Friday, April 23, 2010

We have a well!

Our well went in this week and finally we got some good news. The well company only had to drill down 101 feet before they hit an abundance of very clean water. We are so excited! The water is not connected to the house yet, but this is a major item that we no longer have to worry about.

Look at my pearly whites!

When Tillie wants to play and she thinks you are ignoring her, she will slowly start growling. She usually does this with her head down on the carpet and her tail wagging like crazy. If she really gets desperate she will open her mouth and start barking. It is really funny to watch her antics while she is trying to get your attention.

Skirting in Place

Another step has been completed on the house. The skirting is in place. The next step involves back filling all the soil around the house and then work will begin on the septic system.
It is exciting to see the changes every time we go out to the property!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Spring Flowers

Earlier in the week, Susan took this picture of the beautiful flowers at the base of the tree in our front yard. Spring is definitely here!

Protecting Crops

During the last few months, farmers have been using water to freeze their crops in order to prevent radiant heat loss. You can see the water spray over the tops of these trees.
There are different methods used to prevent radiant heat loss in crops. Farmers utilize heaters, irrigation, wind machines and fog. Each method has advantages and disadvantages.
Irrigation costs are high and there is a risk of crop damage if the rate is incorrect; if there is too much ice buildup on the limbs resulting in breakage; if the soil is too saturated and if the wind is too strong. This process works because heat lost from the crop to the environment is replaced by heat release as the applied water changes to ice. When 1 gram of water freezes, 80 calories of heat energy are released.
Picture acres and acres of frozen trees and imagine how beautiful it looks, especially on a bright summer morning.

Tillie had a bath today, and this is how she likes to stay warm while her hair dries. She will let me use the hair dryer for a while, but not nearly long enought to get her dry. She likes this even better when someone will sit with her on their lap.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Contest Awards

Since I have a lot of free time on my hands lately, I have spent some of it entering contests online. During the Olympics, our local TV station sponsored a Question of the Day contest. During the late night news, after the Olympic coverage ended, they asked a question about the Olympics. You could then log in and post your answer. During the competition I won $50.00 worth of gift certificates to local restaurants.
For the Oscars, there was another contest where you had to identify winners in 11 categories prior to the award show on TV. I was able to correctly identify 10 out of the 11 winners, which turned out to be the highest score in Washington State. The sponsoring station here in town is working on my prize. The national winner got 11 out of 11 correct and won an 18 DVD set of classic films.
Right now, we are entered in four different sweep-stake contests and I have my fingers crossed!

Hummingbird Cake

There is a recipe in the April 2010 issue of the Food Network Magazine for Hummingbird Cake. Susan made this cake and took it to work this week. It was very popular. She took the cake inside in the morning and it was gone before noon. This is a great magazine for anyone who likes to cook and experiment with new recipes.


Monday, April 12, 2010

Kem's in Yakima

Last evening Susan and I went to dinner at Kem's. This restaurant is located in the new Holiday Inn in downtown Yakima. We had heard nice things about the food on the radio and I was able to purchase a $50.00 gift certificate for $25.00 from the station during their half-price Friday giveaway.

The restaurant is quite small, but has quality furnishings as you can see in the photo. Unfortunately, we went on a night where the only employee working was obviously new and didn't seem happy to have a job. She did not know the menu, nor did she know how to make a Smith & Kerns or a White Russian. Why would a new business leave someone in charge of the bar who doesn't know how to mix drinks? Aside from the service the food was good and we would go back again, just not on Sunday evening.

First Time in the House

The crew from Color Tile needed to get into the house on April 8 to complete measurements and Kasandra was kind enough to give me a ride so I could see the inside for the first time. This picture was taken in the kitchen. There remains a great deal of work to be finished on the home before Susan and I get the keys. The crews are projecting that they will be done by Monday, April 19.

Incredible Wind Storm

On Thursday, April 8, very high winds whipped through Yakima. The house right next door to Susan's is currently for sale and is unoccupied. The previous owner had one of those large canvas carports right next to the fence between his yard and Susan's. This cover was large enough to put a 50-foot motor home inside. As you can see, the wind was strong enough to pick up the cover and carry it over the fence and into the trees in our backyard. Thank goodness the trees were there because they stopped the cover from reaching the house.
Susan called the real estate company that is selling the home and we were very surprised that a crew showed up that same evening. It might have had something to do with the fact that Susan told them the fence was in jeopardy of collapsing under the weight, which was true.

All the trees, fence and shrubs actually survived and the cover did not fall the rest of the way into our yard before they got it back on the other side of the fence.

We spent the next two days picking up small pieces of parts from the cover out of the yard, trying to get all of them before Tillie could find them. She will eat anything!

Crew at Work

Crews began working on the house on Monday, April 5. Susan took this picture on Tuesday April 6. We still haven't walked up to the house due to the extremely wet and muddy ground.

House Delivered

On Friday, April 2 our house was finally placed on our property. Two different people that work with Susan at North Star saw the home on the road that morning, so we knew at least part of it was there. When she got off work, Susan picked me up so we could go see our house for the first time. High winds prevented crews from working on the home that day.
The white door,visible on the side of the home, will open into the garage/shop.

Sunday, April 4, 2010


Today Julie, Tommy and Adam celebrated Easter in Du Bois, PA at Adam's great grandparents house. As you can see, Adam really liked his bunny as long as no one turned it on. A chick pops out of the egg and the bunny sings, which made Adam cry.
Susan made Asparagus Lasagna that was wonderful! This recipe is from Giada De Laurentis on the Food Network. It is a very interesting lasagna because there isn't any sauce. A mixture of sun dried tomatoes, basil leaves, ricotta cheese, onion, garlic and pancetta is layered on lasagna noodles with mozzarella cheese. The dish was surprisingly moist. We didn't take any pictures.

Friday, April 2, 2010

April Snow Showers

Snow was predicted in the higher elevations around Washington State this morning, but I was surprised when it started snowing in town.

I was even more surprised when it started covering the ground!
Tillie loves to be outside and she loves the snow.

I think she is deciding if she wants to come inside bad enough to have a treat.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Sitting Pretty

Tillie is not happy unless she is sitting on your lap. Unfortunately, sometimes she jumps into the chair before you can even sit down. Then, she tilts her head and looks at you as if to say "What are you doing up there?"

Property Challenges

Developing property is not for the faint of heart. In the last two weeks we learned that there was too much water in the ground for our contractor to pour the runners for the house. To resolve the problem, he ended up excavating another six feet down, laying down a plastic barrier and then hauling in rock to raise the lot to ground level. It took 19 truck loads of rock - 37 tons - to fix the problem. The entire process may need to be repeated for the garage. This is what the runners look like before they are filled with concrete.
When the concrete dries, the support beams are placed in the sections without the concrete. The house will be delivered tomorrow, April 2, unless the wind is too strong.

We got a kick out of the box containing the building permits. I'm not sure that anyone would actually climb back there to look at the permits, but at least the box is there.

Adam with the Easter Bunny

Last weekend Julie and Tommy took Adam to a local park to see the Easter Bunny. While Adam is still too little to hunt for eggs, he did have his picture taken. Julie told us that the kids at the park were very serious about hunting for the eggs.
This is one of the cutest pictures I have seen of Adam and Tommy together, and even though Julie is not in the picture, it is clear that both of her guys are smiling at her.