Weekend Warriors – Last week of Feb 2017

So last we left off, Things were getting real…

We were tasked with digging out two more spots, so we could place jacks, and removing the entire bathroom floor. In 4 days. That we technically only had our lunch breaks and evenings to work.


So the first day, MrGillis did some digging on his own- But largely, we would come home on our lunch breaks, eat a quick sandwich, run into the shed and dig for the rest of the hour. Then the evenings of thursday and friday, after izzy had gone to bed, we’d grab the monitor, head out the shed and demo the bathroom floor. This was awful, in so many varied ways, I find it best to just do a photo montage.

Yeah, I’m not going to lie, the rot, the water damage, the mold, the crazy illegal and dangerous electrical we found UNDER THE FLOOR in insulation, the leak coming in from  under the shed front sill…. its all pretty horrifying in person. We, honestly, expected it to be bad, but we were pulling chunks of wood off by hand, because it was just rotted thru. We were able to just kind of pick up pieces of flooring and go. Don’t get me wrong, there was plenty of sawing, and taking out screws and nails, but we really just manhandled most of it out and into the loader bucket.

Friday night, we fell into bed, exhausted, but excited about the following day

Saturday arrives and mrgillis heads out the shed to get as much as he can get done… and we find out we’re waiting until sunday for our handy guy- you know, life comes up.

Ok. Well the upside is we got a lot done in a few days. And mrgillis spent the morning doing some more work on his own… including running strings and seeing that the house was about 3.5 inches uneven….. in mrgillis speak, which is slightly more technical that means that  in a ten foot span, the middle of the house drops 3.5 inches lower then the side.

So sunday dawns, and all of a sudden we have a very sick toddler on our hands.
So the entire day, mrgillis and the handyguy worked at all of this:

In words, instead of photo montage, one sill is completely rotten. Wanna see a hysterically depressing 5 second video of our handyguy ripping it out with his bare hands? Head on over to our instagram.

So they finished ripping out the bathroom floor joists, replaced the support beam, replaced the rotten outside sill, started jacking (to the point where our door doesn’t latch, we have to padlock that sucker now), and lastly, right at 5 of 5pm, scraped the line from our oil tank to our heater. It was only a pinhole, BUT that kind of thing needs immediate fixing. So they got to put in almost another hour, getting together a whole different set of tools, cutting and re-flaring the line.

Meanwhile, I hung out with izzy trying to coax her to eat stomach settlers(crackers, banana, toast, etc), and drink enough liquids to stay hydrated thru a viscous stomach bug. Which then turned around and smacked mrgillis and I straight into the ground for monday. We both could literally do nothing.

It is now wednesday and we’ve all fully recovered. Thankfully, we’ve faced worse then a flubug, but it was pretty awful. Mrgillis ended up going to the ER for IV Fluid because he was so dehydrated. Luckily I have an iron stomach and a constitution of an angry bee, because nothing seems to keep me down for very long.

Well, that brings us up to speed, I’d say. Now I’ve got laundry to fold and dishes to do before work so, hang tough kids.

Until next time, have a wicked good day!

Weekend warriors -2nd half of January 2017

Goodness. Where to start?

The last we left this was a few weeks ago, with lots of mundane crap work and a couple small setbacks.

So, since then we’ve had a plumber come by and actually turn off the water to the kitchen. He took out the old sink, installed a rubber hose for me to get water for the chickens, unhooked the old water heater…. And that was just in the kitchen. Underneath, he cut the drain from the shower stall, and also unhooked and pulled out the piping from the shower head and controls.

I took the shower stall floor out myself, because I wanted to conquer that troublesome piece of plastic. And I did. Ha.

A few days passed and the hubby had time to go in and start tearing up some major floor.

Yup. That there folks- That’s rot. Lots and Lots and Lots of rot. We are pretty pfffffted at this point. We now are looking at finding some floor joists and actually getting the house jacked on the kitchen side come next month. We’ve already contacted a local handyman type to help us out. Here’s hoping he’ll take some pickled eggs and maple syrup to soften the blow of the bill.

So, our next step is to drain the water heater tank, rip up everything we can get our hands and tools under and… tear out the walls and floor to my chicken hospital at the same time, because when you discover an infection, you don’t just put a bandaid back over the top and hope for the best (that’s my hubby talking for a second… Its kinda like bumblefoot in my mind. We wouldn’t leave a chicken like this, we cant leave one of our buildings in similar condition)

So, we had to put a halt on that project for the rest of the week until time becomes more available.

But that’s ok because we had a crap ton of other work to do. I don’t know if I’ve ever really made this clear, but my hubby and I both work full time jobs on top of everything we do here, so monday thru friday we don’t have all the time in the world to dedicate to just our DIY projects.

