The inside of the house is pretty ugly right now, so I didn't really get any pictures.
Removing those long-ass staples from the wood is a P-A-I-N. So Mark's dad made the most innovative little tool for removing them....
.... how cool is that?! And they just pop right out. I told him he needed to get a patent ASAP so he could make loads of money. That has really helped cut our time in half. So now, pretty much all the exposed areas are clear of staples.
Today I started ripping the walls from around the fireplace and found this:
On the flip side, it is a relief to find all of these areas so we can address them. And we know we won't be breathing any of that crap once our new walls go up.
At this point, everything else is hinging on how soon we can get drywall up and ready to paint. The other projects should come in quick succession: paint, kilz on subfloors, new cabinets, new flooring, possibly new vanities, new bathtubs, etc.
Not surprisingly, our previous goal of moving in by June was a little foolishly optimistic. I'm betting on late summer, early fall, at this point.
After spending most of the afternoon working inside the house, it was time to do some yard work.
I told Mark that we are now officially home owners, after many years of having maintenance workers mow our lawn at the park.
All Rangers look good in green. Yes, indeed.
I spent some time getting to know the flora in our yard (oh wait, I was supposed to be picking up limbs to prep for mowing. oops).
Purple Phacelia (my namesake, of course -well, screenname, anyhow)
Miami Mist (Notice the watermark? Ha, I saved it like that and then realized the picture was sideways)
Blue Phlox is blooming all along our stream bank
Blue Phlox and Miami Mist
The leaves of Spiderwort - Virginia Spiderwort, I'm guessing
This was a new one for me. I believe it is Cow Parsnip. An ironic name, considering it is toxic to livestock (and humans, unless the root is boiled in several changes of water).
There were a few unwelcome finds as well....
This invasive is Garlic Mustard. It smells and tastes of garlic, and is supposed to be good in a salad.
I had already had my salad for the day, so these just went bye-bye. Garlic Mustard is a huge problem in riparian areas.
Here is another unwelcome invasive....
This is the very plant that killed Socrates - Poison Hemlock. These all got whacked down shortly thereafter.
Ugh. This is Ground Ivy, another introduction from Europe. The only way to get rid of this (short of a nuclear blast) is herbicide. I HATE this plant. It is growing rampant all over my parents' farm and there are some patches at our place too. I hope sheep like it.
We were mistaken about our signature leaning "elm"....
It is in fact a Box Elder (Acer negundo)
I'm not exactly sure why we thought it was an elm, but it doesn't matter; we love it just the same.
Box Elders are a short-lived, weak-wooded member of the Maple family. They can apparently be tapped for syrup, only it isn't nearly as tasty as Sugar Maple.
Ian got to spend a lot of time playing in the creek.
It was in the 80's, believe it or not, so that icy water felt pretty good.
I turned over some rocks to look for creek critters and found this little guy:
He is a Mayfly nymph. They spend 2-3 years as larva living in a stream before transforming into adults that only live 24 hours. Isn't nature strange? The presence of mayflies is a good sign - it means the stream is high in oxygen and low in pollution.
We made in interesting find on our wood pile:
These are logs cut from a Weeping Willow that got knocked down in a storm at Mark's dad's place. They are sprouting! Weird, huh? I know I have read that you can use willow twigs to help cuttings from other plants sprout. So, we decided to try something....
Worth a shot, huh?
The more time we spend here, the more it feels like home to me. I get excited about all of the ways to make it our own. I know it will be really easy to get ahead of ourselves once we move in, and try to do too much at once. It's nice to have moments already where we can slow down and enjoy the beauty of this place.
Until next time.....
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