Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Eight Weeks

Our sweet granddaughter is 8 weeks old. This momentous occasion was not marked with much fanfare. No Birthday cake. No presents. Just us. I felt lucky to have the opportunity to visit the kids and hold their sweet little girl.

We ventured to San Francisco on Thursday, and spent the weekend tiling the kitchen backsplash. The kids will need to do the grouting, as the tile needed extra time to set. (Awww, too bad. Gosh darn it... I love grouting......  actually, I do!!)

The "Before" shot of the kitchen.
A "During" shot of the project, and a closeup of the not so fun to set tile.
Z tries her hand at putting mastic on the wall.
She's a whiz at it. It's in the genes.
Z's Grandfather and Great Grandfather were both masons!

The only way to get the tiles into the corner is...
 to get in the corner.
Our son is flexible enough to do this with ease!
Ta da!
The project is complete. (Well, almost!)
Let's have friends over for dinner!
In between setting tiles, and resetting those that decided not to stick, we had our share of time with sweet little baby. She is beginning to spend more awake time checking out her environment. She is just beginning to make some cooing sounds.

She waves her arms and legs, but hasn't quite figured out how to connect with or hold a toy.

And she spends some time fussing. OK, babies fuss. How else are they gonna tell us they are cold, or wet, or hot, or hungry, or just plain tired! Our little BaBa seems to kick up a fuss when she is trying oh, so, hard, not to fall asleep!




One evening we even let her parents go out to dinner all by themselves! Our son provided us with detailed instructions....

Doesn't he get it? We were parents once upon a time!
We managed to take care of him just fine!

We played with her.
And put her down to nap.
And picked her up when she cried.
And fed her.


We put her down to play.
We picked her up.
We bathed her.

And fed her again.

Mom and Dad walked in after having a nice meal, all by themselves.
All was quiet.
All was fine.
I'm not sure who enjoyed the evening more....

Friday, July 10, 2015

RIP Dear Pippin

We Dreamers like to go to the Harley Troyer Driving Horse, Carriage and Mule Auction. They have so much more than the horses and carriages. It is fun to see (and sometimes bid on) different sorts of tools and bric-a-brac. This is the auction where I purchased my Haffie team many years ago... and the auction where I sold my Haffies when I realized I could not give them what they needed. Each year we receive a program with pictures of consigned horses and carriages. I always enjoy looking through the catalog - and I always look at the Haflingers!

A few days before the auction I checked the online program and paid a bit more attention to this guy:

I pulled up a picture I had taken years ago....

I flipped back and forth between the pictures
and compared each twist and turn of the blaze.

OMG.... the Haflinger Gelding featured for sale is none other than my Doc. 

"He lost his mate."

What the heck is that all about?!

I couldn't sleep.
I was so upset.
What could have happened to my dear Pippin?

I had to know.

. We Dreamers drove up to the auction this morning. 
We found Doc and had a little bit of a reunion. 

I don't think he remembered me.
He didn't greet me with the deep, soft nicker I used to love. 
But, then again, I wasn't carrying a feed bucket!

We chatted with his current owner and found out that Pippin and his equine buddies took shelter under a tree last fall. The tree was struck by lightning, and Pippin was hit, and killed instantly. Poor boy - but oh so much better than the other nightmarish images of a suffering horse I had conjured up. 

Doc will be auctioned off tomorrow.  I won't go. I can't go.
It is so damned hard. 

There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think about my lovely team of Haffies.... and wish I still had them in my back yard. But, I also know that three years ago, after a lot of soul searching, I realized I could not give the horses what they needed. They needed a job. They needed to be busy. And thus I sold them. Today, nothing has changed. 

All I can hope is that Doc finds another loving family who treasures him and gives him the opportunity to bring value to their lives. 

Friday, June 26, 2015

Tale of a Tree - and what a tale to tell!

While we were visiting the grand baby we received a text message from our house sitter asking if we had dug around one of our trees. What? We asked her to send a picture.

How very odd! Our Blue Spruce seemed to have sunk about three feet into the ground.

Uh oh!

Just before we left for our San Francisco trip I turned on the irrigation system for the first time this season. Apparently something terrible had gone wrong with the system. Mr. Dreamy called the sprinkler guy and he stopped in to check on the system. Nope. Not his problem. All is working as it should.
Our next thought was that we had a leak in the water line that runs from the well to the house. However, our housesitter dutifully checked on the pressure on the tank, and reported that the pump wasn't running.
So, perhaps the sinkhole was an aftereffect of our rainy spring and most recently, a 3 inch rainfall in less than an hour.
When we arrived home we looked at our sunken tree and scratched our heads. It didn't make sense....
until Mr. Dreamy checked the historic aerial photos on Google Earth... and talked to neighbors... and found out that the existing farmhouse on the property was located in that area, and was burned down in 1993 prior to the construction of our home.

Aerial photo from the 50's.
The farm house was located to the left of the drive.
No buildings from this photo remain.

Current satellite photo.
If you look at the new house relative to the trees
which appear in both photos, 
you can see that the farm house was behind our home.

The firemen were invited to practice and the burned remains were pushed into the earthen basement and covered with soil. Over the years things began to disintegrate, allowing the soil to compact or wash away with all of our rain. We have a bonafide sinkhole in our yard!

When I put lights on the tree at Christmas, I needed a pole to get to the top.

Mr. Dreamy begins to excavate.

We took turns digging where the tractor couldn't reach.

The hole grows deeper.
The dirt pile  grows taller.

Getting deeper, still...

Getting wider...

More digging...
The tree was finally pulled out of the hole.

A new hole is dug.

The tree gets planted.

There is a bit of difference in height!
Our next step will be exploring the sinkhole. We have found some "artifacts" - nothing spectacular, however!

From upper left, going around clockwise:
broken plastic fork
bit of bone
plastic mouth piece for a small cigar
bottle cap
piece of a china bowl
castor wheel
metal top of jar
pieces of glass

From upper left, going around clockwise:
plastic binder "hinge"
crackled glass piece (due to the heat of the fire, perhaps?)
A small table leg - maybe a TV tray
Small pieces of 'wrinkled"
remnants of a can or package - some writing is visible
a thick piece of white porcelain - part of a toilet?
piece of metal
remnants of a carpet
a beer can
ham bone
and in the center, 
a nail
base and element of a light bulb

Lower portion of a squeeze mop

We will continue to explore our mystery sinkhole. We are curious as to what we night find. 
Wouldn't it be lovely to find a hidden treasure trove?
Probably not gonna happen!
The next challenge will be filling the hole, and ensuring that it doesn't happen again!