Yowzers. Where did May go? It’s been almost a month since I last blogged.
It is a particular bummer because I’ve decided May and June are my favorite months of the year: spring is definitely here with glimpses of summer, the days are still getting longer, and gardening is, well, just great. But May is also always a little–okay, a lot–disappointing because the end of the academic year chaos makes it difficult to enjoy spring. This year was no different and it was probably the most hectic ever. In addition to the more obvious finals, grading, and multiple Commencement events, I was hit by honors theses (2), pre-dissertation defense meetings (1), actual dissertation defenses (1), first-year grad student “year in review” meeting (1), pre-summer meetings with graduate students (at least 7), not to mention a 48-hour trip to NYC and a week long seminar I co-taught.
Meanwhile, summer has sprung, it’s green everywhere, and many things have happened around the house and farm over the past month. Here’s a tweet-ish version of a few highlights:
– Asparagus, come and gone with no sign of asparagus beetles this year (thank you, chickens!!).
– Rhubarb, huge plants and a few more weeks to harvest.
– Catbirds, one of my favorite birds, returned May 8th. They are opera singers at heart.
– Caroline and Ella went broody, too, so we decided to embrace their broodiness. Ron got a dozen fertile eggs from our neighbors down the hill. Daisy, Caroline, and Ella are all sitting on four eggs each. In about a week, we could have up to a dozen chicks running around!?
– Final regrading. No more enormous piles of dirt on either side of the house. The final regrading looks great–how can excavator operators manage such fine-graded work given the big equipment?–but the grass isn’t coming back yet because we’ve had a dry spell.
– Much of the internal house construction remains on hold, but the masonary stove is nearing completion. It looks fantastic.
– In an attempt to keep other things moving along, we hired some guys to finish the hardwood floors on the second floor. Hardwood floor finishing is a royal (and messy) pain.
– Bathroom vanities are picked, the tops are in, faucets are ordered, and the vanities themselves should arrive by the end of the week.
– My friend, lighting! Still complicated, still a pain, but I’ve also made headway there. Over half of the lights are now ordered. My attempt to get several vintage lights Monday got messed up by my own stupidity, but I can finally see, well, the light at the end of the (lighting decision) tunnel.
More travel over the next week so here are a few shots of the stove–in progress. The first photo shows the fire bricks that make up the internal core of the stove.
This second photo gives a sense of what the final stove will look like (you can see the outer bricks here as well as the Pennsylvania bluestone bench and decorative slabs). The stove has now progressed beyond this shot, but I haven’t had time to take another one showing more brickwork.