Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Hunkering Down in South Dakota!

Warm weather this past two weeks gave us a hint of what is to come. All throughout the hills signs of spring are everywhere. Robins, Blue birds, Meadowlarks and other variety of birds have arrived back from their winter ranges. The turkeys are gobbling trying to entice a hen to be their best friend and all but the most shaded areas are free of snow.

You would hardly know the world is melting down around us as we self-quarantine here in our own little slice of paradise. Of course we have to keep one on the surrounding woods for approaching zombies. We keep a hammer close by so we can smash them in the skull and drop them in their tracks. Like much of the country, they have closed the schools, there is panic shopping in the stores and it is all you see on the news. As of today (3/16) South Dakota only has 9 cases.  But 9 cases or not the crazies are out in full force as witnessed by Barb when she went to Walmart in Rapid City. Like many stores across the country, TP was nonexistent, the cold/flu section was wiped out as was all the ready to eat frozen dinners. But the craziest things she saw was a mother who just sat back and watched as her two small children were licking the shelves. Yes, they were licking the shelves and then there were the two women who got into an actual fist fight over....wait for it.....baby wipes! Apprently one woman took offense to another woman who had 7 packages of baby wipes in her cart and told her to put some back for other people. The other woman did not take kindly to being told what to do and punches were thrown in the baby wipe aisle at our local Walmart. Seriously people!

We have taken advantage of this warmer weather to work outside on the siding. Well, I should say “I” as Barb was down and out for 3-4 days with some kind of bug. I kept my hammer close by and kept her locked in the bedroom just in case she turned into a zombie. Don't worry, I would open the door to throw in food and a bottle of water once in a while then slam it shut and put the chain back on the handle just in case. I am happy to report that she is all better and I can breathe a sigh of relief knowing my own wife is not going to try and eat my brains. 

So far the siding is going well. I decided to start in the easier areas with smaller pieces. Since we have a covered porch running the full 88’ of the east side of the house the siding is split with 52”s of siding above the porch and 56”s below the porch. Below that we eventually have 39”s of stone. 
The hardest part was getting the first panel on exactly straight. Trying to get it up on the wall, hold it, use the level and screw it in by myself was virtually impossible. After several attempts I gave up, got my sickly wife out of bed and asked her for some help. (I had my hammer in my hand the whole time) With the extra pair of hands, the first panel was up in less than 5 minutes, she was locked back in the bedroom and I was on my way! 

By my rough estimates it will take me 14 good weather days (now 12) to get everything done. I was two days in when the bottom fell out of the weather. 
8+ inches of snow and plummeting temperatures greeted us Friday morning. The only good thing is that it moved all the zombies south into the “no snow” zone so we can work at a more relaxed pace. Have you ever seen a zombie movie where there was snow? There is a reason, they don’t like snow! So we moved our operation inside and got rocking and rolling on some inside projects. When I say “rocking” I mean that literally. We sheetrocked the kitchen!

What a difference a few sheets make. It totally transformed area. I had to leave the back corner of the kitchen open so we could still install the shower valve in the bathroom right behind that wall in the adjacent bathroom. 

When Kevin was out here for a few days last week we finished the peak of the ceiling. He told us to leave the last couple board before the peak until he gets here as they can be tricky. I am glad we did as it was indeed tricky getting the last piece in place. But thankfully with Kevin’s expertise he got it done! Cheryl could not make it this trip but he did bring his new dog Reba!
The latest addition to the Filip family, Reba
She is just a pup but was very well behaved while visiting. 

We also installed the mantel over the fireplace. It is an old weathered 8x8 timber supported by two weathered 4x6 beams. It was actually one beam that we cut. Barb had to color match some stain to do one end on the face. She experimented with a couple colors and ended up mixing a few of them to get the color right. You cannot even tell one end was cut!


He also helped us get up the 2x10 rough cut board that are going to act as a decorative border around the kitchen, living room and dining room. Barb stained these a dark brown that will match our trim around the windows. We also got some tongue and groove installed below the 2x10.
2x10 timbers separating the room.
While we worked the dogs would just nap, lounge around and watch us. 
Lastly Barb stained the sliding glass door in the dining room, the kitchen window and the window in the upstairs bedroom. This stain (Provincial) is a couple shade lighter than the trim (Jacobean). The combination looks great!
Getting started on the sliding glass door
Kitchen window all stained
Despite all this work we have been able to get out and do some other things. Mainly we have been taking the dogs for a walk so they get a little exercise. 
Daisy running away from the zombie
On two occasions we found treasures. All that was left of our first find was the spine and the skull of a beautiful 3x4. 

At first we thought maybe it was our friend that we have been watching grow up over the past couple of years but after looking at some of our pictures we had never seen this buck before. On another outing we found this whitetail buck skull that had obviously been dead for a couple of years. 

