Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Lonesome Duct

03/30: HVAC began today. Some duct work put up. Furnace room dry walled with fireproof sheetrock. 03/31: Indoor plumbing started, guess we won't need an outhouse after all!
This is the laundry room.

03/31: Shingles delivered and placed on roof. Come back tomorrow, bet there will be a picture of the finished roof!

Monday, March 29, 2010

The Stockings Were Hung by the Chimney With Care

03/29: The fireplace was framed today! It will have stone to the ceiling and lots of shelves too! Today must have been cleanup day because all of the scrap wood was picked up and the inside swept out. The power company has been in the neighborhood cutting down trees to extend the power line on down to our end of the road. I think HVAC comes next, duct work, etc. Waiting on the windows to be delivered.
We found another pack rat nest yesterday. This one was towards the front of the property rather than in the back where the other little fella lives. There were two really old sawhorses by the nest too.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

A River Doesn't Run Through It

03/27: The roofers put down the tar paper today on the house and the shed. Just in time before the heavy rain started right after this picture was taken! The tar paper should help keep the inside dry.

Friday, March 26, 2010


Hooray for Fridays! Met Bobby, Sara, and Evan at the land after work. That big smile on Evan's face is because his Cats are still in the tournament and the Hawks are not!
03/26: Siding on house is finished. Decorative vents installed on both peaks now. The rough-in is complete! Mr. & Mrs. Roofer came by at 6:00 to set up their equipment, you can see him up on the roof in this picture.

Another Friday evening spent at Home Depot, this time looking at tile and a base for the shower, bathroom vanities, paint, insulation. I think we're both beginning to get overwhelmed with the decorating decisions, we're thinking about calling in the calvary.....Teresa that is!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Party Hearty

Today is my Mom's 81st birthday and before and after her birthday dinner we drove her out to the land to check things out. It's our favorite thing to do! Happy Birthday Mom, hope you enjoyed the trip too.

03/25: Front and back porch roofs were put on. The front porch peak was added. Roof sheathing is finished. And more wrapping. The outside profile is really taking shape and I like it even better than how it looked in the plans!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

03/23 & 03/24 Progress

03/23: Shed windows & door installed, shake shingles finished. Bobby says you have to know the special secret knock to get into his shed. He told my Mom he'd teach her the secret knock! I'm still waiting for him to offer to teach it to me. :) 03/24: All roof trusses installed on house, sheathing on part of roof, north end of house wrapped, master bath shower bench and shelves roughed in.
03/24: Vaulted ceiling in living room. We've been anxiously waiting for the trusses to get installed so we could see how the vaulting would look, we likey!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Raising the Roof

03/22: Roof trusses are being put in place, all inside walls are framed now,
and house wrap put on garage.03/22: Shed is looking awesome, first application of the shake shingles,
we are very pleased with how they look!
Was very excited to discover a nice surprise this evening while walking around inside the house. You can hear the melting snow runoff coursing down the two creeks and it sounds almost like the stream behind our favorite campground in Wyoming.
I am so in love with this place!!!!!!!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Not a Happy Cow

Why this cow is not a happy cow:

1) She's a plain ol' Kansas cow, not one of those overpaid Hollywood California cows of recent commercial fame.

2) She was removed from the header of this blog to be replaced with a 'species correct' header picture.

When I first sent this blog link to friends, a couple of my more rural savvy friends sent me these email replies which made me chuckle:

"Cool!! But I hate to tell you this… that large black and white animal in your Lonesome Duck caption…is not a duck!!"

"Looked at your website, very interesting but first photo IS NOT A DUCK!"

So I've corrected the header photo to avoid any future confusion!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

1st Day of Spring in Kansas

This is what the land looked like this morning on the 1st day of Spring. The snow is really pretty, but come on, enough already! We're ready for GREEN!

The poor little robins are so confused, they were all flying close to the road trying to find somewhere to land that was not covered with snow or maybe they were hunting for food. It was the oddest sight and they were that way in the suburbs and the country both, I was so sure we were going to hit some of them but they always managed to fly out of harms way.

