Wednesday, December 4, 2013

New Chicken Fence

Here is our latest project!

In the last post, I showed you the comparison from last Thanksgiving to this Thanksgiving. After we finished the living room we took about a month or 2 off and then did some more work for about a month. Since then, we haven't done anything until now. 

One of our chickens died and we were not getting enough eggs with 2 chickens. So, we got 2 more chickens. Well, Bult, this red one

and blacky, this black one were not being very nice to our new chickens.

In-fact, they were attacking them when left in the coop. We had to let them roam so the new little ones, Lucy

and Jewl would be safe. But with the chickens having run of the entire yard, there was poop everywhere! Yes, EVERYWHERE. I couldn't stand walking out the back to to poop.

We decided to fence off the side of the yard so the chickens had a big enough area that they could share. They are getting along better and they stay with each other all day, but when it comes to food, they still fight. There is a definite pecking order with Blacky at the top and Jewl at the bottom.

I love the way the fence turned out! It blends right in and when my garden is growing this spring, it will look great. The only problem is Jewl is small enough that she can fly over it. At least the others can't!

While our fence was going up, Papa re-built with a few modifications C's climbing tower. It's now more like a tree house since it sits under the trees. C & L spend every possible moment in it now. They LOVE it!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Glamping Thanksgiving

Every Thanksgiving we go camping somewhere. This year we went glamping. That's camping with full hook ups and no dirt. This year it was in Palm Springs. Here was where we stayed...

I've been to Palm Springs many times growing up, but never explored the area. I'm so glad we did, there is actually a lot to do there. On Thanksgiving, we took the Aerial Tramway up to the top where it is typically 40 degrees cooler then the bottom. That was pretty neat, there was some snow on the ground. If we had gone the next day, it we would have seen the snow coming down. Oh well, Friday worked out better for shopping in the rain.

It feels like you are going straight up the side of the mountain!

It made Mr. C a little nervous when we went over the rollers by the towers. It really got your stomach.

It is so close to Palm Springs, but so different. What a difference 6,000 feet in elevation makes! Dry desert at the bottom, cold, mountainy forest at the top.

L was dying to show off her sticks. She posed like this about 5 times before I actually took the picture.

I love bridges! I must take a picture at every bridge we cross!

And now to Thanksgiving evening. We always plan our trip and invite who ever wants to go. This year some family friends came and we had a big Thanksgiving dinner with them.

Look how cute! It was all decorated complete with a thankful table runner at one of the campsites.

The kids got to scooter between all the campsites while we waited for dinner.

They shared things they were thankful for like camping and colors.

And after dinner they got to watch a movie. Piled in a little trailer bed.

Saturday after some good Black Friday shopping at the outlets, we took a hike in Palm Springs. I had no idea there was such beautiful hiking in Palm Springs. It is a huge natural Palm grove with stream feed by natural springs.

It was absolutely amazing to see this beauty in the middle of the desert. It is on Indian land. Can you just imagine how it felt for the Indians to discover this in the middle of the desert?

As we hiked up from the canyon and around the mountain, this was the scenery. What an amazing difference in just a few steps. What an amazing creator we have!

2 completely different views from one point.

I am so glad we got to see some of the hidden beauties of Palm Springs. It was a very fun and relaxing weekend. Every afternoon we got to swim in the 89 degree pool and soak in the hot spa. Now, it's back to reality with the hustle and bustle of daily life, schedules and chores.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

A New Year

As we were getting ready for our annual Thanksgiving trip, I was looking back and realizing where we were last year compared to this year on the house. Last year, just before we left for Thanksgiving we had just put in the flooring in our living room. I thought it would be fitting to show you some before and after. It's amazing to look back at how much we have done to this house and how different it looks!

Here is the living room before we even closed escrow. The grey ceilings, forest green carpet, lovely fireplace wall, pinkish walls… The picture just doesn't do the colors justice.

