Friday, May 25, 2007


Roger and I have been working hard so far this year to complete certain 'tasks' we set out to accomplish. You might say we have been a little overly optimistic and this has caused us (me anyway) a great deal of anxiety.

Those of you who can remember one of the 'I Love Lucy' episodes, I sometimes feel as she must have felt. Lucy is packing chocolates in boxes as the pieces of candy come down a conveyor belt; she does okay until chocolate pieces begin to come closer together and the conveyor belt moves faster. The result (though funny) was not pretty.

We have pushed forward though and continue to accomplish (bit by bit) these tasks. Looking back, I don't feel that I've given enough credit to those hardworking individuals who have helped us.

Without the help of Josh, Kirt and Curtis I'm afraid Roger and I would not be on speaking terms. I will try not to repeat myself but here is a recap of what has been accomplished so far.

Josh and Roger installed the flooring in the studio (office/exercise) room. It really looks good.

Josh and Roger (I helped too) put up the awning for the front patio area.

I now have windows in my work shop; an exit door out of the store room and double doors at the entry to the work shop.

Roger installed the flooring in his workshop.

Finally we've put in a drip system to the new trees. The trees will eventually put down roots so that they can draw water from the creek. But, until they become established we will water them.

We're still not sure what to do with all of the pasture grass we planted. For the time being I'm mowing. Maybe we'll eventually have a 'park' but, we're in no hurry.

There is still a long way to go but, I think we both enjoy it. I know I do.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Planting grass, painting walls and other fun stuff...

When we first moved to The RJ Ranch we learned from the previous owners that one of the neighbors regularly harvested the grass from the field on the east side of the house. (The house faces east so I guess you could say 'from the front of the house'. But, it's not really the front of the house because the field is really across the road.) You figure it out. Anyway, he uses the grass to feed his animals during the winter.

The first summer Joe (the son) cut the grass, bailed it and hauled it off. Not a problem because it gave us a better view of the landscape. The second summer Scott (Joe’s dad) told us that most of what they harvested was called 'cheat grass'. I'm not sure that is the botanical name for the plant but either way, it causes problems when it gets caught between teeth and gums on some of the critters. So, last summer they cut the grass and left it in the field.

Roger and I decided that, since no one was interested in the field and we actually 'owned' it, we would do something with it. First we burned the field. When Scott found out what we were planning he told us that by burning the field we just might get a better crop of 'cheat grass'. Go figure.

Along with the grass we also destroyed some of the pipe we had laid down last year for watering the trees in the triangle. BTW: Can someone please tell me where dirt goes? When you remove dirt from a hole, place something in the hole and then replace the dirt why is there never enough dirt to fill the hole totally? Inquiring minds want to know, where does the dirt go???

Back to the story.

After checking around for something that might actually survive the dry summers here, we planted pasture grass. This spring our field began to turn green before the wheat fields began to sprout. Were we proud or what?

Then we remembered Scott telling us about the great crop of ‘cheat grass’. That’s what it was ‘cheat grass’; what else could it be? Whatever it was (is) it was (is) abundant and has quickly gone to seed. So, we began to attack it with the lawn mower.

About two weeks we found out that it really is pasture grass…duh! Well, how were we to know? We’re not farmers and it didn’t look like any lawn we’ve ever seen. It won’t get high enough to warrant ‘harvesting’ so we’ve decided to work on mowing the entire field (I’ve made a good start) and make it into a park. I think a park might be a NEW PROJECT but, don’t anyone tell Roger. Our second challenge is going to be keeping the 'park' green.

We’re still working on the studio. I began teaching classes in the studio on May 8th and, so far so good. I have five students. The laminate had not been installed for the first class. The floor was half way done for the second class. By the third class not only was the floor in I actually had paintings hung on the walls.

We placed wall panels between the studio and the rest of the room to cut down on the echo. The room actually looks good. We still have the base shoe to install and the door frames to replace. I reinstalled the vent covers today and worked a little on the assignments for next week.

Yesterday Roger and I (mostly Roger) installed the drip system to the trees in the east pasture (aka Park – you know – the one with the pasture grass). He also repaired the damaged drip system to the trees in the triangle. Though the trees don't need it just yet, it is starting to dry out here and they will be thirsty soon enough. Once the trees in the 'park' are established the need for the drip system will cease (they're planted not too far from the creek).

Roger is anxious to get started on his EV but does not want to tear the car apart until he has the floor finished in his work shop. So, yesterday he also etched the floor and will paint it this weekend. Well, maybe he will paint it this weekend. He made a purchase from his favorite seller on E-Bay and won the bid. That was the good news. The bad news is that he has to drive to Seattle to pick up his prize. I would tell him that it’s probable a new project but, I’d like to keep the peace so we’ll call it an extension on an old project.

The plants in the green house are getting bigger. I’ve transplanted 60 of them so far. No, they're not outside yet. Last year I planted three gardens. This year I’m going to plant one. Last year the first garden was taken out by a killing frost. The second garden was bombarded by quarter size hail stones. This year I’m not taking any chances. June is a great month for planting (I hope).

Hey, there's a blueberry.

We’re still working on the barn and I’ll post photos or our progress next time. This should keep you busy for awhile. I know it’s keeping us busy.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Happy Mother's Day

Guess what Roger got me for Mother's Day...

Thursday, May 03, 2007

No New Projects...

Here is Roger spraying the sealer on the walls in the (former) pool room. We're going to sell the pants on E-Bay when we're done.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Pool Room Construction

The work continues in the pool room conversion. Roger and Josh finished patching up the holes in the walls on Monday.

The inspector came by the same day and gave our work his blessing so we could continue on.

Yesterday I taped up all of the windows and doors. Josh finished sanding the walls and started taping paper to the ceiling. He got about half way done before we decided to call it quits for the day.

Sometime during the night Roger heard what sounded like ripping newspapers. This morning all of the paper Josh had taped up was lying on the floor of the pool room. Needless to say Josh was not a happy camper this morning when he arrived to finish the job. So, he and I put up more paper (using better tape) while Roger pushed us around on the cart. It was so much faster with the three of us working on the project.


Roger and Josh textured the walls. It may not look as good as the job the contractor would have done but the finished product was a whole lot cheaper and it doesn't look bad.

Tomorrow we sand and seal the walls. Then we paint. Hurray!!! Maybe, just maybe we will get the room done before classes start.

You know it looks like they're having way too much fun. They're doing a great job.

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