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Monday, October 20, 2014

Putting it all back together

Since we didn't move to Honolulu (I think I recall there being a Hawaii position open when The Guy was given the list), and we weren't in the path of Hurricane Ana, what are we putting it back together from?

Remember these floors?

Pretty huh?

Though not attractive to look at or even walk on barefoot, the subfloors smelled so much better than the dog urine soaked carpets that were in the house when we moved in. As the summer heated up, the stench got worse until we had to yank them. It may have been our imaginations, but it seemed the upstairs hallways sub floor was even still damp beneath the carpets.

So, we sprayed them down with Lysol to kill germs, and Natures Miracle to help kill the odor and let them be. Until this last week...

Now, isn't that a bit prettier? Ignore the trim in our bedroom, it still needs painted.

I have to say, it was worth waiting, and stressing out the dogs as we shuffled things from upstairs to other places and made them wonder if we were moving again. Sullivan has his bed back!

And someday I may even get to use the loom in the loom room. Someday...

And there's new doors too! We're slowly classing up this joint I tell ya...

Okay, I need to go scrub the tile floors before going to work for a bit. Have a good day everyone.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

More things to love about fall.


I actually know nothing really about chestnuts just that they look neat and are such a deep beautiful brown... yeah I know, that's what one calls a shade of chestnut. But it's pretty dang it.

I saw this tree the other day on my way home from work and wanted to snap a shot of it today. It was with my camera so it's not the best of shots, but still, you get the idea. Defintely corn harvesting time. I am glad I snapped that shot of the maple last week because I noticed today that it's vibrancy is definitely on the fade now.

And for some, fall might mean the return of football and drinking buddies! These guys have actually hit the road but I recalled that I had some pictures off The Guys camera I wanted to share that i snapped a few weeks ago.

Today was the first day of inventory and I'm beat... My legs are tired of the up and down, we'll see how this task continues. The great news is that this next week we have new floors going in upstairs. Yay! No more walking around on grubby subfloor. Pictures soon, I promise.

I loved seeing that I somehow caught these guys having a little jousting match and didn't even know it. These buggers are just so fast!

Last one of the hummers before the monarchs.

Still seeing a couple of these now and then pass through. Probably done now since we had a good frost now the last two nights. I'm appreciating the cooler weather and having to grab a flannel or sweatshirt for the evening walks with the kids.

We found another little park like the Provin trails down this way that I need to snag some photos of. This is a more natural forest with some thinning that has been done, but not planted in rows like the Provin trail park was.

I tried to capture a couple flying, but was not so successful.

Well, off to goof off with the kids and relax for a bit before bed. One of these days I'm going to have a whole day off! Oh wait, we'll be installing floor on those days... Dang it!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

She's here...

Who's here you ask? Autumn. She's the fun frolicky cousin to that cold bitch Winter.

In case I couldn't tell by this stuff I keep finding more and more of on our walks, this is a reminder every day I drive to Ada.

Bam! Can't miss a clue like that, and I love driving by it almost daily just to see the changes from day to day. How can you not appreciate a tree like that? the other morning on my way to work I pulled over and snapped this photo because the early morning light with it's long rays from the horizon just made it so vibrant.

In fact, everything was made beautiful by the light. You know mornings like that. The ones that with the crisp air, and golden light, just make you glad to be awake and alive. Even when you're half asleep like I was feeling.

If you can't tell by my absence, I've been a bit busy as of late. I picked up a second job, and between running to and from work, getting home and cooking for us, or feeding and walking the dog, it feels I have very little down time. Tonight though, I stepped away from the spinning wheel to write a blog post.

I decided, I had some back log of two weeks at least of photos that I needed to get up here. And to just let everyone know things are good, just hectic. they'll calm down next month I hope. There's always hope, no?

We've had little warning signs that fall was quickly approaching. Like this big Katydid we found on the back porch. It would have covered most of the palm of my hand. These guys are late summer layers, and a harbinger to end of the heat as they mate and lay eggs.

And then there's the green frogs. Big guys, almost as big as Bull frogs. I saw hime sitting on this drainage grate singing while walking the boys on one of our last warmer days. I still see the wood frogs in the backyard now but even the frogs are quieting down for the winter as the nights get cooler.

And boy do we have the wooly caterpillars. I don't know what the white ones are but we have the black and red monarch caterpillars around quite a bit. In fact I have some pictures of the monarchs from a couple weeks ago that I need to get off The Guys new camera. I was out back and kept seeing more and more butterflies pass through near sundown so I finally went and got the camera and tried to snap a few. I think I got a few photos. I'll check it out and get back to you. Maybe if I say such things it will make me get back on here sooner. I've been so bad I've barely even logged on to my desktop computer. Sheeesh.

