Sunday, July 30, 2006


When I saw the cat assuming this position I decided that it had been a long time since I bathed my self in a 23rd Psalm activity. The psalmist who authored that story talked about a green pasture where one can lie down; a place that restores your soul; head annointed and instruction to fear no evil and a place that was safe from the enemy.
When we first bought the leather couches, which was way back when we did daily devotions, and that particular day had the 23rd psalm as the reading. After one nap in that wonderful leather couch - I nicknamed it the 23rd psalm couch and consider it one of the safest places to rest from the burdens of the world.
It was definitely a Sabbath kind of day.
I did cook a delightful meal for us - steak and green beans and pesto pasta.
We ventured to Borders Bookstore and I went to Meijer's for catfood and ice, ice baby!
The temperatures say 90 plus all week - thinking I will have to leave assuming the position to the cat as I have other things to do.... In my next life I want to come back as a well loved fat cat.
Peace and safety to you and yours...

Friday, July 28, 2006

A NEW TOY, some old news and a good idea


I have been looking at Dyson vacuums for about a year. They were way too expensive about a year ago - - in the 1000 range - - - but this summer they are half that and I had had enough of the Electrolux stopping because the bag was dusty. Hello you are a vacuum - you are suppose to collect dust.

Needless to say - after some so-so Chinese we went to HHGregg and I knew what I wanted and just bought it. They had the new swanky Electrolux there for sale - and John thought that it was hefty and more vacuum looking vs. the tinker toy look of the Dyson - - but he seldom if ever vacuums - - so what does he care. The cord is a full 36 feet long and the hose pulls out to vacuum all the stairs without hauling the canister up and down each step (I cannot count how many trips the canister of the Electrolux took down the stairs) and it really cleaned the carpet and vacuumed up the mud dust in the basement. Yahoo I am one happy camper. The website is and it even has a game to play or two. Way fun - plus I think they make a washing machine too - - - I love toys...

Old news - still getting some water in the basement. I have a complete understanding of what Job felt like. Really.

Good idea: Go outside and see the stars - they are beautiful.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

60 ton of gravel

60 tons of gravel is two HUGE mounds of gravel. Space wise it takes up 75% of the driveway that easily fits 6 cars and each pile was as tall as I am which is 5'4". That my friends is a lot of gravel.
Yesterday, Wednesday night, Jennifer and I helped John load the first 30 ton of gravel in the moat after a lovely pizza dinner ala Pizza Hut.
When you consider that the Bobcat dumped it against the far wall of the moat and we had to move it to the house side of the moat - you will know why Jenn felt like she had a really great upper body work out and why it took till the third dose of Advil to get feeling in my right arm.
Today, Felecia helped John fill the rest of the moat and load dirt into the moat - - so I can say for the most part the moat is gone and we are merly surrounded by dirt with two small piles of dirt left to spread around to regrade the front and the back of the house. The down spouts have not been connected yet but the sump is working. Too much settling of the soil to connect the underground lines.
One might consider this getting back to some form of normalcy. The fact that I can walk in and out of the frontdoor is almost as normal as can be. Knowing that any and all actions from this point forward are HUGE steps to conventional living I am thrilled.
The weather is certainly not playing well with others so there will be a few days where chasing raindrops will be the target goal and not so much the progression of the projects... Looking at the weather calendar - I say the next 10 days are iffy at best. Oh well - the mud is out there and we are in here... dry.
And so it goes... I have a beautiful deep orange-red rose that greets me in the morning - - - the cats are less anxious about coming and going and Em is at camp since Tuesday.
God is in her heaven and all is right with this small patch of earth!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

It is really rubber, really!

I had many people convinced that the rubber that was going on the wall had a resevoir.
Sweetie told me it did and as weird as most construction stuff is - how it is made to be right and left handed - how it is male and female ends - how it has biscuits in it - a million innuendos and terms that can me construed in several different ways - - - so when sweetie said it was a large rubber with a resevoir I believed him. It is green that is for sure but alas and alack - no resevoir.
I do have two huge piles of rocks, a Bobcat and an extra bucket in the front yard. John is parked across the yard and there is enough room for my car in the drive. I have seen crazy before - but this is taking the cake.
At night lately I have had mercy on Casey who cannot walk about the yard at leisure and I have been taking him for walks. The last two nights the cat, Achia, has been following along. First night we walked to Rumpke which was doable and Casey wanted to cross and keep going - - ah I said - NO we need to go home. Tonight we walked to the dead end of the road and several times I tried to steer him home to no avail. So the dog and the cat and I took a long and leisurely stroll for the better part of 40 minutes... no cardio there just patience making. At one point he just laid down in the grass - oh dear I thought - so I took the leash off him and soon he was at my side. He loves the walks and I am going to keep them up until he can do a whole stretch of the street without a nap.
Speaking of naps - I need a 7 hour one. TTFN.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Just add water and you will have tons of MUD

This is the view from the back backyard toward the neighbors house. Once upon a time there would have been many games of Queen of the Hill - but not now all the children are grown. What we do have is plenty of mud... Thank God that the electicity stayed on and we can pump the trench 24/7. The forecast for today is 100% chance of rain... In the immortal words of Pooh: OH BOTHER!

