Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Vacation Tidbits

We were gone for a little bit and saw some lovely country in Missouri and some wonderful family too.

First stop was Tom and Clures's. Troy and Isaac spent a couple days helping Tom put the deck around their new doublewide at the lake property.
I'm sure they'll enjoy not only sitting on the deck, but just having some stairs to the door too! (I think if you click on the picture, you can get a larger copy. Is it just me, or do Tom and Isaac look busy while Troy looks like he's enjoying an iced tea?)

They managed to pick up a gorgeous three slip dock. With the lounge chair and boat seats mounted to the deck, it is a great place to hang out.
The view across the river is pretty and makes you wonder: would I dare jump off the rocks?
(I wouldn't--much too chicken.) It all made me hanker for a canoe.

Clures and I, while the boys were busy, entertained ourselves with a lot of quilt shopping (you can read about that on my other blog) and a side trip to the local chamber of commerce housed in an old train depot.
The museum had a display of 1970s artifacts from the area and many tidbits from the big druggy Woodstock-like concert held at the state fairgrounds. The organizers figured the local law wasn't up to stopping their fun (and they were right). And they did things like tell the local officials 50,000 were expected, but printed up 153,000 tickets. Stuff like that.

After a couple days we moved north to Peggy and Warren's, no sooner getting there than turning around for a charity auction. Troy found a sweet deal on a second canner for us. Lucky me.

Sunday was a quiet day, but Monday I rode along with Peggy on her taxi job. We took some people (and their produce) to the produce auction, slipped out to look around the local town,
and then headed back to the auction to wait for her fare. They weren't ready yet so we sat on a bench in the shade and talked to whomever came by. I was of course working on some knitting. After that, a few more errands on the way home. It was a full day.

Meanwhile Troy went to look at the lathe and/or milling machines he was so excited about but unable to get any real solid information about. Out of the three machines, he made arrangements to buy one and that will make it here sometime when Warren can haul it for us. (His welcome offer made it so we could drive the car (with A/C) instead of the pickup. Think about it--three of us in the front of a pickup. No A/C. Me knitting. Troy shifting gears between Isaac's legs. 11 hour trip. These thoughts did not make me happy. So, thank you, Warren!) And then maybe by the time it gets here, the shop will be ready for it. Ok, so maybe that's asking too much...

Tuesday we drove the long trip home. We went a different route (being now in northern MO rather than central) and can you believe we saw a pickup we had seen on the way down? It was the same vehicle. Had a bumper sticker that read, "Jesus is coming back--look busy." Not a bumper sticker I'd want on my car. Maybe "be busy," but "look busy?" Nope.

Anyway, it worked out that we could stop at my sisters on the way. They were just home from family camp and had lots of stories to tell. We're in charge next year and she was already making plans. Go, sister, go! Troy's even talking of camping now, so I won't be alone. (Sorry, Paul, I know you were hoping I'd share with Yvonne again!)

Anyone got a camper?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Vacation Prep?

Is it that time of year again? We are being flooded with beans. Isaac picked a huge bowlful a few days ago, and then when I sent him out last night to pick what I thought would be a few stragglers to fill my last canning jar, he comes in with almost as many as I already had. Phew! All from a half row of plants.

All these beans meant we had to do something with them. And that meant on the first night of my vacation, the night before leaving for a week, I was canning beans. Does that make any sense?

I was happy to find my canning journal and make the entry. (Can I really be that organized?) It was fun to read last year's. I had already forgotten most of the details (naturally) and it was amusing to read notes like "forgot to remove the skins" on one tomato entry. I mean, how could I forget to remove the skins? But apparently I did. I didn't have many favourable remarks about how the applesauce came out either but it all got eaten, so it couldn't have been that bad!

Entry 1 for 2009 is for 7 quarts of beans with 1 tsp of salt. Out of our own garden. Troy figures that's about 3 month's worth of beans. (Cause we're sure not eating them every night.)

Eat well.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Insulation: Slow...but Tedious

Compared to when we were winging the insulation into the attic, today was extremely slow. Only about 38 bags and it took us four hours (twice as long as last week).

Troy was up and down the ladder a lot. Besides the west wall, we went around and filled up the holes on the south and north walls (the long ones) and filled the east wall above the garage door (just little bitty spaces). So the machine was off and on all day, sometimes running no more than 30 seconds before we'd have to shut it off and move to the next hole. And then Troy would reach in the hole and mash it down, and then put a little more in, etc etc. Didn't I say tedious?

We ended up with Troy running up and down the ladder, Isaac sitting in the truck bed with the power switch, and me filling the machine but with enough extra time that I could start sweeping up the mess (and take a picture or two). I'm sure Troy had the worst of it, but he was just grateful to not be hunched over in the attic.

