Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Christmas and stuff

Christmas this year seemed more of an afterthought in our family. We've been running crazy for the past few months trying to get all the decisions made for the house and its still continuing. Plus, everyone has been sick off and on for the last couple of months, my mom, John and I lately. But, we had a very nice time with family. Santa brought John lots of great things, his favorite being a "Doodle Thomas" or Aquadoodle. He's also already broken a few of his items. His Channel 11 helicopter got caught in Miss Piggy's hair and it fried the motor, he had a case of the intentional dropsies and broke the battery casing on his North Pole train. But, he's having a good time. Santa's biggest goof, the Limited Edition Fire Truck pedal car, has really got his attention, especially the bell and horn.

Trimming the house is continuing. Almost all of the doors are hung, and they are waiting on the cabinets to finish some of the other trimming. All of the debris has been discarded from around the house. We're still in limbo on the wood, tile and marble for the entry. But, everything's coming around.

We have a couple of new additions. I adopted a pair of Coturnix quail from a lady who wanted them to have a home that might be interested in incubating their eggs. So, we are now the proud owners of Fred and Ethel. We got our incubator yesterday and currently have 4 eggs inside. We'll see how it does. Hubby wants to raise quail, ducks and chickens out there, so this gives us a small start. Of course the family thinks we're crazy, but they've always thought that.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Finally, a brick house!

Well, the brick has finally been laid. It took three additional loads of brick, and lots of wall tear downs, but it's done. The bricklayers did less than good job. It probably won't look too bad to the average person, but there are alot of imperfections in the job.

The bedding and texturing has also been done. Also, the fireplace has been installed. Charles is helping the builder trim the house - hanging the doors, base trim, window trim, etc.

Here are some photos of the brick. The exterior of the house still lacks paint on the porch, shutters, final doors and flatwork (concrete around the house).

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Lost another one - I can't wait for this year to end!

Tonight I lost my first pet that I had as an adult outside of my parent's home. Well, make that the second. This little bird was a replacement for a cockatiel that flew out our back door in February, 1985. Tonight I lost one of my best friends, my Frisco, a Cinnamon Cockatiel. Upon reflecting on his long life, I realized he made it to his 21st birthday. Quite a feat for a cockatiel. But, then Frisco had almost as many lives as some cats do. He probably should have died, or came close to dying at least two times. He had two wives, Roxie and Stormy, that he truly loved. And he left behind two sons that he taught how to wolf whistle and his own special form of whistling. He also has lived in every place I've lived - Dallas area; Lubbock, Texas; Colorado Springs, Colorado and Lake Jackson, Texas. His final resting place will be on the farm with the other animals we've lost.

This photo shows a one year old Frisco with a one year old Chloe (cat, died 2000) and his first wife, Roxie. Frisco has the yellow face.

We have lost so many pets this year - Poodah, Hayley, Jausenclaus, Lord Nelson, Nemo and now Frisco. I'm glad there are only a few days left in the year. Surely, 2006 will have happier times for us.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005


News Flash! They started laying the brick this morning. It was a very, very windy day with temps in the 40's when I was down at the house this afternoon. We do have a problem. The number of bricks was underestimated, so we are going to need another 4,000 to finish the house. We had a little over 11,000 to start off with. The person who estimated it did a bad job. The brick layers will install all the brick probably tomorrow. Hopefully, it won't take another 6-8 weeks to get the new brick in and the color will not be off. The interior doors were purchased today also. They will start trimming out the doors tomorrow. The bedding and texturing is on hold until the "mud" dries. It has been pretty cold and moist, so it still hasn't dried from last week.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Thursday, December 08, 2005


It's cold out there! Not much has been done with the house this week. The sheetrock has been taped but the bedding and texturing was supposed to start yesterday and its too cold for them to do it. We bought the vanity for the downstairs bathroom. We got a display and quite a discount on it. There's a little loss of finish on one of the legs, but it can be covered with a furniture pen. I've been going over and over trying to decide on the wallpaper for the kitchen. Just can't decide between roosters, floral or fruit. The lights we plan to use are stained glass and the pattern name is Tuscany, which means there are grapes on them. So, if we can incorporate grapes we're doing okay. We're also trying to make final decisions on the floors, do we want wood, tile, marble or what. We're getting close, but haven't finalized anything yet. I've told my mother, nothing is final until its put on the floor. Of course, then I worry and worry about whether we've chosen the right thing or not. It's seems I can't make any decisions without "buyers remorse", no matter how good or bad the decision is.

