Thursday, March 28, 2013

Chicken Nipples!

Google it! It's not as scary as it sounds, promise. After 3 weeks of cleaning shavings and poop out of our chick's water, I suddenly understood why people rave about chicken nipple watering systems.

I decided to fit a 5 gallon bucket with nipples to hang under the coop that John is building. In the winter, we will be able to drop in a tank heater and keep the water from freezing really easily.

I bought the nipples for $10 and already had the bucket. I drilled 3 holes in the bottom of the bucket with a 3/8" drill, inserted the grommets, pushed in the nipples, and drilled two air holes in the lid. Easy! Paisley and I tested it over the bathtub and then texted John in excitement of having successfully used a power tool! Yay!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

House Tour

We've been living in our house for about 3 weeks now!  
I have internet and a desktop computer again!  
We have more than 500sqft to share!
We aren't in danger of being shot by thugs! 

Ooh, that one is a good story, 
stay tuned to hear about how we were (sort of) involved in a shooting!

Grab your coffee, this is going to be a long one...  

Here is the living room, from the front door:
The wood stove was a late addition.  I am SOOO glad we decided to add it!  It really adds a warmth and focal point to the room!  We've had a fire for several nights in a row and we kept it burning all day during our most recent snow storm!

Charley approves:

To the left, as you walk in, is the 'art wall.  Actually, it is a very functional half wall.  The return air vent at the top of the wall draws air down into a duct through the floor.  Except there was a floor joist in the way.  So, we had to move the location of the duct opening forward and build a half wall to accommodate.  We could have done a full wall or a built in bench, but I liked the half wall idea.  

 To the right is our thermostat.  It is called The Nest and was designed by ex-apple employees.  Google it.  I have yet to hear one bad thing about it!  It is a smart thermostat and is wifi connected.  Surprisingly, it is better and cheaper than most all other smart thermostats on the market.  It learns your habits, senses when you are away, can be programed from an app, and has limitless scheduling options.  Change the temperature every 15 minutes of every day for the whole week.  Nest can do it!  Another neat feature, and the REAL reason we got it is it has the ability to handle a duel fuel system.  Our heatpump is hooked up as our primary heat source, but if the outside temp is below 32 (or any other temp you decide to set) it switches to the more efficient, powerful, and expensive propane furnace.  On spring and fall days, you have have The Nest set to Heat*Cool where it will bounce back and forth to keep the temp at a set point or even within a range of temps.  When we light the wood stove, we just turn the fan on and let it circulate the warm air through the house.  

 Here is the front door and dining room doors.  The dining room doors are 5 panel with a seedy glass.  The uppers on the cabinets are also a seedy glass.  The pendant light is from Pottery Barn.  I love it!

Here is the view of the kitchen!  The island pendants are also from Pottery Barn.  We have a small space here that we really tried to make functional and beautiful.  I love to cook and having a dream kitchen is, well, a dream I've always had!  The flooring in a rustic hickory with a clear finish.  It was finished in the house and looks amazing!  We went with a combo of short (tavern style) and long boards all of which are 5" wide.  

Here is the island.  The granite was really fun to pick out.  They came out to template and used these thin, but rigid boards to template the bare cabinets.  The we met them at their shop and held the templates up to the slabs to choose which slab we wanted in what direction for each section of countertop!  Very fun!

The faucet is cool, the head of it pulls down and either does a steady stream or shower head function.  Makes it really easy to chase food down the drain.  Well, into the food trap.  We are on a septic system, so we opted to not have a garbage disposal in order to be kind to our septic tank.  So, food goes into the food trap, then to the compost bucket, to be taken out, by my sweet husband, to the compost bin at 9:15 at night in the snow while he takes Charley for one last pee before bed.  Too much detail?  

My  only objective in choosing a sink was that it needed to be big enough to wash a cookie sheet without having to flip it over a million times!  Also, why do any sinks have a divider in the middle?  I've never understood that.  I guess it could work if you were washing dishes by hand?  Anyway, single basin sinks are neat!

We've also got this handy dandy doo dad that we don't use and was probably a waste of money since we just keep the soap and sponge in the sink which is deep enough to conceal anything, including deep dark secrets.  No, I'm kidding.  Just this morning's scrambled eggs (reference picture above).  

