Monday, January 31, 2011

I feel so much better

I got SO MUCH DONE this weekend, and I feel so much better. The whole moving thing has been taking it out of me since we started the process in September. I'm not too stressed about the new house right now. While there's still lots to be done there, it isn't anything that greatly impedes everyday living. Yeah, the hearth isn't completely finished, but that doesn't stop us from having a fire. We have no baseboard, but at least we have all new floors. Etc etc. It's the old house that weighs on my mind. I took the truck and spent half the day there on Saturday, and got lots of stuff moved. Random lumber, lattice, t-posts, garden stakes, pots, plants, garden wagon, and anything else I could toss in during the break in the weather. A friend of ours that I hadn't seen in months stopped by when he saw the truck in the drive, and we got to have a beer and visit. He even helped me load some heavy stuff in the truck. Score!

I got everything home and unloaded, and was able to drive the truck in the backyard at the new house (because I moved brush piles the weekend before) and load up rounds from the last tree we cut down. Filled the longbed, and managed to nearly crush my hand in the process. I need to learn to stop working when I get tired. I finished off the day spackling cracks and holes in the walls of the hall bathroom, recaulked around the toilet (disgusting), replaced the toilet seat, and repainted the spackling.

On Sunday, KT came over and spent the day helping me clean the old house, sort and pack random leftover stuff, and start setting up for the sale we're gonna have in a couple weeks. I even got a bunch of stuff priced! It was so nice to have someone to work with, as I either overdo it or get distracted working by myself. I got leaves raked and deadheaded the hydrangeas (which I should have done last fall and didn't). The hydrangeas are already starting to put out little green leaves! I managed to nip my finger good with the pruning shears, and of course did it to the same hand I smashed on Saturday. Add a few fiberglass splinters from a weathered garden stake, and my left hand had a hell've a weekend. Accident prone? Me? Nah. Last of all, we got my snake's terrarium cleaned out so I can get him on craigslist for adoption. Very glad that's done, and he's very happy in his sparkling clean terrarium.

All in all, a great weekend, even though I won't be able to wear rings on my left hand for a while. :) I feel so much better going to work on a Monday if I had a productive weekend. More new house stuff to get done this week, and KT is going to come help me tackle the garage at the old place next weekend. I am so very thankful for her help. We may just get this house on the market soon. Yay!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Bleh... Need some sun

Nothing fun to write. Just work. No pictures, no Internet. Just my phone. Bleh. Spring really can't arrive soon enough for me. Not enough nice weather right now to get much done! But, as I'm determined to keep track of what I do manage to accomplish...

Finally finished painting the bathroom. So very glad that's done. Was interesting painting the walls over the tub when the ceiling is about 10' high. I've learned to get very creative with the ladder. Safely creative, but creative nonetheless. Just need to install the towel bar and hang a picture and I've got one more room finished!

Spent most of Saturday at the old house, moving and cleaning. So very burned out on the whole process. I did get a lot of stuff priced for the planned sale. It is nearly an estate sale, given the amount of stuff I'm giving up. Mom sent up a bunch of culls from her antique store last time I visited and LJ's mom is going to bring a ton of stuff over too. I think I'm going to need to open up the entire house for this sale!

I hung a suet cake last week, and the birds devoured it in just a few short days. Never figured out which birds, as it all happened while I was at work. I'll have to hang another, but on the weekend this time. That, or set up one of the game cams.

Tried to get some stuff done on Sunday, but the direct tv dude was at the house half the flipping day and I had to keep an eye on him. Horrible service. And I thought comcast was bad. Anyhoo, I consolidated a bunch of the brush piles, so Henry can now run around the yard without poking his eye out. We can also now drive in the back to pick up the rest of the rounds from a couple trees we cut down.

A couple weekends ago, LJ cleared a trail to the south end of the property. Holy cow, it's cool back there. Absolutely lousy with deer sign, and clear of blackberries under the big trees. We've got a lot of water back there, and I saw it moving. I don't think it's runoff, as it didn't have the swampiness we see in a couple other runoff areas. Perhaps a spring? Would be nice. We'll see what it looks like come summer. I did spot a couple good candidates for tree stands. Not even spring yet, and I'm dreaming of fall. :)

To top off the weekend... Still 3 weeks or so before I get my super awesome washer and dryer. We've figured out how to get the current dryer to work without burning down the house. Only problem is that I'm paranoid and insist that it be unplugged after each use. Well. There I am, upside down behind the dryer, plugging it in, when I slip and the ittiest bittiest little edge of my finger barley brushed one of the prongs on the plug. Holy crap. Felt like someone socked me in the gut. Numbed my arm to the shoulder. The joints in my arm ached for hours. I'm done. No more tempting fate. If LJ wants to used that accursed dryer, he's welcome to it. I'll stick with drying my clothes in front of the woodstove, thank you very much.

Already looking towards the weekend, and praying for sunshine!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Antiquing, I miss you

Wow. Just realized that it's been months since I've done any serious buying. I used to collect and resell for fun. More collecting than selling sometimes. Oh, I still frequent my favorite thrift store, and stop at an occasional sale, but no hardcore buying since we started looking at properties last summer. Then, once we got our new place, all my time and energy went there. I haven't had a no-holds-barred, sunup to sundown, antiques and collectible glut in ages! I'm actually sort of proud of myself. I definitely need less stuff, not more.

I did drag LJ to the local architectural salvage a couple weeks ago. I'm trying to go out with a purpose if I do head out shopping. Shopping for something specific instead of for whatever strikes my fancy... interesting concept. What I want right now is a set of andirons, preferably arts & crafts style. We have a woodstove, not a fireplace, but I want them to hold the wood we bring in the house. They'll need to have a fairly long shank, as I will need to put a rack across them to stack the wood on. The salvage place had quite a few sets. The only problem is that their prices are fairly outrageous. LJ would say, "they're really proud of their stuff". Exactly. No way I'm paying $300+ for damaged or hideous andirons. Ugh. They had less expensive sets, but still far too expensive for what they were. So, for now, I'm watching craigslist like a hawk.

