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June 19, 2020


How lovely to have a visitor. Sounds like you all had a good time.
Your house looks lovely.

After months of fine weather yesterday it rained all day and there were instances of localised flooding nearby. I suppose the drains couldn't cope with the sudden downpour - although this is Wales. We get lots of rain!

Liz--Yes, it was definitely different to have three of us in the house. EB and I get along well as long as we don't overdo it - lol.

Thank you. I hadn't realized how bad the house looked until I saw how much better it looked "after".

Yesterday was the day for rain. We ended with 2.5" by the time it was all over, and AFAIK, the temperature never got above 71 degrees. Our creek didn't bother coming up high enough for us to see water. This isn't really your rainy season is it? I think that you get, on average, at least twice as much rain as do we.

That is a nice looking paint job. Did they have to do any scraping, or just a paint refresh?

Glad you got to see EB and have a couple of days together. You are all certainly mature enough to make your own decisions on when, who and how to have people in your house, even in these times.

I can't believe how your airplane plants keep coming back - don't they know they aren't supposed to?

That is a whole lot of watering you are doing, which reminds me, I need to water this morning.

AFAIK, one does not scrape rough cedar. Cecil power washed a couple of weeks before he applied the paint - by brush and roller. Cecil said that the reason it had looked so bad was from the color having been faded by the sun. I would add that I had "touched up" where I had filled holes left by the lag bolts that were removed when the old porch had been replaced - and - that the primer coat of paint showed on the lower edges of the lapped boards.

As long as we isolate following visits, we minimize the chance that we would pass "it" on to others, even if we got it.

I don't know whether the plants are oblivious or whether our climate now meets their requirements. Of course, I didn't try the experiment 50-60 years ago.

Tell me about it (watering). It is part of my fitness program - lol. You saw the gingkoes when you were here. That once, at their (somewhat expensive) planting, I thought to ask how much I should water them. Jason told me to give each tree 20 gallons, monthly, during the winter and 20 gallons, weekly, during the summer. Fortunately, during the first few weeks of spring, we got enough rain that I didn't have to water very much; but, with the heat that we've been having (and wind), I've tried to be a little extra generous. You probably have finished your watering by now. I shall go pull weeds since I get to skip the watering, today.

Are bungalows usual in your part of the world?
Do you have cellars?

We have what is called here 2 1/2 storeys.
Fully undercellared, ground floor, and an
upstairs storey with inclined ceilings/roof. Totalling 220+ sqm; garden 1200 sqm.

garage (1 car, 2 motorcycles & garden tools) is separate.

Stu--For your reference, I include a link to a website that illustrates The 10 Most Popular Types of Homes in the United States. You'll note that the first-listed type is the Ranch home. Our home is an example of a Ranch home - a main level with full basement and attached garage. (In my use of the language, a cellar is usually not a part of a house, but a separate hole in the ground that is meant to store foods and/or provide protection to people who are threatened by a tornado.) As it happens, our basement is nearly entirely "finished", excepting only the mechanical room that houses the HVAC, the sump hole, and the water heating and softening equipment. Between us, Hunky Husband and I spend as much time in the basement rooms as in the main level rooms.

Assuming that your numbers include only the ground floor and upstairs, at 220 sqm (2370 sqft), your home is a little larger than ours at 202 sqm (2178 sqft) on the main level. Our finished basement size is nearly the same size as our main level and our attached garage is an additional 75 sqm (804 sqft) which houses three cars (when Elder Brother visits - seemingly always when there are threats of hail, lol) and a riding mower plus gardening tools and golfing equipment.

From 1946-1955, I lived with my parents in their Bungalow/Craftsman house. It had been built in the late 1920s and was typical of the houses in our area of Kansas City MO, at about 74 sqm main floor with full, but unfinished, basement. The basement included space for a car; but, since we also had a separate, single-car garage, my folks had the ramp to the basement filled in and a set of personnel steps put in, covered by slab (cellar-style) doors.

