Monday, May 3, 2010

The Jungle is Gone…

Each night this week we worked on finishing the cabinet installation in the kitchen. We still have a few more to install and then we can order the countertops – they may take a few weeks to come in but we’re hopeful that by June we will have a fully functional kitchen!

Since we have been working so much inside, we have been severely neglecting the landscaping/gardening work. It’s not that we just decided to neglect it – up until last Saturday we didn’t have one single piece of powered lawn equipment. In one week we purchased a weed whacker ($40 at a garage sale in PA), a push mower (it cost a 6 pack of beer from a friend at work), and a tractor with a snow plow ($800 Gravely from a guy on Craigslist). Now the grass and weeds in the yard have nowhere to hide!

We are still lacking some things for the house and since this is garage/yard sale season, we decided to go to an estate sale in a nearby town. It was an amazing house – it was built in 1760 and is so cute. The woman who owns it is 68 and runs a bed and breakfast in the mansion (she’s apparently ready to move on and is selling it for $1.4 million – any takers?). We did find a couple things that we need: a really cute twin bed frame, a small table and chairs for our sunroom, some garden items, and fireplace screen. We were really excited to find the sunroom furniture – we are planning on painting the wicker a dark brown and recovering the chairs with a bright color (a project for our free time!)

When we got back from the estate sale, we decided to tackle some yard work. The first step was to remove the large logs and stump pieces that have been in the front yard since January. It took about 5 trips with the truck to get them all to the back yard and one of them was so heavy that we couldn’t lift it (it’s the big one on the right in the first picture - it weighs about 400 lbs!). We’ll eventually have to split them into firewood but we just don’t have the time for that right now.

Chris had enough time to mow the lawn (i.e. weeds) on the whole property. The weeds and grass in the backyard were over a foot and a half tall in most places! Now the house actually looks like someone lives here. It’s not perfect but it is much, much better.

The rest of the weekend was spent planting the rest of our garden and installing fence around them (to keep Tucker out!). We have two garden plots – one that has only tomatoes and peppers (20’ x 16’) and one with everything else (20’ x 35’). We planted tomatoes (Rutgers, Roma, Early Wonder, Early Girl, Cherry, and Grape), peppers (Bell, Cascabella, Habanero, Trinidad, Pasillo Bajio, Holy Mole, Aji-Dolce), squash (yellow, zucchini, butternut), cucumbers (slicing and pickling), corn, Brussels sprouts, beans (Blue Lake, Tendergreen, Black), eggplant, peas (Alaska, Sugar Snap), beets, spinach, lettuce (Romaine, Green Leaf, Mesclun), artichokes, okra, carrots, basil (purple, Genovese, bush), oregano, cilantro, parsley, chives, rosemary, and thyme. We hope to have a bountiful harvest this year!

I’ll leave you with one last thing – someone last week was surprised to read that we have a truck. We purchased it in December for $600 from a guy at work. It’s definitely not the best looking truck but it gets the job done! Gotta love the blue paint with black primer!

We actually got to use the truck a lot this weekend. On Saturday, we took it with us to the estate sale to bring home our purchases. We also picked up two loads of compost at the local garden center (they loaded it with a front loader) and we got to drive the truck a lot in the back yard to get the compost to the garden. On the way to the garden center on Saturday, Chris heard something in the back tire – we had a nail stuck in it and had to get it plugged (we were fortunate that the auto center stayed open an extra 45 minutes that day!).

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