Welcome to my little ol' blog. I'll be upfront about it: I don't blog very often any more. If you found your way here because you read my book "Trailer Life," have a gander! But it's easier to keep up with me on Instagram or on my Facebook page. I have this long, drawn out theory on why I'm a terrible blogger, but that is a story for another day. Enjoy the ramblings of my life from the last 8 years or so.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Tidbits and a Question

***I'm working on several projects that involve photos, books, and family history. Not necessarily in that order.

***We have our ward chili cook-off tonight. Ryan made some chili. We'll see how he does.

***I'm getting my hair cut next week, and I'm so excited.

***I'm socially inept. A social nerd, if you will. Why I didn't ask for this girl's name, or give her mine when she asked me about 4-H is beyond me. She probably thinks I'm rude. Maybe I am. But, not on purpose, I promise. I should practice these things.

***Anyone want to lose 10 pounds (or more?) I used to have this meager blog called "Simply Healthier" and I didn't like it because it was quasi-interactive. Now, with my new hosting site, I can have a forum! Anyone care to join a group and participate/log progress/encourage one another/share recipes? If so, I'll open up a forum. Leave a comment on this post letting me know if you're in.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A Trip to the Dentist and Del Taco

The kids and I had dentist appointments today. Imagine sitting in the chair, all reclined, with the light shining in your eyes. You can see the dental instruments come from behind the top of your head. Then you see... Ed's face. Up close and personal, with a huge smile. The dental office I go to is very small. The dentist let Ed count my teeth, and even clean them. He was in heaven! We were the only ones in there, and we just rotated who sat in the chair for our check-ups.

The good news: No cavities for anyone! Which is amazing, as we regularly forget to brush teeth. I'm good about myself, of course, because I hate my tongue to feel fuzzy. I'm guessing the kids inherited their father's good teeth.

Afterward, we went to Del Taco because the kids were famished. Ya, teaching your kids "big words" sometimes comes back to bite you in the butt. "But Mom! I'm FAMISHED!"

The kids had a blast in the playland, and I counted it as great exercise for them. They will sleep well tonight! And, I have to record that they are slowly, but surely, growing up and not being terribly obnoxious in a store. Ed still has BIG problems with running away (that's SO BAD!), but the other three stay by me and don't yell anything crazy like, "Bounce, bounce, bounce! I'm a bouncy ball, ball, ball. BOUNCE, BOUNCE, BOUNCE!" while hopping up and down the isles. (Which could be funny, if he didn't run into people and step on their toes...) We still have parking lot problems, too. So, other than keeping Ed from being ran over or lost forever, we are doing really well! We had fun today, and I'm going to count it as a success!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Power of Dirt

Dirt makes kids happy! Check it out:

"Hey Ed! Why don't you jump off the hill?" That was me.


See Jessie getting ready to follow her brother?

She slides down the first part...

She goes for it...

And she sticks the landing! Almost.

Check out her hair, too. She is forever undoing any hair-do I give her, and walks around like this:

I got tired of that ^, so I puled it up real quickly with a hair band I found in my car:

I'm not sure if the "handle" look is any better. She took it out about five minutes later.

Friday, February 19, 2010

A Call From WHO?

We have a phone that announces who is calling. It's handy when I have two hands full to hear who is calling so I can decide if I need to answer it right away, or if I can call them back shortly. On Wednesday night, as I was doing the dishes, I got a call. It rang twice, and the phone announced who it was:

"Call from Jesus Christ."

You should have seen Kacy and Will's eyes when they heard this.

It was a guy calling from the church building to see if I had my ham radio call sign yet. He had looked it up for me (thanks!) and was letting me know what it was. Thanks, SB!

For the record, my call sign is KJ6FIU.

I immediately thought, "Oh no! I hope it doesn't sounds like I'm saying "F-U" on air. How offensive! I told Ryan, and said it was a cool call sign because the Sheriffs do "F-I's" which mean "field interviews." So it's easy to remember for him. Regardless, I'll be sure to enunciate very carefully.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A Sonic Boom

I've just experienced a sonic boom. I was standing outside, talking to Ryan, who was in his patrol car going to work. The kids had a minimum day and were walking up the road. All of a sudden there was a huge, well, BOOM!!!!!! My ear popped, the side of his car dented briefly, and the kids, they came a runnin'!

