0612 house0614 house0614 house2I know this is usual when houses are being built but, still, the sudden appearance of walls took my breath away!  It seems so real now.  And so, so exciting.

Remember when I thought the house was going to be too small?  It’s amazing how some walls suddenly put things in perspective.  I can start to picture things now – where the furniture might go, the paths we will take from room to room.  The living we will do there.  I think there will be space enough for all of it.

Jack, our builder, said that the trusses are set to be delivered on the 23rd – just next week! – so they will be working like crazy to have the second story done on time.  By the end of this month we should have a house with walls and rooms and a roof!

The beginnings of our home.

Notes | 6.12.17

0531 gardenWe only got three eggs yesterday, all Ameraucana.  One of them, Coco’s, was a double-yolker though, so does that count as two eggs?

I didn’t get the corn planted.  I think it’s not going to happen this year.  I am surprisingly OK with that (at least right now), but I have had to learn to let a lot of things go this season, because of the rain.  I’m getting used to it.  There’s just so much other stuff to do.

We need to get more plastic tarping for the garden.  Try to kill off all those weeds so that there is no way we can talk ourselves out of planting the corn next year.

Summer Plans

field-summer-sun-meadowIt’s almost summertime, and the living is easy.

Right?  Or at least it would be if we weren’t responsible adults with jobs and kids and, like, things to do.  Instead, we’ll be as busy as ever with taking care of our garden and animals, building a house, working on the farm and keeping the children from going at each other’s throats.

Here’s just some of what we’re going to be up to for the next three glorious months!

0611 jasperDig some really big holes and trenches.  In the spirit of saving money, doing it ourselves, and hopefully getting everything up to code with the county’s public health department, we’ll be working on extending our septic drain field another 100 feet or so.  I’m hoping that I can convince Jasper to either rent or borrow an excavator from one of the neighbors when it comes time to do the trench and place the leaching chambers though, because he insisted on doing the test pits by hand, and then claimed it was fun from him.  It really didn’t look like very much fun to me.

Dig some more.  And probably get soaking wet while doing it.  We’re also going to be working on our water situation – cleaning up and securing the spring head, adding another cistern closer to the house and probably upgrading some of the pipes and shut off valves that are sprinkled throughout the property.  I’d also like to add lines for more spigots in the garden and future orchard.

And … well … more digging.  Are you getting the idea that me and my shovel are going to be becoming very close friends?  Because we are.  Anyway, fencing, y’all.  Lots of fencing.  The chickens need a run, the garden needs to be seriously fortified, and the goats I am planning on purchasing next year will need something to keep them in as well.  There’s a lot of post hole digging in my future.

pexels-photo-186572Plant a perennial herb garden.  There are two big raised beds in the garden which in years past have held oriental poppies, carrots and chard, but this year there are just weeds (and elephant garlic) in them.  They’re really the perfect spot for a perennial herb bed, so my plan is to get all the weeds out and start planting some herbs!  I’m thinking of chives, chamomile, thyme, rosemary, dill, oregano, lavender and lemon balm.  And maybe some kind of mint – in containers – to sweeten all those summertime drinks that I plan on indulging in.

Put by lots of tomatoes, pesto and applesauce.  I’m not growing much in the garden this year, and while the terrible spring weather we had is most to blame for that, a not-insignificant reason is because I didn’t want to have to preserve and store a lot of food in the teeny tiny kitchen that I have right now.  But, we do use an insane amount of pesto, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, and applesauce throughout the year, and homegrown is definitely best.  So I’ll have to suck it up and sterilize those canning jars (without a dishwasher) and get to work later this summer so that I don’t run out in January again.

Add a new member to our family!  Yep, you read that right.  Our little family is getting bigger by one!  No, it’s not another human baby – we’ve got quite enough of those, thank you – we’ll be adding a Great Pyrenees puppy to the mix this summer!  Because we obviously didn’t have enough to do.  Exciting, or just insane?  Who knows.  In any case, we’ll be bringing her home in early July, and I’ll tell you more about our pup in a future post.

Ahhh, sweet relaxing summer!

Does anyone else have any exciting plans?

Notes | 6.11.17

0611 chicken2Today’s egg tally was a whopping five!  (Three Ameraucana, one Buff Orpington and one Cuckoo Marans.)  I’m still waiting on the Ideal 236 pullet (a white egg), the Black Sex Link (a brown egg), the Rhode Island Red (another brown egg) and the two Silver Laced Wyandottes (also brown eggs).  I know that’s a lot of brown eggs to tell apart, one from the other, but there are variations to each chicken’s egg pigmentation and I hope I’ll be able to tell the differences one day.

I decided that I am going to retire those hanging buckets of food, and just put out a pan of food every morning.  Hopefully that will discourage the opossums and deer (of all things!) from coming in and helping themselves.

And I like the bucket waterer we’ve been using, but I’d really like to add a valve that automatically refills when the water gets below a certain level.  Something like this.

Lastly, I really need to plant the corn if I’m going to do it.  It’s supposed to be cloudy tomorrow, and maybe a little rainy, but the weather should be slowly improving after that.  So maybe tomorrow’s the day.

Notes | 6.10.17

0610 chickenWe got four eggs from the chickens today.  Two from the Ameraucana pullets, one from Coco (our three-year-old Ameraucana hen) and one from Amelia Cordelia (our three-year-old Cuckoo Maran).

Need to refill their water bucket tomorrow.

The weather is foul and the grass is growing high.

Moving Right Along

0603 house.jpgThe filled and leveled hole that we all found so exciting has become even more exciting!  Now it’s surrounded by a foundation wall!

Of course I had that moment of doubt that I hear is pretty common at this stage among people building houses.  The worry that it’s not the right size.  In fact, I think the first words out of my mouth when we drove up were, “It looks really small.”

I know, I know.  That’s just ridiculous.

This will not be a tiny house by any means.  However, it will also not be a mega-mansion.  The finished space will be on the upper end of 1900 square feet.  I realize for a lot of people that does seem teeny-tiny, but for us it should be perfect.  The last two houses we owned were 2300 sq ft, and 2600 sq ft and they were way too big!  Cleaning those suckers took forever, and there was so much space we just never used.  The house we live in now is just over 1600 sq ft.  It’s an OK size for us, although the layout is weird and choppy and there’s no storage, so it feels really cramped.

0604 wall.jpgI wish I could show you all the floor plan of this house, but because of Jasper’s job in law enforcement he’s asked me not to.  So you’ll have to just trust me when I tell you that there shouldn’t be any wasted space in this house.  The only room that’s bigger than we like is the master closet.  It’s really ridiculously big, especially since neither Jasper nor I are clothes people and only own a handful of outfits between us, but there’s no easy way to change it.  So we’ll have to leave it.  The rest is perfect.  There’s a living room, a small library (a house is not a home without a library), an eat-in kitchen with a nice work island, a walk-in pantry, a relatively big laundry room, three bedrooms and two bathrooms.  Just enough.

In other news, floors joists are on the docket for today and tomorrow, then the plumber is scheduled to come, and then they frame up the rest of it!  Things are moving right along around here!