So heading into the last full week of January, I was concentrating on payroll taxes for two companies, and mrgillis was reconciling the companies quickbooks for the year. Over the week, we did a couple things to get ready for the next big push. Like, empty the water heater so we could get it out of the kitchen.

This, should have been a quick job, but of course, as mrgillis was walking by our hose holder, he somehow broke it(I was just kinda glad it wasn’t me that broke the thing we were using, this time), which sprung a leak. We had to unroll the ENTIRE length of hose, unhook it from the hose holder, rehook it back to the water heater and THEN it could drain outside instead of all over our already rotting from water damage kitchen floor.

Fast forward a few days and its saturday morning. We dropped the munchkin off at our babysitters and proceeded to get to business. Said business being to clean out the chicken room and kitchen completely, find somewhere else to stick all that stuff (Yea! More reorganizing!) We also put up some light block curtains to try and keep more heat IN because we’ve been experiencing below zero temps at night.

Finally, with everything moved out of the way, it was time to get down and dirty with our bad demolition selves.

MrGillis, initially wanted me to keep taking nails out of old trim boards. I pretty much vetoed this idea after the first board. Into the pile of trash they went.

With that decided, we went to town on that kitchen I tell you what.

And as we ripped down the walls we found several things… mostly Fun Unknown Origin Insect Activity

But none of that stopped us- nosiree. – we tore thru that kitchen and even into the what used to be the bathroom and will soon be our chicken room (YEA BABY CHICKS IN LIKE A MONTH!!!)

We started into the bathroom walls, and found more Insect Activity Of An Unknown Origin… and EVEN that didn’t stop us. I went thru a stud, because of how rotted it was, and THAT didn’t stop us. We tore up floor, down to rotted joists. We started in on the bathroom floor, and had to stop up at the toilet because, oh yeah, MORE FRIGGEN WATER DAMAGE.


So basically, we tore out a bunch of crap, found a bunch of crap that didn’t make us very hopeful for the future of our shack…

Fast forward a few days, and mrgillis talked to the guy helping us jack the building. He wanted to get another opinion, and funnily enough Charlie has worked on this place before(his sister too, actually. It’s a small town.) After some inspection of the rot and also the sinking floor, he said that it would be some work, but it would be worth it.

So that is where we are currently at. Heading into February, with an even longer list of things to do before sap starts flowing and baby chicks start landing. We have pretty much the next 4 weeks to get our acts together… so off we go to work again…

Until next time, have a wicked good afternoon.

It’s finally all here! 

When we moved into our new place, I made some major sacrifices in the kitchen area.. specifically in the sink area.

We went from a huge, stainless steel sink with an insinkerator to this

Small, serviceable but barely. I have a 5 quart mixer I don’t like to use right now because it’s bowl is to big to clean in this sink, without water going everywhere.

In fact, one day, while hooking up our dishwasher, the whole faucet came off in my hands… thankfully, I’m pretty quick on my feet and got the water turned off and cleaned up, but STILL. If you could see me, you’d see the whites of my eyes rolling into the back of my head…

So I said, mrgillis, in a couple years I would really appreciate a sink upgrade. The dang thing doesn’t even have a sprayer!

So for Christmas, lo and behold, mrgillis and his parents made a big dream of mine come true….

That’s a 8 inch deep stainless steel sink with a beautiful new faucet set with sprayer and space saving insinkerator…

The plumber has been contacted and I’m going to get the sink setup that’s sets this little homemakers heart all a flutter… possibly even this week.

Excitement abounds in the gillis household today. I’ll update this blog when it’s all done!

Until next time, have a wicked good night!

02.23.17 UPDATE!

WE HAVE A NEW SINK SETUP! Complete with sprayer and handy mini insinkerator.

We also have, dundundun,

Another effing leak in our brand new home. This is the second one, the first being in the wall behind the shower. That one we caught as soon as we moved in.

This one has been slow leaking out of our kitchen hot water pipe, since November.

Our plumbers going to look into it and Coastline Homes of Houlton is going to take care of the bill, because holy. They’ve been great, but it is just one thing after another it feels like.

BUT we have our new sink and the problem will be fixed soon.

Until, next time- have a wicked good day!

DIY Warriors – 2nd Week of 2017

It’s barely into the New Year and we already have a list of projects a mile long. We have a kitchen to rip out, completely renovate ceiling to floor, and then put back in with new appliances. That is so we have a place to boil down our saps to make syrups this coming spring.

This is turning into a way bigger project then we originally anticipated. When we first talked about getting this done as our next big deal, we figured we had to take out the old appliances, take up ONE floor, tear down the walls and ceiling, replace those with new walls and ceilings, then put in the new floor and appliances.

