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    Home fires burning

    Keeping home fires burning is a term that means to maintain a daily routine and provide the necessities of life in a home or community. Historically, the term’s origin was to say the household was being run as normal while a family member was away at war. 1914 was the year this term is credited with its start, 11 years before the construction of this house. Currently, we are living through a worldwide pandemic, it is a time when being home (homebody style) we are literally keeping the fires burning as we isolate/social distance ourselves.  Starting up a fire was the natural thing to do this morning when we woke…

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    Beam me up

    So far, the year 2020 has provided experiences that I would compare to elements of a sci-fi movie.  There have been days that seem like we are in a sci-fi movie and we want to say “beam me up” to get back to the ship and get out of the crazy.  When we took on this farmhouse project we considered it a bit of a crazy adventure.  At the time, we had no idea that we would be in the midst of a worldwide pandemic.  As this house reaches completion we are thankful for this comfortable home where it is no burden to quarantine ourselves. The “beam me up” reference…

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    Stepping it up

    Our kitchen shelves are installed: Beautiful stain highlighting the woods grain: We stepped it up! We repurposed the steps that were at the front of the house and used that wood for our kitchen shelves.  Yep, the steps went up.   When we moved in we had to do a temporary rebuild on the entry just to be able to get insured.  I remember at the time wondering if the neighbors thought this temporary fix might be our idea of a remodel: The real rebuild ended up like this: Here is a reminder of the porch rebuild.  It has been completed for a while so the wood from the steps…

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    Oh nuts!

    To say “Oh nuts” means there is a degree of disappointment.  Or it can be used to express favor.  Such as, when I say “I’m nuts about these nuts”! We joined the squirrels, crows, and Steller’s Jays today by collecting walnuts.  There are so many  that we spent no more than 15 minutes collecting about 200 walnuts. There are a plethora of nuts for us and the critters but we are going to test our walnut drying skills before we collect more. Our estimate is that the oldest walnut tree is 90 years old and was planted shortly after the house was built. There are four walnut trees on the…

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    Winter prep

    We are not having our dinners on the front porch any longer because these summer evenings are already getting chilly.  We have moved our dinners to the enclosed back porch. Here is a before and after view of the kitchen that leads to the back porch: This is our back porch, which we initially dubbed as the “coffee room”.  We have been enjoying our dinners here as we watch the squirrels scurry about the yard, up and down the trees preparing for fall.  Our walnut and hazelnut trees are keeping them busy and happy. We are doing our own nesting for winter, but instead of nuts, we are preparing for…

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    Enjoying the fruits of our labor

    Literally!…we are enjoying an abundance of fruit for our labor.   We are a happy pair/pear of farmhouse restorers. Our trees had not been maintained for many years. We have pruned, and pruned, and pruned…we have also enjoyed prunes, in the form of plums actually. This property is tremendously awesome  (as in tree mendous)….sorry, it’s getting a little heavy on the fun wording.   On the property, we have the following trees:  3 pear, 1 asian pear, 7 cherry, 7 apple, 7 plum, 4 walnut.  Which accompanies 1 grape arbor with 3 old vines and an abundance of blackberries. Here is the recipe for our favorite pear salad.  It’s incredibly simple and…

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    Putting out some effort for our outbuilding

    It’s time to shape up the barn.  This area was once a storage area for farm tools and supplies.  As with much of this house, it was stacked with stuff/junk/treasure (it’s all in the perspective). This is what it looked like when we bought this project so we really didn’t know what was inside: We are changing the appearance, the foundation, and the name.  We are calling the “shop”. Our timing to complete this shop is needed to set up the necessary tools to finish our interior house projects; such as the barn doors and shelves. Step one was to clear out the old treasures/junk… We wanted to find the…

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    Nesting

    On these summer nights, the window stays open.  This leads to fresh cool air flowing in throughout the night, yielding good rest.  Until….4:30 A.M. that is, which is when the chirping of birds get the new day started.  Birds nest, meaning they prepare their homes to protect and feed their young.  “Nesting Phase” is a term used to describe the urge that is typical for pregnant women who frantically clean to prepare for the new baby’s arrival.  For this house, the new baby years are in the past, but the preparation of turning this restored farmhouse into home is in progress.  Paul will tease me as I move things around…

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    Time

    Progress takes time.  Currently, trim painting is the time-consuming process that is eating up our time, along with our patience.  The result is worth the tedious work. we are down to the trim paint for the final 7 windows and 12 doorways….. next, the installation of the baseboards and crown molding for the remaining downstairs rooms followed by finish paint We appreciate time. We are thankful that we are able to have the time to restore this old house. We treasure time. We spend our days working and stop at 6 every night to take the time to enjoy our porch and what we have completed. We value time.  We…

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    New nickname

    My current project is to sand all the trim.  I have been spending so many hours sanding trim that I have referred myself to with the nickname “Sandy”, much to Paul’s chagrin. This trim has been stored in the basement for the last 20 years. It is a time-intensive process to sand, prime, install, putty, paint, and repaint for a finished trim.  We stared with the big messy pile, for which sorting and figuring out its placement was a puzzle in itself. WORK IN PROGRESS: BEFORE & AFTER: BEFORE & AFTER: BEFORE & AFTER: The master bath was the room at the end of the hall. BEFORE & AFTER: Many…