03/20: Someone had been out to the land before
us this morning, probably the contractor.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Better Than New Car Smell

Do you know what smells better than a new car? Turning into the gravel driveway and being hit with that wonderful new wood smell even though the windows are closed. It's that strong. Never expected that....mmmmmm nice.
03/19: House. All of the inside walls are up!
This is standing in the kitchen, looking out over the eating bar towards the living room.
03/19: The 30x36 shed. Bobby is very excited.
03/19: Shed, as you walk in the door, looking towards the corner.

03/19: Front of the house with sheathing already on! Not sure what that big red rectangle is all about. Speculation is that it was already on there from the manufacturer.
03/19: All trussed up and nowhere to go!
These are the trusses awaiting their turn to be installed.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Don't Let the Grass Grow Under Your Feet

WOW! What a difference a day makes! The framing crew already has the outside walls of the house up. Apparently Mark the Contractor subscribes to the philosophy of not letting the grass grow under his feet. And that's a great attribute in a contractor. Especially after our basement remodel experience where days and weeks passed with no progress, but we won't go there because that's a negative story and this is a very positive day!!!!!

03/18: View from the driveway, facing east

03/18: View from the shed, facing north
03/18: Standing in the hall coming from the garage, looking out the master bedroom windows to the east. I'm thinking that's the perfect corner for a super soft and comfy reading chair and bookshelves!

03/18: This is the view we'll have standing at the kitchen sink, faces west.
03/18: Red chalk lines used to mark where the walls will go. This is in the entryway.

03/18: Standing in the entryway looking towards the back bedroom, facing northeast.

03/18: Standing in the entryway looking towards the living room and eat-in kitchen, facing southeast.

Waiting for the game to start.........
Go Hawks!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patricks Day 1980 / 2010

“May the road rise up to meet you, may the wind be ever at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face and the rain fall softly on your fields. And until we meet again, May God hold you in the hollow of his hand.”

03/15 - Plastic vapor barrier & rebar installed - house

03/15 - Plastic vapor barrier & rebar installed - shed03/16 - Concrete slab poured - house

03/16 - Concrete slab poured - shed

03/17 - Wood delivered! The wood delivery truck got stuck at the bottom of the gravel driveway and had to call for a tow truck, a really big tow truck!

Thirty years ago tonight, Bobby and I went on our first 'official' date!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Just Plain Coop

3/7/10: A sunny Sunday afternoon picnic at the land.

In this picture he looks like one of the stately lions in front of the Art Institute in Chicago!

Exploring the creek.

"Tell me some more stories Dad"

Thinking about jumping in.

A very handsome puppy!

Pictures by Sara.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Ice Road Truckers

3,743 miles and counting! That's how many miles these two have driven since August to come back home for visits and we sure appreciate their hours behind the wheel. I think they look pretty great here, even after driving 12 hours all night before this picture was taken!

Sara and Evan are taking a turn behind the wheel and will head to Wisconsin tomorrow to see their friends Levi, Molly, and baby Dylan. Then they'll drive on over to Michigan to see Josh & Susan too.

Fun times!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

This week's progress

It's been a rainy week here in Kansas. The wooden forms for the slab were constructed on Monday. The plumber started work on Tuesday but was delayed by all the rain. Both pictures above were taken on Friday before we left town and as you can see the plumbing was still in progress.
When we stopped by on the way back in town from Memphis on Sunday the plumbing was all in place and the the gravel was laid down. Looks like we may have a slab next week!
In the first picture, the house is on the left and the shed on the right. The second picture is a closer shot of just the house, they still need to move the entrance to the garage from the front to the side like it shows in the plans.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Objects in the Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear and other optical illusions

"Downsize - to reduce in number or size"

Yep, we wanted to downsize for sure, we no longer have the need for all of the square footage of our current home. In fact, we spend 99% of our time in the rooms on the main floor.

However, when we stopped by the land on Friday and discovered that they had put in the footings for the slab we thought the outline of the house looked awfully small. We rationalized that the slab would surely be larger. But when the wood concrete forms were built on Monday and the outline of the house didn't seem any larger we began to worry.

Jokes were made; "only one person at a time will be able to be in the kitchen, we'll have to leave the doors off of the rooms because the beds will take up the whole space, it'll sure be easy to pick out that one cabinet for the kitchen" and more (I live with a family of comedians).

We reviewed the plan measurements, worried, reviewed the plans some more, worried some more, went to a movie and finally knowing that all of the workmen had left for the day we headed out there with the measuring tape. It may or may not have been raining and dark by then (I'm not sure we want to admit to that!)

