Anniversary, pink skies, and lots of paint

Saturday, November 13

Twenty two years ago today CountryBoy and I started our adventures together as husband and wife. We’ve had lots of fun adventures as well as hard times both physically and financially. Who hasn’t, right? We’re planning on lots more adventures in the years ahead (and hopefully not too many hard times!) and there’s no one else I’d rather be doing this thing called life with than my CountryBoy. Happy Anniversary my love!

Our guests checked out fairly early this morning as they had a long drive ahead. We were able to get the cabin cleaned and almost ready for today’s guests. We had forgotten to thaw a banana bread out so when we took it up to the cabin we were going to finish up by sweeping, mopping, filling the bird feeder, and taking more wood up for the fire pit. A little after one o’clock we had an email stating that our guest canceled. There was another email from the guests apologizing for not being able to make it. Due to our cancellation policy we will still get paid.

CountryBoy whipped up a loaf of artisan bread this morning…

… then went up to the cabin and turned the propane heater and gas off and filled the bird feeder. With the cancellation we were able to head to town earlier than originally anticipated to celebrate our anniversary. We feasted at one of the steakhouses then came home and plopped on the couch after taking care of the barn animals and gathering eggs.

Speaking of eggs, we’re averaging six eggs a day. SIX!!! We went from two dozen a day down to six. Egg production naturally slows down in the winter months but we’ve never had that few eggs with forty plus hens. They are getting on in years which may be part of the decrease as well.

Sunday, November 15

A few minutes after seven o’clock this morning I headed to the barn for morning chores. The sky was thick with grey blue clouds that seemed impenetrable. I fed Mabel, opened the coop door to the paddock and fed the chickens. As I was exiting the coop there were bright pink streaks across the grey blue sky. The color appeared so suddenly it was shocking. I literally ran back to the house for my camera. By the time I snatched it up and ran back outside the pink was already fading and not as vibrant as it was when I initially saw it at the barn.

It was stunning! A few minutes after this shot the pink disappeared.

The morning hours before church were nice and long. There are some mornings where the hours fly by and then there are some mornings when the day drifts along at a nice, casual pace. This morning was the latter and it was so nice. I finished the second skein of yarn for the baby blanket even after ripping out two rows. As I was nearing the end of a row I discovered I had missed a stitch at the beginning of the previous row. sigh. I did the row that I messed up on yesterday morning before I drank all my coffee, ha!

This morning we strained the fruit out of our soon-to-be homemade wine and poured the remaining liquid into a gallon jug with an airlock. It will remain in the jug for six weeks where the sugar and yeast will continue to ferment. Six weeks brings us to Christmas – can you believe it?!

It has been a couple weeks since we’ve been able to go to church and it was good to be back today. The message was good and a reminder to look up rather than down or at the events of the world.

After church I went to work. It was an easy day but I worked until six o’clock. It was weird driving home in the dark. I’m just not a fan of Daylight Savings Time.

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It’s been a week since we’ve had a showing. We’re left to wondering what’s next for us. When we were anticipating moving to the lake house I was imagining what our life would be like. I was excited about the opportunity to incorporate a healthier diet and less stressful daily lifestyle as part of our new norm. I was looking forward to fewer responsibilities; the freedom to travel or relax on the water; having the time to work on creative projects; or, do nothing at all. I’m not sure I could actually do nothing but the thought is tempting. But now that we are in limbo the thought has crossed my mind about re-imagining our life here at the farm. If it doesn’t sell that is exactly what we will have to do. And that’s OK. There’s no reason I can’t start implementing some of the things I imagined doing at the lake house right here and now. I just think that it was going to be easier to re-imagine a new lifestyle at a new location because that’s just it – it’s new and different and changes seem to be easier to incorporate when in a state of newness.

Monday, November 15

Work, work, work. All day long we worked. CountryBoy put the last of the quarter round down in the bathroom then started in on switching out the faucet in the shower. That project turned out to be a major one but he got it done. The old faucet lever was stuck on shower and couldn’t be lowered and switched back to the faucet. We can now switch from the faucet to the shower head again.

Meanwhile I was sliding around on the floor cleaning and prepping to paint the baseboards and the trim around the front door in the dining room. Two coats on the baseboards and three coats on the trim later I was finally done. My body was NOT happy with me for what I just put it through but it was worth the pain and effort.

My pretty blue doors show up much better now. I’m lovin’ it!

We worked right up till time to feed Mabel and gather the eggs which we typically do around 4 o’clock. We were both sore and tired but glad for all that got done today.

Tuesday, November 16

More work today. CountryBoy covered a patch of wall in the sunroom with some thin plywood. One of these days I’ll paint it. He also replaced a rotted fascia board at the corner of the sunroom and painted it. What was I doing? Painting. again. I have hem-hawed around about painting the fronts of the stair treads. I thought it would look good and make a huge difference but I just wasn’t 100 percent sure. And, truth be told, part of me really didn’t want to put forth the effort. Well, since we’re sprucing up ’round here I decided to just do it.

