July was a whirlwind month, as all our preparations this year culminated in two huge events--the garden wedding of our good friends Dan and Stephany (that's all of us in the picture below. I'm in the flowered dress next to the bride, Andy is squarely in the middle of the men, and Jack is the shortest guy in a tux). Weeks of work to get the exterior ready were involved; Andy spent almost every spare minute mowing for weeks, and it was worth the effort.
Two weeks later, we were honored to welcome the Yancey family descendants as part of their first family reunion. The family almost overwhelmed us with their generosity, and we were left feeling rather like we've been adopted.
Jack prepared an exhibit of some of the artefacts we've found, mostly by gardening and landscaping. Sometimes we joke that we're so loaded with stuff that every time we dig a hole, we hit an archeological site, but there's an element of truth to it.
Not all the work has been outside, either. Right before the wedding, our plasterers came back to work (they've been busy on other contracts). They're a few days of work away from being finished, but they've finished the central hallway and allowed us finally to hang the chandelier.
All told, life is far different from the early days when Saturday morning cleaning meant vacuuming the mold off the walls. Every week, things get better, more complete, cleaned, repaired, scraped and painted.
For the rest of the year, we'll focus on brickwork--repointing where we can, replacing where we must. This winter we'll prepare the upstairs bedrooms to move up there in the spring. Then next year we can work on finishing the downstairs rooms--dining room, parlor, living room--properly.