Sunday, July 31, 2011

Head Bonker's Last Blast

Scott finally decided that the stairway obstacle, commonly referred to as the "head bonker," had to go.  The bonker is actually the bottom of a linen closet in the second floor landing.  He and Carl started to demolish the lower portion of the closet Saturday afternoon.  Once the plaster and floor were removed, Scott had a clear plan for what needs to be done . . . so stay tuned for the progress!

Tree Falls Victim to Early Morning Storm

A strong thunderstorm passed over noTTafarm early in the morning of July 28.  The lone victim of the storm's wind was a long-suffering Osage orange lining the driveway.  We've heard this particular tree moaning and groaning lately so we had a feeling that permanent damage was imminent.  Fortunately, the part that fell went into the neighbor's pasture, not onto our driveway. This same storm knocked power out at Grant Street, too.
Do you think the branch made any noise when it snapped?

Let it Snow!

Baby, it's hot outside.  And until Friday, July 29, it was hot upstairs!  A few weeks ago, the insulation contractor cleaned all of the old insulation out of the attic to aid in the electrical work and drywall.  Since then, the air conditioner has had a tough time keeping the second floor cool especially with the daily 90+ degree temperatures.

The attic is now home to two inches of spray foam and several inches of R-50 blown-in insulation.  And, amazingly, it works!  It's quite comfy upstairs now - and we are one giant step closer to being done with the renovation.

Happy Birthday, noTTafarm!

". . . and many more!"
On July 30, 2010, our lives changed forever with the purchase of the acreage.  The property that has since become "noTTafarm" has taken over our lives ~ but only in very positive ways! We are so happy to have a beautiful place to soon call home, and are even more blessed that so many of you have visited, helped, and enjoyed noTTafarm's charms.
Here's hoping for many more years of 
adventures at noTTafarm!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Tuesday Tasks

The insulation contractor will return to noTTafarm on Friday, July 29 to spray foam the attic.  This means that Scott needs to get the fixture boxes installed in the ceilings out to noTTafarm we went on a hot and humid evening.
Scott peeks through a hole he cut in the big bedroom's ceiling. 

While Scott played peek-a-boo in the 96-degree attic, I started scrubbing the drywall mess off of the floors. 
It's a tedious project but not difficult.  All you need is a bucket, a sponge, a fan, and some oldies playing on the radio.

After a couple of hours, I'm about a quarter done with one room. 
At this pace, the floors will be clean in about three months.   (I'd better work faster!  Luckily, we'll be back at noTTafarm Wednesday night.)

Stay Tuned for Our Next Adventure!

A Mini Vacation to Minneapolis

Did you miss us?

noTTafarm was left in Mini's rear view mirror this past Friday as Scott and I took a quick trip to Minneapolis. We purchased tickets to see U2 at the brand new TCF Bank Stadium at the University of Minnesota nearly two years ago.  Their "360 Tour" was well worth the wait, and we really enjoyed the weekend. 

U2's 360 Tour set was incredible!  Nearly 60,000 people enjoyed the concert Saturday, July 23.

The only bad part was the steady rain that fell throughout most of the two-hour show.  We made the best of it!

noTTafarm was never far from top-of-mind, of course.  We really used the U2 concert as an excuse to go to IKEA! 
On our way to IKEA on Sunday morning.

The happiest place on Earth!

Scott selected this vanity for the basement bathroom.  It will be a sleek and Swedish addition to noTTafarm!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Call of the Colannade

You may have noticed a few references in recent posts about a wall being constructed in the parlor.  Scott has devoted the majority of the last few days to this project, hoping to have it ready for the first floor drywall installation.

Let's check it out, shall we?

To begin, 2x8 plates and studs were attached.  Patches on the floor revealed that a similar wall once existed in this same space.

By Monday evening, the framing was complete. 

The small floor opening is the return air plenum Scott created (and where he found Nancy's note and the Scottie ad).

By Tuesday night, the first floor drywall had been installed and taped, and the first coat of mud applied.  It's really taking shape!

