Make sure you’re sitting down, the changes I’m about to show you around our house in the last few weeks are dramatic and far-reaching. Transformative and elating. Beautiful and functional. I could go on, but you’ll see for yourself.
We’ll begin our tour on the inside. First, we have a new couch! Yes, yes, so what?! Well, after having worn out two futons and two used couches as our primary seating for the living room, we decided it’s time to upgrade to a real, honest-to-goodness new piece of furniture. One that will last more than two years. One that has never been peed on (more on that in a moment), or came from a Craigslist posting, or something Bob or I had before we met. This is a couch with a lifetime warranty, made here in Oregon, purchased at the family-0wned furniture store within walking distance of our house.
You may be thinking, whoa, that’s a honkin’ big couch. And it is. The living room in our house is truly the living room, that’s where ALL the action occurs and we need room for everyone to sit comfortably. Bob and I can both take a nap on it at the same time. The girls have a long stretch of jumping space, as demonstrated in the photos. The far corner by the library shelf and sliding glass window has a chaise lounge for someone to stretch out and still make room for other folks to sit. It’s just what we needed.
As mentioned above, this couch has not been peed on. Our days of cleaning up errant pee are essentially over, as Molly now no longer wears a diaper to bed! Diaper free, 100%! I can’t tell you the last time she didn’t make it to the toilet in time during the day, and has been waking up with a dry diaper for weeks now. Last night was her first night sleeping in underwear, hooray!
Our last radical transformation on the inside of the house we have really had no agency in at all. But it’s been a good scientific observation lesson for us all. Bob’s dad is a microbiologist who studied cercropia moths for many years. He sent us two cocoons in the mail a few weeks ago and we have been patiently waiting for them to emerge. They’ve been sitting in the bottom of their “habitat,” a plastic tote bin with a salvaged window screen on top.
Lucy has been learning about their life cycle, their habitat needs, and other intricacies of the moths from her ecstatic grandfather and a book Bob remembers from his childhood, “Terry and the Caterpillars.”
Yesterday morning the first moth emerged.
Lucy and Molly were fascinated with this creature, its size and delicacy, the way it moved its wings, the beautiful patterns on its wings and body, the feathered antennae. Molly was eager to hold it, Lucy preferred watching it. We’re still waiting on the second moth. Thank you, Pop Pop, for such an engaging science project!
That wraps up the inside tour, let’s move outside to see even bigger changes around the house! Really, it’s one main change that serves as the vanguard that will now usher in further improvements and changes. All this winter we have had a serious mudpit around the house, and especially at the front where everyone walks up to the door. All our winter shoes were muddy, the bikes were muddy, you couldn’t even go out to get the newspaper without stomping through a squelchy mud patch.
This picture from about three weeks ago actually shows a major improvement already, a hefty layer of good topsoil. You can see, though, how muddy and mucky the ground is. And of course, as is par for the course at this house, a large pile of tires and concrete rubble pulled out of the yard and waiting for removal.
Just for reference, I’ll just show one (of many) pictures I took of just some of the rubble Bob has taken out:
Remember, that is just some of it! Back to our tour.
This is the kitchen side of the yard, muddy and muddy.
With some planning, a few phone calls, the help of friends and three Papa Murphy’s pizzas, the yard transformed into this:
That side yard? Check this out:
Green and happy! All over the yard we now have luscious walkable grass. With this serving as our landscape structure, we now have the shape for planting beds, for vegetable boxes (already in place and waiting for soil), for the bike barn, and path to the front door.
We have lived in this house nearly six years and finally, finally, we are planting things we want in the yard, not removing things we don’t want. I’m not kidding, it has been five years of digging up and removing rubble, moving or taking out plants squarely in the middle of a path, pruning back everything, and making the wonderful but unkempt jungle of the yard into something pointing more toward just wonderful. We aren’t pointing in the direction of wonderful anymore, we’re there! We’re nowhere near done, but we finally have a yard that is enjoyable and functional all around the house.
As proof of how far we’ve come, here is the last and final tire (we think) that Bob will ever have to unearth from this yard.
And, to give credit where credit is most certainly due, a great huzzah to our Sod Bustin’ work party, the inimitable and truly marvelous Mama Rama families! Especially the Dads.
And the kids had the time of their lives at our mud camp that day:
Connor needed a bath before he could go home.
Recipe for endless fun: mud and kids and a dirt pile.
That will wrap up our virtual tour of the Screamin’ Greenie’s amazing transformation this spring. We do have a dilemma, however, so I will leave you with a question. The house is no longer screamin’ green, so that name doesn’t quite fit anymore. We need a new name for the house and are asking for suggestions. We often call it the Cozy Red House, but I’m not sure I want a color-based name, since we may not always keep it this color. We’ve thought about just calling it our address numbers, but that doesn’t have the right ring. Any suggestions for re-naming the house would be most appreciated!