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!**

img_20160918_122126735_hdr

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.

img_20160929_171810230

**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!

IMG_20160528_172013774 (1)

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!

 

 

 

 

 

House Updates.

Well, I bet you were starting to think I had kicked back and was reading a book, enjoying a nice cup of tea.

Wrong.

Progress has still be occurring.

Slow…but occurring.

So, big news. Garden 2.0 has been started for 2017.  I know.  I am nuts. After holding a board meeting, the board (mom) and I decided that it would be best to expand.  Now, this does not necessarily mean I will be planting MORE.  But it does mean that I will be giving myself more room between plants to work.

img_20160911_160422284

Which really means, I’ll be giving the weeds LOTS of extra space!

However, I am really excited about the expansion.  My compost bin will now be within the parameters of the garden.  I will…of course…be adding a couple of new plants.  Overall, I think it will just give me a lot more room to enjoy!

In other news….the grapevines!!!!

One of the most exciting things I found when I moved in last fall was the grapevines.

IMG_20150908_164023991.jpg

They are very overgrown and a big bushy mess…but they did produce grapes!  I was a little late in picking them, but I was still able to get enough gathered to make some AMAZING grape jelly!

I am going to skip all the pictures in the middle (mostly because I didn’t take that many…lol!).  But I will say this, I now believe that I will never be able to enjoy store bought grape jelly again!

img_20160914_214342365

It was definitely a labor of love….but oh my.

So. Worth. It.

Wrapping up this crazy weekend was a BIG day at the house!

We had a work day scheduled with Mr. T and Dad anyway (I’ll be posting an update on the storm cellar soon….we are on the home stretch!)  But then I was able to get someone down to come down and take the gutters off.  Plans are also in the works for what the new roof is going to be and possible window upgrades!  Thing LONG TERM…but it’s nice to know the options…especially in regards to the windows.

So, before an after!  The falling apart gutters and dilapidated gutters are GONE!!  I know it doesn’t seem like much, but it’s one baby step to the entire process of bringing this house back.

Mr. T thinks she’s sexy.

I think she’s getting sexier the more we get down to the basics.  I literally CAN NOT wait to get all of the trim cleaned up and painting white again.

This is going to be a very long and slow process…but little milestones like today keep me hopeful!

Peace out peeps.

 

Panic…I mean…Fall is in the Air

Morning everyone!

So, I don’t know about the rest of you, but I normally LOVE Fall.  The only part I historically don’t enjoy is the loss of sunlight. But the rest of it….bring it on!

images

This year is a little different.

Now, I see the beautiful leaves falling to the ground and a myriad of thoughts run through my brain.

Then the panic starts.

I feel…more than usual…that there will NEVER be enough time.

So, the To Do list comes back in full force.

  1. Prepare for the invasion (mice,bugs and critters…oh my!)

**Speaking of invasions…what the hell is this???**

img_20160910_083108088

  1. Built a basement door (that might help with the invasion)
  2. Plant bulbs and final push in the flowerbeds for the year (because I am already envisioning the beauty for next year!)
  3. Garden…oh my garden…you will be bigger and better for next year (if I have time).
  4. Order the bare root trees to prep for planting in the spring (big goals to get some new trees started!)
  5. Classes…so many options for Fall fun!
  6. Enjoy pumpkin everything.

The next class at the house is all set up scheduled…but dear lord, it’s only two weeks away!

See what I mean.

Pure panic.

lmy5p

So, with that being said.  Does anyone else feel this kind of pressure this time of year?

Oh, and if there wasn’t enough.  I think I am going to make concord grape jelly tomorrow.  I think you could get drunk from the grapes ripening right now!  Too many to just waste!

Peace out peeps.

 

 

Storm Cellar, Phase 2

Well, I know you have all been sitting on the edge of your seats waiting patiently for the next “chapter” of the storm cellar renovation at the house.

Since I am a people pleaser….

Here ya go!

So, I left off with the really cool old piece that we were able to salvage after it fell into the bottom of the storm cellar well, after the wall collapsed.

After setting the right side of the steps, we started working on the left side again.  To finish building the wall and place the cap piece.

IMG_20160710_102526922_HDR

Big Bertha came

IMG_20160710_121847518

Little did we know, that place what is the “right” side of the top piece (that was broken into 3 pieces) would be the easy side.  We tried REALLY hard to keep the left side in one piece.  Unfortunately, due to it’s size and weight, it became too much of a safety hazard and we were forced to cut it into smaller, more manageable pieces.

IMG_20160710_101841125

This is just a cheesy picture of us working….I mean, I couldn’t resist!

IMG_20160710_163356783

By the end of this work day (which was actually July 7th, for documentation purposes), this is what my awesome new storm cellar looks like!  Just to remind you….this was the before….

So scary!!!!

IMG_20160607_095040828

Once again, could not thank Mr. T. enough for sharing his expertise in this project!

