Tag Archives: cleanup

Spring Prep

Warm weather has us in the mood to clean even though we know there’s probably still some winter weather ahead of us.  I’ve worked in the yard several day and got some help from hubby to get those maple leaves out of my flower beds and around the house.

Maple leaves were in abundance but protects a lot of my perennials during the winter.

We have cleaned out all of the yard except for the corner of my rose garden.

This is the rose garden in the east end of our yard and the most colorful, I think, throughout the summer.

The rose in the very corner and tallest stems you can see is an old-fashioned rose planted by our ancestors shortly after the house was built.  The bloom is white with a hint of pink around the edges and they’re about two inches across.  It blooms most of the summer if I keep it pinched back (faded blooms).  Another one just like it but much smaller is at the entrance of the front gate.  I have to clip it back  all summer long.  The fragrance is divine!!

This corner will soon be cleaned up and I’m hoping to add a couple new roses to it during late spring.  I don’t have a lavender or a blood red rose in that bed and think it’s time.  I had a hibiscus in the middle of the bed and it just towered over all and lots of pretty bloom was missed unless you walked through the bed.  Last year I planted some sweet william in the front row and they have survived the winter.  I hope they will add some color while waiting for the roses to bloom.

Here’s a photo album of the rest of the yard clean up:

Both sides in front of the house/porch are all cleaned up and hostas that get as big as bushel baskets cover that area.

The flower bed in the corner with the dinner bell is full of perennials such as day lilies, poppies, primrose and lots more.

I forgot to get a photo of the backyard but it was the quickest and smallest area to clean up.  All I have to do back there is hang our swing and wait for the hostas, shasta daisy and daylilies to spring up.

Tree limb cleanup-this is what came out of the front yard from the maple tree. It’s been hauled away now!

Now I need to take care of the outside of the yard including some new planting at the gazebo at the pond.

The gazebo is another “getaway” spot. I love to go there right before the sun goes down and listen to the spring peepers and birds going to roost, watch the mallard pair that spend the night and wait for the fish to do their evening feeding and the frogs start croaking!! There’s peace all over the farm if you’ll just watch and listen!!

Preparing for Spring

We’ve had some glorious three weeks of spring-like weather and now the cold and wind is back!!

Crocus are blooming and the jonquils and daffodils are up.

Crocus are blooming and the jonquils and daffodils are up.

Along with building a new cattle holding pen, hubby and I have been cleaning up around the farm while waiting on our lumber.   We had lots of trees come down during the fall and winter and we’ve been cutting them up for firewood and piling the brush to be burnt (if the wind ever quits blowing).  Hubby plowed the garden this week so if we had any cold weather (which we are experiencing now) the freeze and thaw would be great for the disking when we get ready to start the garden.

Starting to plow the garden.

Starting to plow the garden.

Dark rich soil for a promising 2017 garden crop.

Dark rich soil for a promising 2017 garden crop.

While he was plowing I started cleaning up the yard.  We have beautiful maple trees on three corners of the yard which provide us maple syrup in the spring and wonderous shade in the summer but in the fall and winter they shed their beautiful coats into our yard.  It takes lots of time and strong arms to rake it all up and pile on the compost pile.

Before the cleanup my yard and flower/rose beds are covered with leaves which protect them from the freezing cold.

Before the cleanup my yard and flower/rose beds are covered with leaves which protect them from the freezing cold.

 

 

 

After the cleanup, the yard starts looking like this before the  grass greens, the roses sprout leaves and the perennials show their pretty faces:

In front of the front porch after cleanup

In front of the front porch after cleanup

East backyard after cleanup

East backyard after cleanup

Front yard after cleanup

Front yard after cleanup

 

 

 

 

 

Now, all I have to do is the rose garden and the new perennial bed we made last spring.

We just have to wait for another warmup which we hope is on the way next week.  We’re also hoping that the warmup we had and this freezing weather doesn’t have any adverse effect on the honeybees because they sure were working hard to find food last week.

Spring means new life on the farm and we’re expecting 20+ cows to start calving in the next two weeks.  My hens have picked up on their production and I’m getting a dozen eggs a day now.

You just can't beat fresh farm eggs that come from free range chickens!

You just can’t beat fresh farm eggs that come from free range chickens!

The brownish-red hens with white tail feathers are my babies from last year.  Great brown egg layers!

