Saturday, February 28, 2009

The waterfall saga

Well, we have certainly enjoyed beautiful weather here this week! That was good news for my waterfall project. It has been on the fritz for the last month or so. I have been trying to fix the leakage problem. And by george, I think I've got it! It all started about 2 1/2 years ago (the actual project anyway--the vision was around WAY before that). I dug for several days. . . And made a big hole.

Dear hubby told me it wasn't big enough, so he helped me dig it a little deeper.

The hole needed to be deep enough to get plenty of water into, to minimize my time spent filling the feature up with water to keep it running. It is also called a pondless waterfall. This means that the actual pool is covered up with rocks so that no one can fall in and drown but we still get the effect from the waterfall--a safer version of a water feature. We started to form the stream beds by building up the area with old cinder blocks. The water fall starts from the 25 gallon drum we half buried at the back of it. PVC pipes run from the pool back behind the stream and hook into the drum.

Next we dumped a bunch of dirt on the top of the blocks, covered the actual stream beds with old carpet and pond liner and started setting the rocks around it. Our water feature actually features two waterfalls into two short stream beds that empty into the pool below.

The work was hard and hot--we did it at the end of July and first of August. What a reward at the end though! It attracts lots of wildlife. We especially get a kick out of watching the birds in it. In fact, just this week after we turned it back on, little C and I counted 6 birds bathing at the same time in the stream closest to the window. That is a hilarious site. Those cute little birds get SO ugly when they are wet and all their feathers are fluffed out! They shake and shimmy and the water just flies in beautiful little droplets that catch the sunlight! C just laughed when their booties were shakin!

The falls have been shut down now for the last 3 weeks. I finally took all the rocks off the east fall and started all over. I fluffed and remolded parts. I reset several rocks at a time and then would just watch and see. This actually took us 3 days of working (us is Little C and me). Finally Thurs, just in time for the cold weather to hit, we got the bottom of the fall re-rocked and low and behold, today the water level is still just right, so I guess we got it! There was still ice at top of the pool this afternoon when I checked it. It usually runs really well even thru the winter. I have discovered that if the weather doesn't get above freezing for 3 days in a row, it is usually iced over till it just drips. . . at that point we turn it off. It is so funny to watch the birds try to land on the iced up rocks to get a drink. They land and then start slippin and sliding!
I have sure missed it the last three weeks and am very thankful that it is up and runnin again. Broke the news to J last week that we will need the trailer when we go to the folks in March--need another load of limestone--have a new little tiny project brewing in my little curled head--his response???

He should have taken the chance when he had it!! M

Monday, February 23, 2009

Tribute to Uncle Pete

Decided to make pizza for supper tonight. It now takes two pizzas to feed us. I had our regular turkey pepperoni but wanted to do 2 different kinds. Ever since we stopped for pizza at uncle Pete's several years ago and fiested on "surf and turf" (AKA steak and shrimp) pizza, and some kind of sausage pizza--not to mention the mac and cheese pizza, hot dog pizza, and the dessert pizza he fixed for the boys--I have thought about different combos each time I made them here. Everytime tho, it was the same--pepperoni, mushroom, black olive and maybe some hamburger or sausage. Well tonight I did it!! I had a brainstorm and made "a concoction!" On my pizza crust I spread a thin layer of light ranch dressing, then shredded BBQ beef. On top put some pimiento peppers (only because little C threw the jar the other day and popped the lid off) then slices of provolone cheese and colby/jack cheese (sliced for sandwiches) then sprinkled a little more beef then drizzled with ranch dressing. VOILA!! She has imagination. G said "this is odd. . . not a bad odd--actually pretty good. J said "HMMM, interesting, but pretty good. Really good, in fact." It was good, if I do say so myself. . . And I did doubt myself as I threw it into the oven. Uncle Pete---Here's to you!! Love M

