Friday, January 29, 2021

2021 the year that skipped a year

 HI! Miss me? Nope. didn't think so. It's 2021 and it seems we skipped a year. Easy to do when you can't go anywhere or do anything without risking the dreaded COVID. Needless to say we like most Americans have been watching the world go by, dreaming of eating out again and visiting friends on the regular.  

Unlike most Americans we never managed to work from home unfortunately - but fortunately we also never had a loss of income. At first we were productive. No Horse practice? Let's take on another project! No FFA meeting, hmmm... let's get caught up on laundry. No gymnastics, lets relax a little....but then the doldrums set in. TV took over our evenings (and still does!) No human contact is wearing on all of us. We try to see a friend at least once a month, in an outdoor location and it helps. Truly it does. It's just not the same, and I'm afraid it never will be.

Things at work have gotten challenging for both of us. College is challenging for Troy...after all how much can you learn from your computer when it's your parents pushing you to get your next degree? LOL

We did a lot of projects around the house and yet so many of them are still not finished. 2021, you had so much promise. 

I do have one "resolution" this year. I want to make a list of projects we started and didn't finish. I'll assign each project a month of the year and pick a weekend in that month to finally finish whatever it is. So many things were done "good enough" to get moved in but not as well as they should have been done. 

One of those things is that dreaded paint color. I'm somewhat wondering what it would do to just add a gallon of white paint to the 4 gallons that are left. Would it be as drab? I need a decent neutral paint I can use here and there for walls that are still funny colors.

The house has been through a few changes and mostly all for the better. Roof excluding. We had more and more issues with it, the worst being the storm back in February which created all the other issues.  They have repaired it several times and consensus is that it simply can't be repaired. It must be replaced. We've been living with a wonderful blue tarp *dripping sarcasm* for months on end. We ended up hiring an arbitrator who failed to do his job and then failed to even call us back when we inquired, and so now we have an attorney involved. GAH. Why are insurance companies such a pin to deal with? Furthermore, WHY does it cost so much to replace a roof? Oh wait, it's a necessity, that's why. GRRRR... Needless to say that once we knew the roof needed to be replaced we started skimping and saving. We have almost enought o cover it now, but it will leave us without any savings, and that is very scary. Can't wait to get past the point of no return so I can just deal with it rather than worrying about it. 

My girl and her prize winning ducks. I;'ll be back to share pics of the house.


Tuesday, July 2, 2019

It's July?

July? Wait. How did that happen? I really wonder where the time goes some time. Is someone siphoning it and stealing away with my time?

Renovations continue and, par for the course things are breaking along the way and making progress difficult. Last night the freezer,The night before a drill, 2 days ago the dryer that we FINALLY got over from my parents. I thought I was officially free of the laundromat but possibly not. Oh, did I mention we had another roof leak? *Rolling eyes* Fell like I'm trapped inside the movie "money pit"

However things are starting to come together. Slowly still, but it IS happening.
Shopping for a dining room rug, and the kitchen completion. What a difference the new floor makes and just a few simple touches.

The laundry room before hot yellow and lavender... to a muted teal.

Along with the muted teal this bead board/wainscoting I run the bottom 4' of the wall. This project is incomplete as well. I need the cap board and put up some hooks and a few places for brooms and the like.

Progress on one of the 2 planters on the pool deck. Dang it was nice to start and finish at least one of our projects that we were working on. We also made a nice small planter of succulents as well.

The fence is in! WHOOT! The dog run is still in the works, but at least the biggest part of that project (The fence itself) is done. I'll need to add some mulch, rocks and either sod or artificial turf in there yet.

SO much more is still in the works. The new front door, the girls vanity and sinks, and the new freezer should all be finished by the end of the weekend. Things are looking up. We are keeping our chin up and looking forward to completing a few of the things that have been in the works for so many weeks now. 

Moving forward, keeping on.

Monday, June 24, 2019

Chicken Little or better known as Bunny

Funny, I found this post in my draft folder. I always meant to follow up with a picture of the grown bird. Unfortunately Bunny passed almost a year ago when she tragically went over the fence, and a dog got a hold of her. She'd never been out of the yard so  I think it was a shock to all of us that she managed to find her way out.

