Monday, July 18, 2011

Tree felling and first flowers!

hello all!

it has been a little while and i do apologize but it has been a busy summer and finding the time to sit down, think and write has been a little difficult.  but busy is good, we love here we go...

Demo time!
Doing a total 180 on our house repair plans, we've decided and begun removing all the plaster and lathe in the house.  Though much of the plaster was still in good shape, as we proceeded with our thinking we came to the conclusion that having a blank slate to put in all the electrical, plumbing and do some room redesign was necessary. 
So a couple weeks ago we got a small group of friends and family together to begin the process.  We now have all the plaster removed from the walls on the 2nd floor but still have a LOT of clean out to do.  We also need to remove the ceiling plaster (or maybe we'll leave it and make it work with the drywall...not sure?).  once we get the 2nd floor cleared out we'll need to move all our belongings on the 1st floor up there so we can begin the demo process on the 1st floor.  looking back at my naive dreams of moving into the house by winter, i can't help but smile and shake my head...we've already learned a lot and its gonna take some time to make the farmhouse our home.  thankfully we have lots of friends who have completed similiar projects and there's no end to the encouragement.
the dedicated father

We've also continued our work on our walk-in cooler.  This time with the skills and experience of my pop.  My dad came for two weekends in a row to help gather materials and continue the build (including hanging the door and laying all the foam board).  We are soooo close to finishing the dang thing.  We now have half the OSB board on the inside walls, the floor down and an electrical outlet ready to go.  We just need to finish getting the walls up, put on the roof, put in the A/C, and attach some shelves and we're good to go.  Of course the plan was to have the cooler finished before the flowers came in but alas they have come and we aren't ready...such is life.

which brings me to the FLOWERS!!  so i've never grown flowers before.  honestly until i took a cut flowers class at MSU i had no interest what so ever in flowers.  if you couldn't eat it then i wasn't interested in growing it.  i still kinda feel that way but i did really enjoy bouquet making so i thought i would give it a go.

Leeann and our first flower customer!
We were able to harvest a small variety of flower last Saturday including zinnas, calendula, amaranth, snapdragons, borage, and gomphrena.  Figuring out pricing, sizes and display were all a new but welcome challenge.  As i mentioned about the cooler, we were not able to harvest on Friday and therefore it required a little harvesting in the dark Saturday morning.  I was of course already all nervous about getting them to market and how they'd sell etc. and harvesting them in the light a tiny head lamp tested my harvesting abilities.
but despite some minor set backs (the trailer we intended to transport the flowers in had a flat and our pump had magically disappeared) the flower were brought to market, made into bouquets and sold to FIVE whole customers (hey! it takes a lot of flowers to make one bouquet).  so lessons learned from our first flower sales: finish the walk-in, check trailers the night before, and plant more flowers next year.

and last but certainly not least...we had an old fashion tree felling a couple days ago.  the huge Tree-of-Heaven or Ghetto Palm as some like to say, which was in front of the farmhouse is, well, still in front of the farmhouse though now it is laying on its side and we have a very large stump and a LOT of wood to chop up.  As is classic Paul Weertz style we had been told that he wanted to cut it down but we just had to bug him about it.  When working with Paul you NEVER  set a work day you just have to come up to Paul when it looks like he in between project and it itching for adventure and you say "hey Paul, you wanna go cut down that tree?!" and usually it works.  and it was an adventure...the plan was to tie a long rope (long enough, hopefully!) to the main branch of the tree and the other end to the Weetz 15 passenger van.  Paul does his best impression of a lumber jack (sans flannel) and his son Joe guns it in the van.  After a couple, heart-stopping attempts in which the whole tree top swayed dangerously, the whole thing came down and broke into many pieces.  thankfully the tree fell exactly where we wanted it and none of the branches even went in the street!  but of course now we have a huge tree to cut up, but once we get our wood-burning stove we'll be set for a while.

it begins...that is a might big saw!

we're keeping our eyes on you Paul!  Don't drop it on our farmhouse!

It begins to lean...

Down with a crash!

Look at all that fire wood

A great community event! ha!