I immediately looked towards the trailer, hoping it just didn't explode.


A little warning next time, Mr. Jet-man. A little warning.


Jessie came up to me and wiped her atomic hot flamin' Funyun's hands on my foot. Kacy and Will have the bus driver wrapped around their dirty little fingers. He brings them good treats almost daily. I don't mind... except I worry my kids are taking advantage. Spoiled, that's all.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Raising Chickens in the City

Part two of my chicken raising research led me to Jill G., a mother of three (almost four) who lives in the "big city" from where I live. She lives in a neighborhood, and estimates her property to be a quarter acre, maybe less, which includes the front yard and house. (Think normal, everyday neighborhood!). She ordered some hens, built a coop, and raises the chickens in her backyard. Her adventure seems VERY doable. I might be ordering hens sooner, rather than later. She was kind enough to email me, and she even took the pics for me!
The "Tractor" CoopWhy did you want to get chickens?
I actually had a few chickens growing up and lived next door to a chicken farmer, so I have always been a little familiar with them. But, the real reason was that whole proposition thing in California that was going to put all the rules on the egg ranchers and make our eggs cost millions a dozen. We thought it would be fun to raise our own chickens and have our own fresh eggs. Easter was coming up and we thought it would be a fun treat to get all our kids their own yellow chick from the Easter Bunny!

How many did you get? Which kinds? After I researched a TON we found a breed that was the most child friendly, and also a good layer. They are Buff Orpingtons and are actually really pretty birds. "Family Fun Magazine" published an article about chickens a couple days after I made my order and they told of a family who had also purchased Buff Orpingtons for their son with Autism. They praised the birds and so I was super excited to get them and see for myself. We ordered five hens because the company warned that some might not make it through the mail system and we didn't want one of our children to end up with a dead chicken for Easter, but all survived so we have five.

Our city ordinance says you can have up to twelve chickens as long as they are not a nuisance to the neighbors. So we of course didn't get any roosters (that and they are mean!). We stuck with just the hens.

Buff Orpingtons- Aren't They Beautiful?
How many eggs do you get a week?
From the five hens we get 3-4 eggs a day, averaging 25 eggs a week.

How much feed do you use? What do you feed them?
We buy our feed from the local feed store and purchase a 25 lb bag of "laying pellets". It costs about $12 and lasts about a month. (So in doing the math if we get 100 eggs a month and it costs us $12 in feed ... it is about 0.12 an egg or $1.44 a dozen ... stores charge at least $4 for a dozen brown organic eggs) We do give them a few vegetable scraps from the kitchen but not enough to take into consideration any costs.

What is the biggest reward for raising chickens?
We are a little closer to being self reliant. If something happened and we ran out of food ... we could always eat eggs! Another reward is that the kids love them. The chickens are so friendly, don't mind being held, and love to hand feed from the girls. They really are fun to have.

Biggest challenge?
We have them in our backyard on our grass and their coop is on wheels so that they don't destroy or permanently occupy one part of the yard - so everyday we go out and move the coop. Its not hard or really a challenge, but just something that needs to be done so that grass stays nice. They have to be fed and watered everyday and some might think that is challenging but everyone else in my life has those same needs so its no biggy! We do have plans to set them up with automatic watering soon.

Any special considerations for close neighbors?
 We live relatively close to our neighbors but since we just have hens and they really don't make much noise at all we don't have any problems. The most noise they make is when they see me coming up to the coop with something in my hands they think is for them. There baulk gets a little louder in anticipation for their treat! (Just like kids!)

Any funny/not so funny stories about your chicken adventure so far?
We LOVE digging up a worm and watching the chickens play "chicken football" and we have had a couple instances where one would poop while being held ... adds a little drama to the hour but nothing a little detergent and soap and water can't fix. There was one day when one of the hens was particularly interested in the buttons on my 18 month old's sweater. She kept pecking at them to see what they were and my daughter wasn't too excited about it but no tears or blood was shed - we just chased her away and all was safe in the world again. Thankfully nothing major has happened like getting attacked by roosters or anything. ;) [Note from Karrie- MY 18 month old was attacked by a rooster- with a little blood. Dad handled that one, and luckily she's not afraid of them. Just more cautious.]

