Concrete Jungle

I like watching most kinds of construction in our neighborhood.  There’s always some new house going up and I’ll stop and take a gander during my neighborhood walks.  All the construction guys know me but oddly I don’t get catcalls and whistles.  They must just be very well-mannered. :)  Yes, that must be it.  I especially like to see concrete being poured and shaped and I had a very good time watching the pad being poured for our little house yesterday.  There’s a lot of skill involved obviously, but there is an art to it as well.

Looks like grown up mud pies.

Looks like grown up mud pies.

These guys have done this a few times and they sure make it look easy.

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And “messing up” is not an option with concrete.  Especially after it starts to harden up.

Almost there guys!

Almost there guys!

The weather was just right for the pour and I had a good time watching the crew.  There was only one slight glitch in an otherwise perfect day.  A large chicken wandered on to the work site and before we could stop him, he left his mark in the hardening pad.

No worries.  I kinda like it. :)

No worries. I kinda like it!

 :)

Sweet!

Sweet!

Progress!

The back yard of our little rental house is really coming along nicely.  Our plan was to switch the parking area from the far side of the yard to directly behind the house.  This will expand the back yard and provide easier access for cars to park.

Before the chaos.

Before the chaos.

We are removing some picket fencing but we will recycle it after the pad is poured.

going...

going…

going...gone!

going…GONE!

The next step is for Chris and his crew to place the big posts that will hold up the carport roof.

Busy, busy, busy.

Busy, busy, busy.

We’re also going to dig up all those pavers but save them for some pathways and a small patio.  We’ll replace them with sod and the yard will be about 1/3 bigger than it is now.

All four posts set.

All four posts set.

Then it was time for Ricky to come in with his concrete crew to ready the pad for pouring.

Jim wants do drive one of these contraptions.  He thinks it would be like playing with adult Tonka trucks. :)

Jim wants to drive one of these contraptions. I just can’t see it.

At the end of the day, the pad is ready for pouring.

Ta Da!

Ta Da!

The noise was pretty loud at times and G. T. even came in once or twice to escape the din.

Theysure make it hard for a guy to get some sleep around here!

They sure make it hard for a guy to get some sleep around here!

Oh, yes…it bothered Mulder a lot too.

Worthless creature!

Worthless creature!

 

Graycie’s New Love Nest

Graycie and Manny have been putting the finishing touches on their groovy new outdoor living area.

Welcome to our home.

Welcome to our home.

They have cubby holes for hiding in…

You should see what I've done to the place!

You should see what I’ve done to the place!

And lots of room for running around…

Manny, you've got to see this!

Manny, you’ve got to see this!

Plus they have lots of hay to nibble and fresh veggies for their gourmet meals.

I prefer Italian parsley.

I prefer Italian parsley.

But the best part is that Graycie has a whole new group of friends!  These are just a couple of the new pals she’s met at her new home with her Mama Mary.

My name is Emma.  I am a Dwarf and I was abandoned after my owner became bored with putting me in shows.  :(

My name is Emma. I am a Dwarf and I was abandoned after my owner became bored with putting me in shows. :(

And I'm Count Chocula.  Mamma Mary rescued me NINE YEARS AGO!  I'm still as handsome as ever.

And I’m Count Chocula. Mama Mary rescued me NINE YEARS AGO! I’m still as handsome as ever.

You have a beautiful sanctuary Mary and a giant heart!  Thanks for giving Graycie and all your beautiful creatures a wonderful home!

Apples to Apples

I was feeling pretty smug about my apple trees this season. I have two different varieties and they produce fruit at different times of the year.  This year, one of them has gone crazy with more apples than we can eat and I was pretty proud of our little backyard “orchard”.

Butterfly near the top. :)

Butterfly near the top. :)

That is until Tama sent me a picture of HER apple tree!

!!!

Good Grief!

Then, she had the gall to send me a picture of her PEAR tree!

Sheesh!

Sheesh!

OK, Tama–I get it.  Germania is awesome, your trees are amazing, and my trees are lame and sad.

A POX UPON YOUR TREES!

Oh, here’s a bit of news you might find interesting…

Jim pet GT!!!!!!!

Jim pet GT!!!!!!!

Life is good.

Happy Fall Y'all!

Happy Fall Y’all!

:)

Lions & Hikers & Bears Oh My!

I was curious about how many different critters Jim would see in the Smoky Mountains on his backpacking trip, so I Googled “Animals in the Smoky Mountains” and saw a list with close to 500 different animals.

Jim on the left.

Jim on the left.

I put together a little welcoming committee to greet him upon his return.

Not quite 500, but a good gathering nonetheless.

Not quite 500, but a good gathering nonetheless.

Alas, he said he only saw some bear poop and a salamander. Well, I’m glad he didn’t see any of these…

grrrrrrrrrrrrr...hissssssssss...

grrrrrrrrrrrrr…hissssssssss…

…or these

Howwwwwwlllllllll

Howwwwwwlllllllll

along the trial.

