Friday, July 29, 2011

All Wrapped Up...and some other stuff

This week we drove the last nails on the first floor exterior we are, first nails and last.


 Do we look any wiser....or just tireder????
The last step was to wrap the whole thing in house wrap.  Just like doing a bulletin board...a BIG bulletin board.

 Look how straight those tacky Lowe's logos are. 
Wait.  What is that in the front door?
It's a bow, of course!  What's a wrapped package without a bow?  My tolerant little husband let me use a bit of the wrap.  I had to cut out the white strip between the logos...a small bit of wastage, for now.

So, waiting on windows and doors.  Going to start interior walls on the first floor tomorrow.  Now, I have to be deciding some things.

Here is the finished owl project from a few posts back.  I love them and so does their new owner!  Yes!
Here are some cool plants that you don't get to see very often around here.  I think they are called Indian Pipes...all green.  Cool, huh?

And we will call it a week.  Have a great weekend wherever you are!  Find your someone else's blessing.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Happy Birthday, Dad

Sunday was my dad's 79th birthday.  We went down to visit (4 hour trip south) and took lunch and a cake, of course.  It was german chocolate, the kind my mom always made...I didn't make it, but it's the thought that counts, right?
Sunday was my latest reminder that my dad isn't who he used to be.  For a while, he has been losing his hearing and refusing to get it checked or have hearing aids.  He can't hear my voice on the phone at all.  I quit trying last Father's Day, when I called to wish him a happy day and I couldn't get him to understand who I was.  He has also been forgetting things, repeating himself, losing things and he didn't plant his garden this year...only a few tomatoes.  We had been torn between his hearing being his problem and his memory being his problem.  Which was the problem?  How can you have that kind of serious discussion with your first teacher, your mentor, your first true love when he can't really hear you?
Sunday drained me.  I have been so tired since Sunday.  Really just want to lay in bed tired...and today we didn't even go out to La Ti Da to work on the house...maybe later this evening...maybe.  My mind can't rest.  My brother, who lives near dad, has been doing all the work and he is tired, too.  He check on dad all the time, takes him food, mows the grass with him, etc and dad appreciates that...tells you over and over what a big help he is, but brother is tired...drained, I'm sure in a way I can't even really imagine.  I haven't called him often enough to try to relieve the burden in some way.  He gave me a few things to help him out from here and I am doing them.
Sunday was the day that I was reminded that I can't fix everything.  That is hard.  I am a fixer. 
I am embarassed to say that I all too often try to fix whatever the problem is before I ever turn to God in prayer.  Why isn't God my first line of defense instead of my last resort?
My brothers and I watched our mom die of cancer, but she - the wholeness of herself - didn't leave us until the very end, only her body was failing her.  Her heart and mind never did.  This is so different.

As we got in the car to leave, after hugs all around, Dad stood outside the car window and said, "I'm not crazy."

Yes.  I'm in a tiredness, but one of  Dad's most enduring lessons is to get up and do what needs done...
Now, if I only knew what that was.
Praying...listening...trying to make my Dad proud.

Thanks for listening.

Thursday, July 21, 2011


...being smart is as good as being strong. find a rainbow.
...the sky is so blue it looks unreal.

...there are secret messages built into a home. find tiny flowers that weren't there yesterday.

...God puts a small gift right in your open window and on your car seat. have to share the flower. get the flower all to yourself.'s a long climb up to the flower.
And sometimes you just have to bask in the beauty and wonder of what is all around you all the time.
Don't forget to look....

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Too Tired... even think of a title for this post.
Yesterday was frustrating.  Jeep was in the shop and we tried to remember to get all we needed out of it
before we left, but....we didn't.  
With tremendous strength and finesse (you know, hammer, clamps, sledge) we put 4x8 foot sheets of OSB on.  Little Husband could hoist one up and carry it, but I had to drag mine...oh well.  When the section of walls we wanted to cover were covered, it was time to put the top sill plates on.
We needed 2 ladders to put the top sill plates on before the Tyvek, but the Jeep was in the shop and we were NOT putting a ladder on MY Gwendolyn, so....

