Sunday, November 17, 2013

Busy Autumn...

Time flies when we're so busy!  Sorry I haven't updated for a bit.  Let's catch up. :)

Richard had successful cataracts surgery on both eyes in September and October.  His distance vision is good, but he still wears glasses to read.  He also has that "twinkle" in his eyes, caused by the artificial lens. That's a good thing. :) 

Because the doctors didn't want Richard doing strenuous things after each surgery, he wasn't able to chop wood.  So we ordered 4 cords and after a suitable time had passed, he stacked it, put some under the front porch and some in the wood rack on the porch for ease of use.  Of course, with this balmy weather we've been having (70 degrees today!), we've not lit the stove, yet.

We didn't do our usual flurry of canning food this year, too many other things going on.  I am hoping after Christmas, at the tail-end of winter (January/February), I'll do some canning of sauces, meats, and maybe even some dry goods I've not tried before.

The animals are in good health, Flint did have a small cyst, but it was drained and he is fine.  Echo only had one bout of her chronic erlichia, but she is now fine.  Buddy and the cats are all fine.

Autumn leaves dropped before I could get pictures - they were green one day, but after a frost the next day, they dropped off.  The maples were glorious along the shoreline, but we really didn't get the good colors we normally see from the other types of trees. Despite the frost, we still have green grass in patches, I expect that to change with the onset of winter.   

Currently, I am quilting and sewing for Christmas, getting rid of massive piles of fabric in the process!  LOL.  Someday, this material and sewing will be at manageable porportions.  Someday!  Hey, I can dream.  If you want to see what I've sewn - here's a link to my sewing blog -

Here are some pictures of some of the animals...Buddy, Christian and Dinah. 

  When we went to the fair this summer, someone won the purple teddy bear for grand-niece Cheyenne at one of the booths, but with the suitcases stuffed, Cheyenne couldn't take it home with her.  So Buddy took it, and he loves it. He carries it everywhere, even outside. The orange thing under his paw is another stuffed animal that belonged to Cheyenne.  Buddy loves Cheyenne, and he took her leftover toys when she left for home. But the teddy bear is still his favorite.  

Christian, sleeping with his usual abandon. 

Dinah is hiding from the little dog we were watching while her humans were out of town.  See Dinah's ears behind the pillow? 


Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Summer's gone...

Summer flew by for us! 

We went places and did things with family, had family come visit us, and generally were pretty busy throughout the last 3 months.

Richard did get another raised bed built, but we didn't get a lot of produce from either bed this year - the weather stayed rainy and cold through spring and early summer, and then blistering hot, which didn't do the plants any good.  We got about 20 tomatoes, 5 bell peppers, a handful of habeneros and jalepeno peppers, 3 baseball-sized watermelons, one watermelon slightly bigger than that, 6 squash, and about 10 blackberries, because the birds got the rest. Nothing got canned, either.  We simply ate it after it ripened, except the squash, some of which is frozen for future use. 

We plan to build at least 2 more raised beds next year.  He chopped down more trees and is still pulling more stumps to prepare the ground for the beds.

I'm back on the rotational schedule as worship leader at our church - one moved away, and 2 had medical issues, so a couple of us volunteered to pick up the slack.  I also do the children's sermon once a month, but I've been doing that, anyway. 

The dogs and cats are still doing great.  Echo had a relapse of  erlichea, and had to take a course of antibiotics, but she's fine, now.  Buddy was stung by something on his face, but he recovered without incident.  Buddy also tested positive for erlichea, but a round of antibiotics fixed that up pretty fast.  Apparnetly, this could become chronic in some dogs, so we'll have to keep an eye on them and if they relapse, they get meds to make it go back in remission. 

Richard only takes Buddy on the daily walk to the bridge, now.  Echo's arthritis is hampering her ability to walk that far. So Richard takes Buddy to the bridge, and then comes back and takes Echo for a shorter walk, which she enjoys very much.  Flint and I do not walk right now, due to his ACL leg issues.  I'm looking for a solution - I need a double jogging stroller so I can put either or both Flint and Echo in it when they get tired.  We shall see how it goes, however.  So far, I've had no luck finding one on the yardsale circuit. :)

The truck needed some repairs, the AC needed some repairs and my washing machine had an issue, but Richard was able to fix that. 

Other than that, life is peaceful as you can see in the picture of Buddy and his baby, and we're all doing well.  I'll post more pictures later. 


Sunday, June 02, 2013

It's Been Ages!

Yes, Richard and I are still here - so are all the animals.  We went through the winter with bouts of sickness - your basic cold/flu stuff, nothing bad, just annoying. 

The weather has been different this Spring - lots of rain and storms.  Even now, it is hindering our garden building.  We are making raised beds, since we live on a ridge and have no good soil. 

