Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Jolly Roger

Tad says I am having a midlife crisis. He's wrong though. I am just being me. This is just me being me. I bought this 1989 Jimmy K1500. It's got a six inch lift on it and he is big and loud and big and fun. I was pretty distraught at having to sell my personal car (chrysler 300 touring - really pretty and badassed in a luxurious way) and go into the potato company car. It's a nice car, a Toyota Camry but..........it's a freaking potato. It has no soul and no character. None. And a zillion other people drive cars exactly like it. Does that sound like me? Nope. So I wanted a vehicle that was fun and had a soul and character. And one that could haul around the family and friends without me being the only one allowed to drive as is the case with the company car.

Meet Black Bart Jolly Roger, my pirate ship! Cause I am a Pirate Princess. We just call him Bart or Jr. for short. Isn't he just the coolest thing ever! He needs some work and what not but he is pretty much exactly what I was looking for. I am much happier now.
Amazingly enough when I stood Laddie next to Jr. I discovered my horse still has a bigger lift kit. Heh. Mostly this is just so I can put a picture of Laddie here.



There are of course other things going on in our lives and at the house right now but this is all I have time for right now. I am off to the World Equestrian Games in Lexington in two weeks from today with my best friend, Cheryl. To say we are excited is a massive understatement. I just wish we could take Jr. Too expensive and too rough and too loud though so we will take the company potato. The potato's name is Blackie because he is silver. I know, but it makes sense to me. Although I am considering changing his name to Spud. Heh.



Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Fight like a girl

Just because I love this song by Bomshel. The lyrics ring so so true for me. It's what I was taught by my mom and my dad while I was growing up. It's what I try to live now. It must have been a lesson well taught because I am almost always confident I can, in fact, take on the world if I need to or want to and nobody defines me except me. I had fabulous parents and role models.
Thanks Mom and Dad.
Little girl alone on the playground
Tired of gettin' teased and gettin' pushed around
Wishin' she was invisible
To them
She ran home cryin'
"Why do they hate me?"
And Mama wiped the tears and said
"Baby, you're brave and you're beautiful.
So, hold your head high.
Don't ever let 'em define
The light in your eyes.
Love yourself, give them Hell.
You can take on this world.
You just stand and be strong
And then fight
Like a girl."
At 31 she was wheelin' and dealin'
Kept on hittin' that same glass ceilin'
She was never gonna be one of the boys, no
She coulda gave up on her ambition
And spent the rest of her life just wishin'
Instead she listened to her mama's voice sayin'
"Hold your head high.
Don't ever let 'em define
The light in your eyes.
Love yourself, give them Hell.
You can take on this world.
You just stand and be strong
And then fight
Like a girl."
Oh, with style and grace
Kick ass and take names
Ten years of climbin' that ladder
Oh, but money and power don't matter
When the doctor said "the cancer spread"
She holds on tight to her husband and babies
And says "this is just another test God gave me.
And I know just how to handle this"
I'll hold my head high
I'll never let this define
The light in my eyes
Love myself, give it Hell
I'll take on this world
If I stand and be strong
No, I'll never give up
I will conquer with love
And I'll fight like
Like a girl

Monday, August 2, 2010

Quick catch up


Windshield time. I've been spending a huge amount of it lately. 9,000 miles in two months. That's a big fat UGH. But at least on this day the sky was pretty. This is somewhere inbetween Buttcrack, OK and Armpit, OK - otherwise known as Anywhere, OK. OK sucks.



Bubba. What is there to say about Bubba? He is furry. He like everybody. He is a helper. He is Andy's dog. His rapper name is Tu Pak Poo Cap. Ask Andy about that one.


Stinky. Aka Mr. Grumpy Pants. Stinky is a grumpalumpus lately. But I still completely heart him. Cause he is Stinky.




I do. As big as my butt. I also heart drawing on the sidewalks, driveway and street in chalk. It's fun!!!




These remind me so much of home in California. We had them all the time. I also miss California weather. Because AR weather sucks a lot sometimes. As big as my butt and that's big according to Andy.





