January - February
January marked the beginning of our 4th year in the Upstate. In 2005 we had moved twice because of family problems and had finally landed here, with no place to go. At this point we'd been living in a second story apartment for almost three years. During that time we'd been looking for a homestead of our own, had one long drug out disappointment over ten acres, and were still looking.
I would check the real estate listings online every day and spotted this place the day it came on the market. Within a week we'd made an appointment to see the place and made an offer. After a brief bidding war, we lost to another buyer.
We were contacted by our real estate agent, were we still interested in the place? Original party had backed out. Were we interested? Of course! We already had loan approval so the formalities were a breeze. On April 30th we signed on the dotted line and received the keys.
Most of May was spent cleaning the place. It was really messy and dirty. On May 4th I started this blog and then took readers on a tour of our new home. (Floor plan with links to each room here.) By the third week in May we were tired of the hour and a half round trip drive every day and Dan said, "It's time to move in." Which we did.
After the house was livable we started cleaning up the yard. I discovered all sorts of wonderful things, including grapes and a fig tree. I also got my garden started.
We were making plans and setting priorities when our insurance company interrupted things with their own must do list. This was the month we tore down the chimney and planted a privacy hedge.
August was a month of mixed emotions. Our son got married :) but Catzee disappeared :( . We had the two big old oak trees next to the house trimmed. The branches which overhung the house became this year's firewood. We also had the roof replaced, and started preparations for next year's production garden. We were harvesting from the summer garden. August was the month the figs and blueberries came in. It was also when I bought a chest freezer.
This month we started working on the new hearth. We also started replacing the original knob and tube wiring in the house. For our outside project we started putting up a fence for goats. I harvested wild muscadines and started planning my herb gardens.
October's big house project was doing the woodstove alcove and installing the woodburning heat stove. We managed just in time for our first cold snap of the year. I started my fall garden and learned about fermentation as a useful process, both for seed saving and for food preservation. Foraging in October was for rose hips.
November was a house project month. We finished the indoor rewiring, added needed support to the dining room floor, painted the dining room, removed the old dining room floor, and put down the new hardwood flooring. Whew.
First Dan rewired the back porch and added a light outside the back door. Then we sanded and stained both the dining room and living room floors. Out of doors we planted our fruit and nut trees. The second half of the month, we decided to take a break and celebrate our first Christmas in our new home!
2009 Year In Review all text copyright December 2009