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LAZY or Busy!! Excuses, excuses!

First, let me apologize for being to involved in my life, busy, lazy, tired, and just plain “not in the mood” to post new blogs but I will try to make up for it in the next two days.

I have so much to tell everyone and rather than a long post, you’ll be seeing lots of small ones.  I’m off from work yesterday and today due to the snow storm that hit Virginia and we got almost 20″ by the time it was all over.

Watch for the new posts coming today and throughout the weekend.

Stay warm and dry!!

Rita

My car disappeared under the snow during the night.

My car disappeared under the snow during the night.

Messy room cleanup

It took most of the day but my dressing room/craft storage room/library went from this:

 

Clutter and mess

Clutter and mess

I can't find the floor.

I can’t find the floor.

Too much stuff!  I can't even get to the spinning wheel.

Too much stuff! I can’t even get to the spinning wheel.

Boxes, boxes, trash!

Boxes, boxes, trash!

MESS!

MESS!

 

Six hours later and this woman is very happy and gratified by the new look and clean up!!  I didn’t even mess up another room doing it!  Take a look and see if you can see a difference:

Easy entry in and out of the room.

Easy entry in and out of the room.

Wide open floor!

Wide open floor!

 

Bookcase4 of decorating, crafts, how-to's, home repair, gardening, crocheting, sewing, everything in order.

Bookcase4 of decorating, crafts, how-to’s, home repair, gardening, crocheting, sewing, everything in order.

 

Organized bookshelves and library.

Organized bookshelves and library.

 

Clothes are mashed together, more room to sort day clothes from work clothes.

Clothes are mashed together, more room to sort day clothes from work clothes.

 

I am just so thankful that it was a cool day or I would have fizzled into a rag mop!  I can hear my daughter now,  “How long will it stay that way!!”  She knows me so well and knows that if I get in a hurry, something or all will be in disarray all too soon.  My job now is to slow down and take notice.

I only have one major cleanup left on the second floor but will need some help moving some excess furniture out of the house into one of the storage buildings and do a major clean out of all the linens in my home.  We are storing the linens from three households since our move several years ago and it’s time to pass it on to Goodwill so someone will get some use out of it without costing them an arm & two legs!!

 

Belle is home!!!

We got the call from  the Johns Creek  area and the Huffman family yesterday afternoon around 5:00 p.m. to pick up Belle. She came in at the Nathan/George Canode place.  We just kept hoping we would see her coming down the path off the mountain but glad the Huffmans called us when she came in. Their girls were out playing in the field and Belle came to them.   They realized what bad shape she was in and knew we were looking for a dog.  They looked at the tag on her collar and took her straight to the house for Barbara to take care of and call us.  Hearing her message on the phone was the best thing I could have heard yesterday.

You won’t believe how bad Belle looks and you can count every rib in her body and her eyes are extremely week.  We warmed up some special food for her and put warm water in her bowl.  She was more concerned about curling up in that warm bed of extra heavy hay.  It’s been a week last night that she’s been out in the weather, no food and no shelter. I’m so glad she’s home!!   Dad sure is in a much better mood now that his girl is home!, too!  It’s going to take some time to get her back to the condition she was in when we lost her. She sure was glad to get in her warm bed and Eddie put her food bowl in her bed last night so she wouldn’t have to come out in the wind to eat. She wouldn’t be with us  this morning if she had spent another night in the cold that we had last night. It was 7* when we got up at 8:00 this morning, the ground is covered with snow again and the wind is howling.

I want to thank all of  you for helping us hunt for her and the prayers you sent to find her!!   Thank you everyone!!

Green thumb extended to winter

I love things that grow and gardening.  Winter is a slow time for gardening but you couldn’t tell by looking at my back porch which is enclosed.  I wonderful husband built me some shelving a few years back to accomodate my Thanksgiving and Christmas cactus assortment.  The upper shelving holds about twenty beauties and the lower shelves hold our veterinary supplies for the cattle and other gardening supplies.  I want to show you the beauties on the upper shelving that started blooming Halloween week and are still blooming today.  Enjoy!!

New cactus from my daughter that will have yellow blooms.

New cactus from my daughter that will have yellow blooms.

White bloom

White bloom

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Hunting Season 2011 007 Hunting Season 2011 006 Hunting Season 2011 005 Cactus bloom 2011 Cactus bloom 2011.4

 

A lot of them look alike but each one has a subtle difference.  I’m looking for a orange and my daughter bought me three yellow cactus for Thanksgiving.  They need little care and are only watered about once a month.  Watering anymore than that will cause them to rot right before your eyes.  The porch is very cool now but it hasn’t stopped these beauties from strutting their stuff.  I used to have to carry all of them upstairs in the wintertime but right before the shelving was done, hubby pulled up the flooring, replaced plumbing, flooring, insulation, put in new windows and insulated the walls and put up paneling.  It stays cool in the summer because of the maple trees surrounding the house and in the winter the sun (when it shines) keeps the plants happy and the room warm.

