Friday, July 18, 2008

A Lesson I learned From My Little Dog

From the time she was a tiny pup, my little doxie has chased shadows. For all the years she lived in Eden, she spent hours on end chasing shadows. Butterflies, dragon flies, bees, birds . . . . anything that flew and cast a shadow, she'd chase. Since moving here to the creek, she's made an awesome discovery. While chasing humming bird shadows, she happened to look up and discovered the source of the shadows. Since then, it's as if a whole new world has opened up for her. Instead of spending her days with her head down chasing shadows, she's now romping through the yard with her head held high. She's discovered birds in trees and butterflies on flower bushes. By the simple act of looking up towards the sun, she's found new joy. Is there a lesson to be learned here? Is it possible that we spend much of our life chasing the shadows of life on earth, never looking towards the Son the true source of our joy? Oh, the lessons you can learn from your dog!

Blessings from the Creek y'all!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Oh, what a day!

Whew! I'm tarred (that's KY for tired)! It's been a long, hard day and this old gal's body is not used to all this physical exhertion. Hubby had an early doctor's appointment today so we were up and at 'em early. The roofers showed up at 7:30 (the roof is DONE!!!!!). I putzed around the house and trailer, rearranging and straightening up, washed a sink full of dishes, filled up all the bird feeders and the hummer feeders, did a load of laundry - all before 9:00.

Our friends Ken, Alex and Dewey came by to see if they could get our tractor out of the prediciment it was in (mud up to the axels) down in the lower pasture. They needed a shovel, so when Ken came up to the house to get one, I walked back down with him. Didn't find out till we got down there that he'd grabbed the broken shovel. So, it's back up to the house to get another shovel, some more chain and the "come along", then back down to the lower pasture. For those of you who are on the 10,000 step a day program - I think I completed my 10,000 before noon today - about a third of it up hill, a third of it through a waist high hay field and the rest through freshly mown pasture. Anyhow, after a lot of head scratching, a little digging and a little pulling with Dewey's truck, the tractor is free once again to roll through the fields!

We found out that our little crick (creek for those of you who weren't raised in Western PA or KY) is full of small mouth bass, brim and bluegill. Two grown men and a 16 year old boy were whoopin' and hollerin' and catching bugs they could toss in the crick and see how many fish came up to eat them. Cheap entertainment after all that manual labor. :)

Ken and Dewey went home and Alex and I hiked back up to the house to start on some demolition projects. First project on the list . . . unscrew the kitchen cabinets from the walls. Easy, right? WRONG! We're finding out little by little that this house is put together with 3 inch long nails. The kitchen cabinets are not screwed to the walls, they're nailed on with . . . . you guessed it! three inch nails. Of course the pry bars are nowhere to be found so it was on to project #2 on the list - digging an 8" x 8" trench around our patio/carport, laying in a perforrated pipe and filling it in the rest of the way with gravel so the patio/carport won't flood everytime it rains. Since we'd left one of the good shovels down in the pasture with the tractor, and we only had one good one left up here and since neither of us felt like hiking back down to the pasture again, I did the only thing a middle aged woman could do - I let the 16 year old wide receiver dig the ditch! I'm sure you know how much of a sacrifice it was on my part.

Hubby rolled in about noon-thirty. I fed the boys, fed myself, and being of sound mind, put my feet up for just 10 minutes while I was watching HGTV and woke up an hour and a half later, just in time to help Alex and hubby fill in the ditch with gravel. Somehow I think my timing was off just a bit.

In the middle of all the ditch digging and gravel getting, Alex got a call from his dad. There's evidently a Pop Warner football tournament going on in Miami. The wide receiver on one of the teams was injured and they called Alex to tell him to be on the plane to Miami tonight! So, after a a day of tractor rescuing, ditch digging and gravel loading and unloading, Alex is on his way home to shower, pack and probably sleep his way to Miami. He had a big ol' smile on his face when he left here. Whoooo hooooo! Way to go Alex! Ten years from now when he's receiving his MVP award as a pro, I wonder if he'll remember li'l ol' me and the day I made the ultimate sacrifice by handing my shovel over to him?

