Thursday, March 26, 2015

Yard Work, Yard Waste and Patience

There are times that yard work seems endless. This year we have decided to try to get our yard into shape and work on a long term plan for what we want it to look like in the future. Although at one time, I think our yard was probably impressive with planting beds and a manicured lawn, unfortunately through the previous owners declined health the yard had fallen into mess. There are years worth of leaves, pine needles, pine cones, hickory nuts, sweet gum balls (I loathe sweet gum balls), sticks and on and on that have built up.



Although we have had the yard mowed and bagged, there are still those things that only a good raking by hand that can do. Just the thought of doing this is overwhelming!


The weather right now is beautiful in our part of Texas, and I love to be outside. Before we know it, 100 degree temperatures will be upon us and it is miserable working outside so I am trying to take advantage of the nice forecast. Each day the weather is agreeable, I will go out for about an hour and rake a section of the yard. I can usually get 3 to 5 garden carts of waste during this time. It is good exercise and I get to enjoy being outside and make a dent in a huge task. This has helped me from feeling so overwhelmed by the project!


This is the pile of yard waste so far and I must tell you this picture does not do it justice, it is probably 10' x 6' in size. I am learning patience in this house remodel, or at least I am trying to learn patience! Today it is raining so I will take a break from the yard work and let the blisters and ant bites heal.

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Monday, March 23, 2015

Taiwan

I can't tell you the last time it was twenty plus days of no blogging. Darling Daughter and I left on March 4th for a mission trip to Taiwan. I thought I would blog while there, but it wasn't conducive to blogging and then when we returned on March 14 I was plagued with jetlag. There was a full week of symptoms the greatest of which was a lack of ability to concentrate. I began to notice improvement on Saturday so what I am really saying is I was an unproductive slug for a week!!!!!!!!! Now to get to all of the things that went undone while I was away and the things I didn't get done last week.



Taiwan was the first mission trip that Darling Daughter and I shared together. We went with eight other ladies from our church to Taichung, Taiwan and worked with our missionary friend, Rene. I found Taiwan to be very western, we could have been in any city in America. The people were very welcoming and kind, I enjoyed them very much. Some of the ministries we enjoyed participating in included a story time and craft at a blind school, a ladies day that included precious testimonies, a baking class as well as an English language class. We also were able to enjoy several cultural experiences that included a lantern festival, a dumpling making class and a Taiwanese hair wash, oh my word, yes!



I enjoyed watching Darling Daughter minister at the blind school. She worked with this young man and they ended up singing a duet of Old MacDonald. Precious to this mom.


I shopped with the girls at the Jade Market. This was our first day and we hadn't slept other than on a plane in almost 48 hours, we were trying to kill time to get on their schedule, Taiwan is fourteen hours ahead.


The picture was taken at the Lantern Festival and it is the year of the sheep. We enjoyed a day in the park inviting people to a ladies day we were hosting and then prayer walking through the park.

I was told the night market is like this every night. I smelled stinky tofu and why on earth anyone would eat that is beyond me!


This delightful story teller is Ann, she is a believer and along with her precious family minister in Taiwan on a daily basis.


Making dumplings, can I just say that people do not get enough money for making these homemade! This was a long process that required lots and lots of chopping! We made 500 dumplings!



This was taken at the kids cooking and craft time. We enjoyed the story of Noah's ark and made some cute little sheep and they made a dessert to take home.

We really enjoyed our time with the Taiwanese people. I continue to pray for them as they hear about the love of Jesus each day though those that God has called.

Monday, March 2, 2015

The Friday Project-Yard Work

Despite the cool temperatures Mr. Wonderful and I decided to work outside. When we bought the house the yard like everything else had been greatly neglected. Our goals for this year concerning the yard are to give it a good overall cleaning, finish cutting the dead trees and see what exactly we have as far as bushes, flowers and decide on a plan for future plantings. I also hope to start with a small garden.


Before the shrubs were removed



The front of the house has a row of shrubs in front of the house that aren't in too bad shape so we are going to leave those, but there was also a second row of boxwood shrubs that line the circle drive. These were overgrown, some were dead or dying and the two separate rows blocked the view of the house. So we decided it was time to pull them up. We took a strap and hooked one end to the truck and the other end to each individual shrub and pulled them out. I drove the truck and Wonderful would move the strap to the base of each boxwood. It took over three hours to take out about 30 plants, but the result was so worth the effort.








After pulling up the shrubs (and having lunch) we started raking and cleaning up around the front of the house. We dumped over ten garden carts full of yard debris, but it is amazing how much the day spent cleaning the front of the house opened up the house and made it look so much brighter.


The pile in front of our house for yard waste day.


We have talked often about how much better a well kept house looks than a house that has been neglected.  We started with this:



To this:



Love how things are looking
The before picture is before anything (even before we closed). See the huge tree blocking the house, it was removed for safety reasons. The roof was changed within hours of closing and if you will notice we have taken off the vinyl siding on the front of the house. We will be removing all of the vinyl, a matter of personal preference and painting early summer. Fridays are always busy!



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Friday, February 27, 2015

For the Love of India


Our trip to India is a couple of weeks behind us now, just to be honest it has taken those couple of weeks to get my system straightened out. I think going through so many changes in such a short time, including sleep pattern, diet and emotion not to mention so many hours in the plane is hard on the body.



There were just two couples on this trip and we accompanied our husbands to an area that the ladies had not been before, very non western, although we were blessed with an amazing hotel that had just opened up a few months before. I hate admitting how spoiled I am, but I was so excited with a western toilet! Trust me the little things are the big things and toilet paper is at the top of the list!








Cathy and I taught a ladies study each day, it was such a blessing to be apart of this group. They were genuine, passionate and blessed my heart with their eagerness to learn and share.



We visited several homes and enjoyed the amazing hospitality of new friends.



One day we went on a boat ride on the Ganges River. I am sure the boat was built a thousand years ago. It was such an awesome experience, I enjoyed getting to observe the customs of the locals, and of course enjoyed some delicious chai.



The local school girls wanted to give us henna tattoos after school and then invited us to their home, it was such a treat for us.



We had the most amazing interpreters. This beautiful young lady, Rahel stuck with Cathy and I through the week. And then there was Sonu, who I lovingly refer to as our Indian son.



Our time there was wonderful and we can't wait to return again.

Monday, February 23, 2015

The Friday Project - Trim

I am a true southern girl, every house should have lots of woodwork and it should be snow white! Seriously, Mr. Wonderful and I had a conversation about how much is too much and he promised to intervene if I crossed the line! All of that being said, we have been working on adding trim for several weekends. Crown molding was added, we chose a smaller trim due to our eight foot ceilings. A smaller molding draws the eye upward and yet doesn't overpower like a more substantial molding might.

You can see the line of adding crown on top, while Wonderful takes a small break to watch the undefeated University of KY Wildcats. Go Big Blue!!!!!!


We did beef up the base boards as well as the trim around the front door and the opening to the dining room.(Like that around my refrigerator ) My entry is nothing more than a hall and the new trim makes the whole area look more impressive.


I can't wait to get some paint on this trim!!!

Now if all there was to do was change the trim that would be one thing, but there is now the process of filling nail holes, caulking and then sanding and painting. Although the trim was already primed, it will still need a couple of coats of paint. I am one slooowwwwwwww trim painter, but I am trying to remember that you eat an elephant one bite at a time, and you paint a house full of new trim one brush at a time!

Sorry for the blurry picture, I sometimes take a quick snap without my contacts. Never a good idea.


But I am inspired to paint on when I see what a difference it makes!


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