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Weekly update

Well, everyone is settled into bed here to rest up for another week! Reflections from the past week.
We caught mouse number FOUR in my car. I sure do miss my little car. I have sworn not to drive it till it has been at least a week after the last mouse caught. I find it so hard to believe that a parade of them walked in thru the door left open by the boys that one fateful night! You can't convince me that there is not a little neon sign somewhere under the hood that is blinking at dusk with a big arrow pointed at some miniscule hole. I also can't fathom why this is such a big deal to me and J is not a bit concerned!! I have been driving J's new dodge pickup up, but today switched to the suburban--since he took the pickup.
J went to a conceal and carry gun class today. He enjoyed it--but it ran over time by about 2 hours. He says he has always wanted to take a class like that, so more power to him. He went with 3 friends. Sounded like a good day.
D and I have had lots of togetherness this weekend. J had to help cut meat at the conservation supper last night, so he took the older boys, who had to help clean tables off and practice manners and they went to town. D wanted corndogs, so we had a regular nasty supper of them. C liked hers too. Had to make pies for that too. So my theory is, no difference in making 2 or 4 of them. So sent two to town and we have been fiesting on chocolate cream and lemon meringue. Wow, did I mention my new exercise program starts this week after the cholesterol check tomorrow? It does.
G will be in the spelling bee this Thursday at school. T can't spell to save his life (got that naturally from his dad). He will have his friends over Sat for his bday party. Also has to practice music to play during the offering at church next Sunday.
T starts track practice after school starting tomorrow. he is pretty excited for that. Not sure I will get to make it to very many meets.
This community gets a choir together twice a year for a Christmas Cantata and an Easter Cantata. It is essentially just a presentation with narration and choir music--based on each story. I have been interested in trying it for the last 15 years that I have been here. I finally decided to make it work. That started today. They had a babysitter, so D and C went with me to that while the big boys had gone home with a friend after church. I think there will be about 20 or so people singing. It was good--i think I will like it! THe presentation will be performed the night before Easter. I am off that weekend, so it will work out well.
Well, think that about sums up our week. I get both Tues and Thurs off this week, no family planning clinic--so am excited. Oh, have seedlings coming up in the basement--so will mess with them and will tackle some other put-off projects. MaBina--is that Terri?? leave a comment if it is you! Hope everyone else has a good week. Love Me

Monday, February 16, 2009

Day of the speeches

Well, we survived 4-H club day. The boys have really been working pretty hard on their stuff for club day. T did a demonstration on making peanut banana muffins (in the cookbook girls). He did a good job and really had most of it memorized. He got a little obsessive on filling in the muffin cups with the mixture and talked himself right on thru the end before he realized that he was supposed to stop and show his real muffins. He was so much better than last year! Got a blue ribbon. He was also in a small ensemble of 6th graders (all girls) and they played a couple of pieces. They got top blue and so get to perform at Regional 4-H day in March. He was pumped! G did a talk on the top 10 reasons to eat more fruits and vegetables. He was visibly more nervous than T and i had to tell him later that when he messed up he shouldn't say "oh wait a minute" he should recompose and go on. He also spent a lot of finger energy messing with his little sticker things for his poster. He also had a lot memorized and got a blue ribbon. His ensemble of 3 5th graders got a blue ribbon also. They were well pleased. Tonight I went over to Jen's sorority and gave a little talk on fast food restaurant choices. They were a fun group and very interactive, which is always easier for me to speak to, instead of just lecturing. After the presentation we indulged in chocolate cake, and didn't feel a bit guilty! YUM! Well, am looking forward to my whole day off tomorrow with NOTHING to do. Might make cookies, might not. Need to clean some stuff up, we'll see. Hope everyone has a great day. M

