Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Fall color

I am so loving being in a place that actually shows fall color....instead of dead-plant-tan and cedar-green.
I don't know what tree this is, but it is showing a nice gold color at the side of the corral.

Also at the corral is the only Redbud on the place. It will be getting special attention. I love Redbuds!
 I have two pecan trees. The one in the backyard is buck nekkid! I am babying it. This one is in the front next to the drive. It is showing very pretty burgundy colors now.

Silver Maple is a trash tree. I didn't plant this...it came with the house. But it sure is a pretty yellow now. I must see if I can grow Japanese Maples in the understories.
 This is a huge tree....taller than the 2 story house, and shades the whole side yard and driveway. I love this tree. I figured it was another oak, not a live oak since it is changing colors and shedding leaves. But I picked up a leaf and examined it. I do believe I have an enormous Cedar Elm! I don't think it is a winged one, but will get out my binoculars to check the limbs closer to see. I am absolutely delighted. I planted two Cedar Elms at my old house and they were getting nice and big before I moved.
I have deer. They were caught inside the backyard last week. That will mean trouble for them if they keep doing that. But they look innocent enough in this picture. Don't be fooled.
 See their evil lazer eyes? They have meaness on their minds. Don't look....they will entrance you and cause you to put out corn for them. Then they will eat everything you plant in your yard!!!

I miss my turkeys. They were so delightful to watch. This one was strutting in my backyard at the other house. I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


uh, my bad. I have been silent for quite a while now. I have been busier than a one-armed paper hanger. We made the move....the day Hermine went over. Lovely, eh? It was so wet that it was 4 days before the movers could come back with our stuff. At least hubby was able to get our mattresses from the van before they drove off. We camped for 4 days. We even went to buy a frig....and it couldn't be delivered until the day the movers were supposed to come back with our stuff.
So we have been here for 2.5 months. I have gotten to the point that I cherish days that I don't HAVE to do anything. I have a yard to plant and trim and learn about. I brought my plants from the other house and am trying to figure out exactly where I want to put them. Then there is the house to put in order. Still haven't gotten it all in, nor put away. The garage is full. I am mourning the loss of my huge studio. I am down to a wee bedroom now until kid finally is able to move out. It also means that the only guest quarters I have is hubby's travel trailer that he was able to bring home. Oh, and I have a pond. A big 8'x18' above ground  pond with fish in it. Tomorrow, after much futzing and trying everything else, I am going to vacuum it out. It is full of sludge. I have a koi named Sumo, and a couple dozen goldfish of all size, configuration, and names.
This is the house. Isn't it beautiful? It's called "Hill Country Style", and though it looks old, it's only 22 years old.
Here are two of my new pets.
 This is Sumo and Slash. Sumo is the only Koi I have. He is a Yamato Nishik. Slash is a nice sized goldfish that has a white streak across it's nose. I enjoy going out in the late afternoon and sitting at the side of the pool feeding them. Next spring, after I get the pond cleaned up and set up the way I want it, I would like to get Sumo a buddy.
Here is what the pond looked like before we moved in. My son and I got busy one day and cleaned it out. there was an amazing amount of crap in it, and lilies that are way too overgrown.
This weekend I am going to Kid n Ewe in the next town. I love that I can go and it's only half an hour's drive to a fiber festival!!!
Well, that's it for right now. I will check back later. Maybe with shots of the Fiber Festival. Cubedog has been very busy every weekend at the Faire. Things are going very well for her. Hopefully she will have pictures to share when she finally has time to breathe.
Oh, and I will have to share the tale of the moron neighbor at the other house. It is amazing just how stupid people can be.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Its a-camping I will go

Its that time of year....Faire Season!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I can't believe I'm up at 6 am on a Saturday to basically drive 1.5 hrs to volunteer my time to clean a shop that does not belong to me. But hey, I get first look at all the goodies.
I'll be spending the night in the back of the truck-haven't done that in years.
Hopefully, the CMCU will be ready to roll in two weeks when we have to be there for opening cannon to a new season.
The best and worst part; we are working for 2 different vendors this year and will be clear across the park from each other.
And I'm hoping that I will spend WAY less money by being busy with customers all day. Besides, 4 Quarters (where I'll be) isn't near any of my favorite vendors-THIS is a very good thing.
I'm looking forward to seeing the park before any patrons are allowed in. A faire where only the vendors are wandering around is still 'magic'. Once the patrons arrive-its all business and people watching.
I'm taking the camera, so hopefully I'll have pics to share later.
Auf Wiedersien!

