Thursday, October 27, 2016

A Second Look--October 27, 2016

It's that magical time of year when the leaves are giving a colorful show while flowers are still blooming, which means we haven't had a hard frost yet. The squirrels are especially busy as they are preparing for the coming winter. In fact, most of the time now when I see a squirrel scurrying by, it's got a walnut in its mouth. Then it buries it in one of the flowers beds for me to pull up later.

Unfortunately, I haven't had time to get out much with my camera to take pictures and consequently take a Second Look at most of this. (Did I mention, I'm still in the all house, all the time mode?) However, here are pictures of a few things I saw this week at the new house during a Second Look.

The mums are in full bloom which is making a lot of bees and flies very happy.

Does anyone know what this purple flower is sticking up above the ground ivy?

Ailanthus webworm moth on mint

Vincas, or as I call them, Real Estate Flowers. Vincas can stand a lot of neglect so they seemed to planted at every house we saw for sale.

I am always fascinated as I watch leaves change colors from the top down. This tree is directly across the street from us.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Thankful Sunday--October 23, 2016

I am thankful for an empty bird feeder.

A week ago, we put up a bird feeder at the new house to give the birds a chance to find it before the winter. Well, we checked it yesterday and it was totally empty! I'm not sure what ate the food, but Ward reports that he saw two little, gray birds* on it one day. Meanwhile, back at the present house, I stopped feeding the birds a few weeks ago. I didn't want them to get used to finding food here before winter. However, they're not suffering as there is plenty of natural food around. Yesterday in a short five minutes I saw crows, sparrows, Carolina wrens, blue jays, tufted titmouse, chickadees, and bluebirds.

Watching birds always brings a smile to my face, so for an empty feeder and visits from birds at both houses, I am thankful.

*Except for cardinals, blue jays, and woodpeckers, all birds are little gray birds to Ward.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Houses update

I can't imagine how this can be that interesting to anyone, but I'll do another update on how the house transition is going because some of you are curious.

Pick a color, any color.
At the current house, we continue to sort and purge things. There's not too much we can pack yet because we are either using it or might use it for staging. However, most of our books have been gone through and packed and some of the mementos and craft items.  We continue to give several bags, boxes, or van loads away every week including some furniture. However, the house is still full. You can accumulate a lot in 19 years even when you get rid of things regularly.

What I'm most interested in is the new yard and transferring some of the things from the current yard to there. However, several of the new beds are overrun with poison ivy so we are going to have to hire someone to pull it before we can work in them.  Poison ivy is hard to get rid so it may take a couple of years. However, we have found someone to mow the lawn at the new house and we are mowing the lawn at the current house after we got the lawn mower fixed. Not an easy task, but it's done. Also, we set up a couple of bird feeders at the new place hoping the birds will find them before the winter. There was not an obviously good place for them, but we can work on that when we move in.

We have finally gotten all of the wallpaper off the walls in Wally's old room. Now it's time for all of the prep work for painting. Yuck. But even more yuck, we have wallpaper to remove in Theo's old room. Still lots to do here before we put the house on the market.

Work is finally progressing at the new house. The bathroom is about half done and floor work started yesterday. I'm not sure a day's gone by in the last month or two that we haven't been in some kind of home improvement store picking out something. We pretty much remain confused with all of the choices. Today is paint color.

The furnace doesn't work in the new shop, so Ward has been researching other heating methods. Well, actually, the furnace does work, but the tech cut the wires on it so it wouldn't work because it's not safe.

Computer time is up for now, so there's a partial brain dump from the swirling that goes on in my head pretty much all of the time. It's all going to be good in the end, but still many miles to go before I can sleep.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Thankful Sunday--October 15, 2016

I am thankful for the beauty of a full moon.

Last night we had a full moon.  It was both bright and shadowy giving hints of craters. Occasionally, thin clouds covered it, but mostly it was in view. What I always find amazing is how bright the moon can be and how, it can light your way in the dark. For this beautiful moon in the night sky, I am thankful.

