Sunday, December 8, 2013

That time everyone got married in one year

This year we were invited to 10 weddings, along with our recent puppy addition of Scout has somewhat throttled our house-progress over the past couple of months. Halley's mom, Jeanne, says that we're not allowed to make any more unmarried friends.  Somehow we found the time to sneak a few projects in, so we thought it was time to smush them all together into another blog update.

The adorable Q-tip tree
Last summer we spent a silly amount of time and effort cleaning our pool of pine needles dropped by the pine tree in the corner of our yard. We decided the tree must die. So Halley's dad, John, offered to take it down as a birthday present.  With the help of my dad, Jim, and friends Brian and Lina we got most of it taken care of.
Of course the tree's base is in the corner of the yard where falling limbs would hit the fence, pool pump or pool cover.  This required attaching a line to each cut branch and lowering it safely to the yard.  We were able to get about 75-80% of the limbs off - but finishing the job is going to be difficult.  There is no other trees to hang lumberjacks off of or to use to catch cut branches.  The operation is going to be tricky with a higher likelihood of someone getting hit with a falling limb, so we called it quits on the project - much to John's chagrin.  We'll likely get a tree company to manage the rest of the job and handle the dead/dying tree outside of the fence.  The significant pruning really did reduce the amount of debris in the pool over the summer.

Painting the foyer
We decided to paint the foyer and the upstairs hallway a dark grey because we have really a lot of colors going on and didn't want guests eyes to be assaulted upon entry.  The new color sharpens things up nicely.

View to kitchen before
View to kitchen after

View to foyer before
View to foyer after

Upstairs hallway before
Upstairs hallway after

Montage of yard work
There has been tons of pruning and shrub removal over our first two years in the house.  What we thought was a tiny amount of fenced yard, really increased once we got the foliage in order (although we'd still like to move the fence to include more of the property).

View away from Norman Drive before
View away from Norman Drive after

View across pool before
View across pool after

View to Norman Drive after
View to Norman Drive before

View to Tom's house before
View to Tom's house after

Gardening up a storm
We had a productive year in the garden with a harvest of 38.75 lbs of organic produce.  We enjoyed eating it and sharing with friends and family.
The scene: potatoes, corn and garden boxes...watered with captured grey water from the downspouts.  Not a drop of hose water was used on the garden.

Corn!  Not a huge success so we'll probably grow
 something else here next year.
The garden boxes

A modest ear of corn
Ripening Big Boy tomato - probably
used on a burger
A cucumber, nearly ready to pick

Thai hot peppers were planted in each box to keep deer and
rabbits from crunching on our veggies - and it worked!
Potatoes that I killed by trying
to trellis them: lesson learned

Cascade hops growing along the side
of the house.

Close up of the Cascade hops

Cantaloupe trellised on the fence.
The flowers and melons that managed
to grow on the outside of the fence
fed the deer nicely.
Compost pile with volunteer tomatoes.

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