It's been very hectic here lately -- not unusual! But it seems I can just never find time to make an entry in this blog. I hate missing a long stretch without updates, mainly because at some point in time I may wish to refer back to this journal for documentation about what I was doing during any given time-frame. Anyhow, I do have a short time before I get down to other work and wanted to write this entry.
DH and I have been working each afternoon, clearing out the overgrown corner of the backyard. It had several huge, unruly bushes, an old dog pen with wire around it, weeds knee-high. There is a pretty old oak in the center of that corner (behind the garage) and we want to eventually have a nice sitting area out there -- with another tree swing, some lawn chairs, etc. It will make a perfect place for DH to talk with his horse buddies and/or potential customers once the garage is converted into a saddle/tack shop.
To that end, we cleared most of the brush, tall weeds, wire-fencing, etc and then DH used the tractor to clear up the ground. Additionally, at the westside/back of the house, there was a large mound that needed leveling -- partly to help rainwater drainage away from the house. So he is working on tearing up that grassy mound, dragging some of the dirt to other lower, sunken areas of the backyard. It is a total MESS! But this is necessary as part of the landscaping of this yard; we knew it had to be done, just hadn't gotten around to this hard work yet. Plus, I was dreading the mess, since the grass will have to be replanted, some hay put over it till we get lawn growing again. One benefit of clearing that out is the lovely view now; we can see all the way across the pasture from the kitchen windows/backporch, almost down to the creek.
Starting Friday, DH is off for a week of vacation. We may go to a horse sale about 50 miles to the west Friday afternoon; he mainly wants to look over the tack/saddle selections, and see if there's any horse trailers he might buy at a bargain and resale later.
The weekend will be another busy time, since we'll continue working on the yard. IF that hurricane happens to come ashore in the wrong place, hitting us with tropical rains next week, that'll be a shame! I hope it doesn't, for we have lots of outside work to do. However, if it does perhaps DH can work in the garage, starting the project for the interior. Or start putting up the frame for a mud-room that will cover part of the large backporch he built. We want the mud-room to cover about half the backporch, and it will have a sink at least, good flooring, maybe later on a small shower. This would be so useful for us when we come in from outside, dirty and messy, and can clean up there without having to come inside the house and track dirt, grime, etc. And of course, it will add value to the house.
The last time we drove by our house in town, we noticed that a house farther west along the same block had sold, and was now for rent. Yesterday I read an ad in the newspaper for that rental, and they are asking $250.00 MORE than we did for our house!! And it is no better than ours; in fact, it's in a worse location, sits directly across the street from some apartments (where illegal Mexican immigrants live). The deposit they asked is more than we asked by $350.00. IF they rent that place at that price, then if and when our renters move, we will probably go up on our rent too. Perhaps not that much, but at least $50.00 to $100.00 more. I am sure that as time passes the rental fee will go up and up in that area, because though it does have some drawbacks (the alien problem, though none of them are directly in sight of our house), it is still better than MOST rental houses in rundown, bad parts of town. Also, there are some extremely lovely older and newer expensive homes mingled in with the smaller ones, and by and large, it is a quiet neighborhood for being in the city.
I have another project related to this house which I hope to tackle soon. I decided to download ALL my online journal/blog entries from the first time we looked at this place till now. I will then burn them all on a CD, along with the digital pictures before/during/after our work inside and outside. I can put this in a time-capsule, along with some print stuff about the previous owners, etc. and conceal it somewhere in the house -- either the attic or in a wall -- for future owners. It would be something unusual to find at some distant date, and especially for those curious about the history of the house. My journal entries will give a more personal account of what we went through in buying this house, and all the hard work. Maybe I'm just being sentimental though, and no one would care -- but I have a feeling that as time passes, these old, old houses are going to be more and more rare and therefore, more valued by anyone who buys one. Oh well, I can hope, can't I? ;-)
I'll end with these photos I took of my Pampass Grass. I can't believe how it's grown, it's only one year old, and has beautiful blooms already. In these pictures you can also see that the small cypress cedars are growing fast too. I have five of these across the front yard, hoping to shield the noise from traffic when they are larger. Maybe next year I can have some flowers too, but didn't have time to work on that this past spring.
Outta here for today!
Pampass grass in front of the house
Another view, with more of the cypress cedars