Friday, March 23, 2012

It's Raining

Okay, so its raining. Big deal right? Well this rain is a good rain. It's gentle, albeit heavy at times. Still it's not blowing and its not cold. I like this kind of rain. Its a good soaking rain, which is great because we didn't have that much snow in Central Indiana this year. I had planned on planting early Spring veggies this weekend, but I don't think that's going to happen. The ground will be to wet. Bummer on that. I'm not too worried though, since the almanac says we might some more snow in mid-April. I just hope it doesn't hurt the trees. They are all flowering and leafing out since we have had such warm weather.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Close Call with a Window!

Lance was up at the old house today trying to collect as much scrap metal as possible before the dozer comes in. He was ripping down gutters when a scary thing happened. He was on the boardwalk on the south side of the carport trying to yank a gutter down. He put his hand on the window for balance and the window shattered! He jumped back in shock. He looked at the window then down at this hand. Somehow he didn't even get a scratch! How's that for luck? He didn't finish pulling down the gutter. Said he's going to wait until Saturday when I am there so that if he does get hurt I can help him. No sense in getting injured over a few dollars worth of metal! Have a great day!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Teaka, the English Shepherd

Even though I just wrote about losing a pet, I wanted to share another picture of a beautiful girl we adopted on Valentines Day 2012. The other picture I posted was kinda dark and didn't show how pretty she really is. So, without further adieu, I reintroduce TEAKA.

This was Zeke. I adopted him in 2004 from an animal shelter that, at that time, only charged $10 for any animal. He was fixed and de-clawed. The shelter thought he was about 4 years old when I got him. He was skinny when I got him and he never didn't gain any weight even thought I left the food bowl full all the time. Zeke was very independent, unless I sat down. Then he was all about being held and loved on. He was a snuggler. This picture was taken in 2010 shortly after we brought little Albert inside. At first Zeke would have nothing to do with him, but Albert was persistent and Zeke finally caved in. He really was a big softy, he just didn't want anyone to know it. We had him until October 7, 2011. I am not certain, but I think he perished in the fire. Lance said as he was running out of the house calling 911 and kitty, kitty, kitty, he thought he saw Zeke running the other direction. Zeke looked confused. I hope his death was quick and he didn't suffer. We have never found any trace of him. I know it sounds gross, but I would like to know for sure. It would mean closure for all of us. Some friends have suggested that maybe he did get out and is hiding somewhere. Even is he did get out he wouldn't have survived the winter. Zeke hated being cold. He always slept in front of the wood stove when the weather was cold. I miss him.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Down one hive.

Lance went out to check the hives yesterday. One of the hives has collapsed. Not sure why. There were bees flying in and out last week. He opened the hive to check on it and all the bees were gone except for a few dead ones in the bottom. He's not sure if he can save the honey or not. The other two hives are doing pretty well.

I hope to be able to buy him some more bees for his birthday, but they are somewhat expensive. That and the fact that we would have to drive over 2 hours to pick them up. For some reason, the USPS doesn't like buzzing packages! We've even offered to let other beekeepers who are looking for hive placements to put their bees here. No takers yet.

The apple trees will be in bloom very soon and the bees will be happy about that. They love those old apple trees. I am hoping to have a big wildflower garden this year as well. I had a small one last year and they loved it. I have ordered seeds and am hoping they will be here soon. I don't want to plant too early even though we are having a wonderfully warm Spring so far. I was looking at the almanac and it said that there is a chance of snow in mid-April. Blah!

Well, that's all for now. I will have a update on our house kitties. Someone was asking about them, not knowing we lost one in the fire.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Banks, Schmanks

