Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Half-Way Point

We are now pretty much half-way done the work on the house at Dog Days. Last weekend we came in to see all the work Mike was able to accomplish, and enjoy the first signs of spring on the mountain.

We had lots of cleanup to do. Mike must have carried out tons of trash from the property both from all the construction and from years of human habitation, but there is still lots left for us to haul out too. The area around the house looks much better (the removal of the dilapidated dog run and nasty home-made dog hovel has made a huge impact just by itself), and once I get the leaves and branches raked up, I am sure it will be gorgeous. I have already seen all sorts of ferns, hostas, roses, bulbs, herbs, ivy and many other beautiful plants and ground cover sprouting up all around the house. I cannot wait to see what pops up next! The front planter is already looking green and beautiful!
Well, it is still needs work, but the vinca and ivy are bouncing back nicely from being buried in leaves and branches.

The deer paid us a visit Sunday morning and we enjoyed watching them eat their breakfast while
we ate ours.

It was rainy for a good part of the weekend, but the sun broke through so that I could venture out for a little while. I traipsed down the hill to check out the Shop, the pastures and the wetlands. I think I may have seen two young trout in the stream and a pair of wood ducks hiding in the brush. The stream was full of life, and I am looking forward to spending time down there with the dogs. I even found a few places where it would be very easy to make a small pond...

The walk to the shop is down the dirt road; it is a pleasant downhill walk from the house. Going back up to the house will get your heart pumping...

The shop will have to wait for its renovations. We are boarding up the top windows to keep out the elements, and its new roof will protect it until such time as I can get to working on improving its state. So for now it will look a bit rough, but it has good bones underneath all of the dirt and splinters. The view from the shop to the pastures is very peaceful, and I know I will enjoy sitting on the porch and painting the trees.

I even found another building on the property. Well, it is completely flat now, but at one point is was a building. There is some good lumber buried underneath the rubble that I can use to replace some of the more rotten ones at the shop. I am trying to reuse as much as possible and not buy new materials if I do not have to. The best way any of us can be responsible
stewards of the land is to take only what we have to, and that is what we have been trying to do as much as possible! I wonder what else I will find? Next visit I will hike up the mountain to the laurel and pines and see what may be hiding there!

Oscar picked up many cans of paint and all the supplies I need to get started on the inside. I have not decided where I should begin my assault, though. I was thinking about doing the smaller areas first, as that will go quickly and give me a sense of accomplishment. But I am drawn to working on the living room, as that will have the biggest impact. I have been dying to get the drab dark green paint covered with something brighter and bolder... it will make the room feel even bigger!

There is also the screened porch; we have had a few meals at the outdoor table already. The view is great, without the worries of bug invasions or rain!

The weather is so perfect for this porch, and it is located in the best place to enjoy the summer breezes through the trees. I am thinking it might be a good place for a nap, too! The grill on the porch is gas, with a stone base, one tiled counter on the right side and a wooden one on the right. Once we replace the burner and grate, I will be making kabobs...

I am already packing for the next trip.

Until then...

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