Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined. Henry David Thoreau

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Obviously I have not figured out this blogging thing, because you have to keep scrolling down to see the last 3 pictures of the previous blog....arggh.

Core Drilling

Today's lesson: 
Core Drilling

In order to determine to what extent we will have to take extra measures to make sure we don't have big cracks in the foundation of the house, we have hired an engineering company to do some core drilling.
There is a huge drill on the truck that bores down into the earth around 35 ft. Then a long tube is drilled down the hole and it brings up samples from various intervals.  The guys bag up these samples and take them back to the office to analyze.  They will drill at all four corners of the foundation and also at the center of  where the house will sit. It is fascinating to watch, as you can see. They can tell where the water table is, and whether there is clay, topsoil, water,  rock or sludge down there.  We do not want sludge!  So far the dirt looks good, but it will be a week or so before we get the final report.  It takes a lot of work to analyze dirt. Here are some shots of the drilling and the watching.  This is a little nerve wracking and it will be a long week of waiting, but there is a lot of work to be done in the meantime. Jim will be busy scheduling basement bids, setting up for water lines to be put in and electricity to run, blueprints to study, study, study. Architects to hire and appointments to schedule. I will be studying color swatches.  Let the good times roll! 

Sunday, February 22, 2009

more pigs and a mystery

Here's two more of Vern's cousins. That one looks pretty please with himself and his oversized chalkboard. Vern says he's not one of his favs. I don't think he looks very trustworthy.

 A decorating puzzle - what do you think that  thing is up there with all the lovely baskets?  Yes, that's right, it is a moldy gourd.  Tips from the Frugal Decorator - you can find all sorts of lovelies to decorate with for FREE.  Just look around your yard, your office, your boss's office! Nature is an endless source of inspiration for the frugal decorator!..of course you can use the moldy gourd!  See how lovely it looks up there with the lovely baskets? Lovely.  Vern's cousin could not believe how excited I got when I realized what it was!  He personally did not see it as all that lovely, but I knew they were on to something great.  I have just the moldy gourd in mind.  Wait til Andy sees this picture...he's gonna be so mad when he realizes somebody would have paid him big bucks for His moldy gourd!  Well, it's mine now buddy...you gave it to me and I ain't givin' it back!  oink!

city pigs

Well,it's good to be home.  We ran into four of Vern's city cousins while we were taking in all the lovely homes this weekend.  None were as good looking and jaunty as Vern, but I guess it's the small town influence.  He has been so happy since we adopted him and moved him in with us.
I can definitely see the family resemblance even though Vern doesn't wear glasses .  I had no idea that pigs were such a popular household item.  Vern was glad to see all his cousins have jobs.  Holding the chalkboard is good honest work these days.  I'll be sharing more about the weekend in the days to come, but for now let's just say WE HAVE A HOUSEPLAN! oink! 

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

the long long road.

Students you have learned a lot today. I am tired from all that driving, scraping, pounding and rocking. Here are all the machines resting in the front yard after a long hard day.  The three big guys have not decided whether to invite little John Deere into the circle.  They are all proud of their work.  Let's enjoy the pictures together and say goodnight.

lots and lots of rock. it rocks.

Here I am on my coffee break...maybe a little too much coffee.  Staring at these plans is making me more than a little crazy. The rocks are looking lovely...I will post more footage of that tonight. 

too close?

Is it just me, or is this driveway sitting uncomfortably close to that cedar tree on the right? Ranch Hand is #1 sick and tired of me telling him to cut more trees down and he is not going to be convinced if it's just me.  So if any of the rest of you feel the same way I do, please feel free to leave a comment. I'm all about the open forum concept here.  I just don't like driving really close to trees.  I'm just sayin.  I will look at it from another angle and get back with you. Thanks for listening.


excuse me class while I slap the snap out of this computer...
now, that's better.  As I was saying.  Here is the vibrating sheep's foot.
I see where the name comes from, don't you?  See right there?  It looks like a sheep's foot while it is vibrating. You know, when the sheep's foot vibrates, it looks like this. This machine is also big, so I think I would call it a vibrating rhino's foot, or a vibrating dino's foot,  because it comes along and POUNDS that silly dirt into a hard solid surface upon which to deposit the clay !
Here is Ranch Hand #1 petting the sheep's foot before it starts vibrating.   And here is the pounded driveway awaiting the arrival of 7, yes count em, 7 truckloads of miry clay. Yes , like that stuff in the Bible that you want to be rescued from down in the pit.  Anyway, the truck comes loaded with clay, dumps the clay, spreads the clay and the sheep's foot pounds the clay into a nice solid bed for the rocks to lay on.  In our afternoon session we will discuss the Rocks and see how they are layed down on the smooth clay to form a driveway.  Let's all take a coffee break.

scrape and shape

Here's some scraping and shapin goin on.

more driveway love

excuse me students while I pause  - technical difficulties. And now a word from our sponsors....

