Tuesday, August 25, 2009

kayak trip continued

I suppose it's about time to finish my original story about our kayak trip this weekend.

We really had a great time, but I just took too long to take the photos off my camera. For this trip, I didn't take my Canon 40D (not a chance!). I took my Canon 790IS, a little point and shoot and it did a great job.

Greg talked for most of the first hour about a school bus along the creek that reminded him of the one from "Into the Wild." He was anxious to dock and get out and look at it, but once he said, "There's poison ivy everywhere!" I decided to stay in my boat and wait for him to return with photos. Thankfully he did return, and didn't decide to live in the bus and eat poisonous berries.....

Lastly, I had to share this photo because it makes me laugh.

What was Amber doing?

Trying to dig out my surprise passenger on the trip.

I truly didn't know he was there until the last 15 minutes of our trek when he emerged from the styrofoam and taunted me. I even took on some water trying to wiggle away from him.

Much to my surprise, Amber loves frogs. Luh-oves them, so she wanted to have a froggy rescue, which I was more than happy to allow :)

Sunday, August 23, 2009

my floors have arrived!!!!!!!!

In case you're interested in them, you can't have them. They're all mine and they're one of a kind.

Actually, it's reclaimed beech barnwood from Horse Cave, KY (close to Mammoth Cave) about 30 miles up the interstate from us. We had it planed in 7,8,9,10,11" planks (yes, another budgetary decision because I originally wanted all 10"). But, upon further research, most old farmhouses had a variation in plank widths because they simply used what they had. So, that will be my story from now on.

We used what was available. After all, not all trees are 10" in diameter.

The planks will be face-nailed with square nails and because of our budgetary decision, instead of only using hardwood in the living areas, we will now have hardwood throughout the ENTIRE HOUSE (excluding bathrooms).

I'm so happy I can squeal!

Greg complained so much about the carpet at our last house because of his allergies, so I won't have to hear that anymore.

Plus, with an offspring of G on the way, if s/he inherits any of G's allergies, it'll be easier to keep the dust down with all hardwood.

Now, I have to have a lesson in patience, though, because the hardwood has to acclimate for 2-3 weeks before it can be laid.

Lastly, I would like to say, I'm not selfish with my barnwood source. It came from a company called "Long Ago Lumber." They do not have a website or anything of the sort. I think they have a phone number and that's it. Very simple folk. But, they're good-ole-boys and easy to work with. They take down old barns all over the country (mainly in Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Kentucky) and make it available to anyone anywhere in the US. They've supplied lumber for Brad Paisley, Allen Jackson, Elton John, and others. I can't remember them all. They supply old barnwood for flooring, beams, mantles, exterior, columns, you-name-it. If you're interested in using them, they're very reasonable, otherwise we couldn't have afforded them, just leave me your email address in the comments and I'll send you their phone number.

I know there was something else I was going to tell you about this, but I've completely forgotten it (pregnancy brain strikes again!). I'll come back and edit if I remember.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

kayak trip

It was a cool 63 degrees when we launched our boats this morning into Drakes Creek. Our launch point was on the west side of the farm, and we rowed about 3 hours to Romanza Johnson park just off Mt. Lebanon road.

We were lucky to have our friends Amber and Trevor from Nashville join us on the trip. It was their first time ever in a canoe, so there were definitely some funny moments. Like when Greg went over some narrow rapids with his kayak and they thought they could do the same and Amber ended up doing the limbo underneath a tree. That girl got flat in a hurry!

Here's a few shots of the day from Amber's camera. I'll download mine later to share with you.

Seriously, can you believe this is behind our house?

The guys (Trevor and Greg).

The guys took a break to investigate a school bus up the cliff that we saw. I took a Cheeze-It break instead.

This was right before I found a surprise in my kayak.....I'll have a photo of that to share later.

inside the construction

I'm warning you now, this post is lengthy and photo-heavy.