The brownish-red hens with white tail feathers are my babies from last year. Great brown egg layers!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My rabbit does were bred this week and we should have kits around the 30th of March.  They’re all lops and last years babes were a huge assortment of colors.  I think the first batches this spring will go to new homes and the second mating will be meat rabbits.

Marigold visits Sebastian.

Marigold visits Sebastian.

Sebastian was glad to see his ladies.

Sebastian was glad to see his ladies.

 

 

 

 

 

Cleome waiting her turn.

Cleome waiting her turn.

Baby chicks and ducks will probably join us in April and our next big project is to get rid of the old chicken house which is in bad need of repair.

Chicken house is ancient and chickens should love their new abode which is a cinder block building that way back in the day was a hog house.

Chicken house is ancient and chickens should love their new abode which is a cinder block building that way back in the day was a hog house.

The hog house is bigger, has electricity and will be warmer for the chickens. We have lots of cleanup to do to the outside because the wild blackberries are surrounding it.  There's a no-freeze water spigot beside it and there's storage for feed on the inside.

The hog house is bigger, has electricity and will be warmer for the chickens. We have lots of cleanup to do to the outside because the wild blackberries are surrounding it. There’s a no-freeze water spigot beside it and there’s storage for feed on the inside.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bath Re-do

Our home was built-in the early 1800’s and is part of the 200-year-old family farm we live on.

Our home 2015

Our home 2015

I have a very small bathroom and it’s the only bathroom in the house. We don’t have a bathtub and our shower is an antique surround of metal which is in bad need of repair. I would like to buy a new shower but the old one sets up on a concrete foundation and is embedded with concrete. Until we become rich (NOT) we’ll make do with what we have.

You have to remember that our house has been in the family for at least four generations and the bathroom facility was put in when hubby was a wee one, 65+ years ago, we think!! YES I DO LOVE OLD THINGS! Anyway, here’s what it looked like before I made some minor repairs/touch-ups a couple of months ago:

Exterior of the shower walls is being sanded and reinforced for strength and to keep the water in the shower.

Exterior of the shower walls is being sanded and reinforced for strength and to keep the water in the shower.

Interior lower corner is being reinroced with a cement solution.

Interior lower corner is being reinforced with a cement solution.

Corners of the shower are rusting out really bad and hubby found a cement solution to reinforce the metal framing and it's waterproof.

Corners of the shower are rusting out really bad and hubby found a cement solution to reinforce the metal framing and it’s waterproof.

Flooring is gray tile and very outdated.

Flooring is gray tile and very outdated.

Tools needed to sand and rebuild the metal shower.

Tools needed to sand and rebuild the metal shower.

Soap dish molded to the shower wall is rusting and will take detail sanding to repair and paint.

Soap dish molded to the shower wall is rusting and will take detail sanding to repair and paint.

Shelving unit I put in right after we moved in is now rusting and needs to be replaced.

Shelving unit I put in right after we moved in is now rusting and needs to be replaced.

It took two weeks and the changes are not major but it’s much nicer taking a shower in what is new to me.

Clean, white, no rust.

Clean, white, no rust.

New tile, fresh and clean.

New tile, fresh and clean.

New shower caddy and curtain.

New shower caddy and curtain.

Made new curtains and changed some decor.

Made new curtains and changed some decor.

This was a pretty good start to my retirement and now on to bigger challenges.

 

Mansion craft room

We have a beautiful old house on the property that was the families original home in the 1800’s.  Right now it’s used mainly for storage, has no heat and no electricity within the house.   It’s been in the family for at five, maybe six generations.

 

"The Mansion"

“The Mansion”

The Mansion

The Mansion

It was and still could be a beautiful home if we were rich!

It was and still could be a beautiful home if we were rich!

Back of the house and looking into the kitchen window where the playing will be done!

Back of the house and looking into the kitchen window where the playing will be done!

I’m in the process of turning the kitchen into a crafting/DIY room for all of my projects that can’t be done in my quilting/sewing room.  Electricity could be used for small hand tools and some lighting but first I need to clean it out and get it organized.  I may have to call a friend in the fair state of Maryland for this undertaking.   Everytime we get together we find “treasures” in the mansion.

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From this picture you can tell I’ve started the clean out and still have some more junk and treasures to move.

 

Great table for working on and storage underneath.

Great table for working on and storage underneath.

Wood cookstove and chair that has possibilities.

Wood cookstove and chair that has possibilities.

Junk and treasures.

Junk and treasures.

Other side of the great work table.

Other side of the great work table.