Buff Orpingtons are known for their good temperments.
How are the girls with the chickens, and vice versa?
The girls love the chickens and the chickens ... put up with the girls. ;) They don't run away when you walk up to them and they squat when you reach down to pick them up. If you are calm they will let you hold them forever but if they sense anxiousness or nerves they will flap their wings until you let them down. They really are a great breed.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to raise chickens in their backyard (in general), and especially with small children around?
Our chicken coop "tractor" is really a great idea for someone who doesn't really have a "place" for chickens. I designed it myself and it costs about $100 to build. The maintenance is relatively simple. I move it every morning to keep the chickens from digging and/or eating the grass down too low, rake the grass to pick up the bigger droppings and dump the manure in the garden. Then spray down the spot to put all the other smaller pieces into the grass.

Note the wheel in the corner. Putting wheels on the coop makes it easy to move around the yard.
As with kids, just make sure that if you want them to be a "pet" you pick a breed that is kid friendly and give them regular attention so they don't become scared around people or children. We let them out of the coop when the kids want to play with them and they love the attention and the chance to scratch other places of the yard.

~To visit Jill's blog, click HERE. She also has an Etsy store, HERE.~


Monday, February 15, 2010

Window Stain: Finished!

Here is a sample of the wonder that is staining wood. It's AMAZING what a little color does to the wood! We used the same 50/50 mix of Linseed Oil and Cabot's Autrailian timber Oil, in the darkest brown color. The window trim is all complete, and we have some windows in. Yay! A little bit everyday will conquer the beast that is building your own home.

Jessie and a Nerf Gun

This little girl has discovered the Nerf gun. It's a single shot, and she gets the kids to cock it for her. Then she comes up to me and in her best "almost two year old" voice, says, "Shoot, Momma!" Then she does, and laughs evilly.

And then it starts all over again.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Family History: Convert Your Old Photos to Digital

These are a set of my great-grandparents, Myrtle and Leroy Wright, a la Idaho. I didn't take the original, obviously, but I took a picture of the picture. This allowed me to resize it at a high resolution. The original is somewhere around a 4x6, and I can now make larger prints. I also cleaned it up a touch, removing the orange cast and cropping the frame. The original is below.

Now, I do not endorse taking pictures of pictures that have a current copyright, as that is illegal. However, taking pictures of old photographs is a good way to preserve the picture.

Some tips:

-don't use a flash.

-handle the original as little as possible.

-to remove the orange hue (for clarity- some pictures are really cool with the oragne tone)- in your digital imaging program, find the "filter" and apply a blue filter. Adjust opacity to suit your taste.

-in the metadata, include the names of the people in the notes, unless you have it written down someplace else.

Here's another example:

The original.

I included the tablecloth in the background so I could later crop it and make it the right ratio. Most digital cameras' photos are very rectangular, and if you were print the image without cropping, your picture would be clipped.

Cropped, and adjusted with a bit of contrast boost, shadows lightened, and a blue filter applied. It doesn't beat the original, but it's a great second place. AND, I can make copies of this for any person in my fam who wants one. Now, Grandma! If you are reading this, I need to know who these people are. I forgot to ask you.

And Grandma S! You are next! Find some pictures of the family (especially your parents, and papa's parents...)

Friday, February 12, 2010

The Aftermath

The kids had their school Valentine's Day parties today. They came home with LOTS of treats: leftover cupcakes, candies, and cookies. I don't know if the "Wellness Policy" that is so common is a law or a trend, but I'm happy to report that our school doesn't follow it very often. Jocelyn's kids' school has no idea what a wellness policy is- they party with frosting all the time. Kendra's kids' school sent home notes about not attaching any candies to the Valetine cards to be passed out. Bummer.

When I taught 8th grade Language Arts (yay! my favorite year of teaching, ever!) Valentine's Day was kind of fun. The kids would receive candy-grams from their friends, and it was fun to see them get hugely embarrassed at the attention that came with someone interrupting class to sing to them, or hand them a rose. SO FUNNY-because it wasn't me. By the end of my second year of teaching Second Grade, I promised myself I would call in a substitute before I hosted another in-class V-day party. The kids were spastic balls of "when are we passing out cards?" and "My mom sent these cupcakes!" Picture little cupcakes with HUGE amounts of airbrushed frosting on them. Times 10 students. In a room with no sink.

