Another Weekend at the Farm!

Image Well, it may not look all that different, but I do have all of the sheathing in place, and the staging is set up so that we can move onto the rafters next!   There is also quite a load of materials ready to be added to the building..   we have three loads from Lowe’s  sitting there at the moment..   so it was a busy weekend..  and,  not all of the weekend activity was building related..

About 15 years ago, when I was still in my 30’s,..  well, late 30’s..  ok, 39….    I was working with a fellow who taught me a lot about a lot of things..  mostly outdoor work, with our hands..  we skinned bark off of logs..  we cut down trees,  we put tents up and took tents down..  it was all good stuff,  but, in all of the time we worked together, he only let me drive the tractor once..  and I was so excited that day, I called my brother to tell him that I got to drive the tractor..  well.  of course, being so much more older, wiser, and mature these days,  one would think that driving tractors is no big deal, but that simply is not the case..  today I got to drive not one, but two different tractors..  I even got to till my father in law’s garden with the tractor..  Image



so , what I actually learned today is that there is a whole lot to learn about tractors, and implements and maintaining them..  but, that is something to look forward to!

speaking of life at 6mph…   tractors are not designed for speed,  but they are still cool 🙂   It turned out to be a great weekend!



A productive evening!

ImageThe goal for the afternoon/evening was to finish the sheathing..  and I made it!  As usual, the first piece took forever, and then it was smooth sailing after that.  There were a few moments when I really could have used an extra hand, but I was able to put the tools away before it got dark, so I really can’t complain.   The next step is the finish the blocking at the top where there will be a joint in the plywood..  and then i can start on the rafters.   If all goes well,  that will happen this weekend.   It is supposed to rain tomorrow ( Friday )  and we have a tech rehearsal at school on Saturday,  so I wont’ be able to tackle this next phase till Saturday afternoon or Sunday..  but Sunday is supposed to be a nice day.  so look out!   🙂

Imagethe orchard is looking pretty nice about this time..  we are keeping our fingers crossed that the weather is kind the next 5 weeks or so..   My wife and I talked this morning about some decisions.. like a source of heat.   If it is at all feasible, we would like to go the route of installing a small wood stove…Our thinking is that we will really be using the house a lot during the fall.. not so much during the winter..  so maybe we don’t need to keep it heated all winter..    we also decided to install a sky light in the loft area.   I think that will add a nice touch, and with a pitch of  12/9 ,  i think that the likelihood of leaks will be minimal..  

Image the next big decision will be how we finish off the exterior..   I have been considering a whole range of ideas from board and batten,  to vertical T&G pine,  to a novelty siding..    just about time to figure that one out!  

A beautiful and productive Easter Weekend!

We thought that we were moving the tiny house to its new home last weekend, but circumstances conspired to negate that plan, so we held off to this past weekend and implemented a new plan.   Over the course of three days, with just a couple of setbacks like a dead battery in the truck that we needed to tow the trailer, we successfully moved all of the pieces of the house to the orchard.  Yesterday we enjoyed a nice Easter Dinner with my wife’s family, but only after making significant progress on re-assembling the house..  now we can really get going!


we placed 2 inches of foam insulation beneath the subfloor…


we left gaps at either end to enable any trapped water to drain.. once the house is dried in, we will spray insulation from underneath to close these gaps..


is she dancing?   you bet!   happy to have the sub floor in place 🙂


not bad for a days work!   that is a plum orchard behind the house, and the apples are on the hill in the background..   our goal, although a bit unrealistic, perhaps, is to spend a night in the house during the bloom..  that gives us about 3 weeks   …  or perhaps more likely,   a year and 3 weeks!  🙂


wrapped up for the day..  feeling pretty good about accomplishing what we did..   maybe I will get to finish the sheathing this afternoon after work..  then on to the roof!

Sunday morning

This morning my wife and I traveled to the orchard to check out the spot for our tiny house that my brother-in-law recently recommended.   It just so happens that he has a 15×16  concrete pad at the back of his property – just the right size!    We can put the house there and still have a bit of concrete for a picnic table.  🙂

After that discussion,  I went to the shop to work on the house.  The goal for today was to cut out the scroll boards for the front of the house. ( the back will have regular, boring rake boards)    These boards  are clear  5/4  by  12 pine.   They cost $44 a piece,  so I measured 3 times!    I am pretty happy with how they turned out..  they surely will give the house some character!  


The students who have been helping me with the construction may be disappointed to find that the only thing left for them to do is to take apart what we have built so far so that we can move the house ( hopefully next weekend)    It is pretty exciting to be at this point!

A busy day!

Two major initiatives today –  one was a hike on the preserve with friends..   and what a day for a hike!   On the way in we discussed the fact that we heard recent reports about bears being on the move..  it is about that time – we did not happen to run into any today, however.   

Instead, we were fortunate to be able to enjoy the area with many beautiful spots along the trail.  Image this is a little stream that eventually leads to Shades Creek, which, in turn empties into Bear Creek and then the Lehigh River..   and the Lehigh empties into the Delaware at Easton PA..  and the Delaware flows past Philadelphia on its way to the Atlantic Ocean..    wow.. I don’t often think about that! 


There is a fair amount of water in the area as the last remnants of snow  have yet to  disappear.


This is where the stream unites with Shades Creek.   It seems like a pretty secluded spot – not that easy to get to..  and very beautiful!  After a hike of just over three miles we returned home and enjoyed great conversation and a nice dinner prepared by my step daughter.. the future chef!   What a great way to end the day!

Framing just about complete..


Looking in through the front door…  I had a very productive morning – switching from a 22 oz  hammer  to my nail gun had something to do with that!   But today I had a limited time frame.   For her birthday, I bought tickets for my wife and I to see a simulcast of La Boheme from the Met, and the curtain went up at  12:55 in the afternoon.   So,  I listened to Brad Paisley and friends on Froggy 101 this afternoon and then switched to Puccini in the afternoon.   This was my first opera, and I was certainly impressed by the musicianship of the performers, but to be completely honest, I was totally impressed by the sets and the set construction..   the neat thing about the HD broadcasts is that they show you what is going on backstage in between acts..  that was simply amazing.

So, we are getting near to the point where we will want to get the trailer and ship all of these parts down to the orchard.   It seems that a new idea has emerged for the placement of the tiny house..  there is a concrete pad poured in my brother-in-law’s back yard, and he suggested that we put it there..   that just might make a lot of sense.  It certainly would mean getting an earlier start down there, and that is a good thing!    One of the benefits is that it would be pretty easy to run a sub-panel from his house.    

I am wondering about fitting in a 20 inch electric range..  that would give us a few more options ( like baking cookies )    we will investigate that before we do the final layout of the interior..  


A Productive Day

Image I have been looking forward to today since the weekend.   There were a number of students on board to help so we set up the walls that have been framed.   First we measured and laid down chalk lines to show us where the inside of the walls should end up.   And then we set up the longer wall, piece by piece.. you will see clamps where we put the sections together ( they are also screwed.)   After bracing both ends, we raised the end wall.   Of course, this is just to give us a rough idea of how things will look.  we will take a little more care when we are doing the final construction  at the orchard.   And, now for the next two walls!   It is going to be very neat to be able to walk around inside our house and to picture where things will go!    In fact, I already gave the kids a tour… it just takes a bit of imagination.ImageI am just about ready to move in  🙂