Tuesday, March 30, 2010

No TV


doesn't mean no media sources. I am incredibly grateful to live without a typical TV - it often is a mind numbing non-experience. However, our computer monitor can act as a TV screen, so we can get whatever channels come in with the antennae. I occasionally turn on PBS during the day and the kids can watch a little of that. It came in useful over this long, cold winter. I don't remember ever turning on the other channels though.

We watch a lot of movies around here. We have the 10 foot pull down screen, movie projector, and awesome speaker system that makes movie viewing very pleasant at our house. The projector and large screen works best in the dark. During the day, if the kids watch a movie, we use the computer or the portable DVD player.

I look forward to this spring/summer/fall when we will fore go much of the movie watching for spending more time outside. Rebuild those brain cells that we killed off watching too much stuff over the winter! I can't imagine wasting away brain cells when it is beautiful outside. Get your body moving, go explore outside!

One thing I do love about our set up is NO freaking commercials. OMG - when I see them while at Ziza's or anywhere else, they drive me nuts!

Gareth is quite the computer tech geek - very savvy. We put in the tool bar 3 of his favorite sites for games and videos - PBS, Peep and the Big Wide World, and Starfall. He can maneuver through those sites quite well. He likes having youtube set up for him with an initial video, then clicking on other videos to lead him to other places. You go to keep an eye on this for no telling what one can end up on doing this.

Brian and I watch The Office on hulu and Brian watched House on there too. We make judgment calls on how much the kids watch and how much commercialized shit comes into their lives. It would be nice to live without even more media. I try to limit what commercialized crap comes in to the house. For right now, we have mostly found our balance.

What do you do to find a balance?

Monday, March 29, 2010

Very productive weekend

Most of these pics are in reverse order. Sunday pics come first, then Saturday. Saturday was nice and cool. Sunday was wet, rainy, and cold. Don't have time to move them in order.


The bathroom! The tub is in place and we can use the old plumbing to take baths. Brian worked on the extra support joists under the tub in the crawl space of the house, but needs to get a smaller jack, one was too tall. He also needs to redo the old plumbing, but is waiting to to do this for the last thing since water will need to be shut off. If any problems develop, he wants to make sure a hardware store is open around here that he can get to just in case he needs any other supplies. He is also going to build some small shelves for the bathroom.

He needed a second person to help with banging around on the support joists so I went in the crawlspace with him for the first time. He decided that we couldn't finish it until he has the smaller jack GOOD - I HATED it under there. I always told him that I did not want to go down there and Boy - was I right!!!! I will NEVER be able to go cave spelunking. uh, uh...never! I guess I have a touch of claustrophobia because I could not breathe well and felt panicky. I would lay on my back and try to catch my breath and calm down, but I was so glad to get the hell out of there! I had a headache from all the pressure of not breathing when I got out. CRAZY what our mind will do to us! I don't know how he was under there for so long putting insulation up and working on other stuff. I would FREAK out!

Last night, I took a bath. AWESOME! Now, keep in mind, this is a TINY tub. With my butt all the way against the back, I STILL can not straighten my legs, but it was still SO much better than the closed up shower stall we had. Having the tub in there makes the room look bigger. It feels like a bathroom, instead of a nasty pit. I can't wait till it is done!



Gareth-O on the cool, hollow, fallen tree in our backyard. We cleared some of the branches away from this area. I want to keep this big piece intact for the kids to play on and in - it is a really cool tree and play structure. The cat crawls through some of the smaller hollow trunk and jumps out - it is very cool. I am hoping a chain can be attached to the tractor and the large piece be moved to elsewhere in the yard, but it might be too darn heavy and cause too much damage to the ground with dragging it. We will have to see.....this area is where I want my clothesline set up .