Monday, September 6, 2010

In the catagory of "Isn't that about right"

This house buying and moving thing has been one thing after another. I am sure there is more to come with only one day left till load up. First, I still have tons of stuff to pack and have run out of boxes. It took me two weeks to come up with the ones I had. It's going to be next to impossible to find more in this town in one day.
But then, to top things off with a cherry....I get up early this morning because too many things are going through my head. Decide to get on the laptop to distract myself and check the weather for tomorrow. What the hell????? Who is this Hermine and where did she come from? Apparently a tropical storm formed at the south tip of Texas last night and is supposed to rain like a mofo on us the day we are loading up!!!!!!!!! Yep, there it is....the big honking cherry on top of everything!  Personally I think the devil has enough to do playing with the liberals in gov't.....there is no reason to be picking on me!!!!!!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

OMG House Explosion!!!

This is what my living room looks like tonight. I pulled out a sofa in order to have a place to stack boxes. That contains my bathroom, half of the kitchen and part of the living room. I just packed one bookcase and have the boxes stacked in front of the fireplace.
My bedroom. It is cleared out and into boxes except for Clueless One's half of the closet. I left his boxes of undies and socks unsealed so he can get into them when he is home. I have a container larger than a shoebox that holds my undies for the week and a few clothes still in the closet to wear.
All my stuff packed up and sitting around and all the stuff yet to be boxed up is driving me nuts. The chaos is enormous! I had to take a painkiller this morning and again this evening. The work is really wearing on me now. Monday we sign papers and get the keys to the house, then eight days later we will be loading up and moving to the new house. I am so excited...that is what keeps me going. The excitement of going to a happier place to live.
You should see the pile of trash!!! OMG....have got to get on the ball next week and hire a dumpster for a couple of days. I also have a large pile of stuff to give to a friend of mine.
Oh, and I am allergic to dust. Unearthing things that haven't been unearthed in a while has got my sinus's stuffed up and giving me a sore throat. I just got through sneezing a couple of times. I have got to remember to buy more tissues tomorrow.
I also have freaked out pets. Jack is taking things in stride, but the cats don't know what in the world is going on! The two oldest are getting clingy, and the youngest is terrified because her world is changing, just as she was getting used to things. When the kid moves this week, he will be taking her with him. That will give her time to herself for a week to get used to the new place before the bullies move in. There is no pet door at the new house. That is one of the first things we are going to have to figure out...where to put one. These guys are spoiled to going in and out when they need to. And I have gotten spoiled from not having to play doorman constantly.
CUBEDOG: And it is this reality, that my house will someday look like that, that motivates me to put stuff in the trash or the donation box. I stop and think, "Would I want to pack that?" But more importantly, "Would I want to UNPACK that?" Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahah

Otter: yes, I have a big pile to give to a friend of mine, and a huge pile of trash. That is what happens when you live where you have no trash pick up for 20 years. You hang on to things you would otherwise toss. I have been surprised at some of the things I have found squirreled away. 

Otter addendum: Just to show you why I call my hubby "the Clueless One".....I sent him the above pictures, showing him how much I had done. This is what he emailed back....
You still have a week before the movers come. We are only signing papers tomorrow. Or are you loading the animals up and moving tomorrow.
After my maniacal laugh, I came thisclose to sitting in a corner, rocking back and forth, with my thumb in my mouth. I am sure you understand.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The neverending Saga of Housebuying

