Hey there! I have not abandoned this blog in the long term sense of things, but because we have no home internet and I do now have a smart phone, it has been easiest to post photos and quick little status updates to facebook instead. I miss the blog world immensely though, the ability to say more and to connect more deeply with a specific community, and I want to jump back in soon-ish. But since we don't always get what we want, it's tough to say when that will be.
Meanwhile, the fly over news is that we have completed what we're viewing as Phase 1 of our farm house renovation project. Well, almost completed. We still have the final living room window and wall trim pieces to install, a bit of painting in the bathroom, the medicine cabinet and towel racks to hang, a few kitchen items like a spice rack and a pan ceiling pan rack to hang, etc. So, actually, when I put it that way, we are not done with Phase 1. But! We have completed the major safety improvements we had to do as a condition of our home loan. Repainted the delapitated garage (a really silly endeavor, as we hope to burn it down some time), repainted some other places on the outside of the house that most likely had lead-based paint on them, replaced an upstairs window that was being held up only by rotten wall, and so forth. Additionally, Jason, with my dad's trusty assistance, fixed a bunch of the surprise problems we encountered upon the deeper inspection that can only happen when the house is yours to tear into. He then renovated the entire living room area, combining two rooms into one, adding ceiling soffits, and hmmm, I think I already wrote about this a few months ago, so I won't go on too much.
When either of the kids would swing around this magic wand, I couldn't help but wish it would work to suddenly make the house be done.
Speaking of the kids, since this project is being done with two small children in tow, between the already long hours of Jason's real job, we have both felt the effects. In fact, some time mid-way, we were standing outside one morning, and Jason noticed with what I can only describe as gingerly-expressed shock that I had a whole new head of gray hairs. And he was right.
In late May, Jason injured his knee and back on the job, so that brought house renovation to a screeching halt. His mom visited us in June, which was fantastic, and then we all headed to Montana for a family reunion in early July. We only intended to be there for about 12 days, but Jason's back pain turned into sciatica. Since it was taking him 10 minutes to make his way from one room to another at my folks' house, we decided he was pretty well unable to sit in a car for a 14 hour trip back to ND. Plus, we had access to more doctors in MT as well as family support for the kids, etc. so that our 12 day stay turned into a solid month! This was an unexpected joy amidst not so great of circumstances.
Of course, the kids have changed SO MUCH in the last several months, as kids tend to do, that I can't even begin to do a just summation of them. Plus, Ziah will not leave the motel phone alone and Zoralee is screeching around half dressed, so I've got a couple things to attend to.
Oh, real quick - - back in March, just as we were moving in to the house, we had gotten a batch of Barred Plymouth Rock chickens for layers and a batch of Cornish Rock cross chickens for meat. We went with the same breeds we had a few years ago in Montana, but this time were armed with more wisdom and experience! We had some friends interested in farm fresh eggs, so we ordered up another batch of the layers sometime in April or May. Anyway, our most mature hens are just starting to lay eggs, so we're thrilled about that, and before long, we should have about 25 laying hens. Unfortunately, we've ended up with 6 roosters, so some of those may end up on other farms or in our freezer, depending. Pics are over at facebook, but sometime I hope to update this blog, since it's a family journal for us.
By now we've been back in ND for a few weeks, reconnecting with friends and our community here, with a fresh perspective on the old house. At this exact moment that I'm writing, we're finishing up a long weekend away to Bismarck and Medora. I have internet access at the motel, so hello blog...and goodbye again!