The stone work is now all the way up to the ceiling. The fireplace itself is done, and the next step is the hearth and re chinking of the logs. Some prep work was done to the logs Friday as well. It was so exciting to see!
Ghon and I also made a design change that day. We have what we believe is the original mantle in the house and planned to reuse it over the fireplace. Myron included a few small wood sections in the stone work to give us something to secure the mantle to. After seeing the beauty in the stone work, it was really hard to think about covering it up with this huge mantle. Myron felt the same way. We asked if it was too late to remove the wood or lay stone over it, and it's not. We will add a wood ledge mantle rather than a full piece. I suggested that maybe we use the old mantle in our bedroom as a headboard. It's about the right size to slide a queen bed in the opening. We could add a little lighting overhead for reading and still keep the mantle in the house. It might be a plan...
It took almost a month, but on Sunday, I finally planted the ten new fruit trees that we purchased through Cindy. Over the last week or two, Ghon managed to get 6 out of 10 holes dug. Last weekend, I bought all of the soil, compost, and mulch. Ghon had to work all weekend, and with colder weather coming, I was determined to get the trees in this weekend.
I really don't consider the end of Daylight Savings Time as gaining an hour of sleep. It's more like adding an hour to the day, for one day. Sure, I was able to lounge a little longer in bed, but when you are up and everyone has a good breakfast and is dressed by 9 - on a Sunday - you can get a lot more accomplished.
After a little more house chores, the kids and I layered up and headed to the farm to "play in dirt" and plant trees.
Planting trees is only so much fun to a five and three year old. Playing in dirt is much more fun. It's all about presentation.
We visited the chickens first, giving them some vegetable and fruit scraps then headed to the orchard. I started with the six holes Ghon dug out.
Desperate to help, Jonathan wanted to help with the bags, so I showed him how to open them with a shovel. Great way for a five year old to expend a little energy, swinging and whacking at a bag. He became the official bag opener for the rest of the day.
|Jonathan and Genevieve have matching kid size weapons, I mean shovels.|
First step was to lug the 30lb bags of wet soil to the hole, then a 20lb bag of compost, and finally a bag of mulch. We used about half a bag of compost mixed with a 1/4 bag of tree and shrub soil to line the bottom of the hole. Once the tree was in place. I used another 1/4 bag of the soil to fill around it, then added back the soil that came out of the hole. Where Jonathan was my bag opener, Genevieve is my "patter." Her job was to stomp around the tree to tamp down the soil to make sure it was good and tight.
|Once the dirt was opened, we mixed dirt and compost in a bin.|
Once the tree was happy in the ground, I dumped an entire bag of mulch around the tree. Repeat this process 5 more times.
After the first two trees, the kids were more interested in the playing dirt part of planting trees. No big deal. We all had a great time. Jonathan brought his new Leonardo Ninja Turtle with him, so they played many rounds of "treasure hunt" burying the turtle and digging for treasure to find him. They sat in the holes and begged to be buried. Occasionally they came by to help me push dirt into a hole, but always came to do their bag opening and patting jobs.
|My cuties. They played quite well together and had a great time making up all types of games.|
I had left all of the bags in a long line, some stacked, at the bottom of the orchard last week. The bags became the next source of entertainment, as they ran and jumped up and down the piles. I requested several times that they stop laying on the bags and walking on each other, but they didn't heed that warning, and instead, giggled the entire time. We were all filthy when we left, but it's just dirt and washes off. They had a good time playing outside and I got some playtime and work in. Who can argue with that?
At one point, I did have to ask the kids to be quiet. Ghon would have been so proud of me. While preparing a hole for the tree, I heard leaves crunching. I listened for a bit to make sure it wasn't the kids, then scanned the woods for movement. After a minute or so, I found a small flock of turkeys walking through the woods! They were too well camouflaged for the kids to spot. We went back to work, then about half an hour later, they were back! I don't think the kids ever spotted them, but they definitely could hear them.
Our truck had a big load of trash for our local transfer station, and we had to get there before 3:00. I checked the time on my pedometer and realized it was 2:15. I wanted to get rid of as much trash as possible, so I quickly started remulching all of the trees already in the orchard so I could throw all of the bags away. Then I realized that my clock hadn't been set back yet and I had a little more time. Once I was done, I pulled the kids away from their dirt fun for a trash run then home for lunch.
We still had 4 more trees to plant, but their interest in going to back to the farm waned. With the time change, it was getting darker earlier. Thankfully, BJ came to visit, and after the kids asked her to come too and she talked Pop into it, they were ready to go!
Thanks to BJ and Pop, we got the last four trees in as the sun went down. The last two we were aided by the headlights on Pop's truck. I was so glad to get them in - the temperature hit freezing last night and I'd hate to lose the trees to the cold. The soil I was using was made for trees and shrubs and is supposed to feed for 6-9 months. I hope it holds true!
There is rain in the forecast for Thursday. Fingers crossed it does rain so the trees can have a drink and Myron will come back to the house.