Thursday, May 31, 2012

Yard Decorations

We brought a couple of things with us from Bakersfield that we figured would make good yard art or yard decorations for this area.  So now when you drive down our driveway you will be greeted along the way in a decidedly cowboy kind of way.  (I would say...)

Look closely on this tree.

And a little further on there's this one.  Look in the background on the left edge for another! (The white speck.)

Here's one we found and posted that was on the property.  This is the one on the left in the third picture.

We're not even really sure what it is.  Maybe a deer?

There are more skulls and skeleton parts around.  Mostly by the road...  

I don't think its creepy at all!  I think it's fun.  Maybe it will make the religious sales people turn around before they get all the way to the house.  (Yes, we have actually had JW drive the entire 330' driveway to knock on the door and give us pamphlets!)

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Hoggin' The Brush Hog

Today my husband decided to do a little more brushhogging.  Or rather, a lot of brushhogging.

We discussed the next area we wanted done and he went at it.  It was a very dusty job.

We both have slightly different ideas about how much area we want done.  He wants less mowed area (more "natural" look) and I want more mowed area (groomed look).  So for now we have a compromise.  The mowed area for now is around the house and today he did the area directly west.  

He was on the tractor for several hours.  Like I said, it was rather dusty!

But in the end I was extremely pleased with the results.  It's hard to see here but as always click on the pictures to enlarge.  This was the first area we did, directly in front of the house, and beyond, through the trees is the new area.

Looking north east towards the house.  Next the trees in this newly mowed area will be limbed up or removed all together.

Looking north down the hill on the east side of my "loop".

This is from between the house and the shop looking east.  The arena is on the far left (you can't see it from here).

And speaking of the arena...  We burned all but one pile (there were four big piles).  They are still smoldering ever so slightly.  The first pile is all cooled and flattened out (by Hubby on the left).

I was excited to find a couple of blossoms on one of the tomatoes.  I'm very jealous of friends in Bakersfield who are already eating their first crop!

I am a little nervous about some of my fruit trees, especially the cherries.  I don't know if the cold snap(s) hurt them, the sage rats and/or gophers are eating their roots, or I'm over or under watering.  But they seem to be dying one branch at a time.  AAAARRRGH!  

Well at least the aspens are doing great.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Good News

This morning I had my store manager interview.  It went extremely well, and barring a bad pee test (like that will happen!) or a bad background check (ditto) I should be duly employed by next week!  (I was told it would take 3-4 days to get all the results back.)

I knew that they offered health insurance to their part time and full time employees but I was surprised that it was also offered to temporary employees.  That was exciting.  Also the store manager let me know that the chances were very good that he'd have several full time positions available at the end of this summer time temp spot.

Then this evening I checked my email.  I was notified by the second health insurance company we applied to that I was accepted and coverage would begin June 15th.  (No word on Hubby's app yet as his went in a day or two after mine.)  So now I have to decide if I want to cancel this or keep it and see if I the Home Depot has another option (more pay for no health insurance...).  I guess I'll wait on that until I'm actually at work.

So things are looking up!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

What Global Warming??

We saw a new bird recently.  They are brilliant, almost neon yellow.  We knew it was different from the Wilson's Warbler and finally we were able to track it down as being an American Goldfinch.

They are really skittish so it's hard to get a good picture.  (Hubby took these.)


I feel like my interview went really well today.  Turns out the young man interviewing me has relatives in Bakersfield.  We discussed the yumminess of Dewars' black and whites!  I may have another interview in about a week (I'll be getting a call) with the store manager and hopefully I'll find out at that time how things look.  I feel very positive about it.

Today was fairly drizzly and less than nice.  About thirty minutes after we got back from Bend from my interview it started raining with a little snow.  Then that turned to all snow!  At first it wasn't sticking.

Our veggies are still in pots because we haven't quite figured out how to do the greenhouse (so it stays hot at night, plus the money factor to do so).  When it started snowing and then sticking it was time to bring the plants into the garage.

The poor citrus trees don't like the snow.  I hope the heat lamp makes them a bit happier.

This is global warming.  Al?  Al? 


PS-Happy Birthday, Hubby Dearest!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Back To Work

You probably heard all about the eclipse on Sunday.  I didn't really do enough research soon enough to be able to try and get a picture. Besides, it was my understanding that in order to get a really good photo you probably needed really expensive equipment.  I took a risk in pointing my camera at the eclipse (because like human eyes, camera "eyes" can be ruined by looking directly at the sun too) but as far as I can tell it didn't hurt my camera at all.

This is the best shot I could get.

So then I played with the shot a little.  If you squint your eyes and look sideways you might imagine you can see a "ring of fire".

So for the last few days we haven't been doing a whole lot.  Just a little brush clearing outside.  Today Hubby went to get another load of wood (that's a total of three cords now!).  I decided it was time to start working on the inside again.    

