Monday, September 21, 2009


These are some of the beautiful peppers we harvested from our garden this fall. This is actually a sweet pepper that resembles a hot pepper. The Yum Yum Farm garden was considerably more productive this year than last year, for a number of reasons. First, our weather was much less violent this year. Second, we've done some substantial amending of our worn out soil. Several truckloads of compost, plus a cover crop of medium red clover added much needed nutrients and organic material. We also started the majority of our veggies inside this year, so were able to control their environments from the time the seeds germinated. Crops this year include 3 pepper varieties, 2 onions, 6 heirloom tomatoes (Green Zebra, German Pink, Gold Medal, Beam's Yellow Pear, Italian Heirloom, and Cherry Roma. German Pink is the favorite so far, although all are scrumptious, and all are varieties available from the Seed Saver's Exchange, in beautiful Decorah, Iowa), "Bright Lights" Swiss chard, lacinato kale, leeks, arugula (have you seen the price of arugula in Whole Foods these days?--Barack Obama), green beans, 2 potato varieties, 2 eggplant varieties, garlic, and a ton of herbs. Enjoy the pictures, while we enjoy the food!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Oh Yeah, the Blog part 2

Gentle readers,
Maintaining this blog during the process of building our home was a joyous exercise that I rushed home every night to complete. Turns out living here is more fun than maintaining a blog about living here. Nevertheless, I am not throwing in the towel, and will endeavor to visit this electronic diary more frequently. Tonight, I took pictures of a harvest of 5 different varieties of heirloom tomatoes, haricots verts, an assortment of herbs, and a lovely array of peppers. Since our last posting, the seedlings have matured and nourished us for some time now, and continue to provide a seemingly endless stream of delicious, gorgeous fruits and vegetables. Hopefully, this will help reduce our health care costs in the long term.

Sadly, we mourn the loss of Mary Travers today. One of the first things Joanna and I did together was to take in a Peter, Paul and Mary show in 1995. I've had a weakness for their brand of folk music for a long time, and to this day, one of our favorite pasttimes is enjoying a sprinkling of their sweet harmonies mixed in with the raunchy rock and roll that populates most of our music library.

Updated pictures will follow soon.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Oh yeah, the blog...

Here's the "farm" part of the Yum Yum Farm. The very healthy young tomato plants are hogging the frame, but they're not the only thing we're growing this season. Behind them under the grow lights are leeks, thyme, marjoram, onions, a variety of peppers, kale, basil, red basil, eggplant, sage, oregano and...I think that's it. This grow light contraption is about 10 years old, and we use it to get a head start on the growing season, and to allow us to grow varieties that aren't easy to find at the garden centers. Most of our seeds come from the Seed Savers Exchange in Decorah, Iowa. Please support this wonderful organization. If you're a gardener. If you're an Iowan, it's well worth a day trip to see this beautiful old farm in a beautiful part of our beautiful state. In our outside garden we've already planted carrots, lettuce, arugula, chard, and (last fall) garlic. We have some herbs, hollyhocks, and perennials that hopefully survived the brutal winter out here on the frozen tundra. Actually, it wasn't that bad. They should be fine.

So much for living in the middle of nowhere. This crowd of large pickup truck drivers (I mean the pickups are large--the drivers were a variety of different sizes) convened up the road from the Yum Yum Farm for the spring farm machinery consignment auction at Duwa's. This is a really interesting event, even if I don't understand what the people with the microphones are saying. They all kind of sound like Dan Aykroyd singing "Rubber Biscuit", which makes me walk around smiling to myself. I particularly enjoy the old tractors, which are well represented at this event. This takes place spring and fall, and draws a huge crowd. In fact, the large pickup trucks are parked all the way to our farm, which, we've discovered, is .8 mile from this spot. It was hard to find a bargain this particular day. Oh well, what do you want? Ruuuuubbber biscuit?

