Saturday, May 19, 2012

Old Pump Music

I remember as a little girl I always had a fascination with water pumps. It was so neat how you could pump that handle and cool, soothing water would come gushing out. I can still hear the squeak of my grandparents pump handle as we would pump it up and down and how the taste of that fresh water was well worth the effort it took to get it. To me it was much more intriguing than a faucet that brought forth water with a twist of a knob.

We’ve had one of those old pumps around here and I always thought someday I want to make a fountain out of it. I removed it from the shrub and gave it a fresh coat of paint.


I am almost obsessed with the sound of trickling water and love old things so I thought I’ll see if I can combine the two and add some character to our porch. I got this water pump at Ormes Hardware. I think the price was $10.46. I got it for free with coupons that I had saved up…



I got this old barrel from someone that wanted it out of the way… ( love people like that!) I cut it in half. The wood was so hard and dried up that I had to alternate saws because my blades kept getting hot and would smoke! (I kept a bucket of water nearby, just in case…hope John doesn’t hear about this!!)

Next, I dug out some pieces of pond liner that I had left over from my water gardens and cleaned them.


I put the liner in the barrel and filled it with water before cutting off the excess.



I stapled the liner along the outside edge…


I had to come up with something to cover up the staples so I remembered there was an old rusty iron band that also held a wooden barrel together lying behind the shop so thankfully that fit pretty good…


So far not a penny spent!!


I had to screw a little piece of wood on the top edge of the barrel for the pump to sit on. A piece of timber worked to support the back part of the pump. I needed a few pipe fittings that I got out of my brother-in-laws shop. Thankfully the barrel had a hole in it already so I didn’t need to drill one through the hard wood.



I don’t really follow rules when it comes to plumbing work- I just kind of guess. Sometimes I glue and sometimes not. Here I did glue the hose onto the fitting because I was afraid it would slip off.

Now, after adding some plants that I had around here and dividing my water lily from my other pond-here’s how it turned out…






The only thing I want to add yet is a few fish for the boys to enjoy.


Finally, I have the soothing music of trickling water on the porch to sit down and listen to…now if I can find the time!

Monday, May 14, 2012

My Little Beach House

I’ve been dreaming of fixing up our little 12x12’ cabin for quite some time. It is located in the most peaceful place around here…down by the pond. It’s within view of our house, partially hidden by the weeping willow tree.


It’s hard to tell from the picture but if you look closely you will see it hidden amongst greenery. Speaking of green – my friend and I were walking through the woods the other day and after breathing in a big breath of air, she turned to me and said “This is the smell of green.” I couldn’t describe it better – the smell of the outdoors these wonderful days…I think it’s a combination of damp soil, budding leaves and just new growth everywhere. Take the smell of “green” along with warblers singing from the treetops, the haunting musical of a wood thrush deep in the woods and the lazy trickle of a peaceful creek nearby… for me it’s a piece of heaven on earth!

Okay, back to the subject at hand…. I wish I had “before” pictures to show but I could not find them. Here is the cabin from the outside. The reason it is over the water is because it used to be an open gazebo ( I guess you could call it that ) that my dad built back when I was still in grade school. Later on, he made a cabin out of it, which we enjoyed for a place to hang out.


It’s nothing fancy – in fact, it is in dire need of a reroof and new siding… another future project.

When I started working on this project, I had major cleaning and painting to do. In the last years it was used basically for a place to store fishing rods, tackle boxes, etc. The boys would play in there and never clean up afterwards. It was really a disaster. The walls were brown paneling and all the trim was dark brown. The floor had old, curled up linoleum on it. There was a large cabinet that I needed John’s help to tear out. I used up any old paint I had around here to paint everything. (I probably have anything from flat to glossy sheen on the walls and ceiling) I wanted to be as thrifty as possible. The only major cost was the piece of carpeting I got. I checked  at different places to find the best possible deal but still ended up spending $120.( that was pretty well all I spent to give this lil’ house a makeover)




The sofa bed I made out of wood I had laying around here. I used an old twin sized metal spring/frame that I dug out of storage which holds the air mattress that’s on there now. ( I want to replace with a real mattress someday) The little drop leaf table I got last year at a sale for a few dollars. My sister didn’t want the nightstand anymore so I claimed it. The folding chairs are my parents’ that they weren’t using. (I thought about asking them if I can paint em’ but thought, no, I’m just pleased that I get to use them.)


The curtain “rods” were of course free – thanks to the woods! The curtain fabric came from a bolt that I had gotten for a cheap price at a discount fabric outlet store. I basically hung the fabric over the twig and made dark brown ties to tie it up.





The net behind the pictures I found in our shop attic. It was used to net fish at one time. After cleaning it I thought it would make a good background for beach photos.


The view from the loft…


Letting the outside in…




We all sometimes need a place to get away…and I consider myself extremely blessed to have a little escape so close by – yet so away from it all. Down here one can relax peacefully with only the sounds of nature to reflect upon. The grandfatherly croak of a large bullfrog will often break the silence, followed by the chorus of young frogs working hard to imitate their elders…the splash of a fish or Mr. & Mrs. wood duck gliding along will create gentle ripples on the water. The Eastern wood Phoebe’s song can be heard clearly nearby. She has once again claimed the cabin eave to raise her young. I like to think it’s the same Phoebe year after year that finds a home here. I hope she enjoys this little piece of paradise as much as I do!