To even get started, we had a whole lot of cleaning up to do. We moved the fridge, took out all the boards, removed every single nail and screw from said boards, so they could be stacked neatly on some improvised shelves… This in itself was a couple hours of work. Loud, repetitive, blah-type work. But with some tunes playing and a switch off of work detail, we made it thru.

MrGillis also insulated and covered the last window we plan on boarding up.

Then, we brought the fridge over, plugged her in and made plans to start using it for extra food storage the next day….


Just Kidding! About 15 minutes after we plugged her in, and she hummed to life, I started smelling a bad, metal frying odor… from, you guessed it! The fridge is dead. I spent all kinds of time cleaning this thing, for really nothing. Apparently, after MrGillis got rid of it, he detected the cause of the engine malfunction… a mouse had set up house. To bad for them, to bad for us. We were looking forward to a second fridge for eggs and such this summer. I’ve learned a good lesson about putting off icky cleaning projects in the shed tho. Which brings me to my next big deal.

While the hubby worked on his window project, I took to time to get into our chicken room and clean it up and get it organized. I’m sad to say that in the hustle and bustle of moving, especially with having an injured Hen at the same time, it got pretty bad in there for a few weeks. Like, I hesitate to post these pictures, because straight up ashamed. But no chickens were in here while it was like this, so no fowl were fouled, and for the sake of being real with you folks, here it is.


Yep, in all its glory, my mess of a chicken hospital/storage area.

I quickly untrashed the room, reorganized the whole kit and caboodle and was able to fit everything that was already in there, plus their food, treats and shavings. Even with the toilet and old shower stall floor still in the way. My next project was to pull the old shower floor up, but low and behold, that sucker would not budge… The shower drain is attached under the floor and needs to be capped off in the dug out basement in order for the stall floor to be removed.


Curse you, ugly stupid thing.


So we are at a standstill on the particular project, along with the eventual removal of the toilet. We have bigger fish to fry.

I spent a little time switching to keeping our chicken food in bags, to keeping it in big containers. I got this 3 pack from target on sale and it was so totally worth it. They’re huge… like holds a whole bag and a half of feed at once, huge. And they are pretty solid too. I wouldn’t stack them up on top of each other with all the weight of the feed and grains tho. That seems like a recipe for dusty disaster.


With us getting to a point of some time left in the day, but projects quickly hitting walls and such, we decided to bring our two freezers over to the new place from our old home. We had a nice, cold, zero degree day, and knew we could pretty much throw everything onto the back of the truck in bags, load up our two mini freezers, and get everything back in without any of it thawing. This project was a couple hours tops, and now all our food storage is on our slice of earth. This makes life much easier, and me much happier.

That was the end of our day for then tho, because life is life and we had other work type stuff to do…. Like eat peanut butter pie.


So, a few days later, we got back to work in the kitchen. We decided it was really time to hammer down and get the kitchen ripped out. The hubby went to town starting to get the first wall down… He got all the window trim boards off, and went to go take the floor trim off when he realized, the trim boards were behind the floor. So, he gets to work, takes up the vinyl flooring (with my helpful self as well) and when we get that taken up, he gets his screw gun and saw so we can take up the sub floor. VhoopVhoopVhhhhhoooop and all kinds of screws are going everywhere. It seems like we might actually get this floor up, at least to the sink, soonish.

Well, as always, this old shed has thrown us for a loop. Its not one floor. Its not two floors. ITS THREE FRIGGEN LAYERS OF FLOOR WE HAVE TO TEAR UP. It appears, that in the life of this kitchen, when it was being used as a home, that there was at some point, some pretty major water damage to the kitchen floor. Well, from what we can tell, the quick fix for this particular problem was to lay down a new sub floor. And then do it again when the damage got worse. Then they laid down tile.

So, in order to take down the walls, which are built down to the original floor, obviously, we have to rip up all the floors, then rip down the walls and then we can take out the ceiling.

Thankfully, we’re not really afraid of work. But holy old moly. We now have a plumber coming in the disconnect all the water in the kitchen so we can just tear it all out and get it done. He also will be putting in a small spigot for me to get water out of so i can keep our chickens and indoor plants happy. And if he has time, he might be taking care of that shower drain for me too, but I’m just really happy to be getting the kitchen completely torn the heck out.

So that’s about that for right now. We have been doing lots of other stuff, like eating a delicious peanut butter pie(sorry, I really can’t help it, it is really good), and we’re getting ready to make some lotion this weekend, because we’ve had some people place some orders thru my mum. We joined Instagram and I have to say, I love playing with the filters. They make the chickens feathers so vivid.

I’ll have more to post soon, promise, I’ve even got about 10 drafts going.

Until that time tho, have a wicked good night.


