So, before moving in Danny and I had our check list of what we wanted to do and when we were going to do it. However, once we got the keys things changed drastically, out the window went that list of Do’s we had planned on. Some projects couldn’t be started as planned because other projects prevented it, priorities changed, new projects arose, and other reasons sidetracked our process. We don’t at all feel behind, we are simply taking a different path than planned, a much more scenic route, if you will. After living in the house we had to re-evaluate everything through fresh eyes and decide, more often than not, the night before or the morning of, what our goals are for the day. Right now we are living studio apartment style, with the bed in the living room next to the kitchen table, but we really don’t mind, Danny has a much shorter walk to the coffee machine in the morning. We painted most of the wall space before moving in because we realized it would be harder to paint a room if all of the furniture was already in place and then had to be moved about. The house feels fresh, new and full of opportunity. We have plenty of space for all of our things, at least furniture, on the To Do list is creating more pantry space, but that’s another time. The kitchen is almost done and I can’t wait to post what the finished project, talk about a before and after. In the meantime here are some of the side projects that popped up along the way.
The Mosquito Pit
I love the silver maple in the back. It provides great shade and is kind of shaped like a cupped hand with all the fingers pointing up. My first thought when I saw the tree was how much fun it would have been to climb those long branches and survey the vast fields encircling us. I could picture myself sitting there in the center with a book or drawing or daydreaming and thought of how much fun it will be for our kids to someday have that opportunity. So I went in for a closer look and stuck my head right inside. Gag! The foulest smell smacked me right in the face, I pulled back quickly, but not before I noticed a good amount of water with some type of little larva buggies swimming around. Thus a new project just got bumped to the top of the list.
After spending a day there and realizing the mucky smell occasionally wafted through the kitchen windows if the wind blew right, it became top priority. My dad, Danny, and his dad all threw around several ideas revolving on somehow draining the water. Danny’s dad messed around with it for a while and decided there was about a foot and a half of stagnant water, festering in the center of the tree. He used a stick to pull some dead leaves out, but the true antidote was drying out the tree. Danny decided to go to Lowe’s and purchase a, 18″ drill bit for his electric drill and used the bit to put 3 holes in the side of the tree, angled up below the water line from the outside, in. The water poured out leaving a mess of decaying leaves and sticks. Thankfully the smell is gone but we plan to throw a bit of cement in there to keep things from getting nasty again. Overall it was a pretty quick, easy fix and I am thankful Danny solved it because I wanted nothing to do with it.
The Fire Pit
After the tree cutting, Danny was itching to get some of the brush burnt, what is it with boys and fire, so we took some time to get some stones for a fire pit. The stones we were looking at came in a grey or red, so of course we went red, we have to have that color. We bought 72 bricks from Lowe’s on special where you bought 5 for $10, this was $0.50 off per block. We couldn’t decided where we wanted to put the pit at first, but we finally decided on the corner of the field behind the garage, here the car lights didn’t hit you in the face and we wouldn’t have smoke blowing into the house. Danny dug down and originally built the pit 4 rows high with 18 bricks in each row. We decided this was too high and we really wanted the pit to have a wider diameter, so he turned the pit into 3 rows high with 24 blocks in each row. We’ve already had time to enjoy some s’mores (Hint: add some peanut butter to that s’more and you will be in heaven) and Elmer enjoys being outside on a cool night where he can just roll around and hunt fireflies.
Living in the country also means you have to deal with other things that city people may not fight. One of those problems is flies. Flies have become my arch nemesis around the house. Farm animals bring flies and there’s nothing you can do about it. The flies aren’t going away, but I’d prefer if they would stay out of my house. I researched plants that repel flies and mosquitoes and we took a trip to our newest hangout, Lowe’s (they all know us there). We came home with a mosquito plant, lavender (for flies), rosemary (for flies also), and peppermint (for spiders). I also bought some cilantro because, let’s face it, it’s delicious. I put all the bug repelling plants on the deck and by the door, making use of some new cedar stumps from our lumberjack weekend. We will see how they do at keeping flies out of the house. So far it seems that the flies are staying out, or maybe we are just doing a better job of not leaving doors wide open.
Fixing the Ankle Roll
Our sidewalk and the grass doesn’t line up right. Actually the grass lines up great, the problem is the ground doesn’t, so you can’t see the 3-6 inch drop when you step off the sidewalk. It may not sound like much, but several people including myself have already rolled their ankles. Thankfully none have been to serious, but it makes sense to get it fixed before someone gets hurt. We’ll also be saving Elmer’s little face, as he never remembers the drop and regularly knocks his chin on the sidewalk. Danny used the dirt from the fire pit and edged parts of the gardens, using any excavated soil to fill in the voids between sidewalk and ground. We now have dirt strips down both sides of the walkway, but everyone’s ankles are safe, so problem solved.
Elmer needs his training time so we have taken breaks from work to devote time to making sure he learns his manners. So far we have sit, down, shake, and stay pretty well. We are working on ringing a bell to go outside and then hopefully some more complicated skills once we get down the basics.