HiHo from the Country!

taryn(S Ontario Z6B)September 15, 2006

Hi Idylls and Lurkers!

Its officially one month since weÂve moved, and I thought it was time to check in and share some thoughts and pics on the new digs.

I LOVE being a country bumpkin! Honestly, this place is just amazingly peaceful and tranquil. There is a plethora of wildlife! The crickets are chirping, all kinds of birds are singing, the cicadas are humming in the trees. Every day near dusk dozens of Canada Geese take a test flight from our bog and go squawking over the house, practicing for the real thing soon. One day we had about a thousand sparrows swooping over the field! The boys went running amongst this cloud of birds, arms outstretched and eyes bugging out of their heads! There are hawks, and silly turkey vultures, which will fly right into your car, and rabbits, deer and even coyotes. Will have to see what I can grow here with all these critters, though the neighbors have a lovely garden. Tons of bugs though! Note the fly strip hanging from the chandelier below! Good thing (I think!) we have lots of bats flitting around in the trees at dusk, eating all those mossies hatching in the bog!

Kitties are thrilled to be outdoor cats now, and chasing mice and frogs and having a grand old time. They are equipped with bells on their collars for the birds sake, Advantage to protect against fleas and tags with our phone numbers on them (for my peace of mind should they wander). Gumbo was hilarious the first few days, as he didnÂt realize we had LET him out and was skulking around like he was guilty of escaping, afraid to come inside in case he wasnÂt let out again, lol! Silly kitty is in his element nowÂ

The boys are doing great, and love it here. They are loving catching frogs, toads, praying mantises (mantii??) and bugs to feed them with. They like their new school, their teachers, and are making lots of friends. There are 6 boys within their age group right on our road, 2 minutes away, and they are all becoming fast friends! This is pretty awesome for a 2 mile road with only 16 houses, and saves me driving all over the place for playdates. Their parents are great people too, and we had a blast with them at our housewarming party last Saturday. DH plays bass guitar, new neighbors play guitar and sing, and old neighbor who came plays drums, so we tested out the jam hall and had a hoot! Honestly have not had that much fun in a long, long time, and it was a nice stress release. Other neighbors are all great too, and welcomed us with homemade banana bread and maps and guides to the local attractions, etcetera. People here are very pleasant, help out other people, and donÂt lock their doors. Far cry from the city...

House is great, though old so has itÂs peculiar quirks, and will need some TLC to bring it up to speed, mostly mechanical stuff like plumbing and drainage. We unpacked the last box one week ago today. We have a few issues with the previous owners, like the non-functioning water softener, but are hoping to resolve it quickly. Moving from a city lot with municipal water to a 2.5 acre country property with a well and a cistern and a septic system and 3 hog barns is a bit of a learning curve, but so far so good. Hope to check out the great camping, boating, rafting near Lake Erie and the Grand River a lot more next season.

Okay, a few pics:

Housewarming fun/jam in the barn:

Got a major sweet deal on this white oak set for the breakfast room on EbayÂs free buy and sell site, Kajiji. $275CAD for the 9 piece set! I also sold some bunk beds and other stuff on there very fast. If you have stuff to sell or are looking for deals, check out Kajiji.com. ItÂs fast, easy, free, you donÂt have to register, and gets a lot of response.

My other big bargoon sectional couch fits the family room perfectly, though we move the chaise back a couple of feet when we play pool:

Boys are learning itÂs not as easy as it looks, but getting better. I look forward to having their friends hanging out here on a Saturday night as they get closer to the teenage years:

We finally have room for all our stuff!

Glenn teaching Shane how to drive the tractor, while his new buddy looks on:

Lots of this 2.56 acres is still wild;

The bog:

Love this sun porch, but it is unheated so I need to debug and bring in my houseplants soon:

And the pot ghetto! I have my work cut out for me here! Then this old rabbit hutch and weeds will be ripped out too:

I have 5 loads of nice garden mix, 5 3.8 cubic yard bags of peat moss, and a big load of aged FREE cow manure coming at 9:30am tomorrow! The manure is from a guy on the next concession we are getting ½ a cow for the freezer from. Grass-fed, hormone free meat, cut and wrapped to spec, for $2.50lb CAD, PLUS as much free manure as I want! CanÂt go wrong with that! He also sells buffalo meat, which is a lot pricier though. Anyone use buffalo manure on their gardens before? LOL, life in the countryÂ

This is rather freaky. My late step-MIL did this woodburning plaque for us in 1992. She died in 1998. We really had nowhere to put it up at our last two houses, but I put it on one of my antique pumps at the front of the house here the day after we moved in. Then I took a step back, looked up and did a major double take. IT IS THE BARN, to a tee! From the shape of the building, the small windows, the trees up close to the right (canÂt see in the pic, but they are there) and the trees behind in the distance, even the direction of the driveway, it is like a reproduction of our barn here. 14 years before we moved in!