If you want a beautiful plant with little care, this is the way to go!!

Pride in your work

What ever happened to taking pride in doing something and doing it right?   Has the almighty dollar  turned all contractors into crooks?  Does quality and workmanship count anymore?  I previously posted about the problems our daughter has had with EVERYONE that has done work on her house.  Everyone wants to do their work the fastest way possible for the most money regardless of how the job was done.  My point??

Two years ago we put a new metal roof on our house not because it leaked but because it was over 50 years old ahd had been painted so much that it flaked off badly and looked horrible.  BUT it didn’t leak!!!  Well, after one year the new roof has leaked really bad on the enclosed porch on the east side of the house.  Hubby figured it was useless to call the contractor that put the roof on and we’re not even sure he is still in business.  We had one contractor on the roof twice and today had another that found the problem on the main roof of the house.  The first one found several problems and fixed them but the worst leak that poured like a sieve was directly over the main breaker box in the house.  My husband had put caulk all over the addition and overhang to the addition but it didn’t stop the rain.  Today he ran into the friend of a friend that is a contractor and he was glad to come up and take a look.  Once he got here he went to the main roof that over top the addition roof.  He found the problem within minutes and has completed the task and now we wait!

 

You know, when you pay thousands of dollars for a job you expect it to be right!  You expect to get quality and pride in something well done!  OR at LEAST WE DO!!!  If it doesn’t happen this time around you’ll probably see another post about our roof.  If it’s fixed, you’ll see a thank you to those that did their job and did it well!!

My baby brother

Phenylketonuria (PKU) is a rare condition in which a baby is born without the ability to properly break down an amino acid called phenylalanine. Phenylketonuria (PKU) is inherited, which means it is passed down through families. Both parents must pass on the defective gene in order for a baby to have the condition. This is called an autosomal recessive trait. Babies with PKU are missing an enzyme called phenylalanine hydroxylase, which is needed to break down an essential amino acid called phenylalanine. The substance is found in foods that contain protein. Without the enzyme, levels of phenylalanine and two closely-related substances build up in the body. These substances are harmful to the central nervous system and cause brain damage.

Now you may wonder why I would start a post with all this medical jargon. Almost five years ago, my youngest brother came to live with me when my Mom passed away. You see, he was born with PKU and my other siblings could not take him in and none of us wanted him put in an assisted living facility. He is very capable of taking care of himself in many ways but has to be reminded of when and sometime how to do things. If you sat in a room with him you wouldn’t know there was anything wrong with him.

He is 52 years old and healthy. He loves watching TV, riding in the mountains, talking about bear hunting and he is an avid Dale Earnhardt JR fan. His days are spent (mostly) in his room watching television, coloring and “writing” in his notebooks. On very warm days you’ll find him outside sitting on the porch watching for wildlife with the binoculars or riding his “big green tractor” (lawnmower without mowing deck) all over the farm. He has wonderful stories to tell me when I get home in the afternoon. Most of the stories have some added imagination.

The main reason he needs to be with us is because he can’t prepare meals for himself except for lunch (he has his everyday favorite peanut butter and apple butter sandwich). He has to be reminded to straighten his room and bathe. He makes his bed every morning and fixes his cup of coffee before retiring to the recliner to watch TVLand all day. When he first came to live with us, my husband had a small suite built onto the back of the house just for him. He has a sitting area and sleeping area and he calls it his apartment. He has a huge assortment of movie dvd’s and when he’s bored with TV he watches the movies. His exercise consists of going to the bathroom or going to the table to eat. He’s convinced himself that too much walking with cause his knee to go out which it has several times but only when he was working in the yard when Mom was alive.

There are several health issues we may face with him in the future but for now he is doing fine and refuses to see doctors of any kind. We are fortunate in the fact that he is healthy. He doesn’t require any special attention but does need to be checked on during the day and this has come to bear on my husbands shoulders since he’s home being the full time farmer and I have to work to have health insurance (enough about us).

This is just another fascinating facet of my life on the farm!

Vacation is over and what a week I had!!