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentines Day

Is this pathetic that I am blogging on Valentine's day?? Oh well, we had a great day anyway! I always like to make a nice supper for all the guys--and the new girl to celebrate. J wanted lobster (like we know anything about lobster or fixing lobster, but I picked up 2 tails at Sams for him to try out) We also had a couple of steaks with them. The lobster turned out very well--he grilled it with a little butter, salt and lemon juice on them--yum, yum. G has very expensive tastes too and he loved it as well-T and D thought it was nasty. We had twice baked potatoes, little bundles of green beans wrapped in bacon, and salad inspired by Panera Bread Co. It had greens, diced pears, dried cherries, gorgonzola cheese, and raspberry vinagrette. And of course J had to have his usual chocolate truffle pie--and since I baked both pie crusts, my afterthought was to fix a peanut butter pie for myself. Many calories later, I am out of energy to do anything else but sit here!
Has been quite a week. Wednesday night we had our annual soup supper for church. I took off work early to help set up and serve. We had chili, chicken noodles, cheesy chicken, and beef vegetable soup and of course pie. I got off not having to fix pie this time, but had to make 1/2 roaster of chili. The supper went well and was fun as always. Did the family planning clinic again Thursday in the bigger clinic. They also have a delightful staff and the day went unbelievingly smooth for my first clinic there. The experience is going to be terrific! I am meeting a lot of very nice people and I really like it. I have been sick this week with the upper respiratory crud but finally feel better today. I have not had a voice since Wed, which is the most annoying thing, but it finally is coming back.
The kids all had their Valentine parties this week, which was fun for them. Little C likes candy she has decided, and she can sniff out a sucker from anywhere. The big boys have been practicing their horns this week for ensembles they are doing for county 4-H day on Monday. T has 6 kids in his group and G has 3. They have also been practicing their talks. T is doing a demonstration on the peanut banana muffins (in the cookbook) and G is doing a cool one on the top 10 countdown of why we should eat more fruits and veggies. They both seem alot more relaxed in front of people, so i am looking forward to watching them.
Am planning on getting some of my flower seeds and tomato and pepper seeds started this weekend. May set a moat of mousetraps around them to be sure. J crawled under the house a couple months ago and worked it over and we haven't had a critter since.
Speaking of critters, mom a couple of weeks ago I introduced the family to apple fritters like you used to make. Every one liked them. D's comment was, "hey mom can I have another one of those critters?" We laughed. Well better scoot. Hope everyone has a good week. M

Friday, February 6, 2009

Is this crazy?!?

Ok, a friend got me interested in trying this so I decided to give it a whirl. My hope is to get my family and friends involved in the effort to keep up better with the day to day activities of everyone's lives. we'll see how that works. I don't have a lot of time to spend doing this but hope to blog once a week to give the highlights from our home. So here goes!
T went to dentist this week and got some type of "chain wire" put on his braces. His mouth has been very sore. Dr says his teeth are coming along great and he may be able to get them off this summer--so that is great since they only put them on last summer. The dental assistant was sure that he has grown 3 inches in the last month--that would explain why all of his shirts are too short! New clothes is definitely on my shopping list for him!
G is headed to a college BB game tomorrow for a birthday party. He is excited. He has started worrying about having to go to church camp this summer. GOOD GRIEF!! He's wondering why he misses me so much when he spends the night somewhere else! AHA--now we know why he had to come home early last summer. I told him that I refused to discuss it again until at least June. He's trying to decide what he needs for his birthday. Won't be long!
D went to his first overnight birthday party last weekend. sounds like they had fun, but he was crabby when they got home!! He seems to need a lot of sleep and does really good if we can get him to bed by 8 on school nights. By the end of the week tho, he is still worn out.
C is finally feeling better for the first time in a couple weeks. D had upper respiratory infection and shared it with C,who shared it with everyone else. She had to have breathing treatments thru the weekend. Guess the RSV did affect her lungs for the long term--this is the 2nd URI that has caused her wheezing to the need of breathing treatments. YUCK. She is trying to get some more teeth--she still only has the same 6 teeth that she got in August!! Unbelievable. She is really starting to say her own version of lots of words. One of the little girls at daycare was excited last week because C said her name (even though it was preceeded by NO!) She is totally silly! Still likes to dance anytime she hears music.
J has been busy. Am wondering what the economy has in store for his business tho. Not in how much work he has to do, but in everyone else's ability to pay the bill. I think that some layoffs have happened already here and production has slowed down for local equipment manufacturer. He's dreaming about racing season right around the corner. Am trying to talk him into building me a small greenhouse--he's currently not on my page :-(
Me? Busy week. Started new one day a week position this week. It was awesome! Am doing a family planning clinic thru county health departments. I really enjoyed it. The staff is great. Next week is in bigger clinic. Will be very busy! Think I can keep up fine tho. The experience is going to be fabulous! Hope to learn alot so that when kids are all grown I can travel the country teaching at conferences. I need to have some expert experience so I have something to teach tho! This job is in addition to the 3 day/week job i have already in clinic. That stays busy. We were blessed this week with new office furniture. That has been great! Today feverishly tried to put things away in 3 minute increments between clients. Mess is better, not gone. J is now wondering if this is what I am going to spend the rest of my spare time--was assured i would not!! Better scoot--Hope to find everyone else on a blog soon so we can keep in touch!! Hope everyone has a great weekend--we are looking forward to some rain this weekend-- not before I get my "running off"waterfall fixed tho! Be good! M