...I tried sitting on top of the wall and working instead of standing on a ladder.  The Little Husband was on the ladder we had (well, when he wasn't getting down to take the pictures...teehee).  I was afraid of falling off, making the wall fall down and/or getting splinters in my buttski.
We decided to put the Tyvek on without the top sill plate for now.  Off I came to cut pieces to put over the corners for extra reinforcement.  We got them all cut - even though the roll is 9 feet long and our longest cutting surface (OSB) is only 8 feet long.  Lots of shifting and straightening and such.

By now, it is time to go home and feed the Mercy girl and cool off for a bit.  It is threatening to rain so we go right back to get that Tyvek on.  What we find out is that the staple gun just won't do its job any longer...but, hey, the poor thing probaby qualifies as an antique.  Luckily, we had some roofing nails, so I held Tyvek up and my Little Husband pounded nails.  By the time we got the corners on we were well and truly pooped! 
But, you know what?  We both remained polite and pleasant with each other...even when everything had to be done the hardest way possible or left undone...
Yep.  I love my Little Husband.
And I did find these lovely little flowers in the meadow.

So, almost 12 hours at La Ti Da yesterday and we didn't get done what we wanted done...and then it rained!  And the Jeep didn't get fixed yet.
Today, we were taking a vacation day...sort of a busman's go talk to the truss people (and I'll just tell you now, I am not clear on the difference between a truss and a rafter...I'm sure I will find out in due time) and the metal roof people in the next town (and state) over...a 45 minute drive.  I got my hair cut early this morning, Little Husband finally got the Jeep back and we were off.  The plan was, since it was a vacation day, to see Harry Potter.  We got all of our errands completed and to the movie in time to get popcorn...only to find out that it was only showing in 3D and I just can't do that....arrrggh.

So we came home with a new tool for putting up the Tyvek, put the ladder on the Jeep and went to Shangri La Ti Da at about 5:30.  I have to tell you, it was so humid that even my shirt was drenched in short order.  (Like yours always gets at Zumba, Karyn!)  Look at my poor Little Husband's shirt:

We did get Tyvek on this evening.  And ladders are not my best friends.  Up and down a 6 foot ladder 50 or 5000 times!  But she looks pretty good now, huh?
Back corner of the bedroom.

Front corner of the bedroom.

Here are the tools and the frustration meter photos...
Old...old...staple strength left in the poor old thing.

New "whackerwith" stapler.  Good for taking out frustrations!
(or causing them....)

Frustration causing staple.

Frustration releasing staple...flush...after a hearty hit with the "whackerwith".

You have seen pictures of Fiona and Finnegan, my flamingos (by the orchard) and now I have 2 more.  I am waiting for my favorite twins to come and visit and give them names.  Currently they are gaurding the milkweed in front of the house.

All is well for now.  How bad can it be when you have 2 new flamingos in your yard?
Heat index about 100 degrees tomorrow, so we will probably be done by noon...right Little Husband?

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Front Door

Look~ it's the front wall that will have the front door.
With my little husband ready to greet you...
Here is the door that will go in that hole...not my original choice but one I love all the same.
If you click it up closer, you can see the tiny detail work under the window.  
Yes.  Very happy with this door.
And while he is busy waiting for guests, I am busy hefting 8 foot long 2x6s....2 at a time!  Teehee.
Only one wall left to build and hoist up...well, on the downstairs. 
And look at all that OSB on those walls. 
 It is starting to feel cozy....almost!

Here is my chair in my reading nook.  Currently the view of the sky is stellar, or rather spectacular...I
haven't been there at night to see if it is, in fact, stellar.


Hmmmm.  A roof is going to get in the way of this view.

Taking a day off is the day of the Lord, who commanded us to rest!  This is one command that is pretty easy to follow.  

