Monday, May 7, 2012

Everything in its season.

Even though it has been an odd spring with extraordinary weather I have still 
managed to wait until May to plant some of my garden. 
This past weekend was potatoes.  Katahdins.
I cut them on Friday night and planted on Sunday morning before
the black flies discovered I was out there.  The bed had been ready
for weeks because warm weather always makes me want to dig in the
dirt.  Some little voice was telling me not to plant to early, don't be deceived
into thinking that Spring had truly arrived just because the temperatures were
feeling like July.  So I waited.
The seeds for tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and winter squash were
planted weeks ago in their snug little peat pots.  They will go in on Memorial Day
just as they do every year.  It comes a little earlier this year than usual 
so it's nice that it has been so warm
It took me less than a half an hour to plant 20 pounds of potatoes - 3 rather long rows-
and I wondered as I was doing it why more people don't plant their own vegetables.
The potatoes you grow taste so much better than what you buy. Sometimes I wonder if it's 
just knowing that you grew them in your yard that makes them taste better but then again how
often do you get to eat any vegetable mere minutes from being picked?

Friday, February 10, 2012

Catching up on a Major Project

It's been a hectic few months so I'll post some
photos of what has occurred in the ongoing project 
that is the house at Fort Pelham Farm.

 This is the plumbing wall with everything out of it.
A serious hodgepodge of plumbing materials.

Once the old floor was removed we used a lazer level 
to see what we were dealing with.  One corner was 6 inches
lower than the other.  Russell made giant shims for us to
level the new floor. 

Mike and Bill put in the special MDF for the floor.  It's tongue and 
groove and gauranteed for 50 years.  Cool.

The studs went up and after a lot of 
discussion the half wall was built.

The seat for the shower was built into the 
half wall.

During the week the plumbers came in and
put in new plumbing for the entire upstairs and 
a new hot water holding tank so we would have 
steadier water temps (and not run out of hot water
half way through a shower).

Mike redid the windows, insulated, drywalled and painted
the walls so we could start on the tile.

The schluter membrane goes up.

We've used the schluter system for other showers.  It's simple 
and works very well.

Now the tiling begins.  We started with four courses of 
13" x 13" tile.

 These are Italian ceramic tiles.  They are very, very durable.

While Bill was tiling I was designing the sink area.

Bill gets to the design courses.  He curses me for
not just using straight tiles.

Lots of cutting and placement is slow.

But look at how beautiful it is.

Mike came over to give Bill words of encouragement.
At this point he needs it - he's making himself crazy with
his perfectionism.

Done for the weekend.

Next Bill has Paul help him lay out the heat mat for the floor.
That's right - radiant heat.

Then the tiles were laid on the floor.  Again 13" x 13".
Now everything has to set up for a week.

Friday, September 30, 2011

New Project

The latest remodel is putting in
a new bathroom downstairs.
This room was the laundry and
a quilting corner for my mother.

She had the cubbies built in.  The cabinets
above have the upstairs plumbing running
through them.

                                  The other end of the room is the laudry area and also served
                                                                as a pantry of sorts.

                                                   So we're off on another adventure.
                                            Bill began demo with the idea of salvaging
                                                               what we could.

                                           Some of the panelling will be reused in the room.

The pipes were exposed when we stopped.
Others came in to demo the rest of the room this
We are under the gun to get this finished asap and
we have soooo many friends helping - going above and beyond.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Moving Rocks (Large Ones)

 Bill and I finished the upper part of the new flower garden on Sunday.
The rock mess on the right of the steps is in the process of being

We put the last huge rocks on the top.  It's amazing what
you can do with a tractor.

 Bill brought fill in from one of his many huge
mulch piles out in the back.

I raked it into fill in some of the dips.

Also raked out some of the debris - it's amazing what I had
to remove besides sticks, roots and chunks of rotted

There was a little metal roofing and the latch to an old ladder.

Buddy was just observing when we walked the back forty.

He's really not sure about the new dog.

But after we begged him to come along he decided Chester
wasn't all bad.

Next year I think the garden may be that patch below the
new garden.  It'll have to have stumps and large, round rocks
removed and some fill brought in, but it's a much sunnier spot.

And Bill and Chester will reclaim their lawn.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


I can't remember ever seeing rabbits in the yard.  After years of
coyotes every single animal had disappeared.  Good for the
garden, not so much for someone who loves to see wildlife at
every turn.

These photos are a little blurry but you get the idea.
They were playing like kittens.

Attacking each other.

Zooming around the yard.

A few weeks ago Bill found these two in the weeds while
he was weed whacking.  All of them were traumatized by the
whole event.

They are now over it - the rabbits and Bill.  They aren't
really afraid of any of us.

And there seems to be enough vegetation around to keep
them out of my garden.

So when they aren't eating they are playing their days
away. Not a bad way to spend the summer.

Monday, June 20, 2011


Over the past week we have had the floors refinished in the
living room and the kitchen.

Mike Chattin and his son Max came in last Sunday and began
with repairs.  The stack of wood you see in the photo
above was cut out of the library floor (which will eventually be
replaced). We moved the rug, cut wood out and replaced it with
a piece of plywood.  Once the rug was back no one was the wiser.

After repairs to the hole in the floor were made from the cellar Mike
removed the remaining floorboards in a staggered fashion.

The boards were replaced.

While Mike patched Max sanded a previous patch to see if the wood matched
or if they would have to replace some of the boards there as well.

Another patch made in the middle of the floor. 

The floor before sanding.  The light spot is from my father's shoes
when he sat on the sofa.

Bill decided we should do the kitchen floor at the same time.

No repairs were needed in here. We told Mike to just sand and poly.

More "before" photos of the kitchen.

A little blurry but I thought Buddy looked funny peaking around the corner.
He knows somethings up.

After talking to Mike on Friday we arrived Saturday to this.

Beautiful maple flooring with a cherry threshold going into the library.

A large burn mark in the floor in front of the fireplace that we didn't
know was there.  Adds character - we can make up stories about that mark.

And the kitchen . . .

Beautiful oak with walnut plugs.  My Dad put this floor in when
I was in high school (many years ago).  I remember putting those
plugs in.

The change (improvement) is just amazing.  And to really
appreciate it you have to walk on it with your bare feet.

The one thing no one warned me about was what a HUGE mess
this would make.  I was thinking demo/drywall mess.  Think 100% worse.