Hah! God this child of mine just drives me nuts in good ways and bad ways but always, always, always and in all ways the boy just makes me heart swell up with laughter and love. He is due home in a couple of days from a 3 and 1/2 week safari to Africa with my mom and dad. Lucky boy. I can't wait for him to be home.





Me and Tad, or at least our shadows. I loved this picture.






Back before our town turned into the Sahara. I don't know that Andy ever saw this because it just kept snowing. I love the snow. Andy hates it but I love it.







Tad just goofing off.





Tad's new truck. It's a 1986 Chevy with a 350 V8 shortblock, 4 barrel holly carberator, aluminum intakes, glass paks, 33" tires and 4" lift and blah blah blah. I have no idea what any of that means. It's loud and looks neato. It has enough power to see him through but no acceleration to kill him. This was before we had it painted.



This is after we had it painted. It still needs some work but it will get there. Tad hasn't seen it yet and boy is he going to lose his mind. My mom will also lose her mind but not in the same way Tad will. We'll cope with both.


I had to stay the night in sucky OK and was trying to send Andy a cellshot the next morning to let him see I was wearing my new favorite t-shirt but it never would send. The shirt is a cupcake (pretty pink one) saying "Muffins are just ugly cupcakes" to a muffin (ugly brown one) and the muffin responding with, "Cupcakes are haters." I freaking heartheartheart this shirt. Plus! Plusplusplusplusplus! OMG it's scratch and sniff! That part just makes me laugh out loud in delight. I may have to go back and buy a duplicate!



Tad and Smelly Cheeto Kitty. Not a good shot but oh well. Smelly Cheeto Kitty is Tad's cat/my cat. He is a total little miniature version of Stinky. Stinky hates Smelly. Smelly loves Stinky. Bubba loves them both. It's a zoo.




I had the big ugly tree in front of tad's window cut down. What a huge difference it makes in how the house looks. I should have had it felled a year ago.

That's it. All I have time for right now. I'm way backed up on reports and estimates because I took a couple of much needed days off after my dad's death a couple of weeks ago. Now it's time to put the nose back to the grindstone.

Love on!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Fireworks


Morgan likes to blow things up, so Independence Day is one of her most favorite holidays. "I wish it were the Fourth of July every day," she said.

The idea of that is frightening, to be honest. We had quite the war zone over the house the past two days.


Laddie, Morgan's horse, is a big old boy. He seems thrilled about his new digs, too. There's grass to eat, for one. He doesn't pay much attention the two mares that are in his pasture with him, but he's all about the grass.


Over my vacation, I hauled two tons of topsoil and another half-ton of compost to nearly finish the beds along our eastern fence in the back yard. We're undecided about what to plant here, but I'm thinking oak-leafed hydrangea with a row of day lilies along the front edge. We'll see. Either way, it's better than the poison ivy that was there before.


I've also been trying to rectify the soil in the garden as the plants become spent. The area where the potatoes were is nearly free of the larger rocks and I've added compost in. Hopefully, after a fall of this, we'll have a better garden next year.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Andy loves me as big as my butt

So the other day Andy and I were walking back to the car after having gotten lunch down on Dickston Street. I asked him how much he loved me. He replied, "I love you as big as your butt." I instantly fell in love with him all over again. Then later that day I decided to try out the video camera on my new phone. And thus a new project was born! I am now taking a one minute video everyday for a year of Andy. It's massively fun (at least as big as my butt!) and what strikes me the most is how in every one of them we are just cracking up like five year olds. I heart Andy. All the time. More news and updates later. Right now I just wanted to get this video up. Because it makes me laugh. The volumn is a little low because Andy is soft spoken but you can hear him if you turn it up and listen closely. Love on!

video

Monday, May 17, 2010

Furry Friend Time



Stinky and Bubba have become good friends over the last few months. They have a sort of daily throw-down that lets Bubba play and lets Stinky beat the crap out of Bubba and everyone leaves happy. We call it Furry Friend Time.

