Ding Dong The Barn is DONE!


Such a relief! The barn is done. We can finish moving everything over, including the animals and we won't be stretched between two places anymore! Praise be to the Lord!


In Which We Dropped a Truss


On Jeremy's last day off, we spent the day working on the barn. Jeremy has been planning it for a while now, and the week before we had finally put up the posts. They had to dry in their concrete for a week before we could do anything else to the barn. We worked on the fence while we were waiting.

But then it was time to start the roof. So we got to work.

Well, actually, Jeremy got to work. There was a lot of work to do to get ready for putting up the beams and trusses. He had to measure everything, trim off the tops of the posts, measure everything. Then he notched the posts so that we could set the beam up there. And then he measured everything again.


I didn't really have much to do, and he kept laughing at me. He only needed me for the heavy lifting. So I would help put up a beam. I even screwed some of them in, but he got a little testy when I dropped the screws (4 or 5 times in a row).

One screw, in particular, gave me some trouble. He said, "I'm gonna tell you what my Dad told me. Think of these screws as bullets. And you are in a safari ...." And yada, yada. I quit listening at that point. And then dropped the screw again. (But from then on, anytime he dropped something that I had to pick up, I would say, "I'm gonna tell you what you told me that your dad told you...")

These posts are about 10 feet up. It gets a little scary up that high on a wobbly ladder. But I did it. He laughed at me whenever I would say things like,

"You know, I burn really easily. I need to get back in the shade as quickly as I can." (This is a picture of my chair.)


Or, "I need a snack."

Or, "I'm bored."

Or, "I feel like I need a hard hat."

Or, "Look at this bug!" (I actually found several really cool looking bugs. The best one was a moss bug, it was amazing. It really was a ugb that looked like a piece of moss with legs under it.)



He was not very impressed with my work ethic. But really, he was measuring everything and I didn't have anything to do except wait. And that does get boring.

But then it was finally time to get the first truss up there. We have never done this before. But I'm up, it's the heavy lifting time! We got it up there like this:


Then we climbed our ladders and tried to flip it. That's when it fell. We flipped it, and it just kept right on going.

I'm not going to lie, we cussed a little. That thing was heavy. A lot heavier than I was expecting. Thankfully, the Lord had mercy on us and it didn't break too badly. We were able to fix it, and then it was time to try again. Ugh. This time, I didn't get the A-frame ladder (which is much sturdier). He set the truss up on one side, I climbed the wobblier ladder and held on to the truss, and he carried it up the A-frame ladder on the other side. Scared me to death, but we got up there.

And then two more that night! I'll be so relieved when we get those done. We have 13 total to do. We should be done by this weekend.


My brothers were asking Jeremy how he was doing all this by himself. He replied, "I got Jenn working." And I'm sure they all had a nice little chuckle about that.

The next day, I did bring my book so I wasn't quite so bored while he was measuring everything (again). And in between reading, we were able to get two more trusses up. Only 8 more now!


The Floors


We've made some progress in the last couple of weeks! The flat of land for the barn is ready and we even have the post holes dug. The kitchen has a new (to us) oven that does not smell like burning rats when it is cooking. Jeremy has even caught a couple of rats in all his many traps.

And this weekend we finished the master's floor.

To go way back to the beginning, let's remember the pebble beach linoleum that was in here. That was easy enough pull up, but then we had to tackle the 3/4 inch plywood that was under it.


Jeremy kept saying the guys who put it down must have been paid by the nail. There was literally a nail every inch around those boards. And not just little nailgun nails that are much easier to pull up. These were big nails.





It was a job getting all those boards up. We used hammers, sledgehammers, and cat's paws. We used a mattock until it broke. Then our friends at our new local hardware store lent us a tool they called the Beast. We were wishing we'd had that thing from the beginning. It made the last row of boards come up much quicker.


Gideon decided to help take some pictures. Thanks, Buddy.



We were so relieved to find the floor in good shape underneath the plywood. It looked beautiful, even though it had so many nail holes and some dents and scratches in it. Then it was time to sand it. Most of the original finish was gone, so the sanding really wasn't too bad. We borrowed a floor sander and went over the floor with 36 grit paper a few times, and then 60 grit couple of times, and, finally, a 100 grit once. Jeremy let me sand for a few minutes, but mostly he wanted to be in charge of it. I was fine with that, I'm sure I'll have other floors to sand, and it made my ears itch. During this process, we started debating about how we were going to refinish it.





I had read something years ago about using tung oil instead of polyurethane to finish the floors. The article was so positive about it, that it stuck with me. Tung oil seals wood differently than polyurethane. It's not a layer on top of the wood, it's an oil that sinks into the wood and hardens the wood. Tung oil is also a more natural product than polyurethane, which is of course right up my ally. But what really sold me was how easy that article said it was to fix scratches.