A view from the foyer looking out my new front door. I already love it so much and it's not even stained yet. It lets so much more light in than the previous door. I'm picturing lots of baby handprints on it in my future.....and lots of wiping it down with Windex and wondering why I chose a glass door :)

Right inside the front door is the dining room. When G and I left our previous house, we hadn't intended on having a house with a dining room again. Not that we didn't use the dining room, but it just seemed too formal for us. But, this house came with one and there was no avoiding using it, but it was so closed off. To the right, of that post, there was a solid wall and to the left there was a wall with a doorway. We took care of that. Simple fix of knocking it down and adding a support beam.

Another view of the Dining room from across the foyer in the scrapbook room/office.

This is down the hallway next to the dining room. I love the openness now. It just makes me smile.

At the end of that hallway is the laundry room (straight ahead) and the kitchen (to the right).

Now we're at the opposite side of the house in the master bath. This is the one area that just HAD TO CHANGE!!! It was such an odd arrangement before and even though we're acres away from our neighbors, I couldn't stand the thought of the toilet being next to the window in the front of the house. Now, the window is in the master closet, so we have to walk through the bathroom to get to our clothes. We had this arrangement in our last house and I was thrilled with it. It was perfect for mine and G's schedules because we woke up at different times, so other than the alarm going off, once I was in the bathroom getting ready, he couldn't hear me until I was completely finished and walking out the door.

I digress. So, when you walk into the bathroom, there's 2 vanities on the right (his and her's), and a toilet BEHIND A POCKET DOOR!!!! Can you tell I'm excited about that? There's nothing worse than getting ready in the morning and having your husband walk in and taking care of business right next to you. You just need a barrier. Sorry to be graphic, but you do.

Inside the door to the left, by the windows there will be a clawfoot tub. Then, to the right of that, a shower, which will be larger than the 2x2" shower that was there previously. I exaggerated a bit on the small size, but I'm 5'4" and 120lbs pregnant and I still don't think I could fit into that thing. I certainly couldn't shave my legs.

Here's the photos of what I just described:

Where the vanities will sit and the door leading into the potty room.

Where the tub will sit and overlooking the pasture to the right of the house. There were no windows on either of these walls before and I'm already relishing in our decision to add them. Can you see why?

Now to the laundry room - back to the dining room side of the house:

I need a super-wide-angle lens to photograph this room, which I don't have, so you'l have to use your imagination. Everything you see in this photo was an addition to the laundry room, so you can imagine how tiny it was before. Originally, the washer/dryer, fold-away ironing board, small fridge, and hot-water heater sat in about 6x6'. We basically just took the wall out under the front porch and expanded it to 12x6' so now the laundry room front window (the window all the way to the left) lines up with the rest of the windows on the front of the house instead of being offset. Our plans are to put a row of cabinets and a utility sink in front of the window and the washer and dryer will sit to the left of the window in the area next to the hot-water heater (out of view).

This is a view from the living room into the kitchen. Nothing about this room has changed except we knocked out the wall to the left of the fireplace. Best decision ever.

And the backside of the fireplace that revealed the mold I mentioned in a previous post. This is where the stove will sit.

The only change in this photo was to take the closet you see on the right and make it a pantry instead of a hall closet. This closet runs underneath the stairs and was originally made to open into the hallway. We thought it would be more useful to sacrifice the coat closet to get a pantry.

This wall wasn't changed much except to add a set of windows.

This is the biggest change to me. Where that light fixture is, sat the old breakfast table. Beyond that was the back porch, so you had to walk outside to go back inside to the garage. We just enclosed the porch in that small section which was already under roof. We're going to have a banquette in the corner where the windows are. To the left of the windows, there's a step down into the mud room and the door into the garage is there. Past the mudroom is going to be a bathroom more easily accessible to the outside.

This is a view looking from the mud room into the kitchen.

Now, let's go upstairs:
This area housed 2 bathrooms before and it will house 2 bathrooms now. The main difference is that both will be a bit larger due to the merging of the three dormers into one on the front of the house.

