Sunday, September 30, 2012

Well, the Contract Said.....

Today is September 30, 2012.  According to the contract for the addition on our old farmhouse, today was the target day of completion..... Guess I am accustomed, at this point, to the fact that nothing actually IS completed on time -- or on budget, for that matter.  Still, we are getting close (how many times have I said those words?  How many times have I WRITTEN those words?)  But we are getting close.  The drywall is hung, and mudding is almost finished.  We are supposed to be painting both the upstairs of the old farmhouse and the addition this week.  I am crossing my fingers we will be able to.
Old Farmhouse December 2009

Building Roof

Interior Walls Going Up

Windows Installed

Siding Being Installed

Siding Being Installed

After painting, the rest of the flooring will be installed, followed by the installation of the interior doors and all of the trim work for the whole house.  Oh, and somewhere along the way, I suppose it would be a good idea to install the oak stair treads and risers that we purchased last November...back in those silly days when I actually BELIEVED our carpenter when he said the work on the old farmhouse would be completed in 13 weeks....(that clock started in September of 2011... not sure WHICH 13 weeks he was referring to, but to my way of calendaring, we have well exceeded the 13 week estimate.)
Joe Taking Delivery of Heat Pump Units

Ductless Heat Pump Being Installed

Electrician Adjusting Some Fan Block Placements

Getting Rough-In Electrical, Rough-In Mechanical, and Framing Inspections

Our next target for completion (I seriously am growing weary of setting target completion dates) is in time to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner in our HOME rather than in the garage apartment where we have been living for two and half years.  Still, the doubting Thomas in me is secretly (or not so secretly) imagining we'll be lucky to be in the house by Christmas.  Fingers, toes, and eyes are all crossed that we will ONE DAY be in our house, enjoying freedom from work schedules, and delays.
Insulation in Place

Drywall Delivery

Door to Door Service!

Mudding, First Coat

Mudding, Mudding, Mudding

September 2012

It's been an interesting September.  The gardens have slowed way down, but we did manage to enjoy a decent grape harvest from which I made grape jelly....delicious.  I canned sweet potatoes (some of them were WHOPPERS).  We are still picking some tomatoes, peppers and eggplants and we are eating the figs as soon as they ripen on the trees....maybe next year I'll start preserving some.

Big Sweet Potato

More Grapes

Grape Jelly Batch Number 1


I spent a few days up in Maryland, helping my mother get all of her furniture and packed belongings returned to their places after she had her main floor remodeled in August and early September.  It was a big job which I have not yet completed, but I will return in a couple of weeks to finish the job of hanging pictures on the walls, rearranging furniture, etc.  The good news is that Mom is happy with the results of the remodel.

I had an interesting experience this month.  Since our 17 year old dog passed away this summer, we have decided we need to get another dog...or two.  Our preference is to get two puppies that can be raised with the other animals, learning to protect the chickens and goats, and learning to get along with the cats.  All animals are "outside" animals with night/winter quarters in heated, protected areas.  All animals, are confined to fenced yards, except the chickens who fly over to free range and the one cat who chooses to enjoy the whole farm as his territory.  So, I decided to adopt from the local animal shelter.
Happy Goats Eating Weeds

Now, the last time I adopted from the local shelter, they were operating out of an OLD building, with workers who looked as if they worked there because they loved animals....certainly not because they would get rich by working there or anything.  However, that was in 2007 and this is 2012.  There was, apparently, a HUGE drive to build a new facility for the animal shelter and when I drove up to it for the first time, I was shocked.  It looks as if a LOT of money was spent on this place....bricks in the front walk attest to the donations from local wealthies and not-so-wealthies.  As I opened the  HUGE glass door and walked in, I was immediately struck by the differences.  The smells, for example, did not give away ANY hint of "animals" ...NONE!  And the workers now look like nurses in a medical office, wearing the uniforms of the typical doctor's office employees.