My tomato seedlings. I have 3 varieties; Rutgers, a cherry type, and Pink Ponderosa. The seeds I ordered are high quality, ordered them Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds - I am getting a very high germination rate. I thinned and made more pots last night of 2 varieties, need to finish the 3rd tonight. Even after discarding the weakest ones, I STILL have 20 plants of each kind! We are not starting a tomato farm, so some of these will find new homes. I already have some takers. :)

I love seeing these lil' sprouts - they make me so happy! I feel so bad when a lil' sprout breaks or I decide it is too weak. :)


Brian's best friend, "Uncle" Brendan, came on Saturday, and helped Brian bust ass and get lots of things done. It was so great to have him - it was such a great help. Brendan is a GREAT friend...always has been. They worked on getting the gravel pile gone. They put gravel under most of the gates and made paths along high traffic areas. It is NOT the prettiest of material for a path, but it is functional for the time being.


I planted a small patch of mesclun salad greens and beets. Not sure how well they will do as the soil is not as loose as I would like.


I built a bean teepee for the kids. I planted some sugar snap pea beans around it. I hope to take pics in a few months with this covered in green and kids playing inside and eating some fresh snap peas - yum! I think I will go in there and hide out too. :)

My mom was here this weekend too so I was able to get outside and do a little too. It is SOOO nice to do something besides keep the kids entertained and mostly out of the way. I love taking care of the kids, but when it is all you do for long periods of time, it makes you feel human again when you can contribute in other ways too.

Brian used our mini tiller for along the fence, but the soil needs to dry up a bit more to get the larger area. Our mini tiller is really for smaller areas and to retill areas, but it is chugging along. Brian was talking about doing some controlled burning in that area to get the grass down a bit. We cleared away some branches from the pruned apple tree and now have to pick up straggler sticks. My dad is going to look at renting a larger one for us and bring it out next weekend. We REALLY wanted to go with the no-till garden, but we did not start preparing it last year, so we hope this year will be the last year we ever have to till.



Hmmmm...maybe we will attach this contraption to the back of the tractor and cultivate the earth....we found this old thing in a pile of grown up brush. It would be interesting to see how it does.


There was LOTS of taking Kali and Terra outside for potty breaks. We CERTAINLY do not have enough things to do - we had to go add 2 puppies to the chaos. They are very sweet dogs, but they are puppies, nonetheless. There have been less accidents than I thought there would be, but we are trying to stay on top of taking them out every 2 hours or after they nap or eat. We can also put them in the crate when we can't keep a close eye on them. They also sleep in the crate. They have done so well overnight - am so used to puppies whining through the night. I think it is because they have each other.


We used the gravel to make an extended "patio" area in the backyard. Brian is going to tamp it down a bit more and we hope the boys will be able to ride their bikes around it. Again, NOT the prettiest, but functional for the time being.



When we got the pups, Gareth told Zane, "one for me and for for you." All the kids love the pups and have been having a good time with them.




Ms. Iris helping her Ziza with dishes. Y' gotta train em early, I tell ya. ;)


Brian and Brendan clearing branches away in the garden area.



Burn pile - they kept adding more and more throughout the day.

BUSY, busy weekend! Have a good week - we are supposed to have some beautiful days!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Terra and Kali

We decided on names for the girls! Kali is a Hindu goddess that means the black one. Terra is a Roman Earth goddess. So, there you have it!

Chicken and Tree Defense System

This protection system was given to us free of charge - what a deal. The system will be programmed to be good with young children, protect the chickens, and bark if they see any deer or predators coming around. The deer are sure pretty, but they can nibble/destroy new saplings - we have a lot that we will be planting in the next month and want them protected.


Brian refuses to call them dogs. He says everyone thinks we are crazy already for having all the animals we do. Our friend, Lala said "might as well confirm it." lol

Their momma was very sweet - she had 11 pups. We traveled an hour and 20 minutes to get these girls. I found the ad on craigslist. The dogs stayed outside with their momma in the cattle shed. After getting a bit older, they will be primarily outside dogs, except in extreme temperatures. They will be our "working" farm dogs. Their momma helped on her farm with lots of cattle. Since they were going to be outside mostly, we decided to get 2 sisters so they can keep each other company.

