Monday, May 25, 2009

Learning about hard work

The boys have been learning about hard work this month. They've helped with picking up trash and lifting heavy bins into the dumpster. They've lugged gallons of water around to care for over 50 trees. They've scoured the dirt floor of the pole barn for any nails or screws that could puncture a tire. Today Big Dog became very good at pounding nails out of 2x4s so they could be used again. (You can see the pile he's working on in the photo below.) Both Big Dog and Sweet Pea stacked the nail-free 2x4's along the wall of the pole barn. Those are heavy when you're only 7 and 11 years old! Big Dog has been working especially hard to show his dad he's tough. It's pretty neat to watch. I like to see them working alongside each other.

Josh has got the floor out everywhere except the section under the 2x4s. He's also got the wall down that had the plastic over it. He even put a 2x4 across the top of the new overhead door, much to the displeasure of the sparrow couple that live in the pole barn! (There's still another huge opening along the east side of the roof--don't fret!)

I worked on mowing today and did some more glass removal from a previous trash pile before sowing it with wildflower seeds--Sweet Pea helped.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Lots of progess!

This weekend the boys and I cleaned up the last of the trash piles. Big Dog enjoyed driving the tractor to haul the loads up to the dumpster. Honey, our golden retriever, enjoyed following us back and forth, running and barking at the trailer! Josh got the old white shed torn down and most of the interior walls down in the pole barn. He also got a rope swing up for the kids!
It looks really pretty now!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Met the neighbors and had an accident

The bobcat came in very helpful this weekend as we spent Friday evening and Saturday cleaning up the piles of trash from the property. There was a lot more in the piles than we realized. We filled a 20 cu yd dumpster by lunch time Saturday. We will need 1 more dumpster to finish getting the rest of the rubbish removed along with the contents and wood from the old shed we need to take down.
The picture shows the smallest trash pile. It looks smaller in the photo than it actually was. You can see the white shed that needs to come down in the background, along with my husband, brother and dad checking out the contents of the burn barrell.

We were invited to a neighbor's home for a party on Saturday evening. They invited neighbors for about .5-1 mile in each direction. It was the 1st party of its kind. Most people didn't know each other, so it was a great way to meet most of the people on our road, including the family with the alpaca farm. The boys got to meet the 12 year old boy whose family hosted the party--they live in the wooded land across the road.

The boys really experienced some new things at the party. First of all, Sweet Pea loved the rope swing that started at the top of a steep hill. Josh and I were a bit surprised to look out the winddow and see our 7 year old swinging 10-15 feet above the ground!!! I controlled myself, and allowed my boys to be boys with the rest of the kids. A while later, the kids were all out of sight and I learned they had jumped into the back of a mule--sort of a golf cart with a bed in back. The dad said--don't worry it only goes about 10 miles/hr. OK--but I was a little concerned. I went out to check on them as they drove out of the woods, with my 11 year old standing up in back holding onto the roll bar! He sat down as soon as he saw me. They both survived that as well. All the kids unloaded from the mule and I was standing there next to them when all of a sudden, their dog barked once and jumped at Big Dog (my 11 yr old, not an actual dog) and bit him on the arm! The wife yelled at the husband to put the dog away and we checked out his arm. Fortunately, he was wearing a sweatshirt so he was bruised and swellen, but the skin was not broken.

We decided to go home after caring for the bite. The family was embarrassed and felt really bad (and perhaps worried about being reported or sued). They even called on Sunday afternoon to see how he was doing. He's fine- bruised, but he says it doesn't hurt.

All that dangerous activity and the injury comes from being bitten by someone's dog! I never would have expected that one!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Free form artisian bread

Here's some bread I made from scratch a few weeks ago. It was quite easy--no kneading! It makes a soft interior and "crusty" crust!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Making it "ours"

The pole barn was divided into rooms and drywalled. That doesn't work for us--we need car and boat storage. Friday, Josh gutted the drywall and insulation. Saturday we replaced an overhead garage door and put new doorknob/locks on the entry doors. Now it's ours--no one else has a key!

Next week-end we're due for a lot more work! Wednesday our new John Deere Tractor is being delivered. We've got a 20 cu yd dumpster coming on Thursday and are renting a Bobcat on Friday through Saturday to get the trash piles removed and the drywall and insulation from the polebarn removed.

Last week I made another batch of soap. This time it's olive oil with a touch of castor oil. I used peppermint tea in place of the water to mix with the lye. Interesting results . . . initially, it turned an ugly brown color. As it sat, it turned an interesting shade of orange. Now that it's curing, there's an interesting blend of golden yellows and oranges swirled together. It seems the lye did remove any trace of peppermint scent however.

Here's an updated photo of the cured soap. Turned out really nice looking, but the scent is a bit odd! It does feel nice on the skin, not drying at all.