2dirtydiggers



2015
 
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12/31/15 Thursday – Gooey Goodness


I'm ringing in the new year with this oh so yummy cinnamon roll cake. Ooo la la.

cinnamon roll cake

The Cake...
Mix the following ingredients until combined:
3 C. A/P flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 C. sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 C. almond milk
2 eggs
2 tsp. real vanilla
1/2 C. melted and cooled butter
Pour cake mix in greased 9" x 13" pan.

The Filling...
Mix the following ingredients until creamy:
1 C. room temperature butter
1 C. light brown sugar
1 tbsp. cinnamon
2 tbsp. A/P flour
Randomly dollop filling on top of cake mix then, using a butter knife, swirl filling throughout the cake mix.

Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 30 minutes.

The Glaze...
Mix the following ingredients until smooth:
2 C. powdered sugar
5 tbsp. almond milk
1 tsp. real vanilla
Drizzle over top of cinnamon roll cake.


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12/28/15 Monday – Ma Pie


Ma Ma made grapefruit pie. I've never heard of it or tasted it before. It's super yummy!

grapefruit pie

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12/23/15 Wednesday – Merry Merry


Our first Christmas in our humble farmhouse.

farmhouse christmas tree

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12/22/15 Tuesday – Moo Mower


I met our neighbor today. She's friendly.

farm cow

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12/21/15 Monday – December Garden


I think these metal flowers are adorable so I potted them and set them on the porch. Flowers in December. A little happy happy. I like that.

metal flowers

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12/20/15 Sunday – Strawberry Rhubarb


Homemade pastries are the best!

pastries

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12/18/15 Friday – Cacti


Pretty! Looks like Christmas.

cacti

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11/19/15 Thursday – On The Map


We're moving in! We officially have our place on this big, round, green and blue ball we call earth. It took ONE year to build our farmhouse. And it's still not entirely done on the inside, but we will do the rest of the work ourselves. Words of Advice: Be Your Own Contractor.

farmhouse

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10/18/15 Sunday – Flub Up


I thought a contractor's job was to avoid errors? This is definitely not working.

contractor error

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10/09/15 Friday – Bring Outside In


One of the things I didn't think about while designing the inside of the farmhouse was the type of material we'd like for the face of the kitchen bar. We are cutting costs wherever we can and this was just another additional expenditure that I wasn't expecting. But thankfully a light bulb lit up over my head. Our Contractor ordered way too much stack stone for the outside pillars. So I thought why not bring some of the outside of our farmhouse to the inside of our farmhouse; let the eyes flow from the entry stack stone pillars to the stack stone bar of the kitchen. Bingo! It worked out beautifully!

stack stone kitchen bar

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10/08/15 Thursday – Cooktop Chef


I'm very happy with the choice in our cooktop. After much research, I chose the GE five burner flat-top induction cooktop. And because of the open floor plan we chose the Broan brand which has great airflow and is very quiet at less than 0.3 sones on full power.

ge induction cooktop

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10/07/15 Wednesday – Don't Follow The Crowd


I do not know why but shopping for countertops has been one of the hardest things for me to shop for. I did months of research on every single type of countertop. I wanted non-porous, quality, timeless countertops. See, I'm not the type of person that goes and buys something just because of an advertisement that says granite is in or because everyone on the block has it. That doesn't mean diddly-doo to me. I think I'm the only person on planet earth that hates the look of granite countertops. Barf. Anyhoo, when I want the best of the best I do the deep research and figure it out myself. My research proved that quartz is the best - at least for me it is. After months and months of shopping for just the right style and color of quartz countertops, I gave up because I just couldn't find what I envisioned. Then at the last minute we took one last trip to a countertop store and ended up making a last minute decision on the quartz we wanted. It was the exact opposite of what I was looking for. Imagine that! And guess what! We absolutely, positively, undoubtedly LOVE it! So if you are building a house, totally exhausted, pulled most of your hair out, kicking and screaming not wanting to go do this last second daunting task...just do it. It just might be one of the best decisions in the whole house building process. Trust me.

quartz countertop

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09/21/15 Monday – Light It Up


Today the garage lights were installed. We bought the same type of lights for the hallway and pantry in the farmhouse. I thought I'd stick with the same lighting theme for the garage as well. I like it.

