Monday, December 10, 2007

of bedrooms and biscuits

Sunday was another warm day, in the 50s. We were noticing the deep blue haze that was moving low over the mountains and appreciated the difference in the weather up here, as opposed to down on the open farm land about 20 miles east of the Blue Ridge where we used to live. I also walked around the back field for a while under the pretense of scoping out some fallen trees to cut up and haul back later on. I see and hear wood peckers, a chicadee, an eastern phoebe, and several cardinals. The land has returned to the way it was when we first starting checking the place out a year ago and it's easy to walk into the field without a path. I look down and see grasses that have spent the spring and summer suppressed by the now dried golden rod and imagine this area returning to a healthy meadow. I also imagine what it would be like to finish up the bedroom today. So I left the woods and we got ready to put the second coat of bee pollen on the walls.

Finish coat of white on the ceiling, done. Second coat of yellow on the walls, done. Put a finish coat of white on the narrow strips of trim that will cross the ceiling.

While all the paint dried, we took the opportunity to go out and collect some wood for the furnace. There was a small tree, a black birch I think, that someone had cut down before we lived here. It laid across one of the paths we had cut and I always imagined we'd start any small wood collecting effort with it. So, I cut it into four foot lengths with the chainsaw and we carried them back down the hill to the house. There were a couple of other trunks out there, much fatter but much shorter, too, and we cut and hauled those back as well. It's hard to say, but in that short time we probably gained about a week's worth of wood.

Breaked for lunch and a trip to town for the necessities (wine, eggnog, fresh buttermilk), came back and made some coffee, decided break time was over and got ready to put the ceiling trim up.

Trimming went pretty smoothly, all things considered. We held the first long board in place against the wall where it meets the ceiling and pressed it firmly up against the ceiling. We knew there would be some gaps that we'd have to address - as you've heard us say so many times, there isn't much that's level, square, or plumb up in here. But, everything looked as expected so, using our indispensable finish nailer, we nailed it right up. Same story for the next three boards, forming a nice top border all around the room. Gettin' there.

Then we picked up the narrow strip of trim that we designed to run across the ceiling and hide the butt joints and held that in place. We needed to trim 3/8" off. There we go. Fits nicely. Nailed it up. Repeat for the second strip. Erika called the second strip "the decoy," because it isn't being used to hide anything; it's just there for design sense, to add balance to the first one.

Things were looking good, but it was looking like we'd need some quarter-round moulding to run along the top of all the perimeter trim, since there were some gaps that really show through with a white ceiling and trim. We hadn't planned on using quarter-round and were slightly let down that we wouldn't have a finished-looking room tonight. I had planned on caulking the trim anyway, to keep cold air out, and got my favorite paintable white caulk - the stuff that saved our asses with the bathroom window trim.

I drew a bead along the top of the trim/ceiling and then followed up by tooling it with my finger. Forget the quarter-round, this looks great, and it's going to look nearly perfect after we touch up the paint. While I took care of the perimeter, Erika went around and dabbed extra caulk in all of the nail holes.

Then we straightened up the house, which had been destroyed over the course of our working 7 days straight in the bedroom and living with our bedroom in the living room. We poured a couple of ales and sat on the floor of our bedroom, gazing up and around at our awesome, awesome work, feeling a little giddy, feeling beat down and sore, feeling accomplished.

And if that wasn't accomplishment enough, I think we set a personal biscuit record by baking the best biscuits ever to go with our vegetable soup. I'm telling you, they were unbelievable. It's all because we thought we were buying this local, non-homoginized whole milk for them but instead we got the buttermilk. Had never used this in our biscuit recipe before. Now I don't think we'll use anything but.

- John

By the way, to follow up on Erika's previous post about doubting the color...we like it.


rachael said...

Oh my goodness gracious that looks beautiful. I want to live there, just right there, in that room, in fact, just in the top portion where the wall meets the ceiling. I find it weirdly sexy, even. I'm really tired, though, so maybe that's the problem.

tyler said...

that looks great. you guys are the greatest.

Bekah said...

WOW, the bedroom looks amazing! I love the's my favorite color you know! The ceiling looks great, moulding everything. I don't know where you find the strength. I can see your passion for this project in the outcomes of your excecptionally hard work. Keep it up. I can't wait to see it in person! Love you both.