In February of 2009, my husband and I bought our first home located on a few acres in Johnson, Vermont. We live here with our dog, Ollie, two cats: Elvis and Atticus, six Nigerian Dwarf goats: May, Chutney, Poppy, Juniper, Willow, and Jokers Wild, and about fifteen laying hens. And to top it all off we welcomed our daughter, Isabel, into the world on January 11th, 2011.

We're slowly updating our 1850's farmhouse while steadily working towards a healthy, meaningful, self-sufficient life together.

This blog details our endeavors along with our successes and failures- all in good fun. Thanks for stopping by, hope to see you again soon!


May and I enjoying some sunshine
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Is it Autumn already!?

Lovingly Posted by Melissa Thursday, September 24, 2009

I think I say this at every change of season here in Vermont, but I think autumn is my favorite.  I love being able to pull out my stowed away cozy sweaters and Turtle Fur hats that have been patiently waiting in their bin in the spare room.  Our big old maple trees behind the house are slowly morphing their lush green leaves into something a little more festive.  And our goats are definitely loving the fact that they get to have dried leaves on a regular basis now.  Autumn always brings back all those cliche nostalgic memories like playing in big piles of leaves and of times my brother and I spent playing on the old tire swing in our front yard as kids.

Kyle's been working on finishing the installment of our new front door this evening.  It was a project that began last weekend when we just got so sick of not being able to latch our old door.  We literally had skeleton keys for the front door.  It was quite a source for disagreement between Kyle and I this summer as I just wanted to fix the latch but Kyle wanted to replace the door all together.  I have to admit, it probably would have been a serious pain to try to fix as its an old wooden door that had obviously received multiple patch jobs around the general latch-area.  But, it was a gorgeous door with three panels below a nice big window, so I wanted to keep it.  My battle was lost Saturday morning as Kyle got ambitious and hauled the old door down off its hinges and proceeded to remove the casing and jamb.  I watched in horror as I sat at the dining room table bundled up, drinking a cup of hot chocolate as a stiff breeze whipped through the now gaping hole on the front of our house.

It was only after removing the door and all its fittings that we began looking around for a new jamb (the old one unfortunately having been sacrificed to the demolition gods).  We called up the local hardware store/lumber mill and they professed to have them in stock.  Our luck was on the way out the hole in our house as we went to purchase said door jamb. 

Turns out they only had the right hand side of the jamb, two of them.  Well that wasn't going to do us any good so we set off for Morrisville feeling confident that we would find a door jamb set at the next place.  Unfortunately they didn't have any either, not even one side of a jamb.  At this point we were suprised but not worried as we set off to the lumber mill there in town which supplies contractors with building material and tools.  The guy there at least did a thorough check and managed to rustle up the left side of a jamb.  But, just our luck, by that time the first place in Johnson would be closed so we wouldn't be able to get the right side to match it.

Luckily by this time the fog had burned off and the day slowly warmed up into the mid to upper 60s so we weren't supplying the house with freezing air anymore.  We sealed up the hole in the wall the best we could as we set off for a birthday party for our nephew, Simon.  On the way home we caved and went to Lowes and bought a door jamb set.

On Sunday the project resumed.  The framing went up, the new threshold and jamb was set in place, leveled, and shimmed.  I wasn't any help as I am usually in the mindset of "I don't think you're doing that correctly, are you?" so I set off to move our one-month old cornish x rocks to their new, larger box that Kyle had constructed a couple days before. 

These guys are seriously huge.  It took me five trips of carrying three birds at a time in a rubber bucket up two flights of stairs from where they were in the basement (bad idea) to the second floor above our workshop.  This new spot is alot warmer and gives them more space to "roam" if their little legs feel up to the challenge.  We've already decided that this is the last time we'll buy this breed of bird, most of them can barely walk for more than a few steps before they feel the need to take a rest due to their size.

By the time I had gotten all the birds moved and situated with their heat lamp, food, and water Kyle was pretty much ready to put the door up.  The door is a nice looking door that my Mom had given us when she removed it from her house (we love free stuff).  Well, it was looking pretty good until we stepped back to see some little gaps here and there around where the door should have been sealing.  Daylight was running out and we were both feeling a little defeated so, once again, we sealed it up as best we could with a sheet of plastic and called it a night.

I came home from work tonight, made some red-lentil tomato soup for dinner and Kyle declared he was going to work on the door.  An hour later, after reframing and rebuilding the jamb, he is putting in the final screws.  Looks like a good fit this time.  I think once we get some insulation in that wall we ought to be in alot better shape for this winter.  What can I say?  We definitely learn as we go here. 

I think I'd best be getting out to the barn to put the kids to bed.

1 Responses to Is it Autumn already!?

  1. Donna Mae Says:
  2. I love the new banner picture!!
    And really happy you could put that door to good use!