Living with four children in a house full of hardwood floor, scratches are going to happen. And when polyurethane is scratched, you can't fix it until you refinish the entire floor. With a tung oil finish, you can spot treat. Jeremy is very particular about keeping things nice, and I'm not saying that's a bad thing, but I didn't want to live in a house that I had to constantly yell at the kids about. So I was sold on the tung oil, but I had to convince Jeremy.


I read the first article so long ago that I didn't remember where it was, so I had to go to the Google for some help. A video from the Real Milk Paint Co. popped up in my search. Thank goodness too, because videos go a lot further in convincing Jeremy than articles do. He watched it once, was convinced, and we ordered the solution from Real Milk Paint Co. (But we actually found it on Amazon so we got free shipping.) We ordered two gallons of the Dark Half so that we wouldn't have to worry about staining the floor.



It was super easy to put this stuff down. I vacuumed the room, walls, and trim beforehand because the sanding dust was everywhere. And I put up some tape on the bottom of the walls to keep it from getting on the walls. Jeremy bought a foam roller, and then we went to town. We just rolled it on and brushed it along the walls. We put the first coat down, then waited for about 40 minutes before doing the next. Jeremy ruined a pair of his socks. After another 40 minutes, we used an old t-shirt (and Jeremy's socks) to wipe up the excess. The first coat took a lot of the solution, and the second coat finished off the first gallon.



We gave those two coats a day to dry, and then did two more coats. Those two coats didn't use up the second gallon, so the first coat takes a lot but the subsequent coats take less and less. After the second coat, we waited about 40 minutes and wiped up any excess with an old t-shirt. Now we just wait. We can start moving furniture onto it in a week.


It's beautiful. But it is a little redder than I was hoping for. Not enough to make me want to change it. If I had time to test a patch, I probably would have done something a little different, but I think it will be fine especially when the rest of the house is done. The original floors are very brown, and that makes the new finish look even redder.

It's something I can live with, though, just because they really are beautiful. Now we need to get some quarter round for the floor trim, touch up a few spots, and this room will be done!


We are in a mess!


Ohmygoodnesswhatwerewethinking!??!?!

HOWTHEHECKAREWEGOINGTOLIVEINTHISMESS?!?!

Ok, so it's not really that bad, but the feelings of overwhelm hit me every once in a while (daily) (alright, hourly) and I get a little freaked out.

This is ok. Or so I tell myself.

I haven't had anything finished yet to post another update, because we've got so many pans in the fire, so to speak. Which means we just have a bunch of messes all over the place. (Plus the computer got a virus and we had to recover the whole thing which means I need to spend hours getting all my files and pictures and what-not on it. Again.) But we have gotten our whole house water filtration system in and running, so that is one thing. I should write about that because it is pretty awesome.


The master bathroom was put on hold while Jeremy did the water system, and now he's working on the barn and fencing. So the bathroom has to wait.

I hate waiting. I don't know how the bathroom feels about it.

The master bedroom is also kind of paused. We're working on re-hanging all the doors. We took them down, painted the doors, and stripped all the paint off the hinges. They look much better now. We also did get the rest of the doorway cut out, and the new door trim installed, and have hung that door up. So that's sort of done. I still need to touch up the paint...


Right now, the kids and I are cleaning up the house, again, to get moved in. We've moved the entire school room over, except for this junk. (What is all of that? Where did it come from? Can I just leave it here?)


The only rooms left to clean at the new house are the kitchen and bathrooms.

I'm avoiding this like the plague.

The kitchen is so dirty, and the bathrooms...ugh. I've got to man-up and just go do it. Right now Jeremy is fighting a losing war against the many mice who have taken up residence in our home. He keeps leaving out traps, they keep eating the peanut butter and not getting caught. So there is mouse and rat droppings everywhere. And I just can't even.

Of course, the underside of the house is open to the rest of the house so just about anything could move right in. As my Mom keeps reminding me. She's worried a snake will move in. But I kind of wonder if a snake moved in, would that take care of the mice problem? Just trying to look at things optimistically.

(My Mom would most likely like to point out that we would then have a snake problem.)

Now that most of my books are moved over there, I'm itching to get over there too. I'm just hoping the kitchen will magically clean itself.


So that's where we are right now. In between two houses, both of which are a mess. We're moving, and I keep telling the kids, this is the last time we'll ever have to move. Thanks be to the Lord.


The Master Bedroom's Walls


We are slowly making progress on the master bedroom. The master bathroom still looks like a gutted room. But I have to trust Jeremy because this is how he works. He takes forever to figure out how to do something, and then finally does it really quickly.