Thursday, November 8, 2012

It's November...

And I must say, circumstances are not what I had expected or hoped they would be at this point.  I had envisioned that on November 8th we would be settled in the house basking in a Mitt Romney victory and looking forward with optimism for our country.  Not so.

I am very sad for our country that we were unable to elect such a great man.  I don't know if we'll have that opportunity again--not because there aren't other great men--but because our country is going in the wrong direction and more and more people seem to want it that way.  If we couldn't change courses now I don't see how we will in the future as society gets more liberal and people get more dependent on the government.  So, for those reasons, I am sad.

However, I do believe that God works in mysterious ways, and while I don't want to "wax religious" on my house blog, I know that He is over all.  This week is a reminder to me that family is most important.  Doing the things we need to in order to have a strong family is part of what creating this homestead is all about:  A place to gather and support and love each other.  Not just with our own immediate family, but with our extended family and friends, too.

With that said, here's the latest progress on house and barn.  I have to apologize in advance because my camera has developed a strange case of spotting in some of the pictures and even after I have yelled at it and cleaned the lens it is still doing it.  

First, the "barn raising" continues.  Not exactly like the old-fashioned days when they got it done in a day, but we have made good progress in the last 10 days:

Front view

House-side view

Front view, framing and sheathing complete

Upstairs loft

side view, ready for roofing

Main support beams next to stalls.  Plumbing in.  These hose bibs will have to be lowered to 15
inches off the ground.  At this height they are a "vet bill waiting to happen."

Front support beams in place and roof going on!

Front/side view.  The roof went on in one day.  Notice some of the windows in, too.
Here are Joe and Rob in the barn loft... being goofy, as usual

The house would probably have moved along a little faster except that we've had some design issues.  I've written about the laundry room previously. 
Here is the new location for the washer and dryer.  They converted the under-stair
closet and will stack the units and frame out the opening.  Not a bad solution.

Here's the wall that they used to be on--now we have a little extra space.  The closet
doorway is just to the left of the arch--you can't see it well because of the glare.

The kitchen also ended up with an issue:
I got to worrying that if the designer had not drawn the washer/dryer to scale, what other
appliance spaces had he also messed up?  Yep... the kitchen.  Only 32 inches between the sink
front and the handles on the range.  Standard is 36 inches and 42 or more is the best.
Now we are cutting the island down by 10 inches and relocating the microwave.
One question:  Why are we, as the homeowners, the ones that are catching these mistakes?
 Well, at least someone did before it was too late.

Over the last couple of weeks, the trim carpenters and painters are becoming fast friends.  Well, maybe not.  Usually they don't work at the same time, but when you push hard enough it is amazing what the subcontractors will do!  We have had just a few leftover trim items that needed finishing, such as the dome:

So, while the trim carpenters have been working on some smaller areas, the painters have been prepping, staining, and painting.  We are now literally watching paint dry.  Here, you can watch, too!

Jim's office 

Mud room--love the blue!  Here are those spots I mentioned.

Pool bathroom vanity
Family room mantle--built by the carpenters one day and stained by the painters the next!

Family room

Family room


Upstairs desk area--painted and covered for the next step

Painted dome
Before it was painted, Robert climbed up on the scaffolding to see the view looking down from the dome. 

 Here's looking into the foyer.

Here's looking down at us!

People who know me know that Fall is not my favorite season.  I have to admit I do enjoy the weather... but seeing the leaves falling off the trees reminds me that winter is coming... and I'm not a winter person.  The longer it stays warm in the fall, the less winter we actually have.  You can usually count on spring starting in TX around the end of February.  But check out this interesting Fall phenomena that we found:

It's a little hard to see... and I have no idea if this occurred naturally... but these
vines with the red berries are growing in two intertwined hearts on the fence!

How cool is that?

So, it's November and will soon be December.  It's hard to believe the year will be over.  We are still praying and keeping our fingers crossed that we'll be in the house for Christmas.  Maybe the intertwined hearts are a sign....  then again, the election has reminded me that we don't always get want we want.  

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