And in keeping with the Beanie theme, I ran across four little guys on Ebay that I could not help bidding on.  The bidding started at $1.50 each so I said “What the heck!”

BEANIES IN SWEATERS, CAN YOU STAND IT???

BEANIES IN SWEATERS, CAN YOU STAND IT???

I was the only bidder and I could NOT believe my luck.  When Jim saw them he told me I should be ashamed of myself for stealing these from some poor soul who either made these custom sweaters, or paid handsomely for them back in the Beanie heyday.  While I do love a bargain, I thought he was right, so I sent the seller some more moolah for which she was very surprised and grateful.

Seriously!  How cute are these guys?

Seriously! How cute are these guys?

:)

Lofty Indulgence

Jim is gone AGAIN!  This time he’s in the Smokey Mountains hiking the Appalachian Trail with some of his co-workers. Am I sad that he didn’t take me?  NO!  I am a big fan of air-conditioning, soft mattresses and indoor plumbing.  He left on Thursday and gets back tonight so I had a long time to feel sorry for myself and think of some mischief to get into.  I got a wild idea that I would take a mini-vacation to a little VRBO (Vacation Rental by Owner).  This little loft is above a neighbor’s garage and I’ve seen photos of it online and heard so many nice things about it, that I decided to have a one-woman sleepover there while Jim was gone on his adventure.

The pictures do NOT do it justice.  It's even prettier than this!

The pictures do NOT do it justice. It’s even prettier than this!

The owners have spared nothing in making this not only functional and comfortable, but cozy and beautiful as well.

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My TV viewing oasis.

My TV viewing oasis.

The attention to detail is unparalleled here and I couldn’t stop looking at all the touches that made this loft a perfect subject for COTTAGE LIVING MAGAZINE.

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I actually brought some groceries and snacks to make my stay more fun and I had a good pal over for some wine and cheese soon after I got there.

The kitchen lacks NOTHING!  Some real goor-met meals can be made here.

The kitchen lacks NOTHING! Some real goor-met meals can be made here.

And even later that evening, a gaggle of females busted up in my crib to check out my little pleasure dome.  I had given up on having any company by then so I was wearing my super-sexy granny nightgown when they knocked on the door.  This is a site they will not soon forget, and a great honor that only a chosen few get to witness.

As the night wore on I was getting sleepy and looked forward to crawling into a very comfortable-looking bed.  Pets are not allowed, but I brought Buster to keep me company anyway.  Don’t tell anyone!  He was very quiet and didn’t make much of a mess.

Shhhhhhhhhhhhh.... Clanestine Bunny!

Shhhhhhhhhhhhh….

I slept beautifully,

Who wouldn't?

Who wouldn’t?

…and woke the next morning refreshed and feeling very pampered.  I made myself some coffee with the fancy Keurig machine with nearly 25 choices for coffee.  I then made a lovely breakfast and cleaned up after myself.  All this while my poor husband was sleeping on the ground and pooping in the woods.  (I’m so glad he doesn’t read my blog!)  Since we plan to turn our new little investment house into a VRBO, you can bet I was taking notes on how to do things right.  There are so many elements to think about and details to consider and my stay was like having a course in VRBO 101.

Now, if you want to check this little haven out you can go to this site to look at the calendar, check out some more pictures, and see the nightly rates. http://www.vrbo.com/307240

Oh, did I mention that this loft is only 375 square feet???

Thank you Dale & Rita!  I really enjoyed being “Queen For a Day!”

Teddy, Franklin, Eleanor & Me

Jim was gone on a trip for work last week, so while he was in Belgium spending your tax dollars I was home with my critters enjoying a great documentary on the Roosevelt family.  I’m an English teacher by training, but as a homebound teacher I’m usually required to instruct in all subjects for my students.  I found late in life that I have a real passion for history and a mild talent for teaching it.  One of my first experiences teaching history was a project a student had on American presidents.  They had to draw a name from a hat and do a report and an original monologue on their particular prez.  My kid got lucky and drew Theodore Roosevelt. We had a lot of fun learning about this iconic American president and I decided that the TEDSTER was my absolute favorite!  Whatever you can say about him you have to admit the guy certainly wasn’t boring!

So every night for a week, Mulder, Buster, the kittens and I settled down on the couch with a glass of vino (not the animals, just me) and enjoyed the show.  Usually we would all be awake for the first hour.

What's a "Roosevelt?"

What’s a “Roosevelt?”

And then slowly, one by one some of us would check out.

Why are there no kitties in this show?

Why are there no kitties in this show?

Until eventually only two of us would remain awake.

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

Buster thinks 4 terms is excessive.

Just sayin'

Just sayin’

The following Monday I had to return my foster kittens so they could be “fixed” and find forever homes.  I will miss them very much.

Can we bring this tree with us?

Can we bring this tree with us?

To console me, I think someone should buy this STEIFF animal for me.

ONLY $250.00!!!

ONLY $250.00!!!

Tama is in Germany, where they make these so maybe she can get a good deal.  Get on it woman!