Friday, December 31, 2010

More Work on the Garden Shed

 The junkie lean-to you see here is actually concealing a cute little building that we are going to use for our garden tools/supplies. We spent half-a-day cleaning this thing out and then filling it with some of our gardening stuff in preparation for the not-to-far-off-gardening season!

Among a number of treasure we found amongst the trash and mess is this great little antique cupboard. We'll let it air out for a few weeks and then move it inside for some use or another.

 A "before" picture would make you lose your appetite so just enjoy the "after". This solid little building is the same vintage as the house: circa 1900. It's a solid little gem.

What do we have here?

Looks like something that might come in handy (when it's warm out!):

Better see how it feels.

We'll keep the outhouse functionality for now and use the rest of the space for gardening stuff.

Next task on this project will be to remove the crappy lean-to part and reveal the original shed's front.....

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Gourd Bird Houses: An abbreviated tutorial

A few years ago we grew gourds at Coffeetree Bottoms with the intent to make bird houses out of them.  We moved those gourds to Carlsbad, NM with us where they dried perfectly in the arid sunny climate.  With our Ohio move this winter Christmas crafting fell a bit by the wayside, but we did manage to make our gourd bird houses.

Step 1: When gourds are ready for crafting, mold covers the skins and seeds rattle inside.  The skins also feel very hard to the touch. First soak the gourds in water then scrub off the mold. It came off readily for us using a wire brush - it did make a bit of a mess so be prepared for that. Let the gourds dry a few hours.

Step 2: Drill a few holes in the bottom for ventilation and drainage.

Happy boy helping the birds...

Step 3: Drill two holes up on the top to hook a wire or cord through for hanging.

Step 4: Make an opening for the birds. This site provides good hole size information (it does matter!), why birds are in desperate need of more cavities to nest/roost in, etc. We made our holes 1.5" in diameter using a hole saw.

Step 5: Once the hole is drilled, use a wire hanger or some other rigid object to remove most of the seeds, chaff, etc.

Step 6: Feed a wire through the top holes and voila!  Your gourd bird houses are ready for hanging.  We opted to leave our gourds completely natural so when they fall apart they can be composted.  We chose a wire for the hanger so the bird houses can be secured tightly to avoid swinging which many birds do not like.

Hang the bird houses before spring and watch the happy residents!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Happy Solstice!

What a great day!  The shortest day of the year always gives us such hope.  Winter is set firmly here in central Ohio, but the days will now start to lengthen and eventually will warm.  What better mid-winter gift is there?  Many well wishes to you all this Winter Solstice!
On another note, we are now officially, completely moved and it's time for tea and scones. All our belongings are in our new home, things are put away that can be, the cats are settling and it's time for some relaxation.  Sure there are projects to work on and we are, but the break neck pace we set for ourselves these past few months can slow way down and we're grateful for the reprieve.  We look forward to garden planning, hiking and being present each moment.    

The cats are enjoying their new home.  There's so much space and old smells to investigate.  They're also enjoying hunting the small furred mammals that like to inhabit warm human space in the winter.  :)  Here's Flora enjoying the view outdoors.

Bobcat, still a little uncertain of her new digs, resting in the cat tube.

Bounder also enjoying the view outdoors.  She's a big kitty isn't she?!

The dining room is cleaned of all the piles of stuff and is perhaps a little sparse, but a nice big rug will make it cozy.

The kitchen is organized and in use.  Meals are still prepared on the fly, but perhaps a big bubbly pot of soup is on the agenda for our solstice celebration.

View of the kitchen from the opposite direction.  It's small, but very user friendly, bright and cozy (wait till we add our fun paint colors!)  It's perfect!

All our books are put away...thanks for helping Mom K.!

The living room is super cozy.  We love this space. :)

We put bird feeders up just a day or two ago and our feathered friends found us quickly.  Here's an American Tree Sparrow looking to secure a tasty morsel.

American Goldfinch

...and a Blue Jay.  We're also seeing dark-eyed juncos, northern cardinals, tufted titmice, red-bellied & downy woodpeckers, Carolina chickadees, and a few others.  The red squirrels are bounding about the wood pile.  We'll see how long it takes them to find the feeders!
Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Readying our home

Hello friends! Cardington home preparations are indeed happening but evening darkness, requirements for rest and general loathing of computer time prevent us from sorry!

Here's the latest:

The kitchen is primed! No more oil heat stains in one room - yay!

The upstairs craft room is also primed and ready for super fun, bright and inspiring paint colors.

This past weekend two dear friends joined us for...

trash burning (Go Tim! You're the burn master!):

dumpster loading (Steve made sure all the treasures were stowed away in a safe place!):

barn cleaning:

Paul hard at work...
and of course, the most important: great conversation, good food, fresh cider, homemade wine and fun times with friends. Thanks for visiting us guys!

Tim & Savannah:

Savannah and Raven found our bed quite readily:

Before our friends left we toured the property and true to its name (Milkweed Meadows), our meadows contain Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca). Many other kinds will be planted next spring/summer! Winter certainly arrived this weekend in Ohio making for beautiful scenery.

Our 3.5 acres feels pretty big walking around (that's our house off in the distance)...

This little diamond in the rough will receive its owners this week! Yes, a number of factors spurred a quick move so we hope to live there by mid-week. We hoped to complete more projects prior to moving, but we anticipate an easier go with the work once we live there. Hopefully our furry friends will enjoy their new home! More soon.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

It might not look like much....

but this room is clean! A major feat given the trash, personal debris and the cat pee/poop. YUCK. The windows, walls, baseboard and floors are bleached and ready for priming. YAY! There is one more room to go plus the hallway to the upstairs. I think it's safe to say....we are tired of cleaning but we will make it through.

We are enjoying moving a few items in now - a welcome reprieve from cleaning! A friend gifted us this antique dresser (plus a matching mirror and head & foot board), which we love. Check out that floor too!

We found this nice lamp outback in the trash pile and it works!

There are wood casters on the dresser; isn't that cool?!

A view out the kitchen window...warm sunshine, seeded goldenrod, a beautiful walnut tree and oh yes, another pile of trash. Let's not look at that right now....

Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanksgiving Weekend Fun

We hope you all enjoyed a great Thanksgiving holiday! We spent this past weekend enjoying time with family and friends. Chatting and of course eating filled most of our's a picture of some of Steve's family:

Steve's sister and brother-in-law hosted the gathering so we ventured out into the COLD to check out their new garden space. Pretty cool. The sage is still hanging on!

Here's some of Jennifer's family (from this summer - we forgot to take any Thanksgiving Day photos, OOPS!) is a requirement at all family gatherings.

We also took a splendidly cold hike at Eagle Marsh with our hardiest of hardy nature friends.

Curry and chai tea warmed us up afterwards...

Upon returning home we put up our Christmas tree, which is enjoyed by all but most especially the kitty cats! Flora is on the left, Bounder is on the right.

If you look close in this photo on the left hand side, Bobcat is on the top of her cat tree while the other two are under the tree. Sweet girls!

Many thanks for continuing to read our tales! Blessings to you all. :)