Thursday and Friday were wonderfully productive days on the homestead. Simply the best! I have been really sticking to my guns about looking locally and used whenever I can… and Craigslist has been a wonderful thing! I found a young man, a local highschooler, with a new landscaping business. First I contacted him about tilling up my garden space but then I learned that he can do all sorts of lawn care and they were very reasonable. His father, Jeremy, came out to help out and oh my goodness…. with the right equipment and dedication, you can sure accomplish a HUGE makeover.
We roped off our little delightful cluster of lilies and daffodils. The old dogs keep walking in them and hitting a bit of rope at their chest level, they seemed to respect it. They are JUST starting to bloom a bit, and I think by next week they will be glorious! Since we are going to be using that area as a dog yard, I am going to be moving some of the flowers to safer locations around the homestead after they bloom.
When we arrived, Jay and his Dad were already at work! And there was a big old dog walking around with them. We thought at first it belonged to them, but no, he was just visiting the new neighbors. He endeared himself with us by being quite the gentlemen with Dingo and they got along just famously. Maggie was worried that her new pal was homeless. But I don’t think so, he was well groomed and nicely fed. I’m sure he just lives around and will come back to visit now and then. He looks like the Balto dog in the movie and Maggie has given him that nickname. He was definitely a goof and very well behaved.
The first task at hand was to set up a decent sized dog yard. We wanted it off the back screen porch so that in the middle of the night or early morning, we can let the doggies out without worrying about them wandering about. The yard size is 100 x 50 feet, shady and nice. And the best part is that it also creates two fences to have to cross to reach the road on the east side of the property. Steve has good technique when it comes to rolling out HUGE rolls of fencing!
Dingo is such a character out at the farm. He just loves it. He was hanging out with us all day, and he was perplexed by the fence, laying on the ground. Silly boy. He and Balto were wandering about and keeping tabs on the whole production.
Steve and Jessy put up the whole fence for the dog yard, and they did a lovely job of it. It was nice for them to have some time to visit and work on a project for her pup. We are SO hoping that once Evee has a lot more freedom, but protected freedom, she will learn to come when she is called and stay with us. Jessy is going to be working on a lot of training with her pup this summer, she wants to learn to do more agility training. The western yard is going to be fenced in as an agility training yard! We’re going to be making our own agility equipment… after we get settled in.
Dingo approves of the work.
After the fencing was done, that old pine was trimmed up some, so we could get the branches out to the side and also start to get the pine ready to be cut up. I think we are going to try and save long portions of the log to make some benches around the property. It would be nice to have a few little spots of repose where you can rest a bit and enjoy the beauty around you!
I have started the process of digging up some of the moby plants. Actually, I have dug up my four lilacs bushes and planted them in front of the garage. I think they will look wonderful there and I will enjoy driving up and seeing them every time I drive up. We will be slowly digging up a good deal of the more expensive plantings like the trees and shrubs. And of course my Siberian and Japanese iris and my hostas. We’ll see how much time I have and what sorts of spaces I have available to decorate! We will be bringing up all the orchard trees of course.
Oh my… with everything mowed down and cleaned up, Windhaven looks HUGE! You can see all the way back to the far pasture and the grass is starting to green up. I can’t explain how wonderful it is to not see weeds 3 feet tall ALL OVER… this is just what we needed as a boost to the morale! It just fills us with a ton of inspiration and renewed focus to get to a point of moving in permanently! Jay and Jeremy were such a Godsend! They are going to come out one more time next week to help with another mowing, and tilling of the garden bed and then some help with areas that the equipment couldn’t reach. I think once that is done, we’ll be able to handle it on our own. The plan is to get our own used lawn tractor towards the end of the month… (shhhhh…. it’s a birthday present for Maggie and trust me, she’s going to be excited to have her own wheels… even if it’s just for around the place!)
The last of the fence to stop the dogs from the road is up! Yeah!!! We have to come with some sort of gate between here and the garage, but that will have to be first of the week. Doing a little investigating on the web as to gate designs and ways to take care of the situation. We forgot to measure the opening, but I’m guessing it’s a little too wide for a single fence. Will probably have to be double, or with a bit more fence on the garage side and then a more modest gate. I’d like to have it wide enough if we need to get a car or truck to the barn, and of course, large enough for a lawn tractor to get through!
I just can’t get over how large it looks all mowed down! And once the grass starts to really fill in and grow, it will look beautiful! They even got the back pasture mowed and beat back. Of course, it would be fantastic if we had our little sheepies to keep the pastures under control! Soon… soon…. it would be wonderful if it was this year, but we’ll see how things go. First livestock addition to Windhaven will be hens! We’re hoping that it will be soon… Next week we plan to start cleaning out and demoing the chicken coop! I can’t wait!
This is the site of our little mini orchard. It was totally crowded out with weeds and dead fruit trees… but now it’s all cleared out and clipped down. The orchard trees will be going out to the left area and to the right of the tree, I’m going to put in a little patio area so that when we’re out working on the garden, we can have a little lunch and sit down. And it will be nice to have a work space for harvesting and such.
Isn’t this amazing??? Our garden is 30 feet by 70 feet and the soil is beautiful! Apparently the main family that owned the homestead kept chickens for 60 years and this is where they spread out their coop litter to compost. It’s just beautiful stuff! Haha… can’t wait to see what we can accomplish in 2,100 square feet out here and of course we’ll have our raised beds in the courtyard by the house for more tender herbs and veggies! I think we’ll be close to 2,500 square feet of garden space. Considering we grew up 200 pounds in about 5oo square feet at the moby… I think we are going to be doing a lot more canning and freezing this fall! And our friends will surely love our boxes of goodies!
This is the pasture off the back of the garden area. One day we’d love to have a little pond back here. It’s low and at one point earilier it had a bit of standing water. I think that makes it a perfect place for a pond! But right now, it’s just open pasture land and then in the far back our wild area. Our wood lot. We’re going to leave that quarter acre or so wild and then plant in our trees out there like some pines and maples. And I want to plant more willow as well so we can learn to weave baskets and such like that. Always wanted to give that a try and willow is a nice and useful plant for many things! Plus it will be interesting to go out and watch birds and the wildlife that we know we’ll find.
Jessy plans on setting up a few archery targets out there as well, so she has a nice safe place to hone her skills. She’s been interested in archery for some time, has a nice little single string bow and some arrows and a target. She wants to get a big styrofoam block target for out there too! Should be fun. Who wouldn’t want their own archery range?
Thursday evening, after all the yard work, including cleaning out the entire drainage ditch, cutting back trees, setting up fences and all the weeding and mowing… we moved inside and Steve took down the broken fan in the living room and the girls and I picked up all the fallen ceiling tiles in that room. We were all bushed, so the day was called and all retreated for a little R&R and snoozetime before Friday’s heavy schedule!
Friday was SUPER windy… gusts up to 30 miles per hour were recorded, and so it was time to work inside. The big office was on the painting agenda for Jessy and I. That weird sort of faded greeny turquoise needed to go away! Jessy wanted a nice good solid blue for her office and the color she picked was simply smashing. It reminds me of the color of blue and white china! That room is very bright and I think the slightly darker true blue will make it a little less, well, BRIGHT! (g) The carpet is this Scottish looking plaid stuff… probably not a first choice for us, but it’s in decent shape and after a good vaccuuming, it was tolerable. We would love to change it out, but it’s a big room and there are many other priorities right now.
Our number one rule in rehab is… CHANGE NOT WHICH WORKS…. haha… there are always many more priorities that are broken this or that or missing something or what have you. We take stuff that is tolerable and we leave it for later on, when all the serious stuff has been taken care of.
Besides, once the stock shelves and desks and tables and such are in there, you won’t be seeing as much of the carpeting and it will be fine for awhile. Perhaps in a few years, it would be a nice project but right now, as a work space, it’s delightful.
The new world headquarters of Dragon Mountain Treasures!!! We need to repaint the trim, as it is nasty and a bit beat up, but from this point of view, it looks pretty nice! She’s going to add a white write on board in that little boarded up window place, perfect for jotting down stock reorders and things to do! We’ll be putting the three big Ikea shelves in here and the two large desks. Probably a few extra tables or two as well. Should be delightful. Jessy is already plotting and planning how her organization will go. It was okay at the moby, but it could be a little time consuming since we only had so much space and she had always move things around and such to work. Now, she’ll have a TON of space and she can set up her company as she pleases! It’s going to be nice for sure… can’t wait! Tim is bringing out the shelves in his truck some time next week when the evening weather is nice. And then we’ll bring all the stock and equipment and such out as well. All in due time!
The stairwell up to Maggie’s hideout is just super dark and kinda, well, football team colors… dark blue and dark gray. And the steps are all nasty and half painted and just not very nice. She worked hard to get a good coat of Kilz primer over everything and it’s much better, but you can still see a touch of the blue underneath. However, one of the gallons of $5 mistinted paint is a lovely light brownish cream and since she wants to paint her room this beautiful faded clay orangey red color… I think the light cream will be a nice compliment. She originally was just going to paint it white, to make it lighter, but now loves the idea of the soft brown. She is going for a sort of autumn color scheme, with the wood colors and a touch of red in her curtains and such. It’s going to be lovely!
I finally got a nice shot of how lovely the parlor walls look after a couple coats of lemon oil and some hard rubbing. They are beautiful. It’s all solid wood paneling from most likely when the house was built in 1906. It’s beautiful and we are going to leave it just as it is. This part of the house is going to be left as an old fashioned area, decorated with our love of things old and turn of the century. The little nooks are going to be carpeted and the big open area is going to be sanded and either stained and sealed, or painted, depending on the condition of the floor. We’d like to put a nice big rug in the middle of the room. One day the middle is going to house our grand piano! (g)
Actually, honestly it’s a plan of ours. While we were searching Craigslist for various things, we began to notice that grand pianos are going CHEAP! Lots of them! Under $500! I can’t hardly believe it. I mean, a real honest to gosh grand piano! It’s certainly not a priority, however, I’m going to start saving up my gig money for one! It would be beautiful here in this parlor. (And yes, I play the piano, or well, used to! Maggie wants to learn as well…)
This is a better picture of the dining room, all painted up. We are going to put in some oak laminate flooring when all is said and done. And we’ll put up some floor trim and door trim eventually. It will serve as our living room for awhile until we get the time to finish up the real living room. Mostly because we don’t even have a table for the kitchen nook, let alone a real dining room table! haha… Look out Craigslist!!!
Maggie made me a lovely bouquet of pussy willow and some daffidils… it’s really nice. The change in Maggie has been so wonderful. She spends most of her time there outside and working on this and that and just enjoying the outside. She’s been smiling more, laughing more and making much more eye contact and such. It’s so great and so worth all the hard work. I don’t think she’s ever gathered flowers for me before. It’s not something that autistic kids do, they are not big gift givers, I’m not sure why, but I think its just part of the whole social akwardness and such. I nearly teared up when I got the gift, it was so lovely. They are so pretty. I think we will be having many lovely flowers in the house from our lovely estate.
Our painting station in the kitchen. We try to keep it all very tidy so that we don’t have any major messes and such. Half the battle of easy rehab is to keep things in order, like a good workshop or hospital. If you have to spend a half hour looking for a tool, that is time wasted for sure. And spilling paint and all is a waste of resources. So we are very careful with painting and make sure we don’t rush and spill or make too many drops!
Haha… this purple paint from a few years ago didn’t seem to last very well. It was super pretty though, a sort of super dark violet with a hard layer below! It had to be disposed of. We opened up another can of donated paint and thought it was a goner… it was a cool lumpy mess of pigment and base, but after a good amount of stirring it got looking much better. I think it will work better outside, just in case it’s not super good. We have so much outside areas that could be painted, we can take a chance outside with a so so paint. I might even mix it with a good gallon to help stablize it a bit better and extend the good gallon. Such fun…
Well, today, Saturday, we took the day off to rest and do some work and run a few errands. It’s been nasty, cold and raining all day! No fun. We find that two days of hard labor and a day off before starting again, it seems to do us well. Tomorrow the plan is to do the trim paint in the kitchen and offices, and touch up a little paint in my office and the inside of the old pantry in the kitchen, and then paint my little bedroom. Maggie is going to be painting her stairwell and perhaps spackling up her walls in her room. We have a friend of our friend Curtis coming out to work on the heat situation. Steve managed to get the old water heater out on Friday with the help of his daughters and installed our new tankless, hot water on demand heater! And it works great! He discovered a little leak in the basement near the turnoff valve for the bathroom, and we’ll have to add that to our fix it list, but it’s wonderful to now have hot water in the bathroom and shower at the very least! We can’t turn the kitchen water on yet, since they left it open for a dishwasher to be attached and we don’t want to buy the stuff to convert it and then have to redo it when we get a used washer.
Off Craigslist, of course.
Hope that helps to satisfy those wondering what we are up to! Hard work, and just amazing blessings… we hope to have another really productive week and then, who knows… move in presently? SOON! We just can’t wait!!!!