Thursday, March 26, 2015

March Maintenance

With the month rapidly winding down, I thought I'd update you, our dear readers, on a few small tasks we've taken care of lately. Actually, not "lately" exactly but really Sunday (March 22). We got a late-afternoon start because somebody had to fix the Ranger tire that was punctured last week. Of course, that somebody required a new tool to get the job done.
This new doo-hickey removes tires from wheels. Getting the tire back on the wheel was the tricky (time-consuming) part.
Finally, after an hour of frustration and help from YouTube, the tire was back on the wheel where it belongs. 

Our big task for the rest of the afternoon was to disassemble and store the bar that was created for The Big Wedding last September. It has been living on our patio since then, and really needed to be stored somewhere safe to have it ready for the next big event (whatever that may be.)
The Ranger pulled the trailer around to move the bar to the corn crib for storage.
Scott used his air compressor and air wrench to remove the bolts. 
We couldn't have asked for a better helper than Bibbers! 
Side note:  Bibbers made it through the winter just fine. Having a heated and insulated kitty cat condo in the barn (and having food delivered to the barn on especially inclement days) helped him put on his winter weight. No, he does not need to live in the house. 
We lifted the separated components onto the trailer 
(that thing is heavy - even in sections!)
Until the next big event . . . the bar has a home in the corn crib. 
I wonder if we should set up the trail camera to catch any marmot/raccoon/opossum parties?
Stay Tuned for Our Next Adventure!

The Circle of Life

Wilson spent a good portion of Friday (March 20) outside, enjoying the warm Spring weather. I was "lucky" enough to spy him walking through the yard south of the house with a little snack in his mouth. I know it's every cat's right to chase a mouse but it's still disarming to see a pet sauntering toward you with a smaller furry creature securely caught. Warning:  look away if you're squeamish.
 That's a pretty big mouse!
After he had his fill of rodent, Wilson left to go on the hunt again. He abandoned the back half of his snack for the crows to find. (What a considerate kitty!)
Go, Wilson, Go!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Not Just March 14 . . . but Super Pi Day!

In honor of Super Pi Day (3-14-15), I bribed The (former) New People into visiting noTTafarm. My lure of a freshly baked pecan pie for Sarah and Kevin was just a thinly-veiled attempt to get to see Baby Bennett. Though I should say, he's not really a baby...he's 2 1/2 already!
Kevin arrived first on his Triumph motorcycle. The weather was perfect for a ride in the country (as long as you take it easy on the gravel.)
We took a break from working outside to enjoy a chat on the patio. Bennett had a recent face-first fall onto the sidewalk at home but he's got a pretty tough noggin. We're all excited to welcome Bennett's baby sister or brother in August!
We Love Visitors! When Are You Coming Over?

Pick-up Sticks

Did you get out and enjoy the beautiful weather this weekend? With temps in the '70s for the first time since October, it was hard to find motivation to stay inside and work on house tasks. Lucky for us, there's always something to do outside at noTTafarm. This weekend, that "something" was clearing downed trees and rotten branches from the area east of the barn. Scott fired up the Ranger, we pulled on our boots and gloves, and got to work.
With the grass still dormant and the trees still bare, it is easy to see all of the assorted logs and branches that need to be picked up. This area is right behind the barn and follows the north edge of our property down to the former-landfill-pond area.
Scott surveyed the situation, amazed at the number of fallen or dead-in-place trees.
I filled the garden wagon with smallish branches and wheeled them down the hill to the burn pile. Sort of an inefficient method but it kept me busy.
The most fun comes when you can just push over a dead-but-still-standing tree; it makes you feel super strong!
We used the Ranger's cable and winch to wrap around a stack of logs and drag it to the burn pile. The weather has been warm and dry - so dry that our area is under a red flag warning - so no fire for us this weekend. We've made a huge pile though which should equal an awesome fire when that day comes.
Of course, Bibbers had to help Scott fill the chainsaw with gas. He stayed with us and watched the work all Saturday afternoon.
Go, Farm Boss, Go! 
The size of the burn pile doubled with the amount of stuff we added this weekend.
Sunday, I got smart, and traded the garden wagon for the dump bed of the Ranger.
We called it a day Sunday afternoon when the Ranger suffered a flat tire. Sadly, the tire was punctured by a super sharp chunk of wood and will need some repair. All in all though, we enjoyed spending time outside and got some much-needed work done.
Stay Tuned for Our Next Adventure!