I might possibly be the Valentine's Grinch.

Don't send chocolate. I would hate you for it. If you must, send a treadmill.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Ed at Walmart: It involves a Crashed Shopping Cart

We went to get tires put on my Mazda 5... again. While that was getting done, we walked over to Walmart to pick up some Dora undies for Jessie. We got a shopping cart, and Jessie sat in the big part, with Ed waking next to me. Sort of. While looking at the undies, he took off, ran around an isle, and hid. I yelled his name, and when he came to me, I firmly put his hand on the shopping cart and told him not to let go. He didn't. In fact, he climbed on the side of it, and it fell over on top of him. Jessie, having had this happen to her at least three times before, held on and was fine. Ed was under the cart, laughing. I, on the other hand, was not laughing. I was furious. I picked him up, put him in the baby seat part of the cart, and told him since he was acting like a baby, he was going to be treated like a baby. Normal people don't run all around the store. They stay with their families.I told him he was being bad, and when he decided he wanted to be good, I would let him out. Maybe.
He just started bawling. And saying, "I just want to be a normal person, Mom. Please let me out. I'll be normal."
I kept him in there until we were finished. As we were walking back to the tire place, he noticed a dandelion. He plopped himself on his belly in the middle of the sidewalk and exclaimed with the utmost joy, "MOM! IT'S A DANDEE-LION!" Then he started blowing the little seeds all over.
Ed is a very enthusiastic child. Sometimes I feel like he gets a lot of blog posts dedicated to him, but then I think that the rest of kids are just so normal. They say cute things, do fun things, get into some trouble every now and then. But, Ed? Ed seems to do the same things, except he does them with gusto.
When it was time to head to the grocery store, I gave him a little pep talk about how to act in the store. I asked him what a good thing to do was. He said, "Not run around, and stay by your mom. And just be normal."
He was completely "normal," and PERFECTLY behaved. I had to write this down, because it was a miracle. I'm still in awe.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Potty Training 101

This little girl is wearing undies. That doesn't mean she always uses the toilet, mind you. Especially today. This whole potty business started last month when she started trying to change her poopy diapers. That's not good. In fact, that can be really, really, bad. I took her sippy cups away because she was using them as bottles. She was consuming upwards of 2 quarts of "juice, momma" (Crystal Lite) a day. And she would pee 2 quarts a day. Now that she is properly hydrated, she is able to use the toilet. When she remembers. I hate potty training in general, but oh how lovely girls are. So much easier than the boys. I don't feel like I can go back to diapers with her, because she tells me, "No diapers, mom. Nundies," and if she is this close ::thumb and forefinger an inch apart:: to being for really reals potty trained, then I don't want to give up. I think we'll go to Target tomorrow (without Ed) to pick up some more undies, because at this rate, I'll run out by the end of everyday. She saw Dora undies last time we were there and practically screamed, "DORA!" I may also resort to giving her a jelly bean when she goes. Here's hoping this week goes by quickly, and with less wet undies!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Raising Chickens, One Perspective

My father-in-law, David, started raising chickens last year. His two and a half acres boasts a fruit orchard in the back, an orange orchard in the front, and a large family vegetable garden on the side. A large coop stocked with chickens seems a perfect fit.
David grew up with chickens, learning about them at a young age from his father. He went many years without having them himself, but when he noticed a large infestation of fruit beetle in his fruit trees, he looked into alternative pesticides.
 "I didn't want to use chemicals to keep the fruit beetle out of my peach trees. Chickens eat the larvae of the beetle. They can actually hear the larvae underground and will scratch them up and eat them. I haven't had one beetle this year."

To Begin

David started with lots of research. He had a knowledge base from his childhood experience, but he didn't rely only on that. He also read a lot. He especially read up on the different breeds, and which breeds would fit a good fit for his wants. He recommends one book in particular as being an indispensable resource: Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens by Gail Damerow.

