New occupation…

It seems that during our building project, I have learned some new trades. I can now say I am a stripper. A wire stripper that is. Since we pulled a homeowner electrical permit for our electrical, I am learning tons about wiring a home, with wise counsel and guidance from a friend who is a licensed electrician. I have learned how to create electrical circuits, design my power panel, run wire, strip the sheathing off the ends of the wire, staple the wire to support it, and so much more.

In the process of working on these projects, I have also earned the title “rafter rat” by my co-workers, because of having to work in the rafters to run the wire and staple. This was a task that challenged me. When one of the guys on the job asked me to help sheet the gables by getting into the rafters to hold a side of plywood, my ego had me respond quickly with “sure!” After taking a deep breath, I climbed the ladder, and stepped onto the rafters. I did fine, and after some time, became fairly adept at maneuvering through them without hitting my head or palming a board with a nail sticking out of it.

The whole being in charge of building a house has been a real growing process for me. I have had to learn to stand up and speak my mind to the foreman about what is important to me, the homeowner, his boss. I have had to initiate hard conversations, request things be redone, and more. It has been hard and sometimes stressful. But it has also been extremely rewarding. To realize what I am truly capable of. To see a drawing become a house is an amazing thing.

We are turning a corner soon. We hope to have the plumbing and electrical done by and inspected by mid January. After that, the subs start coming in to do their thing. Siding, insulation, drywall, paint, flooring, cabinet installation, doors installed, the house trimmed, closet racks installed, etc. it sounds like a lot, which it is, but it will go quickly. In no time, we will be moving in. Moving is still a few months off, but is beginning to look imminent.

It has been a fun process, but I will be glad when it is done. I will keep you posted.

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Autumn breather…

It looks like the last time I blogged was late August. That sentence almost rings out in my mind like a private confession of some transgression. Our family was enjoying a reunion, kids and cousins and friends. It was joyous and chaotic at the same time.

The goodbyes were said, tears were shed, and life got back to it’s pre-reunion routine. Somewhat.

Our property is progressing well. The shop is dried in for the winter, although we would still like to get the siding on and the house is being framed. Framing is an amazing process. For days it can look like nothing is happening and then BAM! The walls are up! I can walk through the front door opening, see where the rooms are going to be, and get a glimpse of what the views will be out the windows. The building process has been amazing. There are emotions that I cannot express, that well up inside me when I see what I have planned on paper take shape in three dimensions. It is truly awe inspiring.

I haven’t been involved much for the last month on site. Most of my job has been preparing electrical schematics, shopping lists, reviewing permit inspections, ordering windows, getting insulation estimates and paying everyone. That all changes next week. We have a plumber friend who is going to walk me through the rough in for the house. Soon after that, we will begin setting electrical outlet boxes, switches, etc and pulling wire. After that, the workers will start siding both buildings, roofing the house and setting the patio awning around the shop. I will then start managing the subcontractors scheduling.

For fun, I take time to pull more plums from the tree, and put together color samples of tiles and flooring and cabinetry and such for the final detailing. Right out of high school I took a college interior design class. I really thought that was the route I would follow, until I clearly heard God speak to me a solid “Nope”. One of a handful of times I have hear a clear voice. I got an A+ in the class, but went to work full time for a newspaper in their advertising department. Paid off my first car, moved into my own place with a couple roommates. Did some growing up, got married, had kids, got divorced, remarried, lived life. Several years ago I went through a home staging course and got a certificate, however the timing wasn’t right then either, and nothing became of it. And so I dabble with my own house(s).

Today, I have filled my belly with a delicious plum Dutch Baby breakfast, and am preparing to get to work pruning the fruit trees down, removing some unused firewood from the yard and moving some plant starts over to the property to overwinter. That’s one nice thing about perennial plants. I can cut off a chunk of the plant at this house, and next spring, when we plan to sell, you won’t be able to tell. And, I will have plants I love for the new place at no cost. Well, sorta no cost. My shoulder hurt for a few days after digging out a chunk of decorative grasses. If I have time, I may even try to get a final lawn mow in.

I hope you have a great day today! Find joy in the little things. Always look for the joy. It helps in dealing with this crazy world we live in.