Above average temperatures encourage us to start thinking ahead to spring an summer months. In many ways, the hardest part is over; we survived winter. Finally we can start to accommodate less dire needs, and even have a little fun.
Growing season nearly upon us (and the warmth of the sun being too hard to resist) the first phases of landscaping begin. A broken up and half-buried concrete pad (presumably where a shed used to exist) starts to suggest some organization for a future recreational space. And the half-decayed wood that we've been pulling out of the back of the house is used to build up diving walls between it and growing areas - a kind of self-mulching garden in a sense.
The hole where the chimney runs through is doubled in size, which furthers the connection between the first and second floors. Creating a new circulation path here means not having to wind around through the cold parts of the house to stoke the fire in the middle of the night.
A stair through the expanded opening is expected eventually, but consumes far more time than we can afford at the moment. We opt for a ladder and find several wooden ones in a nearby vacant lot - clearly left behind to rot. And it would have worked so well if we hadn't fallen through one of the rungs on the first try.
The decrepit ladder is quickly given a new use as shelving in the kitchen space - far less straining on its structural integrity, as we piece together a new and improved ladder. Baseball bats, wooden Nordic ski components, the handle of a pick ax, and bits of moulding come together to form the reinforced ladder.
And finally, wood oven baked pizza.