This vintage photo was Scott's inspiration.  Our colannade wall will be clad in oak paneling, sort of like what's shown here. 

We are also planning a similar wall in the library...but that's a story for another day. 

Stay Tuned!

A Word to the Wise about Drywall Installation

When Scott made me responsible for taking the plaster out of the bedrooms upstairs, he warned me that keeping the floors protected was paramount.  He didn't want any big chunks of plaster crashing down, gouging the 90-year old solid Douglas Fir planks.  I was very diligent about moving sheets of cardboard around as I worked, and I got to be a pro at using the shop-vac to try and keep the dust corralled. 

Enter the villain in my little tale. <cue sinister music>

The drywall guys apparently don't share Scott's zeal for protecting perfectly good floors.

Always cover your floors before having drywall installed.  Excess joint compound just lands anywhere.

Oh well.  At least I have something to do now.  Anyone with a flexible scraper/putty knife and a few spare hours is welcome to hang out with me...bonus:  you can sit down while you do this task.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Simple Artifacts Discovered

Scott cut a hole in a patched area of the former-dining room floor on Sunday, July 17 to create a new return air plenum.  He discovered that the plywood floor patch was shimmed by a slender stack of newspaper ~ bits and pieces of an Omaha World-Herald.
The paper shim was topped by an advertisement featuring a Scottie Dog!  Most of you know that they are my favorite type of dog...not because they're cute but because they are named "Scottie!"

This handwritten note was folded and shoved way down in the plenum.  For some reason, Susie and Jay never received this particular note from Nancy.

We love finding snippets from noTTafarm's past!

Tile Time!

On Saturday, July 16, we finally ordered the tile for the upstairs bathroom!  It should be here within two weeks which gives us a little more time to prep the room. 

The wall tile will be "ice white" 3x6 subway.

The white subway will be topped with a row of "smokey quartz". 
The base will also be this color.
Glass mosaic tile in "flint" will be used as an accent band and in the back of the shower niche.

 The floor will be white 1" hexagon mosaic.  We're going to use dark gray grout to pull all the pieces together. 

I'll save the final decisions on the wall color (or will it be colors?) and the refinished bathtub for a later post. 
Stay Tuned! 

If It's Saturday...It's New Tool Day!

For the past week, Scott has been working to prep the parlor and future-kitchen area (formerly known as the living room and dining room) for drywall.  For some reason, the work could not possibly proceed without a new power tool.  The latest addition to his stable of tools is a Milwaukee M-12 Cordless Multi-Tool.  It has an oscillating blade that chops through pretty much anything - and of course, you can "collect" all sorts of attachments to use for various tasks. 

Scott prepares to cut through the paneling on the former dining room's west wall. 

Cutting like the proverbial hot knife through butter!
Scott let me use it, too!  I did a fine job of cutting through some lath underneath the plaster hiding underneath this paneling.

The M-12 came with it very own soft-side case.  Isn't it cute?

Care to make any predictions on what tool is next on the shopping list?  I'm guessing a tile saw...but maybe that's just wishful thinking.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Progress Made on Drywall and Sub-Floor

On Thursday, July 7, the contractor began installing the drywall in the 1920 portion of the house.  The nights leading up to Thursday were long for Scott...he worked until nearly midnight each evening, trying to get everything "just so" which would hopefully make the work easier for the crew.  The work will be mostly complete by the end of this week, with a second, smaller phase of drywall to come when the first floor hallway is ready.
 By Thursday evening, most of the drywall was in place in the big bedroom.  On Friday, the beam overhead was covered, too. 

 Look at my clean chimney in the little bedroom!  I finally got all the plaster down around 10 Wednesday night. 
Scott surveys the pile of waste left in the big bedroom Friday night.

  The first floor ceiling has been installed.  Unfortunately, the contractor wasn't listening well when Scott asked them to not drywall the ceiling in the future kitchen (seen at the right).  They'll have to take it down before they're done.