Yikes! This water is not supposed to be visible in this photograph. After a particularly rainy couple of days on still-frozen ground, the creek to the south of our property decided to emerge from within its banks and check things out. Fortunately, this receded pretty quickly, and hopefully had the effect of depositing some useful, nutrient and mineral-rich stuff on the field. The area the water covers is actually just south of our property line. It's never quite reached our farm, but I think this is the highest it's been. Fortunately, the weather has been fairly mild through this early spring. A little on the cold side, but we can live with that. We are anxious to see the aforementioned veggies start to thrive though. We're getting awfully hungry after the long, cold winter!

Monday, November 24, 2008


Across the road the tractor is ready to haul the wagons full of corn down to the grain elevator. Despite this year's challenging (a polite term) weather, the projection for this year's corn harvest is 172 bushels per acre. This is good.

We're looking to the west from the area of the dining table, which features a couple of very old furnishings from Joanna's family. These are in the vicinity of 100 years old, and belonged to Joanna's great grandparents, Joseph and Malvina Reagan. They were included in the purchase of the family home in Maryville, Tennessee, in 1910 or 1911. Special thanks to Aunt Wanda for contributing these sturdy pieces to the Yum Yum Farm house!

Yuri does a little harvesting of his own! He has served as our organic rodenticide since moving to the Yum Yum Farm. This gift was presented to us just as we were to receive guests. Fortunately, they, too, are outdoorsy people, and shared in our pride at the impressive conquest of our courageous warrior. We're not exactly sure what this ill-fated mammal is (was). It doesn't look like a little mouse (because they wear big white gloves). We think rats are more plump than this character. Any thoughts?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme

Recent cold weather has reduced the Yum Yum Farm to this--a few lousy herbs on the dining porch. Some farm! Astute observers will notice the title of this blog is only partially accurate. It's just that "parsley, chives, basil, rosemary and marjoram" doesn't sound quite as musical. We are still enjoying sage and thyme from outside though, as well as a yummy curly mint plant, which we savor from time to time in various forms, most notably, Joanna's out of this world mint chip ice cream. A sturdy oregano plant gives the farm a Mediterranean feel (do you believe that?) well into the winter, especially if it's buried under some leaves. Now if we could just figure out what to do with those pretty blue berries on the junipers. Any ideas?

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Breaking the Wind

Hard to believe we've lived at the Yum Yum Farm for nearly a year now. We still have a few firsts--our first November 10 through December 24. Then it's really a year. One lesson learned during last winter was that the entry porch is completely exposed to the strong and very cold winds from the north and west. This made firewood storage difficult, as the overhang did little to keep snow off the porch, and winds frequently blew with sufficient force to relocate the tarpaulin covering the wood to the western counties of Illinois. So, we bought the north porch a winter coat of its own, which you see pictured here. Turns out you can purchase heavy canvas tarpaulins, in (roughly) the sizes of the spaces between posts and floor and ceiling, in a dark brown that (roughly) matches the brown on our house. What a country!

Here's the view from the other side looking toward the northwest. This should keep the firewood dry. If I had it to do all over again, I would've hung these tarps on a hot day in August rather than a cold windy day in November. They caught the wind like sails, nearly flinging me into the side of the house. And handling the metal hardware and tools used to hang them--don't get me started! Despite these challenges, the desired effect has been achieved. These may also have a modest impact on our energy consumption by keeping the cold wind away from the front door. We'll see.

Note also the 2 benches, positioned now for (ugh!) boot removal. These are Aldo Leopold benches, named for the naturalist and writer who designed them. I built these over the summer for seating, and to loosely associate our farm with someone whose concepts and practices of land management we aspire to emulate. Leopold was born in Burlington, Iowa, and is perhaps best known for his "A Sand County Almanac", published in 1949, a year after his death. From the author's introduction to his work: "That land is a community is the basic concept of ecology, but that land is to be loved and respected is an extension of ethics. That land yields a cultural harvest is a fact long known, but latterly often forgotten." (Leopold, Aldo, "A Sand County Almanac and Sketches Here and There", Oxford University Press, 1949, pages viii-ix.). You really need to read this book.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Say "Cheese"!

