Tuesday, June 26, 2007

New Roof

Accepted a bid for a new roof today. The contractor said it was the worse damage he had seen in the county. It's nice to know we are the winners on that one! So, I learned that when you buy "50 year" shingles that really doesn't mean that they will last 50 years. It means that under normal conditions (not in this part of the world) they will last for that long. So I guess the insurance company looks at it as GOOD material and will be more willing to give us the next roof, based on the quality of the shingle material. Funny, how that works. He said it's like buying a warranty on your tires or your battery. Huh. Amazingly the job will be done in ONE day! Anyway, WE DON'T HAVE TO GET ON THE STEEP ROOF AFTER ALL!!
Two doxies got in a horrible fight today. This is about the third one. I had to dress the wounds on the red one. This "alpha" stuff gets complicated for them, I guess. In the meantime the red one takes a beating! We will have to separate them in the dog run, which will be hard to do. Interesting how dogs are so forgiving. 15 minutes after they fought, the red one was licking the black and tan one and snuggling with him. Go figure...

Monday, June 25, 2007

The Beat Goes On

Hot today and windy...great day to work in the fields they say. Summer has begun, right? It sure feels like it now.
I had an encounter with a very "crass" and rude young lady today. Perhaps WE (I don't like saying "generations", but I have to, at this point, get over it right?) were that way, "WE knew it all, WE did everything, NO ONE was smarter than us cause WE were there!!, people over 50 WEre the enemy". (Maybe it was even over 40? That was a long time ago.) Today was all over showing some I.D. at "the store". In this case, there was a bit of "throwing names around" on her part - in small towns it probably should work (lost ID..someone stole it the whole 9 yards, let me call so and so to prove it to ya) and then there is "the law". The Law always wins, at least the law I am speaking of. In some arenas in life, rules are rules and laws are laws, ala Paris Hilton, blah blah. Why can't everybody just get that without being so nasty! See, I am even tempted to say, "I won!" So, no - there were no winners. My heart goes out to younger critters. They really need to get around the block a few more times. Right? Speaking of getting around the block...
Just remember...It takes a minute to meet someone, an hour to like someone and a day to love someone---but it takes a lifetime to forget someone.
Thanks to YOU my friends and family, for letting me know you are still there! Your thoughts, pictures, comments and emails are greatly appreciated. You are not forgotten!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

I Always Thought...


I have friends who have retired from teaching before me and when I would meet with them, or hear about them, they would always say, "I've never been as busy, as I am retired!" Ya right, I would think. I know what they meant now. I have been busier this past year than I have been in years. Maybe it is because we like to do things ourselves, and now we have time to do that. We have a lot of work to do on fixing all the things destroyed by the recent bad weather. Add to that, the remodeling we are doing and there is a ton of stuff to do. My dad always says, you have the rest of your life to do them, but I want to get to my art. So I will steal a little here and a little there and hopefully not be too tired to paint or draw. This blog was supposed to be about my art, each day I intend to get to it, but like today; things like getting the RV ready for a trip and digging up the drain in the cellar to get the water to drain into the sump area better was on the agenda. We also have had to wet vac the water out of the cellar, about 30 gallons per day to keep it from flooding. It's just these little things, which if left unchecked turn into bigger things. The water table must be way up, or we have a "spring" under the house that becomes more active in wet conditions. G is busy with "harvest" work. Had to chase a little baby rabbit out of the "fenced in" garden, what is left of it, and as I walked back to the house, I count 6 more. We are being overtaken by them. Dogs are lovin' it! PS. While I am waiting to finish what is on the easel, I will post a sketch done in graphite and colored pencil.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Living in the Central Plains is NOT for sissies!!

Another hailstorm and wind last night did more damage to the "little house on the prairie". This time the storm came from the north, something it hardly ever does. We lost power for 2 and a half hours, but the real kicker is we woke up to a very swollen creek. The water's edge was in places we have never seen it in before. Check out the "before and after" photos. To give you an idea of the force of the wind, our neighbor has a 55 gallon drum at the gate to his pasture, about 1/8 of a mile from here and it ended up down in our lower field by our "eternal" pond. Good thing there is insurance to cover the destruction, again. I think the adjusters are still in town from the last storm 22 days ago. Top and bottom of same general area, looking toward the bridge, today's compared to same spot at the end of last summer. The other photo shows damage to the siding on the north side of the house.

