Tuesday, July 28, 2009

it's a working vacation~ and a work in progress!

remember to keep checking at the bottom of this post for the most recent updates of our roofing project!

Dave has the next 6 days off (for the first time in several years!) and we're putting a new roof on this old house. it's all hands on deck for this huge undertaking, and we're grateful for all the help we can get!

we're starting with the back half of the main roof~ and none too soon. whenever it rains hard and steady, the roof leaks, necessitating strategic placing of buckets and towels in the upstairs hallway.

(TUES. AM) early this morning, they put the scaffolding back up, along with a 2X6 safety railing. (hopefully that won't even be needed, but better safe than sorry!)

since we're working in between raindrops, Dave has planned to only do half the roof at a time. first the old shingles come off, then new OSB, sheeting and then finally, the shingles. M is up on the roof helping for the moment, but I'm glad to have her extra help in the house~ lots of extra cooking to do for my hungry crew. today's menu: sausage and blueberry pancakes for lunch, and meatloaf, green beans, salad and buns for dinner. dessert will be carrot cake with cream cheese icing.

we couldn't pass up the opportunity for a special photographic moment!

as we continue making progress on our current project, I'll just add the updates to this post, instead of boring you with endless entries about the roof!

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(TUES. PM) - most of the shingles are off, but Dave wants to go over a little further yet today. they've taken the nails out of the roof boards and have also re-nailed them down. Dave is working on the face board, getting it replaced (and cut properly).

the face board looks like it's nearly completed. N and G are working together to carry up the OSB and get it nailed down.

this is how the roof looked when they came down for the night: the face board is done, and all the OSB is on and covered by the roofing paper. first thing in the morning they'll be up and putting the shingles on. there is rain in the forecast for tomorrow, so it will be a race against the clouds!


(WED. AM) it's barely 8AM, and they're off to a good start. G's friend, J, came for the day. another teenage boy to help can't be a bad thing! (and as we told him~ the work is hard, but the food is good!)

today's lunch menu: cheesy hamburgers, potatoes with all the toppings and baked beans. blueberry pie for dessert. we planned on going to the fair tonight, but the rain may change those plans. in that case, I'll have to pull a fabulous dinner out of my bag of tricks...

moving right along... they're ripping off some more shingles, and now they are putting some of the OSB on. Dave is repairing the hole where the roof vent used to be.

snack time! A and B were happy to serve the hot and hungry guys.

the work crew came in for lunch just as it started raining. most of the shingles are off, only to the extreme right by the chimney remains. the rest is OSB and tar paper.

since it's raining and they can't be on the roof anyway, we'll probably head on over to the fair. we'll just hang out in the animal barns and exhibit buildings to stay dry. I'm anxious to head over because i want to see how my stuff did: beets, knitting, potatoes, green tomatoes, quilts and embroidery.


(THURS. AM) the rain has stopped, and it looks like we'll have a nice window to finish ripping off all the old shingles, and lay the rest of the OSB and tar paper. there are a few shingles on the extreme left bottom of the roof that Dave was able to get down between raindrops yesterday.

today's menu: sausage sandwiches with peppers and onions, potato salad (my grandmother's recipe) and fresh garden salad for lunch. dinner is BBQ chicken, macaroni and cheese and something as yet undetermined for dessert. maybe I'll take requests from the work crew~ or suggestions from my dedicated readers!



all the OSB is on now, and they have laid the first two rows of tar paper, using weather lock. the remainder of the tar paper is going on now, and then Dave can really start rolling with the shingles. the weather has been cooperative, and even just a little bit too hot!

the guys are still up on the roof, but it's too dark to take pictures. the roof is tar-papered, drip-edged and chimney-flashed. both G and Dave are nailing down shingles as i type. G won the coin toss, and he has the air nailer, while Dave is putting down shingles the old fashioned way.