Just in case you were wondering:

The full moon is the brightest object in the night sky. It has an apparent magnitude (measure of a space object´s brightness as seen by an observer on Earth) of -12.74 compared with the Sun's of -26.74.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

A Second Look--October 12, 2016

If there was any doubt that fall is here, the doubt is all gone. The mums are blooming and we've had our first frost. (However, it seems like I say something like that every week--look, another sign of fall. I guess the transition seasons are like that.)

Here are few things I saw this week 
during a Second Look.

Rozanne Geranium among the fallen oak leaves.

Begonias--They are getting a little leggy but are still blooming nicely.

There was a bloom on the cherry laurel. This usually blooms in the spring.
(So much for the signs of fall.)

Rain over the weekend brought a new crop of mushrooms.

The marigolds just keep coming. :)

I did my Second Look early in the morning before the dew had been burned off by the sun. You can see it in some of the pictures like this one.

In some areas the dew was frost.

This skipper butterfly was waiting for it to warm up before it started the day.

The mums are blooming at the new house. These are doing well in their sunny spot. Back here at the old house, the mums haven't bloomed yet. However, they are somewhat shaded.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Thankful Sunday--October 9, 2016

The dogwood trees are always the first to change. If you look closely,
you can see a few yellow and red leaves on the maple tree.

I am thankful for fall weather.

Today it really feels like fall. There is a chill in the air and a wind that is blowing the leaves that are just beginning to change. To me there is nothing better than the change of seasons. The transition from one to the other always gives me a change of perspective and a reset that is needed each time it rolls around. So for the change of seasons and the feel of fall in the air, I am thankful.

Friday, October 7, 2016

House update

We're still working fast and furious here trying to get to the point where we can live and own only one house. In fact, I've started this post several different times, only to be interrupted by some kind of house issue. This morning it was figuring out when the tile shop is open so we could do some shopping after work.
We took a drive around the neighborhood one day
 and found these roosting vultures. 

Since we're looking for tile, you might have guessed that the contractor has begun work in the new house. The master bath has been gutted and is being rebuilt. Which means, lots of decisions to be made. I don't know how there can be so many choices for things and yet none of them seem to work for what we need/want. But nevertheless, we are finding things.

We have also decided to pull up all of the carpet that is there and replace it with hardwoods to match the family room and dining room where they already are. The carpet just didn't clean up like we had hoped. So we can't move in anything upstairs until all of that work is done.

However, we have done some moving into the basement. Meaning Theo has moved in. The basement has some finished space and some unfinished space that will make a great workshop for him, so we invited him to join us. He is out of his apartment and settling in. Sort of. The construction is causing enough dust and chaos, that he can't do much yet.

Back at this house we continue to purge things and pack a few. However, there is a long way to go before this house is ready to put on the market. We just don't seem to have any blocks of time where we can work on things here. And as the year moves on and we move into the time when the housing market it dead, I get more and more antsy.

So I'm still kind of going crazy and I feel like there is no rest for the weary. However, I know these are good problems to have and I am grateful that I'm dealing with them and not some other issues that have needed attention in the past.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Thankful Sunday--October 2, 2016

I am thankful for my father-in-law and family fun.

Yesterday my father-in-law, Leo, had his annual pig roast. About 60 people enjoyed a good time in spite of the rain that continued until the afternoon. His kids all came together to make it happen and it's turned into a special family event each fall. For family and fun, I am thankful.

BTW, Leo is a very clever man who loves tinkering. I will have to post more about him later, but in the above picture is a small example of his work.

This was the fire station (manned by Theo) to keep hot coals for the pig roasting (done by Ward).
Many things you see in this picture were made by Leo using parts from old hot water heaters, dryers, cement molds from trash can lids, cinder blocks, etc. Of special note is the bottle chandelier hanging from the tree in the very top of the picture. You just see a hint of it here. This is made from old bottles, LED lights from "throw-away" things from the Dollar store, plastic tops from coffee cans, and an old flashlight as the power source. I'll have to get a better picture sometime.