The plaque:

The barn:

Rather freaky, but a good omen that we were meant to be in this place. After all the woes of selling our other house, we are now, finally, HOMEÂ

There are a ton more pics at link below, hope you enjoy the tour. Took me less than an hour to take them, but nearly 6 hours to upload them all. Dial-up is NOT one of the perks of the country, lol. Takes about 20-30 minutes to load an Idyll thread as it nears 100, longer with lots of pics. I've skimmed here and there, but haven't wanted to tie up our line with RSVP's on the housewarming party and dirt deliveries to be arranged, lol. Okay, gots to go, to be ready to lasagna new garden beds and play in the dirt tomorrow morning, then have a BBQ at my sister and her beau's place in the afternoon. Best to all and hope to join you all again on Idylls soon.



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Taryn, let me be the first to tell you what a beautiful place you have! As another country dweller (and a lurker more than a poster)who has dial-up, I understand. You might want to check into CallWave, an internet telephone anwering service that costs $3.95 a month. It has been a godsend to me.

Where to begin...........I love, love the house. I have never seen the keyhole doors before; they are wonderful. The surrounding land looks so homey. I know the boys are in heaven. How great that they have close neighbors. It sounds like you have found the perfect location to raise your family and great neighbors to boot!

I think I might have to consider leaving a door open for that wonderful sun porch and just leave the plants there. What a great place for morning coffee!

You sound very happy and content.........enjoy.

BTW, I enjoyed all the pictures.....even with my dreadful dial-up.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2006 at 6:00AM
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Taryn: Welcome to the wonderful world of being able to breathe where you live!! Looks like the perfect spot for your family. Good to have you back.


    Bookmark   September 16, 2006 at 9:03AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Taryn, You have a lovely place, inside and out! Welcome to the world of wildlife! It will be a challenge, but I sure agree with you about the joy of hearing all the natural sounds, and sights.
I can well imagine the thrill your boys are experiencing...also the cats.
So glad you are liking the new neighbors. They sound nice and friendly.
That is rather weird about the barn picture and the new barn.
BTW, the Agastache, from the seeds you sent, are blessing me with lovely blooms. I need to save more seeds so I can have more next year. I espacially like the delicate pink-flowered one.

You have sure got a job ahead of you, getting all those plants into the ground.

That bog looks like mosquito heaven! I love the plant room. I would put a heater in there.


    Bookmark   September 16, 2006 at 9:15AM
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Taryn, Its good to hear from you, and to know you are settled in.The house looks great with your stuff in there. You have it decorated nicely. It does seem that your family belongs there. So nice too, that the boys have made friends in the neighborhood and that they like the new school. I hope Glenn won't mind the longer commute. Will be looking forward to seeing the new gardens you develope.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2006 at 8:37PM
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Taryn, it is good to hear how you & your family are doing in the new house, neighborhood and with the new school. It sounds like everything is going well for you and I hope it continues that way! Thanks for sharing the photos of your home......you do have it decorated very nicely. :o)


    Bookmark   September 16, 2006 at 9:20PM
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jain(n ca 9 sunset 9)

hi taryn, monique sent me an email to your post, ain't life grand! i am SO pleased for you, i think you have embraced your new life and will just love it more and more daily! you have so much diversity to play with, the kids will love the open spaces.
ps don't let the kitties be outdoor cats, coyotes love to snack on em... signed another country bumpkin!
pss look into satellite for your "high speed", it sure beats dial up, but NOTHING like true high speed!

    Bookmark   September 17, 2006 at 11:43AM
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Taryn, I second what Jain said about satellite internet. We didn't have a big expenditure to get the system (some people do) and the monthly charge is about $20 more than I was paying for my dial up ISP with the costs of the extra phone line. The speed we have far, far exceeds the dial up speed we had to deal with. Something to look into and consider if DSL & cable aren't an option. (Hi Jain!!! You've been on my mind!)


    Bookmark   September 17, 2006 at 1:54PM
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Hidey Ho Taryn!
Since I did have dial up a year ago I know the headache it takes to upload pics quite well-how thoughtful that you've shared so many! If I had to go back to dial up I'd go nuts.