The Coop

Building his own coop was a fun project for David. The coop features three different sections, with only two housing chickens. His coop is quite large, measuring 12x32 feet. His pen is large enough to house 250 free range birds. He the feeder hanging from a rafter because this keeps the chicken food cleaner, and it deters any mice from having a free buffet. The chickens have an automatic water system. This allows David the freedom of watering everyday, conserves water, and also provides the chickens a fresh supply of water.He installed roosting bars and nesting boxes (built by himself, of course!).

The Birds

David initially ordered 62 birds. When ordering chickens, you can order a "straight run," which is mixed with pullets and roosters, or only pullets, which have been sexed and will yield only chickens. These will cost slightly more, but are a good buy if you are not interested in roosters. After researching the many available breeds, he ended up ordering a straight run of 25 Rhode Island Reds, a straight run of 25 Barred Rocks (also known as Plymouth Rocks), six Black Australorps (all pullets), and six Buff Orpingtons (again, all pullets). He ordered so many because he had the room, and because he wanted to have enough eggs to have a surplus.

Ordering Chickens

Murray McMurray Hatchery is one place you can order chickens. They have been in business for over 90 years, and according to David, have excellent customer service. "They are really nice on the phone, and the shipping was really fast. They shipped my order on a Saturday, and the post office called me on Monday morning. They were all healthy when they arrived, and they even put in extra ones to make up for any that might have died. I think I ended up with more live birds than I had ordered."


With his bird population at 35 (gave away some Roosters, and had one incident with a predator getting into the coop), he reports the birds consume a 40# bag of feed every five days in the summer, and about every three days during the winter. He and his wife Cherie do feed the chickens table scraps, but sacks of feed make up the bulk of their food. They let the chickens out daily to roam around the property, where the chickens free range.


In the warmer months, David was averaging 27 eggs a day, often more. In the colder months, he has been averaging about 16 eggs a day.  Putting wooden eggs in the nesting boxes encourages the hens to nest in a certain spot, so you are not picking eggs up off the ground. Hens tend to lay more with a rooster around. Literature says that an ideal rooster to hen ratio is 1:8, but from practical experience, David prefers a ratio of 1 rooster for every 10-11 hens. He noticed less fighting amongst the roosters with the higher ratio.

Advice for Beginners

David advises those thinking about getting chickens to make sure you have your feed container, water, and pens finished and ready before you get your chicks. "Know what you are going to do with the manure. If you free range for a long period of time, the chickens get into mischief. Roosters may attack small children. Read as much as you can before you start." When asked what his favorite thing about having chickens is, he says, "It's fun to watch the chickens. I love that they get the bugs. I like to see the kids coming over to see the chickens. My favorite thing is teaching the kids about the chickens."

Hired By Demand Studios

I applied and was hired as a freelance writer for Demand Studios. I like it! I'm not sure EXACTLY why I decided to become a freelance writer, but here I am. DS is a content mill. They are contracted with websites who need articles. The titles are posted, along with a format, and if I want to write the article, I click on it, and then have a week. (And I promise I take the time to edit those...unlike my blog posting.) I can work as little or as much as I want to. I could theoretically work 10 hour days at my writing desk, researching and composing articles. Or, I could sit in my TV watching chair with my netbook on my lap, and write an article while the kids watch Cars. Because I certainly do NOT have a writing desk in the trailer. We are going to use my earnings to build up our Emergency Fund. Building the house has depleted our Emergency Fund, and that doesn't sit well with us.

We'll see where this adventure takes me.

Moving My Blog

Mules N' Honey

A while ago, Jocelyn asked me, "What are you going to call your blog after you move out of the trailer?" A very good question... so after a year of thinking about what to do with the ol' blog, I consulted with Ryan, and we came up with our new plan. I love Blogger, but my blog is a little scattered for my taste, and looking towards the future, will only get more random. I like organization. The new blog has three sections. So, my family can keep up with the family, the guys who are only interested in the house can look at house and property stuff, and the animals that we will shortly be acquiring (within the year) will have their own section. I look forward to the animals part... a little of everything!
We have big plans.
The name "Mules N' Honey" come from the fact that we are so stubborn, yet so sweet.
Just kidding.
Mules, because we are going to have mules. We are going to have horses, too. But mules are for packing. Honey comes from our apiary. One of the biggest reasons we moved out of town and into the middle of nowhere was to have ag land. I am going to have a small business, and that business is the bee business. I have plans for that, too.