So here we sit, cold and snowy outside, warm and toasty inside, no zombies in sight and more than enough to do while we wait for warmer weather later this week so I can get back outside to work on the siding. I just need 12 more warm weather days!  

34 comments:

  1. Glad to see your post. Been impatiently watching for it, like multiple time a day. Worried that the zombies had already gotten the both of you. House is really coming along great. Can't wait to see the finished product (or for you guys to come up for spring planting). Winter here again now, cold and snow with more forecast. At least spring is close!

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    1. Happy to report that we are safe and healthy. It is hard to find time to write as it seems like we are always working and when we are done for the night, I am just not motivated to sit down and write!

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  2. Lookin good. Hope your weather gives you your 12 days. lol

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    1. Cold and snow today so it looks like I am inside today.....

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  3. Not much you can do about the weather but work inside, awesome mantle and the stain looks amazing. Unbelievable what is happening to some folks during this thing. Everybody needs a project so they can settle down. As always good work you guys!
    If zombie Barb ate your brains would she still be hungry after?? Lol. Cheers.

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    1. I think my brain would just be like an appetizer, then she would go on a rampage looking for a real meal!

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  4. Glad to see Barb gave up trying to be a Zombie and you are both getting things completed around the new house. Really starting to look good.
    Looks like the dogs are bored.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

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    1. We have not heard of too many people being sick around here but the restaurants are sure taking a hit!

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  5. Looks like your Alaska trip is either on 'hold' or totally gone this year with today's announcement of the boarder closure...unless you take a ferry. Hope it all works out for you.

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    1. So far they are still letting American citizens into Canada but that could change at any time. We are not going to change any plans until the last minute. We have a Plan B all set just in case.

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  6. If Barb did turn into a Zombie and want to eat your brain, I think that it would just be an appetizer for her. As far as you thinking spring is on the way, I doubt it. Especially in the Black Hills. Everything else looks great. 12 days, huh? Keep up the good work.

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    1. Last year we got like 11" in one snowfall in May so you are probably right, winter is long from over!

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  7. Yay! Poor Barb! Glad she’s feeling better! Good to heR no zombies were involved!

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    1. It was not respiratory so we know it was the dreaded illness!

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  8. I think you've been hangin with Dino too long with this zombie scare. 😜 The place is looking great! So we were just wondering...you were building the barninium around your 5th wheel which is now gone. What’s the plan for all that extra space?
    Cheers!

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    1. Ironic isn't it! We already have plans to build a woodworking shop in the garage once the house is done but even now it is full with the truck, jeep, camper, ATV and ATV trailer.....

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  9. The siding looks wonderful. Love the stain colors. Wow! A semi kitchen!! Good to hear Barb is well now. Hope you both stay health till all this flu passes and warm weather is here to stay.

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    1. We really feel like we are making progress as these projects have such a big visual impact whereas other times we work for hours on something and cannot even see the results.

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  10. You guys are making great strides and the place looks awesome. So creative with the use of the old lumber and dark stain.
    Hope your weather improves cause before Alberta gets warmer...South Dakota has to.

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    1. Cold and snow forecasted again today but I was able to get two full days in so far this week! 10 days of siding work left!

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  11. The truth of the matter is, those shelf-licking kids are probably immune to every germ known to man. Were that and the fistfight on Barb’s Walmart bingo card?

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    1. You are probably right. I think what Barb was witnessing was an actual zombie mutation. Who knew that Walmart was an official mutation center? Well, I guess we all probably did.

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  12. The build is looking good. Seeing the drywall installed was always my favorite part of the construction phase … my vision was finally coming to fruition. Thanks for the levity during these tough times.

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    1. It motivates us to get more done. We are to the point now where everything we do makes a great visual impact.

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  13. Hope to get up that way in June. Jim and Brenda Jordan were here with others from Lake Mead, so we go a little update on your project. It is looking good.

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    1. With luck we will be in Alaska in June but at this point, who knows!

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  14. So far, we've managed to avoid any major drama at the stores, but that's mostly because we've been avoiding the stores. Crazy times, for sure. I'm kinda jealous of your enormous project that will keep you busy. Much better than endlessly reading the news while peeking outside to check if there are zombies coming up the driveway yet. Stay well.

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    1. We are watching a lot less new than before. So tired of the over dramatization of everything. But you are right, we do have plenty to keep us busy!

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  15. Glad Barb's feeling better. As usual enjoyed the chuckle. We're as stocked up as an rv'er can be. Things are looking great, I remember how sheetrock seem to make it more real when we did our big addition.

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  16. I get tired every time I read one of your posts. You are killing it on the house. It looks more and more amazing with every project completed.

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    1. Today is our one year anniversary, we are amazed at what we have gotten done in that time!

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  17. Thanks for reminding me of some of the good things going on in the world right now! So amazing to be a spectator to your build!

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