Diggin the Driveway

Today students, we will learn how to dig out a driveway. First you bring in the big machines.
These two cats will scoop out the top few inches of topsoil and even things out. Then...comes the pounder thingie..technically this is called the vibrating sheep's foot , but that didn't really make any sense to me, so whatever.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

winners announced

Well, the comments have been counted and sorted by the automatic comment sorter and the prize winners are:

Kimberly and Missy!

actually you two were the ONLY comment makers, and  I am sending you BOTH a special chocolate surprise. The rest of you will have to learn your lesson the hard way.

While it seems like nothing house-worthy is happenin, we are studying , I mean Poring over plans, you know the kind of fun where Jim uses that little plastic triangle thing and measures lines and angles, and I peruse the internet, looking at endless pictures,wishing the perfect one was out there somewhere so that we wouldn't have to change a thing. Peruse sounds pleasant.  It is not pleasant. My eyes are about to bug out of my head. My neck is killing me. The pictures all look the same and none of them are just right. If we had not done this before and didn't know that we could pull it off, I would say let's just forget it.  Those words are not in my husband's vocabulary.  So we press on.  The adventure continues and the search goes on.  

Congratulations Kimberly and Missy!  

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Is anybody out there!  excuse me while I just have a little tiny cigar.  Kimberly I think of you when I see this picture because that cat looks so darn  creepy. 

you never know what you will find on here.

blogging for dummies in session...

Ode to blogging

well you know I am tired of lookin
at this bookin bookin bookin
all  the pictures 
and the blueprints 
make me crazy
and Im
Look, my poem looks like a pine tree upside down. Let's see if the little people at Bloggerville will print it in the blog that way! because my notes and pictures never look like I think they are gonna look.  I am going to play around with this while I dont have any real house news OR pictures to show you today.

ok, I don't have any pictures to post because we went to Kansas City to look at show homes
and my camera would not work.  again.  Do you know what happens when you look at a kagillion houses for two days and after you get home you can't remember what your favorite one even looked like because you DONT HAVE ANY PICTURES,? just blurry little blueprint looking things that dont give you any clues as to whether this was the house with that cute leopard print chair in the downstairs bedroom, or if it was the one with the four poster bed in the master with the lace shawls draped so dreamy-like over the top rails?  And when your husband asks you what your favorite thing about house no#25 was, you say you think it was for sure the combination of that little pig in the kitchen holding a chalkboard that said, "Bon Apetite" because he had a really cute red scarf tied around his neck.  And when your husband says remember how in house #59 they had taken the hip roof and raised it up a little to make room for that window, do you think we could just lower that a tad and put a smaller window in there would the roof still look ok?  and you say, do you think we could build a little courtyard out front , and then I would have a cute place for a little herb garden?  and he says excuse me while I pull all of my remaining hair out one hair at a time and you say do you think we will have time for me to stop by TJMaxx before we go home? and he says just shoot me and you say where's my gun because we are not leaving this town before I go into a store, even if it is WalMart???? That is when you take a break and try to remember which house was your favorite and why over a yummy Stromboli and you realize once again that you are too tired and achey to go shopping anyway, which is what you knew all along would happen, because it always does and you get in the truck and review all those houses all the way home.

Blog Giveaway!

In celebration of Valentine's Day, I am offering all of you, my faithful blog followers a great giveaway!!

Because that's what all experienced bloggers do, you know.

And since I have no intriguing pictures to show you today, I thought I would reward you all for just Being there.  Is anyone out there?  Because if you leave me a comment your name will be entered for this fantabulous giveaway, to be randomly selected by me and my random automatic giveaway prize winner selector.

This Giveaway will close at midnight tonight...Central Daylight Time.... so hurry and leave a comment so that you too can win!

There is no subject.  No gimmicks.  Just leave a comment  and you can win.

Win What?  I cannot tell you that, because that would spoil the surprise, but let me just say that it tastes good. And it is homemade.  And it is chocolate.  That's all I can give ya.

PS>  If I showed you any pictures of a house plan prior to today, destroy it because we are going in a whole new direction.  Pilgrims will travel to the house mecca again next weekend to learn more house wisdom .  Details later, in the meantime, comment away!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Hi Peops!  Today was the last day of 70's weather for a while..tornado warnings are out until midnight here, so we thought we would try and get some work done before the rains roll in.

Dad cut down some more pesky trees and built another burn pile, we stacked some into fire wood and then we started the dreaded staking-out-the-house process.  Drive stakes, flag them, look at them, move them, look at them some more, move them, knock down some more trees, look at the states again....I am thankful that there are two lawn chairs out there, so I can sit down while I am looking!

Here is some of that exciting action!

Well, as you can see, I havn't figured out how to get my pictures to match what I am saying, so this is not in chronological order or any order for that matter!  Lisa...HEEEEEEELLLLLPPPP!

Here is a picture of the bulldozer being unloaded..FV will use this to dig out the driveway and he wanted to get it up there before it rains and gets too muddy to get in. I think they will use a bigger one when they get ready to work on extending the pit.

Kellie, I think these are your hiking boots I am wearing..I thought they were mine until I saw that they were from REI and we all know that I would never buy myself such great boots...I think I told you that they were not here, but that was before I knew they were!  Do you mind if I keep on wearing them?  I am sending your rain boots in the mail this week..I promise.  They are much cuter and girlier than those old REI ones anyway!  

