Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year!

Is it just me, or does it feel like it's been a long time since I wrote anything for the blog?  Life has been extra full the past few weeks - full of holiday festivities, travel, projects, and lots of family gatherings.  I took time off work, and naively thought I would be extra productive and get to do all the projects I wanted to do with my "extra" time.  There must be some rule of the cosmos though, that dictates that if I take time off work, that will be one of the rare times I succumb to a cold.  Or it could be that eating junk food, drinking booze, staying up too late, and spending time with sick nieces creates the perfect conditions for a cold.  Why does the universe want to punish me?!  So instead of spending days working on projects at the farm or in the kitchen, I spent days shivering on the couch watching romantic comedies while I coughed and drank hot tea.  I would have rather been at the office!

Brandon, however, has not been wasting his time nursing a cold, and has been squeezing in as many work days as possible on the house renovation.  He made some excellent progress on the steps, which are assembled now to a point where we can actually use them.  We think they look pretty too.  

The kitchen floor joists have been leveled, and all the old wiring has been taken out of the house.  We have had some awesome rain storms lately, which is helping us find all the places where moisture get into the walls.  I had some lovely hours learning the finer points of caulking doors and windows.  It's thrilling stuff.  

After bringing in the new year with friends and family, Brandon and I drove out to the farm today and spent some time organizing the little barn, which had become a nightmare pile of everything we have pulled from the house that we didn't want to throw away.  It wasn't a chore either of us expected to do on our first day of 2014, but after we were finished it felt very fitting.  It's nice to start the new year with a little organization, even if it is just one old barn.  

The sunset tonight, on the very first day of this year, in the picture at the top of the page, was maybe the most spectacular one we have enjoyed.  I was standing with my jaw dropped trying to absorb the beauty and figure out how it changes so slowly and subtly without me seeing it change, when Brandon wandered by carrying something for the dumpster.  I said "Brandon, look at the sunset" and he glanced over and said "oh yeah", then started to walk on.  Then, he stopped, did a double take, and really looked at it and said "Oh, WOW!".  Oh yeah, it was that amazing.  Then we both sat on the step of the corn crib and watched the show until we got to cold to sit still any longer.  I really need to get a real camera so I can try to do justice to these sunsets!

Before the sun set, I did manage to spread out all the cardboard I collected over the holiday.  I used bricks to hold it down, and I'm hoping this will kill the grass and expand the garden I started by laying out carpet last summer.  Not only will it kill the grass, but as an added bonus, it looks lovely!  I love that we don't have neighbors to offend with my ugly cardboard and old carpet garden.  

Dad gave me a box full of black walnuts from the trees in his front yard, so today I played Johnny Appleseed and walked around the farm dropping nuts and stomping them into the soft ground.  I either planted a walnut forest, or gave the squirrels a very happy new year.  

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