Sunday, February 13, 2011


We have the wood stove barely on at all and the windows and doors thrown open. It is glorious. I have never been this ready for spring and even summer. We ate fish for dinner last night (and Rosalind LOVED it, she ate more than a normal adult helping all by herself) and played in the yard yesterday afternoon. Now I am craving a margarita beachside, or even just a beer at a baseball game. I'm not picky. As long as it stops snowing I think I will just go ahead and consider this the beginning of spring. It doesn't even have to stay warm and sunny. Just no snow.

Sergio is outside making a pen for our baby chickens. The first batch are almost big enough to get out of their container and mine are not as big but there are more of them and they smell. I'm ready for them to live outdoors now. Rosalind is in her room, which now has a door(!), and I'm pretty sure I hear her talking to herself even though she is supposed to be taking a nap. She took a goofy 20 minute nap this morning in the car and seems to believe that should be it for the day. I disagree with her assessment. I am sitting in the living room on the computer when I should be mopping the kitchen or cleaning the bathroom or hanging pictures or vacuuming the floor. I am using the excuse that I don't want to wake Rosalind. Clever, no?
They aren't this little anymore. These are Sergio's last week. Now they all have feathers on their wings and tiny combs.

I have found myself saying strange things in response to Rosalind's behavior this past week. Things that in my wildest imagination I had not prepared for. I don't think I will bother giving you any context for these statements as I don't think it would help shed any light on them.

"Eliot is NOT a wheelbarrow!"

"We do NOT throw the dishwasher! Say you're sorry for throwing the dishwasher."

"Yes, that is Rolo's oink."

Friday, February 11, 2011


I made something for the house, which is sort of a sad statement when you consider how many things Sergio has made for this house. Nonetheless, I made something for the house. After talking to some very crafty coworkers and perusing some house blogs, I decided that even I could probably make curtains using the newfangled technologies of Stitch Witchery and clip-on curtain rod...thingies. And behold...the simplest curtains ever that I probably shouldn't be so proud of but am anyway. Those of you that can sew and feel super bad for me should just avert your eyes.Ignore for a moment that I got totally swept up in this fabric and didn't realize until too late that it clashes with Rosalind's paint color. We might be moving these into the living room in the future. For now, they are much better than blankets nailed into the wall.
These are the clip on curtains things, so simpletons like me don't have to learn how to make loops or holes.
My crafty coworkers suggested that I make separate curtains out of the liner material rather than stress the hemming tape and then this would also allow the liners to be reused with future curtains.
So I did just that. It worked quite well.

They are meant to be opened or swept back to one side, but they conveniently cover the fact that we haven't trimmed out the windows while they are closed.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

House of DOOM!