Since bringing them home, they have been awfully sweet girls. They are good with the kids. We are teaching the kids to say off when the pups jump up and push the dogs down and off. We slowly introduced the pups to Vito, our other dog. They now are running around together.

We need other animals like we need another hole in our head! Yes, we are absolutely crazy. I hope this system doesn't malfunction!

We needs some names for these girls!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Living with Less - Week 12

Objective: rid myself of at least 10 items each week for the year. Limit what goes into the landfill!


1. cat bed - I have seen the cats in this things maybe 5 times in the last 8 years. They just don't use it. Goodwill it goes.


2. I loved these socks. I had them on this weekend. The holes on the bottom did not bother me. When I have a hole that makes my toes stick out, that is when it is time for them to go! Garbage it goes.


3. This coffee pot went kaput this weekend. It would not warm up or drip. The pot will be going to Goodwill.


4. this was a color with a dry erase marker type pen. The pen got ruined and it made a mess anyway. The book is still in good condition. Goodwill it goes.


5. broken basket. if it can be recycled, I will do that. Otherwise, garbage it goes.


6. toy tractor that had it's front tires broken off several times. Finally, it no longer let me super glue it back together. Garbage it goes. I have been talking with the boys how some toys are not made very well, especially cheap, plastic ones. They have heard me say "this is a piece of crap" so much that Gareth has started saying this when a toy breaks or does not work the way he wants.


7. Baby Bjorn style carrier - no longer use. Goodwill
8. Magazine rack things that end up in there just collects dust and rarely gets looked at. Goodwill
9. round table top - was on front porch. got wet, rotted, keeping the legs to maybe make another table, but burning the tabletop.


10. Leprechaun outfit. no longer fits anyone here. goodwill

Unwelcome guests

video
Geese leave awful poop everywhere they walk. I don't want them on our pond! They are very pretty birds, they look graceful swimming on the pond, and there are only 2, but I keep thinking they will tell their friends about the pond and one day I will wake up to hundreds of the damn dirty birds swimming around. OR - the 2 lovebirds are making babies on our property and then we will have to deal with all these damn, cute baby geese. Then what will I do?! So, yes, I have my little dog, Vito, chase them EVERY chance I get. Vito never gets close enough to them to do anything. I don't want the birds dead, I just want to scare them away. I want them to feel this is an unpleasant place to set up home.

We need a "working" dog to take keep unwanted varmints away from the house. We have considered getting a dog who will stay mostly outside to protect the chickens, chase away any predators, and bark at deer that may chew our freshly planted tree saplings. We are investing too much money on all these plants and chickens to have them destroyed.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I was fooled!


We received this box from UPS the other day. I was super excited as thought it was our first of many orders of live plants arriving. Nope! Just labels for plants. How disappointing. :)

Pile o' rocks

Last year, we had some gravel delivered for the driveway. We got pretty, white gravel last year that worked okay, but much of it just sunk into the earth. This year, we got smarter, and had gravel mixed with the finer particles that help it clump/stick together better. Brian has been spreading it around with the front loader. The boys love climbing on it.



Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Gareth's first dentist appointment

I am proud of my Gareth-O! He had his first dental appt and did great! I have been reading books about going to the dentist for over a month to get him prepared. He got his teeth cleaned and is supposed to return in 6 months. He got a new toothbrush, a sticker , and was able to pick out a toy from the closet. He picked a little plastic motorcycle that he has hardly put down all day. I think he is proud of himself.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Weekend review

Oh, all my days seem to running together. Lately, they have been all the same. Working at getting things done around here. Brian works faster and stays on task better than I so I end up watching the kids while he takes on the tasks more often than not. That leaves me with not getting a break from the regular old routine. It has surprisingly not bothered me as bad as it used to. It might be the kids getting older - being more independent, could be me adjusting to life in the country, could be the nicer weather....dunno. Brian worked more on the bathroom remodel - it is coming together quite nicely. He is leaving the plumbing for last since it is kind of intimidating. It looks so much better in there - I can't wait to post before/after shots.

