Friday, February 12, 2016


Tonight Daddy and Daughter will dance the night away, have "light refreshments," and (hopefully) take a few pictures at their first ever Daddy-Daughter dance. Audrey's been so excited about her date with Daddy. She told her whole class at school about going, she's told her dance class, she's made drawings and short stories about it... she's just really excited.

They headed off into the growing dusk together, Audrey with the biggest grin ever, and I can't wait to hear about Daddy's moves on the dance floor when they come home!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

A Little Orchard

We got our little fruit trees in the ground today. I'd only planned on budgeting the morning and maybe an hour or so after lunch to complete the project, but I was way off... it took me almost all day. I wrapped up and put tools and buckets away just in time to make dinner!

Henry was a great helper, with his own little gloves, shovel, and hammer. While we were prepping the holes I went a little Forest Gump/Bubba on him and started talking about all the things we'd do with our fruit once the trees were established- fresh frozen, preserves, pies, ciders, smoothies... When I asked him what he plans on doing with our future harvests, he just said, "I'm gonna eat 'em."

Well alrighty then. I guess we all have dreams for this little orchard of ours, and I know I'm not the only one excited about it!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016


Wouldya look at that? 13 fruit trees and a 3-gallon fig, plus my "Newton Ninja Turtle," all in my cozy little nameless Highlander. I finally got to pick up my fruit tree order! I'm soooooooo excited! This Mama has been itching to get her hands in the soil, and I was feeling like a hopeless case what with no garden at the moment. Trees to the rescue!

I ordered my fruit trees through a landscaping company who sells bare-root fruit trees this time of year to benefit the beekeeper's club I've joined. Most of the proceeds of the fruit tree sales will benefit their scholarship program, which I think rocks, and I plan on encouraging my little soon-to-be-beekeepers to take full advantage of it when they're old enough!

Anyho, I gots me a replacement Harvester peach for the one that died last year, two Methly plums, two Kieffer pears, a Mollie's Delicious apple, a Granny Smith apple, and a Texas Everbearing fig (the rest of the trees are for my mama).

I'll be using this bare-root tree planting tutorial as a guide to try and give them every chance to thrive.

My little tree babies are soaking in their terribly smelly fish emulsion water right now, and tomorrow we plant!

So excited.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Getting Out

There is a lot of good that we get done running errands, doing housework, and making artsy things inside... but sometimes the most good comes to us when we all just get out.

It's only Tuesday, but we've already made it to the point where we needed a little time in our woods, away from the drywall dust and upturned spaces and piling up 'usuals' that are to this point quite neglected.

And it's true, it really did do us some good.

Now back at it we go!

Monday, February 8, 2016

No Rest

We are so close to finishing our lengthy indoor to-do list. I am- of course- pushing for the finish line, especially because once the inside is "done enough," we can start working outside again.

This weekend was going to see one of the final chores checked off the list: replace upstairs shower valves and install new shower/tub fixtures. For the record, we mostly succeeded, BUT on Sunday there was a distraction...

For a while now we've been aware of a water leak in Audrey's room. We discovered it last spring and thought we'd fixed it. However what we didn't realize was how major the damage already was by the time we discovered it (we're thinking the leak was from a mistake made when the house was built... 15 years ago), and that we didn't quite seal up the hole completely when we found it.

I'd been worried about what might be in the wall for a while, and I'd also had a nagging feeling there might be a correlation between what we couldn't see and Audrey's almost constant congestion. My parents finally pushed me to bring it up, so on Sunday morning- still in our pjs- we took a hammer and buddy bar to the baseboard where the water comes in and voila! It's a worst-case scenario.

Here's an inner view of the patch we did- when we were outside- earlier in the season.
Notice how you can see the warmth of sunlight in a couple places? D'oh.

The bottom of 2 studs are rotten, the 2x6 they sit on is rotten, the sub-floor at the wall is rotten, and there is nothing left between the room and the outside except the Styrofoam foundation for the EIFS on the exterior of the house. I can practically stick my arm down into the floor past my elbow. There used to be a very minor drip issue around the window directly below Audrey's room, and now we know why... we just don't know how bad the wall is above/around that window.

So on Sunday morning- in our pjs- we cut out moldy drywall, scooped out damp insulation, scraped away rotten wood, and evacuated Audrey and all her most important possessions. She now resides in the guest bedroom (so so thankful there was a place for her to move in to!) and the demolition of the exterior wall for the purposes of stud replacement and sub-floor assessment has made it's way on to the list that- only hours earlier- had seemed so short.


As they say: there's no rest for the weary... or the homeowner!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Right Now

Right now I'm...

...doing a load of short-sleeved laundry and reaching for my thick socks and sweatshirts again after last night's cold front that dropped us over 20 degrees back down into the seasonally "normal" range.
...wishing for just one or two more days like this weekend for a do-over! I spent most of the fleetingly beautiful weather of this past weekend on the couch sucking on cough drops and downing ibuprofen like it was going out of style.
...feeling glad the weekend wasn't wasted despite my absence from it- we got 90% of our new well house up! (and by 'we' I mean the hubs, the father-in-law, and the Littles)
...smiling whenever I walk through the garage- I might not have a garden worked out yet, but my seeds have found a way to grow anyway! In the crack between the garage and the driveway there are mescaline and hollyhock sprouts!
...looking forward to the Mother Earth News Fair in just a few more weeks! For the first time evah they're coming down to Texas and guess who's wrist bands came in the maiiiiil over the weekend? Yeeeesssss!
...also excited about my apiary equipment brand number that came the same time as my fair wrist bands... it was a good mail day! Now all I need are my spring bees!

Right now I'm on the mend (finally!), I've got bees on the brain, and my house is flooding with sunshine (so who cares if it's only 33 outside?). Also, my big smart 4-year-old is starting to write me letters. So I guess right now I'm doin' pretty good.

"Hola! Mama! I love you! From! Henry! I love you! Mama!"