Monday, September 20, 2010

A Weekend Spent Down in the Dumps(ter)

Chapter Two:  Sunday

Scott headed out to noTTafarm early Sunday.  While I slept in a bit and went to church, he delivered his folks home from an early flight arrival.  He took advantage of the time by rounding up a few odds and ends (like empty trash barrels).  I journeyed out for lunch around 12:30 - and was happy to hear from my baby brother Tim.  He had been granted a kitchen pass for the day (thanks, Teresa!)  His stories, brawn, and beloved Chevy truck made the afternoon fly.  Before we knew it, the dumpster was full.
Tim came to help with the right attitude and a rockin' shirt.

The wood pile on the north side of the barn was our first target.

Hey, Look!  A partial skull!  How cool!
Voila!  The wood pile was quickly dispatched to the dumpster.

Tim and Scott survey the barn.  Who will be the lucky sibling to pitch in and help clean?  I vote for big brother, Mark!

Thanks, Tim and "Shirley"! 
They both worked really hard, and we appreciate it!

Stay tuned for our next adventure!

A Weekend Spent Down in the Dumps(ter)

Chapter One:  Saturday

No, we weren't depressed. 

We were thrilled when the 30-cubic yard dumpster was delivered to noTTafarm on Saturday morning!  It was larger than we imagined but we knew we could find enough to fill it to the brim.  The weather was perfect for such work:  cold, damp, a high of 54 degrees - far below a normal Omaha summer day.  We suited up, put the Husker game on the radio, and got to work.
Before Abe's Trash Service arrived with the dumpster, we had time to
tackle the removal of the worst kitchen hood ever. 

Scott loosens a few of the screws inside the hood.

The folding chairs helped catch the hood as it came loose.

Scott used the sledge to knock down the drywall box housing the vent duct.
The duct gets a nifty Target hat (it's temporary, I swear).

The dumpster arrives!

I made Scott stand next to the dumpster "for scale".

A couple of hours in and we've made good progress!  We started with the 17 bags of corn crib trash, the kitchen hood, and the wood pile behind the corn crib.  The pile was about 90% rotten, surrounded by weeds, and had a base of logs that we had to dig out of the dirt.
Scott rolls a big log to the dumpster.
In our ongoing effort to rehabilitate the corn crib, Scott removed most of the wood floor on the east side.
Ever wonder what lies beneath the floor of a 90-year-old corn crib?  How about a mummified opossum!

And so ended day one.
Huskers victorious over Washington, 56-21
The Camps victorious over lots of stuff.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Progress Made!

The NRD completed the installation of the rural water tap that will eventually send water flowing into noTTafarm.  Next step:  Scott goes before the City Plumbing Board on Wednesday to have the copper pipe requirement waived . . . then the plumbing contractor can run the HDPE pipe to the house.
The Water Meter!
noTTafarm's Very Own Manhole Cover!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Chronicles of the Corn Crib

One of the things noTTafarm is missing is a proper garage.  It's a problem that has stumped us.  Not only do we need to house our regular daily drivers, we need to find homes for The Spring Chicken (Scott's '51 Willys restoration project) and HelmuTT (Scott's '02 Audi TT).  No matter what:  we certainly cannot park the TT where it would be exposed to the elements.

While we wait for the construction of the new addition and its 3-car garage, we've decided that the existing corn crib allows the ideal location and size for interim vehicle storage.  The problem is that the corn crib has nearly reached the end of its useful life.  The east side is hanging by a thread to what's left of its foundation.  The wooden floor in the two outer bays is rotted.  The roof is in need of repair.

What to do with such a potential health hazard and definite eye-sore?  Enter The Architect! Scott has convinced me that not only is the corn crib the correct size - it's going to be a fairly easy fix. First things first, though:  we had to clean out 60 some-odd years of debris (not to mention a few hundred wasps that were happily nested within.)  Lucky for us, this past Saturday was absolutely gorgeous and the cool temperature motivated us to get busy.
First things first:  Scott obliterated the wasps.

With quiet winds, we started the fire early.

The "front" or south-facing elevation.
The east side is in the worst shape.

The center bay.  Scott is knocking down wasps nests with a big stick.

The west side.
The back or north-facing side.
I took my friend Marie's advice and suited-up with snake prevention gear:  new rubber boots from Target!  Because we didn't know what was lurking in the debris, Scott bought me my very own NIOSH-approved face mask and protective eye glasses.  Gloves, long sleeves, and a hat kept most of the grime off - but you wouldn't believe how dirty I felt when we were done!  Best news of the afternoon:  no snake sightings!

We filled seventeen 33-gallon trash bags with an odd assortment of old wire, plastic flowers, ancient leaves, and of course a few pieces of carpeting.  We will dispose of everything in a big dumpster which will be delivered to noTTafarm next Saturday morning.
Found in the corn crib:  five doors, one mirror, and one marble shelf.  I'm thinking some of these items will find new homes in the new addition.

Scott was all smiles when we were done cleaning.  Now on to the fun "design phase"!

We ended our Saturday at noTTafarm with a bonfire, s'mores, and another beautiful sunset!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Late Afternoon Nature Walk

While I dozed in the hammock, Scott took the camera on the west trail in search of wild animals.
It's Spider Time at NoTTafarm.

Flying insects take on an ethereal glow in the afternoon sun.

Sun filtering through NoTTafarm Forest.

Finally!  At the end of his hike, Scott captured a photo of the elusive
black-and-white cat we've seen around NoTTafarm.  We're not sure if this cat
belongs to the neighbors or is just a roaming hunter . . . but I've dubbed
him "Tux" because of his dapper markings.

Meanwhile . . . the Girls Worked, Too!

Lauren and Jolene were anxious to pitch in and do something constructive at NoTTafarm.  After watching Ray and Scott chop trees down, we went in the house to get to work.  Lauren did a great job of tearing down wallpaper in a bedroom and the bathroom upstairs.  Mom went above and beyond the call and tore out the carpet tack strips in one of the bedrooms.  Thank you so much, Ladies!
Lauren and Jolene examine pine cones while enjoying the
beautiful morning weather at NoTTafarm.
Lauren attempts to juggle pinecones.

Lauren took this photo of the "mystery plant" along the driveway.

The "myster plant's" fruit is a stickery pod.  NoTTafarm's PhD agronomist
asked me if it "stank like hell."  Confirming said stink, Dr. Ward identified
the "mystery plant" as some sort of gypsum weed.

Jolene jokes around with the tile spade. . . .at least I
hope she's joking around.

Mom tackled the nasty task of removing tack strips. 
She did a great job!
Lauren getting started on the wallpaper removal.

Meanwhile . . . .I supervised all the hard work from the comfort
of the hammock.  Thanks for all your efforts, Ward Family!

Pine Tree Clean-up

Sunday was another fun-filled, sweat-inducing work day at NoTTafarm.  The weather was beautiful and we had some excellent helpers visiting from Kearney:  Ray, Jolene, and niece Lauren Jo.  First on the agenda was the clearing of two pine trees in the east pasture that had fallen victim to the dreaded pine beetle.  Scott was excited to try out his new chainsaw (thanks, Alan!)
Trimming the top off the felled tree.

Dad took care of the slightly larger tree.

Scott really enjoyed having his own gas-powered chain saw!

Notching the trunk.


The pinecones did not have a chance to fully develop.
Lauren might need a manicure - especially after all the
hard work she did at NoTTafarm!