Well, here we sit, a little over a week from closing day. I have my end tied up on a pretty bow. Picked a Home Warranty company, got my letter of credit because the mail can't manage to get a letter 20 miles to me, change of address forms printed out and ready to turn in, pets shots updated and new address logged into their files, more boxes, and things at the bank are almost ready for signatures. Even talked Clueless One down from a tizzy over temporary interest rates.
So what could happen now? Well, a bit of background.....we made a bid on the house, the seller came back and wanted 12,500 more. Okay, he indicated it would put him in the hole otherwise. We get his appraisal from April and shows it was worth 33,000 more than our first bid. We are fine with that. Then today we get our appraisal that the bank ordered for the loan. Yeah, guess what.....it appraised at only 1,000 more than our original bid. The whole purchase is up in the air now. My Real Estate Agent sent him the appraisal and will discuss it with him. Either we accept the over priced house purchase, dump the house purchase, or the seller has to accept the lower price for the house. What is in our favor on this is the fact that the seller has already moved out and is anticipating not having to make a mortgage payment next month. That is why they are selling the house....got in over their heads.
I am deflated. I just had to hand the whole thing over to God. Maybe God only wanted us to pay the amount of our original bid, and this is his way of getting us there after all. I don't know. All I know is that it isn't anything I can do anything about.....so it's up to Him.

It's always something

I just got through filling out and printing off 3 change of address forms to turn in to the post office. Family, business, and father in law. Gonna have son fill his out so I don't screw it up. I have things set to start going to the new house on the 3rd of Sept. Son should be there by then....trying to get him ready to move on closing date to be there for anything we have to have done before we move...cable, phone, etc.
But there is always something that will screw up. I have a dear friend that is going to go to Saudi for a year to teach English with a mission group. She is set to leave next month. She has an account set up with an Arab mission group that we can support her with. So I waited till the house was finalized, then sent off a check with the new address listed. She was in tears sunday because the group she was registered with is disbanding and her account is going to be with another company.....so the first one is sending everyone's checks back! You know what that means? My return will be sent to the new house and I haven't even gotten the keys yet!!!! Grrrrrrrr!
Also, The Clueless One has changed his days off. Instead of coming home next week to pack, he will be coming home the week of the move. That means I had to email him the electric company application to sign and send back to me so I can fill it out and send it off. But first, I have to call my electric company today to see what the hold up is with our letter of recommendation to be sent with the application. It has been over a week and nothing has come in the mail yet. Geesh, they are only 20 miles away. It's not like it has to go around the world first. Or does it?
I also have to call about Home Warranty Insurance. ugh. You know, in all honesty, Clueless One is in charge of millions of dollars of equipment and men on the jobs he does, so is very busy and trying to complete jobs without having to spend more millions......but having to do the whole move thing by myself is driving me nuts!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Since I double posted pictures......

How about a different set of pictures? I can show you more of the inside of the house. Will I be forgiven for totally losing my mind?
 This is the front porch....you can sit on the swing and catch a breeze, but come on in.
 Right in the door is the staircase. To the left is the office and the guest bathroom. Lets go upstairs.
 This is the only spare bedroom I will have for a while. Family will want me to make it the guest bedroom, but it is the only option I have for a studio right now. From the door to the left.....
 And from the door to the right. I am sure I will stuff the closet full, it's an decent size anyway. That is Clueless One opening the closet. And yes, that is how he dresses to ride the Harley.
 This is the room that I covet for my studio. But kid has claimed it. I am sure it will be painted soon. That is the view to the left with his closet.
 And the view to the right. Not a big room, but see that door there?
 The room has a small room off of it. You step down into this cute little windowed room. covetcovetcovet When kid finally is able to move out....I am moving my studio in here!!
 The room for myself and Clueless One is the biggest...except for FIL's suite. The pink walls will be pained pronto!
 But take a look at the small pan in the ceiling! Tricked out in decorative wood! way cool.
 Our bathroom...meh. It has a tub/shower to the right of the toilet. And to the far right out of camera shot is a small alcove with storage. I am not too worried about having only one sink. Right now we have two and he never uses his...always uses mine.
 The very dark upper hallway. Looking from the front of the house to the back. To the left is kid's room and across the hallway is his bathroom. Between them is a storage closet with a bookcase in the wall. To the right is the door to my room. To the left out of camera shot is the extra room/studio. And behind me when I took the picture is the multipaned door to the upper balcony. At least you don't have to go through anyone's room to get to the balcony.
The upper balcony. Nice view and should be able to catch a nice breeze up there. I can hardly wait to move.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Changing Locations

