Thursday, February 28, 2013

Theme Thursday: Happiness or Joy

Without fail there is one picture that no matter what always, always makes me smile.

I present to you joy:

Greek Easter 2010

My nephew, Handsome Face McGee, enjoying his very first taste of a banana.

Head on over to Clan Donaldson for more happiness than you can shake a stick at!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Farmhouse Update: Feelin' Good!

Before we met with the contractor yesterday I was feeling pretty down and out about the whole house.  Bad enough that gazing at the pictures, imagining how I was going to decorate and coming up with the names of our various farm animals couldn't even get me outta' my funk.

Within 20 minutes of meeting the contractor, I was ecstatic again! He had experience with old farm houses, he's a local, and while he didn't sugar coat anything - he said it was doable.  

Everything was doable! Our house wasn't going to fall into the basement at any second and we weren't going to have to replace the entire I-Beam and this isn't like the house in the movie The Money Pit.  Sure we had to shore up that beam at the ends where the damage was and we would have to get the pest control guys out to mitigate any further damage (ewwy) and such but structurally, we're sound.  

Electrically speaking? We're screwed.  The entire house needs to be rewired including a new service panel.  That is going to cost us four times as much as shoring up the I-Beam and nearly twice as much as having to potentially repair/replace the well & pump.  Aaaaaaaaaaaaah!

But, but, but it's going to be all good.  I just know it is.  He said it is.  And my Beloved and I are confident and happy with our decision to move forward.  Now all we have to do is to go back to Fannie Mae and present them with our latest and greatest addendum/offer/whatchamacallit.

Hey you know what? It's picture time!

Mud  room doorknob
There are a couple of rooms that have this type of doorknob, however as you can plainly see this doorknob does not belong on this door, there's no keyhole in the door itself.

Here's the other side of the same doorknob:

Cool beans, right?

And one last thing for today - are there any budding Dendrologists or Arborists out there? 'Cause we have a wicked cool tree in the front yard that looks like it's been there for the whole 150 years.  

I want to know what it is but I haven't got the patience or knowledge to even begin Googling this bad boy.

My next post, I'll show you some of the not so awesomeness that is my (soon-to-be) house!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Messy Business

I love making jam.

Every summer I go bat guano crazy and buy fruit like it's going out of style just so I can make jam.

Lots and lots of jam.

Currently we're out of jam (the travesty!).  So in order to rectify that and to start emptying my freezer (let's just say that I may have bought more fruit than I could keep up with so I had to freeze a lot), I made jam.

Witness my "Jumbleberry Jam"!

Berries! There's a quart of strawberries, a pint of each blueberries, blackberries and raspberries that were in the bag.

And a kiwi that wasn't getting any fresher just sitting on the counter.  See it hiding in there?

You throw some sugar in there, a few tablespoons of pectin & lemon juice then boil the daylights out of it.  Mash it all up with a potato masher and voila! Jam!

The stuff gets everywhere.  Seriously not cool for a mostly Type A personality who is trying to be more Type B but largely unsuccessful.

But Type B wins this time though because you get to swipe your fingers through the pot and enjoy, almost immediately, the fruits of your labor.  (get it? fruits? I crack myself up.)


Because the enameled cast iron pot cleans up in seconds.  Literally, seconds.  My enameled cast iron pots are favoritest pots EVER.  Ever, ever, ever.  They're gorgeous, they're good for cooking absolutely everything in, they last forever and they're all eco-friendly & sustainable!  The two that I have were gifts.  A lot of companies are making them so you can get one in your price range.  Do it.  Seriously.  Go buy one!

In other news: We're meeting the builder at the Farmhouse tomorrow for bids on repairs.  Eeeek!  I'm both nervous and excited to find out what he says.

I'll let you know this weekend!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Theme Thursday: Architecture

It's link up time again over at Cari's blog Clan Donaldson and this week's theme is Architecture.

