Old People And Old Houses

Removed the ceiling plaster first

You would think they go together, old people and old houses, but we are finding that occasionally the two are in conflict.

 Handyman and I have started back on our eternal (it seems) endeavor to renovate this old farmhouse, but our efforts turned against us. We are the old people involved, you see. We have one last major project that must be done, an upstairs bedroom whose plaster ceiling had finally been falling in, whose deeply bowed flooring needed straightening, and whose walls were sandwiched between and thus on the agenda for removal. A major undertaking for anyone.

This sort of work is now firmly in my husbands domain, while I took on the yard renovation that was past due. Little did we realize, after a rosy start full of vim and vigor, that we would outdo ourselves. Only not in a positive way.

 We overworked, and our bodies rebelled. Water on the knee and a three week sciatica flare up for him, damaged knee and pulled calf muscles for me. Oh, we were a pair, I tell you!

However, we had made some progress in the meantime and I have some pictures. I am hoping to entice Handyman away from Facebook to fill in the how-to details so far.

And this is how we prod this old house blog awake…

Raising the Bar in the Garden, Raised Beds

crafty hands make handy crafts!
crafty hands make handy crafts!

Handyman has been repurposing. repurposing is close to my heart because it fulfills all those frugal plans that I coddle in my dream plans of being the most virtuous wife, ever. I know that isn’t on the list of people around me, but it does sometimes translate into saving money. For things that they would rather have, if given a choice between …oh I don’t know, raised beds for my garden veggies or new spring clothes (for some) or new tool gadget from Home Depot or Sears (for others). See? Repurposing is good.

Handyman made me a raised veggie bed from old barn boards that were just scrap from the pig barn that the former owner had torn down (halfway). We kept the boards in the regular barn which is on its own road to ruin, now. It is time to make use of these things or forever throw them out.

First, though, I had requisitioned the initial boards that were cut for the garden frames for a nifty idea I found while blogging. A organizational shelf area of boards and concrete blocks to store extra pots and buckets. Cheap, easy, and it helps with the outdoor clutter that was accumulating around my new greenhouse.

I can hardly believe what a difference the survival blogs have made for me. Handyman is addicted to them, and their convincing arguments for the value of growing your own food have translated into the garden projects that 15-20 years ago I so coveted.

This is the power of being on the same page.

Important marriage advice for everyone in every area:  “Get on the same page and life won’t feel like such hard work.”

Peripherals: The Greenhouse


Not having weighed in here for a little while, it was time!

A household is so much more than the shell of the house itself, there are furnishings, interiors and exteriors, and there are the out buildings, which I am calling the “peripherals”, here. Nowadays, even the garage is connected to the main house, so we don’t think too much about peripherals, but in olden times these outbuildings were important. Think about it: the barns, the chicken coops, the summer kitchens… wow, the outhouse! Most of these were connected to an agricultural mode of living, but sometimes we have our own need for “little buildings”.

I’ve always been the garden nut around here, but in light of the present economy our focus has turned towards a greater sufficiency for good food. Thus, the addition of a small green house!

Just like having a computer and realizing, hey, a pair of headphones would be nice, a printer is really useful… the outbuildings serve the same purpose of expanding the household’s capabilities. We didn’t have to have a greenhouse, but in a cold climate it sure will be nice for starting plants that need a jump on the season. I always thought green houses and conservatories were pretty, anyway.

We also learned that important lesson on silicone caulk, too. Handyman can tell you more about that in the future, because he just finished the onerous job of cleaning out the faulty caulk from one of the windows that blew out during a recent storm- the ‘non-setting’ of the expired caulk just wasn’t going to hold against the kind of winds we experience around here. So one down and numerous ones to go….
Remember to check the expiration date on that silicone caulk before you buy!!!

Right now I am very happy with the little green house and have started to use it, despite the fact that I have to figure out a way to shade it through the summer months. It gets full sun and heats up quickly. A framework of removable screening (lathe fencing) is going up around it soon.

Tool sheds, gazebos, all sorts of out buildings get added as time goes by.