Getting us to smile for the camera is like pulling teeth--without anesthesia. Nevertheless, it's probably a good idea to document our existence from time to time. Fortunately, our next door neighbor, before we moved to the Yum Yum Farm, was Sandy Dyas, a gifted photographer celebrated for her gorgeous landscape photography, and very cool documentation of musicians, especially in eastern Iowa. Sandy spent an afternoon at the Farm recently, and these are a few unretouched examples of that session. You can learn more about Sandy and her amazing portfolio at

The real star of this shoot is, as always, Yuri.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Autumn Leaves are Falling...

Wow! The mighty Mississippi sure looks pretty from our east deck! Just kidding. Yes, this is the mighty Mississippi, but it's looking pretty from Hanging Rock at Effigy Mounds National Monument just north of McGregor, Iowa. We took the opportunity on a particularly lovely autumn day to hike the 7 mile round trip to Hanging Rock to take in this spectacular view. We're looking south toward McGregor, and, to the far left, Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin. This area of northeast Iowa, northwest Illinois, southwest Wisconsin, and southeast Minnesota, is known as the "driftless" region, because glaciers got lazy and neglected to drift into this area. Lucky for us, as it's left some spectacular scenery! We love to take day trips to this part of the state, and say "Iowa sure is flat." We hope we've been able to dispel that myth with this blog!

This view really is from the east deck, looking south. The H windows on the dining porch are taking in a cool easterly wind, and reflecting on the bluff in the distance. Note the denuded field mid-frame--those were the soybeans. The yellowish stuff just this side of the trees is a field of beans planted late due to, you guessed it--flooding. There's a creek inside those trees, which ran quite high this spring and early summer, delaying planting in the bottomland. The line between beans and no beans is the southern boundary of our property. We've been taking a lot of pictures lately, as the color pallette is at its most varied at this time of year. The green strip of grass-looking stuff extending into the bean field is one of our "waterways", so planted to reduce erosion of the scant topsoil remaining on Yum Yum Farm. Future posts will expand on conservation and restoration measures we're taking to keep our dirt healthy. Strange hobby, isn't it?

The wood stove is back in action after a warm weather hiatus. This particular appliance is our best friend during that part of the year when the mercury disappears from the thermometer. This is our first opportunity on the blog to show this part of the room in action! Note the limestone hearth, cut from the quarry depicted in Grant Wood's "Stone City Iowa". Damn, this thing was heavy! We are especially enamored with the striations in the limestone, which we didn't realize would be so prominent. The floor is really developing a warm patina. Or maybe the stove is making me think everything has a warm patina. Whatever the case may be, this gives a good sense of what makes the Yum Yum Farm house a cozy place to be when winter's winds are howlin'.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Long Time No Blog!

Hello gentle readers! We've not communicated with you since January, and for good reason. We've been consumed with the myriad responsibilities associated with a move into a new home. Additionally, this has been a very eventful year in eastern Iowa. From caucuses in January to floods in June to lounging around through a gorgeous autumn, the blog has taken a back seat to, well, everything else. Now that it's dark at a reasonable hour, we've actually got time to kill sitting in front of the computer. So look forward to more updates from the Yum Yum Farm in the near future.
The Yum Yum Farmers, Joanna and Geoff, enjoy a Yummy lunch on the east deck with architect and dear friend, John DeForest. John spent the first weekend in June with us, experiencing his masterpiece. John brought with him the best weather we'd experienced to date. About a week after his departure, eastern Iowa, including nearby Iowa City and Cedar Rapids, were inundated with unprecedented flood waters, from which we're still recovering. While the Yum Yum Farm was in no danger of flooding, the fields in the distance would normally be a deeper shade of green at this point, but incessant rain pushed the creek in the timber out of its banks, delaying planting. As of this writing, these beans are still 2 to 3 weeks behind their normal maturation and harvest schedule.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Yuri's World

