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.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Town House Homestead Tuesday.

Well I must say, the the milder temperatures were nice while they lasted. Today starts a long streak of colder snowy days, but work continues. Now that we've taken some time off, (inserting laugh here), we are starting new projects and getting back to the homestead things that need to be done while we are shut up inside, or at work.

The only one happy with this windfall of snow is Hunter, but he's learned to come in when he gets cold without being summoned by a treat, so this is progress. It took him long enough to learn how to be out by himself, so it's great to see him adjust. He's one year old this week and his birthday present is going to be doggy day care. Just so I can work a day here and there around the house. He also needs to socialize with other dogs.

I love that my friends and family know me well enough to give me gifts of meaning. These are some vintage cooking and canning items I got for Christmas. 

It was my goal to finish this queen size scrap quilt before the end of January. I completed it a week ahead of schedule and it is now on my bed and keeping me warm. It's taken almost three years to complete. 

My daughter's house, our home, is sixty years old this year and she got it as a flipped house. It was not done well at all and a lot of things we knew we would be fixing. This was the condition behind the bathroom sink. Not even any grout in the floor tiles they put in, and pitiful painting around the sink if any. No one would see it I guess, but they don't know us. 

We are do it yourself kind of gals and in one week, working a little here and a little there, it's looking better than the original pink.

We are working on fixing the grout and sealing things so that the sink can go back, but since my daughter is ahead of schedule with the renovation, she is going to complete this nook of the bathroom before it does. Yes this is slowing down to us, but it's the best time of year to work indoors. 

While she's been working on the bathroom, I have been catching up on some canning. It started with orange juice and apple cider that had to be put up before they were lost.I had a good stash of vegetable scraps in the freezer and for the past four mornings have been busy boiling them into stock and canning it. I ended up with twenty six quarts of stock for the deep pantry and all of the boiled vegetable that were strained out, are now in the compost bin. 

Today there are canning jars on every counter in the kitchen in every stage of canning. From empty and new  to fresh from the dishwasher or waiting for a label, or to come out of the canner itself. I live a canning jar life and it has cut down on our use of plastics and waste. I use my jars to vacuum seal dry goods and hold spices too. It's great to buy items on sale and know they can be kept for a while. 

These are some older jars that I keep on the counter for my garlic and shallots. The jars can't be used for canning any more, so I use them for storage. 

And finally last week I received this in the mail. It's a wall mounted plug in heater. I won it in a Face Book contest. I enter those on occasion, but this one was just a share and I did it because other's were. I was surprised for sure, but skeptical because I have been told I won things before and never received the prize. Well it came and I am so excited. Some time soon the insulation goes in and I am going to mount it in my seed starting room so they will be warm and I may have more success this year. I was going to buy heat pads for the shelves, but this will save me from spending. We'll see what happens. 
That's what's been going on here at the Town House Homestead. Thank you for stopping by for a visit and have a great week. Remember to share your abundance and love. Doing for others always brings it's rewards.