The snow melted. All at once. And, everything flooded. The fields, the roads, people’s basements. Fortunately, our house is perfectly located on our land and all the snowmelt drains away from the house into the lake. Phew. So, while four of the roads around our house seriously flooded, we didn’t have any damage, except the self-inflicted kind. I didn’t realize there would be so much mud or that you should respect the mud lest you lose your shoes or get your vehicles stuck.
There’s something magical and a little intoxicating about the sun coming out and the weather starting to warm up after the winter. I guess we caught “Spring Fever.” All of a sudden, all of the projects that we had on our list of things to think about became urgent. And, we accidentally decided to do them all at the same time. So, we hired an awesome contractor, Bill Butler Builders, and started a whole bunch of projects:
Putting up a wall to build another bedroom in our basement.
Painting the whole interior of the house. All of a sudden the royal blue walls and the wallpaper in the guest bathroom became more than I could live with.
Replacing the bathroom mirrors.
Replacing the high gloss tile floors in the house with wood floors.
Removing the iridescent electric blue tile in the kitchen and putting in a nice stone backsplash.
Hanging a box for bats to move into. It’s spring. You need to get that box up before they come out of hibernation. I’ll write a whole post about the bats another time soon.
Building raised beds for the garden.
Fencing the garden.
Getting the internet to work in the outbuilding. Thank you Dallas Kashuba, co-founder of DreamHost, for telling me about Amplifi Mesh Wifi. It’s awesome!
Getting the patio furniture out of storage.
Putting in a fire pit on the back patio.
Buying a hot tub for the back patio. We really wish we had this all winter, but there was no way to deliver it in all the snow.
Changing out three light fixtures – which became changing out six light fixtures.
Designing and building a chicken coop/garden shed.
So, we sort of started all of this all at once. Egads!
The first project we embarked on was getting the internet successfully to the outbuilding. This involved a lot of frustrating running back and forth until I asked Dallas how to beam the internet from my house to the outbuilding. So, I was running back and forth in the mud and that was a whole thing. Fortunately, my friend Tom Rose from northern Wyoming had the foresight to understand that I would need advice on footwear. He sent me a link to the most amazing boots, the LaCrosse Range and Burly work boots. The note said, “I’m sure that your wardrobe lacks sufficient princess footwear for the mud and mucking. You may just trade in your stilettos for these. And they come in pink.” I have learned to trust Tom on anything to do with survival and gear. He’s an outfitter and really knows his stuff. So, I didn’t do any research aside from what color did I want and bought these well before the mud arrived.
Thank God! They are the best shoes I have ever owned. For real. I love them so much that I want to wear them everywhere and for every occasion. But, they are really best for running around the property in the mud. Hannah needed to run out to the car one night and needed to borrow some quick shoes. I had her put my boots on and she came back in and said, “Whoa! These boots are awesome! I mean, I don’t ever want to take them off. I feel like I can do anything in these boots.” We have officially dubbed them the Boots of Butt-Kicking (shout out to all Munchkin fans).
The boots came in handy when we started moving things around. One weekend when I had almost all the boys home, I asked them to move a really heavy console out of the basement and upstairs so that we could make room for that extra bedroom we’re building downstairs. Four of them decided it was way too heavy to carry up the stairs. Steve decided it would be much easier to go grab a truck, drive it around to the basement doors, load it up, and drive it up and around the house to the front door. So, he went and got Justin’s truck. They loaded up the console and a TV and he went to drive it around the house and got the truck stuck in the mud. The boys tried to push him out but couldn’t. So, Nathan went and got his 4-wheel drive truck to tow him out. And, got his truck stuck, too. But, they didn’t learn. Steve loves his new all- wheel drive Subaru Ascent and thought that they could use that, connected to Nathan’s truck, connected to Justin’s truck to tow them all out. Ya. You know exactly what happened. His Subaru got stuck in the mud, too. Fortunately, the boys pushed the Subaru out of the mud before Steve could get the Tesla stuck, too. He was definitely getting ready to try it. Nathan unhitched his truck from Justin’s and got himself unstuck. But, Justin’s truck stayed where it was until the next morning. Once the ground froze that night everything firmed up enough for them to easily drive Justin’s truck right off my lawn. In the meantime, they carried that console from Justin’s truck into the house (about 3 times farther than if they had just carried it up the stairs). We’ve finally dug up and filled in the ruts in the lawn and hope that the grass fills back in soon.
I’m super amused that when we told this story to the neighbors, Bob said we should have called him and he would have brought his winch down (winch, not wench). Evidently, he felt left out and would have liked to get stuck in the mud with Steve and the boys.
Our adventures in mud didn’t end there, though. Steve is training for a hike and has been taking walks with a heavy pack. He took off down the driveway one day in his sneakers. About an hour later, Hannah and I were coming home from the store and we see Steve limping out of the corn field and across the lawn. We couldn’t figure out why he was out in the corn, why he was limping, or if he needed help. Turns out the roads were still flooded so he decided to hike across the corn field to our house. He had mud up past his ankles and had lost a shoe, which accounts for the limping. His socks were covered in mud and he was muddy from digging his shoe out. Wow. I didn’t realize that Steve needed new Boots of Butt Kicking, too. He ordered a pair that afternoon. I don’t think they’re as awesome as mine, though.