Wednesday, January 31, 2018

A House - Update XLIX - The Porch, Lower Siding, & Window Sills

It's been a while since our last house update -- June of last year in fact -- and so, we thought we'd catch you up on the progress on the house the Lord has graciously granted!

The Porch

It was finally time to start getting going on some external siding, but before that, we needed to be able to figure out where the porch was going to attach to the house because siding placement would be determined by that. Plus, the stairs we had in front of the house leading into the front door were a little unstable, and so I wanted to get into place a temporary set up that was a little less rickety as well.

We started by going around the outer porch beams along the porch posts to find the highest point so we could level the porch all the way around off of that. We used the water level we used when leveling the foundation piers, which works great for long distances.

Once that was figured out, it was time to put up the siding tar paper:

Lower East Siding Tar Paper

And then the porch ledger board...

Lower East Side with Porch Leadger Board

...bolted to the outside main structure floor joists (which are doubled up on the east and west sides, since walls are sitting on them):

Porch Ledger Board Bolted to Joists

We also needed to put the final porch beams in place. You'll notice the one side isn't even with the porch beam next to it. This is because I discovered when trying to find the porch leveling point that the north east corner of the porch is probably 3 inches or so lower than it should be. Oops. I'm not sure how I managed that, but as we go around installing the porch joists, Lord willing, I'll have to raise the beams to get them more level:

Installing New Porch Beams

And here they are installed:

New Porch Beam in Place

I did some research on how to do the flashing over the ledger board, and this YouTube video is the one I went with. It's z-shaped with a little lip that juts out from the ledger board, forcing a space between the joist and the ledger board preventing water from being kept next to the joist potentially causing future rot:

Porch Ledger Flashing

And here's a side view of the flashing:

Porch Ledger Flashing Side View

Here is a joist hanger in place, nailed in with hanger nails:

Porch Joist Hanger on Ledger

And with a joist attached:

Porch Joist Attached to Hanger

This joist I had to notch to get around a porch post:

Porch Joist Notched to Go Around Porch Post

And here is the first set of porch joists in place. I used the 3-4-5 rule to get the first joist square with the house:

Porch Joists in Place with Outside Header

I put this board in place just so the joists would maintain correct separation:

Porch Joist Spacer Board

And then I tacked down a couple of leftover plywood pieces for now, moved the steps to the side of the porch, and added a set of steps to be able to walk over the beams. It's much easier to get into the house now! :)

Temporary Porch with Stairs Over Beams

Lower External Siding

Thankfully, the lower OSB siding is somewhat protected from the elements being under the porch roof, but eventually that won't last, so we have started putting up siding on the lower external part of the house, beginning with the north side, which seems to see the most weather activity.

Here is some of the tar paper in place behind the porch ledger board:

Lower North Siding Tar Paper

And this what I used to elevate a piece of siding so it doesn't set directly on the flashing, once again to keep things out of sitting moisture:

Siding Spacer

And here is some of the siding in place:

Lower North Siding Begun

I had to cut a hole in the siding for the electrical inlet:

Lower North Siding Electrical Inlet

And here is more siding done:

Lower North More Siding Done

And then the whole side complete!

Lower North Siding Done

Now, we need to choose a color, paint it, and add window trim, and then it should be all done.

Internal Window Sills

In an attempt to continue to seal in the inside of the house from air leaks to help keep in the warmth, I've started putting up boards on the inside of the window sills with the plan to eventually come back and finish the front part of the sills later.

Here is lower bedroom:

Bedroom Lower Windows Inside Sills

And upper kitchen. During one of our recent cold fronts, Sue could see the cobwebs moving, and so it was important to get them done, especially on these upper north-facing ones:

Kitchen Upper Windows Inside Sills

Here is lower great room:

Great Room Lower Windows Inside Sills

And finally, upper great room:

Great Room Upper Windows Inside Sills

As always, we are very thankful to the Lord for granting the provisions to be able to continue on the house. We always pray it's a place of worship and a nice gathering place for His Church.

-- David

Friday, January 12, 2018

Song - Jehovah is His Name!

Some years ago, I thought I should learn the names of God -- what He calls Himself in His word -- so that I could acknowledge Him as He has declared Himself to be acknowledged. I believe in the regulative principle of worship, in that, the Bible, and thus God Himself, declares how He will be worshiped, and that is to be our sole guide. Since He has given Himself many names, a few of them I knew already, like Jehovah-Jirah (our provider -- I even wrote a blog post on that one), and Jehovah-Rapha (our healer), but I wanted to be able to know more of them so I could call Him those in my prayers.

Well, I did a search, and I'm not sure if this is the exact page I found that first time, and I don't think it is, but it does have the names I learned way back then: Redemptive Names of God and What They Mean, and here is another site that has a similar listing: Names of God (I am not vouching for the rest of the content on these sites):

Jehovah-Jirehthe LORD our provider (Genesis 22:14)
Jehovah-Raphathe LORD our healer (Exodus 15:26)
Jehovah-Nissithe LORD our banner (Exodus 17:15)
Jehovah-Shalomthe LORD our peace (Judges 6:24)
Jehovah-Sabaoththe LORD of hosts (Psalm 46:7)
Jehovah-Raahthe LORD our shepherd (Psalm 23:1)
Jehovah-Tsid-Kenuthe LORD our righteousness (Jeremiah 23:6)
Jehovah-Shammahthe LORD is there (omnipresent) (Ezekiel 48:35)

While these have manifestations in the temporal world, they really are more about the spiritual relationship of God toward His people.

