Living Room

With all of the restorations and cleaning going on around them, the kids still manage to find space to play.  Room to live.

Living Room Living Room Living Room

And that is the biggest comfort of all.

{Making a Home} Last Weekend

Too much going on to list.  But all of it creates dust and splatters that need cleaning.  Vacuuming, mopping, dusting and scrubbing all were done.  I captured these images of the girls washing windows in the kitchen:




These simple little acts of {necessary} domesticity have a way of forming an emotional attachment to a home.  Every place that we have ever lived, no matter how clean it was left by the previous occupant, received my housekeeping attention.  Somehow, I needed to have “my clean” on a place in order to feel at home there.

It seems to be a familial trait.

{Making a Home}:: Preparing to Feather the Nest

I am nesting.  I’m only halfway  through this pregnancy, but I have a good excuse…  We should {finally} have our occupancy permit for the farmhouse next week – just before Thanksgiving!  What a wonderful something-to-be-thankful-for.
There is still an awful lot to be done, and there will still be much to do after we’ve moved in.  The next week or two will make the farmhouse look like a beehive. Brian will be making the nearly-two-hour drive from his job to the farmhouse to finish laying subfloor, paint, lay tiles, install cabinets, and oil and wax the wood floors.  Our dear friend and oil man will be delivering some oil and priming the furnace.  Paint and floor finishes don’t like to be applied in a chilly house.
Jack will be heading back to the farm every evening – a 40 minute drive – to help his Pa.  And the rest of us will be joining in as often as we can.  In the meantime, between placing orders for materials, I’m trying to get some work done on several projects, decide what will – and will not – be coming to the farmhouse, knitting… and making all-purpose soap.
It seems I make a new batch of soap every time a baby arrives.  This one is a little early, though I’ll probably need to make another right before he arrives.  Here is my recipe:
{Making a Home} | Soap Recipe
Nissa’s All Purpose Soap:
  • 1 Bar Olive Oil Soap (I used a bar of Sancta, which smells like Chrism), shredded
  • 1 c. washing soda
  • 1/2 c. Borax
  • Hot Water
  • Saucepan
  • long handled wooden spoon or French whisk
  • 5 gallon bucket with a Gamma lid

In a saucepan, combine soap shreds and water.  Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the soap is completely dissolved.  Pour into your bucket and add soda and Borax.  Stir well until combined.  Add hot water, stirring all the time, until the bucket is half full.  Place the lid loosely over the top of the bucket and store in a safe place, away from little folk (we don’t want them lifting the lid and falling in!).  Keeping the lid loose at this stage will allow the soap to do it’s thing without the gas bubbles blowing the lid right off.  Next morning, add more hot water, stirring all the time, until the bucket is full.  You can add more scent at this stage – up to 4 oz.  Fragrance oil is a bit stronger than EO, so add a little at a time until you’re happy with it.  Now clamp that lid down tight.

Use 1/4 c. to 1/2 c. in each load.

If you have a particularly dirty load, add peroxide to the wash (especially good for cloth dipes in my experience).  If your fabrics won’t tolerate peroxide, add some white vinegar to the rinse, or add more Borax and washing soda to your tub.  If you don’t want scent in your cloth diaper wash (or in any wash) just use unscented OO soap as your base.

This bucket will last you 160-320 washes (depending upon how much you use).  That’s pennies per load, and you control the ingredients.  You can also use this soap in the dishwasher, and on tile floors, countertops, sinks, and appliances.  We use it for absolutely everything.  It even makes an excellent pre-soak for baby stained (or other grubby) clothes.

{Making a Home} | Soap Recipe

Picking up Stitches

Christmastide is winding down and real life is waiting patiently on the doorstep.  After Epiphany, we will take the denuded tree out to the woods to compost and turn our attention back to the busy-ness of life.  And there is a growing to-do list.  Life keeps on going, despite our festal suspension of time.

Diaconate classes have resumed, and there are assignments to be completed.  And an ordination celebration to begin planning.

The farmhouse is ready for kitchen and bathroom fixtures to be installed – just as soon as the new floors are in.

Before Christmas, I began designing each of the rooms to maximise space and natural light, and collecting some inspiration.  There will be considerable thrifting and building and painting and curtain sewing to be done.

Goats to be bred.  Pigs to go to the processor.  Seeds to be ordered.

A perpetually neglected workbasket to be seen to.

EZ style longies back on the needles. I love those vintage colours. And say, there's that calico I'd been looking for. Isn't it pretty?

Curriculum to be compiled or written from scratch from notes jotted hastily on handy bits of paper and filed not-so-carefully in a crate.

New work projects to give time to, some that have been waiting for their time to come for several years.  For them, it would appear, the time is now.

How is it, then, that we’ve managed to find the time to be planning space in our bedroom for the bassinet?

A basket full of {washable} merino being knit into a receiving blanket. Just right for the arrival of autumn babies.

{Making a Home} White Walls

Last week the plasterers finished up, leaving us with smooth white walls on the floors and ceilings.  It is all very exciting!  The heat goes on tomorrow and then we will begin the finish work which includes stripping and re-painting the doors, floors, stairs and original mantelpieces.  Come on in, let us show you around::

The rear entry. Barn board is staying (it’s beautiful!), we’ll just clean it up a bit. The floor will be tiled in a beautiful blue-grey slate tile. You can see the bathroom and washroom door on the left and the schoolroom door just through that little hallway.

Here is Jack, checking out the connections in the washroom. We’ll have two sets of laundry machines. That should speed things up a bit!

The first floor bath. The shower will be tiled and glassed by us with the coaching of a dear friend.

The kitchen with those fantastic triple-mullion windows looking out over a beautiful future garden which is reached by means of three stone steps set in a wall.  Thank goodness because it’s going to be a while before we have a proper functioning kitchen in here.  What a gorgeous view!

The dining room faces south and east. The day I took this photo, our friends’ young cows were grazing one of our lower fields, visible through these windows. Idyllic.

I can’t wait to see the mirrored mantelpiece finished and re-installed. This room is going to be a very happy place.

Oooh, too much clobber in here to get a good look. This will soon be our library/chapel – a place of order and serenity. We are planning to bring in some RV recliners and wall huggers to make it extra cozy. There is another lovely mirrored mantel to be finished and replaced here. A perfect place for cozy study and prayer.

Come on upstairs. The woodwork here will be refinished – all shiny like new. The missing spindles are being replaced by our brilliant GC.

I am thrilled at how bright and inviting the second floor hallway has become! The original wardrobe will stay to hold linens. The door is to our room.

This bathroom is going to be so much fun – a clawfoot tub rescued from the third floor, with a petite crystal chandelier I’ve been hanging onto for a decade, tiled shower, and pretty sink. What a pleasant place for a tubby!

This will be the girls’ room (all four) until we can get the third floor finished. I’m dreaming of Swedish box beds in here. The wet patches are from the plasterers. They’ll dry out when the heat comes on.

Our room looks out over the 1/4 mile drive, which will be lined with hedgerows and pretty bulbs one day.

And finally, a view up to the third floor. There are three bedrooms yet to finish – soon we hope. You can just see the framing for the bath at the top of the stair. The boys will be split between the two smaller bedrooms on the second floor in the meantime.

I hope you enjoyed your visit!  I can’t wait for you to see the rooms being finished with appliances, fixtures, paint and trim, freshly finished floors, curtains, decorations, and furniture.  Much left to do, but it is the fun part.

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