March 15, 2016

Don’t Live in Construction if You Can Help it!

Living in a construction zone is not for the feint of heart! So, in case you were wondering why we’re always exhausted, never visit, and have a hard time hosting dinners or guests at all…

it’s because we have to do all kinds of regular life stuff… in these conditions… (YES, it is a mess! You try living in a sliding block puzzle!)

We’re doing this all on a budget, and using reclaimed materials, so as you go through the photos, note the floors used to be walls and ceilings of this house, and know that for every nail driven, two were removed to make it possible!

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Standing in driveway, facing West, door leads to a dark and packed storage area.

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East face of the house (will be removed) looking South. Would you dare the rotten stairs?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

south wall of the house, photo taken facing WNW.

Rounding corner, south wall of the house, yard is a work zone, and storage area, photo taken facing WNW.

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Photo facing mostly North… basement entrance, stairs to deck and “back entrance”

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A small but useful deck, photo taken facing East.

Inside the back door, looking left, a temporary kitchen in the permanent kitchen spot.

Inside the back door, looking left, a temporary kitchen in the permanent kitchen spot.

Inside the back door (standing in the kitchen), looking right/East, is the current work/greenhouse area and future Dining Room

Inside the back door (standing in the kitchen), looking right/East, is the current work/greenhouse area and future Dining Room

 

Walking further into the house, you see the curtained future front door and the living room beyond that, which is currently packed with storage items. we are now facing North-East.

Walking further into the house, you see the curtained future front door and the living room beyond that, which is currently packed with storage items. we are now facing North-East.

 

Clearer view of LR/Storage, a bit of the future wood stove brick wall, and the entrance to the hall, facing North-West.

Clearer view of LR/Storage, a bit of the future wood stove brick wall, and the entrance to the hall, facing North-West.

A view down the hall, facing West… the only thing to trip over is our new no-longer-stray cat, Squid.

A view down the hall, facing West… the only thing to trip over is our new no-longer-stray cat, Squid.

End of the hall, we enter the remaining major construction zone. Door to the right (see white door casing?) is entrance to a mostly finished bedroom/office

End of the hall is the remaining major construction zone. Door to the right is entrance to a room…

Peeking back up the hall, note cat for reference point, is a small bedroom/office... mostly finished except for window trim.

Peeking back up the hall, note cat for reference point, is that room… a small bedroom/office which is mostly finished except for window trim.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The work zone, where everything you see, including floors and ceilings need to be removed and replaced in a new configuration with solid materials. This will become a hole in the house.

The work zone, where everything you see, including floors and ceilings need to be removed and replaced in a new configuration with solid materials. This will become a hole in the house.

Peek around the corner, future entrance to master bedroom, purple is sheetrock in new master bath.

Peek around the corner, to your left, future entrance to master bedroom, purple is sheetrock in new master bath. looking south.

Said future master bath in process, long wall will have granite counter with glass vessel sink, toilet goes in to the nook to the right of that.

Said future master bath in process, long wall will have granite counter with glass vessel sink, toilet goes in to the nook to the right of that. ESE view

 

the room behind the washing machine... windows are the only thing that is right in the future master bedroom... the wall on the right is coming out.

the room behind the washing machine… windows are the only thing that is right in the future master bedroom… the wall on the right is coming out.

Standing in MBR, looking back at the end of the hall, washer is to my left, facing North. dryer is in hall closet, doorway to left isa mostly finished room.

Standing in MBR, looking North, back at the end of the hall, washer is to my left. Dryer is in hall closet, doorway to left is a mostly finished room.

…Said mostly finished room... our first and currently bed/living/den/office room.

…Said mostly finished room… our bed/living/den/office room.

right side of the temporary main bath

right side of the temporary main bath, don’t be tricked by the stick tile.

and left side of temporary main bath

and left side of temporary main bath

Standing at very end of hall, by temp. main bath, facing East, back the way we came.

Standing at very end of hall, by temp. main bath, facing East, back the way we came.

 

February 26, 2016

Succulent Terrarium

These succulents, seen in the back of the shelf in peat pots, were all propagated from leaves and cuttings. I don’t know what most of them are, but once they got large enough to have a clue as to how they might grow, it was time to bring my terrarium vision to life.

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We inherited this neat, but not terribly valuable, Bicentennial Glass Milk Jug, and once I paired it with a vintage ashtray as a base, all that was left was to put it all together. Layers: Perlite, Sand, Cactus soil/potting soil/sand mix, Sand, Cactus soil/potting soil/sand mix, plants and baubles.

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I lined the mouth of the jug with vintage glass marbles so I have an area where I can stick in my arm to water or tend, without breaking anything. Watering is, perhaps, a little tedious as it can only be done with a small container, but the zen of it pleases me, and is not necessary often. It does get full sun, and so far that’s not a problem.

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don’t let scale fool you, that takes up a good portion of a counter top at 2 feet across when on it’s side like this. Quite a statement piece, and it’s starting to fill in quite nicely!

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February 25, 2016

The House has come a long way

While there have been many stumbling blocks along the way, the house has changed a lot since I last shared.

Here’s a teaser of before and now on the outside of the house… Remember what it looked like when we got it?

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While now it’s still a construction zone, and it may not look like much yet… the basement now has an enclosed entrance, all bad windows have been replaced with new ones in their final places, back go nowhere stairs were (mostly) removed, heat-pump installed (and functional, btw), and we added a small deck with stairs! What you can’t see is that the termite treatment was dug in all around the perimeter, and the whole place was treated for powder post beetles as well.

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Interior pics to follow soon, so stay tuned!

 

February 24, 2016

Y2K Seed Germination Experiment

Thanks to all the participants from the Great American Seed Swap/Trade Project for helping me to germinate and grow these seeds from last century! As promised, I’ve created this update of information showing what seeds were in my Mom’s Y2K Survival Seed Can and where they are finding their new homes. More details about sprouting and germination rates will follow as more people receive and start their seeds!

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February 3, 2016

Spider Plants Have Grandchildren!

Spider GrandchildrenSeveral years ago, I saved a spider baby from a house cleaning accident. It lived in less than ideal conditions, and almost died at least twice.

This last year I tended to it diligently, and it favored me with many, many, many babies.

This winter, hanging in it’s new location, it’s surprised me again with a winter grandchild!

If you look close at the picture, the frond at the bottom right of the plant, reaching for the window, is a grand-baby coming off one of those babies. (Click image for larger view). I didn’t know they did that!

February 1, 2016

Succulent in a Cup

Ecchevaria Harmsii MaybeThe various Succulents I propagated over the summer and fall are mostly doing well.

One Succulent, which I’ve housed in a beautiful mug with a broken handle, that my Father gifted me, is even blooming to match it’s festive home!

While I have no idea what kind of succulents most of them are, I plan on sleuthing it out once they get big enough to identify.

I think this one is an Ecchevaria Harmsii. (Anyone who knows for sure, do tell!)

It sits in full winter sun, and gets watered when the cup feels light. I have already taken two clippings from it to start new plants and keep it from being too lopsided in the mug. The small upright wand succulent in the photo did eventually die, and so it goes.

January 31, 2016

Back Again, Because I Can!

We have been working on the house, when circumstances allow. I will post pictures of that progress for those who are interested… but what brings me back to this blog is trying to keep track of my gardening efforts. Since everyone is healthy enough, employed enough, and we finally have room enough… I can seriously take on some plants. Here’s maybe the second or third iteration of the ever changing window garden. It has changed so much already.DSCF0382

May 28, 2012

Grow This!

Grow This!

Facing the realities of our situation [like lack of fencing protection from goats, groundhogs, rabbits, and what not; the house fix being a first priority; that two people plus jobs, chores, and random upkeep needs makes everything take so much longer; that it takes time or money to build soil…and probably both really] still hasn’t daunted us from growing stuff!

Check out on the right you’ll see a row of pots lining the ledge of our storage porch. We have black raspberry, oregano, basil, tomatoes, yellow bells, bibb lettuce and my favorite, globe artichoke all growing here up out of the way of nibblers.

On the left two pics, you’ll see a neat discovery that if you plant the bottom 1-2 inches of the bunch of celery you buy at the store, it will regrow, and you can eventually harvest a few stalks at a time as they continue to regenerate!! these lovelies grace my new kitchen windows, and are photographed at 1 and 1.5 weeks of growth (left to right). Amazing no?!!

May 14, 2012

New Outlook on Life* (*the yard)

New Outlook on Life* (*the yard)

Well we finally got a few more windows in the house. It’s a pretty self explanatory deal… old not quite a window and certainly not right for the space came out and two “new” double pane windows that do open and close went in. Can’t tell you what a bright luxury it is! See for yourself!

April 16, 2012

Update from the Post-Apocalyptic Wonderland

This one goes out to you, Jesse, our #1 blog fan! Happy Birthday!

We’re finally getting back into the swing. We never intended to take on this project and then pause it to take on someone else’s project. But that has finally come to a completion and we can focus on our own forward progress!

So our first undertaking on the homestead was Operation DeStinkify! We couldn’t head into warm outdoor weather as the stinky neighbors, and so the septic field had to go in. Tony dug all the trenches to reveal that the ancient existing septic field had been bypassed with back corrugated plastic drainage pipe leading down to the creek running at the bottom of our property. Someone at a later date cut a road down to a lower section of the property cutting the drainage pipe in the process. When we started using the septic again, it just oozed out of the pipe onto the drive.  So, tony installed proper drainage pipe in trenches, and we’ve almost filled it in.

Next we need to get the BMW up and running and saving us gas money for the majority of our trips! That’ll help a bunch! We also need to continue getting rid of stuff and sorting what we have. We’re looking at temporarily putting up a portable carport and tarping it all in so we can access our supplies for future projects in an out of the way location. I’m thinking the north face of the house is a good, semi protected place to put it. It’d go a long way to have everything in one place. I’ve had that dream for a while.

So while we’ve been thigh deep in shit holes, with a lot of work, we’ll come up smelling roses… or garlic!

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