It’s been getting progressively harder for me to breathe for the last month. During most winters the approach of Spring has been met with cries of sweet-jesus-relieve-us-from-this-frozen-hell.
This year, Spring means the Memorial house plans need to be done, sealed, stamped, approved, and apparently signed in blood. MysteryMan has to get his Michigan engineers licence. We have to have building permits from a county that has neither building nor website to direct you to how in the hell you get those permits. I have to learn proper framing techniques. We need to line up excavation equipment and wall forms and get loans to pay for construction materials, and since MysteryMan has never taken out a loan from a bank in his life, he would prefer to be dragged face first over hot coals rather than be indebted to a financial institution. And then there’s the small matter of selling the Garrison house in the worst. housing. market. ever.
Basically there has been a big pile of steaming awesomeness on my chest, and it was making it difficult for my brain to receive the proper amount of oxygen.
But today we spent most of the day rehashing floor plans, our financial situation, the state of our collective union, and whether or not I will ever submit to living with a dog. (I like dogs, I just hate the way they smell. And drool. And jump on people. But I’m all about playing fetch and whatnot.)
We figuratively tore the Memorial House apart and then put it back together again, and MysteryMan had a brilliant stroke of insight which led to the new house plan (version 3 for 436, I’m sure) looking somewhat like this:
This design solved for a couple of outstanding issues we had with the old plan.
1.) Better placement of stairs to the basement and loft.
2.) Larger area for the Master Bed/ Bath
3.) Access from the Master Bedroom to the back yard
4.) All bedrooms now have windows
5.) The existing living room space is more usable
There is just one fatal flaw with this plan, which is that we are not keeping the existing bathroom in the main area of the house. I conceded to MysteryMan’s point that it will be better to do all the additions at once, and given the current state of the economy that will be after we sell Garrison Road. Which means once again, I’ll be living in a house that has no working bathroom.
We’ve decided in 2009 to work on the interior of the existing house, which basically means tearing out all walls (and ceilings), reinforcing the roof with exposed beams, framing in the few walls that will be left, getting the utilities set up for the additions, oh… and landscaping. Which means putting in a lot of fence, and one bigass pond.
Existing Property & Structures:
There is a word for this. It’s called barren.
Luckily my family is in the mining business, so we have excavation equipment galore. Ricky assures me we can have that pond dug in a week. And since it involves heavy equipment and not simple tools like a shovel, I’m going to let the boys play with their toys. The person in this relationship who does math regularly tells me that we will be excavating 12,000 yards of dirt, and will only be using around 1,000 of that for the berm and landscaping. So. If anyone needs any dirt in the next year…
Ricky insists that since we’re going to be digging the place up we put the additions on at the same time (he thinks even bigger than I do, but MysteryMan doesn’t roll his eyes at Ricky nearly so much as he does at me). But that is yet to be determined.
Some of the fun landscaping features I want to focus on this year are, first, the vegetable garden, which I would like to fence in with something like this:
I’m going to create the vegetable garden with raised beds using railroad ties, even though that’s really not the “country” thing to do. It’s how my grandma used to do it in her less-rural back yard, so I’m going to bring my own style to the country. (Oh boy, is MysteryMan’s grandpa gonna laugh at me.)
You may also notice I have a spot marked off for growing-things-we-will-eventually-ferment-and-drink, where we’d like to try our hands at growing hops or barley and grapes.
Which is quite ambitious, I know (however in the scheme of things I have suggested, for example, buying a cow and making all our own milk and cheese, this one is not outside of the realm of possibility).
It’s also likely that I’ll be digging 1001 fence post holes, since the perimeter of our property will have to be fenced in in order to have a pond. I have no idea how I got to be Chief Hole Digger in this relationship, but there you are.
So, big plans, as usual. And more than likely we’ll be making just as much progress outside of the house as we will in it this season, buy hey, after the last 8 months, we’ll take anything we can get.
P.S. Serious bit of brilliance from Mark at Rehab or Die the other day on renaming my header “La Femme Makita.” Swear to God I laughed for 10 minutes and then seriously considered changing the name of this website!