I am not sure what you are labeling as garden. Our total lot size is roughly one acre. The longer we've lived here the less of our lot I have in what I call "garden" - planted areas, mostly shrubs - and the more that is in grass "lawn". In addition, during the past five years or so, I've started re-shaping the woods that edge the creek along the back of our lot - intending to maintain tree coverage but getting the trees away from the house in case of wild fire.

I could have used the word basement instead of cellar. I thought they were the same.
i.e. Subterranean rooms for regular (non-emergency) use.

220 qm includes all livable rooms, regardless of storey.

Garden = lotsize minus area occupied by house. Your lotsize is much bigger than mine.

Thanks for the clarifications, Stu. I know it's been a while since you were in the States; but, I've only been outside the States overnight in Canada, once.

I lived much of my really young life on farms where our cellars were separate from our houses. [Although...in my paternal grandmother's house, she had a basement that we always referred to as a cellar because it was not waterproof. When it rained, her cellar flooded.] We also had "outhouses" (loos), smoke houses (for smoking meats - doubled as a wash house for laundering), hen houses, pig sties, and barns (with hay lofts). My city slicker husband wouldn't have a clue what any of those outbuildings were except for the outhouses and barns. Oh, I nearly forgot, we had horse sheds that actually (in my lifetime) housed coal and cars.

At any rate, it seems that you and I have more room than is really needed. Our least used rooms are on the main level - guest bedroom, front room, and dining room - along the front of the house. My theory, when we built this house, was that if the front room and dining room (flanking the front door) were kept neat, no one who came to our door would spread the word that I was a lousy housekeeper - lol.

Somehow I never even paid attention to the fact your siding is "rouch" cedar. Makes sense that one would not scrape it :)

Funny how usage is determined by area lived in. Cellar in Kansas is a separate, completely underground structure for vegetables and emergency protection from tornadoes. In the Northeastern US, a cellar is an under-house basement - regardless of whether it is dirt-floored, unfinished, or finished - and may or may not be completely underground (in fact many, if not most, have 2-3' above ground because of water table levels as well as the hard granite base).

I have a ranch that is just a bit larger than Cop Car's garage, at 960 sq/ft (outside dimension) for the living area. The unfinished basement (although with improvements, so would be called "bonus" but not taxed as finished) is 638 sq/ft with the rest as an under-house garage. The garage is only big enough for a small car with the overhead door opening at 8' wide and 6.5 tall. However, it is slightly "oversized" (13' x 24') so with carefull parking I can house my motorcycle or snowblower (depending on season) and a stack of wood pellets

You made me stop to think, Bogie, and none of the houses that I have owned/co-owned has used smooth wood. Our first house (Park Lane) was rough cedar accented by sawn-and-broken Silverdale sandstone and it set the tone, I guess. Our house in Belleview WA was rough boards (much narrower than Park Lane), Sunrise (designed off of Park Lane) was rough cedar accented by sawn-and-broken Winfield sandstone, this house is a very different design from Park Lane and Sunrise but I still specified rough cedar as the siding on the back and side with brickwork in front and part of one side. Vesta was all brick, Callaway FL house was rough pine and brick, and Albuquerque NM house was stucco. In some of those houses, the trim around windows and doors was smooth wood; but, Cecil pointed out when he was painting that where the windows are not surrounded by brick, the trim around the windows in this house is rough cedar.

Interesting about your cellars in NH, Bogie. Location/topography certainly have a large impact on how we build and language.

Only in Belleview WA did HH and I own a house that did not fit the definition of "ranch house". Your house is, of course, much larger than was my house on Vesta. It was about 800 sqft plus small attached garage - no basement. At that, Dudette and her family lived in it for several years without complaint about its smallness. I was happy to see them build a larger home for themselves after being so cramped for what? 10-12 years? Of course, Wonderful GrandDaughter missed the trains after they moved - lol.

I guess that my house in Albuquerque could not be squeezed into the definition of "ranch house" since the master suite and great room were not at the same level as the other rooms. I guess it is closer to being a small Mediterranean style - red tile on some of the roof, and all.

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