Anyhow, Here is a post all about this lavender/buff Easter Egger and a quick chronicling of her growth.

I little while back I introduced you to the newest generation of chicks around this house.
This is Bunny, and I just wanted to share it's growth pattern. Bunny is a lavender and buff Easter Egger. Not a usual combination and since it is so and I spent so much time online searching for info on how it might turn out.

 Early on it looked pretty much like any chick really. Yellow with a hint of grey on it's breast and at the back of it's head. Maybe if you looked really close you'd say that some of that fluff was a tan color and not really yellow.
The first week or two it had those characteristics little cheeks as seen in the photo below. They were not nearly as big as some, but they were there none the less. 

 Wing feathers developed and the cheeks just sort of disappeared.  Pretty quickly the down of the chick was being replaced by these adolescent feathers. Pretty little thing striped with a steel grey and just starting to see a little buff coming through as well.

As it's head feathers came in they turned a beautiful dark grey with light shafts.

Now this juvenile is starting to look like a chicken! 
The buff color is beginning to be replace with a little darker of a color and is really quite striking.

Below is a set of shots of this birds comb. Easter eggers are known for being easier than some birds to sex by their comb shape and color pattern. However, this bird is proving difficult. It started out with a non-existant comb, then it was a single comb, then it began to turn colors YIKES! Rooster? Then the color faded back quite a bit. I'm thinking that the first few days of 90 degree weather caused the change of color. 

 Here the first wing feathers, and then again around 8 weeks. While the darker color is a concern for a roo it seems to be coming in spread out and not together at least so far....

Here she is all grown up. She really was a beautiful bird. I miss having the chickens around and I don't know if I iwll get away with "flying" under the radar at the new house. I'll probably try first with a duck or two next year. The girls will be in FFA so I'll have an excuse at least. :-)

Friday, June 14, 2019

6.14.19 The renovations continue

Still stuck on paint color. I don't suppose that's a huge surprise. I finally broke down and ordered paint samples from Samplize. I am SO EXCITED about this. They are essentially giant sticky notes you put on your wall. They can be moved around to see different types of lighting and locations throughout the house. I am expecting my samples Monday so you'd better believe I'm gonna have lots to say by next week. I ordered a bunch of very similar colors so I can really test out what the undertones are of each of them and get a feel for how truly close they are to a true color match. No more flesh toned pinkish brown paint for me, thank you very much!

The tile is nearly done in the living/dining and family rooms. Still a ways to go but it's really coming along. With any luck... and we all know I don't have much of the next 2-3 weeks we'll wrap up all the BIG projects and be able to start on the small ones.

So I leave you a little tease... the front door/entry way as it stands now...not quite an after picture, but it's close.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Band Aid Colored Paint

Or maybe the better title is Chameleon paint. I swear this color was a grey taupe when I picked it out in the store. However, when I got it home... not so much. In the can it looked like an exact match for the Band Aid brand bandages. On the wall it was a putty color. Now I've also seen it turn pink, and purple as well. It doesn't photograph well so I'll have to pull out my good camera once I find whatever box it is in. Living in boxes is so much fun! With any luck we'll be settled in by mid summer.

What color do I speak of? Old Map, by Behr. Here is a sample
Taupe/Grey if ever I have seen it...the paint chip card, Old Map in the middle...Now I'll just say that when I saw that color I thought to myself, "Self, that color is probably going to go dark and grey at night and lighter and beige during the day" Apparently even when I talk to myself I don't know what I am talking about, because it looked absolutely NOTHING like that chip. Please, allow me to show you all the ways this paint has irritated me. Introducing, the vast array of colors i've now seen this paint be...

Band-Aid colored


nearly brown


I swear to you everyone one of these pictures is taken with the same "camera" and is the same paint color. So yes, a cameleon. What you don't see is in many of these pictures it has a fleshy tone. Not something appealing, either. I love it in the bedroom where it doesn't get as much natural light but where the space is light and bright it feels drab. Ho-Hum. Shouldn't have bought 5 gallons of paint without trying it out in the space first, I suppose. Live and learn.


Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Progress, FINALLY!

 Finally, some progress has been made.

