Hello From The Mountains

Hey friends! I haven’t forgotten you. Andy and I are taking a much needed vacation this week, in the form of a staycation road trip around the mountains of western Maine. It’s been beautiful, and yes we’ve seen moose. I have plenty if photos to share once we get back and I have time to edit. Until then you can see snippets on Instagram.

Now off to go find the husband down at the brook and fish. It’s raining so I estimate I’ll last about 15 minutes.

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Xo,
Heather

Renovation Update: Flooring & The Quietest Stairs

Holla!

DSC_5205-01It’s been a while since I’ve done a renovation update so let’s discuss what’s been happening. First up, the stairs (minus balusters, hand rails and newel posts) are installed! Second, we’ve started laying flooring!

DSC_5203-01These are the quietest stairs I have ever walked up in my entire life. For real people. I can jog up them and it’s like I’m tiptoeing. I have no idea how Andy did it, but I’m thoroughly impressed! I might not be impressed when our not even conceived yet baby grows into a teenager and is able to sneak out or in without me hearing them, but by then I think I’ll have developed sonic mom hearing. That’s a thing, right? Even then though I’ll still have to be impressed, because the stairs will be quiet so many years later. I actually have no doubt about that fact. Tangent aside, here are a few shots of the building & installation process.

DSC_4692-01 DSC_4710-01 DSC_4794-01 DSC_4796-01 DSC_4835-01I’m still not quite sure how he installed the stair treads so there are no nails or fasteners showing anywhere. The man is pure magic. If I ask, he just smiles and says he can’t give away all his secrets. I shall remain amazed. We still need to install the other parts of the stairs, but first we had to lay the flooring.

We decided to use beech upstairs because we had it. This is our decision making process: if you have it, you use it. We had enough beech to go through most of the upstairs and had to buy some to finish it. All in all we’ll be about $1,000 in for all of the flooring in the addition when we’re done, and it was to complete the upstairs. In the “using what you have” mentality, we used all of what we had including the fact we had some wide pieces and some narrow pieces. You can see in the staircase photo, below again so you don’t have to scroll, that we used wide beech on the staircase landing. Not pictured below we also used the wide pieces, and the junkier pieces in the closets. Let’s face it, who’s really going to see them anyway, and if they do and they say something, I think the bigger question would be why they snooping in our closet.

DSC_5203-01For the upstairs we ran the nice narrow flooring throughout.

DSC_5221-01DSC_5218-01I’m saving the reveals of the completed flooring because I really want to get a picture of it cleaned up. You all know I’m not averse to showing photos of total disaster zones, but this is one reveal I want to show all cleaned up. You can get a sneak peek however if you hop on over on Instagram.

All in all, we’re super happy with how everything is turning out and it’s honestly beautiful in person. Looking forward to showing the final reveal of the flooring being laid, once we get it all cleaned and time to take some photos.

xo,

Heather

Beach. Sand. Burn. Dammit.

A few days ago I posted about mucking out the barn, but I didn’t mention what I had been doing earlier in the day. If you live in Maine, and anywhere near a beach/inlet/outlet/lake/bay you’re going to head down at some point. I am no exception to loving the beach, but I don’t love the sun damaging my skin. As a kid I tanned right up, no questions asked. As I got older I started being very careful with my skin and wearing sunscreen almost every day, not laying out, etc. I just had no desire to age my skin prematurely. So when I decided I needed a beach day a few weekends ago, I threw on the bathing suit, went full boar and grabbed my beach bag and left.

DSC_4914-01It wasn’t until I got to the beach I realized I completely forgot to put on sunscreen. The little voice in my head that I should always listen to told me to either go home or go to the store and get some. Then the brute in my head that is always wrong was like “you’ll be fine! WEE!!!! LET’S GO!”. So, I listened to the brute like any self aware person would do. I figured one hour would be fine, and then one hour turned into two, and that two hours turned into my semi falling asleep. In other words….

8db87336cbc911e2a2d522000a1fb04d_7This doesn’t even begin to describe this burn. It was the worst one I’ve ever had in my life and I feel so bad for my poor skin. I have never blistered in my life and thankfully I still never have, but for me this was a bad burn and my skin over a week later is still healing. While my stomach oddly stayed really tan, the rest of my body was like “ow ow ow ow you idiot. Rookie mistake. Rookie, rookie mistake.”  Lots of aloe, vitamin e and lavender essential oil and my skin is finally healing and starting to feel better but it’s a work in progress.

That said, burn and broken sandal aside….

DSC_4903-01I had a really awesome time while I was there.

DSC_4907-02I kind of wanted to take one of these kayaks out for a spin but then I remembered a few key items that I actually decided to listen to the little voice in my head about.

  1. I’ve never used a kayak though I really want to.
  2. I didn’t have a life vest.
  3. That water was cold. Falling in without a life vest would be a bad idea.
  4. Most important: It would be stealing. Literally. I didn’t go to the beach to get a mugshot. No thanks. If there’s one goal I have in my life it is to remain mugshot free.

It’s good to know my ability to listen to my rational voice of reason isn’t totally broken *face palm*.

DSC_4911-01So instead I laid on the beach and snuggled up to some quality, juicy, reading. Reading that will get you ready to go home and cook something up….

DSC_4919-01Yep, I read cookbooks at the beach sometimes while in a bathing suit. I have no shame about how much I enjoy food. While reading Good Maine Food, I also saw these Good Maine Guys. They had thick Maine accents and they made me smile but I felt really uncomfortable running up to two old men in my bikini and asking for a photo so I sneaked one as they walked by.

DSC_4920-01Note to self – next time I go to the beach I need to dress like these guys…or maybe just put my SPF 50 on like a normal human being who doesn’t hate their skin. Or both.

Oh, and I already bought two big floppy hats to wear around outside the house. I look utterly ridiculous and am fully aware of it. My poor husband. First I start wearing button up shirts all the way to the top just because I decided I liked them even though they looked ridiculous, and now he’s putting up with these hats.

Maybe I should go get some good lingerie to make up for this. Bahaha, I could barely write that sentence with a straight face. I once bought lingerie, never wore it, and recently donated it. Who am I kidding. T-shirts to bed and my bite guard remain.

xo,

Heather

Farm Update: June 2013

It’s almost hay season on the farm, with a few more weeks to go before harvest. This time of year also means it’s time to do one of the more glorious farm aspects—mucking out under the barn with the tractor. Our tractor is small enough to fit under the barn with the roll bar down, so that means every May or June Andy heads on down and gets to work.

DSC_4926-01DSC_4927-01There’s no two ways about it, a barn filled with fresh manure in the hot sun smells like roses. Roses that the cows have eaten and then digested and then crapped out.

DSC_4937-01Good job ladies and gents.

DSC_4928-01DSC_4936-01DSC_4931-01 DSC_4934-01It honestly doesn’t take too long to do, maybe 30 minutes or so. While it doesn’t get all the manure out, it gets enough. We could shovel the rest out but the farmer doesn’t seem to worry about it so neither do we.

DSC_4956-01DSC_4957-01 DSC_4959-01Eventually some of the fresh manure Andy mucked out will age and become compost for the gardens, while the rest will be spread back across the pastures to keep the greens populating that the cows love. Where some might find pungently horrible crap, I just think about the fact that it gives the cows more food to eat as the seeds in the manure re-seed the pasture, and with the composted manure it gives many of the neighbors soil an extra boost of nitrogen to help our gardens grow big and strong.

Some people might say happy life, happy wife but I think it’s happy animals, happy life. It might not rhyme, but it’s true.

xo,

Heather