Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Town House Homestead Tuesday

I have garden fever. Okay? There I admitted it. I know I am not alone and that's even better. This has led to more renovations and a big step forward almost a year earlier than we expected. 

The hive in the living room is now two medium supers taller and the paint or stain is next. We believe we have everything we need now to get the girls in April and start a strong colony. Here's hoping any way. 

Our friends Richard and Karen provided me with a ride to pick up a large shelf unit a week ago. The larger shelves were reduced in price and I needed to act so that we could get one step closer to having a good place to germinate my seeds. I put off a canning project to be able to purchase this shelf, but that's on the agenda for February now.

Emily came by this past Sunday to help put it together with me. We inherited a shop light in the rafters of the garage and she helped me get that down so that in the up coming week or two we can test it to see if it works. Shop lights will be hung from the shelves to provide the light I need for my seeds. I'm sure this is not new to many of you out there. Just having the space to do it is exciting for me.

This is the start of the fourth space/laundry room area in the basement. It wasn't even going to be thought about for a few months if not longer, but the universe is leading the way. I started painting the wall bright white to reflect the light for the germination shelves. There are electrical outlets already wired and a couple of months ago we found a water line run to this part of the basement for a future wash tub. We shopped through all of our electrical collection we had and found hanging lights to illuminate this dark corner so we could work. I have a ways to go, but it will be done soon enough to set the shelf against this painted wall and we've once again utilized more space. This has been an amazing nine month journey. First seeds will be for the pollination garden to be planted around the bees. Our goal is to give mother nature back some of her wild, and rid our corner of the planet of some useless grass. I have a small glimmer of hope that we can start with some vegetables too and start a community garden, but for now only time and income will tell. That's what's been happening here at the new Town House Homestead. Thank you for stopping by and have a wonderful week. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Town House Homestead Tuesday

Sharing the past.

So, recently I was asked to locate some family pictures for my younger daughter. This is a very difficult request because I have boxes, and I mean literally boxes, of unpacked photo albums and loose pictures. I'll keep looking because I know what she requested must be here some where. I've found many recent pictures, but I came across some very old pictures that left me thinking, wondering, and dreaming. 

These are two black and white snapshots taken in May of 1950. It's of my dad and seated on the hood of the truck is my half sister. I wondered if it was my mom taking the pictures, but I will never know. This man dug his own foundation and poured his own cement to build his own house. I don't think we'd ever do it this way today, but did I mention truck? Dreaming!  Now, I wasn't even a twinkle in any one's eye at this point, but oh that truck. Oh to talk to him about it today. I was never raised around my half sister and she was quite a few years older than me. Contacts were lost and the stories I suppose with them. Only pictures remain now.

This is the house completed. I see a cement patio to the left and a stone walk leading to it. This house was never completed on the interior. A new 1950's ranch was built for my mother that was no more than 300 ft. away, and not like this house, that was torn down to make way for progress, her house is still there. As a child I remember this house storing my dad's lumber hoard and whatever he could get in there. It was on a one acre lot of land and to the left in this photo he kept a very large garden that by today's standards made us self sufficient. Growing up I remember working in the garden and eating all the vegetables we wanted. There was a large oak tree to the north of the garden and I remember harvesting concord grapes that had intertwined through the branches. It's been fun walking down memory lane even though I wasn't there for some of it. 

This is a picture of me at four years of age in 1956, dressed in my jeans, and it looks like it may have been around the Christmas holidays. Notice the vintage metal cabinets and behind me is my mother's mangle iron that she used on a regular basis. I sure would love to have one in good condition today with all the vintage fabric we iron.

I guess that farm girl has always been a part of my life. I found this one and only picture of my chicken coop. My dad built the coop and I see here the door is open so I may have been cleaning it. Maybe I'll have chickens again, but it's not on the priority list for now. This may be where the desire comes from. Never to late to have a chicken for a pet. I know my chickens were used for meat, and I don't remember how many or how long I kept chickens. I think we all should look over old photos every so often. We should be grateful for how wonderfully we live and how we become the people we are. This was by no means my life raising my own family, but I can only look forward and do what I can now. It's been fun looking at the past and seeing what's ahead. That's what's been happening at the Town House Homestead. Thank you for stopping by and have a great week. Please make some memories. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Town House Homestead Tuesday

