Tuesday, April 27, 2021

And meanwhile at home.

I haven't posted much about our current home lately, but its awash in spring color right now. I have some weeding and pruning to do here but can't work up much enthusiasm for it. I have a lot to do here in general if we hope to sell this house in a year.

Like clean the fence. It is so humid here that the white painted fence quickly becomes green. We also have a roof leak we need repaired and loads of painting to do, among other tasks. It's hard for me to want to carve out time to work here.

A tree from our neighbor's yard snapped and fell over the fence into our yard. Scared me when it crashed down outside my bedroom window!  Technically it's the neighbor's responsibility, but it's not worth straining that relationship. So now we own a chainsaw. I sent a photo of the chainsaw (a Husqvarna) and my tree service son approved of our choice. And then told us to get safety gear beyond the boots and protective eyewear my husband had on.

I always hate losing a tree, but as long as this gorgeous old oak next to us keeps standing, I'm good. And in spite of all the work, I'm thoroughly enjoying the warmed up weather.

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Meanwhile, up at the Ridge...

Working hard at the new property has been helpful as a distraction for me. One of our projects has been fencing in the little orchard. We decided to stain the board along the top to make it less noticeable. I'm planting various vining things on it to provide both food and privacy (mostly grapes and maypops).

My husband built three gates - one to the hiking path, one to the back of the cement pad behind the shed, and one in front. 
We finally got all three sides fenced in so I will be able to work in the orchard without worrying about roaming dogs. Eventually, I will also be able to let the chickens free-range a bit there. I've planted some evergreens on the outside of the fence for screening when they get bigger.
Speaking of chickens, the area we cleared for the chickens has basically become a poison ivy field. We're still waiting on plans from our builder so we are holding off on any construction of the coop but I can't just leave the poison ivy to take over. So this weekeend I covered up and started pulling out the vines.
Three big garbage bags full so far. I want to get it out while it's still relatively young and the other weeds aren't covering it up. 
Fortunately, there are plants I like a whole lot more making an appearance. Like this rue anemone, which is just everywhere.
I also keep stumbling on little patches of heuchera (aka coral bells). They will flower later in the season, but the variegated leaves stay year-round.
While I was transplanting some coneflowers along the road, I found this patch of tiny blue flag irises at the base of a tree.
And possibly may favorite, trillium. I remember being thrilled to see them when we first found the property, a year ago last week. We've now seen it through a whole year, which is hard to believe. I'm really eager to get to be there full-time.

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Life never fails to catch me off-guard.

So my younger son decided he was feeling a little stuck in life, working as a FedEx driver. This is not a career he wanted and he has been casting around for a way to work outdoors and specifically in a forestry-related field. He called to tell me he was applying for jobs and planned to move. To Portland, Oregon. 2500 miles away. The thought of him leaving broke my heart but I also knew it was what was best for him, so I threw myself into helping him with that. We taped off a section of the garage and he started culling and packing his belongings, taking only what was most important to him.
He moved back in with us temporarily so he could have internet access and started applying for jobs and apartments. Within a week he had a trial work day scheduled with a tree service and a back-up job offer from a FedEx company. I spent as much time with him as I could while he was still here, including a trip out to the lake near where he grew up. 
And feeding him. The age-old mom thing of making sure your child is nourished, I guess. At one breakfast I asked him to smile and along with a wicked grin, I got this.
He's 24, I completely understand him needing to strike out on his own. It's kind of a rite of passage. But all the way to the Pacific Northwest! I'm not going to lie, I was on the verge of tears much of those last couple of weeks. We have a really good relationship and I will miss him terribly. And I know he will miss me. 
Easter Sunday he loaded up the U-Haul trailer and headed out. I waited until he was gone, and then cried a LOT. At my suggestion, he detoured to Memphis to get a day with his brother, then drove to North Platt, Nebraska the next day, Boise, Idaho the next, and then finally landed in Portland on Wednesday. I would stay awake each night until he texted to let me know he was safely at each destination. 
He has called a few times to give me updates. Trips to IKEA to furnish his apartment, hiking near Mt. Hood, and getting out to the coast to see the Pacific again for the first time since he was a little kid. Yesterday was his trial work day with the tree company and it went well. He was hired and they are paying him more than what the ad stated. He is on the ground crew to start and his goal is to get trained as a climber and become a certified arborist. A big piece of my heart is now in Oregon, but I'm so proud of him for taking a risk and following a dream.