From Raw to a Masterpiece

My thoughts over the weekend went from “I have no idea how we are going to do this” to “OMG, I am getting old.”

We spent the weekend working on a small writing space for me. Having more land means more opportunities. There are so many possibilities.

We began early Saturday morning. I say early, but it was probably after 9:00 on what was promising to be a warm day. Here is a picture of the building before.




This pile of lumber and steel will eventually be an actual building. I think we forget that everything, including ourselves, begin with something like this:

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All it takes is a little time and the right elements and a masterpiece forms.


Of course, the middle part is where the magic happens.

As with most things, you need a good foundation. As I hope to be able to use this in the winter, we began with insulation.

This is where the realization hit me that I am not as young as I once was. This thing is heavy and we had to flip it and adjust to get it just right. Also, the height difference between my husband and myself was never more apparent (there is about a foot difference).

Though we had to stop in the middle of the day due to the heat we managed to get the entire foundation complete before stopping for the night.

End of day one.
End of day one..

I discovered muscles I haven’t used in many years and was still sore the next day when we began again.

I learned a lot during this first day of the build. One, we’ve never really built new, from scratch. We’ve added onto our house, but that is more retro building. This is the first time that we’ve done this. The learning curve was a bit different.

My husband, who doesn’t work in construction, still knows what he is doing. There have been a couple of hiccups along the way. When isn’t there when doing home projects, but it will be wonderful when it is finished. I am grateful for all his efforts.

Finally, the best thing I learned: how to run the miter saw.

Who knows it may end up in a story someday.

Friday Five: Summer Faves

It’s summer here in northern Michigan. That means that one day the thermometer hits 90 degrees and the next 60. Summer in the north also means lots of good things.

I’ve taken some great photo’s of stormy skies as we’ve had several severe storms this month. Photo’s like this one:


Life has gotten busy though I’m not sure when it ever slows down. As I sit with my calendar, I see nothing is going to change in the future.

Just like most people, I have lots of things scheduled. Some with family, some with friends and others writing related.

My husband and I are about to celebrate our 15th anniversary and are making a few plans. We have a camping trip scheduled and a grandson’s 1st birthday to attend in the next month.

It is all good, but it takes a toll on my energy levels. That being said, I am taking this moment to simply be in this moment. I picked up my CSA today and decided this was one of my favorite things about summer.  Here is my list:

1. Blueberries – I forget how much I like blueberries until I pick up a quart at the local farmers market and my husband and I race to see who can finish them first.

2. Warm summer days – Winter is quite long here and I want to take the opportunity to soak as much of the warmth into my bones before it gets here.

3. Harvest – Gardens are producing so much right now. Zucchini appears to have lived up to its reputation and I have more in my kitchen than I can possibly consume. Our first tomatoes came in the order. Remember toasted tomato sandwiches? Definitely a fave.tomato-498721_1280

4. Sitting by Water – Lakefront visiting helps to balance the heat with the love of water.

5. Walks in the evening – Finding some serenity outdoors after a long day at work is the best thing. I also like to walk in the morning just as the sun is rising, but I haven’t had enough energy for that. I’ll keep trying.

There seems to be a consensus about summer that everyone tries to enjoy it to the fullest. These are the things that make summer enjoyable for me.

What are your favorite things about summer?

A Resolved Difference

tree-204297_1280My husband and I are in the planning and execution stages of revamping our new property. The roof has been worked on and is now weather-proof. We are waiting for the doors to be delivered and we will paint sometime in the spring.

Landscaping has been part of the discussion since the beginning. It’s just such a large, empty space that needs to be filled. We have some trees that we will move later in the fall to fill in all the emptiness. It’s been fun.

One issue that we have had for a while is the discussion over adding a weeping willow tree to our property. The argument is simple:

I want one.

He doesn’t.

He tells me:

-Willow trees are very messy. They have a tendency to lose lots of branches after a storm.
-They won’t grow here. Willows need lots of water.
-They take up too much room. Willows need lots of space to grow

I love the beauty and grace of willow trees. I don’t even care if they are messy. One of my favorite things is that in the fall when all the leaves change, willows become these round glowing bright spots easily identified in a stand of trees.

I am still doing some research about how much water they truly need, but we can deal, I’m sure. We are working on the water issue along with everything else.

And, the last argument, we don’t have enough space is no longer an issue. In acquiring the land, we have more than doubled our small lot, most of it empty just waiting for something.

One of my first questions after purchasing this property was about a planting willow tree. The answer was a grudging “yes”.

The question now is, where to put it.