Storm Cellar Pt. 3,408

Yep.

You read that right.

That’s what it FEELS like.

The longest project ever.

BUT, we are most definitely on the homestretch!

This week, we poured the final portions of concrete to make the landing “pad” at the bottom of the steps.  We also started the repair work on the one step that had suffered so much water damage that it had actually turned back into sand.

Last Sunday, we had another work day at the house. Mr. T, Dad and I all got to play in concrete!  **I swear that I work on these projects…I just been voted official documentation person…so sometimes it’s hard to document myself!**

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You can see from this angle, that second step down that was so damaged.  We were able to concrete in a cap to help close the distance between the steps!  It’s still not finished out at this point, but it will be in 2017.

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**Please note..**

I started this blog post LAST WEEK!!!  This is embarrassing that sometimes accomplishing the little things can feel like climbing Mr. Everest!

The reason I am pointing this out is…

We have been living in torrential rain all week long.  Which translates to this, all of the improvements are WORKING!!  The basement is dry!!!  The drain is working.  The gutters are working.  The french drain is working!  It’s a BEAUTIFUL day in rainy Ohio when this happens in my world!

So, tomorrow…last work day for this project is scheduled.  We are planning on building the door frame and door.  I will be working on dragging the rest of the crap that has been down there out and covering that drain.  All said and done…one step closer to a decent, not scary, functioning old basement!  YES!!!

By next year….my basement entrance will be as cool as this!

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I even have the matching yellow hose!

Next week, painting class!!!  So….lots happening this week.  Meaning…probably not gonna blog. (if you’re local and interested, click here!)

I just like to keep it real around here!

Oh, and I finally did it this week!  I pulled the cranky yellow horse out of semi-retirement! For your viewing enjoyment!

Peace out peeps!

 

 

 

 

 

Story Time.

Morning!

When I bought the farm, I promised myself that I would step it up a notch in the world of craftsmanship.  I wanted to be sure to do things of quality, not just in a haste to mark something off of the To Do List.

Now, please understand, I have never really done shoddy work.  I am WAY to OCD for that.

But I wanted this to be different.  I wanted to complete projects in way that they wouldn’t have to be fixed up or finished off later.  I wanted to enjoy the process as much as the end result.  Everything would get done in a timely fashion with the right amount of attention going into all of the details.  It’s the least thing I can do for this place, is to do it right.

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This urge came from a story told at my Grandpa B.’s funeral by my Uncle.  It was the first I had heard this tale and it is something that I am reminded of constantly.  Especially around the farm.

Apparently, in his youth, my Uncle had started wallpapering for people.  In a conversation with my Grandpa, my Uncle was asked if he signed his work.  Uncle R. replied that he signed the back of the last piece of wallpaper that he hung on each job.  My Grandpa informed him that he was doing it wrong and that he should sign the FIRST piece of wallpaper he hung.

The reasoning is simple.

If you wait to sign your work, it means you can also decide to NOT sign it.

Maybe you were having a bad day, maybe you were running late and you cut a few corners in the quality department.   Either way, you can decide whether or not you would put your name to your work.

However, if you sign your work at the BEGINNING, you are committed to a higher quality of work from the very start. You can’t get away from the fact that you already put your name your work and have an expectation to live up to.

So, with that being said, I have signed my name to this place.

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I am committed.

In so many ways…hee hee hee!

What does this mean in real life?   It means that I actually rebuilt a retaining wall 4 times this week.  Just to get it right.

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This is the final version…can’t wait for this area to be done! It’s gonna be ADORABLE!

It also means that I’ll be committed before this house is completed.  For sure.

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Stay tuned….I have a expert in the field of sandstone stopping by the house Monday morning to discuss the glorious storm cellar.   Should be awesome.

Peace out peeps.

Canning and White Elephants

Hey hey!

What a beautiful evening we are having here in Northeast Ohio!   You’re probably thinking to yourself, “Well then…lazy butt…why aren’t you outside working???”

Trust me, I have already had guilt over this detail.

But, when I made the agenda for the evening, it was dreary and looked like it was going to rain most of the evening.

So, although…I have a whole pile of plant donations (thank you to everyone who is helping to get these gardens in shape!!!) to get in the ground, I decided to get some inside chores done.

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The evening started with this really cool guy coming out to the house to talk to me about the barn!  As I have said before, I LOVE finding other people who have a similar passion for these old buildings like I do.  Big thanks to Randy Smith of Ohio Valley Barn Salvage!  With his expertise, we were able to determine that parts of the barn are from around 1840, while the majority of it was built around 1880.

He called my barn a white elephant.

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So, the house is a Purple Cow and the barn is a White Elephant…what’s going on around here?  Pink Chickens next???

Apparently, it’s unique for a couple of reasons.  First of all, it is a mess of two barns put together.  Two, it has milled beams that are long enough that they would have had to have been cut in the late 19th century.  However, the quirk, it is still assembled with pegs.

Did you know there was such a thing as Sears and Montgomery Ward barns? Just like the houses???  SO COOL! They were being produced at the turn of the century and it was at that time that barns generally started to be assembled with nails.

So, all of this being said.  The bad boy is going to stay exactly where it is for at least the next year.  Just going to wait out the options.  I’m still playing the lottery…still writing Ellen…so there are still possibilities!  Heck, I even chased a rainbow tonight!

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Either way, the best part was having another great conversation with a stranger about something as cool as an old barn.  I can not begin to tell you how many times over the last 7 months, this house and adventure have given me opportunities to meet new people and learn a little more every day!  For that alone, I am so grateful!

