Thursday, October 31, 2013

October Weddings, Carports, and Hallowe'en

October was a month I had been looking forward to since May, when my niece Heather announced her engagement to her boyfriend Bill.  He proposed to her while they were in Ireland attending their friends' wedding.  From May to October did not seem like a lot of time to get everything done, but they managed to pull it off.

Family and friends from near and far traveled to Lancaster, Pennsylvania, where Heather and Bill were married in her parents' back yard.

Eloise, washing her feet in the sink at the hotel....
gotta be clean to be Heather's flower girl!
Everything was perfect.  Well, OK, there were maybe a few minor "glitches," but those just added to the memorable event.  Sure, the bus driver who was to drive attendees from their nearby hotels to the wedding site had no idea where he was going or what he was supposed to be doing.... no problem, those on the shuttle bus helped him find his way with the trusty GPS apps on their phones....they arrived a little late... resulting in a 30 minute delay of the beginning of the ceremony.
Eloise, barefoot and carefree
 as she waited to be the flower girl
My brother Ray rests awhile in the
theater seats my brother Dan created
 as guest seating at the wedding
But, really, if the driver had known what he was doing, had known where he was going, had managed to get the guests to the shindig on time......we would not have been able to experience the true beauty of autumn leaves that fell like rain as the couple stood facing each other ready to say their vows.  Of course, had the ceremony started on time, we would not have had the marriage proclamation being made as the skies opened with REAL rain, resulting in a hundred or more drenched guests dashing to the "reception tent," to take cover and to dry their faces with towels.  They say a wet knot is harder to untie, so the downpour on the wedding bodes well for Heather and Bill!

Heather and Bill get some good
advice from Heather's uncle Mark
They do!
 See the video of the leaves falling as they say their vows here!
Raining Autumn Leaves 

Dad and Lynne, (grandparents of the bride)
arrive at the reception tent soaked!
Jill, sister of the bride, and maid of honor,
arrives at the reception tent looking stunning!
Mom (grandmother of the bride)
is drenched but happy!
Meanwhile, back on the farmette, October was all about preparing for the new carports to be installed.  Preparations actually began last spring with the felling of trees to enable the clearing of the sites for the buildings.  Then came all of the root grinding, leveling (loads of road dirt, crush and run and gravel) and finally the erection of the units.  Joe put many, many hours on the tractor in October!
Joe gets dirt for leveling pads from
mountain of dirt removed to deepen the back pond
Dig, dump, spread, compact, REPEAT....
One of the original carports had to be moved
 and Joe had an idea of how to move it....
Oh, yeah, this looks like it'll work!
Well, he got it started....
And sure enough, he rolled her into her new location,
 about 150 feet from the original location
Installing new carport
From the side of the house
Joe is EVERYWHERE on that tractor!
Once the buildings were in place, Joe moved right on to trenching.  He is running water and electricity to all of the buildings and, at the same time, finishing the water diversion project we've been working on for the past 3 1/2 years.  He rented a trencher and for three days trenched an amazing number of trenches.

The beast!
A-trenching we will go...
A-trenching we will go...
Heigh-ho, the derry-o, A-trenching we will go!
Of course, the chickens thought he was simply helping them find new and exciting places to find bugs to eat and new places to take dust baths in the afternoon sun, and they went about to scratching every which way... carefully refilling trenches with fresh dirt!
Joe made us SUCH a nice place
 to take a dust bath....
While Joe was trenching, I busied myself with the electric log splitter, getting the small woodshed filled for the first fires in the wood stoves. 
Many hours of wood-splitting later...
Before we moved on to the actual laying of water lines and electrical lines, it was obvious we needed to get our 42 free ranging birds into a closed pen where they would not be able to immediately undo Joe's work.  So, we took a break from the dirt duties, and focused on erecting a new chicken coop.  The critical feature of the new coop is that it has a chicken wire roof so the birds cannot fly over the 6 ft high fence.  So far, it is working pretty well.
Getting everything ready for the chickens
Introducing the chickens to their new digs
Chickens exploring
Dogs are "next door" to protect the chickens
And now, as we head into November, we are ready to lay the water pipe and electric lines, split a LOT more wood for the winter, finish grading the new roads after the trenches have been closed, and maybe, just maybe, when the weather turns too cold to work outside, we will, once again, turn our focus to the completion of the old farmhouse rehab.... sure, it's just lots of little things, but we haven't been indoors in MONTHS it seems!

And, of course, no October post would be complete without pictures of the lovely Miss Eloise on her Pumpkin Farm field trip, and in her Hallowe'en costume..... Mama was apparently making her eat (something that was too hot) BEFORE going out on the town!

Pumpkin Rider!

Sheesh Mama!