Outside my window

The rain came softly the sound of it hitting the roof lulled me, enveloped me in a cocoon of serenity.   Gradually the drops become more intense.  I hear a hush, and then a steady cadence as they land outside my window.  The darkness of the morning’s rain has fooled me, seduced me into complacency, when suddenly there is a rumble in the distance…

Tumbling out of bed I rush to the door, jump into my wellies, and run to let out my chickens and geese.  Along the way I pray not to be struck lightning for coming out so late!

If you have animals you simply cannot sleep in!


After the rain stopped

I saw this through my studio window.



Mountain Farmlet update:  Bob is on vacation this week, the plumbers come tomorrow to install new plumbing and get our water going again!  They will be followed by the roofer sometime near the end of the week.


We are still peeling walls. 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd you may want to heed Bob’s visual warning before viewing the rest of yesterdays discovery work

Remember that old-time fire damage I told you about?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWell apparently, the fire was not contained to that one spot!

Anyone out there recognize the strange patterning over the top of the fire damage?  Hint:  it is not mud daubers.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt is the mud tubes from subterranean termites. 

Thankfully long dead.

Between them and the fire damage the wood was severely compromised and had to be removed.  There is yet another layer underneath what you see, and once it is out we will have to reframe this load bearing wall, and while we are at it we will frame in my pass through opening…

So I suppose there is a bright side in all of this.

However, I begin to feel as though Bob will be retired before we ever get to live here…

“The waiting is the hardest part.”

Tom Petty

45 thoughts on “Outside my window

  1. duck duck goose says:

    ugh! Whats under the ceiling?? Do you know? I went thru this with my B&B, the farm’s original homestead. A log home. It has gotten so that I dont want to take any wall or ceiling down anymore!! Too much going on under there! Connie


    • Lynda says:

      Actually, Connie, so far we have determined that what is under that ugly ceiling is pine needles, oak leaves and probably more bones. Yes, BONES. GAAACK! I am with you on that feeling about not wanting to peel anymore walls!!!

  2. shoreacres says:

    OK – I just found “Hazel Green” up in your header. So that must be the original farmlet, yes? And now I’m going to have to go through you archives and refresh my memory. I thought you had sold your place, but that can’t be so, because you obviously aren’t living in the new place yet. (The new place = the mountain farmlet, right? Why in the world can’t I keep this straight in my mind? I need a coffee and a real prowl through the archives!)

    • Lynda says:

      Linda, we only wish we could sell this place at the moment. It would help with funding all the stuff going on up on the mountain. Unfortunately, the Mountain Farmlet is not habitable just yet. We need to finish the repairs to the kitchen and bathroom/laundry rooms before we can move. Once those are done we can then move up to the mountain. Thankfully, the newer addition (done in 2006) is a bedroom with a master bath! So, if we can do laundry,cook, and have a working shower, then we are good to go! BONUS! The newer bedroom and bath are entered via the deck outside. This means not having to sleep with the fumes from the rest of the reconstruction. 😉

      And each of the remaining rooms will be taped off with plastic when we begin!

      • shoreacres says:

        Got it. I had missed the master bath with the bedroom, for one thing. Clearly, I haven’t been reading closely enough. But I’m all up to speed now, and ready to resume my proper place in your cheering section!

        Maybe getting the old neighborhood cleaned up a bit with help you with that sale. That kind of struggle – to get rid of the crack houses, and so on – continues on in Houston, and it’s a big deal when one of them gets cleaned up.

        • Lynda says:

          Yes, to be sure it will help! 🙂

          But, to be honest, I think my neighbors will also appreciate it when we get this place ready to sell. The geese are eating up all of our lawns, the weeds are coming… and it is not pretty. 😐 We really need that 5 acres of pasture and the pond up there on the mountain.

          And here is a strange thought/analogy that has just popped into my head: I am imagining that what I am feeling is not unlike what a reptile feels when they are cramped and preparing to shed their skin.

          • shoreacres says:

            Now that you mention it – that analogy seems perfect! And here’s the best part. Think how fresh and pretty everything will be once it happens! I’m sure, from looking at your photos, that fresh and pretty sounds really, really good right now!

  3. George Weaver says:

    I expected termites. The little devils are everywhere on the planet, I suspect. Renovating this old house is more difficult and expensive than building a new house, but the end result will be far more satisfying. And, you have pictures of the journey! I see the exact butterfly species and the exact Lantana blossom that I saw in a similar circumstance outside my screen door. I have a photo of it too. 🙂 It’s a nice old-fashioned flower for the Farmlet house! 🙂

    • Lynda says:

      Yes, George, exactly! I just hope we don’t have to end up selling it when we are done to pay for it all.

      I was just thinking this morning that I will need to have a bit of Lantana up there on the mountain. The humming birds like it too, but I can’t seem to catch a photograph of them. They are simply too fast for me!

    • Lynda says:

      Celi, I have actually jokingly mentioned camping up there. 😉 As for the house here, well, we aren’t even going to put it on the market until we are able to live up on the mountain. It all just takes time, and I am not the most patient person I know. 😀

    • Lynda says:

      We do too, Tom! This house is like Forrest Gump’s box of chocolates. When we open a wall, we never know what we are gonna get. 😉

      “In for a penny in for a pound” as they say, so no stopping now.

