Thursday, October 21, 2010

Aren't these just the cutest little kids you've ever seen?

These kids happen to be me and my little brother, Steve. He's 11 months younger than I am. So in these pictures, we must have been 2 and 3? Maybe 1 and 2?

I don't remember these pictures being taken, and I'm not sure you can tell, but I'd been crying. In fact, there is a trace of a tear on my face. (You can see it in real life, not sure you can online.) I hated having my picture taken. Still do. But up until I was in Kindergarten, I cried every single time Mom took us to get our pictures taken. In fact, I distinctly remember Kindergarten picture day. Mom asked me to please not cry, because I was a big girl now. I was so proud when I got home and told her "I didn't cry Mama."

These pictures are "preserved" in plastic. In the later sixties, one popular craft project was to make these plastic thing-y ma-bobs. I remember Mom and Grandma doing some. I know Mom made herself a turtle pin cushion and Grandma had this "paperweight" of Steve and I.
I remember the jugs of the liquid plastic that they poured into molds. Then they tinted a small amount of plastic and poured it on top of the clear to tint their item. That's what I hope you can see in the picture above, the layer of color.

So, they poured plastic, laid the pictures in, poured more, and then another layer that was tinted. It was a short lived craft project, because this paperweight and Mom's turtle are the only two items I remember having around the house.

But still, it's a nice memento of a very cute little girl and her innocent looking brother who was never innocent.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Pellet Stove project part 2

It dawned on me just last week, that I had never posted a "finished" picture of our pellet stove/rock wall project. Maybe I never posted those pictures because

  • we finished it 6 months or more after we started the project
  • Miss Kat had the camera
  • I never got around to it?

Let's face it, with me...any of the above reasons could be accurate.

So...without further ado...ta da!

We halted our initial project about 1/2 way up the wall...because Kev wanted a "chunky" "rustic" mantle. And, living on the High area also known as the "Great American Desert", chunky, rustic wood mantles are hard to come by.

Let's face it, trees are hard to come by...well, trees of any size. And sawmills are non-existent. But, after looking several months, and after preparing to drive several hours to Eastern Kansas, we discovered that there's a sawmill 30 miles away from us. The sawmill owner is a tree trimmer and he has it just for fun. Kev talked to him and he happened to have recently cut up a Black Walnut tree. Kev drove up, and for $50, brought home a huge chunk of lumber.

He decided to leave the bark on, and the white wood that is usually tossed. He then cut the mantle and the supports for it. We sealed the bark with polyurethane and Kev placed a few finish nails in it. He hopes that will keep the bark on our mantle for all eternity.

Kev has at least 1/2 of his chunk of wood still in the garage. He say's he's going to make a coffee table out of it...someday. I'm not holding my breath. But, I have to admit, our mantle is pretty. I like it and I'm proud of what we accomplished.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Just in case

Kev and I went out to the farm on Saturday. Our purpose was to look for deer and deer sign, but we didn't see any, so we spent some time just riding around on the 4 wheeler, and looking through the grainery.

I imagine it was actually built by my Great-Grandfather, Harvey L. Woodruff. It hasn't been used to store grain for years and years. Instead, it's become a storage shed. Because, you know, old farmers never threw anything away. They stored most of what they stopped using--just in case.

I like the grainery. I like exploring the stuff in it, and I think it could be restored and made into a little cabin. It just needs repair and a roof and windows and maybe a little extermination, but it's in pretty good shape for as old as it is. Kev refuses to consider remodeling. But, he does think the foundation would be a great foundation for a new "hunting" cabin. But I'm not holding my breath that we'll ever do anything with it. I'm not even sure we'll ever get it cleaned out.
Remember I said that old farmers kept everything? These are just a few shots of "stuff" still stored in the grainery... When was the last time these horse collars were used? I'm guessing the 30's. I know Grandad bought his first tractor in 1929... But, we still have the horse collars...just in case.

And this is a mish mash of...stuff. Hanging on the wall...just in case.

The knife sharpener...or grinding wheel. We kids used to love sitting on this and "riding the bike". We'd sometimes sharpen sticks on this. I should really look to see if we can clean this up. I'd take it home...just in case I needed to sharpen something.

Some things, were hung from the rafters. To protect them from mice and other critters. I have no idea what is in any of these buckets and barrels. I didn't get a picture of the mattress hanging up there as well. Personally, I wouldn't sleep on it, but it's there...just in case.