Behind the two furry dummy heads you can see how much the flower garden in front of the door has grown. Morgan added a set of solar lights to the walkway that is really cool.

We really need to paint that door.



The garden gets very little sunlight during the day, but we're still giving it a try. I planted beans, garlic, cucumber, peas, hot peppers and corn to go with the herbs, tomatoes, onions, potatoes and even more peas that Morgan planted. Yesterday, I staked the beans and the peas and we caged two of the tomato plants.

So far it's clear that we'll have all the rocks that we can eat.



Probably my biggest accomplishment today was changing out the front tires on the lawn mower. This was no easy task, but with the help from the guys at the local lawn mower shop, I was able to do it myself. It steers so much easier now that it has inflated tires and grease in the steering sector.

I finally sorted out the float situation and have it running pretty well now. The Briggs & Stratton engine employs a gas tank that is lower than the carburetor. That's the source of our problems now. If we mow on an incline and have the tank lower than it already is, it runs out of gas and dies. Not sure how to fix this, but it does better when the gas tank is full.



Morgan also picked up a set of cushions for the redwood chairs. Now we can sit and watch the sun go down, at least until the mosquitoes take over. They were tested out today by a couple who was walking by. The woman had just had surgery and tired out halfway home so they asked to stop. I brought them water and they stayed for a bit before leaving.



The pump in the pond started to poop out, so I rigged up the larger pump that we got with the pond. The water was getting rather murky with just a little pump, but with this big one it has started to clear up. The waterfall is so much nicer now, too.

We added a fern or two and a few flowering plants that I'm not too sure about. The toads have set up shop in our pond which is delightful.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Morgan and her horses



Morgan has befriended a couple who operate a draft horse rescue out of their Greenland home and has made herself useful around their place. The couple work full-time jobs and welcome accomplished help that Morgan can give. Here she is brushing out a horse that she has been given responsibility for.



These two are meant for one another.



She also checks on the other horses there at the rescue and takes care of a horse that has been adopted by Cheryl Best, Morgan's best friend. These two are lucky to have Morgan and Cheryl. After a long while as work horses, they are totally spoiled now.


These are two of the other horses there at the rescue. Their hooves are as big as dinner plates.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Buttercup


Morgan is wanting a horse.

She's wanted one for quite some time now; 40 years or so. (The fact that she told me she is 29 makes this hard to believe, but I decided not to point that out.) We are looking at horses and places to put them.

The above is taken amongst a field of buttercups on a piece of land north of West Fork that is for lease.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Lazy bones



It's been a long time since I have posted any progress that we have made with the house, long enough to have to put up 10 photos.

Morgan contracted with a lawn care service which has sprayed a herbicide to kill the myriad weeds that have set up shop in our front lawn and a fertilizer for what little grass remains. We need to start overseeding once this cold snap moves through.



The plants that we put in during the fall have come up and we have added scores more in the front flower garden. It's starting to fill in, but we haven't had many days warm enough to get things going.



There are now fish in our fish pond and a very understated waterfall to keep them with enough air. The lily of the valley, Vinca and the ferns that we planted are quite happy. I'm not sure if we want to plant the Hosta and the coral bells here, though, since it gets a bit more sun in the middle of the day than I think they would like.



Morgan is not happy that there are ants on her peonies, and telling her that ants are always on peony buds hasn't helped much.



The pansies from the fall are still hanging around and the tulips didn't amount to much, but the peonies that we planted have come up and are doing well.



The shade garden along the east side of the house is coming along nicely, too. The first Hosta on the left side was tiny before we planted it in the nice soil that we made and now look at it!



Morgan's garden is slow to get going, but it's early yet. She has tomato, bean spinach and a bunch of stuff that we haven't put out yet.


We have been working on making a bed along the east fence in the back yard. I got a bad case of poison ivy after pulling all of the poison ivy out of the bed, but it's coming along. We're not sure what to plant in here once we get it filled with some topsoil, but I'm thinking some daylilies and burning bush.



We have bamboo that sprouts up overnight and grows so quickly. This has grown this much in a week.

Creepy.