On one of our rainy days I took the boys back to Roselle pork that we haven't been to much throughout the summer since moving south of it, and spotted many a snail and worm, as well as a few late leopard frogs.

I think one of the things I love most about cooler autumnal weather, is that the house is cool enough to do more cooking. I've been cooking up soups, baking up zucchini muffins, and pumpkin bread after processing fresh ingredients. Delicious! Of course, that might be where some of my other time has gone. As for why there is binoculars in the kitchen is so that The guy can watch his bird feeders out the back window. We've noticed the grosbeaks absence and fewer and fewer finch's, but more nuthatches and woodpeckers coming to the yard as well as a blue jay or two. The ever present cardinals and the chickadees have started to show up as well. We even went so far as to put up suet the other day though it doesn't appear that it has been touched yet.

The hummingbird feeders have been cleaned and put away for the season, which is always a little sad, but fresh roasted pumpkin seeds make me feel better about it...

Despite it being fall, this little Lilly of some kind or another bloomed in our garden this last week. They are tiny little buds, and to be honest, we had forgotten about them kind of since they hadn't bloomed thus far. But we have delicate little blossoms in our garden for the fall, and I've noticed a great many other flowers, mostly of wild daisy varieties also starting their blooming as the trees begin to drop their foliage. I'm finding new things to love about this area every day. Speaking of, who saw that lunar eclipse Tuesday morning? It was gorgeous! I had to have something to make up for having the dogs out before the sun came up. If not there's a neat video of a lunar eclipse here, or a picture of Tuesday's here.

As for spinning or playing with fiber, I'm creeping through a couple projectors at a snails pace. The best one is that tiny little stuff I'm spinning. I have 5 of 6 bobbins done. Maybe I'll get a chance to finish it up before Halloween.

I hope you all have a wonderful night.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

I better get to it

And give a blog post since I was trying for today at the latest, though I'm short on time.

So, it's been busy here. Yesterday I spent the day designing, messing around with dogs, and getting another job. Yep, I have another part time job working in a local pharmacy. Fingers crossed that all goes well, it begins tomorrow. A little more money in is a good thing since publishers clearing house still hasn't knocked on my door.

As you can see, country living is still agreeing with us. I love being able to hang clothes and sheets to out on the line when the breeze from across the fields doesn't smell of pig poo.

However, the boys and I decided to amble around downtown the other day while the sun was out and people were busy at work.

I thought perhaps it would get me a touch more familiar with the area to walk the streets at a slower pace than trying to figure them out behind the wheel of a car.

I think the dogs prefer their country yard... Of course, the grate they're sitting on so I can snap this picture was very disturbing to Sullivan. I decided today as we were walking that perhaps we should have named him Don Quixote. His imagination seems to be just as grand as the "noble" knight.

Fall is sliding in, the next post will have some pictures with color in them as the nights get cooler here. We're definitely enjoying the cooler weather however. The day temps are still warm, but with it dropping down at night the house stays comfortable enough that The Guy took the A/C units out of the windows this past weekend. It's amazing how much more open the rooms they were in feel with their absence.

This is the "Grand Vitesse". It's a landmark to be sure, and you can read more about here:

Like everywhere else lately though, the wasps were very bothersome around it. I had noticed them in our own yard, but it seems with the cooler weather they are much more present as they prepare their nests to survive the winter as they themselves won't.

Been playing in the kitchen as usual, despite the sensitive gut that's been plaguing me. Made some lovely stir fry not long ago that used up the last of my saffron. MMMMmmmm, I love saffron rice, don't you?

Our little grocery store has nice produce but not a lot of selection, so since I couldn't get any napa cabbage I settled on some brussel sprouts sliced and thrown on top to steam at the end of the cook session. Came out really good, no matter what The Guy says. Even Tucker enjoyed them. I have also made pear sauce (a lot like apple sauce just a bit fresher tasting), potato soup and tried my hand at rice pudding. If anyone has a good recipe for rice pudding, let me know. Mine is okay, but it's lacking something.

That's about it, except to let any local readers know that we're going to be launching a Mystery Knit Along of my own design at the yarn store on Monday nights through the month of October. Come on down if you're interested... More details to come.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Some Bloggers...

