So, I haven’t mentioned it in a while, but I have been living with it. Sometime in December somebody was asking about the house and said, “Is it livable?” I replied: “I don’t know, but we’re living there,” which pretty much is the sum of things.
Insulation: Well, there is a whole lot more now than when than when the weather dipped to the single digits. A few, several, I don’t remember how many weeks ago, my sister and I put some more in the ceiling in the loft area. It was a labor of pain, coughing around fiberglass, and trying to find the missing stapler, but in a very short time we completed it. :) Now the only thing that has to be done in the bedroom loft area (as far as insulation goes) is some short wall sections and one last ceiling section in the shortest part – once we figure out how we’re supposed to do it.
Water: Still cold, or colder, when the temperature drops. But at least we have the washing machine hooked up now and if we need warm water for a load, we just put on the kettles to boil. Sponge baths are also possible by this method. ;) Not in the washer, but using the kettles to heat water....you know what I meant. Personally, I’m still preferring a hot running water bath/shower at my brother and sister-in-laws, but sometimes sponge baths are just necessary between visits.
And Garnet Hill might have some beautiful pictures of firewood under the bed in their magazine, but living with stacks of firewood around the house is not all that picturesque in my experience. I can’t say I’d recommend it, in any case, unless you vacuumed each individual piece of wood, and then bug sprayed it. Who, I might ask, really wants to go to that much trouble for something they are just going to burn anyway? Well, truth is, I might, maybe. Ahem, not really under the current circumstances however, when I have enough trouble just trying to wash dishes sometimes.
Outside things are also slowly starting to shape up a bit. We’ve had some more mild weather occasionally which has allowed us to get some piles gone out front, start a gravel pathway around the outside of the house, build some berms around the rocks that I showed you a couple months ago, and build some steps where there used to be just a drop down to the house. At the moment however, you can't see most our progress for the snow.
Before the snow obscured them, this is what we did across the "moat":
Looking Down the Steps
Looking up the steps
And this is why we were trying to hurry outside. It happens rather frequently around here. Especially this year. (The steps still need a row added on the left. Or the right, if you're looking down.)
Coming inside the house....
The Living Room
Up in the loft, looking down.
(Please excuse the laundry. It is, I am afraid, just the way things are around here. If you want it to dry, you hang it above the woodstove.)
Mother has been working on arranging things so that it feels more like a house. Furniture in place, rug unrolled, tea cups and treasures unpacked….It makes things have a much more homey feel.
The top of the Shaker cabinet in the kitchen
Electrical: The wiring is much closer to completion than it was, with the living area almost completely wired, including the chandelier being the overhead light! Gone are the fluorescent tubes, which is an improvement if nothing else is considered. The “onion” lamp is up in the loft! This won’t be the only source of light in the girl’s room when all is said and done, but it is controlled by switches at the doorways. So, if you come in late at night, rather than tripping over things and falling and breaking your neck, you can wake all your sisters up (and they might threaten to break your neck for you. There’s a lot of love out there…. :)). The girls temporarily organized office is a bit of a mess in light (ha!) of the electrical progress, but soon I won’t have to have extension cords to plug in a lamp, so I shall be patient, clean-up the mess and move back in later.
The Onion LampIt's up, but I'm thinking that it needs a different light bulb, those horrid metal brackets "things" are going to have to be moved or dealt with, and of course the post, beam and ceiling need to be done...
Actually, on second thought, as much as we do that, this might be coffee, in fact, the more I think about it, the more I think it might have been.
I generally don't edit the pictures I post except for an occasional crop - this photo I played with the coloring a bitThis project is taking a whole lot longer than we had hoped and I can only say that I can't wait for it to be done. Not actually, because it is so horrible living this lifestyle, but I really think it is going to be a nice house when it is done. It's going to be original, different, and creative. (A climbing romp anyone? Mother hopes so - I think it might just work, even as far as decorating goes. As long as it is not an ugly rope!)
I'm not posting photographs of the clothes in "make do closets", the boxes that have been shoved aside to get to wiring, the dining table that is a storage center for what would better go in a workshop, the piles of firewood, etc. etc. etc. I'm going to be honest and tell you it's like that, but I like to focus on the more beautiful things in life. I think the Blue Castle is a little bit like the Little Blue Engine, I think I can, I think I can.....
Through rose colored lenses,