Wednesday, May 25, 2016

You're a WITCH girl....Ditch Witch that is

Well, let's see if I can finish this post I've been working on for TWO DAYS now...sometimes life gets in the way, like making dinner.  Or mowing for FOUR hours in the gorgeous sunshine.




Time to cut down the back field paths


Things have been busy around here on the Stimson Homestead since the weather has taken a turn for the better. The majority of the farm fields surrounding us have been planted (corn popped up in last 2 days!), the asparagus is starting to emerge from 1 of the 3 beds and perennials are popping as well as the trees flowering.

Sat in the rocker for hours watching the cultivating and planting dance.

Get in my belly!

Honey bees loving these little purple flowers...another reason to not weed kill.

Concord grape vine




Crabapple in back


Finished up the painting of the 2nd story shutters...


BM Hale Navy...so lovely

Much better!

I also found a wood trellis to prop up between the garage windows for the Clematis I picked up.  I planted yellow Iris and hostas in this area, which was nothing but foot high grass.  Took 3 applications of grass/weed killer and a LOT of raking/digging to get the majority of it out of the bed. The other 2 existing beds have marble rock in them already but we prefer mulch, so will be shoveling the rock up (at least most of it, only a layer on top of landscape fabric) and mulching all so they match.

before, after 3 applications of weed & grass killer


Ouch

After, just needs mulch...lots of it.

I also picked up another hanging basket so now all 3 existing hooks are filled as well as purple flowers for my large turquoise planters that sit on either side of the porch steps. OF COURSE I dropped one of the planters as I was putting it back up on the porch and cracked the bottom...so far so good as long as I don't move it around.

The yellow basket in middle was my Mom's Day present from the boys


Fail.

Finished rocking around this bed and have killed off the grass plus planted a couple of Lily's (getting the mulch treatment too...whenever we find time to get some):


Rocked it again around the 2 small beds on either side of the garage, cleaned up the side of the barn plus planted a few more hosta, and cleaned up the very overgrown with who-knows-what bed on back side of garage as well.






The area in front of the propane tank had Daffodils planted here and there plus an old bird house on a pole that prevented us from getting the mower in between it and the tree...had to go.  The Peonies will be transplanted somewhere else after they bloom so I have room to make a 20x20 (thinking big!) patio paver area and some type of screen for the "pig"...without a deck, we need a spot for our outdoor table and chairs. And twinkle lights in the tree. :)

2 of 5 Lilacs in the yard...smell soooo good!


Cutting grass by hand is so fun...said no one ever

All cleaned up!

This. What I refer to as The Jungle. Overgrown flower bed, with probably 15 different types of flowers planted, sits in the "L" of the north side of the sunroom addition and back of house. It's screaming at me to get busy and weed it. Maybe today.




A couple of small inside projects took place along all of the outdoor.  Lights!

M's upstairs area needed a ceiling fan.  Of course it wasn't as easy as just as taking the old light fixture down and up goes the fan.  The box needed to be changed out from cheap plastic to metal, so up into the "hole" Hubs went to change out the box and also run new wiring so both lights in this area were on separate switches.

Monster "boob light" up here


Then I FINALLY made a decision on a new light for the kitchen and up it went.  So thankful for my patient and talented Hubs!  I decided to go with the Kichler Barrington semi-flush from Lowe's (shout to Rebecca!) in black and distressed wood look.  The light came with those cute vintage bulbs...that give off absolutely no light.  If I had pot lights around the perimeter of my kitchen, they wouldn't be an issue.  But I don't, and the whole reason of changing out the light was for more of just that, light.  LED bulbs have come a LONG way since their introduction, and they now come in clear.  I was only able to find 40 watt equivalent which aren't quite as bright as I want but it's still MUCH more light than I had going before!




At some point we plan on adding lighting over the peninsula and I think I will just paint the other light over kitchen for now in a flat black to match.

Back to outdoor projects!

The Witch, the Witch, the Witch is back!  So many songs I can insert "witch" into.

Our first experience with the Ditch Witch at our former home was not a pleasant one...many, many rocks hit.  We were prepared to encounter the same issues seeing as this house is built on a former farm field and we've seen the rocks in the fields surrounding us.  Only 1 rock was encountered that stopped the Witch for a couple of minutes and THREE trenches dug in an hour. Whaaaat?!  I think Hubs wanted to keep her, the Witch.  I wasn't sure if he was going to stop digging.  Then he lovingly gave her a bath before begrudgingly returning her.

Here's why we trenched in the first place:


This was sunk into the ground to act as a French drain for the sump water discharge by original owner...except that it wasn't a French drain, which has holes in the sides for water to distribute out into the ground.  This was a 50 gallon plastic tub with only the bottom cut out of it, so it basically was like a stagnant pond.  Then another pvc pipe was run out of opposite side of tub by former owner when it was found that the tub wasn't doing the trick into a grove of trees in middle of yard, creating a mini swamp.  Solution had to happen fast before we became the main mozzie breeding commune!

Hubs hacked away all of the tree roots that were completely surrounding the tub, and then when he discovered he wouldn't be digging this thing out of the ground he resorted to Chevy power:



Success!

He had already picked up the field tile, so he took a day off from work and got to trenching with his new girlfriend:



My job: digging up trees in the Witch's way



Ran the trench about 25ft out into the back field

Working on trench #2



Small trench #3

This machine was SHINING he bathed her so well

New piping for sump water discharge that connects to field tile

Tile time

Swamp no more! Will be having a load of dirt brought in to fill this area back in.

He was going to flatten out the mounds of dirt after covering the tile over with the yard roller, then one of the arms broke off as he went to turn.  So that won't be happening until he can get it over to his dad's to weld it back on.  The yard is already 80% drier than it was...we sit lower than the neighbors to the north so we get the run off when it rains hard plus the field farrows are still pretty deep back here.  We're already planning on tiling along the property line to the north some time in the future.

I still haven't gotten the area behind the barn cleaned up...some day.  Right now this beauty is begging to get out of the barn and into the backyard:


This 8ft piece of heavenly metal will replace the old falling apart wood wishing well that is currently sitting over the well head in the back yard SOON.  If I can get Hubs to stop day dreaming about his Witch.

Living the good life!  Living the Thumb life!

This barn around the corner makes my heart full