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!