So, topics up next…canning, a brief history on mortar (waiting in anticipation….I know!) and gardening.  I am sure, just because I am me…that there will also be at least one random insight on something mixed in there.  Vague, huh?  Luckily for me, that whole ramble made perfect sense…at least in my head!

Back to the canning adventures!

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There’s your hint!  More to come on that!

Peace out peeps.

Please consider…

Hi everyone!

So, if you didn’t know…I am trying to not only restore the house, but trying to save the glorious old barn (which is actually 1 year older than the house).  Because of that, please consider taking a look at my GoFundMe page and maybe even sharing the link…

I would GREATLY appreciate it.

Maybe word will get to one of those Powerball winners???????

Thanks everyone!

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What would YOU do????

So, big news in the world…

Have you heard about the lottery?  It’s up to an insane $675 million I guess!  Maybe more by now, that was the number I read hours ago.

Confession time.

I have a serious obsession with the lottery when it gets this high.  HOW CAN YOU NOT!?!?!?!?

It’s just so fun to dream, imagine, envision the life you could create for yourself and those around you! I was watching the news the other day and they were saying that you had better chances of having identical sextuplets.

Well, here’s my argument.

Someone always does win.  ALWAYS.  And if you don’t buy a ticket or two, the odds are WAY worse of not winning (math was NEVER a strong point with me!).

Plus, it’s a little cheap thrill in life.

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Unlike this poor guy!

So, what would you do?  Where would you move?  Who would you help? Jump on board the dream boat and just have fun dreaming of the possibilities.  Our regular session with reality will start again as soon as someone…lucky bastard…wins!

But, while I was shopping for my next dream house (no worries, I would still finish restoring this one to it’s glory days!) I stumbled upon this fitting article!

How to Buy a House you Can’t Afford

Thanks Circa Old Houses for the great read and help!  If you have never taken a moment to check out their site, it’s wonderful.  Splendid layout.  Broad selection of historic homes and eye candy for days for those of you who love drooling over those old gems as much as I do!

 

Barn Saving

Hi everyone!

So, I have been struggling with a bit of a challenge lately.  My barn.  My big, old, glorious, airy, stunning, huge bank barn.  I love it.  Every inch of the monstrous mess.

This last weekend, we were blessed with 60+ degree weather in Northeast Ohio.   I actually worked out in the yard in a t-shirt and jeans!  It was pretty surreal actually.  But, this leads me to the topic at hand.  With the cows gone, I had my first chance (with daylight that is) to walk around the entire barn and “assess” it a little more.  When I first bought the place, the weeds were higher than my waist, so the cows cleaned that part up nicely.  But, oh….my….it’s slightly depressing.

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This is the back of the barn, obviously…there are some roof issues…

I have huge plans for this barn. I am going to be perfectly honest, delusional plans.  Hopes.  Dreams.

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But I do love it.

Pipe dreams.

But aside from those plans, I would really love to just SAVE this piece of history.  I just have no idea how to do it.  It’s a very simple problem. Funding.  I am working on getting some quotes to just stop the deterioration  any further.  I know that if I can’t save it, I have to know that I at least exhausted every idea I could come up with.  I have to be ok with it…but it is sickening to me.  I look at these barns and I just get all…yeah…romantic.

Really romantic.  Sentimental.  Mushy.  Sappy.

I admire the people who built these things.  Every single little thing that went into putting this massive structure together.  Every piece was cut or made by hand and someone, lots of someones, touched every piece of the place.  The community.  The people.  The work.  They built that barn…and this country.

Those who are reading this, who actually know me, know I am pretty fiercely independent person.  I have had to swallow my pride on this one and realize, I can not do this alone.  A community of people came together to build it, and maybe a community of people can help save it.  So, I’m pushing forward in my campaign to save it, pride swallowed.

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Ok, so this is a little sadder.  Apparently the cows have no respect for aesthetics.

Oh lord…it’s Monday… and way to early for my soapbox speech!  Lol!

Quick facts on the barn:

It was built in 1857, making it 159 years old.

It is 40×80 and approximately 3 stories tall from the lower level all the way up (maybe more, I haven’t been brave enough to climb to measure….yet)

It was built 1 year before the current house (the first house was in 1831) and was a pivotal part of the property being used as a stagecoach stop.

Apparently, the bottom was for horses and it was where the stagecoach horses were rested.

It looked like this in 1971 (this is a negative, the barn would have still been painted a darker color). So, in a mere 45 years, it has taken a drastic downhill turn.

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So, as a good friend asked me…what is my plan.

  1. Continue to save nickels, dimes and dollars.  Just hope and pray I can save faster than it deteriorates.
  2. Continue to buy random lotto tickets (always under 5 bucks and typically on a whim…no worries, I’m not addicted).
  3. Continue to try to win on MyCokeRewards…my body will fall apart from the amount of Diet Coke I’m drinking, but it will be worth it!
  4. There is a GoFundMe, https://www.gofundme.com/savethisbarn Maybe there are people out there who would want to help save it. The barn is worth far more than my pride in that regard.
  5. Ellen.  I will write Ellen.  I just hope she finds me funny.  Plus, they like horses…and I’ve seen pictures of her barn…GORGEOUS!
  6. Continue to save nickels, dimes and dollars.  Just hope and pray I can save faster than it deteriorates.  🙂

Thank you for reading this.  Hopefully, you’ll be inspired to just share this post…get my goal a little further out there in the world.  Any little bit will help!