Planting Sequoias

In which I blog about a life (hopefully) well lived.

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Farm Apartment: Framing Exterior Walls (in which Kenny and I invent our own form of marriage counseling)

As you might have seen from my instagram feed (it’s fascinating, really), framing on the apartment has begun!

My grandpa got a jump on assembling the walls before we were even finished laying the deck. The walls are assembled on the floor and then hoisted in large pieces. In the picture below, you can see a wall just waiting to be lifted into place.


Three things to note in the picture above: The large space in the far wall will be where a window will go. Grandpa also took the time to notch out small sections in each of the end walls (you can see the notches in the picture above). Later we’ll put 2x4s through them and they’ll be an anchor for the steel exterior of the barn. Last thing: the darker boards in the picture above are the old joists from the ceiling! Waste not, want not, right?

We got busy putting up the first wall when the sun was setting. It was pretty beautiful.


In many ways, the process went fast and was extremely gratifying visually. But in other ways, there was a lot of busy work that occurred too–the walls have to be precisely placed and level and then each wall section needs to be braced. We only got a little more than 1 wall up that first night. We=basically the whole fam: Grandpa, dad, uncle, Kenny, and yours truly, hanging out with the men and hoping they don’t notice.

My youngest brother and his friend put up the next wall. No worries–he does this for a living now.

And then it was time for Our wall.

Oh yeah, did I tell you that Kenny and I erected an ENTIRE wall? BY OURSELVES? And SURVIVED, marriage intact?

Because we did.

framing exterior walls


There are obviously no pictures of the project in process because I was lifting, hauling, leveling, nailing, and bracing massive walls. That’s my excuse, and I think it’s a good one.

Here’s the wall we put up ON OUR OWN. Nail guns, ladders, bracing, and everything.

framing exterior walls

And hold on. Do you see that large gaping hole in the floor? In the picture above?

That, my friends, is going to be where the stairs come up. But for now, it’s just a gaping hole. THAT KENNY AND I HAD TO MANEUVER BAJILLION POUND WALLS AROUND. Without falling into, ideally.

I won’t say there were no arguments throughout the process, but I will say that this was an excellent lesson in working together and trusting each other.

framing exterior walls

I think both Kenny and I feel pretty proud of ourselves after that day.

Oh, and I had to include this picture my sister instagrammed from the first day. Who knew construction work could be so beautiful and glamorous looking?

Framing an exterior wall.

Sheesh. Over and out.



The Big Project: Farm Apartment (in which we make plans to raise the roof…literally)

Since Kenny and I live in a 670 square foot apartment, we frequently escape those confines and head to my parents expansive farm.

ESPECIALLY now that they’ve embarked on a very exciting, very big new project.

You might remember the master bedroom makeover we gave my parents for Christmas?

Well, this project is on the farm, but it’s not in the house at all. Let me explain.

There are a bunch of barns on the farm, all with different purposes. Some are older and some are newer. And one such barn (an old one) needs to be remodeled for a new purpose. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll have received several sneak peeks of our progress…

Let me introduce you to “the workshop,” which is what we call this barn. Each barn has a name–the yellow polebarn (that, incidentally, hasn’t been yellow in 10 years), the sheep barn, Grandpa’s barn, etc.

Here it is, on the very righthand side of the picture. The one with the flat roof.


And here’s another, summerier picture–it’s on the right again.


My guess is that this barn was built sometime in the 1940s or 1950s (though my mother can correct me). In it’s lifetime, it’s been a garage, a chicken coop, a shop for wool wares, and a woodworking shop.


It’s time now for the barn to get rebuilt. The plan is to raise the roof (literally) and create a gambrel roof (more of a traditional barn look). That will then create a whole second story worth of space, which we’ll divide into an apartment and a studio for my mom’s hobby, weaving (with gigantic looms). The first story will continue to be half shop, half woodworking area.

All photos were taken from my mom’s farm blog, which you should click over to read. And check back Monday for a progress post–we’ve already started work!