"Spatial intelligence is the ability to comprehend three-dimensional images and shapes."

And of course it was exactly the right size, even allowed the additional space for the six-inch walls that were not on the original plan.


Lessons learned:
1) We do not excel at spatial intelligence.
2) Trust the contractor.
3) Worry less.
4) Keep making those jokes it keeps us sane!
Photo by Sara.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Friday Night Lights

'Let's go to Home Depot', five words I thought would never come out of my mouth. But that's exactly what I said last night after eating dinner out when Bobby asked 'what do you want to do now'? Since buying the land in September our Friday night routine is Minsky Pizza and Home Depot or Lowes. I never tire of looking at cabinets, appliances, lighting fixtures, tile, sinks, tubs, paint chips, plants, and lawn furniture but the power tool aisle doesn't hold much allure for me. Bobby on the other hand, well, that just may be his favorite part of the store as you can probably tell from all of the tool toys in our garage.

Even Robin and I went to Home Depot after having bbq on a recent Saturday night and stayed there until closing. Of course, she's always loved hardware stores. Maybe it's because her dad worked at a local hardware store back before the big chain stores. Or maybe it's because one of her first jobs was at a hardware store. I need to remember to ask her if she likes the power tool aisle!

Liking the looks of this light for over the kitchen eating bar.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Gotta Own the View

Going back to Summer 2009 for this post.

My good friends from work Amber and Wendy live in a berm home out in the country not too far from Lawrence. They heard about our land hunting efforts and invited us to come see their place, so we headed out there on a sunny Saturday morning with Cooper in tow.

They have a really nice home inside with a great wood burning stove in the living room and a large kitchen. The highlight of the visit, besides meeting their doggies Sasha & Hoover, was outside. Not only is their yard beautifully landscaped, including a healthy sized garden plot, but the land and timber for as far as the eye can see belongs to them!

We hung out outside for awhile enjoying the visiting and the scenery. Cooper was served a nice cool drink of water and we headed back home. On the way home Bobby made the comment that he'd really like to 'own the view' like Amber and Wendy do. And I agreed that was a splendid idea if we could find an affordable view!

No longer were we content looking at 3 or 5 acre plots of land, oh no, now we needed land that stretched to the horizon, well almost to the horizon anyway! I'm happy to say that Lonesome Duck fits the bill, we now 'own the view'.

Thanks guys for setting the bar so high!

You may be wondering about the picture. Five years ago Amber, Wendy, and I joined together to lead the BNSF effort to raise funds for the Leukemia and Lymphoma, Society and participating in the Light the Night Walk. So far, with lots of help from a bunch of awesome people at BNSF we have raised $32,000. The picture is a couple of pink flamingos that helped raise almost $1,000. You'd be surprised how much fun coworkers can have purchasing and sending their cubicle neighbors a flock of flamingos! These two fellas joined us at the Light the Night Walk to brighten up our tent.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Dear Deer

I'm pretty sure that the bulldozer guy thinks we're odd! Last evening when we went out to take pictures and Mr. Bulldozer worker was tinkering with the engine, I got out of the truck, aimed, shot, ooops, dead battery. So I stopped on my way to work this morning to catch some shots and he was already there, bulldozer warming up, sitting in his truck eating breakfast. After work, another trip out there, he's still working hard and I'm still snapping pictures. Bet this is the most times he's been photographed at his job!
You can't see them in the picture, but there are five or six deer in the back clearing having dinner. Guess the bulldozer ruckus doesn't bother them at all!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

No bull

Progress! We now have a gravel driveway, well actually it's 3/4 of a driveway. No more slip sliding in the mud!! And there's been lots of bulldozing going on, taking some of the hill out of the driveway and moving dirt from where the shed will be over to where the house will sit to level things up a bit.

Bobby has an appointment with the Pella Window guy tomorrow at 2:00. We looked in the catalogue again tonight and made our final decision.

The bulldozer operator was there tinkering with his bulldozer when we stopped by this evening. Hopefully it's nothing serious and they'll be dozing dirt again tomorrow!

Bobby just asked if I named this blog 'Blog Allen'. HA! A bit of Jayhawk basketball humor while he waits for the Directv receiver to reboot so he can get back to watching the Sunflower Showdown game!