I may have mentioned whined about it, but I've been working a gajillion hours a week.  I start at 6:00 a.m. and typically work until 5:30 or 6:00 (or later) which in the dead of winter means that I don't see the sun for days at a time.

So for you viewing pleasure, straight from my cell phone:

My home away from home -
both fortunate (I have a job! That I love!) and unfortunate (I am never home).

Straight from my phone isn't true.  Jumping on the online editor craze I set to Googling and the first one that popped up was Pixlr.  So, I edited the bejeesus out of it with Pixlr - which was fun!

Now, if you'll excuse me I am falling asleep in my PB&J over here.

Go check out all the awesomeness at Clan Donaldson!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Update: The Farmhouse & The Asset Manager

First, a picture.  Whenever I start getting annoyed because it's taking the bank forever to get their poop in a group (okay, it's only been a week since the last update from them), I peruse the pictures I have of the place (or drive by it - I am seriously stalking the house, are there laws against that??).  That always seems to make me feel better and reminds me of why I need to be patient.

The light fixture in the main floor bath.
Dah-da-dah-da-da, I'm lovin' it!

Second, news from the Asset Manager, verbatim:

After reviewing the repair bid for termite treatment and the photos that you have forwarded, it is clear that this type of job is more than Fannie Mae is capable of managing for repairs.  Further, because of this structural condition, this property will no longer qualify for straight Homepath mortgage financing. 
Please go back to the buyer and let them know that they will need to re-structure their financing so that this buyer either pays for the repairs after closing or works with a lender to finance the repairs.   Possible Homepath Renovation mortgage financing
Since buyer has been earnest in their efforts to purchase this property, I would like to request buyer provide their response by Tuesday, February 19, 2013 how they intend to re-structure their offer to purchase the property. 



Another picture? Okay!

Looking out an upstairs bedroom
Ya know what my Beloved said to our Realtor straight faced? 

"We're not taking it unless the TV antenna comes with it."

She didn't get it. And I think I may have sound a bit donkey-ish when I laughed because it was all the more funny that she started to reassure him that it would.

Okay, back to meat of the situation.  They said in a different part of the e-mail that they're willing to work with us on the price.  What does that mean? I dunno'.  What do I hope it means? Well, I hope it means that they're willing to come down far enough in price that it'll be a wash for them. 

What we're hoping to do is get contractors out there for bids, come back with an offer that is x amount lower and work the repair price into our mortgage.

So, it's not great news.  But it isn't, as my MommaBean always says, a kick in the ass.  I'm glad they want to work with us.

And I'll leave you with this:
This will forever be known as the
"Harry Potter Cupboard Under the Stairs"

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Theme Thursday - Trees or Leaves

Without any ado this weeks submission for Cari's Link-Up @ Clan Donaldson

Auto Pilot (because let's get real, I ain't ever getting my big camera fixed again
and I'm just going to save my pennies until I can buy a real bigger one!)
It's got a couple of leaves, a few trees and a cardinal to spice up the whole deal!

I've been working a lot lately (12-13 hour days) so I haven't had time for much more than feeding myself and going to bed after work so I wasn't able to take a picture with Macro.

But here is a pic that I took ten years ago or so:

Long before I even knew what "Macro" was on my camera.

Head on over to Cari's blog to see some super awesome pics!

Friday, February 8, 2013


Next to skulk, conundrum has to be one of my favorite words.

And that's exactly what I've got.  A conundrum.

My Beloved, as I may have mentioned before, is a truck driver.  But I've never brought up the fact that he is a clotheshorse.

He is a very hard working man with a demanding, physical job and he has a work ethic like nobody else that I know.  I love and appreciate that about him.    And I've never met anyone rougher on their clothes.

Now, about his clotheshorsishness.  The man does not know how to give up on a piece of clothes.  He keeps everything.


Axle grease stain? "It's a good undershirt!"
Worn out elbows? "The rest of it's okay, it's a good undershirt!"
Grody, stiff, yellow armpits? "Bah! It's still a good undershirt!"