The entry way, straight from the 80's with that light.

Here is a picture I found that does show a bit of the ceiling, we ended up painting it because the wood had a stain on it that didn't really look natural. In the picture it looks grey, it wasn't quite that color. I was really nervous about paint white and didn't want to loose the exposed beam look, so we picked a dark brown for the support beams going all they way across.

We also painted the walls a more neutral color and wanted a accent color on the fireplace weird wall thing to spice it up.

It took me forever to decide what to do with that wall. I was hoping there was rock behind it and I could just remove that lopsided piece of drywall, but there wasn't, so I had to leave it of completely re-do it. With everything else, we were not about to add another huge project, so it stayed.

In go the floor! This was huge! It made such a difference for us. We could finally sit and watch TV at night. We only have or at the time had 1 TV. We went from June to Thanksgiving without the TV. Also, the constant mess in the main room of the house. There was just no relaxing.

Here is the entry way.

Since I am the one behind the camera, you can't actually see how much work I did myself. But the hands are proof. Anyway, Mr. C's dad helped me start the floor in the living room and worked with me till he had to go to work. I was determined to get it done before Mr. C got home from work that evening so I just kept going… for hours… all by myself. I was pretty good at the miter saw and Mr. C (the perfectionist) was pretty comfortable with my skills on it that he had no problem with it. 

Anyway, back to the story. When I got to the last row by the wall, I needed the table saw (something I had not used yet) to cut the boards long ways. So, I went ahead and pulled out the table saw, knowing I've watched it being used enough that I would be just fine. The only problem was, I didn't know how to turn it on. I found a big red + on it with an arrow. I figured that was it, but wasn't sure. So, I called Mr. C at work to ask how to turn it on. He was busy so I asked if his dad was there was available. He was, so I confirmed with him that was how you turn it on. Shortly after, maybe on my second cut a truck come speeding down the street and stops at my drive way. It's was Mr. C's dad rushing over at the instructions to supervise since he was done working for the evening and Mr. C wasn't quite finished. Then another short while later another truck comes speeding down the street and stops at my house. This time it was Mr. C himself. Good thing I didn't cut my finger off. I would have never heard the end of it! But they did arrive in time to finish the last maybe 6 boards and make it look like they did all the work. So, there you have it, it looks like they did all the work.

Now, I can use the table saw when ever I want without a question of my skills.

Incase you wondered where the little ones were while I worked on the floor...

Mr.s C's mom came over for a while, the they found their own ways to entertain themselves. They got quite used to doing that those days.

Here is the entry way, all one uniform floor.

Living room looking toward the entryway.

Again looking to the entry way, but showing part of the kitchen. I love that we were able to make the floors but up to each other at the same height!

That was last Thanksgiving and below, this is this Thanksgiving, hours before we left for our trip. I thought there was a mess on the ground, but that is actually C & L playing.

Notice the updated light?

Before again...


Last Thanksgiving...


The before doesn't even look like the same house! If you look closely, you will see some finishing touches that we still need to do, but the progress is very slow these days.

After a long Thanksgiving weekend, I am very tired, but anxious to get this post up. I thought I would have wifi when we were gone, but didn't. So, hopefully there are not too many errors in my writing.


Sunday, November 24, 2013


It's time for cranberries again! I got little jars this time and they are much prettier.

I'm starting to get the hang of canning and learning a little about it. Like why some foods need a water bath and others need a pressure canner. The low acid foods need a higher temp for longer to kill any bacteria. The fruit will break down too much in that high temperature.

Since I am doing cranberries, it's a water bath.

I love the color of the cranberries. They will look perfect on my kitchen shelf (when I get it) through December.

Of course I can't forget a picture of my little helper. She got a new bike helmet and loves it so much, she didn't want to take it off when she came in to help me.

Next, I want to try to can my blueberry pie filling. I think it will be wonderful on pancakes or waffles in the morning.