 Sorry folks, I guess in my excitement, I posted the same pictures. Just ignore those, I am losing my mind.
uh oh.....the whole  flavor of the blog is going to change. I just realized yesterday that I am cutting the distance between us in half.....and moving off of I-10. I will be closer to 35. What to do, what to do?
Anticipating the move has driven me up the walls. First there was the decision....made easier by the Clueless One being home to witness the latest crap by one neighbor. Then, after he left, the other neighbor pulled a childish foolish prank. When Clueless One was home, I experienced such fury at the jackass neighbors that we are forced to drive through their place to get to ours, that I did something I have never done before. I had to break something. I grabbed my heavy work gloves, hunted down a 4x4 wood post, and proceeded to whack an iron pipe post with it until it broke into three pieces about a foot each. Of course, being me, the first post I hit contained a nest of red wasps. They were not appreciative in the least of my disturbing them. I got to suffer through about 4 days of a swollen arm.
So we found a house.... a big one on a lake, at a great price. I was nuts about that house. But Clueless One balked and by the time he decided to buy it, there was another bid on it. We still had a chance.....until the bank decided to take their sweet time putting together a simple prequalifying letter for us. We lost that house. I was absolutely furious and hurt. And I was mad at God for that and a few other things that happened this year. A friend of mine tried to get me to still thank God for things, but for the life of me, I couldn't think of anything.
It was on a wednesday that I was driving to the city to pick up my new glasses and do some shopping. I really hate that hour drive. I do a lot of thinking then...some not so pleasant. This time I realized that I had something to be thankful for....the finances to buy a house away from this horrible place. So I did thank Him.
The next day, my real estate agent sent me an email with about 5 listings on it. Clueless One and I went through them and found a couple in our price range to look at. After we set things up with the agent, I went back to look closer at the other ones she sent. I had bypassed one house because of the price. When I went back to look, I discovered I had looked at the wrong price...it was lower that the original price and in our range. Looking closely at it, it was perfection. Something we never even dreamed we could have. I called the agent back and set up to see that house. Clueless One had found that his days off had been shortened (no surprise there) and had to go back to work the next morning...friday. So we set up to see that house at 9am, and another one just down the road from it.
Friday morning we got up at 5am to hit the road by 6 in order to see the house at 9. We were dazzled when we drove up, but the selling point was that the spot for Clueless One's dad was exactly what we were looking for. The house has an added on Master Suite, at the other end of the house for privacy, outside access, and a room that is set up to be a perfect kitchenette! Dad will be able to live on his own as in an apartment, and still be very close to the family.
I won't go into details about the nerve wracking back and forth on the bidding....at one point wanting to kill Clueless One, but we finally have a house. Clueless One works only about 2 hours away instead of the 5 now. Our close date is the 30th, and I have movers arranged to load us up on the 7th of September. I am a wreck over the whole thing and wish it was over with. Clueless One will be home for maybe a week just before closing....in other words, he will help pack up that one week, then the next time he has days off, he will go to a new home. Yep, the whole circus is totally on me. That is why I am a wreck. I am in charge of moving two households and decades of living in one place, plus get everything switched to the new house. The power is awaiting his signature and our co-op referral letter, and the cable tv/internet/phone has been set up to be turned on the first. Living in one place for 20 years means it's challenging to get everything switched to another place in a county 3 hours away. My guts are in an uproar, I have lost weight, and don't sleep for very long at a time before my mind goes into a panic and wakes me up.
So, now that I have set things up, here are pictures of our dream come true.

On Pleasant Lane in Pleasant Valley. The style is called Hill Country. It's perfect.
The back of the house from the garage. There are nice decks, lily pond full of frogs, fenced in garden, and chicken pen.
The view out the back door. I predict many hours spent in that gazebo, starting with coffee in the morning.
ohhhhh.....a hot tub! then a picnic table, then a swing. The swing overlooks the pond and a rock swale that goes across the yard and under the deck.
Inside the front door to the right is the living room, dining room, and kitchen...all open to each other. No more secluded kitchen. Notice the trim work and the ceiling beams.
A lovely dining area. Love the ceiling clad in wood. In front of where that clock is, will be my china cabinet.

And a most excellent kitchen!! My red and blue things will fit very well in there. I can hardly wait!
One really nice part about the house....cable internet. I just spent about 2 hours  trying to get all of this uploaded. My satellite internet has been totally off for over a month now.
I will post more pictures later. I am worn out from trying to get this post up all morning.
I just noticed that blogger isn't posting the whole picture. I changed the size of them, so maybe it will now.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Quick post

The day is about to start full speed again, so thought I would knock out a quick post of what it going on. 16 days to closing now. We had an inspection and now have to hammer out problems with the seller. I have to get my house packed up, line up a mover, and iron out the tons of things that have to be taken care of when you move 3 hours away after living in one area for 20 years. Oh, and I am doing this house buying detail all by myself. There is a lot on my plate because hubby is about 5 hours away working. I think if there is just one more glitch, I will start tearing my hair out. The immature jackass neighbor's are a mere laugh now.
So, a few little peaks at the house.

Pleasant Lane....so charming!
Cubedog: that front fence is DIEING for your vintage roses!

A gazebo out the back door, there's a mug next to the coffeepot, grab a cup and join me.
Cubedog: wisteria-'nuff said.

The living room, looking into the dining area. Not crazy about the green walls, but easily fixed.
Cubedog: you need Grandma's big cast iron kettle on that stove.

Very lovely dining area....and real wood cladding on the ceiling. The door just out of sight on the left leads to the gazebo.

Do a half turn from the previous picture and there is a nice sized kitchen. That door at the end leads to the very large butlers pantry, then turn right in there to the laundry room. At the other end of the laundry room is the entrance to the Master suite that will house my father in law. Private, with it's own kitchenette.

At the end of the day, it will be wonderful to soothe my aches and nerves by spending time in the hot tub, listening to the frogs living in the little pond that is in front of the swing. Ahhhhhhh
Cubedog: you might want a screen on the house side of that hottub. Its kinda in your FIL's front yard.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Today at 3:25 p.m., we bid good-by to Sheila (WhiteDog), our deaf Australian Shephard. It is suspected that she had pancreatic cancer.
We found her at the Human Society. An adorable white fuzzball. She and BigDog bonded instantly and when we went up to the desk to sign adoption papers, the clerk asked, "You do know she's deaf, right?" And BigDog answered, "So?"
Once I got her home, they were inseparable. She would alert me whenever he was on his way home. And she even nipped me a few times for getting to close to him.
She learned many hand signs quickly and was stubborn as a mule. When she didn't want to do what you were signing, she would simply turn her head away as if to say, "I can't hear you."
We had her longer than our marriage, so she has been an integral part of our little family from day zero. The world will be a little less bright for us now that she has gone to join Buddy and Mz.Kitty.
She was a joy and a trial and she will be missed. It is gonna hurt like hell to watch Ripley look for her.
R.I.P. my precious puppy
Otter: I had decided to just lay down and rest my frazzled nerves from the past two days, and woke up over two hours later. Bubba had lots of messages for me....and text from you. As soon as he said that I rushed to my phone cuz I knew. And appropriately, as I  texted you and BD, and tears were falling, it started to rain. She was one very special "niece".  It was fun trying to remember signs when she came so I could communicate with her. And it was so hilarious to see her turn her head when she didn't want to see what you wanted her to do. Your bed will be very lonely now. I have been through this before and yes, it is heartbreaking to watch the others look for the one missing. Give Miss Rip extra attention right now, you both need it.
And invoking the name of Buddy can still make me cry.
A couple of memories right off the top of my head....the time Tigger met "the big dogs". I could swear that cat's next step was to claw through the ceiling! Also, the only sound Sheila ever heard was the squeaking bark of Mouse....the Shrew. 
The sweet girl had a very long and happy life that she would have normally not gotten to live. There will be small blue stones on your crowns to match her striking eyes.
My deepest love and sympathies for you both. I shall miss her. 

