The rebirth of a country school

Month: October 2014

The school starts to speak.

Many a time we have said “if only these walls could talk.”  On Saturday, they did.

The plan of the day was to shore up the bell tower, starting with the foundation.  Earlier in the week we got the concrete in for the footings, with a little left over to plug the hole around the drain pipe.


To that, we added a ‘little’ beam across one of the main floor supports…

1025141422a and then smaller temporary supports on some of the other cross structures.

It ended up looking a little like a small jail in the basement.1025141422But about the schoolhouse speaking?  With each beam and support we put in, the school gave a slight moan, a groan, perhaps a sigh of relief?  Like a tired old lady with bad knees, she spoke to us.  She said -oh, Thank you!!!  Ahh, that feels fabulous.  What a stretch! (I’m sure I heard all of these in those odd creakings and crackings).

By the end of the day, someone else was speaking -Boo said it was time to go, the shadows were long, and we had made good progress, so off we went, anxious to come back and hear more stories.1025140953a



In Lieu of Concrete

Sometimes the days don’t go as you planned, but turn out better.  Seems there is a concrete shortage in these parts.   (I personally blame the Vikings and their new stadium, but that might be a topic for a different webpage).  But such as it was, the company we originally contacted couldn’t bring out our concrete on Saturday, so we went with Plan B – The Tackling of the Floors.

For many of you that have visited, you know the wood floors were like waves in the ocean at some points.  This was mainly because of the water seeping in by the chimney, so since we ‘fixed’ the chimney earlier this year, we now could tackle these.

0706141552aSo we decided the best course of action would be to pull them up, bundle them, dry them thoroughly and when we were ready, put them back down to refinish.

We were fortunate enough to have Rose and Grace guest star as Nail Pullers, First Class.









I must say, we made great progress!!!


We got it about half way done before the joints started aching and the beautiful day started calling our names.











And at the end of the day, the team rested 🙂  It was a very good day.1018141509a (2)

Many, many thanks for the help, the good friendship, the laughs, and the blisters.

Beans, beans….you know the rest


1011141240a“Our” beans were harvested this week.  Like proud parents, we sat on the schoolhouse steps and watched the progress as they were scooped up and hauled off.  A very good feeling to have watched them grow from seed to plant to harvest.

But enough about the beans, back to class…..

The forms are in, the chute is ready, and concrete will be arriving later this week.  I promise we are not hiding any bodies.


Outside, I tackled one of the woodpiles.  It WAS a hodgepodge of chopped wood, old boards, and trimmings.


Now it has some semblance of a firewood pile.  Sometimes, it’s the little gains like this that make a day’s work worth it.


 Next week, concrete, floorboards and crazy friends willing to help  🙂



A lot of the work at the schoolhouse is governed by “The List”.  I keep a master list of everything that needs to be done, bought, accomplished or hauled in regards to the school.  Without the list, we are lost.


This week, I came home to find that our canine team had decided the list needed some remodeling, so they ate the top half.  This definitely had an effect on our weekend plans  – but turns out not necessarily for the worse.  We stopped by the schoolhouse briefly to take measurements for the basement foundation work, but eventually found ourselves at Stone Lake, WI for the Cranberry Festival.  We had a great time once again in Wisconsin and really relaxed over the weekend.

1004141330Gave me some great ideas for the future of the school….maybe we could make cranberry wine as a side-job.  (like extra jobs is something I’m looking for!!)

Anyway, it’s getting cooler and we should start to think about putting a good blanket on the school and working inside more soon.  Time to tackle those floorboards soon. Anyone out there really love pulling nails?


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