The rebirth of a country school

Month: May 2017

A Monumental Day

Despite it being a rainy week and a complete rain out last Saturday and Sunday, and spotty showers this weekend, there was progress made.  And oh, what progress!

Upstairs, we cleared one half of the school of all our stuff and laid down a new underlayment over the oak boards.  This will provide a nice smooth surface when we reinstall the original flooring, and also serves as a nice grime catcher so we don’t leak dust and debris from the eventual roof replacement down to the basement.

And speaking of basements, what a change there.  With the concrete in and curing, next was some framing for a bathroom and mechanicals room, and insulation.  It looks like a snug blanket (and as a bonus, the baby garner snakes that keep sneaking in from somewhere are going to have to find another place to hang out).






On top of that,  check out this magnificent piece!

  The camper fridge is fantastic, but this is a work of art (OK, maybe it’s an $80 Craigslist find, but to me it’s beautiful).  Think of all the bee…er….I mean SALAD that thing can hold!  At the very least, it redefines the distance traveled when someone declares ‘Beer run!’.

And the piece that made it a monumental weekend, we have made the big move to the school. As much as we’ve appreciated the place to live provided by mom and dad these last months, there is something exciting to finally being on-site, 100% of the time.  Even though most of our stuff is still in storage, just being here is so fulfilling – something we’ve been waiting for a long time.Time to just put up our feet, watch the fire and the rain, and take a moment to relax.

A Concrete Example of a Good Weekend

OK, so maybe I think every weekend is a good weekend at the school, but this time, I have concrete proof of it.  The idea is firmly cemented in my head. (OK, I’ll stop with the bad puns). But look at this!!!!

That my friends is a freshly poured, beautifully troweled, almost ready to dance on floor.  If I say so myself, a thing of beauty.  All the other work we want to get done this year pivots around getting this done, and now it is, so lets go!

But that’s not all.  Stairs that were gone are back again.  Although I loved going downstairs via a ladder every time (not so much), the 7 whole days I lived without these stairs was desperate.



But wait – there’s more! (Now I’m sounding like an infomercial, maybe I should go back to puns).  Our neighbors Shane and Barkley came and reworked the driveway and repositioned our home-away-from-home.


We now have a front door view of the fire, and the good work Farmer George is doing out there.

Wrapped up the days with a beautiful sunset through the clouds over the schoolhouse.  I guess you could say it’s put me on Cloud 9, but it’s Cirrious-ly beautiful (I couldn’t stop myself.  Hey, if puns were outlawed, only outlaws would have puns.  I’ll stop now.)

School. A good foundation.

We’ve been so busy the last few weeks I didn’t take time to update you on all the work that has been going on – my apologies!  Between feeling under the weather and real jobs and rain (and snow!!), we let none of that slow us down.  Any free moment we dedicated to moving ahead.

First, the new electric panel is installed. Coming soon, the outside wires get buried, eliminating the pesky problem of hitting them when moving campers around.

I left you with a glimpse of the basement work we started – well, we rocked that.  Or maybe dug, graded, trenched and pea gravelled is more accurate.  I’m pretty sure the inventors of the tiller didn’t imagine that the basement would be where it was ever used, but it came in handy breaking up some very hard clay.  (Thank you Fredrick Hardware for the loan) 

It’s looking pretty good now.


Fortunately all the dirt we removed didn’t go to waste.  Being nice solid, heavy, thick, wet clay, it made for a great filler for the outside of the school where we need to get the grade sloping away from the foundation.  Is it just me, or does this feel a little like cutting the foot off the blanket and sewing it onto the head?








It’s a muddy mess right now, but I keep telling my self ‘work-in-progress, work-in-progress’.


Pea gravel, you say?  Here’s before and after, 1 shovelful at a time.  At least it wasn’t raining (much).




(OK, so I didn’t get rid of the whole pile, but in my defense, it was a BIG pile).

And of course, out with the new, in with the..wait…why are my brand new stairs missing??  They had to come out temporarily in prep for the new floor.  That’ll be next time – I’ve never been this excited about concrete in my life.  Stay tuned.

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