Saturday, August 30, 2014

Name Calling

My grandma called her grandfather Granddad Derrick.  
I've always loved that.

My own grandfather is known as Papa and my children call my dad Papa.
My dad is still quite young and will still be around when we become grandparents.
THEREFORE, having my husband AND my father called Papa would be confusing.
Whew.  Got that?
I hope so because I'm not going over it again.
After a discussion with the man himself, we decided that when he becomes a grandfather,
my husband would like to be called 

The conversation wherein we told the children to have their children call Daddy Granddad brought about a question as to what I might be called.
There are so many options!  We went over Grandmother, Grandma, Gram, Gramsey, Nanna, Marmie, Nanny, Granny, Grammy, Nonny, Lolly, Loulou, Loopsy, and Poopsy.

The fate of my grandmotherly moniker is still under construction.

After the conversation and things had quieted down, this child piped up.

"I'm going to have my children call me Master 
and I will call them Peasants."
At least that is decided.

Little Dreams Coming True

One of the fun things about Pinterest is that it tells you how long ago you pinned a particular picture.  I've been planning and dreaming about my Someday House for so long that, in many cases, those time stamps are years.  For some reason, I thumbed through some of my old pins today.  Three years ago, I pinned this:

It is called the Hy-dit Toilet Plunger Storage Kit and I just ordered one for each toilet in my house! Waiting three years actually turned out to be to my advantage because the Hy-dit is new and improved.  It is no longer just a metal closet, but has a paintable wooden door and a removable drip tray. Marvelous!

I love what one reviewer said:
 I spent a fortune on my European spa bathrooms and these little cupboards are all all people talk about when they see them.

Everyone knows I'm not a great housekeeper.  In my new house, I'm trying to plan ahead by using space wisely, being organized (a place for every thing so everything can be in its place!) and by choosing smart materials.  I'm hoping that this investment will make toilet cleaning exciting for my helpers--which will make them want to, in fact, clean the toilet!

One more little dream coming true.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Lake Cruise Date

Yesterday was our monthly date with Eliza.
(She received a date each month with Mom or Dad (or both) for Christmas last year.)
When I was searching for fun or interesting things to do in our area, I stumbled upon these lake cruises.
It was a little family operation with about 25 people on board.  They have a variety of options, but we went on a hour and a half history cruise.  

We enjoyed ourselves so much!  The weather was perfect--mid 80's and breezy.  The sky was filled with the most beautiful clouds.  We saw several osprey and bald eagles fishing and enjoyed watching the sailboats skim silently along the tops of the waves.
I've lived in this area most of my life and spent many, many hours sailing these waters with my family when I was young.  There were still several tidbits I'd not previously known.  (There was, for instance, a massive fire in 1910 that burned millions of acres and spurred the start of the forest service.  I need to read more about that!)

Of course, the best part is the company!

We have absolutely LOVED these regular dates with our easy-going, non-demanding girl.

If you are local (or are coming to visit me), I highly recommend this quiet, low-impact afternoon event.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Inside the House

Come on in!

I took several pictures of our home's interior, but since it is only framed at this point, it is hard to tell one thing from the next.  I'll do my best to walk you around, but I won't feel bad if you skip this one.

Straight ahead, you'll see the stairs to go up. 

Just before the stairs, turn left and enter the library through the arch.
Every time someone talks about beautiful features of old houses, they talk about arches.  They are time consuming and, therefore, expensive.  I was thrilled that we were able to work one in!

I can't get over its beauty!
So, library with pocket doors that open into the living room.
I really wanted one area that is always tidy, always quiet and where we can invite guests--even surprise guests--to come inside.  The library answers those points and the pocket doors make it possible to open the whole living area up for Thanksgiving, weddings, reunions or other large gathering events.

Connected to the library by pocket doors, or by walking farther down the entry way, you come into the living room.
A fireplace will sit between the two windows.

Open to the living room is the dining room and kitchen.  I apparently did not take photos of that space, but it is pretty nondescript at this point.
Next to the kitchen is the laundry room 

and mud room, separated by the back door.
There is a little powder room at the end of the mud room.
That's for all of you when you come to see me.

The last corner of the main floor is the master bedroom.
Because we are masters.

Heading upstairs . . .

. . . we find two girls' bedrooms . . .

. . . that are really high off the ground!

Pretty much as soon as this window was up, I went to my computer and found a fire escape ladder.
Freak me out, why don't you!
In the hallway that connects the two bedrooms, 

we used up some of the wasted space by adding giant closets.

These were not planned, but, with four girls, I'm sure the space will be used.  We're going to get rid of dressers and build super efficient closet systems.  I'm gonna really, really try to make this an organized space because I will try to avoid the inevitable: The closets will probably be the biggest disasters in the house.

Also upstairs is the girls' bathroom.

With their own throne room.
This bathroom can easily accommodate all four girls getting ready at the same time.
My life is about to make an about-face.

Back down the stairs.

And down to the basement where there is nothing to see,
but where it is cool and there are mill ends.

And giant mystery bugs!

There you have it!  A house, a house!
We really have a house!

This week:
trim paint, plumbers, roofers
and more rocks to pick.

Friday, August 22, 2014

House Update

from my glorious gaggle of geese.

I've been working very hard on the dirt removal.  See the mound the baby is on in the picture below?  That is gone.  I now have just the huge pile along the back of the house.
But the backhoe is low on fuel.
So it will have to wait.

