Gee… it’s raining again.

That is the St. Joseph River. It’s about 6 or 7 miles from our homestead. Our major road crosses it, and it wanders down into Indiana and Fort Wayne. It’s really getting high and swollen. It’s got all the farm land around it now flooded out. And it’s raining again.

I just thought that maybe we were done with some of this rain. This morning it was cold and overcast but something said “wake the children and get mowing” so I heeded the call. Had to take some packages to the post office and all and by noon, we were mowing, working on the courtyard fence and painting the porch. Since we just have the one walk behind mower, we would take turns.

By 4 PM we had managed to get the courtyard done, the front, the east yard, the west front pasture, the “road” back to the barn, all around the front and west side of the barn, back through the yard to the house and outhouse and then a big circular swarth around firehenge. If I had to guess, maybe an acre. Two to go.

And with a semi-automatic walk behind mower. I saw semi-automatic because the grass was so high that it just can’t hardly pull itself very well. You end up pushing and lifting a lot. I managed to run over a piece of hay twine and wrapped it around the shaft at one point, but other than that our old Toro did a very good job.

The chickens really liked the short mowed areas, they were all over them picking at the little buggies that they couldn’t get as well when it was nearly as tall as they are. And of course, they have PLENTY of rough areas if they want to go hunting.

Speaking of chickens… all are still here, all are doing just fine. In fact today we actually got 6 eggs!!! That was very exciting because the last 6 days we’ve only been getting about 2 a day. I think they are finally settling in and all. That’s awesome! We actually have 11 in a carton now! They might actually start to get ahead of us so that we can share eggs with our friends!!

Jessy worked on the front porch. This is about half the way done, you can see on the side how it used to look. We got a gallon of this really expensive solid stain for $5… yep, a mistint! I think we have only paid about $100 total for well over 12 to 14 gallons of paint! Only four have we actually picked the color and paid good money for. Ever other one has been $5!!! Amazing. I might have liked just a little more deeper brown, but this is great and really looks a lot better than old faded wood. It actually matches the roof pretty nice. We’re going to paint the courtyard fence the same color.

All done! Looks great! We’re going to change out the lights on the front soon enough… just waiting for a good sale. We think something with more of a dark metal, hanging, like a craftsman style lantern or something would look really nice. The little round globes are kind of 70ish or well, a bit too modern for our tastes.

I’m thinking too, that a couple nice pots and some annuals might look nice, add a little splash of color. I don’t like to spend a lot of money on annuals, would rather invest in perrienials, but you sometimes just can’t beat the punch of color they can add to some pots on the porch! I’d love to go and blow $200 on landscaping for the front of the house because it looks so well, bare… but right now, we’re saving for a riding mower, so that will just have to wait! One thing at a time.

It’s still a bit of a design surprise, but we are building a little privacy fence between the garage and the house. We want to make the courtyard a little more, well, private. And also cut some of the wind a bit. And protect the dogs when they are out. We priced out regular traditional options but they were a bit pricey. And just, well, boring. Thought about vinyl or picket fence, or just the old privacy panels, but they were all pretty expensive, really. So I was thinking about it and what Joel Salatin said about using things you have to make things you want on the farm. And I thought about all the trees and limbs and sticks and all that we have. Sooo….. I don’t want to give the idea away just yet, but we’re getting closer. We have two of the panel cross pieces in place, and all the timbers set in concrete. I don’t want to brag but I dug 4 of the 6 holes myself! Haha… Yes, I am a hard worker too! Maggie and I got the cross boards up and Jessy started to paint some…

That second opening from the garage will be where we are designing a gate. Because the walkway comes at a weird angle, we decided to go with it, rather than working some new walkway and all that comes from that. Since most people tend to go through the front door, and we can always bring big things in around the garage if they HAVE to go through the screen porch, we’re going to make a real fun decorative little gate. We have the gate hardware and all, and a basic design.

