Taking the house my mom grew up in, the farm my grandparents shared for over fifty years and making it a home for us to grow old in.

Spring is here! Oh… wait, no its snowing … oh spring is back! … its snowing again

Something I think everyone notices when they live in a true “four seasons” environment is that when spring does get here it is accompanied by lots and lots of plans. We all wait for winter to end like hibernating bears and then when summer does finally get here we’re all so busy I think the majority of us feel like we don’t have the time to enjoy it. Though I will heartily complain about the snow on the ground outside right now I am also very aware that we have already been able to begin hacking away at our spring/summer projects at least a month a head of when we would have expected to. (I have been reminded by at least three people now that it is not a strange thing for it to snow here in May!)

Last weekend we rented a bob cat in gorgeous 60 degree spring weather and Joe tackled our entire farm for over 9 hours. What he did has been on our to-do list for a good year and a half: Take out the old “grainery” beside our wood shed (this one made my heart ache a little but we were years too late to save it), move a pile of logs from one side of the yard (where they were just being ugly) to in front of the wood shed so Joe can split them for next winter, add more sand to our fire pit (now its perfect), take out every stump in our yard and the aggressive maple seedlings in my Grandma’s old flower garden (so Joe can mow it) and, finally, move the access road to the other side of our property so we can expand our horse pasture.

Project to-do lists, finishing a garden, expanding the horse pasture, finished a raised garden planter and planning PVC pipe gutters and then it snowed

It was a very good and productive day that my poor husband is still recovering from I think. Because I really couldn’t be any help that day I tackled putting the fence and a gate up around our new garden in front of the barn. SO excited to get that done! We had filled it with dirt the weekend before and I had hoped to plant the next day (Sunday) until, of course, I looked at the fore cast… and now it doesn’t look like I’ll get to plant this weekend either! Does the weather not understand that I have absolutely zero patience and we are all so totally over winter!? On top of that, seriously, look at my seedlings! Pretty soon my green beans are going to take over my entry way! Aren’t they cute? I wrote a whole post about how I made my own mini green houses if you’re curious on how I grew them.

Project to-do lists, finishing a garden, expanding the horse pasture, finished a raised garden planter and planning PVC pipe gutters and then it snowed

In light of the glorious (though short lived) weather I moved yet another batch of peonies from the “dog kennel” to by our drive way. This is the third time I’ve done this! Every single time I believe I get them all and I am just happy as can be to have another dozen to add to my “hedge” but then another spring comes and BOOM more come up. I love it! Of course I’m not loving it so much right now as all my newly transplanted peonies are sitting in an inch of snow 🙁 Yes, I failed them and forgot to cover them up but, honestly, we didn’t get a whole lot of warning and I just hope they’ll be ok. I also filled up our little garden beside our house with wild flower, fern and milkweed seeds beside the irises and lilies of my Grandma’s that I moved last year. I took my aunt’s raised garden planter that I built over to her place and filled it with dirt in preparation for her own garden this year. (I’ll be sharing the plans for that soon!) (I made my mom one a couple of years ago and she was so delighted with it that my aunt requested one too.) Here’s a sneak peak!

Project to-do lists, finishing a garden, expanding the horse pasture, finished a raised garden planter and planning PVC pipe gutters and then it snowed

Next up this weekend (come snow or sunshine) Joe and I can now (finally!) expand our horse pasture because the access road is moved. I’m so excited to give them more grazing and exploring! Not to mention: give Joe a little less mowing to do. What has become a tradition for Joe and I (and maybe everyone who lives in MN) is to walk our property in the spring and talk about the things we each want to accomplish this summer. Its my favorite 🙂 We ask it of each other, knowing full well the other wants the same things but I will help Joe with whatever is at the top of his list and vice versa. He wants to finally get the siding finished on the garage (ok, its not the siding, its technically the sofits and a couple of things like that) it doesn’t bother me but it does bother him and certainly it will be good to have it done. We both want to put siding on his storage shed and my tack shack, I need to order the J-channel for us to do it. His shed needs new shingles too and my shed needs new sofits and a paint job.

