I have not been here for a few days….life is busy! It seems there is always so much work to be done in the autumn….rushing about like the busy little squirrels in the tree….trying to get everything in order before the first snowfall!
The pool is secure and has been for awhile. The camper is winterized and perched in its winter home. Those are two major concerns as we have actually done winterizing in cold rain and even (yes, hard to believe!) snow! The endless leaves have been dealt with as well, properly taken away and the remaining, mulched.
Oh, that big but!!!! We have talked for years about raising the grade on the west side of the house. The garage sits fourteen feet away from the house. The little amount of yard between the two buildings is quite low. To remedy this, Mark has talked about raising the grade about a foot on the house. There is plenty of room to do this, but the work involved always seemed a bit daunting.
Last week, Michelle began digging down along the grade board on the house. She excavated to expose the board so we could tear it off the house and then raise it up. In the process, she found the moisture barrier used to keep the foundation from rotting. (When we built this house, Mark built a wood foundation, using specially treated plywood. As we dug down, it was incredible to discover that after twenty-one years, the wood looks in mint condition!)
Yesterday, the kids worked on putting in a new grade board. This is one of the ugliest renovations that can be done, as it involves dirt and lots of grunt work. No one that hasn’t observed the process would be the least bit impressed, but it will result in a much better grade between the two buildings. Instead of a big “dip” in between, the ground will seem much more level.
During this process, we have continued to go to the home of our friends, Bill and Carolyn, every Tuesday evening. What a fun time this is…Bill (a most talented and awesome cook) makes a meal and then Mark, Carolyn, and Sue practice music. There are usually several other people who come as well, so we sit and chat as the musicians do their thing.
It was at Bill and Carolyn’s home that we met up with their neighbors as well. The neighbors actually live a few miles away, but Bill works for them and oh, what a treat it was to see Mike’s woodshop last Tuesday before we went to Bill and Carolyn’s! Bill had told us about Mike’s “barn” before and when we talked to Mike about it, both he and his wife, Stephanie, invited us to come for a visit!
We left home a couple of hours earlier than usual on Tuesday and arrived at the barn. My heart sank when Stephanie was gone….she had to take her mom to Canandaigua to the doctor, as she was having some pain in her shoulder and arm. She has had some heart problems in the past, and Stephanie felt she should make sure her mom was okay.
We went inside the barn and I only wish I could send the scent of freshly worked wood through the computer!
Let me back up some…Mike worked with computers for years and years before retiring. He and Stephanie, along with Stephanie’s parents lived in Chicago. They found a piece of property for sale in Prattsburgh and bought it. It had a small modular home on it, along with 110 mostly wooded acres of land. They would come and visit the property and stay a bit before heading back to Chicago.
Mike has loved timberframe building since he was a young man. And so, after buying the property, he had a vision to build a timberframe barn. Oh, but this is no ordinary barn! This barn has been a work in progress for the past ten years! This barn has radiant heat in the floor and is quite a work of art! I took a few photos inside, so come have a stroll. You won’t see any nail heads, but you will see wooden pegs throughout, used to hold members together!
I didn’t photograph it, but Stephanie set a lovely table for us and had a carafe of coffee and brownies!
We visited with Mike and Mark and I were both so impressed! What a wonderful barn!!! Stephanie told us she would love to move out to that barn, but Mike’s next project involves a house. A timberframe house!