Well, we got the first insurance check 3 weeks ago. We took it to the bank to deposit it so we could get started on the rebuild. The bank had other ideas. They decided that since they have an interest in the property, they had to keep the check for 3 weeks to make sure it wasn't a fraudulent claim.
The bank employee we usually deal with sent the check with some other paperwork to the home office in Ohio. Then we waited, and waited and waited some more. I finally lost my patience and called to find out what the problem was. I found out that they had "forgotten" to send it back. They would have to find it. Really? Mind you, it was sent to them via FEDEX. They finally sent it back, fully endorsed, via USPS. Can you believe that? They sent a fully endorsed check through the mail!
So we rushed to the bank to deposit the check since the letter stated that there wouldn't have to be another hold on it since they had already verified it. I got online today to check and low and hold - there's a freakin' hold on the damn check. Now I'm really ticked off. I am so sick of this bank! You had better believe that as soon as all this is done, we are taking our money else where. This is ridiculous.
I just want to be able to write the first check so that the contractor can start demolishing the old house. We are missing out on a lot of beautiful building weather! I am telling you, the less you have to deal with banks, the better off you'll be. Curious about what bank it is? Well, it starts with a K. It ends with a Y and there is an E in the middle. I do not recommend this bank.

Friday, March 16, 2012

What was that about?

Lliam will soon be 12 - less than a month away. Our usual tradition is to spend the night in a hotel so he can go swimming. This year, he mentioned that he wanted a backyard bug safari party. So like any good mother, I have been looking into ideas for such a party. It shouldn't be too terribly difficult.
He had also mentioned that he really liked a certain BB gun he saw at Traderbaker's. Well, we went ahead and bought the gun. We were going to save it for his birthday, but decided to give it to him early. Now my husband just bought the gun today and was going to give it to him this weekend. Why would we give it to him early? Well, he's been through so much lately, including having to change schools in the middle of the year. Hard enough for a regular kid, almost impossible for a special needs kid who HATES changes. He's been doing very well and we thought we would just reward that awesome behavior.
When he was picked up from school today, he asked if the gun was still at the store. His dad told him someone had bought it. OMG....the world just ended. Lliam started crying and blubbering about stupid people and he never gets anything. Lance was trying to get him to calm down and finally shouted out that HE had bought the gun as a surprise for him. Lliam calmed down then said he didn't want a birthday party and didn't want to stay at a hotel for his birthday this year.
Now I ask, was this a statement of stubbornness or was he feeling guilty for blowing up and acting out?
He called me and said he didn't want anything for his birthday. I asked him why several times, but he would only say he didn't know why, he just didn't want that this year. Is he finally realizing that people can do nice things on other days besides Christmas and birthdays?
I hope so, because we do nice things all the time for him. Take the new dog for instance. She wasn't in the budget right now, but she seemed like a perfect fit for him. I rearranged a few things and came up with the money for her. I don't know. It seems like to me that he doesn't always see the nice things, just the times he doesn't get what he wants. That's when we hear what terrible parents we are. How nice. Oh, I know, every parent gets told at one time or another how horrible they are. It's inevitable. It's part of growing up and finding out there are rules and limits to everything. All I can do is hope that someday he sees the light.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Indiana Sunsets

Some Indiana sunsets as seen while driving home.

Still deciding

I have been looking through all of my seed catalogs and even looking online, but I have such a hard time deciding what to grow. I plan on growing all the usual things like green beans, corn, onion, beets, carrots and tomatoes, but I can't decide which kind to plant. I love trying new things, but I like the old standbys too. AND my time is going to be severely limited this year due to already discussed issues.

I had saved a bunch of seeds from last years harvest, but they were lost. I found a few still in the jars, but I have no idea if they will grow or not. I am going to plant a tray with a few to see if they will even germinate. Hoping to do that this Saturday in the basement. Still trying to figure out a way to keep the felines out of the mix. I have one kitty, Albert, who is especially nosy. He's a handful that's for sure.

I was talking to my husband last night after watching part of a show on Nat Geo about "preppers". I told him we needed to at least think about a disaster plan. And since everything we did have stored was lost - we have to start all over. Here's what we came up with. We are planning on putting metal trash cans inside plastic trash cans to store some things like matches, candles, lamp oil, you know the basics. Why the two different cans? Well the plastic ones will keep out water, but since they can be chewed thru - the metal will keep out the critters. The plastic one will keep the metal can from being exposed to water and thus rust. I want to have a supply can in every building on the farm. That way if one is compromised, we have a back up. Always good to have a plan b. I am hoping that I can get a few extra seeds this year to start a survival garden if needed. It wouldn't have done us any good to store the seeds in the freezer like the guy on t.v. last night because of the fire. We will keep on researching and learning about storing viable seeds. Water would be our main concern. We have a well, but the only way to get the water out is with an electric pump. We are going to look at installing a hand pump for emergencies. Rain water is currently an option, however, if there should ever be nuclear fall out - it would make the rain toxic. It's scary to think of all the things that could happen!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Waiting for Spring to arrive.