How fun that you have musical neighbors! Everything sounds great and your furniture looks right at home-man you've been busy! It must feel good to have accomplished so much though. It's going to be so fun to see your gardens evolve. That bog is cool! Does anything live in it?(besides creatures from the dark depths?lolol)

That is interesting about your MIL's plague-how neat to have that displayed finally-a perfect match.

HI JAIN!!You must idyll again!

OK well I actually wrote this last night so I suppose I should post it,eh?


    Bookmark   September 17, 2006 at 8:21PM
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Now that the cat's out of the bag:) I just can't help following your colorful family life once in a while Taryn and I remember how kind you were to my friend about EBAY etc..
I think your new place is perfect for all of you :)I am very happy for you.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2006 at 10:57AM
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Taryn, good to hear from you. We have all been wondering how things were going. What a lovely home and property. It looks like you have plenty of room to spread out. It will be fun to watch you develop your gardens in all that open space.


    Bookmark   September 18, 2006 at 11:29AM
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I'm so happy for you too Taryn, that you've found such a perfect place to raise your boys. What a lot of work you've accomplished already. All of your things look wonderful in the new place. It looks like you've really settled in already. I'm so excited to see what you have planned for the gardens and watching it all evolve from the beginning. Be sure to take lots of pictures. I know you want to have an Idyllunion there eventually and it looks like it will be the perfect place for us all to get together. Thanks for taking the time to post this. I know with dialup it was slow going.


    Bookmark   September 18, 2006 at 12:07PM
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taryn(S Ontario Z6B)

Hi everyone, and thanks so much for your kind words and the nice welcome back. You all brought a smile to my face! :)

Gldno1 and Marian, we will have to see what our electric bills are like before deciding to heat the sunroom or not, but I'll definitely miss it for the winter if we decide not to heat it. It IS the perfect spot for morning coffee, and also for mulling over garden design books with a glass or merlot. And the boys also wait there for the school bus in inclement weather, and have time to run out to catch it. Hopefully the door open, plastic over the windows and a small heater to keep it just warm enough won't be too prohibitive, but we'll see.

Marian, so glad the Agastache's are blooming well for you! The A. astromontana 'Pink Pop' came from EP to me originally, and the A. 'Golden Jubilee' came from Janie, so think of all of us when you see them. Like friends in the garden! :)

Hi Jain! How lovely to hear from you! Monique, you too! Thanks for pointing Jain in this direction, and hope you both stop by more often. Jain, what Babs said! Don't you worry about the kitties being coyote snacks, as we make sure they are in for the evening before it gets dark.

Jain and T, I've looked into satellite and it's really expensive here. We had the phone company in to install a new jack and they said with just 16 houses on the road, chances of us getting high-speed are slim to none. So unless we can get an old tv antenna and get a few neighbors to go in on having wireless run out here, dial-up is as good as it's gonna get.

But we are going to try several accelerators and see if that makes a difference. I wouldn't mind things loading so slowly if it didn't tie up the phone line. Will check out Call Wave--thank you gldno1! And please join us more often...

Martie, we are enjoying breathing the fresh country air! Sleeping very well because of it too...

Norma so far Glenn is enjoying the drive, which takes about 55 minutes. But of course it will be a different ball game in winter. When the new plant opens in Woodstock it will be 40 minutes, and right off the highway. Righ now he has to drive all through Cambridge to get to the plant. That is half his commute time! I'm looking forward to seeing the gardens evolve too. It's very exciting but also a bit overwhelming!

Babs, lol, lots of algae lives in the bog, and mossies, and probably frogs and toads, but no Nessies as far as I know...

Eden I would love to have an IU here eventually. I had been really hoping to get everyone here for an hour or so this past weekend, need major design help with that large pot ghetto, lol! But the plans weren't up to me, and suffice it to say it didn't work out, much to my disappointment. But yes, one day I'd love to have the Idyllers visit. In the meantime, is it Philadelphia next year? Honey has suggested BC as food for IU thought too. Buschardt Gardens anyone?

Thank you again for all your complimentary words and good thoughts, both here and on the Idylls thread (Saucy, Ei & Woody) and to those who emailed me privately. The house will have to fall into disarray over the next few days (who am I kidding, next few HOURS with my wrecking crew kids, lol!) as I'm committed to making my new lasagna beds and getting those plants in over the next few days my top priority, rain or shine! Feels great to have dirt under my nails again, lol!


