Monday, March 26, 2012

New Stuff

I tried to make a post on Saturday but my photo memory card decided to stop working. Actually the little "lock" switch broke. Luckily I didn't have anything real important on there. So here's what I was going to post.

I went into Redmond on Saturday to do some furniture shopping. I stopped at the little store where we got the mattresses when my friend from Bakersfield came up with me when I had gone down to get the horses, before our furniture in storage was delivered. I thought I would be getting my club chair(s) from Target since they had a special (buy one, get the other for 50% off) and they were inexpensive to boot. But I thought on the way I'd swing by the Redmond store first.

I had a few items I wanted to get. A club chair, a side table, a lamp, and a bed frame for our bed which has been on the floor since we brought it here from Roseburg. The former frame had a bent metal leg which finally broke off.

So off I went by myself while hubby did some work around the house. I walked into the store and almost immediately saw what I had pictured in my mind. And it was a clearance, last of it's kind item, more than 1/2 off the original price. It was just a little more than what I would have paid for the two chairs at Target, but this one was more substantial and really more of what I had in mind. I immediately put my dibs on that.

About then the owner came over and I told her I wanted that chair. Then I told her I wanted a side table. She took me to look at a couple and almost right away I saw the one I wanted but it had a note on it to "hold for XX". I asked if there was another and the owner told me that actually this particular one was available because the person who it was on hold for had just said she wasn't going to take it after all. So it was mine! Next she took me around the see the lamps and again, almost immediately I saw the one I wanted. The bed frame was a simple deal. She had what I wanted out of the box so I got it for a pretty good discount.

Here's the chair, table, and lamp in our house. I think it looks great, and I couldn't be happier!
Afterwards I went ahead in to Bend to the Target because I wanted to get a few CD's and books. By now you've probably heard of the "Hunger Games" movie. My sister told me she read all the books and loved them so that's what I was after. I found the books and two of the cd's, then went to Best Buy in the same shopping center and got the other cd's I was looking for.

Once I got home we unpacked the furniture and I was so happy, until I took a closer look at the books and realized I bought two of the same book! What threw me was that the covers were different. I guess I should have paid more attention.

The next day I put one of my new cd's in the car and headed back to Target (about a 30 minute drive). They took the book back, I got the right one, then went to Best Buy to get a new memory card. I put one of the other new cd's in on the way home and now I am a happy camper again!

Today Hubby and I spent the day cleaning up for our guests who are expected tomorrow. He did outside and I did inside. I even washed the dogs!

All I can say is we should have more visitors. That seems to be the only way the house gets a good cleaning!

A few touch ups here and there tomorrow and then we get to relax and have fun with our friends!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Chimney Rock

I should have got my nails done today. I'm way overdue. I should have started cleaning house. That, also, is kind of overdue. I also need to get a club chair (or something similar) for the living room.

But Hubby didn't feel the same urgency as I and he wanted to go for a "walk" at Chimney Rock, just a few miles from our home. It's just a 2.6 mile round trip trail, he said. It'll be fun, he said.

So off we went.

On the way we passed a bunch of does eating the tender young greens just popping up in some large ranch's hay field.
This is where we were headed. Chimney Rock. Doesn't look too bad from here.
The trail head.

When we first pulled into the parking lot little bits of snow started falling. They were like miniature hail balls. Hubby said one of the meteorologists called it "gravel snow". We waited a moment and decided to go on. It wasn't too bad and we could always turn back.
The info sheet at the trail head claimed the hike was "moderate difficulty". I guess it was moderate if you were a 25 year old health fanatic who worked out in the gym for 3 hours a day!
I think we had gone about 50 yards and I was already wheezing, gasping, and sucking air like a pathetic overweight, out of shape, 52 year old laze-about. Oh wait. I am that.
Along the way the gravel snow came and went, then came and went again a few more times. To his credit Hubby asked a few times if I wanted to turn back. But I am also stubborn and I figured since we were there we would forge on, just at a very slow and easy pace.