As I was putting the painters tape down my body was saying oh no, here we go again. I ignored it and got to work. Thankfully it didn’t take me long to get two coats on and be done. What a difference!

I really like it and am glad I went for it. I think it makes the steps a lot more visible and therefore safer at least when heading up the stairs. Still left to paint are three walls of baseboards in the living room and the mudroom floor. I think I’ll let my body recover before tackling them.

While sipping on my coffee this morning I started on skein number three for the baby blanket. This afternoon we both took it easy that is, after I gave LizzieBelle a bath. This evening I started reading an old Country Living magazine from November of 2009. I brought a ton of magazines with me when we moved here. I’m slowly reading through them then passing them along. I wish I could just let go of them without reading them but I can’t so I’m trying to read through as many of them as I can before we move.

Wednesday, November 17

Wednesday = work day. Or should I say a work day that I get paid for! It was an easy day with few sheets to tend to so I did a little bit of computer work and was home a little after noon.

It was another beautiful day with temps right about seventy degrees. CountryBoy took advantage of the nice weather and gathered what remaining tools he has left and corralled them all into one spot. While he did that I tidied up the porch then we absorbed the beautiful day sitting on the front porch watching the leaves fall and the birds flock to the feeders. As the afternoon ebbed away the breeze became a little too cool so we headed back indoors and heated up some leftovers.

We still haven’t had any showings. Everyone says the sale of the farm will happen we least expect it. We also haven’t had any more bookings for the cabin. It’s funny, during the pandemic we could hardly keep up with all the guests. Now that it seems to be less of a threat the cabin bookings are slowing down. Of course the cost of gas these days probably aren’t helping either.

This evening I finally started my research project on nutrition, true healthy eating and finding the best, wholesome foods to eat to ease or correct our ailments and to achieve healthier bodies especially as we age. I know bits and pieces about nutrition and the role it plays in our overall wellbeing but now I want to put all the bits and pieces together and fill in the holes in the healthy lifestyle puzzle. I’ve procrastinated getting started on this project because, truthfully, I had no idea WHERE to start. As I came across some nutrition magazines this afternoon I finally decided to just start. I’m jotting down notes as I read through the magazines (since I can’t retain information like I used to) and I figure I will rewrite all my notes into something more coherent down the line. The one thing I do know about nutrition is there’s a definite cause and effect. What we eat can harm or heal our bodies yet nowadays it seems finding clean, wholesome foods (foods with no additives or chemicals) is getting harder and harder to find and it is having long term negative effects in the population.

Overall, it was a nice, relaxing day.

Thursday, November 18

I feel as though I didn’t accomplish much today. In fact, I sat on the couch for so long that my bum was actually sore from sitting so much. I did get up throughout the day to do some odds and ends but it was cold and raining so a couch day it was. I did some more nutrition research; I started skein three for the baby blanket; I made supper; and, finished cross-stitching the piece I’ve been working on (still to do is the back-stitching). All but making supper was done while sitting on the couch. No wonder my bum was sore! I’m not used to sitting so long, ha.

My nutrition research has led me to the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet. Actually, a modified Mediterranean diet specific for circulation and heart disease. We already have many of the foods in our pantry so it’s just learning how to cook them in the healthiest way. Tonight I baked a couple Cod filets, heated some homegrown sugar snap peas (I must admit I do not like them cooked. at all. period. yuck. I’ll eat them raw all day long. so much better. CountryBoy, however, enjoyed them!), and threw a salad together. We ate late afternoon and were hungry again by bedtime but we ignored it and went on to bed.

CountryBoy went to town to run some errands. Since the weather was not to my particular liking I opted to stay home. On the couch. In the warm house. He picked up one of LizzieBelle’s medications, stopped at the bank, and then the courthouse to get tags for the camper. He was informed that we had to have it inspected before they would tag it. Why is it always something these days? Is it just me or does every thing one tries to do or get done always has a snag or is so complicated. Nothing seems to be straightforward anymore. I digress. He came home and called the number he was given and left a message. At the end of the (work) day there was no return call. It also seems no one returns calls these days either. Not appraisers, not surveyors, not fence installers, not contractors, so yea, it’s a wonder anything gets done these days.

We finally got a booking for tomorrow night – yay!

Friday, November 19

It was a cold day but the sun was shining. It’s amazing what a lil’ sunshine can do for the mind, body and soul. We’re enjoying all the sunshine while it’s out there because the continual gray days of winter will be here before we know it.

The only plans for the day was to finish getting the cabin ready and to stay warm. Mid-morning we got a booking for tomorrow night so we decided to make a quick trip to Rural King to stock up on feed before today’s guest arrived. We took LizzieBelle with us but I think she would’ve been better off staying home. I know I would’ve enjoyed the trip more if she had. The poor girl was antsy the entire way there and back for some reason. We even stopped on the way thinking maybe she had to poop (she gets excited going ‘byes in the truck’ and she usually has to poop when we get where we’re going) but no, she just tinkled. She was good as gold in the store sitting on her blankie in the buggy like she was the queen. Anyway, we stopped at Save a Lot on the way home and picked up a few items for tonight’s supper which I started making as soon as we had put everything away. What was on the menu? Something that came to mind as I perused Mediterranean recipes online – Shrimp & Vegetable Orzo…

What made this dish so yummy was our home grown maters we canned with Italian seasonings. I cooked the zucchini a bit too long – next time I’ll add them when I add the shrimp and they should be just right.