Friday, February 6, 2009

Day's End

Today we signed the paperwork on thecedarsofpittsburg!!!  IT'S OURS!
Kind of anticlimactic, since we've already been working out there, but now it's official.
Jim talked to Freddy Van about moving dirt at the end of the pit and extending it...Freddy  has dug on pit ground in the past and he will be giving us a bid on the bulldozer work soon.

  Fencers finished today and now Jon can relax about his cows and calves.  

Here is Brian priming the gate ...so lovely Rustic Red will be!

Jim and I worked this afternoon on connecting the existing fence to each side of the gates and next Brian will paint.  I really did help with that and will be aching tomorrow to prove it!

Here we are finishing the job after dark....gate-building at sunset..so romantic!

Leftovers tonight buddy!   

It's been a good day!

Love, barbed wire mama!

Better late than never, right? Here's the charred ditch after yesterday's runaway prairie fire.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Prairie Fire!

Well, I did not take lunch out since Ranch hand #1 had to come home and get a bit for the drill and rest from putting out a Prairie Fire.  What??? Why did they not call me so I could rush out there and document this important event??? Some people!  Brian was welding something for the gate and the wind gusted up and sent some sparks flying. He didn't have any firefighting tools in his truck, so he called Hand #1 to get his rear end back out there and help him.  By the time Hand #1 got there, the fire had moved around 100 yards along the ditch.  Note to self: when there is a Prairie Fire Alert on the internet, you better bring fire fighting tools along with you. Or else don't weld things.

Baker township volunteer fire dept had had numerous occasions to caution Ranch hand #1 about his pyrotechnic tendencies and insistence on burning piles in windy weather, but this was totally not his fault.

oh well, crisis averted.  Film at 11:00. ( wish I had some good footage of this, but charred ditch is better than nothin! right?)

Hello followers!  It's good to have something to report again. The fence guys are back hard at work after John spoke to them in a stern voice.  They promise everything fence-related will be done today and we can sign the paper work with John tomorrow. Today the ranch hands are busy at work on the entry, since the county men came out this morning and put in the culvert, which you will see pictured.

The two (and only) ranch hands are proud of their work. Later today the gates will be painted a lovely Rustic Red and I wont have to climb over the barbed wire while they hold it down for me. (no pictures of this).  

I just had to go up the "driveway" and take some more breathtaking pictures for you. I think the slope of the "driveway" will be just enough for sledding on...I hope we can try this out before winter is over.  Today it is supposed to be up in the 60's, but the wind is very strong and it still feels cold. Later today I am supposed to go help Dad with tape measure and string to try and figure out exactly where to place the house.

Freddy Van( how is that for a professional sounding name?) is supposed to come out tomorrow
 and talk about core drilling, which is the latest source of anxiety.  We are going to be drilling down at the corners of where the house will sit, to determine how unstable the ground is.  The ground around these pits is notorious for this, and we want to know up front, so if it IS we can go ahead and put piers into the ground before we build the house.  Lots of times, people skip this and end up spending thousands of dollars jacking up the house and putting in the piers later. .  We no wanna do that...we want to spend thousands of dollars right up front and get it over with fast!!!

How you likey my new haircut??? the picture said it was "sassy" and that is just what I want to be...

signing off for now...time to take some lunch out to #1 Ranch Hand
love, yo sassy mama

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

we might as well get this dirty business out of the way right now. Here he is. Do not, I say, do not be fooled by the cute demeanor you see here.  Let the record show right now that if this creature is sighted on the aforementioned property,he will be shot on sight.  I have a gun and I know how to use it.   Well, not really, but I loved writing that.  You would not believe the huge trees that were felled by his cousins across the road.  Outrageous!  We must be vigilant! 

It's been an uneventful day and this is what you are going to get when nothing's happening. Besides, I am soooo tired of looking at house plans I could scream.  ok, back to work.

Love, yo - mama

ok, I am a loser and I know it.  Yesterday I should have been out shooting pictures of Dad and Brian putting up the gate to the entry but instead I went shopping with Brandy. Priorities.
Hopefully the warm weather will be back on Thursday and they will paint the gates.  Today Dad is analyzing paint colors. Should the gate be "red barn", or "rustic red" or "crabby apple"? What about "Sommelier"?   Life can be difficult at times.  The fence builder is still AWOL. Dad is ready to fire him, but he has already paid him his half of the fee.  Today the county brought out the wrong length of culvert pipe to put into the entry. Dad didn't find out it was too short until they had it unloaded from the truck.  They were not pleased to have to load it back up and take it away.  sigh.  We have seen the handiwork of some beavers across the road and I will be posting a warning to all beavers soon. This scullduggery will not be tolerated. More on that later. Now I must show you some colors. Color is what I love. Even if it is just a fence. It must have color. love, your shoppin mama.
"Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense." Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Welcome to my happy place. A place where I can share ideas, projects, and dreams. I am a nester, a crafter, a creator and a dreamer I hope you will find inspiration and encouragement for the journey you are on. I am a Jesus follower, wife, mother and nana. Blessed beyond measure, just trying to live my life gracefully and make a difference in my small world. Join me!