Birthday Indulgences

This week in 2014, the world’s nerds celebrated “Star Wars Day” and goslings here by our piece of the river cracked their way out of their shells and got their first taste of the open air. On Friday, Mike’s son, Scout, turned 14. Grandma Sherry, Grandpa Sam, Mike, Scout, Moose and I all gathered to celebrate at the barn. Sherry made a delicious chocolate cake and I have to admit that I had a bigger slice than I needed. Note to self: just because you can fit it all in, doesn’t mean you should.  The below pictures are just a few of the shots we camera-happy people took that night. Scout’s celebration included pizza, root beer, ice cream, chocolate cake, a movie, and a shower of presents: a litany of indulgence that would satisfy any 14 year old, I think.  As for me, I think I’m good on cake for at least another year. In fact, I think … Continue reading…

Slug Racing and Raspberry Leaves

Despite my still-firm commitment to my New Year’s Resolutions, um, goals, I’ve been a feeling a bit slow this week, like a slug crossing the road. Slower than a slug, actually. This little one actually made it across the rain-soaked road in a matter of minutes. Not bad for someone with only one foot. Speaking of having only one foot, it’s time for an update on the Morton’s neuroma. Here it is: I still have it. The series of steroid shots did nothing. Incidentally, that is also exactly what my employer-sponsored health insurance plan covered. So, apart from a depleted bank account and a sour taste that gurgles up into my throat whenever I recall this failed $600 experiment, I still have an unhappy foot. So, this week in 2014, I did a little work in the raspberry patch. Remember how it looked last week? This is the “after” picture I promised. … Continue reading…

Project 52.44 – The Ol’ Girl

A few weeks ago, my cousin Virgil pointed out that I haven’t shown too many exterior shots of the barn. Of course, I live to serve, but it’s too easy to go outside, snap a photo, and be done. What is more marvelous is the before-and-after transformation of this place. Mike’s mom, Sherry, was kind enough to dig out some old photos (many, many thanks to her for that!) but, unfortunately, all photos of the barn in its original 1940’s glory were lost in a house fire. The photos below start at about 20 years ago (judging from the length of Mike’s hair!).   And, the “after” shots, the transformation from a slice of Americana to a vibrant and well loved living space. The family members who knew this barn back in its heyday (or, perhaps, its “hay days”) say “she ain’t what she used to be.”  Yes and no. … Continue reading…

Project 52.31 – The War on Seams, Part 3,587

OK, so technically this will only be my third “War on Seams” post but good God almighty, it seems like we’ve been working on this forever and this has got to be the 3,587th increment of progress we’ve had to date. On the walls. Just the walls. As many of you know, there are several steps to the wall phase of a construction project: Framing Insulating Drywall Taping Mudding Sanding Mudding Sanding Mudding Sanding Mudding Sanding Mudding Sanding Mudding Sanding… …..Er…. Priming Painting Painting (Hopefully not, but maybe) Painting Trimming Surveying the results and saying, “We rock.” Cocktails and/or beer. We’re in between the sanding and priming phases now. Every crack and seam has been mudded, most have been sanded (more than once) and now, because the space is so massive, we can move on to priming and painting the “done” parts and come back for a second pass at … Continue reading…

Project 52.2 – Before and After Barn

What would a series of photos and musings on the subject of “home” be without a quick and dirty description of the place I’m calling home now? For those who are new to me or this site, the short version is that I live with my partner, Mike, in a barn that was built in the 1940s, back when Mike’s grandparents had a dairy farm. Over the years, the cattle were sold and the barn was relegated into a place for storage, for shooting basketball hoops, for skateboarding, for hiding out from parents, and sometimes for holding barn dances – although probably not in that order! In 2007, Mike moved from the Seattle area and began converting the barn into a home. This involved putting on a whole new roof and siding and installing a massive window. Inside, he built a 900-square foot living space with two bedrooms, a massive … Continue reading…

The Project Moves Forward

It’s been quite some time since I’ve said anything about our barn-raising antics. Well, it’s time for an update. Progress has been pretty slow the past several months. Between Mike’s back absolutely refusing to cooperate and my finances being directed toward other things like, oh, you know, food and transportation, we’d slowed to a snail’s pace – if that snail had sore feet, no energy, and an attitude like Scarlett O’Hara. “I’ll think about it tomorrow” was for several weeks our favorite mantra. But then Thanksgiving came and I was reminded how lovely it would be to cook a Thanksgiving dinner in my own kitchen. Nay, to actually have a kitchen I believe was more the point. I do adore visiting with family and friends on these holiday occasions, so I can’t say that cooking a feast on the scale of Thanksgiving is the main reason I was feeling reminiscent … Continue reading…