The Porch and The Cow

Well, apparently I cannot be trusted to blog with any regularity when I’m not tied to a weekly schedule. I don’t have tons of updates for you, but I’ll give you what I’ve got!

The porch has been our main (read: only) project these days. It takes a looooooooooooooooooong time to get 1100 square feet of porch level, particularly when that involves planing it down with a hand planer, board by board, inch by inch. But — the porch is officially level and ready to have the Cumaru wood reinstalled. We have yet to start installing, however, because we had to order more material from the company, which took time to come in….and it was all damaged….so then we had to wait for them to ship new and schedule a time to pick up the old….and now the wood has to acclimate for 1-2 weeks. So, in the nearish future, we’ll be ready to start installing some porch floor again.

In the meantime, we’ve gotten started on the steps. There are 4 sets of stairs off the porch — 3 on the wraparound front porch, and 1 set on the small back porch. Guys, stairs are hard. There’s been lots of math and planning and then staking things out and digging holes and pouring concrete and measuring and cutting stringers…it’s a big friggin’ deal. This had better be the best porch ever.

Oh, another thing we did on the porch was to go through and fill in the columns.The structure of the porch includes lots of big support columns (the outer ones are bricked) and we didn’t want critters building nests or anything under there. So we used mortar to fill in the gaps/holes to hopefully discourage any unwanted visitors. We all know that our property is like jumanji, so…

Them is some holes.
Mixing concrete was surprisingly fun
Preparing for the stairs
The ground over here on the north side is lowwww so the stair columns look reallllly high
First stringer cut and ready!
If you use your imagination, you can pretend there are stairs here


Literally the only other thing of note is that we finally hung the first thing on the walls! The rest can wait, but I bought this cow like a year ago and have been DYING to get it hung up pretty much since we started the project. Do you love it like I do??? I bought it from These Four Walls in Monticello. It’s huge and so adorable.

I mean, come onnnnnn

A few random things:

Harvest has started!! They got the end rows out near our house.

 

So beautiful
The yard looks a little barren, but picture stairs coming down from that red front door! Won’t it be fun to have STAIRS!?
I’ve had this rug for years (thanks, Grandma), but I just seriously love it in front of the kitchen sink!
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Week 28 Update

Greeting from ☀️☀️ San Diego! I’m hanging out in CA for a conference for work, which is why I’m late in getting this posted.


My update for this week is a good one! There are some exciting things happening at the house. Teaser: they’re starting cabinet install tomorrow. So next week’s update is going to be epic!

But back to this week. It’s all about wood.

giphy
No, no, not Oliver Wood. Come on. Hardwood! Hardwood floors, really hard wood porch floor,  and a wood buffet getting new life.

The hardwood floors are 100% finished. The downstairs is red oak, most original to the house, some new and patched in. The upstairs is a pine of some kind, and again, is mostly original to the house. Jim used Minwax Cherry stain on all the floors, and it’s awesome because it’s light and shows off the wood grain but has some warmth to it. And it looks slightly different on the red oak compared to the pine. Oh, and Jim had to MacGyver a little bit upstairs, because where the new pine met up with the old pine, there was a HUGE color difference. Huge. Like, howarewegoingtolivewiththis huge. So Jim put an extra coat of Cherry stain on it, and then used Minwax Provincial to darken it up. And now it matches so much better. Still not perfect, but then again we’re dealing with a 100 year old farmhouse, so perfection was never really on the agenda. Here are photos of the gorgeous refinished floor. As of this moment, you can only see these floors in photos here, because Aaron, Mary Kay (his mom), and Mark (his step dad) spent the weekend covering them back up with a protective cover, since there’s still a lot of work to be done inside and I don’t think everyone would appreciate me screaming ‘TAKE YOUR SHOES OFF AHHHHH’ at them every time they entered the house.

 

view from entry way hallway looking into kitchen and living room

 

Kitchen

 

 

Living Room

 

Heading up the stairs. It’s a little hard to tell in the picture, but the treads have been stained and polyurethaned (yeah, I just verbed that up). The risers will be painted.

 

Master Bedroom

 

 

Another view of the master bedroom

 

Southeast bedroom (also known as Attic Room and Raccoon Room)

 

Tom and Brad got started on the porch. We’re using an exotic hard (like, super hard) wood called Cumaru. We ordered it from Advantage Lumber and it’s oh so beautiful. It’s a tongue & groove porch floor, and then we’re doing a deck board “picture frame” around the border, as well as to divide up the really deep part of the porch. From what I can gather from Tom and crew so far, it’s not impossible to work with, but it does require pre-drilling all the holes because the wood is so dense. I’ll ask them for a full review of install when they’re done.

 

 

They had to add blocking to the porch framing

 

The back porch dunzo

 

Working on the  wraparound

Mom and Dad got new dining room furniture, and we are going to inherit their buffet. It belonged to my great-great-grandmother (did I get that right, Mom?) and I’ll be honest…it was not my favorite thing ever. But Mom worked a little DIY magic with chalk paint, and now it’s just so cute! We still have to decide a color to paint the inside, and then we’ll put baskets in it. I mean, how cute is it you guys?! What color do you think we should paint the inside?

 

Buffet before = not so much

 

Buffet after = totes adorbs

Now, we also did some work outside. I believe I mentioned a week or two ago (ah yes, in Week 26) that Aaron used the excavator to pull out some overgrown bushes. This past weekend, we worked on cleaning up that area a little bit. You guys, there is some kind of weird ropey vine thing all up in these bushes, and the adjacent evergreen trees. It looks like the kind of stuff Tarzan swung on. And it grows into (or more likely, up from) the ground and wraps itself around everything. So not only were we picking up brush and trying to smooth out the ground, we were using loppers (is that what they’re officially called? I don’t even know) to hack off these vines at the ground, when we couldn’t pull them out. These vine things are seriously intense. I wish I knew what it was. Anyone out there have experience with invasive vines in Central Illinois?? Help a sister out.

 

This photo was taken ~a year ago and shows the overgrown bushes

 

 

This is from a couple weeks ago after Aaron ripped out bushes

 

This is a current view with bushes out of sight. Aaron also did some clean up on the evergreen trees. Cleanup with a chain saw. Maybe I should start cleaning with a chainsaw…

 

Ze house. She eez veeseeble.

So next up is some tiling action, getting cabinets set, having countertop dudes come out and measure for counter, install some lighting, and probably one million other things I have either forgotten or just don’t know about. Thanks for following along!