It was wonderful last week weather wise and cooled down and was rainy this past weekend. We managed to clear some more logs and wire from the annual garden area, but the weather is NOT cooperating with Brian's schedule to complete the task and till the area. I want to get the lettuce and snap peas planted ASAP, but need to wait till this area is cleared! ugh! We have SO MUCH to do outside. My tomato seedlings are doing great. The peppers are slow to germinate - I finally saw a chili pepper seedling spouting this morning. I think I have not kept them warm enough. I have been turning the heater on in the back room to help them out. I hope the rest will follow suit and will start sending out their roots/stems. I started some watermelon seeds, but really should have waited for a couple of months. I read somewhere to start watermelon seeds about a month before you want fruit and they like warm soil....so not sure how they will do. I also have passion fruit and basil seeds started. Hopefully all the lil sprout s will come up and stay happy till I get them outside.

We went grocery shopping Sunday and watched a movie Sunday evening.
That is about it. Gotta go. Baby I is awake!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

I couldn't resist!


I have some green life popping up through the earth. I have the naked lady leaves coming up, I think tulips, and these daffodils. I was not certain they were daffodils. I saw the flower buds, so carefully tore the buds apart to find my guess was correct. Thankfully, the flower has survived my tampering/early exposure to the elements. It has been nice to enjoy the bright, yellow color while I wait for the rest to bloom. There are a couple of clumps in various places in the yard. They would benefit from separating, but I will wait till after they bloom. I will then split them up and spread the beauty around to other sections of the yard. Happy Spring!!!!!

Country gal

A fellow playgroup momma/friend made this awesome skirt for Iris. I have had a hard time finding a shirt I really like to go with it. I have been putting the one you see in the picture, but it is kind of big and it hides the tree image on the skirt. I am going to keep searching for something that will go better with it. I would like a cute solid brown top, but have not been able to find one.



Here is my lil' country girl enjoying the sunshine and warmer temps we have had the last couple of days. It has been beautiful! She has been hanging out in the grass while I try to get any little bit of work done in the yard I can before she makes a fuss. I have tried wearing her on my back in the carrier, but she is getting quite heavy!

The girl hates socks!!!

Look at her expression! She is horrid with the animals! She has no concept of gentle. She knows it too! She is looking at me waiting for me to tell her be careful, use open hand, fur is for petting softly, not pulling, etc. Thank goodness our animals are tolerant or avoid her.


Poor baby Jo. He is so good with kids. She looks pretty darn cute in the next couple of shots!



Off she goes - crawling up the root cellar mound through the straw. The girl needs to start walking - it is 14 months already! She shows NO interest.

Living with Less - Week 11

Objective: rid myself of at least 10 items each week for the year. Limit what goes into the landfill!

1. bathtub toy holder - haven't used it and they like to play with larger cups, etc. will not be useful in new tub.
2. shower attachment for over the shower head organizer - think we discarded the organizer when we moved, unless it is hidden in some packed box somewhere.
3. broken camera - spilled soda on it, tried various things to try fixing it, never got it to work.
4. blue plastic bib - hardly used it. It was too bulky, kids did not like it.
5. left over hot wheels valentine cards - did not want to hold on to them till next year.
6. top of plastic pitcher. we no longer have the pitcher, not sure what happened to it.
7. plastic water gun - the boys somehow smashed crayons in the refill hole. not going to be useful in any way.
8 - 9: barney videos - nuff said, never opened.
10. several children's books that are old or annoying to read.

