“Never Give a Hillbilly a Paint Brush!” Markeeta Littlewolf

I remember Markeeta Littlewolf coming in to our hardware store to buy some paint one summer with her husband Mike. Lynn asked her if she was going to put Mike to work painting and the response was “You never give a hillbilly a paint brush.” Absolutely love her quick come backs. But I had the feeling she was being a little truthful. Anyway, I thought of this infamous quote when I pulled out the paint brush and roller today.

A new weekend and some progress from last weekend. First and foremost, I got some pictures uploaded from the camera. Yeah.

Here are photos from my paint job today:

Before my painting today. I stopped painting 2 or 3 years ago. Don’t remember why I didn’t finish, but I probably ran out of time before winter. The white is the primer. Boy did it hold up good.
After the paint
After my painting today
What NOT to do. Leave blue painters tape on the outside for 2 or 3 years.
Next year, I promise I will finish this. Got to caulk, prime and paint.
Assessing my paint job from the pasture.

Now for some photos from last week. As you may remember from my last post, we basically finished the one fence in the pasture. Had the top wire to put on and hog ring to the fence so, hopefully, April won’t be able to bend it down.


This is what we completed last weekend
Looking down the fence line.
Putting up the electric fence insulators (aka thingies)
Not very clear, but this is a hog ring, for all those city folks that read my blog.
A roll of top wire for the fence. Lynn has been doing a little bit on finishing the fence.

Now for the stove and the skies. Yep, I’m going to be ready for winter this year. Blue Mountain Stoves and Cowboy Enterprises did a fabulous job on installing the stove. That will be one more thing I can check off the list.

Liking my new stove, fits just right in the corner.
Our new stove. We get propane tanks on Tuesday. Looking forward to firing it up.
Glad it didn’t rain while I was painting.
Winter’s Come’n

Okay, well that just about brings us up to date. The nights are coming quicker and the days are getting cooler. I have to be ready for completing my inside project and hunkering down while waiting on spring.

What I like about winter: I can spend more time writing; get indoor stuff done; read more; curl up under a warm blanket when it’s bedtime; and loving the green of my lawn with the rye grass. Yep, my yard looks terrible in the summer but is green in the winter. Go figure. A sprinkling system and landscaping was on my list for this year, but it didn’t happen. So it has moved to next year. Stay tuned.

Annie, a hillbilly with a paint brush.

Productive Weekend – Burned and Bitten

Happy Sunday Afternoon,

I have been so busy with trying to get a bunch of stuff done on the house.  Painting boards for the fence and pulling weeds.  We don’t have anything remotely resembling a lawn.  So I am busy trying to level all the mounds of dirt and pulling weeds, and in the meantime trying to unpack a box every now and then.

Since the last time I posted, a couple of weeks ago, things have been moving at a snail’s pace.

Last weekend, I began painting boards for the fence.  They are 16 feet long 2X6’s.  Priming them with the Kilz, primer.  Yeah, I know my favorite.  But that is because it works.  Then putting a coat of exterior semi-gloss.  That sheds the dirt the best.  We live in a very dusty climate.  Especially during harvest in late summer and early fall.

Then this weekend it was pretty much the same.  I managed to go shopping in the morning then working out in the yard most of the afternoon.  Lynn had started taking out some of the arborvitaes that were in the way of the fence, but got dizzy bending over.  I don’t know what he was thinking.  That was before I came home of Friday.  Anyway, I finished the job.  I am always leery of using the chain saw, until I really get into it.  Not only did I take out the arborvitaes, but I trimmed the locust tree too.  Looks pretty good, even if I do have to say so myself.

This will be Kinzie's fence
This will be Kinzie’s fence

Today I spent the morning helping to put up the first boards on the fence, and physically digging down more high spots in the yard.  The fence wasn’t easy but I managed to swing that 20 oz hammer until my arm hurt.  I will be so glad when I can go back to doing girly stuff.  Seeded a little bit of grass, just to see if I can make it grow.  I grow weeds really good.

A closer shot of the fence.  Where all the dirt is, I hope to have grass by the end of summer.
A closer shot of the fence. Where all the dirt is, I hope to have grass by the end of summer.