  4. Littlesundog says:

    Lynda, you are handling these new surprises far better than I would be. If we weren’t so far away we’d bring you our little travel trailer to stay in during the weekends or extended stays at the mountain farmlet! We lived in it for nearly 2 months when we sold our house in town but hadn’t yet gotten things in order with the new place. It was fun! People said we’d be divorced in no time, but FD and I looked at it like the camping adventure of a lifetime! Be patient… it’ll all fall into place as it should!

    • Lynda says:

      OH if only. I do wish we had a trailer. It would save us on gas consumption, and make it easier to get more done! Good news! As of the the end of the week we will have running water again! Not hot water, but running at least. 😉

  5. chatou11 says:

    I learned a new word this morning, I didn’t know what wellies where..
    Nice writing Lynda! More you have work to do more you will be happy when everything will be settled down! Very nice butterfly. It is exciting to follow work on the farmlet.

    • Lynda says:

      Thank you, Chantal! OH am I looking forward for the work to be done and things to settle down. We are now aiming for spring to be completed with all the renovating. We shall see! 😉

  6. LB says:

    I just have to say (and have probably said it before), I admire you and Bob so much! Wow, how do you keep your spirits up??
    And by the way … that butterfly on the flower photos is stunning!

    • Lynda says:

      Admire away, LB, but the truth of it is, that last night I couldn’t even sleep, and I did feel like crying. I know we can get it done, but dang, it is hard work! 😐

      Glad you liked the butterfly! I felt the need to preface this post with something beautiful to balance out the bad. 😉

      • Deb Weyrich-Cody says:

        Gee Lynda, I sure hope you’re remembering to take a breather (and I mean that literally – 5 minutes of focused, cleansing breath every couple of hours – IN with the good, OUT with the bad) to get RID OF the negativity (+ the dirt & CRAP) that’s being uncovered, layer by layer…
        You guys are doing a wonderful thing here, but don’t, for heaven’s sake, overload yourself(selves).
        So: Outside. Fresh, CLEAN air and a good drink of water Every couple of hours. Okay? (And the proper response is “Yes Mum!”; )

  7. dogear6 says:

    Wow, it’s just not going smoothly. I sorry, I meant wow – it’s going pretty normally, isn’t it? The butterfly was a pretty good prize to start the day with.


    • Lynda says:

      Not going smoothly? Nope. Not what we signed up for. 😛
      Nancy, the thing I keep telling myself is, that the job can’t be impossible. After all, people restore worse than this and do it well. It is the cost of the adventure that is scary. However, it is NOT going to cost as much as hiring a bulldozer and building a whole new house. So, if the work doesn’t kill us, well then, we will have something to be proud of. (I hope!) 😉

  8. Deb Weyrich-Cody says:

    OMG, got the willies just looking at these!! Then started reading to learn about these creepy-crawlies…
    If they like damp wood so much, will it make any difference once the house is made high-and-dry? And a REALLY good thing that you decided to start cleaning things up, eh?! Any ideas on how long they’ve been in residence?
    The one bright spot here; at least you’re finding out the worst and dealing with it right off the bat, right?: )

    • Deb Weyrich-Cody says:

      Oops, missed the “long dead” bit, but thank goodness for that! So, tell me; with all of those (pine?) boards you’ve been removing, you must have quite the pile by now… I’ve been thinking that you(or Bob; ) could create some pretty cool up-cycled stuff with all of that history-laden, termite-carved, richly patina-ed (is that even a word?; ) lumber. OR perhaps sell it to someone else who’d LOVE to get their hands on it. Yes, even the broken bits – it’s old enough to be planed down and still be as thick as the stuff they sell today… Such absolutely beautiful wood!!
      Or save it to do future reno/resto work right there on the mountain? But definitely DO NOT let anyone tell you that it’s just trash and should be hauled away! (But, knowing [just a little;] about how you think, that’s not too likely to happen; )
      May all your clouds have a silver lining!

      • Lynda says:

        Yes, we are so grateful that they are long dead!!! Deb, and actually, the wood is solid oak and weighs a TON. We are saving some of it, but some is honestly too damaged to do anything with but put it on the burn pile. Bob grabbed a 2X4 yesterday and it actually came away in his hand. 😐 For all the horror of what I just said, the outer walls are firm and undamaged. So basically it comes to removing the inner battens and putting in a good frame. In the old days they really didn’t frame out a structure. They put in sills (bottom beams around the edges) supports on the corners and across the tops to hold them up. Then they put in the battens to close the structure. and to hold it up and keep it in square. Surprisingly, it is a very strong structure when you do this both inside and out.
        And yes, we are saving as much as we can for other fun projects. After all this we need something we can point to and say, “I made this” because the rest of our hard work is going to be covered up! 😀

        • Deb Weyrich-Cody says:

          By the size of those scorch-marks (was there a stove or something in that corner?) it’s a good thing that buildings were made of sterner stuff than they are today!
          SO glad you plan on reusing what’s salvageable (but, like I said, no great surprise; ) and it’s OAK?! NICE, eh?! Definitely requires a more upscale reuse than the bird houses I was originally thinking about. Hey! Wouldn’t it be great to be able to recover some of the Reno/resto $$ from this reclaimed oak?? (I know, I’m thinking ‘way down the line here and you’ve got enough to think about right now… Sorry ’bout that; )

    • Lynda says:

      Lizabetsy, Lantana is one of my favorrite flowers for the humming birds and butterflies. I had given up on growing them when we moved here because they are classed as an annual. This bush came back from the roots this year! I will now take the time to plant at least one every year!

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