No, not really. Though, there have been many times I have referred to this house in just that way. My favorite way of thinking of this house is an old, lonely, curmudgeony man that signed a DNR order and we are the irritating grandkids that just won't honor it. Most of our attempts at fixing this house are thwarted by this house breaking down further. We need to put sheetrock upstairs, but instead we have to spend most weekends snaking the pipes to make it possible to flush the toilets and take a shower for one more week. Or we have to burn trash, or move piles, or gather and sell metal, or make animal pens, or go to work, or cook dinner, or fix the oven, or unfreeze pipes. We struggled with the pipes freezing over and over. I am happy to report that we seem to have finally figured out a way of keeping the water going, due mostly to the fact that Sergio's parents loaned us a giant wood stove. Anyway, lots of things like that have kept us just keeping the house functioning instead of improving it in any way.
Since some people have expressed curiosity I have compiled some pictures of the house at this point in the journey. Keep in mind that this is only the stuff we are willing to show you and leaves out our goofier, grosser, or downright ingenious "fixes."
1. We sleep in the living room for now, but the bedroom is next on our list. We do have a comforter and stuff. I was washing it.
2. Because our bed is in the living room we have all the rest of our stuff smushed on one side. We need to get the tv on the wall and will eventually take that whole window out and make that wall the focal point of the living room. The wall with the tv will disappear and the living room and kitchen will open into each other. We don't leave that ottoman there. You can see that Sergio was playing a video game and didn't want to be in the picture.
3. There they are! That front window is one of the only uncovered windows in our house. By uncovered, I mean with plastic. That curtain over it is a shower curtain (cloth, not plastic. We have some standards!) and is held up by nails. I spent the weekend making simple curtains with Stitch Witchery. More on that later.
3. Our kitchen is surprisingly large for a tiny house, but we have filled it to the brim. The washer/dryer will not always be here. Neither will the stove, though I adore it completely (though the house constantly smells like barbecue!). The blue bucket and red barrel in the corner hold wood. Speaking of the washer/dryer, when we had propane and electric heaters Sergio vented the dryer straight into the house for an extra source of heat. It worked really well. As for the pipes to the washer, well, they are temporary and not worth talking about. It would make you laugh to see, though.
4. We took the doors off the cabinets for aesthetic reasons and then rethought that move. However, given our rat problems, I kind of like the open cabinets. Easily monitored and totally rat unfriendly. That bottom cabinet is held closed against Rosalind. It is full of all kinds of rat traps. Be you can't guess where the rat shows up from time to time.
5. The fan keeps the heat circulating. Notice the towel under the diswasher? It's to keep the cold out. There is not even a hint of insulation in that wall and the dishwasher freezes constantly. Until the woodstove the floor on that whole side of the kitchen stayed entirely cold. Now it stays warm. Nice. Notice the outside ground coming in under the door? That is because it used to go into a room. We weather stripped for now, but that is all. I sweep a lot.
6. Here is the stove. Love it. See how it goes out the window? Don't worry about it. That window has been completely broken since we bought the place. We only took down plastic to put it out there. We have since closed up the spaces you can see around the chimney.
7. This is coming from the hallway into the kitchen. Just to show you the crowdedness and how undone this part still is. That is all new sheetrock in the hall, but we haven't finished the ceiling yet or attempted the mudding process.
8. We need to sheetrock the kitchen ceiling. It was this strange sort of tile/paneling thing before that had a lot of water damage. So we took it down, but this is where it is for now. He and I can't do ceiling sheetrock alone because I have gotten so out of shape and weak. That will get done the next time people innocently come to visit us and we make them work the whole time.
9. This the hallway, looking up the unfinished stairs. We can't finish the stairs until we finish the upstairs. You can see that we just leave sheetrock over the bedroom access point for now and use it all for storage. Our first batch of baby chicks are living in that cooler on the stairs.
10. Under our stairs. That holds the vacuum, a shop vac, some flooring, Sergio's big bag of power tools, door framing supplies, an electric fence battery and a baby gate. And whatever Rosalind has chosen to hide there. This space will eventually be closed off and made into Rosalind's closet.
11. We took up the carpet in this area when we moved in and as you can see, the subfloor leaves something to be desired. On the bright side, those pieces come up easily and allow us to defrost pipes. We aren't attempting to fix the floor right now because this winter has shown us that the majority of our floors will need to be ripped up come spring to replace the plumbing. So we just live with it.
12. Obviously, the hallway is sort of the catch-all. The breaker box used to be located in the bathroom where the mirror belongs. When we took it to the store to try and find some replacements we were greeted with genuine awe at our antique. So we changed it all and moved it to the hallway. We put a mirror up in the bathroom.
13. Rosalind's room for now. She is inside what will become a window seat/storage chest and built in shelves. For now, she just plays in there. It is for her room that I made curtains. You can see we just have old blankets covering her windows for now. The room lacks a door, a closet door, and trim, but it is by far the most complete redo.

14. And in case you think we haven't accomplished anything and live in a hovel, here are some pictures of Rosalind's room from the beginning of this.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Stir Crazy? Who's Stir Crazy? Not Us. Heh ha ha hee hee haaaaaa.

We are on day five of being stuck in the house due to the snow. FIVE! DAYS! It snowed again yesterday. About four more inches than they initially predicted. And since we are on our FIFTH DAY INSIDE we decided to finally go out and play in the snow. It helps that the sky is a brilliant blue and the sun is out and it is in the twenties finally. Playing in the snow would not have been very fun any day prior to this. Rosalind finally took a real interest in the snow. I think she would have stayed out there until she was frozen solid. Here's some evidence.

Now, can this snow please STOP! Or someone could just send me on a free beach vacation.