The views were fantastic and well worth it.
Almost there!
Made it!
Photo op.
He said he couldn't see me so he moved closer.
And then I balanced the camera on a rock and scrambled down to get a timered photo of the two of us.
We found a semi sheltered spot at the base of Chimney Rock and had a great lunch of egg salad sandwiches, pickles, olives, pickled mushrooms, and a hard apple cider. Yum!!!
As we were enjoying the scenery a small snow cloud drifted by. It snowed again for about five minutes and then it was sunny again.
I was glad that the trip back was mostly down.
We passed a few groups going up while we were on our way down. I wondered if they knew what they were in for.

It took us about 45 minutes to get up to the top. That was at my snail's pace. I was surprised to note that we lingered at the top for another 45 minutes. As expected the return trip took much shorter. It only took about 15 minutes to come down!
So while I wouldn't exactly call it a "walk" or "fun" or "moderate", it was worth the effort.

Is it bad that my lungs are still burning?

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Productive Day

I hadn't done much since I painted three coats of primer in the hall. At that time I didn't think I'd do the ceiling and I wasn't sure when I would get to painting the real color on the walls. Well, I decided to do the ceiling after all, but fortunately it wasn't in need of any primer.

I had decided I wasn't going to tape everything off because I seem to have bad luck with the tape. I've tried taking it off as soon as I was done painting and I've waited, and both methods leave me dissatisfied. The tape never comes off in one piece and sometimes I've had to get a razor blade to help it come up. And then there's always the spot(s) of paint that get under the tape.

I started with the colored paint yesterday. I did all the trim and corners and just took my time with a new one inch brush I bought when I bought the color. It went very well.

Today I trimmed around the ceiling fixtures, which didn't take long. Again, I took my time and I didn't get so stressed out about it. Then I started with the paint roller. I remembered I had a pole somewhere to screw into the end of the roller so I wouldn't have to keep climbing up and down the ladder. I found it and got down to business.

In no time at all I was done. I really like it now. It seems so much bigger and brighter and it doesn't feel like I'm walking into a cave when I go into the hall.
The next item of business for today was to replace the doorbell cover. I forgot to take a picture while the old one was still attached so here I am holding it up. The doorbell still worked but the cover was broken and the light didn't work.
Here are the wires to the doorbell. I had to enlarge the hole where the wires come out so the new cover would fit.
At first I was going to use the hole saw but then realized the wires wouldn't fit into the saw part and they would end up getting cut. Not good. Then I remembered my Rotozip and put a round cutting blade on it. I had to be careful with the wire but it worked great.
Ta da! The bell works, the light works, and the new cover looks better than the broken one!
I'm done painting for the time being so I can concentrate on other things. We're expecting our friends from Roseburg to come visit next week so I've got a bit of cleaning ahead. I hope the weather is decent when they come over!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy Saint Patrick's Day

If you look closely you may see some green! It's grass that's trying to grow. Maybe spring is right around the corner. We can only hope!

We got the results of our tax trip. We do have to pay (no surprise) but it's much less than we thought and even less than what I had figured. Now we just have to figure out how to save enough to pay for this year.

One of us might be getting a job after all... How sad to have to get a job to pay taxes.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Getting The Red Out

Today we separated and did our own chores. Hubby went out and limbed up a few of the trees near the driveway.
He's been after me to paint the red walls so I decided I'd start with the hall way. As with any painting job preparation is important.
Edges are done and the first coat of primer is 1/2 way done.
I did three coats of primer on the edges and around the switches and outlets. By the time I finished the second coat of rolled primer I was done in! I figured although it could have used third coat, two coats of primer would have to do.
I'm not sure how long it's going to stay like this now. I decided once I figure out what color I want to paint this hall I will just tape everything off and paint the walls and ceiling the same light color, whether it's a light yellow, palest of green, or some sort of off-white. Actually I meant I will dig out the paint sprayer and spray the walls and ceiling.