Saturday, November 20

The only thing on today’s agenda was cleaning the cabin and getting it ready for tonight’s guests so the day was pretty much wide open to tackle whatever small project came to mind. While waiting for check-out time I put two ninety degree stainless brackets on the vanity drawer that was messed up and caulked all twelve windows in the sunroom plus the side of one of the tall windows where daylight was streaming in. My fingers and hands were none too pleased with me from squeezing the trigger on the caulk gun for so long but, it’s done, and with that, hopefully the plants in there will be fine all through winter.

To stretch my fingers and loosen them up I worked on the baby blanket. I finished skein three. After that I broke out the cross stitch piece and started back stitching while CountryBoy watched a silly movie.

Tonight’s guests wanted to check in early so we hustled and got the cabin cleaned before their stated approximate arrival time. They wound up arriving during our normal check-in hours. Oh well, a little bit of hustling every now and then keeps us on our toes.

Creamsicle, Missy & Sissy snuggled in bed…

We spent the evening watching the British series ‘Our Girl’.

Sunday, November 21

It was a busy day. My only down time today was first thing in the morning when I started skein four and last thing in the evening. Our guests left right about time for church so we weren’t able to go this morning. I left for work shortly after they left. I walked in to find a huge pile of sheets waiting for me as well as a load already in the wash and another load waiting to be washed. sheesh. This happens every time I have to leave at a certain time. On top of the massive amount of sheets the boss wanted to do a newsletter. I knew I couldn’t do both before I had to leave so I concentrated on getting all the sheets washed, dried and ironed and I would go in tomorrow morning to work on the newsletter. Luckily I finished with five minutes to spare. I headed home then we headed to church for a Thanksgiving meal with our church family. We enjoyed a delicious meal and good fellowship then headed back home to relax and unwind.

Monday, November 22

As planned I was at work this morning by nine o’clock. Not quite three hours later I was headed home to decorate the house for Christmas. I came home to an empty mudroom and CountryBoy getting ready to sand the floor. He ran the orbital sander over the floor (recommended on the paint can for concrete floors that have already been painted), swept, then mopped. Yay! That saved me a lot of prep work tomorrow. While he did that I swept and prepped the area where the Christmas tree was going. After resting for a few minutes we started putting up the tree, stringing the lights, hanging ornaments, and putting a few more decorations on the fireplace mantles. Last, but not least, I switched out the wall hanging quilt to a Christmas one and hung the angel picture I cross stitched and finished back in 2002. Parts of the house are now looking quite festive and other parts are a complete disaster with rows of boxes stacked on top of each other. I’m not sure how much longer I can handle it. I’m just afraid that as soon as I cave and start unpacking a few things then we’ll get an offer we can’t refuse. Hmmm, maybe I SHOULD start unpacking, hahaha!

Once we finished decorating I noticed that the mudroom floor needed mopped again as it still had quite a bit of dust on it from the sanding. After throwing a load of laundry in the wash then eating a big salad for supper I tackled the floor. It needed some heavy duty cleaning to get the dust off so I grabbed a bucket and a rag and got to it. I had to get the putty knife out at one point and scrape a few areas where the paint was peeling. Tomorrow, after CountryBoy brings a wheelbarrow full of wood in I’ll sweep one more time then commence to painting the floor. I’m not really looking forward to the painting part but I am looking forward to the end result. Many times the end result is what keeps me pushing myself.

Tuesday, November 23

It was both a busy but relaxing day. Shortly after breakfast the lady who was inspecting our trailer arrived. The inspection didn’t last long as she was only checking the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, gas lines, and breaker box. Thankfully all was well. With paperwork in hand CountryBoy headed to town to get the tag. We’re glad that’s done and the trailer is now official.

I stayed home and did some back-stitching, filled the storage container with bird seed, fed the birds, watered some plants, and moved a few things around in the sunroom. I was procrastinating from the big job of the day – painting the mudroom floor. But, shortly after CountryBoy came home I started getting ready to paint. In total it took about an hour and a half but it’s done…

Ah, so much better and all one color; a nice dark brown instead of red and gray. I’ve put boxes by all the entryways into the mudroom so that we wouldn’t ‘accidentally’ walk in there until it was nice and dry.

It has been a bit of a pain to take LizzieBelle out by way of the front door. Hopefully I’ll remember to go out the front door tonight if she has to go out and I’m half asleep, ha!

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Still no showings. We’re debating about unpacking all our homemade canned goods. A pantry full of all the goodness that came from the garden I should think would show quite well to buyers interested in gardening. (Plus, it will make it easier to find what we need when cooking.)

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