  Scott decided the top priority of Saturday would be to add the sub-floor needed on the first floor.  In order for the glue to bond well to the original floor, Scott rented a super-sized sander and scuffed the floors.

After the scuffing, Scott and Carl began to measure, cut, cuss, discuss, measure again, cut again, and finally fit each piece of sub-floor.

 First, a nice coating of Liquid Nails.  Then, each piece was secured with regularly-spaced screws.

While the boys toiled away, Marita and I went paint-chip shopping!  We've got a colorful palette to consider.  Is it finally time to think about decorating?  Just a few more weeks and we may actually be able to paint!

After several hours at the office (his real job) on Sunday, Scott and Carl were back at noTTafarm on Sunday to install a few more pieces

Bibbers took all of the activity in stride, as usual!

Stay Tuned for Our Next Adventure!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

A Camp-Filled Fourth

noTTafarm was happy to welcome the Camp Family for a cook-out on Monday, July 4th.  It was great to relax in the shade with Jeff, Tonya, Carl, Marita, Pat, Pete, Shannon, Sophie, and Sophie's new puppy, Abby.  And of course, there was plenty to eat including some delicious smoked pulled pork courtesy of Jeff. (Yummy!) 

What better way to celebrate the holiday than to drive the TT to noTTafarm?

Tonya and Jeff

Sophie enjoyed running, being silly, looking cute, and eating ice cream!

Sophie and her Uncle Pat, trying to look sad. 

Pat tried to teach Sophie the awesomeness of the hammock but Abby had other ideas.

Speaking of she is!  Sophie's new puppy is a 12-week old boxer. 

I snuck in one tiny request of the visiting Camp boys...wouldn't it be a fun challenge to get the cast iron clawfoot tub down the stairs and out the front door?  Pat, Pete, Jeff and Scott rose to the challenge!

Down the stairs . . .

...and out the door! 
The tub was picked up by the refinishing company on Wednesday.

A HUGE Thank You to Pete, Pat, and Jeff
for their good-natured help!

Holiday Is Over . . . Now Get Back To Work!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Independence Day

Happy 4th of July from noTTafarm!

Work Doesn't Take A Holiday

It's a holiday weekend for everyone - everyone except we hardy noTTafarmers!  We haven't exactly been overworked but we have managed to stay busy.  Saturday, Scott took 5 or 6 hours to mow.  The recent rains have made the grass grow tall and some areas needed special attention.  While Scott ran the Toro, I weeded part of the cottonwood flower bed and vacuumed up some insulation crumbs. 

That's right!  I said "insulation crumbs"!  The spray foam insulation was installed on Friday, and we couldn't be more excited to have an actual "improvement" completed. 

The electrical inspector recommended a light switch be added west of the front door, but the rest of the parlor walls have been insulated.

Put away your spoons...that's not marshmallow fluff! 
The spray foam expands after it's sprayed to fill all of the space.  The contractor scraped off the excess with a long, flat knife.  The 30-40 bags of leftovers will be recycled.

Also on Saturday, the roofing contractor finished his work.  Before the mini heat wave, he installed two roof vents which will be utilized by the bathroom fans.  Saturday, he was back to fix the flashing around the leaky chimney. 
Hi, Mike!

On Sunday, we took it pretty easy.  The major task of the day was hooking the trailer up and going to Home Depot for some sub-floor and wall studs.  Scott is going to frame the colonnade wall between the parlor and the future-kitchen area.  We also want to get the sub-floor in place throughout the first floor.  This may not seem like a heavy-duty task but we lifted and moved eight pieces of sub-floor (80 lbs. each), eight 2x8x10 and eight 2x8x8 and four 2x4x8 studs three times . . . once onto the cart, once onto the trailer, then finally into the house.  That's a lot of work for two 40-something people in the 85-degree heat!  (Ok, whining over.)

The eight new pieces of sub-floor plus two previously-purchased pieces are now neatly stacked in the corner.

New studs stacked in the library.
Stay Tuned for Our Next Adventure!