garage lighting

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08/30/15 Sunday – No Rest For Us


Since the construction crews take every Sunday off, we take the time to clean up the farmhouse and take pictures. The kitchen bar got installed. I like it. It was originally designed to be much bigger, but the contractor noticed clearance issues at both ends of the bar. Keeping our desire in mind to have wheelchair accessibility throughout the house, including the kitchen, each end of the bar had to be shortened. This also shortened my cabinet space to two thin spice racks on each end. I'm just glad I insisted on a big pantry because that will make up for the relatively small kitchen.

kitchen bar

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08/29/15 Saturday – Level Dirt


They are getting the soil ready for grass seed.

level dirt

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08/28/15 Friday – Master Shower


We thought it'd take forever for The Tile Man to get done. This guy does an awesome job but he is slower than a slug! Finally the master bathroom shower is completed. I wanted to stay with timeless earth-tone tile in there and give it a little bit of design trim near the top of the shower. I chose a 13 x 13 inch glazed tile called beige pinot for the walls. Then I tied the eye-flow from the niches to the floor using 2 inch multi-earth-tone squares. It's a 5 x 5 foot shower designed without a shower door; the perfect shower for claustrophobics. All in all we love it but we might regret not putting a small window up high in there to let in natural sunlight. It does have a shower light inside of it, so we'll see if it works out just fine without a window.

master shower

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08/24/15 Monday – Shine 'em Up


The interior doors are lined up to get several coats of Tung oil. They are all solid wood doors and I think the natural knotty pine will tie in perfectly with the engineered wood flooring that we chose.

interior wood doors

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08/22/15 Saturday – Be Your Own Contractor


Dealing with the contractor and a couple of the subcontractors has been a continual pain in the Ass! Nine months! It's been NINE months and the house isn't completed yet. Nine! Hello, Mr. Contractor, Guess What! I grew a human being - IN MY BODY - and popped him out on month NINE! And you can't even get a house built in nine months. Ya might want to reconsider your career choice there, Buddy!

jackasses

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08/21/15 Friday – White On White


The house is humid with all the fresh paint, hence the seemingly foggy image but I wanted to show you the kitchen cabinets. They are getting installed. We chose a simple, solid maple, custom, shaker style, painted white and we absolutely love them! The people that make them are very friendly and so very helpful. If you want top-notch kitchen cabinets I highly recommend visiting: Holt Custom Cabinets in Telford. Hubby just happened to notice their shop as he drove by one day and decided to go check them out. I'm SO glad we did!

kitchen cabinets

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08/20/15 Thursday – Pellet Fuel


The one thing we knew we wanted was the relaxing ambience of a fireplace. We loved our pellet stove that we had in our home in Alaska so we decided to stay with a pellet stove rather than a full functioning fireplace. While shopping for a pellet stove we came across one that we both loved at first sight, however this stove changed the original design that included a full standing corner fireplace with a pellet stove insert. This new choice allowed us to do some budget cuts. We kept it simple with slate for the floor and low surround then we hid the piping in the adjoining garage. I can live with it for now. A raised hearth and mantel might be something that we can revisit down the road.

pellet stove

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08/13/15 Thursday – Curvy


I like traditional but I love to be different too. These will work perfect for the vanity in the master bathroom. That's all I'm going to share as far as hardware and tiny details. If I shared every single little thing, it'd take more than a year to post it. I'll stick to the bigger things - for now. Heh.

vanity hardware

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08/07/15 Friday – An Easy Decision


We were still in Alaska when we started researching products and deciding on certain things that we'd like for our farmhouse. Bathroom floors was one of them. Easy pick: Italian Travertine Stone. We absolutely love it!

travertine stone

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07/31/15 Friday – Lil Bear


Fuzzy cute woolly bear. I won't dare touch 'em though. Eesh.

woolly bear

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07/24/15 Friday – Walk On Wood


We were suppose to have solid wood floors but because the contractor forgot to design the farmhouse for them, we had to go with engineered wood flooring. I was not a happy woman, to say the least. And it didn't save us 1 cent. So ya, I had steam coming out of my ears. After I cooled off enough to do a ton of research in a short amount of time, I went on the hunt for acceptable engineered wood flooring. Finally I found some that was made in America, had zero formaldehyde, was of high quality, and it was comparable to competitive big-box store prices. Hubby and I chose a natural vintage hickory and after it was installed we loved it even more. Timeless and pretty.

