Thursday, July 30, 2015

The footer!

Things are heating up in Alabama. I mean literally. It's a feels like temp of 115 most days, and i'm sure down in the pit it feels worse without any air flow. Then again the dirt itself should be somewhat cooling. All I know is that it makes me happy that I'm not the one in the hole digging and scraping and prepping the footer. It looks great. Yesterday they laid the rebar (Sorry no pics of this) and today the concrete trucks are scheduled in to pour 16" of concrete that will become our basement floor, the footer and the pads for the foundation columns that will support the floor of the house.

You can see the general layout in the picture to the left. The bedroom/bathroom of the master is the closest to you, then the area that will become the living room/kitchen/dining room and finally the third section that will be  the mudroom and bathroom.

The picture to the right shows how at the front of the house the area that is the living will extend beyond the bedrooms creating a nice area for the windows that will be the focal point of the front of the house.

Today the trailer is gone out of the pit and all the tools have been picked up. The only thing that remains is the form for the concrete. Well, that and some rebar to reinforce the concrete in the footer paths.
Meanwhile, summer vacation is more than half way over. I've kept my promise and the girls are finally learning to sew using my machine. It makes me nervous, but proud. So far we are keeping it to simple zig-zag stitches in a straight line, but today I hear rumors that they will be making the new pup a toy. THAT should be interesting. He's a really strong chewer so it's likely that the toy won't make it more than 10 minutes, but here's hoping!

Awww, just look at my little homemaker there. Now, if I can just teach her to clena up after herself and do MY laundry we'll have something going! She has also been helping to cook here and there by stirring the ground meat as it cooks, getting pots of water when I need them and measuring things. Had either of them been born as a singleton this would have taken place a long time ago but with 2 in the kitchen at the same time and only 1 me to supervise I decided that waiting to nurture that particular skill would benefit all of us with less accidents and Momma not getting as grumpy when things do go wrong. So far it seems my instinct was right on with that because even last year if there was a big mess in the kitchen I would have been much more vocal and anxious about it. Now they are big enough that they can clean up 90% of their messes and they are much better at taking turns doing the small tasks I assign them.

*SIGH* Growing up too fast! Now- can we get the pup to grow up faster? The mouthing and nipping and chewing on us is making life more than interesting. He did make it through the night again last night without an accident so there is that! Itty bitty baby (puppy?) steps.

See you soon!


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Surprise. It's a BOY!

I made a quick trip up to Jacksonville and into Georgia this weekend. While I was there I got to spend some quality time with part of my family I don't see too often. I took Troy up to see his grandparents. I'm really glad that they get along well and that Troy enjoys spending time there.

Teaching the art of the selfie to ones parents is a bit daunting. Luckily I had my phone and didn't have to worry about it too much. As you see below Troy has that mastered. ;-)

 So, we hung out on the water for the day.
 Saw loads of widelife including porpoises, a bald eagle and a plethora of other water birds. THe water was beautiful, if a bit chilly for this gal. The weather was absolutely perfect, and the day was wonderful.

But, I found a way to beat it.

The night was absolutely perfect. The skies were clear, it was 80*, the water was calm and the food was absolutely fantastic.

The ferry coming and going was pretty cool, too.

So we also hit a few shelters looking for dogs while I was up there. I checked 2 counties in Georgia and 2 here in Florida. Not to mention that the 3 applications for pups at the shelters I put in around town the last couple weeks. I also contacted 2 cocker spaniel rescues and have yet (14 days later) to hear anything from them. I finally decided that I was going to chalk it up to wrong place, wrong time and try again in a few weeks when things settled down a bit and I would be able to just watch the rescue sites and see what came up from there. 

Well, apparently other people (my husband!) have other plans. I walked in the door the next day to find this:

Aww, he is just a little baby, and he's cute as can be. But, I'm willing to pay this pup off in shoes to chew if he'll just quit biting US. HA! Yeah- just remind me that I said that because you know that inevitably he will get ahold of my shoes. Then I'll be crying about that.

He really is learning quick and he's a pretty good pup. He woke us up at 5 am the first day and 4 am the second, but this morning it was ME who woke him up. Not only did he not whine or cry over night - he also didn't have any accidents! Potty training may still be a ways off to completion, but it seems that he wants to try at least. I know plenty of people that have pups that just don't care.

So, yesterday we took him up to the local shop and got him a few bones, a couple soft toys and this

His very own tag. He's microchipped, too so that's good. In case he ever manages to get away from us without his collar any shelter that picks him up or vet that treats him would be able to scan his microchip and get my information. What a great insurance policy.

Best news yet? Rich and I have finally settled on a tile for the downstairs. We'll be pulling up all the carpet in a few weeks well, really over the next several months and even replacing the tile in the kitchen. It will be nice that it should coincide with less puppy pee accidents and the floor will be fresh and clean. I'll only have to deal with all the sand and grass brought in by those massive paws.

Speaking of - he's supposed to be 'only 20 pounds' but the paws on this boy are really phenomenal. When he walks he has to flop them out in front of him so he doesn't trip over his own feet. As it is he'll trip over his ears when he's sniffing around. He also falls over every time he scratches. It's rather like watching a cartoon. A cute, floppy, sharp toothed cartoon.