Looky what happened today!

The roofers got started today, the plumbers started yesterday, the flooring/cabinet/counter top lady stopped by for measurements, and the window guy came and we talked about each and every window in the place.  In the way of information-you-don't-care-to-know, we have casement, fixed, single-hung, double-hung and sliding windows.  We have paned, obscured and clear glass.  I had never thought about the variety of windows available.  We're going for variety!

The dirt also has to wait because we have a new slew of jobs.  I've got to sort this mess out, for one thing.  I can't just waste it all, goes against my nature, so I'm separating the usable from the unusable.  The unusable will be cut and stacked for either burning or a massive set of awesome blocks.  Those pieces that are large enough will go to build storage shelves, closet systems and a play house.

Right now, it overwhelms me.
Then, we need to paint the fascia before the roofers do their next step.  It has been raining quite a bit; it makes me super happy, but also makes it hard to paint.

Right now I need to fold 90 loads of laundry.
I'm only barely exaggerating.
And that's only a slight exaggeration of my exaggeration.

Next time I'll give you a tour of the INSIDE.  Yippee!


I am getting the dirt moved, but not fast enough.
My baby looks like this all of the time.

And he's SO happy playing in the dirt that it makes it hard for me to deny him the joy!

Of course, he's not the only child in this family to be finding joy in the dirt.
The newest thing is to sled on the dirt.


I suppose that since we are living in a trailer, we may as well embrace the redneck.

They are always filthy, but are absolutely loving this summer's entertainment.

As if sledding on dirt, being covered in dirt and playing barefoot on the dirt weren't enough to insure our redneck status,
this smile certainly will!

Haha!  Pull that tooth, already!

Friday, August 15, 2014

An Unobstructed View

My plan all along was to take a shot of the house every week from this vantage point.

And then this huge pile of dirt happened.

And if I'd taken that particular shot every week, it would have been mighty boring!
But, now that I've learned how to use a backhoe . . .

Ta Da!

I Solemnly Swear . . .

Yesterday, we were going to an amazing store downtown to shop for a kitchen door.  The place's bread and butter is overstock doors and windows, but it is stuffed to the gills with cool antique building supplies and architectural details.  They have 100 year old fireplace mantles, salvaged tiles, real-wood wall paneling, and gorgeous chandeliers.  He has goofy stuff like a life-size troll, racks of fur coats and a giant Victoria's Secret sign.

Having been in the store before, we knew our kids would get a kick out of wandering the maze (no such a thing as aisles in there).  We also knew it would be tempting to touch, handle, try out and get on/in all the cool finds.

Here is my husband at the impromptu oath ceremony.

"I solemnly swear (solemnly swear) I will not touch anything.  (I will not touch anything.)  I will not run off.  (I will not run off.) I will not climb inside anything.  (I will not climb inside anything.)  I will not scream or holler or squeal (I will not scream or holler or squeal.) If I do (If I do), I hereby give permission (I hereby give permission) for my parents to spank* me (for my parents to spank me) in front of everyone. (in front of everyone.)"
Or something like that.

It was partially successful.  But such a good try, Daddy!

*Just so you know, we don't spank our children and they all knew this was a joke threat.  They were laughing heartily throughout the entire vow.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Plywood is so Pretty!

We have a roof.

When I realized I couldn't have a tall peaked roof like the Seven Dwarf's cottage,
we decided to go the opposite direction and put up a clipped gable.

It looks very organic, doesn't it?

All along, we wanted the house to look like it grew up, out of the lot.

We're working on picking out roofing and exterior paint colors.
Justin described our palette as the bark on a pine tree.
 Pretty close, eh?

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Moving the Dirt

Here is a recent picture of Rob, our framer, building the roof of our home.  (It was 9 billion degrees, poor guy!)  But, as exciting as it is to watch the house go up, I can't actually see the whole thing from the front; there are still piles and piles of dirt from the digging of the basement.  They block the beautiful view.


I told our contractor that he needed to teach me how to use his backhoe so I could move the piles.  (We are trying to absorb as much dirt as possible so we don't have to pay $$$ to haul it away.)  He said, "Just get in, turn it on and start moving stuff until you figure it out!"

I hope he wasn't joking.

He doesn't know me very well yet.

I did get in and I did start it and I did move things around a bit,
but then I called my dad and he gave me an actual lesson.
My dad knows how to do everything.

Things were a bit scary the first day because I was super concerned that I would run into my finally-being-built house.  I've kept at it and with the practice feel like I'm starting to get the hang of driving the backhoe and moving the dirt.  
I'm not great yet, but I'm having fun learning!

Yesterday, I hopped in and started the engine.  Right away, there was a wasp making fairly aggressive movements.  I don't usually have a problem with bees, so I tried to just shoo it away.  
It wouldn't be shooed. 
Then, all of the sudden, there were 2, 3, 5, 8, 15 wasps.
More and more, they continued to come. 
They were swirling in some kind of mad dance.
My skin began to erupt in pain.

Now, the cab of the backhoe isn't super large and the machine doesn't have a gear called park.
I'm frantically trying to fight off the wasps and get the equipment stable and stopped without pushing any buttons or bumping any sticks.

Finally, with the backhoe safe, I jumped out of the thing and ran for some wasp killer. 

They are all dead.  
All of them.  
Even their friends who came later and weren't present for the initial destruction.
And their little babies.

Hey, I've got dirt to move, baby!