I had a flagging of spirits in the middle of the day when I thought Troy said this would be our second last day of insulation. I was counting on it being our last for a while. It turns out those statements were both right, but that he was counting the "top up" we'll have to do in a few weeks, and I was not. So once I had that straight in my mind, my spirits perked up considerably.

I'm sure your spirits are perking up, as well, since you may not have to read about insulation for a while. Wouldn't that be a relief!?

Pooped but Perkier.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Blue Monday

That's the name of the paint colour I chose. I'm sure I didn't read that at the time I picked it. "Blue Monday." What kind of a name is that? I hope I forget it because I don't want to be thinking it every time I look at my house. The colour right below it on the paint card is "Postcard Perfect." That would be so much better. But it's the wrong colour. A made up colour name shouldn't make a difference, but I'm afraid it does.

The inappropriate name, however, could not dampen my excitement at actually getting some paint on the shingles. I know it doesn't look like much on the picture, but may I remind you of all the white I had to do on the trim, soffits, and eaves. Two coats on everything, and now I can move the ladder and start on another area.

The wasps are back but have not gotten cheeky with me. Friday I noticed a wasp return and crawl behind the trim wood. (See the broken off part on the left side of the pic up there? That's where it's living.) I think I saw it thumb its nose at me as it ducked behind the wood.

I returned fire with fire by sicking Troy on that unsuspecting-but-should-have-known-better wasp. Troy ambushed the nest at nightfall with some of the wasp spray. Saturday when I was painting, I saw the wasp crawl back into the same little cozy hole. I think it thumbed its nose with all six thumbs at me. But it didn't attack so I was able to continue.

We will try the spray again, but can I confess that my confidence in it is flagging?

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Insulation: Day 9

We've done it again. Another session of blowing insulation. 42 bags (all we had) and THE ATTIC IS DONE! Really done, no adding more after it settles, etc. Just done. Glory halleluia.

Isaac and I really got our groove on and got into a great rhythm of responsibilities. We did 30 bags in the first hour. Hot dog! That was when we were still sending it up to the attic where the hose is not restricted in any way and things go lickety-split.

Then we started on the west wall--last one! We got all the bottom holes fed (they were already quite full from insulation falling in from the other two walls) and got a start on the top holes. One more session should fill them all up.

I thought we would then top up all the walls and be done with it. But now I have learned that we are going to wait 6-8 weeks before topping them off. ::sigh:: Not only does this delay my "happy to be done with it" dance, it also means we'll be doing it after Isaac's gone. He's a great help, and has also been doing a good job on mudding and taping the drywall. Now all those top holes will have to be done by Troy. But I guess that's how it is.

And that's about all from this end. Have a good night.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Fifth of July

It didn't work out to light off any fireworks on the fourth, so we had our own party on the fifth instead.

The kids were entertained with bottle rockets and the like, especially after I gave them some sound-deadening headphones to wear. They loved that and repeatedly yelling, "CAN YOU HEAR ME?"

Yes. Yes, we can.

After they were soundly asleep, Isaac treated us to a show which included some of the really impressive big ones.
He also had some magnificent strobe flashers, to which Paul performed some very hip dance moves.

I managed to catch some video snippets if you care to watch (of the fireworks--not Paul's dance moves):

Hope you had a fun weekend too!

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Drywall and Other Fun

It's been a busy weekend, but most of the work you're seeing here was done last week.

I wish I could convey the feeling of looking at 70 feet of drywall all taped and mudded (1 coat). It looks so different than raw drywall.

Isaac has been doing a credible job and has the first coat done on the west wall and most of the north wall. By golly, this might get done yet!

Because of company and requisite entertainments, we decided not to do insulation again this week. Being so close to done with it, I have to admit to being a little frustrated with not having the time to work on it. (Did I just say that?)

Troy, however, very happily kept himself entertained with dressing up his trailer as he had mentioned he was going to do.
You may recall that the last holiday we had (Memorial Day) we enjoyed Insul-a-palooza. But July 4 was quite different. While the company and Isaac went to the zoo, I painted and mowed, and Troy spent the whole day working on his trailer. I mean the whole day. A few breaks for food.

Sunday after our picnic, he did the same. It is getting real close to looking like a box again.

A bonus for me of all this welding is that Troy hooked up an outlet for the welder out in the shop. The two thumbs up on that are:
  1. it gets the welder out of my kitchen and frees up 1 more square foot of floor space, and
  2. the welder will no longer hog my dryer outlet when I wish to do laundry.
Just in case you wanted to know what's in it for me.

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