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 http://ensigneddie.blogspot.com

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.