Thursday, May 31, 2007

A roof!

The roof is finished! We were starting to think this day would never come, but it's here! We can now begin work on it! Yes, I know I am using a lot of exclamation points, but you have no idea how excited we are!! When I went out yesterday afternoon to take the following pictures, I was literally jumping up and down. I could walk around and picture where the walls will go. I was able to walk through the kitchen and give Mitchell a tour of where the stove, refrigerators, sink, bar, etc, will all go. I'm not always able to visualize these things like Roger can (what CAN'T he do?) but I could once the roof was on.

Anyway, here are pictures. The first is taken from the front door looking toward the rest of the house. You can kind of see Mitchell sitting on the scaffolding right where the refrigerator and freezer will go. The second is taken from the future kitchen sink looking toward the front door.


Monday, May 28, 2007

Gloria on her birthday

I finally uploaded Gloria's birthday pictures from my camera to the computer. There were lots of good ones, but I'm only sharing one. What a doll!


Saturday, May 26, 2007

Gloria's Birthday Today

Happy 1st Birthday today to the lovely Gloria Beth! Go here and scroll down to see last year's post. Gloris still looks very young, but she can walk, jabber and eat from something other than a breast – all big improvements over last year at this time when she slept, suckled, cried and pooped. No big plans for today. We will be stuck inside, mostly, because of the rain. Too wet to work on the second chicken tractor. No way to work on the new house, no money to shop for the new house and no place to keep the stuff if we did buy it. I will begin smoking a 17 pound brisket this evening to eat tomorrow. Every year prior to Memorial Day and July 4th the local grocer sells packer cut brisket for 99 cents a pound. I bought two to go with the other two we had in the freezer.

Gloria’s big present will be cake with dinner. Not much sense in buying a gift for a one year old when you already have all the toys and such a one year old would want. It’s not like a one year old has any real need for anything when she just takes whatever is on the floor or in a drawer she can reach to play with regardless of how appropriate or inappropriate the item is. A current favorite of hers is whatever she can get out of the trash can. This explains the presence of trash cans on counter-tops and upper shelves in our house.

This leads me to another though - did you ever wonder what kinds of conclusions archaeologists would draw about our society if they were to unearth your house 10,000 years from now? Perhaps they would think that we were pagans that had little trash alters in each room of the house. Maybe we would be held forth as great recyclers that had, somewhere on the property but not yet unearthed, highly advanced waste to energy recycling machinery. After digging at the ancient farm for over 30 years they would then assume that the recycling machinery must have been taken by later generations or that there was a communal mechanism. Who cares, we’ll all have been dead for thousands of years by then.

On that cheery thought…have a good three day weekend.


Tuesday, May 22, 2007

House update 5/22/7 (2)

This morning Cody and a couple of other guys showed up and began the work on the north wall. They have it built up to the 6'8" mark. This is at the bottom of the north wall's windows. Hope to have pictures of these windows tomorrow night. Hope to have roof on the building pictures by Friday night.

House update 5/22/7 (1)

Melissa is the one that has taken the time to figure out picture stuff and things for the blog. So, in my own inarticulate way I am going to share pictures from Sunday - when the roof structure got started - in this blog and then the north wall progress pictures in the next blog. See the fork lift featured in these pictures? Well, Johnny left it there and since Jim Bob knew Johnny would like to have it available in the future he did not trap it in the house by beginning work on the north wall yesterday. Instead, Johnny got the fork lift.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

House - coming soon

The masonry contractor - Jim Bob - was out here Saturday and the west wall is now completed. This is important as the roof will nest in the west and east walls. You can sorta see one of the cut outs for this in the picture with Claire's head in it. Do you like her new haircut? This morning, and I mean as I am writing, the steel workers are here to begin getting the I-beams put in place. Other than the day the steel was delivered, these fellows have not been out here. The steel contractor - Johnny - has told me that his part is three to four days at the most. Yesterday, Jim Bob told me to expect Johnny to be here today and that if the I-beams get put up, then Jim Bob's crew will be out here and put up the north wall on Monday. This could mean, and I am really trying to not get too excited here, but it could mean that the house will be turned over to us by next Saturday.

The pictures are of the house from the north - thus the open wall - and from the kitchen sink. That is Claire in the bottom left and a notch for the beams is visible. The east wall is the wall in the picture.

