Sunday Summation 10/22/17.

I have a hard time remembering what I have written here previously, even if it was just the day before. I do that in real life too – lots of repeating myself. No big deal, probably just a little dementia. Things are progressing pretty well. The wife had another doctor’s appointment on Friday and she said that everything was fantastic. I am making what feels like pretty good progress on the house. The scope of the project keeps expanding and I am tearing out a lot more than expected, but it will be worth it in the end. Below are a lot of little nuggets about what is going on and I will also try to provide a big picture overview of how things will look going forward.

So the plan is to tear off much of the back of the house and rebuild a somewhat larger space. It should be a fairly straightforward project. What I am taking off is very poorly constructed and in horrible condition. I have pretty much gutted it already. Ideally I would find somebody else to do the foundation, framing, and roofing, as those are going to be a bit challenging and time consuming. This addition will include a large kitchen, dining room, mud room, utility room, full bath, and a master bath and closets. The wife is going to have to make a bunch of decisions since we are starting from scratch. Flooring, walls, ceilings, fixtures, everything must be chosen. I have been sketching out floor plans and am pretty close to finalizing something that I think will really work. The space we are adding will be about 15 feet by 45 feet, running the length of the back of the house. I think that it should integrate very well with both the interior and exterior.

The other big thing is that I have come up with a (in my mind) great idea. One of my priorities has been a separate guest cottage for friends and family to come stay with us. Particularly my in-laws once the baby arrives. My original plan had been to build a “jumbo tiny house” that I have designed, probably towards the back of the property. In addition to that, the wife really wants a garage. So I got to thinking, and decided to combine the two. It should provide considerable cost and time savings. It will be a three car garage with living quarters upstairs. It will still be detached from the main house, but very convenient. I have identified a lot of pros and just a couple of cons. This week I will write a longer post detailing both.

We both still want goats something awful, but decided last night that next spring will not be an ideal time to get them. There is just too much going on with the baby and house to bring on even more responsibility. It would be almost impossible for me to build their house and pens in time, plus the ongoing work and attention they would require for their basic care, not to mention bonding time. So we will try for the fall if any are available, or possibly the following spring. That is a little sad but certainly for the best. I am still looking at shed designs and researching their care though.

Still no luck on finding a trailer. The good news is that having the dumpster has removed some sense of urgency, but I will definitely need one once I start buying materials. I have expanded my search to about 300 miles away. I’ll just keep checking Craigslist every day until I find one.

I have found a few interesting tractors online, but currently have a bit of a cash problem. I gave my dad a chunk of money towards the property last week, and now don’t have enough to buy one outright. On Tuesday I am meeting with a banker about a loan for everything, so maybe then I will be ready to act. A tractor would be super helpful even at this stage of construction. It would make it easier to move materials around and load the dumpster. I am spending so much time searching and researching online that is absolutely ridiculous. I will be so much more productive once I get one. And I’m not talking about construction/farming productivity, I mean not wasting so much time on the computer!

As mentioned in the above paragraph about the addition, there are a lot of decisions that need to be made, and rather quickly on some of them. Some are very big picture, like the layout of the addition and the garage design. Some are smaller, but can still cause bottlenecks. This is a very frustrating part of the process for me because I can make decisions very quickly, but the wife can’t.

This week will be all about cranking through work on the farm house, but Tuesday will be more of a “take a shower and try to look respectable” day. First up is marriage counseling, then a meeting with a banker, then going by the county building permit office to see what I need in order to get permits for the addition, garage, and workshop. Finally I will go talk to the septic permit people and probably go ahead and apply for the permit.

Constantly looking at the farm and garden section of Craigslist means that I am seeing a lot of ads for dogs. And now I really want one. We always had them growing up, but it has been years since my last one. There have been some amazing blue heelers available. They are so cool. Athletic, obedient, and a great size. Maybe I can get one next summer.

I am about to order a little am/fm radio off of Amazon. It is battery powered but also cranks by hand. It will be great to listen to music and football, especially when I am working alone, which is most days.

One benefit of this huge project is being able to get some new tools. I just ordered a hammer drill, jigsaw, circular saw, and impact wrench from a site I really like, CPO Outlets. All were refurbished and they were running a great sale, along with free shipping. They will hopefully arrive by the end of the week and I can’t wait to start using them!

The weather has been unseasonably warm but is nice and cool in the mornings. Haven’t had rain in a while but that is going to change tonight and tomorrow. It is also supposed to cool considerably this week. The leaves are barely starting to change. I want to do a little photography in the area, both at sunrise and sunset. I need to just put the camera in the car and then get after it. No excuses!

I had planned on taking a ton of progress pictures with my “real camera” yesterday, but due to feeling crappy and the work not being quite where I wanted, I didn’t. Hopefully I will in the middle of this week. I want to take the time to do it right, and want the house to be ready.

The previous owners had left a bunch of furnishings and decor in the house. A few things are worth saving but most isn’t. Some stuff went straight into the dumpster, but some is nice enough to give to Goodwill. I need to haul it soon as I am quite tired of moving it from room to room. My dad mentioned giving it to the refugee ministry at his church, and if he will take it away that is even better. The main items are a couch, a few rugs, a chair, and a bunch of knick nacks.

I’m sure I have said it before, but this property is absolutely stunning. And the most exciting part is that it hasn’t even come close to reaching its potential yet. We are really going to take it to the next level! I want to cut down a lot of junky little trees and bush hog the high grass. Then we will begin planting the orchard and gardens. Man I am so excited!

Not much else is going on. I’m obviously super focused on this project. I am hoping to get up to Monteagle the first weekend in November for the full moon and hopefully some decent leaf action. Otherwise I am just trying to crank through it so we can relax and enjoy the fruits of our labor next spring.

Wow, this was a massive post. Sorry for the lack of pictures.