Progress Outside

Now that the weather is nice we have been doing more work outside and have lots of plans for even more work to come.  Most of it is probably clean up but it is still progress towards having a nice property.  It’s also nice to be able to get outside and do work! Last year James was so small and I hadn’t purchased his Tula/carrier yet (or even realized there were so much nicer carriers that I could get that would benefit us!) so I couldn’t go outside to help Joe do any of the polebarn work.  James is not/was not a sit-in-the-stroller-and-quietly-watch type of baby so that never worked and he was too small to ‘help’ so it was really difficult and Joe ended up doing all of the major polebarn cleanup on his own throughout the summer! So now this year it is really nice to be able to go out and help even if it is just collecting trash and hauling garbage/wood!

This past week James and I had a new sort of schedule.  We still don’t wake up as early as I would like, mostly because I set my alarm and when it goes off at 7:30 we are usually still sleepy so I turn it off and we end up getting up around 8 or so! Sometimes 8:30 but also occasionally closer to 7 as well.  Joe gets up around 7 to get ready for work so it doesn’t make much sense for us to get up then, we’d be in the way with the bathroom etc. So 7:30 works well and days when we take Joe to work we get up at 6:40 to get ready.

Anyways…the rest of our schedule followed a new sort of theme this week now that we can get outside more.  After morning chores and breakfast we headed outside for a walk with the stroller.  It was either a run for me and James was in the stroller and Cora stayed home, or it was a walk with Cora.  I would like to gain strength pushing just the stroller for runs (about 60lb!) before I even contemplate running with the stroller and the dog.  I have run with Cora before and she does pretty well but it sounds like a lot of work running with the stroller and the dog! Our walks are usually somewhere between 2.3 miles and 4 miles long with occasional shorter or longer walks depending on the weather.

Once we got home we switched to work boots and gloves and headed outside to do some work! James thought it was fantastic for most of the week but then by the last couple days he has been feeling bolder about walking off on me and doesn’t appreciate the reminders for him to stay near me where I can see him.  This morning he got himself brought inside and put down for a nap at 10am when he wouldn’t stay near me and had a total meltdown! 🙂 A good lesson though… eventually he will realize it is way more fun to stay by me and play than to come inside!


Above: The newest part of yard I just started tonight after buying a new set of garden shears because we can not figure out where we left our first pair! I already clipped a ton of brush but the rest of that is going too! Below: A couple days of work dismantling the chicken coop. It is slow going because I have to cut all the wire to take it apart since it was stapled up and trying to pick all those staples out would take forever! The front is off… eventually the sides will be down and I will clean out the inside too! This might be a slow, entire-summer project.


Pretty much all week we spent between one and two hours outside doing ‘work’ and it was split between wandering around exploring and James playing near me while I did work.  We cleaned up a refuse pile near the pole barn, started/almost finished a refuse pile right behind the house, raked and clear up the small bits and pieces in the polebarn and started dismantling the chicken coop.  On our wanderings and explorations through the property we also collect trash and/or scrap metal as we are walking!  At the end of our time outside we always came and got Cora and took her with us on our last bit of exploring too! Cora doesn’t appreciate being left inside at all!


If I had been smart I would have taken a before photo.  You can see the giant bare patch though, it was full of old wood, metal scrap, jars, plastic, trash – including an old toilet seat, clothing, glass… ugh. It was pretty much a trash heap.  We bagged up a lot of the trash and hauled all the wood over to the fire.

IMG_1079After being outside most of the morning we’ve been coming in for some cartoons and inside play time while I get lunch ready and start things like laundry etc. and then it is lunch time and then bath/nap time in either order depending on how late it is!  This week I have been trying to get James to nap alone too (he wakes up pretty angry with me though about this) because then I can either get some computer work done or go back outside and continue with work that I can’t do while I am keeping an eye on him.  Specifically this week it was dismantling and cutting down some of the chicken coop where I needed to be on a ladder and I imagine I will do most of our front yard work while James is napping or in the evening too since I don’t like him to be near the road right now.  Once he learns to listen and learns the ‘no road’ rule it won’t be so scary but right now he is very unpredictable!

IMG_1080Above: Our scrap metal pile. I wasn’t sorting out scrap until I realized there was a lot! I have a big more to dig out from the trash pile yet.  Below: Our trash pile just from this week! Ridiculous how much trash is all over our property! We are planning to get Joe’s old truck up and running for the summer just to make trips to the dump!