The 2009 ice storm knocked down several trees in the back yard, this one included. I smoothed the ground around it and it's ready to be ground up.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The dummy heads

video

Morgan is in Arlington, Texas, for two weeks of training, so I thought I would upload a video of the cat and dog for her to see.

Isn't this fun?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

St. Valentine's Day


For part of Morgan's present for St. Valentine's Day, I built for her a shelf in the garage where she can store stuff. Not very romantic, I know, but for someone who frequents auctions to the point where she has her very own seat saved for her for each auction, this might be a handy addition. She bought so much at the last auction that she put herself on auction probation. I didn't ask how much she spent. I didn't want to know.

Considering that I didn't sit down and draw this out before starting to build it, it turned out nicely, and should house all of her stuff once she gets off auction probation.



I even added a heart. In orange, no less.



Morgan borrowed a carpet steam cleaner from her parents that we used to clean the carpets in the wake of adding two pets to the family, though I'm not sure if our landlord cleaned the carpets before we moved in. I doubt it seriously judging from what this thing pulled up.



With the carpets cleaned, and they really look great, Bubba has to be good. His house training is going OK, but he hasn't yet started letting us know when he has to go outside. We work with him and have him on a schedule of sorts, but he's still only a few months old so it might be a bit.

While I was cleaning the carpet in Morgan's office, I brought Bubba in with me so I could watch him. Well, I was keeping an eye on him; I was too busy to watch him. The next thing I know, he'd made a pile right where I had just cleaned.

Groan.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Birthday Redux

Andy's birthday is January 28th and mine is January 29th. Last year there was a great big ol' nasty ice storm that rolled through NWA on January 27th, knocking out the power for most of Northern Arkansas. We weren't able to celebrate our birthdays together (we weren't living in sin at that time). We celebrated them a few days later at the Days Inn which was one of the few places in F'ville that had power.
I am pretty sure that's why Andy fell in love with me - I found a place with electricity.

So what happens this year? Big ol nasty storm comes blowing through on our birthdays! Again! It's not nearly as bad as the one last year but it's still pretty impressive by Arkansas' standards. There is several inches of snow on the ground already, this coming after a night of freezing rain and sleet. Poor Andy is out working in this crap. At least I get to work inside.

We've had a nice couple of days despite the weather. We had friends over for dinner the 26th and the 27th. A bunch of friends whose company we really enjoy. Everyone had a good time and the food was fabulous. Of course this year I am missing having Tad here for my birthday - a first ever for me since I had him 15 years ago. That makes me sad. But other than that, it's been nice except for the crappy weather.

I've enjoyed today though. I always love my birthday. It's such a cool day. I've successfully completed another year of my life. I've laughed and loved and cried over another 365 days that I was gifted with. I've stumbled some with a failure here and there and had great successes as well. A few more wrinkles and gray hairs. A thousand more beautiful moments of love and joy. How freaking cool is that! It's why I love love love my birthday. I am now 43 years old. That's a lot of memories and laughter and tears I've been gifted with. I am blessed. Birthdays rock!

So today I've been in charge of potty patrol with Bubba. I would have bet money that this little shih tzu would hate the snow. He's a toy breed, right? Aren't they supposed to be frail and girly and fragile and sort of wussy? Oh no, not our Bubba. He LOVES the snow. He goes racing around in it, happy as a polar bear. He buries his head in it, snaps at the flakes flying in the air, carries around chunks of it, digs stuff up out of it, the whole nine yards. If I had a sled his size I am sure he would use it. He is really turning into such a delightful addition to our family.

That's my update. Now I am off to eat some more of my yummmmmmy mushroom soup. I already had my favorite - cold chocolate birthday cake for breakfast! YUM!

Love on!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Bubba



Bubba is a Shih Tzu puppy who showed up at our house without a collar or a home, so we took him in. That is, his name is Bubba now that we decided his name is Bubba. Clearly, he's a Bubba.