Here is the bookshelf wall.  It has the double oven (top is convection).  OMG.  I had no idea how awesome convection cooking was!  I was really intimidated by our appliances at first.  They do a lot of beeping and chiming.  They did not come with manuals.  I was having a hard time with food not cooking right and I finally pushed the convection button.  Now my floors sweep themselves! What? No.  No, they do not.  BUT!  Convection cooking made my life better is other ways.  Like by swirling hot air around my bread and baking it to a perfect golden brown on all six sides!  I had to visualize a loaf of bread and count the sides to give you that information.  You are welcome.  What were we talking about?  Also, we have a refrigerator.  Everyone has a fridge.  No need to elaborate.  

 Above the fridge is a space so cavernous it could house a hay bale.  Seriously.  Maybe 4.  Right now, it holds wine glasses.  For two people who never entertain and prefer to drink wine out of mugs, we sure do have 64 wine glasses.  

On the right side of this counter are the appliance drawers:

They glide all the way out, which makes it super easy to get whatever you need!  No more crying on the floor when you need the blender because that means you will have to move the crock pot, which then topples over the cutting board, then call a moving company to lift the stand mixer out of the way, just to reach WAY into the back of the cabinet just to find the blender, which is in 5 pieces to make it short enough to fit.  And then you have to put the puzzle back together.  Nay said she!  Give me drawer glides!   

Also, stick blenders are my favorite.  I should have just skipped the regular blender and gone with a stick blender from the start.  Less crying.  

 On the left side of this cabinet is the baking shelf!  Shelves?  Shelving?  Baking shelving!  
I saw this idea on pinterest and felt silly for having not thought of it on my own.  Now all of that metal and glass can be put away without the usual banging and clanging.  

Here is the stove wall:

 There are two heavy duty deep drawers under the cook top for storing pots, etc.  They have the self closing glides.  Very cool.  

This cabinet also has drawers.  Only one cabinet doesn't have drawers or anything fancy and I think it is a little out of place and lonely.  It houses tupperware and sippy cups.  Anyway.  

 Baking items:

Alphabetized spices.  
You know, because everything stays exactly where you put it when you have a two year old in the house...

Mixer stand.  Not sure yet what I think of it.  I'm not sure if you are supposed to move it to the counter for use or just blend away on the stand.  I guess either way it makes it easier to lift.  

Close up of hardware.  

Follow Paisley!

Behind Paisley is a linen closet.
There is a matching coat closet on the other side of the wall behind the wood stove.
This one contains really really old books.

This is the guest room.  Please excuse the mess.  It happens. 

To make up for it, you get the best view in the house!  

From the guest room (aka- future baby room) you walk straight into the vanity.  It is just a cased opening with no door.  

From there you walk through a door into the bath/toilet area.  Not much to see there except the cool transom window above the tub:

Then on into Paisley's vanity area.  Hi John!

Here is what the cased opening looks like:

Paisley's room!

Paisley's room opens back out into the living room.  The two "kid" rooms are a big loop off of the living area.  You can't access the bathroom without going through one of the rooms, so we also have a full bath down the other hallway.  

First, I'lll show you the screened porch and deck.  I love love love having a screened porch and we really haven't even gotten to use it yet!  

In the dark, the light reflects off of the screen and makes it look like an enclosed room.  
Very cozy!

In the daytime, it looks like a good sittin' porch.  
The first time I typed that, I typed 'sinnin' porch.  
I'm not sure what kind of sinnin' I had on my mind.  

Love the dutch door!


Come on over!  Lets have a drink out back!

 Here is the bay window in our bedroom.  
It has basically the same view as the guest room.

Back inside, if you go through the hallway of the kitchen or dining room you will be in a hallway.

This hallway has several doors to choose from:



Guest bath:

I like the robe hooks:

We opted to have finger routing 
instead of hardware on the bathroom cabinets for a cleaner look.  

The laundry room is at the end of the hallway.  It is a mess.  It is also the fastest way to get to the garage, so it appears to be a catch all for tools as well.  I really wanted a $2000 44" wide farm house sink for the laundry room.  It wasn't in the budget.  Who has a $2000 sink?!  So, we got a standard wash basin and we plan to do shelving, a countertop, and a nicer sink in the future when we upgrade our washer and dryer to front loaders.  

The last stop on this ride is the master bedroom!  We may have oversized the bedroom and undersized the living room.  Oh well!  

The closet is just a cased opening (no door) so that Charley can access his food easily.  


I love the hickory cabinets!

Shower and spa tub!

 The best part of the whole house- the beautiful views, no matter the weather!

 Thanks for coming along for the tour!  We built this house without a general contractor.  I managed the whole project myself.  It was a very big accomplishment for me!  We got it done just two days shy of six months.  We had a great experience and would totally do it again, if this wasn't already our dream home!  What an amazing journey this has been!  Thank you to all of our friends and family members who supported us along the way!