Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A Little Bird House in Your Soul

The title of this post has absolutely nothing to do with the post itself. I just can't get this song out of my head, which is a good thing because I always think of this song when I'm feeling great. It's from an old "They Might Be Giants" album that I love and have been listening to for ages. They make some awesome kids music these days. I really love that I can share this band with Brennan already. She is always talking about the "two Johns." You can download free podcasts on iTunes for kids and they have an album, "Here Come the 123s" that just won a Grammy.

So, anyway, I have been absent for a while. Sorry! Although, I have to say, none of you wrote to check on me or called missing persons. I mean, what kind of stalkers are you anyway? I was actually out of town for a little while and, before we left, had the usual days upon days of trying to get some laundry and housework done, as well as filling etsy orders and making cards for my personal use. It's funny that I never seem to have one lying around when I need it.

We went to Willow Wood, Ohio to my mom's and stepdad's farm to help them with some work they are doing on the farmhouse. They are involved in an extensive remodeling project that has been going on for about seven years now. I know, it sounds crazy! They are a bit crazy, but they are also doing almost all of the work themselves. Thus far, they have added a huge section to the house (about half is unfinished), put a neato new metal roof on the house, barn and garage, resided the house, barn and garage, resculpted some of the landscape (the previous owners used a hillside for a trash dump, which was revealed when it all started slipping), improved pastures and re-fenced, added an Alpine garden, cutting garden, herb garden, perennial garden, two annual beds, as well as putting in flocks in front of the barn, sedum, Jacob's Ladder and Bleeding Hearts around the huge porch, Mondo Grass on a hillside beside the driveway and Lariope just next to the driveway. Whew! That's not all, but that was becoming a HUGE run-on sentence and I felt like you might need a break. Check out the pics showing some of the work and progress and then come back for the remaining laundry list of progress they have made. BTW, you might be wondering why I am giving you all of this information. The main answer is, "Because I want to." However, I think it will help my mom feel a little bit better about how long they have been working. Also, I helped a lot and want to pat myself on the back...publicly. Kudos to me (and Tim)!These photos were taken in 2005, around the time they started reshaping a bit of the area around their house in preparation for the remodel. Fortunately, my stepfather is good with heavy equipment. Then we move on to pics of the addition and the new roof. I've got many, many more pics, but we'll stop there for now. I also need to ask my mom if she has pics from when they very first moved out there. There has been a dramatic change. I'm leaving you in 2005 for now. Back to the list: They have also completed the new garage, family room and kitchen, which looks awesome, as well as a new bathroom for the first floor (Tim designed he tile arrangement for the shower). Now they have moved upstairs and are finishing Clay's room. While we were there last week, Tim designed a loft bed and built-in bookcase for the room (let's just say he's living vicariously through Clay). He and John built it, but didn't have a chance to stain and paint. My mom and I went to the Amish garden center in Jackson, Ohio and bought plants to replenish her gardens and fill in some places where a few didn't survive the winter. She also bought some plants for me, an early birthday gift. I'll tell you more about them in a later post. We spent a ton of time, weeding, replanting, adding some plants and mulching all of the gardens. I also planted a couple of Weeping Willow trees along a bank that is starting to slip. It was unseasonably warm, super sunny and in the 90s. It was super hot, dirty work and I got a sunburn despite 50 sph baby sunblock. However, it was lots of fun and I would've loved it had it been about 10 degrees cooler. If you can believe it, I took absolutely no pictures while we were there, so I don't have much to share. Tim took a couple of pics of his projects on his iPhone, so I'll have to get him to email them to me. They won't be awesome shots, but will suffice. As we finish, we'll update you. I think that's enough for now. Hopefully, I'll get a chance to get some new stuff on etsy soon and will post pics here.

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