    Bookmark   September 18, 2006 at 8:27PM
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taryn(S Ontario Z6B)

Michelle, thanks to you as well!

    Bookmark   September 18, 2006 at 8:43PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Taryn, looks like you are all settled in and enjoying your lovely new home. What a treat it must be for you to have all that land to work with now!!!! The house is beautiful and it looks like you have some established plantings you can work with. Congratulations!!!!


    Bookmark   September 19, 2006 at 8:10AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Congratulations Taryn! What fun to have all that space both inside and out. Someone left you with some nice structure in the foundation plants and great patio setup. I hope you and your family enjoy many happy years in the new digs.


    Bookmark   September 19, 2006 at 8:54AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I actually love the wild areas, especially in goldenrod-aster season. That bog just might make a neat science project for the boys to study!

    Bookmark   September 19, 2006 at 9:02AM
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Taryn, another thought for you. If you have a cell phone, lots of people forward their calls to their cell when on the internet. Here we have a feature called call forward busy which only forwards when the phone line is busy. Regular call forwarding has to be set up and deactivated each time you go on the internet.

I second Eden with the suggestion to take "before" pictures. Something I failed to do.


    Bookmark   September 19, 2006 at 9:44AM
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the house, barns and yard look perfect for you all! I hope it will be a very happy place. Having such nice neighbors and friends for the boys is wonderful too. It was obviously meant to be. You will much fun over the winter planning your new garden and starting all those seeds.


    Bookmark   September 19, 2006 at 3:33PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Taryn - finally had a chance to take a look at all your fun! I can't believe you've gotten everything unpacked & put away. What a victory. The house is gorgeous and boy, do I see potential for lots of gardens, etc. Glad you are all so happy. Look forward to hearing of your adventures in the country in the months ahead.

--city slicker Cindy

    Bookmark   September 25, 2006 at 9:03AM
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gardenbutt(rocky mt 4-5)

Hmmm Taryn,
Looks like your going to be in planting heaven there,hehehehe, those wide open spaces, remember how that looked at my place when ya visited,,
my gosh I was looking at that picture of Shane, wow he has grown since we met,, course guess my guys have too, huh,, ya know Andrew turns 23 today, can you believe that??
Give all those boys a hug for me,,

    Bookmark   September 27, 2006 at 3:27PM
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taryn(S Ontario Z6B)

Hi everyone,
Finally took the time to load this thread (yes, even my own thread with cookies already in my system takes forever to load). Just wanted to thank you again for all the nice comments.

Gardenbutt/Mary/JWJ how wonderful to hear from you! Both our boys are growing like weeds--Andy's 23??? You should join us on idylls Mary, we only have a few west coasters, would love some bear stories and pics of your lovely mountains and that neat home you built into the mountain side! Is it finished yet? Come Idyll with us!

Well, my new lasagna garden is calling for it's final layer, plants are calling for a winter home, so I'm offa this s-l-o-w machine, but thanks again everyone...

Taryn ;)

    Bookmark   September 29, 2006 at 9:56AM
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gardenbutt(rocky mt 4-5)

LOL, Taryn, well now I try to come in now and then,
right now I am on break from trying to get hundreds of plants in as well as a couple thousand bulbs,, have 122 roses to finish planting,hmmm seems endless,but oh so enjoyable,, pond is still going in but getting close,,they have been stacking rocks along the edges I helped set a couple of boulders in the middle yesterday,,,
inside,,hmmmm, hehehehe We are working on it,, we do have a May deadline however, thats when the magazine comes to do its shoot,,,I have the actual roof finished other then a couple of planters the guys need to stack,
Spent Saturday with Andrew, he has been working for NASA all summer mapping mars,, makes me feel,,makes me feel old ,,somedays,, okay okay more happy that they have all been growing into such nice young men,,
well I have to get my butt back outside and get my cliffside planted little by little,,
HUgs Girl

    Bookmark   October 2, 2006 at 6:19PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

OK Mary, cough up some pictures...I know you've got them...lol.


    Bookmark   October 2, 2006 at 7:43PM
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gardenbutt(rocky mt 4-5)

LOL,, what pictures me ,,Sue,, geez, okay okay somewhere around here,will have to take some more,, and try and remember how to post them,, when I do though you have to take into consideration that some of its only been in a year and other parts less then 5 minutes, hmmmm

    Bookmark   October 3, 2006 at 12:23PM
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