Please find pictured below the real man of the house--Yuri. This beautiful king of the Yum Yum Jungle is demonstrating the comfortable features of the Case Study bed in the bedroom. Note the Artemide Tolemeo reading lights on either side. It struck us recently that these exist, and we've not yet used them. So, one of these days, when the boxes are all unloaded, we're going to attempt to retire early and spend some time reading. In bed. We hope to accomplish this before the Social Security checks start arriving. Yuri continues his tour by directing our attention to the slatted wall that separates the bedroom from the living room. These boxes can be lifted off of the wall and repositioned to suit our needs. Right now, we're still figuring out where to empty our pockets at the end of the day.
Finally, Yuri concludes his tour with a view of the other side of the slatted wall. He is spending time with Ice Bat and Ugly Dog on the Blu Dot Couchoid Sofa. This is a sturdy and comfortable piece, covered in "vegetarian" leather (our name). It's not really leather, but it really seems like it. We became aware of Blu Dot furniture some time ago, and journeyed to Minneapolis about a year ago to try it out at their headquarters, and at the Walker Museum. Their motto resonates with us: "Good design is good". Indeed.

Yes It's Good, Livin' on the Farm

The title of this post is from a song, like so many of the others. Do you recognize it? Just curious. My apologies for the lengthy delay between posts. Since we last visited, we have moved in to the Yum Yum Farm house! And I'm actually getting comfortable typing "Yum Yum"! We moved in on Christmas eve, with a full(ish) moon lighting up the snow in all directions. It was a (I don't say this very often) truly magical evening. Another beloved relative, Doug, trekked an hour to the west to spend the holiday with us. He has befriended Ice Bat and Ugly Dog.

Here's that snowy landscape I was talking about. This view is looking to the southwest. This is the direction from which warm air will flow into our area. Someday. Actually, we find it quite pretty. But we do feel for people like John Edwards, Mike Huckabee, John McCain, and Bill Richardson. This environment has definitely tested these candidates.

Cheers to the Yum Yum Farm! An earlier post featured our canine friend Piper frolicking in the clover. Pictured here are Piper's human companions, and our friends and dinner guests, Rachel and Richard. We've been lucky to share the joy of the design and building process with them over the last couple of years, and have bounced ideas off of them for their valuable, informed feedback. Here's an interesting tidbit: if you are fortunate enough to live in an area where Cultural Revolution yogurt is available, take a look at the picture on the plain yogurt container. The spoon on the container belongs to Richard and Rachel, and is being held by Joanna. autographs.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Little Boxes, Little Boxes...

And they're not made of ticky tacky, they're made of maple plywood and FinnForm. This feature was inspired by an article on the Google headquarters that we saw in Metropolis magazine. Turns out our friends (we hope they're our friends, because they probably know more about us than we know about ourselves, right?) at Google use stacked plywood boxes as bookshelves and general storage cubbies in their "office" spaces, and we thought it looked very cool and practical. Enter the amazing John DeForest, who designed these boxes to hang on that slatted wall that separates bedroom from living room, for bedroom storage. These boxes (with the exception of the 2 with red FinnForm) can be moved around to suit our needs (or whims). Remember that our house features a walk in closet/dressing room off of the laundry room, so we won't be keeping our wardrobes in the bedroom, and this arrangement allows for storage of things like books, alarms, and the nifty new windup emergency weather radio--necessary in our area as we may be out of the audible range of tornado sirens. Speaking of Google, if you don't recognize the reference in the title of this post, Google Malvina Reynolds.

This Little Light of Mine...

