Sunday, April 22, 2018

Finishing up the last path

Our last post showed the path-building process - at least as far as we got that day!  Today we pretty much finished the path, and also did some other sprucing up for the upcoming Co-housing Open House Day next weekend.  It was a perfect day for being outdoors!

Dave moving a load of screenings - it's rare that Dave get's his photo taken, but it was hard for him to escape this one!

Dick, Mike and Stewart hauled MANY loads of screening and Chapel Hill gravel

Dave, Linda, Joyce and Vonda spreading the two kinds of gravel

Rosemarie has been sick, but that didn't stop her from gardening today!  She just chose a job where she could stay away from everyone and not spread the germs!

Dick and Nancy - would you guess they are soon to turn 84 and 86???

Joyce, Dave and Karolyn putting up a banner for the upcoming Co-housing Open House

Linda, Vonda, Stewart and Joyce - getting close to the end of the path!

Richard and Karen were busy today with other tidying-up projects

Linda and Joyce getting close to the end of the path

Vonda and Mike tamping the final coats of gravel that Stewart is spreading

What a work crew!!

Having a much-deserved lunch break on Mike's porch (he just got new porch furniture - but not enough of it!)

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

The Final Path

Our last group of homes is now completed and this year we are working to complete all of the development work around the homes.  Some of that has involved building paths throughout our community.  We have built them all ourselves, so we are getting pretty good at it, and it goes pretty quickly with a group of people working together!  This week we worked on the last of the paths that connect the houses to the common house.

The first step is to mark the path!  We spray painted purple lines to help people know where to start digging

The next step is using shovels and mattocks to dig out the dirt.

Once we have removed a few inches of soil we place the edging and level it.

Then we put down landscape fabric - it's not really as fun as Ann makes it seem!

While some were busy on the paths, others were working in the gardens!

Path builders Joyce and Mary

Ann wrenched off all the little stakes that are attached to the metal edging - a lonely job!
In addition to the path builders and the weeders (above), Richard toiled at continuing to install our termite bait traps (no photo of Richard!!)

We made good use of our wheelbarrows, especially the power-wheelbarrow!

Once the landscape fabric is down we put in a few inches of screenings, and leave room for a top-coat of Chapel Hill gravel.  Avalon (a visiting family member) helped out!

Joyce, Ann and Avalon check out the progress while Nancy and Mike relax on the deck
No project is without its challenges!  The diggers hit a phone line - whoops!  Too bad you can't see the look on Stewart's face!

After hitting the phone line, we looked more carefully for the others!

Chris and Lucy digging gently to uncover another phone line

Rest break!!!

And here are our gardeners again - I think Cheryl and Leslie look happier than the diggers

We didn't finish the path, but we got a good start on it. Watch this space for the final product!

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Annual Weenie Roast!

For the past few years, we have had a weenie roast, hosted by Dick and Nancy, at the Love Shack.  The Love Shack is a little old place where we can get together, love shake baby......
But seriously, OUR Love Shack is a little one-room shack in the beautiful woods that we share with Potluck Farm (the intentional community adjacent to us).  It was named this because one of the Potluck Farm children was conceived there.... more stories to tell but we won't go there.

ANYWAY, it's a fun place for a party.  We had planned to have the party 2 weeks ago, but it SNOWED!  Crazy weather this year.  Today it was quite cool, but turned out to be a lovely day to roast weenies (and other goodies - corn, sausages, S'mores) over a fire and play some corn hole.

Weenies and Corn over the fire

Cooking those weenies!

Jeff and Anne

Joyce in the corn hole tournament

Corn hole crazies

Dave taking a shot (actually Karolyn was the hot player today with SEVERAL shots in the hole)

More weenie roasting!

That's a big weenie Marj!

Table O Food

Lucy and Meg

Cynthia enjoying a weenie!

Hmmmm do I have enough photos of people roasting weenies??

Rosemarie, Leslie and Gus (LOVE Rosemarie's hat!)

OK - this is pretty CORNY!

Yummy food table

Lucy and Carl

This week both Anne (from EB) and Gus (a neighbor of EB) have birthdays.  So Vonda made them a cake.

Dave in the corn hole competition - such great form!

Karolyn - the one to beat today  

Karolyn managed to get marshmallow all over everything... but that's what eating S'mores is all about

Monday, April 2, 2018

Termites and Easter Eggs

OK, so I know that termites and Easter eggs don't really connect but neither seemed worthy of a blog on their own!!!

We don't want to use sprays for termites at Elderberry unless we have to, so we have been using the termite bait systems around our homes.  But as we added homes, and decided to monitor our old barns, it was getting pricey!  So in true Elderberry fashion, we decided to do it ourselves. 
Mike figured out that the best way to dig the holes for the bait traps was with an auger and electric drill.  Richard had one as well, so while Mary and Carl flagged all the places to put them, Mike and Richard drilled away.  We still have quite a few to place, but we're getting the hang of it!

Every year, Mary's family does Pysanky eggs for Easter, so she has invited others to join in the fun and learn how to do it.  Pysanky is a technique that is a lot like batik-- you dye, and then decorate with wax, and dye again, doing as many layers of color and wax that you wish.  When done, the egg looks awful, but it's really fun to strip the wax and see what emerges!  Mary's grandkids joined in the fun, but a single dye color was enough of a challenge for a 2 and 3 year old!

Miles checking out the yellow dye

Evey's lips are red from trying to eat her first attempt!
Karolyn and Mary applying wax designs

Karolyn using a syringe to blow air into the egg, which forces the white and the yolk out - clever!
A colorful assortment!