Monday, October 20, 2008

Wow! OK This looks much better!


It's done. Now we have the BBQ in a spot, as well as a little outdoor kitchen I bought years ago as a chicken butchering station. You can hook a hose up to it and have running water with a sink and drainage. It has racks and storage drawers shelves, and such. Really a nice thing to have around.

The little blue bench is a checker bench I made about 20 years ago. Two kids can sit on it and play checkers on the board I painted in the center. Storage for the checkers I made is underneath, but they were lost many years ago. Michael is ready to help me make some new ones, though.

The round table was a patio table I had purchased last spring. The wind blew it over while I was at a friend's Pampered Chef party. I came home to shattered glass all in my lawn, pebble walkway, and driveway. I cannot even count howlong it took us to pick all that glass up! So it's topless except for a plywood circle I cut to fit in there. I want to cover it with something to spruce it up...

Today we made more chips, so I took some pics for you.




We took them and the salsa out to our sukkah and spent another relaxing time there. We went on a walk later and picked up natural decor for the season.


Are the holidays here already? Seems we just began summer!


Sunday, October 19, 2008

Our First Frost!


Today we spent the day at church and visiting with friends and family. I try to stop by my parents' house at least twice a week, especially on Sunday after church, and visit. My mom has Alzheimer's. It's not too bad yet, but it's getting there. Sometimes they will come out for a meal, but they would rather stay home, so we go there more often, and I will bring meals for them.

It was a beautiful day. Thank you, Lord.


Saturday, October 18, 2008

Painting the town...


This day was quite filled with painting.

Yeah that's about it.


Very good for project money, though.

Now is a good time to tell you that I am also studying to be able to work at home here on my computer. I try to spend 4 to 10 hours a day at it, trying to learn as quickly as possible, since I don't quite know what tomorrow will bring. I do my studying and practice at one desk, while Michael does his school work at the one next to me. we try to get it done in the morning, and on days where I can fit it in, I will also work in the afternoon or evening. Whew! Rainy days are good for that especially.

You can't help what other people are willing to do to make your life difficult. But you can sure choose how to deal with it. I haven't always been this upbeat about the lemons' I've been given, but I discovered that God had not abandoned me and all I have to do is wait on Him. Sooner or later He makes it work for good. This is a great source of joy!


Friday, October 17, 2008

Friends and Indoor Fun.


Can you salsa?

I love this recipe. I am California born and raised, even though I'm far away now, and I love this salsa from home.

Chop your veggies by hand or get them into a processor if you like.






I make it a little different each time and never write it down, so don't be afraid to play with it, adding more or less ingredients according to your own tastes.

Here's the recipe:

California Salsa

Tomatoes - use Roma if you want it thicker
1/2 as much green onion as chopped tomato
fresh jalapeno chilies - it's the seeds that are hottest, so use them or not, according to your own desire, to taste.
1 or 2 bunches of fresh cilantro
juice of one lime
salt to taste

I also cooked up homemade tortilla chips but was too busy visiting to take pics. Just cut corn tortillas into wedge shapes, and deep fry them in coconut oil. Drain and salt. YUMMY!

And I quickly threw together a chicken pot pie for dinner.




A bunch of kids, playing Curses and enjoying each other.


So thankful for good friends. Like family.


Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Painting Project Site.


But first, is this a fabulous find, or what? This cafe table and chair set, made of teak, was at a local dollar store for 49 dollars. I splurged on this with the rest of the painting job money from that week.


Michael's cat, Mikka, is so unhappy to be inside. But she gets tape worms from fleas, so now she just looks outside at us thinking evil thoughts and planning her escape.

Dental chairs for sale! But they have not sold yet and we have to paint around them.




My friend and I will dismantle this kitchen after painting is done and she's going to put the cabinets in her barn.


We've been working about half the time here, in between school and projects at home. Its been a very busy time, but that's to be expected considering all the ground I've got to cover in my life situation right now. It's hard, but fun. I love to learn and grow. Michael is glad for the extra money he is earning as well. He says he likes earning money better than an allowance. which is good. I've not been able to pay his allowance in many months. LOL He's into Pirates and AirSoft, so he's a man with a plan.

Take care!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A Bottom and a Top.


Here's a little closer detail of the pavers and how they sit in the sand.


Our system was simple. We asked 3 people at the home improvement place how they would go about doing it. They all said something different, so I went with my original idea.