Friday, June 22, 2007

5th Day of Harvest


Here in the Heartland..or Middle Earth as we call it, we are in "day 5" of wheat harvest. Never thought these words would be interesting, but they are: "30 - 40 bushels per acre, moisture average of 12.6% with yield impacts from freeze and rust." This place is a buzz with combines, tractors, grain trucks running to the elevators and praying all the while -that "it don't rain!"
Yes, we both are a part of it in some way..driving grain trucks or retailing libations. It's a time of celebration, every farmer has a smile on his/her face, life is good! The harvest god/goddess' are being kind! (It must be a goddess, like "Mother Earth" and we have been accepted!) BTW - "Heat Index" today around 2 PM was 112 degrees. Perfect weather for harvesting! PSSSSS..also got a video of a snake in the well pit, that opened it's mouth at G and shook it's tail, like it had a rattle, but it didn't, very odd. The "snake in the grass" shed it's skin and left it right where I saw it.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Snakes Are Us


Started scraping and painting KILZ coat on the exterior of the house today, amongst the biting flies, repellent resistant mosquitoes and the heat. Not a good day to be doing this I thought, I hate being bitten all over, and smelling like a repellent factory. Then, as I was brushing the tall grass away from the foundation, I heard a slithering sound, before I saw about half the snakes' body, about 6" long, so that would make him a foot long and any snake is just too long for me. I DON'T LIKE SNAKES!!! I DON'T CARE WHAT KIND! First time I have screamed in a long time. Got the pitchfork and the grass was pulled away from the house all along the foundation and no snake could be found. Gee, maybe he is under the house now, what a great thought! I worked a little more and gave up. Now we are going to uncover the well pit, to see if there are any snakes in there, cause there used to be...and then we are installing an AC in the bedroom window. Woohoo! Sleepin better at night, here I come!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

So much rain..


We have had so much rain that the milo field is falling into our property. The ground is eroding away and water and silt are cascading with a roaring force into the pond and across "Ticky Road" as we call it (that's because you can always come back from it with at least 1 tick on you or the dogs). The dogs had to stay in the muddy dog runs all day, while we did business in another town. When we got home they all had to have baths. Works out good, cause we just open the side compartment on the RV, and use the outdoor shower that is there, on them. Began getting estimates on a new roof. Why do they make things so darned expensive? And we aren't real happy with the contractors around here...so we may end up doing the roof ourselves. It is very steep. The insurance office gals said I have to stay off the roof, since I broke my wrist LAST summer. We shall see. I think I could make it with a "rescue" rope tied to my waist, just like the trapeze artists do, don't you? And I need to be able to do the alligator crawl across the face of the roof, so I had better start getting stronger for that. Ah, the joys of living in the country.

Friday, June 15, 2007

At the End of Another Week...

As fast as I can, I am going to get some new works done. It will be a few days and then I will be posting again. In the meantime, here's some fun photography of our weimaraner at WARP speed. Even though he broke his leg so badly a few years back, he can race with the greyhounds!
Good work Doc Peterson!
P.S. If anyone knows how to humanely rid ourselves of a rogue skunk please send us some ideas. We aren't into catch and cage. We read they hate water (but that would make all of our firewood wet) and we heard they also don't like "light", so the light may be plugged into the shed tonight. We will be trying to rid the land of the "grubs" they like to eat. There is also a place online that sells "fox urine" dust, which tells the skunk his 'predator' is around, but I don't think I can support a company that collects it. Now how humane would that process be??? (and why would a fox, hunt a skunk???)

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Muggy

From Devil's Tower near Moorcroft/Sundance, Wyoming; to Mount Rushmore; and back to Middle Earth again. It's muggy, and mosquito-ey, and wet, and muddy. We discovered that the corn survived, the new seeds we planted after the storm have popped their little heads out of the ground and big spiders, large snakes and skunks (G. just about got sprayed) have moved into the yard/garage. Ya just can't leave home for very long I guess. It took us a year to TAME this place and in a week it got WILD again!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

BaCk In ThE HeArTlAnD


We've been away, to the Black Hills of S. Dakota. We saw a lot of cool stuff and lots of other dogs (that we didn't particularly like). Our mom took some great photos of really interesting sights/sites. She plans to incorporate them into some artwork. And no matter what...Dogs Still Rule!
Chaco, Herman and Bailey

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Blog Vacation




Sorry, no blogging til next week.




Marker pen drawing, out of sketchbook.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Layout

A lot of times, I have to sketch a piece I am thinking of painting or drawing, to think about the layout and practice seeing what is there. This sketch is from a photo of 2 of my dogs on the bed. The comforter created lots of angles, lights and darks and interest. The little dog, always likes to burrow under the covers, whether it is hot or cold, he's a true doxie. Although I have 3 dogs, these two are most often together. They seem to have the same character and they FEED off of one another when there is a reason for a frenzy.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Miss Kay

I finished this 12 x 16 pastel today. It is from a photo I took at my family's reunion last 4th of July. It looks better if you click on it to enlarge it. Kay, my cousin, lives in Florida. She is with her dog, Destiny. Storm repair this weekend includes a new bathroom window. It rained a little this afternoon, made us look carefully at the sky. The sun was actually shining while it rained. Hmmm.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Time Out

Taking a weekend hiatus from this blog. See you Monday.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Destruction Frustration


If you enlarge the 1st photo, you will see how the storm destroyed the wheat field. The other is of our porch with remnants of the tree that is our windbreak at the southwest corner of the house. We don't know if this tree will be making it. It is completely stripped on the west side, bark and all..a huge tree that took years and years to really be a windbreak. It reminds me of what a nuclear disaster might leave behind. Everything on the "explosion" side, wiped out. The grass is alive wherever there was a wind break, like a building, or an object. Will take awhile to fix what we can and then live with the rest. Insurance? We are on the list.