Most of the stuff will go to goodwill, a couple of items were recycled. Man, we have a bunch of junk! I slacked off in getting my stuff together this week, so had to search around quickly this evening to gather stuff to get rid of. It took me less than 10 minutes to gather items to purge.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Over abundance of plants

I just wanted to provide a list of what we have ordered for this year. A few of these came in late fall, but most will be coming in a couple weeks. OMG! We counted how many holes we are going to need to make and there are at least 450 holes, NOT counting the annual garden bed. We might get a couple hundred free trees through Illinois Dept. of Natural Resources, so those holes might jump drastically higher!!!! CRAZY! Needless to say, we went way over our budget for plants. We are both super excited. Brian also views it as an investment that will pay off in the future. I hope and think he is right. Anyone is welcome to come out and help dig holes and plant stuff! Brian is taking the first week of April off from work since that is when most of the plants will be arriving.

So here goes. I tried to separate them into groups. The plants came from 10 different companies. A good place to check out reviews from where you are ordering from is Dave's Garden. Bold
Evergreens - 36:
8 Canadian Hemlock
8 Norway Spruce
4 Eastern Red Cedar
4 White Pine
4 American Arborvitae
4 Colorado Blue Spruce
4 Black Hills Spruce

Apples - 7:
Winesap - standard
Lodi - dwarf
Braestar - semi-dwarf
Grand Gala - semi-d
Fuji - semi-d
Honeycrisp - semi-d
Queen Cox - standard

Pear - 2:
Seckel
Honeysweet

Strawberries - 129 plantlets:
50 Ozark - everbearing
25 Sparkle - june bearing
25 Anapolis -- everbearing
25 Tribute - everbearing
4 lipstick strawberries

Daylilies
- 76:
50 Kwanzo - orange with red accents
25 mixed color
1 Prairie Bella

Grapes - 16 vines:
3 Thompson seedless - white
2 Himrod seedless - white
3 Reliance seedless - red
3 Interlaken seedless - white
2 Alden - blue
2 Steuben - blue
1 Canadice seedless -red

Cherry - 4:
2 Nanking bushes
1 Bing - dwarf
1 Montmorency - dwarf

Blackberry
- 4
1 Triple Crown
1 Arapaho
1 Chester
1 Apache

Nuts - 12:
3 Butternut
3 Hickory, shellbark
3 Chinese Chestnut
3 Hazelnut bushes

Apricot - 2:
1 Standard Early Golden
1 Standard Moor Park

Other trees/Bushes with edible fruit- 29:
2 White Mulberry
3 Goumi seedlings
1 Sweet Scarlet Goumi
2 Pawpaw seedlings
1 Mitchell pawpaw
3 Siberian pea shrubs
3 Thimbleberry
2 High bush cranberry
2 kinnickinnick
10 Rosa Rugosa - some pink, some white

Trees - 15:
5 red maples
2 sugar maples
1 scarlet oak
1 red oak
1 sweet gum
1 silver maple
1 washington hawthorn
1 saucer magnolia
1 weeping willow
1 flowering dogwood - white

Bushes -
7:
5 Forsythia
2 Lilacs
2 Spicebush


Roots -
47:
10 Purple passion asparagus
10 Jersey Knight Giant asparagus
2 Rhubarb
5 Horseradish
3 Jerusalem artichoke

20 Egyptian Walking onions

Herbs -
live plants - 27:
1 parsley
1 basil
1 sage
1 cilantro
1 tarragon
7 chives
3 chocolate mint
3 thyme vulgaris
3 lemon balm
3 chinese leeks
3 wintergreen

Groundcovers -
39:
24 pots Blue Emerald Phlox
3 Thyme Magic carpet
6 Viola Ordata Queen Charlotte - purple
3 Viola White Czar - white
3 Salal


Mushrooms
1 bag (powder) King Storpharis Garden Giant Spawn
250 Chicken of Wood Dowels

