Tuesday, September 29, 2015

New House: Month One

We moved into our first home one month ago.

It's a nice little home for our family.  We chose a home well-within our current means with the idea of not taking 30 years to pay it off.  Also, with the idea that, since we finally have a real income, we'd like to be able to have some of that income available to make plans with and do things along the way to paying off the mortgage as well.  

That said--the home is a bit of a fixer-upper.  It's totally livable and we are so happy to have it.  We just also have lots of ideas for improving it.  

The project that I din't think would be first, but ended up being first, was some stripey wallpaper in the extra room.  

On day two, Jeremy said, "That's gonna be the first thing to go!" 

I was surprised, as I never dreamt of keeping the wallpaper, but hadn't realized it bothered him so much.  

On night three Owen was sitting in the reading chair in that room and said, "It's making me dizzy." And truth be told, it was sort of like one of those mind bender puzzles, "look at the dot in the center and watch as the outside begins to appear to swirling around the center point like a washing machine!"

So right then and there I started peeling off the wallpaper.  It took two nights and left a completely unfinished, unplastered, drywall with joint-compounded-seams wall. After a few days I searched the shelves in the garage and came up with some beige paint plus primer, and started painting.  

It looks much better now--in that "different colored accent wall" kind of way.  And it's perfect for waiting out further plans.

Then I tried hanging up our flower alphabet cards (as this is our "dining-turned-computer/school/reading room off of the kitchen), but since living in Texas requires ceiling fans running at full blast, half the cards fell down by the end of the first day.  It's now been two weeks and the rest have stayed put, so. . . apparently I need to come up with a plan to get the first ones back on the wall.

But the wallpaper removal and painting are all we have done so far inside the house.  We've done a lot more outside the house, though.

We have a 1/3 acre lot.

That's one of the reasons we bought an older house as well.  Newer houses are on much smaller lots, and have HOA's--Bleh!

The lot was one of the most important factors in choosing a house for us.  And we ended up finding a home on a third acre, mostly open lot.

After watching the neighborhood hummingbirds fight over our feeder of imitation nectar, we figured we could put in an actual pollinator garden for them.

This is the beginnings of that (with cardboard mulch to kill the grass) and I have already seen a hummingbird at that tall one in the center with the small orange flowers!

Speaking of killing grass. . . I layed out three beds for raised garden space.  It's time to be planting already, but I have plenty of experience with fall gardening and season-extending, so I'm not worried about it yet--just being patient.

This is the beginnings of our permaculture swale and berm food forest.  (More on that another day.) Jeremy and I placed our first order from a Texas nursery for trees and other edible perennials last week during a free shipping sale, but they won't come until planting season--probably November.

And this is the beginning of a homemade play structure.  We kind of planned something out, and Jeremy went and bought the wood, but came home with a bit of sticker shock.  So we looked up the cheapest play structure on Walmart.com and proved to ourselves that we were indeed doing it significantly cheaper as a DIY.  

The plan is to erect it under this oak tree, so that it is not really a "tree fort" but a fort up under the canopy of the tree--still fun?  We hope so. 

And those are our accomplishments of month one as homeowners. 

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