Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Backyard picutes- The Before

     So, I figured I should go ahead and take and post pictures of our backyard before we begin to tear it up this spring. My boys felt the need to demonstrate their muscles. They took some sledge hammers and began to hit the cement pad which has become the bane of my existance. The picture below is an example of their handiwork.

The pictures below are from my upper patio. My house is a tri-level. These are from the back door.

These pics are from the lower yard.
I really love my garden space

                   You can see my strawberry patch on the left hand side of the picture

     My goal this spring/summer is to get rid of the cement pad. My husband wants a new shed. The problem is the rats will get under that pad, and they are safe and secure.
     Our goal is to eventually add on to the lower level to give us more room. The room in the lower level is tiny, so our older boys use it as a bedroom. We want to add on and make an "official" family room . It is just one of many projects on the to-do list.

Monday, February 18, 2013


This spring, once J returns from school; we plan on finishing the remodel on our kitchen. We have done it in bits and pieces. The next plan is to raise the ceiling and replace the 1970's cabinets.
Here are some lovely before pictures.

The cabinets are painted white. When we bought the house, the counter tops were a lovely
shade of yellow ( sponge yellow that is) and the cabinets were a dark brown. My kitchen is not very big, so J and I thought we would paint them and replace the hardward- to give them a different look.
The ceilind is dropped, we will be raising it and replacing the light fixtures ( happy dance for me!) I have the new base cabinets. Once we have raised the ceiling, we will get the uppers. I want to make sure we dont have any wasted space!

These are the cabinets J and the older boys built over the summer. See where my phone is?  I want to eventually remove part of that wall and open it up into the dining room. Its not load bearing so with my luck it should not be a problem ( ha ha ha).


Sunday, February 10, 2013

old pics of the garden and back yard

Here are one of my raised beds. This one contains my strawberries. I started out with eight plants. They spread, and now fill the whole area.

This is my bigger raised garden. It is 14 feet x 16 feet. We are going to expand it this spring. The space between our property and the garden is 37 inches. We will remove the back part of the garden fence so I can plant in that area. We will be bringing the garden out another 5 feet. It is in the southwest crner of my lot. It gets sun most of the day. I have had really good luck with vegetables in it.

The picute above is my wash tub- tomatoe planter. That wash tub is old- my dad used to bath in it when he was a kid! Several years ago, we had a freak cold snap. I was using the tub as a water dish from my big dogs. There was only a few inches of water in it. One nite it froze ( i believe the temps were single digits) and the water froze. When it froze ,the ice put holes in the bottom of the tub.
The following spring, I placed gravel in the bottom, a little compost then added dirt. It has been a great planter.
The orange bucket in the back of the picture is another planter I use for tomatoes as well.

This picture is from last spring. It was taken from my upper patio. My big corner garden is in the upper right hand side of the picture.

The chicken coup is located on the North side of my hosue. This picure was taken before we expanded the pen.

Here is a picture, after we expanded the pen. The hens did not have enough room. I will add a couple more hens this sprng, as some of the flock is getting old. With 5 boys ( three teenagers) we really go through the eggs...

Later this spring I will try to take more pictures to get a better lay out of our yard.
Front and back..

Awaiting spring

So, I started lettuce and peas inside last Sunday. My seeds are already approx an inch tall! The boys and I worked outside. The older boys power washed the back patio, the younger boys and I cleaned out the garden. Our next chore is to empty the compost and mix in the garden. I have to move my compost location. We keep getting rats.... I found tunnels as I was mixing the compost. I'm hoping they were old, the dogs were with me. I called them over, they smelled the area then left. Yoga ( dachshund/pug mix) has caught them before. He's been reliable in the past at alerting me when there has been activity. Max ( bull terrier) just came over all wiggles. He's a funny dog. He has one of the best temperaments I have seen. I look forward to expanding out our garden I will take and post pictures later today ( after I get off work)
I have the best co workers. Really. Everyone has different life experiences and stories. I makes life interesting.
I keep the ideas turning in my head how to arrange my garden this year and what to plant. I want to try to grow potatoes. I am going to plant chard, kale, lettuce, peas, and sweet peppers. Not sure what else though. Good thing I still have time to decide.
The one thing I want to try to do is track how much ( weight wise) I harvest. Jason and I really want to be as self sufficient as possible. He really wants to be able for us to grow and store as much of our own produce as possible. ( good thing I have a green thumb!)

As some of you know, we are in the process of adopting our foster son. Can I tell you the amount of paperwork is C-R-A-Z-Y. We were licensed as a foster to adopt home too. That's even crazier.. The social worker is great. She's thorough. I'm glad we didn't have to change ( usually when it goes to adoption, the social worker changes. She changed positions, and got to take his case with her). She's hoping we will be done in a couple months. I'll be glad when it's done, just to give our foster kid a sense of being done with the ordeal. I think he's feeling anxiety over it, I'm not sure he knows how to identify his emotions.
Later today, I plan on taking the troop to the salmon hatchery. I figured I can discuss the salmon life cycle with our F.K. and the other boys. My kids have been there several times while FK has not. The biologists there are really informative, and good with the kids.
We' ll see how the weather holds...