Setting Up The Homestead – Part 1

As I have mentioned in previous blogs, we are currently working on our biggest project to date – moving on to an old homestead and turning it into a productive farm again. Our first major step is renovating the old home into a shed for us to use for a multitude of things – we need a place to make maple syrup, a place to raise our baby chicks, a plant nursery to start up with each spring and LOTS of storage for holiday stuff, canning jars and baby clothes, among all else.

This place is PERFECT. It has a few different rooms, a hot water heater, and plumbing so we can do all these things and possibly more- but it has been pretty neglected and abused over the years. We have A LOT of work ahead of us to save this place and make it a not only useful, but integral part of our dream.

This is actually the second time we’ve gone…. I didn’t take any pictures the first time we went in and cleaned up. It was just kind of overwhelming to go into. The place reeked of musty air and cigarette smoke. It also was a mess from the previous family that had left suddenly due to their circumstances.

But after going in for a few hours and really surveying the damage, we feel pretty confidant that we can definitely do something with this.

We have so many things we need to get done in this house before we can do much of anything else. Moving onto a homestead is quickly becoming as intircate as a spider web.

This room will be our storage room for all things holidays, old baby stuff, etc. I had to tear shelving down and paint the whole thing, ceiling to floor.

The room Mr gills is renovating for our plant nursery! He tore down all the old walls, boarded up the windows, insulated the outside walls and started putting up new walls. We have a friend coming in to help rewire one of the old outlets, to be safe.

The kitchen which needs to be completely torn out and redone- to be our sugar shack for maple syrup season-  and the front long room which will be for garden equipment and chicken food and storage and our wood stove

Goodbye to the first floor we’re taking up!

This is just a small portion of the work we got done last weekend. As of yesterday they broke ground on where we’ll be setting our brand new home. And today we are going in to finish our storage room and start tearing out the kitchen.

Also, I have about 6 other blogs I’m currently working on. But as of this moment, I am going to go work on my first cuppa this morning and enjoy the steamy joe as it burns the dickens out of my throat.

Until next time, have a wicked good day!


I hate clutter. I hate holding on the things, broken or unused, gathering dust on some shelf that I can’t reach without a step stool. I hate having to move these stupid clutterie things, to get to other things like Christmas decorations, or put away old baby stuff(which, is technically, more clutter). I REALLY, REALLY hate having to clean around clutter. So it all gets shoved into our sugar shack, or attic. And that’s still clutter. 

So when we found out that there was a community wide yard sale being planned, we talked it over and decided that this would be the perfect oppurtunity for us to get rid of some of our junk wonderful stuff. Also, a perfect oppurtunity for a blog post. 

Two birds, one stone, all that jazz. 

  1. Go thru your house one room at a time- this allows you to really focus your attention on what is nessacity and what is just weighing you down. This can be literally or figuratively I suppose. We are moving into a MUCH smaller place soon and we need to seriously pare it down.. See number three for more about that. 
  2. Price things as you find them- this was the hardest one for me, but it really is a time saver. There is no way I could get all this crap wonderful stuff ready to sell in one day. It’s just not possible. 
  3. Use this as an oppurtunity to purge- really take a minute to go thru your things and decide, am I keeping this because I use it or because I’m scared of letting go of a memory, or a feeling it evokes.  I have two dressers and a large closet chock full of clothes. This is after a recent purge over winter where I donated 2 garbage bags of clothes and one of shoes. And I’m talking the 32 gallon bags. My husband has boxes of old video gaming equipment and games. We both have a lot of extra stuff, and for very different reasons. 
  4. Be ready to go back thru multiple times- because of above, I went thru my clothes about 5 times. Every time I took out more to sell and felt better. AND I STILL HAVE A CLOSET FULL OF CLOTHES. 
  5. Know your bottom line- why are you having a yard sale? To make money? To get rid of the extra junk? I know it seems easy, but really selling stuff can be emotionally taxing. Especially if you are sentimental. Your value from memories is not the value other people see in it.
  6. Price accordingly- do not let sentimentality get involved. Price to sell this time, so you don’t have to put yourself thru it all over again.
  7. Do not let stuff back in the house. Once you have decided to get rid of it, stick to your guns and get rid of it. 

look at all these NES games! this is a collection over 20 years in the making

our mudroom, chock full of stuff to sell

more of all the stuff to sell

my hubby, sacrificing his weekend to test his vintage systems and games

Well, after talking about all this work, I have to go back to doing all this work. Here’s hoping for a successful sale this coming weekend. And hopefully, I helped you wade thru the muck and mire of your Yardsale. 

I’m very excited about the next blog post. It’s a first for me, but I’ll be posting a special chicken blog. So until that time, have a wicked good day!