(FRI. PM) Dave was up on the roof this morning briefly, while we were all still sleeping, but the rain chased him down before breakfast. it's late afternoon, and they're back at it. the shingles are 1/3 done, and all three of them are working: Dave is nailing, G~ the barefoot roofer is trimming shingles, and N is carrying up bundles. if i know Dave, and I'm pretty sure i do, he'll be roofing until it's too dark to see + 10 minutes!

it's almost dinner time (pork chops and leftover baked beans. chocolate chip cookies for dessert) and they are over halfway done. dave snaps a chalk line every 6 rows to make sure that they are still going straight. steady progress, and the job is getting done!


(SAT. AM) Dave is up and at it early again. it's a wonder that anyone is still asleep, what with the nail gun pounding and the compresser running! we're in the home stretch now, with just a few more shingles to go. the chimney still will need flashed and the roof vent put on, but it looks like today is the day that the roof will be done!


(SAT. PM) after coming down off the roof this afternoon, they all went back up after dinner. (eggs, bacon and toast. I'm getting tired of all the cooking!) the shingles are done except for a tiny part to the right of the chimney. right now they are working on getting the ridge vents on, and N is doing a little bit of cleaning on the ground.

here ends the long, drawn out and endless post about putting the new roof on our house. thanks for reading along as we did this huge project as a family. we worked hard, sweated alot- both on and off the roof, and made our house better as well as made some memories together.

tomorrow is the Sabbath, and we plan to rest. i think we've all earned it!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Thursday's Livestock and Garden Report~ Week 17

it's a good thing i planted all those potatoes! Dave and i keep saying that to each other and chuckling! between rain, deer and the tomato blight, potatoes are all our garden is producing! (unless you count a few onions) I've been steadily selling my potatoes at my little produce stand, and while Dave still can't quit his job at Lowe's, we've been thankful for the extra income. there are several bags of potatoes out there~ both yukon gold and red Pontiac~ along with a coffee can to deposit the money. with the exception of yesterday when 20+ pounds of potatoes were stolen, we've found the honour system to be working very well. i just wish i had something else besides potatoes to sell...

the tomatoes are not doing very well at all. the lower leaves are all turning yellow, and so far we have absolutely no red, yellow, orange or any color other than bright green tomatoes. even the high tunnel tomatoes are no further along in ripening, although they are HUGE!

the high tunnel has been a disappointment. we fully expected to have tomatoes by now, but it's not even on the horizon! the plastic has totally disintegrated, and next week Dave and G will replace it with better plastic that should last 4 years. i plan on putting my cauliflower and broccoli in there when the tomatoes are finally done. hopefully since the broccoli and cauliflower are cold weather crops we can at least get a crop before the really cold weather. next year we plan on having the high tunnel down in the lower garden with sweet potatoes.

the ducks are very happy, and every afternoon i let them out. they love to go to the run off puddle we have, and waddle over all in a row. whenever you see one duck, you're sure to see all the rest. we have noticed that Indian runner ducks aren't the smartest bird on the block, but they are very comical and entertaining to watch.

the buckwheat in the LG has been tilled under, and another crop planted. it took 6 weeks~ from planting to cutting down and re-seeding. (that includes almost a week of letting the buckwheat decompose before tilling it under and planting the second crop.)

one crop that i did manage to harvest from the lower garden was beets. admittedly, it was a very small crop, but G and i went through the row and pulled out the biggest beets. we gave the tops to the pigs (who loved them!) and i canned 6 pints of pickled beets. between the critters and the poor soil, the beets did not get as big as they should have. we left lots of beets still in the ground, so there is still hope for the beet crop... hopefully next year will be better. but then again, I'm not sure why I'm so worried about it~ I don't even like beets.

in case you're wondering, here's a fairly comprehensive list of things that deer, groundhogs and rabbits like to eat:

* beets
* carrots
* beans
* summer squash
* butternut and acorn squash
* cucumbers
* sweet potatoes
* cabbage
* broccoli
* cauliflower
* sunflowers

and as my Sunday school class and M pointed out: I'm not bitter. or resentful.

but, to end on a happy note~ we have lots of sunflowers planted sporadically and eclecticlly all around the house. between the toddlers and the chipmunks, there are cheery flowers popping up all over in unexpected places. and at this point, I'll take anything that's growing and producing happily~ no matter where it is!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

the conclusion of the celebrating!