When do they stop teething and biting on you? I'll let you know when I find out. I'm hoping it will at least be curbed in the next few weeks. I'm sure you'll be seeing a lot more of this cutie around here.

See you soon!


Wednesday, July 15, 2015


I realize that what is exciting for me is not necessarily exciting for anyone else.

For instance...dirt. This picture of dirt is extremely exciting to me.

This is the beginning of the excavation portion of the basement. It feels so good to know that work is being done. It feels better to know that for once I'm not doing the work. HA! That will be remedied soon enough. In about 6 weeks I will be busy putting in floors and cabinets, toilets and showers. It will still be exciting, but while we are doing the work it will be a little less exciting and a little more exhausting.

Meanwhile projects around the house and garden are on hold. Too much going on  to get much done. We are traveling every weekend this summer to either get a kid, drop off a kid or go to Alabama to check on progress, etc. Sure do wish I'd managed to get the blueberries in the ground before all this. It doesn't bother me that the summer garden is simply a few sweet potatoes, but it does bother me that the bushes are in pots and the wall is incomplete and now more of an eyesore than the wood. Ah, well. Fall will be here and then I'll be dealing with finishing the cabin, then hunting season so if I keep waiting for a time that's not busy it should only be about oh....2020 or maybe a little later. HA!

Meanwhile because my life isn't busy enough I've managed to get to the point that I am actively searching for a puppy. Yes. I am completely insane. I miss my dog so much I just can't take it any more. While I didn't even think about replacing her for a few years I've found myself with puppy lust lately. Wish me luck, and if you happen to breed cockers or know someone who does...let me know!

See you soon!


Tuesday, July 14, 2015

7.14.15 It Begins!

We got word last night that the builder is on site, has his temporary trailer set up, and has BEGUN WORKING!!!

Whoot! Yesterday they marked off the area and taped the trees so they knew which ones are staying and going.

 The backhoe is due out today. He said he would transplant my apple tree, but as it has settled in nicely the last couple years and it is mid summer, I'm just not sure it's going to make it through the process. The backhoe is key to this and I am torn between praying for rain for the tree and the corn, and praying for no rain so the basement can be dug. Maybe just 2-3 rain events a week? It would get them through and not be too much of a hindrance, right?

*sigh* Hopefully I'll be back later this week with an update on that.

See you soon!


Monday, July 13, 2015

Harvest Monday 7.13.15

Well, This week hasn't been good for the garden at all. No matter though. Avocados are still plentiful around here and at least it's SOMETHING from the garden!

Are you tired of looking at pictures of avocados yet? 

Well the next one might elicit a little more response than the normal boring - 'Oh, avocados again'

When we came home from Alabama this trip we found a lot of fruit on the ground, half eaten.  Roughly a quarter of these have large areas eaten off them, and the others have little test bites. I really don't hate squirrels in general. But squirrels who are willing to only eat a part of something and let the rest rot? Those are the squirrels in my yard. They make me angry. At least if they were appreciative enough to EAT the whole thing then maybe (Only maybe) I'd feel like they are just hungry and needed something to eat. I'd be a whole like more inclined to share nicely. But, ruining my crop is not an option. 

Still plenty for me to eat so maybe I shouldn't complain. I just don't like wasting food, and I really don't want to leave it around on the ground it will attract rats. This I know well. I'm still fighting the last round that managed to make a nest in my compost bin. :-( blech.

See you soon!


Thursday, July 9, 2015

Home Renditions

I showed you the floor plan, but now that the blueprints have been completed I also have a rendering to show you. I'm so excited. Which is good, because we still haven't heard from him that he made it with all the equipment yet.

The first one (Sorry it's sideways I don't know why I can't get the orientation right) Shows more realistically what it will look like, but the windows he has drawn in are rather pricey and about 5 times as expensive as regular rectangular ones. We decided to sacrifice the pretty windows for utilitarian, and will replace them with the pretty ones if ever there is a need to work on any of the windows. THe front and the back will be very similar but the back will have only 1 door and a window for the kitchen rather than 2 doors.

There is also a porch overhang you can't see in these drawings. I can't wait to have an ice cold lemonade or tea and sit on that porch while listening to the rain. It's just one of my favorite things to do when I can't actually be outside.


See you soon!


So lucky.

Well aren't you just the lucky one? I have so much to post I can't even keep up with it. But, for now - we are back in Florida. Like always any time I leave for more than just a day or two I come back to a fiasco. Cats that threw a hissy, garden that was raided missing flock members, broken pool pumps, trash in the yard, etc. This time it was one of the pullets. She managed to get tangled up somehow in the chicken wire at the top of the run... the ONLY place i have wire, etc. And for the life of me I can't figure out how she did it.
So I came home to find a missing bird, and then after hunting for her found her dangling upside down apparently dead from the top of the run. Resigned to both the chickens fate, and mine (Having to tell the kids) I went over to see what type of tools I was going to need to cut her down. I picked her up, noticed the wire was twisted super tight around her ankle and one toe. So as I was easing her weight back down to go inside to get some wire cutters I head a very faint squack. I looked, but her eyes were closed and she was motionless. Surely that wasn't my little bitty hen...was it? I mean, really there are 3 others plus the ducks. I'm sure it was just one of them...and then I heard it again. This time I had my hand supporting her weight under her breast bone and I felt her trying to make the noise.