UPDATE: 1:45 p.m. - When we got home from church Johnny and his guys were all gone. I walked out to the house ready to be disappointed. I was not. The I-beams were up and the cross beams were in place. I am almost getting optimistic about working on the house before the end of the week.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Some Stuff

Clarification/Education - my children and wife informed me yesterday that my haiku was too long. A haiku, according to them is only three lines and 17 syllables long. While they are correct about the standard haiku in use in the English speaking world, there is a haiku forerunner, the renga, which is much longer. The haiku goes 5-7-5 syllables in a verse. There are also 5-7-5-7-7 haikus that are considered short rengas. Long rengas are 5-7-5-7-7 verses that are followed by more lines of poetry that use the same kind of syllable structures (5-7-5, 7-7, 5-7-5-7-7). You see, I was so bored I not wrote a haiku, I actually researched them. Of all the haikus I read, and I read more than I ever want to read again, my favorite was:

haikus are easy
but sometimes they don't make sense

While I am mostly over the stomach flu, I am still a bit too unstable and weak to do much. I am getting stronger and will be back to work tomorrow (maybe). I thought I'd be back at work already, but instead I am blogging and catching up on poor, pitiful Paris Hilton. I've signed several "jail Paris" petitions.

Our house has a septic tank, but it is too small for a house of 11 people and the leach lines were put in too shallow, so they are full of roots. A couple of times a week I have to pump out the tank. There is a patch of field that is very lush as a result of this activity. Anyway, I had to pump last night. I had popped the lid and was just starting the process when Seven decided to go and explore the hole. Thankfully, the scum was at the top and she could get out by herself. Had she fallen in 20 minutes later, when no one was watching, she would have been entombed in the septic tank. I gotta figure something out for when I am pumping to keep us from a tragedy. At the same time, when your two cats are named Red and Seven and you lose one, you don't have a mismatched pair like you would have if you'd named them as a set, like Cuff and Link, Skin and Bones or Laurel and Hardy.

Nauseously Yours,

Monday, May 14, 2007

A Stomach Flu Haiku

eating bananas
while i lay upon my bed
running a fever
just staring at the ceiling
i'd better not move too much
got the stomach flu
i am highly unstable
and bored to tears


Friday, May 11, 2007

Kittens and a Wet Spring

Meet Red and Seven.

And for now, there are no signs of mice still in the house. No more in the traps, no more sightings, and no more droppings.

No new development on the house. Just lots of rain--and mud!

The younger kids have discovered that the cover blew off the sandbox in one of the storms (and it was bungee corded on!) and they're having a blast with that. It's a big mud puddle that they think is okay to play in. But that gets followed by a really fun splash in the tub where I get a clean bathroom floor by the time it's over.

Flooding inside and out. Isn't spring great? Actually it's beautiful out. Wildflowers are blooming everywhere. The view out our windows is filled with colorful flowers. Here's my attempt to capture it on film:

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Red and Seven

Melissa has told you guys about the mice. She even went on u-tube and got a film of a mouse invasion. Well, we are going after them hard now. The other night Faith made three loaves of bread. We put them on top of the stove and covered them with a towel and settled in for three installments of 'Lost'. Then we went to bed, forgetting all about the bread. About 15 minutes after we laid down Melissa asked me "Did you put the bread away?" First of all, while I am writing this as if I had some idea there was bread on the stove it would be a mistake on your part to assume that in some way I actually pay attention to my surroundings. Secondly, I am not sure that I was even aware at that time that three loaves of bread had been made.

I said "No."

We both threw off the covers and made a mad dash to the kitchen. I hit the light and when we were about a step away from the stove we saw a mouse leap out from under the towel and scramble away into the open bottom of the control panel. The next day I fed the chickens three loaves of bread. Yesterday I made a trip to Home Depot for house stuff (nothing happening due to weather) and got four mouse traps.

Last night we went to bed with a trap on the counter, one on the floor by the sink, one in the doorway to the dining room and the final one in one of the bathrooms. We'd been in bed about 15 minutes when we heard a trap snap shut. We got up and there was the bread eating mouse (this is our hope as that is the mouse we hate the most) dead in the trap. I dumped the mouse in the outside trash, spread more peanut butter in the trap, set it and put it back on the cabinet. This morning we had another dead mouse in the trap on the counter and another dead one in the bathroom. That's three mice dead from airsoft guns and three dead from the traps, so far.

While we are pleased with the traps at this time, we are also prepared for the future. The Youth Minister and his wife had a pair of kittens they wanted to get rid of and we took them in today. They're about a month old so they won't be catching many mice tonight. We named the short haired black one Seven. The grey and black striped one is now known as Red. The names go back to a game I like to play with the kids that we call "Red or Seven?" which is a question game. To play you ask the kids to say which they like best between two unrelated choices. For example: "Do you prefer the color red or the number seven?" Red or seven could just as easily be a choice between watermelon and tube socks or year and dangerously. For the bazillionth time I could not get anyone to accept the name of Rocking Chair for a pet.