Thursday, July 31, 2014

S.O.S. (Summer of Soffits)

Ahhhh summer! Hot days, warm nights, pool time, lake time, family & friend BBQ's, festivals, concerts, baseball, vacation, laughing with loved ones until your side hurts, lightning bugs, storms, bonfires, millions of stars in the sky...I am lovin' it all! Summer also always reminds me of being a kid growing up in Bevier. My friends & I would fish, swim, play basketball/baseball, explore the area woods or ride our bikes all over town & when the street lights came on, it was time for supper (yes, we call it supper) and you better high tail it home...or in my case high tail it to grandma's because she would yell for me which every kid in a 2 mile radius could hear (really embarrassing). I've had lots of people give me a friendly tease here and there for being a small town girl but I will always feel lucky that I grew up during a not so crazy time in a not so crazy place.

But enough of my nostalgic rant, let's talk about The Manor! Little by little there are things starting to come together. The soffits are still the "BIG" project that we're trying to get wrapped up & to say that this project has been tedious and slow is an understatement. Trying to rebuild something that has rotted away when it was originally built with architectural lumber has been a real pain in the neck. You can't just go to Home Depot & buy this stuff. Jeremy has either had to create the right size pieces or just make it work. If I was a true preservationist I could have all the lumber and trim milled but my bank account laughs hysterically at that idea. And then there's the brick. Behind every piece of rotton soffit wood that he's pulled off, there is brick behind it that is falling because moisture was trapped & the mortar disintegrated. So just when you think you're ready to rebuild get to switch gears & play mason for several hours.

To put it bluntly...

BUT! There is a light at the end of the tunnel! The soffits are closing in and the raccoons are crying from afar because they see their winter lodge slowly becoming unaccessable. oversized cats are going to have to find a new place to live.


Yes...I call it an "over window thingy". I have no idea what the technical term is so that is what it will be called until someone enlightens me. Speaking of the "over window thingy", Jeremy had to rebuild that too (which he was completely thrilled about!). The triangular area that the decorative pieces attach to was made from tongue and groove wood which I can't even imagine how they did that in 1897 with the tools they had...absolutely amazing.

It was gone completely on one side of the house so we had to use the dimensions from the one that (thankfully) wasn't rotten.

Check out that scalloping on the peak. *drool* There's a different pattern on every peak and it's going to be SOOO much fun to scrape the paint off of them. Is anyone picking up my sarcasm here? But when they're painted...I might just have a seizure.

As far as my task list...I have been doing random projects. I've started painting the front porch, I've got the attic about 85% cleaned (that will be a blog all of it's own) and I've pulled massive amounts of weeds out of the flower beds. Oh & guess what? Apparently, my right arm is allergic to poison ivy. I've never had it in my life but all of the sudden I'm just getting it on my right arm.

So weird...

Here's something else that's weird. I was bringing my 574th bag of trash down from the attic and noticed something kind of off at the top of the steps. There is a porthole window that is not symmetrical with the wall. It's way off to the left.

However, it's symmetrical on the outside of the house.

Obviously, the wood paneling is not original and I find it hard to believe that the builders would design that window to touch the wall....soooo....I REALLY want to know what is behind that wall! Jimmy Hoffa, maybe? ;)