engineer wood flooring

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07/20/15 Monday – Food For Thought


The flooring for the kitchen is getting installed today. The Tile Man does awesome work but he is SLOWER than a slug! I chose a simple glazed tile with clouds of grey, off white, and black tones. Nothing fancy. I envision a farmhouse with clean lines, simplicity, and timeless qualities and this kitchen tile will softly tie into this ambience.

kitchen floor

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07/08/15 Wednesday – Four Sides


The siding of the house is finally getting done! I love love love it!

siding for house

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07/06/15 Monday – Soffit


Vinyl beadboard is being installed on the farmhouse porch ceiling. I'm very pleased with the look.

soffit farmhouse porch ceiling

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07/04/15 Saturday – Clucks and Company


Hubby and I went to visit friends today. I love the country feel to their place. It's so relaxing.

sam and dougs house

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06/29/15 Monday – No Not Me


Time for some paint. All I can say is, "Not me!" I painted all of the interior walls in a 3,400 square foot house that we owned in Alaska - by myself. For this reason, I'm so glad that I don't have to paint the inside of the farmhouse. Although, the money we could save would be considerable. Hum. Tempting. But, no. No, no, no. Besides, I know why short people - who are scared to death of heights - should never try to face their fear by climbing a scaffold. They'll freeze and get stuck up there. Speaking from experience. So not funny. But funny. Yeah. See, even if I wanted to save the money and paint the farmhouse, I'd never be able to reach the cathedral ceiling or the rest of ceilings in the farmhouse that all measure nine feet high. So Behold All Ye Faithful subcontracted painters, Go Forth and Paint.

painting inside of house

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06/20/15 Saturday – Bright Side


We are past the six month mark; our farmhouse is far from being completed. Our nerves are shot, fuses short, and tolerance is maxed out. There have been too many excuses from the contractor. Six months!? Come on already. I'm trying to keep a positive attitude. Oh, look...a pretty rainbow!

rainbow

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06/16/15 Tuesday – Rub A Dub Dub


The shower-tub unit for the guest bathroom got installed today. This bathroom turned out much smaller than I had imagined. It is just a guest bathroom, but I like my guests to have the best of the best while they are visiting. This includes a roomy, comfortable, clean bathroom with all the amenities. Just seems right. But I think this bathroom is going to be a little too small. I'm glad I went with a pedestal sink. I can't imagine a full-size vanity in this bathroom. I'll have to get creative when it is time for decor and functionality.

guest bathroom shower tub

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06/15/15 Monday – Sheetrock


The sheetrocking is going fairly quickly.

sheetrock house

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06/14/15 Sunday – Insulated Walls


We wanted all of the interior walls insulated for several reasons. Heating and cooling are major factors in addition to cost saving measures, but we also wanted to reduce sound travel in our little farmhouse. With the insulation installed the sheetrockers have been busy.

insulated interior walls

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06/05/15 Friday – Another Day Gone


We look forward to the sun going down. Building a house is not easy and is going painfully slow.

sunset

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06/04/15 Thursday – Stoned


The stonework is complete! And I LOVE it!

chimney

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06/03/15 Wednesday – Afterthought


I'm not sure why, but we didn't put much thought into the chimney. Neither did our contractor, so when it was time to put it up it got a quick redesign. The architect originally designed the chimney to be very tall, higher than the peak of the roof. We discovered that that wouldn't work here on The Farm. The winds get strong here, very strong. Plus, a tall chimney just wouldn't look right in the position that it had to go. So we shortened it considerably. Then we had to decide what material to use to cover the chimney. I decided to tie the eye flow from the pillars to the chimney by using the same stones that were used in the pillars. No additional special order was needed since we seem to have an overabundance of stone.

chimney

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06/02/15 Tuesday – Air Duct


Work is getting done for the HVAC today. Awesome!

conduit

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05/28/15 Thursday – Mason Inspiration


I was inspired by the stonework that our architect has at his house - so inspired that we had to special order the exact stone for our pillars. I insisted that there be absolutely no patterns; a random layout. And I'm loving it! I'm experienced in mason work, having done it for years. I have to say that I am very pleased with the work that these guys are doing. Awesome job!

