Friday, April 22, 2011

Old House Restoration Is Not for the Faint Hearted

I love to look at the images in Victorian Homes because it proves that if you are dedicated enough, and/or have enough cash your ramshackle, falling apart, money pit can eventually turn into a swan. And I am glad to see that other people have done it.

Eventually I plan to be numbered among them. I think that it is easy to look at all of the big things that need to be done and become overwhelmed, leaving you unable to even start the smallest things. I know I get that way. This week I am going to take some time and make a new priority list and start working it, I think.

We had a ton of damage in the storms last week. I think the house caught the tail of a tornado because we lost siding as well as shingles, and we had a lot of damage to fences and such from falling tree branches. The boys have been working all week to clear, no easy task. I think we have a pile of brush out on the street that is at least 12 feet long and 4 feet tall...with a lot left to do.

The kids' swing set received a bit of damage and, of course, THAT needs to be a priority.The front fence was hit hard, too. I am kind of happy about that because I want to replace it anyway.

We were quite lucky. Many of our neighbors received much more damage. I am waiting for a call back from the insurance company to see if I can make a claim.
Well, of course I CAN but I have a (wait for it...) 10,000.00 deductible so I need to make sure that it is worth calling about, you know?

Out of the three chainsaws we used to have, the ex took the good one (no surprise there) and left the broken one and the one that doesn't work. Home Depot charges something like 150.00 a day for a chainsaw rental  right now (because of course everyone needs them).

Want an old house? Make sure you are up for the challenges. It can really wear you down. And when that happens? A cup of coffee, a cookie and....

Yep...Victorian Homes. Live Large! Live Vicariously!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Gardening Bug

I love pretty gardens. You can't tell in the picture at the top but I have added a rose garden in front of the porch. I love the look. I love the smell when the roses are all in bloom and a breeze is blowing in the front windows but I hate the amount of work involved.

I just tend to feel like I am putting out fires, you know?

 Isn't it beautiful? Yeah, it's from my istock account. I don't really have that. But I would love to, wouldn't you?

Anyway, one of these days I want to have a front garden with winding pathways. I want an outdoor kitchen on the side of the house, with a huge patio and I want garden patios here and there along my winding pathways. And, most of all, I want a well muscled, tanned, male gardener to look after all of it for me, while I sit back and..umm... enjoy the view. Of all my flowers, of course, what did you think I meant?

The thing is, at this house... in this place... by this creek...I am always having to consider the potential of a major flood taking out all of my hard work. It could happen. It HAS happened. More than once.

I think raised beds are the key to it but I am not sure how to put them in with the available time I have. I'd love to have a cutting garden, an herb garden, and of vegetable garden. I'd like to have paver pathways meandering from on to another and benches here and there to stop, rest, and watch the birds.

I get how to make raised beds, and paver pathways, and everything. It isn't that I don't know how to do it .. it is a time thing.
These ready made frames make it easier, but the cost is higher. :/ Decisions decisions...right?

Maybe someday?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

I have totally blown off this blog for far too long!

Sadly, not much about the house has changed since my last post. I am still trying to work restoration here but it has been slow going. Just to catch you up before we move on .....
I was divorced in 2009 (yes, it has been that long since I wrote her..sad, isn't it?) After 30 years of marriage and 8 kids it was quite a shock but thanks to my relationship with Christ, and some very supportive kids and finding out who my friends actually were ... well, I landed on my feet. I met someone else very quickly and have now remarried. I am writing more as well, which has left little time  for  restoration and small farming/gardening. My ex gave my horses away and I had to get rid of the goats after the divorce because I was working so much I couldn't keep up with the dairying. I do still have the chickens.
Now, the house.
Believe it or not I paid three of the kids $10 each to clean out the front garden so that my heirloom roses could actually bloom. They had been covered with poison ivy and some kind of green vine. Now the garden looks bare but the roses are blooming up a storm!

I have been looking for some perennials to put in there because I need something low care. Low care is kind of an oxymoron in Texas unless you are talking about cactus but I digress...Anyway, I happened to read a blog post on perennials for shade  and it got me thinking about what I could put in there with the roses.
I am not sure how shady it actually is, the garden in north facing but it is butted up against our veranda. I am thinking that Dianthus would work well and  be entirely appropriate for the age of the house. So now I am sitting here, when I should be working, searching  for new ideas for my shade loving perennial flowers.
It is prime gardening time in Texas. What are you able to do in your garden? Anything yet?

Hey, I have missed you...I hope you 've missed me, too and will be following my adventures with the money pit....