Blessings y'all!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Hummers and Habits.

I know it's wrong to be prideful, but sometimes I just can't help myself. We now have not one but TWO hummers in our driveway. I know what you must be thinking. With gas prices the way they are . . . but these two are compact and run on fairly inexpensive fuel - one part sugar to four parts water. Fill up their tank and they're good to go for about a week. Have you figured out yet that there are not two Hummers in our driveway, but two hummers as in humming birds? We hung the feeder on the corner of the driveway and the carport turned patio on Friday and within 15 minutes it was humming with activity. They're much quieter than the Barney Swallow Band and they make much less of a mess. I loved those little guys, but MY WORD what a mess they left behind!

We have 2/3 of a red metal roof now! It looks awesome so far. Our house sits down off the road, so it's the first thing you see when you round the corner towards our driveway. No more ugly black/gray/missing shingles! I still can't download pictures to Blogger, so for now you'll just have to take my word for how great it looks. We've hired our friend's nephew (a 16 year old football player) to help us with some of the demolition inside the house and some of the heavier work outside. Hubby threw his back out last week and hasn't been able to do anything since so he's going to be the "supervisor" and let the young buck do all the heavy work (or so he says). Our friend,Scott, will be coming up from Florida in a few weeks to help us with the drywall and tile in the bathroom and the floor and cabinets in the kitchen as well as some other odds and ends of things. Hopefully by the end of August we'll have enough done so that we can move out of the travel trailer and into the house.

They say that three weeks makes a habit. I've been here for three weeks now and I can honestly say I don't regret the move one bit. I thought the novelty might wear off, but even with all of the rain and hubby's injury and living half in the trailer and half in the house . . . even with having to do some creative thinking to get the tractor unstuck when it bottomed out on a high spot in the bottom pasture and then find out an hour later that it's stuck again (another post) - I'm still content. Yes, I miss the people I left behind, but I don't miss the lifestyle at all. I didn't realize just how stressed both Tony and I actually were until the stress factor was cut by about 75%. I know I'll have to go out and look for a J.O.B. (still not ready to say the word out loud yet) soon, but even that isn't as scary of a proposition as it once was. I have so many options available to me and this time $$$ is not going to be the deciding factor.

Well, I have laundry to do and walls to demolish (if you've never experienced it, you don't know what you're missing!) and new things to experience and places to explore so for now . . . .

Blessings Y'all!

P. S. Grace, you really need to have a talk with your dogdaughter! She's taken a liking to chewing up my shoes and books. I'd kick her back out on the street except that she's such a good watchdog and she's so darned cute!

Friday, July 11, 2008

I'm suffering from the empty nest syndrome . . . again!

I couldn't be prouder if I had hatched them myself! The Barney Swallow Band has flown off on their first engagement. My hubby and I watched yesterday as Ditty was the fist to audition. He spread his wings and sang his loudest and off he flew. Dew, Wah and Duhm were a little apprehensive and actually wouldn't leave their dressing room(nest). No amount of bribery or urging by their mom or dad would coax them out on to the stage (aka fan blade). They did some of their best singing standing on the edge of their nest, though. The three of them still had their feet planted firmly inside the nest when we left the house this morning. When we returned home this afternoon - the nest was empty. Either they decided Ditty was having altogether too much fun without them or mom got tired of their stubbornness and gave them a gentle push. It's so quiet out on the porch now. For nearly three weeks we've listened to the sounds of their mom and dad waiting expectantly for them to poke their little beaks out of their eggs, then the round the clock feedings, then when the fuzzy little quartet with the rocker hair doos found their voices, they practiced singing at least 12 hours a day. It's been so awesome watching them grow! We are so blessed to have been allowed to witness such a beautiful miracle from beginning to end.

I'm sad to say that the House Wren and the Dove families didn't fare as well. Their nests were within climbing reach of the dreaded night stalker (aka cat) and the twins in both families were evidently midnight snacks for that evil Puddy Tat. Such is the circle of life.

