Friday, August 27, 2010

The Husband, the farmer

In just a few short months, my husband the bureaucrat has become my husband the farmer.

For anyone wondering how The Husband is adjusting to his new life in NY, I am posting this as my response. If only he would allow me to post the smiling photo of him, in his straw hat and sunglasses, proudly surveying his humble garden plot... (Don't cross me Mr. P, or I just might post it anyway!)

As for The Wifey, she is still in NJ, adjusting to her new role as squirrel wrangler. As fast as I set the trap is as fast as they fill it. This is my last summer in the Garden State, and I'll will not be cheated out of my last Jersey tomatoes.

Now if only Wifey and Husband could just find new jobs that offer paychecks AND health insurance! We are both dreading the arrival of our first COBRA bill...

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Leaky basement and open-door policy

The garage is all done: well, just like the house, almost all done. Jim the Builder is pricing garage doors for me, and Jesse the electrician needs to finish hanging light fixtures, etc. Having never had a garage before, I have no idea what kind of doors to get. Do I need a garage door opener?

The concrete apron around the garage looks nice enough, but I am not happy with the concrete walkway going up to the front door. It was one of those last-minute decisions, and probably not the smartest one. Mostly what I don't like is how it is raised a few inches higher than the driveway and the lawn on either side. They dumped some gravelly dirt on the driveway edge to ease the height-difference, but now we're back to walking through mud. There's a solution, but not sure what that is yet.

Jim the Builder thinks he resolved the leak in the basement (every time it rains) by flashing around the Bilco doors (on the other side of that white door in the photo. They just did the flashing yesterday, so we're waiting for another good soaker to test his theory. Such a nicely finished basement, but can't put anything down there until we dry it out.

And, back in NJ, I am back to relocating the latest squirrel population. I just took away #3, a big fella with more red than grey fur. I know I haven't seen him around here before. Hope I never see him again!
Enhanced by Zemanta

Sunday, August 22, 2010

NY cats, NJ squirrels (don't read this one, j!)

It was very strange coming back to a truly empty house in NJ. Now that the cats have moved to NY, it is just the big old Lester here with me, and no one to entertain us. Well, there are the squirrels, who have returned with a vengeance, so I have to keep Lester busy on squirrel patrol. Entertaining for him, perhaps, but a real pain for me all over again.

After about 2 weeks up there, I think Dave and Will are finding their hangout places in their new home. In the first few days, Willie did such a great job of hiding, that we couldn't figure out where he was. We searched everywhere, and finally found him inside the box spring on our bed. He pulled down the fabric and made himself a little hammock.

I think Will might actually remember being a NY cat (The Husband does not agree with me on this). He spends a lot of time in the window and on the screen porch sniffing the air—something he didn't really do in NJ. Two years ago, The Husband and Lester found him in the field only a few feet from where our house is now. This 13-lb. cat was only a pound-and-a-half back then.

In our walks around town we have discovered several of his relatives. He is truly a village native, as almost every cat we see in this town is black and white. I think he was born in the horse barn across the street from The Dump. He somehow managed to avoid the speeding cars and find us in the 5-ft.-tall weeds, only 2 months after we lost our sweet and ornery 15YO Maggie (also black and white). We hadn't planned on getting a second cat right away...I think she sent him to us.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Getting a garage and the greenest of grass

The guys have been out every day working on the garage. Now that the overhang has been added to the one side, it looks much more interesting than your basic 24' x 24' square. Not sure what exactly we are going to use the overhang for, but it will possibly house animals of some sort (goats, chickens, a pig?) and it will definitely be a home for some kind of farm equipment and a dry spot for the woodpile.

The Husband and I have been enjoying the cooler NY temps—I think it is still in the 90s in NJ. It has been beautiful here, with just enough rain to keep the "crops" growing. And our lawn came in nice and green. Sophie actually prefers hanging around her happy new home to going down to the creek and swimming with Lester. I think it's that cushy green grass that she likes to roll in that keeps her here.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Big party at Lester's Flat

The weather was perfect for a barbecue last night at Lester's Flat. The open layout of the first floor served us well with about 15 guests: The Husband's family from New York and New Jersey, and a few party crashers (not really, they were invited, but were not family). My mother-in-law spent the weekend with us. She slept in the music room, as we didn't think the bed in the leaky basement was suitable for our first overnight guest.

As you can see in the photos, the kids were adept at showing the old folks how to party. Ella was my sous chef for the southwest turkey burgers, hamburgers and hotdogs, and Claire, Andrew and Ella spent most of their time after dinner being silly in the yard and recording their silliness on our camera.

Lester and Sophie were gracious hosts to Mac the Shih Tzu puppy, and fun was had by one and all with lots of wine and beer (and root beer and ginger ale, of course).

It rained most of today, but the girls did manage to jump in the creek with the dogs for a swim. They had so much fun in there last year, they refused to go home today without one last creek adventure.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Monday, August 9, 2010

Visiting with Bullwinkle

Another gorgeous day in the neighborhood yesterday, so we went to visit Cousin Chris. The office was closed on Sunday, but Bullwinkle was up for a visit. Anything to distract the flies from him, poor guy!

Today was also pretty nice, until we decided to go for a walk into town. A few raindrops on the way down, and a full out rainstorm the whole way back. We thought about ducking into The Dump to wait it out, but once you're soaked, what's the difference in being more soaked?

I spent a good bit of time today sorting things out. After filling out all the applications, I thought we were ready to get our NY drivers' licenses and registrations for the cars, but we were lacking the car titles and NY car insurance. We did succeed in getting the temporary version of our step closer.

I also took the time to read the instruction booklets for the new washer and dryer. The Husband has been using them for a few weeks, but it takes a woman to sit down and become one with the details of proper laundry procedures. He thanked me for figuring out how to permanently turn off the annoying buzzers.

We haven't heard anything about whether or not St. Joseph sold our house yet, nor anything about the 2 jobs that I posted applications for, but either way, we are settling in to our new life in NY.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Friday, August 6, 2010

A county fair and a concrete example

We went to the Otsego County Fair (Morris NY) today and saw all the little piggies there were to see (but none in a blanket). We also saw our fair share of horses, cows, goats and chickens. (Watch out Lisa, we're gonna be farmers yet!)

The pulled pork sandwich (sorry piggies!) and the fresh-squeezed lemonade were both disappointingly bland, but it was a perfect day for a wander through the animals and fresh-faced 4Hers. Sunny, 72°, low humidity (yay!) and going down to 46° tonight (yikes!). After a few days of hot and humid here, with no AC, and a whole month of hot and humid in NJ, 46° is sounding good.

We came back from Morris to find the concrete truck on his way out. We now have a new apron for the garage, and a walkway to the front door. Still debating whether or not to leave an inscription in the perfect concrete.

Not sure if St. Joe had anything to do with it (I'm a doubting Thomas) but we have a house showing in NJ tomorrow. If we sell this house, AND if I get one of the two jobs I just applied for at Colgate University, there will be much celebrating in Lester's Flat!
Enhanced by Zemanta