I want to finish the deck railing (that’s been eating at me just like the unfinished garage has been eating at Joe) and we desperately need to get gutters on the front of the house because our poor flower garden keeps getting hammered when it rains. Our plan for the gutters is as diy and unconventional as everything else that we do. I saw online how someone cut big pvc pipe lengthwise in half and used that for a gutter. We just so happen to have pvc pipe to do it so you can guess that that is absolutely our plan 😉 I will definitely be posting a tutorial here all about it!

Interestingly I couldn’t find that article or any pictures when I looked right now no matter how many variations in search terms I tried! But what I did run into was folks like me inquiring in forums to use pvc pipe for gutters and meeting a TON of opposition. Why is it that no matter what it is you consider doing yourself there is always such a huge percentage of people that tell you to hire it out instead??? How nice for those folks who can AFFORD seemless gutters! Regardless though (considering how frugal I am) even if we could afford to hire a company to do it for us the fact that we already have the pipe and the tools to do it means that that is exactly how we’re going to do it. And, now that I can’t find it online anymore, I’m very excited to put up a tutorial here for all those folks out there like us!

Yes, I did finish the little house I mentioned in my last blog post 🙂 Well I guess “finish” isn’t quite the word, there is still some touching up to do etc. But it was SOOOOO awesome to get out from behind a desk for a couple of weeks! And, because it was a TON of work, it was also awesome to get back behind my desk lol! Coming up this Monday on the blog is the beginning of my post series all about how I planned it, how I executed it, one tutorial on some awesome DIY ceiling panels and the full on before and after!

A veggie garden with railroad ties, some mystery seeds, new flower boxes and a new remodel project called the little house!

That sounds like a lot now that I’m typing it but its actually only about 4-5 weekends worth of work which is really very little considering its not even May yet. Is it possible that every year our plate will become a little less full and we’re actually going to get things truly “finished” and be able to enjoy a little bit of summer?! I’m skeptical… we shall see.

Here’s a picture of a dandelion who managed to bloom and go to seed this “spring” before it snowed again!

Project to-do lists, finishing a garden, expanding the horse pasture, finished a raised garden planter and planning PVC pipe gutters and then it snowed

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4 Comments

  1. April 28, 2017 at 11:08 pm

    Loving your beans! I haven’t had luck transplanting mine, mine grew better in the ground. I need to plant some fragrant peonies, they are so gorgeous! I need to plant bulbs this fall as well. PVC pipe sounds like that could work. My hubby installed regular plastic gutters. They lasted about 8 years, but started leaking, couldn’t fix repatedly. We did do the seamless (big tax refund that year) because of the erosion problems. It’s a great time to add a rain barrels if you want. We had snow a week and a half ago, not it going to be in the upper 70’s next week. Crazy! Nancy

    • May 2, 2017 at 4:26 pm

      Hey Nancy, those peonies have been here for literally decades, they were my Grandma’s and they are my absolute favorite! They smell so wonderful! I’ll definitely be posting here updates on when we get the PVC pipe gutters cut and hung and how they work out later… I know the traditional plastic gutters on friends’ gutters never lasted too long – I think its our rough northern MN climate! I have definitely been considering rain barrels – great idea! Yeah, the weather has been just crazy, we were supposed to get four inches of snow yesterday but instead it was just rain and now we have 60s and sunshine for hopefully quite awhile!

  2. April 28, 2017 at 11:10 pm

    I’m not sure if you’re planting edibles in the raised bed wqith railroad ties? Some people line them since they can have toxic chemicals in the creosote….

    • May 2, 2017 at 4:26 pm

      Hey Nancy, yup I just posted a whole post all about the research I did on the creosote etc. Its not something to fool around with, thanks!

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Iris Nacole
Making a shoe rack and closet storage out an old ladder

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