Just can't be counted on! So sorry, it's been busy around here, and I've been a bit under the weather. However, I'm aware that this is a Tune Tuesday and wanted to get this up quick and promise that I will return (I'm hoping tomorrow or Thursday) to give you guys and idea what's going on and how we're doing.

As for Tune Tuesday, I hope you enjoy Andy Moore. I have been leaning towards singer/songwriter folksy stuff lately. Possibly because I'm working on that spinning fiber that keeps making me sing "Turtle Dove" to myself over and over again. Anyway, I'm always a bit sad that this gal fell off the map as far as new music goes, but love this song of hers the most. It's just such a great break up song. Who hasn't felt that need to relearn who one's self is after a break up? I think in most bad relationships that fail, there is that losing of one;s self that must be recovered from therefore this song speaks to most that have had that said, bad relationship. We all need at least one so we recognize the good ones, no?

Have a good night folks. Video is from vsdevera's youtube channel, for those that want more like this.

Friday, September 12, 2014

It ain't nuth'n but a numba

What's that exactly? Age, because it doesn't mean a dang thing. This was brought home to me again, the other day when we went to the movies. If you recall I stated we had gone to see the Hundred Foot Journey. It was a great movie, but even as we were queued to buy are tickets we took a look around us at the other patrons and noticed a little skewing of the demographic. 50+ year old women to be more exact about that skewing.

 I then laughed as we entered the theater and that normal hush of people whispering and speaking low to one another was a dull roar for the smaller size of the crowd rather than the expected murmuring. When the burst of laughter slipped out, The Guy looked at me and I said something like, "I can tell it's an older crowd due to the loudness since everyones too deaf to hear a whisper." He lauded to as we took our seat and I looked down into my lap and shook my head at myself before whispering, "Since I'm the only one with knitting in the movies and I'm the youngest in the room, maybe I shouldn't talk."

Some People...

What was I knitting? A potato bag. And yes, I can knit it in the dark. It was the main mesh part of the bag, and that's easy enough to do in the dark. Now the top garter stitch part that has decreases? Ummm... I did do them during the movie but there was some definite scrambling fingering of the stitches as I counted and tried to remember how many stitches I needed between this set of decreases. In fact I had to put it down a couple of times and just enjoy the movie between rows a couple times.

The seasons are a changing as we head into fall and start the cool off. It's nice. Much better than the definite dip Casper Wyoming had yesterday from Sarah's blog. Tell you what, I am not missing the wild temperature swings. Snow today but 80 on Tuesday? Ugh. But I am enjoying the cooler weather here, especially the cool mornings as I walk the dogs and enjoy the dew kissed plants and smell of everything as it starts to transition away from green to autumns golds, browns, oranges, and reds.

Though, it's always disconcerting to witness the loss of light that happens this time of year. Before I left I was out after dawn, now I am having to wait for dawn for a bit before getting the boys out.

I don't know what this thistle like plant is, but these ones right by this pole are so very tall. I'm estimating about 12 feet. Sorry, I didn't realize I snapped a shot of Emmitt taking his morning break until I was looking at the photo as I dropped it into the blog. unintentional photo bombing. Sorry E-man. I low, Dad is so embarrassing.

I mean really, he can't even remember your collar or leashes! Hey, it was early and my brain wasn't quite up and going yet. That's why I have well trained dogs so such little gaffs are quite an issue. the fact that Emmitt is blinking in this picture, well that's just his bad timing.

I also found these nest little weeds green flowers this week while out walking. I think they're pretty at least. It's a horrible blurry picture. Sorry, I'm still on my phone or useless little point and shoot... I gotta get a grown up job before buying a new camera, and I refuse to be one of those people who look like complete idiots out there snapping photos on their iPads.

I snapped this picture while trying to get a shot of the cat birds that serenade us on our morning walks. No idea what kind of birds nest it is. The cat birds however  are always present and calling it seems at dawn, but they are shy little critters. I hear them much more than see them. I was assuming that they were grey catbirds all summer based on their calls until finally the other day I got a look at one and confirmed it.

With it being fall, the battle for homeownership with the resident wildlife has begun in earnest. The Guy informed me that Sunday morning when he fed the dogs he found a mouse stuck in the kitchen sink. Which immediately made me search for broken into food or other objects to which I found none. I have also not seen any mouse droppings. We hurriedly bought a couple sets of traps, and quickly scored another kill for our team. Good old peanut butter. As you can see, the trap was licked clean even with a dead mouse in the trap, which means there are others, even if I haven't caught them. We did find a drowned one in the bucket we have sitting under the air conditioner to catch it's drainage to use in the bird bath. Other than those three, none have been spotted or caught though I know they are out there. This is life in the country after all. I can deal with mice, but I'm happier if that big fat garter snake we've seen around deals with them. The whole circle of life thing and all that. This is what snakes are for, right? If you're going to live in my garden, you have to pay the rent, and I think mice and insect disposal are perfect, now if only I can teach it to leave the frogs and toads alone.

