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"Life doesn't have to be perfect to be wonderful."
- Unknown

"That which does not kill you, makes you stronger."
- Handed down through the ages.

"Life's tough. It's even tougher when you're stupid."
- John Wayne

The News Up 'Til Now

Today was a banner day - a terrific day! It was a day we've been waiting for for a while: today the FOR SALE sign went into the ground! Yes, that's right, folks, the house is on the market! We met with our realtor and dear friend this morning for the final "walk through", the masses of paperwork, and the listing price discussion.
Then, on his way home tonight and when Tom and I were gone, he stopped by and pounded in the sign. So, what a sight it was that greeted us (surprised us, actually) when we got home! I was struck with such almost unexpected happiness that I, literally, went bounding around the yard in glee! What a feeling of "things are finally falling into place" it was! I wished I'd had a bottle of champagne on ice. Instead, we clinked small, late-afternoon glasses of Irish cream. What a monumental day!
And, talking of properties for sale: our lake cabin in southwestern Minnesota - where Tom grew up - is finally online for viewing (even tho it's been on the market for a few weeks)! Clicking on the following link should (should!) get you there. (Or you could copy and paste it.) At any rate, if you have troubles viewing it, just let me know.
I got a note off to our realtor down there today suggesting that he post a photo of the cabin from the front - with the large deck, sliding glass doors, and picnic table. The current photo of the (ugly) rear of the cabin where nothing ever happens just doesn't hold much curb appeal, if you ask me! And, of course, if any of you wants a lovely little cabin on a stellar piece of lakeshore where you can catch your limit of walleye on any given day, just let us know! ;)
Speaking of big, exciting news, Tom was just elected for and then nominated onto the Board of Directors of the local folk school for a 3-year term! It's a campus that attracts students (adults) from around the country, literally, and sometimes even around the world. Courses vary from soap making to wood carving to bread baking to canoe building to building your very own timber frame! It's a wonderful asset to our community and is known nation-wide.
And, speaking of timber frames . . . the above-mentioned folk school held it's annual Wooden Boat Show and Boat to Tools Auction this past weekend. That always coinciding with the Grandma's Marathon weekend, we haven't made it in the past. But, since Tom's focus is currently the new house and running has had to take a temporary backseat to that, we were able to attend this year. And, we went with a plan of action!
While we had an order in to our friend and timber framer for a 16' x 16' woodshed that we hoped he could build this summer, we knew his time was strapped. And, it just so happens that the local high school Industrial Arts class built a 14' x 14' timber frame that was going to be auctioned! (Can you guess where I'm going with this story?)
Well, in all actuality, the timber frame built by the high school students wasn't quite up to the level of expertise that we'd hoped (even tho they'd been coached by a local pro), but there WAS a 16' x 20' timber frame - also on the auction block - that was beautifully constructed. And, fate was kind to us: it started POURING soon before this item came up in line (and the faint-of-heart were scared away). We ended up bidding against just one local fellow, and we GOT IT - for $9,000 less that it would have cost our timber framer to build one of that size, and for $1,800 - $2,800 less that it would have cost him to build the originally-planned 16' x 16' woodshed! Yahooooooooo!!!
Other than all of that (whew!), we've been bustin' cheeks to get this house ready for the market. But, now that that's done, all we need to focus on is regular up-keep and maintenance until it's sold. Beyond that, we can spend all our time on the new house!
Tom's work schedule has been preventing him from working on the house much lately (although he IS making all the money that's allowing us to build it!), so we've hired a local friend to do some things. Actually, he's the brother of the bride pictured so many times last month. And, let me tell you: what a worker he is! Our money is being WELL spent! All the interior walls needed to have spacers put in (so vertical paneling / tongue-and-groove could be installed), and he finished that up just yesterday. Now the walls have really taken on a look that allows you to see just what the space will look like with actual, individual rooms! He's also done some framing that the original crew forgot, and soon we'll begin sheet-rocking the exterior walls. Now, THAT will be really huge!
The crew that roofed the garage is just finishing up with the fascia on the house roof. When they have time during their busy upcoming schedule they'll come back to do the soffits. In the meantime, another roofing crew will come (the first week of July) to install the hand-formed zinc shingles (which they're making right now). That entirely hand-made roof will REALLY be something to see! So, thing are definitely coming together!
Sleep is either instantaneous for us these nights or put off by the grocery list of to-do items flying through the mind. At any rate, it's too short (sleep, that is). But, it's all for the best cause in the world, and we ARE making progress. That's what we focus on on those days where everything seems to go wrong or we're hung up with some mundane but required task all the while wishing we were no where else but up working on the property. Every single thing we do is PROGRESS - no matter how infinitesimal - towards the end goal! We just have to keep telling ourselves that and, most importantly, believing it!

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