This past weekend I painted baseboards once it started to get dark outside. I don't like cutting boards or using any power tools outside once it gets dark in the summer. I know at least one of the neighbors has a toddler and I have experienced first hand neighbors that disturbed the sleep patterns of my kiddos. I don't want to be that neighbor.

Since i had some of the baseboards painted we went over last night. I stacked up the ones that were cured and started on the next set. Rich normally gets home about an hour after we do so once he ate he began putting in the baseboards for Savannah's room while I finished hanging the closet rods on the new organizer for her small closet. All that is left is the baseboards for the right side of the closet, to caulk the new baseboards and she'll be moving in by this weekend.  She's super stoked and even though we started with a paint that didn't turn out quite right the room has truly come together and is just so sweet.

The blue that at first looked like a very BRIGHT neon blue settled down into a "babyblue" for the second coat, and after getting the woodwork back up and adding lighting is now very close to the color she wanted. It's kind of an icy grey/blue. What she wanted was an icy super light teal/grey. Either way it's turned out rather darling. She's happy...we're happy.

The new closet organizer is the icing on the cake. Poor girl is going from a full walk-in down to a 5' closet. The shelves and extra hanging space on one side will be monumental as she edges ever closer to that dreaded word.... "teenager." Over the next few years i'm sure this area will be the hardest hit in her room. ;-)

Tonight it's the year end Orchestra concert. They always do such a wonderful job. It's quite amazing how nice they sound. Especially compared to the elementary school productions. Hopefully she is getting better as well. She refuses to let me hear her play any more. over the summer she'll be forced to practice at home so I should hear more of her playing soon.

With any luck by this weekend I'll have more rooms to show you completed and even some with furniture! (Imagine!)

Soon I'll be onto picking out a paint for the overall living areas of the house. I'm dreading it already. I love some of the newer warm grays, but I'm just not a gray kinda gal. My entire work/office is based off a gray theme so it's just not a color I want all over my home as well. Problem is, I don't want a pink base, or a yellow base and I surely don't want green picking up either. That makes it a bit difficult. It leaves orange and purple based paint and I'm not specifically fond of the idea of them on the wall. Stay tuned, I'll keep you posted on the color drama.

Friday, May 10, 2019

Mother's Day Weekend

It's Mother's Day weekend.

I'm thinking heavily of those that will be spending their day without their child(ren). My heart hurts for them. Aches for the losses that we share. While I take joy in the children I have here on Earth there are so many families that are hurting.

This weekend is sure to be a whirlwind. Lots going on at the new house. Construction continues though it will be very slow this week for sure. This week we will concentrate on bringing our plants from their temporary home at my parents and making a few trips to bring more of our personal belongings as well. The goal? Be able to move into the bedrooms at least by next weekend.

Great things are happening here:
Sorry for the crummy lighting it was starting to get dark.
Can't wait to share the progress!

Monday, May 6, 2019

The year, Two Thousand Nineteen.

It's 2019. Not one, but 2 years after my last post.

It never ceases to amaze me just how quickly time flies.
Update on Alabama - The 40 acres were cleared, burned fertilized and replanted. The new trees are roughly 1 ft. tall. Just infants. It turned out to be a good year to plant as rain has managed to hit the area at least every 7-10 days so there were no prolonged periods of drought for the new seedlings to tolerate. Our lass to date less than 10%. Mostly due to hogs and a few that simply were not as strong as the others.
Overview of the 40 acres. Looking down from the trail head.

The cabin FINALLY has a sump pump and the basement is now dry. We never could get the work done though and had to hire it out. Leave the dirty work to the pros, and I'm glad we did. Too much, and not enough time up there to accomplish everything else, much less the 7-10 day project it would have been for us provided nothing went wrong.