I used to enjoy painting. Today as I was painting I was thinking about what happened. I was not really enjoying myself. I think what has happened is I have gotten older, and as I have gotten older I am more out of shape. My knees hurt from kneeling to paint the bottom section. My shoulders are sore from reaching up.

And now, a bizarre confession. I was irritated because when I was half way finished Hubby came in and started watching tv. He was finished with his chores. I felt like his work was easier than mine and he should have started helping me.

On the other hand, now I can say I did it myself. Crazy, huh!

In any case, I've taken my long soak in my giant tub and I'm half way through a bottle of wine. This is the kind of ache I like. I told you I was crazy.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


It's getting terribly close to tax time and we haven't done anything about it yet. Oregon state taxes are ridiculous and I have been stressing about it more and more as we get closer to filing time.

Yesterday I went on Turbo Tax and plugged some numbers in to get an idea. The initial numbers were extremely alarming until I realized I hadn't put any of our "good" numbers in. After putting in our costs for mortgage and medical the numbers were much better. Still not what I wanted to see, but I was able to get what we had to pay for both State and Federal reduced by about 2/3.

Today we made an appointment with a tax place in Bend. Hopefully they will be able to help reduce what we have to pay by even more, maybe even get us a refund! (Fingers XXX!!)

I spent the day today finishing the office space. Most of which meant filing papers away, getting rid of old files from our rental in Roseburg, files from our remodel of our Bakersfield house, and making new files for our new stuff from here (tv service, electric, tractor, etc).

When that was done I got the info I would need for our appointment tomorrow. I spent quite a bit of time going through all the medical records and figuring out all our copays and mileage spent going to Springfield for Hubby's cancer appointments. I hate to say it but all his medical bills from last year could actually be a tax help for us.

Meanwhile I hadn't planned on using a farm write off for last year but it sure looks like it would be a help to do so. Although in one sense I wasn't really "farming" I was still paying for hay for my bull and I did sell three cows. It's always been my intention to start up again once we got settled in Oregon anyway...

I hate this time of year.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Saddle Racksss

I was happy enough with the results of my first saddle rack so Friday evening I started cutting out all the pieces to the next two racks. I even went so far as to pre-drill the screw holes so on Sunday all I would have to do would be the assembly. I only broke one drill bit. Oh, and my husband went to the hardware store and got me a longer jigsaw bit so I could cut the curves better (worked way better than the circular saw and heavy duty sanding).
Sunday I was able to put everything together. The only cutting I did on Sunday was the very bottom (the storage area). Here you can see the saddle rack I had from many years ago. It's taller and definitely not as fancy.
So later I can do some light sanding and either paint, poly, or stain.

As it turns out I did not use the entire 12' X 12" board for each stand. I ended up using the leftover pieces of plywood from Dakota's shed for the sides and bottoms of the stands. This left me with a whole twelve foot board and a half of one 12' X 12" board.

So if each board cost $12.24, I used screws I already had, and the plywood scraps I already had, I got three half way decent saddle racks for a grand total of $18.36. (I don't count the new bits.) Not too shabby!

Now to think up some sort of jump using three 6' X 12" boards...

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Saddle Rack

Building the bluebird house yesterday gave me the building bug.

Right now I've got one saddle rack and four saddles. A saddle rack is my next project!

Here's my work in progress.
The two ends. Looks like tombstone markers. I don't have a band saw or a stand sander. I do have a belt sander so maybe I'll be able to get the tops fairly even and smooth.
These are the pieces I cut to go over the rounded part.
You can sort of see what the end result is supposed to look like.
There are a couple of different plans available for free on-line and I just liked the look of this model. This wasn't the easiest plan, especially without some of the recommended tools. I just like to challenge myself!

I took a chance and bought enough wood to make three racks. Hopefully this first one will turn out, otherwise I'll just have to make some sort of jump out of the other wood. ;-)

Friday, March 9, 2012

Bluebird House

I had a few options of things to do today.