Sunday, May 16, 2010

It's genetic

Did I tell you that the oldest kid and his family went to Destin Florida for a week's vacation? From the pictures, it looks like they met her mom and stepdad there. They had a wonderful time....but family history will always win out.
First, they drove there from Oklahoma.....leaving Yazoo City, MS about a half an hour before it was nearly wiped off the map by a tornado. While in Florida, they stayed at a condo on the beach. They both managed to get their winter white skin burned to a crisp. Then they spotted this from the balcony.
Can you see it? Son said it was a good 9 foot. They did NOT tell the short one, knowing she would not even want to go down to the beach again, much less stick a toe in the water.
Then on the way home the next weekend, they hit all the tornadic storms in Arkansas....even believe they saw one. I am soooo happy they got home safely. I just got my soda bottle of beach sand from kid. He sent enough that I can make a nice small bottle of it with label to go with the others....and still have enough to stick my toe into beach sand. aaahhhhh.
Sadly, kid and family are now moving to Virginia. Oh well, on the bright side, I can do genealogical research there when I visit. I may even get to visit the Atlantic Ocean....never seen that one.

Oh, and ps.....who are all those people, why are they here, and how did they find us!!!! I'm gonna go hide in the cactus patches so they can't find me. ;-)

Love, da Otter

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

To Ava

I just got to the comment notification from Ava. Ava, this blog is just what it says under the title. The prairiedogs are 2 grown sisters, living on opposite ends of I-10 in Texas. If you aren't familiar with the geography, we are approximately 6 hours apart and worlds away. Otter lives in a small town out in the middle of a semi-arid nowhere; Cubedog lives in a BIG city on the tropical coast. Our worlds are so different, we thought it be fun to compare definitions-like what makes a 'crime-wave' or a long commute, even something as mundane as grocery shopping can become an adventure in contrasts. Otter drives to another town to do all shopping in one day and it takes all day and she only goes once a week or so. Cubedog passes at least 20 grocery stores everyday driving to and from work and can pick from anything from African to Indo-Pak food stores, as well as your more mundane grocers.
So, that's what we're about.
We don't have any phenomenal connections to get anyone a job or scholarship. We aren't especially witty or 'insightful'. We are both creative, but not pattern creators or great artists.
We can't get you a recording contract.
I peeked at your blog, God bless your efforts with the bracelets. You sound like a very motivated young woman and God knows we need more motivated young people.
Thanks for asking, Ava. I hope this clears things up for you and anyone else who drops by.

Dazed and Confused

Sis and I haven't exactly been active the past few months. Sorry about that, readers. Life seems to be getting in the way. I noticed though, that we are getting hits from around the world. India, Sweden, Jakarta, Russia, Canada...etc. Can anyone leave us a comment and tell us why? Intensely curious.
I suppose these two prairiedogs should get back to telling you our life stories, huh.
Agreed, we really should get back. I was just thinking that this morning as I passed a new bit of landscaping along my route. I will get a pic first, then watch out-the blog monster will return!
On a related note; BigDog is STILL unemployed. After 9 months, his cooking is getting better and the house is actually starting to look clean. The lawn is mowed regularly and Whitedog and Blackdog are thoroughly convinced that they were born for sleeping on the couch all day...in the a/c. Whitedog is going downhill fast and now sleeps about 36 hours straight. When she does get up, she gets stuck behind doors and in corners. Bigdog is actually starting to treat Blackdog like she deserves (she's such a good dog).
Well, tata for now.
We'll be back.....

Monday, January 25, 2010

Mobil Command Unit-Nomore Primitive Camping

say hello to our little friend. No more sleeping in a tent, sweltering in the Texas summers and freezing in the winter and dry. Now we can get up and turn on the coffee pot and sit on the sofa to sip some java....sit on.the.sofa! This was a total God thing. We close tomorrow; that's 5 days from loan qualification to close-unbelievable. CMCU had been on the lot only 1 week!
BigDog will be living in it til at least April. We will be camping in style!
I like to refer to it as "Mobile Yarn Storage"

Yes, thatis a gorilla.

From bedroom to front
Livingroom and cab area