Drive by

Since I last posted more than two months ago it seems we’ve barely paused here at the farm.  With two years under my belt here, I now understand that the times of the year that keep us busiest in the city happen to coincide with the months in which the garden is most demanding.  As a result, when we’ve been at Northbrook over the last two months, which is less than I’d like it to be, we’ve been cleaning up the garden, planting garlic, mulching, composting and of course, gathering up the leaves.  Each autumn now I am truly grateful for the Cyclone Rake and it’s marriage-saving powers.

Not to be outdone by the grounds, the house has been requiring more than a little attention as our renovation is underway.

The idea, which came from the previous owner, was to tear down the summer kitchen – an uninsulated room attached to the house now used for storage and raccoon housing.  In it’s place will go a family room featuring comfortable seating and a fireplace.  It will also house electronics so that the current small living room can be a quiet place to sit and read.

Here’s what the summer kitchen looked like in the beginning.  I don’t have any indoor shots handy, but imagine a crappy shed-like room full of paint cans and racoon poo and you’ll get the idea.

summer kitchen july 2013

The reno began about a month ago.renovation 1renovation 2

Coming up each weekend is making the changes dramatic.renovation 3

Like any renovation worth its salt, it’s taking much longer than anticipated and will naturally lead to heart-palpitation worthy cost escalations.  It’s not our first rodeo, renovation wise, though so I know we’ll survive it all.  I’ve also discovered there’s a lot to be said for not living full-time where you’re renovating.

The rest of the last few months have been eaten up by city weekends, bike races and travels.  We held the second annual Northbrook Olympics.  image

The weather didn’t cooperate but I didn’t overcook the turkey this year, and I made this

delicious cake.pumpkin cake

Since we had to take it inside, we had a great game of charades.

charades

Looking ahead, we’ll be tethered to the city over the next few weeks as the Girl turns nine, among other things.

girl at olympics

There are the holidays to prepare for and, as the renovation progresses door knobs, rugs and light fixtures to sort out.  It’s hard to believe, but I’m actually looking forward to winter coming – not so much for the weather, but for the hunkering down period.  Northbrook is perfect for many things, but passing a cold winter weekend is one of it’s best. Until the next drive by visit long enough for a blog post…