Sunday, May 7, 2017

The Beginnings of a Lawn

We didn't let the odd rain shower stop us from finishing moving most of the rest of the dirt.  We can envision our seating area pretty well now (it is the tamped down oval).  Evelyn had fun digging and finding rocks.

After lunch Alistair helped Colin build a small retaining wall near where the grill will go.

Saturday, May 6, 2017


This morning, a dump truck came and delivered 10.35 tons of sifted loam.  The kids (especially Evelyn and Alistair) were very excited about the dump truck.  I was a bit nervous that the truck would damage the raised beds, but he was fine.

We worked for about an hour, shifting and raking and tamping the dirt, before it started to rain fairly heavily.  It was lunch time anyway.

After lunch the sun came out and we finished moving nearly all of the dirt.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Moving Stones

We've been talking about making a seating area in front of the shade garden for a few years.  Originally we were thinking about putting a flagstone patio there, but it is very expensive and not necessary.  Instead, we are just going to make a flat lawn area and plant some privacy shrubs along the property line.  All of this is going to involve a lot of dirt.  The dirt is arriving on Saturday morning, so today Colin, Alistair and I moved the stones out of the way.

Alistair still loves his dump truck.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Black Friday, Black Drips

The morning after Thanksgiving while I went down into the basement to do some laundry, I smelt a chemical smell.  I couldn't quite determine what it was, and it wasn't very strong.  It still was smelly when I rotated the laundry, but we were busy making lunch or something and I can smell better than Colin, so I just put it off.  In the afternoon Colin took Alistair and Charlotte to see Trolls and I stayed home with Evelyn.  When they got back, Colin could smell the odor when he opened the back door.  Going down in the basement, the smell was stronger and smelled like gas.  When Colin investigated, he discovered that one of our two oil tanks were leaking.  Thankfully, not badly - just a couple of small wet patches on the floor.  We called the oil company (at 4:30 pm) and they sent someone out straight away.

We have two oil tanks.  We're not sure why there are two, but we've only been using one.  They are both old and pretty rusty.  (The leaky one is the one on the left.  Kitty litter and a special oil absorbent pad are underneath.)  Because the tank could have failed over the weekend, they wanted to make sure we were safe over the weekend.  So, they set us up with two five gallon containers of oil and connect those to our furnace.

Their plan was to drain our oil tank, and put it in a tank outside over the weekend, until they could replace the tank, but they accidentally brought the new tank instead of the temporary tank.  The new tank is in the opposite front corner of the house.  The old tank location does not meet code for distance from the electrical panel and main power shut off.  (Funny how the electrical inspector didn't point that out when Colin put in the new panel.)  Our Black Friday deal was that we got this slightly fancier thank (the tank is inside the exterior galvanized outer tank, so if it ever does leak, it won't leak into the house) for about the same price as a regular tank.  (This tank didn't fit in the house of the person that ordered it.)  They will come back next week to connect the new tank to the furnace. They also will have to install new pipes to fill the tank.  The good thing is that the oil delivery guy won't have to trudge through deep snow and around our pickett fence to get to the tank.  Now it will be close to our driveway.

Sunday, August 30, 2015


Colin finished the decking this afternoon, with the help of Charlotte, the "nail getter outer."  Next step, the slide!

Monday, August 24, 2015

First Window

While waiting for the decking to arrive, Colin installed the first window.  They are sash windows with screens - to keep those pesky mosquitoes out of the playhouse.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Playhouse Deck Beginnings

Yesterday and today, Colin has been hard at work on the playhouse deck.  We've always planned on having a path or small stone patio on the side of the playhouse, maybe with some steps going up through the garden to the patio, but the deck idea is somewhat new.  Colin decided to build the deck before finishing the playhouse, so he will have a level surface on which to put the ladder when doing the remainder of the siding and roof.

Another benefit of the deck is that we can easily attach the slide. The kids are looking forward to that part.  The decking material doesn't arrive until Wednesday, so, we'll have to wait until the kids can enjoy a popsicle on their new deck.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

New Stone Path

Last year, when I was pregnant, I built a stone path behind the playhouse.  I didn't like the way it turned out, so this year I rebuilt it.  Not quite finished yet, but I like it much better.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Playhouse Siding

This morning, the kids helped Colin start to hand siding on the playhouse.  Charlotte passed him nails from the dump truck and Alistair even helped hammer in some nails.

Of course it isn't all hard work!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Playhouse Walls

Colin worked upstairs yesterday, and today he took a little time to work on the playhouse.  He finished putting up the walls and cut out the windows.