09 November 2008

Working on our lists...

We've been busy with our long list of home improvement projects. This weekend we demolished the platform bed in the master bedroom, painted the main floor bathroom and Savannah's closet, removed all kinds of plastic and metal shelving, built a hardwood closet for Savannah's room, installed curtain rods, and removed the washer and dryer from the basement to prepare for the water projects coming this week. Here are some of the problems with our house.
  1. The well water, which has great flow, stinks. It stinks because it's full of hydrogen sulfide gas and other minerals that leave our sinks and tubs stained. Basically if you pooped in the bathroom, no one would notice the smell, just the sulfur gases escaping as you flushed and washed your hands. We are getting this fixed (for around $4 grand) this week.
  2. The top floor has only subflooring. Our floor installers are coming this week though so I am very excited about it. I can't wait to have beautiful hardwood Jatoba under my feet when I scoot to the bathroom in the middle of the night rather than subflooring.
  3. The heating in this house is a mess. The radiant flooring in the basement is a no go but someone is working with us to provide radiant wall panels, which are nearly as good, less expensive, and still used with hot water, in case we end up with solar or geothermal. Also, the massive fireplace structure in the middle of the main floor will probably be ripped out and replaced with a proper wood stove.

  4. Boston has its green monster, we've got our black monster.

    Side view of the black monster.

  5. We have ticks all over the fields an have started a tick jar to drown the nasty buggers and to learn about the kinds that infest our land.

There are more problems, like the fact that rain drips directly on your head when you walk out the door and our walkway is sunk below the surface of the soil and so becomes one giant slippery puddle or future ice skating rink, but we like to focus on what's going well. Savannah and Dearest hung bird feeders outside and the birds are already crazy for them. We have blue jays, black-capped chickadees, and nuthatches at the moment. The crows in our field are an endless source of amusement as are our neighbors and the other locals. I will just say that first impressions don't mean much around here and most folks would run over to help you in a heartbeat.

We've learned that in addition to keeping chickens next spring, we need to raise and hatch a brood of guinea hens. These beautiful birds are like having a gardening assistant, pesticide program and alarm in one. They eat the pest bugs from the garden (and keep away crows), eat nasty ticks with pleasure, and sound the alarm when a coyote or bear is near. They will also co-habitate with chickens and flock back to the coop at night as long as they have a "landing board" to get over the fence. They lay often and their eggs are very high in protein, containing twice as much as chicken eggs and therefore are coveted in baking. They're also amusing as they love to admire themselves in mirrors and roost in the trees.

Savannah is deliriously happy about being able to climb trees, something she talked about everyday in Colorado before we moved.

Everyone helps out with this house...Savannah has her own masks and work gloves.

Savannah rolls up the carpet padding that was 30 years old...

Teamwork! Savannah helps Kevin roll up the 1.5 inch thick grey shag rug - toxic work!

Here we load up the tractor and Kevin hauls it off to the barn until we're ready to take a trip to the landfill. If Savannah is lucky, she'll get tractor ride later.

I know it probably seems like I sit around all day taking pictures of other people working but here's the 350 square foot shag carpet that I ripped out all by myself and am still paying for with a pinched nerve since pregnant bodies aren't exactly designed for this sort of thing. That's the king-size platform bed on the right that Kevin demolished today. It was as solid as a bronze statue and he'll be paying for that tomorrow.

Here's my after picture - you can tell it's really late at night now and see the built-in platform bed that is no longer. Kevin later came around and removed all the staples from the floor that were used to keep the carpet pad down and the tackless strips. Now can you see why I'm really excited about having the Jatoba flooring installed?

Meet Jack, our new little love. We discovered him in the house and took good care of him for a few days until we decided to let him go in the pond.

Nothing can come between a girl and her turtle.

Sorry, my zoom lenses are still packed away but here's a photo of the pair of herons that frequent our pond. "Blue flamingoes" we call them.

No comments: