Boarding Boards

I haven't been able to spend much time working on the Mansion this past week and a half, but I was able to get about a day and half in. In that time I focused on installing the water heater and putting up more boarding boards. I finished putting up boards in the water heater / fan closet, put some up in the closet, and finished the boards in the kitchen. These photos do not reflect all the work, I'll try to get some more current ones up soon. 

I finished by putting two coats of polyurethane on the boarding boards in the kitchen. This is protect them from water and moisture. The rest of the boarding boards in the house will receive a coat of tung oil instead of poly. 


Settling in at the Muddy Pumpkin

Kate and I finally made it to the our friends farm, the Muddy Pumpkin, last Tuesday after a crazy five day trip from Worcester. We are mainly here to help our friend Mark start the growing season at his family's five acre organic farm in Oacoma, SD, check out their website. During the afternoons and odd days off Kate and I are slowly finishing up the mansion. This past week Kate put a coat of tung oil on the coach and mineral oil on the countertop. That process involves mixing the tung oil with a citrus solvent at a 1:1 proportion. The solvent allow the tung oil the penetrate deeper into the wood then dries away leaving just the oil. An easy process but the whole mansion reeked of citrus for two days!
   I also got the cook top, fridge and sink working! I am focusing on the appliances first so we can fully enjoy the mansion while being out here. We are going to be here the whole month of May and I plan on nearly finishing all the building by then. 

The mansion is finally safe in its temporary home. The river behind it is the Missouri. 

The burner lives! 

The first meal on the cooktop was coffee and rice pudding, oh yeah! 

The farm is over run with over 11 cats and 3 kittens. Tina, below, has taken the mansion as her new home, and hardly minds any sort of attention. 

Burt Reynolds is quite comfy in the bed. 


Northeastern News Article

The tiny mansion was featured in the Northeastern News, check it out:




A Cautionary Tale

    As most you might know Kate and I left for South Dakota from Worcester, MA on Saturday afternoon with every intention to drive the 30+ hours straight and make it to our friends farm by Sunday night/ Monday morning. We of course expected issues along the way, namely flat tires and curious police pulling us over, we never expected what happened while driving through South Bend, IN. We had been making great time and hadn't stopped at all except for gas and one meal break; our spirits were high and the farm was well within our sights.
     I was driving when all of sudden Kate shot up from lying in the back to ask what that popping sound was. I felt a small shift in the trailer weight but nothing significant. I looked in the side mirror and saw a flat, no big deal. We pulled over and I was excited to take care of this situation, I had brought all the necessary equipment and tools to fix a flat. When I got out of the car though the trailer looked a lot more tilted than just having one flat. I walked on one side of the side of the house and saw that it wasn't a flat but more of a blow out, it looked like the tire had been run through a table saw. I walked to the other side and something didn't look right, there was only one tire!
   One of the tires had sheared right off the trailer, while the other had exploded under the weight. My heart sank and my stomach twisted in too many ways. The axle lazily swayed in the wind and the tire had taken three of the bolts along with it. I only had one full spare. Could I drive with three tires? We thought the best would be to call AAA to see if they could bring a second spare and see if we could limp the mansion to at least the next exit. Kate has AAA premium so I anticipated they could at least get us off the highway, but no after thirty minutes on the phone with the guy he politely said "sorry sir, we can not help you, good luck." I was stunned! I finally got him to at least search for a trailer repair shop in the area, which he did, albeit reluctantly.
    With the trailer repair guy on route Kate and I thought the worst: the axles were shot, we'll never be able to leave South Bend, IN, it's going to cost a small fortune to fix etc... Three hours passed before Phil arrived, packed with a huge lip of tobacco, smoking a cigarette, and covered in a healthy layer of grease we knew he was the man for the job. He wasn't phased in the least at our situation. He first put the spare on, which was the wrong size so he had to exchange tires and rims! He then went over to the tireless side and jammed a piece of "knotty oak, couldn't split it if you tried", in the axle to hold it up. We followed him twenty miles going 20mph to his shop to pray it could be repaired. It took the repair shop two days to fix it, mainly due to the axles being different (wait, what?) so it took a long time to obtain the parts. We left South Bend, IN by Tuesday afternoon with new tires, bearings, and peace of mind that we could make it to the farm!


Hello from Indiana!

Hello hello from the currently dreary state of Indiana. We have made it through a restless, dark night and are cruising our way towards Chicago. Only eight hundred miles left until Oacoma, South Dakota! 

Check in with my girlfriend's Tumblr for the exciting play-by-play including fun pictures and facts. 

Here are a few shots from our breakfast at a Waffle House in Toledo, OH: