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If you’re not familiar with idioms, proverbs, and old sayings, you’ve likely never heard the phrase, ‘The Dog Days of Summer – maybe you have. Do you know what it means? Nat Geo provides one definition, and there are several others floating around the net.

I have always associated the phrase to mean the long, seemingly endless month of August and the end of summer, and that’s the meaning I’m running with for this post!

Since our last post, Renovation or Resuce? Saving the Shed, we’ve slowly, but methodically been attacking the project from multiple sides, hoping to gain momentum and results. Pekka describes this endeavor as, “a marathon not a sprint!”

I have to say, this is unequivacally the nastiest renovation/remodel/construction project I’ve ever seen and certainly the worst I’ve ever participated in! It’s got all the nastiest bits! Dead rats/mice/squirrels, rat/mice/squirrel droppings, 56 years worth of MOLD both black & white, accumulated dirt & grime, cobwebs, and varying degrees of rotten/decayed wood and a million rusty nails. In essence a renovation crime scene complete with an horrendous odor/stench which permeates the interior (and all the items stored there) thanks to a thriving mold situation.

In order to renovate this structure it requires us to spend countless weekends, afternoons and evenings entering the dreadful ‘shed’ to put things to rights – one bag full of nastiest at a time. Trailer loads brimming with dilapidated structural remnants – thank goodness Rock N Roll takes everything we can throw at them.  We are saving some of the bricks for repurposing – no idea where or for what, but some of the best ones are singled out and saved ‘just in case’ we need them for something.

From the last post, I realized I’d neglected to actually spell out the size of the project, hoping photos would tell the story of dimensions.  We are working with a ‘shed’ size that qualifies as a small house – so don’t get confused when I throw the word ‘shed’ out there. This is NOT a 6ft x 8ft (1.8m x 2.4m) box. This is a 37.5ft x 14.5ft (11.4m x 4.4m) monster ‘shed’ out-building.

With the completion of a new roof which I discussed last post, we’ve begun to tackle the interior – Pekka has spent hours upon hours prying off old rotten ceiling and wall boards and then pulling out all the fiberglass insulation. I couldn’t stand the stench and could only help out once some progress had been made in removing portions of the most offensive, mold-infested bits.

Through the introduction of better air-flow and by gaining an upper hand in the removal of mold and decayed wood, the air quality inside the ‘shed’ has improved significantly. But, there are still many more moldy boards to come down and thus many more bags of rotting, moldy insulation to bag up. When I’m in there bagging up the insulation, I’m astounded by the amount of dirt that falls from the rafters. Dust since 1963 has blown in and settled and showers down upon us with every removed ceiling board. YUCK!

Let’s hope the accompanying photos tell some portion of the story, should my words have failed to.

Interior and exterior boards are being removed and replaced. We completed 3/4 of the exterior just in time for yesterday’s rain storm. (50mm) With the addition of new wood structural supports, EcoVilla insulation and breeze board, we’re slowing getting the exterior ready for it’s final sheathing of plank siding similar to the house. That’s later though, first is getting the rotten wood out and the new insulation in.

This is that process:

Eventually the green breeze board will be covered by wood siding. In the photo you can see a white, green and yellow bag. That’s the packing of EcoVilla Levy sheets we’re using. Same as the house. For those who are interested, you can click the link on EcoVilla above to learn more about this Finnish insulation product. As we continue to the next side, there’s only 1/4 left to do! Then the entire building will look like the photo above, green with wood stringers in place, ready for the siding. Sure, there are doors and windows to install, and that’s soon next on the list.

For those following along, the section seen above, will eventually be the expanded space for a new ensuite guestroom. There will be a window overlooking the garden and the crabapple tree just around the corner as seen above, with nooks and crannies for linens and things. Hard to imagine after viewing the photos I know. BUT it will happen and it will look amazing!

Sometimes when I’m in there working I cannot imagine how it will all eventually come to look like the vision in my head, its such a long way from where we are to that…but eventually, slowly but surely. Just like Pekka said, “it’s a marathon, not a sprint.”

The garden has matured this year but, in so many cases, plants & trees didn’t reach full seasonal potential due to inconsistent rainfall and sporadic temperatures throughout the spring and summer. Now that we are transitioning into autumn, it’s expected we’ll pick up lots of rainfall, (will we though??) but it will be arriving much too late to make much of a difference at least to the plants in our garden. Chalk it up to crazy Finnish weather…but on a global scale. Makes me somewhat apprehensive about what to expect for our upcoming winter. Will we get snow? Will we have another unseasonably warm winter? Will we have the worst winter on record?

While we aren’t buttoning up the garden for the season just yet, it’s plain as the nose on my face that time is a tickin’. Our daytime sunshine hours are quickly diminishing by approx. 5.5 minutes a day – SO making the most of the daylight we still have is pretty important right now. Long gone are the Dog Days of Summer, at least for this year.

In closing, I’d like to say thank you for your follows and comments. We also wish for everyone to remain safe and healthy during the Covid pandemic. We’re a long way from seeing the last of the virus. Stay safe!

A few highlights of the garden. Until next time ❤

Vanha Talo Suomi ❤