|One coat of stain|
|Two coats of stain|
This time last year we were cold, miserable, and damp! In contrast, today I was able to apply the final coat of stain to the well-house door well before lunch while wearing a tank top instead of several layers of flannel! I’m torn between the look with one coat of stain and that with two coats. I think somewhere in between would be perfect, but I suspect (hope) the wood grain will show through better by tomorrow.
The stain (Minwax White Pickling Stain) is easy to apply and clean up. We’ve been able to keep the rustic look of the boards while having the door white enough to tie in with the trim. I did not use the pre-stain treatment as one of the things it does it stop the wood fibers from curling up. We’d want that on a kitchen cabinet, but not on this project. We still have some trim work left, but the well house is almost done. One more thing off the to-do list.
We spent most of the rest of the morning gathering rocks from around the property to build up the area below the old clay culvert that runs under an old road bed built around the early 1900s. We cleared out some more brush around the area yesterday, and I planted some more daffodils and a weeping willow tree behind the bench. Even though the Stratford-upon-Avon council cut down the willow trees decades ago, I will always associate weeping willows with the banks of the River Avon. Although the willow is still shorter than I am, our memory-bench is already the perfect place to sit and think about family members. If the blue bells and daffodils flourish, it will almost be a little piece of England.
Some of the stacked stone around the culvert has crumbled away and there was a deep erosion hole below the culvert. In order to minimize additional damage, we’ve raised the level in the hole by about 2 feet and cleared the stream bed to facilitate drainage. Eventually we plan to have rock all the way to the small pool that naturally forms 90% of the year. I hear hubby throwing rocks in the cart now, but I don’t plan on picking up even one more today. We pulled some moss up from another part of the property and packed that around some of the stones further down than this picture shows, and I transplanted some ferns along the edge of the dry-stream. We’ll throw some wild-flower seeds out in spring and make the place as inviting to humans and bees as possible.
Talking of bees — they too are enjoying a very warm Christmas day and the way the clover is growing bodes well for spring honey. We’ll soon plant fruit and Sourwood trees for them (and us) — hubby used the auger on the Bobcat to make planting those a little easier once we manage to get the trees down here. Even if the holes he dug collapse a little, digging them back out will be easier than digging hard-packed clay by hand.
So our non-traditional Christmas Day is drawing to a close. The sky is turning shades of pale yellow and blue as the sun sinks behind the pines, and we couldn’t be happier. We’ve had a low-stress day puttering around the farm and supper is bubbling away in the Crockpot. When I think back to all the Christmases I was unhappy because I didn’t get the gift I wanted, I wish I learned earlier to look for happiness in other places. Other than wishing we had enough money to retire now, everything we want is right here — and not being able to retire now gives us time to actually build a house!