Thursday, July 14, 2011

New Wall, New Tools, New Car! What?

We got another wall done today - even with some seriously not straight boards...
You would like to go and get straight ones, but it is an hour away and we don't have a truck and....
But we do have big clamps that can pull some board back into straight and Rick, the helper bee!

I finally got to use the hammer drill!  It's pretty heavy, but nothing like the "pogo" drill that I remember from my childhood. 
While my little husband was using the hammer drill (yes, the thrill wore off pretty quickly for me...teehee), I was taking pretty pictures of what was coming out. 

Some of the holes had been partially drilled a couple of days ago and had some moisture in them, so they produced this lovely clay like twirl. 

 Maybe I should have snagged some to try and create something...hmmm.

I also got to use the rachet today.  This is not a totally new tool for me.  It is actually one of my favorites, but it comes with a funny story.  I was graciously trying to help my very first boyfriend work on his VW Beetle, named Shubert, and he was graciously trying to let me.  He gave me the rachet, explained how it worked and asked me to tighten a bolt he had just put in.  Always the overacheiver, I tightened and tightened and tightened the head right off of the bolt!  We were done with car repairs for that night.  We took my car and got an ice cream cone instead!   Today, there was nothing destroyed in the racheting.  My little husband, however, thought the purpose of the picture was to show his cute wife, so you cannot see the rachet...

I knew the purpose of the picture was to show the tool...cute little husband is just a bonus.

So, as you may know, we are building a house and it is a rather time and money intensive proposition.  Who has time or money for new car shopping, right?  Not us!  But, 2 days ago one of our friends came to pound some nails and happened to mention a car on a lot here in town.  I told him I loved Subarus and he should get it.  He wasn't really interested....but, now I sort of was after the story he told us.   This Subaru had only had one owner, a prominent little old lady, named Gwendolyn,  from our town who had died about 10 years ago.  It has lived in a garage its entire life and been driven very gently.  They don't think anyone ever even sat in the back seats.  Here's the BEST is a 1997 Outback Limited with only....are you ready?  ONLY 12,764 miles!  What????  I know, right?  I told my little husband to run down there and offer the old Subaru and $5000.  The salesman (owner of the dealership, friend of my husband, all around good guy) says, well, I was thinking old Subaru and $6000, so we split the difference and I got Gwendolyn for $5500!  She has her original tires!  Just look, and you will fall in love, too....

Hey, there's me in the Subaru symbol...

Leather seats with seat warmers!  And they are so slippery that I have to drive more slowly...

It still has a new car smell.  Really.

Limited...could never afford that before!

I mean, look at this engine!  On a 14 year old car...this is what less than 1000 miles per year looks like.  My poor old green Subaru got that many miles each year!

And these 2 cuties, Lambie and Pie, sit on my dashboard to remind me that I am a lamb of God.

So, how could we pass this up?  Couldn't.  As we were going to pick it up, I asked my little husband if we were coocoo?  We had neither one even opened the door of this car!  I LOVE living in a town where you know you are going to be treated honestly and fairly.  We did find out that he sent our mutual friend to tell us about the car....good business!

OH, but then...
I was showing off my Gwendolyn after Zumba (ok, and a little before, too) and giving the full tour inside and out.  Karyn, who also drives a Subaru (only a 1999) was very impressed, as was Samantha who had just recently bought her first Subaru (didn't get quite as good a deal).  Finally, show and tell was over and Karyn and I were ready to go home. 
No keys.
We searched everywhere...three or four times.  I even looked under the hood.  No keys...anywhere.  How frustrating is to know they had to be there...but where?!?!?!

See if you can tell where we finally found them...after 15 or 45 minutes of searching. 
Who put them there?????

I love my new car.  I love building my house.  I love learning new things and spending time with my little husband.  I love the workout at Zumba.  I love the raspberries and blueberries from the farmer's market.  I love that the weather was a perfect 77, sunny and breezy today.

I am SO blessed!  Thank you, Lord.