Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Ahoy, maties! Or is that mateys? We don't know—we've been much too busy to crack a dictionary.

Last time we shouted at you, we were eating berries and cherries and starting to trim out our living and dining rooms. This time, we're eating tomatoes and basil and looking at fatter and fatter squashes on the vine. And, due to our much slower house pace, we are just now finishing the trim in those two rooms. Well, one of those two rooms. But still, we're feeling good about it.

We've built, painted and installed cove moulding along beams and posts, a thin door-stop moulding along tops of walls, and some one-by pieces around the end of a wall that previously had an exposed stud and some scraggly drywall edges and even some bent nails half-pulled out of the wood. There was a little project involving baseboards, too.

Trim has to be one of the gratifying projects ever. I mean, you've been sitting there at the dinner table for a year, looking at this scraggly drywall edge and a big gap between the ceiling and the wall and another big gap between the wall and another wall and a nasty unpainted stripe of paneling, and then one day, it's all beautifully trimmed out, looking so official and clean.



This was accomplished in several weeknights, an odd Saturday morning here and there, and then most of this Saturday. We trotted up and down the basement stairs making cuts and taking measurements and out to the back porch where the paint was set up and back in for another measurement. John worked some magic with drywall mud and trickycuts to make this project come out right.



This all feels so much less dire, and lighter, than what we were doing a year ago, say. Quote from our blog, July 27, 2007: "Monday we'll install a vapor barrier on the ground of the entire crawl space, and by Tuesday we should officially be engaged in the heat system installation—anticipated to be a major project, second only to the bathroom." Argh [shaking head]. 2008 freaking RULES, freaking kicks 2007's ASS.

And, in other news, our garden is in a happy state, with a phalanx of tangly tomato plants, a keyhole bed bursting with squash plants, a little community of peppers making more fruit than we can count, some elderly beets and carrots, parsley here and there, and young turnips between the beans and the herbs. Keeping all these plants watered, bug-free (we do a lot of picking worms and beetles off by hand) and mulched takes much of our time, and we've been doing some food preservation too—freezing giant batches of pesto and beet burgers, canning tomatoes. All this, along with our rain barrels and compost pile, makes the place feel more and more like a Household, as in a place of production and not only consumption. This is good. When this blog starts talking about chickens and bees and big swaths of nitrogen-fixers waving in the breeze, that'll be a happy day.

John sort of offhandedly dug an entire new 3x6 bed, then sifted it, by himself on Sunday. This is the kind of thing he now does while I'm on the phone for 40 minutes. It's sick. In this bed, he found some concrete chunks, a rat's nest of barbed wire, and three Natty Ice cans. Soil improvements to come.

- Erika

The Problem:

The Solution:

The Results: