28 April 2009

recap or what I've been doing the past two weeks

I have been doing and not blogging, that is for sure. Tons of projects, totally overestimated the amount of time in the day, the amount of energy I have and underestimated the amount of snuggles a teething 10-month old needs. I haven't even had time to check the blogs that I haunt as a reader. Yikes!

So, here is the update:

First, the Spring Cure - almost totally derailed by garden/chicken coop building, visiting family and a wonderful weekend getaway with friends.

A month or so ago I called my mom, begging her to come for a long weekend to help me with some projects. The boy has been working hard on some exciting, but time-consuming projects and so has not been available. Mom is super handy and easy to work with and we always have fun. So, she came over Saturday morning and stayed through Wednesday. As I said in the intro, I have a horrible habit of underestimating how much time any project will take and overestimating the number of projects that I will be able to complete in a given time. This was totally the case here. So, no painting in the living area, no small repairs. Here is what we did get done though:

This corner of the yard had been fenced off for a dog run. The grass and weeds were waist high and there were giant holes in spots. The soil, however, was amazing, the product of composting nature and neglect. That's my cute mom in the corner by the shed.

And here is what it looks like now. A glorious chicken coop, raised garden beds and a side by side compost bin. The posts will soon have fencing attached to keep the dog (and hopefully deer) out and the chickens in.

And another angle. The weather has been nasty since we finished up so I haven't been able to get decent shots of the coop interior. I will post those soon, I swear. To fill the beds, we picked up a yard of top soil from a local landscaping place and then topped it off with about 1/2 a yard of aged manure, compliments of my coworkers horse farm.

Finally, we blew insulation into the attic of our house. When we bought it, the attic only had rolled fiberglass insulation, much of which appears to have been the bed for a very large cat. The R value was almost nothing. We bought a pallet of "green" insulation from Home Depot and got the blower to use for free. Mom ran the blower and I sat up in the attic for 3 hours, filling it in so that our house will be comfortably temperate this year. That's is the giant truck I got to drive around all week, making me feel and look much tougher and more capable then I probably am.

Needless to say, we were wiped out everyday, in bed by 9:30. No time for blogging. Now, I am spending my evenings this week, getting in my cold weather vegetables and putting the finishing touches on the coop. I will pick up the chicks next Wednesday, bright and early. Yay!

Next, the Spending Hiatus- I ended quite well and have done a good job of sticking with things. Although tonight, I did do the thrift store run, looking for summer items for the wee bean. I spotted a dresser that would be perfect to replace the bedroom one, but I am so used to being thrifty, I passed it up. I may go by tomorrow to see if it's still there.

My thriftyness also translated nicely into last week's projects as the chicken coop and beds were made almost entirely of reclaimed lumber (except for a few 2x4s my dad bought to get us started). I was able to get everything for just over $50. A bargain. It also helps that the renters who preceded us left a bunch of random scraps behind, including the pieces I used to make the big door to the run and giant rolls of pig wire that I used on the coop and will use to fence the garden off too.

The one item that has moved from non-essential to essential is a new camera. Look at these photos...gads! The focus is getting worse every time I use it. Sometimes it just dies. Note: I only paid $60 for it in a shady deal with an 11 year old right before I started this blog, so I am actually surprised it lasted this long. So, look for some better photos soon.

And speaking of better photos, tomorrows post will feature some shots of the amazing house we used as a rendezvous with some of our dearest friends this past weekend... for free. Stay tuned!


dig this chick said...

Oh I can totally relate to the whole optimism about the number of hours in a day thing. oofta. Still, looks like you got a lot done and it looks great.

Beegirl said...

Great job! You did a ton of work! Loving your raised beds. Fantastic thrifting and score on the leftovers! As for the deer...we found a small solar powered electric fence that works wonders! Stops them literally in their tracks.. ZING..
On second thought...we don't have small children. Cancel electric fence idea.
: )

Lisa Hensley said...

Your yard looks so tidy! Do you ever get done with these kinds of things, look at the photos and think "...huh. Almost looks like I knew what I was doing!"

I agree on the estimating thing. I hound the hubby about not finishing projects, but I am just as bad. Especially when it comes to outdoors stuff.

The Hip Homemaker said...

Lisa: yeah, it is amazing what we can pull together, just winging it! James is constantly freaking out because I have 5 projects going at once and most of them are in various states of half-doneness.

Beegirl: I have kept the electric fence in the back of my mind, even if it was just on the outer fence where the wee one wouldn't get to it.

dig: we are compulsive overachievers, aren't we!