Updates From Among the Trees

I really love the forest garden at The Vicarage.

But the forest has encroached on the house over the years.

As we look at our big renovation project, the first thing we have to address is the trees that are rooting at the foundations and branching into the Shingles of the house.

On windy nights the branches of one of the maples actually scratch against my window like the scritching of nails in a horror film.

Today is the day! The tree guys are coming!

The work started around 7:30 A.M.

Mom needed lots of reassurance as the men worked outside her window. It sort of let me know what we will be looking at as we head into the house construction.


It seems strange being able to see every corner of the house.

Now to the trimming and cleaning work! The yard around the house will look a lot better when the contractors come to set up their staging for the siding work.

In the Waiting

I called the bank today because we were supposed to get an e-mail confirming the submission of our HELOC application. We did not. Our banker, Deb, is checking on things, and I am in the waiting space.

Not that there is nothing to do in the waiting. Life doesn’t wait for the waiting spaces and even in them there are deadlines to be met as we continue to walk by faith toward our upcoming renovation. Besides the day to day stuff, we have a lot of projects to do before the renovation itself begins. I still have to chop out the rest of the bushes around the stone porch. I am leaving the hundred year old antique hydrangea though. It’s so beautiful and if we can help it I really don’t want to lose it.

Our forest garden is so beautiful this year….and the fragrance! I wish I could bottle it and save it for winter.

I mowed this morning and pulled some more of the gardens away from the house. The yard is full of herbs in the afternoon heat.

For the rest of the day I will work on the gardens to prepare them for the stone porch renovation. I am taking this slight delay as God’s way of blessing me to give me time to get all the work done by schedule.

Pathways At the Vicarage

Today was mowing day at the Vicarage. I love the smell of the forest garden when it is freshly mowed. There is one place where the mix of Bishops weed, wild carrot and goldenrod mixes to smell like cilantro. In one corner of the yard, the mown clover smells a little bit like what I imagine Heaven must smell like. When I mow the catywhompus garden the chives and oregano start to smell a little bit like the North End in Boston. Fragrance in a garden is probably more important to me than the look of it.

If I am being authentic, transparent and vulnerable, I have to admit that I enjoy sitting and gazing out at the forest garden almost more than anything else in the world. I love to breathe in the fragrance and listen to the animals chirp and twitter. I especially love in that symphony of nature, to listen for the deeper and quieter voice of God.

One of my side dreams is that the Vicarage would become a destination for people desiring to seek the voice of God for their lives. I can envision holding small prayer and meditation retreats or even hosting individuals who just desire to sit in the gardens to pray.

The Vicarage is not a very big piece of property but pieces of the forest garden are thick enough that a person can go into it and be completely sealed away from the sight of others.

Right now. I have two prayer spots on the property and a bunch of paths that go nowhere. But this renovation has me thinking that

these paths could be cultivated to twist and turn deep into the forest garden, leading listeners to sacred spaces that could open the very heart of God to them. I think that beginning this renovation process has awakened some dreams in me that must become part of the purpose and vision for the Vicarage.

The Pruning Begins

Everyone who knows me knows I love my little forest garden in the center of town. I love the wild look and as we do this renovation to house and property I want to keep it. But even I realize the yard has gotten severely out of control. Our prospective contractors, some of my congregants and even a few of my dear blogging friends have encouraged me to get the forest away from the house.

Most of the work that has to be done at the Vicarage I can’t do….but this I can. So the pruning begins here.

And here

And here.

And here.

had to do this pruning in three stages. The bush honey suckle was easy enough to tackle but the heat of the afternoon sun chased me indoors.

Once the sun was a little lower on the horizon I got back at it. This Barbary thorn bush was mixed in with a bridal wreath and a tiny juniper bush.

The Barbary thorn bush was so thorny I couldn’t drag it like I did the honey suckle. A tarp and a garden rake made the job doable.

Evidently I have some burning to do.

I have some roots to dig, but at least I can get at them now.

Notes From the Vicarage: The Face Lift

It has been a looooong time since I posted on Notes.

Originally this blog was created to highlight the lifestyle of our little Vicarage family. My other blog was going to be reserved for arts and Christian thought.

There has been so much water under the bridge since Notes began I haven’t really known how to find an on ramp back onto this highway……But now an on ramp has been provided in our new project here at the Vicarage.

Since last I wrote here, I have become the lead Pastor of Cornerstone Church. Amanda has become the youth and children’s pastor at Cornerstone. Brenda has changed missions sending agencies and is now moving forward with an artist’s/ missions group (more on that later).Mom has had a major fall, lost the ability to walk and has recovered and all the animals have gotten older and…….The Vicarage has begun talks about some major plastic surgery.

The Vicarage was built in 1901. It has aged into a stately old home surrounded by a lush forest garden.

SOME NE STONE WORK IS IN ORDER. DO YOU THINK I SHOULD LET THE FOREST GARDEN LIVE ON THE STONE PORCH?
GUTTER WORK GREATLY NEEDED!

But 50 years of neglect has left the old place in great need of repair. My new job is an answer to some financial prayers I have been praying for a few years. SO TODAY BRENDA AND I MET WITH OUR HOME REMODELERS TO DISCUSS THE SCOPE OF WORK AND THE COST. NEXT WEEK WE MEET WITH THE BANK FOR FINANCING AND SO NOW YOU SEE THE ON RAMP BACK TO NOTES FROM THE VICARAGE.

I will be using “Notes” to blog about our property overhaul and how all of that fits into our new-ish lifestyle.

This broken gutter hangs over my prayer porch…..DO YOU THINK I SHOULD KEEP THE OLD ROW BOAT SHAPED RAISED BED IN THE REMODEL?
THE BACK PORCH NEEDS TO BE STAINED
NEW WINDOWS AND SHAKES?