Thursday, September 29, 2016


It's that time of the year again. The cool, crisp mornings, the leaves beginning to change and a certain six year old daughter running around excited for her birthday. It usually starts a good month in advance.....her excitement that is. She'll start counting down the days and telling me all the toys she wants. This year was no different. Greta had a lovely seventh birthday.

She's getting so big! She is, by far, the tallest kid in her first grade class. Most people mistake her for a third or fourth grader. Her cousins came for her party this past weekend and she got to invite her best friend from school too. She's very much into Shopkins and had a Shopkin themed party.

My Dad also celebrated since they share a birthday. We had a nice dinner and cobbler that evening so as to not let his birthday get overshadowed by the Shopkin crazed seven year old. :) Happy Birthday Pops!

We try to do something a little special for the "unbirthday boy" (Wesley) and this year I bought him a set of two steering wheel controllers for the WiiU and rented Mario Kart 8 from the library. It was a hit! I'm pretty sure everyone tried their hand at that game, some we had to pry the steering wheel from their hands at the end of the day. Fun times!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Odds and Ends

September is always such a busy month. Lots of little things that keep me running. Mainly these two little things.

I feel like a glorified chauffeur lately. Taking them to school, taking them to Cub Scouts and Girl Scouts, church and school events. It's been exhausting but they are having fun and learning lots so it's all good.

Sean has been wanting to fix up a milling machine that he purchased several years ago and has been sitting in pieces in the back of the shop. Well to fix it up he needed several parts. Then, about a month ago, he found someone selling their milling machine on eBay. It was a good price but it was in Chicago. So after quite the ordeal (I'll save you the details) it has been shipped to us. He was able to get a trailer and pick it up at the shipping dock. The nice part about getting it here is that we now have something to unload it with! The mill weighs 2000 pounds and normally it would be unloaded by hand and engine hoist. Which really sucks. But now we have a skid loader! Yay! Sean had it off the trailer in less than 2 minutes. Pretty cool. So now he has all the parts to make a really nice milling machine that he plans to CNC.

Poor Sean stays pretty busy with projects around the house....some of which I create for him. For instance when I mow around the koi pond and get a little too close to the limestone rocks around the pond, suck one up and shoot it out at the open garage hitting my car. Funny thing is I didn't even know I shot a rock out until I was walking by my car and saw the carnage. Thankfully no kids were outside.

Do you remember those adorable little fluffy chicks we got a few months ago? They are now free ranging with the older hens and are nearly full grown. Crazy how fast chickens grow. They are 16 weeks old and could logically be laying eggs in four weeks (unless the shorter days cause them to wait until Spring). They are still small enough to squeeze through the wrought iron fences (unlike the older hens) and I routinely find them scratching around the dog pen. I don't think they know the dangers of free ranging in the dog pen and I have to check the pen each and every time I let the dogs out to go potty. Crazy chickens don't realize the quick meal they would become.

A couple of years ago my Mom gave me one of her tropical house plants. She and my Dad travel a lot and she thought it might stay alive longer if she gave it to me to take care of. It's kind of a special plant because I remember helping her plant the three baby plants in that pot when I was just a little kid. It's probably close to 30 years old. The plant has been in the same pot as long as I can remember and it's a healthy thriving plant, especially when it's outside all summer under our big oak. This summer I decided to re-pot it since it's root bound and was able to find a pot even bigger than the old one (I wasn't sure I could find a bigger pot but I did). It looks so happy in it's new pot. It's going to come inside soon because of the cool weather coming and I'm a little worried about how I'm going to move it. Perhaps it needs wheels.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

The Skid Steer

 If you remember, last weekend we brought in 15 big round bales to feed the critters, and I was complaining how difficult it was to move 1000 pounds with nothing but your hands. Well fast forward to today. We bought a skid steer to help out with all the heavy duty projects we do around here. We like the idea of a tractor but a good tractor with a front end loader is more than we want to spend right now, but skid steers....they can be quite affordable.

Sean found this one for sale and went and picked it up on Friday. It starts right up and runs like a champ. It's a diesel with a ton of hours on it that has been used at a stone retail shop but will be perfect for us to move round bales, put gravel on our driveway, clean out the horse pen and countless other projects we do. We're pretty excited about it.

Here is a video of Sean unloading it. He did great considering it was his first time driving it! The trailer we rented was an awesome hydraulic lift trailer. It raises and lowers with a switch, which was great for unloading stuff like this.