Thursday, December 25, 2014

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

End of Summer Update

Happy Fall!  I love this time of year.  The summer wasn't bad, we got lots of rain, temps weren't too high, but the cooler air arrived last week.  YAY!  Thought I'd update the blog with a few of the things that have changed over the summer.  The cosmos below are compliments of my mom.  She passed away last August and when I was cleaning out her desk, I found a bunch of packets of flower seeds which I mixed together and planted next to our garden.  A few other flowers came up, but the cosmos have stayed through the summer.

Days are getting shorter and the sunsets great.

Enjoying the view.
The outside views are pretty much the same, but we have started planting a few shrubs and bought a couple trees that will be planted in October.

"These new green balls are great fun."
Lounging on the front step.  Life is hard!!

 Our kitchen bar stools finally arrived.

New porch furniture.

My friend from work, Eric, gave me a banana plant before I retired.  It unfortunately didn't do well in the move.  However, Eric and Lynlee made sure I got another one and it loves life on the deck.  The first photo was in July 2013.  The second photo was taken yesterday.  Thanks guys!!

We enjoy looking back at the construction photos to remind us where we were in the process.  Here's how the place looked last year at this time.
One year ago.

The dogs like going to the pond to check out the catfish, frogs and other critters.  We feed the catfish a couple times a week.  Some look to be about 3-4 pounds.  Time for a fish fry according to the brothers! 
"Here fishy, fishy, fishy."

Relaxing in the shade.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

June Update

It was a year ago today that we loaded up the moving truck, packed up the Rav4 with the dogs, and moved from Michigan.  Lots of bittersweet memories about that day.  Friends and neighbors stopped in to wish us well.  We miss you all.  We're still amazed at all the things that have happened since then.  

Moving Day 2013

Are we there yet?

Yes, we're still unpacking.   We have these conversations sometimes, like "Wow, I forgot we had that". Or, "Look what I found. Do you remember who gave us this?" Or, "where we were when we bought that?" The basement is a staging area for all the books, artwork, photos, knick-knacks and assorted stuff, until we can decide where it goes.
We are all enjoying living out in the country.  Lots of places to explore and new things to see.  The pastures around the house are ready to be cut for hay. We're enjoying the wildflowers, dragonflies and butterflies on our walks.


May was a busy month.  The garden is planted.  Potatoes are blooming, as are the tomatoes and 1 cucumber plant.  We several tiny, green tomatoes on the vines.  Our experiment with a seed combination of wildflowers, native grasses and some milo (for the deer and other critters) is filling in pretty well.  We can't tell quite yet exactly what came up, but its green.

Our yard came in really well - we've had rain on a regular basis, which really helped.  We don't have to worry so much about muddy feet when it rains.  On the down side, with all the rain, Chris is cutting grass 3 afternoons a week right now.  The past several weeks we have had rain showers and/or downpours almost every day.  Then the sun comes out for a day or two and it starts over again.  The Missouri River is starting to back up into the surrounding farm fields. 

Seems like there are always new projects.  Construction on "casa de lawnmower" started last week Monday and is done except for the overhead door and interior shelves.  The door is scheduled to be installed next week.  Then we can start to clear out the garage so Chris can get his truck inside. 

The deck has become home for my cool tile table/bench and banana tree. 
During the move, a plaster sculpture we bought several years ago was broken.  We were happy that the artist agreed to re-cast it - in bronze this time.  It arrived last week - looks great.
We now have a fence around part of the yard for the dogs.  We can turn them out through the rear garage door.  They've been really good about staying around, but it's great to have a secure place for them if one of us can't, or doesn't feel like going out with them.

Strawberry season has come and gone.  I made preserves and a couple fresh strawberry pies.  There's a u-pick farm and orchard a few miles from here.  The peach crop was wonderful last year, but was destroyed by a hard frost - so no peaches this year.  Apples should be okay, but I miss the Northern Spy apples from Michigan.  Haven't found anything here to compare for pies.  I picked a few blueberries this morning.


11 orchids moved with us from Michigan.  They spent the fall and winter in the greenhouse that was attached to the house we rented.  All but 2 of them set buds over the winter and are now blooming!

Last Saturday was the annual family get-together at Steve and Jody's.  It rained off and on most of the day.  A good time was had by all - especially the kids, who didn't let a little rain get in the way of their fun.  Good food and good company. 


Our new sofa and love seat was delivered earlier today - looks good, but now we need a new area rug and a floor lamp, and . . .

We like it here.  :-)

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Happy Spring!

My last post seems like ages ago.  So much has been going on, I've struggled to find time to post and update.  Since then, spring has arrived in Missouri.  Redbuds are in bloom and mayapples are coming up in the woods.  We enjoyed a couple meals of morels last week.  Great to be here for mushroom hunting.

We moved in on April 1st.  It was a long day for us and the movers.  There were supposed to be 3 guys, but one couldn't make it.  It was 10pm before they finished, but they did an excellent job.  The next 2 days brought strong storms, lightning, thunder and 6 inches of rain.  We were fortunate to be warm and dry in the house.  The mud room lived up to its name.

The first few days felt like we were on vacation staying in someone else's house.  But it feels like home now.  We finally have everything out of the rental house and turned the keys back to the owner.  Nissa and Tally are adapting to their new place and love being able to play and sniff in the woods and fields.  They've flushed out a few turkeys and mice - thankfully nothing bigger.

It took awhile to find everything and get the computer set back up.  We have pretty decent phone and internet service and DirectTV.  The day after we got 6 inches of rain on our "rough grade" yard, the poor installer was up to his eyeballs in mud.   He got everything hooked up just before another thunderstorm came through.

Some hightlights since the last post:  railing for the deck arrived and was installed.  It was fabricated from steel re-bar, sandblasted and powdercoated.  Each section weighed about 300 pounds.  Chris, Steve and Greg were on hand to help Adam and Tyler put the sections in place.  Looks great with the siding and stone.  We spend alot of evenings there.

Concrete was poured in front of the house, giving us a better place to park the cars.  It also cuts down on the amount of dirt coming into the house.  The patio area for the basement walk-out is also done.  The area around the house has been re-graded, seeded and fertilized.  A few days after the seeding was done, a thunderstorm came through.  The wind picked up the straw in what looked like a scene from Wizard of Oz.  We ended up with piles of straw about 2-feet deep in some places with none in others.  But the grass is starting to fill in.  It will be wonderful to have grass around the house instead of bare dirt.

This week we recycled the styrofoam we collected from packaging during construction. We filled the back and cab of Chris's truck.  

We have a garden - potatoes, tomatoes, basil, onions, peppers and beans (green and lima), so far. The family has shared asparagus, lettuce and spinach with us. 

Patio at the basement walk-out.
Rough grade

Rough grade

The turkeys in the pictures below came through one morning.  The toms look neat when they fan out their tail feathers and puff up to impress the hens.

Here are a couple interior photos of the living room and kitchen area.  The dogs feel very much at home. 

Construction started on August 2nd last year and we moved in almost exactly 8 months later. 
August 2nd, 2013

May 4th, 2014

We're still unpacking boxes . . .things are good.