Or should I say: "these little lights of ours"? Tonight was the first time we were able to flip switches and turn on the permanent lights, in their permanent locations. It was also the first time we were able to turn on anything in the upstairs. Some temporary fixtures have been lighting our way in the basement for several weeks now, but we won't get into that. This lovely little fixture will help us find our way down the stairs to the basement. Note Dan's custom closet just to the right, which is immediately inside the front door, and will house coats, hats, gloves, keys, expensive jewels, large amounts of...oh, wait a minute, this is on the Internet, isn't it. Nevermind. Just kidding.
This shot makes it appear as if we're preparing for a major rock concert in our living room. That would be cool. This is taken from the loft, looking to the east, and featuring 2 of the 3 tracks that are positioned on the ceiling, and the ceiling fan. The rock star lights don't have their bulbs in yet, but we did try out the fan, which is quite quiet (I love those 2 words together) and effective. The Modern fan is more than just a pretty face. It will play a big role in controlling the interior climate, pushing warm air from the wood stove throughout the house in the winter, and disposing of warm air through the upper windows in the summer. It kind of looks like the prop from a WWII-era plane, don't ya think? The track in the foreground is just above the desk on the loft, and will illuminate that space, and the west side of the living room, and, I suppose, anything else we want to point the lights toward. You look mahvelous! These lovely lights above the lovely bathroom sink with the lovely Chicago faucets will help build our self esteem by making us look better than we really look. These are Prudential "Snap" lights, which is a new style this year. The mirror should be in place tomorrow, so then we'll really know how well these lights work. Other details out of the range of the viewfinder include the toilet, installed today, which works! This is one of those things we don't like to talk about on a rural property, so we won't. We're just glad it's there now, after all this time without it!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

These Places Are Sweet Too!

Thanks to Brookester, and her Yum Yum Farm Blog observers in Ohio for their comments! We thought we'd take this opportunity to show just a few of the many buildings that we find inspiring. While our house doesn't really look like these buildings, we are influenced by the way that they interact with their environments, and create interior spaces that are either fun to be in, or provided protection from the elements while bringing the outside in. Or the inside out. Or, blurring the distinction between the two. One of the requirements for our house was that it respect its context, which is why it has a fairly traditional midwestern vernacular appearance on the outside. But, we are fans of modern architecture, and the creative use of space in modern buildings. Our friends in Ohio correctly recognize that the Yum Yum Farm house is small, but we (esp. John DeForest) have managed to pack a lot of utility into this modest space. You'll have to trust us, that it feels bigger when you are inside. As we mentioned in an earlier post, we are frequently asked if we are doing anything "Green". The mostest greenest thing we're doing is building a house that is not bigger than what we need! Take a look, and if you get a chance to visit these places, we encourage you all to do so!

The first is nearest (literally) and dearest to our hearts. This is Cedar Rock, in Quasqueton, Iowa, by Frank Lloyd Wright ca. 1950. This was built as a summer home on a bluff (that's the Cedar Rock part) overlooking the Wapsipinicon river, for Lowell and Agnes Walter. It is possible to walk out of nearly every room in this house to the lovely yard beyond. The "garden room", at the far right, is completely surrounded by glass, which allows views of the yard, woods, and river. It includes radiant (or "gravity") heating, which runs underneath the painted concrete floor, a bathroom design borrowed from a Pullman sleeper car (from the days when people travelled by train), and the original house plants from the time of construction. Following the Walters' passing, they bequeathed their house to the state of Iowa, with a trust for its maintenance, and it is now an Iowa State Park, maintained in beautiful condition, and free for anyone to visit.
Charles and Ray Eames built their home below in collaboration with Eero Saarinen (his John Deere world headquarters was featured in an earlier post) in California. This is one of the Case Study Houses (#8, I think). We love the playfullness of this home, and it reminds us of the feel of the Yum Yum Farm House. We like to listen to music loud, and just generally enjoy ourselves, and from what we've seen, the Eames' felt the same way. We had the good fortune to see a presentation by their grandson (Eames Demetrios) recently, highlighting his grandparents talent, creativity, and joy. Their home, too, allows easy access to the exterior, features bright colors, and has an open floor plan.

Philip Johnson's 1949 "Glass House" in New Canaan, Connecticut, is perhaps the most extreme example of a home interacting with its environment. It is beautiful in its simplicity, framing the stunning landscape while providing shelter, anchored by the sturdy brick bathroom/chimney core, and steel beams. Perhaps not suitable for raising a family, it appears to be an amazing place to relax and take in the gorgeous landscape on a rainy, or snowy, or windy, or sunny, day. This is on the "must see" list.

