Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Backyard Visitor

We have an OLD apple tree in the back of the yard.  It produces apples, but they aren't fit for human consumption.   But the local wildlife really enjoy them

We see the squirrels moving around in the tree and then running off across the yard with apple in mouth.... but I haven't been able to get a picture of him too.

2016-07 Cabin on the Lake

We have traveled every summer to Cadiz KY for something like 10 years.  We rent a cabin on Lake Barkely. 

But this year... the week we chose back in January... happens to be the wettest year we've ever spent here.   I heard that we have had at least 3inches of rain per day. Wednesday night was 5 hours of thunder and lightning and heavy rains and no sleep (for me).  When it isn't raining, the humidity is off the charts!

The lake is very high... hubby had to move his boat twice to keep it close to the shoreline instead of in the middle of the lake.   The water is so muddy the fishing is terrible.

We each have found our own form of entertainment during the soggy afternoon/evenings... 

 Cayden and Matthew are taking turns watching their selected tv shows or movies on the portable DVD player.  Cayden brought along his model airplanes to assemble and paint.

Matthew has his coloring and wordsearch books to entertain himself while watching tv.

 Stan enjoys playing Risk on his iphone.  He even taught Cayden how to play and now must share his phone time.

I, of course, brought along my featherweight and worked on some projects and gifts.

When it wasn't raining we walked back and forth across the campground to the glass enclosed pool to swim, the game room for ping pong, and some soggy putt-putt golf.


The rains came in the afternoon/evenings most days and I was able to get out for my morning walk all but 1 day.  It just shy of 4 miles out to the the main road and back (8800 steps) and I earned the rest of my 12k steps per day walking around the campground for activities.

This morning, on my walk, I spied this.... and took a picture with my phone.  

And knowing that wasn't good enough, I got back to the cabin as quick as I could.  I grabbed my camera... and Cayden had just gotten up, so I grabbed him too and drove out to the spot hoping he would still be there....  Thank goodness for zoom lens!

On the way back to the cabin he informed that he lost his tooth during the night.  We found it and bagged it for the toothfairy.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

2016-06 Chimney Troubles

Early this Spring, when we turned off the gas fireplace we use to supplement the heat pump,  we noticed that water was coming in our chimney!  It has taken quite some time, but we finally located a mason willing to work on the repair.

Raymond and his son Cody tore the chimney apart down to the roof line, brick by brick, saving as much as he could of the old bricks because they would be difficult to match since they aren't made like this anymore.

He was shocked to discover that the chimney was hollow on each side all the way down to the tinder box.  There was only one row of brick on either side of the flue!  He had never seen anything like it in over 30 years of mason work!

He and his son replaced the flue and built the chimney back up with used/throw-away bricks that he located from two different locations!  I think he did an excellent job of matching!

Sunday, July 3, 2016

2016-06 My backyard garden

Two weeks away in Canada and Pennsylvania and my little garden had turned into a jungle!

The peas and spinach had shriveled up and died.  But,  I was able to harvest several kolharabi bulbs and they were delicious!  I've also had several kale salads from my garden this week... and I left the plants to continue growing in hopes of salads to come.

Several of the Gladiolas bloomed, as did the Vinca and one of the Geraniums.  The second Geranium doesn't look too good, but maybe some TLC will bring it back to life.  My roses had all bloomed and were covered in japanese beetles!  YUCK!  I cut off the eaten flowers and will talk to hubby about something for the beetles.  Hopefully I'll have more blooms.

Once the weeding was done I began laying down the shale rock to cover the drainage pipe.  Hubby didn't want it burried again.  It will be easier the next time it gets clogged to just lift off the shale rather than dig it up again.

Back in April,  I saw a suggestion on the internet that you could cover a slice of tomato in soil and plants would sprout.  So I filled two pots with soil and tossed a tomato slice from an heirloom tomato in each pot and covered them with dirt.

I was pleasantly surprised that it worked!  Between the two pots, one month later I have 9 small surviving plants.  I planted 6 of them plus two store-bought Roma tomato plants in my garden.  Hopefully I will have lots of nice fresh picked tomatoes next month!

Hubby's garden was a jungle too!  You could hardly find the strawberry and bean plants! He has spent several hours each night after work weeding out there and is harvesting zuchinni, yellow squash and green beans.

The strawberries are done for the season.  We are waiting on the raspberries and blackberries to ripen and have harvested about 2 quarts of blueberries.  YUM

Monday, June 27, 2016

2016 Goodbye Old Friend


We've had a lot of good times together over the last 14 years.
The first being the move from VA to TN... and a whole new life.
Everyday around-town trips for shopping, church, taxi-ing kids and grandkids around.
Family vacation trips to KY, OH, FL, and IN.
Trips back home to PA and MD to visit family.
Quilting shows and retreats in VA and KY

But, the almost 3000 mile trip to Canada/Pennsylvania was your last.
The car doc said the repairs would be costly.

So we sent you to car heaven... trading you in for...


I love the wide-open view out your front window and large side mirrors.
Your fold-away seats will save my back from having to lift out 80+pound seats to make room to load up for travels.
We have a lot to learn with all your extras...   dvd player, gps, and all kinds of plugs for various electronics... but when we do,  Matthew and the grandkids will be happy on long road trips.

I look forward to travelling in the future together.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

2016 Karen's Critters

Living on a small farm Karen had lots of critters...

Like these four guinea hens

All four would line up on the front porch railing, but it was difficult to get a picture of them all together.  They were quick to fly off whenever I came near in an attempt to photograph them.

The two females were taking turns filling a nest full of eggs.

 The ducks had a little outdoor pen and bucket to swim in, but were also allowed to walk about freely when we were outside to keep an eye on them.

Both the ducks and the guinea hens were locked up in a shed at night to protect them from predators.

There were three cats in an outdoor pen, and another "demon" cat that was kept in the basement for everyone's saftey (and because of my allergies)

There was also this old girl,  Chantelle

This is Nikita and Adi (named for my MIL Ida)

and Raven (named for the Baltimore Ravens?)
I double dosed on my Zyrtec and survived most of the week.  By Thursday I was it was starting to bother me so I made sure to spend time not wallpapering/painting outside.

Friday, June 24, 2016

2016 Karen's Chores

Demolishing the shed was not our only chore for the week.


Weeding the vegetable garden 

Collecting rocks from the vegetable garden

Then installing netting redistributing the rocks around the garden to hold the netting in place and hopefully keep critters from feasting on fresh grown vegetables.

Cleaning up the flower beds

And rebuilding falling rock walls and steps

And my favorite job (grin)  stripping wallpaper and painting!

And since none of us were comfortable dealing with electric connections, the light unit above the sink remained in place as did the wallpaper above it... we didn't want to be dripping water down onto electrical wires!

I couldn't reach around the clawfoot tub or shower, so that section didn't get done

But, Karen was inspired by all our work, and after we left she was able to finish this section in a couple days.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

2016 Karen's Shed...

Work progressed throughout the week.

quite a few nails had to be pulled before the metal roof could be removed. 

 By mid-week the back half was demolished.
Back and side walls of the back half of the shed along with it's metal roof are now in the scrap piles.

After the side wall boards were removed, the rail supporting the roof on the front of the shed was removed and a gentle push had the roof collapsing to the ground!

A gazillion nails had to be pulled to remove the shingles 

Once the shingles were removed the beams were quickly cleared. 

Another push and the other half collapsed 

More nails and shingles to be removed

 The last floorboards were removed

Piece by piece the shed was demolished and the scrap piles grew 
 The foundation rocks were added to the flower garden rock walls

and the last piece of framework was knocked down. 


A tired but happy work crew!