IMG_1082After his nap/bath has been a bit of snack/relax/cartoon/play/activity time inside.  I ordered him a super cute sunhat but it didn’t come until today so I made him wear a winter hat during the mornings and we limited our afternoon outside time this week.  Usually we stayed inside until about 3:30 or so and then went back outside for an hour or two.  On days when I ran in the morning we took Cora out for a Dollar Bay walk in the afternoon but otherwise during this time we cleaned up tools or finished odds and ends if I was close to finishing something and then we mostly played! We splashed in tons of puddles, spent two afternoons out in our little snow runoff ‘creek’ way out back in the woods, James and Cora got ridiculously dirty and muddy, we’ve been all over the property and we have a large collection of toys outside now too!


This is right behind our house and was a refuse pile of remodel materials.  At some point before we moved in they ‘remodeled’ and apparently threw all of the waste out of this window.  You can see the bare patch and the marks up the side of the house. It was a good sized pile! I still have a bit of shoveling left to do and there are some roots I need to cut out of the way .


After that it was time to come in, clean up, wait for Joe to come home and have some supper and do bedtime! Joe has started to bike outside now and his workouts are getting slightly longer as his race is getting closer!

IMG_1084A wide view of the polebarn right now. It looks messy but that is because there is the trash pile right in the front and a few piles left inside the old footprint that I need to shovel up still too. You can see a bunch of trees that Joe cut down today leaving it wide open!

It was a good and busy week and I figure we will keep this sort of schedule for at least the next couple of months.  Once the weather gets really hot we will try to go out even earlier and probably spend more time inside during the middle of the day and some days maybe walk to the beach! 🙂


Some more views of the polebarn! All those trees were cut down today, plus a good section of scrubby trees beyond the grain bin that you can’t see in photos.  This summer Joe has to put the sheet metal on the outside of the pole barn wall and then we will clean up more around the barn and get rid of the rest of the trash and it will be a pretty nice fire area!

IMG_1081Last night was our very first fire of the season and we are going to have another fire tonight.  Today while James and I were working on our projects Joe was out back doing a ton of work near the polebarn cutting down scrubby trees and cleaning up the area.  He got a ton of the trees cut down and now next weekend he will trim them up and add them to our burn pile for our fires.  I don’t think we will be running out of wood anytime soon!  Tonight Joe is also making/made us some tasty salsa and guacamole to have with chips for our fire and a friend of ours is coming over to visit too!


Weekend Catch Up

I don’t think I took a single picture today, but I do have a couple from the weekend to share since I didn’t get a chance last night!  James definitely has his first cold and he has passed it on to us.  Joe doesn’t feel so good at all and I feel only a little bad and hopefully don’t get any worse! Despite his cold James was a trooper today and we went out and did our weekly grocery shopping and then had lunch with a friend of mine who was off of work today and then made a quick trip to JC Penney where James got a new pair of pants and a shirt for $4! It was normally $24 and it was marked down to like $14 and then we had a coupon so we got a whole new outfit for cheap! I know that is how they get you in the store (save $10 off a $10 or more purchase) but I figure if I’m going to get an outfit for James or something for Joe or I for dirt cheap and it’s brand new… then why not? As long as I don’t go overboard and spend like $50 because then it’s totally not worth it! But brand name baby clothes for $4 brand new? I’ll take it!


Above: This is what happens when James asks Dad to get him dressed 🙂 Below: James and Joe inspecting the yard (where the pole barn was).  We were out and about just getting some fresh air! Usually we have Cora with us too but I think this time Joe was working on the boat and James and I came out to say hello and then we wandered around for awhile letting James play and inspect things.



Other than all of that we are pretty good around here! We had a nice weekend, we went on a walk with Cora down on the trail, Joe had a couple workouts, we took some family naps, we had steak salad last night and taco salad tonight and spaghetti on Saturday night…. tasty but nothing ground breaking or unique.  Tomorrow we’re going to go vote (I hope everybody does the same!) and hopefully overturn a couple of crappy proposals we don’t like and maybe get rid of a couple of politicians we don’t like too! 🙂

Pole Barn Update

Joe has been steadily working on our pole barn whenever he gets a spare moment! He thinks he is possible two normal weekends, or one long weekend, away from being finished with the cleanup!

Here are some photos from midday yesterday, he actually ended up getting a whole lot further than this.  Pretty soon all we will have left to do will be to have a lot of campfires to get rid of the wood (James permitting…).


The scrap metal pile gets bigger and bigger.


Joe getting some work done! He finished getting that last side wall down too.  It looks so different with all of this area being cleared.


Pretty much clear!


But with lots of wood to burn!