along with A's 3rd birthday, we also celebrated the conclusion of N's high school career. since A was/is really too little to mind, N chose the menu for the night- maple mustard chicken, creamed carrots and sweet potatoes.
for dessert he chose strawberry cake with cream cheese icing. can't beat that!

we gave him a nice card, and...

a quilt! he's been dropping subtle blatant hints for a couple years now that this was the quilt and colors that he wanted. and as you can see, he's really happy with it!

soon he'll be off to college (along with his sister) and it's our prayer and sincere desire that he continues to grow into the man God would have him to be.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Blueberries for Sal~ except we weren't in Maine. and there was no bear. and we didn't loose the baby!

very early this misty morning I packed up the van with the whole gang and headed off to pick blueberries.

not too far away there is a (an?) u-pick blueberry field.

M, G and A went picking on Saturday morning, and the blueberries were so plentiful and bounteous that we went back this morning for more.

every one picked, but B would walk to each of us, and holding up her little bucket say, "booberry. me? bucket."

in hardly anytime at all, we were home again with 23 quarts, bringing our grand total for this year to 34 quarts of blueberries. most we froze, but many we ate fresh out of hand.

after i go to the grocery store today, i plan on making pie and muffins.

and of course, we'll have lots in the freezer to enjoy this winter!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

it's just the start of celebrating!

a few weeks ago, A turned a whopping 3 years old. we don't know when that happened- it kind of just snuck up on us! B was happy to help make the cupcakes lick the icing off the beater.

A requested cupcakes with orange icing and M&M's on top.

she's so happy/shy that we're singing to her, that she's holding onto her favorite brother for reassurance and support.

but she also wants to make sure that her baby sister is included in the happiness.

A blows out her candles, while B puffs gently from her seat, just to make sure the candles all go out!

G helps her hold up three fingers: it's the first time A shows us that she's 3!

a big box of yummy flavored smelling bubble bath- all the way from Florida.

M gave A a little extra present- a very creative and thoughtful book. (more on that another day)

even though we all went together to get A a rather LARGE birthday gift, Dave couldn't resist buying something special for his A B.

a tool belt! right away she tries it on, and she's ready to go out and help daddy.

but here's the highlight of the evening: a kitchen set! from the happy looks on those two sweet little faces, it looks like we'll have many hours of happy play.

and best of all, the kitchen is big enough for two little cooks! (and that's a very good thing, since one of my dear little chefs is not too good at sharing!)

as wonderful as this family evening was, we were only halfway done with the celebrating. we still had another milestone to recognize~ and I'll tell you more about that next week!

Friday, July 17, 2009

a little bit of culture for a change...

What's in a name?

That which we call a rose

by any other name

Would smell as sweet.

William Shakespeare

(photos were taken in the Rose Garden of Bethlehem, PA, during a recent visit to our great aunts.)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

practice makes perfect!

when we bought this old house, it came with a "library" ~ that is, an outhouse. in its prime, it was a lovely sight to behold~ as far as outhouses go, that is. (curiously enough, this is the third house that I've lived in that has had an outhouse. the first one was the real deal, though: through rain, snow, sleet, hail, floods and 3 pregnancies!)

this old little house was a double seater~ should you be so inclined, or in a huge rush. me, i think I'd rather wait, thankyouverymuch.

now that we've all catapulted into the 21st century, we just use the old library to store our tools, fertilizer and gasoline. it's really handy to have, and even though it's seen better decades, it's the only out building we have, so we're grateful for it.

last week G tackled the project of ripping off the old roof and putting new sheeting and shingles on. the ladder drew baby B like a magnet.

watch closely- he may be the only barefoot roofer you're ever likely to see!

after putting on the drip edge and snapping a chalk line, he was ready to go. the new roofing nailer sure comes in handy- and of course makes the job go much faster!

since Dave is getting ready to put the new roof on the (main) house, we're glad that G had the chance to roof the outhouse. Dave really counts on G's help for all our projects, and this little job gave G some experience as well as confidence.

now the roof on the "library" is done. it looks nice, and G did a good job. but as both Dave and G say, the whole building is a tumble-down-shack that should just be lit on fire.

all but the roof, that is. it should be good for a few more decades!


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