Sunday, December 11, 2011


Against all odds this weekend, we completed the south side of the new building! Big John and I really weren't in the mood for construction this weekend. We had a wedding to attend Saturday afternoon, so it was going to be a short first day of work anyway. We drug out the door early Saturday morning, and the weather turned sour soon after. That was all the convincing we needed to call it a day. We unloaded the trailer and headed to town for a supply run and a little shopping. What started as a quick trip ended up an all day affair - and we missed the wedding. We were tempted to throw in the towel today as well and hit Bass Pro Shop, but we buckled down and got a lot done. The front of the building is all done!

The soffit is complete, except for that little end piece.

The porch ceiling is in.

And all the siding is on.

For two people not wanting to work, we sure got a lot done! I'll get it all caulked and sealed this week (it was too cold last week to get that done) and we'll be ready to tackle the north side next weekend.


Wednesday, December 7, 2011


I was talking to a friend yesterday, and we were remarking how it's ALREADY DECEMBER! How did that happen? I'm so amazed that the end of the year is upon us - and it's turned into winter this week. Wow! Next thing you know, it will be summer again. I guess time really does fly when you're having fun.

Yesterday evening, I figured I'd better put the heat on for the chickens. It is winter, after all! I ended up with 3 heat lamps going - probably a little overkill, but I think they stayed warm. The coop was all aglow!

And it's a good thing I got this done - it got down to 28 degrees last night. Brrrr....

Sunday, December 4, 2011


It's true: division, angles, fractions. And we used it all this weekend on the construction project! Hug a teacher as soon as you read this.

We had a productive weekend. We finished up some odds and ends that we'd been putting off - finished the roof completely on the south side, made and installed the end caps on the east and west ends of the roof, attached ledger boards for the soffit, and started installing the soffit. Unfortunately, that didn't go so well ... the soffit we bought isn't wide enough. So I'll make another trip to Lowe's this week to pick up different material. I wonder if they'll roll out the red carpet for me!

With everything else (mostly) done, we were able to move on to siding! Yea! Here's how it stands this evening:

The west end is complete and almost ready for paint. I just need to finish caulking. And Big John will design and build his sliding doors. (Those angles were a huge pain in the rear.)

The front (south side) looks fabulous! It took us most of the west end to remember how we did the house. By the time we got to the front, we'd figured it all out!

We had to leave the top couple of rows of siding off until we get the right soffit. And I need to buy more caulk. The east end went pretty quickly. We stopped when we got to those angles - and when the cold front blew in. It seemed like a good place to pick back up next weekend.

The plan for the week is to get everything caulked, seal the cedar posts, and make a run to Lowe's. Then we'll be ready for another weekend of fun!!

Stay warm, my friends!

Friday, December 2, 2011


Do you remember that little section in the Sunday newspaper, over by the "funny papers" (that's what we used to call the comics.)? I think it was called "Find the Differences." It might still be there. Maybe it's in the newspaper everyday. Do they still make newspapers - or is everything online? I feel like the world is flying by me!

Nontheless, see if you can find the differences between the two sets of pictures below. There should be 8 differences altogether!!

Picture A:

 Picture B:

Picture A:

Picture B:

Remember, you're looking for a total of 8 "things" that are different between the two sets of pictures! We're making progress! Siding is next!

Saturday, November 26, 2011


This year, Big John and I traveled to northern Arkansas to spend Thanksgiving with his family. It was a wonderful week, with cold weather, basketball games, and turkey and dressing at the VFW! What a great way to spend the holiday!

The setting was tremendous, from the gorgeous "lodge" accomodations (Papa Jack's house!)

to the winding road through the trees

to the scenic mountain views

The grass was green and the cattle were fat. That was a sight for sore eyes, believe me! And we came home to an inch of rain - that's something to be thankful for!
I hope you all had a restful and delicious Thanksgiving. We sure did!


I just didn't get this posted before Big John and I left for Thanksgiving. So many chores and so little time! But I think you'll be surprised to see how far we've gotten on the building!

The roof is on!!

Mostly - we still have to finish the ends and add a few more screws. We ran out last weekend.

And we got the house wrap wrapped.

For the most part - we still have to finish the gables. We ran out of time on Sunday.

So we got a lot almost done! But we had a wonderful week off to spend with family, and we even got some rain while we were gone. Those are things to be truly thankful for!

Big John is feeling a bit under the weather today and the radar is promising a little more rain. We may get a late start on construction - or just wait until tomorrow. Windows, doors, and siding are next!!

Monday, November 14, 2011


Apparently roofing takes forever, as evidenced by the amount of time we've spent doing it. It doesn't help that we've not worked two full days in the past couple of weeks ... but still, you'd think this roof business would be done by now.

Yesterday evening we got the steps put in. You have no idea how great steps are! Big John and I are both too old to go up and down the two foot elevation. Old people need steps!