Well, I'm off to see if I can tell which of the dozens of barn swallows out for their evening meal is my little Barney Swallow Band. Dew, Whah, Ditty and Duhm . . . you'll always hold a special place in my heart!

Blessings Y'all!

P.S. My new "friend" Nancy from Olive Leaf Ministries is having a give-away. Stop by to pay her a visit. I promise you'll laugh a little, cry a little and learn to love her and her family within the first ten minutes.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

If They Could See Me Now . . . .

I have to be totally honest. When we first bought this property and decided to move to the hills of Kentucky, one of the things I was most excited about was being able to hang my laundry out on the line to dry in the breeze and sunshine. I've always loved the smell of clothes and sheets dried on the line. Even though I had pleanty of room in the yard in Eden, I had some pretty snooty, high falutin neighbors that made rude comments about people who live in "the projects" being the only ones who hung their laundry on the line and if they had wanted to live in "the projects" they would have stayed in New Jersey. One could only wish they had. But, being the peace keeper that I am, I folded up my little "umbrella" clothes line and gave up.

The first 10 days or so we were here, I was elated! A clothes line (strung between two old truck drive shafts if you missed my last post)! Fresh smelling clothes and sheets! Time in the sun! Exercise! Whoo Hoo! It was GREAT! it still would be great except that the weather is not cooperating. It's been raining. A LOT! Not just a shower once a day. That I could handle. There's a shower in the morning. Then a couple hours later another shower. Then at least one downpour a day. People in town tell me they haven't had rain in a couple of days. Great! Of course they haven't. The rain clouds are all stuck here in the holler.

Normally it wouldn't be a big deal. So it's raining. Instead of hanging the laundry on the line, just throw it in the dryer. You see, therein lies the problem. My dryer is still in the box. It's waiting for the gas man to come and hook up our meter. Then when he hooks up the meter the plumber (aka my hubby) needs to dig a trench from the road to the house . . . through clay and rocks . . . lay the pipe, connect to the meter and the house and THEN I can use my dryer.

So, to my snooty neighbors from Eden . . . I really wish you could see me now! I've got a clothesline zig-zagging its way through the car port - being extra careful not to disturb the "Barney Swallow Band" living up on the ceiling fan or the Dove family living in the grape arbor - and my laundry is waving proudly in the breeze. And guess what! We're not in the projects! We're in the promised land!

Blessings y'all!

Monday, July 7, 2008

fARm LiVIn' iS tHe LiFE fOR mE!

Funny how normal things can go unnoticed day after day and then one morning, as you're standing in front of the kitchen sink (in the world's ugliest kitchen by the way)washing dishes by hand because the dishwasher is hooked up totally wrong and could possibly start a fire if it is used (along with the wiring in most of the house), before taking the first of several loads of laundry out to on the clothes line in the back yard (which by the way is made out of the drive shafts of 2 old trucks) because the gas man hasn't been here to hook up the gas line and the clothes dryer is still in the box . . . then you get a mental picture of hubby riding through the back pasture last night on his new to him tractor (which I have put into the same category as the kitchen - world's ugliest)with a big old smile on his face .... Well if you're me, you'll start humming the theme song to Green Acres. Then you'll start laughing hysterically because the hound dog puppy and the doxie are sitting there side by side on the kitchen floor staring at you like you've gone completely over the edge.

As I'm typing this, the neighbor's Jack Russel Terrier is frantically scratching at the back door, which means a storm is coming . . . oops! I mean a storm is here. I guess that means the laundry on the line will be going through a second rinse cycle mountain style. Oh well . . . .


Blessings Y'all!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Wow! Two weeks already!

I just realized we've been here for 2 weeks now! In some ways it doesn't seem possible. In other ways . . . it seems like we've always been here. We've all settled into the slower paced lifestyle of the area. It's refreshing not to be stressed about when things HAVE to be done. For now at least, things will get done when things get done.