stone pillars

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05/13/15 Wednesday – Pillar of Strength


Pillar work today. We had to decide on a very quick redesign for the pillars because of the roof load. They will be larger than originally planned and I think that they will turn out just fine.

pillars

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04/28/15 Tuesday – The White Mile


We have a hallway! Years ago Hubby and I knew that we both wanted our last home to have some ADA standards since we knew that we would some day grow old in it. So part of that plan was to have 36 inch entryways and almost 4 feet clearance width in the hallway. It feels comfortable and roomy but more importantly a wheelchair could easily fit if ever one was needed. I'm glad that we had the forethought to incorporate some ADA standards into our farmhouse.

hallway

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04/27/15 Monday – Tier In the Rear


The farmhouse is coming along but something went awry from the original design of the entry roof. Designed are three tiers and this part of the roof is simply for curb appeal, but nonetheless the three tiers were suppose to be equally spaced with the largest tier in the rear. What I had originally designed was absolutely beautiful. This mistake is very disappointing and it is something that I'm told can't be fixed. I don't believe them.

farmhouse

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04/26/15 Sunday – Knock Knock


The garage door was installed on Hubby's shop. We are so pleased with our choice of style, quality, and the install. Awesome!

garage shop doors

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04/25/15 Saturday – Framed Glass


The windows and doors arrived. Windows and doors are Hubby's gig; he knows all about them. He went with PlyGem. This brand includes qualities like egress, vinyl, U-factor, and have a lot of other specifications that I leave entirely up to Hubby. Some of the windows are fixed and some crank out, but what I like the most about this delivery is the french doors. I think they are going to work out perfectly.

ply gem windows and doors

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04/24/15 Friday – Electrical Work


The wiring in the farmhouse is getting done quickly. Management of this department is Hubby's job. Well, it's actually the contractor's job, but he seems to be MIA a majority of the time. Anyway, Hubby said that he's very please with the electrician's work. And it looks clean and tidy to me too except for the web work of wiring installed above the master bathroom. All in all I have to agree with Hubby, excellent job done.

wiring house

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04/23/15 Thursday – Hot Tin Roof


The roof is coming along quickly. We're pleased with it. We went with a white standing-seam roof for several reasons but here are a few that I know of:
It was recommended by our son who is a professional roofer.
White to reflect sun and for life expectancy; both save money.
Standing-seam has no problems with screws backing out like with other metal-type roofs.

metal roof

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04/21/15 Tuesday – Let There Be Light


Included in our open floor plan in the farmhouse were as many windows as I could possibly have, but we also wanted the living room and kitchen area to make a statement. So we opted for a cathedral ceiling and huge windows facing south - towards what Hubby considers the back of the house. Personally, I don't think we have a front or a back to our farmhouse. The north side has a long wrap-around farmhouse porch, pillars, entry door and views of farmland and cattle. The south side has french doors that lead to a fairly large covered porch with a view of the mountain range.
Two fronts. Two views.

windows

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04/14/15 Tuesday – Yummy Tummy


This is one of our favorite meals; we call it Mexicali. It's easy and quick. Chili on linguine, sprinkled with sweet onions and cheese. Delicious.

mexicali

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04/10/15 Friday – Avocado Delight


I love avocado season! I just chop 'em up and drizzle Zesty Italian dressing over them. Yum!

avocado and chips

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04/08/15 Wednesday – Progress


The roof on the farmhouse is getting done a lot faster than anything else. We are quite impressed.

farmhouse roof

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04/07/15 Tuesday – Outside Shower


We do have plans to install an outside shower, but this isn't what I had in mind.

tub and shower unit

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04/06/15 Monday – Big Boy Toys


Hubby's workshop is coming together nicely. I call it his ToyBox. He calls it TimeOut.

shop

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04/05/15 Sunday – Easter Tree


I needed a little happy happy and a big stress relief, so I hung Easter eggs from the Wisteria.

easter tree

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04/04/15 Saturday – Shop Side Up


They are installing the siding on Hubby's workshop. It's the same siding that was chosen for the farmhouse; I insisted that his shop have the same likeness as the farmhouse. Hubby is very very please with the decision to do so. We're loving the look!

