Monday, May 11, 2009

Independence Days- take 2: week 2

What a week it has been.  Things are progressing at the new house, although more slowly than I would like.  I know I was busy all day but I really don't feel like I accomplished anything.  I'm hoping that taking inventory with IDC will help me sort it all out. I know that a lot has been accomplished in the past week, so here goes.
1.  Plant Something- in addition to all my seeds that I started last Sunday, I planted out my tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and tomatillos.  I managed to prep the ground for my fingerling potatoes but didn't manage to get them planted today.  My peas, while in late, are starting to come up and I spotted radish and beet seedlings popping up as well.
2. Harvest something- a few chives and thyme. Oh, and lilacs.
3. Preserve something- I made lilac jelly in my spare time this evening. Phelan posted about lilac jelly and I was curious.  It is wonderful!  In fact, V liked it so much I may try to make a bit more before the lilac blossoms fade.  
4.  Reduce waste- Hmm, not much more than the usual.  I've started a compost pile at the new house.  It needs a bit more work- currently it's just a heap of grass clippings and a few veggie peels from meals.  We're being careful to salvage everything we can during this demolition phase and will be repurposing it or stashing it away for future reference.
5. Prep and storage- I don't think so- except for making the jelly, I'm trying to deplete the stores so we have less to move.  Even though we're only moving about 7 miles, it still seems like there is SO MUCH STUFF!!!  I need to get better organized about taking at least a few boxes out to the new house every time we go out.  But that means that I have to have them packed....
6.  Community food systems-  I missed the farmer's market downtown on Saturday.  There is one at one of the malls tomorrow afternoon. Depending on how things are going, I may try to stop by to get a few things since my garden got in quite late and I'm really wanting some fresh salad greens.
7.  Eat the food- No problem there. I've been better at planning and getting meals on the table than I was the first week or so we were working on the house.  In fact, J14 made it a point to point out that we were eating dinner before 630 this evening. Of course, it helped that I took the crockpot out and made beef stew that I could tend to and add things to all day.  It also made the house smell good- that and the big bunch of lilacs (not to mention the hours of cleaning and demolition) have gone far to eliminate the mousey smell that has been all too common.

In house updates, there is only one wall remaining in the basement to come down and one small section of ceiling.  We didn't get started on backfilling the pit today- the waterproofing mortar/sealer/stuff that V put on the outside of the new foundation blocks wasn't dry enough yet, hopefully by tomorrow it will be ready.  
We did get the new flue liner positioned in the chimney this morning and will put on the chimney cap tomorrow. We also did a patch job on the south side of the house where the birds were getting in to nest in the attic.  It will need more permanent work done on it (much like we did with the fascia on the north/west corner.  I didn't get much done in the garden apart from  prepping the row for my potatoes and making chicken wire cages for around the blueberries and currants.  I also spent a lot of time cleaning in the kitchen and taping around the windows and doors in the living/dining room to get ready for painting.  I was hoping to get started painting this afternoon but I ran out of painter's tape and wasn't going to make a special trip just for that.
In fun  house news, I was sitting on the porch stairs for a breather after dinner and saw a hummingbird flitting around the bushes.  I also noticed that there is a Baltimore Oriole flying in and out of one of the poplar trees.  We have hawthorne trees blooming, discovered that we have black willows (we planted a weeping one), black walnuts and hickories and figured out that J14's tree is a boxelder.  It's fun discovering what all is out there.  We always make sure that we take a walk around outside every day/evening to remember why we are doing all this work. 
Tomorrow will be a garden update, I hope.


  1. As usual, I'm tired just from reading all that you've accomplished!! The last time we moved, we were working on our house for a few weeks before moving in. Rather than pack boxes, I used laundry baskets. That way I could just grab and go. Plus, I had incentive to unload them. I only have 3 baskets, so it was never overwhelming. You'd be surprised how much you can move with this method. :D I did it because with all the kids, there wasn't much room left in either vehichle for boxes. I'm so glad you tried that Lilac recipe. I'm making it tomorrow. As soon as my roses bloom, I'll be making rose jelly too. She said her roses taste like Watermelon Jolly Ranchers. Yummo!

  2. You all are moving right along. It's great that your kids are old enough to help. They'll have so many wonderful memories of working on the place. All of you will. It seems overwhelming right now, but one of these days you'll look back and you'll remember the "fun" of it all. Now that you've got your garden started and doing some cooking at the place, is it feeling like "home", yet?

  3. Melissa- the laundry baskets are a great idea- but mine are full of laundry that needs put away. I'm great at washing, hanging it to dry and folding it into the baskets but it has been languishing in the baskets not put away. It seems that is low on the totem pole of things to get done recently. We have clean clothes and the boys know where to look of they need a clean shirt or socks.
    I'm glad I tried the lilac jelly, too. It reminded me somewhat of cranberries but also of something that I can't quite put my finger on. But regardless- it is fantastic!
    Jennifer- it is starting to seem a bit more like home. We're getting to the place in the renovations where we can start moving stuff in so I think the more of our 'stuff' gets there the more like home it will feel. I keep looking around and wondering how many years it will take us to get things really into the condition we want them but I'm trying to look at it as a challenge- not a crisis. It helps.

  4. Judy,
    You are officially the most amazing person ever! How you do all that and still have time to let us groupies know what is going on baffles me. Amazing!

    I did the laundry basket method Melissa mentioned when I moved my sister and her kids to the new house from my house. But if yours are in use as a clothing center, you can try my alternate, which was the reusable grocery bags. Because they are meant to carry odd shapes and very flexible, they worked really well for moving all those things that you're just going to put someplace out of the way.

    But whatever you use, you'll not regret bringing those loads over when it comes time to move. Even if it is only the stuff in the 'junk drawers' or closet shelves, it will make things so much faster.

  5. Christy- keeping you groupies informed is what helps me keep my sanity. Seriously- my computer time in the early mornings and late evenings helps me keep focus on not only what is important in my life, but also helps me realize that there is more going on in the world than my little drama.
    I've been using my cloth bags to haul stuff out but maybe I'll make a more concerted effort to have them all full.

  6. I need a nap after I read your posts. You do more than 3 people in one day ~ probably one morning.
    I did buy 2 tomatoe plants last week. Am going to plant my "garden" hopefully in 2 pots!! lol lol I hope they live. You will probably see them in my posts one day this week. But you can't poke fun at them. I also have Basil too!!!...debbie

  7. Happy to hear you liked the jelly.

  8. You may already know this, but you can tap boxelders! They are a type of maple. When you posted the picture of J14's tree earlier (before leaf out) I was going to guess boxelder or ash! Both like to grow from multi-stems. (I used to work for state's forestry div!!)

  9. I, too, am amazed that you can make the time to give us the updates! I know what you mean about maintaining your sanity, though. I feel a responsibility to my little blog and on my "depressed days" when my husband is gone for months it helps keep me focused on things I need to do! It also helps me to plan good activities for the kids to ensure a "good photo-op" for the blog, lol!


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