But the rains came and we had to ditch our plans. It’s supposed to be nice from Monday on for about a week, and hot too! Although I’m not quite sure what hot means anymore. We’re still using the kerosene heater in the evenings because it’s been COLD in this old house! Yesterday I was looking SO country… I had thick socks on, jeans, a tshirt, a flannel shirt AND a hoodie!!! And I was STILL COLD… No one to snuggle with but the dog. And she just doesn’t throw much heat! I keep thinking… June… JUNE… should be warm… I think…

Well, the day before, it was raining, and I will admit, I woke up discouraged. Very discouraged. Cold, wet, dank, dark… it was no fun. And it’s been like this for weeks!!! All day long worrying about tornado watches and will the sump pump keep running and how on Earth am I ever going to get a garden in… shesh… I was up and around, but I really just wanted to crawl back in bed and cry.

But then I thought, this is crazy, it’s just time to start working in the house on stuff. We had been just leaving things around, rehab things, tools and stacks of this and that. The place looked rough. The girls were ambling out of bed and doing breakfast things and I asked if they would help to cheer me up a bit and help me to get this place in shape. Being the wonderful and amiable children that they are, they decided to chip in. (Plus they know how I am when I get very discouraged and they knew enough to just pitch in for awhile and my blue mood would fade quicker for sure that way…)

We started in the kitchen and everyone went to work. We sorted stuff and put it away. We gathered things that didn’t belong. We swept and did dishes and put away stuff. We even started to hang pictures!!! And within an hour or so, we had the place super tidy!

Our two little frigs are working GREAT for us! One is just for beverages and that is under the big shelves. The other is for condiments and day to day things. I’m very surprised how well we are handling having such a smaller space. I’ll try and write a bigger post about it later on, but suffice to say, we’re doing fine.

As much as I thought we would like the busy cluttered full look of these shelves, I will admit, I’m not digging it as much. It just looks, well, clutter and busy! Haha… Imagine that. I think I’m going to sew some little simple panels, to hang off a simple little rod at the top. Perhaps out of a rough linen, or something with a little texture. A light brown or a beigey color. Just to sort of simplify the look a bit. It’s either that or perhaps a light lace panel. But I’m afraid that might start to look to fru-fru country. We are looking for a slightly modern country, if that makes sense. Not super knick-knacky primitive, but with a touch of it, just not overboard. I love some of the primitive stuff, and old fashioned tins and such, but I don’t want to have to dust it all, and take care of it all. Neither do the girls. But yet we want a touch of it… just enough…

Next we moved on to the dining room. We got the table all put together the day before and now we cleaned it really well, polished and got it where we liked them. And then we swept up and then we hung pictures. I think it looks very nice in there. It’s almost our first really finished room. We would like to try and find or make a slim buffet side table to go under the mirror. Not too wide, because we really want to make sure there is a comfortable walk area on either side. We still have to do door trim and floor trim. We have the floor kick trim strips, but we didn’t have the liquid nails to get it on, so we moved on. Soon, though… probably tomorrow, since it’s going to be raining, again.

Then it was the bathroom’s turn. We hung up towel racks and a few pictures, and gathered up all the things for the shelf in there, etc. Turned out nice. The place is still a little sparce but we don’t mind. Easier to keep tidy and cleaned up. We still have a lot of our knick knacks and decor stuff in the storage room, but it’s slowly starting to come out. It’s amazing how pictures and such really works to make a house feel more like a home.

On to the living room. Our living room is really pretty empty. We don’t have a tv, though we were thinking of getting one maybe this winter… and we really just have a loveseat. But, hey, it’s something and we’re trying to build a little more ‘inventory’ for the room. In reality, this room is going to be getting a full do-over this winter, but for right now, it’s tolerable and comfortable enough. We picked it up and vacuumed and added a few pictures here and there. It looks better too!

I had to move my desk into the big office for awhile, because I found that I just could not stand the unlevel floor. I did manage to get it slightly less un-level, but I need to do it right and be done with it. So we moved all my stuff to this corner of the big office. I found this lovely shelf at the Sauder Outlet and I hope to be able to get two more to make my office plans complete. I am hoping that this week I’ll be able to get the 2 x 4s and plywood to level it off some more. I should be able to…. we’ll see how it all goes!

And I finally got my own room put together a little more. It’s so hard to take any pictures in a 7 x 9 room… haha… you’ll just have to sort of piece it together. I have my bed, a tall dresser and a teeny side table. That’s about it. But that’s okay, what more do you need in a bedroom? I think the only thing missing is a few more big fluffy pillows so that I can have something to stack up for sitting and reading. Other than that? It’s perfect! I finally got some pictures up and found a home for my laundry!

Well, that’s all that has happened pretty much the last couple days. Just a TON of rain and some around the place stuff. Can’t do a whole lot in the yard because it’s all underwater. The chickens are doing wonderfully, they really are super easy to take care of! I know we want to build them a little better roosting area, because they are a little cramped… and we’re still experimenting with the perfect nest boxes. Like I said, these are our training hens and it’s good for us to learn with them. I’d like to get some new young pullets eventually, but it would be nice if the weather was a little more, well, less WET…

Well, hope you all have a lovely weekend planned… we’re going to relax tomorrow and Monday, work on a few orders and such, catch up on some emails and a little client work, and sleep in, read and just sort of chill out a bit. Hope all is well…

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About Mobymom

the banjo player for Deepwater Bluegrass, and the editor of as well as the main graphic designer of the Westvon Publishing empire. She is a renaissance woman of many talents and has two lovely daughters and a rehab mobile home homestead to raise.


Gee… it’s raining again. — 8 Comments

  1. beautiful beautiful beautiful..! When I lived in Fort Wayne for a short time..many years ago ..they had a “3 rivers festival” which included St Joe’s River. You live further out than I neat to live out there.

    Just to pass an idea..I did simularily..with your cabinets with the jars..getting back to the painters drop can get different thicknesses..and a huge amount of material for cheap..and you could..use those 1″ cup brass holders at the corners..use your grommets and hang separate could even maybe get bia tape to tie the middle sides..again with the cup holder hooks..Some people prewash the canvas..or die it..but I find it gets super wrinkled..and its not fun to me. finish off the cuts could seam that..or just use that “no fringe” glue they have out. It would be a inexpensive project..and be as simple or pretty as you could always “stencil” something on the bottom equipment, chickens, whatever..but I LOVE the look and feel of the linen. When I bought my house last year..I wanted linen curtains for in my living room..soft and flowy..(I was going for the “Ernest Hemmingway” look..poor I ended up at Lowes..paying 25 bucks A PANEL..which was like..what 24″ wide x 6′ long. Not worth it for sure.

    Also..I recently had to replace a fence piece that was broke for a friend..and you can get them fairly 20 bucks a panel..witch is 6′ x 8′ …..

    super cheap..and very rustic..this one looks like old lumber that has been reused..I like takes stain nicely too..stained ours look old..check it out…
    Wish somehow I could help out with the riding mower..thats a HUGE yard to be mowing by a pusher..ugg.. HAVE A NICE HOLIDAY WEEKEND

    • in reference above..I was referring to the rustic stockade panel ..

      • Thanks for the info… yeah, I know they are not too expensive and if our experiment fails, I’ll probably go that route! I hope our plan works though!!! Crossing my fingers!!!!

  2. You all did a great job – it looks so nice! Pictures on the wall really do add to making a room look lived in! The curtain on that pantry area is a good idea. A little cafe rod should do the trick. You might look at burlap. It’s very reasonably priced and even comes in colors these days or maybe if you could find some shutters on craigslist etc that you can hang – the kind that folds. That would look good too.

    You guys are doing such a great job with the outside. I don’t know if I’d have the energy to keep all that grass cut like you all!

    • I forgot about how pictures can really start to make a home feel, well, homey! Seeing familiar loved decor pieces are essential. I always remember how Laura Ingalls wrote so lovingly about the china lady and how carefully they traveled with her and how setting her up in the new place meant home… I think she’s nailed it spot on!!!

  3. Home, neat home.
    When I think of all you have accomplished in such a short amount of time, despite all the inclement weather, I hesitate to guess what you are capable of when the weather is nice.

    You ladies are so precious. Your posts are full of courage AND encouragement.

    Have a wonderful Memorial Day!

    hugs, l dove

    • Haha… yeah, but we can also be the best at being laid back too! Haha… we are lazy homesteaders for the most part, like to do things smart not hard!!! :-)

  4. Love what you’ve done so far. Everything looks so comfortable and homey.