shop

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04/03/15 Friday – Lift It


This makes me so excited. This part of the roof is a feature of the farmhouse that will give it the character that it needs to break up that boxy look.

farmhouse trusses

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04/02/15 Thursday – Put A Roof On It


Look! A roof! Well, kind of. Trusses are on the farmhouse! Whoohoo!

farmhouse trusses

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03/31/15 Tuesday – Come On In


We were given another list of things to shop for. I think I'm going to die from shopping. I've never done so much shopping in my entire life! Nevertheless, the front door was on the list of things to buy. And let me tell you, the price of exterior doors can get mighty expensive! There is no way in hell I'm going to spend $3,000, let alone $500, on a front door. No, not gonna happen. I like pretty, yeah, but quality and performance is much more important to me. I settled for a $250.00 door.

front door

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03/30/15 Monday – Heat It Up


Ugh, more shopping. Today we had to shop for a pellet stove. These are not popular in the south, but we found a little shop in Greeneville that has pellet stoves. When we walked into the store to acquire a pellet stove insert for a fireplace we instantly walked into this lil' beauty. It's not an insert, but Hubby and I both fell instantly in love with it. Sold. Now our original plan is up in smoke so we'll have to make some changes.

pellet stove

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03/27/15 Friday – Truss Up


There was quite a bit of specialized engineering that went into these hurricane-resistant trusses and the roofing profile to ensure added safety.

trusses

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03/26/15 Thursday – Stand Tall


The framing subcontractor and his crew have some awesome work ethics! Great job done! We are beyond impressed! This is how all work on a house should be done. Timely speaks volumes...quality work does too.

interior walls

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03/25/15 Wednesday – All In A Day


Our lil' farmhouse now has walls. Now these guys are fast! Good job!

house walls

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03/24/15 Tuesday – Going Up


We have two walls! TWO! Two WALLS!

house walls

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03/23/15 Monday – Wood Work


It has begun! The subcontractors are building walls!

wood for farmhouse walls

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03/22/15 Sunday – How Slow Can You Go


Building a house down here in Tennessee is about as slow as watching snow melt on top of Mt. Roberts in December! Contractors in Alaska get houses built in 4 months flat, sometimes faster. We aren't even remotely close to getting done with the farmhouse. Waiting on some of these guys to actually get things done is as painful as getting hit by a train. Argh.

train

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03/21/15 Saturday – Orchard For Two


We planted a small orchard: apple, pear, plum, and cherry trees. Fun!

fruit trees

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03/18/15 Wednesday – Slackers


We have a shop but no farmhouse yet. This is not how I had imagined our building process.

workshop

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03/17/15 Tuesday – Shop Shack


There is a lot of progress on the shop. It now has a roof and the siding is getting done.

workshop

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03/12/15 Thursday – Shop Talk


I'm not exactly sure why, but Hubby's workshop is getting done a lot faster than the farmhouse. Hum.

workshop

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03/11/15 Wednesday – Concrete Crud


Mud was poured; concrete is setting. I'm experienced in this area, so I know a crappy job when I see it. We are beyond disappointed. Smoke keeps billowing out of my ears.

concrete job

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03/09/15 Monday – Mud


Finally the house foundation is getting poured. Three months later. THREE months from our start date! This building process is going entirely too slow. Crazy. But I'm happy we got mud! Whoop! Whoop!

house foundation pour

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03/06/15 Friday – Going Up


Hubby's shop has trusses! He is very excited! Makes me smile.

shop trusses

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03/04/15 Wednesday – Shop Work


The walls on Hubby's workshop are going up!

shop walls

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02/24/15 Tuesday – Winter Wren


The snow is so pretty on the farm. It looks like those peaceful fairy-tale farm pictures I use to only see in books.

snowy birdhouse

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02/17/15 Tuesday – Wish For Winter


Snow was a requirement of mine before moving away from Alaska. I love snow. So when I learned that Tennessee actually did get snow, I was content. I have learned that snow does not last long in Tennessee. Snow comes and you better not blink because it melts away very very quickly.

snowy farm

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02/09/15 Monday – Fourteen Days


It seems like every time we turn around we are told by the contractor that the next step will get started in "two weeks". Um, okay. So something gets done on the shop or the farmhouse. Great! But then we have to wait two weeks for something else to get started and done? Hum. I certainly hope that this isn't going to become a habit of his.


