Thursday, January 30, 2014

Barn Planning

With the seemingly relentless frigid weather not much is getting done outside. We have our building permit in hand, the contractor lined up, contract signed and deposit given.  Now it is up to the weather.

So that leaves lots of time to plan.  Alan will be making the doors so we needed some nice old hinges.  I love spending hours in Architectural Antiques looking at all their house parts.  We spent a couple frozen hours looking through strap hinges and found enough to hang four large doors and a man-door.
They all have matching bean ends and I love the hinge ends on the upper pair that will be used on the man-door.
We are already working on a shopping list for our next trip.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Leaded glass windows

I am in love with leaded glass windows of the 17th century and would like to have a pair above my sink in the new kitchen.  The problem has been how to get energy efficiency with leaded glass windows.  I think I have figured out how to go about this and A-not break the bank and B-get the look I am after. I am getting it down here so I don't forget by the time we are working on the kitchen.

I first did a Google search for "double pane leaded glass windows" and came across a company that makes leaded glass panels for insertion into Anderson windows.  They send along a special wood trim kit that attaches the panel to the Anderson window, allowing you to remove the panel if you move and keep the energy efficiency of a new window.

This revelation got me to thinking about making my own leaded glass panel (I did a bit of stained glass window work many years ago so am not afraid of lead came and soldering.) We could certainly make our own trim pieces to attach the panel to the window.

But then I came across this product. self-adhesive lead strips  Cool, the look of lead without the soldering.  But the glass has to look right as well.  Just placing the lead strips on regular glass won't get me the look I am after.  But if I place the lead strips on this restoration glass: Bendheim restoration glass I will have old looking glass with the look of lead panes for considerable less $.  Hmmmm.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Garage work

Alan has been spending most of his time turning the first two bays of the garage into his shop (when its not 2 degrees outside!)  The roof joist framing is complete.  There was some totally inadequate framing there before.  Some of the roof joists were pieces of siding!
Now they are all replaced, level, and sturdy enough to hold up the drywall for the ceiling.
The door into the 3rd bay tractor shed has been moved and reframed and he is working on swapping the position of the back door and window.
We will be making a back porch area that will provide an covered entrance into the house through the new back door in the garage.
The shared wall between the house and the garage is covered in roofing paper.  When Alan began removing some of it he found a ton of stink bugs, alive and dead.  This may explain why the one bedroom upstairs, which also shares this wall, has more stink bugs than anywhere in the house.  Hopefully; if we tear out all the roofing paper, we will make a dent in the stink bug population.

We also bought new lights for the front of the garage.  The old one was just a utilitarian socket with absolutely no decorative value.
We will have four repro onion lanterns and a post onion lantern.

Now we just need to change out the lights at the front door and on the post. They just scream 1970s.

Its dusk now and the lights are very pretty!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Stream, part II

What a difference a change in the weather makes.  Since the last post about the stream we have had about 2 inches of rain and a 20 degree temperature rise.  This is a picture of approximately the same location as the second picture in the last post:
And here is approximately the same location as the first picture in the last post:
And here is our sluice from the frozen pictures, then today:
Once again our little valley is creating its own microclimate.  It is about 10 degrees warmer in town.  We came home from shopping in Kutztown, which was in the low 50s, to find a car stuck in the ice on the road along side our property.  It took four guys to push it off the bank on which it was stuck.
Now it is still sprinkling and very foggy.  Can't wait to see what tomorrow brings!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The Stream

I have long dreamt of having a stream and the stream on our new property has been a joy.
It is especially interesting in winter.  And the frigid temps we have been having have created some interesting ice on the stream.

Monday, January 6, 2014


According to Accuweather tomorrow, January 7, will the coldest day since Feb 5, 1996.  We have been spoiled in recent years with mild winters.  The worst part of this cold day is the high today of 54 degrees at 6AM.  Tomorrow morning's low will be 1 degree, with a high of 9 degrees.  I can't remember the last time we dropped more than 50 degrees in 24 hours in the winter.

The goats and chickens have new straw to help keep them cozy, but the stupid turkey won't go in the chicken coop and when you try to catch her she flies out of the pen and into the woods.  We'll see if we have a "turkey-sicle" in the morning.

There is a bit of snow cover so hopefully the perennials will survive.

Now to keep the house warm.  We are trying to run out of oil so we can get rid of the old oil furnace and oil tank.  Fingers crossed we will have enough oil to get through this cold spell.  When I am not working I keep the wood stove going which keeps things toasty, but I work 16 hours tomorrow and my daughter doesn't do well with the wood stove.  There is an auxiliary electric heater and lots of blankets.  But what will the cats do without the wood stove!