Friday, August 27, 2010

Country Courtyard

Our new dishwasher arrived yesterday! That is the only reason I have time to blog :) I have to say a BIG thank you to my dad, since this was a housewarming gift from him! It is so sleek and shiny, and quiet, and I love it! My morning feels wide open because I spent only 5 minutes loading a dishwasher instead of an hour washing up by hand. So thank you, Dad!

As I promised, I will describe my general plan for the front yard. Right now, we have a sizeable lawn. It's nothing in comparison to the lawn at the old house, but its a decent size and a little more than we want to spend our time mowing. My plan is to enclose about half of the front yard with a stone wall. I have planted some of my flowers and my currants along the line that will be the front wall. I'd like the wall to run along the drive, from the front left corner of the porch to just under the spruce tree, then across the front yard and back along the right side, ending at the slope down to our basement. Its quite a large area, but as I said, it will certainly save us time mowing and still leave plenty of lawn for play, and also give me plenty of room for a large garden. We saved all the rock from the fireplace and with a few more loads of rock delivered, I will start the wall in the early spring next year.

Front view of house, purposed wall front view

When we moved, my father in law encouraged me to take all the plants from the garden with me. I counted up the plants when we were loading them into the back of a truck and the cash value of the plants came to over $600! I'm glad I took them, especially since I have split most of them into 2 or 3 pieces and those will be the foundation plants for my garden. I will be preparing the garden for next spring using the lasagna garden method. Along with the irises, peonies, currants, raspberries, rhubarb, labrador violet and lily of the valley I have planted now, I will mix in vegetables and a few more perennials next spring. I might have time to sink a few bulbs into the garden before the ground freezes too. Its not much to look at now, but I think it will be lovely next summer!

View of the drive from the porch, purposed wall and trellised entrance.

Getting settled but not settling!

It has taken 3 weeks to clean my kitchen! THREE WEEKS. With no dishwasher, and 5-ish meals prepared every day, it was difficult for me to reprogram my self to wash up after EVERY meal (or at least the big ones). I think I'm getting the hang of it.

Most of our progress has stalled at this stage, aside from the occasional small project like installing a bathroom fan in the upstairs bath. I've spent a lot of my time just working around boxes and when I get to a point that I can do no more, we go outside to look for work! In my next post, I'll describe exactly what's going on out in the yard and how much work I have to do.

We did manage to get the boys bunkbed reassembled. After 2 weeks of sleeping on their mattreses amongst the boxes and toys, we gave up on the idea of staining it and put it together. Let me just say that building it was SO much easier than putting it together a second time! We thought the bunk boards, in their new complete state, would make reassembly simple, but no. We had to disassemble the bunk boards (remove the board from their cleats on the side rails) so we could install side rails first and then drop the bunk board back in to be re-fastened. Not so bad, but more difficult than we had planned. I'm just glad that thing is moved and the boys are all "put away" in their own beds, making bed time so much easier (and quieter!)

The rain finally let up for a week or two and gave us a little of the sunshine that we had been missing this summer. Unfortunately, it did not stick around longer and today is another gloomy day. It doesn't look to be full on raining, but I can hear the drops slowly dripping from the metal roof to the roof over the porch. I do love the sound rain makes on the roof! Last week we had a small leak start around the chimney. As you know, we spent 2 weeks removing the rock from the existing fireplace surround, where we then hung new sheetrock and textured to match the rest of the living room. We did not mess with the chimney pipe at all! It looks like it was designed to have a woodstove sitting in the corner and that means it stick down from the ceiling quite a bit from the walls, so we didn't have to haggle with it at all. We had planned on having it removed next spring and then fixing the ceiling ourselves, but I guess that will be happening this fall! I'm happy that it has not leaked since (though we have an empty tote standing by.)

The shed, last spring.

Today the children and I will be emptying the storage shed that came with the property and preparing it to become a chicken coop! I haven't actually been in the shed, so if it's much bigger that I estimate, it may be upgraded to a goat house. That's right, now that we have our own land, we are getting some animals! Food animals, that is. We don't consume a lot of meat in the first place, but the meat we do eat I would like to either raise or hunt/fish for myself, or in the case of beef, buy it as locally as possible. I like to know where my food has been! If I can get my hiney in gear, we will be ready for a spring purchase and maybe be up and running with eggs and milk (and other assorted dairy products) by the end of next summer! With my camera on hand now (I was getting sick of the low quality phone pics), I should have pictures up of this project soon.

My hands may be tied where I want to work, but there is certainly plenty of work to be done around here. Guess I better get to it!

Monday, August 9, 2010

All Moved

Well, we did it! We are in.

It took a full week to get our things out of the old house and stacked into the new house, but we managed. In the end, we had exactly enough boxes to get packed, thanks in part to my brother's girlfriend loaning us some totes and my mother hunting down boxes for us. I think it was the post-move cleaning that nearly did me in though. I'm so happy that we are done moving! Now the fun begins... Unpacking!

There are so many boxes stacked up around the house, its overwhelming. I'm not sure where to start, but I do know that building storage shelves in the basement just climbed up to the top of the priority list. My new kitchen, while a lovely color, is not nearly as large as the last one and many things are going to have to find different homes or just leave altogether.

On our first night in the house, we had a clogged pipe, making one of the sinks over flow and spill water down onto the furnace. Turns out it was a blessing, since it drew attention to an electrical problem that we had missed during all our work. Over the past week, we have had appliances brought in and Mr. Ireland has been busy running gas pipe and repairing the finicky machines. Our dryer quit 5 minutes in to the first load and had me hanging laundrey out on a line for a few days.

The dryer giving out and the kitchen needing to be reorganized are welcome challenges. It seems that of all the changes I wanted to make when we had a home that was ours, now is the time to pair down kitchen items and to use less gas by hanging our laundry. It will take some getting used to but I think we will manage.

I had hoped to have some pictures up soon but I've misplaced my camera in the move. Once things have found homes and we bring the last of our furniture in off the porch, I'll be sure to post some new photos. Thanks for reading :)