Another thing I did was trimmed the maple in the side yard.  It is getting so big.  We planted it from a seedling from some maples that had gone wild on the back pasture.  Love the beautiful umbrella shape that it has.  We also have an American Chestnut that we planted about 4 years ago and it is taking so long to get started, hopefully, it will do us proud, as many of the things we have planted are, since we moved in over here.  It’s as if the house and grounds are coming alive.  I will show you the transformation of the Iris’.

Oh, my iris' are coming up.  Spring is right around the corner
Oh, my iris’ are coming up. Spring is right around the corner
My Iris' are a blooming.
My Iris’ are a blooming.
This will be Kinzie's fence
This will be Kinzie’s fence
Beautiful colors.  Really outdoing themselves
Beautiful colors. Really outdoing themselves
What a pretty peach color
What a pretty peach color

Then last but not least.  Our front door, and a side view of the house.  Keep in mind I will be cleaning off the front porch and it will look better in a few more weeks.

Front door.  The before the storm door goes on.  Maybe this week sometime.
Front door. The before the storm door goes on. Maybe this week sometime.
A side view of the house.  Again I hope to have grass there someday.  Wish I could afford to have it landscaped.  Someday.
A side view of the house. Again I hope to have grass there someday. Wish I could afford to have it landscaped. Someday.

Aside from getting sun burned and bitten (no eaten) by monster mosquito, all is well for now.  Hope to post more next weekend.

Annie, the novice chainsaw and hammer wielding girly girl.

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

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.



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 🙂


A pain-free weekend and the posts are up.

No accidents with the hammer or with the pipe clamp, so things are definitely looking up.  This working on the porch is a young persons job, and I’m not that young.  So needless to say, my back has suffered for the last 2-3 weeks.  Finally, yesterday was pain free, and I totally enjoyed it.  Even Lynn didn’t have much pain yesterday.  Today is a different story for Lynn.  I’m still pain free and I hope it last because I need to catch-up on my walking.  Having to undergo some physical therapy so I have one appointment this week then twice a week after that.  I refuse to wallow in the pain.  There is just too much to  do.  Because it keeps you young if you can keep moving.  At least that’s what works for me.  Plus there are blackberries along the path that need picking.  Then I can make some blackberry cobbler.  Yum. 🙂

Yesterday, we went to Home Depot and picked up the crown molding we will be using on the outside.  It comes in 16′ lengths so we had to take in the flat-bed trailer for that little bitty load.  Felt like we should have loaded it up with more lumber, but I think we have all we will need to complete the job.  Came home and I primed both sides to keep moisture at bay.  They come preprimed, but it is a cheap primer and I want the  paint to stay on and do its job.  The only primer I buy is Kilz Premium Primer.  It costs a little bit more, but is really worth the added expense.  I learned that the had way.   You need a good foundation for the paint.  I’ve tried the paints that have the primer in them, and I am not a big fan of that either.

Today, I put one coat of paint on the crown molding and then Lynn said he needed help repairing another water line in the pasture.  So spent some time digging and repairing the pipe.  It never ends when you have acreages and animals.  We don’t have but 1 horse now and 2 llamas, but will be getting a weanling colt in a couple of weeks so I will need to do some work in the paddock to get it youngster proof, and Lynn has to finish the floor in the horse trailer.

Back to the porch.  Lynn had enough energy to put in the 4 posts and put the headers on top.  He did the cutting and I helped provide the muscle and got to use the handy dandy palm nailer.  I just love that thing.  I got it for him about 6 or 7 years ago for Christmas, but I’m the one that has the most fun with it.  It sure makes the job easier.

The next thing we need to do is start putting up that crown molding and and then the roof joists will go up along with the ceiling joists.  Probably won’t do any more until next weekend.  I’m sure if Lynn feels like it he will be working on his horse trailer this week.  But for now I am a happy camper, cause I’m seeing some progress.  Maybe it will get done yet.

Annie, the feeling good novice carpenter.

Crown Molding, primer and first coat of paint
Crown Molding, primer and first coat of paint
A closer look at the crown molding
A closer look at the crown molding
The posts are up and level for the moment.
The posts are up and level for the moment.
Love the decking.  This ones for you Jodi
Love the decking. This ones for you Jodi