  The plumber and electrician have been there all week.  The upper deck is almost finished.  Need front steps and the ramp to the porch done, then most of the rough carpentry will be done.  We will get it inspected and then sheet rock will go up.  That is when I will see it come together.

Now for some pictures:

Looking at the back of the house.  Upper deck almost done
Looking at the back of the house. Upper deck almost done
Love this deck.  Going to spend a lot of time on it.
Love this deck. Going to spend a lot of time on it.

Well, maybe more tomorrow.  Right now I need to kick back and get ready to watch Outlander while eating a quart of ice cream.  Then all things will be right in my world.  🙂

Annie, the juggler

Blew the engine up

Happy Monday,

Well this is an official vacation day.  Had lots of plans today.  I always have lots of plans to get lots of stuff done.  Spent the last two days pulling weeds and hoped to whip my yard into shape.  Slow start with a quick finish.  Remember in a previous post when I showed you a picture of my weed whacker aka “big wheel trimmer”.  Well, that is what I blew up today.   Before you say anything, Lynn put oil in it yesterday.  So I escaped the “I told you to check the oil” speech.  It leaks oil, but I was hoping to get one more year out of it.  I was using it along the parameter of the front pasture when it started making a funny noise and before I could shut it down, the side exploded.  Well, it didn’t suffer, it went quick.  So I took that as a omen to go in side and sit down with a glass of ice tea.  Any excuse is better than none, right?

Now for the update on the house.  The carpenters just left and they put the upper redwood deck on.  I’m sure the railing will follow later this week.

Upper deck, redwood over water proof floor
Upper deck, redwood over water proof floor
View off the upper deck
View off the upper deck
Redwood upper deck
Redwood upper deck

I also told you I would show you the furnace in the utility room.  There is still room for a freezer, so we’re good.

Furnace in the utility room
Furnace in the utility room

How about an updated picture of the finished utility/mud porch?  I really like this.  That is what the railing will look like on the upper deck.  I’m a southern girl, I gotta have a porch.

Porch off the utility room
Porch off the utility room
Another angle
Another angle

This is going to be a short post, because I have to get something done, so I can say I had a productive day.

Annie, hater of all things mechanical.  ugh!! 🙂



Back on the Positive Side

Happy Sunday

Spending time working on the home that we live in.  Getting it ready to go on the market.  Spend the morning pulling weeds and getting some much needed yard work done.  I will be glad when I only have one place to keep up.  Even though it will be 7 acres, many of the acres will be pasture and maybe we will have some more livestock to help keep the mowing to a minimum.

Now to the Dream Home.  The plumbing and electrical are being installed.  Also Grassi Refrigeration is installing 2 heat exchangers and I think one heat pump.  That is so out of my realm of expertise, I just let them do their thing.  They are a sub-contractor for S & K Mountain Construction.  The plan is that one unit will supply the heating and cooling to the upstairs and the other will supply the heating and cooling to the main floor.  The duct work will be in the ceiling in the upstairs and in the floor on the main floor.  The duct work is wrapped and insulated.  The house will have insulation in all the walls and in the attic and also under the floor.  I sure hope it makes for a cozy home.  We have a total of 44 windows to let in the light.

The master bath has the tub framed-in, just waiting for the insulation and drywall to be installed then the hydro-tub can go in.

Master Bath Tub Framing
Master Bath Tub Framing

Here is another picture of the Master Bath.  The shower will be a curbless, and sandwiched between two closets.  This has a vaulted ceiling.  Actually the bathroom is larger than the Master Bedroom.  Never gave it too much thought, but who really needs a bathroom that big.  Though it is nice.

Master Bath, Vaulted ceilings.  The shower will be where the ladder is
Master Bath, Vaulted ceilings. The shower will be where the ladder is

We did make the laundry/utility room 4 foot deeper and that is a good thing, as that is where the heat exchanger will be for the main floor.  It is going in quickly.  I have a more complete photo that I will post tomorrow.  Here it is beginning to go in.

First floor furnace goes in.
First floor furnace goes in.

