October 7, 2014

Keeping the DIY alive!

While all of yesterday's post was happening outside, Walter was framing up the rooms on the inside.

Note from the author: I am trying to be accurate on the timeline and details of the events in this post. However, due to extreme fatigue and nausea, my memory of these events are almost non-existent. In fact, I hardly remember taking these pictures. 

Here, he put up the beginnings of the new closet for the bedroom. 

Then, he put the back wall up. This jutted into where the bathroom used to be. The closet was just too small previously. Also the closet angles a bit and ends so it doesn't block the bathroom window. The small space left in the bathroom easily fits the toilet. His cousin helped him cut and measure, which Walter said made the work go much quicker.

He was glad to get it all completed.

This is the wall dividing the bathroom from what we are thinking will be the dining room.
Upstairs, he took the wall down so he could frame out the new bathroom. It's still in the works.
Currently, he and his dad have been working to replace a wall that suffered termite damage. This was a tricky job because this wall held so much weight.They had to install a support system before beginning the work. Walter told me the slanted wall would most likely become the wall between the kitchen and living room.

Some boards that needed replacing. You can see the windows are out.
Another view of the supporting structure. 



 They are still in the process. Updates will come as it progresses! Stay tuned.

October 6, 2014

Hiring Help

We knew going into this project that our remodeling would not be completely DIY. There were some things we just needed help with such as masonry (for our fireplace), gutters, septic tank, and possibly putting in windows (since all are being replaced). While replacing windows could be done ourselves, right now we have a timeline (a baby timeline), and we'd like to get the house completed before the baby learns to drive. While it won't be ready by April, if we keep working, we should be in it... I still can't make the call.

That brings us to the first people we hired. We called them the Gutter Guys. We wanted to fix the issues with drainage for both houses (the cottage and the rock house) and gutters were an immediate solution to the problem. Plus, they even painted our siding for us. (It was white before.)

The side of the house with its new paint.

View from the front.
 All Walter had to worry about (with this project anyway) was laying in the corrugated drain lines for the gutter downspouts to run into. He also had to make sure the guys put the downspouts in those places. Hiring out the gutters left him plenty of time to work on the inside (thus, why three windows are missing) without having to spend time on the outside of the house.

Another great help was the septic. The man who put in our septic was also very good with a dozer. He offered to clean up the brush and trash dumps scattered in the back yard for us (for a price of course). We agreed and the results were wonderful.
This is the brush and trash before it was cleared. 

There was a ditch, brush, and lots of trash-- some of which was barely buried.
This was things such as glass bottles, baby toys, metal, and carpet torn from the house.
Now, there is no ditch, no trash, and no brush.

To see the back of the house, you had to look through a jumble of trees and brush. 

Now you can see it clearly.

From the rock house, the view of the barn was limited.

Now, it is easily viewed. 
These jobs were done well and worth the investment. As I said before, Walter was able to focus on the inside of the house while the outside was being improved. I'll show some of those updates tomorrow.

'Til then!



October 5, 2014

Our Newest Addition

We're expecting! Here I am showing off my growing belly (taken today) at sixteen weeks. Due date is March 23!
New things are always happening around here. We are always changing something whether it's the way the land looks, completing a new project, or remodeling the inside of either of our houses. Just in the last four months, we've seen friends and family get married, and had some new additions (one nephew and another on the way).

The results.
The biggest change for Walter and I happened came through a simple test on July 25. We found out we had our own little one on the way.  We still had our doubts despite taking two tests. So, we packed up and flew out to Hawaii. About the second day into the trip, I hated every food on the island and had to nap for a couple hours daily. Not exactly the Hawaiian adventure I had in mind.

The plane ride back and the weeks afterward I couldn't think about Hawaii. I didn't want to see the pictures. I didn't want to tell people how the trip went. I didn't even want Walter to wear his souvenir shirt. In fact, he had to pack all of our clothes into the closet and hide them from my sight because I would gag if I caught even a glimpse of the string of my bathing suit.

I'd always loved trying different foods, but the only food I wanted was the most plain, boring foods. (I told Walter I was eating like him.) I didn't want to go anywhere or do anything but sleep. Yet, life had to go on. Despite the all day nausea, I was excited and happy because I knew I was going to have a baby.

Our baby.
I went for my first ultrasound at eight weeks. We got to hear the baby's heartbeat for the first time. That's when things got real. Sure, I had the symptoms, but I'd been sick and tired lots of times in my life. We listened to the baby's heartbeat for a few seconds and the nurse proceeded to describe what I saw because I really couldn't tell what was what. For a few days afterward, I affectionately referred to our baby as "our little blob." We only told very few people at first, but before we knew it, it felt like everyone knew.
My first gift to my baby. I drew and water colored a Winnie
the Pooh picture. Then, painted the frame with chalk paint.
The quote says, "Any day spent with you is my favorite day. So
today is my new favorite day."

Now, I'm in my second trimester. I'm feeling much better (I like food again). None of my pants fit in the waist and my tops are a lot more snug. It's sometimes hard to remember that getting bigger is a good thing. (Just not too big!) Tomorrow makes four months.

This Friday, we might get to find out if we are having a little Miss Jess or a Walt Jr. We don't have a pick. We just pray every day for a healthy baby. This baby is what we think about  daily and is already loved more than he or she could ever know.

So, what do you predict? A boy or a girl?

October 1, 2014

Back to Normal (?)

I'm bringing blogging back.
Now all you readers can get back on track.
Just watch your news feed, I'll pick up the slack.

Anyway, that title. Misleading. Nothing has been normal around here. Not Walter, not me, not our summer-- but it's been great.

Let's see a quick recap. July took me away from the farm for three weeks. Walter has had an injury that has limited what he can do (or should I say "should do" because let's face it, he is still working on things... a lot.) Also, our apple tree split and fell. That was a sad day.

However, we did get to spend a wonderful week (mostly) in Oahu. So, while I try to get posts together to update you on the things that have happened in August and September, enjoy these pictures from Hawaii.

View of Oahu from the plane (google awesomed this for us).

We stayed in Kailua, which is a small beach town. This is Kailua beach park, rated one of the world's most beautiful beaches.


Delicious hawaiin ice
High powered sunscreen





The view from the interstate. 

The North Shore





Walter boogie boarded these waves. Although not nearly as big as they can be, these were the biggest on the island for the season. (Too scary for me to even try!)

Driving to the North Shore
Malaho!