It’s been a year since we moved in to our house in the Moyaone, and what I should really do right about now is to write a post reflecting back on what we’ve accomplished in that time, but since I’m writing this outside on a BEAUTIFUL fake spring day, I’m more in the mood to look forward and think about goals for the coming year. So Jamie and I did a quick brainstorm, and here I am writing this “goals” post. [Update, hours later: LONG “goals” post.] We’re in the midst of planning a wedding blowout for the summer, so we’re holding off on any big ticket renovations, but we had no trouble coming up with this long list of small and medium projects. Many of them are long term, “get started on—” types of goals.
KITCHEN | We’re planning a “half-assed kitchen update” to get us through the next year. What’s involved in this scheme is cleaning and sanding the cabinet drawers enough to make them Not Gross and therefore Usable (we’re not currently using our lower cabinets and drawers—too gross!); giving the countertops a “faux soapstone” finish; and quite possibly pulling the trigger and buying that induction range we want. We also need to stop the sink leak, asap.
MASTER SUITE | We’re planning to remove all the canister lights in the master bedroom (so that the room looks less like a dance studio) and install wall sconces on either side of the bed. Patching all those holes in the ceiling should go a ways toward keeping conditioned air inside the room and cold attic air out. Other wish list items include a new fan to replace the ugly builder’s special currently there, and building a frame and headboard for the bed.
LIVING ROOM & FOYER | We have visions of built-in bookshelves on either side of the fireplace/entry to the living room, so a stretch goal is to design and build those this coming year. I need to add trim around the sliding doors, and I’d like to replace the baseboards in the living room, the hall, and the foyer. Last year I bought legs to make benches for the foyer, so I’d like to build those too!
GARAGE | Remove the hideous, wonky shelving and paint the walls. Maybe keep it organized?
LAUNDRY NOOK | Replace the current rigid dryer exhaust duct with a flexible duct that allows us to move the dryer closer to the wall (it’s currently sticking out a foot further than the washing machine, even though we bought the part last year); install the dryer rack (that I, ahem, bought a year ago), along with some shelves; install a track curtain so we can close off the nook.
SIDING | Finish the second coat of stain (it’s about 1/3 done) and paint the foundation.
WINDOW WELLS | These need to be dug out. The window well on the south end of the house is too small and shallow, and we’re planning to replace it with a properly sized one. We might tack on a bit of corrective grading for that end of the house while we’re at it.
DECK | Finish shoring up the deck.
“THE TRIANGLE” | I have fantasies of putting a huge boulder at the end of our driveway (“the triangle”), with our name in pin-mounted letters. Then I’ll do some more landscaping there. The dwarf mondo grass I planted last spring took to the spot pretty well, so there may be more of that involved. I also want to build a fence, mostly decorative, to create a focal “entrance point” on either side of the driveway gate.
THE POISON IVY & OTHER VINES | Before all the trees in the woods leaf out we’ll make the rounds, murdering poison ivy vines. I’m also going to continue freeing the trees alongside the road/along the front of the house from the overgrown vine tangles that have been weighing them down—a project I started a month or so ago.
I pulled down loads of vines—greenbriar, Japanese honeysuckle, bittersweeet—that had grown up and over the trees. I freed most of the trees, but left piles of vines all over the place, so I need to clear those up/make Jamie do it. Can I just say how much I love the crooked trees in the picture below?
BY THE HOUSE | There’s a “hell strip” between the driveway and side of the house—just a couple feet wide. I need to figure out what to do with that. Then there’s the area to the left of the driveway, where I want raised herb beds. Jamie signed me up for an online garden planning course, so hopefully that will be the motivation to get started on plotting those out.
MORE FERNS | I want to establish ferns under the trees along the right side of the driveway, where currently not much of anything grows. So we’ll soon be ordering some massive amounts of bare root ferns to put in the ground the minute that [real] spring comes. We’ll also throw some ferns in around the drainage pipe outlets. This is part of our bigger goal to have more native plants growing around here. Nearly everything is browsed to death by the deer so to give any plants and baby trees a fighting chance we’ll also have to build more fences (and hunt more).
FENCES | Jamie has been experimenting with living fences (willows, black locust, holly), and has seeds to experiment some more (osage orange, devil’s walkingstick, honey locust). He also wants to try wattle fences, and we definitely want to put up a legit deer fence around “the orchard.” Right now we have cages around individual trees and it’s pretty telling that the “exclusion zones” of the fences are green while everything outside the cages has been eaten to the ground. Damn you deer, you will pay.
MORE TREES | Jamie wants to continue to plant fruit trees, and experiment with paw paw grafting. We’ve also placed a big order of redosier dogwoods to go alongside the road and button bushes to go in the slightly swampy area behind the house.
TRAILS | We’ve started work on our trail system!—just roughing the main trail in. We want to have meandering trails through the property, situated just-so, so that you can’t see our house or the neighbor’s as you walk around. Daydreams include getting the neighbors to make trails as well, interconnected so people could walk from their properties to the national park at the end of the road, or to the community center or other places.
SITE PLAN | We think it would be really swell to draw up an accurate map of all the fruit and nut trees we’ve planted (and plan to plant). Just thinking about the work involved in this makes me a little sleepy.
HONEYBEES | I’m registered for a beekeeping course and have two hives and two packets of bees on order. It’s happening!
MUSHROOMS | Maybe we’ll be able to harvest some of the mushrooms we “planted” last year?? We really hope so. We’ll continue to work on that.
BREAD | Jamie’s been experimenting with sourdough. The results have been delicious but a little lumpy looking, so there’s some room for improvement.
KOMBUCHA | We hope to get started on making our own kombucha this year.
MEAT | We’ll continue to bow hunt the damned deer, butcher them, and eat them. It’s the least we can do for the native flora of Maryland. Maybe we (Jamie) can also get a turkey?
COMMUNITY GARDEN | And finally, we hope to have another productive growing season in our little garden plot.
Quite the list, huh? We’ve agreed that completing (or hell, even starting on) just 50% of this list would make us feel pretty good about ourselves.