Sunday, January 23, 2011

Winter freeze

We've planted numerous citrus trees, and a variety of other fruit
trees too, some of which are frost sensitive during their early years.
Thus, when we are expecting a freeze, we cover the trees with tarps
and place an incandescent light bulb underneath to generate some heat.
The result is an eerie gathering of misshapen nightlights glowing
around the landscape, a strange lighted sculpture garden. When we
harvest in the next couple years, and in the decades to come, it will
have been a worthwhile precaution.

Baking tray stash

There was one other gap in the kitchen cupboard layout (remember the
spice rack?). This space became upright storage for baking trays,
muffin tins, and cutting boards.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Rustic sills

Windows in the addition loft got rustic sills. We had only remnants of
the red oak we used in the rest of the house. After trying one of the
remnants, we decided that we liked the look.

Boys' bread boards

Boys have continued to sand and butcher block serving boards that we
have chainsaw-milled from wood from our land and wood from other
exotic locations. Pictured is some cherry from family land in
Tennessee and oak from our Florida woods.

No more paint samples

Today was the day to replace the boards atop the built-in desk area.
The boards were multi-colored, having been part of the paint-testing
process. When green was selected, we also decided it would better if
the green stopped at the height of the "pillars" that flank the desk.
A few hours later, our "mistake" was erased and the versatility of
tongue and groove was proved.

How did you get those up there?

Guests marvel at Navajo amd African baskets way up at the top of the
cupola. They always wonder how we got them up there: an extension
ladder and the boys with a phone ready to dial 911 just in case.

Hanging out on the screened porch

The porch is a lovely place to perch, especially during a rain storm.
The louvers do a good job of keeping the porch dry, but the water
spashes off the roof onto the step onto the floor at the screen door.
We are thinking about gutters over that portion.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Spice rack

When we installed the kitchen cupboards, there was a three inch gap.
Rather than just patch it with a piece of maple, Granddad Kiker had
the vision for a spice rack. He found the hardware, made an adjustable
sliding rack, and we all admire the space-saving results.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Washing up in the kitchen sink

How rewarding to provide shelter for a new baby in the house we built.
This morning he gets a bath in the kitchen sink.

1000 pounds of sand

1000 pounds of sand later, we have a functioning play space. The boys
head out first thing, bundled up on a 35 degree January morning.

Site Improvement: a sandbox

Granddad Kiker is full of good ideas for small boys, having raised
four of his own. His latest project is a sand box measuring 6' x 8'.
All participated in drilling holes, nailing boards in place, and
spreading sand.

Miles of Louvered Doors

The master bedroom closet in the addition is fitted with six 18"
louvered doors. After the painstaking varnishing of only two louvered
doors during the first phase of building, these doors remain
unfinished. We must gather strength and resolve before tackling this

Rustic Newel Post

We had to cut down a red oak in the process of construction. In order
to redeem its loss, we tucked away the timbers, hoping we could make
use of it during construction. When dreaming about the stairway in the
addition, the loss of a red oak became the gain of a newel post.

Kitchen cupboard drawers

Dad Kiker completed the drawers for the free-standing kitchen cupboard
unit. The drawers are finished with maple boards that match the
cupboards from First Day. A bit of staining remains. Hmmm, small
boards requiring stain are here and there all over the house. Where
did the building crew go?