Heaven forbid we threw away some bolts and nuts. Instead, let's keep them...just in case anyone needs a bucket full of rusty old bolts.

Now these are really treasures...Those arched pieces of wood are actually wagon bows. The very same wagon bows that were on the wagon my Great Grandfather Harvey had on his wagon when he and his wife, Mary, came to Meade Co. No idea when they were used last...but we still have them...just in case!
(and seriously, if you have any idea of what we could do with them, I'd love to know cause I would like to do somethingwith them.)

This is a shot of Grandad's bolt bin--minus the bolts, cause they are in the bucket. The bin used to live in the garage, but it blew away in the tornado which hit in 1973. But, we saved the bin...just in case!
Also in the grainery is a bed frame--wooden. And it looks like the pieces of an old wardrobe. It's been dismantled, and it looks like all the pieces are there. Kev and I keep telling ourselves we're going to dig both out and see of they can be reconstructed or salvaged. But, we are secure in the knowledge that they are there, waiting...just in case!

Monday, October 18, 2010

New windows

The front of our house looks a little different. Instead of three small windows in the living room, we now have this: Kev and I bit the bullet this summer and ordered new windows for the main floor. We desperately needed new windows. The original vinyl windows leaked badly, and a couple wouldn't open and one (our bedroom window) broke last winter as we tried to close it.

Not very energy efficient. So, this summer, the first of July, we ordered Renewal by Anderson Windows. And, upgraded our three small living room windows to a nice big bay window. They were installed the week of my surgery. (great timing.)
Now, we can sit by the window and hear the waterfall run into the pond. and we can watch the fish swim in the pond.

And then there's this view...we've already spent hours sitting in the bay window, enjoying the view.

Yeah, it just sucks.
We stained the oak trim yesterday and put some poly on it. We're now trying to figure out what kind of window treatment to get because we both like to see out, but at times, even we need to be able to shut the curtains. Who know's what might happen in the living room! And I need to make a cushion for the seat. Which will be a first for me!
I think it was a worthwhile investment. Especially when I'm sitting in the bay window, enjoying the view.


Three cowboys were riding in the pickup, all three sitting in the front seat.

Which one is the real cowboy?

The one in the middle.

Because he doesn't have to drive, and he doesn't have to open the gate.

Somehow, I'm never the "real" cowboy, cause I always have to open the gate.

Barbed wire gates are sometimes difficult to open. If it's a new gate, and it's nice and tight, it's almost impossible to open.

Here's how you open a barbed wire gate...

If it's a tight gate, you lean against the fence post.

Wrap your arm around the other side of the post and grab the gate post and pull it towards you. This lessens the tension on the loop allowing you to lift the loop off the gate post and open the gate. And sometimes, you just don't have enough lead in your britches to pull that gate. At times like that, your Dad, brother, or husband come to the rescue. But they whine and pout about having to help you out--especially if they were sitting in the middle.

I much prefer using a cheater to open gates, like this one...This is a nice way to open a new gate. All I had to do was lift on the handle (on the right side) and it pulled the gate post in and I just pop the cheater off the post and open the gate. Of course you can just drop the gate, but usually, you have to drag it inside, while the guy driving comes in the pasture. Then, they wait until you close the gate.

This is one of the nicer cheaters I've used. Sometimes, a cheater is simply a stick of wood chained to the fence post. You wrap it around the gate post, and lean on it for that extra leverage to move the gate post.

In this case, everyone loves a cheater! Especially me.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


I should have kept my "mouth" shut yesterday.

Last night, Ifound the chick's body--minus it's head.

Stupid cats.

Stupid me. I jinxed it.

I did suggest to Kev that maybe he should build me a brood house for "next" time. He gave me the look and just suggested that "next" time, I seperate the chick(s) from the hen and raise them like we do store bought chicks.

I'm gonna work on my plan, and work towards a brood house--or brood tractor. Maybe then...I can raise a chick.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

New baby

We have a new baby at our house.

Or, at least we had it when we left the house this morning.

One of my hens hatched a chick. I found the chick on Saturday, but I think it probably hatched sometime on Friday because by the time I found it on Saturday morning, it was dry and fluffy and very cute. Mama was still sitting on 3 more eggs Saturday morning and Chick was spending most of it's time under her, but made a lot of noise.

So, I got out one of my chick feeders and filled it with all purpose chicken feed, wheat and black oil sunflower seeds. Then I found a waterer and filled it up and set it near Mother and child.