It has taken us nearly 4 weeks to finish the first bed - first, we had to cut down some trees.  Then we had to buy 4 truckloads of cement blocks (they weigh so much Richard could only haul 20 at a time and 2 trips take all day).  Then we got soil.  In between, we got a load of gravel for some places in the driveway.  Then came fertilizer and mulch.  Then we had a clear day to actually build the bed.  That took all day and some of the next day. We finished in the rain.  We waited a few days for the rain to subside, and then we got plants because it's too late to grow some things from seed; they won't mature before fall.   

5 tomato plants, 4 watemelon plants. 

This is my deck garden.  Last year's was somewhat successful, so I decided to try again.  Some things are to be planted in the ground, but we are waiting or the rain to end so we don't have to get all muddy.  So - left to right - bell peppers, habenero peppers, rocket salad, orange tree, jalepeno peppers, tomato.  On the rail - lemon tree, aloe vera plant, lime tree, winter hibiscus.  The lemon, lime and hibiscus might not make it. They had issues while in the house, I kept watering them, but when I went to re-pot them, I found their soil at the bottom was soaked, and I believe the roots rotted. 
No picture - but a few days later, I happened to be in town and got more plants which are on the deck for now - a peach tree, zucchini squash and cucumbers, plus an herb garden with basil, oregano, thyme and parsley.

And for the moments of beauty - a pot of purple petunias.  The hummingbirds are already dipping into them. 

Friday, November 02, 2012

The Animals Supervise Our Work...

Our animals are here in a strictly supervisory role.  I took pictures of the bosses doing their jobs.

Echo keeps a close eye on quality control while Richard rakes leaves.

Buddy maintains a micro-management position in the man-cave.

Dinah assures that all computer department personnel are ergonomically conforming to proper handling of feline snugglers and nap-takers. 

Emmy's management position requires her to oversee all aspects of the animal/human dynamic from the boss's chair.

Flint is in charge of sleeping arrangements, testing all furniture for potential nap adaptibility. 

Of course, there's a slacker...Christian sleeps.

And sleeps. 

Thursday, November 01, 2012


Photos of the scenery as the colors change. The pictures were all taken in different days except the cloud formations.

The field on the way home from the bridge.

Going up the road towards the bridge past Mom and Pa's place.

The bend in the road before the bridge.

An interesting cloud formation.

The same cloud formation from a different angle and a few minutes later.

A jet streaming above the trees.  If you click on the photo, it will enlarge and you may see some small black dots around the jet.  They are actually turkey vultures in the foreground of the photo.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Busy Months...

It's been so hectic that I've not had much time to post.  Between church business (we're remodeling), a funeral of a much-loved church member, our camping trip, and various other pursuits, we've been busy.  I'll just  post a bunch of random photos of life here at Echo Ridge.

A sunrise over the bridge.

An eensy-weensy snake - it was a ringneck, harmless to humans.

Christian doing his faceplant nap.

Christian warming his back (that is a heating pad under him, turned on).

Buddy and the couch quilt blankie.

"That is NOT how you spell antidisestablishmentarianism!"

Contemplating his nap.

Cat nap.  With Dog.

Buddy sitting with Dad.

Buddy keeping an ear open for a truck, while Echo sleeps.

Dinah swats at Chistian to keep him away from her already eaten mouse.

Dinah and Christian sleep on a blundle of sewing.

Buddy plays with his cat toy.

Walking back from the mail box.

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Baby Shower Today & Work Party...

We are having a work party at a church member's home this morning.  Just helping clean up and do a few things because both have had heart surgery in the past 2 years and need a little hand doing some heavier stuff. 

This afternoon, we have a baby shower.  The baby is a girl, so I made a girl diaper (cake) cradle. 

It is made from a pack of Parent's Choice (WalMart) newborn diapers.  The bottom is just the diapers lined up as they came out of the pack.  A quick ribbon around the whole thing... and done! The "feet" are rolled up diapers, pinned on. I had to put a piece of cardboard under there so the body diapers wouldn't collapse. The crown of the cradle is rolled diapers with a piece of cardboard arched underneath to hold its shape. I then draped 2 diapers over the top as a "bonnet" and pinned them down with quilt pins. Some appropriately placed ribbon hides the rubberbands holding the diapers together. Under the bonnet is filled with travel-sized lotion, baby wash, shampoo, a thermometer, medicine droppers and spoons, pacifiers, and the pain reliever meds, which didn't quite fit. The sides are banded together with baby headbands. The clips on the edge of the bonnet are baby barrettes.  I put a bow on the back of the bonnet, (not seen). Add some ribbon on top and it's done! 

I think it's pretty cute. :)