Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Our first week on our homestead

The day after our move, Steve and my Dad returned to our old home with the pickup pulling a UHaul trailer.  They returned with a load of things after dark.  While they were gone, I worked on carrying some things to the basement and unpacking my kitchen.  Steve's brother had to leave that morning.

Monday morning, Dad and Steve and I unloaded his trailer and pickup so he could leave.  After he left, Steve and I brought the washing machine into the basement, along with a few furniture items that had been left outside.  After a trip to the store, we lit up the brush pile and burned the empty boxes, along with some tree branches.  We put together the trundle/day bed that night so two more children could have beds.  They'd been sleeping on the floor, recliners, and couch so far.   We were very tired when we fell into bed that night, with three children in twin beds, one in our room, and two in recliners.

Tuesday or Wednesday night (can't recall which) we put together one of the bunk beds so the remaining two children could have beds.  The last bunk bed will be put together after we paint that bedroom.

Tuesday, Steve returned to work, and I continued to unpack and try to bring some order out of the chaos.  I carried a couple boxes out to the burn pit, only to realize that it was still hot and I accidentally re-lit the fire.  It was very windy, and the wind was stirring the fire up.  While it was burning, I decided to bring out the trash and add to the fire.  But then I became nervous about the fire, and finally watered it down so I could return to unpacking without worry. 

Tuesday night Steve figured out he could hook up my washing machine with just the hot water hose attached to one of the pipes.  We thought we needed an adapter for the cold water hook-up, which appeared larger.  I began laundering on warm water.  But, water would pour out the cold water hose, so I had to put the cold water hose under the lid while it was filling, then run downstairs to remove the cold water hose so it would start to agitate, then return downstairs to put the cold water hose under the lid for the rinse fill, then remove it so it could finish agitating and spin out.  It was awkward, but it worked.  I dried clothes on my two indoor drying racks, in front of a fan, overnight on Tuesday.

Wednesday I continued on with the laundry in that manner.  Steve came home that night, with some clothesline and an adapter for the washing machine -- which we ended up not needing.  I started a load as we went to bed.  I woke up Thursday morning with the sound of the sump pump running.  So I ran downstairs to check on the washing machine.  The drain hose had fallen off the sink it drains into (which drains into the sump pump and out a gray water hose into the yard.)  So, as it tried to fill to rinse, it just had run out the drain hose, all night long!!  Yikes!

Thursday morning I strung a line of clothesline on our poles.  I only strung one of the three because one of the poles needs re-set in concrete first.  I came inside and noticed the line was sagging.  So I went out and tightened it up again.  I hung my first load of laundry on it, and my last for that day.  By the center of the line, the underwear and socks were touching the ground.  I was bending DOWN to pin clothes on the line.  I tried to tighten it with clothes on the line, but could not retie it alone while pulling it tighter.  I stuck a stick under the center of the line and hoped no visitors stopped by to laugh at my line.  That night, when I took the clothes down, I tightened the clothes line again.  It still sags, though.  Steve bought me better line, and we will re-set the clothesline pole this weekend if it's not too cold, so I can get 3 well-strung lines.

So, I have continued to wash two loads per day, hanging one load inside on the drying racks, and one outside.  Sometimes I can get a third one washed and hung inside, but not usually.  I can't catch up this way, but at least I don't fall too far behind. 

Back to Wednesday, at 8 am, when I came upstairs from the basement and some laundry work, I saw a buck walking across the back yard toward the kennel.  The kids saw it from the kitchen, because I could hear R calling the others to come look.  He was just meandering along, and stopped right behind the kennel and ate in front of us for ten minutes or so before wandering off.  We were shocked to see him so long after sunrise.

Wednesday night, Steve and I were outside looking at something with the lantern, and we startled something in the bush.  My first thought was bat, but it was a very confused cardinal, who then spent 5 minutes trying to fly into our living room through the closed window.  Poor thing.

Thursday, I startled a large group of black-capped chickadees when I went out to do laundry.  And I saw the woodpecker A had told me about the day before.  He likes to get our attention, and isn't shy at all.  He's a show-off.  I need to identify him, since he is different than the woodpeckers that came to our feeder at our old home.

Saturday night, we returned home very late, and the coyotes were howling.  The girls didn't really like that, especially not while they were still outside.  It's very dark out there at night, and "scary" noises don't help.  Steve told me he heard the coyotes howling a couple times when he was living here during the weekdays, before we moved, but this was the first time the kids or I heard it.  

We haven't burned any more boxes since that first Monday.  There are a week's worth of empty boxes piled outside the back door.  The children keep rearranging them into forts and castles.  I'll be glad when we can get rid of them.  We also have a pile of discarded items (from his Grandma's belongings) to haul to the dump soon.  It's a good thing we are in the country because town neighbors wouldn't like these two piles at all.

I am struggling to find homes for everything.  I know this is an issue any time you move ... trying to figure out where to store things that had homes before, and don't now.  We are going to have to store some of our toys in the basement to swap out later.  Steve and I already had to store our off-season clothes for the first time.  I've had to box up some of my kitchen stuff, and I've given some things to my sister.  My pantry shelves are chaotic, and I need to organize them better.  At this point, no one knows where to find food items, except me. 

Every day, I find more boxes to carry to the basement.  But every day, we are closer to being unpacked and every day we are a bit more organized.  We'll find homes for everything and work out our kinks.  It's just going to take some time. 

We're thankful to be together again.  I didn't post it on my blog, for security reasons, but Steve was spending most weeknights out here during the weeks between his starting the new job, and us moving.  He was home on weekends, and usually he had to come home for one weeknight each week.  But there were many nights he was here at the farmhouse alone.  So, we are thankful to be working together to organize our home.


1 comment:

  1. I'm really enjoying reading your posts... Thanks so much and have a great week...

    Merry Christmas


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