Our story as we live, learn, grow, feed, and build our little homestead with our goats, chickens, guineas, and kids. We share our DIY's, recipes, gardening tips, and homestead how-to's (and how-to-not's). We are learning about grace and living a real life.
The warmer days are coming, and the sun is starting to dry up the mud, and the birds are flitting, and the bees are buzzing, and the outside world is calling.
I love spring.
I've been walking around our yard and land today. It's so beautiful here, but the beauty has been a little neglected. Same as the inside of our house. The plants are a bit overgrown. I've held Jeremy back from cutting everything back because I haven't been able to figure out a plan for all the landscaping yet. I don't want to accidentally lose something we need to keep.
But the outside is calling me, and I'm starting to dream. I really miss having a garden too, although it may be that I'm forgetting all the work that goes into a garden. I miss those fruits and vegetables though.
So I walked around and dreamed. This field is about half an acre, and it's on a bit of a hill. I've planned to put the big garden here. There are some setbacks though. I'm not sure how to design a garden on a hill, and this field is nowhere near a water source. Except for the pond, but we don't have any way of getting the pond water on the hill. Of course, it's been so wet here lately, I don't think we'd need to water a garden for a couple of years.
But then here, next to the house is a sweet little spot for a small garden plot.
And this spot in the front yard gets lots of sun too, and is nice and flat.
Hmm, lots to think about. It's going to take lots of time, money, and work to get everything the way we see it in our heads. But it's kind of funny how quickly things can get done. When I think about where we started with this house 2 years ago, I'm amazed. We've gotten a lot done! We've had lots of help, but mostly it's just the two of us working in our free time.
The kids were outside too, and Noemi showed me how she gives the goats a treat. She had all three of our girls at attention. Greedy goats.
And then the billy came over to see what all the fuss was about. So Noemi gave him a little treat too. Leeli has to watch him closely though. At least, the two of them get along pretty well now.
Have you got any garden plans? Any ideas on gardening on a hill?
We've been working, but it's slow and not very exciting so far. And it's really hard to see what all we've done, but last weekend I realized we only have 15 weeks until the baby is due. (I honestly don't think I've been preparing for a baby to actually come, so it was a bit of a shock to me.) But I figured I could share some of the pictures!
Above, Jeremy closed in the two windows that were in the bathroom. He filled in the back wall with siding we'd saved from inside the room. We think our future bathroom was originally a back porch that was closed in some time. Our new mudroom still has the siding walls, but we took it out of the bathroom area. Thankfully, we had just enough to cover the exterior of the house!
My job in the study (I've decided that's what we'll call the library/school room) is to sand all the bookshelves now. I've been buying stuff to put the bathroom back together, so the study had been put on hold for a couple of weeks, but now I've gotten the first rough sanding done. It doesn't look much different though.
We've gone back and forth, back and forth about the paint color for the bookshelves, and we've finally just gone ahead and bought a gallon of Slate Tile. We both like it and we're also both tired of looking for the perfect color.
Like I said, I've been shopping! I picked out our tile and the fixtures for the bathroom and mudroom. It was another long process because I have to look at all my options and then find the best price. I could have spent millions of dollars on this bathroom, but I restrained myself (or rather my credit limit did) and we've picked out this arabesque tile from Floor and Decor for the bathroom floor. It's white, just in poor lighting. I'll do more updates on the bathroom soon because Jeremy is framing out the shower today. So things are starting to be put back together!
But for now, the bathroom still looks completely unfinished. Jeremy has been working diligently on it, it's just all the stuff that goes under the walls and ceiling had to be done and it isn't very exciting. He's wired both rooms and taken care of the windows. He also replaced the window we're keeping in there. The only problem was that the window was made wrong. The store is going to fix it though. They are sending us a replacement bottom sash so we can just switch the two out. The top sash was made correctly.
The mudroom is also just coming along. We keep getting excited and start thinking we're getting close to being done, but then we have to make the list and it's still pretty long. The mudroom is all wired and pretty much ready to be put back together. We can't wait to have this room done, it's going to be wonderful to have a room to catch all the dirt before it gets spread throughout the house.
And in the final news, I'm growing right along schedule. I feel like a turtle stuck on it's back most days and have all the discomforts of pregnancy, but baby girl is moving and letting me know she's alive now. Yep, she's a girl. Both Eowyn and Noemi are thrilled and the boys have come around. In a couple more days, we'll only have 14 more weeks which doesn't seem like a lot when your house looks like the above! I've got to go sand those bookshelves now!
The kids need to move upstairs, y'all. Not only do they need their own rooms (all three are in one downstairs, and Noemi is in our room), but I need my own room! We need the space too. We're all tired of being cramped downstairs. So we've been working upstairs and it's progressing quickly on Jeremy's side of things and slowly (so, so slowly) on my side.
He's the builder and I'm the cleaner and painter. I would like to trade, but he's terrible at painting. (And quite honestly, who knows what I would do to the building side of things.)
So to get the kids' moved upstairs, we need to:
1. Insulate. We needed insulation, in every space we could get it! We lost a ton of heat upstairs this winter because there was no insulation up there. This went fairly well. Jeremy started pulling down the bedroom walls but found that instead we only had to create two new attic crawl doors in the dormer room. He stapled up the walls with the bats of insulation. The rest of the floors needed to be blown with insulation and Jeremy did some cost comparison between doing it on his own or hiring it out. Turned out to cost almost the same. So we paid some guys to come over and fill our attics with insulation. The house already feels warmer. Awesome!
The insulation did add to our list a bit. Jeremy had to build a platform in the attic so that we can put down some flooring boards and use that space for storage. He also has to build doors for the two new attic doors, and the last thing is to put in an actual full-size door in the stair hall to the back attic for our storage.
2. Build attic doors. Right now, the attic access to the storage area is through the boys' closet. It's just a tiny cut through that would be difficult to get all of my rubber maids through. So we're going to put a small door into the attic at the back of the stair hall. It'll be 28 inches and 70 inches tall, so we'll be able to store our things easily. The new holes in the dormer's walls also need doors built.
3. Check the wiring. Thankfully, this had already been done! They left some old wires in the attic, but every time Jeremy followed the old wire it had been cut and replaced. So that was nice and easy. (Of course, Jeremy was the one crawling around the attic following wires, but it was easy for me.)
4. Clean, clean, clean. Oh, my. It is such a mess! I'm easily overwhelmed at this project, but Eowyn has been a big help. And sometimes just having someone else to work with you makes all the difference. We've gotten the girls' room cleaned because Jeremy is finished in there. He's got to finish the doors before we can clean the dormer room and the stair hall. The boys' room is next though.
5. Paint. It's been almost a year since I painted our bedroom with its beadboard walls. The rooms upstairs have beadboard walls and ceiling. Which is wonderful, unless you are trying to paint it. But it's amazing what some paint is doing. We're working in the girls' room. The ceiling and trim are getting the white Alabaster treatment, and the walls we found the perfect old-fashioned pink called Malted Milk. (Noemi is thrilled that she's going to have a pink room.) The boys' room color is still not nailed down. But after 3 samples, we've got to be getting closer to finding the right color. (I hope!)
6. Buy some furniture. The girls have their furniture. The boys have bought one bed so far. Gideon found it at an antique store and it was only $20. We couldn't really pass up that deal. We need one more bed for Esmond and a chest of drawers for their room. Plus a couple of nightstands would be nice for both rooms. I don't mind doing this one at all. Except I don't have all the time in the world to go antiquing.
7. Decorate! I can't wait for this one! We'll be making these rooms so pretty and they'll have closets to put things. Everything will have a place so everything will be able to be put away. We will literally be gaining three rooms!
As you can see, Jeremy's list has shrunk considerably. Mine is just getting started. I hate that the first thing I have to do is the thing I really detest doing. So in the meantime, know that I'm supposed to be cleaning and painting and I'm probably hiding somewhere hoping Jeremy will just go do it.