The Kitchen Reveal

After months of renovations, including a full on gut of the entire original house, I can happily say we are settling nicely into the new kitchen. My camera was a little MIA during much of the renovations, and so was I from this blog. To say things were a little hectic would be an understatement. In addition to only taking photos with my phone and posting them to Instagram most of the time (which you can see if you feel like scrolling – a lot – and trying to pick them out), I replaced my phone and ultimately lost the vast majority of the photos that I thought were uploaded to iCloud.

The long and short is this – it’s almost impossible to even fathom the old house from the new house. The best I can do right now (at almost 10pm on a Sunday) is this:

Before:

Kitchen Before

After:

Kitchen After

The renovation also included four rooms off of the kitchen, which now include:

  • A small guest room.
  • A bathroom/laundry room
  • An entryway/mudroom area
  • A dining room

Each of these spaces still have more work to be done in them, but the drywall is complete (with the exception of an extra patch we need to make in the dining room but you wouldn’t notice it on first glance), and the flooring is all refinished. It was too dark to take photos tonight of these spots, so I’ll get them soon! Overall it’s coming along well, and the kitchen is just about complete minus some window trim. The bathroom is all plumbed in and I love having our washer/dryer where the closet was (and hot water running to the washer for the first time in 8 years). The new entryway is so nice, giving us a good spot to take off our shoes and coats before we come into the rest of the house from the door yard. This is a view from the entryway into the kitchen.

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If you’re looking close, you’ll see something special in the back right of this photo. After years of dreaming about it, Andy and I finally bit the bullet and got a wood cook stove for the kitchen. Specifically a Glenwood K. We absolutely love it, and use it at least a few times a week. We’ve already had a pizza party with friends and have made quite a bit of meat in the firebox broiler system on the side (I’ll explain this in an upcoming post!).

The wood cook stove meant we sacrificed some more storage, but as you can see in these photos I think we’re all set. We also have a Viking range and a Gaggenau double oven.

If you’re counting, that means we have a total of 12 burners and four ovens – four and one respectively which are wood driven only. Admittedly the Viking oven does not work with the exception of the broiler. That’s what you get when you get it for $0.00 dollars through the magic of reclaiming items other people don’t want. Seriously, a broken oven and we got it for free. Truthfully we aren’t planning on fixing the oven anytime soon since we use the Gaggenau’s quite a bit. All six burners however work and I absolutely love cooking on it.

Overall we are beyond happy with this renovation, and are so happy to finally be at a point in this house where we have nothing big left to do. The rest is all small – including installing the downstairs bathroom. Once you’ve been through as much renovation as we have, on as large of a scale as we have, in addition to building a garage and barn, it turns out that finishing off the installation of a bathroom feels like a cakewalk.

There’s more to come, and now that my camera is back in action I hope to write a little more about a few things going on including an on demand water heater Andy has been working on installing, a little more about the wood cook stove, a few things we’ve been doing around the homestead, and general updates about things going on.

I hope life has been treating you guys well over the last six months or so, and you had a wonderful holiday season and are so far having a great new year three days in!

Here’s to 2016 – full of many big and small changes around here, but that’s nothing new.

xo,

Heather

Oh The Weather Outside is Frightful—But The Logs Are So Delightful

I have to be entirely honest with you guys. If I told you I always knew what a sawmill was I would be lying. I’m into homsteading now, but at 18 I thought for sure I was going to be in finance in New York City. Ten years later I have made almond milk from scratch, and I have more pairs of boots than high heels.

Nope, that’s a lie. It might be a tie. (Update October 2013: It’s true. Most heels have made their way to The Salvation Army or Goodwill. I officially have a couple pairs of high-heels and significantly more pairs of boots of all sorts).

I still had no idea what a sawmill was until Andy came around, even then it was still a few years before I ever saw one in person.

Long story short we sawed lumber at Andy’s mom’s house years ago. By “we” I mean I stood and watched and liked it—more than I expected I would. We’ve stopped and watched the sawmill demonstration at the Fryeburg Fair every year too. Watching men at a sawmill demonstration is like watching a national geographic documentary on culture. It’s entirely fascinating and perplexing. I realize this is a generalization. My own husband has mentioned multiple times about getting a sawmill for our property. Normally this happens almost immediately after the sawmill demonstration. I have so far kept this from happening since we don’t really need one. (Update October 2013 – I must have been delusional while I was writing this, or I’ve drank the water, because I think I want a sawmill *more* than Andy at this point. For real. I’m even egging him on for a grapple and hydaulic cable logging winch for the tractor. I’m also voting for trading in our tractor for the next size up.)

I also am taking too much credit for it. If he really wanted one and found it for a good price he would buy it. I should mention I would totally be okay with it too.

Where was I going with this?

Oh right. For a few years now Andy and our neighbors have been thinning out the woods and piling logs behind our house in the corner of the hayfield. Most of the trees are Poplar and Pine (surprise, we live in Maine) but there were also a couple Fir and Hemlock too (I had to ask Andy what the other two were).

Our neighbor and his brother (the farmer) own the woods behind our house and told us if we got the logs sawed we could have the lumber for our addition. I can frame how Andy felt about it in this way: it would be like giving me butter and telling me if I make cookies with them I can eat them. Yes please.

So after we found out one of the Sawyers in town was busy all winter doing carpentry work, we got wind that one of the guys at our church (with an awesome old-timey mustache I someone managed not to get a photo of) had a sawmill. Andy talked to him on Sunday, he came out and looked at the lumber later that day and then a few days ago I woke up to Andy jumping out of bed like it was Christmas because somehow, in the distance, he heard Craig pull up with the sawmill and start it up.

He informed me this was a very big deal. I asked him if it needed a blog post well knowing the answer. He looked me in the eyes and said again that this was a very big deal and exciting. With that I put my boots on, rubbed my eyes at 7:30am, grabbed my camera and made my way out to where the sawmill was.

Despite what this photo looks like there’s actually something exciting about watching a log become a board you are going to build your home with. It feels like automatic progress.

You might wonder why we don’t just buy the lumber we need.

A.) Despite it being more work, it’s cheaper to pay the sawyer than to buy all of this lumber.

2.) It’s way more fun to do it this way.

18d.) It’s super interesting to watch a log that looks all meh on the outside and see how beautiful the grain is on the inside. It never really gets old. Except when I get cold. Then it gets old pretty fast when I can’t feel my nose anymore and I left my mittens in the house. (Update October 2013: No. It never gets old. It might get cold. You might have to go warm up. But the sawing itself never gets old. I want to smack myself for even saying it could get old.)

As for my boy—he’s in love.

It’s only the truth.

Happy Freezing Your Butt off To Take Photos For Your Husband Because You Love Him,

Heather