And the road goes on forever...

Monday, April 25, 2016

What Have We Been Doing?

Working of course! The weather has been kind to us on a few days allowing us to finally get outside to all the chores that wait. Our main priority was the garden since the growing season in WI is so short we need to take advantage of every single day we get. Marc got busy on constructing the gate and I got half of it painted before it was hung. Once up, I finished up the painting on another day.  
From that task he went on to buy and plant 300 onion sets! This past Saturday was nice so we prepped the opposite side of the garden and got in three rows of various types of peas, one of spinach, two of chard and lettuce. It’s backbreaking work to stoop over and plant thousands of tiny seeds! We still have about half or more left to do when the weather clears. 

Since Sunday rained, we made the trip to a nursery in Appleton to finally purchase the birch trees I wanted for our small grove. In the far right of the photo you will see the area where we've placed those large boulders--the grove will go there. They will get planted next weekend if the rain abates; one has paper bark and the other silver bark, three stems in each set. Trees of good size are very expensive so we need to spread out their purchase; to complement the grove I still want a quaking aspen to complete the trio.
Meanwhile, in off moments when I wasn’t needed in the garden or had a paintbrush in my hand, I finally got started on the redo of the $14 Goodwill table I had purchased last fall. It was a dark, beat up mess but held potential so I figured for the price, it deserved a chance. If all else failed, I would just spray paint it and use it on the porch! Working outside, I put on three coats of stripper over as many days, which I removed with a putty knife. In between and after, I was hand sanding like mad to the point where my arthritic fingers and hands finally told me they didn’t want to work anymore. After speeding things up with one of Marc’s old sanders, I moved things inside due to more rain and cold and am now in the process of applying the natural finish I want, Tung Oil. I figure it should match my antique hutch fairly closely. Each coat needs to sit for 24 hours so it too, is a slow process but the table is looking fabulous!
I’ve also been busy working with the shelter on their main annual fundraising event, Cinco de Meow, a dinner and night of games to be held May 7th. Recently I distributed publicity posters to all the businesses out at the Chain of Lakes and donated some of my jewelry and new glass flower art to the cause for the raffle baskets. On the day of the event I will also be called upon to help set up and decorate the VFW hall where it is held. I enjoy making the glass flowers so much I have made several for myself and with Marc’s help for doing the backer for the pipe inset, I got the first one on display outside. Some, I am adding hand beaded jewelry accents to the center. There will be many more to come after Marc cuts these tomato stakes to size and does the small block of wood I glue to the back.
Coming up: Marc is working on making me a kitchen window box with kitties on it! Wait till you see that; hopefully in my next episode…he is enjoying his wood working shop so much he could spend all his time buried in the basement!

Monday, April 11, 2016

Last Minute Winter Stuff

Yes, you read me right; we had another snow storm this weekend, with wind chills in the twenties so it was another indoor weekend for us. Marc needed to take it easy anyway as he had some minor surgery on his back with the removal of a cyst which inhibited his ability to move his shoulder and left arm. At least this allowed him to rest up after his arduous week in ND, where he logged a 73 hour work week! We are very excited to note however, that the forecast for this coming weekend will be spectacularly warm for us—the 60’s! That means we’ll be able to complete the garden fencing and painting of the posts.
I finished up my yard totem and got it planted and completed the first flower plate faces as well. Marc has purchased copper pipe which will be used for their stems and they will be planted in the gravel area where no real vegetation is intended. I really enjoy the search for their parts, then piecing them together and seeing how they “grow” into originals, so I plan on doing more. Compared to some, mine are rather tame so I need to keep an eye out for more colorful glassware. My final project was a beaded wind dancer which sparkles in the sun. These also are a fun project so I will likely be making at least one more. I may eventually paint the PVC pipe.
Last evening was nice enough and Marc was moving well enough to tackle pruning the lilac forest. I’ve wanted to eliminate the dead wood since we’ve owned this property; we figure the bush is likely from the 1940’s since that’s when the original farmstead was built here, in the area where we are planting the garden. The poor thing has been badly neglected for years and years so hopefully this is the start of bringing it back to health and more blooms. Now I’ve got two huge piles of branches and twigs to pack out across two lots to our burn pile as today’s major chore!