I am at work today looking out the window. It's been raining most of the day. The wind is making the trees dance and clouds swirl. My husband is at home watching the Big 10 tournament. Yep, its March in Indiana. I am ready to play in the dirt of my garden. I love planting things and watching them grow. I love to eat fresh veggies right from the garden. I enjoy watching the butterflies and bees on their daily flower visits and listening to the birds sing. I can hardly stand living in town - I want to be back on my farm. That house won't be done soon enough!

I long to be outside with my son watching him explore the world of nature and learning from it. He'll be 12 very soon and not too long after that he'll be out in the world on his own. It chokes me up just thinking about it. Have I done everything I can for him? Have I taught him well enough to make it on his own? Have I made him understand that I will love him no matter what? That he can come to me with any question and I will help him find the answer?

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Let the Demolition Begin - Well not so fast!

Well the insurance company finally sent the first of 2 checks for the rebuild of our home. After some banking issues are cleared(we have to set up a separate account), we will begin.

Hopefully in the next week or so, the contractor can start tearing down whats left of our burned out house. He is optimistic that we will be able to use the existing foundation. He'll know more once the old structure is removed. He said he will have the building inspector out there to look a the foundation and make sure it is sound.
After the debris is removed, they are going to dig out the crawl space a little more. That way we have more room to move around if work needs to be done under the house in later years. As it sits, it is extremely tight. I went under there a couple of years ago to try to find a leak and ended up in a panic attack because I thought the house was going to fall on me. Claustrophobia sucks!

The contractor was trying to decide on the best place to put the circuit box. It has to be 3 feet away from any water source. I suggested putting it in the guest room closet. We don't have many guests and it would be out of the way, yet easy to get too. It would also be on the same side of the house as the main line from the road. He's considering that. He wanted to put it with the furnace, but the water heater and water softener are going to be in there and its not a huge closet area.

We know we are going to have a least 2 pocket doors. They are kinda cool and don't take up any room like a swinging door. Don't have to worry about punching a hole in the wall with a door knob either. Yay!

I can hardly wait to have a real pantry. I was looking at doors that say pantry on them last night in some catalogs we picked up at the home improvement store. I know that custom doors can be pricey, so I suggested we get a plain glass door and etch it ourselves. Then we can put whatever design and graphic we want to on it. There are so many cool door designs. We can't decide on a front door. Wood, fiberglass, steel, stained, painted - what color.... so many choices!
The kitchen cabinets are going to be a tough choice too. Of course we have to stay well within the budget, but there are so many styles, colors and finishes to choose from. It's overwhelming to say the least. Laminate counter tops to allow for a granite (or other similar type) island top. What color? NOT WOOD GRAINED! Had that in the last house - looked terrible! Hubby was even picking out the appliances he wanted for "his" kitchen - whatever! He's lucky I liked what he was looking at.
Then we went and looked at lighting. Indoor, outdoor, ambient, task, ceiling mounts, drops, wall mounts, yard lights, porch lights, OMG!
Move on to kitchen faucets - narrowed it down to brushed nickel or oiled bronze - ok that wasn't too hard. What style? Definitely goose neck. Not too fond of the pull down sprayer type - all the displays seemed to be broken - is that a sign? Looked at sinks as well. Looked at one type that said "Heat, crack and chip proof" Looked up at the display model - cracked in two places! Really? Not very good for advertising. Might want to take a look at that again - sink people!
Moving on - what about the 3 toilets we have to pick. Are they all going to be the same? Oooo that one is neat - easy to clean base - no nooks and crannies - hey that one has a slam proof lid! Cool! Dual flush? Supposedly saves water by using less to flush liquid and a little more for solids. Can't they say poop? Everybody still poops right?
What about flooring? Absolutely No Carpet! How about laminate for the living room, kitchen and bedrooms and tile or slate for the bathrooms and laundry room.......