Rural Kate
My Favorite Things

I love this time of year.  Fall is just around the corner - the temperatures are already dropping into a comfortable zone - and the urge to clean out useless junk and weed out old clothing hits like a tsunami.

Now there are those in my family who may claim that my need to purge is a year-round disorder, not merely a seasonal whimsy.  I won’t address that, but I will say that you critics now have another devoted member.  Wally and I are circling each other slowly, waiting to see who will make the first lunge and go for the kill.

We were cleaning out his closet and dresser today.  And the general state of his room fell under fire as well.

After pointing out various sins, such as piles of books on the floor (right next to a very serviceable bookshelf) and two empty Kleenex boxes on his nightstand, we had the following conversation:

Me:  Walt, you are becoming a hoarder.  The next step is bottles of your own urine along the window sill and cockroaches dining on half-eaten tubs of applesauce in your laundry basket.

Hoarder:  I like the books on the floor.  I’m used to it.  And I was going to bring the empty boxes upstairs when I go up to get a new box.

Me:  But you didn’t do that.  Did you?  You know what your problem is?

Hoarder: A mom with OCD?

The conversation stopped there.  I decided it would be better to walk away than stay and beat him up and have to deal with blood stains on carpet.  Nightmare, that.  

So I went to my happy place.  The laundry room.  And where there had previously only been two lonely hangers…now a full bar of them hang, thanks to cleaning out Wally’s closet, the coat closet, and the front hall closet.


An no, that is not a black hanger out of place.  It’s dark green.

Birthday Girl gives Birthday Boy a tour of her work place

Birthday Girl gives Birthday Boy a tour of her work place

Roof trusses going up…

Roof trusses going up…

Walt on his way to work at the local fair. He has a small megaphone in his pocket to “encourage” people to come to his booth and buy malts.

Walt on his way to work at the local fair. He has a small megaphone in his pocket to “encourage” people to come to his booth and buy malts.

The house continues to go up:

The dining room window - 

A view of some basement rooms…

The roof trusses are going up as I type, and the rest of the main floor has been framed, so hopefully I will have more pictures tomorrow.

Got back late last night from a girls’ weekend in Las Vegas.  It was a lot of fun, and I’m pleasantly exhausted.  And right now I’m pleasantly alone, because Dave is at work, the boys are in bed, and Martha is outside terrorizing chipmunks and donkeys.  

I wish the house could be this quiet all the time.  Or perhaps I’m just relishing the quiet because Vegas is so loud.  I slept like a baby; our room was very peaceful, but the casinos…the streets…the shops…it’s a lot of aural overload for me.  I think the rest of the women in our party thought I was partially deaf because I kept having to ask for words to be repeated.  The airport seemed like a library after leaving the Strip.

This week is going to be a pleasant week.  It’s the seven day break between summer activities ending and pre-season high school/middle school sports starting.  Except that ugly bit about cleaning and reorganizing the barn becaues 150 bales of hay are going to be delivered by Friday.  (Putting my chips on Friday.  Come on Friday!)

While I was gone:

Starting to frame!

Also…someone got his 16th birthday present from Nana:

I’m not happy about this.  Oh, I’m (wait for it) PLEASANTLY content that his grandmother thinks well enough of him to buy him a car, but I would prefer that he drive our old pick-up truck until he gets a little more experience under his belt.  I’m sure Jake at State Farm feels likewise.  The sixteen year old (or soon-to-be sixteen year old) is over the moon happy.  Apparently he’s volunteering to drive for any and all errands.  And he will be tip-toeing along the Straight and Narrow because that car will be sold off if he doesn’t.  Or maybe I will just start driving it.

It would not be pleasant for him to watch mom drive his car.

On my way to Vegas. Begin as you mean to go down, I say.

A little hot and humid yesterday.  I thought I was suffering…until I went and checked on our pigs.  They have water spigots to drink from, but the warm weather had dried up all the soil so there was no mud for them.  That is now remedied.

Happy pigs.

It did not take long to fall back into a routine after our return from Alaska.  Work, ferrying children to different activities, barn chores, etc.  And it seems as if every time I want to sit down at the computer, someone has beaten me to the keyboard.  But Dave is off judging a BBQ contest in South Dakota today and the boys are helping one of their troop members work on an Eagle Scout project…so Martha and I have the place to ourselves. 

Although apparently my company isn’t entertaining enough because Martha keeps looking out the window for someone more fun to come along.

The new house is progressing.  Slowly.  We’ve had so much rain here that it’s been difficult to get trucks to the job site let alone do any actual work.  While we were on vacation, a cement truck got stuck up to its axels in mud and had to be rescued with a bulldozer.  We’ve had just enough dry days now, though, to get some footings poured.

How they work in all that standing water, I do not know.  Another couple of dry days saw the basement walls poured.

They took off the forms yesterday, so there are concrete walls up, but I haven’t had a chance to take photos yet.  I’m not sure what the next step is, but I keep looking for lumber and trusses to be delivered.

Umpf.  Just heard the back door open.  There goes my solitude.

Dave and i just got back from our Alaskan vacation.  We had a great time. We spent the first part of the trip with the entire family up in Fairbanks visiting relatives.  Then Dave and I joined some neighbors from home and met up in Anchorage for a cruise down to Vancouver. I have tons of photos that I would love to display and explain, much like a Tarot card reader…but I will be considerate and choose a few highlights.

Getting ready for the Fairbanks Midnight Fun Run (10K):

Glacier Bay:

A fur shop in Skagway:

A seagull who blatantly encouraged us to ignore the strict “Don’t Feed the Wildlife” policy onboard the cruise ship.

And my neighbor explaining to the gull that as much as we would love to share our crackers, we could not do so with a clear conscience. 

The cheese and cracker tray that Room Service was able to throw together for us at the last minute because regular appetizers (including chips and salsa) required six hours advance notice. And yes, the orange cheese is Kraft singles split in half. And we had to open all the crackers from the small packets.

The Arctic Bar in Ketchikan where the waitress asked if she could be Dave’s girlfriend:

And finally, Dave and a bald eagle.

It was a fun trip.