Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Working Vacation- Part 2

Well, a glorious two weeks is officially over. This has been the best vacation we have had in ages. Maybe ever, with the exception of our honeymoon in Maine.

The problem with this blogging thing is too much happens and then I don't know where to start. So prepare for rambling.

First, the new ducklings have decided I am their mother.

We had to keep them inside until it was warm enough to let the barn duck try to safely raise them......but by then she had become oblivious and did not claim them as her own. At first I thought it was strange how they have gotten attached to me since that didn't happen with the initial ones we got last year...then I remembered they that that batch had decided the cow was their mother. If these ducklings lose sight of me, they peep. When they here my voice they come running. I have been gardening all around the yard and they just stay close by.

Sometime they nestle under my garden stool and go to sleep. It's like I am sitting on a nest.

Second, Cory and I have put forth a Hercules-type effort on the house and farm these two weeks. The reason he decided to move up his vacation in the first place is because so much needed to be done now. So here goes...

We redisked, reseeded, and rerolled the east field because we felt we needed to add more than what I had spread initially. Then he single-handedly dropped and removed five huge pines that were scattered through the upper field. We then prepped, seeded, and rolled that field. Both are planted now and we have gotten good rains. The first one had a hairy fuzz of green on it. Hopefully the seed stayed in the upper even though there was a torrential downpour yesterday.

We built a new arbor to frame the front walkway with wisteria. The arbor that was there was leaning, rotting, and too small for the scale of the house.

Cory cut four poles to length. I stripped the bark off the bottoms and treated them so they wouldn't rot. I then dug the post holes 15 inches deep. We installed them

and then Cory constructed the cross-pieces.

As of Sunday he was almost finished, so I began the demo of the old structure.

With a little help (you can never have too many pictures of your man with a chainsaw, I say).

I also began untangling the wisteria- the plan is to retrain it over the new structure. We had to do this now because very shortly it will bloom and then become very thick with green.

Cory spent days under the house on the plumbing- very nasty work.

Because the half bath and laundry room we are putting in is in a different location from the one we are tearing out,

he had to run all of the supplies and drains, then cut them into the main lines. He also had to relocate the hot water heater. It was hours and hours of work with no visible progress above to show for it; but once it was all in we could shift focus to what was up top. He would have gotten it finished, but there was framing work that we decided needed to be done instead... you can't do this for a week with a Homeowner's Association, by the way:

The old bathroom was in the center of the house. I redesigned the downstairs and now it will be a pass through from the front of the house to the rear; and will also be the access door to the west side. That bathroom also had mold in it...

What that all means is 3 headers, a new subfloor, and a LOT of demo.

He got the subfloor and two of the three headers in.


[Special note: To mothers of sons, please consider carefully the sport participation you help select for your children. Had my husband blown out his knees or ruined his back while playing football in high school, he would be nowhere near capable of the things he is taking on and accomplishing as a husband and father for our family... just something to think about).

More on the overall design that this is accomplishing in another blog to come...

Before I continue on with what we did over the two week vacation, I'd like to add some more thoughts on 'staycations' as they call them. They are more than settling, they are a frame of mind- to be able to enjoy your time right where you are...

Life is very short. Every day you live you realize that more and more. Enjoy your life now. Not everything can change at once but if you have some dreams, make some plans and MORE importantly, do some praying. I could write forever about the things I thought I wanted and the roads I have been on before we got here. God is patient and He knows the plans He has for us; and they are good. I know there are many things that are so ingrained in us that we can't think outside of it, but start asking yourself questions like, "Was this what God intended?" One thing Cory and I know is that when we got married, we had every intention of seeing each other more than weekends and two weeks a year. His workdays are ridiculously long, but even if they weren't, he is very, very missed when he isn't home.

When you ask certain questions you often find that you aren't the only ones who have asked those questions. We have met or read about men whose desire is to find work that will allow them to be a strong daily presence in their families lives. They are being creative. They are being resourceful. That has become more and more a goal of ours. These last two weeks we did plenty of work, but we were all together and it was a beautifully, naturally flowing thing.

More on that to come too.


  1. Wonderful! We are taking a 'staycation' after next week. We are looking so forward to it...I am freshly inspired by yours and Cory's work!