November 5, 2012

5 years

I can't believe it's been 5 years. I always wonder what she would think of my life now...
and I still miss her every day.

July 3rd, 2004

i carry your heart with me (i carry it in
my heart) i am never without it (anywhere
i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)

i fear
no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet) i want
no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart) 
~ e.e. cummings

November 4, 2012

Step #11: Putting in the windows...and a really big patio door.

I feel like breaking down this house building process into simple steps is a bit deceiving...for instance, the title of this post just talks about putting in windows (and a door) doesn't mention anything that has to happen before you can put in the windows, like the house wrap and the flashing. It also doesn't mention the fact that putting in a new patio door might include taking out an entire wall, replacing rotten boards, removing stucco, adding a header, pulling off deck boards, providing enough beer and food for a bunch of cranky boys, redirecting the electrical, or cleaning up the existing house after the fall out. I tried to represent some of this in the pictures, but people tend you smile when you put a camera in their face (or at least stop swearing for a second).

And in the interest of time, I feel like it's easier to just post on the highlights. And some day when I look back at this, it will be fun to see and remember the process in these neat little steps.

However, the next time I think I want to add an addition or build/remodel a house, someone please remind me that these posts are just a small slice of the reality of what it is like to take on a project of this scope. Please note that the exception to this rule would be if I won the lottery and we could be lounging on a beach somewhere while paying someone else to do this for us. Ha! But I know that it will all be worth it in the end...blah blah blah :)

Here are some pictures.

Putting in the window at the peak

By the end of this project, I just might be over my fear of heights!

Dave and I on the outside, Mike and Andy on the inside!

I look like I am in pain!


Mike could be a spokesperson for Marvin Windows!

Ron, lookin at his reflection ;)

Tiny Till sleeping in the dirt.


This was actually a really fun day for me. I cooked and cleaning all day on Saturday, so on Sunday I told Steve that I wanted to work on the house. I cut my fingers using a razor blade to cut flashing, I banged my knees climbing up and down scaffolding, and I had a couple of panic attacks being up too high, but it was really satisfying! And now I know how to put in a window! 

My dad and brother came down to help that weekend as well, and they had a much less fun job than me...
They were in charge of taking out the 6 foot patio door in the existing living room (which will become the dining room), and putting in a 10 foot double sliding patio door. See the beginning of this post for all for all of the fun things they got to deal with!
Here is the living room and existing 6' patio door

KG: Takin' it out

What's down there Cal??

Bye bye door! And the rest of the wall!

I don't have pictures of the wall demo because as you can see above - I was putting in windows! But the entire wall came off...stucco on the outside, plaster on the inside, gone. They had to reframe and sheet a new south wall.

Big opening!

Bringing up the big door!

Will it fit???

Of course it will! These guys are professionals!!!

Um...should we read the instructions?


The big door from the outside! 

As a side note: What do you guys think about the black trim? We are going with grey fiber cement siding, and decided that black looked richer than white. You like?

And for the grand finale.....

After all of the hard work.

Here is the inside:

Isn't it beautiful??? It completely transforms this entire room! Oh, and did I mention that where the couch is now will also be another patio door that leads out into the screen porch? The light in this part of the house is going to be BEAUTIFUL! Steve said he was kinda bummed that it was only going to be a dining room. 
I said, "What do you mean ONLY A DINING ROOM???" Because we all know that eating is the most important part of the entire day.

It was a beautiful fall day...Chris is sitting out on the deck doing his homework. LOVE!

Step #10: Soffit and Fascia

I'm not going to apologize for taking so long to post, because saying SORRY implies that I won't do it again...and I just can't promise that. I know that it's been a while. Bear with me, please.

The next step after roofing was to put up Fascia (the black stuff on the "faces" or edges of the roof), and then Soffit (we chose to do pine tongue and groove). The soffit project introduced me to my first taste of staining. Keep in mind that this is absolutely nothing like what you go through when you stain windows or trim. This is more of a crank-up-the-music-and-invite-your-friends-over-and-stain-with-a-beer-in-your-hand kind of project. So it was fun. And it looks pretty. See below:

Steve in the lift, hanging soffit

 Here is my stacks of stained wood...thank you to Jamie, Brenda, Lori, Judy and Christopher for helping! And to Dave for the dance party after (I'm keeping the video for black mail purposes).

Dave is excited to be putting up soffit!!!

Up in the lift. I was ok at the top of the roof level...

But crapping my pants when we went higher.

Thanks again for all of the help with the roof guys! See how beautiful it turned out???

The view to the south from up in the lift...if you look close, you can see a little strip of Lake Superior!


Thanks for hanging in there with me everyone! The project is a very stressful, but very exciting process. Stay tuned!