Monday, January 4, 2016

A New Year Filled with Promise

     I haven't written a new blog for a very long time, so the beginning of a new year seems like an  appropriate time to update my blog. We are enjoying just "enough" snow right now, all pristine and white, just perfect for going out on snowshoes. We have discovered much enjoyment in this exercise, going across our fields, out into our little woods, then further back into our larger woods. It is so quiet in there at this time of year, only the sound of birds who stay around for the winter.

     We see squirrels back there, rabbit tracks and often a sighting of a rabbit. We made a resolution at New Year's that we would walk more and so far have been out every day. The fresh air is invigorating and we are in hopes the exercise will also benefit us in a loss of some weight. We both stood on the scales after Christmas, enough said!

     We have what I call the upper field which is beside our house and the back fields. If the weather is disagreeable, I try at least to walk the upper field, either in snowshoes or in high boots, using ski poles for better balance. It is a good work-out. Once the snow is gone during spring, summer and fall months I envision myself and perhaps hubby too, walking the perimeter of the fields with coffee mugs in hand. A good way to start the morning.

     Some changes that happened here during 2015 was the building of an excellent deck all across the front of the house by hubby and his brother. We enjoyed the use of it as much as possible considering we have to dodge mosquitoes and black flies much of the time. We ended up buying bug jackets for ourselves and guests as often I couldn't garden without the use of  one. Jim found the benefit of wearing one early on too when cutting the lawn.

     In November we bit the bullet and hired someone to put a new red steel roof on the large barn. Jim and his brother put the same color roof on my garden shed in the fall so now the house, barn and my shed all have a red roof. We really like it. Jim added two new small windows to his barn, plus two work benches and shelves for his tools. He also put a new window in my shed. Next spring I hope to hose down the inside of my shed, whitewash the walls and have a work bench at the window end so I can paint in there. I have been taking painting lessons for last couple of years and will also be taking a watercolor course for 8 weeks starting this week just down the road at the Hall.

     One of the biggest changes for 2016 is that Jim is now retired. So far so good. He loves working with wood, his barn is now nice and dry with the new roof, so he spends many hours out there most days. So far the winter has been mild enough for him to work out there without a heat source. We both want to get into the woods more to clean up the dead fall and replant more trees from all the small spruce and fir growing along the edges of the woods. Jim's son has already planted ten maples and white pine in our woods several years ago.

     It is a big dream, wish or hope of mine to buy another wood lot if possible someday. We see so much clear cutting of  trees along country roads that I'd love to save a woodlot for the wildlife. Plus it would be another place to walk through summer and winter to enjoy. I hope I hear of something I can afford one day in the future.

     We continue to have visitors most of  July and August, family and friends enjoy exploring the island with us or just relaxing on the many lovely beaches. It is always exciting to have visitors from Ontario which we intend to visit once the weather is good for traveling. Our little granddaughter will be five years old this year, not seeing her until summer vacation is hard, but she and her mother have spent ten days here each summer.

     We still have one building that needs a lot of repair, the garage plus more work on the barn. The inside of the house is pretty much done except for trim work and a bit or paint retouching here and there. Sometimes I wonder how we managed to restore an old farmhouse when the task seemed so daunting in the beginning. Jim worked so hard, I'm sure he is glad most of the hard, heavy work is behind him.

    I will be very grateful for more help from Jim in the spring when the gardening starts, getting projects done that had to wait before until weekends. We are hoping to add a gazebo along the one end of the house so we can enjoy more of the outdoors without bugs. We are also thinking of a pet, perhaps a dog at some point. It is good to have things to do in retirement, to get us outside, plans to make, satisfaction in seeing finished projects. Jim also enjoys being so close to his brother just down the road, he visits him often. We hope for continued good health as hubby starts his first year of retirement, it feels great having him around more. Now if I can just pry his hands off some of those power tools of his for awhile this summer, we might even travel around the island to explore, or just spend a day at the must pick their battles!