FOX News

Disclaimer:  "No!" This headline should not be seen as an endorsement of that television network that spews politics of which I am not particularly fond.  Rather, it's a notice to you that Scott saw a fox today! After I left to go to the 8:15 church service, Scott let the kitties outside for their morning exercise.  About half an hour later, Scott saw Wilson running toward the house, followed closely by a red fox! He couldn't actually tell who was chasing whom but Wilson was happy to come inside, unharmed. The fox traversed the yard from south to north, heading right past the great room windows. Here's a photo that Scott got with his phone.
Stay Tuned for Our Next Adventure!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

February Blahs

No - you haven't missed anything. Nothing's been posted because very few home-related projects have been accomplished this month. It seems that February's gray days and bone-chilling temps have sapped our energy. It's been easier to hunker down and hibernate than get up and get busy. But life goes on and here are a few tidbits from the last two weeks:
1.) Camera 
I took our good digital camera to church a few weeks ago to help take directory photos. I was using the tri-pod, trying to take pictures without a flash (since the flash quit working months ago). Wouldn't you know that I wasn't paying attention - and the camera crashed lens-first to the floor, shattering the glass lens filter. Luckily, nothing more appears to have been damaged but I do need to buy a new filter and try and find a flash repair solution. <sigh>
2.) Ribbon Cutting
Scott, my brother Tim, and I traveled to Kearney for the afternoon on February 12th. My parents' business celebrated the official ribbon cutting of a 19,000 SF addition to their business, complete with the Chamber of Commerce, mayor, and lieutenant governor in attendance. Tim and I are on the board of directors so we, along with our older brother Mark, got to use ceremonial scissors to help cut the ribbon. After a few hours of mingling and appetizers, we were back on the road and home by 10 PM.

Our niece Chelsie and her cousin Maggie - all dressed up for the party! Maggie's daddy Nick is now working with my dad at Ward Laboratories, and Chelsie works there part-time while finishing up college. It's "all in the family!"
We missed our sister, Karolyn, but the three of us did our best to represent the board of directors (Mark, me, Tim)

Dad got some help from his oldest great granddaughter, Allie, while making his remarks.
Allie was so excited to have her grampa and gramma (Mark and LuAnn) in attendance! It was a fun afternoon for all.
3.) House Closing
This past Thursday, The New People officially closed on their sale of our ol' Grant Street house. We were able to walk through the Grant Street house a few weeks ago to really say goodbye. Who knows if the new guy that relocated from Memphis will let us stop by? To celebrate their new role as "Not the New People Anymore," Kevin and Sara invited us to their beautiful new home last night for a delicious lasagna dinner. We were entertained by 2-year-old Bennett who sang some songs for us while beating a toy drum with a Tinkertoy. Such fun! 
"Goodbye"
4.) Picture Show
This past Tuesday, we enjoyed pizza and a picture show with the Camps. Marita and Carl hosted us, nephews Pete (and Karly), Andrew, Pat (and Kathleen) along with Kathleen's dad and brother (Tim and Jimmy.) We were treated to a digital slideshow of Kathleen's favorite wedding photos. The newlyweds are coming up on their 6-month anniversary (and still seem to be on cloud 9.) We also got to see photos of Andrew's recent adventure in Chile, where he spent a week hiking and exploring. It was such a fun evening!
5.) Meet Me in St. Louis
Now here we are - it's 2PM on a Saturday and we still haven't figured out what to do this weekend. Tomorrow, I'll be in St. Louis for a work-related tradeshow (flying in and back the same day) so we're hoping to get something accomplished yet today. Check back soon to see if we were successful!
Stay Tuned for Our Next Adventure!

Saturday, February 7, 2015

February Begins with Snowy Day

Finally, winter arrived. Though it was a swell January with temperatures quite often in the 50s, it felt good to begin our February with some snow on the ground. The snow started to fall rather quickly overnight Sunday the 1st, and with wind and falling temps, most of the city (including church services) was closed down for the day.
What would we do without the Ranger and its plow?

Scott cleared the driveway twice on Sunday to keep up with the snowfall and the wind. 
The official snow fall total was about 5.7 inches but some spots at noTTafarm were 10-inches deep with 2-foot drifts.
 Using the shovel . . .
 . . . and the little snow blower to clear the courtyard.
Another four inches fell on Wednesday (Feb. 4) so Scott and the Ranger had a little more work to do. Now today, (Feb. 7) the temps have again risen to the high-40s and our beautiful crystalline landscape is melting away. Only 39 more days til spring begins!
Stay Tuned for Our Next Adventure!