This morning, we were hard at it by daybreak. We started laying the cross pieces to which we'll attach the tin. This is the next to last step on the roof, I think. I hope!

Big John and I spent the whole day walking the rafters. It was hard on our feet and a little scary at times, but we worked well together and got the whole thing done! Thank goodness - this was a tough and time-consuming step in the process. Big John even laid a couple of pieces of  tin just to see how it will look. It was too late and too windy to do much more. Here's how it looks now:

We also put up the back wall of Big John's workshop. We had the sheets of OSB and needed to get them out of the way. Plus it looks cool to see it all coming together!

We're keeping our fingers crossed for light (or no) winds next weekend so we can put the tin down. If all goes well, we hope to get the house wrap up as well. I just hope we're done with roofing!

Oh, and we got the onions planted too! Not too bad for a day's work!

Sunday, November 13, 2011


This past Sunday, Big John and I headed into the big city to attend our very first professional football game. Our good friend June has invited us to games in the past, but schedules have always gotten in the way. This year, things worked out and we accepted! The invitation was issued long before the construction project began - long before it was even an idea. We felt a little guilty taking a day off at first, but once we got to the stadium, thoughts of construction quickly faded!

What a fun day we had! In honor of upcoming Veterans' Day, the Texans were hosting a salute to the military, so there were many special events going on. During the singing of the National Anthem, sung by a US Army staff sergeant, a bald eagle was released from the upper deck. It flew so majestically around the stadium, landing on its handler's arm on the last note. Of course, we didn't bring our cameras and had to take photos with our phones, so you can't see the eagle. But it was the most incredible thing to witness - our nation's symbol flying during the National Anthem being sung by one of our military personnel. God Bless America!

Two NASA astronauts served as home field captains and President George H. W. Bush (Number 41) tossed the coin to start the game. It was so heartwarming to hear the reception he received and it was very inspiring to see him and to know that he was respected by the crowd.

And then during halftime, we watched the United States Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon perform - another awe-inspiring show of our nation's greatness. These Marines were supreme! If you ever have the chance to see their drill, don't miss it. It is incredible!

I was so busy watching, that I only took this one photograph. No spoken commands were given throughout this whole presentation. Amazing!

The Texans won - as did the Dallas Cowgirls Cowboys! Each time the Cowboys' score flashed on the screen, the crowed booed! And I cheered! Go Cowboys! Maybe the trick to their wins is that I don't watch! It was really neat to see a game in person - much different than watching on TV. And lots more fun than working construction!

Thanks June!!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


We only worked construction one day this past weekend. Yes, folks, we took a day off!! It doesn't happen very often, but this was a well-deserved break.
During the week, as promised, I stripped the posts for the porch. They started out looking like this:

With super-human strength, I wrestled these 10 foot long by 10 inch wide cedar posts out of the back of the pickup and up onto saw horses. Then with our trusty old drawknife, I stripped the bark off of all of them .... except for the last two. I actually couldn't even get them out of the pickup. I gave up and waited for Big John to get home. (I think that after he realized how heavy the were, he was impressed that I managed to do the first four. But he won't say it out loud. It doesn't matter - I'm pretty impressed myself!)

Turns out, the posts were so much bigger than we figured they'd be (super-human strength, I'm telling you!) that we only needed four. That was music to my ears, as that's how many I'd gotten done in the alloted time.

We managed to position the posts - MUCH harder than it looks - and run the rest of the rafters before it got dark. Here's where the construction stands now:

It doesn't look much different than it did the weekend before, but this was hard, heavy work. We hope to get the cross pieces laid on the rafters and tin on the roof this coming weekend. We're hoping for light winds for those projects. I really don't want to lose a finger to flying tin!

Slowly but surely, we're coming along. Have a great week!!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


I couldn't resist sharing this sight on a beautiful fall afternoon.

And then this happened.

Daisy says, "Happy Wednesday!"

Sunday, October 30, 2011

We got a lot done on the building this weekend. And we're both really tired. I've never looked forward to Mondays so much in my life!

Saturday we sheathed the whole project. This went really quickly.

Then we cut out the doors and windows. It really looks like a building now!

Our next job was to start on the roof. I'd been dreading this, but I guess it's not really a building without a roof. We ran the ridge beam all the way down the length. Boy, was that tough. We did some fancy tightrope walking manuevers, and no one fell off the ladder. Success!

First thing this morning, we finished the porch. Then we began running rafters - this took the rest of the day, the rest of our energy, and the rest of my motivation. I am done ... at least until next Saturday. Here's how the building stands now:

This week, I'll get cedar posts for the porch and strip them. Our plan is to get them put up Saturday and finish running the rafters. I can't wait! Roofing is off my list of possible careers!

Hope you're enjoying the progress!