Just add a few million gallons of water and you can have your own mud pit.
Pictures of water filled moat at Castle Malone to come later!

Friday, July 21, 2006

NOTHING is ever easy

Nothing is ever easy.

That has been my life story. I remember in High School when I was making hand silk-screened Christmas cards - as I walked home at 7pm in the cold darkness of a Cleveland winter - nothing that I ever undertake is easy. It was a delicate card pattern that I had to cut from the wax, I wanted silver on blue paper - which was a hunt to find the paper and the silver needed really strong solvents and it gave one a buzz and a headache the next day - the likes of which I still remember.

But that has stuck with me - - - nothing that I do is ever easy. Raising three children with a husband that travelled or was on duty all the time - - raising the three children and two being twins - - - moving 10 times in 14 years - - - learning to drive at 21 was not easy - - flying to Germany with a 6 year old was not easy - - rehabbing a house and living in it was not easy - not this time or for our first time - - - all the cross stitch patterns I chose were not easy - - sewing patterns difficult - - - making kites is not easy - - - the Aran sweater is not easy - - - AND HAVING A MOAT AROUND YOUR CASTLE IS NOT EASY.

OK, I heard my husband say CRAP tonight when he looked outside and saw the rain continue to fall and it was filling the moat as fast as it was draining - CRAP indeed.

One good thing from the moat - all the water is outside and it is only slightly damp in the basement even without the Rubb-r-wall installation. We need some dry days before Tuesday so that the foundation can be washed and the ground is dry for the installers... I told John - wait and see - when we plant the grass - there will be no rain from the heavens - we will be on our own.

Seeking boring and normal - do not know what I will do with it - but not living in a mud surrounded house will indeed be the kind of boring normal life I am eagerly seeking.

Emily is recovering from her adventures in moat wall scaling. She successfully managed to climb the walls of the moat, but slid down the same face she had just scaled. In her descent she encountered a busted clay tile. It became embedded in the arch of her foot (her mother and aunt know the proper term). Needless to say there were some fast showers taken and a trip to the first ER and then a discharge to a second ER. That was a long 24 hours... 8 pm Wednesday night to 8 pm Thursday pm was a long long time. There are some sweet sweet people at Children's Hospital and some very fine angels walking those halls. Jenn and Becky met them all. I came in as a second wind and John came in at the last inning to round up the bases and get 'er done. We played as a team and did it all. Even learned you only get in the long lines at a Hospital Cafeteria - - - if the regulars do not eat it - - you do not want to either.... Belly Bombs are not good.

Felecia is home from Dance Camp and I can hardly wait to hear the stories...

Like I said - - it has not been an easy week - why I expected it to be is beyond me. The only truth I can tell from all my adventures High School to the present time:

Going to give sleep a try. Not easy for me either. Exhaustion is through and through me so I am hoping that sleep wins - - and the Valerian kicks in to calm the nerves and too many cups of coffee.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Here comes the Backhoe!

Tomorrow the excavation starts. Long story to explain how fast it came to fruition. God takes good care of us all.

Pray for the people you love.

Pray for the ones you have a hard time with.

Pray that the world can learn to do the same.

Monday, July 10, 2006


A big fat daisy. What could be better than that? I have always been a fan of daisies. Had them in my bouquet when I got married. I have grown them everywhere I have lived even if we were not "suppose" to plant things - like say in govt. quarters. I enjoy the look, the freshness, the sheer brightness that says "I will and I can"

I have other things doing well this summer. In the background you see a small rose. They were mulched heavily last winter and that is proving to be a blessing because I do not have to haul a hose up front to water them - God is doing a fine job.

The shed barn is ready for inspection tomorrow. The grands and husband will be heading to the local Home Deposit to get siding, windows and doors. I see an end to this process. There will be electicity to the shed barn, but not until the foundation is dug and reinstated.

Life is so full of blessings. Health being primary. Love and caring. Communication. Food. Shelter. Ability to learn. Ability to create. Friends. Family. Work to keep the day full. Freedom. Happiness. Ability to learn to live with differing opinions and still have community. God's love that permeates everything inside and outside. God's love is so overpowering that even in times of crisis the divine spark is at work and we just have to wait for our limited senses to grasp the bigger picture. There have been times in my life when I was sure that God did not care for me - that SHe had left me for lost and abandoned. I wandered aimlessly only to find that God did not abandon me, But I abandoned God. I turned my eyes, heart, ears, mind and soul away from all the abundant blessings that are the signs that God has to show us Her love. Periodically this still happens and as I have taught myself - even in times of darkness - to look for the beauty and search out the Love that does not make sense in the current moment, but is indeed a life line to return to the awareness of the Love that permeates each and every day.

I guess I never knew how much a daisy can make a person think. Guess that is why I like to bring the flowers inside - to remind me on several levels that God does love me and SHe will never abandon me.

