Friday, April 5, 2013

Spring break Ohio style part II

Checking out the trenches for the tiling that is going in this week. I will post a blog about that when it is done.

This week was a busy one for us at the farm. The cold weather finally broke a bit and we were able to get some projects started.

We are renovating the old farmhouse from top to bottom and from bottom to top. On Tuesday we cleaned dust and debris from the attic. I am sure there were treasures there at one point but the extreme conditions and rodents and wasps over the years destroyed almost everything. The best find  was a stack of Ladies Home Journals from the twenties and thirties. Oddly enough, they survived in good condition. Paging through one is like going back in time. It is funny how far we've come as a nation in some respects and how much other things have remained the same.

 I sometimes think that as we transition to a society who gets all of it's information via digital media, history will be lost. Will someone be able to stumble across a news website in 90 years? Technological advances have a way of sneaking up on us. I'd forgotten the early days of dial up internet and vga computer graphics from the late nineties. My girls and I watched the movie "You've Got Mail" the other night. It's been about 15 years since it's release. The movie has aged very well with the exception of the technology featured. My kids found it hard to believe that computers were once so primitive and took so long to load a page. 

On a side note, the movie centered around a struggle between the owner of a small mom and pop bookstore and a large big box store which had just opened around the corner. Spoiler alert- the big box store won the battle with the small store, but  their owners found love along the way. It was a fun two hours watching even though you knew what was going to happen at the end. It would be interesting if they made a sequel to this film in the present day.These days, many big box retailers are struggling with the competition provided by Amazon and other online retailers. Maybe the Hanks and Ryan characters could reunite in a movie about how they deal with the latest retailing trends. The addition of social media and smart phones would add new opportunities for the romantic characters.

Meanwhile, back to the farmhouse, when the attic is fully cleaned out, we are going to  install flooring and insulation. The goal is to make it a clean usable storage space. The big pieces of junk are removed. We have to sweep all of the remaining dust and cob webs out of the floors and rafters. We also have to install a handrail on the staircase and perhaps some roof top vents to improve airflow during the summer. 

We are also beginning an expensive renovation of the basement. In May, a contractor is coming out to re-dig the basement and pour a new floor. He is going to install additional drainage around the foundation and move the cellar stairs. We are also having the walls covered with a new coat of concrete. The hope here is that we will have a clean DRY basement and a solid foundation. The renovations we're making aren't the fun kind, but they're necessary. Maybe the cool new kitchen will come next year. Rehab Addict is my new favorite show.
If you look closely you can see the line of baby trees up the center of the photo. 

I began planting my windbreak this week. I am building on what is left of a windbreak of cyprus trees that I am guessing was planted in the sixties. I am shifting it to the west a bit with seven Colorado blue spruce trees. They are close to the field. Hopefully they won't get run over by any equipment.