Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Already Mid-May?

Are you kidding me?  Seems like just yesterday we were freezing our butts off and whining about the entirely too long winter.  And here it is, half way through May and LOTS of plants are growing in the gardens.  We knew Spring had arrived for real when we each found our first tick, trying to catch a free ride, and we've already suffered through blistering hot days.... But last week was nice weather -- Spring weather, for the most part -- mid 60's and 70's during the day and 50's at night. Perfect working weather -- and work we did.

Last week brought the return of our contractor who is SLOWLY helping us rehab the old farm house.  One day soon we will actually decide we are ready to pour the cement slurry to provide a better moisture barrier, and then will begin the installation of the new floor.  I have become so accustomed to walking around on the dirt floor, that once a real floor is in place, I suspect it will feel "odd."
Wendell demonstrates to Judy and Betsy (his wife)

So, as Wendell worked inside the structure, Joe worked on completing trench filling, digging more gardens, clearing of underbrush, felling trees, and burning PILES of brush, and I worked inside, managing to get out to help in the gardens and the brush burning after my "real" work days were complete.  Things are shaping up around here, but with every task completed, we add five to the list....
Brush Burning

Meanwhile, (in ring number three) the pond house is back on the market -- different realtor -- hopefully with better results.  Naturally, selecting a realtor means interviewing several.  Eventually, I decided to go with the realtor who's brother actually built my house, and whose husband was the developer of our small subdivision.  I was not thrilled with the numbers she suggested for the asking price, but she, and all of the other realtors I interviewed, are convinced the reason I had no potential buyers even LOOK at the property during the first listing, is that it was overpriced.  She showed me sales comps and current offerings comps, and in the end, I agreed to list it at her suggested price (gritting my teeth as I did.)

I did get an appraisal of the property, since everyone seemed to think the assessed value was too high, and hence, the original asking price was also too high.  Imagine my surprise, when the appraisal came back at two thousand ABOVE the assessed value.  The house is back on the market...now being offered at 50K UNDER the assessed value... they had better be beating a PATH to my door!

Nevertheless, since this realtor is all about actually MARKETING the house, she scheduled a photographer to photograph the house and property.  The appointment was for Saturday, so I took Friday off from work to prepare.....

I started at 6:00 AM Friday ... and worked until nearly 1:00 AM Saturday.  I managed to pressure wash the front porch, vinyl siding, porch steps and sidewalk, treat the weeds that would like to take over the driveway, declutter closets, take down all curtains and window toppers, vacuum and dust the house.  Washing windows I reserved for our return trip on Saturday morning.
De-Cluttered closets = DAV Donations

Pressure washing with SMALL pressure washer -- very slow going

Saturday, after a VERY short night's sleep, we were back at the pond house, taking the first load of donations to the local DAV thrift store.  Then it was the mad rush to wash 21 windows and windowed doors, while Joe put the final touches on the "yard" and detailed the garage.  I was only two windows shy of complete when Joe announced the photographer had arrived.  Joe directed her first to see the pond, buying me enough time to finish the window cleaning project before the photographer made her way inside to start her shoot.  Two things:
1. Thank GOODNESS for double hung, double tilt-in windows, or I would NEVER have been successful in cleaning 21 windows, inside and out, in three hours.
2. I am NOT as spry as I used to be.... standing on short ladders, bending backwards at odd angles to CLEAN double hung tilt-in windows just is NOT the simple task it is cracked up to be!

CLICK HERE to see the virtual tour of the pond house

Still, we survived, and after the photographer left, we treated our overworked selves to a late lunch at the local Chinese restaurant.  It was great!  And after lunch, we stopped by Southern States to check on the availability and price of cattle panels.... and left with three flats of flowers and vegetable plants, several grape plants, golden raspberry, and gooseberry bushes.... we just NEEDED more work, right?
Chinese food hit the spot!
Trunk full o' more plants!

Sunday afternoon and evening were spent in the gardens...planting, weeding, watering....

Grape Baby

Pea Pod Baby


Watermelon and Hosta


Looking for sprouting seedlings

Today it was back to work for me. After my work day was done, we made the run BACK to Southern States to pick up the cattle panels, and some bales of straw.  We managed to get back to the old farm house with only what we went for -- PLUS one more flat of seedlings and 80 onion bulbs.......

By the time it was too dark to work outside, we'd managed to spread all of the four bales of straw around the plants in the gardens, plant onions, tomatoes and a couple of the grapes.... there's always tomorrow, right?

Loading bales of straw on top of cattle panels
Spreading the straw
Drip hoses on front gardens
And here it is.... already halfway through May.  We are enjoying daily salads of fresh baby spinach from the garden, and daily bowls of fresh strawberries (with maybe a little ice cream?).  The peas are putting on pods and the rest of the vegetables and fruits are growing....  It will be interesting to see the transformation by summer......  Slowly but surely!
Turtle on Driveway

BIG turtle in grass


Gorges Smythe said...

You need a hobby for all that spare time! :-)

Nekkid Chicken said...

LOL @ GORGES, Man Judy you guys make me feel like a lazy bum. Hey once you get those floors laid in; you won't have that 'cathedral vaulted ceiling' feeling. Well off to get ready for my appt with the lasik doc. Keep your feathers crossed will ya? Tell Joe, he does mighty good to keep up with you. :O)

Take care,

Sharon said...

You're 24, right? You have to be, to get so much done on so little sleep!

The housing market really sucks, Would like to sell ours, but we would never even get close to what we paid and all the new stuff it needed, like roof, central, siding & roofing garage, all new double hung tilt windows (which I agree aren't all that easy) and not to mention the new floors and new kitchen! At least it's worth more than we owe, which a whole lot of people cannot say.

The farm house is coming along nicely! Oh, but how will you feel, when you move in after your cute little digs, that you have now?

mixednut555 said...

Looking Good! And best of luck on selling the house...I'm betting you will get loads of offers and you will just about get the price you want when everyone starts bidding against each other making offers. Okay, that might be optimistic on my part but it COULD happen.

The Griper said...

you already sold me, judy.

Canyon Girl said...

You are the hardest working folks! All the best with selling the house.--Inger

niels said...

and I see you have an overalls friend in Betsy !:) amazing to read about all your activities !