Sunday, September 23, 2012

Becoming A Homestead

 A lot of work is involved in creating a homestead out of something that was an abandoned home. It’s important to find and appreciate the small (big?) joys. On one of my first mornings here, a Mockingbird perched atop our chimney and sang to me while I worked. On another early morning, I spotted this wild morning glory blooming along the remains of what had been a ramp.
And Lyli and I found a dragonfly playing in our sliding glass door. We observed him for awhile and took his picture. Homeschool at it’s best!
I must continually remind myself that creating a homestead is an evolution. You see, I want everything right now. I bet I’m the only person who does, right?
But we must be patient with life, just as God is patient with us.
And besides, the joy is in the journey.
Here’s a view of the backyard:
Now, when I look at this, I see what needs to be done. (You can’t see from here what I see when I walk around.) :) But I also see the happy kid and the pretty plants and I try to focus on that.
We’ve fenced the backyard, and fenced the garden area (the chickens are preparing it for me at the moment). The porch swing is waiting for us and our coffee (on the swingset because there is no porch), and we put up the swingset from our old house, too. The deck is almost finished. And I hauled away a lot of yard trash.

Evolution of a Farm Girl is an ongoing process. And the evolution of this homestead is, too. Check in next week to see our progress and hopefully find inspiration and humor for you to use on your life’s journey.

This post is linked up to the

Sunday, September 9, 2012

We Found A Home

We purchased a 2005 manufactured home on 2 acres. It is just far enough out in the country and within 10 minutes of a wonderful library. (Have I mentioned how much I LOVE the library?) It has well water (which we love) and a small barn.

Now for the “before” stuff.

*Swamp. Yeah, it’s a bit swampy. The soil has a high clay content and holds water because many of our neighbors have built up their properties with truckloads of fill dirt. But no worries, we have a plan. A plan that will have to wait until the ground dries out some… but a plan nonetheless.

*Repairs. The new A/C is the biggest repair that was needed. People tend to strip all they can from foreclosures. This one was spared most damage because of the tight-knit community of watchful neighbors. But still- new A/C, new back steps/ramp/deck, replace ceiling fans and light fixtures (all the nice ones were gone), our new friend, Gary the Electrician, fixed our wiring problem, our new friend and neighbor, Michael, helped with the electricity-to-water-heater problem. And my Dad has been extremely helpful! Putting up ceiling fans, repairing the kitchen cabinet, installing the stove. Ben and Ed worked on the kitchen, too, cutting out a place for the stove to go.

We still have to install door knobs (they stole all the door knobs!) and put up some trim around some doors (they stole the trim!).

*Cosmetics. I don’t know about you, but almost every time I move into a place, I like to freshen it up with a new coat of paint. This home had a decent paint job, but alas, it was too dark a color for me. So we painted. My father-in-law Pat and mother-in-law CynDee helped a lot with this. So now the kitchen and laundry room are a very light and fresh green (Delicate Winter Melon- WalMart), the living areas and our bedroom are a light peachy white (Whispered Peach- Better Homes and Gardens for WalMart), and Lyliana wanted a dark blue for her room. We compromised with a light blue- Aqua Inlet by Better Homes and Gardens for WalMart.

*Fence. The property next door has two ponds on it, so we needed a fence to keep our kids and dogs in and safe, and keep the neighborhood dogs out. I wish it would keep the deer out of my garden, but we’ll have to come up with something before planting time.

Before Pictures:

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Some of the cabinets have been ripped. I will cover this with stain and hope no one ever notices. :)

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The laundry room has a deep wonderful mop sink. LOVE IT! And you can see the destroyed deck/steps/ramp in the back yard. Our new friend Larry is going to fix this for us.

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Ben and Chris smoothed out and trimmed the carpets. Not sure why they were like this, but they’re fixed now. They look great. There are a few stains, but I’ll cover them with area rugs.