It's definitely fall at the farmette. Seven degrees Celsius at seven this morning when the fur balls needed feeding. Brrrr.
That's why we're deep into canning season. Tomato chutney, gallons of tomato sauce and tomato jam - which we made for the first time this year. It's really good - spicy and sweet and goes with chicken or pork. YUM. Grape jam is on the to-do today.
It's also the season to fix up things before the snow flies, and we did just that.
We contracted local concrete guy Rory Zettler to fix the front stoop. The poor thing was really showing its age, with grass growing up between the flagstones, stones coming right out of their spots and parging coming right off the sides. We were worried, with all the online ordering we've been doing (pandemic-related of course), that the steps would present a hazard for unsuspecting Purolator or UPS people.
Initially, we were going to just get the stones re-set, but Rory's idea about taking it all out and putting in stamped concrete sounded like a better plan.
So on Friday, the big truck rumbled onto the property and dumped a load right into the framing that Rory had set up the day before.
He's in great shape, and there's a reason for that. The concrete kept coming, and he had to shovel, kick and push it into all the corners. I couldn't get a decent photo...from above the plastic draped in front of the house - Rory's in the foreground and Kyle the truck driver is in frame.
Anyhow, within about an hour or so everything was smoothed out and ready for stamping.
He has these rubberized stamps that provide a textured flagstone effect without the fuss - and cost - of laying actual flagstone. It actually came out really lovely and we're very happy with the result. So much so that we gave Rory a hefty tip on top of the price. Take a look. Pretty great, eh?
Next project - before the leaves drop and we have crap tonnes of raking to do - is to tart up the railing with some nice bronze and speckled paint.
I'd really like to get rid of the huge yews that act like monsters guarding the front door - they're overgrown and I've never really liked them. Rory suggested taking them out and installing a rock garden that would cascade out from the top of the stoop. Sounds like it could work! That'll be 2021's facelift for the farmette house.
When you live in a 155 year old house, there's always something that needs fixing, pumping out (last week's flood) or renovating. But, like we humans, it's good to keep improving our historic home. Or things really do fall apart.
Here's a gratuitous picture of Fred pretending to be a jaguar in the hosta jungle. He was a big help. Until next week.