Ya see where I'm going?

But I've drawn the line at holey socks and underwear and after 5 years and 364 days, he knows to just toss 'em.  Pitch 'em.  Into the garbage, there is NO using them one more time.  This small victory is mine!

He has clothes that he wore 20 years ago as a wild a wooly teen/young adult- underground band shirts, v-necked sweaters (I'd like to see a picture of him in that!) and jeans. A lot of jeans.  They're all things that for the past four years have never once left our closet.  And who knows how long before that they had been consigned to a dark corner of his bachelor pad.

He easily has two and a half times more clothes than me.  And last weekend when I talked about donating some of the clothes he hasn't seen or worn in 4, 5, 10 years he said "I'm not ready yet."

But this thermal shirt? I think he's been sneaking this one in and out of the laundry for a looooong time.  You know, volunteering to wash his own work clothes so that I wouldn't find it.

Notice if you would: a) the missing armpits, b) the holey elbows, c) the shredded cuffs, d) the disintegrating collar and e) the general dinginess.

He has a million others just like it but in better states of health.

My conundrum is this: Do I pitch it or do I fold it nicely and put it away?

I am inclined to toss it.

I kid you not, I just read this post to my Beloved and do you know what he said after he shouted a laugh?
Beloved: "But, it's still a good shirt! Is that a blog that people can comment on?"
Me: "Yes."
Beloved: "Okay, so it has a few holes but it's a good shirt, we'll see what they say..."
Me: "There are more holes than fabric!"
Beloved: "Leave it to the people."

So, what say you?

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Efficiency or, A Dual Post

First, it's Themed Thursday again over at my friend Cari's blog Clan Donaldson and this weeks theme is Hats or Scarves.  You should definitely go and check it out!

I bet you weren't aware but I had already deemed 2013 to be the Year of the Scarf.

I have agabazillion of them.  They're my fashion statement since I have a skull shaped like the alien from the movie "Alien".  It's true.  Ask my Beloved.  Which, of course, means I can't pull of wearing hats.  So sad.

This here is just a sampling of them, these are the ones that I've left at the front door.  As an added bonus my Beloved's hats.  He has a hat thing and wears one every day, I have a scarf thing and wear one every day.  We're weird but content.

Without further ado my submission:

Auto Focus ('cause I'm mostly lazy)
My first attempt at cross-processing

Second, The Farmhouse.

Fannie Mae (the bank that owns my lovely home) sent out an inspector last Friday to look at everything that was in our addendum.  He agreed with everything that our inspector said needed to be fixed in order for the house to be structurally sound.  He told our agent that he would be getting contractors out this week to get bids to submit to the Asset Manager.

Still waiting.  I hate waiting.  

In the meantime I have a lot of pics that I took which I'll have to parse out in small increments.  Today's installment - The Dairy Barn:

I love, love, love that you can tell they're tree trunks & can see the actual tree  rings
(click on the picture to enlarge)

The Chicken Coop:
It, like everything else, needs work but hey it's already built AND has a run, woot!
And lastly, a gratuitous bird picture I snapped last weekend just because I like it!

Red-bellied Woodpecker giving me the Evil Eye for interrupting

Friday, February 1, 2013

My First Link-Up and I'm Late

My friend Cari @ Clan Donaldson is hosting a weekly Link-Up to which I had every intention of playing along... except I got a long awaited new book in the mail! Yippee!  So I had to finish the one I was reading so that I can read my new one.  That, I accomplished.

Apart from the link up participation..  The object was to capture sun flare or haze.

However, there was quite literally one moment yesterday when the sun was shining so I grabbed my little Nikon S9300 point & shoot and ran around the house looking for something to take a picture of.

I got it!

This is without any editing and the camera was on Auto-Pilot.  It came out decent enough.

My super awesome, lovable and adorable cat Icky enjoying the sun