Sunday, March 30, 2014

Let the Wedding Planning Begin!

Kathleen has been busy this winter, dreaming of her perfect wedding. As mentioned after Christmas, Kathleen and our nephew Pat are planning September vows which they will celebrate here at noTTafarm. With the temperature finally climbing above 70 today, we welcomed Kathleen, her mom (Liz), Pat, Carl, and Marita over for a little tour of the grounds and some wedding talk.
Pat was all smiles while Kathleen described her ideas to Scott. 
It was so nice to meet Kathleen's mom, Liz! 
She is excited that Kathleen agreed to wear her circa 1983 wedding dress which is undergoing some circa 2014 updates. Kathleen's such a cutie, she would look great in anything! 
American Gothic
No one can resist the call of the pitchfork.
Stay Tuned for More Wedding Plans!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

More Master Bath Progress

Last weekend, Scott took care of grouting the recently-installed master bath tile. We are another step closer to being "done" with this room's finishes.
First you mix up the grout . . .
. . . then you smush it between the tiles.
After a while, you clean it up with a wet sponge. Easy Peasy!
The next day, Scott drilled holes in the new grout lines in order to FINALLY hang a towel bar!
We'll eventually have two more single bars inside the shower but for now this double bar works great.
 Ta Da!
The beautiful robe hook has a new home on the water closet door trim. Neato!
Stay Tuned for Our Next Adventure!

Anxious for Spring and for the Grass to Grow

Doesn't it feel like spring will never get here? Even today, with a bright blue sky and warm sun, it's still only about 50 degrees. At least the cats seem to enjoy being outside - even though the scenery is a bit brown and awful dusty. 
Sure it looks terrible to have bare dirt where a lawn should be. But who doesn't love a good roll in the dust? These barren patches are like magnets to Wilson. He makes a beeline straight to the ground with the loosest dirt and rolls around till he is so dirty his shiny black coat is a dull brown. Bibbers sometimes joins him . . .
. . . but Wilson prefers solo rolling. He sometimes gets a little aggressive with his barnyard buddy.
One evening, we took a hike on the trail. Bibbers joined us (as usual) and Wilson trotted close behind.
The "best" spot for rolling is near the driveway, just on the south side of the property line. Wilson seems so happy until I have to attack him with a wet towel when it's time to go inside.
Bibbers continues to warm up to us. It's hard to believe that a cat that wouldn't come near us two years ago now curls up on Scott's lap without much coaxing.
Leo tends to stay above the fray. He doesn't roll in the dirt or go on organized walks, preferring to supervise from an elevated spot.
Stay Tuned for More Cat Adventures!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Surprise! Tile Work Advances in Master Bath

Back in June, we reached a point where we had to put down the trowels and pick up a paint roller. The new master bath needed to be "finished" in time for the real estate appraiser/mortgage approval process so we stopped tiling and painted the remaining wall space. Since then, the not-really-done bathroom has worked fine. The biggest downfall has been that the towel bars are not installed and the mirrors are not hung. The time had come - so Scott chose to leave work early Friday and start the process to complete the tile. Now, just 48 hours later, he's done!
Friday afternoon, Scott put up the first twelve tiles.
 Saturday afternoon, he started back. You can see the temporary "Fawn Brindle" paint above the tile-ready mortar.
It took a bit of maneuvering and cutting to fit the tile around the woodwork.
Adding mortar near the entrance door.
 Sunday afternoon, attention turned to the final area. Leo stayed close at hand, helping as best as he could.
Finally!  Good job, Scotty!
The next tasks are grouting, then adding some crown moulding, installing the towel bars, hanging the mirrors, and adding a glass panel to the shower. So I guess, we're not really "done" but it sure feels good!
Stay Tuned for Our Next Adventure!

Lurking Beneath the Tall Grass . . .

In the west yard behind the house is a patch of tall grass. 
I always assumed it was an old flower bed, rimmed by rail ties. Upon further inspection, the clump turned out to be hiding an assortment of old telephone poles, lost to time for whatever reason. When my desire to burn them was poo-pooed (something about toxic fumes, air pollution, blah, blah, blah), we decided to pull them out and move them somewhere out of the way. Turns out, that is easier said than done!
The first idea was to use the Ranger's winch to simply pull them free.
 But, as hard as he tried, the Ranger just couldn't budge Pole No. 1.
Using a shovel to loosen the earth under the pole proved pretty useless, too. The dirt was coated with ice crystals and the grass roots were holding fast. We decided to cut the pole into 8-ft. lengths for ease in handling so Scott (and his little friend, Bibbers) fired up the ol' chainsaw.
Success at last! With the pole cut into four chunks, the Ranger was able to pull three of them out. The last fourth just wouldn't budge. We will wait for the sunshine to help soften the ground a bit.
Scott took the weed trimmer to the tall grass, hoping that the sun could penetrate easier.
Until later, Poles! We'll get you loose then put you somewhere and use you for something some day.
Stay Tuned for Our Next Adventure!

Do You See What I See?

Last Sunday, Scott and I were enjoying a beautiful (albeit windy) day outdoors. All the barnyard kitties and the two indoor kitties were hanging around the house, enjoying the sun. Suddenly, I was compelled to take this photo.
Do you see anything special about this sidewalk on the east side of the house? No? Look again!
Mr. Tuxedo is peeping around the column. He's such a sneaky little guy but I have him in my sights as the next barnyard kitty to cave in and let us pet him.
Stay Tuned for More Kitty Cat News!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Putting the "Fun" in Fundraiser

Each year, the Food Bank for the Heartland hosts a Celebrity Chef Event as a major fundraiser. Over 900 people attended this evening's presentation by Iron Chef and The Chew contributor, Michael Symon. I was lucky enough to be invited by our friend Janis (otherwise known as one of the four little girls that grew up here.)  The cooking demonstration was very entertaining, and the live auction was lively but the real joy of the evening for me was getting to sit next to and chat with Janis' mom, Doris. In between sips of wine and bites of delicious food, she shared more stories about noTTafarm's colorful past. 
Kristin, Janis, and Doris
Janis' sisters Nancy, Denise, and Juli also attended but, as usual, I wasn't smart enough to grab my phone and take a group photo. I hope all of them feel welcome to visit their old stompin' grounds sometime soon!
Stay Tuned for Our Next Adventure!

Planning Begins for noTTafarm Nuptials

noTTafarm will be bustling this summer as we get the place spiffed up for our nephew Pat's wedding! For months now, he and his lovely fiancee, Kathleen, have been planning a rustic, outdoor wedding. Their beautiful "Save the Date" cards were mailed this week.
What do you think of the feature photo? 
We're tickled that our barn was used in this artistic way.
Pat and Kathleen
We are looking forward to watching the plans unfold!
Stay Tuned for More Details!