Weekend Progress 1

Back to our latest labor of love, the little house in Arkansas.  We call it “Addie’s House” since that’s the last person who lived there, she’d be my kids’ great-great grandmother.  Since Addie’s passing the house has seen some renters come and go but for the past decade it’s been left to get reclaimed by nature, just slowly breaking down.

Not on our watch!  So the first BIG step was the metal roof to stop the major leaks, big critters and such.  I don’t have a handy picture before the roof went on but it was a hefty project.  Next dire need was the front porch, one more round of a heavy, hot summer followed by a cold, wet winter and we’d probably need to rebuild the whole thing.  So to buy a little time we decided on a nice fresh coat of prime and paint.  Sure we could have just painted but primer is a bit more kid friendly and a good way to get them involved.

The family that wears overalls together, works together!

The family that wears overalls together, works together!

While the kids primed my husband and I sanded and then we all chipped in the to cover the porch floor with a nice fresh coat.

Say it with me: roll up, roll down. more paint, roll up, roll down.

Say it with me: roll up, roll down. more paint, roll up, roll down.

Nice difference, yes?

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Since it can’t all be work and playing is more fun we had our first family camping session  …..which turns out is quite a lot of work.

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Just steps from our day’s labor we set up our house for the evening, or houses as it were.  We made dinner – cheese, water crackers and salami, cold beer for the adults, sparkling lemonade for the kids, apples and s’mores for dessert followed by star gazing for our night’s entertainment.  As the sun went down the cooler temps were a welcome relief as we all fell into our sleeping bags not long after the moon and stars made their appearance.

For our next round of work we’ll be diving into the fun topic of removing mildew from the house’s exterior…..don’t even get me started on the interior!

P.S. A few more snap shots

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A walk in the woods behind Addie's house.

A walk in the woods behind Addie’s house.

 

100 year old pines and oaks.

100 year old pines and oaks.

These little pieces of moss are scattered throughout the forest, we have naming continents but this heart was too good to pass up.

These little pieces of moss are scattered throughout the forest, we have fun trying to spot the shapes of continents but this heart was too good to pass up.


Getting Dirty

Growing up in a city I associated the word “dirty” with other people’s germs, your shopping cart that’s been touched by 100 other people, that guy who spit a loogie on the park bench, the money the cashier handed back to you – DIRTY.  In rural life there’s a whole different kind of dirty, one that’s associated with time outside, hard labor, on-going, never ending projects.

Me getting VERY dirty

Me getting VERY dirty

The past few weekends I’ve been able to spend time out in the country doing some hard, dirty work and I’ve found it’s cleansed my soul like nothing else.  NOTHING ELSE.  More than a bikram yoga class, more than a 5 mile run, more than a hike in the forests of France – pulling on a pair of work gloves and preceding to work until your soaked with sweat seems to be a little recipe for perfect contentment.  There’s a satisfaction associated with the piles of your labor, a newly weeded garden, a freshly painted porch, a rebuilt fence that no exercise regimen can compete with.  So I’m very excited to announce that my husband and I are embarking on a very dirty project.

The house project

The house project

Say hello to my husband’s great grandmother’s house.  Built in the early 1900’s to stand the tests of time we’ve decided to bring this little beauty back to the land of the living.  We’ve got a whisper of a budget and child labor so please don’t expect any Smitten Studio or Young House Love level of documentation or know-how as we undertake this enormous project.  But do expect a bit of Green Acres humor such as my son running with complete abandon right in a yellow jacket nest (4 stings later he’s learned how to not run through a field with high brush) or me unearthing a rattlesnake 3 hours into day one of our project though my husband who has spent years in this locale had never seen one venomous snake – Lucky me!

Meet the Western Pygmy Rattlesnake - my not new friend

Meet the Western Pygmy Rattlesnake – my not new friend

We are sure to gain a few bumps and bruises in the process but I’m hopeful we’ll not only survive but really LIVE!  Wish us luck.