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Friday, May 29, 2009

One year anniversary!

Today is our first anniversary in our new home.

I'm still unpacking boxes; the last of them are the ones for my office and ones out in the shed. Everything else is done, with the excess hauled to Goodwill. My office will be finished by the end of this summer and the shed will be finished by December (don't fool with it during the hot, hot summer).

We have renovations planned: the kitchen and both bathrooms. All the ceiling fans have been replaced and most of the light fixtures (no more "contractor specials"!). We have installed a new front door and a new door to downstairs. And plan on replacing all the other interior plastic doors with wooden 3 panel doors. We are going to rebuild and expand the deck and put on a front porch. And there is painting to do. This isn't all at once... we have years to work on our home.

I've spent a year watching the yard, and now I am ready to start working on it. There were some beautiful springtime surprises of daffodils, tulips and crocus (most of which I have to move!). This year we will be laying out some of the bones of our gardens... lots up weed/grass killing and mulching (some areas are just too much a pain to fool with mowing), putting in flower beds, a cactus garden, in the lower corner an area of grasses (ones that like it dry!) and a fire pit. Taking out bushes planted wrong (growing too big for where they are) and adding in some in other areas. One of the mulched areas will be a butterfly and bird garden. Herbs and veggies are going to have to wait another year, too much needs to be done to prep the soil.

Not such a fun surprise was the bad drainage problem (the sellers of this home had some gravel hauled in to hide the ruts when they put on the market... first hard rain showed what they did!). So this month we are having the "upper drive" redone... making the approach from the road wider, the drive less angular and the parking area MUCH larger. Also will be addressing the drainage issues by have a ditch worked on and the walls of a French drain repaired.

It has been an adjustment being a 'country mouse' rather than a 'city mouse'. I make a very careful shopping list because to "run to town" to pick up something I forgot is a 14 mile one-way trip (unless I want to stop at the VERY spendy little market 4 miles away). Six miles up the road is the "convenience center": known to us as the "mini dump". No trash pick-up in the country and I've learned I can't have 2 ton trash bags anymore...since I have to lift each bag over my head to throw it in the dumpster! That's where the nearest gas station is too.

In the country you brake for deer and strutting turkeys, not dogs and snarly teens. In the country you stop and help a neighbor catch up his loose bull before you head into town. In the country you realize that people still wave 'hello' and aren't using another hand gesture... In the country you find out that a house makes all sorts of sounds you never heard over the noise in town. In the country you realize that birds still sing and ones you have never seen before come to your feeders. And in the country you look up at a million stars in the night sky and know you don't want to ever live any place else again.

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