It has been a long time since I posted! The past couple of years have been a whirlwind, and I am still recovering. Shortly after my last post we decided it was time to start the process of building a house. Ground-breaking happened in the summer of 2013 but it wasn’t any old “hey honey, let’s build a house”… it was “Let’s build a house! You will need some steel-toed boots, and please let the school know that you’ll be unable to volunteer at all this year. I hope you like to stain and paint, because you’ll be doing a lot of that… oh, and I’m going to train you to be an electrician’s apprentice.” I also learned to manage a construction project because that was our job… I got over my discomfort in calling people for bids, bugging them when we needed our supplies yesterday, and getting on someone’s tail when they were late in getting their job done. I made sure the bills were paid on time and we worked hard to stay on budget.
So the process began of course with a plan, and then site planning… I learned how to use a brush hog! Also banks are a pain, even with nice ladies who understand how to work with our particular builder. Deadlines and dates are also very liquid and variable… they are always subject to change due to weather or workers getting delayed for whatever reason (including us). After the ground-breaking, the foundation and floors were poured, then the framing was crazy quick…. within a week the house was basically up, and another week after that, when the trusses were delivered, it was another week and the house really looked like a house!
Winter, however, was not our friend. It came very early after an incredibly wet fall. I am honestly glad we got the last of the cement in before November because that month was too wet for concrete work and after that it froze solid until May. The wiring has to be put in before the house can be insulated, and there were several days when I was pulling wire, and it was 11 degrees (Farenheit) inside the house! We did finally finish that, which was followed by insulation and dryall, then after the drywall had been primed, the geothermal people came and turned on our geothermal furnace. Having heat in here was great… but due to the bad weather, we still did not have a driveway nor did we have a drain field.
We worked on the house every single weekend for many seasons to come. I stained all the windows, most of the doors, and the trim. I painted everything that needed painting. I had a little help with those things from family but I did most of it myself. We had a really great carpenter build the staircase nearly from scratch, and when he was done with it, I stained that too.
It wasn’t until last year that I realized there was such a thing as springtime load restrictions on roads. Most roads need to thaw in the spring, and then be allowed to dry before any heavy equipment can drive on them. This prevents the heavy loads from wrecking the road (or at least in theory it does). This is knows as “frost laws” and last spring was the longest period of frost law restrictions in our excavator’s memory… and he’s been doing this all his life. It kept raining and that prevented the road beds from drying out enough. Once the frost laws were lifted, the work site was completely flooded for the next few weeks. It wasn’t until the end of May/start of June that our drain field and driveway were completely finished. It was such a relief to be able to drive right up to the garage and park there!
We got occupancy in June after passing all of our inspections. We did a lot of work over the summer to get the house ready for moving in… which finally happened around the end of October… it was the last really nice weekend we had before winter came early again in November. We have odds and ends of trim left, which consists mostly of windows, but we’ll get to it when we get to it. Moving was followed by one month of everyone in the house being sick and then after that it was the holidays. I’m actually quite surprised, looking back, the huge amount of progress we made at the time… considering it was mostly just me and my husband working, with the occasional and much-appreciated help from a few family members.
So where does that leave this blog? I have a lot of ideas and I want to devote more time to rejuvenating this space and spending more time with it. Since we are now living out in the sticks on a 12 acre parcel that was an old farm field, it may focus a bit on country living… but I hope to also have posts about nurturing one’s self. My sister knitting blog will also receive a face-lift along with more fiber arts or whatever strikes my fancy. It is time for me to get back to the things that I love after nearly a year and a half of back-breaking work. Writing, music, art, fiber arts… that’s where my passions lie, even though I must say, I’m pretty tickled that we built this: