Archive for the ‘housebuilding’ Category

Getting Ready For Fall

It feels much too hot out to be worried about fall. That said, with longer germination later in the year, it’s time to put those newspaper seedling cups to use. I want to grow produce year round, not just at the peak of summer, so as we approach cooler temperatures I’ll be replanting a number of things that we grew in the spring. Currently being sprouted indoors for planting after temperatures drop off a bit are beets, spinach, radishes, arugula, carrots, and lettuce. I’ll be adding kale, swiss chard, turnips, and bok choy once I have more seedling cups made.

I’m also trying to get a few blueberry bushes and peach trees going as a bit of an experiment. They’ll be grown in containers.

We’ve started trying to put away extras for the winter when possible. Tomatoes are being canned one jar at a time as they ripen, and blueberries have filled the freezer a couple of gallons at a time.

The shed is also coming along. With any luck, the goat side (not really visible in this picture) will be completed within the next week. All the rafters are in place, hurricane clips have been attached (to prevent the roof from blowing off in a storm), roofing is going up, and siding will soon follow. I think Cai and Vi are ready to move into their more long term home.

Summer Yum

Summer is in full swing, we have more tomatoes and blueberries than we can eat (and keep getting more via the CSA), and the heat is still oppressive, especially midday. Still, there are signs that autumn is on its way.

There are green muscadines popping up on wild wines throughout the forest. I’m looking forward to hiding in the shade to pick them in a few weeks. If my dandelion wine turns out well, I may try a batch of muscadine wine this fall.

For some reason, it seems that our area had a rather poor yield of eggplant this year. None of our neighbors had any that yielded, and I’ve found surprisingly few that have filtered through the CSA. Still we’ve had few, and with the bounty of tomatoes we’ve had, eggplant parmesan in an ample pool of marinara has been a good meal choice for us after a long, hot day of clearing brush and debris.

If all goes as planned, the site will be cleared and ready to start on by this fall. I’m hoping to have building permit in hand and the ability to pour the slab after high temperatures start to edge down closer to the low 80’s every day. Given that the site of our future home was used as a glorified dump site for construction leftovers and broken machinery for the last 20 something years and the floods last year gave everything a good tossing around, this is going to be no small task. For now, it’s just one step at a time, some praying that the road won’t be long, and lots of salad and cold soup to cool off and re-energize after a round of people vs. the insane mess that people are capable of leaving behind them.

Home Is Where The Heart Is

This post is picture free for the moment since the drawings for the house aren’t completely finished. I’ll share when they are.

Now that the temperature isn’t hitting three digits onĀ  a regular basis and the garden is in a more manageable state for the moment, focus is shifting back to our future home. The new goat shed needs to be finished first, but it’s positioned so that’s work in the shade. In the meantime, building plans can be worked on after the sun goes down or during midday heat. Mellie has recently discovered stairs and doorknobs, effectively severing my connection with my computer until better baby proofing is in place, so our plans are being hand drawn. It’s been a good excuse to break out a whole box of drafting tools I haven’t used since college.

Our floor plan has been worked out and I have some elevations done. We still haven’t gotten the utilities that run under the site accurately mapped which is putting a delay on the site plan. Hopefully that can be addressed and all the planning taken care of in time for us to have a building permit and the ability to start working on the foundation when it starts to cool of at the end of the summer/start of fall. That should give us the most time to work before it gets too cold to do much. Plus, after the foundation is in place and the slab has been poured, we can go ahead and get the containers placed, then use them to store building materials until the spring.

I’m so eager to see things start coming together.

Something For The House

While Mellie naps, I shall update!

How precious is that?

The garden is finally starting to look like a garden instead of a tornado touchdown point.

If nothing else, I can at least say with confidence that it looks more like the plan every day. I’m sure the leafy green goodness that is starting to peek out won’t hurt that either.

Taxes are done. The garden is at a stage where my contribution to it until it develops further is mostly limited to watering and keeping a watchful eye out for stray bermuda grass. That means something wonderful to me. I have time to work on the house! Not much really, but enough to swing by the thrift store while I was in town mailing tax forms anyways. I had heard a little rumor that one of the thrift stores in our area seems to end up with a phenomenal amount of lighting. I felt this was worth looking into given the difficulty I’ve been having finding sources for light fixtures that fit into my plan to buy only (or as much as possible) handmade, reused, or reclaimed materials, especially ones that fit into my budget (hand blown glass sconces on Etsy, I love you so much, but you are cost prohibitive).

I was first surprised by the sheer number of old light fixtures they had. I expected maybe three or four, not an entire shelving unit piled with them! Then I was even more surprised to find something I liked. Not was okay with, or felt like it was better than nothing, but I liked! The glass part is missing and it needs to be smoothed and repainted, but that’s a plus in a way. Anything that needs a little work to start with is that much easier to customize.

I had the idea to take thrifted tea cups and cut the bottoms to fit instead of the normal, bell shaped glass that I’m just not interested in putting in these. I have a bit of an obsession with tea sets and think that would be a way to bring a little of myself to this. I’m afraid that would make the light a little too focused though. Whether or not that idea makes the cut, I will figure something out!

And on one last note, before I take my Mellie nap time and apply it to things that need to be done far more than blog updates, the dandelion wine has been strained and is all settled in to a safe place where it will live for a bit until it finds a more long term home in a couple of beautiful blue glass bottles that await it!

Playing Catch Up

I have been neglecting to bring my camera up with me when I come upstairs to the computer lately. As that is the case, pictures have been piling up on my camera again and I’ve been putting off really updating the blog stuff under the excuse of waiting until I have pictures to go with my post. Time to catch up.

Spring is in full swing here. I’m running so far behind on getting our plot planted for this year, but I’m trying to get it done. I’ve been putting it off in hopes of the weather taking a turn for the better, but as the end of March approaches and we are pretty firmly past any risk of frost it’s simply time to either do it or don’t for the year. As one of my big goals for this year is to grow at least half of our food, I’m going for it.

Also going on around here, Mellie, my little girl, is quickly approaching her first birthday! I need to finish up everything for her birthday party and send out invitations, but it hasn’t been done yet. Most of the decorations are done, I made her a little party dress, and we have set a date. I’m so excited about celebrating my little one’s first year!

Mellie is highly mobile these days and loves to walk around (with help of course).

She loves to go out and walk with me. I made her a little bonnet to help keep her dry in the rain and the sun off her face when our local star decides to come out of hiding.

Together we walk, explore and look for treasure (like roof trusses and concrete blocks).


Mellie loves to touch the different things we see. I tell her what the different plants are and what I know about them. I love watching her discover new things, like the prickly feeling of a sweet gum tree’s seed balls or the soft moss on the side of a tree trunk.