Tuesday, June 05, 2018

Town House Homestead Tuesday

I have been missing for over a month. Well, as far as blogging that is. As far as getting outside and getting work done not so. We are at the beginning of year three in our home and it seems like all we've done is work to upgrade Ms. Beldon. 

The painting of the shed is basically done, but still needs a bit of touch up. For now, however, it is in almost brand new condition and being used for garden supplies and tools. Also some wood to burn. The cement blocks are getting painted and I have planted Pansies in them. I have hanging baskets of Nasturtium on both side of the doors now too. 

Ms. Beldon's bees didn't survive winter, so we are taking the time to create a good pollination garden. Lots of earth to clear and treat along with adding vegetable and flower plants. We were short about four bags of stones to finish the walk, but that will come in the next few days. The stepping stones are of my grand children's feet and hands. It is looking quite nice and more thought out.

My garlic came up well, but needed a lot of TLC as far as weeding. It took my broken body a couple of mornings to get it done and the straw down, but it has grown now to about twenty four inches tall. I am looking forward to scape's and hopefully some good size bulbs. I have just run out of last years harvest and purchases. 

I have container tomatoes growing as well as tomatoes in the ground. Probably too many, but I have people who will help eat them and they can be frozen or canned in many ways.

I have squash varieties that I have been transplanting into buckets. There will be ten total for squash and as they die off I will plant more. Already getting what looks like blossoms. Next will be peppers transplanted into buckets. I have planted some peppers in the ground at the front of the house also. 

I am trying my hand at Glass Gem popcorn. Only three seedlings survived the wind and rain, but they are healthy and I can hope.

The sunflowers are doing almost too well. They need to because Hunter found a way to dig under the fence to get at them. We used some of the old screens from the old windows to deter him, and so far so good. They blow back and forth with any wind, hit the stakes, and then blow back and lean on the fence. It startles him so he's getting the message.

These are two of the varieties of Iris we planted two years ago. They are having a grand time in the sun. This year we were gifted purple ones and they are being planted around the yard, and there will  be many added to this garden. 

We were also gifted several large clumps of Hosta. Most of them we put in the ground as clumps and we will thin them over the years as the gardens grow. We separated one large clump and planted them around the back and sides of the compost bin. Just to beautify it a bit. Until last week they were closed in because guess who thought he should dig them too. Yes, Hunter.

But Hunter isn't the only issue as far as my garden goes. Along with the ground hogs, mama deer has been leaving her baby along the fence during the day which is about ten feet from my garden. So far she has not eaten anything and I am putting pinwheels up and will leave Hunter to bark at it, so maybe mom changes her mind about leaving it there. Gardening sure has it's challenges, and all of this before we even talk about insects. 

It wouldn't be my post if I didn't include a picture of Hunter. I had a lot of choices including a video of him stealing a set of keys and the owner chasing him around the yard for them. He is such a proud thief, but this one is the best. It's the reason we have furniture covers, wear clothes several times before washing and the stack of towels that are in and out of the washer and dryer. He is forty six pounds of pure energy and he is not quite my best friend. I have so much more work to do with him. He forgets all that he is taught and it's start from the beginning every day, but they say it will come. I will keep trying. To think I wanted chickens too. One animal is enough. Thank you so much for stopping by for a visit. Have a great week, love one another, and share your bounty. Until next time. 

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Town House Homestead Tuesday

Well it's taken until the third week of April to stop snowing and completely turn warmer. This past weekend we actually had blue skies and sunshine. Temperatures went from the mid thirties on a daily basis to upper fifties Saturday, and upper sixties for Sunday. It was so nice not to have snow, rain, and mud.

We actually took the outdoor chairs out to enjoy the sun and relax a bit. We haven't relaxed like this in the last two years with all the work that has had to be done. It felt great.

Hunter is enjoying the better weather and is learning that it is okay to be out by himself. The nicer weather has brought more for him to chase and bark at. It is going to be an interesting summer watching him learn about all of these new things. 

It was such a pleasure to open the shed and have everything neatly put away. We still have some painting to do on it, but it is coming. We raked some of the winter brush out of the garden and got a two foot chicken wire fence around the whole thing. We know it won't keep the deer out, or even some of the smaller critters, but the intent is to keep Hunter out. It became his through the winter, but now it is ours to develop more. To the right of the shed you can see the root ball to one of the massive pines that were blown over with the last wind storm. Two went down, and as much a mess as it is for the neighbors to clean up, we now have morning sun for the house and garden. 

I have filled every spot I can with seedlings. These are flowers and tomatoes. We are hoping to build the pollination garden more so that we can bring in bees again next spring,

I have a great start with the sunflowers. I started red ones this year too. I keep forgetting that I have bulbs to go out too and need to leave room for them. 

The kitchen table is loaded with seedlings. In the back I have celery growing, two pots of bird house gourds, and peppers. The peppers are slow and I think it is because I can't get it warm enough for them yet. I have a heater for the shelves in the basement, but it has been so cold that most attempts at warmth have failed. They need eighty degrees to really grow, but we only need sixty eight to be warm.

I started six cucumber plants and four popcorn. Most of my gardening will be container gardening for now, but the plan is to have two raised beds fenced in, in the coming month or so, weather permitting. I have hired the work out and I know it will be done well. 

These are petunia seedlings. I was hoping that I could grow my own for hanging baskets, but again I believe they needed warmer temps. I am not giving up on them yet, but if I have to I will buy a flat and make my own baskets. I have so many different flowers starting that I can't picture them all here. Now to get the garden cleared more so we can grow them. 