This is the landing at the top of the stairs. It used to be closed off where you see that ridge line. Originally, I wanted it opened with no column, but because of having to have such a large support beam to reach across the space, we made a budgetary decision to have two smaller support beams and a column in the middle. Not ideal, but budgetary. On the left of the chimney will be a bookshelf and to the right a workstation built for 2.

This was another major change. Originally this room had 2 dormers with a set of closets in the middle. Now, it's completely open and oh so nice! This will be our TV/playroom.

The rest of the rooms have such minor changes, I'll wait to post those when more progress is made. Until then...

Friday, August 21, 2009

can you say "slooooooooooooooooooow"?

I seriously haven't neglected to post about the farmhouse remodel because of procrastination on my part. The reason there hasn't been any posts in a while is due to the fact that very little progress has been made over the past couple of months.

We've run into a number of issues in the deconstruction that took additional framing time.....
  • Foundation was 4 ft away from where it should have been, so we had to pour a new foundation in the crawl space and jack up the house.
  • Upon jacking up the house, we had uneven floors upstairs that had to be filled in.
  • We hadn't planned on replacing the windows, but upon closer inspection, we realized the reason they were so fogged was because the seals on almost all had dry rotted.
  • We stripped the fireplace to expose the brick and realized the original builder had applied the drywall directly to the brick which holds moisture which begets mold.
But, without further adieu, here are some before and after photos.

Our old front porch here:
The old front to the house:

The new front without a roof:

The new front with a roof:

Like the change????

The old left side of the house:

In the remodel, we closed in the back porch a bit to connect the garage and house. You can't really tell that from the "before" photo, but you can see the connection in the new photo below:

The old right side:In the new version below, we bumped out the extension in the master bath a bit more to allow for a larger shower and added a couple of windows (the other window you can see from the rear view):

The old rear view:
The new rear view:

See the extra window in the master bath? Also, you can see a bit more of the porch that we took in. The only thing not right in this photo is the window in the master bedroom. They ordered a window that was too small.

I can't wait to show you the inside tomorrow.
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Thursday, August 20, 2009

something new to share

Due to arrive March 26, 2010. We'll be anxiously counting down the days.

I'll have more to share later, but for now, I'll just say we're beyond thrilled that we are pregnant. And, even though it took us longer than most and was more difficult than most, I wouldn't have it any other way. I am in complete appreciation for every day that I'm pregnant and for finally having a baby to look forward to.

I'll have more to share later, and actually I'm working on a project that I will be ready to start sharing pretty soon.

Thanks in advance for your well-wishes!

Monday, August 10, 2009

swamp fun

If you've been reading the Studio Blog, you know one of our outings while in Orlando was to go to the swamp on an airboat ride. As we were talking to the locals before we went, asking them to recommend a company, we couldn't find a single one that had been on an airboat or taken a tour of the swamp. I couldn't believe it seeing they only live 30 minutes away! Then, I thought about the fact that I haven't been inside Mammoth Cave and it's only 30 minutes from my front door and I immediately felt stupid. So, I will add that to the list of things I need to do in case a tourist asks me to recommend one of the tours.

Without further adieu, here are some photos of our experience.

Here we are all sticky and sweaty at the start of our trip. Gotta love that FL humidity!

Those pink things on the tree are snail eggs. I kid you not! ewwwwwww

Some type of cool bird and her baby. Captain Harold must have told us 50 times what the name of that bird was, but for the life of me, I can't remember.

Here's the first gator we saw....see him? This was as close as we could get before we spooked him.

More birds.....
Can you see how the surface of the water changed from the photo before this one? There was a storm blowing in as we were wrapping up our tour and it was amazing to watch how the scenery changed.

This was a momma gator guarding her nest.

I realize after reading this post that I would make a horrible tour guide. I know Harold told us lots about the flora and fauna and wildlife, but those types of things, while interesting at the moment, just don't stick with me. I do remember that he grew up in Texas and worked at a chemical plant. His wife worked for the tourism council in Florida and they have 2 boys, one of which encouraged them to leave their regular jobs to start this airboat business 2 years ago. I have a memory, it's just selective, I suppose.....

Plants and animals just don't really have a spot in my brain.