We've put some lights up outside and put up our tree inside, but our monster kitten won't leave me alone long enough to put on the ornaments. I've almost decided to not put any on. Every time I touch the tree, he comes running and climbing. (I've tried twice to post photos, but it is not letting me, so I'll try again later.) Tuffy's so cute, but he's totally full of it. He even divebombs our Corgi and Cocker Spaniel. They seem to love playing with him.

Friday, December 02, 2005

We have walls! Well, sort of. Here are some photos.

Here are some photos of areas that you can kind of tell what they are.
1. looking up stairs 2. family room with fireplace 3. looking into dining room 4. looking from dining to parlor 5. Finished porch post and rails (still need paint) 6. Kitchen

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Walls!!!!! Sheetrock goes up tomorrow!

Well, if the people show up tomorrow, the first walls should be going up. The sheetrockers are coming! Yippee! Now if we could just get those bricklayers, we'd be doing much better. Our builder has replaced the straight wooden pieces with 3" turned posts on the porch and it looks so much better than it did. They really go with the larger posts. So, if we ever get the brick on, I'll share photos of that when it happens.

I met with the cabinetmaker today and we finalized measurements and plans for the kitchen, bathrooms and laundry room cabinets. We're using maple cabinets with a rope detailing on the corners and in the crown molding. I think its going to be really pretty. We still have to decide on our range hood though. I really want a wooden "mantle" style range hood, but we have no way to vent it to the outside, so we may end up changing plans for that. If we do, we'll just put a microwave hood up there. I was hoping to "hide" the microwave in the pantry, but it may not be the best place for it.

Well, that's about all for now. I'm going to try to get the Christmas decorations up either tomorrow or this weekend, if the kiddo and kitten will cooperate. It's going to be all plastic, cardboard or fabric on the tree because of Tuffy. I wonder how long it will take for him to climb to the top? He can't knock it over because it is a 4' tree with a base tied to a table, so it makes it extra sturdy.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Happier thoughts and animal plans

I don't know what came over me on the last post. But, its nice to get my feelings out somewhere. We've had something cool happen at the farm. Some people may not feel its so cool, and I don't know what's going to happen in the future. But I think its pretty neat. A beautiful barn owl is roosting in our garage. I haven't seen it face to face, but have seen it fly away. A beautiful golden tan with white underneath. Apparently he got trapped this morning and spent the day inside the house in the rafters. Our builder told us about him and that he had a very pretty face. He left the window open for him so he could escape when he wanted to. I was hoping I'd get to see him, but he wasn't there. One of the nicest things about the farm is to see the falcons and hawks flying behind the house. Once we move there and they bother us, we might not like them so much, but I love seeing them soar in the air.

I haven't talked about what we plan to do with the farm, so I thought I'd just mention a little of our plans. I've joined a few yahoo groups to get firsthand information on the different animals we're interested in, chickens, miniature cattle, goats, etc. I want to be able to have animals that we don't have to kill to have use of them. I just don't think I can take care of an animal, then put it in my freezer. I love chicken, steak, etc. but we'll have to sell or give away problem animals. One of the animals I'd really love to have is a llama. My husband and I stayed on a llama farm during a vacation to Colorado and loved it. The llamas are so beautiful and sweet, but they require a lot of work and I don't know how they can stand up to the Texas heat. So, we'll see.

My husband is also interested in Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). He's been researching that and thinks it might be viable for a small area on the property. I don't know how we're going to manage all these animals and take vacations though. That's one of our favorite pastimes. We want to travel a lot and show my son our beautiful country and history. I guess we'll figure that out when it happens.

We still haven't got a brick layer out there yet! Ugh! The brick has been there for almost a month, but all the people our builder has called are already working on jobs. Very frustrating. The high winds this past weekend have wreaked havoc on the Tyvek housewrap that is supposed to protect the house from moisture. But, they do plan to put in the insulation tomorrow. Everything was caulked today in preparation. I guess we should be thankful we've gotten this far without too many delays. I just hope it starts picking back up soon. It seems like Thanksgiving week has zapped the energy out of the place.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Ode to Nemo - our goldfish - and our other pets we've lost

I am very sad tonight. We lost our little fantail goldfish, Nemo, today. He was such a beautiful little fish and loved to come up and see you when you sat next to his aquarium. We got Nemo for Valentines day for my son on February 15, 2004. He started out in a little fishbowl, then we got a 5 gallon aquarium for him. About a year ago, we got him a companion goldfish who my son named Charlie (after his big sister). We have lost so many animals this year, not just here but in my extended family as well. I thought we were in the clear because all of the sick animals have passed away. It was quite sudden that Nemo left us. We started noticing some things going wrong on Thanksgiving, his eye had clouded over and his gill was showing more than normal. He has had a loss of gill due to a gill fluke for a long time, but it seemed worse this week.