Ryan will always be a cowboy, no matter what his day job happens to be.
I have always been envious of the "good ol' days."

Even though the new blog is not 100% how I want it to be... it mostly is. And, I can't keep up two blogs (I've been double posting for about three weeks now-it's driving me nuts). So, go have a look (all the same content), and visit me there. I'd love to have you join me on my adventure.

Plus, I'm planning a giveaway next week.

Mules N' Honey

Monday, February 8, 2010

Two of My Grandparents

My grandpa. He died in June of 2002. He served in the Navy during WWII on the Robert H. Smith. He worked for years for Standard Oil. He started out in the mail room and worked his way up to the Land Manager of the Western Region. He loved RC cola, cake without frosting, and cooking in the kitchen. He would put third and fourth helpings of whatever was for dinner on your plate. He always made fun of me for worrying about my weight, and told me I could stand to gain 10 pounds. He's be happy to know that I have... he would sing like a native, and was generally goofy. However, if he got you alone, he'd give you a talking to. I don't know about the rest of my family, but everything he said was always helpful, even if it made you slightly uncomfortable at the time that he seemed to know more about what was going on that you thought he did. He's always ask "How much gas is in your car?" and then slip you some money "to fill it up" even if it was 3/4 full. I have more details of his life in my storage unit with all my other family history stuff, and will document later, but for today, I felt like posting a picture of him.
I love this picture of my grandma, because she looks so glamorous. Many people don't take pictures like this anymore. Probably because cameras are so commonplace now. She grew up on a farm in Idaho, riding horses and driving tractors. When she flew the coop, she went to San Fransisco and enjoyed city life. San Fransisco is her favorite city, although the culture has changed significantly since the 40's. She and my grandpa met at a place called "The Hangout" in SF in the 40's. They dated for six weeks before getting married in Reno, Nevada. I remember when my parents and aunt threw them a surprise 50th anniversary party. I was in college and had my really short hair... and it was ugly. That's how I remember. This picture is funny to me because somewhere I have a picture of her with a colander on her head while she's picking raspberries. She has been interested in genealogy since she was 12, and started me on the quest when I was about 19. She's a good friend. One of the traits I like about her best is that she is even tempered. She's not easily offended, and is not quick to judge.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

A Bloody Day

Nothing life threatening, but a bunch of semi-minor injuries, and I'm ready for bed.
1) Ed got pink eye yesterday. We stockpile drops, so he'll be better in no time. He couldn't go to preschool today though. That's probably where he got it. It's not bloody, but just adds to the mess that is Ed's face. Read on...
2) While running errands today, we ran into Target. We were looking at notebooks, and Ed trips on his feet, falls, and hits his face on the bottom of the shopping cart. He bleeds, he gets a fat lip, and he has a loose tooth. We hurry to the bathroom to clean him up, pay for our stuff (hey- I don't drive an hour and a half to walk out empty handed...) and then I call our dentist. I take him over, where he gets an X-ray and a check-up. Nothing is fractured or knocked out of place. His gums look horrible, as does the inside of his lower lip.
3) While playing outside, Ed hits the back of his head on something metal (I was inside, so I'm not sure what it was), and now has a bump on the back of his head. No blood.
4) While playing outside 20 minutes later, Ed gets hit in the head with a shovel. Will was shoveling dirt, and Ed's forehead somehow got in the way. A small gash, bump, and a small amount of blood.
5) Ed slammed Jessie's thumb in the trailer door. No blood. Lots of tears.
6) While we were having our fun day in town, Ryan sliced his left hand open while working with some of the chimney parts. It probably needs stitches, but he's just going to butterfly bandage it, with lots of Neosporin. We've had good success with that method before, like the time when he was butchering a pig, and the pig's leg kicked one hand, which had a very sharp knife in it. That knife cut Ryan's finger to the bone... he put himself back together with some Neosporin and butterfly bandages. He said that it didn't bleed at first, it was just all fleshy and white. Then it bled. I'm glad I didn't have to see it.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


Today, at approximately 4:32pm, my children (while playing outside) found an old extension ladder, propped it up against our sea container, climbed UP said ladder, and started marching on the roof. All four of them.
Where was the supervision? Who was supposed to be watching the kids?
I was. But I was washing the dishes inside the trailer, a mere 20 feet away from them. That's how I saw them on the roof. I turned around and looked out the window...and there they were, right in front of me. "March! March!" and "This is fun! I can see George!"