Finally, this is the Edith Farnsworth house, by Ludwig Mies Van der Rohe, in Plano, Illinois. This is located in the flood plain of the Fox River, and it so literally interacts with its environment that the river has run through it on occasion. We're not fans of that. But this design is another extreme example of blurring the lines between inside and out, in a particularly pretty setting. We're not too well versed on which architect influenced the other, but Johnson's work appears to be a logical descendant of his earlier home, though his work, even on his own property, is eclectic. He seems to have been adept at channeling and reinterpreting other masters. Mies' earlier and later work is characterized by the lines and materials seen in the Farnsworth house.
Like much of what we've written about on the blog, these are simplifications by someone who is no expert! But if you're interested, much is written about, and many pictures are taken of these gorgeous structures. We hope that someday it will be possible to check out a book from the library that features the Yum Yum Farm house!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Like A Rock

Many posts ago, we featured the Grant Wood painting "Stone City, Iowa". The picture below was taken at the quarry depicted in that painting, which operates today as Weber Stone Company. This lovely slab of Stone City limestone is about to be lifted into the back of the truck, and transported to the Yum Yum Farm to be used as our hearth. This is a 3' by 4' smooth cut bedface slab, which will be placed on top of the finished floor on the east side of the living room. On it will sit our Lopi wood burning stove. Why wood, and not, say, corn, you ask? We made the determination that wood is a good option for us, due to the abundant supply of said fuel on our property. In fact, we spent a couple of days, chainsaw in hand, cleaning up a very small area of dead, damaged, and fallen trees along one of the creeks on the farm, and yielded the better part of a cord of wood. Unfortunately, this wood is now underneath a blanket of snow and ice, and it looks like it may be some time before this solid water liquifies. As it turns out, corn is not quite as economical as it was when corn stoves first gained popularity. Seems that corn not only fuels stoves these days, but it's also propelling cars in the form of ethanol. So this year's crop brought record prices. Corn also tends to suck a lot out of the ground in which it grows, and since wood is so available on our property, we figured this is the best option for us. More on the wood stove when it gets installed.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

By Popular Demand

Hello Friends! Finally, after nearly 7 months of building and blogging, we have some frank commentary on our blog from our dear friend Anonymous. Perhaps Mr. (Mrs., Miss, Ms.?) Anonymous is the same Yum Yum Farm fan who admonished us to "be nicer to snakes" in an earlier post (we have been nicer to snakes, by the way). You've had enough pictures of the ceiling? Fine. But please, allow us to show just one more, featuring the careful and expert job done by our friends at Cullen Painting. Here it is, and it speaks for itself. (Geez, now I'm like all self-conscious!)

And now for something completely different...a finished floor! One of the challenges we're facing toward the end of the Yum Yum Farm house construction is lighting. The days in Iowa at this time of year are about 7 minutes long (you would think that would limit the mudslinging among presidential candidates!), and without all of the lights installed, it's difficult to accurately capture the lovely textures, colors, and patinas of the finished surfaces. We were thrilled this evening to walk in and see the newly sanded and refinished main floor, which is gorgeous! You'll recall that this floor is a reclaimed subfloor from an old farm house near the Amana Colonies. Gray's Hardwood Flooring finished the floor with a product called Osmo Floor Oil, which, like old fashioned finishes, soaks in and protects the wood, rather than just creating a plastic layer on top. In the likely event that we scratch or scuff it (we're not the most graceful people in the world, nor are the four-legged members of our family), we can simply sand or buff out the scratch, and re-apply the Osmo. We can't wait to lie down on it, and take more pictures of the ceiling!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Look, Up In The Sky!