As we get closer to moving to the new house, I can't help but reflect on the pets that I have loved and lost as I've lived in my home. In January, I will be in this house 12 years. When I moved in I had 3 cats - Chloe, Shelby and Jausenclaus, one puppy - Tara (Cardigan Welsh Corgi), 2 cockatiels - Frisco and Stormy and 1 parakeet -Nigel. Shortly after I moved in, Nigel died. I missed the sound of parakeet voices, so I bought a pair of parakeets - Charlie and Hayley. Shortly afterward, I added another Cardigan Welsh Corgi to the menagerie, Cincie who was a retired show dog and Tara's grandmother. She was the most wonderful dog in the world. In the first part of 1995, Frisco and Stormy decided that being together alone for six years was not good enough. They began a family and hatched 2 male babies - Uno and Dos. This was the only time that they ever did this. My little menagerie stayed pretty stable until I married, although Charlie died in November of 1996.

I married in May of 1998 and my husband brought his houseful of animals to live with us - 3 dogs, Poodah, Tipper and Dax; 1 cat - Tiger; 1-rabbit - Bunny. We also bought an English parakeet to be with Hayley shortly after we married. This was quite an adjustment for the whole family. It soon started downhill when Chloe started having kidney failure in 1999.

Since February 2000, we have lost about one pet a year - Chloe (2000), Stormy(2001), Cincie(2002), Shelby(2004). This year the numbers have escalated, we've lost Poodah, Hayley, Jausenclaus, Lord Nelson and now Nemo. Family members have also lost cherished pets in the past 2 years, Lancelot (Akita), Ferrari (cat), Cymbah (cat) and Marvin (cat).

The upbeat to all of this loss, is the wonderful memories we have of all of the animals. If Frisco lives through February of 2006, he will be 21 years old, Tara and Tipper turn 13, Uno and Dos turn 11, Tiger just turned 8, Dax (approximately 10), and Tuffy who is just a kitten. We have a lot to be thankful for these animals. I just am thankful that they all allowed us to share our lives with them and love them for the special creatures they are.

So as we leave this house that has been a home of great joy with the animals, I can reflect back on my memories of them and my life here with them. My greatest joy also came to me here, my dear little boy, John.

Thank you my dear home for sheltering my family and critters for 12 years. I am going to miss you.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Update - November 25

Well, its been pretty slow with Thanksgiving yesterday. A lot of things will be happening next week, delivery of heater units and fireplace, hopefully brick laying, insulation and sheetrocking. The sheetrock was delivered late Tuesday. We are also making arrangements for propane, and one of my jobs is to get in touch with the phone company to find out what's needed to establish service.

Tuesday, we met with our cabinet maker. We're getting maple cabinets with a rope design on the edges and moldings. We're probably going to go with a granite counter top in the kitchen and have chosen "blue pearl". I really like it, there is a lot of mica in it that shimmers, and although blue it is not as dark as a green or black, somewhat of a blue-gray color. We will meet with him out at the house on Thursday to finalize plans.

We have been having intruder problems (two and four legged) and found one on the farm this afternoon. Left the house to go through the garage and surprised an owl that has been roosting in the rafters of the garage. He was really pretty, light tan on top with white underneath. You could see recent remnants of his meal also. At least he got most of it eaten before we surprised him. He's one of a pair that surprised Hubby in the middle of the night when he was staying down there a few weeks ago.

Thanksgiving was at our house, probably the last we'll spend here. It was okay, but none of the family have really been in the mood for celebrating. My mom has been sick for a while and so have all of us here, so we just had a small family get together here. My brother's birthday was today so we celebrated for him yesterday. He has a memorable birthday, born on the day Kennedy was buried, so he is always reminded of that when his birthday rolls around. He has started his own blog at

Hopefully, there will be more to see so we can post more photos next week. It looks like we won't be in the new house before Christmas, so we'll be celebrating here for the last time this year.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Photos of exterior painting

Here are some photos of the exterior painting of the house. The porch posts and railing have only been primed, so please disregard them. They will be painted the cream paint and might have some accent paint. We haven't decided yet. We also plan to take out the straight posts and install 3" turned posts in their place. We were told today that it is going to be another 3 weeks before the brick will be laid. We are trying to work with our builder to get this done faster. I've also included a photo of the bathtub for the upstairs bathroom.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

House update - November 13

We haven't posted for a while. The exterior has been mostly painted. We need to have some trim work redone, but it is looking very good. They've got the ductwork almost complete for the HVAC and most of the plumbing is in. We have a bathtub in the upstairs bathroom, and have purchased the clawfoot tub for the master bath. The brick should be installed sometime next week, as well as the insulation and sheet rock. So thing are moving along. We don't know if we can be in before Christmas or not, but we are working toward it. I will post more photos later.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

The brick is in!