It was Will's idea. Kacy did nothing to stop him. Ed didn't seem to mind being up so high until it was time to climb down. And Jessie loved it. She fought to stay up.

Custom Window Trim

The window trim is 98% finished. It's all in, it's been sanded, and now is waiting for some stain and oil. These back windows were done in 6x6 douglas fir beams. They are very heavy. The little shelf under the skinny window was moved for each new trimmed out window. It's job was to help hold the trim in place while the screws were put in.
A corner detail... the windows have been painted and are awaiting installation. The front windows are trimmed in 4x6 beams. After the windows are in, the rigid foam insulation will be next, both on the outside of the house, and in the cathedral ceilings. Which reminds me, I need to call the county about a question. Ryan went back to work this week, and wouldn't you know that the first night back he didn't get home until 4:30 in the morning? Rough! That kind of *just a little* ruins the morning "work on the house" time. We will keep plugging along!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Fire N' Ice- The Phillips Came to Visit

Michael came up Thursday with his trailer and 4x4. He and Ryan went driving around in the mountain snow that night, then on Friday they worked on window trim. Friday afternoon Kendra braved the drive and came up with her kids. My kids' bus driver was astonished at the number of children waiting for the bustop. Between the two of us, we have nine children with the oldest being nine years old. It is quite a sight... much like herding cats. That night, since they were "camping" (and I use that term very loosely, because they were staying in a trailer... and we live in a trailer... and I am just a hair away from camping for a living...), they started a campfire. You know what tired people look like around a campfire...

Gracie had a long day of driving and playing.
Kendra had a long day driving and herding cats. Oh, and waking up multiple times a night with a certain chubby baby.
The next day Michael convinced us to go to the snow. It went like this:
"You goin' with us to the snow?"
"Why not?" he asked me.
"Well, I'm more of a beach bunny, not a snow bunny. Besides, I drive a Mazda." Excuses, excuses. I just have not so warm fuzzy feelings about day trips to the snow as a child with wet jeans, wet tennis shoes, and no gloves.
"We can take the Excursion and the Samurai. It'll be fun."
So, we piled in, and went. The verdict? I like four wheel driving. A lot. And it wasn't that bad. My kids were not whiner babies! And the snow was only 15 minutes from home.
Will taking the fast way down the hill. We should've brought a trash sack to sit on. But then he might have gone right across the road and over the really steep cliff on the other side.
Michael helping Kacy navigate down the side of the hill. She was having trouble with confidence and downhill walking in the snow.
Kendra with the "girls." These girls didn't really play in the snow. They mostly just walked around.
Ed used his body as a toboggan.
Charbella wanted to touch the snow once. After she found out it was cold, she was happy to be held. This is the chubby baby that keeps Kendra up at night. I love her chins. And her fat legs.
Before we left, Michael wrapped plastic wrap around his kids socks, duct taped it around their feet, and then slipped their shoes on. I was trusting my kids leather slip on boots to to a decent job of keeping their feet dry. Benjamin (above) did not want plastic wrap on his feet, and was in the car with wet socks and frozen toes within four minutes of arriving. He stayed there until we left. Lesson learned, perhaps.

The trip up was interesting, with Kendra driving the Excursion most of the way. I gave her the pep talk about steering toward the middle of the road while sliding... and then we switched and I drove. She was getting nervous, and that made me nervous. Then Michael, who was driving the Samurai, saw us sliding around and made me get out and drive the Sami. Which was fun. Kind of. It was a little tricky getting the darn thing to go without stalling, especially in the snow. It required me using the emergency brake to prevent me sliding backwards... and the kids rolling their eyes, with Jack saying "Oh man. My dad should just do this" while shaking his head. Every time I stalled he and Benjamin would say something about how their dad never stalls. And then they would laugh at me. Punks.

We had a good time, even if the snow trip was short lived. It was fun because we didn't have to drive that far. I would have hated to drive for an hour or more, only to stay in the snow for 30 minutes. I might turn into a snow bunny yet.