The first of our major renovations begins sometime next week. Our poor little adopted house will be getting a new "hairdo" in the form of a barn red metal roof. She's been a brunette with patches of gray for a long time now and I think she'll be happy with her new look as a red head.

I did venture out into the "big city" of Lexington with our friend Karen this past week. It was a beautiful drive and I got to see a part of the state I've never seen before. We met Karen's sister, Tamara, for lunch at Chedars (mmm, mmm,mmm!)then spent the rest of the day shopping (actually mostly just window shopping and killing time until Karen's car was ready to be picked up). I really enjoyed myself, but found myself longing to be back in my quiet, little holler. Traffic and crowds were among the top 10 reasons we decided to leave Florida.

Tony started a small vegetable garden with tomatoes and squash this week and we reworked one of the flower beds in the front yard by planting some red, white and blue (actually purple) petunias. The weather has cooperated by watering the plants nearly every day. Tony also purchased an old (and in my opinion quite unattractive -actually ugly is the word I'd use) tractor he'll be able to use to take care of the pastures, etc. Of course he had to try it out the minute it was delivered and he mowed a piece of pasture between our house and Mr. Wilson's house. Brush hogs and sickle bars . . . all foreign to me, but T is happy as a clam. I couldn't help humming the theme song from Green Acres as I watched him bouncing along through the pasture. Haven't told him that yet - maybe it's best he doesn't know. :)

I'm still on dial-up Internet service and for some reason I still can't upload pictures to my blog. I have been able to share pictures through my photo program, so if anyone would like to see pictures of "our promised land", send me your e-mail address. My e-mail address is listed on my profile page so you can send your e-mail address without having to publish it in the comments. I promise I won't share it with anyone and I won't send you an endless line of forwards.

Well, dear friends, Brigitte and Grace are trying their best to convince me that it's time for me to stop what I'm doing and play with them. They can be rather convincing - especially Gracie when she grabs my hand and starts to drag me out the door. I have to keep reminding myself that she is just a puppy. A very LARGE puppy, but still just a puppy. If she continues to grow the way she has over the past 2 weeks, it won't be long before I have to either get a job to pay for her food or start hanging out at the entrance of the grocery store holding a sign that says "will work for dog food".

Until the next time . . .

Blessings Y'all!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

It's A Lovely Day in the Neighborhood . . . .

It's a balmy 53 degrees here on beautiful Goldens Creek - something quite foreign to someone who has spent the past 30 years in Florida. I'm loving it! Hubby is loving it in his own way - snuggled deep beneath the covers in bed with a doxie shaped foot warmer snuggled up against him. Gracie and I are the adventurous ones. She's out exploring the property. I'm sitting in front of the living room window listening to the morning sounds and watching our neighbors (the fine feathered ones) prepare for their day.

I'm settling into life in the country a lot better than I thought I would. I really thought I'd feel isolated. We've made several trips into town over the past week and I enjoyed that greatly, but I found myself turning down a trip to WalMart the other day in lieu of staying at home and waiting for the satellite guys to show up. I've got me a genuine "farmer's tan" from hanging clothes out to dry - a luxury I've not been able to enjoy for probably 15 or 20 years and spending time on the lawn tractor. We had satellite TV hooked up over the weekend, but so far I've watched very little. I haven't seen the evening news or Good Morning America in 2 weeks, so if the aliens have invaded New Jersey or if a cure for the common cold has been discovered on an obscure mountain top in a little known country by an 80 year old blind woman . . . I'm clueless.

Well, the sun has come up and burned most of the fog off of the holler, so I guess I'll throw a load of clothes into the washer and get ready to enjoy some time in the great outdoors as I hang the clothes on my solar powered clothes dryer. Today I think we will start the demo process in our bathroom - WHOO HOO! Tomorrow I will rather reluctantly leave the holler to make a trip to Lexington with a friend. I'm looking forward to seeing more of this beautiful state, but by the end of the day, I think I'll be looking forward to returning to Goldens Creek.

Blessings y'all!