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Happy Birthday, Duke!

Duke turned 3 today! He opened his presents this afternoon. His party is not until tomorrow afternoon so I’ll post those pics this weekend sometime. Sorry for the dark pics. The camera was in a bad mood today.

Opening the first one:

A gigantic toolbox!

Checking out the “secret compartment”:

“Ooh, we could hide bodies in there!”

Opening the second one:

Stupid tape!

Maybe if I just peek inside…

Whatever it is, it has handle bars!

Then Steve started putting it together. Turns out, part of it was welded upside down?? After some fiddling around, Steve got it put together and working right. But then it was too dark to take any more pics since the camera’s flash doesn’t work. I’ll take pics of it tomorrow. Holy Redneck, BatBubba!

And, of course, more Nellie pics.

Watching the unwrapping:

It was so cute, I had to crop it down to just Nellie:

And, a couple of days ago, she was smiling and laughing so I grabbed the camera. Of course, she stopped by the time I took the pic.

June 27, 2005

No house progress today but here are some other updates–garden pics and more Nellie pics for the relatives.

Some Zucchetta Rampicante Tromboncino.

A nice rainbow sampler of tomatoes from today.

A good haul of green chiles from today.

The new double row of tire planters we put in the front yard. These are the smaller tomatoes with a row of flowers behind them, nearer the road. All are being taken over by weeds.

And the back row of tire planters, filled with cherry tomatoes. Again, weedy as can be.

And somewhere in these tires are some herbs, hiding amongst the weeds.

And more weeds, I mean herbs.

Now for obligatory Nellie pics…

Duke took this pic, an up-your-nose angle.

Nellie’s “Bite me!” look.

And finally the big brother kiss.

Sorry for some of the pics being blurry. We still haven’t bought a new camera yet.

Miscellaneous winter accomplishments

A few things did get accomplished over the winter and spring. We got a shed built. Thanks to Jimmy and Carie for their help!

Also got a spot cleared for a shop that will be going up after the house is done (or at least weathered in). Don’t think I have a pic of the shop spot yet.

Steve built me a greenhouse this spring. I love it!! It’s just a temporary one for now. All of the material will be taken down and built into a new, bigger, fancier greenhouse that will be attached to the new house once it’s completed. This temporary one is about 6 feet by 21 feet with a 3′ wide shelf running the length of it.

June 26, 2005

We’re once again starting to work on the house now that the rains have stopped. Not good for the garden but good for construction. The rains of fall, winter, and spring did nasty things to the site but clean up is now about finished. Steve spent all weekend on the tractor getting the dirt piles where they needed to go.

June 26, 2005

Steve built me a greenhouse this spring. I love it!! It’s just a temporary one for now. All of the material will be taken down and built into a new, bigger, fancier greenhouse that will be attached to the new house once it’s completed. This temporary one is about 6 feet by 21 feet with a 3′ wide shelf running the length of it.

Steve is working on gates for the garden area. The small one is finished but the large one still needs to be completed. The garden itself is now completely fenced (not as well as could be but it keeps most of the critters out). We also converted the whole garden to raised beds. The front of the garden was built up to be level with the rest and Steve built a temporary wooden log retaining fence. I will add better pics of these improvements if I ever get around to taking some. Oh, and added a new double row of tire planters in the front yard. You can see a pic of the garden in its current state on my June 26, 2005 entry. The tire planters in the front yard will be posted in my next entry, June 27, 2005.

June 26, 2005

Here’s a shot of the garden while I’m at it. We have a bumper crop of weeds this year!

And some new Nellie pics for the relatives. I think she inherited my hatred of cameras. Everytime I’d try to take her pic, she’d move her head away from the camera.

Nellie Pearl — 6 pics

Nellie Pearl, born Tuesday, 5/17/2005, at 9:50 a.m.

October 18, 2004

Sorry I haven’t been updating this much. I got hurt a couple of weeks ago and have to hobble around on crutches for a while. So, I don’t get up to the house site much and always forget to bring the camera with me.

Still, there’s been progress. The partial floor we poured has finished curing.

I will try to get up there (and remember the camera this time!) soon so that I can post pictures.

September 30, 2004

Aren’t delays wonderful? No, I don’t think so, either. We finally poured half of the floor today.

Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve been getting the forms up, rock dust built up to the right level, keyway up, etc. Nothing exciting enough to update over, though. It has been slow going because daylight is growing shorter these days. By the time Steve gets home from work and we finish supper, the sun is starting to set already. Finally, though, we were ready to pour!

Steve ran into a friend, Danny, and somehow conned him into helping. (Lucky for us, not so lucky for the friend!) Plus, the fella who keeps cattle in the pasture across the road from us, Dallas, was driving by as the first cement truck arrived. He came up to see what was going on and got sucked in, too. We are so grateful to both of them for their help!!!

Today used 18 cubic yards of cement, three trucks total. The second half of the floor will be poured in probably three sections. The back section one day. Then we get the plumbing ready in the next section and pour that. Then, finally, we plumb the third section and pour that. It’s frustrating having to break it into different pours but we certainly don’t want the trucks driving over the plumbing to get to the back sections and we don’t want to pay for the big pump so we’ll deal with it.

On to the photos! I didn’t get any action photos as I was busy working myself. There are also no photos of the floor finished because it was already dark. Steve didn’t finish with the helicopter machine (I still don’t know the proper name for that!) and covering it to cure until about 2 this morning. I’ll take some pics of it once the plastic comes off in a week or so

Here it is, almost ready for cement. Just a few finishing touches to go.

Finished, rebar and plates in place.

Here’s a trench to be filled. It will support an interior concrete wall behind the stoves. The plate will support a center beam. There are also plates in the middle of the south and north walls.

We actually had to wait on the truck this time, which was a nice change! Usually, we’re running around trying to finish things in a hurry as they show up.

And the second truck getting ready to pour.

September 19, 2004 (new floor plan)

It’s been slow going lately and even slower updating our progress here. I still haven’t taken photos of the finished shed. Will try to remember to do that this week. We’re almost done forming up for the floor pour this week. Hope to have it poured Tuesday or so. Only going to do about half of it, the half without plumbing. Oh, I finally got the final floor plan uploaded. It’s changed quite a bit from the first one.

The house size increased from 30′ x 50′ to 40′ x 50′. We just found out that we’re expecting kiddo #5, sometime around May, so it’s a darned good thing we increased the size! We’re still trying to figure out the furniture arrangement in the bedrooms now with the extra kid but at least the basic floorplan is decided for the construction. The drafting software I use doesn’t save as something uploadable. (Is uploadable even a word??) So, I printed a copy off and then scanned it in as a photo. The interior lines were too light to scan, though, so I had to go back and trace with a pen to darken them. What was once a professional looking floorplan now looks like a kindergartener drew it. :-p So just pretend I drew my lines straight… I tried to label everything but holler if I missed something. The walls will all be 4″ drywall but the one behind the stoves will be 8″ concrete blocks for safety. The cookstove will be wood and we also plan on putting a little wood heat stove next to it for extra heat. I don’t have the spacing and sizing quite right on that (and a few other things) on the floor plan but it should be good enough to give you an idea. Most everything that is not an appliance will have shelves and/or hidden storage under/over/around. The “miscellaneous area” will be for a breakfast table or exercise area or whatever strikes our fancy. For right now, though, I just drew in some exercise equipment.

Enough blabbering. Here’s the floorplan:

*Update 11/21/2009: Yet another missing floor pan pic. I’ll add it to my to-find list.*

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