Table and a cart for storage!!  YIPPEE!

Table and a cart for storage!! YIPPEE!

Kitchen sink covered with junk and treasure.  Storage under the sink in the way of shelving and drawers.  I see it coming together!!! :)

Kitchen sink covered with junk and treasure. Storage under the sink in the way of shelving and drawers. I see it coming together!!! 🙂

Through the door in the last picture is an enclosed porch where I start my plants and “greenhouse”!!  In the back of the room is a place for a woodstove but that would take up too much room.  This would be used mainly in the three warmer seasons of the year, when I’m not doing ANYTHING else!  RIGHT!!!

IMG_0023

This window is going to be one of the first projects I’ll be working on but that’s will be in a couple months, I expect!!

 

Looks like I got some great things to work on this summer when I can’t get out in the sun!!  Updates on my progress will be coming soon!!

 

 

 

 

Treasures from the apple orchard

Hubby was cleaning up apple trees brought down by the duratio last summer and he brought me these treasures!!  I’m so excited!!

Apple tree stumps

Hollow apple tree stumps

Three hollow tree logs for crafting.

Three hollow tree logs for crafting.

Fuzzy thinks this one would be good for squirrels!

Fuzzy thinks this one would be good for squirrels!

I think the first two will be new birdhouses as I like to use natural things to make the birds feel more at home.  All I’ll have to do is screw on some barnwood to the bottom and top and drill a small hole for the bluebirds to enter.  Drill holes in the bottom board for drainage.  I like to use screws so I can take the top off in the winter and clean them out for arrivals in the spring.  I like to put a little overhang on the top to keep the weather out and a place for the bird parents to perch between food breaks.   I also put a short perch in the front right below the entry for them to perch while feeding the fledglings.

The third one though will make a perfect nest for the next orphan squirrel we save.  We tend to find them in the woods fallen from their nests.  If their bodies are still warm we let Mom come back to get them and carry them back to the nests.  If their bodies are cold, I snatch them up in my pocket and get them home quick as possible and feed them some warm milk with a little honey to warm them up and boost the energy.

Baby squirrels are so easy to care for and they usally bond with only one person after being orphaned and thats usually whoever feeds and bathes them.

Baby squirrels are so easy to care for and they usally bond with only one person after being orphaned and thats usually whoever feeds and bathes them.

 

Hubby is always looking out for things in the woods that he knows I’ll put to good use.  We’ve been looking for a hollow tree about five to six feet long to make into a flower box for the yard or the gazebo.  I’ve also been looking for just the right knarly stump to put in one of my flower beds for the natural look.  You will see it when I find it 😉 .

Cleaning up the orchards

Storm aftermath June 29th, 2012

Storm aftermath June 29th, 2012

June duratio takes down several apple trees.

June duratio takes down several apple trees.

 

In June of this past summer, we had lots of tree and fence damage from the “duratio” that hit our farm.  I’ve never seen such wind and we were very lucky that we had no more damage than we did.  We did loose several apple trees and hubby has been working hard since that wind storm to get things back in order.

Hubby started the clean up in the orchard today and got all but one of the downed trees cut up and hauled off.  It looks kind of bare now but hopefully we’ll fix that.  Here’s a picture of the cleaned up orchard as of this afternoon.

Fallen apple trees removed and sun shining on the remaining.

Fallen apple trees removed and sun shining on the remaining.

Lots of replacing to do for the orchard at the house.

Lots of replacing to do for the orchard at the house.

 

We won’t be able to replace those trees with the same type because they were trees grafted by the family years ago.  Luckily there are several of the same type in the orchard and I have 30+ apple stock in the cellar that are two years old and ready for grafting.  I need to get out soon and cut scion from the trees we have left and when spring truly breaks I’ll get that new stock in the ground, grafted and wrapped and shielded from all the wildlife that love tender buds.

I’m looking forward to another try at grafting myself.  Hubby is a real pro at it!  I’ve taken the classes but think maybe I try to hard.  We’ll see how they fair toward the end of summer and look for new sprouts on the grafts.  I LOVE FARMING!!!

Summer storm to remember

We had a major wind storm with some hail behind arrive at our home last night around 8:30.  We lost power for only four hours and most of the county is still without power.  I’m including some photos of the damage we found today.  We are safe but will be cleaning up the aftermath for several weeks.

God was watching over and kept us safe.  The trees, hay, buildings and fences can be repaired and as I said before that are others in the county a lot worse off than we are!