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Friday, January 10, 2020

Farmhouse Projects Before the Storm

It looks like we will have another few days ahead of dreary dark weather. The rain and sleet today is supposed to turn into snow. We're going to have snow over the next 3 or 4 days. It will be more like January should be.

Right now almost all of our snow has melted which is very strange. The temps have now dropped so all is frozen again. What we do have in our yard is lots and lots of ice. It is leftover from all of the rain that we had and then the temperatures drop down into the single digits. It's like a huge ice rink out in the backyard.

We are just fortunate that the flood waters never came near our house. The people in the middle of town are still dealing with issues of flooded basements and having new furnaces and water heaters and other things replaced. The city is doing a huge garbage pickup of any flood damaged items people put out by the road that they don't have to pay for disposal at this time of crisis. How nice is that?


As I mentioned in my last blog, Steve and I have started a new project on our National Folk Farmhouse. When we bought the house at the end of April, we knew some of the electrical was updated, as well as a new breaker box service panel installed. But some of the wiring is still old. And some of it is new wiring joined up with old wiring that needs to be replaced.

Bit by bit, room by room, outlet by outlet, and light fixture by light fixture, Steve and I are going around and replacing each piece of old wire with new wire, with new junction boxes, grounded outlets or new switches.  We made up a little diagram to help us keep track of what's already been done and what still needs to be completed.

Working as a team, he is down below fishing wires up through the walls, and I am up above pulling them through to each outlet and switch.  He does the actual wiring connections at the outlets while I go for tools and wire nuts and supplies. I hate messing with electricity, but Steve went to school for it. When the upstairs work on each one is complete I get to take a break. Then he works again from below in the basement to connect the circuit.

It is nice to have this little access hole from the she shed to get in and out of the basement while he works down there. He doesn't have to go around to the outside full-size door entrance.  This was an old entrance to the basement that we covered over the steps and just made an access hole covered by cabinet doors instead.

This is also the perfect opportunity to add additional outlets where there weren't any before. There's a few spots here and there in the house where an extra outlet would make sense.

This is a great location for an outlet because I can plug the vacuum cleaner here and reach three different rooms without having to unplug each time.

Look how thick this cross section of wall is! It's like there are two layers of plaster with a layer of thick mortar in between. This is an inside wall between two rooms--- it's not an outside wall. Very interesting.

If we just whittle away at it, doing a few outlets each day, we will be done before we know it.

Once we complete all of the outlets and switches that we can reach from below, we will wait until spring time when it's a little warmer to get up in the attic to rewire any of the ceiling light fixtures that need to be done.


In between my gophering for him, I was able to install another set of LED lights on another of my sewing machines. This set goes on my larger Janome 1600P BP machine that is a mid arm sewing machine that goes on my Hinterberg quilting frame.

This is the machine that I use to sandwich together all three layers of the quilt and do the fancy stitching as I work my way across the quilt section by section. The quilting frame keeps the pieces rolled under tension so there are no wrinkles. I do my stitching over the whole space between the rollers, and then roll the finished part to the back and have a fresh section to work on again in front of me. It sure is a lot easier quilting on a frame than trying to do it on a regular sewing machine shoving it through the narrow throat.

I love the big articulating architect lights
 that we wired in and mounted to the wall
when we built the She Shed room.


Last night there was a big beautiful full moon out, did you see it? Well, the coyotes sure did!

I was relaxing in the bathtub about 9:30 last night and Steve was watching his favorite Hogan's heroes on MeTV. Suddenly there was the most eerie howling yip yip followed by a rising crescendo and echoing reverberation of coyote sounds--- and it sounded like it was right outside of the window in the bathroom! It was so loud Steve heard it over the TV and I heard it over the music I was playing while relaxing in my tub. Oh my!!!!

Of course the dogs were quite excited too and their fur was raised on their backs for about half an hour until they calmed down.

One last note:  
It is our granddaughter 
10th birthday today!!!  

She is busy with cheerleading practice tonight before their big competition this weekend in both Appleton and Steven's Point.  No time to get together this weekend, but in addition to the new LED light I put on her sewing machine, I gave her a gift card to Joann's Fabric and Crafts store. Plus a card promising a "Girls Day" of her choice to go shopping for sewing stuff and a lunch out wherever she would like.  This Sewing Grandmother can't wait!!!


  1. Working as a team is a great way of rewiring older houses.
    The Coyotes were inviting your dogs out for (as) supper.
    Be Safe and Enjoy Chelsea's "Girls Day" shopping making memories.

    It's about time.

  2. Happy Birthday to Chelsea!! Ten years sure goes by fast doesn't it?
    We have the coyotes here too. Early last spring they came right up to the front door, looking for a kitty snack I suppose. The cats have gotten pretty smart. They like going outside but stop in the doorway to take a cautious sniff & if they smell coyote they turn around pretty fast and stay inside. I'm glad they have developed some caution. Their mama and a sibling got taken by coyotes when they were about 7wks old and now at a little over 2.5 yrs. I'm glad they've learned a little common sense.


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