2016 - SPRING
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Interior - roofed barn Mike shoveling sand into mixer cement floor partly laid
Cleaning out between the stones
Chipping out between stones to make room for pointing. Plastic sheet is a dust barrier to keep the rest of the house liveable (sort of).

Mike came home on his own while Tania was in Alaska. The barn, though roofed, was still only a rough stone shell. There are still weeds growing in the walls.
After removing decades of dirt and debris from the floor, a new floor was cast in sections with many, many loads of concrete.

Meanwhile, in the living room, a lot of old concrete had to be removed to make room for pointing between the stones for more finished-looking walls.

It's good to have indoor projects when your April showers come as hailstones!

Ivy on inside wall
plastic dust barrier across living room April hail

2016 - AUTUMN
Mike in the doorway of his "castle"

Now we're both back, and the old barn (soon to be studio) is looking better than the house, at least superficially. The inside isn't finished and it still needs a big window in the side facing the house. Time to tackle the front door of the house? We thought it was about to fall out on its own, but it actually put up quite a fight.

Old front door covered in plywood and padlocks The inside of the old door, broken glass and all The old door coming out

Mike built the new frame to measure before pulling out the old one, and then hand-tooled the "new" (salvaged) door to perfect the fit.

Mike hand-planing the new door

What a difference!

Mike leaning out through the unglazed door

Front of thehouse with new door
The orchard was loaded this year, and we were here long enough to collect all three varieties of apples, make lots of pies and crumbles and give many bags to friends.
We couldn't keep up with them, though. Many just rotted on the ground.
Apples in bowls Apples on trees Apples on the ground
We're starting to feel almost civilized in our big blue upstairs space and our cozy cave of a living room
  The newly painted starcase is a fine place to sit and admire the view out the new door.
Duffle bags at the foot of the bed
Our Autumn ended here with a Halloween bash at one of our local pubs,
and an ever more noticeable reluctance to leave...
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