Saturday, March 12, 2011

Lean-to Projects

In a few days' time we will have a house guest. She would probably be perfectly fine with the  state of our house being constantly in-project-mode, but we thought we'd try to tidy things up a bit. Lane and I took some time off work last week with the original intention of taking a little vacation. Instead, the last 4 days have been more of a working staycation. I don't have photos of all of the finished products, but here's what we've been accomplishing:

  • We sealed the brick floors in the livingroom and bedroom. The storage room will get sealed sometime in the future. This is going to help tremendously with dust issues and the constant sand in every nook and cranny. The sealant really brought out the color in the brick, which is an added bonus.
  • The kitchen/dining area was resealed. When we originally stained the concrete in that part of the house, we used a "green" soy sealant. It sadly didn't actually seal and we have the beet juice stains to prove it. After 4-5 coats it is sealed and looks fabulous. It unintentionally matches the brick, too.
  • The veneer on the beams has been secured and it looks great, too. I'll take some pics and post them soon. 
  • The woodstove pipe, box and chimney was re-installed, just in time for spring. We're working on the trim around the hole cut in the ceiling. Is there anything barnwood won't fix?
  • I've been diligently watering the hole on the right. That's our intended veggie garden. The chickens made some great humus this fall and then I added some compost and aged manure/straw. Sunken beds do well in this climate as they don't dry out as fast as their raised bed counterparts. I'm concerned, however, that something has gone wrong. I've planted several seeds that should have germinated and sprouted by now but I see nothing. Perhaps I let them dry out too much or our heavy clay is too much for the little seedlings. The bed on the left will be filled with delicious, healthy, local soil and eventually be home to our tomatoes and peppers. The hole in the top left corner is where the water from the acequia flows in. It should be functioning soon!
  • The tomato seeds have sprouted. Huzzah! 
  • We got organized--getting bins for all of the loose things like tools, chicken feed and that 50 lb bag of flour I've been meaning to store. At least there is a sense of order for now.
  • Lane built a picnic table for the....
  • covered porch/patio which was started today. We poured the supports for the 6x6 posts. Our yard is in desperate need of shade and this little patio will provide it. The hope is that the fruit trees will grow such that they shade the patio as well as the grapes that we'll eventually plant and train up the support posts. Doesn't it sound romantic to pluck grapes right from the vine whilst dining al fresco in the shadow of a 10,000 foot mountain? We can dream, can't we?
  • In the kitchen I've baked more muffins, bread, and borscht as well as trying to make yogurt in a slow cooker. That should be ready tomorrow and I'll let you know how it turned out.
  • I can't forget that we've also taken a few bike rides, had friends over for lunch, eaten at some of our favorite restaurants and enjoyed long mornings with tea and the warm New Mexico sun. That's dreamy for sure.
We've had a fruitful week and enjoyed each others company tremendously. The house also feels more ready for friends and family to pay a visit. We're looking forward to your upcoming trip to ABQ, Sarah! :) 


Andrew said...

wow that is a lot of work! i can't wait to come and see everything! only a few more days :) love to you both!

Anonymous said...

Yogurt in a slow cooker is so easy... you wouldn't happen to have any whey I could bum off of you. Or maybe I should just make my own yogurt. I've got 50 lbs of lemons that need fermenting.