Thursday, May 18, 2017

::week three of full house remodel::

SERIOUSLY - some stuff has gone down in the last few weeks.  I managed to graduate from grad school (HOLY CRAP) and this house has made some incredible changes.

We let the boys and their cousin live their dreams and beat down some walls to start demo off right.  Just that little bit of work showed horse hair plaster covered with cheap paneling.  Quinn really loved breaking down walls.  Then the real demo crew showed up and ripped that place down to the studs.  

After ripping it all apart we found some very traditional log construction - and by traditional I mean late 1800's.  This house is way older than the official 1930 that it is legally listed as.  The floor braces are logs, the ceiling braces are logs, the beams in the walls that aren't logs are hand cut with wood pegs.  We are trying to alter the design a little to expose as many of the beams as possible.  

All the logs are in the front section of the house (which is the oldest).  The middle section of the house appears to be an outdoor kitchen/porch that was closed in at some point.  You can see some very old fire damage in this section.  We found an old chimney under the floors.  

We also found a super creepy headless doll under that section.  (Don't worry, we found her head eventually too!)  

The horrible drop ceilings all got pulled out and the damaged ceiling behind them showed their pretty faces.  I can not get over the fact that at some point someone wallpapered those plaster ceilings.  Speaking of wallpaper - THE WALLPAPER!!!!  Layer after layer after layer.  No joke!  We got ship wall paper, leopard print, roses, vines, colonial time motive, hand painted floral, and many more.  I tried to save a sample of every one, but I'm not sure I got them all.    

You can just tell that the lady of this house LOVED her some color.  The back-middle section of the house was added sometime in the mid 1900's.  The three layers of linoleum are AWESOME!  I swear to all that is holy that if I could have saved the floral flooring I would have found a way.  I have never seen so much color in an old floor and I really dig grandma's style.  I saved a sample of her flooring.

The football flooring got thrown in the dumpster, where it belonged.  

The old patio/car port has found itself into the recycling pile and the cement under it got torn out. 

All the exterior brick got removed.  I went back and forth on this choice, but I think in the end it will be correct.  And we found some rot that needed to be repaired hiding behind the brick. 

The master bedroom had a drop ceiling that was not to code, so it got ripped down and totally rebuilt.  

The old kitchen and bath have been torn out to make room for a living room.  

Max's future room
Under all the various flooring we finally got down to this amazing old wood floor - that is just jacked up enough to not be financial possible to save.  ~sad face~  I never dared hope that it would really be salvageable but it would have been cool.  

The back section of the house (which has been found to actually be three different build ons) got rebuilt and properly attached to the rest of the house.  Its raised floor got framed which takes this house from being five different floor levels to just ONE.  We are working on a cathedral ceiling in the kitchen area.   

view from new front door
The new floor plan has been roughed in, which was beyond exciting to see happening.   

Master Bath
Some quirks and twists we have had to be flexible on some things.  I lost my kitchen desk, but gained more pantry space.  The kitchen, mudroom, and girls bath may be changing around some too - but I think that is all going to be for the win.  Right this second the plumbing is going in. 

When will it be done?  - I don't know.  The builder doesn't know.  No one knows.  It will be done when it is done.  Maybe by early August.  

What else is going down?  We got two guinea pigs, that the kids and I adore.  They are so sweet and fun.  We put a deposit down on a Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier female puppy that should be coming home in mid June.  I have no idea how that is going to work with out house not being done but I am done waiting for a new house puppy.  Something has decided to start eating my chickens, so I installed electric net fencing (all by myself for once).  Its working well - more to come on that.  I went from 18 to 11 chickens in three days and that had to stop.  I am studying my tail off to take my boards in mid June and start my new job.  Things are still running at full blast but should calm down a little once I start my new job.        

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

::hatching out some baby ducks::

I have been filling my time in the rental house making a few impulsive purchases in the animal department.  I had to sell my goats because my brother inlaw's dog killed one.  The goats have to live at his farm for now.  So - I quickly sold the remaining two off.  Not having any animals at our house right now is killing me.  I knew I liked having the animals around, but it is really hard for me to maintain a positive attitude without some creatures around.  In January I bought 12 chickens.  Then in March I lost my mind and bought three Pekin ducklings.  Then have since flown away, which is the usual routine with these guys.  They hang out for awhile but then they figure out they can fly for real and they go.  Then in late March I seriously was an idiot and bought six more chickens.  Now I have 5 Americana hens (lays blue eggs), 1 Americana Rooster, 6 barred rock hens, 2 Austrolop hens, 2 light Brahma hens, and 2 white Silkies (gender unknown).  WHAT THE HELL AM I DOING???  Lucky for me we are surrounded with family here so I will have plenty of people to eat all the eggs.

Yet - I still need to see some baby animals be born.  It's part of spring and I needed it this year.  I talked Josh into getting me an inexpensive incubator off Amazon and I bought 7 Cayuga duck eggs from a duck breeder I know on facebook.  The kids and I carefully researched how to hatch them.  We candled the eggs, after learning how from You Tube.  We counted days and crossed out fingers.  They are supposed to hatch in 26 days.  Ours hatched in 24!  Which meant I was out of town (with Josh and the two middle kiddos) and Josh's poor mother ended up babysitting Quinn and some ducklings that were still hatching!!  Thank god she and Josh's dad are such good sports.

Of the seven eggs 5 eggs hatched.  On day 28 we cleaned out the incubator of the two remaining eggs.  I watched them for a long time to see if they were moving around at all or showed any signs of hatching.  I was so freaked out to take them out of the incubator.  Lily and I wanted to see what was inside.  I did not take any pictures but inside both eggs where two dead ducklings that looked like the where fully developed when they died inside the shell.  Both eggs where totally intact.  I've been researching online but I am going to ask the breeder if she has some tips I can do next time to improve things.

Still - five out of seven is such a good hatch rate that you can only call it beginners luck!   I got to see three of them hatch out all the way and it was a magical experience.  Those babies are so strong and tough.  All five babies are doing such a good job!  They love to swim and are very vigorous.

They are five days old right now, so they are still very fragile - but I am so excited about having them here.  My plan is to keep them here at our rental for at least the first two weeks.  Then they will transition to the garage here to be watched closely for a few weeks.


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