Onto the next project…

IMG_20160710_161147119A

Step design 101.  Who likes to play with blocks??

Peace out peeps.

 

Storm Cellar, Phase 1

Good evening fine folks!

Oh my Lord….what a fast summer!  It has been jam packed with so many projects, I hardly know where to start to share with everyone.  But, I am going to do my best to recap the summer in a way that actually makes sense…lots of things were overlapping and are still being wrapped up, so this could get sketchy! Hang in there!

With so much going on, let’s just remind ourselves of this fact, the work in a 160 year old home is never done.

Ever.

Layer 1

So, this photo was taken June 7th.  At this very moment, I was preparing to unveil what could be the worst nightmare of my life.  But as it turns out, it was only a minor nightmare.

IMG_20160607_095040828

Under the 3 layers of plywood and rubber mats, this was my storm cellar entrance. Definitely not what I had hoped for.  I felt pretty defeated at this moment, because I had no clue how exactly to fix it.  But I did know that it was going to be a grueling amount of hard work.

So, I called in a favor to a friend of my dad’s.  He was the only person I could think of who would have ANY idea on how to fix this.

Introduce to the play, Mr. T.

What a character!

If I were writing a script, I don’t think I could have imagined a person like Mr. T.  The best way to describe him is as follows…

He is a true force of nature, with perseverance, intellect, culture and loyalty…all mixed together to form 71 years of more experiences and stories of a fully lived life than any person I have ever met.

All of this put together just means that every work day was awesome…and fun!

IMG_20160624_110550104_HDR

Without boring you with all of the minor details, I am going to share with you some of the cooler pictures of this process.  It involved cutting and shaping both old and new stones, lots of physics and crushed limestone, all coming together to put the jigsaw puzzle back together.

IMG_20160630_122338647_HDR

On Day 2, we started to disassemble the other wall and cleaning out the bottom of the pit.  It was also the first time we had the basement door open.

IMG_20160630_145752648

The mass cleaning of the basement has started…but that might have to be another post of it’s own!  lol!

IMG_20160706_103313783

Mr. T invented this super cool contraption out of an Adjusta-Post and a jack from an old VW.  “Big Bertha” as we fondly named her, played a vital roll in pushing specific stones set lower in the well back into place.  This was kind of tricky because when the house was built, the foundation walls, the storm cellar walls and steps were all dove-tailed and integrated together as they built it.  So, naturally, if you start messing with one piece of the puzzle…other pieces are bound to move!

IMG_20160707_141824408

So, very slowly…we reconstructed the walls.

IMG_20160707_145954307.jpg

One of the coolest finds in this process was finding this top piece.  Over the years, it is what started the collapse of the wall.  It fell into the well first and broke in the process.  However, we were able to piece it back together based on this amazing detail on the back of it.  Notice that the original craftsman finished the face of the stone in two different textures.  The bulkier texture was designed to be underground and never seen, helping to anchor the stone into place.  The finer detail was meant to show off a little and can be found on the rest of the foundation stones.

Now, because it’s getting late and I fear I could bore you….and another episode of Grey’s just ended on Netflix…I will end Phase 1 here!  No worries…Phase 2 and 3 are right around the corner.  Next scheduled work date for the storm cellar is August 5th, so no worries…you won’t have to wait long!

Peace out peeps.

Where does time go??

My deepest apologies everyone!  I took a break from life and I didn’t realize so much time has passed since my last post.

I took a few days and went camping with a dear friend and let’s be honest, I needed it!  But no worries, life was jam-packed every minute leading up to the trip and it’s been non-stop since I returned.

So, let’s get caught up!

Door color.  I know, you’ve all been suffering from sleepless nights contemplating what color I could have possibly selected!  Well, let me put your curiosity to rest.

The gorgeous spruce green was the winner!  Now, only 4 more doors to go!  Every layer of paint added seems to bring her (I have decided the house is a female) shine out a little more.

Then there was hay.  307 bales total were put up in the barn over Father’s Day weekend.  Along with judging the car show at Stan Hywet.

IMG_20160618_201525030_TOP
This is my super happy face after loading a trailer in 90 degree weather, and this was only load #1 of 4. 

Then I taught my first painting class at the house and if I do say so myself, I thought it was pretty amazing! These ladies all were so cool to work with!

IMG_20160623_192905316

I was so impressed with the level of work they created.  Especially since this was a first opportunity to paint for some of them!

IMG_20160623_205128746
Our interpretation of poppy fields!

 

Then somewhere in the week, this other little project started, because lord knows, sticking with one thing and finishing it is too easy.  I am super excited about it, but because it looks like I am crazy at this point…I won’t show you any more pictures until it’s completely done.

But let’s just say, I am taking re-purposing to a whole new level.

IMG_20160621_192729133

 

Finally, the big project.

The storm cellar.

We have now completed two hugely successful work days on this project. We are scheduled for 3 more days next week and hopefully it will be pretty much done by that point.

