Sycamore Tree

Sycamore Tree 02Beauty and the Beast

We decided to cut down a Sycamore tree that I planted 25 years ago after finishing the reno on the storage shed by the garden. The sycamore was one of those expensive landscape tree purchases costing a whopping $60 in 1995. Which is a lot, to a single mom’s budget. I really loved this shade tree cooling our mobile home over the years.

A Sycamore is actually a gorgeous large hardwood with lots of big green leaves and is perfect for shade in yards and parks. However, if you have even a slight allergy to its pollen it can make life quite miserable. It became a real chore to mow the lawn under it. You would start coughing as soon as you started mowing and then experience a sore throat with swollen eyes, and coughing for a couple of days after, even if you used a mask and eye coverings. Sycamore Tree 01We set up to sell art at a downtown garden show. The booth next to me had a professional tree trimmer in it. I happened to mention to him how irritating the mowing under our Sycamore had become, and the guy laughed. He said that whenever people wanted a Sycamore’s trimmed the price went up. His crew has to wear a full suit to prevent respiratory and skin irritations associated with them. That was shocking to find out but reassuring at the same time.

Finding that out 2 years ago has had me thinking that tree maybe wasn’t such a good idea. When I looked up at the buds on the tree limbs this spring I told Pete that I had enough of the allergy stuff. So, we decided to go ahead and take it down.

Sycamore Tree 03Check out the massive root system. Taking this tree down as a project had a comedy show of I N T E R E S T I N G events attached…. really. Honestly, I’d tell you about them but then I’d have to kill you. Internet BS is not allowed for this top-secret event, so, you’ll have to come to see in person to get the story on the rest of this adventure.

Here is a link to more information about Sycamore trees if you are interested. Pay attention to the problems paragraph a few paragraphs down.


Vintage Farm Storehouse

Storage Shed Reno 20Renovation Complete

The latest in fashionable, “Vintage Farm Storehouse” decor in Spokane county. To achieve this look you must save materials from other demolished structures over the years in the hopes of being able to re-use them again. In other words, you have to be a penny-pincher that saves everything. Easy enough. It also helps a lot if you are handy enough to be able to alter things whenever they don’t quite fit.

Storage Shed Reno 14Waterproofing

Most of the re-used metal was from two storage sheds we took down. Both from over that year of real heavy snow that caved in their roofs. The flashing that you see Pete installing is the final part of the waterproofing on the wall. Notice his version of the man-lift, in an orange Kubota tractor bucket. Handy-dandy.

Storage Shed Reno 21The T-1-11 already there was in good shape on the other three sides. We had to close in from grade to the bottom to finish the structure. It was surprising how fashionable it all looked when we noticed that the colors matched our scheme.

Storage Shed Reno 18

I had to re-set the fancy entryway with the old CMU blocks for the steps after we were done. It was tempting to go to town and purchase fancy flagstone for the entryway but it’s better to stay with vintage.

Storage Shed Reno 19You can see that this front entryway just shouts an authentic farmhouse greeting to you as you approach. It makes you feel right at home.

If you are in need of a professional country farmhouse designer for your project, be sure to contact Peter for advice. He could probably be convinced to show up and help you with perfecting your own design, with some foldey-green. At least you would be sure to be entertained with suggestions that may arise when you do.

Old Studio into Storage

Storage Shed Reno 01 Our to-do list calls for making the old studio into storage next. Because, in preparation for the zombie apocalypse, we might need more storage. What do you think? Anyhow, you can see the little white building located next to the garden directly down the hill from our house.

Storage Shed Reno 02

Just to make things more interesting, spring conditions are in full effect requiring the use of mud boots for walking outside. You can be walking along real normal and suddenly sink into clay up to your ankle. There is a real art to coaxing your boot back up out of the mud without losing your balance.

Storage Shed Reno 03

This structure was a 16′ x 8′ addition that sat against the old mobile home back door. When we moved into our new home and took the old mobile down, this structure was left missing a wall. As a temporary measure, we covered the stud frame with plastic to protect it from the weather. You know how temporary measures go, though, well that was half a decade ago. Poor thing. The first day was spent preparing it to move about 9 inches over to correctly allow for the electrical panel feed line. While doing this, we made sure it was level in its new location. It is amazing how much it had settled over the years.

Storage Shed Reno 06

Then we got busy removing loose boards at the eaves which revealed a host of varmints living in that space.

wasp & bird nestsCheck out how many wasp and bird nests!

Storage Shed Reno 05

We have leftover wood and a small window from construction that we used to close the wall. There was just enough wood to be able to close the eaves.

Storage Shed Reno 08

We plan on using metal for the final siding, from the storage sheds we took down a couple of years ago. At least, that is the plan. The truth comes out when you start sorting through the piles. Maybe we will even put a quick coat of paint on it afterward if we have the energy.