Finally the last window was installed. This process started before Thanksgiving last year. One last time for them to come and wrap two windows on the outside, touch up some basement insulation they missed and call the job done. This is the bathroom window that we have had to work back into shape. Fixing molding, priming it all, and getting it painted. We are so ready to have this bathroom done so we can move on to other projects. That is what has been keeping us busy here at the Town House Homestead. Thank you for stopping by and have a wonderful week. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Town House Homestead Tuesday

First day of Spring and it is still so cold. I think more snow is expected too. All we can do is take it one day at a time. Right? My blog posts seem to be a bit boring lately and not very colorful. I cannot wait for the gardens to awaken and bloom. 

For now, as my daughter says, if we want green we can look at the bathroom as work continues. She thought that the sink area would be the hardest job, but it appears that the window is requiring a lot of work that was left for us to do after it was replaced. Molding was not put back right, lumber they used was different sizes, and neatness was not their cup of tea. Lots of filling and sanding to get it to the quality job she wants it to be. 

With all the snow and cold I've been making lots of warm winter meals. Thanksgiving casserole and Shepherds pie are two favorites and stretch a ways.

I've also been using the abundance to fill the pantry. This is turkey and turkey broth. I will have it ready for when we need to make quick meals or we are strapped for grocery money. Planning ahead means we can do more to fix up the homestead.

There are signs all around that Spring weather should be on the way. Pots and trays for more seeds to be started. My main goal this summer is the pollination garden and a couple of raised beds. So far we are on course to meet this goal.

The seeds are sprouting in egg cartons and Solo cups. Mostly flowers, but I have peppers started too. So hoping they sprout this week. Tomatoes will be next. Most everything else will be planted in containers again this year, or in the two new raised beds.

This is Tobias. He's a German Shepherd and he came to play with Hunter. He is much older and put Hunter in his place a few times.

This is Kayia and she came along with Tobias. She is nine years old, also a German Shepherd, and wasn't having much of Hunter's child play, so Tobias guarded her for most of the visit. She has arthritis in her hip and running around with Hunter was not going to happen, but he was exposed to more dogs and that's what he needs. He is growing up. Still very rambunctious, but the change to adult is happening. 

Hunter was the little guy. At the end of the day we heard that Kayia and Tobias were as zonked out as Hunter. It was a good visit. So that's what is going on here at the Town House Homestead. Lots of work, lots of fun, and most assuredly lots of growth. Thank you for stopping by and have a great week.

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

Town House Homestead Tuesday

We have been busy, busy, busy. Lots of work getting done. First thing has been upgrading the house. We have been getting new windows installed. 

We didn't realize the major job this was and how a small army of men could disrupt your home. This job was quoted for two days, but we are now trying to schedule the fourth. 

They are beautiful windows and we now have painting to add to our work load. Not that this is a major issue, but we can't get it done for a bit.

This is how the old bathroom window opened. I guess sixty years and no maintenance will do that. 

This is the new crank out window and we couldn't be happier. This is just as it was set in. Now we can continue the painting and updating in the bathroom.

This is how the sink area turned out. It's going to be so nice to have a bright bathroom.

She has made it around the bathroom door and part of the next wall, but not without a lot of patching. It could have been worse.

We have no idea why there were so many small spots that needed filling, but they all were done and sanded.The next upgrade was insulation. Blown in to the attic and foam in the basement. All at the same time the windows were being installed. What a mess the house was. It was hard on us because we were just beginning to feel a bit settled, but now we are still a bit disrupted and waiting for the end to come.

Trucks full of materials and equipment were all over the front yard.

Hoses to pump the insulation in ran through the house.

Ladders, hoses, and workmen busier than ever. They built a new hatch to the attic because the original was only 1/4 inch thick. Wasn't doing much for keeping the heat in. At the same time this was happening they were spray foaming the basement foundation tops and overhang. We felt a bit overwhelmed by all the activity.
Hunter was sent to doggy day camp for three days and came home exhausted, but he would never have survived this experience. It was good for him to play with other dogs.

He has tried to be helpful, but stealing the paint brush was not. He can run faster than we can, but we finally cornered him on the bed.

He had a death grip on this brush, but he finally gave in.

We've had heavy deep snow this past weekend. Our plow guy ran himself into the ditch. It took an hour and a half to get him out. We know his intentions were good, but he knew the ditch was there and went for it any way. Lots of damage to our neighbors lawn that we will have to repair come Spring.

They pulled him out sideways because he was going to tear out the mail boxes and that would have been his expense. We were waiting at this time for the contractors to come, but it was cancelled because taking windows out in this weather would have meant blizzard indoors. 

Hunter had company before the storm. This is Truman and he is four years old. They got along fine and all the mud in the yard didn't stop them. Ninety minutes of joy for them both. At the end of play they both were bathed and within a short period of time both zonked out. We can't wait until Truman can come and play again. He lost his yard. Hunter had all he could do to keep up with him and we thought Hunter was fast. 

So with all the winter still around, and all the busy, my house plants have been blooming at a steady pace and it brightens any dreary day. Who could not be happy with this many blooms in February.

That's what's been happening at the Town House Homestead. Growing and moving forward. Soon I will be starting seeds for flowers and veggies and the outdoor plans will begin. Thank you for stopping by and have a wonderful week. Be grateful for all your blessings. Share your love and bounty.