IMG_20160624_095015282
This was the first piece being moved!  

I CAN NOT express how much better it already looks and that now, I even have hope that it’s going to be stunning when it’s reconstructed.  I am actually thrilled that it’s location is right by the main entrance to the house, because I want to showcase this amazing feature of the home.

You’ll hear more about the gentleman helping with the project later, but I just want to put a massive public thank you out there to Mr. T.  Truly sir, this project would have been dead in the water the first moment I dropped a stone on my foot.  Your knowledge, experience and tenacity have all been pivotal factors to this coming together.  Not to mention, the life lessons you have already instilled in me are priceless.

I’m going to hold back on the rest of my flattery until the project is done!

So, with all of the catching up, it brings us right into the best holiday of the summer in my opinion!

Please have a wonderful, safe and fun 4th of July.

bigstock-vintage-flyer-poster-or-backg-45965746

Peace out peeps.

 

Cicada Love

Morning!

So, as we are reaching the end of the Love Season for the 17-Year Cicada here in Northeastern Ohio, I have to admit two things.

One.  I think I might actually start to miss them.

Two.  I have learned a whole new appreciation for their plight in this world.

 

My largest interaction with them over the last few weeks was at the Parental Homestead while cleaning stalls and working with the ponies.  I’ve dealt with them in water buckets, on halters and lead ropes, getting down my shirt, in my hair and boots, the constant drone of their love call hum…it’s been interesting to say the least.

 

article-2322449-19A9E558000005DC-188_634x976

Interesting facts I have learned about them.

  1. They are active while they are underground for those 17 years.
  2. Their wings fill with fluid to expand out in order to take flight.
  3. Most dogs love to eat them.
  4. Many get crushed in the mass exodus to make it a tree while emerging from their underground abodes.

Check out more on fun sites like Cicada Mania.

Just to make it slightly more real…

But, I have also had a lot of time to ponder their existence.

2-Cicadas-In-Love

Their main goal upon exiting their tunnels is to procreate the future generations.

So, it makes one wonder….at least me…because I might be the only weirdo on the planet who thinks of things like this…

  1. Do Cicadas have dating preferences?  I mean, when they exit the ground, are they all hung up on the qualifications of their future partner?
  2. Are there ones that play the game?  “Well, I’m just gonna wait and see if something better comes along?”
  3. Are there ones that take on the “hit it and quit it” philosophy?
  4. Is one cicadas song more appealing than another?
  5. Or does Mother Nature just take over and it’s a matter of functionality, not individual preference?

I mean, as humans, it gets so complicated on the journey to find a mate.  There are so many preferences and ideals to be attained, only to be squashed at any point in time.

After swimming in the deep end of the dating cesspool, trust me…I know.

How can these bugs make it look so easy?

Anyway, enough of “Deep Thoughts With Lyndsey” for the morning.  I am sure your brains are starting to bleed from the randomness of trying to follow my thoughts!

I promise the next few posts are going to be all house related!  There is SOOOOO much happening, it’s hard to know where to start.  But there will be LOTS of before and after pics coming!  Most exciting…work on the storm cellar starts next week!  That should provide lots of entertaining stories!

First painting class this  Thursday!  Can’t wait to share the results!  It’s going to be great!

Peace out peeps.

 

 

 

Oh Damn.

Officially Day 3 of my summer breaks is in the books.

I have to admit, so far, I have been rather productive on my To Do list.  Now, that is not without some serious ADHD moments.

Imagine working on a retaining wall for a half-hour, pausing to spray paint wicker furniture, sewing cushions for said wicker, painting a custom order and then back to the retaining wall.  Best part, that’s just today!

So, yesterday, I finally started tackled one of the big projects around this joint.

The very first time I came to see the house, I noticed this covered up nightmare, where you could see a HINT of a collapsed wall.

IMG_20150901_163332890

I knew that immediately this was going to be a problem.  But because I moved in so late in the year, I beefed it up a little and decided it would have to wait until spring.

So, yesterday was the big reveal day!!! Layers 1 & 2….

This is it folks.  Two words. Hot. Mess.

Make that three words.

Hot. Damn. Mess.

IMG_20160607_095040828

 

Actually, truth be told….I couldn’t handle it.  So, I came in the house and ate chips.

All I could think was…if I were to click my heels three times in some gorgeous ruby red slippers….

rubyslippersstillcopy

It would magically look like this????

IMG_20160528_172013774 (1)

The best  part was that Momma came down last night.  She literally put her hands on her hips and stared at it, for a good 7 minutes mind you, before she just flat out said, “I don’t know what you’re gonna do about that.”

I started to take a poll on Facebook, so far majority vote is to restore it back to what it was, versus just blocking it up and calling it a day (which is SOOOO Daddy-O’s vote)  So, anyone out in cyberland have a vote?  The best part of that…the vote is the easy part.  Moving those heavy ass sandstone is the problem.

Peace out peeps!