Monday, August 27, 2012

Progress in the Garden!!!

Here's an exciting thing to see this late in the blooms on the white half runner green beans I planted in July.

Ben started the construction of my remaining garden bed frames on Saturday for me, then Bryce and Emily came home yesterday and helped me finish the rest.

It's still really warm here (93 degrees yesterday), and the mosquitoes make it nearly impossible to be outside for even five minutes, but we stuck to it and here is what we accomplished.

This is the garden view from the back of the garage.  The two beds in front that look weathered are my test beds to see if I really wanted to take on a project of this size.  I loved the ease of gardening in these raised beds. The beans are happily growing in one and the other has a few herbs that have weathered the drought and new seedlings of broccoli, cabbage and spinach.

Here is a view looking toward the back of the house.  It will take some specific measuring to place the beds in just the right spot.  I also still have to add the PVC supports for the covered wagon supports they will have to extend the growing seasons with garden fabric covers.

 You can see the beds are positioned where my previous garden of raised rows was located.  The ground is very uneven and will need to be leveled for the pathways.  The outdoor fireplace on the left is in a bit of disrepair.  I hope to restore it and make it a focal point in the garden design.  

I have a comprehensive yard plan that I expect it to take several years to implement. Later in the week I hope to post some planting plans for these wonderful beds.  I'm anticipating that it will take quite  awhile to fill this many beds with just the right amount of soil and compost.  We will start this project when the leaves start to fall.  (We have plenty of leaves!!!)

It was really important for me to get this hard structure part of planning completed in order to take advantage of the changing seasons.  We have a very long way to go on this journey toward producing most of the food we eat.  We do live right in town, but on our 1/2 an acre (about 1/3 of which we will use for gardening), I hope to plant a small orchard, keep bees, grown fruits and nuts, and one day even have a chicken coop! 

Thanks Emily, Bryce, and Ben for helping me so much this weekend!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

This Old House Update: Floors and Entry Hallway

It's been a while since I wrote about "This Old House". 
This summer I focused on some serious maintenance of the wood floors.  I scrubbed, stripped, and waxed them in the kitchen, dining room, and downstairs hallway.  Short of having the floor professionally refinished, this was the most thorough treatment I could have given them.  It took days, and when the weather got too warm, I had to stop because the wax fumes were just too much without opening the windows to let them escape.  During the process I carelessly stepped through the floor vent and found myself with one leg dangling in the basement!    Every time I think of how easily I could have broken multiple bones, I thank the Lord for my blessings. Instead of being in traction, I was able to get back to work after three days of icing my leg and catching up on some summer reading while I recuperated.

In the process, the hallway got a furniture and rug makeover.  I found these great rugs at Plow and Hearth.  I love these colors!

This cabinet was rescued from the basement and refurbished.  It's original use was in my father-in-law's legal office.  I claimed it when he retired, (no one else wanted it!) and we have used it for various purposes through the years.  It has been in the basement full of arts and crafts supplies since we moved here. We don't have the art/science projects like we used to have so I've been able to cull many of the supplies that we just don't need any more. Ben helped me bring it upstairs and I removed the worn out wheels (Ben's suggestion). Then I replaced the hardware, and touched up all the scuffs and scratches.

I love the new look of the hallway and so far we have been able to keep it this uncluttered for almost two months!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Summer Break is Over

I have had a wonderful summer.  I took a blogging break to enjoy this summer full of.....

Ben (looking soooo cool in his dad's old aviators!) attending the Governor's Scholar Program.

John's last day on the bench before retirement. 
He started his new job as a college professor this week.  This new level of less stress is a welcome thing!

Although we are both still teaching, retirement has us thinking about getting one of these in the future. 
It's still a few years away....but something to dream about.

Wiley's big brother Tucker came to live with us this summer. Now we have two yorkies running around. 
 They both seem happy and are really a lot of fun.

My nephew Adin spent a week with me while his parents moved...I had a wonderful time getting to know him better.  My neighbor graciously let us swim in their pool.
Being around young people certainly makes you feel young!

Sarah and Ben visiting with family.

 Mom and Sarah and Novel's horse, Cru.

Novel (Sarah's boyfriend)  in the show ring.  Of course, he was the best one there!
I'm completely unbiased ;)

And the big news of the summer...Emily and Bryce are engaged! 

It certainly is "A Wonderful Life"!!!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Late Summer Garden Update

Gardening has taken a back seat this summer. 

The heat and humidity have made it more than uncomfortable to spend any length of time outside, 
 and with most of my family gone over the summer, I didn't have a lot of motivation to keep it going.

Early in June I was able to harvest a semi -respectable garlic/onion crop. It wasn't what I hoped, but a good start for my first efforts.

Most of July, the garden suffered neglect as I focused my time working on decluttering in the house, but more on that later.

I planted green beans in mid July for a fall crop.

Two weeks later they were ready to run, but I didn't find time to give them anything to run on. 
 I have visions of cute little antique fences and creative verticle pieces in the garden, but that is something to work on in the future.

Swarms of late summer mosquitos and hornets have kept me away from the yard until yesterday morning.  Here is what it looked like before....
And now after...

I've prepped the yard area for the raised bed garden layout and here is the lumber ready to assemble....

I started small to see if this was something that would work for me and I absolutely love it! 
Even when I neglect the weeding, a few short minutes and it's back under control.

Hopefully next week I'll have exciting pictures of my raised bed garden....