Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Oop! Ack! (Shameless Christmas endorsement ahead!)

As my old friend, Bill the Cat used to say so effectively.

I have been remiss in not reminding everyone to get out their editions of "The Autobiography of Santa Claus". In fact, now we/you're several weeks in the hole! Aaahh, just do like us and read a chapter at breakfast!

This terrific book covers all the bases! It smooths the link between Jesus and Santa in an inspired way; it covers the Santa's age issue, it covers the time travel issue, it covers the presents around the world thing and throws in great figures from history to boot. It even tells you what un-expected food you SHOULD be leaving on the mantel this year--hint: it involves caprines.

I didn't plan to like the book. I didn't even buy it for myself. I found in in my dad's pile a few years ago and wanted to see how they approached the whole Jesus thing. I was cynical and prepared to toss it back under the tree with disgust...

Didn't happen. I took it home, kept it and bought about 5 copies last year for a song on Amazon. I had a ball giving them away to friends. Wish I could find that same deal this year, but alas, no.

Get it. Read it. Love it. Not smarmy. Not trite. Interesting, sweet and worth reading each year.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Not ready

...for winter. I've done some of the prep work, but not nearly ready. We still need to get another load (50+ bales) of hay. We prefer to do that when there isn't snow on the ground, but the ground is frozen--kind of specific with our weather needs there.

Also, we don't have the stall flooring done, so we can't put up the south wall. And now, we've dug the stalls down to the point that today the water is seeping in under the skirt board at the bottom of the doors. So what little bedding in there is being soaked up with rain water.

Meanwhile I have $400 worth of rubber mats piled in the (future) tack room.

It was so cold this weekend that I had to put horse blankets on. It seems like I didn't use them until January last year. I cannot wait to have that south wall done, so I can shut the stall doors when it's raining and close the place up.

The giant sliding doors at each end have little gaps between the wood siding. I don't know what the ideal solution for this is, but I made a big trip to the log home store last year for Handyman and the guy there was nice enough to load me up with multiple options (for free), that we could try to decide how we would caulk these gaps without adding lots of weight to the already-massive doors.

My solution? Tyvek, man. I just want to staple tyvek across the entire inside of the door for the winter. Cuts down the breeze, keeps the snow out altogether. Handyman (Mr. Perfection) says no-go. Last year, in protest, and when I had an old, crippled rooster to watch out for, I stapled split open feed bags across the hayloft doors and the bottom of the big doors, to give the old buzzard a wind break.

Needless to say, this put H. into a twitching fit every time he came into the barn. But, it worked. He says Tyvek isn't cheap--not that that has EVER slowed him down on any plan he's ever hatched. I figure while he's in Evansville this weekend, Dad and I can do a whole lot of "visual damage" to the master plan.

Me and my dad--coneheads with a mission...

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Parenting for $100

Ah, 5 year-olds. You think they are so grown up, sometimes. Today we are trying to hurriedly clean up the landfill that is #2 and #3's room so they can go to a friends' house to play. #3 is found with her hand faaaaaaaaar down the back of her jeans. She says "eewww." That's enough to put me over the edge and I say, "Go to the bathroom and take care of whatever is going on. And wash your hands, WITH soap."

She heads off to the bathroom. Frankly, I don't even want to know what it was all about, even though I probably should. Next time I come down the stairs, she's calling from the bathroom, something about why she's not in her room cleaning.

I don't really listen all that closely. I'm sure it's some ploy to avoid cleaning. Then I hear, "I'm trying to get the marble out of my tights."

My thoughts go back to the first incident. Then I wonder, how long has the marble been down her tights? How far down her tights is it? What made her think that was a good idea? Whatever....

Just get in here and clean up this room!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

"Tree" house progress

Well, the roofing came in this week and we wanted to try to get it on before the snow fell, so #1 got her first lessons with drip edge...

You can see the full height of the place on the left side of the picture. That's an 8' green ladder below. On the other side of the house, it is only about 4.5 feet from the ground to the porch floor. That is where the "swinging" bridge will connect. The peak is about 12' from the porch deck.

While they were installing roofing, the building-permit guy came floating by...

Okay, not really, but we were totally surprised when this came over the back of our property. They were CLOOOOOOOOOOSE and so vividly beautiful.

This is the last piece of roofing going on for that side, and I had my camera set to night-shot because it was pretty dark. So, we're only half-done, but that's better than none-done.

All afternoon, while the construction was going on, I was doing "ultimate Fly-Lady". This is where you haul waste wood from the trees rows around your house and BURN them completely up, thus de-cluttering in the most intense way. It was very therapeutic. I was cleaning up the place, keeping warm and making sure Handyman didn't plummet off the side of his little obsession without supervision.