The rebirth of a country school

Month: October 2017

Fall Sweep

As much as I really don’t want it to, the time to do some final prep for fall has inevitably come.  But if it must, today was as good of a beautiful fall day in Wisconsin as you could ask for.  For example, if I have to spend the morning with the chainsaw and loppers clearing the deadfall on the side of the school, at least I can appreciate the beautiful maples turning golden around me.

But in doing some land clearing, I discovered we had our first garden crop and didn’t even know it.  One cute little baby corn was growing in the back forty.  I wonder if I could make a meal out of this?

In a surprise move, my day-lilly decided to provide a bonus bloom to celebrate the Indian summer.








But alas, all good things must come to an end, and the clouds gathered and the raindrops flew.  I made the best of it for awhile, moving inside to do some therapeutic sawing (yes, that is a thing!)  Here I’m even recycling some cast off boards into supports.  Always looking to save some dough.  Eventually, I threw in the towel (but not the saw, that would be bad).  A shower, some of Kevin’s specialty White Chili, a good night hanging with my parents, even if my Huskers didn’t do so good this week.

I’ll leave you with my latest find, a little zen butterfly windmill.  So relaxing.  Maybe I can install this in the living room.

Move-In Day

In the past, this time of year brought in inevitable post about closing up the schoolhouse for the winter.  Boy is this year different!  This year, October brings move IN day instead.  Yay!  Now, is it move in to a finished schoolhouse?  Well, of course not.  Enough of you visited 2 weeks ago to know we just aren’t there yet.  But there was a portion of the tour that you didn’t get to see. So today I’ll share the less glamorous, basic living standards that we are making home for the next 6 months or so (and strangely enough, are ridiculously excited to be doing).

To set the stage, we set up a living area in the basement.  So much of what we did this year – aside from the fantastic red roof – was foundational that no one could see; that it seems right for us to live where that work happened.  Next year will be different, but for now, this is home.

First up, our kitchen.  It’s a bit messy (ok all the pictures are messy, taken on moving day, so please grant me some leeway!)  Comprised of a upcycled cabinet and top, a microwave, hotplate and toaster oven, it’s already produced some fabulous breakfasts and dinners.  Gourmet, all the way!  

We also have a bathroom, complete with full-sized shower, repurposed from mom’s refinished bathroom.  It feels a bit like showering in a zip-lock bag, but the water is clean and hot ~ good enough for me! .

A good nights sleep is probably the most important part of any successful project.  This is my favorite part of the whole “suite”.  (Note the WI for NE plaque, handmade by my boys.  Always a Cornhusker at heart). .

But just to prove life is not all champagne and roses, sometimes the problems leak in (literally).  In this case, it turns out 3+ inches of rain  will test any foundation, even a 100 year old one.  A little grading should make a difference (I hope).  

As I sit here, Boo and Jax argue that the full-sized couch is the actual highlight of the basement, and who’s to argue with sleeping dogs? 

In the next few weeks, we need to decide next steps.  We will be transitioning from ‘get this done to get settled in before winter’ to ‘now we’re here, what to do next?’ .  I’ve got lots of ideas, but we will see if those dogs suck me into the couch-potato life.  It doesn’t seem so bad….

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