As I was thinking about this Thanksgiving I was wondering where we were last year at this time. Well, I remember where we were, I was wondering where we were in terms of the house.
I don’t think I will get much of an argument that this has been one of the strangest and longest years on record and one no one is going to forget in their lifetime. But here in the rural lands of South Dakota it is not nearly as weird as other places in the country. To be honest you would hardly know anything is different out here. The fact that we never go anywhere plays a big role in this perspective however.
This Thanksgiving found us celebrating with our good friends Kevin, Cheryl, Dan and Bonnie. The exact same group we spent the holiday with last year. Besides the obvious, the other biggest difference is where we are at with the house. No, we are not done, in fact we are far from it but we are sure a heck of a lot further along than we were last year at this time!
This is a picture taken last year at Thanksgiving.
|A house of poly and insulation|
And here is the same shot of where we are at this year.For those of you who have been closely following our blog you will notice one big change this week. Yup, it is the stone on the fireplace! Earlier this week Kevin said that if I got the lath and scratch coat up he would come over and put the stone up over the weekend. I could not pass up an opportunity like that and to work I went!
The first step was to staple metal lath on any surface the stone was to go on. A fairly easy process but that metal lath will cut the heck out of your hands! The next step is to put on the scratch coat. This is basically a thin layer of concrete (mortar) over the metal lath. This provides the surface to which the stone and mortar will adhere to in the next step.
That step took two full days and is one I was glad to have done!
The next day Kevin came over and we started putting stone up! Stone by stone we fitted and put them into place like a huge jig saw puzzle. 8 hours later we were done with our first day and about 1/2 done. We got the entire wood storage area done and about 3' above the fireplace.
The next day we were back at it again and 6 hours later Kevin was putting the last stone in!
|Last stone being put into place!|
It looks awesome and we are so glad to have that project behind us. Another one that we could not have done without Kevin's help.
The next steps are to grout between each of the stones and clean it up. We also need to get our hearth stone and mantle into place, but we are close! Until then it looks like we are going to have scaffolding in our living room again....
Barb has been staining and varnishing the handrails for our stairs......and also paid a visit to the cabinetmaker where she received some good news and some bad news. The good news is that all the doors and some of the cabinets are done. We are going with rustic hickory.
|The rest of our doors|
|One of our doors|
The bad news is that they will not be done until late December or even into next year.
But back to Thanksgiving itself....Like many, we cannot wait for 2020 to fade into the past and are looking forward to 2021. But in the meantime we are fully embracing this holiday season starting with Thanksgiving. Barb cooked a wonderful turkey, stuffing, potatoes. Bonnie and Cheryl brought other sides and desserts. But I think the highlight of the evening were Barb's White Russian and Buttershots &Baileys pudding shots. We lost track of how many we had but by the end of the evening we were full in several ways!
You will notice two people missing from this picture. The picture taker, (me) and Kevin who after supper went to the couch and assumed this position.....
|He even has his stabilizers out|
Thanksgiving behind us, we are looking forward to Christmas. So much so we got our tree the day after Thanksgiving and have been watching a Christmas movie on the Hallmark channel almost every evening. This is a first for me and I have learned a couple things; The first is that there is only about 6 actors that play the main characters in about every movie on the Hallmark channel. They will mix up who is the boss, mom, dad, sister, brother, whatever but they are the same actors. It can get kind of confusing. The second thing I learned is the plot is the same in every one. Pay close attention and I can save you countless hours of movie watching and tell you the plot so you won't miss anything.
Every one of them go something like this... The main character is a woman (often the same woman in the last movie you watched) who is in a relationship with a horrible boyfriend. About 15 minutes into each movie she runs into a handsome stranger but they don't get along (for now) but she is in a relationship anyway right? Wait another 15 minutes and she breaks up with her horrible boyfriend and is going to be alone for Christmas. (oh no!) But happenstance brings her back together with the handsome stranger and they slowly become closer and closer. Then you need to throw in a spontaneous snowball fight, an interrupted first kiss, a reappearance of the old boyfriend trying to patch things up and drama with the new boyfriend through a misunderstanding. Fear not, they make up, have their first kiss and live happily every after! You can thank me later but now you do not need to watch any movie ever put out on the Hallmark channel.
The weather here in South Dakota has been great in the past two week. 40's and 50's everyday which has allowed us to get out and cut some firewood in our spare time. Barb has taken over the tractor is becoming a regular farmgirl!But we know winter is coming and we will be cooped up inside. Warm or cold, we have plenty to do to keep us busy for there is still a lot to be done to finish the inside by spring!