Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Then and Now- Part 7

Looking ahead
I guess I shouldn't really call this then and now since I'm going to talk about some of my dreams for the future and some of the plans as we know it.
The big stuff in the house is mainly done.  Oh, we want to eventually replace the windows for some that are more efficient and in better shape.  Along those lines, I would like to replace the siding on the house as well but that isn't pressing.  Someday we would like to add on a solarium addition onto the southeast corner of the house. This would include a fireplace or wood stove and in my dreams, a hot tub (definitely quite, quite low on the 'green' scale but an indulgence for our mental and physical health).   This area would also allow me to have some potted citrus trees and maybe a fig.
More immediate plans call for the addition of more outdoor living spaces.  We have planned an extension of the deck that will wrap entirely around the addition.  We will replace the west window in the upstairs room in the addition with a door.  Off that deck, we will add a patio between the house and J16's goth garden.  I planted a climbing rose that will grow over an arch as the entrance of the garden.  We will also add another patio area with a fire pit near the south end of the shop, close to the herb/flower garden. We already have the pavers for both of these patios. We purchased them at the end of the summer last year when a local home store was having end of the season sales and they have been stacked until we can get them installed.
The herb/flower garden is in the process of being installed.  The backbone of this bed will be the manchurian apricots and bush cherries I planted last year.  This is also the area where the cranberries will be planted (if it ever stops raining!!)  These will be filled in with a variety of herbs/flowers and I hope to add a bird bath- not necessarily for the birds- but to provide a water source for the bees I'm planning to get. The herb spiral will be near this patio although I still plan to have a bunch of kitchen herbs right off the porch so I can reach them without getting wet if needed.
As far as homesteady additions, we've got chicks and desperately need to get the coop built.  However, it keeps raining.  AAARGH!!   On Monday I'll be attending a bee keeping class presented by none other than Zan Asha of The Renegade Farmer,  a bee keeper extraordinaire from the Bronx. We're moving slowly and deliberately and I've got a rule of only one new species a year.  So this year it is chickens and next spring I plan to add a hive of bees.  I'm hoping to get the hive this fall/winter so I have time to get everything set and learn more before spring when it is time to get bees installed.
Longer term, V hopes to convert our little barn into a passive solar guest house/studio.   He wants a place to make and record music and I would love to have a larger space for quilting.  And it would be nice to have an extra space for guests. With a composting toilet and grey water reclamation system.
My ultimate dream, which may or may not be able to become reality, is to become a small, organic market farm or possibly a small CSA.  Like I said, probably not reality, but, hey, a girl's gotta dream, right?  That would involve probably quitting my job and taking a huge leap of faith.  Oh, and conning everyone else into it as well.  But, we've got a great location and, hopefully the motivation for it.  We'll see... that is many moons down the road.
We've got to work on getting this place under better control and more able to support ourselves before we expand it.  Of course, with me working full time at the moment things are challenging, especially since V is also working, although from home.  I am hoping to be able to cut my hours down to 90%- hopefully by the end of the summer.  If it weren't for college tuition coming up in the future, I'd go to 80% but that would make things a bit more interesting than I am comfortable with at the moment.
Here's looking to the next two years and beyond.
Tomorrow, I'll announce the winners for the giveaway.  Good luck to all.


  1. That's a beautiful, exciting dream! When I read it, I could feel how possible it is for you. You all have so much energy. It felt real to me. There's always something new here -- love your blog.

  2. Anything and everything is possible, my friend...it all sounds wonderful and I wish I had half your energy and motibvation!

    If you can dream it~~you can do it!

  3. Wonderful dreams. I admire how organized you are in your goals, something I struggle with.

    Also have to laugh at your hot tub idea, I was just confessing to having one myself. It doesn't feel very green, but we did recycle it (it's an old tub off of craigslist) and is probably the smallest one you can get! And it is truly a wonderful addition to long midwestern winters and at the end of a hard day working outside. I will just have to offset its energy use with more savings elsewhere, ha!

  4. What a great obtainable goal and dream!! Look what you've done in two years and I can without a doubt see your dreams coming true!
    We went through the Hot Tub stage. It was great for about 8 years and then the heat make my blood pressure rise and water temp go down to 99. (104 is norm) It has sat unused for a few years and now I want rid of it. It's just in the way and I could use the space for a little place for the girls...enjoy your dream! it'll eventually come true!...debbie

  5. You have some great plans that I share . We did the bees this year and will do chickens next year. We knew we wouldn't be able to care for the chickens until then. Passive solar is what I'm working on right now- for the house.
    I love yor plans and they inspire me:)


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