One of the improvements we're planning to make in our house is to replace the casements windows that we currently have in the front (in the living room) and one in the back (at the end of the hall) with double-hung windows. As it is right now, the window sills are low enough that Annabelle (and eventually Corgan) are able to crawl into the sill. Since the window is 20 feet off the ground, we can't exactly keep the windows open with the kids possibly falling out them. Also, because our windows are so high up, it gets really windy and we've had some issues with the windows falling off of the frame... not fun or easy to repair at 20 ft up. So, we're going to put double-hung windows in so that we can open the top half and still get a breeze going through the house when the weather is nice.
For friends and family who have been around since we bought the barn (not the farm), you may be familiar with the "area" of the yard affectionately referred to as "the area" (or "Keri's area"). When we first moved in, I got the bright idea that "the area", which was a thick (and I mean THICK!) area in the yard filled with palms, grapevine, pepper trees, palm trees, and every kind of weed imaginable, would make a cool secluded spot for hanging out outside. I planned to gut the middle of it and parts of the side, then put down some slate flooring and fancy it up with some outdoor furniture and a firepit. Speaking of fancy, I somehow managed to convince my friend, Jill "Fancy" Fosness, to help me to achieve this dream. Jill & I spent many-a-Saturday and Sunday laboring in the area, sweating our butts off, and rehydrating with Crystal Lite Peach Tea (she introduced me to this wonderful drink). Each of these days, we'd put on our tennis shoes (so that the snakes didn't bite our toes) and heavy duty garden gloves (so that the grapevine didn't tear our hands), and go to work with a big shovel, garden shovel, rakes, and every other kind of garden tool we could find. We pulled the grapevine off the of trees, dug out the palms (seriously... if we were lucky we'd get a couple of these done in a day... NOT easy work for us), and loaded all of the debris into the back of Jill's "pretty" truck, and unloaded it all at the end of our driveway. That doesn't sound like much, but for us it was big-time laboring! We did this for maybe 8-10 weekends, until one weekend when Jill wasn't available so I recruited the Konickis and Keith to come out and help. Once I saw how fast Jason and Keith were able to dig up the palms, I was discouraged that it took Jill and I so freakin' long and we never went out there again. :)
Anyway, now it's 3 years later and the area formerly known as "the area" is no more because a corner of that section of our yard will be occupied by our master suite and a porch. It kinda makes me sad that we won't be able to make any more jokes about people working in "my area", but, I'm glad that I don't have to be out there shedding my own blood (yes, we did bleed while working in the area), sweat, and tears (yes... we got dirt in our eyes and I'm sure there were some tears). Over the past couple of days, a bulldozer and other huge equipment just came and took down the whole "area" in a matter of hours. See the pictures from yesterday morning and this evening below:
I know that neither "after" picture looks like much right now, but they aren't finished. They're still supposed to be out here tomorrow to finish up and clean up. After that, our yard will be buried in dirt to level it all out and the pond is supposed to be graded. They will be starting on septic too, and hopefully we'll have a building permit really soon!