Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter

Happy Easter

Two blogs in two days! Alert the media!!

We were out exploring yesterday - spring is here - and decided to share some of our pictures.

 From our house we could see a white patch on the other side of our property. Since the Dogwood are in bloom we thought we might have one. We ventured out to check. We found these daisies.

We found huge patches of wild strawberry plants. Some of the flowers had taken a beaten from hail a few days earlier - like the Violet and the one on the right - not sure what it is - Kathy Stilwell would know.

 We found the Dogwood - Jim counted 10 trees. We feel very fortunate to have them because they can get sparse at this elevation.

 Not sure what this is but it is ready to pop open.

 Back at the house, my herbs are doing great!
 I'm waiting until after Mother's Day to plant them outside; if we don't eat them first!
Jim is doing a great job on the stone work for the fireplace. It is looking really nice.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

"Why don't they write?"


So it has been a long time again since our last post, however, we aren't slackers. We have been plugging away with project after project. Let's get right to it...

Staining and trimming out the windows has been a big job. We are still using a water based stain from Build It Naturally in Asheville. It is an eco friendly stain and doesn't make the house smell when we use it.

We were fortunate to get this hutch from Tom and Kathy that was in my Great Uncle Buck's farm house in Ohio. It has been in storage for many years. Edrianna spent many hours washing off old soot and dirt from the back and bottom. We have no idea how old this piece is, but it is definitely an antique. This recycled piece of furniture fits in perfectly with our style. 

This was a very mild winter for us but it doesn't look like it in this short video. Last year they had over 50 inches of snow and this year we only had a few inches. We got off easy. But I was really disappointed I didn't get to use my new sled. 

Edrianna has been getting a head start on her herb garden. She wants to cover the mound in the video you just saw with herbs. She is going to need a lot of them! 

 The kitchen was the biggest construction project and that's done now. We are really pleased with the space and amount of storage.

 All the upper cabinets, except the ones above the frig and range, slide out like the spice cabinet so that Edrianna can reach everything easily. She loves how everything works and says, "I love my kitchen" every time she is in it.

 I've been taking some of the wood scraps and turning them into furniture. This piece hides our DVD player, VCR player and amplifier. It works great as a side table.

 I've been getting really good at making the furniture look weathered. This is important because I wanted it to match the piece we already had (below).

 This is our existing trunk. I made it taller by adding a bottom piece.

 It hides our TV and speakers when not in use. We made a conscious decision not to get cable or satellite TV. I hooked it up to an antenna and we get a dozen high def stations for free - whoo hoo! Our favorite is PBS explorer. Most of the time the trunk is closed so we can look out the window. At night when we are done working we put in a movie or watch a PBS special.

 I've started working on my office. Some of this is left over plywood from the house construction. The printer and scanner slide out like the kitchen cabinets.

 This shows the printer out when it is in use. 

I finished the master bath vanity. This was two living room side tables. I built the additional drawers and center shelves for the baskets, added the counter top and back splash.

 In our quest to be living green we are composting daily. So far our compost bin is bear proof - most likely he hasn't tried it yet. It is amazing how much smaller our regular garbage is and we only have to go to the dump every couple weeks - and then it is mostly recyclables.

We added a rain barrel to the front down spout. It fills up with one good rain storm. We have two more down spouts on the house and we are trying to decide it we will actually need that much water. The barrel holds about 75 gallons of water. It has a screen on top to prevent mosquitoes from laying eggs. It also has connections for attaching additional barrels and an overflow spout.

 I'm installing more perimeter fencing for obvious reasons. Our neighbors are checking it out and they don't like it one bit!

 Edrianna decided to add some flowers instead of only doing herbs. She is using creeping phlox. One of Kathy's garden's gave her the idea after watching all the butterflies that were enjoying the phlox.

Mountain Laural that sacrificed themselves when the house went in are now part of our fence.

I also used Mountain Laurel in the transom window between Edrianna's office and the living room. It looks great. It is nice to bring some of the outside into the house. 

 I've started the masonry work on the fireplace.

 This is the scratch coat of mortar that goes on before the stone.

I'm laying out the stones to make sure they fit. Then I'll attach them. This is for the section just below the mantel. All the stones are rocks we picked up during the excavation for the foundation.

We had a surprise visit the other morning. This golden retriever showed up and wanted in. He belongs to our neighbor to our east. 

Spring has sprung. These two picture are wild flowers near our creek. I haven't identified them yet. 

The guys in these next photos I have identified. This chubby little morning dove is enjoying our new bird bath.

This was the first bird we saw at our feeder. I sent photos of him to my mother-in-law to find out what type of bird this is. She let me know it's a Black Capped Chickadee.

This is a Golden Finch. One of five different species we have seen at the feeder (not including the squirrel).

 Tom and Kathy and their dogs have been up for a visit.

The newest member of their family is Kosmo. 4 1/2 lbs soaking wet. 

Here's Cindy on the "balance beam" that goes over our creek. She is very agile.

Just when we thought spring was here - we had a 20 hail storm - today (April 5th). It was about an inch thick in some places. I've never seen anything like that in my life.

We were warned that it could snow in April but no one said anything about hail. Several people told us that they had a bad storm a few years ago that shut down the town for 10 days. 
We will be sure to get our generator before next winter.

By the way, do you know what movie the quote we used for this blog title is from?