The old cabin also got some upgrades. We
refinished the exterior. Rather than messing with the wood and trying to refit already retro fitted wood we decided to simply lay siding to protect what was already there. It may not look like much, but the contrast is stark when you compare it to the peeling paint and mismatched wood. This should keep us from needing to do much to the outside for a good 20 years or so.(With any luck at all)

My home gardens are no more. For that matter my home is no more. It's now a house, and someone else's not mine. We were technically "homeless" for the last 7 weeks, but we have closed on what will be our new home. LOTS of work there to complete. Roof issues, flooring issues, appliance issues, pool issues...the list goes on, and on. Not the list is the fact that we almost burned it down the first day we went by. We got a great deal, but the return for it is the work it needs. The backyard is wild and steep with a small creek with a conservation area at the bottom. We'll fence that part out so we don't lose the water loving dog, or endanger any small children that come by.

I'm excited about this next house. Excited to make it mine, to make it a home.


Monday, July 10, 2017


July should be the beginning of the thinning of the pines in Alabama. It also means they will be completely clearing the 40 acres we recently purchased as well. It will be cleared almost entirely. Only a few of the largest trees will be left, and only the healthy ones of those.

In preparation for the following months, when the remnants will be burned and the new trees will be planted we went ahead and made a purchase of just over 40 trees that will also be planted out at the same time. Most trees go dormant in the fall and young trees even more so. Once they go dormant we will be planting them in several sections of the entire acreage. These plants are meant to not only feed us, but also help keep the feed bill down for the deer, hogs, and turkey we feed year round.

A few of these specimens will find their way into the orchard, but the vast majority will be planted around the perimeter of the larger fields. We managed to get a great deal and we purchased the following:
8 keiffer pear
3 gala apple
5 crabapple
3 Fuji apple
3 Arkansas Black Apple
3 Fuyu Persimmon
3 American Persimmons
2 chinese chestnut
3 Chicksaw plum
2 Paw Paws
and also 4 white oaks, and 4 saw tooth oaks, for the 40 acres to spread out the acorn availability.

So I have my work cut out. Now I have to figure out what varieties are being planted where and how many I can pull up to the orchard to protect them, and try to actually get a decent crop for us as well.

We have been up twice in the last few weeks to prepare for the heavy equipment that will be coming through the homestead. We need to make sure we keep our roadway system as intact as possible and that the crew don't damage things that we think are essential.

Next trip I will get some before pictures, and then in fall I will post after pictures. It will be sad to see the trees grow, but as the new growth takes place it will be lovely to see the changes that happen to the land then.


Tuesday, June 13, 2017


June is always a busy month. What with the rainy season looming if not already in full force, the garden production at full tilt, but not for much longer...the kids getting out for summer and of course figuring out what to do with the kids, where they will be who they will see. There are Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles and others that want to see them and visits to the farm, coordinating everything with work. *SHEW*

This June has been busy just like any other, only more so. This June is competing for the busiest on record. Our first born graduated High School and we took him on a trip to celebrate. Cue the massive picture dump...

So proud of my boy.

He even graduated with Honors. As soon as he actually takes his English class he will have a year of college under his belt as well. A great start to life as an adult.

Don't mind the sour face on girl child #2. She's just jealous. She wants to go on the celebration trip, too. Sorry girly.

So to kick off life as an adult we took the boy to the Bahamas. This has always been one of our favorite places to travel to. The clear aqua waters makes for superb fishing and snorkeling.

Turtles, turtles everywhere. We swam with them, fed them, pet them. So awesome

 And did I mention that we also swam with PIGS? Too cool. These are domestic pigs. Dropped off on a tiny uninhabited  island. Just perfect for people to pet, feed and the locals to harvest annually.

Did I mention that it is spectacularly beautiful?
Seriously. Addictive.

We were not on the main island(s) we were on an out island. No touristy things to do. Actually it was hard to even find a souvenir, but at the local watering hole there were a few items available.

The weather was idyllic the first day, after that we had a lot of storms and cloudy/rainy weather. That's OK. We are form Florida and while the sun shines every day it also rains most days.

The cloud coverage helped with keeping the sun of our faces and the rain was much needed for the area. This particular island utilizes almost entirely rain water catchment. The main method of travel is golf cart, or (non motorized) bikes. There was not a siren to be heard, no arguments, none of it. Serenity at it's best.

So an incredibly busy month. in 2 weeks we will head back up to the farm and we are hoping, praying, and doing the NO RAIN dance so that we can finally get a sump pump into that basement and try to fix the water issues. Once. and. for. all. Wish us luck!