Thursday, September 20, 2018


We've been here for over 5 months now. It really doesn't seem like that long. It feels like I've been in the basement for a few weeks. (Tender mercy!) But, we still have two months left before we move in...and it's getting harder...and colder. The summer and fall are fleeting this far north. We decided on a REAL wood burning stove. YAY!! More on that and why. Going woodcutting as soon as James is back! And I'm looking forward to the first snow that drifts on the north side of the house.

There are a few things I would like to document about basement dwelling...things I want only to revisit in my journal and blog, but I don't want to relive.

FIRST OFF: My in-laws are SAINTS. I would hate us by now if I were them. They are sooo patient. I am learning a lot from them. Patience and more patience!

1. Laundry is awful. 20 loads a week and trying to keep it organized in three baskets along the wall. Oh my precious speed queen, how I miss you!

2. The kitchen. I don't have my precious, sacred recipe holder that is lost in a very important somewhere in our huge shipping container that contains my entire life. This big important box was labeled (GO TO GRANDPA'S HOUSE) in huge letters and somehow, it ended up buried in the far reaches of outer darkness in the container. I don't have any of my pots, pans and utensils either. I'm really picky because I'm not a professional cook, just a mom cook, and I'm only good at using my own stuff.

3. My bathtub. I haven't had a bath in over 5 months. That is a punishable crime. My new bathtub is covered in dead flies and sheetrock dust. Sounds enticing!

4. Never alone! We've established that I am an introvert. A "social introvert." It's  thing. And sometimes I think being an introvert is a disease, but really, that's dumb. We introverts just need to be alone to charge our batteries. It's actually essential, not just a nice thought.  I am really, literally, never alone! There are people above me, around me, in my room, the bathroom, the yard and even the campground down the hill, all day, every day for 24 hours of the day. When I go to bed at night, I have to hope my phone light doesn't wake up Tabby or Audra, who both sleep in our room, unless James is home, Audra sleeps on the couch, two feet from my door. My introvert is like a sad, scared little mummified thing crushed deep inside of me until we move.

5. Meals...I like to make a meal, eat the meal, clean up the meal, and be DONE until the next meal. All the meals seem to flow into the next one. There are often 17 people dining here! The kitchen is rarely, clean and quiet with the lovely sound of a dishwasher humming and the hint of bleach and lemon soap in the air. It's a mess of snacks, canning, dicing, peeling, begging and butts. The kitchen has way to many butts for it's size. I think...that I will actually miss some of this.

The house is progressing. Siding is going up, garage doors are coming this week, the vents for the gables will be here soon...I'm excited for the vents. I found a beautiful, historic farmhouse photo and it had pretty white vents in the gables with a triangular border and then horizontal siding below it. I'm alternating with board and batten. I wanted all horizontal siding but James really likes the look of board and batten so I compromised. (Don't you see if EVERYWHERE now? Yes it's a classic, but I get sick of seeing the same thing on every house!) It's on a few pop-outs and the front of the garage.

We did get doors and windows. We also had some arguments about the grid on the windows. I love the grid. I think it looks perfect for a farmhouse...and we are actually on a real life farm and surrounded by farm for hundreds and thousands of acres. The grid doesn't have much of a function nowadays. The grid used to actually be individual panes in the windows so if one broke, they could easily and inexpensively replace the single pane instead of the whole window. It also provided some obscurity from the roadside to the inside of the house, creating a little privacy. Now, the grid runs between the panes and they are just pretty. And they do cost more. So, we put them on the front and the sides of the house, and left them off the big picture windows in the back.

The front door was fun. A year ago, while we were designing our house, I made real life renderings of each room to show James because he had a hard time visualizing. I drew and decorated each room, two dimensionally on paper. I put a door with diamond grid sidelights and three quarter window in the door. I love the diamond grid. I found the exact door in a BMC catalogue.

I am still not happy with BMC salesmen by the way. They don't give you prices or a breakdown. Our garage doors ended up costing $1100 more than the bid price, so we had to go back and pick new doors and hardware because the guy handed us a catalogue and told us to, "Pick what we like!" We thought that meant everything in that particular catalogue was in our price range...well it wasn't.  I was mad.  Just because you're building a custom home doesn't make you a millionaire. I like to know every dollar I spend and I mean, ever dollar! And I certainly don't need $4000 worth of garage doors on my house. No thank you, not after a 600 foot well expense!

I'll get over it all once we've moved in...

You can see the vent in the gables. I couldn't find this exact vent, it's not as cute and diamondy, but I hope to achieve the same affect. I LOVE those windows and I wish I had done a light roof. The roof choices we had, for some reason, didn't really have a light option. They were just...dark and darker. So I went dark. I love how simple the front is. 

This is where we are right now, except the front has some siding. The siding is skin color, ewe. It will be white soon enough. Probably next spring. We have SO much to do and buy that isn't going in our mortgage. MORT-gage. I don't need anything else attached to my death. 

This is the door. I spent a lot of time researching classic doors and I'm pretty sure this fits into the classic category. However, the grid inside is technically supposed to be leaded. These are just metal caning. Leaded glass windows are usually antiques. So, it's not totally authentic. A really authentic classic door would have been solid wood with some transoms probably. No ovals. Oval windows in doors are not classic. They are newer thing.

This is the ugly side of the house. I think they started siding here because they were "practicing." See, skin color. Ewe.
They brought me up to ask how I wanted the windows wrapped. I could not for the life of me think of how I wanted them wrapped. So many detailed decisions to make and I hadn't thought of that. I gave them artistic license (which can be scary) Yep there's a face on the right of the picture. That's James photo-bombing. 

Spring is in the Air

With planting season under way, we had a week of really wet weather and James was able to be home to work on the house again. I was so ple...