Also often used in the Bible:
Yahweh (Jehovah, the LORD capitalized in many Bibles)God is eternal, unchangeable, in covenant relationship
ElohimGod, strong/mighty one
Adonaithe Lord, master

Fast forward until late last year. If you've been following our blog, you'll have seen I've written some hymns or lullabies that were based on little tunes I came up with about our animals, which you can read about here under our blog's music label.

One I've had for a while is for our dogs Brodey and Nessa, and the words went like this:

Brodey so-squody, he is not a grody toady


Nessa bo-bessa, walla walla professah Nessa

(I often call Brodey "Brodey so-squodey" and Nessa "Nessa bo-bessa" :) )

Those covered the first two measures, but with some tweaks to the 2-measure melody, I eventually filled out the whole tune into a song. I "sang" it for Sue and she thought it would make a good song in the round. Hmmm.....

I struggled to come up with lyrics. But one day, I was thinking about the names of God I had learned, and since there were eight of them, which goes into music evenly, I wondered if I might make that fit into the song -- the Jehovah names of God and their meanings, and with that, it would be easier for others to learn them. It might just work...

And so, I started trying to work it out, and God granted I was able to indeed work the lyrics into the tune with some tweaking of the music -- Jehovah is His Name! And it worked nicely in the round too!

Here is the sheet music:

Jehovah is His Name

And a PDF:
Jehovah is His Name (PDF)

And an instrumental audio version:
Jehovah is His Name (MP3)

Here, Sue and I sing it with the accompaniment:
Jehovah is His Name - Vocal (MP3)

And here we are acapella, in a four-part round starting every two measures:
Jehovah is His Name - 4 Part Round (MP3)

I think it worked out fairly nicely, and thanks to the Lord for granting this to be able to learn His names and acknowledge His greatness, mightiness, love and care!

In trying to find the original website that had the eight names I learned, I have since discovered there are many other names of God in the Bible (again, I cannot vouch for the site's content), but it was nice to be able to take these I had learned and put them into something perhaps usable for God to glorify Himself maybe in some way. :)

May His name be praised forever; blessed be the name of the LORD!

-- David

Friday, January 5, 2018

Garden - Fall & Winter 2017-2018

We thought we would catch you up on how the garden ended up in Fall of last year, including our foray into the adventure of sweet potato growing, and where we are today!

Here are the final days of the 2017 garden before the freezes started to hit...

This is the one plant, a broccoli, that grew from the first Spring planting. I have picked off a few broccoli heads and have eaten them as I've walked by :) :

Broccoli Plant

Here is our gogi berry plant:

Gogi Berry

And these are our blackberry plants:

Blackberry Plants

Here are the okra plants third week in October:


But then the freeze was coming, and so we covered them. They looked a little creepy like this actually... :)

Okra Covered with Blankets

And sadly, they still didn't fare well, and so that was about the end of them for the year:

Okra After Freeze

But before that, we thought we would try to save some okra seeds this year to plant next year as part of our continued effort to get sustaining here. We pray God might grant this to work!

Saving Okra Seeds

Sweet Potatoes

I mentioned in our last real garden update that we planted sweet potato slips this year. This is our second attempt, with the first one in our raised beds only yielding a few small ones.

Sweet Potatoes Plants

Again of Sweet Potatoes Plants

This year however, and I think it has a lot to do with that we're using the forest bed mulching technique we've discussed before, God graciously granted some quite nice ones!

We harvested the beginning of October. The first one I pulled out was half rotted, very mushy, and I was worried they all would be like that, but most were thankfully just fine! You're supposed to be very careful pulling them out so as to not damage the tender skin, which hardens later.

Harvesting a Sweet Potato

Here's a stack of them:

Stack of Sweet Potatoes

And Sue with an American football-sized one:

More of Sweet Potatoes

And this is just to give a size perspective:

Sizing Sweet Potatoes

Here they are in the wheelbarrow being taken to the house for curing. Using the information from a website about curing sweet potatoes, we let them open-air cure just on the ground in a couple places in the house for probably about three weeks:

Sweet Potatoes in Wheel Barrow

And then wrapped them up individually in newspaper to go into the root cellar for another six weeks. Apparently the longer you can wait to harvest, even just after the first light frost, and giving them that long to cure allows the sugars to form in them, which gives them a good taste, and without which they apparently taste very bland:

Wrapped Sweet Potatoes

And finally, last week, we started pulling them out of the root cellar, and they appear to be still ok....yea, and thank the Lord!

Here, Sue is putting them into a meal:

Cutting Sweet Potatoes

And into the pan (although there is one store-bought mixed in). But, they do indeed taste great, and again we are very thankful to God for these provisions off of the land!

Cut Sweet Potatoes


Since we have larger garden areas with which to be able to plant both for Winter and Spring, we are attempting garlic again this year, planting cloves the Stongers graciously gave us. This is just this week after the big freeze we went through here:


And the wild lettuce, which I believe is the prickly lettuce I mentioned before, is coming back too!

Prickly Lettuce

As always and again, we are very thankful to the Lord for His providence in granting sustenance from the gardens! We pray He might continue to, as He will, and that He guide us into more and better ways to live off of the land in direct dependence on Him!

-- David