So far, so good!

But they did give me a scare Sunday night.

I went out to shut everyone in for the night, and no Mama or chick. I just knew one of the stupid cats had decided to have chick for supper. But, I counted my birds and I was one short. So, I went outside and there on the ground was Mama. I could hear the baby--under Mom. So, I picked up Mom and baby and put them back inside the chicken house. They meandered over to "their" corner and the chick nabbed a bite to eat and got a drink before Mom told it to come to bed.

I've enjoyed watching them. Last night, I tossed some food scraps out--to the chickens. I could hear the chick, but wasn't spotting it. Finally, I found it, right beside it's Mama's head. If Mama pecked something, so did the baby. They really liked the tomatoes, and the biscuits best.

Come dark, it was the same as Sunday night...all the other chickens went inside, but my little family. I watched as Mama settled herself down on the ground and the chick ran right over and nestled under her feathers and a top her feet. It was too cute.

But, I know it's not safe to be outside with 40-leven cats roaming in the dark. So, again, I picked the two up and put them back inside the safety of the Chicken house.

So far, so good! Maybe I'll finally raise a home-born chick...

I have another hen who's broody. However, she started sitting before this Mama did. So far, nothin. So, I'm going to give her till this weekend. If she isn't successful--and I don't think she will be--then I'm going to brave her beak and toss her eggs.

In the meantime, I'll watch my little family and hope that chick has a long and happy life.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Normal...well, not really

All my test results came back normal. YEAH!

Now we're concentrating on getting my iron levels back to normal.

And the Dr gave me some progesterone pills to keep me from having a period for 3 months. He doesn't wanting me losing that much blood--or any blood--for that amount of time. We'll see what happens from there.

My Ob-Gyn is a Chinese Dr. His English is pretty good, but not perfect. He did tell me "Your uterus not normal."

And then he went on to draw me a picture. On the outside, my uterus is normal--pear shaped. But on the inside, it's heart shaped. Which is NOT normal. It's not bicournal (sp?), or split in 2 with each side being horn like; but it's not quite normal.

I didn't ask, because it doesn't matter any more, but...some women with this condition can't carry babies. So, I won't dwell on what might have been, and just be thankful for the two healthy kids I do have.

The Dr does think this abnormality might have played a role in my "Dysfunctional Uterine Bleeding". But hormones did play a big part.

Will it happen again? He won't give any predictions on that. I hope not...we got the preliminary hospital bill...whoo boy. It's higher than what it was to have a baby 14 years ago. But, remember, I'm not complaining...

Let's all hope that this is the last post about this. Cause I really want to focus on something else for a change...

By the way, did I mention that I had 2 moles removed from my neck? And that one was basal cell carcinoma? Have to admit, I was a little surprised, but on the other hand...not really. I have fair skin...I'm as white as white can get. I grew up in the 70's when our goal was to smear our bodies with baby oil and get brown...except I never got brown. Basal cell tends to be pretty common in my family...which means I wasn't adopted, and I'm not the mailman's kid. (So Dad, this pretty much means I'm yours!)

Have a great weekend everyone. I am as normal as I'm ever going to be and we will return this blog to the mundane, to the chickens...or to Miss Kat, or maybe even hunting...stay tuned!

Tuesday, October 05, 2010


The D&C went very well. I feel better and I think it was necessary. The bleeding has stopped. The before and after bleeding was night and day. Once I got home, I realized just how badly I'd been bleeding. We women are so used to dealing with blood, that I'd just adapted my behavior and coped. I knew it was getting bad, but I didn't realize how bad it was until after the surgery.

The hardest thing for me right now is not taking a bath again until I go back to the Dr this Thursday. I can shower, but I really hate taking showers. Hopefully, on Thursday, I'll have my pathology reports and we'll know where to go from here.

Yesterday, the first bills arrived.

I hate medical bills.

I promised my family that I wouldn't whine or complain or gripe about the medical bills. That this time, I'll just pay them and move on.

It's going to be hard. Cause I have a $3000 deductible and cause what they charge is ridiculous. Why charge $250 for a sonogram if you are just going to write 1/2 of it off? Makes no sense to me.

So, I'm going to try real hard and not gripe...and that last paragraph is NOT griping.

Let's hope that I start getting some energy back and I start stitching again and reading again and having some energy left at the end of the day. I'm taking extra iron, so I hope I get back to "normal" soon!