Saturdays, yes Saturdays. Usually they are the beginning of the most active part of our week, but this past Saturday it was officially "cuddle up day". I was up early as usual and cuddled in my big comfy chair enjoying some coffee and reading until about nine. For me this is hours past my work starting time, but it felt wonderful. A bit later we headed out because we needed milk. Just milk is all we needed, but I decided I needed potatoes, onions and potato chips. Once again just milk, short quick trip and home to the warmth and more cuddling. Well, we got side tracked. Of course we did, who doesn't? We needed hot chocolate to cuddle with and how about a chocolate chip muffin to go with that hot chocolate. So far we hadn't wandered more than half a mile from home. On the way to the hot chocolate, since we had our hats and coats on any way we thought...why not go to the local farm store? This is still only a quarter of a mile away from home. So we took a left turn out of the drive through and headed to the farm store. Remember now all we needed was milk. We sipped some of the hot chocolate before going in and we took a left as we entered. Sure enough the bee keeping merchandise was to the left. Still needing a few small items to prepare for the coming of the bees in April, we went and looked. Yes, look we did, and this is what we found.

A floor model close out that was marked down so far that it could not be left behind. We don't have bees yet, and we only needed milk, but this gem came home with us. The universe was speaking and providing us with a honey extractor of excellent quality before we have bees. I know there may be some honey if all goes well this summer, but in the mean-time if some one we know needs help we can provide. It's been one of those questions that floats around the bee community. "Do you know any one with honey extracting equipment?" Well now there's an answer. 

I stepped outside this morning to check on my garlic. It is popping up through the snow and I immediately got garden fever. It's staying lighter a few minutes longer every day now and that desire to garden is setting in. Of course the excitement of seeing all the plants we put in last year come up fuller and more beautiful, now that they've had time in the ground, is even more exciting. Also knowing that more gardens will be going in within a few months is a great feeling. 

With all the work and growth with the basement renovations getting close to a state of completion, I want to share one of the reasons we needed a single level living space. Although we looked at all kinds of homes for sale we could not find many that had a bedroom and second full bath on the first floor, that would have room for us to work. I have a very bad hip, but not so bad that I'm an invalid yet, but some times it's in so much pain that it's hard for me to move. So we have the ranch home and the third bedroom has been made into my sewing room. I can stay on the main living level and have access to all that I need without the stress of climbing stairs. I am settling in as you can see. My daughter has made it a comfort zone for me and I am so grateful. So that's what's been going on this week at the Town House Homestead. Thank you for stopping by and have a wonderful week. 

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Town House Homestead Tuesday

Happy New Year!

We had a wonderful holiday season and we sure hope you did too. We saw many friends and relatives, ate good food and goodies, listened to holiday music, got out and enjoyed some free time and yes did more work. Not as much as we could have thankfully, but with the campus shut down for the week between the holidays and the time off we moved forward more.

My daughter's Costco cart needed a little "femming up" and she loves daisies, aqua, and green. This vintage sheet made the perfect quilted toppers for her cart, so it will be protected from scratches and spills. It took me most of an afternoon to make them, but it was the perfect gift. I gave her the rest of the sheet so she could make some privacy curtains for the basement windows until we can put in glass blocks. Emily came by to help shuffle the boxes even more yesterday. She unpacked the Vera/Mikasa cups and saucers for the cart and there are also some Ben Seibel plates there. Oh did I mention this will be a mini break station for those work days in the sewing room. I've yet to add the coffee pot, but I may hunt it down today.

She finished painting the floor to the base of the stairs too. Behind the door is the laundry room, which will be done as this new year moves on. My desk has been positioned in the pantry and the shelves will soon be installed above them, but first some more paint for the moulding and a good scrub for the desk. 

The last aqua wall was painted and the floor to the third quarter/furnace room was started. She got enough done and dried so Emily could shuffle the boxes that are store inventory, and now we can at least proceed at unpacking it and getting the store back up and running full speed. This will hopefully be by the end of the month.

This is the view from the pantry and we couldn't be more pleased. She says that it feels like a major burden has been lifted off of her shoulders now that we have reclaimed 1000 sq. ft. of usable basement. Notice the curtains in the window. Just having it clean and being able to breath down there is the best thing ever. Not much more to finish the furnace room/store area and we will start to work on the stairs. They will be brightened up with a good cleaning and paint. 

One final look at the pantry and I'll call it quits for today. This has been a tiring experience, but in eight months we have accomplished more than we expected. We look forward to the progress for 2017 and are more than excited to be on the road to possibly more gardens, and the bees coming in April. For now I will suffer with my seed fever and keep growing, learning, and building on a budget, and smiling all the time I'm seeing what we have done. That's what's been going on between holidays at the Town House Homestead. Thank you for stopping by to visit and have a wonderful new year too.