Seed packets:
Dragon Tongue Bush Bean
Country Gentleman Sweet Corn
A+C Pickling cucumber
Suyo long cucumber
Delikatesse cucumber
European mesclun lettuce mix
Sugar snap snow pea
Thai red chilli pepper
Quadrato D'asti Rosso bell pepper
Yellow summer squash
Black Beauty Zuchinni
Butternut squash
Acorn squash
Connecticut Field pumpkin
Chadwick cherry tomato
Rutgers tomato
Ponderosa Pink tomato
Beets
Cauliflower
Watermelon
Siam Queen Thai Basil
Sweet Thai Basil
Catnip
Cilantro
Lavender
lemon balm
Oregano, vulgare
anise hyssop
common chives
Chinese mixed chives (garlic chives)
Passion flower
Nasturtium
Sunflowers

Plants I want to get, but have not ordered or bought:

Brian meant to order some raspberries, but did not! We might still get them.
more hostas
bleeding hearts
stargazer lily bulbs
heirloom garlic
'Iris Zuzana' iris bulbs - yes they are named that - I can not find anyone who sells them!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Plans for the yard


Brian is surveying the land


making notes


Zane is helping his daddy take measurements

We want to make some to scale drawings of the yard so we can get an idea where to place all the plants we are getting soon.

We also started a gardening notebook to keep notes and ideas.


just a few of the thousands of Asian lady beetles that overwintered in the pole barn. They camped out in the house too - all winter long! These damn things better earn their keep and keep every damn aphid in check.


This is the view from south of the house looking north into the backyard. The house in on the right. The entire south facing slope outside of the fence will be turned into garden area.


up close pic of the slope. Plan is to put some zone 6 fruit trees, fruit bushes, strawberries, daylilies, and phlox.


same slope, view from inside fence. Along this fence, we will plant grape vines. In the future, we might add hardy kiwi and other vines.


Inside the fence of backyard looking north. this area will include the big sandbox for the kids. We are thinking 8x12 feet for the sandbox - I am sure that will keep the kids busy. :) Further towards the north fence, we will plant a few evergreens for more wind break, then 4-6 dwarf fruit trees. There is an old grape vine in the upper left part of the pic that we will attempt to relocate.


Existing fruit area in the backyard. Much of this needs pruned and cut out. There are 2-3 sad, diseased peach trees that are not getting enough sunlight due to being too close to the cedar trees. We have considered removing 1 or all of the cedar trees close to this area. We might just leave them and extend the garden space in the opposite direction. We can plant shade tolerant plants in the understory of the cedar trees.....we will see how things grow..... There is also a pear tree in there, a couple of mulberries, a hedge apple, some sad looking raspberry twigs. We plan to put a couple of goumi, pawpaw, lipstick strawberries, wintergreen, high bush cranberry. On the far side to the left of the pic between the trees and fence, we will plant raspberries and thornless blackberries.


looking from house to pole barn. the fence is all the way at the far side of the pole barn. This area will be fenced off on the near side of the pole barn to create a chicken run and an annual garden. There are 2 old apple trees on the right that we will prune and see how it recovers. We have a ton of seeds ordered for an annual garden that I will post about later.


Closest to the pole barn will be 1 of 2 chicken runs we will create. This will give us easy access to fertilizer, close to the garden. Once the garden gets established/plants become more hardy, the chickens can go eat bugs in the garden.


This is the annual garden area from the other side of the pole barn, looking towards house. We will use the fence for trellising of vegetables.


