Sunday, March 29, 2015

A Sign of Good Times

The Big Day stands out as our favorite memory of 2014. One of the many ways Pat and Kathleen found to thank us for noTTafarm's hospitality was the gift of an amazing authentic street sign. It took us a few months (ok, it's already been over seven months) but we finally found a great spot and completed installation. 

The street sign is the official size and manufacture of a local municipality. One of Kathleen's friends (and a wedding guest) created it at her request. 
We also received an official aluminum bracket. 
After considering a few options for posts, poles, and trees from which to suspend the sign, we agreed that the easiest - and also the niftiest - spot was to hang the sign on the barn. Scott used the bed of the Ranger as a raised work platform, lining the bracket up with the door hardware.
Let's count how many tools it took, shall we? First, the drill was used to bore holes for the bolts . . .
. . . then a socket wrench to tighten the 2"-long bolts. 
After a little bit of coaxing (with a file), the sign slid into the two slots which hold it in place.  
An Allen wrench was necessary to tighten the bracket bolts. 
(There was a slight panic when the Allen wrench went missing during the process. We calmed down when it was discovered in someone's pocket (not Kristin's.)) 
Ta Da!
We may move the sign closer to the driveway if we find an appropriate post. But for now, the sign looks great and we're excited to have it on display.
Thanks again, Pat and Kathleen!
Stay Tuned for Our Next Adventure! 

Salvage Yard Find

For a Saturday play date, Scott and Kevin took a field trip to A&R Salvage - a fascinating local repository of salvaged architectural and construction items. Kevin was in search of antique door hardware but Scott is the one that came home with a prize. For $25, he* purchased two "T"s from an old exterior sign to enhance the Audi portion of the garage. He is planning to add battery-operated light bulbs so the T's glow as intended. 
Now all we need to do is paint the garage interior, get the cabinetry hung, and decorate! We're aiming to have the fanciest garage in northern Douglas County.
Stay Tuned for Our Next Adventure!
*Actually, since he didn't have any cash, Scott owes Kevin $25.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

March Maintenance

With the month rapidly winding down, I thought I'd update you, our dear readers, on a few small tasks we've taken care of lately. Actually, not "lately" exactly but really Sunday (March 22). We got a late-afternoon start because somebody had to fix the Ranger tire that was punctured last week. Of course, that somebody required a new tool to get the job done.
This new doo-hickey removes tires from wheels. Getting the tire back on the wheel was the tricky (time-consuming) part.
Finally, after an hour of frustration and help from YouTube, the tire was back on the wheel where it belongs. 

Our big task for the rest of the afternoon was to disassemble and store the bar that was created for The Big Wedding last September. It has been living on our patio since then, and really needed to be stored somewhere safe to have it ready for the next big event (whatever that may be.)
The Ranger pulled the trailer around to move the bar to the corn crib for storage.
Scott used his air compressor and air wrench to remove the bolts. 
We couldn't have asked for a better helper than Bibbers! 
Side note:  Bibbers made it through the winter just fine. Having a heated and insulated kitty cat condo in the barn (and having food delivered to the barn on especially inclement days) helped him put on his winter weight. No, he does not need to live in the house. 
We lifted the separated components onto the trailer 
(that thing is heavy - even in sections!)
Until the next big event . . . the bar has a home in the corn crib. 
I wonder if we should set up the trail camera to catch any marmot/raccoon/opossum parties?
Stay Tuned for Our Next Adventure!

The Circle of Life

Wilson spent a good portion of Friday (March 20) outside, enjoying the warm Spring weather. I was "lucky" enough to spy him walking through the yard south of the house with a little snack in his mouth. I know it's every cat's right to chase a mouse but it's still disarming to see a pet sauntering toward you with a smaller furry creature securely caught. Warning:  look away if you're squeamish.
 That's a pretty big mouse!
After he had his fill of rodent, Wilson left to go on the hunt again. He abandoned the back half of his snack for the crows to find. (What a considerate kitty!)
Go, Wilson, Go!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Not Just March 14 . . . but Super Pi Day!

In honor of Super Pi Day (3-14-15), I bribed The (former) New People into visiting noTTafarm. My lure of a freshly baked pecan pie for Sarah and Kevin was just a thinly-veiled attempt to get to see Baby Bennett. Though I should say, he's not really a baby...he's 2 1/2 already!
Kevin arrived first on his Triumph motorcycle. The weather was perfect for a ride in the country (as long as you take it easy on the gravel.)
We took a break from working outside to enjoy a chat on the patio. Bennett had a recent face-first fall onto the sidewalk at home but he's got a pretty tough noggin. We're all excited to welcome Bennett's baby sister or brother in August!
We Love Visitors! When Are You Coming Over?

Pick-up Sticks

Did you get out and enjoy the beautiful weather this weekend? With temps in the '70s for the first time since October, it was hard to find motivation to stay inside and work on house tasks. Lucky for us, there's always something to do outside at noTTafarm. This weekend, that "something" was clearing downed trees and rotten branches from the area east of the barn. Scott fired up the Ranger, we pulled on our boots and gloves, and got to work.
With the grass still dormant and the trees still bare, it is easy to see all of the assorted logs and branches that need to be picked up. This area is right behind the barn and follows the north edge of our property down to the former-landfill-pond area.
Scott surveyed the situation, amazed at the number of fallen or dead-in-place trees.
I filled the garden wagon with smallish branches and wheeled them down the hill to the burn pile. Sort of an inefficient method but it kept me busy.
The most fun comes when you can just push over a dead-but-still-standing tree; it makes you feel super strong!
We used the Ranger's cable and winch to wrap around a stack of logs and drag it to the burn pile. The weather has been warm and dry - so dry that our area is under a red flag warning - so no fire for us this weekend. We've made a huge pile though which should equal an awesome fire when that day comes.
Of course, Bibbers had to help Scott fill the chainsaw with gas. He stayed with us and watched the work all Saturday afternoon.
Go, Farm Boss, Go! 
The size of the burn pile doubled with the amount of stuff we added this weekend.
Sunday, I got smart, and traded the garden wagon for the dump bed of the Ranger.
We called it a day Sunday afternoon when the Ranger suffered a flat tire. Sadly, the tire was punctured by a super sharp chunk of wood and will need some repair. All in all though, we enjoyed spending time outside and got some much-needed work done.
Stay Tuned for Our Next Adventure!

FOX News

Disclaimer:  "No!" This headline should not be seen as an endorsement of that television network that spews politics of which I am not particularly fond.  Rather, it's a notice to you that Scott saw a fox today! After I left to go to the 8:15 church service, Scott let the kitties outside for their morning exercise.  About half an hour later, Scott saw Wilson running toward the house, followed closely by a red fox! He couldn't actually tell who was chasing whom but Wilson was happy to come inside, unharmed. The fox traversed the yard from south to north, heading right past the great room windows. Here's a photo that Scott got with his phone.
Stay Tuned for Our Next Adventure!