We are trying to find his home, but he and Morgan think that he already has. Ours. He has no microchip, no collar, and there is no one looking for a Shih Tzu puppy in the city or county. No one has responded to our ad on Craigslist.org. There are no signs for missing dogs in or around our neighborhood.

Stinky thinks that we should drop him off at the nearest truck stop and wish him well.

Admittedly, he's sort of a wimpy dog, but he's lovable and sweet. Why a pure-bred Labrador puppy couldn't show up is beyond me, but that's how family works sometimes. We don't always get what we ask for. We don't always need what it is that we want. Bubba found us and we found him. He's in our family now, and he's already comfy with everyone.

Except Stinky, who hates his guts.



After hanging some furring strips, I put up two sheets of peg board in the garage for Morgan and I to hang our stuff on. Directly behind my truck is a two-foot-by-four-foot wide strip of peg board cut from the end of this one above my work bench where I am putting the string trimmer, extra line and two-cycle oil. Very handy.



I like the blue. We had weighed gray, taupe and considered a bamboo green, but the blue won out.

My favorite hardware store is getting rid of a bunch of hangers and selling them for 10 cents apiece. I bought 40, but it looks like I need about 40 more.



As for the riding lawn mower, it turned out really well. The carburetor came out of the cleaner looking brand new and the rebuild kit went in without a hitch. It started on the first pull, though the idle circuit was tuned a little fat. I leaned it out and it runs like a top.

With a new fuel line, float bowl, fuel filter and muffler (which looks bad now that the paint has started to burn off after running for a bit), it should be ready for spring. I'll be happy if I can mow the lawn without having to hop off the mower to shake the needle loose.

On a sad note, the air compressor died. Though the crank case seemed full of oil given how oily everything was, it had been run while dry quite a bit before ending up with me. I fixed it up and then cracked open the crank case only to find that it was filled with metal dust. The connecting rod was worn completely through, so I had to scrap it.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Working inside



After Morgan redid the master bathroom, we were left without a toilet paper holder; mostly because we found one that we liked, but it costs $45 and partly because, well, we just never got around to buying one. Then one showed up today both on the floor of the bathroom and on my chore list.

I hope that is the last time that I have to use a screw driver whilst sitting on the toilet.



Morgan and I marked our first year of knowing one another on the 15th. At least that's when we decided our anniversary was. It's hard to believe that it's been a year already. It's hard to believe it's only been a year. Funny how it works that way when it's good.

As a present to mark this and my upcoming birthday, Morgan bought a table saw for me.

I'm not good at receiving unexpected gifts, especially ones this large, but it is a very nice gift and one that I will use and enjoy. After growing up in a house with a wood shop, it's been difficult to live without a table saw.



With said table saw, I have begun to hang cleats in the closet in Morgan's office to put up shelving. She's good at going to The Home Depot and sweet-talking the men there to use their radial arm saw to cut the shelves, so I'll let her do that part.



I used caulk to fill around the cleats, and will paint them in a few days with some wall paint that I found in the garage. The paint has aged a bit, though, and even with good shaking and stirring it still fails to match perfectly, but it's close enough for a closet.



Morgan picked up this old handmade air compressor at an auction for $8. My best guess is that it was made in the 1950s and charmed me immediately. The surplus motor needed some rewiring, the belt was shot and the air hose was rotten, but after a bit of work and some parts from Lowe's, it works well enough to fill a tire.



This is probably a project that is more my speed, the Ariens riding mower is getting a modest overhaul during the winter months. I get along with gas-powered objects. The carburetor was rather lacquered and needed to be rebuilt, but I have it soaking in a carburetor cleaner and it's looking very good so far. I will also replace the belts, the fuel line and the spark plug wire; sharpen the blade and try to fix the three flat tires with some new inner tubes. I might even move that weird ground wire that someone decided just had to go over the manifolds.

The engine had a bad tendency to surge, and the float would stick shut, but it always started, though it took a bit of pulling. Several times while mowing, it would lean out and I had to give it a good shake to break the needle valve free. Our neighbors must think we're really odd, but with a pirate flag flying over our deck, shaking the lawn mower is probably the least of what all that has made them think that.