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02/05/15 Thursday – Phenomenon


This is so cool! It's called Needle Ice. It occurs here when soil temperature is above 32 degrees Fahrenheit while the temperature of the air on the surface is below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. I've never seen this before. Way cool! It literally looks like grass made of ice.

needle ice

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02/04/15 Wednesday – Aftermath


Thankfully the wind storm didn't do too much damage.

wind storm damage

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02/03/15 Tuesday – Twisted Ways


We had one heck of a wind storm last night. Hubby, me, and the Contractor were out in the middle of it chasing hundreds of dollars worth of insulation. Then the guys had me sit on top of the piled insulation as they gathered more. With 70 mile per hour winds, I straddled that pile and hung on tight! Being relatively new to Tennessee I was unfamiliar with what did or did not come with such powerful winds so I was a little bit worried. As the pile grew bigger it required me to position my body parts in very awkward positions. I finally got a chance to adjust my position and was comfortably waiting on the guys to bring me more insulation. I looked to my right and saw something flying towards me at 100 miles per hour or more. WHAM! I got hit. Then that big piece of pink insulation flew off of me as fast as it flew into me. I felt like I was in the movie Twister. I didn't know if a cow or a semi would fly by next, but I was much more alert and on the lookout. Thankfully, no one got hurt. And except for the insulation that flew more than 10 acres away, we gathered and saved a majority of it. We could only wait until morning to find if there was any other damage...and there was. The fierce winds threw the steel rebar mesh everywhere and twisted it up haphazardly, much like a young child would wad up and toss a tissue after blowing his runny nose. There was nothing that we could do about the mangled rebar mesh. The subcontractor will need to replace it.

twisted rebar mesh

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01/31/15 Saturday – Home Base


Progress on the foundation for the farmhouse is coming along slowly but surely.

foundation of house

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01/28/15 Wednesday – Talkin' Mud


The mud truck showed up! The shop pad is getting poured today!

mud for shop foundation

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01/27/15 Tuesday – Shop Rock


The shop got rock. Hopefully it will get a pad soon.

rock for foundation

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01/25/15 Sunday – Ice Bath


We got snow! This makes me very very happy.

snow and bird bath

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01/24/15 Saturday – Keep It Cold


This was another easy choice. Whew. Quick and easy. But shopping was still very painful. So was the price tag.

frig

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01/23/15 Friday – Quick Pick


More shopping. Ugh. This was an easy choice though. I don't fall for the fancy cycles offered on some models of clothes washers and dryers. I don't need fancy digital display doohickeys or lighted lids. Just give me a washer that fills with water, has an agitator, rinses, and ends after spinning. Then give me a dryer that has low, medium, and high temperature cycles. It's that simple. Go cheap. Done.

washer and dryer

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01/21/15 Wednesday – Poo Poo Pee Pee


The septic tanks got installed. There's no city sewer lines this far out in the country.

farmhouse septic tanks

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01/20/15 Tuesday – Plumb Thumb


The plumbing for the farmhouse is getting routed.

farmhouse plumbing

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01/13/15 Tuesday – Dew Drops


The dew drops are frozen on the irises. Cool.

frozen dew drops on iris

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01/07/15 Wednesday – Bless This Food


Yummy in my tummy. Sauteed ground Italian sausage, garlic, onions, butter, Parmesan cheese, and mascarpone served over pasta. Delicious!

mascarpone pasta

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01/03/15 Saturday – Foundation Framework


I sure am glad to see that these concrete guys were smart enough to build framework before pouring the foundation. But is it squared up?

framework for foundation of house

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01/02/15 Friday – Footing Fundamentals


I'm not convinced that these concrete guys know what they are doing. No forms were built or used when pouring the footings for the house. They just dug a trench and poured the mud. Very very odd.

footing for house without forms

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01/01/15 Thursday – We're Building A House


I'm in shock really. Still. I can't believe we have finally started building our little farmhouse. December 1st was the official O.k.-to-start date, but it wasn't until December 7th, 2014 - one week later - that we broke ground.

blueprints

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