Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Different Strokes

In this case, we're talking about different strokes as in different people AND different strokes of the pencil. Of different people.

Are we clear now?

Here is Mae's portrait of me. I am very pleased to be smiling and happy.

And of Mark. This is BEFORE I trimmed his beard. Obviously!

And here is Abigail's depiction of the haircut in progress. That's MY arm!

The expansive forehead is real.

The rainbow is creative license. And so is the "On the Mark Remodeling" T-shirt.

Isn't that interesting and cool?

Variations on a Theme

Last night was dinosaur night.

First, Mae presented her creation of a T-Rex made from pipe cleaners.

Seeing the world through the dino's eye.

Then Abigail did some interpretive work, with big nasty fangs and small useless arms.

You should have heard Mark scream!

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Day of Rest

On this relaxing Sunday, we undertook three major projects:

1. Mark took the tractor out and we tried to knock down dead trees. Years ago, my father had planted a border of trees along a portion of the property. I believe he was reacting to the construction of a home right on the setback on the adjacent property. Well, the trees were a bit too high maintenance, especially so far back on the property, and they mostly died. This means most of them died. Or most of them MOSTLY died, meaning they might have a little tiny bit of life left, but just barely.

Well, that house has changed hands at least once since then. And the row of dead tress is now our property. So...we'd like to take them out. Here was our first attempt. Mark tried running into the trees to loosen the root ball or break the trunk, whichever comes first. Then we chained the tree and lifted it out over the fence. This worked well on the VERY dead trees, but not on the ones that had more established roots. This whole process was made more awkward by the fact that there are fences on either side of the row of trees.

We eventually concluded that we'd come back later with a chainsaw.

2. I cleaned my car. My suburban mom minivan has become a dirt-encrusted farm vehicle. I cleaned the interior. I couldn't muster the energy to attack the exterior. So it STILL looks like a dirt-encrusted farm vehicle. But what the heck...I do live on a dirt road, you know.

3. We adopted 3 new baby kittens. My parents' cat, Sassy, had a litter. We had built a nest for her up here, hoping she would have the babies here. She had them in the bed of my parents' truck instead. Since they had to be moved anyway, we brought them up here. I hope they stay.

After all this, we did jump in the hot tub at my folks' house. That part was indeed relaxing.

Now...off to start a very busy week!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

You want to do WHAT?

Something strange is happening to me.

I find myself cruising strange, new websites, reading profile after profile.

Looking for something as yet undefined, but growing slowly more compelling.

I'm starting to feel a void in my life.

Something is missing. And I think it might be...

a dog.

And the funny thing is, Mark has started to bring it up, too.

What kind of dog would fit in with our family?

Not too small, but not too big.

Not too young (don't think I'm gonna do a puppy--I want a known quantity), but not too old (need plenty o' vigor left for two almost-seven-year-olds). But not hyper.

Minimal grooming.

This all is a big leap for me. After assuming for much of my life that I'd WANT a dog when I had settled, especially with the children, I haven't much felt the urge to open my brand new house to an animal.

But I think I might be changing my mind.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Farmhouse Lawn Care

It is springtime at the Farmhouse. With all the rain we've had, and a few bursts of warm, sunny weather, we have some serious vegetation cropping up inside the fence. We seriously debated letting the cattle in to just mow it themselves, but had several reservations: - If we let them in once, they'll remember and try a little harder to invite themselves in for future meals - Cattle are curious and sometimes destructive creatures. They'll sniff, lick, rub on, lean against, and otherwise molest anything new. Like our house, porches, trailer, and cars. Those tail-light units aren't cheap! No thank you. Mark finally tackled the stuff with his weed-eater. After the whackin', Mark and the girls gathered the grass in the little red wagon, and carted it out to feed to the cattle. By this time, the cattle know what's coming...hurry up, already! Teamwork...quick, get the camera! Mark fends off a line-jumper. Looks like a well-mannered group. Well done, girls!