This certainly brightens things up! This shows the maple plywood applied to the ceiling, looking southeast from up in the loft. Many of the pictures that we gave John in the earliest stages of design featured cabins and houses that liberally utilized light colored woods on walls and ceilings. The feel is at once modern, clean, and warm.
Here's an up close and personal look at the maple ply on the ceiling in the dining porch. We especially enjoy this material here, as it mimics the colors of the landscape, and reflects the outside light. The holes in the ceiling will contain recessed or "can" lights, and the lovely Louis Poulsen pendant light will be hanging over the dining room table at the far end of this room.
Finally, we have contributed something to the Yum Yum Farm House! We picked up this shelving system last weekend, and installed it yesterday. What you're seeing is the south side of the wardrobe room, just off of the laundry room. This has been set up in this manner to reduce the amount of cat hair on dark colored clothing. Stay tuned for more details to appear in rapid succession over the next couple of weeks!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

La Cage Aux Moumings

"The Wall" just seemed too obvious!

This is the slatted wall that separates the bedroom from the living room. The two openings will be fitted with plywood boxes for storage or display purposes, and the BluDot Couchoid will sit in front of it. The slatted wall recalls the interior of a barn or other outbuilding, and will create a "lantern" effect when lights are on in the bedroom. It contributes to the openness, which will help with heat circulation, and to make the space feel larger. These slats match the wood that will cover the ceiling, hopefully in the next few days!
Here's the view from the bedroom side. The framing on this side will remain exposed, but the manner in which the slats were beveled will allow storage boxes to be hung on the wall, and moved around as the need (or whim) dictates. You may be wondering if this arrangement will compromise the privacy in our bedroom. Not if you don't look!
This view looks in the bedroom door, and shows how the slats continue around the corner to define the bedroom "box". Cool.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Ladies and Gentlemen, the Yum Yum Farm House

While there is obviously still some work to be done, these photos give a pretty good sense of the finished home. Imagine our delight as we crested the hill and saw the painted house for the first time!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

A Breath of Fresh Air

This will be a one-photo post so you can zoom in. These little circular things allow air to move across the underside of the roof, to prevent condensation. This is a somewhat more complex method than what is usually employed in home building. Earlier posts showed gray styrofoam channels attached to the underside of the roof, but above the insulation. These vents are the openings that allow the air to flow through those channels, and keep the roof dry, and mold-free. This is the same thing as the vented soffits on most (perhaps your) houses. Look underneath your roof overhang, and you'll notice that the panels underneath have small openings. Those are a different version of what you see depicted here. We can all breathe easier now.

In Living Color

This is the first part of the Yum Yum Farm house to receive its finish color. This barn red has been applied to the north side, or the main entrance. I suppose this is the "front" of the house, because it's where we enter. But the south side feels kind of "front" like too. Whatever.

It's suddenly become very chilly in Iowa, as it often does at this time of year. It is, fortunately, still warm enough to apply paint, once the frost goes away, and the air temperature warms up a bit. The forecast calls for warmer weather the next few days, so we should be fine. You'll notice in the photo below wires for the porch light, door bell, speakers, and electrical outlet. For cryin' out loud, this porch is better equipped than any room in our current quarters!
This isn't the greatest picture, but it's as close as we could get to the main floor bathroom, which had its tiling completed today. The grout was just finished, so we couldn't walk into the room. Around the corner to the left is white tile surrounding the Zuma tub. The dark tile will be a dramatic background to the various materials that will be used in this room, including a safety glass shower wall, corrugated galvanized steel as a shower surround, and the rugged old sink you've seen in previous posts. There's even some wood in there somewhere!
Here's that lovely old bathtub from Ohio, in its permanent (almost) location. This pedestal tub will delight our guests in the downstairs bathroom, and we'll enjoy it too! We've found some gorgeous reproductions of hardware (faucets, shower head, curtain ring) that will complement this very nicely. It was necessary to move this in before all of the basement doors were hung, as it's a rather bulky fixture. While much work still needs to be done in the lower level bathroom, it can all be accomplished by moving the tub around a bit before it settles into its permanent home.