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Hello and Happy Spring Greetings from Vanha Talo Suomi! giphy Pekka and I have been busy around the house and yard making improvements everywhere.  While it was still quite chilly in March, all the snow was gone and we spent a couple of weekends pruning the rest of the apple trees I couldn’t do myself.  The trimming we did was much over-do, and in a couple of cases it was a bit aggressive. Hopefully the trees will rebound. Another waiting game to see results. The border of the plot near the farmer’s field was very neglected so we also spent a bit of time and energy tackling a slew of issues; mostly ungainly trees and many unwanted saplings along with rolls of mangled metal fencing. Over the years the trees throughout the yard either got no trimming or were hacked at random intervals and the resulting effects were less than desirable.


no man’s land between our place and the farmer’s field

Pekka fired up his chain saw and we made pretty fast work of some unsightly limbs from a very large beech tree in another spot out back. He also took care of a number of saplings that had popped up willy-nilly in all the wrong places. We thinned out some over-growth and ripped out rolls of old forgotten chicken wire fencing that had become very mangled and earth-packed. Needless to say it was tough work getting it all pulled up and out.  It’s a great relief to have this area cleaned up. The results are a definite improvement.  There are still a couple Rowan trees that have become a bush due to previous bad trims. Hopefully we can thin them out to make them a bit better looking. Pekka arranged for loads of dirt to be delivered and we spent this last Sunday hauling wheelbarrows full to the back corner on the other side of the yard. A pretty heavy clay-mix of soil I was busy putting the larger clumps along the shallowest/lowest spots along the fence line and then smoothing and leveling the loads Pekka was wheeling to me from the larger pile. Tough work! We took a break at lunch and headed for Hesburger to refuel and continued until dinner time. The pile of dirt is slowing raising up the low spots in that corner.  We hauled the rest of the pile last night and the low corner isn’t so low any more!  The picture doesn’t tell the whole story. We brought up the level throughout that whole back corner 40+cm or nearly 20 inches. The gap under the fence was so large, deer were actually able to shimmy underneath!


view to corner

Now that we’ve hauled away all that dirt, Pekka and I are hoping his friend will be able to swing by again soon with another load. I received confirmation that my plant order is due to arrive any day. I still have a lot to do in the opposite back corner to get that area ready for planting! And, it’s going to need dirt!! Inside things are happening rather slowly.  The wood ceiling panels in the bedroom were stained, the walls painted and the floor has 1 coat of stain but needs 1 more to go.  I needed to touch up the corners and re-mud since the drywall tape edge could still be seen… ugh.. so it’s looking like this right now. WP_20150420_017It’s supposed to rain next week. If it does I’ll be back inside to clean this room up and get those touched up areas re-painted. Afterwards, I can put another coat of stain on the floor.  Pekka got the closets outfitted with rods and they are ready for clothes. Now if only we had enough time to actually sort out the clothes we could get things out of boxes…  🙂 Things didn’t work out too well while setting the tiles for the downstairs bathroom vanity. Apparently Pete got confused and decided to use the remaining floor tiles (which cannot be repurchased-out of stock/discontinued) for the backsplash instead of the wall tiles we had. The resulting SNAFU exhausted the floor tile supply so we have none left should we ever need to replace one. The other issue was the tile he used is honed and when he grouted the darker marble tile the overwipe caused this to happen… WP_20150327_004 Unfortunately, even after acid washing the whole backsplash, the result is a  shadow everywhere the grout had reached. 😦  Tearing it out and using the wall tile which are glazed would be an option. But I doubt it will happen.  Talk about being disappointed! Hmm.. let’s go back outside. Pete and his son have been on the roof installing the downspouts, rest of snow guards, soffits and fascia the last week or so. They’ve gotten the back done and are working on a side now, the other side and the front remain to be done.  Whenever they finally get done… the roof will be complete. Guess the window framing and trim will be next. Possibly the stairs and landing for the side door and perhaps the back deck will eventually come to be.  Seems like its taking forever to me. These little gems are popping up in a few places around the yard. The tulips and other bulbs I planted last fall are poking up but we have no blooms yet. Our daffodils haven’t bloomed yet either. Won’t be long now…!! WP_20150420_049 Until next time!