#1: Start putting primer on the hideous magenta walls.

#2: Work on the office.

#3: Build a bluebird house.

Guess which one I chose to do.

I looked on-line and there are a myriad sites on "how to build a bluebird house". I'm glad I looked at more than one of those sites because although the houses are basically the same, some of the sites had a little more info. For example: I learned that you should not use smooth wood because the birds climb up the walls of the house. If the walls are smooth they can't get a grip!

There should only by one house every 100 yards because bluebirds are very territorial. I should be able to make a few then, just making sure to place them carefully far enough apart from each other.

There were different views on where to place the house but they all agreed that the house should be placed on a 4 - 6 foot pole. I gathered that the bluebirds like to be near but not in the trees, they like to be in or at the edge of a clearing, and the house should not be placed too close to a pond (so the fledglings don't accidentally fly in and not out!).

I didn't have the recommended cedar board but I did have left-over plywood. To solve the smoothness problem I glued juniper bark on the outside and insides of the house.
I found an old 2 X 4 and put it where I hope is a good spot. It's far enough away from our house so the birds shouldn't get too bothered by us (after all they were on the deck yesterday).
The web sites say not to worry about the house being perfect. The birds need the gaps in the walls and floor for drainage and ventilation. In that case my house is perfect!
The next thing I'm going to make is a small hypertufa drinking station. That should satisfy the need for water for drinking and bathing, yet will be too shallow to dive into (and drown). Other birds can use it also.

Then since it was so beautiful today I took Star out for a long ride on the ridge and when we came back we galloped my loop a few times in both directions.

It was a glorious day!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Mr. & Mrs. Bluebird

We had visitors today. Mr. and Mrs. Mountain Bluebird came fluttering about on the deck. Perhaps they were looking for a place to build a little nest?

Mrs. Mountain Bluebird
Mr. Mountain Bluebird
I sure hope this was a sign that Spring is right around the corner. I'm so ready for it!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Days' Excitement

New moon rising tonight. Is that why we had a little excitement today?
Yesterday we were talking about how we are house poor. Hubby declared he was not going back to work, no matter what. He was "done with working". Okay. Right.

Today we went to the chainsaw shop to pick up his chainsaw which had been in (a long time) for repairs. As we were paying the owner looked out and noticed two city police cars pull in to the neighboring business. We finished our business and got into our truck.

Just as we were backing out of the parking space Hubby saw a figure flying through the back storage yard of the chainsaw business, the two officers in pursuit.

So what does he do? He drove the truck into the back storage yard and ran after the officers.

When he came back he explained that he identified himself to the two officers as a retired officer and asked if they needed help. "Sure!" they said. So they got the suspect surrounded (he had jumped the fence and was in the tall weeds by the river at that time.) They ordered the suspect out, got him on the ground and handcuffed him. At that time Hubby left the two officers to their business.

I guess Police Officers don't ever really retire, do they?

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Bowman Museum

After visiting the Wildland Firefighters Monument in Ochoco Creek Park yesterday we went to the Bowman Museum in "downtown" Prineville.
It's not very big but the displays are well done.
Here's a display honoring the Prineville Hotshots and a small scale version of the statue in the park.
The displays had all kinds of things, from the Prineville Railroad to medical antiques, war stuff, Indian stuff, etc. mostly pertaining to Prineville, and Crook County.

The Breeses mentioned in this photo settled in the area long ago and have a humongous ranch.

It is small, but there is an upstairs too.
This room had everything pertaining to the "jazz age".
One of my favorite displays; the saddles and misc. tack.
I overheard the front lady talking to another guest. She was telling him that Mr. Bowman had donated the building to house a museum. The catch was if the museum ever closed or left to another location then the building ownership would revert back to the Bowman family. Not bad!

The good news is there is still lots of room for expansion. The best thing is the admission is free!

Afterwards we went and had lunch at a little restaurant/pub next door. It was a fun day.