Monday, September 19, 2011

This, that and... some other stuff

I thought I'd take the chance to post several random things.  I couldn't really figure out a way to make each of these a post of their own so rather than do that I thought I'd just throw everything into the pot and see what happens.  You'll get a couple of pictures and a video.  The next post will be much more "house-centric" but I need to get these off of my plate.  So, here ya go...

We discovered a well known local place a couple of months ago.  It's a farm that is owned by a local family that have turned it into a destination.  There is a GREAT restaurant, a store, a petting zoo, gardens, ponds and play areas.  You can have a fantastic fried chicken dinner, pick your own seasonal fruit AND drive a four wheeler through the woods.  It's quite a place.

One of the other things you can do is feed the ducks and the fish in the small lake.  There are food vending machines that dispense little pellets that the ducks, geese and koi love.  The object is to throw the food out into the lake for the animals.... but ONLY the food and NOT your wedding ring... Yep, a lady was feeding the ducks and fish and not only threw food out into the lake but also threw her wedding ring.  Here is a picture of a diver (you can't really see him but he is there) in the pond yesterday looking for her ring.  Sorry that the picture isn't better but they noticed me taking pictures and seemed none to happy to be the object of my interest.

The process went something like this:  The diver swam around with a metal detector, a man walked around with a small child looking less than happy about paying for a diver and a woman paced around the deck area talking on a cell phone looking frustrated.  I'm not sure ladies, but wouldn't you know if your ring was so big that it may fly off your hand when you throw duck food into a pond?  I know things happen but this seems like a preventable situation to me.

One of the things I love most about living here and that I didn't have in San Jose is the ability to go out in the yard and build a fire in a fire pit.  To sit and stare into the flames as the sun comes up (or goes down) has given me back the inner peace that I didn't realize was missing.  When I have talked about this simple thing with some of you (especially my friends in CA) you have said how much you wish you could do the same sometimes.  Well, here's something for you.  A 2 minute "vacation" for when things are just too overwhelming and too much to deal with.   Set it on full screen and enjoy.

Fall arrives here overnight.  One day it's green, lush and hot and the next day it's gold and red and yellow and there is a chill in the air.  Here's a picture of a soybean field just down the road from our house.  It's impossible to capture the beauty of it all with a picture but I tried.

Well, I'm off to the house.  There is more concrete work to do before we can put the kitchen floor back.  We'll get photos of that and post them soon.  Thanks again for following our blog.  We enjoy your input.

Take care.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Ok, a quick note

I wanted to echo Ann's apology for our "blog slacking."  We are back on tack and will do much better.  So here is a quick update and a couple of pictures.

The outside building that we had planned on taking down (Ann is such a good wife to make it sound like I masterminded this) is coming along and is going to be pretty cool.  We made a little progress yesterday (it was 90 degrees so I didn't spend too much time on it) and I like it more and more all the time.  The first picture is of the outside end.  There used to be a bunch of bushes and a tree at the end but those are all gone and we opened up a large "window" along the entire wall.  It will be covered by screens before long.  The second picture is a view from the inside looking out.  This will be your view when you come to visit and are eating dinner out there.

This is coming along really well.  We have a nice ceiling fan that a friend took out of a renovation he is working on and it will help make it an even more comfortable space.

Yesterday we went into New Albany and picked up a couple of dressers and a chair from our friends at Indiana Landmarks.  They have been so great and always seem to have a special "something" that we can use.  We got the dressers and the chair and have some thoughts about a couple of doors they have and some other things.  Everything is salvaged and is perfect for reuse.  It's a great place to "shop."  The weather was beautiful and I took a couple of pictures.  The first one is Louisville's skyline and the second is the Ohio river from the Indiana side across from Louisville.

We really love it here.  Well, it's back to work on the kitchen and the shed.  One (or both) of us will write again soon.

Thank you for reading our blog and for all of your comments, thoughts and suggestions.  We can't tell you how much we appreciate it.

Take care.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Back To Work...

A little intro: We wanted to apologize for not blogging in so long! As the weather has cooled, we've gotten busy again on the house! Kevin started writing this post last week, and I am finishing it today so we don't get too far without further delay.....

Finally, the weather has relented.  4 days ago it was 100 degrees during the day and 80 at night.  Yesterday it was 64 degrees and, as I sit here writing, the wind is blowing pretty hard and it's 57 outside, Nice!!  So, we are now going to get back to work.  It's been quite some time since our last post so this one might be a bit epic because I want to catch you all up on what we've been doing both related and not related to the house.  So, got get a cup of coffee and some snacks, close the door or ignore everyone that walks by your "cube" if you're reading this while working.  Here we go...

We have spent many evenings over the summer driving the backroads around the countryside.  There are a million little roads going here and there and each one seems to have a surprise for us, it may be a lonely, picturesque old farm or cemetery or it might be a small, quiet lake or pond.  We never get tired of exploring.  Here is a picture we took one evening at an old church in the country.  Neither the church nor the cemetery had a name so we're still researching that.  The old oak tree out front gave us an amazing picture.  The second picture is the sunset that same evening.

In addition to traveling here and there we have added another member to our family.  Bonnie has a new kitten.  She named her "Yogurt."  She is fascinated with it and can't seem to put the poor thing down for more than 30 seconds.  Poor little kitty!!

When Bonnie does put her down (or she escapes) she takes time to visit with her other new friends.  The dogs acted tough at first but that was all just an act as you can see.

As for work on the house, our main focus is the kitchen floor. One of the first projects we tackled in June was to remove all of the old flooring and get down to the original wood floor, you may recall. Then 'the heat dome' hit and we slowed way down with our work, which gave us the time to poke around, mull things over, and decide how best to proceed.  

And then, while opening up the old doorway between the kitchen and what will be a pass-through to the bathroom, it became very clear there were issues with the floor joists in the kitchen, and so we decided we needed to see just exactly what we are dealing with. Wow, are we glad that we did.

What we discovered was that most of the original joists were rotten enough that they needed to be replaced, and two beams under load-bearing walls have badly rotted spots in them. After looking at the kitchen and the front of the house, it is clear these two structures were built at different times. It could well be that the kitchen was the original structure -- maybe a shack to just get by in until the front part of the house could be built. There was also what appeared to be the old footing for a large hearth. Since we have no history on the house, these are all just guesses, of course!

The plan is to repair the beams on the load-bearing walls, run a concrete footing down the middle of the kitchen (finished, see photo below) and run a new main joist on top of the new concrete footing to which  support beams will be run off of to the load bearing walls. 

Here  is the concrete footing:


One of the areas on a load-bearing beam that needs repair:

Another project we have going right now is what used to be the wood shed that we originally were going to tear down. We decided -- although Kevin came up with the idea -- to repair the building and use it as a screened-in eating/hanging out area. 

Here is the before:

Here are a few during:


We should have an 'after' in the not-too-distant future.

While Kevin works on those projects, Ann is busy stripping four layers of wallpaper from the master bedroom walls. With a new wallpaper steamer in hand, she is confident the job will progress quickly from here on out.

Thanks to everyone for hanging in there with us!

-Kevin & Ann