We got a pleasant surprise when we drove to the house today. We walked out the back door and the brick had arrived. We were not really expecting it until next week and the company did not notify us of delivery. They have also put in all the gas lines for the water heater and gas heater, so that was new. We picked the colors for the siding and trim today also (before we saw the brick, scary!). Hopefully it will look well together. I'm going to keep the colors a surprise until we can show photos. The painter should start caulking and priming for painting tomorrow. We also looked at molding and lighting and found several really pretty lights for parts of the house. We will add more photos once the house is painted and the brick is complete.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Roofing complete!

Well, we got the roof on just as there is supposed to be alot of rain tomorrow. We have been blessed with extremely good weather during the foundation and framing stages of the house. But, rain is in the forcast for tomorrow and some of it severe. Will it hit the farm, your guess is as good as mine. Hopefully, it will hold out for Mr. Boo to go to a local church festival and some of the relatives homes. We don't do traditional trick or treat and neither my husband nor I are fond of lots of munchkins ringing our doorbells on Halloween.

Anyway, here are some photos of the roof. We originally planned on a dark gray almost black roof, but hubby wasn't happy with that idea. So we chose this antique slate color and I think it looks great. Enough color variation to make it interesting. They're still wiring the house, plumbing is near completion (pipes, etc.) and they are installing the ductwork for the HVAC unit.

We are looking at tile and wood flooring, as well as finalizing the order for our clawfoot tub. We found a real pretty marble for a small area of the foyer, but are still looking around.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Recent photo of Tuffy

Tuffy is getting bigger, fluffier and is so soft and sweet. He and Tiger are doing okay together. Tuffy ambushes him every chance he gets, but Tiger doesn't run away or back down. They'll even sleep together on the bed. So, hopefully they will become friends.


The framing is complete on the house. Electric and plumbing work continues. We look forward to receiving the brick later this week. Roofing is supposed to be finished tomorrow. We still haven't decided on what to do on the porch railing. It just doesn't look right yet.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Porch columns up, roofing started.

The porch columns have been added, as well as the railing. It doesn't look quite right yet, so we're rethinking how it is going to be done. We have a few pictures, but I'm going to wait until we can show the roof and the finished decking on the walls before posting more photos. The plumber came out yesterday and has brought the plumbing up to the second story. A lot of the wiring has been run inside, as well as the electric boxes for the light fixtures and other outlets. They should have the roofing finished today. Also, the HVAC company is supposed to be out this week. Guess that's all for now.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Roof is decked - photos October 19

The house is really starting to look like what we dreamed it would be. The roof has been decked, beadboard has been installed in the porch ceiling and door thresholds have been installed. We are still waiting on the windows that were ordered incorrectly. Here are photos from today.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Windows and fishcale - October 14th

The windows have finally arrived and are installed. A few were sent in the wrong size so they have to be reordered. Also the fishscale has been applied to the garage. The character of the house is really starting to show. They should be decking, roofing and drying in this week and bricks should be in around the end of the month.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Photos - Tyvek and trim - October 12

Here are some photos of the beginning of the installation of the soffett and fascia. The workers were delayed because the lumber company didn't deliver the materials when they were needed. The windows will come sometime this week and the brick is scheduled for delivery around October 28th.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

The house is taking shape!

The rafters are up on the second floor. You can really get a good idea of how the house is going to look. Here is a recent photo. We purchased a stained glass window for the upstairs hall today at an antique show in Round Top. It's really pretty.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Framing Photos - Friday, September 30th

I guess I didn't take a lot of different types of photos on Friday. All of the floor decking for the 2nd floor is complete. Charles put some water sealer on it to protect it if it rains. John had a great time "marching" on the second floor decking. Saturday night we met with some of our friends down there and the boys had a good time exploring the site. Of course, we watched them like a hawk in all areas because there are dangers lurking that they could not see (nails, etc). Speaking of hawks, one of the neat things about being down in the country is watching the wildlife. While we were waiting at the site, we were blessed with the sight of a falcon looking for its dinner. It was a beautiful thing to see. We also watched a crop duster flying its rounds in and around the farm on Thursday night. Everything was so pleasantly peaceful down there this past weekend. Tomorrow they should start framing the walls on the second story. Charles says we should have both floors framed and a roof on by the end of next week. We'll see. Hopefully, the weather will continue to hold until the house is dried in.

Framing Photos - Thursday September 29th

Framing Photos - Wed. Sept 28