Holiday Hiatus


We had thought to finish most of the kitchen before the holidays.  Included in the plans was moving the propane stove out of the dark corner.  After disconnecting OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAthe propane lines and moving the stove away from the wall, we found that wall and flooring was also in awful condition.  So, Jim patched and filled in the holes in the wall and put in cement on the floor.  Now we wait for everything to dry.

My Mom also came out to visit for Christmas, so we enlisted her help in priming a few walls in the bedroom.  The walls were a dark brick red with black ceiling and black floor — depressing!  So, focusing on two walls that don’t require much attention other than painting, Mom and I accomplished great feats!  Jim fired up the spray painter and we’ve discovered Mom loved that gizmo!

After these accomplishments, we decided to let the house rest so we could enjoy Mom’s company to go shopping, watching movies, story telling, cooking and laughing.  Mom made some of her infamous Apple Bread and Death by Chocolate Cake.  Jim ate so much cake he made himself sick, but that hasn’t stopped any of us from appreciating Mom’s culinary delights!

I absolutely hated to see Mom leave to go home, but we plan on making a trip this year to see her.  So, I guess a temporary separation isn’t too bad.

One Wall Almost Done!


Jim has pretty much finished the one kitchen wall and is working on the flooring in front of the wall now.  Turns out the flooring was put directly on dirt, so some of the flooring is horribly warped or rotted.  Jim plans on putting down cement on the area below the area where the long kitchen cabinet will be placed, then cover with tongue-in-grove planks.  The final step will be installing the cabinet and hooking up the plumbing.

We also started working on the living room.  On one wall there was a huge area above a small window that was in horrible shape.  It was possible to see the great outdoors through the wall!  Jim has filled in the gaps with that new cement-adobe mixture and a huge draft is now gone!


Once the large cabinet in the kitchen is in place (with plumbing hooked up), we’ll finish off the livingroom wall.

When not working on the two walls, focus has been made to patch the roof.  Whenever it rained, water gushed into the house and the walls at the gush melted down and made huge mud puddles in the house.  Most of the puddles were in the sun room and bedroom.

I’d show pictures of the roof’s progress, but it would take some major event for me to mount those ladders just to take pictures!  Egads, how does Jim do it?  For that matter, how do roofers do it?  I’d need two-three well-secured safety harnesses and a case of Depends….

First Mission Accomplished — Next Steps


We have managed to clean-up most of the yard.  Just look at how pretty it all is!



Part of the final challenge in cleaning up the back section before finishing the fencing was a Russian olive tree.  It had grown wild with several new baby trees around it.  For those not familiar with this tree, let me tell you — that tree is nothing short of evil!  The wood is super dense, loaded with knots, and it sprouts some of the deadliest thorns I think I’ve ever seen!  This picture gives a little bit of an idea.  Those spikes poke out from the branches and tree trunk!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe’ve trimmed and cut it down as far as we can.  Now we will finish it off with salt water and time.  Not only do we not want to get pierced with these tree stakes, but we have animals that deserve more.

The work on the inside has now begun.  We decided to attack the kitchen first since there will be no moving in until we can eat!  First — get rid of the tiny kitchen counter!

I’m just under 5 feet tall — the top of the counter was almost to my chest.  Trying to use it would have meant having to use a step stool, so it had to go!  The counter top is significantly higher than the stove top….

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASo Jim disconnected the pipes and the counter was moved.  What we found had our jaw dropping.  The counter had no flooring at all; it was sitting directly on dirt.  The wall behind the counter was almost non-existent with the outdoors being visible in spots.


Its safe to say that this is our new challenge for November.  I’ll try to keep everyone up-to-date more consistently, but it appears it will be a while before the kitchen will be usable.  After the wall and flooring are done, we will have to also redo some of the other walls and rewire the room.  **sigh** I’m telling myself when its done it will be wonderful….