These are the big, rotten, hollow trees that were cut last fall. This area needs cleaned up. Brian has got his chainsaw chain sharpened and will be cutting LOTS of trees/logs in the coming weeks. We plan on putting our clothesline here and maybe a little patio area to the right, near the house. The hollow stump will stay for awhile as the boys like to climb in there. I would also like to relocate the hollow log elsewhere in the yard so the kids can continue to play in it.


this is the back of the garage. After all these branches are cleared away, we want our 2nd chicken run attached to the back of the garage. Having 2 runs will easily allow us to keep broiler chickens away from the egg laying hens. Not sure if this is much of an issue, but it will be nice to have the 2 areas regardless....


another view of the back of garage - where the 2nd chicken run will be placed. We will use the garage and existing fencing for 2 sides of the run.


front of root cellar - it needs a new door. the cellar needs cleaned out. We want to put this in working order once again. I like the leaning grape vine in front of it.


south facing root cellar mound. The root cellar mound has been officially named cherry hill. there is the one large sour cherry tree. We planted 2 more dwarf cherry trees and will be adding a nanking cherry bush. I planted the few cloves of garlic last fall that I saved from the previous house and have seen a couple of them sprouting up. I hope they make it! We will fill this area with herbs and such to ensure no mowing is needed.


north side of mound - I have 4 hostas planted here and will be planting some more shade tolerant plants.


Looking from the house

looking from the road towards the pond (taken last week when the pond still had ice)
This is the electric pole area shown from 2 angles. It becomes VERY weedy and is a pain in the ass to mow since it is sloped towards the driveway and has old tree stumps around. We put landscape fabric down and covered it with mulch already. I have 2 forsythia twigs planted here. Brian just added some of his Egyptian walking onions to the area also.


This is the driveway that will one day lead to our new home. It will pass by the pole barn, the cattle shed, curve to the left past the grain bin, and the house will sit where the turkey shed is now. The turkey shed needs torn down. We would like to have someone else come and remove/properly dispose of the asbestos siding and leave the rest of the wooden frame for us to take down. There is still a lot of good wood in there we can use elsewhere on the property.
On either side of the entrance of the drive, we plan on planting phlox. It is very sloped there and we want to remove the need to mow there.


front of the little, old, humble farm house. It already has landscaping timber bordering the perimeter of the house. We plan on filling these areas in with plants. Last fall, I planted a hardy mum on each side of the stairs - hope they come back.


The area to the right will be extended out and a lilac bush planted on each side of the window. I got the old fashioned, strong scented purple lilacs. Other groundcover/low growing plants will be added too.


North side of house. I want to fill this area in with hostas, bleeding hearts, and other shade loving perennials. The area between the house and garage is very muddy - need to get some stepping stones placed and moss growing.


Side of house. Left side there are 3 hazelnut bushes planted. In the corner, there are 3 forsythia plants.


Very far left - there are some daffodil plants poking through. There might also be some tulips popping up. I will have to wait and see what blooms. Around the large plants, we want to plants some ground covers - not sure what type yet.


Pond.....we want to get some water loving plants planted along/near the bank. We have heard too many stories about the old man who lived here getting too close to the pond while mowing and ending up in the pond with his tractor. It is pretty darn steep along the edge. We want to replace the weeds that grow up the slope with something more useful. We have Kinnikinnick, zone 6 trees, elderberries, and spicebush to start. We have considered cattails, but don't want to deal with their invasive nature right now. We have enough to keep us busy to consider managing the cattails. Between the pond and road, near the mouth of the pond, we want to install a rain garden to catch some of the runoff from the field across the street. No telling what they are using on their fields that run off into our pond.


front of pole barn. we are going to do ground covers on each side of the big white doors.


The left side of the pole barn entrance gets very weedy. We are going to put a small semi circular garden with a fruit tree, a couple of bushes, and phlox.


View is back by the cattle shed looking towards the house. This is the flattest part of the property. We plan on cutting down the black walnut tree and using this area as a play field for the kids/family/party events. We envision all kinds of yard games happening back here. We want to keep this area open for that use.


This open field is located what will be behind our new home. On the other side of the building is the northwest end of the pond. The building in the far part of the picture is the long turkey shed that is in disarray that we will eventually have torn down. We will be planting this area with some trees, not sure of specific plans right now......we walk back here to go down to the creek.

Ok, that is all for now. I have another post I want to write for all the plants we have ordered for this year. We went a little overboard! Super excited spring is coming!