It seems as though it's been a long time coming, but spring is really, truly, finally here. Trees are budding, lilacs are blooming, and the grass just had its first trim. I love how fresh and clean everything always looks during spring. Even the now-empty lot that used to be our woods doesn't look so bad now that the grass is green again. I'd still much rather have trees than a view of the neighbors, but I guess I'm learning to live with it. Like I have a choice...
One of the reasons I'm so excited about spring this year is because of food. When I started eating/buying local, seasonal produce last yearI didn't think it would change our diet much. Since I stocked away lots of veggies in the freezer, I figured we'd pretty much eat the same stuff during the winter as we do during the summer. And, that mostly proved correct. It's been very easy to live off our freezer stash, and I'm definitely going to do it again this year. I have bought a few bunches of lettuce, a bag of onions, and one head of broccoli at the store, but other than that, I've cooked from the frozen broccoli, beans, peas, peppers, and corn in the freezer. The potatoes I bought at the market stayed fresh living in the produce bin at the bottom of the fridge, and we devoured our canned applesauce and peaches.
And that right there is why I'm so very glad it's spring.
I never was one to buy fruit out of season anyways, but this winter I really missed it. Last summer at the market, I devoured the strawberries, blueberries, plums (4 different kinds!), nectarines, peaches, melons, pears, and apples. And they were just so much better than anything I'd ever bought from Meijer. I probably ate more fruit last summer than I had in the 5 years before combined. I would wake up early every Saturday morning and couldn't wait to go get more fruit.
And the problem with fruit is that there's no good way to preserve that just-picked taste. My frozen corn still tastes fresh 8 months later. But a canned peach just isn't the same as biting into a fresh, juicy one. And the home frozen ones kinda turn to mush. I need to get a commercial flash freezer...!
Fruit cravings aside, we've gotten quite a bit accomplished here in the past 2 weeks. The office walls are nearing completion, and I'm beginning to have hope that the upstairs really will be finished before the end of summer. Our drywall buddy knows an electrician who will help us with our knob and tube debacle and put a ceiling fan into the office. I have a feeling the closet walls and ceiling will be so shot that we'll just end up completely replacing with drywall, so that whould be a relatively quick project (especially since we won't be doing the work!), and then we'll just have to paint the walls and refinish the floors. It's getting there...
The only problem with this house is that the projects kind of create more projects. Like the Great Closet Recreation Project. Sure, it's wonderful that we're taking 2 dysfunctional closets and creating 3 usable ones. It'll imrpove resale value, and we'll be able to store more items in a more organized fashion. But, by putting the closets back where they belong, we have to remove a screwed up heat duct installed by the PPOs that "feeds" off of the duct to the master bedroom and effectively cuts airflow in half. Which is all well and good, until we find that the wall that the old, original heat duct ran through no longer exists. When they opened up the wall between the kitchen and dining rooms, they took the duct with it. So now, in order to really, truly do this project right, we need to build 16" of wall between the dining room and kitchen.
Did I mention that the dining room still has its lovely paneling and ceiling tiles? And don't forget the window opening that is hidden beneath that paneling. And the beautiful, unrefinished pine floors lurking under the Pergo. Oh, wait! And if we build a wall between the kitchen and dining room, we can't very well leave all the nasty wallpaper in the kitchen up; we'll need to remove it and paint. And since the kitchen doesn't have any heat ducts of its own, we should probably fix that while we are running ductwork, right?
This is where I start wondering why the hell I ever thought we needed to fix the closets...