As for less stuff, not more. This move has been a serious downsizing opportunity. Almost all of the Danish modern is going bye bye. Goodbye dansk, blenko, enamel, and west german pottery. At least most of it. Feels pretty good! I can't give up my book obsession, but I'm holding out against buying other things, for now. I sure miss it, but there's too much to do at the house. I'll be good. :)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Progress and new appliances

LJ got this last weekend off work, and no rest for him! We packed and moved a HUGE load of stuff from the old house on Saturday. It feels so much better every time I clear out another room! We even moved our cat, Skid, and she is happily hibernating in the shop. This coming weekend we'll give her access to the outside and cross our fingers that she stays around. She's a fabulous mouser, and doesn't pee on stuff in the garage. Great combination!

We spent Sunday clearing brush, blazing trails so we can fence some hog areas. And yes, Paula, probably goats too! Lol! Can't wait to get 2-3 weaners in the spring. Pigs are so much fun, and we're gonna put them to work on top of it.

LJ sharpened the blades on the $10 chipper we got at a yard sale, and it is actually starting to run pretty well. Score!

We found a few slash piles and even a big log jam under the blackberry tangles. We're learning more and more that whoever logged this property was only interested in logging and ditching. They left a heck of a mess. Eventually we'll need to bring in an excavator to pull jams and stumps. I hope we can get a big enough machine down the driveway! For now, we work around the messes.

We also bought several gates from a friend and marked where we'll dig the support posts for a 16' gate across the driveway. I'm stoked. Being a more than minorly paranoid person, I like the security. I don't buy it when someone creepy comes driving to the house and says, "Don't the (insert random name) live here?". They're not mistaken, they're casing the place, or were hoping no one was home. Used to happen at my mom's place all the time. Until she put in a gate. As far as I'm concerned, those posts can't go in soon enough. Though we're getting an auger for these. I'm so over the post hole digger.

To top off the Sunday funday, our dryer died. Warmed up some clothes at about 9am and turned it off. Around 3pm, LJ happened to put his hand on it when he was walking by, and it was almost too hot to touch. Being much smaller and more flexible than LJ, I got to squeeze behind the dryer upside down and unplug it while LJ held my feet. Fun! Thank god the house didn't burn down. Scary. The dryer is toast. We've repaired it far too many times. Time for a new set (I think the current set is pre-90s), though we were hoping to wait until tax return time. Ah well. Off to the depot, and a MONTH until they can deliver. That's ok, though. I get a beautiful, multi-function LG washer and dryer. Is it sick to be excited because I've never had a NEW washer or dryer? For that treat, I'll dry my clothes on a rack in front of the fire for a month. Yeah. I think I can handle that. The dryer has a STEAM function for goodness sake! Totally worth it! Woohoo!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Goals, not resolutions

I don't like the word "resolution". I'm grandma's stubborn little redhead, and even though they'd be my very own resolutions, some little part of my brain says, "No, I don't think I will... Yeah, I'm pretty sure I won't be told what to do." The word "goals" implies that this is a list of things I'd like to work towards, but the sky won't fall if I don't succeed. So, goals not resolutions.

1. Clean, repair, paint the old house as needed. Get it on the market. Get it sold.
2. Blackberry battling. On the list for years to come.
3. Property line survey so I know where to fence and where I can plant.
4. Fence the yard.
5. Get at least a small garden in this year.
6. Clear a couple wildlife plots and get landowner preference tags.
7. Buy a tractor. Would make everything so much easier.
8. Finish the new house... A list in itself.
9. I need more bookshelves.
10. Put up wood for next season.
11. Compost pile.
12. Regravel driveway.
13. Plant fruit trees, rosemary, and jasmine.
14. Install locking front gate and mailbox.
15. Garage shelving.
16. Seed the lawn.
17. Lose 10 to 15 more lbs. Already did 20!

Annnnnd, that's quite enough to be getting on with. There's much much more, but those are my main goals. The list on our fridge is much more extensive. Longer, and categorized by the month I want to get things done. :) I have a feeling LJ is disgusted with me.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The year just isn't long enough...

Where did 2010 go, and how is Christmas already over?! The last few months have been a blur, and I'm astounded by how fast the year went by. At least I was able to squeeze in a dinner party at the end of the year, the first in the new house. It's so nice to finally have a place big enough to have people over. The old house was built in the 40's and its floorplan didn't comfortably accommodate more than 4 or 5 people. We had friends and family over on Thursday. My rosemary pork tenderloin ("pork crack" according to LJ) went over very well (yay) and everyone cleaned their plates! I got to use my mom's Ken Edwards dishes for the first time (early Christmas present), and found that grandma's table easily fits 8 people with the leaves in. After dinner we had an outside fire in the 23 deg weather. Cigars were enjoyed and beer consumed. All in all, an excellent evening. I'm looking forward to many bbqs in 2011!

I finished off the holiday weekend on sunday, thrashing blackberries with our clearing saw. It's a stihl fs550, and my absolute favorite tool. It is a blackberry and scotch broom eating machine, and will even fell saplings. Most excellent. I made a sizeable dent in the thorns over a couple hours, and finally quit when I was too tired to work safely. I wear saw chaps for extra protection, and they impede my movement just enough to really ramp up the workout. I stacked/piled two new burn piles and called it quits. I love the kind of work where I can really see what I've accomplished. Very satisfying!

I've started on my to-do list for 2011. To be recorded digitally soon, as I don't know how long LJ will accept it being on the fridge.