Friday, January 24, 2014

A year (nearly) on Old School Acres

My to-do list is downright scary. It never seems to get shorter, and I can't look anywhere around the place without pangs of guilt. The animals need this, the garden needs that, the gym... the studio.... The hallway still has particle board on the floor, the living area STILL has plastic instead of doors, yada yada.

The truth is there is enough work around here for 15 years (20 for the ancient slow-motion carpenter), but that doesn't mean we haven't done a lot. So while I'm planning next year's priorities, I want to celebrate last year's accomplishments.

The place became ours Jan. 31, 2013. We moved in about three weeks later. And over the last year (in addition to surviving) we – with the help of family and friends – have:
• Moved 27-plus years of stuff from the Ancestral Home (this was a massive undertaking that involved many trips in rented trucks and many family members and many hours and is still not completely finished)
• Fenced, terraced, dug, de-rocked, de-knapweeded, de-quackgrassed, planted and harvested an amazing, BIG garden (this was the big accomplishment of the year – C. did most of it, and Richard did a whole lot of rototilling)
• Canned, dried and froze many, many pounds of food from that garden (C. again)
• Installed an awesome wood stove (with the biggest legal firebox you can buy)
• Fenced a pasture for the big animals
• Fenced two yards for the dogs
• Built a chicken house
• Fixed up the old barn for the big animals (and the two chickens who insist on laying out there instead of their perfectly nice chicken house) (Richard, Emma, KC, Cullen and KiSong did this)
• Had some of the roof redone (there are still some issues, but several areas are brand new)
• Got the basic systems up and running: fixed frozen pipes, replaced some faucets and water-heater elements (thanks, Tom), capped off the crazy buried irrigation pipe that was sucking all the water out of the house system, rootered out the lines to the septic tank, patched some of the vandalized electrical system, replaced glass in some doors and windows
• Hauled supplies for future projects: 2,000 square feet of maple flooring from an old school (I nearly killed Richard with this), hundreds of feet of old picket fencing, a set of kitchen cabinets...

So when I'm feeling doomed, I'm going to look at this list and remind myself that we have accomplished quite a few things. Now, the list for next year.

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