Rural Kate

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.

My donkeys are spoiled.  How spoiled?  I just spent half an hour weed whipping tall marsh grass to make a path for them to get out to the pasture.

That’s grass that they should just chomp down on their own.  And after braving mosquitos, flies, sweat dripping in my eyes, poison ivy, and thistles…they just stood and looked at me as if they couldn’t believe I really wanted them to walk out there and get their feet muddy.

But that grass is pretty delicious after all.

Now if you will excuse me, I must go knit some little sweaters for them.  The night gets chilly.

Last week we mowed/chopped/hacked our way through alfalfa and clover to open up our new driveway and give the builder a path to the site so he can start excavating today.
Unfortunately, where that first stake is located is currently under about four inches of water thanks to the weekend’s rainfall.  I haven’t been up to the site, but while it may not be underwater, I doubt the excavator is going to be interested in sinking his equipment into boggy ground.
So no excavating until it dries out a bit.
Forcast: rain all week.

Last week we mowed/chopped/hacked our way through alfalfa and clover to open up our new driveway and give the builder a path to the site so he can start excavating today.

Unfortunately, where that first stake is located is currently under about four inches of water thanks to the weekend’s rainfall.  I haven’t been up to the site, but while it may not be underwater, I doubt the excavator is going to be interested in sinking his equipment into boggy ground.

So no excavating until it dries out a bit.

Forcast: rain all week.

After a miserable parting of ways with Wells Fargo on our construction mortgage…we are back on track with the new house.  New loan with a local bank is signed, so I feel safe to start putting up some pictures.

We’ve already made a ton of decisions, but we won’t start breaking ground until mid-June.  One of those decisions was the rock for the exterior of the house.  Our mason put together a mock-up wall for us so we could see our choice in a larger scale.  It turned out even better than I had anticipated.  He even made a small window to give us an idea of how the blue limestone sills would look and we chose a dark brick to go above windows and garage doors.

I can’t tell you how happy it makes me to look at these pictures.  I may change my wallpaper on my phone to one of these.  I can see my kids anytime.

Before, During, and After.

The Governor gets his summer buzz cut.

You probably could hear my sobbing in neighboring towns.

I would suspect Darwinism at work, except I’m pretty certain this is the same robin as last year.  The one who flies into my bedroom window.  Repeatedly.  All day long.  Starting at sunrise, which in case you are interested, is currently around 5:50 am.

The top photo shows some of the blood he left behind.  That picture was taken about a week ago.  The bottom photo shows what the window looks like this morning.  I can only assume he has drained all blood and is now leaving spinal fluid on the glass.

The front of the house isn’t faring much better.  The windows are cleaner, but the kill rate is higher.  So far I’ve had to give final rites to a grosbeak and a yellow finch.  Technically I think Martha killed the grosbeak, but it was a mercy killing…judging from the amount of feathers left behind on the window.

I’ve been trying to take some pictures of the donkeys for you, Dad…but they are so damn curious that I end up with a lot of photos like this.

I’ve been trying to take some pictures of the donkeys for you, Dad…but they are so damn curious that I end up with a lot of photos like this.

A Few Words with Martha

Me: I’m busy.

Martha: But it’s a really nice day.

Me: I have stuff to do.  I’ll toss the ball for you later.

Martha: Now.

Me: (ignoring my dog)

Me: Let go!

Martha: I said, “Now.”

Me: Okay! Okay! (cough) But just so you know…I hate you.

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My mom had surgery yesterday.  She’s doing very well and should be home today.  I’m thinking of heading over to her house before she gets there and doing a bit of cleaning.  And leaving a note card like the one I found on her hospital bedside table.
I’m not sure if this is a common practice in all hospitals now or just Methodist.  And I’d really like to know if Isaac enjoys being called a Housekeeper.  It doesn’t really fit with a respected member of the Environmental Services team.  I think he’d rather be an Eco-Engineer. However, if Isaac is pocketing a bunch of tip money now, he probably doesn’t care.  There was no envelope for a gratuity, so I suppose you just leave it under the water pitcher and hope the night nurse doesn’t think it’s a bribe to up the morphine.
I looked around for the sign that gently chides us to Go Green and re-use bath towels more than once.  I didn’t see it.  Nor did I see a tip jar at the nurses station…but it’s probably only a matter of time.

My mom had surgery yesterday.  She’s doing very well and should be home today.  I’m thinking of heading over to her house before she gets there and doing a bit of cleaning.  And leaving a note card like the one I found on her hospital bedside table.

I’m not sure if this is a common practice in all hospitals now or just Methodist.  And I’d really like to know if Isaac enjoys being called a Housekeeper.  It doesn’t really fit with a respected member of the Environmental Services team.  I think he’d rather be an Eco-Engineer. However, if Isaac is pocketing a bunch of tip money now, he probably doesn’t care.  There was no envelope for a gratuity, so I suppose you just leave it under the water pitcher and hope the night nurse doesn’t think it’s a bribe to up the morphine.

I looked around for the sign that gently chides us to Go Green and re-use bath towels more than once.  I didn’t see it.  Nor did I see a tip jar at the nurses station…but it’s probably only a matter of time.