SO rather than leave her and run to get the wire cutters my stupid head decided I can't possibly leave her hanging there by herself and I ended up taking just as long no, actually longer to work the wires back and forth enough to break as if I had gotten the wire cutters. It took a good 10 minutes. I finally got her free and when I brought her to my body and cradled her she cooed at me. She was dehydrated and in shock. What is a chicken Momma to do? I took her inside put a towel in my lap and force fed her water. Once she seemed to want the water and not just allow me to drip it on her I started having a little hope. So I sat with her for a couple hours like this constantly offering her water. I made a nice warm mash and fed some of that to her as well. I was shocked she ate it and afterwards I put her in a tote, with the towel wrapped around her in the bathroom so she had a comfy place to lay down and couldn't stand up... not that she could.

The next morning she was bright eyed and bushy tailed, but still could not stand or walk. I decided best thing to do would be to continue to keep her restrained. So she stayed in the bathroom that day as well. She was still only eating when I was hand feeding her, but is now able to somewhat stand up. She's using her knee as a crutch and can't walk but does support her own weight for a minute or two at a time. She's still weak, but at least it seems she is going to pull through.

One of the projects this week was supposed to be tearing down the kids old playhouse. The thing is mostly dilapidated and is beginning to be an eyesore. If it only needed a coat of paint we would keep it, but since the boards are rotting in our constant rain and humidity - it's got to go. I guess it's a good thing that I didn't get around to tearing it down. It has once again been put to use as an infirmary.

Now I'm trying to figure out some way to save this little thing so I can continue to use it as needed. I do have an alternate place for keeping young, sick or injured birds but this little house is more comfy for them.

Here is my little patient. She managed to fall forward and get herself turned around in there. Presumably to make herself feel better protected in her delicate condition.

Oh! Speaking of delicate conditions... do you see how red her face is getting? She's also started building a nest in the infirmary. Each time I move her she does this so I'm thinking we are not too far away form seeing out first blue, or green (hopefully) egg.

But guess what? That isn't the only excitement I ran into when I got home. Look at what I found all over the ground? The stinking squirrels are back at it again. :-( It makes me so sad to see this wasted. Obviously not all of the fruit is trash, but the ones with a large portion missing is going to rot before it gets ripe enough for us.BOO - HISS... I put out the squirrel trap again, but they are steering clear of it. What can I use for bait? I used to get a critter every time I put out peanuts, but not this time. They are ignoring it.

So, until I manage to get rid of some more of them it looks like a third of my harvests will be for them. Too bad it's not a good food for the birds. At least then it wouldn't be wasted.

ah, so - speaking of the reason we were gone... I got a new drawing form the builder. But, I'm going to make you visit a different post to see that. Sorry!  I will post it now though, so at least you don't have to wait!

See you soon....really soon!


Wednesday, July 8, 2015

It's really happening!

Ok, so I suppose I tell you this is the point where there is no going back.

As I said this past weekend when we were packing up all our belongings and putting them into the cargo trailer that it just seemed like we were cleaning up and moving around, but the stuff just got real....



Awww, just look at those pretty apple trees. I'm still not over their demise. Now I have a pit in my stomach as we wait for the heavy equipment to be moved and and they begin construction on the basement.

When we drove away to come home again the sky was dark and ominous. Seemed like I wasn't the only one worried about the situation.  Not that the weather can really tell how we feel, but it sure seemed that way. By the time we got home 7 hours later there were rainbows here and there and I felt a little more comfortable. Still though. If something were to fall through,  yikes.

Instead of focusing on that I'll try to look forward to seeing the construction progressing and knowing that our future is being secured. Yes. That is what I need to focus on. As soon as I know the work has began. Should be by this weekend so at least I won't have to wait long.  We'll be going back in 3 weeks to check on things and hopefully I'll be able to show you the gigantic basement then. The builder seems to think they'll have the walls in by then, and be working on pouring the footer. I'm more inclined to think that there will be a hole in the ground. But, either way progress should be made and then it will get exciting!

See you soon!


Monday, July 6, 2015

Harvest Monday 7.6.15

This weeks harvest is once again focusing on avocado. There are a good 20 of them on the counter right now. So this week is guac week at work!

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Growing Pains

Sent from my iPhoneWe've been in Alabama again and this time the trip was not quite as fun as usual. We have moved all of our belongs out of the mobile home and into a storage trailer. It's cramped with all of us in the old cabin but at least I know it's not permanent. I said goodbye to my beautiful apple trees I have diligently been showering with love. Believe it or not this may be the hardest part. I planted them as 2' sticks and now they are lush productive beautiful trees. Soon they will be gone and I will have to start over again.

Even when the trailer was empty it didn't really dawn on me that we wouldn't see it again and it would be completely gone until we took turned the power off disconnected the water supply and took the skirting off. It may have not been my dream home but it's still hard to let go.