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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Babies and Puppies Growing Well and Fine



My little Granddaughter Ruby has learned to turn from tummy to back and back to tummy. She would like to be crawling soon and is working on it. Meanwhile she likes to 'stand up' in her little bouncer chair. Here she is in her pink Green Bay Packer Pjs!

Mojo is shown with one ear up and one down. He's almost got them both up now. He has a big tie out at the new place, by my garden. He doesn't seem to mind it much.

This weekend we had company at the new house. My in-laws came and brought their puppy as well. Mojo and their Sweet Pea had a wonderful puppy time rolling in the red clay dirt and straw and mulch and whatever else they could find, puppy fighting and running laps through the garden.. you name it.

We were busy working. I am going to the house today and hope to get more pix to share. We've painted the 'cat shed' and cleaned it up nicely. It is now a cute little cabin/cottage complete with a flower bed. :) Really looks darn nice for the price of paint and a few days hard work for me and my mom-in-law with a little help from daughter and her boyfriend.

They guys were busy as well. Hubby and his dad tiled a shower stall and installed a pre-formed shower in another bath. We now have 2 showers working!! Yeah! Our sons worked on finishing up the ductwork for the heat pump. Right now it works upstairs for heat and AC--but really the house is very well insullated and it seems as if the upstairs ducts do the job for the whole house. Amazing.

It rained a good deal this weekend-- on and off we had drenchings. This made it tougher for some of the painting. Everything dried pretty good though, excpept the green paint we used for the cabin doors. That was some pretty nice quality paint I picked up at Lowes for $7. It was one of those mixing mistakes that they sell cheap. We were looking for maybe a black paint but we looked through the mistake cans and found a dark olivey green that reminded me of the 1930s somehow. I thought it would look nice with the red barn paint we used on the cabin so I bought it. Unfortunately it started pouring as I was painting and that paint was barely barely starting to dry the next day! I will have to touch it up a little--but it does look fine. I'll post a photo later!

Anyhow its hard to go between 2 houses in different states and work all the time. I am exhausted today. I got home Monday night and Tuesday I ran errands and went to work til 9. Today I am 'off' LOL... ?? off?? Anyhow I am going to Sams club for a stock up grocery trip and then out to the house to clean out the little fridges and check on things. I won't be there long.

I'm planning to find some steak for dinner. We haven't had it in months. I sometimes just feel a 'need' for that good B vitamin kick you can only get from real red meat.

so tonite we're grilling steak--even if it is raining.

My goodness-- speaking of rain--we certainly are not having a drought this year. We are battling against a drainage problem at the house. When it rains the yard practically washes away. I had some wood mulch in front of the cabin and it turned to mulch lava and flowed away in the rain! We got about 2 inches it seems in less than 1/2 an hour. I measure it by a cast iron pan I had sitting on the homemade grill--it was completely filled! I guess that probably isn't accurate--but my point is--that was alot of rain fast.

I've changed some of my shopping habits. I found a nice shopping area in SC that is about 10 minutes drive from my house. They have all the stores you could need in one strip and its attractive and nice and good service. The grocery store is a Food Lion--but its much much nicer than the one in our neighborhood. So now I am going to shop there. All my other stores are going to be pretty far away so they will be reserved for stock up trips--not as often as I go to them now. Harris Teeter--which I still think is the finest store in our neck of the woods-unfortunately will not be on my rounds anymore. But the new Food Lion I'm going to is very nice and I'm good with it. I renewed my Grocery Game membership again and decided to stick with only food lion. I also signed up for the new Walmart GG list, but I'm planning to drop it after a couple months--most likely. Its a price comparing list--you can supposedly get Walmart to match sales from other stores. So they made a list of the best sales at a variety of stores and put it on a list to get Walmart to match. I guess I think that would be a huge hassle. I didn't realize what it was when I signed up. I think though-- it may be handy sometimes, so I'll look at it each week until it expires and see if it begins to make more sense to me or not--right now I'm not sure I have a complete handle on it--not sure I want to do it.

Walmart shopping days are not the same as GG shopping days for other stores--which could be good or could just be confusing. dunno yet.

Anyhow I took my coupons to Food Lion yesterday and picked up sale items. I found some nice hanging baskets on close out for 99cents a piece! That was a great deal. I bought 3. Sometimes you can get a better deal plant for plant in a hanging basket than by buying annuals in 6 packs. I use very few annuals because I prefer perenials for their long term worth--they usually end up saving you money as they reproduce. Annuals are just to 'spark up' the garden with extra color in my mind--I only get a few and I do try to get them to overwinter and sometimes have success--but usually they aren't as nice the 2nd year.

This year I bought a 6 pk of wax begonias in red and a 6 pk of salmon impatiens. I also have the 3 new hanging baskets of a purple trailing plant ?? and 2 baskets of geraniums that I got also at a Food Lion for $6.99 each. This brings my total annual investment this year to between $30 and $40. Next year I want to grow more annuals from seed--I also do that. This year I didn't have time for that.

I have some cold frames built of concrete block and shower doors behind the little cabin--in a sheltered spot. They are filled with extra tomato and pepper plants, baby rooted shrubs, baby herbs and some anual and perenial flowers. Once we live in just one house again I hope to extend the garden so that Pokeberry Hill Garden is all over our hillside! I want to have a little vineyard and orchard some day, and my own nuts. This year I am very happy with what I have got done so far. I used mainly fallen logs for terracing--and it looks nice I think. I'm planning to use herbs and other plants to edge beds in the future--all that I do to help stop erosion on the hill will be good. Edging plants can grab soil as can logs or rocks. I used some thin pink foam insullation that comes in rolls of 50 feet for about $5 to help catch the soil in front of some of my wood or log or stone bed edging. It was far less pricey than using rubber edging. I just cover the pink over so nobody even sees it but it still does the job. I wish I could find a link to this product. Next time I go to Lowes I will have to look for it and get a link here. It is just a roll of pink flexible styrofoam about 6 inches tall and 50 feet long. I simply laid it out between the logs or wood I used on in my beds and then pushed the dirt against it. It doesn't show and it helps keep the beds from eroding on our red clay hill. Anyone living around us will know that you have to fight to stop this erosion, it really gets going! If you do nothing you will lose all your dirt!

Anyhow it was a good fast cheap and easy solution for me this year.

I'll write more about this and try to have some photos soon of the cabin and some of what is done in the house now. :) We're getting close.

We are a little behind our schedule--due to so many things on the house having to be redone and having a couple of really strong virus's interrupt our work. But we still hope to get occupancy soon. Hubby is going to call for a 'walk through inspection' and see if he can find out what the 'bare minimum' requirements are for occupancy and if there is any way we can expedite the inspection process.

We shall see!

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