Peanut butter is making me hungry, which leads me back to dinner. The other night I grilled up some eggplant. I'm sure the mice were after that, right? Which is why I ruined it. It made me so sad to have to pick out the eggplant. Teach me to pay attention to what I'm doing. But see those beets on the counter? I roasted them with the eggplant to, but have you ever seen "striped" or chioggia beets?

Well, now you have. And they are good eat'n. And pretty to boot.

I was surprised when I cut in to the first one. Then I couldn't resist getting some pictures as I got them diced. They're just so pretty. And roasted up with some herbs and spices with some melted cheese, they're delicious too.

The Guy got a new camera and I stole some pictures off of it. Well, I really borrowed them since I left them on his camera for his use. He snapped some of our friends that are gathering in the nearby fields and seem to be growing louder as the days grow shorter. Which is fine, I like hearing and seeing them.

Speaking if the fields nearby, all summer long we've occasionally smelled the aromas of steer and horse manure being spread over the fields. This week however, I got home from a walk, took my shower, and dressed for work when I smeller IT. I ran to each dog, looking for which one rolled in IT while we were on our walk. I couldn't find it, so I threw them all outside.

To their credit, they were very disturbed. If they could find out what I was looking for, they would have showed me.

Poor Dogs...

You can see they were very disturbed as I looked for IT all over the house. I went out back and ran my hands over each dog again, not caring if they got it on my work clothes, again just trying to find IT. When I went around the house, I noticed that I smelled IT all around the house. I brought the dogs inside, closed all the doors and windows and gave it a few minutes noticing as the stench of IT faded. Then I realized as the smell became more gentle that I knew that smell. PIG SHIT. They had spread pig shit on the fields in the area, and I can only hope that this is a once a year kind of thing since we ran the AC for a few days instead of opening windows. I don't mind the smell of farms, but pigs, they're different. It's just nasty for some reason. Perhaps its due to eating anything and everything? No idea, but it was gross. I reveled in our Wednesday rains as they rinsed the stink into the ground, and let's hope it stays there.

Today The Guy got off work early and we hit the John Ball Zoo.

We purposely plan things like this for days that the kids are in school. We were a little saddened to see how many of the exhibits and things were closed to the season already. Yes, it was in the low 50's but in my world, that's still shorts weather to me.

We stated that we'd have to come earlier in the year next year...

Yeah, I don't know if we'll be back.

It's not a bad zoo at all. The animals look tended too, the enclosures are... okay, but it's lacking something.

Many of you know I used to work at the Alaska Zoo. Granted, ours was a little bigger, but not by much, but much better laid out. And with time, our exhibits are getting better as they expand and build new for the animals. Many of them are outdated, but they're working on them.

The John Bal zoo is funded in part by the county. To work there you are hired on by the county, yet the cost is ridiculous and any of the "rides" such as the zip line are small, and insanely expensive for what the are. Yes, you pay at the gate to get in and have to pay at each "extra" thing you want to do. And the little Funicular tram, is a few dollars, one way. Really, one way? It's 900 feet of track per their website, and they charge extra for it and not even make it a two way trip...

I guess my main concern isn't for the animals. They look well tended for, even if a bit bored, but that happens in zoos. I worry about misuse of funds. You spend how much money on these things and they are a pittance for the price. Then you have things like these obviously new wooden walkways that aren't even made out of pressure treated wood in a wet environment. I think at these prices they can splurge on some trex so in 2 years they aren't replacing rotten boards or paying for injuries to staff and visitors. Or the earthen wall around the Africa exhibit that is actively crumbling near the tigers because the mortared around tree trunks instead of removing them so the wall didn't crumble as they rotted over time. Obviously either a zoo work crew or hired contractors cut some corners and there wasn't oversight or who ever was doing said oversight was either negligent or ignorant of things.

Fingers crossed that no one is ever injured and the animals don't suffer due to any issues.

Enough of that! If you have young kids, go, they'll love it. Just don't go on a budget.

The boys are home from their evening walk, I better go check on them. You all have a great night.