House Progress Update

It has been a few weeks since I have posted any updates on our house progress.  Things are still moving forward, but you still cannot tell from the outside.

Before we started on the house, last weekend we cut and stacked wood.   Our property came with an old corn crib, perfect for seasoning firewood.  Keeps it dry while at the same time letting the breeze through.  We are sitting at about a years worth of cut wood.  With all the fallen trees in the woods, we have a long way to go.

This weekend we started nailing down flooring in our bedroom, only a few more boards to go.  As a reminder, this was the hayloft wood floor that came out of a neighbors barn that was getting demolished.  Here is a picture from last summer (and a video of us restoring the floor last fall).

Hard to believe it is the same wood!  We still have to sand it in place and put on another coat or two of poly, but it is fun to finally see some nearly finished product!!  Our goal is to move back into our bedroom in two weeks.  That might be wishful thinking, but not if we can help it.

I was able to install the header and frame in our dining room wall to accommodate a french-style patio door set.  This will eventually look out into a four-season porch we will be adding next summer.  We plan to install the doors in April or May, along with a few new windows.  Oh what a joy it will be to have natural lighting in our living and dining rooms!!

We also managed to finish sealing up the bathroom and install our antique medicine cabinet.

This wall hides some open space inside to allow me to run ductwork to the future living space in the attic.  I was able to prepare that and then get this wall sealed up too!

The bathroom is now officially cleaner than it was when we moved in.  Between the ceiling light (which the old bathroom lacked) and foiled walls (which will be ‘rocked soon enough) it is also much brighter.  For reference….

Besides work on the main floor, we also got our temporary grow room in place.  We started our peppers, several flowers, and some herbs.  More will go in the dirt in the next few weeks as spring approaches.  For now, we are running 2 of our 4 LED grow lights on a timer.

Nearly everything planted is starting to come up!

Not everything always goes to plan, however, at least this weekend there were no stitches involved (although I did get to remove three of the five).  And here are parts for several of the projects I planned to work on but never got around to completing yet…  By the way, I do have a few of these Lutron Occupany sensors installed in a few other rooms.  They are amazing and highly recommended!

Ending on a light note, Shelly accidentally captured this moment with Mr Rooster and one of the hens over the weekend and I couldn’t resist sharing.  You cannot tell me you didn’t wonder…




Continue Reading

Time to start planning out the garden!

Even though it was -15 deg F yesterday morning, spring is around the corner.  It is time to start planning out the garden for spring planting.  For the last few years, we have only purchased heirloom varieties of seeds for our garden(s).  We have been ordering our seeds from Seed Savers Exchange and have been happy every year with the results.  Most are certified organic.

There are many other options out there too, but I would encourage you to stay with a heritage/heirloom seed.  I am open to science as much or more than the next guy, but I still think it is too early and not enough study done into knowing the long term effects of genetically modified seeds.

Because we opt for heirloom seeds, seeds from our plants can be collected and planted next year.  We have been able to successfully collect about half of our seeds required for the following years planting.  Our eventual intent is to collect 100% of our own seeds from our plants, but due to a variety of reasons unrelated to gardening (barn roof and house remodel!!), it has not happened yet. Here are seeds from last year, patiently waiting in the freezer for spring’s arrival.

We typically start our plants indoors in March  (our last frost typically comes at the end of May, and sometimes as late as early June).  This year I will be setting up a small grow room in our basement.  Typically we have just set the plants all over our house where ever there was light.  This was easier in our last house, not so much in our current smaller house.  This year, I will be using this reflective wrap that I have been using in the construction of our house for the grow room walls.  I will be using four of these LED Grow Lights on a timer.  We use planters similar to these.  Here is one of the grow lights.  They are even crazier to look at when powered on!

Before planting indoors, you will want to consider your first frost date.  A typical rule of thumb is to plant indoors 4-7 weeks before the last frost date.  This is a general rule of thumb.  You will want to refer to the back of your seed packet for suggested planting information.  This site makes it handy to look up your last frost date based on your zip code:

Once we get our grow room setup, I’ll update the blog.  Until then, have fun planning out which plants you are going to grow in your garden this year!  Think spring!






Continue Reading