"Choice" adoptables, such as the Amazon Parrot, proudly sit in their cages onto which are attached price tags of over $400.... I start to get the picture that I have entered into a different environment.... Still, I am interested in looking at the dogs available for adoption.

The woman behind the front desk inquires as to my reason for being there and then informs me that I need to sign the "guest" register.  She also informs me that since they close in 10 minutes, there is insufficient time for me to see the dogs.  Really?  I can't even look at the puppies?   Well, she agreed to let me look at the puppies which were in the Puppy Room, but cautioned me to, "use the hand sanitizer when you enter before you touch any of them."  OK.

Yes, they had some puppies, but none that I thought were ideal for our interests.  Nevertheless, she (front desk lady) handed me an application and told me to fill it out and bring it back when I was ready to adopt.  I took it, and promised to return.

The following week, I returned at a respectable time of day, armed with my completed application.  I took a look at the new puppies and found two litter mates that suited me.  I put their names on my application as the puppies I would like to adopt.  They assured me that the approval process would take 24-48 hours....  10 minutes after I left the facility I received a call from a guy who told me they needed to get vet records for all of my pets from my vet.  He asked that I contact my vet and have him send them over.  No problem.  However, while he was on the phone he mentioned that on my application I had responded to the question of whether these puppies would be housed indoors or outdoors with, "outdoors."

Well, to make a ridiculously long story somewhat shorter, after nearly a week of nonsense, in which my vet sent ALL records for my cats and my now deceased 17 year old dog, the guy told me that they REALLY prefer to adopt puppies to people who will raise them indoors.  Their rationale is that when they get these dogs BACK at the shelter, if they have been kept as outdoor dogs, they are not housebroken and they tend to be "dirty."  Ummmmmm, this is a farm.  The animals are cared for and are healthy, but they are animals, and they seriously prefer to be outside.  In my lifetime, I have never had a dog bolt INTO the house when the door was opened, but they certainly love to bolt OUT of the door.

Nevertheless, since I was unwilling to lie on my application, I was not allowed to pay the $300 they were going to charge me to adopt the two puppies.  Sadly, what I'd thought was a win-win opportunity for the pups and for us was not to be.  Double sadly, I am pretty sure I will not return to the shelter to try to adopt any animal.  So, no dogs on the farm right now.  But I have confidence we will find the perfect dog/puppies when the time is right.

Another interesting September event was the decision by the first of our hens to go "broody."  Day in and day out she sat on her eggs.  Day after day she scooped additional eggs into her nest and day after day, I removed the newer eggs, allowing her to try to successfully hatch the seven original eggs.... However, in the end, the chicks never actually emerged from the eggs.  On day 26 she left the nest and did not return.  Inspection of the remaining four eggs (three disappeared during this setting process) found two completely formed, but not living, black chicks, and two pure liquid UGH eggs.  Well, maybe she will have better luck in the spring.  We shall see.

Broody Hen
Unhatched Eggs

I wrapped up September with a trip to Rochelle, VA to spend time helping my daughter and son-in-law for the weekend, taking care of my granddaughter while they both worked their extremely busy schedules. My daughter's floral design business is doing very well and she had 5 weddings and 1 event this weekend.  My son-in-law is a wine maker for two vineyards and they are in the height of harvest activity right now. Me, well all I had to do was chill with little miss Eloise for a few days, which I don't think can be considered a burden! 
Eloise Learning to Walk


Passed out on Gammis Bed in the Guest House
A rather funny thing I discovered while she and I were on our own last night is that she LOVES the Lawrence Welk show.... funny to see her so mesmerized by the singers, musicians and dancers.  Makes me wonder what is going through that developing brain behind those big blue eyes!

Big Blue Eyes

And so, though I'd really expected to be able to post more often in September, here I am, once again, on the last day of the month, finally taking time to capture some of my September thoughts.  Perhaps I'll write more often in October...but, no promises! 

Eloise in Gammi's Sweater