My family and some friends think I’m crazy for housecleaning during my vacation! I’m not, I promise! I just love my home and like for it to be clean or at least look that way! Two weeks before my vacation I made a spring cleaning chore list for each room in the house and included the porches and the yard. The week before my vacation I made a shopping list of everything I would need to complete these chore lists. Yes, I’m a little organized when it comes to most things. I called my brother to see if he could help my quest by keeping my younger brother for the duration of my vacation and he and his beautiful wife agreed. Then the work began!
On Friday evening (beginning of vacation) I left work and picked up the groceries needed for the upcoming week and the week following because I didn’t want to spend any of my vacation buying groceries. I went home and did my normal chores and then packed little brother’s suitcase. He was anxiously waiting for “his vacation” from me to start!! I delivered him and hurried back home and spent a quiet evening with hubby on the front porch talking and planning our week ahead. He had made arrangements to be around to help with anything I needed and planned to do some more clean up of the sheds on the farm while I did my clean up in the house.
On Saturday I spent the day cleaning the pantry and finishing the cleaning job on the side porch which I started the weekend before. I worked my way from the ceiling to the floors in both rooms and they looked wonderful and I was very pleased with my accomplishment.
That evening we went out to dinner with my daughter and her family to Liberty Station in Bedford for a belated Mother’s Day dinner. We all had a good time and the food was wonderful.
Sunday found me working in the bathroom painting the shower and doing some sewing for little brother’s bedroom. Our bathroom is dated early 60’s with a metal shower, camode, sink, and water heater in a 5×7 space. Thank goodness there’s a window!! I made new curtains for the windows but mainly just a ceiling to floor cleaning and the paint job on the shower was the icing on the cake. We had to let the paint job seal for 24 hours which meant we took a ride to hubby’s hunting camp about fifteen miles away to use their shower. That was another story all in itself but we struggled through it grinning the whole time. While I worked on the bathroom, hubby made an amazing clean-out of two buildings and loaded up a truck load of scrap for the scrapyard. I’ve included a picture of the empty truck and one of us on our way. We were both on a roll!!
We hauled over 5200 pounds to the scrap yard and left the scrapyard with over $500. We were happy campers because we killed two birds with one stone by cleaning up the junk on the farm and making enough money to play with during vacation. We left the scrapyard for Lowe’s and Tractor Supply for dogfood and miscellaneous items and headed home.
On the return home I started back on the bathroom and finished it that afternoon. It’s so nice and clean I didn’t want anyone to use it but since it’s the only bathroom in the house I had to give in. The new curtains look pretty good. The cabinets have been cleaned out of all out of date meds, the clutter is gone and I can definitely live with it.
Tuesday found us riding through Giles County with Sassy heading for a fishing hole. We went through Peterstown and Lindside and found a private trout fishing business where we caught 8 1/2 pounds of nice trout. We then went back to Stoney Creek to visit a friend of Eddie’s that fileted them for us and had a short visit with him and his son until a storm started brewing. Now, I’m not a fisherman! Hubby did all the “work” and I enjoy the nice quiet day watching and entertaining Sassy. She and I don’t take well to the sunrays or the heat so we had our own adventure checking out the trout farm. Hubby enjoyed the day as much as we did and we put eight packs of filet trout in the freezer on our return home. The rain lasted a short while then we did the outside chores, fixed supper and spent the evening on the front porch again enjoying the peace and quiet.
Wednesday we had planned to visit one of Eddie’s aunts in Richmond but decided the rainy day was not indicative of a safe trip to Richmond on an interstate. So I went back to my spring cleaning and stayed at it all day. Little brothers room was the next chore on the list. I gave his closets a cleanout and hubby made him a new shelving unit for all of his DVD’s and cleared out some space in the room making it look bigger and easier for me to do the weekly cleaning. I cleaned again from ceiling to floor and it looked awesome as you can tell from the photo. When he came home on Saturday he told me he thought he had a new apartment. He’s so funny!! (Little brother was born with PKU and lived with our Mom until she passed away five years ago. He came to live with us at that point but that a whole new post for a later date!!)

Thursday found me going to back to the enclosed side porch to do some repairs. The new metal roof has found a place to let water through and we had a few leaks and stains from the leaks to fix. Hubby was furious because the old roof never leaked and was probably 30+ years old. We worked in the yard and gardens and I started a barn quilt which will be placed on the front of the big red barn as you enter our driveway (yet again another post). Did I say that I never turned on the computer the entire time I was on vacation??!!??
Friday I’m fretting because I only have three days left before I go back to work and there’s still so much to do. The wreck I’ve made of the house cleaning four small rooms will be taken care of on Saturday so this day was spent working on our bedroom. Since it’s my last day at home Eddie and I decide to take a road trip and go through the mountains. We went up Rt 42. Stopped at Hilltop Grocery and got hotdogs. Went through Mountain Lake, up Stoney Creek, through Waiteville, across Crowder Road into Zenith and Gap Mills, across Potts Mountain and back home. We didn’t take Sassy because of the heat called for that day and we saw so much wildlife. We packed a bag of snacks for the day and it was wonderful. I’m stopping here because it didn’t get finished and the front porch and yard were calling my name. I’ve accomplished a lot and enjoyed being at home with my hubby and Sassy and it made me realize also how out of shape I was. I actually lost four pounds during that week off. It’s not a “dream” vacation but it was mine and I loved it!!!