One thing here in the country is that your neighbors often walk over and knock on your back door. And before I never knew who the heck it was without peering out the awkwardly-placed window next to the door (or shouting “who izzzzz it?”). Plus it’s dark in there as there’s an overhang over the door already. So when we removed the exterior door-to-nowhere from upstairs that used to lead to the now-removed second story deck, repurposing it into our new back door was a total stroke of awesome. Not only does it bring in more light, but for the first time I figured out how to ‘reverse engineer’ (sounds cooler when I say it that way) switching an entire door handle & lock (the “new” windowed door did not have a key – the old owner had, oy vey, put scotch tape over the lock so it would stay unlocked up there!). There was a little bit of sanding and fumbling to get it into place but ultimately? A 30 minute FREE upgrade to the house!
(PS – click HERE to see my before-and-after post on our laundry room remodel)
After a massive fail in making 3 salamis from our half-pig that we butchered in the fall because there was just SO much fat in the existing grind (unfortunately the Kune Kune was so fat that even the ground meat was infiltrated with tons of fat…for those who’ve not made (stuffed) sausages and salami-type charcuterie, you usually take pork and add a specific proportion of fat to it to make the ideal ratio – for us this already had so much fat in every bit of it that we went with both and crossed our fingers), after 12 weeks at the perfect temperature & humidity, it still did not dry out one bit (usually only takes 10 weeks from start to finish), so we had to toss it. Super heartbreaking! So we are now working on our final piece of pork, this lovely – huge! – coppa, of which we’ve got in a toasted fennel & peppercorn cure for the next couple of months. Can’t believe it’s going to be time soon to procure a whole pig so we have something to last a year (we’d have had much more meat but the Kune Kune was not only tremendously fatty, leaving us with lots of lard but less meat to work with, but also it’s a small pig relative to most so the fat/meat ratio was even more pronounced)!
And of course the remodeling adventures continue…! After the thankless job of skim coating then hand-sanding the bedroom walls to take them from horribly textured to ‘antique-y’ (I didn’t have the patience to do a second layer to make them perfectly smooth, and Dan commented that he liked them after the first layer so we’re good. I just want ONE room without the super 1980s ick texture), we are now putting on the first layer of paint! With the ceiling now being a gorgeously painted white from the ‘country oak’ look that prevailed throughout our home at move-in, we’ve picked our old favorite gray from the old house that we adored, Miller Paint’s Iron Horse, in zero-VOC paint for the walls. We still need to replace the two north-facing windows shown in the photo and then build new age-appropriate trim, but it sure feels nice to put our own stamp on the walls (click HERE to see earlier photos). Along with that, we are learning through much trial and error how to frame an interior wall, as our house is a wee bit crooked and the ceilings are a tad sloped on one side to boot, so it’s not as simple as the websites say for our purposes, but we are about halfway finished putting it in, using repurposed 2x4s from our neighbor. Crazy! But this will create the entry to our eventual walk-in closet which will lead to the master bath. Someday! On the main floor, happy to say I completed the hearth! And nope, I will never go through the agony of feather finishing an 8′ tall hearth, hellll no! While it’s not as dark as we had hoped and has its imperfections for sure, we like it so much more than the prior and hey, someday we’ll be able to afford not only the wood stove we want (amen for it being Spring and no longer necessary!) but the firewood we need for fuel :).
And my favorite, more historical photos of our home from the 1940s thanks to my next door neighbor’s archives (this was her grandpa’s home). Amazing how time does (and doesn’t) change things…love love love this place, no matter how much it drives me crazy sometimes and no matter how few options we have for dining haha…