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Hello again from Vanha Talo Suomi!

So much has happened within the past few days, I’m not sure where to even start. Today was the final day of excavation around the property which is saying a lot.  This week the last loads of stone were delivered and moved into place.   Pete was tasked to tie in the block from the new construction to create a new foundation under the porch. Trim was added to some of the outside windows, new stairs were added and a slew of other projects got some attention.

WP_20140922_001The porch area was trenched and drainage pipe was laid, then stones filled the entire trench – now the entire house is done.  Wednesday Pete dismantled the scaffolding we’ve been using to get in and out of the house and made some proper stairs. Thank you!!!! He also tied in the block foundation to include the porch.

WP_20140926_017We returned home Tuesday night to great changes including the addition of a very large John Deere tractor and trailer where a huge pile of gravel had once stood.

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flattened old shed

Wednesday we came home to even more changes. The giant heap of rubbish left over from the shed had been laying around for some time was gone! Up where the shed used to stand was now a large mound of gravel, dirt, and stone.  This is the future location of a garage. We decided to relocate the driveway entrance from the main road to the area where the shed had once been.

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Last week Pete and I managed to get the window trim up on a few of the windows. Pekka stained the boards and all that remained was the framing and of course the design. We settled on something that included parts of several Finnish homes we’d seen around Lohja. The pattern is unique enough to not be found elsewhere, unless of course someone decides to copy our great looking design! 🙂

WP_20140919_001We framed out the dining room windows too and started to get the backside but ran out of time and will finish them when Pete returns.

 

 

Unfortunately it had to rain while the excavation process was underway, which only helped to ensure wet and muddy conditions. Despite this the backhoe worked wonders under expert control and operation except when late in the day Wednesday one of the tracks for the backhoe broke. Thursday was lost while they were locating a new track. Friday the mound was topped with gravel and the back drainage was finished with the last fill ins of stone. Puukeskus made a delivery of our new construction windows 🙂 and also brought a load of siding that will need to be stained! 😦  Seems someone maybe didn’t order enough :/

For 9 hours today the backhoe was moving earth and leveling out the entire yard. Starting at the border along the farmers’ field the whole back yard was pretty well smoothed flat. Tree stumps, huge rocks and lots of dirt was re-settled in various places to level everything out.

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back forty

WP_20140927_019The two pine trees out in the distance are the same two trees you can see in the preceding picture.

 

 

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It was a constant ever-changing landscape for 9 hours! The last bit of work was digging the trench to lay in the electrical cables back on the front and side yard.

WP_20140927_046The driver somehow managed to get the backhoe in along a narrow scratch of yard between the fun-house and my dahlia garden.  The cable connects the house with the out-building sauna and washroom.

 

WP_20140927_052You tend to find a lot of stones while you’re digging to China. Some are rather large.

Luckily this whole mess was over with in short order. It did mean the removal of that large stone to the back yard…

 

WP_20140927_055Once I raked in the mess, it was looking almost like every other spot in the yard.

Pekka put some wood scaffolding planks on top of the dirt so we can navigate without loosing a shoe. Some places are still quite muddy.

 

WP_20140927_060There used to be a couple cute little pine trees in front of the house. Long gone now and with so much else. We found some more spring bulbs that were tucked in along the fence plantings.  I plan to seed this area and have a nice front lawn sometime next year. 🙂 The soil is excellent all around. There is some gravel near where we had been driving in and using as the entrance. Now that we’ve blocked that off, all that’s left to do is throw in a simple set of stone steps back up to roadside level and make a small gate so we can slip out the front to get the mail for example.

WP_20140927_031I took a million pictures the last few days but can’t find one that shows the embankment that I’m standing directly in front of to take this picture. We created the embankment to close off the old driveway and it required quite a lot of gravel to get the ground back up to the same level as road grade. It will look great with some ground cover, the steps to the road, and a gate. Well, I guess a photo will have to wait as it’s pitch black outside now…

You can take my word for it. Not much looks the same here as it did yesterday. Tomorrow the plan is to relocate some snow berry bushes that were dug up in  haste before the backhoe got to them. Also there are lots of trees to cut and stack and stones to rake and remove. Lots of stones!

Thanks for your interest in what we’re doing. There are lots of things in store. The trusses were ordered you might remember, and we were told to expect them possibly next week! If that’s the case, new construction will once again be getting center attention. The race to get up walls and a roof before winter is on!

Until next time ❤