City meets Country

In the years away there have been plenty of changes… but the biggest change…we left the city and I talked the Mr. into buying a house in the country. While I admit, of the things the new homestead affords… most are mutual goals…but it was a hard sell not having capitol city running paths. Its now been a little over six months in the new house and we have an endless string of things we’d like to accomplish but here are our first impressions of life in the country…

  1. Creatures– No doubt moving into the country you will be dealing with endless animals, and we knew this…but now we know this. Of course there was that bird falling down the chimney, into the wood stove and flying around the room. But, besides that, we really didn’t prepare for having to catch and kill the mouse that our apparently adept cat won’t…this is generally between 1-3 am. Lesson learned-get a real cat or keep “barn cats” ours may be pretty but he also may just be defective… nuisances aside-the birds have captured my attention…I find myself patiently (or creepily if you ask the Mr.) staring into the magnolia tree or a random bush waiting for a glimpse of the cuter side of our new surroundings.IMG_5537
  2. Rural Internet this is probably my biggest beef. Moving here we kept thinking its 30 minutes from the city and its right by the interstate, it shouldn’t be that hard to find a provider…WRONG oh how wrong, after living here a month we finally found one that would provide a large enough data package for streaming…you know because at that point we still had this naive thought that we would be streaming. As time went on we’ve gotten rid of Netflix and Hulu- were basically off TV with the exception of movies from the library and an occasional amazon show on the desktop. While this was an adjustment we never had cable and this seemed like the natural next step to decrease our connection to tech
  3. Weather there is something to be said for watching the storm fronts roll in and out with no ones roof or building blocking my view. We’ve seen double rainbows, lightning storms, flooding, downed trees and some pretty amazing sunsets/ sunrises…. still doesn’t make up for the shitty internet though…
  4. Flowers flowers everywhere. I love flowers as much as the next, but I need to decrease the amount of weeding…and also things to maneuver a mower around… we will be condensing
  5. Apple trees– yes, yes they are beautiful and all… while in bloom… for those few.short.weeks.  But, you didn’t spray? BUGS ruin your crop… forgot to trim?  overgrowth-it doesn’t produce and you cant reach product easily… didn’t get to picking back fruit early season? gross, mealy or tasteless fruit oh and did I mention the ENDLESS windfalls….  Its best to not put these guys right next to other shade trees or buildings so they get the full sun they want- but also avoid putting them in the middle of the lawn as mowing over a golf ball sized rock hard apple isn’t great but trying to rake them out is even worse…one apple tree closest to the garage will be cut down and were replacing (in a full sun spot) it with a Honeycrisp tree from an orchard we pick at.
  6. Cherry trees– similar to above and when it comes to many fruiting trees- long term placement is one of the biggest things to consider. These guys specifically got HUGE here and we have more product on one tree then we will ever be able to get to. It was a bitter sweet moment taking one of the old  cherry trees down last week but without adequate sun it didn’t bloom and since we have what must be a 3 year cherry on the opposite side of the driveway (and shadowy pine), we were ready to remove and replace it. Plum and Pear trees– so its fair to say if you get a place with fruit trees know your trees …..but if you have sellers like ours that kept putting off providing the info and apparently didn’t know what they planted…wait a year or two- some trees are biennial bloomers if they are not tended to. We were told to cut some trees that were “duds” but come June I have picked over the same trees four times and the weight of the fruit still seems to be too heavy for some limbs. This was a days worth of pre-season picking of the icky fruit. 20170610_161457.jpg
  7. Raspberry & Asparagus patches– again unless things are well set up for the long term and tended to you are, in all likelihood, getting into a huge mess come summer. I thought I tended to the raspberry patch taming a 30 ft long row in the February warm snap we had….. was I wrong. The sheer amount of creeping charlie is choking out the rasp. and the rasp. are choking out the asparagus. And lets not even mention the rasp. running out into the yard…those we just mow over…We will be pulling out the whole patch in fall and moving the raspberries into way better containment up next to the grapes. As for the Asparagus…well… yeah, I’m not really sure where that will go yet…..  this was the patch last fall right after move in you see the bushy asparagus on the rightIMG_0354

    first of the raspberries June 2017!

  8. Trees– while there is something to be said for a wooded lot that can provide all the fire wood you need to stay warm- in all likelihood you will in some way need to clean the mess immediately around the house. For us this means taking down a few old trees and making sure nothing is falling on us or the neighboring barn, a never ending task with 5 massive Willows lining our lot….lucky us A & B love picking up sticks and we have bonfires on a regular occasion
  9. On season and off season tasks, in reality we do most things year round just some seasons are more intense. Chopping wood is one of those things we do more in winter but we do save what we cut and the big limbs that fall for winter firewood.IMG_2179
  10. Inside we really wanted to decrease the amount of honey oak . The rails/banisters through out the house, the built in pantry, and the beams on the ceiling …its a lot. The wood stove room beams came down last weekend we’re now retouching the ceiling holes to remount the fan. Maybe we’ll aim at the pantry next but I’m not sure either of our carpentry skills are that advanced yet…
  11. Locals– this has been one of the most bittersweet things of moving away from the city. Locals are more friendly and often are willing to lend a hand…yes please to the neighbor with the cherry picker who will be helping remove a willow tree. But they can also be up in your business in no seconds flat- lesson learned things can get weird…

    I am amazed at what we can find locally now though! 90 pounds of strawberries later…

  12. Tradition the most interesting part for us was learning about the area-ours specifically was known for Tobacco production an odd crop to see among the corn and beans- it is still traditionally farmed and a skip in time to watch. IMG_5282baby tobacco  more later …… maybe 😉

Strawberry fields forever

Ok cheesy -I know- but these fields really did stretch on forever! Scott and I took the littles Strawberry picking at Stades!20140623-222431-80671606.jpgThis farm has a huge summer patch with ample space for picking. Granted, we went on a Monday afternoon but still- with about 20 people there none were even close to us:) 20140623-222434-80674771.jpgwe did find toooons of amazingly sweet juicy strawberries 20140623-222433-80673312.jpgIt was super tricky to juggle the littles and a strawberry bucket… time we will be bringing the jogger pod! Or plan on taking turns picking.20140623-222430-80670136.jpgBut we had a wonderful day finding a new summer fav. especially because their market has veggies, and they have a section of farm-attractions for littles! p*s* yes, I did get strawberry stains on the lovely white dress I stupidly wore… BUT…I found out yet another use for vinegar-stain removal! I dropped a splash into the bathroom sink with warm water let it soak for about 20min and voila…no stain:) Sadly, this wasn’t even the “highlight” from the trip, DeeDee took that prize by eating our remote in the 2 hours we were gone. Even though she’s turning 6 next month she’s still a Sassy Lil Lady!