Off of this utility room is a back porch.  Done in redwood, it looks wonderful.  Can’t wait to stain it.  I like it stained redwood.  Which is what I want all the decks and porches to be on the house.  The main back deck has grayed since we put it in 2012, so I need to power wash it and stain it with the redwood stain.  Not fond of the gray patina.  They are also beginning to put in the upper deck which has been waterproofed so that it doesn’t leak onto the below deck.  I believe that will be a porch where we will spend a lot of time.

Porch off the utility room
Porch off the utility room

Tomorrow I will post some updated photos.  These are about 2 weeks old.

I can’t say enough good about the contractor we hired.  S & K Mountain Construction has been wonderful.  Their work is top notch, and they are great to work with.  Gabe their foreman stays right on top of things and he has an awesome memory.  We try not to make many changes as we don’t want to exceed our budget.

See you tomorrow.  Taking this Monday off work to catch up on many of the things I need to get done.  I guess I’ll rest in December 🙂

Annie, the picture taker and work skipper.




Drowning in Flood Insurance

I just want to preface this particular post with, as much as I try to put a positive slant on my posts, because I need to stay positive, in this post you will hear how frustrating some of the hurdles have been and I am neither positive or happy.  But that will end in this post and I will move-on in tomorrow’s post.

If you live in a flood plane anywhere in the United States and have a mortgage, you probably had to purchase flood insurance.  Well we live in a flood plane and have flood insurance on the home we are living in.  Plus the Dream House is also in a flood plane as it is about 500 feet from the home we now live in.  We knew this when we started that project.  We had the acreage and it is in a beautiful town, so we decided that we would build our house so that it would survive in the event of a flood.

We had no idea that that would be tested so soon.  We had to contact a survey company and get the elevation that our new home needed to be built to to withstand a flood, plus comply with FEMA.  That survey cost us almost $2000. at that time.  They put a marker out and that is how we determined the height of our stem wall.  One of the things that we did do at the time of excavation, was to dig down so that the crawl space wouldn’t be so confining.  We dug it down to where the footings needed to be  and built the stem walls about 4 1/2 feet – to the top of the stem wall.  The stem wall was 1 foot above the flood level and then we built the floor on top which added another foot.  This gave us 2 ft above the flood level.

Dream Home - framing the stem walls

Dream Home Stem Wall

Dream Home Stem Wall 2

That stem wall was finished in July/August 1995, we had a flood in February 1996.  We had a false since of security when the levy behind our house broke up stream.  We didn’t anticipate this because we had not lived here the 30 years prior when the last flood hit Waitsburg in in the 60’s.  Although we had the flood, we saw first hand that the stem wall was built well above the flood plane.  It was more than a foot above the water.  The flood did not go over the wall.  The water did pert up inside the foundation as the water table rose.  There were area photos that made it look like an odd shaped swimming pool.  That was a very difficult year.  We had sheep and we were in the middle of lambing.  We lost all our lambs and one Ram.  All our fences were downed, but the home that we lived in did not get any water inside the house.  So we were dry and didn’t have any damage to the home.  It came as high as the top step.  This was February and we lost our electricity for 3 days.

1996 flood - water receding

1996 flood - silt & mud left behind

Our journey in building this home has taken us almost 20 years.  We tried to do everything by the book and how we were supposed to.  In 1999 the flood rules changed.  They no long measured by the top of the stem wall, but by the top of the lowest floor.  They described the lowest floor as the crawl space or basement.  Do you see where I am going with this?  We dug our foundation down, remember?  Though the house was now built, the floors, walls, and roof, it is not considered built until it is finished.

We had the same surveyor come out and check the elevation and issue us a Certificate of Elevation which is when we found that we were no longer in compliance.  We don’t get a break on our flood insurance because we are considered to have a basement (even though we don’t) because it is more that 2 ft down.  Now our insurance (just flood) costs us $2000. a year and rising each year.

That made for a trying week, but that is just the breaks.  I am going to try and find the photos I took (before I had a digital camera) and show you how we dug it down.  On the plus side, the electrical, heating and plumbing contractors love that they can almost stand in the crawl space.  Someone benefits anyway.  No mechanical down there but duct work and plumbing.

Tomorrow’s post will be on the brighter side.

Annie, Treading Water