We brought home some "Quickcrete" which is a cement mix without the gravel. The gravel would not work to try to sweep into the grooves.


We poured it into a wheelbarrow. You can't breathe it or allow it on your skin too long, the lime is caustic, so if you do this, wear a mask, dump it quickly (upwind) and then let the air clear before you go back. You don't need to be scared, just aware.


We sprinkled a little at a time over the grooves and then swept it in.




We added a pile around the exterior so the pavers would not creep out, then watered it all in, letting the fine spray GENTLY work the mix down so it could set.

Now you can see where there were bubbles. These will need to be fixed with a little more cement and spray. The slower your concrete cures, the stronger it is and the less cracking you have, so keep your hose nearby and sprinkle it as often as needed to keep moisture visible on the surface, covering with a sheet of plastic if you like, to reduce evaporation. This is shady, so we don't have to do it more than a couple of times a day, uncovered.


More fun coming! We strung a rope across the top of the sukkah and went on a pine-bough foraging trip to the meadow next door.



And now time for more relaxing!


We read, and watched the scenery.


Life in the country is so peaceful.


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Our First Sukkah!


This was a LOT of fun! The fabric was left over from my daughter's wedding, son once again, we were blessed to have a lovely sukkah at no cost. No roof. That will have to come later. We worked on this for half the day before moving back to the patio project.


This little guy kept us company for much of the day. Might have been looking for his friend who was wandering around on the other side of the pile of earth.

It's amazing. It felt like two weeks of digging but we actually got it leveled in two days. We spread out about 6 bags of playground sand so the pavers could be nestled down smoothly and fairly level, then we began putting them down as neatly as possible.


And we called it quits for the evening, leaving to spend time in our sukkah, reading from the old testament, reading some books, relaxing, and having a snack as the sun went down. Proving once again, that life is good!



Monday, October 13, 2008

Life is full of detours.



Isn't this nice? A friend gave us a huge bag of Fugi apples. Very crisp and juicy ones. As soon as I find the time I'll do something with them. Monkey-boy up there. I think the natives are restless and want to head outside, don't you?

Before we get busy on the leveling we had to take care of a couple of things...

I've been having battery cable corrosion trouble. I dislike new cars. As soon as possible I am going to get a classic car rhat I can work on. These new things are a nightmare!

Believe it or not, I am taking a picture of where the battery is to be found. Can you see it?

Me neither.


A little scrubbing of the cable clamp and the post with a solution of baking soda and water gets us started again.


Then we had to blow off the registers from the painting job so I can paint them later on.


Now for some hot and hard work. It was warm today again.


Look at this clay! WOW! Really hard to get through.


I wear a dress for a lot of work outside. It's just cooler than jeans.


We drank a lot of fluids, sweated it all back out again, laughed and grumbled good-naturedly a lot - and I hope we made a dent in the work. I'm telling you, it doesn't feel like we did!

Our last detour for the day was beginning a sukkah. For home schooling we have been studying Jewish feasts and we decided last minute to do our best to celebrate Sukkot, or the Feast of Booths. We actually had the wood necessary to build it laying on the floor of the tool shed, waiting to be useful, so it didn't cost us a thing! This is the frame going up this evening.


Goin' on - Faith.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

A Slight Detour



Remove sport equipment and put in in living room along with extra seats from your minivan and....

VOILA! Delivery truck!


With my first pay from painting, I was so excited to have some extra money that I could not resist going ahead and finishing a project Michael and I had begun way back in early spring. An extension to a patio cement pad I had put in a few years ago with a girlfriend who has since passed on from cancer. We traded work days at each others' places. We got stuff done, but got to chat and visit as well. I taught her how to lay a cement patio and she taught me a little more about her nursery business.

The patio has been a cluttered hodge-podge area


where I put my weight equipment and BBQ (on days when it wasn't in the dirt). But we really want a place to sit and enjoy outdoor weather while we BBQ. So we've been buying up a few stones every week or so in anticipation of having enough to do the job of creating a 10 x 10 addition.


As you can see, WE BOUGHT THE REST!!! Cool! I had to buy some pavers for the back porch project and I just bought all we needed for this project. I'm really happy!

We took up the few pavers we had down and the next job is to level it.



I honestly hate leveling things. It's annoying to think it's level, only to find you are way off. But there is nothing to do but begin, and stop whining.

Look at this cute little guy!