This is the corner I decided to work on.  Here I have removed a couple of nails, spackled the holes and started with the primer trim (upper right).  Then I remembered to take a "before" photo and had to climb down the ladder, a rather precarious endeavor.

First coat of primer.

Second coat of primer.

Edges trimmed with the new color.

The finished corner.  I think it looks much better.  (Remember you can click on the pictures to see them enlarged for better detail.)

And now another reason for the title of today's post.  After taking a long, hard, and realistic look at our income situation I decided I'd better try and find a job.  The thing is, if we didn't do health insurance we'd be fine.  But do we really want to risk that?  Our COBRA insurance ran out at the beginning of this month and we have been looking for other insurance.  We've already been turned down by one company and are waiting to hear from another that we've applied to.  The problem is my husband's cancer scare from last year and my type 2 diabetes, blood pressure, and cholesterol.  We could apply to all the insurances available in this area and be turned down but we would be guaranteed coverage by the State of Oregon.  The problem with that is, that it costs even more than the COBRA coverage.  And  I'm sure we can't afford that.  

Since my chances of winning the big lottery prize is next to nothing I decided I might as well go back to work.  I applied as a cashier at the Fred Meyer grocery store and at the Home Depot.  I haven't heard back from Fred Meyer but I had a phone screening yesterday and am scheduled for an interview at the Home Depot in Bend tomorrow.

Keep your fingers crossed for me!  Hopefully I'll have good news soon.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Somebody's A Mouser

This morning when I stepped into the garage to feed the cats I found an "extra".

I don't know for sure who caught the mouse but I have my suspicions.
Click here and here to see.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Pole Creek, Sisters, Wood Cutting

Yesterday my mother-in-law's summer house neighbor called and asked if we could come out and turn the water on.  It's been getting warmer and she wanted to water the yard and trees.  

We took a run out there, turned the water on, and made sure everything was ok.  We talked to the neighbor lady and left.  We decided to turn the trip into a working trip and explore one of the wood cutting areas near Sisters.

We found the Pole Creek wood cutting area without too much trouble.  It's quite different from the juniper "forests" we had been cutting.  The rules are strict but simple.  You can only cut downed trees (downed by wind, rot, or other natural causes), or standing dead trees that are no larger than 22" diameter at 12" above ground level.  That is except Ponderosa Pine.  When we first got to the area all we saw was Ponderosa Pine and we thought we wasted a trip.  

But eventually we found some Douglas Fir.  Then there was a point where our four wheel drive on the truck wasn't working and we almost got stuck.  It took a little doing but we finally got out of the little hole we were in.

Our truck was only half full and after we got unstuck at the one spot we found another good spot.  

Cutting down a dead tree.  You can see the top was totally broken off.


Nothing left but sawdust.

And I wasn't along just for the ride or to take pictures.  Hubby snuck a picture of me bringing the logs up to the truck.  

Well, I got my workout for the day and I'd say we got a good haul today.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Birds, Bugs, Cat, And Tree Trimming

We've found a novel way to get rid of the dead sage rats that Hubby shoots from our deck.  We leave them out in a conspicuous place in the field.  Every morning and every evening one or more crows comes slowly cruising by, scanning the field.

I've enlarged the above photo here.  The crow(s) then swoop down to pick up the unfortunate sage rat and bring it back to where ever he goes.

On this particular day, however, the crow was interrupted by a hawk.

The best I could tell the hawk surprised the crow.  The crow dropped the rat.  The hawk hung out on the tree top for a while until the crow stopped circling and finally left.  I don't think the hawk ever saw the rat.  Eventually he left too.  

The other bird news is the quail are all over the place.  We see them and hear them everywhere on the property.  We haven't seen quail babies yet but they are bound to appear soon.

They've even taken to landing on the deck.  I guess we better get more bird feed for the feeder.

The bugs are these web nests of caterpillars.  There are were several of these web nests in the bushes on the side.  Hubby sprayed them to take care of them.  I hope they weren't good bugs...

Here's our old cat Kneadermeier.  You can see she was recently shaved (like Ollie).  In fact it was done when my sister was visiting.  Anyway, she sleeps very strangely.  She likes to tuck her head in so it's almost upside down.

Maybe this is her way of blocking out the light.

I figured out she is 14 years old now.  I suppose she is allowed to have her idiosyncrasies at that age.

And finally today Hubby did a lot of tree trimming.  These are the trees closest to the house just off the deck on the west side.  While he was trimming I was working the arena.  I dragged the brush hog chopped brush into piles.  Then I did as much ripping and smoothing as I could before lunch.  After lunch I started bringing the trimmed limbs to the arena.  Next time it rains we'll have several piles to burn.

Things are starting to look a bit better.  Like a broken record I have to keep saying, "slowly but surely!"