Sunday, July 9, 2006

one of those perfect days

  • cool weather - sunny - warm - breezes
  • great worship at church - sermon about trust and faith - aren't they really the same thing
  • great picnic - John mentioned that it was great Carol needed a party and every one came to play
  • good conversation - I enjoyed seeing people talking to one another and getting to know new people
  • wading pool - it was a little coolish but good to sit in the water anyway
  • nap in the sun - what can I say - my favorite place to nap
  • time in the garden - planted some basil I started late - marked plants - Loveage has the best smell
  • easy chicken sandwiches - George Forman grilled the chicken - garlic and basil mayo - tomatoes on buns
  • knitting going well - finished another set of 4 rows
  • time to breathe and relax - oh so needed
  • opportunity to meet with peers to exchange ideas and resolve some issues that were heavy on my heart
  • had some time to think and anyone that knows me knows that I need silent periods just to think
  • heard some great singing when Felecia was practicing for her audition with Professor
  • saw old friends and laughed
  • one of those perfect days

Saturday, July 8, 2006

It is a roof and it does not leak

It is truly a red letter day because we finished the roof. All 24 feet of it times 4 sections. It was a quality teamwork effort. Becky and Jenn and Em and Fele came over on the 4th of July. We measured and we cut and we learned and developed quite a rhythm after a while. If the laughter could have counted toward the finished roof - we would have been done in no time flat.
Felecia hammered in all the hurricane clips so that the roof will stay attached in the event of a hurricane (or tornado which is more likely here in Clermont County). But it was only 1/2 finished when it was time for the high wire worker, Becky to leave.
Once upon a time, John would have been the one on the peak, but he has learned that being macho does not necessarily mean you have to do it all or be the high wire worker. That was a prayer answered when he did let Becky climb to the peak and do that work. All her cabinet training came in handy drilling in all the hundreds of screws in the tin roof.
So later on the 4th Jenn, Fele and Em and Blert and I had dinner and a good time was had by all.

Becky offered to come over on Thursday night and the sterling support team came along too. Everyone had the opportunity to eat before we started if they so choose and John and Becky were at the second high peak in no time flat and Jenn was doing the moving and lifting of the tin panels.

Em and I were busy too. We did some metal detection, we cleaned the site (a clean site is a happy site), Em raked up the grass cuttings, we collected a couple of buckets of stone from the foundation and we found a toad.

I have always had toads where I lived. I was beginning to believe I had done them in with chemicals that I have put down to get rid of the millions of wild violets that replicate grass, in that they are green. In my old house it was a sad day when Mr. Toad met the garage door. I had almost given up on finding one here. But Em saved me from that fear.

Em is strong and very agile. Thursday is trash day and she certainly earned her stripes hauling trash to the front because we all know that construction site trash is not light. One garbage can had seen it's last haul and I let Em write the note to Rumpke. "Please Please" she started - Oh so precious!

So today John and I developed a plan to finish the roof and with a few detours and an extra trip to the beloved Home Deposit we were successful in our goal. In the pictures it looks perfect and that is where I am going to leave that discussion - it looks perfect.

Next is the siding, the windows, trip work and the doors. All this can start AFTER the framing inspection that John is calling for on Monday.

Whew I say whew.

Tomorrow is an impromptu picnic at church - come if you can - Church of the Good Samaritan - 25 Amelia Olive Branch Church, Amelia, Ohio 45103

Tomorrow also a website meeting which will hopefully get our church website up and running again.


Saturday, July 1, 2006

A Day With The Shed Barn

Saturday - a good day. Great haircut day. Then home to help with the Shed Barn.

DH did the fly rafters today and the face plate to the over hang on the roof. I can understand why he wanted someone around to hold things and hand things and move things. Neither one of us is very fond of heights and climbing ladders went the way of the high heeled sneakers about 10 years ago when the Orthopeadist said flat lander experiences are the ones for you.

But hey if I listened to every thing that I was told I would be sitting in a rocking chair not doing much.

I love being a part of all of this. I have no clue why. Watching it come together and knowing that I helped by doing the small things makes me happy and excited to be a part of something much larger than I am. Also the adult sized wading pool felt oh so good after all that hot sun.

Tomorrow after church we will go to the hardware store which will be a blast from the past. When our children were small we would go to church and on the way home always take them to the hardware store. Maybe for old time sake I will get one of those carts and ride it in the ailse and pretend that the kids are on the bottom and laugh right out loud...

Tomorrow is green roof day and more 2x4's. YEAH!!!

We had a small discussion about the foundation work - that did not get very far as I am not interested in having the yard dug up for another year to see if two feet is enough to solve the problem - that story did not get far at all. Hummmmmmmmmmmmmm.

The ice pack beckons.

Enjoy the Sabbath and visit your local house of prayer.

I will be at Chruch of the Good Samaritan, Episcopal, 25 Amelia Olive Branch Road at 10:30 am. Maybe you can come too.

Blessings to you this day and all days.